|Mind the Gap
Author: A.J. Breton PM
There was a gap between them. Sara would bridge that gap or she would jump headfirst into it. He would catch her or she would fall and shatter, but standing still was no longer an option. Complete.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst - Gil G. & Sara S. - Words: 2,531 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Published: 12-17-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2706563
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Mind the Gap
Rating: M for mature.
Disclaimers: they don't belong to me, I'm not making any money...ya ya ya...you guys all know this.
This is a total one-shot, GSR angst-o-rama. I have no idea why this story infected my brain, but I had to get it out. R/R please.
Fifteen years. Sara knew what that meant. It meant that when she was a newborn, he was in high school, maybe he'd even had a girlfriend at that time. By the time she started school, he was already in college, already had his first love, his first heartbreak.par par It meant that when she hit 40, he'd be 55, and by the time she got to what should be the apex of her career, he'd be ready for retirement. It meant that if by some climatic and highly unlikely event they had children right now, he'd be in his late 60s by the time they graduated high school, in his 70s when they finished college, and who knew if he'd be around at all if there were grandchildren involved.
It meant that he would die before she did, leaving her alone with memories...or regrets.
Fifteen years, seemed insurmountable sometimes, a huge gap between them. She knew that was one of the reasons he held her at arm's length, he felt he was too old for her, that she deserved someone young.
She didn't make it easy for him. From day one the gentle teasing, the innuendos, the open flirtation, even as he'd tried to push her away, she'd always come back for more. Maybe she was a gulutton for punishment. Maybe she was just a glutton for him.
Pain, emotional and physical, were nothing new to her, but oh the ways he could hurt her, with a look, with a word, but mostly with his silence and the aura of uncaring apathy he sometimes carried on his shoulders like Superman's cape.
She longed to strip him naked, figuratively, of course. She wanted him to be in pain , to give into his lust, to confess his love, or at least conceed his interest. She wanted him to sweat, to cry, to plead, to come. She wanted to tear that cape into pieces. She could destroy him, and build him anew.
It was a dangerous thought women sometimes had, that they could change a man, make him better. Momma, as hard as she'd tried, only made Daddy worse. Sometimes Sara stood at the edge of that gap between them longing to jump off, to tempt him to catch her or let her fall, at least then she would know. If he could not be rebuilt, if the gap was insurmountalbe then maybe she was the one who needed to be built anew.
There was a gap between them, but it was more than just fifteen years. It was a mutural understanding of pain and betrayal. It was the understanding look in his eye when she told him about her parents, he knew what she felt. When news had spread around the lab about what Hank had done, he knew that feeling too. His eyes were never empathetic, they were knowing.
When she almost got a DUI, he hadn't been reproachful or condeming. He'd hadn't asked her why. He knew why one did these things.
She felt at times like she knew his soul; knew all that could be known about what what went on behind thos cold eyes. But many times she felt he was a million miles away, like an exotic artifact, a thing to be studied or longed for, but never completely understood.
And so she stood at the gap contemplating the abyss. . . hoping, maybe that a voice from the other side would call out to her.
Fifteen years. At his age a decade and a half didn't seem like so long ago. Fifteen years more didn't seem like quite so long to wait. But it was a gap between him and what he wanted that may have well been an abyss of cosmic proportions.
She said age didn't matter to her, he was still young to her eyes. But he knew better (older and wiser?) things would be well enough for a year, maybe longer, but then as he continued to slow down and go grayer she would loose patience with him. Whatever grand, romantic intentions she might have to begin with would fade, and she would become restless. It would end badly, he knew because that was the only way anything ever ended with him.
If he could accept her love, her lust, her reckless abandon for the short term, he might risk it. But he knew his heart, and if he gave his heart away and it came back broken...again...
He would destroy her. He knew he would. There had been other women who'd betrayed his heart, he'd punished them for accepting his love. In recent years he'd kept himself locked inside, not risking anything deeper than something anonymous and physical.
That wasn't possible with Sara. There was something threatening and drawing in those warm, brown eyes. She could break him, he felt it, she had the keys that could unlock him and send him crumbling down.
The thing he feared most was being known. Heather had said that to him, and it was true. Heather was good at unraveling behaviors but Sara, she could know his soul if she ever got too close...so he made sure that didn't happen.
He was lonely on this side of the gap. Cold and unfullfilling. There were times he wanted to go running headlong off his cliff and crash into her arms, longing to find some warmth, comfort even briefly before it all burned down around him.
But that wasn't fair, not to Sara. To have her was to risk everything, himself and her. He could sacrifice himself, but he couldn't do that to her. He loved her too much. So there he stood, longing to be deaf to echos across the gap.
When she heard the explosion while in the SUV, parked about 100 yards away, it felt as though her heart had stopped. Nick had been the only person on her mind up until that point but as the echo of the boom swept across the desert floor, her breath had been swept away as well. Nick was forgotten. Grissom was in that building where the smoke now poured, white and dusty, out of the broken windows.
The sound dissapated, sucking in silence in its absence. Even the sirens and shouts of police, EMTs and friends seemed muted, deafened as she now was to the world around her. The universe was in fast-motion but her arms and legs moved like cold molassas. The ambulance was already there and she expected to see him, what was left of him, mangled and torn, carried out, covered in a crimson-tinged sheet.
When she saw him emerge from the dusty darkness of the warehouse being led by the arm by a medic, blinking his eyes at the light of the day, her heart started beating again. She caught up to time and sound returned to her ears but she remained transfixed, staring at him. In her mind's eye she ran, screaming, jumping into his arms, crying and swearing. In reality she stood and watched as the medics touched and prodded him. They asked him questions about the year and the place. Gloved fingers grasped his wrists, feeling his neck, running over his torso checking for broken bones or internal damage. In a few, scant minutes the tall medic had been more physically intimate with Gil Grissom than Sara had been after years of longing for him.
