A One Night Stand

By Anansay

January 14, 2003

The first rays of dawn pushed their way through the crack in the curtains, slowing growing in brightness, to pour over the sleeping bodies on the bed half covered by the rumpled sheets. An arm thrown over a chest, a leg curled around another. Here: a breast showing, there: a hip just shy of complete exposure.

The light got brighter bit by bit, illuminating the room in a rosy early morning glow. A body moved, an arm shading eyes, sheets were tugged upward, exposing more flesh. A small sleepy tug of war ensued before bodies came together and the blankets were shared.

An eyelid fluttered, moving in sleep as dreams came to the forefront of semi-consciousness. It opened and then closed again against the sun's onslaught. A low moan was heard before the eyes opened again.

Grissom's eyes were open. Wide open. His body lay still in the bed.

Not his bed.

Not his bedroom.

He squinted as the light beat mercilessly on his face. His bedroom did not greet the rising sun, hence his early morning awakening.

His eyes darted around the room, seeking anything of remote familiarity.

Nothing.

His heart beat loudly in his chest.

He allowed his awareness to expand in the room, everything coming to him at once, colours, shades, objects, smells, feelings. It was then he noticed the weight against his right shoulder, arm, hip and leg.

A body. A warm body.

There was an arm across his chest. His eyes moved toward his shoulder. A head of brown hair. The head moved, and a face became visible. His heart stopped, though later he would still not be able to qualify whether it was sheer fear or simple surprise.

Sara Sidle lay beside him, her head nuzzling his neck, sending shivers down his body. Her hand on his chest moved downward, her fingers dancing against his skin. His hand shot out and caught hers before it went too far.

No underwear, his mind registered with dawning dismay. He tried to find reason why he was naked in Sara's bedroom, in her bed, with an equally naked Sara Sidle beside him, her body wrapped around his quite intimately.

She moaned and her head moved again, her lips pressing against his shoulder. His breath caught in his throat and his eyes rolled back into his head as the warmth from her kiss spread throughout his body, warming some places more than others.

Her hand slipped from his to go lower and take him in her gentle grasp. He gasped, his eyes snapping open, as her hand began to move on him. His hips jerked involuntarily, thrusting into her grip. He groaned despite the screaming in his mind.

She moaned again before speaking. "Hey…" came her sleepy greeting.

Grissom swallowed hard, trying to focus on coherent words. "Uh… oh… hey… Sara…"

Her tongue snaked out and began licking the skin on his neck, slowly making her way to his earlobe. He chest was heaving now. He wanted to stop her, knew that he should, but his hands wouldn't obey. When her leg moved to rest on his, the hand that was between them touched her in return, feeling her muscles shudder. Her hips thrust toward his hand, encouraging him.

She pushed herself up and on top of him, her lips never leaving his skin, coming to brush his lips lightly before capturing them. His fingers slid inside her easily when her hips moved closer to him. She stroked him harder, as her tongue pushed its way into his mouth, matching the thrust of his fingers. She moaned into the kiss.

Grissom's hand and lips seemed to have developed a mind of their own as she settled herself on top of him. He could feel her heat against him, her wetness making a smooth work for his fingers.

When she grabbed him and guided him into her, pushing his fingers out of the way, he gasped, his eyes flying open as he called her name, "Sara!?"

She brought her face by his ear, "Sshhh…" she whispered, as she began to move on him, slowly and gently, feeling his entire length disappearing within her moist folds.

He groaned long and loud, his face a pained expression as his hands went to her hips, feeling her riding him. His mind pouted in the corner as his body took over, beginning to thrust up and into her, as his excitement increased. He moaned her name over and over again, his voice apologizing for his body's reactions.

Her movements suddenly became frantic, her breathing hoarse, as she panted his name, "Gil… oh… Gil… god… oh…" She was clenching him tightly, sending shards of desire through him. He felt his own climax quickly approaching. His hands clamped onto her hips as his body bucked beneath hers, slamming himself deeply into her one last time, as he cried her name, "OH God! Sara!"

