Title: Hot Wheels

Authors: Michmak

Rating: PG13 for some language.

Summary: Brass and Grissom have a semi-drunken conversation after LHB.  Small spoilers and implied GSR.

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Brass was sitting on his front steps when he got home.  It was early morning, and Grissom could feel the beginnings of a blazing headache.  The last person he wanted to deal with right now was Jim.

Sighing, he climbed out of his Tahoe and headed toward the older man.  "Jim."

"Grissom."  Brass stood, and tried to shake the wrinkles out of his pants.

Grissom sighed, "Why are you here, Jim?"

"Needed to talk to you, and didn't think the office was the best place."

Grissom paused in his search for his keys and eyed his friend warily.  "Should I be worried?"

Brass shrugged, "I'm not gonna feed you any of that psycho-babble Lady Heather was feeding you with a spoon, if that's what you mean."

Grissom grunted, annoyed, but stepped out of the way to let Jim walk into his house after he'd unlocked the door.  Slipping his shoes of and tossing his keys on the small end table in the hallway, he headed towards his kitchen.  "Want a drink?"

"Scotch," Brass replied, "Neat.  Just a couple of cubes."

"It's only 7:30 am, Jim."

"You were offering me milk?"  Brass responded, voice amused.  "I know that ain't what you're planning on drinking."

Grissom huffed, before reaching into the cupboard where he kept his liquor and grabbing two glasses.  Brass was studying his butterflies when he walked out of the kitchen with the drinks in either hand and the bottle of scotch tucked neatly under his arm.

Brass grinned when he saw it, "I take it we're having more than one?"

"I don't know about you, but I plan on finishing off this bottle."

"Should make shift interesting tonight."

"I'm taking the night off."

"Well, well, well.  Wonders never cease.  You staying here, or are you going back to Lady Heather's?"

"What business is it of yours?"  Grissom snapped.

Brass took a sip of his scotch, enjoying the burn down the back of his throat as he studied his friend with a look half-amused, half-pitying.  "Not my business, it's her business.  Business, Gil.  You hear what I'm saying to you?"

Grissom closed his eyes, wishing vaguely that in this particular instance he didn't hear what Brass was saying.  Where was the sound fade when he needed it?  He didn't respond.  Brass sighed, and tried a different tactic.

"What happened to staying personally detached from cases?  What the fuck were you thinking?  The last person I ever expected to see get involved in a wholly inappropriate way with a suspect in a murder investigation was you, for Christ's sake.  What the fuck would Ecklie say if he found out?"

"What are you implying, Brass?"

"I'm not implying anything, Grissom," Brass responded, stressing his friends' last name in the same manner his had just been stressed.  He shot back the rest of his drink and grabbed the bottle, pouring himself another one and topping off Grissom's empty cup.  "I didn't think kink was your thing, though."

"It's not," Grissom's reply was terse.  Brass snorted.

"No?  Than what the fuck was all that crap back at the station while I was questioning her?  All that shit at her place?  You called me for a warrant from her place at 8:30 in the morning yesterday.  What were you doing there?  Deciding to study her lips some more?"

Brass was agitated, and it was making him angry.  "I gotta say this for you, you never do anything half measures.  You always have to be the best.  Best bug-specialist.  Best CSI.  And now, best fucking mid-life crisis ever.  Is your job worth getting your kink on with Lady H?"

"What does my job have to do with anything?"

Brass snorted again.  "She's a dominatrix, Grissom.  She runs a business were people go to get beaten up.  In less than two years, we've investigated three murders all linked back to her place.  I'm sure there'll be more."

Grissom just stared into his drink.  "She understands me, Jim."

"Bullshit.  She doesn't understand you.  She enjoys playing little mind games with you.  She reads people for a living, Grissom; tries to figure out what they want and need, and she treats them accordingly.  She's figured out you want someone to understand you, and she's made you think she does, but it's all bullshit."

"How the hell do you know?"

"Because no one understands you.  And you want to know why?  Because you don't want them too."

