Foretold by SLynn
Summary: A woman walks into the crime lab only to tell Greg Sanders about her murder, a murder he's going to solve. Is she just playing games or is it something more?
Spoilers: Through 'Gum Drops'
Disclaimer: I'm just borrowing and will return them all when I'm done, virtually untouched.
Notes: Please read disclaimer at the beginning of the last chapter.
"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story."
Chapter 30: Ending II
Nick drove as fast as he could to the hospital, Sara was in no condition. He hadn't been able to get much of anything out of her. Nick had to make all the necessary arrangements to leave the scene, Warrick agreeing in no time to take their places. He hadn't dared ask why, but Warrick had wished for the best.
Sara stared out the window the entire time, tapping her foot and praying, honestly praying, for the first time in a long time.
She hardly waited for the truck to stop before she was out of it and racing towards the garage's elevator.
"Wait up," Nick hollered, just catching her before the doors shut.
Sara didn't apologize, just urged the elevator to move faster under her breath.
When they finally got inside the hospital, Nick was once again forced to chase her. Sara raced the whole way until they neared the ICU. Inexplicably she slowed to a halt just outside the doors, groping blinding for Nick's hand; needing the extra support.
"Its okay, Sara," Nick said, pulling her gently forward.
She nodded, wanting to believe it but knowing she wouldn't until she saw for herself. Hesitating only slightly, Sara pushed the door open with Nick at her side.
Jake was waiting for them with a smile on his face.
"The doctor's are seeing him now," he said, rushing over to them, "but I think he's alright. It was the strangest thing; he just woke up."
Nick and Sara let out nearly identical nervous laughs.
"Anne's still with him," Jake continued, "but he's been asking for you."
"Me?" Sara echoed, unable to help but be surprised.
"Of course he is," Jake answered. "I think… he woke up a little confused… he wasn't sure what happened to you…"
"We told him that you were alright, of course," he added. "But I don't think he's going to believe it until he sees you for himself."
She couldn't help but smile at that.
"How long until we can see him?" Nick asked.
Jake led them over to some nearby chairs to give them the details. Dr. Cordova, despite Greg's seeming recovery, still wanted to do a thorough exam. It could take awhile, but Sara had never been happier to wait before in her life. She'd wait forever if they asked her too.
Finally, nearly two hours after they'd arrived, the doctor came out to talk.
"You can't stay long," she advised. "He's still very weak, but I think given some time he'll make a full recovery."
Sara thanked Dr. Cordova profusely before together they all went back to Greg's room.
"I'll leave you here," Dr. Cordova said just outside the door.
No one moved. Sara soon realized that both men were waiting on her, but she wasn't sure she could do it. It just seemed too good to be true.
"Well?" Nick asked, patting her gently on the back.
"Yeah," Sara sighed.
Jake pulled open the door and Sara stepped quietly inside. Anne, sitting in Sara's usual spot right next to the bed, looked over and smiled warmly. Leaning over she said something softly to Greg, who was at the moment turned towards her, but only for a moment. Sara just caught her name come from Anne's lips and with that Greg instantly turned towards her.
Anne stood up and headed towards her. She was smiling, but Sara could tell that she hadn't been for long; the evidence of tears still lingered on her face.
"We'll give you two some privacy," she told Sara, taking a brief hold of her arm before passing her by.
Sara heard the door click softly shut behind her but still she hadn't moved.
Greg was looking at her, staring at her with the same expression she imagined herself to be wearing; one of total disbelief.
"I can't…" Sara started, moving further into the room. "I just… I can't…"
Her hands were shaking, her whole body was shaking and she had no idea what to say. As soon as she took her seat Greg eagerly reached over and took hold of her hands with his.
"I know what you mean," he managed, his voice broken from lack of use.
Sara laughed, even as she cried.
Greg reached up and ran a hand across her cheek, smiling as a few tears slipped from the corner of his eyes. Sara leaned in as close as she could, till their foreheads just touched, crying hard with relief now that it really was over.
"Please don't cry," he turned and whispered in her ear. "Don't. It's alright."
But Sara couldn't stop crying, not altogether. She'd been fighting it back for so long, now that she had let go, it was unstoppable. Greg pressed his lips to her forehead and was content holding her until it passed.
"I'd kiss you, but I'm afraid I have about a month's worth of morning breath."
Sara laughed and shook her head.
"I don't mind."
Greg laughed too before pulling her even closer.
"I got the pictures," Sara said into her phone, a faint smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. "She's beautiful."
Sara listened as Jake exalted the praises of his newborn baby daughter a subject he never seemed to tire of, even a month later. She made her way through the lab with head down appearing intent on the conversation, even if she heard only half of it.
It was the beginning of Greg's first night back.
Sara had tried to convince him to give it some more time, but he was too eager to return. Greg's recovery had gone much smoother than anyone could have hoped for, especially given its beginning.
Ducking into the break room to finish the call, Sara sighed as she hung up.
"Everything alright?" Catherine asked from the table.
