Title: Rumors

Author: Michmak

Summary: Rumors run rampant when Nick overhears a conversation he shouldn't have. Of course, Greg gets blamed - but it's not his fault, really. Sequel to Mating Rituals.

Disclaimer: The only characters I own are the ones I create for the purpose of this story. All the rest? Not mine.


For once, it wasn't Greg's fault.

Well, actually, it was his fault, but he didn't mean to start anything. Honest to God, truly he didn't. If Nick hadn't been eavesdropping, none of this would have happened.

* * * * *

Greg was sitting in the lab, back to the door, chatting to a friend on the phone, when Nick walked by. Normally, Nick would have continued on his merry way, but three little words stopped him dead in his tracks - Sara, Grissom and babies.

Twirling on his heel, he stealthily moved back to the lab, leaning just outside the frame and shamelessly listening to the end of Greg's conversation.

"I know! Finally, it happens. It's taken long enough, I can tell you that. All the effort getting the two of them together is finally paying off. I can't wait to see what Sara and Grissom's babies look like," Greg chortled happily into the phone.

"Sara's such a pretty girl - those brown eyes of her are so intelligent. And Grissom - after so long alone, it's nice to think he's finally going to be a daddy."

Outside in the hallway, Nick felt faint. What the hell? Grissom and Sara were an item? Sara was pregnant? And how the hell did Greg know? Sliding away from the wall, Nick walked towards the locker room in deep contemplation.

* * * * *

Sara felt awful. Her head felt like it was going to explode and her stomach was queasy. She stared at Nick morosely when he wandered into the locker room, barely noticing her as he opened his locker and grabbed his sweater.

"Hey Nicky." Her hoarse voice made Nick jump in shock, and she smiled faintly as she watched him carefully compose his face before responding.

"Hey Sara. Didn't see you there, I was - thinking about something." He smiled at her, noting with concern the pallor of her skin and the slight tinge of green bracketing her mouth. "What are you doing in here?"

Sara grimaced. "Sticking close to the bathroom. I'm not feeling too well today. I think I have the flu or something."

"Ri-i-ight. The flu." Nick responded like he didn't believe her, and Sara frowned.

"What? Don't you believe me?"

Nick was immediately regretful. "Sure, if you say you have the flu, that must be it. Can I get you anything?"

"No. I'll just be sick if I eat or drink anything. Maybe later I'll feel better." Sara shook her head and stood to her feet woozily. "I've been like this for a few days now. After a few hours, the worst of it is over."

Nick studied her intently for a few moments, debating whether or not to tell her he knew the truth, before deciding against it. She would tell them in her own good time, and not before. Besides which, Sara wasn't known for her ability to share herself emotionally, and Nick didn't want to piss her off.

"Why don't I help you down to the lounge? Maybe we'll have slow night, and you'll be able to catch some rest. You look awful."

Sara snorted. "Gee thanks. Always such a gentleman," but she sighed as she leaned into him and allowed him to lead her down the hall.

"I'll go and see if I can grab the pillow and blanket from Catherine's office. Just close your eyes and try not to vomit." Nick offered solicitously.

"Gee, Nicky. Thanks for that lovely image," Sara grumbled, sighing in pleasure as she sank into the small loveseat. "You're a prince."

* * * * *

Catherine and Warrick were sitting in her office, discussing a case they had to testify in court about the next day, when Nick knocked softly at the door.

"Hey Cath."

"Nick." Catherine smiled at the younger CSI widely. "Nice shirt. Is it new?"

Nick looked down blankly, before smiling at Catherine. "Uh - yeah. Listen, can I borrow your pillow and blanket for Sara? She's trying to rest in the lounge."

Warrick raised an eyebrow at Nick, grinning. "Sara? Rest? Say it ain't so, bro."

"She's not feeling to well," Nick shifted uncomfortably. "Says she hasn't been feeling well for a few days now."

Catherine immediately went into motherly mode. "Oh, poor girl. Of course, take the pillow and blanket. Is she hungry? Maybe a little food will help her out."

"No! No. I already asked. She'll eat something later, when she's feeling less queasy."

Catherine narrowed her eyes suspiciously at Nick. "What's going on here, Nick? You're acting funny. Is everything alright?"

"Yeah. Everything's great." A dull flush creeped up Nick's face, turning his ears red. He couldn't look at Catherine or Warrick. Grabbing the pillow and blanket from the top shelf of the storage closet, he quickly turned towards the door to leave.

Warrick's voice stopped him. "Nick, I have some extra-strength Tylenol flu in my locker. Should I grab a couple for Sara?"

"Uh. No, Warrick. Thanks. I don't think she can have anything like that right now. I - uhm - I don't know what the rules are about medicines right now. Gotta get back to Sara. See you."

Warrick and Catherine watched silently as Nick quickly left the office, grateful to escape before he spilled the beans.

