Summary: During an emotional moment, Sara says something Grissom can't ignore and that leads into something neither Sara or Grissom can stop. (One thing: the title doesn't mean what you think it does. You'll understand at the end)
Author's notes: This is my first love scene ever so be gentle. Take pity on me. God, I have like zero self-respect. Zip. Nada. Seriously, constructive criticism would be good. Flames will only char my ego but if you want to do it I won't mind. I'll get a large hose ;)
April did the beta on this like an eternity ago. Since then, I couldn't help to make a few changes so if you spot any mistakes they're mine, not hers. She did a wonderful job.
May 2006. Note from the Fic Maintenance Unit (the author): I corrected some spelling mistakes (thanks to alice for letting me know), murdered a few expendable adverbs, tweaked a few sentences and changed a few lines of dialogue. I guess what I'm saying is: I trimmed a bit o' fat (more than 800 words of it). Should make this a smoother read. However, I might've made new mistakes solet me know if you see one.
I can't do much for POV-shifting during scenes, it's a writing no-no I was unaware of when I wrote this fic.
Sara's eyes were watering. If she blinked, the warm tears would slid down her cheeks and she didn't want that because Grissom was in the car with her.
He drove in silence and Sara thanked him for that because she was in no mood for talking. She could tell he was pondering the problem she presented, turning it over in his mind with each question: what to do, what to say -if to say anything at all.
"Have you at least eaten something?" He didn't sound angry.
Sara stared at the fast-forwarding cityscape until the houses and her thoughts began to blur.
"Milky Way," she said.
Maybe not even that, Grissom thought, as he shook his head.
Sara scratched an inexistent itch under her right eye.
"Will you eat something after I drop you at your place?" As an afterthought he added, "Do you have something to eat in there?"
Under any other circumstances she would have smiled. "Yes," she lied.
Don't you worry about me, Griss, she thought.
Somewhere inside him, Grissom knew she was about to burst, that she was holding it up until she was alone.
At the beginning of the shift, he'd asked Catherine to talk to her. Cath had accepted -grudgingly-, vowing that if Sara whacked her in the head with something she would sue him. For thirty minutes he thought it would work, that he wouldn't have to intervene.
I wasn't absolutely sure before but I am now, that woman only listens to you, Catherine had said to him after her short 'talk' to Sara.
Grissom had frowned. She only listens to you.
How did that make him feel. . . important? Needed maybe?
It wasn't like he had exclusivity to Sara's ears, as if she were a being without will that followed his every commandment as it left his mouth. No, no. Sara was as free as a bird and sometimes he suspected -with dread- that it was the other way around. He was the one who only listened to her.
Catherine could literally bully him into doing something but Sara. . . most of the times she conveyed so much meaning in one sentence that she seldom needed to expand.
Sara shifted on her seat and stared at her apartment building through the rear windshield. "You passed my apartment."
Grissom remained silent, his jaw set. His foot never shifted to the breaks.
"Grissom." She looked at him. "You drove pass my apartment."
She felt queasy. "Grissom? Hey, Grissom. Turn around."
"We're going to my place."
She sighed and smiled wanly while she shook her head, as if unable to believe what had just happened. "You have a little intervention planned? Or are you just winging it?"
He knew that was Sara's firewall. She figures that if she makes your blood boil you will leave her alone and she won't have to listen to what you want to say.
"I want to talk to you," he replied.
"Grissom I'm tired. I really want to go home—" She really didn't have the strength to speak, much less to argue with him. She let him drive.
The car came to a grinding halt.
She couldn't contain it anymore.
She closed her eyes, tried to concentrate on her breathing.
Grissom got out the car and started towards his house. The slam of the door startled Sara, her eyes flicked close and two scorching tears slid down her cheeks. She didn't want to go in.
Wiping the tears with the back of her jacket's sleeve, she got out of the car and followed him in silence.
Grissom fumbled with the keys. Moments later, he pushed open the door and waved her in.
She hesitated then padded past him; her gaze, normally directed straight at him like a spotlight, was lowered. He picked up the faint scent of her perfume, slightly sweet and discreet and to him, incredibly seductive.
He thought it was better to put some distance between them, allowing him to remain functional and avoid distractions. It was something he did, especially at times like this one when he was making it up as he went, with no clue as to what was he going to say next.
She walked three steps that echoed in the spacious living room and froze. One hand flew to her mouth to muffle the unexpected but long contained sob.
Grissom locked the door, dropped the keys on the table and made a bee line to his kitchen. He decided that she should eat something. This would buy him time to think what he was going to say. He had never been a fan of improvisation.
