A/N - It occurred to me recently that a happy ending had been given by the powers-that-be, but never reflected in this story. So here it is :) An epilogue to match the prologue, and a period at the end of a beautiful sentence.
Something had changed.
Grissom wasn't able to place it, exactly, but something had definitely changed. Changed in the way she looked at him, the way she spoke to him. Maybe it was because FINALLY she was actually looking and speaking again.
It had been a long journey in many respects; the last few days of connecting flights and ATV rides and hiking with the GPS had only been the final leg. And moments before it ended he had been feeling every minute, day, month and year. Despite the hope, he was exhausted.
And then there she was, alive and vibrant and whole and HIS. His exhaustion was blessedly forgotten, and it was a good thing; in the tropical heat of her cluttered but comfortable tent, it was hours before she let him even think about sleep.
Her preference in their lovemaking had always been to keep the lights out and her eyes largely closed. But when their bodies found their still familiar rhythm, there was no shutting out the light of the afternoon, and their eyes were locked in the final moments until their mutual release drove them shut in ecstasy.
When his body had nothing more to give --- he was not as young as she, after all --- he had braced himself to hear her confession, her regret, but it never came. Instead she spoke of her breaking, her healing. HER journey.
She'd stopped pushing. She'd stopped just living. And something had changed.
"I love you," Sara whispered as he began to doze off.
"I love you, too," Grissom murmured, pulling her closer. "I never stopped."
And he knew he never would. Because for as much as his whole world had been turned upside down but this beautiful, impossible woman, some things he would never --- COULD never --- change. Even if he tried.