|The Women in his Life
Author: SylvieT PM
"Relax," he said, giving her hand another gentle squeeze. "She's going to love you." Sara's first meeting with Grissom's mother, and a woman from his past. Based on spoilers for 11.13 The Two Mrs Grissoms. GSR.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Drama - Gil G. & Sara S. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 52,098 - Reviews: 563 - Favs: 58 - Follows: 72 - Updated: 03-20-11 - Published: 12-26-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6591386
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Grissom walked up the stone path toward Julia, acutely aware of the pair of eyes following his slow progress. Julia's red-rimmed eyes hardly made contact with his as she pinched her lips into a tight, pained smile as she fearfully watched him approach. Her lip wobbled and it was clear she was barely keeping it together.
"Let's go inside," he signed as he reached her side. Julia nodded and he waited until she'd gone in to turn and give Sara and his mother a small smile. Both women's faces lit up at the same time, their frown lines softening, and Sara gave him a nod of the head encouragingly. Taking in a deep breath he made his way inside.
Julia was at the sink, splashing cold water over her face, when he entered and he wordlessly took a seat at the kitchen table. Julia fumbled for a tissue in her purse and looking out through the window dabbed at her face and eyes. His gaze followed hers and he saw Betty and Sara in the yard talking animatedly. A soft smile formed on his lips.
Julia turned round and he slowly refocused on her. "Are you serious about her?" she asked him, looking sad and dejected.
He gave her a short confident nod of the head. "Yeah, very."
Sighing, she pursed her face. "You're going to marry her?" Grissom gave her a non-committal shrug and she looked down to her left hand, and the bare ring finger on it. "You're going to give her the ring?" she continued, looking up, unable to hide the look of regret from her features.
Grissom's raise of the shoulder caused her eyes to fill with tears but she didn't look away. He made to reach out to her, but changed his mind, his fingers curling back nervously as his hands dropped to his lap. He let out a breath and held her gaze as his hands once more lifted.
"The way I see it," he signed, "you and I were never meant to be."
Blinking back tears, Julia swallowed and slumped down on a chair across from him.
He continued. "When Rose died, I-I…" His eyes flicked down, his lips pinching with anguish but he made himself look up. "Her death changed me, Julia, fundamentally changed me. There was a shift as to who I became. Your betrayal did too. I don't think I will ever have any more children, but now I know I can love again. It took me until now to be able to trust a woman again, to trust her fully, implicitly, intimately. I have that with Sara."
Taking a deep breath she closed her eyes. "I'm happy for you," she signed after a while.
Her reply took him completely by surprise. "You are?"
She lifted a desolate shoulder. "Yeah. I'm sorry about…what I did before. I don't know what came over me. I-I shouldn't have kissed you." She blew out a deep breath. "It was totally-"
"Sara thinks that you kissed me because even after all these years you're still trying to fill the void Rose's death created in your heart."
Julia's eyes widened at the candour of his word. "You told her?"
"About the kiss, or about Rose?"
"Both, I guess."
"I didn't need to tell her about the kiss, no. She saw it."
"And she's not mad?"
He gave her a shake of the head. "She trusts me. My mother saw it too."
"I know. She…had words with me. I'm truly sorry, Gil."
"Sara thinks you – we," he amended with a sigh, "never properly gave ourselves the chance to grieve over losing Rose." Julia's eye averted. "And I don't know how to even start doing that. But my mother wants to hold a mass for her at St Michael, to celebrate her life – however short it was – on her birthday."
Tears welled in Julia's eyes, and she nodded.
"I told her I'd be there," he went on quietly, "and I would like for you to come too."
Registering a look of shock, Julia wiped at her eyes with the cuff of her jacket. "You would? After everything I've done to you? Why?"
"You're her mother," he stated simply.