"First, you're going to eat something. What do you--?"
She gasped, like a drowning woman filling her lugs with air before going underwater again.
He froze in mid-stride at the gut-wrenching cry. He followed the sound until he saw Sara standing in the middle of his living room, hands covering her face.
His eyes widened in surprise.
He didn't know what to do. He never considered that she would cry if he was present. Honestly –foolishly now that he looked back on it- he thought she would be sniffing around all his books, memorizing everything she saw for later analysis.
He walked towards her, unsure of what he would do once he got to her side.
Sara tried in vain to control the uncontrollable. She'd covered her eyes so she didn't have to look at his. Seconds ticked by and she realized she was in desperate need of a hug, a word, something. She didn't hear his footsteps but she sensed his presence close to her, the heat of his body.
He did what came most naturally to him at the moment. Sara often made him do strange things.
She twitched once in surprise when he placed his hands on her shoulders. She glanced at him and then away; Grissom gave her a faint push towards him. The movement smoothly gave way to a hug. A friend's hug. He winced when that simple act seemed to make her cry harder.
She must've been fatigued or emotionally drained, probably both. He tilted his head so that it rested on her head while his hands rubbed the small of her back.
He realized he lacked more finesse than he'd previously thought.
"I wanted-to go to my—."
The words chocked in her throat.
"I know," he whispered, running his hand up and down her back, feeling the jolts caused by each sob. "I'm sorry."
Although she never thought this could happen, that he would actually hug her like this, it dawned on Sara that this was what she'd been avoiding. She could've stopped him, make him turn the car around but the truth was she needed to be with someone. With him preferably, even if he gave her a lecture.
A voice deep inside her head nagged her with a painful fact: no matter how good it felt now, it was going to end. She loved the man too much to know how good it felt to have him so close to her and then not having him always.
He didn't know it but it was cruel. It was like shaking a candy in front of a hungry child but pulling away every time she reached for it.
That was Grissom, her bittersweet candy.
Grissom felt Sara's hands on his chest as she pulled away. For a split-second he wanted to say 'don't go, come back, I'm here if you need me.' His rational self swiftly deemed that thought as inappropriate.
"Sara?" His voice showed concern and bafflement but nothing else. He wandered if he'd done something wrong.
Sara walked to the front door and tugged; it didn't open.
"Open the door, Grissom." She wiped a tear from her face.
"Sara, you need to—"
She couldn't stay any longer, not for a lecture, not for a hug. She should be allowed to have her melt-downs in private, like everyone else.
"I need to get out, that's what I need. Now give me the keys."
He didn't move, his blue gaze didn't waver.
For the first time in hours, maybe even days, their eyes locked. Grissom stared into a pair of soulful glistening brown eyes and struggled not to lose his focus. She turned around and tried to door again.
"I can't let you go in this state," he said.
For Grissom, having emotions in check meant no emotion at all and he knew his voice had sounded detached, like he really didn't care. He just didn't want her to have an accident because he'd allowed her to walk on the streets like that.
It couldn't be further away from the truth but the words were out and she'd heard them.
She twirled around, furious.
"You can't? You brought me here. I told you I was tired. I told you I wanted to go to my place. But did you listen? No." She paused, her eyes were brimming with tears again. "Grissom, you never listen to me."
This time she cried because she wanted to stay as badly as she needed to leave. She sensed what he was going to say, she could see the words in his eyes. God help him if he said it.
"This is exactly the reason I wanted to talk to you," he started, remembering why he'd taken her here in the first place. "You can't do this to yourself every time you decide to pour your soul into a case. You've been a ghost the past three weeks, materializing only in the presence of evidence or victim's relatives. Is that how you want to live your life?"
She looked away from him, considering his words.
"I'm not saying it doesn't happen to everybody because it does but. . ." he paused, weighted his words and continued, "Can't you see every time it gets worse?"
She lowered her eyes. Everything he'd said was true and she hated him for it.
"Do you hear me telling you how to live your life?"
"Hey!" He lifted on hand, palm facing her in a 'stop' gesture. "My personal life has nothing to do with this. I'm certainly not telling you how to live that life. I don't care about what you do after work."
"Then what am I doing here? My shift finished an hour ago and so did yours."
His eyes darkened, a muscle in his jaw twitched. For that, Grissom the know-it-all did not have an answer. She'd just confused the hell out of him.
She sighed. "Listen, I've grasped the concept. I'll burnout. I have to find a diversion, something outside law enforcement. I know Grissom. I know."
"You were listening?" he asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Grissom wondered why was it that every time Sara said something he didn't expect he would turn into miserable jerk.