"Good," Sara said with a smile. "I'm just…"
Sara shrugged, she didn't know what. Mostly nervous. Scared even. Greg back at work meant Greg in the field. Sara wasn't sure she was up to it.
"Was that Greg?" Catherine asked, sensing the other woman's distress.
"No," Sara answered, "it was Jake. He was just checking to see that we'd made it back alright and if we got the pictures they'd sent."
"How was the trip?"
"Interesting," Sara said with a laugh. "Greg's going to spoil his niece rotten, not that Anne and Jake aren't."
"I remember that phase," Catherine sighed. "They start off so cute and sweet and then well…"
"They become teenagers?"
"Don't remind me," Catherine deadpanned.
Sara laughed, saying a hasty goodbye as she headed back down the hall towards the locker room.
"I thought Greg was coming in with you?" Warrick asked, as she opened her locker to prepare for the night.
"He took his own car," Sara said, switching to a lighter jacket as she talked. "I think he's finally sick of being chauffeured around."
"The way he drives you'd think he'd be thankful."
"That's what I said," Sara returned.
"So," Warrick said, suddenly serious, "is he ready?"
Sara turned and faced him, sitting on the bench before answering.
"Yeah, I think so. He thinks so."
"What about you?"
"Me?" Sara asked back. "Can you ever really be ready?"
Warrick shook his head, not to disagree but in understanding.
"You'll be alright," Warrick said, placing a hand on her shoulder and giving it a firm but friendly squeeze.
"I will," Sara agreed standing and walking with him back to the break room for the pre-shift meeting.
"Good," Grissom said upon seeing them both, "we can start."
"Aren't we waiting for Greg?" Nick asked; everyone else was already in place.
"Greg called and said he was running late," Grissom assured him.
"On his first night back," Nick laughed.
"Figures," Warrick added with a chuckle.
The meeting was quickly done, everyone ready with fresh assignments, Grissom asked Sara to stay for a quick word.
"Ecklie has some concerns about you and Greg working the same shift," he started.
Sara stared at him, hard, not liking where this was going.
"Knowing the level of involvement between you two, he's afraid it will compromise the work environment."
"And," Grissom echoed, "I told him that it was my shift. And if I had no problem with it, he shouldn't either."
Sara pressed her lips together, unable to completely suppress the smile that overcame her.
"That's it," he said, moving past her and towards the door.
Sara turned to follow him out, when he stopped abruptly and faced her again.
"When you see Greg, will you ask him to stop by my office?"
"How do you know I'll see him first?"
Grissom didn't answer, merely gave her one of his looks before really going this time.
"What was that all about?" Nick asked, catching up to her in the halls.
"Nothing," Sara shrugged, "Ecklie doesn't want Greg and I working together is all."
"Really?" Nick asked, sounding worried. "Is that like policy or something?"
"Why?" Sara asked back, giving him a shrewd look.
"No reason," he tried downplaying it. "You know, I'm just looking out for you."
Nick gave her a wink, accompanying her a few more yards down the hall before he stopped.
"I'll just go now," Nick said, taking a few steps backwards before turning and walking away.
Sara was momentarily confused until she looked up and saw Greg heading around the corner her way.
Greg looked different than he had before. He'd regained some of the weight he'd lost, but he still had that look to him. The look someone had when they'd been seriously ill. It was his pallor, his air.
But of all the things that had changed about him, his walk wasn't one of them. Sara couldn't help but beam when she saw him. And she couldn't help but be thrilled to see his face light up in return.
"I've missed this place," he said once he reached her. "It's kind of like coming home."
"That just proves you need to get out more."
"Four months is long enough," Greg said, turning to walk back with her even though it was the direction he'd just came.
"Well," Sara added, "I can honestly say the lab wasn't the same without you."
"Sara Sidle, are you flirting with me?"
She said nothing, just rolled her eyes in mock irritation.
"I am serious though," he continued. "It is good to be back. I really didn't think…After everything that's happened," Greg continued, "I wasn't sure I could come back. After Ashley, Henry, Harper…I thought it would all change for me. That I wouldn't want to be here. But I do."
Sara waited, knowing he wasn't done just yet.
"I used to think that everything happens for a reason."
"And now?" Sara asked.
"I still do," he returned. "I just don't think we're always meant to know what that reason is."
Sara gave him a very serious look.
"I'm fine," Greg answered before she could ask. "Really, I am. I'd tell you if I wasn't."
"I know," Sara replied.
"Good," he answered, opening the door to the garage. "Now where are we headed? My case is in my trunk, so if we just swing by… what?"
"Nothing," Sara said, suddenly teary-eyed without explanation. "It's just… it's really good to have you back."
"You've had me back for months," he argued without a trace of remonstration in his voice.
"But it's different here. This place was different without you."
Greg reached out and took her hands.
"Too bad you have the no making-out rule at work rule," Greg said. "Because I really want to kiss you now."
"Well," Sara said, looking around, "we are in the garage."
Greg laughed before pulling her into a tight embrace.
A/N: If you made it this far, thanks for reading!