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Story Notes:
Althought I've labled this with a character death warning, the death(s) are in the future so please don't let that put you off.
Gil's eyes flashed with mirth, reflecting back at Catherine in the mirror as she fastened his bow tie.

"You guys ready?" Nick asked interrupting their moment.

"We'll be right there Nick." Catherine sighed moving back from Gil, and straightening herself.

"How do I look?" she asked.

"Stunning." Gil said, without pause... she always looked stunning to him.

"Good answer."

Catherine and Gil stood in front of the justice of the peace, their friends around them, following the wedding ceremony on autopilot, neither of them entirely there... they knew this was for show, what they were trying to show exactly had gotten mixed up somewhere between Eddie's murder and Sara Sidle's mysterious disappearance almost three months before. This was for proprieties sake, because one drunken night had ended with an 18 year consequence, at least that was what they kept telling each other.

"You may kiss the bride." Gil was told, so he did, he leaned in and kissed Catherine... his best friend, now his wife... the mother of his child... and it should have felt better than it did, but it didn't, because he knew Catherine was only marrying him for their baby... at least he thought he knew that.


*Seven Months Later*

"Push Catherine." The doctor said.

"I am pushing you... Gahhhhhh!!!"

"That's it Cath, almost there, almost there." Gil promised holding her hand tightly, ignoring what he was sure had to be a half dozen broken bones in his own hand.

"I will never... ever... forgive you for.... ahhhhhhh"

Catherine sagged back and a wail filled the room.

"Congratulations Mr and Mrs Grissom, you have a son." The doctor informed them.

Gil kissed Catherine's brow, and watched in awe as the small bundle was placed in her arms, their son... his little boy... Gil should have been happier... but he couldn't get the nagging voice to leave his mind, the one that said it would never last, that Catherine would decide she could raise this child better alone, the one that said he'd never keep his wife, or his son, because good things just didn't happen to Gil Grissom.


*One Year Later*

"Cath... come on Catherine wake up for me... please I can't do this without you." Gil pleaded softly holding his wife's hand.

This was not how it was supposed to happen damn it!

Catherine was too damn strong to die like this, she wouldn't let any petty criminal do this too her.

"Gil... look I erm... Catherine... she asked me to give this to you if anything ever happened, and I know she's not... dead but... I think maybe I should give it to you now." Nick handed Gil an envelop with his name on it, scrawled in Catherine's hand writing all curls and waves... beautiful, like she was.

Gil opened it, and read it, feeling the tears prickle at his eyes.

This was not supposed to happen like this!

Gil didn't know when it had started, didn't know when Catherine had become not just his best friend, but the woman he loved, didn't know how they had gone from being friends to being married... all he knew was that somehow everything had gotten all messed up and now he may never have the chance to fix it.

Eddie's death may have been the start of things, Sara's disappearance had fuelled that further... Catherine's pregnancy had set it in stone, Gil would never abandon her wilfully or otherwise... she agreed to be his wife for their child... if only she had known he asked not for their son but for himself...

Their son was a year old, their marriage a little over 18mths, it wasn't right that Gil was only know learning that Catherine loved him the same way he had loved her for far too long. It wasn't right that Gil might lose her before he ever had the chance to tell her.

"Wake up Catherine... please wake up." Gil begged.


*12 Yrs Later*

Nicky Grissom laughed and kicked the ball into the soccer net.

"Damn I'm too old for this." Gil grouched as he sat up from where he'd fallen trying to stop the ball.

"Hehe... Daddy fell down again mommy!" another younger voice sing-songed.

Emma Grissom, 9 years old and every ounce her mothers daughter.

"Daddy's always falling down Em..." Lindsay giggled too.

"You young lady behave." Gil grumbled teasingly.

"Or you'll what." Lindsay said grinning.

Another wilful young woman who was every ounce her mothers daughter. At 17 Lindsay was everything for a parent to be proud of, Gil could certainly not have been more proud if she was his biological daughter.

"You three stop harassing your dad." Catherine appeared from the kitchen door.

She was still stunning... 13 years of marriage, more than 30 of friendship and she was still as stunning to Gil's eyes as she had been the first day they met. It was hard to believe how much had changed.

Their marriage... a strange one if ever there was... Lindsay often joked they were a bit backwards, singing the old rhyme 'first comes love, second comes marriage, third comes baby in a golden carriage'.

Well technically they had done things in the right order; they just hadn't know it at the time.

They were in love but didn't say it, got married because of their son... and well okay maybe you could argue the point on the marriage and baby, but technically they *had* been married before he was born.

It was hard to remember it all sometimes, so long ago, so much had changed, especially after Catherine had been shot, when they'd finally admitted that they'd loved each other all along.

A few years later Gil had retired, working now only as a consultant, they'd adopted a baby girl, although Em was very much their daughter, biology couldn't change that, Catherine had become deputy director at CSI, after Ecklie found himself unemployed because he really wasn't a good deputy director, or a good human being as a general rule, but at any rate, Catherine was liked by everyone.

Lindsay was going to university in the fall, Nick was top of his class in just about everything and already had plans to be a Doctor of just about everything, Em was doing well in school herself and this week at least wanted to be a vet.

Nick was head of CSI night shift... Warrick was head of days... Greg was Nick's right hand, in more ways than one... Sara had finally turned up almost three years after vanishing with no memory of anything, she'd moved to Canada, they never heard from her these days.

To Gil Grissom life was damn good.


*24 Years Later*

Lindsay Grissom felt tears sting her cheeks. Beside her, Nick, and Em behind her a whole host of friends, of family.

They were all there for one reason; too see Catherine Grissom laid to rest beside her husband.

Gil had died going on three years ago and Catherine only three days before hand. Lindsay had known it was coming, felt it coming from the day they had buried Gil, the man she had called Dad for most of her life, and now it had, and Lindsay was the oldest of three children, left to watch over her two younger siblings and to live her own life.

She was a CSI the same way they had been, she had a husband, a daughter. Nick was married and as he'd planned a Doctor, in medicine, expecting his first child, Em was engaged, a cop... a damn good one too.

Gil and Catherine had been proud of all their children... and Lindsay only wished she'd been able to tell them how proud she'd been of them.

Things hadn't happened in maybe the right order or the way anyone had planned or excepted, but they had gotten through it all, and come out stronger, more together and more in love than probably anyone else Lindsay had ever met.

"Goodbye mom and dad." Lindsay whispered softly, as everyone began to disperse, and she heard to other soft goodbyes from her sides and smiled... her parents were gone, but in their children they would live on.

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