Alan Grant was cynical, sometimes - about academia, about funding, about everything that kept him from the dig. Dinosaurs (and Ellie, once) were the only things that made him light up.
After Isla Nublar, Ellie watches Alan tarnish, bit by bit. He wakes in the night, as she does, screaming.
The things they dig up now are not happiness. The veriforman leaves they find cast into bedrock turn green and multiply in Ellie's mind, hiding raptors that stalk her. Three teeth scattered just below the surface dirt sever Mr. Arnold's arm, and it is flung over her shoulder, dripping his blood, and horrifying screeches pierce her ears.
Ellie and Alan cling to each other because if they didn't, they wouldn't be sure if it happened or if they're just crazy.
They are crazy. They aren't delusional, though, she tells him over and over again.
Hammond calls to say that the company is bankrupt, and he is sorry. Ellie tells him, softly, that it doesn't matter. When the funding runs out, Dr. Grant does not apply for more.
She wakes in the night, as he does, screaming. They hear sounds that would be innocent without experience – something like dolphin squeals, like the calls of owls, like an elephant charging in the jungle. Things they would never have had to fear in the Badlands of Montana. Now the innocence has gone from them, washed away in the Cretaceous rain by animals they had fantasized about seeing, touching, smelling. They had cried from joy.
They do not fantasize about much of anything, anymore.