Swallowing she looked down and nodded. She remained still for a long time, her eyes averted to the floor, then reached for her bag on the table and took out her purse. She popped it open and unzipped the inner compartment, hesitantly removing a folded piece of paper. Carefully, reverently even, she unfolded it.
Catching sight of the faded colour picture, the breath caught in his throat, and he flicked watery eyes away. It was the picture of him cradling a tiny Rose in his arms a few hours before she died. He was looking down at the infant in his arms hooked up to brightly coloured tubes, wires and electrodes, with utter devotion. She wore the yellow woollen booties and hat set his grandmother had knitted for him. He smiled as he recalled how large they were on her. He could remember as though it was yesterday the exact moment the nurse had depressed the shutter.
Rose's hospital wristband fell out onto the table. On it, a name and a date: Baby Grissom; May, third 1980. Tears he was desperately trying to keep at bay fell. Julia's shakily picked up the band and lovingly ran a finger over it before lifting the band and sad watery eyes at him. He watched her uncertainly for a moment before reaching across the table for it. He closed his eyes and let the wave of pain wash over him. When his eyes reopened Julia had tears flowing down her face.
"I want to keep the photograph, but I want you to have this," she signed, motioning to the band in his hands.
He blinked. "I didn't know you'd kept them."
She shrugged. "They're all I have left of Rose, and you."
He nodded and closed his fist over the band, signing with his free hand, "Thank you."
She mustered a quivering smile, and shrugged. "Vegas is a fresh start for me," she signed, getting to her feet, "and I hope we don't have to be…enemies."
Nodding, he rose up and they stood awkwardly facing each other for a moment. Grissom couldn't tell who made the first move, but now as he held Julia into his arms he wasn't embracing the woman who had broken his heart, but instead the mother of his child. He held her and let her cry until she had cried out. Only then did she push away from him, wiped her face and smiled.
"I hope you've found happiness with Sara," she sighed, and he could tell from the look in her eyes that she meant her words. "I truly do."
He gave her a serious nod. "I have. And I hope you can find that too. In time."
"Thank you," Betty signed as they came out of the fish bar, "I had a lovely time." Smiling widely, she grasped Sara's hands and squeezed them fondly before reaching up to kiss her son on the cheek. "I'm going to leave you two now, so you can enjoy the rest of the evening."
"Let us walk you home," Grissom offered.
"That's not necessary," she signed, a smile tugging at her lips. "It's a nice night, besides crime isn't what it is in Vegas."
Grissom pursed his face at her. "You sure?"
"Absolutely. Have you got your key?"
His eyes shining with amusement Grissom patted his back pocket. "I do." Beaming, he pulled Sara to him and kissed her on the cheek.
Betty smiled pleasurably. "All right, then," she signed, mischief crossing her eyes. "Take your time, I won't wait up." She stared at her son a moment longer and with a flicker of her eyes toward Sara signed, "Ask her."
Casting a furtive glance toward Sara Grissom pursed his face at his mother. "Good night, mother," he signed deliberately.
With one final smile and a small wave of her hand Betty turned on her heels and clutching her purse to her, set off at a brisk pace down the sidewalk.
Frowning, Sara did a double take. "I don't mind walking back with her if you'd rather."
"No," he laughed. "It's a fifteen minute walk back at the most. Besides she's quite used to doing this on her own." He shuffled round until he faced her, reached a hand to her face and smiled tenderly. "I told you she'd love you, didn't I?"
Sara's smile was wide and pleasurable. "You did. I'm glad though; it's important to me that she does."
Grissom nodded and his thumb brushing across her cheek leaned across for a kiss. "I wish we could do this at home," he told her pulling back, "going out, being a couple without having to worry that we might get seen."
Sara raised a mild shoulder. "I would rather hide and keep us a secret than not have what we have." She raised her hand to his face and cupped it. "This is plenty enough for me, Gil."
He stared at her intently for a moment before nodding. Pinching his lips and glancing beyond her shoulder he inhaled a long breath through his nose before refocusing on her. She was watching him with questions in her eyes and he shrugged, his thoughts once again remaining unspoken.