~*~

"I'm so sorry… I'm so sorry… I'm so sorry…"

The words kept coming out of his mouth. His eyes were shut, and arm thrown over them. If he could have disappeared among the tangled sheet, he would have done so. He lay on his back, the sheet pulled up to his waist, held there by the other hand. He dared not look at her. What had he done? She lay quietly beside him, not touching him. He could hear her quiet breathing. He could imagine the thoughts going through her head. He felt her hand touch his chest and he jerked away, sitting up on the side of the bed, his head hanging down. He looked around the room.

"Where are my clothes?" he asked quietly.

A moment passed before an answer was forthcoming. "Uh… in the hall?"

"What are they doing there?" his mind wouldn't think straight, images kept invading his logical reasoning. He heard the ruffle of sheets as she moved to a sitting position in the bed. He didn't look at her.

"Don't you remember?" she asked him softly, a hint of pain in her voice.

His mind back tracked back to his office. Bad shift… death… decay… loss of life… a life cut short. It was bad and they had decided to go for a drink… to forget. Alcohol had dulled their senses, given way to unspoken thoughts and desires. He shut his eyes tightly. Oh god… what had he done? Taken advantage of someone in their time of need… What kind of supervisor was he? He ran a hand over his face.

She continued, "I asked you to come home with me. We…"

"…had sex?" he finished quietly.

"Well, I was gonna say made love, but if that's all it was to you…"

No, he wanted to say. It would never be just sex with you, Sara. But the words didn't come out.

"I'd better go…"

Silence.

He found his clothes and retreated to the bathroom.

When he got out, there was no sign of her. He walked back to her bedroom. She was still in her bed. Her back was to the door, to him. The sheets were pulled up to her chin and held snuggly. A pang of sadness stabbed into his heart as he held onto the doorframe tightly to keep from going to her. He ought to say something, anything, but there was nothing to say. He turned around and left her… her bedroom… her home, closing the door softly behind him.

~*~

He drove away.

His mind was still with Sara and her dejected form on her bed. But he couldn't go back there. As much as wanted to, he couldn't. It would jeopardize both their jobs. Sara had worked too hard to get where she was, and he wasn't going to be the one to take it away from her. He loved her too much for that. So he had left.

But he had left his heart with her, sitting on the nightstand, beating out a continuous steady rhythm. There was an empty hole in his chest, a hollow feeling that would remain with him forevermore. He sighed the sigh of the undead as his car carried him farther away from her.

He drove without thinking, on automatic. His vision blurred as the unshed tears welled up and threatened to spill over. He tried to blink them away, but it only made them fall, rolling down his cheeks. He wiped them away roughly, angry now that he should cry like this.

A loud honking jarred him back to reality as his eyes zoned in on the car in front of him travelling transverse to his direction and way too close for comfort. In his peripheral vision there were more cars coming at him. He was in an intersection and they had the right of way. He floored the gas, and sped away, finding a side street. His heart beat madly in his chest, his breathing heavy. He had almost gotten himself killed. The realization hit him like rush of wind, knocking the breath out of him. The fear gave way to anger as he began pounding the steering wheel, his eyes shut tight, howling at the top of his lungs. He pounded and grabbed, kicking and screaming everything into the car.

When he stopped, he felt eyes on him. He turned his head toward the passenger door. There, not ten feet away, stood a little girl, around five or so. Her thumb disappeared into her mouth. Tucked under her arm was a well-loved stuffed brown rabbit, its ears the length of its body. They girl's eyes were wide with fear as she stood rooted to the spot, unable to move or take her eyes off of him. Here was a fully grown adult taking a fit that she herself might have taken earlier that morning over her hair being brushed. He stared at her, seeing himself in her eyes, with her perspective, which would not be much different had she been an adult, except that scorn would have replaced the fear.

He looked down, unable to bear the gaze any longer. After getting a hold of himself, he grabbed the steering wheel and with one last look at the little girl and a small smile of apology, he drove off, staying more focused on the road this time.

~*~

Sara heard the click of her door closing. It sounded deafening in her solitary apartment. Her body jerked at the sound. He might as well have thrown money down on the bed, the pain in her heart could not have been more severe.

She rolled over and hugged the pillow to her chest. Her eyes closed as the pain welled up in her chest, stinging her eyes, making her lips quiver. Her body shook as the sobs fought their way out. She buried her head in the pillow.

He was still here, all around her. She pulled her head from the pillow and glared at it accusingly. His scent was still on her pillow, indeed in her bed, on her sheets, on her. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, allowing what was left of him to seep into her being.

