Title: Leaving Paradise
Companion To: Paradise Found
Pairing: Grissom/Sara
Rating: K

Author's Note: First, I want to thank everyone who commented on Paradise Found. I hope you enjoy its sequel.

Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns CSI.


Nick walked down the hall, folders in hand, frowning at the budget request. Stopping off at his mailbox, he grabbed the contents, piled them on, and proceeded to his office.

His office. He'd been in this office for over six months, and Catherine had occupied the space before even him, yet everyday he found more evidence of the entomologist who had occupied it for so long. Some items – experiments – Nick left on the shelf, like the irradiated fetal pig. Others, he and Catherine had forwarded on over time. Still, remnants of the man remained.

Sitting behind his desk, the Graveyard supervisor flipped through journals, piling them on a corner. Anything in an envelope got thrown into the In box… until one particular envelope popped out at him, and he smiled.

Ripping it open, he read.

Dear Nick,
I wanted to thank you for the kind words you gave me in the last letter. His otosclerosis is getting worse, and I am done looking for hope from the doctors here. We will be arriving in Las Vegas in a month's time. I can only pray the doctors there provide some optimism to our current situation. It's been terribly hard on him not being able to hear the people around him.

I also want to thank you for the items you sent. They have brought us comfort in this hard time. Nick, he can barely hear anything anymore. The constant ringing from tinnitus is gone, but some sounds are now escaping him altogether. He puts up a brave front, but I want him to see a specialist. I am afraid he will lose his hearing permanently.

We Miss You,

Laying down the letter, he heaved a sigh of concern. Smiling at the picture of his wife, propped on his desk, he thought of how lucky he was to have her, and how he had once envied what Sara and Grissom had found.

Flipping open his cell phone, he made the calls. First, he had to track down Catherine. Having left the lab two years before, and with Lindsey out of college and on her own, the former supervisor was often travelling on business. She scurried in and out of Vegas so rapidly they often didn't see each other, although they tried. When she didn't answer, he left a message.

Greg, on the other hand, answered on the first ring, and Nick simply said, "They're coming for a visit." The message in its simplicity conveyed everything Greg needed to hear. Standing over the body in the morgue, he grinned; causing Dave to comment.

Warrick was easy to find, as he occupied the Swing supervisor's office. Making his way down the hall, Nick sauntered into his office with an ease of a long-standing friendship.

"They'll be coming to Vegas in a month," Nick smiled. He said nothing else, as Warrick ran through the words, confusion on his face. About the time Nick was going to explain, a huge smile broke across Warrick's face, and he started laughing. Nick left Sara's letter with Warrick to read.

When Nick finally managed to get a hold of Catherine, she said, "I'll be there." Nick wasn't at all surprised when the blonde, middle aged woman laughed, "Nicky, they're coming to visit us!"

It was left to him, so he planned. The two new CSIs on Graveyard didn't understand. They hadn't been there for the Golden era, when a man named Gil Grissom made the Las Vegas crime lab the second best in the country.

Weeks later, Nick stood in his office and looked around. He surveyed the many signs of the entomologist that lay spread about on shelves. Suddenly laughing, he announced to the empty room, "They're coming!"


The wiry little boy scurried down the hall, his hands waving wildly. Nick watched the approach of the young missile, and crouched in smiling anticipation just in time for the child to vault right into his arms. Snuggling him close, Nick listened to the giggle next to his ear, and then held the imp away from him – just enough to sign, "Hello, Ethan. I missed you."

Standing, he held the boy up on a shoulder and watched the brunette come tearing down the hall, a security guard scurrying after her.

A frown plastered her face, as she tried to decide what to do with the five year old bundle of mischief. When she reached up and clipped something onto the boy's ears, Nick set him on the ground. Her hands still on Ethan's ears, she made sure the hearing aids were adjusted properly before stepping back.

Looking down at him, she succinctly stated, "Ethan Gilbert Grissom, when I told you to stay with me, did that equate to running down the hall without me?"

It was hard work for Sara Sidle-Grissom to keep a stern face, when the little boy looked up through deep blue eyes, gave her the same innocent look she'd often seen in his the face of his father, and said, "Sorry, mama."


Nick insisted they stay with his family, and they gracefully accepted.

While Ethan played in the backyard with Nick's dog, the adults sprawled in different places around the taupe and sage living room. Greg spread out next to Sara on the deep green couch, while Catherine tipped back a bit in the recliner. Warrick and Nick took the arm chairs, while Nick's very pregnant wife quietly excused herself.

For over an hour, they talked to and over each other, remembering good times and bad, each giving an accounting of their time as a family.

Tears in her eyes, Sara looked around the room, before finally saying, "I've really missed you… all of you." Turning her head, she watched her son romp around with a playful dog that was trying to teach the boy to roll over.

"He has Gil's eyes," she murmured, tears streaking down her face. Looking at Catherine, she said, "He has his face – the way he would get excited about something and he'd light up like a little boy." Brusquely wiping away the tears, she took a huffing breath, and sardonically added, "He has my temper."

For a few moments, the room fell into a comfortable silence, each member of the former Graveyard shift lost in silence or remembrance of the missing man.

Greg asked, "What are you going to do about Ethan?"

Looking around the room, recognizing the only real family she'd ever had, her face sobered. From person to person, she caught and held their gaze for just a moment. Soberly, she said, "I stayed in Brazil to be by the side of the only man I could ever love. It turns out I was wrong."

Turning her head back to see the dark curls of his hair standing straight up, she said, "There's someone else I could love just as much. He's Gil's legacy." She grinned when Ethan stood up, gave a running whoop, and tried to tackle the dog. That smile played across her face, as tears of mixed joy and sorrow fell.

"I'm coming home."


A/N - Thanks for reading. Please review.