Wordlessly, he took her hand and they leisurely set off down the sidewalk. Turning toward her and opting for a casual tone he said, "You know like…a few weeks back I-" Shaking his head he paused, and sighed.
"You-" she prompted, her brow furrowing.
His shoulder rose. "I suggested that maybe you could move with me into the condo-"
"Gil," Sara cut in.
"Hear me out, please," he said earnestly. "I get that the condo's too small for the two of us, as is your apartment. But I've been thinking that maybe we could, you know, get a bigger place." He paused and smiled, adding hesitantly, "Together."
"What, like renting somewhere else?"
"Or buying," he said in a quiet whisper.
Sara stopped in her tracks, and he turned. Shock was written all over her face. "You're serious?"
"About you, yeah."
Sara looked away toward the passing traffic. "I don't know," she said after a moment.
He leaned across to catch her eye. "Why not?"
"Work, for starters," she replied, meeting his eyes. She shrugged. "What if Brass comes round with his bottle of whisky after a tough case, as he often does, and finds all my things there?"
"Then we'd tell him."
"Catherine too?" she asked challengingly. "And Nick, and Greg, and Warr-"
"Sara," Grissom cut in with an impatient sigh. "I'm ready. I'm prepared to take the chance. If you're not that's fine; we stay as we are. But if you're only worried about work, then-"
"Gil, I'm not just worried about work finding out. I'm worried about you, about Ecklie finding out. You have a lot more to lose than I do."
"Ecklie wouldn't fire me."
"Are you sure about that? What about if he decided to split us up instead? Not the team, but you and me. Have us work different shifts. Or worse give me the sack. You know the rule and we'd be breaking it. Big time."
"We already are breaking it."
"It's not the same, and you know it."
"It'd be worth the risk," he said quietly.
She sighed. "We see so little of each other as it is. I couldn't stand it if we had to work different shifts. It was bad enough when the guys had to do it."
"Then we'll have to be careful," he said decisively. "I'm good at keeping secrets, and so are you. I can talk to Jim. Make sure I get to his with my bottle of scotch before he comes to mine. Ours," he amended with a soft smile and a squeeze of her hand.
Sara's free hand moved to his cheek and she stared into his eyes. "You really want this, don't you?"
His nod was resolute. "Yeah, I do."
A wide grin broke across her face. "Then let's do it."
"Yeah?" he asked, shiny eyes widening with disbelief that she'd accepted.
"Yeah," she repeated quietly. She smiled and they leaned toward each other, their lips meeting in a gentle kiss.
Raucous laughter erupted nearby, cutting short their little tête-a-tête. Grissom frowned, his head turning toward the sound, and noticing a large group of young people heading toward them tightened his grip around Sara's hand, waiting until a car had driven past to lead her across the road. He was smiling broadly.
"What do you want to do now?" he asked as they reached the other side, headed toward the Marina. "Let's go for a drink," he added without pausing for breath. "I know this place on the ocean front that-"
"No," she told him firmly.
Her tone of voice and intensity of her reply took him by surprise and he snapped his head round toward her with puzzlement. A roguish smile pulling at her lips Sara dropped his hand and linked her arm through his, leaning into him as they strolled. He felt her skin against his, and a rush of desire rose in him.
Stopping walking abruptly he turned toward her. His breath hitched, his eyes darkening as they bored into hers. His hands coming up to her face, he kissed her, softly at first and then more passionately. His fingers weaved into her hair, pulling strands out of the barrette loosely holding her hair up at the back, and their lips met with force as he shamelessly deepened the kiss muffling Sara's low moan of pleasure into his mouth.
Her hands slid under his shirt, stroked up his waist to his chest, to his back and without breaking the kiss she pulled him backwards under the dark shelter of a shop doorway, out of the main thoroughfare. Searing desire pulled at his pants. When he eventually pulled back from her they were breathless and laughing, and Grissom watched her intently for a long time, the yearning in his eyes uncensored.