She remembered how he felt in her arms, inside her. She remembered how he had sounded, whispering in her ear, and crying out her name. Her body burned and ached as the memories came flooding into her consciousness. She squeezed her eyes shut against the onslaught of fresh pain.

He had walked out. He had apologized and then walked out. No goodbye, nothing. His sense of regret had been so palpable as to be an entirely separate entity shrouding his other senses. It had pushed him out that door, and would keep pushing him away.

One step forward, two steps back, came the cynical thought. Angrily pushing her pain aside, she got out of bed, stripped it and went to take a shower.

After downing two cups of coffee in quick succession, she squared her shoulders and hardened her will, wanting to put this whole episode behind her. Basket of sheets in hand, she headed to the elevator on her way to the laundromat. Inside the small, enclosed area of the moving box, the scent wafted up to her from the sheets in the basket. She closed her eyes as her heart started pounding again, as though he were standing right beside her. She could feel him all around her, his presence so strong in her mind. Drowning… deep into the gloom of nothingness. She felt herself sliding down and opened her eyes quickly, standing up again. No, she told herself, don't do this, Sara… you've had one night stands before. Get over it!

With a soft ding, the doors slide open to reveal the dreary grey of the brick walls, the dimly lit hallway leading to the laundry room. She made her way down the hall, carrying the basket as low as she could away from her face.

As she was jamming the sheets in, one of the pillow cases fell to the floor. It was his, the one that had cradled his head all the previous night when they had finally fallen asleep. It had the strongest odor. She held it in her hands, staring at it, looking from the washer to the pillowcase. It tore at her insides to wash him away. Forever. It might never happen again, she thought.

Gently, she folded the pillowcase, scent side in, and placed it on the next washing machine. With one last glance at the sheets, sole evidence of their lovemaking about to be washed away forever, she closed the lid, grabbed her one and only proof and returned to her apartment.

She grabbed a plastic freezer bag and placed the folded pillowcase in it, hiding it securely in her night stand drawer. She stood and looked at the drawer that hid her secret and wondered about her own level of sanity. She sighed, shrugged and went into the kitchen for another cup of coffee before sitting down by her police scanner to listen to the world outside as it slowly collapsed in on itself.

~*~

Grissom arrived at work early that evening, ostensibly to get work done. In reality, he couldn't handle the suffocating aspect of his own apartment any longer. Work was where he was most productive; he could lose himself in work, take his mind off… other things.

He dreaded seeing Sara this evening. What would she do? How would she react? He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. There was a pile of paperwork on his desk that desperately required his attention. Returning his glasses to his face, he grabbed a pen and a sheet and began reading.

~*~

There was a light knock on his door. He glanced up to see Catherine poking her head in. "Hey… we're all here… you coming?"

His eyes darted in the direction of the breakroom. "You're all here?"

"Yeah," she eyed him with one eyebrow raised.

"Uh… okay… I'll be there in a minute. Just gonna finish this last paper."

Catherine watched him for a moment before leaving. Grissom looked at the papers on his desk and sighed. Now or never. He grabbed the case files for the evening and headed for destiny.

As usual, Nick and Warrick were playing the video game, interspersing with hooks and howls, "Yeah, baby!"s, as well as physical jabs with their shoulders. Catherine sat reading a magazine, some fashion thing. Sara was curled in a chair in the farthest corner, a book stuck to her face. The meaning of her actions was not lost on Grissom. She was going to keep herself as far away from him as possible and immerse herself in her work. He felt his resolve crumbling at the sight of her cold, stoic frame and stone face. After so many years of knowing her, the masks were becoming flimsy with time. He could see her pain; it mirrored his own. The noises faded into the background, leaving only his awareness of Sara in the forefront. A lump of cold dead coal settled in his gut. The papers in his hand became heavy, a burdensome barrier separating them.

Grissom cleared his throat, getting their attention. Sara was last to put down her book, and when she did her eyes met his only for a brief second. She had a acknowledged her boss, and that was it. His chest suddenly felt squeezed by her seeming indifference, indeed her utter dismissal of him.

The dynamics of the situation were not entirely lost on the others, taught as they were in the art of observation beyond the obvious. Usually, Sara greeted Grissom with one of her biggest smiles, her eyes lighting up. This was polar opposite.