She walked towards the dining-room table and started a hasty search for the keys. He had added fuel to the flames.
"Of course I was listening. I always listen to you but you know perfectly well I don't always do what you tell me to do," she explained between sniffs. "I'm not your puppet, Grissom."
He rose an eyebrow. No, he knew she didn't always do what he said. He admired her for that but she'd picked the wrong subject with which to assert her independence.
The keys were in front of her but she was too upset to see them.
"You seemed so concentrated on the computer screen I assumed you hadn't heard half of what I'd said," he countered.
He rubbed his eyes, two fingers rested briefly over the bridge of his nose while he heard the ruffling sounds of paper as Sara quickly made a mess of his file-loaded table.
There were times in which Sara was too much for him. She was a bulldozer and he only had a license to drive a moped.
He sighed. "Will you stop that?"
Her fingers froze.
She looked at him. "No. I can't, and you know why? Because you didn't take me to my place. This has happened before and you know I bounce every time," she said with a bizarre confidence.
"True, every time you get back on your feet. But for how long? How many times can you bounce?" He shrugged. "You're neither a puppet nor a rubber ball, Sara."
"I would've been perfectly OK by the next shift. You would've never seen this. I wouldn't be standing here with you staring at me like I'm a time bomb. This is the way I do it, ok? I don't have a damned diversion. I don't want or need one either. I don't ride roller coasters. I don't have a daughter."
Their gazes crossed paths but she quickly looked away, afraid he might see what she was really thinking: Please don't let me go, please force me to stay.
Grissom didn't know if to be angry at her for her total lack of respect or guilty at himself for ignoring the problem until it exploded in his face.
"Quit looking for the keys, those are important papers and. . ."
She swept an arm over the polished surface of the table and pages swayed to the floor.
"S—." First the sound died on his lips. He'd never seen her so out of control. "Sara, I'm-I'm worried."
She found the keys.
"Wait!" he said, dogging her steps as she headed for the door. "I could be your roller coaster," he said, eyebrows raised. She stopped dead in her tracks and Grissom nearly bumped into her. Just talk to me. . .
"Sara?" A bit of fear in his voice.
She shook her head. Another spur of them moment comment that sent her brain waves into chaos. She resumed her walk to the door and hunched to the level of the first lock, ramming the first key she managed to hold steady into it.
"Every time you say something like that it makes me think—No, forget it."
He frowned and recoiled. "Make you think what?"
Something like what?
"Nothing Grissom. Just-just go back to your microscope," she said without looking at him, she couldn't have uttered the words otherwise.
Is that what she thinks?
That I care so little about her?
That's what she thinks?
She went to the next lock but Grissom's hand captured hers by the wrist. Something inside her quivered when he pulled her gently so that they were face to face.
Sara clutched the keys harder.
A weak voice from deep within her mind ordered her to leave before it all ended in an awkward moment. But her legs wouldn't obey its command. Her own body turned into a battlefield, brain fighting desire resulting in a deadlock that left her unable to move.
He closed the gap with agonizing slowness, partially because he didn't know what he was doing and partially because he wasn't sure of what she would do.
He still felt the warmth of her body close to his, the pressure of her fingers on his back like a climber clinging to a rock, trying not to fall. He could hear the beat of her heart. Maybe he was hearing his own, maybe both.
He was sure courage had nothing to do with what he did next because he was scared to death of the implications.
He had just. . ..
Just when their lips were close enough for them to taste the kiss even thought it hadn't happened. . .
In less than a second the suspense and desire built up with amazing speed until every cell of their bodies was screaming for the physical contact and fearing it at the same time.
Oh God, what am I doing?
Move, Sara, move! Walk away, you still have the keys!
You don't need this, Gil, you work together. Your relationship with her is complicated as it is.
Sara, how many times has he made it clear this couldn't happen? Too many.
Step back, step back. What if something goes wrong? What if she doesn't--
What if he--
Don't kiss. . .
. . . her.
. . .him.
You'll regret it.
Don't do it.
The first kiss was slow and tentative. Grissom was still unsure of what he was doing and Sara was mostly shocked. Gradually, as neither of them attempted to pull away, absorbed by the long awaited experience, the kiss deepened and settled into an almost sedative rhythm.
The keys slipped from Sara's hand and landed on the floor beside their feet.
He let go of her hand and locked his behind her waist. Her hands slid rapidly over his chest and around his shoulders.
The same lips that so long ago had asked her to stay in Las Vegas.
The same lips that smiled at him every time there was a hot new lead on a case.
They both felt the change. Their hands became more demanding, almost complaining about the excess of clothing.