"That's not true."

"Name one person who understands you."

"Sara."  The name snuck out before Grissom could bite it back, and he glared at his empty glass even as he reached out and poured himself another drink.  Brass arched an eyebrow at him.

"Sara understands you?  Maybe she did, but she doesn't anymore."

Silence for a few minutes, as the two men contemplated each other.  "Listen, Gil.  You're my friend.  But this – this is just painful to watch.  You think Sara would ever understand you getting together with Lady Heather?  Think she'd ever forgive you?"

"Forgive me for what?  I'm not the one who lied."

Brass grinned, "And now, the truth comes out.  How did Sara lie to you, Grissom?  She hung around for two years, waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass and you never did.  Word around the lab is you told her to get a life, and now you're angry with her because she did?  That's rich.  Pour me another."

Grissom complied, angrily.  "You don't know what you're talking about Jim."

"No?  I think I do."  Brass knocked back the scotch again, enjoying the feel of the alcohol going straight to his brain.  He squinted at Grissom and noticed the other man was looking buzzed.  He grinned, and decided to go for broke.

"You're in love with a woman who is, technically speaking, too young for you.  You're her boss, so there's another added wrinkle.  Add to that the fact you're Grissom, and can't admit to anyone you have feelings, although when it comes to Sara the rest of the lab isn't as oblivious as you think.  The only person you're fooling is yourself, Gil."  He paused, "Sara didn't lie to you.  But you're lying to yourself."

Grissom grunted, "Don't pull your punches, do you Jim?"

"Do I need to?  Hank is a pissant smuck.  Did you know he's cheating on her?"

Grissom white-knuckled the glass in his hand, "What?  How the hell do you know that?"

"He's seeing Secula.  Remember, that detective Stokes took out all of one time?  She doesn't know about Sara."

"Bastard."

"Yeah."  Both man stared at the mostly empty bottle of scotch, and Grissom sighed.

Brass grinned, "So – what are you going to do about it?"

"About it?"

"Hank.  And Sara.  And Hank cheating on Sara."

"Nothing."

Brass swore, "Christ, Gil!  You're just going to let him hurt her?"

"I don't have the right to say anything."

"She's only with him because you pushed her away."

"Maybe."

"Definitely.  So, stop pushing and start pulling her back in.  She loves you Gil.  And you love her too.  At least with Sara, it isn't some mid-life crisis."  Brass pulled his cell out of his pocket, and called a taxi.  "And on that happy note, I'm out of here.  And please, do me a favor – stay away from Lady Heather.  You'll loose all the credibility you have if you start seeing a dominatrix, especially if it's just a way to get back at her.  Right now, this mess you've made with Sidle can be fixed – but you can't fix fucking a dominatrix, so don't do it."

Rising unsteadily to his feet, Brass reached into his pocket.  "Almost forgot.  I got something for you," he said, as he placed a small box on the table.  "Don't say I never did anything for you."

Grissom heard Brass let himself out, keeping his eyes closed and letting the sofa spin around him.  Jim was right – damn him to hell.  He didn't want Heather.  He knew he didn't.  That was precisely why she was safe.  If his emotions weren't involved, he couldn't be hurt.

Sara could hurt him.  Probably would hurt him.  Already had hurt him.  Whatever.  And Hank was going to hurt her.  Would Grissom be there to pick-up the pieces?  Was he willing to lay himself out on the line and admit everything to her?  Was he willing to let himself be hurt?

Slanting an eye open slightly, he looked at the small package on the table, before reaching forward and grabbing it.  It was a small cardboard box, like the type you got from cheap jewelers when you bought watches.  Lifting the top of it, Grissom grinned.

A small red Hot Wheels convertible sat on a bed of cotton batting.

He had the sports car.  Now all he needed was the girl.

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Author's Note:  I really wish someone would slap Grissom upside the head and tell him to get back in-tune with the Geek Love.  Lady Heather?  Come one!  Give me a break.

Please R&R.