"That was odd." Warrick commented thoughtfully, turning his gaze to Catherine. "Don't you think that was odd?"

Catherine tapped a slim finger elegantly against her desk, her face thoughtful. "Very odd. Why can't Sara have any medicine right now? You'd think if she were sick -" she paused, suddenly glancing at her empty door. "Didn't Nick say she'd eat later on, after she felt less queasy?"

Warrick nodded, eyes widening as he caught Catherine's train of thought and jumped aboard. "No medicine, sick for a few days now. Sara's pregnant, Catherine."

Catherine nodded. "That's the only explanation. But how does Nick know? Unless -"

"Nick's the father."

* * * * *

"Gil, we need to talk."

Catherine's voice broke into Grissom's thoughts and he lifted his head from the article in Entomology Weekly he'd been reading and blinked at her and Warrick. "Sure. Come on in."

He noticed that both his friends looked vaguely nervous and uncomfortable as they slid into his office, quickly sitting in the two empty chairs in front of his desk. "So, what do we need to talk about."

Warrick looked at Grissom quickly, before squirming and turning his gaze to Catherine. He was clearly waiting for her to make the first move.

Catherine sighed when she realized everything was up to her, and began tentatively. "If two CSIs - well. If two - no. What would happen if two of the employees here were in a relationship - a personal relationship - outside work?" She looked at Grissom nervously, before turning to look at Warrick again for moral support.

"What? You mean like dating?"

Catherine nodded miserably. "Dating. They've been - what if they've been trying to keep it a secret, but suddenly something comes up and they won't be able to keep it a secret for much longer?"

Warrick snorted inelegantly at the last half of that question, in silent agreement with Catherine. It was hard to keep a baby a secret. Grissom stared at the two of them in confusion.

"You mean, someone from day shift finds out about it and Ecklie sends a memo out on inter-office romances?"

Warrick rolled his eyes. "No, man. We mean - what if there's a pregnancy involved?"

Grissom blinked in shock. "Pregnancy? Who?" He looked at Warrick intently, but the younger man was looking uncomfortably at the ceiling. Catherine was intently studying the toe of her leather dress shoes, face pink. Grissom felt like reeling in shock, but managed to keep his voice carefully neutral.

"Does this couple - do they know for sure? Have they told anyone?"

Catherine shook her head miserably. "No one knows anything for sure yet."

"Well, then. Well," Grissom sighed and leaned back against his leather chair, fingers steepling and his brow bracketed in sudden tension. "Until they know for sure and decide to share it, there's nothing to be done. It's nobody's business but their own. I would suggest, however, that they come forward soon so we can figure this out," he suddenly looked at Warrick and Catherine expectantly, as if waiting for them to offer more information. He was sadly disappointed when they merely nodded and rose to their feet.

Warrick reached out a gentle hand, placing it at the small of Catherine's back as they turned to leave. "That's what we thought. Okay, then. We'll talk to you later Grissom."

Grissom nodded absently as he watched them leave, eyes narrowed thoughtfully. He hoped that Catherine and Warrick knew what they were getting into. Pregnancy was a big step.

* * * * *

Roughly two hours later, Sara groggily opened her eyes. She was feeling much better, and she smiled slightly when she spotted Nick, reading the newspaper at the table.

"Hey. Have you been sitting here since I fell asleep?"

Nick smiled at her. "Yeah. It's a slow night, and I've been warning people away. Didn't want anyone to wake you up," he stood and stretched, walking over to her and crouching down on his haunches. "How are you feeling?"

"Much better, thank you."


"I could eat," Sara admitted. Nick still had a concerned look on his face, and he reached out a steadying hand as Sara stood, barely acknowledging Catherine and Warrick as they walked into the lounge.

"Easy there, Sara. Don't want all the blood to rush out of your head."

Sara shot him a bemused look. "You're being awfully sweet today. What's going on?"

Nick flushed. "I'm just worried about you, that's all. Now is not a good time to get sick. Here, let me get you some milk from the fridge, and your salad."

"Milk? I need a coffee, Nick. A strong one. Milk is for cows."

"But caffeine isn't good for you or - well, it's just not good. You need calcium," Nick protested, pulling a chair out for Sara as she moved to the table.

"Who are you? My mother? And will you quit hovering? Geez - what's with you today!" Sara snapped at Nick, and shot a glare at Warrick when he snorted and muttered something about hormones.

"Are you implying I'm PMSing, Warrick? Because if you are, so help me God -"

Catherine held up a calming hand. "Relax Sara, we know you're not *PMSing*. Nick has a right to be concerned, though. Caffeine is bad."

Sara sighed in irritation. "No. It's good. Caffeine is my friend. What the hell is going on around here today? And what gives Nick the right to be concerned about my caffeine intake?"