Catherine's eyes went from her to Grissom and noticed the changes in him as well. He barely looked at Sara, keeping his eyes on the case papers. He spoke in a low, monotone voice saying only what needed to be said. Catherine knew there were elements of Grissom to which she would never be privy, but this ghost of a person standing in the room was not something she ever thought she'd see in her old friend. His face was drawn, the lines of age appearing more prominent in the unforgiving glare of the breakroom. There was none of the enthusiasm that had drawn her to him and to this world of overt observation; a world she had settled into with an ease that had surprised her at the time. If it hadn't been for Grissom offering her this alternate avenue in her life, she didn't want to think of where she would be at this time. Their friendship was close and based on mutual respect and admiration, though for divergent reasons. She didn't like to see her friend in pain; his pain was her pain.

She turned her attention to Sara, sitting so stiffly in her chair in the corner. There sat a strong, independent, headstrong woman; a poignant reminder of herself. They had butted heads in the beginning, but cordial friendship had grown from their mutual direction in this sub-world. Their individual strengths and abilities had surfaced to be respected and admired. Two strong women co-existed within this same world of observation, reasoning and deduction. They each brought their own personal flavour to their job.

As a unit, the team needed to be cohesive. Sara's withdrawal needed to be dealt with if results were to be achieved.

Grissom had finished with the assignments. Sara was paired with Nicky, while Catherine, Warrick and Grissom took the other case. Catherine watched as Sara left quickly, her steps echoing in the hallway as she headed for the garage, Nick turning back to eye his coworkers with one eyebrow raised, in mock fear. She also noticed how Grissom's eyes surreptitiously followed Sara as well. As their boss, he had the most to teach and he would bring secrets with him to his grave, secrets that couldn't find their way to be shared with others. But as their subliminal teacher, he had allowed his students to learn much more. Grissom's pain was a palpable feeling to Catherine.

~*~

Grissom drove while Catherine sat in the passenger seat, and Warrick took the back seat. Not the most optimum of arrangements, but Catherine had insisted and the men knew not to argue with Catherine when she insisted. She turned to her old friend, "So Griss, how was your night off?"

Grissom's head jerked hard to his right, bones popping in his neck, eyes wide, before turning back to the road. His hands clenched the steering wheel before he forced himself to relax. His eyes darted towards her. She was sitting half turned in her seat, one arm on the seat back, the other on the door by the window. Her question seemed innocuous enough and yet Grissom could detect a faint hint of… extra curiosity sprinkled in for good measure. "Uh… fine… relaxing… why do you ask?"

"Well… it's just that I saw you leave with Sara last night, and…"

"What are you talking about?" he turned toward her, eyes flashing momentarily in the dimming light outside. Too late, Grissom realized, he'd cut her off too soon. "Uh… well… yeah we did… for coffee… and then she went home… alone…"

"Ah, I see… so… nothing else… happened?"

Grissom could see Warrick through the rear view mirror watching their exchange, eyes darting back and forth, gears whirring in his head. He gulped down the lump of fear in his throat. He kept his eyes on the road after that. "No… just coffee… and, uh… talking… you know… bad shift…"

"Yeah," she breathed out hard, remembering that particular case. It still sat unfinished on Grissom's desk, a standstill that would haunt them until its completion.

Grissom kept driving, his eyes staring straight ahead of him. Why did the crime scene have to be so far away, he grumbled to himself, wondering if the cosmos had some grandiose plan for him involving abject humiliation before his co-workers. Catherine was too perceptive for her own good, he decided; or, he would have to be more careful of his reactions in the future.

Warrick decided to perk up and join the conversation. "So, what exactly are we headed for here?" changing the subject matter, much to Grissom's relief. He caught Catherine's glance at Warrick, her eyes flashing momentarily to Warrick before turning around in her seat, waiting for Grissom to elaborate. He shared with them what he knew of the particulars of this case, temporarily forgetting about his dilemma.

