Disclaimer: CSI and its characters are the property of CBS and Alliance/Atlantis Networks. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement intended.
Author's note: When I wrote the last part of Christmas Eve I thought it would be my last. But because so many people asked me if this was really the end, I decided to write a sequel. You don't have to read Christmas Eve to be able to understand this story, but I won't stop you if you do want to read it first! :-)
Special thanks to Geena for helping me sort things out and to Missy for reading my story and coming up with a title! This one is for you guys!
English is not my native/first language. If you find an annoying writing error in this story, please email me (instead of mentioning it in a review) and I will correct it immediately. Thanks!
Sara stepped out of her car. It was a quite evening, especially for Las Vegas. She slowly walked over the practically deserted parking lot, deep in thoughts. Thoughts about the other day. It all seemed so long ago, almost as if it had never happened. It…Their kiss… She could still feel his lips on hers and his arms around her.
They had not talked about it. A case, bloody and extremely fascinating, had claimed all of their attention. They'd worked side-by-side, collecting evidence and trying to find the one responsible. Soon, the sun had come up and had chased the night away. Before they knew it, the dayshift had arrived and they'd gone home, both unsure of what the next day would bring.
It was strange. For the first time in her entire life she felt reluctant to go to work again. Normally it was all she could think off. Solving crimes was her life. She had made it her life. But things were different now. Something had changed; she just didn't know if it was a change for the worse or better.
Her face clouded when she saw Nick coming her way. She wasn't in the mood for…him actually. Especially not with that huge smile on his face.
She stopped with some regret.
"Didn't you hear me?" Nick was a little out of breath. God, he needed to work out more.
"Sorry, I was thinking about something."
Well, it wasn't a lie. She had been thinking about something, or rather: someone.
"Don't. Makes your face all wrinkly."
"Funny, Nick." Sara rolled her eyes. "So, how was your Christmas Eve?"
"Absolutely fantastic. Susan and I had a wonderful time."
"Oh Susan is it?"
Nick grinned. "Yeah, we went to this party of friends. It was great." A mischievous smile curled upon his lips. "And how was your Christmas Eve? All alone with Grissom."
Sara gasped. 'Did he know…?' But a quick glance at his face proved that he was only teasing her.
"Oh, nothing special," she tried to say as casual as possible. "We had a murder case."
"Cool, who did it?"
"The husband. He didn't like the in-laws, so he thought that by killing his wife he was rid of them as well."
Nick's eyes widened. "You're kidding right?"
"People never cease to amaze me."
"Or me." Sara wasn't thinking of the case though.
Together they walked up to the building. A loud screaming and cheering welcomed them as they opened the doors. One second later they had to step aside when Greg came running through the corridor. He was chased by two young men, not older than twenty-five. Probably trainees.
Both Sara and Nick's jaw dropped with surprise at the sight of Greg. He was decorated like a real Christmas tree. Colorful balls dangled in his ears and large red and golden strings were wrapped around his neck. To complete the picture he was also wearing a Christmas hat, red with a white fluffy brim and flashing lights all around it.
Their colleague had already pulled off a lot, but this took the cake. The noise he made was almost loud enough to wake up the corpses in the morgue.
They all jumped at a furious voice. Grissom came out of his office. Apparently he'd been disturbed at his work, because his face spelled trouble.
"What in God's name do you think you're doing?"
Greg stopped cold in his tracks, his broad smile reducing to a hesitant one. He took off his flashing hat and hid it behind his back. "Uhmm, celebrating Christmas?"
Sara tried to smother her laughter, while Nick grinned out loud.
Grissom couldn't appreciate the joke. He did one step in Greg's direction and immediately lab boy ran off. The other two stood still for just a few seconds longer, obviously impressed by the nightshift supervisor, then followed Greg's example and cleared off.
Nick and Sara looked at each other, both eyes sparkling with amusement.
"Greggo… He's either brave or very stupid."
Sara shook her head. "Or maybe both."
Grissom didn't react. His face was blank, completely unapproachable. "I will see you in the break room."
With that he walked right past Sara, without looking at her. He acted like she wasn't even there. Sara sighed, disappointed. Well, it wasn't like she had expected him to push her against the wall and… No, he would never do that. But this was the complete opposite and as the door shut, she felt like Grissom had just slapped the door in front of her.
"Sara, is something wrong?" Nick asked curiously.
Sara cast one last look on Grissom's door, then shook her head. "No, everything is fine. Let's go."