Maybe they should have gone home with his mother after all, he thought with regret.
He never once thought to check their surroundings or if they were being watched; there was no need to hide here, unlike in Vegas, and the freedom that came with it felt liberating.
Smiling wantonly, Sara bit her bottom lip, and gently pressing her body against his murmured in his ear, "Let's go for a swim instead."
The huskiness in her voice caused him to swallow back a sudden surge of lust. "What? Now?" he croaked.
She was beaming at him. "Why not? What's stopping us? It'll be dark soon," she added when he cocked his brow at her.
"I haven't brought my shorts."
Her face turned solemn. "Neither have I."
The sea breeze brought the smell of the ocean to him. Grinning at the challenge, he grasped her hand and took off at a brisk pace up the street and then down to the beach toward a secluded spot behind a low wall of rocks. Once there, Sara released him, dropped her purse to the sand, and kicked off her sandals.
Grissom could only watch open-mouthed, his head slowly shaking with disbelief at what she was doing.
When she turned toward him her eyes were shining with bliss and mischief, and giggling she hooked a finger at him and began walking backward toward the ocean. After a few steps she turned toward the water and skipped down the sand, her arms spread and turning in circles. She stopped at the water's edge and faced him. Her laughter stopped suddenly, her eyes clouded with desire as she pulled the hem of her dress up and over her head before discarding it to the sand.
He was mesmerised by the way the moonlight captured her face, by the way it cast dancing shadows in her eyes, and he could only stand frozen to the spot, gawking at her beauty. For a moment the roll of the ocean offered the only sound.
She untied her bra and tossed it aside. Her eyes steadfastly locked to his she teased the tip of her fingers under the waistband of her panties before pushing them down quickly and kicking them away. Then in a flash of bare flesh she turned and ran into the surf. She'd taken his teasing from the previous evening to the next level, and eyes wide in a mixture of awe and wonderment and incredulity, Grissom never made a move.
"Come on," she called merrily, echoing his words from the night before, "don't be a spoilsport!"
He didn't need to be told twice. After scanning a wary glance along the beach and finding it deserted, Grissom grinned back at her and began unbuttoning his shirt. His fingers weren't working fast enough though and he resorted to pulling it off over his head. Sara's laughter echoed in the night. Off came his shoes and socks. The smile of astonishment never left his lips as he half-jogged, half-skipped down to the water while taking off his pants. With one last quick look over his shoulder he slipped his boxers off and wadded into the water to her.
There he stopped and took a moment to watch her. Sara's giggling faded, her face taking on a serious expression as she read the yearning in his eyes. They were the colour of the ocean. He took a small step toward her, reaching out a hand out of the water to brush back a tendril of hair away from her face. She repressed a shiver, and just below the surface of the water he caught a glimpse of her breasts, hard, pert and heaving, inviting his touch.
His breath caught, and he hesitantly lowered his hand, cupping it to her left breast and closing his eyes at the overwhelming surge of desire that coursed through him. Before he could close the distance between them and kiss her, she winked and pulled away from him. He watched mesmerised as she dove into a small oncoming wave then surfaced a little further and brushed her hair back with her fingers. She looked magnificent.
"First one to the rocks!" she said breathlessly, biting her bottom lip as she once again slipped under the water.
It took a while for Sara's words to register through to him. But when they did… He shook himself out of his trance, his eyes flicking to said-rocks and laughing, took off after her. He knew she'd get there first, but what did it matter?
As long as they were together he would follow her to the end of the earth, and back.
A/N: I hope the ending wasn't disappointing, or too rushed. But as I said, time is at a premium at the moment.
Thank you again for reading, reviewing and adding the story to your favourites. Your overwhelming response to this story has bowled me over.
Du fond du cœur,