~*~

Sara walked around the crime scene, sharp eyes picking up on even the most minute detail and cataloguing it in her mind for later retrieval. Nick worked another part, but his awareness of Sara was more acute this evening, not just as his partner, but also as his friend and pseudo-sibling. Nicky was young but not dense. Even in his love of video games and friendly bantering with Warrick, the atmosphere in the breakroom had not been lost on him. Grissom was his mentor, even if the older man didn't know it. Nick prided himself on imitating Grissom's keen sense of perception. The small fissure that had always existed in slight detail between Sara and Grissom had broken open into a gaping chasm overnight. Sara's usual flippant mood was barrenly absent, leaving behind a lonely empty space that Nick missed.

He watched her dutifully gathering evidence, packaging and labeling. She was good. Really good. He enjoyed working with her. But this time, her actions had taken on a more automatic feel. Today, it was just a job to her. Just another crime scene. Just more envelopes to fill with the remains of another soul gone astray.

She had been quiet on the ride there, her eyes trained like beams on the road ahead. Nick sat in silence, contemplating how to reach his friend. It pained him to see her like this, unable to get beyond her own turmoil. She was stuck in the whirlwind, a passive victim of her own heart. Her emotions were so strong, Nick knew that there were times when they overwhelmed her. He longed to reach out and touch her, and make everything all better.

"Sara." He called to her as he approached.

She spun her head toward him, hair coming around her face in a fan. Her eyes were serious, she expected a serious query from him. Regardless, he plowed on, "You know I'm your friend, right?"

Her brows furrowed as she struggled to switch gears in her mind. "Yeah… and?"

"Well… if there was something bothering you… you could come to me… you know?"

She looked at him with a mixture of confusion and bewilderment on her face. "Nick… what's going on?"

Nick looked down. He didn't know how to broach the subject without her flying off the handle at any insinuations that may come across. "Well… just that, you know I'm here for you… as a friend… to talk to… okay?"

"Yeah… sure Nicky…"

Nicked watched her go back to work. So many things he wanted to say to her, but the words were not forthcoming. It stayed in him, a melange of visions and feelings. But no words. He sighed and went back to work. He only hoped she'd understood his banal attempt at a deep talk.

~*~

Sara walked to the lab, carrying her evidence in hand.

"Sara…" crooned Greg, "and how was your night off?"

Sara's head snapped around, her eyes boring holes in Greg's head. "What do you mean by that?" she demanded. First Nick and now Greg?

Greg's hands came up as he backed away, a mock expression of fear on his face. "Whoa! Nothing… simple question, man… cool it!"

Sara pursed her lips and eyed him warily. "Yeah, well, it, uh… was fine.", she cracked a fake smile and handed the envelopes to the young technician. "Here, I need these done, it's the Miller case. Hairs, epithelials. Working on getting comparative samples."

"Got it." He snapped his fingers at her as he turned away and started sorting through the various evidence gatherings.

Sara turned and left. She was beginning to feel like the only character in a play who didn't get a script. As much as she tried to hide her feelings, as per Grissom's suggestion, she could only assume it wasn't working. Or, that her ultra sensitive side was just bold this day. Everything seemed to be tinged with a layer of irascibility. Since when does Nicky offer his services as a counselor?! She thought acerbically. Jesus! I must be as thin as water…

Now came the part she was dreading all day: speaking with Grissom. Like it or not, it needed to be done. As her boss, he needed to be made aware of her progress on cases. She approached his office and peeked in.

Empty.

It was both a relief and a disappointment. She sighed and turned to leave. And ran night into him. Papers went flying in the air, landing strewn on the floor.

Oh! Uh… sorry…" they muttered at the same time, bending down to gather the papers. They were crouched down, hands gathering papers together. No eyes met, no words exchanged. Their heads touched, sending electricity coursing through her. She swallowed hard. They stood up, she handed him the papers she had gathered. God, he smells good… For but a moment, she allowed herself to get lost in his scent, like always it wrapped itself around her, invading her rational thoughts.

"Did you, uh… need something?" His voice brought her back sharply. Normally Grissom said her name, but it wasn't forthcoming this time. His voice was cold and distant. He just wants to forget, she thought grimly, mentally distancing herself some more.

"Uh, yeah… the, uh, case Nick and I are working," she looked through him and plowed through her findings. His eyes were like beacons in the night, bright and mesmerizing. She couldn't look at him. "There were a few hairs, some fingerprints, some epithelials . Greg is working on them as we speak. Should be done in a hour or so…" She could feel his eyes on her, watching her, reading her. She hated that. She forced her mind to stay focused, not to smell him, or feel him so close.