They resumed their way to the break room where Catherine and Warrick were already waiting for them. They were deep in conversation about Christmas Eve. Warrick had met cousins he didn't even know he had and Catherine and Lindsey had held a wonderful girl's evening. They'd put on their most beautiful dresses, dolled themselves up and polished each other's nails.
"I even made dinner for Lindsey. She wanted to have a real Christmas dinner this time instead of the usual take-out."
Warrick raised his eyebrows. "I didn't know you could cook."
"There are more things you don't know about me," Catherine responded wickedly.
"That sounds like an invitation to me."
Warrick knew how to make the most of his charms and Catherine wasn't insensitive to it.
She smiled. "Maybe."
"Well, that's good enough for me."
An outsider could easily misinterpret the looks they exchanged, but their colleagues knew that it was only harmless flirting.
Before Catherine could say another word, Grissom entered the break room. "Everyone here….good." He placed some files on the table. "We have a new case."
Immediately the atmosphere cooled down. Nick raised his eyebrows and shot Sara a look, which she chose to ignore. Instead her own gaze wandered about the room until it locked onto the mistletoe still hanging above her. The same mistletoe that had played such a major part the other night. Yes, she knew exactly why Grissom was behaving that way. She was the only one who knew and she would be the last to tell.
The following morning
Sara was pacing up and down the locker room, angrier than she had ever been. All through the night Grissom had ignored her. He had not talked to her and made sure that he was never in the same room with her. When she did try to talk to him, he'd made a hurried exit with the excuse that the lab results were in. It was driving her nuts.
Okay, they'd shared a kiss. A rather passionate one that was to say which had brought about a lot of strong feelings. She knew it had had the same effect on him. She'd seen it in his eyes. Their kiss had scared the hell out of him. Because of that she had not pursued the matter, leaving it to him to make the next move.
'And what is his next move? Totally ignoring me.'
This was exactly the part of him that frustrated her immensely. As soon as things got too personal he hid behind his wall, just like a child afraid of the dark. She wanted some clarity, a clue of his feelings for her, but instead he pushed her away. Every time she thought she had taken a step forward, Grissom pushed her two steps back. She was willing to grant him some time to sort things out, but she wasn't going to wait forever and his act of indifference wasn't really helping either.
Without thinking twice, boiling with frustration, she stopped, turned around and socked one of the lockers. With a big bang it slammed shut. Ironically she had just attacked Grissom's locker, but it didn't make her feel any better.
'Dammit,' she cursed, holding her hand to her chest. Her knuckles were quickly turning red.
"Sara, what's wrong?"
She jumped at a familiar voice. It was Catherine. Sara had not heard her colleague entering the locker room and she wondered how long she had been standing there.
Catherine looked concerned. She had heard the loud bang. "Are you okay?"
"Yes, I'm fine."
Sara's voice made it clear that she wanted to be left alone, but unfortunately for her Catherine was not about to let the subject go.
She sat down on the bench in the middle of the room and looked at Sara. "You're obviously upset about something." She paused, unsure whether to continue, then said softly: "Does this have anything to do with Grissom?"
Sara didn't have to say anything; the expression on her face gave her away.
"That's what I thought."
"Is it that obvious?"
"To a woman it is."
Sara remained silent, cursing herself that Catherine had noticed. She didn't feel like talking; she already felt ridiculous as it was, like a schoolgirl with an unrequited crush on the boy next door.
"What happened, Sara?" Catherine asked again. "What happened yesterday after I left?"
Sara shook her head. "No offence Cath, but I don't want to talk about it."
"Are you sure? Sometimes it's better to talk, you know."
Sara knew that her colleague was only being nice, but she wasn't in the mood for some good yet unwanted advice. "I think you missed your calling. Did you ever consider becoming a shrink?"
Maybe it sounded harsher than was intended, because Catherine shook her head impatiently and stood up. "Well, there's certainly no better couple than you two." She continued, muttering under her breath: "Both too stubborn for their own good."
Sara jerked her head at that last comment, only to find herself alone in the locker room again. She buried her face in her hands, growling in frustration. God, why did she allow Grissom to make her feel this way? What was it about him?
She hadn't had a date in ages, always pushing the guys away. And there were guys. They all thought she was attractive, not beautiful, but attractive. They wanted to be close to her, to be a part of her life, but she never let them. She didn't bother. They were not….
Maybe Catherine was right. Maybe she was too stubborn to confess what she was really feeling. To herself, and to Grissom. And maybe it was time to do something about it, rather than sitting around waiting for him.
To be continued…
Did you like this part? Would you like to read the final one? Please let me know; I would love to hear from you! Thank you! - Karin -