Grissom chose this moment to join his team in the lounge, his eyes quickly darting to Warrick and Catherine, before falling on Sara. She looked pissed off, and her brown eyes were snapping. Her barely controlled irritation had chased the last vestiges of her earlier pallor from her face, and now her skin glowed a healthy pink. Grissom blinked. She was stunning. He barely heard Warrick's response to her angry question, and when it finally registered he felt like he had been punched in the gut.

"Because he's the father of your baby."

"What?" Sara screeched.

"What?" Nick responded weakly.

"Sara's pregnant too?" Grissom asked.

"I'm not the father - Grissom is. Who else is pregnant?" Nick asked, totally confused.

"Catherine," Grissom responded, shaking his head. "What did you just say?"

"I'm not pregnant!" Both women responded at the same time. The lounge erupted in confusion.

Finally, Sara whistled loudly, causing everyone to stare at her in shock.

"Someone better tell me what the hell is going on in here, before I kill." Her voice was deadly calm. "Now, let's start at the beginning. Who says I'm pregnant?"

No one responded, and Sara sighed, turning an evil glare on Nick. "Well?"

"I overhead Greg telling one of his friends that you and Grissom were expecting a baby," he admitted sheepishly. "I didn't want to tell you I knew. But, considering the source, I should have questioned the reliability of the news."

Grissom was looking at Nick in shock. "Greg said Sara and I were - we - what?"

Nick shrugged. "And then, when I found Sara in the locker room, she was sick - I thought morning sickness."

Warrick started smiling. "When you came and asked for Cath's pillow and blanket, but refused to take medicine for Sara and said she'd feel better later, we thought -" he started laughing in earnest now, "we thought you and Sara were - you know. And you didn't want us to know yet about the baby." He stopped laughing and turned a questioning look at Grissom. "But why did you think Catherine was pregnant?"

Grissom pinched the bridge of his nose. "When you came to talk to me about a 'secret relationship' and a possible pregnancy, but wouldn't name the people in question I thought you were talking about your relationship."

Catherine turned bright red, and Warrick coughed in embarrassment as Sara and Nick turned to gape at them in shock. "How do you know Warrick and I are in a relationship? We haven't told anyone."

"I'm not stupid, Catherine. I've got eyes," Grissom muttered.

Dead silence for a couple of minutes as everyone absorbed the revelations of the last few minutes. Finally, Nick spoke.

"So, Sara. You really have the flu, huh?"

Sara smiled. "Yeah. I really do. But I'm feeling good enough to kill Greg."

* * * * *

The sudden snap of his earphones from his head made Greg jump. He swiveled on his stool to find the entire team arrayed behind him. Nick looked confused. Warrick and Catherine looked vaguely embarrassed and amused. Sara and Grissom looked like they wanted to chop him up into little pieces.

"What? Did I forget to sign a report?"

"How dare you be telling people I'm pregnant, Greg!" Sara's voice was angry. "Who the hell do you think you are that you can spread rumors like that about me?"

Greg felt as confused as Nick looked. "Huh? What are you talking about? I never told anyone you were pregnant."

Nick interrupted. "I heard you on the phone, Greggo. You said Sara was going to have babies and Grissom was the father."

Greg would have laughed at this statement, if he hadn't been in fear for his life. Swiveling around on his seat, he reached forward and slid his terrarium forwards. "They are. Sara - my leopard gecko - is going to be laying eggs soon, and Grissom," he purposefully stressed the name, pointing to the larger lizard, "is the daddy."

"You named you lizards after Grissom and I?" Sara squeaked. She looked like she didn't know whether to slap Greg or laugh.

"I did. I've had Grissom since I started at the lab, and got Sara around the same time you started. I've been trying to breed them for weeks." He turned to smile at Grissom - the geek, not the gecko.

"I'd say you'll be getting the baby gecko you wanted in about two months, Griss."

* * * * *

Later that night - or that morning - depending on how you wanted to look at it, Sara and Grissom left the lab together. Sara was still reeling from the events of the day, but Grissom seemed to have taken absorbed it all in typical Grissom fashion.

Climbing into his Tahoe beside her, he smiled as she sighed and leaned her head against the back of the seat.

"Feeling okay?"

Sara smiled as Grissom slipped his hand to her knee and squeezed it gently. "Yeah. That was a close one. All that talk about secret relationships. I can't believe you outed Warrick and Catherine."

Grissom merely grinned and pulled out into the busy traffic. "Had to deflect the attention to someone else."

They sat in companionable silence for a few moments, before Sara started laughing softly. "I can't believe Greg named his lizards after us."

"I know. We better keep an eye on him." Grissom's voice was husky. "Sara, promise me one thing. If you ever do get pregnant, promise to tell me before you tell Greg."


Author's Notes: okay. This is the last in the Gecko Love Series. Hope you all enjoyed it.