When she was done, he nodded. "Okay." And then turned around and left.

She watched him lumber off, head once again stuck in the papers in his hands. Okay? That's it?! Consternation shrouded her face, as her mind worked around his behavior. He was a stranger, somebody she didn't know. And at this rate, wouldn't want to know. He treated her with the same attention he gave to someone in an interrogation: Give me what I want… thank you and goodbye. The lump grew in her throat and in her chest. Breathing was becoming a chore. She could feel the dull pulsing in her temples signifying the beginning of a tension headache. She rubbed her temples absentmindedly, as she continued down the hall.

~*~

The shift was different. Everybody felt it. No longer was there an easy camaraderie among the co-workers. People were walking on egg shells. Two of the most volatile people in that department were wound tighter then a drum and it was felt they would snap at any moment.

Words were curt and short. Body language emitting inimical vibes, making people subconsciously skirt widely around them. People thought twice before approaching them. Catherine seemed to be the only person brave enough, or impetuous enough to approach one of them. She cornered Sara in the hallway, under the guise of inquiring about her case. Sara gave a sigh and regarded her colleague coldly as she reiterated the facts. When Catherine mentioned Grissom, there was a visible reaction in the tensing of Sara's body and flashing of her eyes. And then came the smile, that fake smile too big, too grotesque when it didn't reach her eyes. It was a good imitation, but Catherine saw behind the facade.

"Isn't it strange that both you and Grissom should be having a bad day at the same time?" Catherine ventured, her sweet voice barely hiding the sarcastic humour.

"Strange? Not really." Sara shrugged her shoulders. "Just coincidence." That fake smile again, and a twitch by her left eye…

Catherine nodded her head, once. "Hmm, coincidence, eh?"

"Yeah," Sara challenged, eyes hardening somewhat.

Catherine looked into Sara's eyes and smiled. "Well, I just hope you both can work it out. Separately, of course, since it's just a… coincidence." She let the smile drop from her face. "You're good friends, Sara, and we'd like our friends back." Catherine walked off, leaving a bewildered Sara standing in the hallway, alone with her thoughts.

~*~

Grissom sat in his office, head buried in paperwork. To be out there meant seeing and talking to Sara. As shift supervisor it was his responsibility to oversee their cases, point out anything they might have missed, suggest options, etc. But talking to Sara was proving to be very difficult under the circumstances. He could barely look her in the eye, let alone hear her words above the rushing of blood in his ears. His mind would stop working when she was around. He had said the first thing that came to his mind, "Okay," and then walked off, needing to clear his thoughts of her, naked in his arms, lips touching. He shook his head again to clear the images.

This was ridiculous, he thought suddenly, his head coming up. We're two adults. We've had one night stands before. We should be able to get beyond this! He squared his shoulders subconsciously as a decision formed in his head. He would speak with her, and settle this once and for all. He went to find Sara.

After meticulously searching the entire building, Grissom had to conclude she was not anywhere within easy reach. Finally, his resolve crumbling slowly behind him with each step, he found Catherine in the breakroom. "Catherine, you seen Sara anywhere?" he said, poking his head in.

Catherine looked up from pouring her cup of coffee. "Yeah, about a half hour ago. She said she needed to leave. Not feeling well or something. Took off early." She turned to fully face Grissom, "Why?"

Grissom's eyes glazed as his mind swam with possibilities. Not feeling well… left early… a half hour ago… He focused again on Catherine who was looking at him with a peculiar expression on her face. "Uh… thanks…" He turned around and headed for his office again, trailing his feet. His great decision once iron strong mettle was now a molten trail behind him. Nothing. Back to scare one. She was gone. Maybe next shift….

~*~

Sara slumped onto her couch. Her head hurt, a dull throbbing at the temples. Her stomach was in so many knots, food was definitely out of the question. She closed her eye, willing herself to relax… shoulders down… breathe in… untie knots. She was safe now, safe in her home. She wouldn't see him or hear his voice here.

The pain in her head throbbed in time with her heart, accentuating every silent scream in her being. She went to her bedroom. Maybe sleep would help to relax, clear her thoughts. She undressed and slid beneath the covers. Eyes closed, she lay prone on the bed.