And just as with her affection, he sat, unmoved, his eyes turned inward.
"Sir, do you hear any ringing in your ears?"
A resolve fell on her shoulders like one she'd never felt before. She would bridge that gap or she would jump headfirst into it. He would catch her or she would fall and shatter, but standing still was no longer an option.
"...Sir...hear any ringing...ears..."
Yes. Yes his ears did ring. In the seconds after the explosion Gil had lain on his back watching tiny ashen shards of man and money slowly burn and filter down from the ceiling. He'd been deaf. No sound reached him. He was paralyzed. His arms, legs, mind...all of it refused to move. He wanted to scream but his lungs were dormant. Now he sat on the back of an ambulance, not entirely remembering how he'd gotten there. He was saying something, mumbling madness...blew it all up...
His ears were ringing. At one time that would have terrified him. The thought of deafness, admitting vuneralbility, asking for understanding, was enough to shake him to his core.
Now he was numb and felt cold despite the sunlight that embraced his shoulders. Nick was dead. Gil could feel it in his soul. Nick had been destroyed and Gil knew if he'd just been better...at...something...this could have been avoided.
He didn't see her at first, it took his eyes some time to adjust, but he was aware of her presence. She was still, quietly looking at him behind dark sunglasses, calling to him with her stance. He could've lept off that ambulance and rushed to her, burying his face in her shoulder, crying out for her to take him, to wreck him, jumping into that endless abyss. But instinct was strong and he stayed still in his spot, half answering the insipid questions the medics asked him, tolerating their gloved hands on his cuts and bruises. Inside he longed for Sara's lips to brush over his wounds, for her voice to tempt him, for her eyes to soothe him.
His toes hung over the precipice, longing to fall into her, to crush her or be crushed by her. It would be the death of them both, but for a moment at least, he would've risked everything for her.
As a cloud moved across the sun, he pulled back into himself, stepping back from the ledge.
Nick was safe, in the hospital, and then it started to rain. The type of biblical rain one gets in the desert. Sara stood outside his door, utterly drenched, her knuckles raw from knocking. She would knock until they bled, until he jumped or she crashed, there was no returning now. One or both of them would find bliss or agony in the immediate future. The abyss beckoned, and Sara stepped into it.
He knew she was there. He leaned against his door listening and feeling her knock between thunderbursts. The rain was a constant roar, but she was a relentless distraction, and after several long minutes he knew she would stand there until she drowned before leaving. He shook as the weight of it all seemed to descend on him. He'd gotten Nick back tonight, but it seemed his destiny to loose someone...The knocking resumed behind him, he pushed off the door, turned around and opened it.
Sara locked with his eyes instantly. They were haunted and garded. He would let her fall. In that moment she knew it. But as much as she knew better, she pushed in past him anyway.
Watch me fall, watch me break. I'll take you with me down into this gap.
She swept past him like a shadow. Being soaked to the bone did nothing to diminish her form, her beauty, the power she swayed over him. She turned in the dim hallway and faced him. The light from the living room cast a stong diagonal shadow across the wall, cutting across her dripping shape, framing her into a rolling chiaroscuro. She reached out to him, her eyes locked with his. For all the world she looked to him like a Caravaggio painting come to life. She was a too tactile contemporary version of a Mother Mary, offering him at that moment solice, repentance and the chance of salvation.
He stepped back from her as though he would taint her with his touch.
Sara watched him practically cower in the shadows just beyond her outstretched arm. That dark corner was her goal, the far edge of the gap, stepping out of the light she plunged toward it.
Her hands were electric on his skin, grazing maddenly soft across his cheeks. His beard felt to him crude under the heat of her elegant fingertips. He was being sucked in, he felt his feet shuffle toward her drawn by a volition not his own.
He didnt remember their lips meeting but he did recall the thump noise her body made as he pushed her hard against the wall. Captured in his arms, prodding fingers invaded her clothing, ravaging unbidden against soft skin. He thought she moaned, but his ears were still ringing and if she resisted him, he pretended not to notice, sliding her pants down roughly past her hips.
She was falling, and he was too. Rough hands stroked her between her thighs much too hard. She pushed against him, whimpering his name under the crush of his lips, but he was much too hard, too heavy a weight to bear, he was lifting her, pinning her, pushing himself inside harshly, his hands gripping too tightly around her hips. Tears rolled down her cheeks, he was crushing her, destroying her, all she could do was fall and wait for the crash.
He came crashing and shouting, the darkness then strangling him. His eyes locked with hers. He withdrew and set her down gently, her tears poured like the rain outside.
This is all you'll have of me...a voice violated the sacred space between them and he knew it was his. This was the crash, this was the break, anti-climatic and quick.
He longed for her to scream, to slap him, to punish him for his sins. In her violence he might find resolution.
Awkward but calm she put her clothing back into place, not bothering to hide her sobs. His blue eyes may just as well been black, cold as they were to her now, devoid of promise. The rain was a heavy sheet, suffocating her as she limpled out into the muggy Vegas night. There was no resolution, but merely a shadow of hope. She could be rebuilt. She could one day make herself better, anew.
The hallway was permetaed by the sound of death. Gil dropped to his knees after Sara slid out the door, he knelt there now, rocking back and forth. The gap had swallowed him and now he was dead, there was no coming back, no climbing out of this.
The thunder drowned out his screams.