One Way Or Another

Chapter 12

08/23/2005 Late Tuesday evening

Chapter Twelve

Nick had been off Monday night, but when he arrived for his shift on Tuesday evening he ran into Hillary. She had been looking for him and she finally caught up with him in front of the lab building. He had basically holed himself away in his home all day Monday after he had spent the remainder of his last shift in Grissom's office telling him the entire story.

He'd needed the time to relax and come to terms with the facts that his world was imploding around him. He had taken in a lot over the last forty-eight hours and he'd needed time to think things through.

It helped that both Reilly and Grissom had said they would stand by him, no matter what happened with Hillary and Kevin. He had made a mistake with Hillary, and it wasn't her fault and if he was the father of her baby too, then he would accept that and help her in any way he could, but he wasn't ready to face her just yet. He was already worried about his friends at work and what they would say when the news got around.

"Nick…" Hillary said, feeling ashamed at everything she had done to this man. She was leery of seeing him, but she knew she still needed to talk to him.

"Hey…" He replied, not making eye contact with her. "I'm running kind of late right now." He added, hoping to spare them both the talk that he knew they really did need to have.

Hillary realized that he was still upset about everything and she knew he had every right to be, but she still needed to set things straight.

"Look, Nick. I won't keep you… I just wanted to let you know that I'm not expecting you to feel any obligation of this baby turns out to be yours. I understand you have your life with Reilly and your baby with her deserves you first and foremost. I don't want to break up anything you have with her at all. I just… I just want you to know that if you are the father, you can be in this baby's life as much or as little as you want to." She spoke softly.

Nick was surprised by this. He was the one that had caused all this trouble for both women, and here they were letting him off the hook. Hillary had just given him his freedom, and Reilly had said as much yesterday after they were finished talking with Grissom. She had told him she didn't believe he had ever cheated, but if he needed time to think, she would give it to him. And if he decided he wanted out, he was free to walk away. Both of these women were ready to let him just walk away and that actually hurt worse than finding out he had two babies to be responsible for.

"Hillary, you don't realize what this is doing to me. I love Reilly, but she's already told me I can walk away too, if I want. And now you're letting me have the same option? I'm so messed up right now." He paused as he ran his hand nervously through his hair. "I ant to do the right thing here and if this baby is mine, I will be there for you. I promise. Just tell me when your appointments are and I'll go with you. I'll be there for you." He finally looked her straight in the eye. "I've already decided I'm going with Reilly to all her appointments if I'm not working; at least she's here in Vegas. She's seeing a doctor here when she's in Vegas, and she has an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

"Its okay, Nick. I don't have an appointment until next week and right now I'm on leave until Kevin's tests are back." She paused, thinking about what she was going to say next. "I'll be five months pregnant in lest than a week and I've been doing some research and talking with my doctor. I've decided that it's not fair for you to not know if you're the father until after the baby is born, so I'm going to have a pre-natal pregnancy test done that will determine the baby's DNA. I'm doing it next week during my regular appointment."

Nick was surprised. "What does that mean?" He looked scared and confused at the same time.

"I'm going to have a test done that will determine the fetus' DNA and then that DNA can be compared to both yours and Kevin's to determine which of you the father is. Kevin wants me to do this and it's the only way to know before the baby is born."

"No… I mean is there a risk to the child? To you?" Nick asked, stunned. "I mean I'm all for wanting to know who the father is right now, but not if there is a risk to you or the baby. To be getting the DNA would be an invasive procedure and there's always a risk with that." He added, slightly angry that Kevin would want her to risk herself or the baby.

"I created this mess, Nick, and I need to fix it. Yes, there is a risk, but it's very minimal and the doctor says it's becoming commonplace now, because it is mainly performed to look for any health problems with the baby. All I need from you is a sample of your blood which you can give next week at the appointment. We should have the results in a couple days, a week tops. After that, hopefully things will work themselves out." She said, sounding strong for the first time in weeks.

"All right, if that's what you want, I won't try and talk you out of it. Besides I won't pretend that I'm not happy being able to know the results sooner, I just don't want anyone to suffer because of me." Nick paused, as he took in the information from Hillary. "Hillary, please know that if I am the father, I promise I'll be there in anyway you need me to be. I'm not going to let you go through this basically alone. And I know Reilly won't either."

"How is Reilly doing?" Hillary asked, truly interested and hopefully to help lighten the mood a bit. "I owe her a debt I can't possibly repay in helping with Kevin. I really want her to know that I'm there for you and her if you guys need me to. You're a great friend, Nick, and Reilly is golden. You might try and not let her get away." She smiled at him.

"Yeah. I'm trying." He laughed. "She's having morning sickness like you wouldn't believe; she thinks she's already getting fat at almost four months and her mood swings are out in full force. She says the morning sickness is the worst she's ever had." Nick paused, "And even though she tells me she knows I'd never cheat on her, she still sulks around a lot. Pregnancy hormones she says, but I know it's more than that. And I fall in love with her more and more each day, but she doesn't think she's worth loving right now." Nick was trying hard to see the good in this. "She won't stay with me at my place; she's still staying at the hotel. Oh, and then there's Sam, her daughter. She still hates me with a passion, but I have a plan to fix that. I've asked her to help me fix up my spare bedroom for a nursery and she agreed, although she was a little reluctant."

Nick looked thoughtful for a moment. "Reilly tells Sam, I'm a good man, but I don't feel like a good man. I've hurt so many people and let so many others down. I've screwed everything up and I'm not sure how to get any of this back on track."

"Wow." Hillary said, shocked at all that. "Maybe I should go see Reilly. I mean I could talk to her about Kevin and just be there as another woman who understands what she's going through right now." She said smiling up at Nick. "Don't worry; it'll be alright, Nick. Everything will work out, I promise. She's just feeling the same way I've been feeling." She paused then said, "Nick, you have to stop blaming yourself for everything that's happened here. It took two people in each situation, so you were not alone in messing things up. Me and Reilly understand that, and you need to try and see it that way too. Everything that has happened is just life, and you can't stop it from happening. Get used to it."

"Yeah, I guess.." He looked at her and smiled. "It'd be great if you saw Reilly, though. She doesn't have many friends here in Vegas and I'd like her to decide to move her, but right now she's still fighting me on that." He said, sounding lost.

Hillary looked at the man. She felt so sorry for what he was going through." Don't worry. I'll call her. We can go shopping and maybe even have lunch." Hillary smiled. She was actually looking forward to bonding with Reilly.

"Thanks, Hillary. Thank you, really." Nick said feeling happy for the first time in days.

"No problem. I'll text you the appointment time for next week and bring Reilly along. And I want to see her sonogram photos." She reached up and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "I'll be in touch one way or another about things. Have a good shift." She waved good bye and headed to her car in the parking lot.

Nick waved back and watched until she was safely in her car before he went in the building.

Neither Nick nor Hillary had noticed the figure watching them from the shadows of the blue care parked on the street. The woman peered out the windshield of her small Honda and saw Hillary reach up and give Nick a quick kiss on the cheek. "How sweet." She said to herself. "All this watching I've been doing and all I've really seen is that you have managed to get two little whores pregnant, Nick Stokes. Shame on you. I think you need to be punished for that." She added, as she watched until the man had disappeared into his building.

AN: I work in the medical insurance field, so I looked up the info on the pre-natal testing and took this straight from our medical format. If anyone feels I am wrong, please let me know. I may have interpreted the info wrong, and will correct if necessary. And please review!

Thank you!

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