The pillowcase.

The thought came unbidden in her head. Her eyes opened, asking the silent question of why it should come to her now.

The pillowcase… in her drawer… his scent…

Just once…

She reached over and slowly pulled the drawer open. There it lay, stuffed into the baggie, staring at her… reaching out to her. Her heart banged in her chest. Her hand reached out and felt the cool smoothness of the plastic housing the exhibit A of a brief yet intense foray into the world of sexual fantasy.

She picked it up and brought to her, holding it in front of her face. She glared at it balefully. It stared back… a silent, blatant reminder.

The bag was opened. A hint of him seeping out to wrap itself around her. Her body remembered. Slowly, she brought it closer to her face, until the plastic was touching her nose. Closing her eyes, she breathed in deeply, and was transported back in time.

Hot, sweaty flesh moving against each other… hands groping… feeling… touching… exciting… Mouths capturing… tongues exploring… depths revealed… moans… groans… and gasps accentuating their erotic interplay.

She snapped her eyes open and the bag closed. She calmed her ragged breath, holding the bag close to her. She quickly pushed it back into the drawer and hit it from her sight.

Bad idea. Now he was even more here, in her thoughts, her mind. Her body remembered… could never forget. (talk about intensity)

She turned over, pulling the blankets up to her chin and stayed that way until sleep found her.

She awoke a few hours later.

There was silence in her apartment. She listened, fully awake, body tense, her mind fully alert to whatever had pulled her from sleep. There it was again, faint. A knocking on her door.

Frowning, she got out of bed, and grabbed her housecoat on her way out. Her bedside clock read nine in the morning.

She peered through the peephole and… forgot to breathe.

On the other side of her door, face distorted to a comical degree by the bend of the lens, stood Gil Grissom, eyes alternating between attempting to peer into the hole and then looking down and away again. As she watched, wondering what she ought to do, he took a step backward and then another, looking at her door again, frowning and swallowing.

He was leaving.

Her body reacted before her mind did, her hand opening the door and her voice calling his name, "Grissom?"

He spun around, momentarily shocked by the suddenness of the noise and her voice. "Uh, Sara…"

Their eyes met and locked. Outside of the workplace the urgency to hide their true feelings wasn't so strong. She could see the trepidation in his eyes as they stood in the hallway, staring at each other.

"What are you doing here?" she asked quietly, not wanting to disturb the moment but needing answers.

He swallowed visibly, his adam's apple rising and falling. His tongue peeked out to wet his lips. They worked for a moment as he searched for the right words. "I – uh – came to talk to you."

His words struck her like a knife between her shoulder blades, the coldness seeping into her core. With a heavy heart and a furrowed brow, she stepped back into her place, motioning for him to follow.

Sara disappeared into her bedroom and reappeared wearing jeans and a t-shirt. A talk required proper attire, she thought. Grissom was standing in the middle of her living room, catching glimpses of her place in the calm daylight. His hands were clasped in front of him, in an unconscious gesture of self-protection.

Sara cleared her throat. "You want some coffee?" she asked as she skirted the island on her way toward the coffee pot.

"No. Thank you. I've had enough."

"Fine."

A couple of minutes later, cup in hand, she sat herself on a stool leaning back into the island, looking at Grissom with eyebrows raised, waiting.

Grissom could not meet her eyes. He stood for a moment before taking the stool next to her, the only other seat in the place.

"Sara…" he started. His hands twisting in his lap. "We're two adults. We can't walk around on eggshells because of… one night."

Sara watched him speak and then looked down, twirling the cup in her hand. He was right, she thought. But… she pursed her lips and took a deep breath. "Yeah." Nothing more would come out. The words were in her heart but they didn't make it to her lips.

Grissom continued. "After all… as your supervisor, it just wouldn't work. There would be talk, suspicious. We could lose our jobs."

"Yeah."

His eyes were on her. Waiting for her to say something, anything, besides 'yeah'. But the words just wouldn't come out. I mean, how do you tell your boss you've had a crush on him from the beginning?

She stood up and walked to the window in her living room overlooking the street. The early morning rush was ebbing. The streets were quiet now.

Grissom watched her walking away.

He had said the truth. But it had sounded… dead. Without feeling. His heart ached to tell her more, to tell her that last night kept playing over and over in his mind, he couldn't concentrate on word. That is was like… a dream come true, no matter how corny it might sound. How he couldn't bring himself to wash his clothes because they smelled like her. How it was hard to wash her off of him in the shower. It all sounded so daft, so pathetic. And yet, it wanted to come out so badly.

He watched her standing there, the light shining behind her, silhouetting her figure. She didn't move, just stared outside. No drink of coffee, so sound. Nothing.

It was too long.

He got up and went to her, stopping just shy of touching her. "I'm sorry, Sara."

"You said that already." Her voice was low and cold.

He remembered. Over and over again… "I'm s-- , I mean… Sara…"

She didn't turn around. "Look, it happened. We can't take it back. I'm sorry about… the morning. You obviously didn't want it and I pushed. I'm sorry." She still wasn't looking at him, but he noticed the cup begin to shake in her hand. "It's over now. You can go."

He watched as she turned the cup around in her hands, the liquid sloshing up the sides, her eyes still staring straight ahead. They were shiny now, tears pooling in them. She swallowed convulsively.

He took the cup from her hands, placing it on the window sill, keeping her hand in his. His other hand grabbed her other one, gently turning her toward him. "Sara… look at me…" her body turned, but her head stayed, her eyes still outside the window. "Look at me…" she blinked and swallowed but didn't move.

"Go, Grissom…" the words came out in a whisper, past her unshed tears.

"Sara, look at me."

"No."

"Sara, please…"

The muscle jumped in her jaw. Her eyes closed tightly and then opened again, still staring outside. "Grissom… go home…"

He looked at her and his heart was heavy in his chest. Her hands felt so light in his. He loved the feel of them. Unconsciously, his thumbs began rubbing the tops of her hands. He felt her tense slightly at the sudden sensation of the friction. "Sara, I'm so sorry, not for last night, but for right now. For coming here and telling you these awful things." The words flowed freely and unobstructed. "Sara, I never meant for it to happen, but I'm not sorry that it did."

She looked down, her ears listening to him but her eyes still not able to meet his. She heard the words, felt the emotion. His thumbs on her hands were causing havoc with her senses. She fought to keep herself composed.

"I just… I just didn't know hot to… how to deal with it…" He closed his eyes against the fresh onslaught of years of repressed feelings. "I… don't want it to be just a one night stand with you, Sara…"

Sara could barely hear the last words for the pulsing in her ears. His thumbs on her skin were not helping matters in the mental clarity department. Her practiced stoicism was quickly fading. He was so hard to ignore at times! But his last words… no regrets about their night together.

She turned to look at him and found herself lost in his eyes. They bore into her soul with a ragged rawness she never saw before, in anyone. It yanked at her heart strings, pulling her to him, keeping her captive in his gaze. His eyes were delving into hers, going deeper and deeper, as they searched her face for some kind of sign.

Without conscious forethought, her eyes traveled down to his lips and stayed there, mesmerized by the memory of them on her body, enticing such deliciously sweet tremors all over her. She pulled her gaze back up to his eyes, only to be greeted by the intense hunger she saw in them. She could feel his breath on her face, as his breathing quickened, his chest heaving. His fingers now joined his thumbs in rubbing her skin. She could feel herself getting lost… again.

She brought a hand up, fingers trailing lightly down the side of his face, feeling the stubble on his skin. He shuddered at her touch, his eyes darkening to a midnight blue so deep they were almost black. She pressed a hand to his face, his skin was hot on her hand. She could feel the beating of his pulse, a drumming against her wrist.

She leaned in, brushing her lips against his tentatively. He gasped before leaning into the kiss, deepening it with counter pressure, his tongue seeking to dance with hers. His hands slid around her waist, pulling her against him. Her hand entwined itself in his curls, massaging his head and sending shivers down his body.

The kiss lasted only a few minutes, but it was a lifetime later when she pulled away. Slowly his eyes opened, his lips tingling and swollen. Her brown eyes twinkled slyly, before she smiled.

"Just checking to see if you were really serious…!"

It took a moment for her words to settle in him, and then he smiled and pulled her back to him. "I am serious, Sara. Very serious." He said before his lips captured hers again and he led her down the hallway to her bedroom. "I'll show you just how serious I am…!"