The kiss became more edger.
They knew it would only take half a second of rational thinking, one pause to draw a much needed breath and the kiss would be over, blamed on the heat of the moment or some freak alignment of planets.
Just a faux pas.
In the back of her mind, very, very far away the faint voice warned her this was not healthy, no matter how exhilarating it felt or how good it tasted. She considered herself a tough woman but Grissom. . .he was her soft spot, possibly the softest.
It was not healthy but she couldn't stop.
He broke the kiss. They were panting.
His eyes were a mixture of unleashed desire and old doubt, something was holding him back. If she'd waited one more second they would've never gotten past the first kiss.
But she didn't wait.
Now she was the one who closed the gap and by doing that, all misgivings were thrown aside, falling away in the midst of all the new experiences. The first touch here, the second kiss that was even better than the first. . .
With an ability Sara found startling, he eased her jacket off her and dropped it on the floor like it had been an annoyance. All of this accomplished without separating their bodies or lips more than one fraction of an inch.
Grissom liked to be in control of his actions but now he felt like he was riding in a car and he wasn't the one behind the wheel.
Stop. Stop, this is not wise.
"My—." She didn't let him finish.
. . .God.
He smiled inwardly at the sweet taste of chocolate in her mouth. She hadn't been lying about the Milky Way after all.
He didn't know from where it was all coming from but it was driving him crazy. Every square inch of his skin was hypersensitive to her fingers, to every single movement her body made—no matter how small—everything felt like an exquisite jolt of electricity that left him giddy with pleasure.
The same hands that had cleaned the chalk from his cheek and then retreated shyly at his reaction.
The same hands, so soft, so delicate. This was Sara. Sara Sidle who sat with him and watched ice melt.
Stop kissing her, stop tasting.
Remember why she's here.
Ahhh-God. . .her lips. . .it's like. . .like. . .kissing rose petals.
Desperation came from nowhere, like a needy child who had just learned to speak.
They needed something to lean on, something solid so that they could be closer and tame the urge that controlled every fiber of their bodies and got more restless as the seconds ticked by and it wasn't satisfied.
He took two steps back, his hand never leaving Sara's back, always keeping her close to him. He didn't even know where he was going.
The sound of wood scraping on wood barely registered.
What are you doing?
Magazines and stacks of papers and files toppled as they pushed the table over the floor.
You're not stopping.
Sara lifted herself on the tips of her toes to try and sit of the table before they moved the thing all across the living room. She felt Grissom's strong hands on her waist, easing the movement.
There was a fleeting moment of satisfaction, but then the fire grew stronger.
It was not enough.
Less than two hours ago they'd been sitting in the break room without speaking and now. . .
"Room. . .."
What are you doing? What did you just say?
You don't need this, Gil.
He was drowning, he didn't know which way was up or down, he couldn't breathe in more than short gasps before she captured his lips again.
I don't need this.
One of her long legs wrapped possessively around one of his and pressed him closer to her.
"Not going anywhere," he said before another kiss. Her leg nudged him closer anyway.
Tell her that to you she's something you can never have?
Admire but do not touch.
Like trapped in an endless action reaction circle his hand frantically found its way under her shirt. Sara groaned. He felt her lips curling upwards in a smile that was enough to make his brain short-circuit. His hand skated up her back and then down around her waist.
The same hands that concocted weird experiments to show his 'students' he'd been right all along.
The same hands were on her with a hunger that she hadn't expected would mach hers.
You're going to throw it all away, Sara.
You know him.
You don't need this.
She thought she'd faint when his hand crept lower, drawing a line with his fingers along the waistband of her jeans. His hand slowed closer to the first button of her jeans only to go up again, deciding to leave that for later.
You can get this elsewhere. Not with Grissom.
Not Grissom. If it feels this good, it must be wrong.
But she didn't care anymore if it was right or wrong, healthy or not. If they stopped now she would surely lose it just as she feared she would if they continued.
". . .room. . .bed. . ." he managed to say before their hungry lips met again.
He'd said it but she hadn't made any indication of moving from her perch on the table or to remove her leg from where it was so he could move. There was no such intention though, Grissom was a prisoner by choice.
Her hands were on his chest, undoing a button of his shirt. She was shaking a bit and she didn't have much space to manoeuvre. Every time he felt she was about to give up and rip the shirt and send the buttons flying to the floor, the stubborn button would slid through the buttonhole.
What was he doing? This was Sara he had on his table for Christ Sake. The same tall, intelligent brunette he saw and said 'hi' to everyday and handed assignments to. She was un-buttoning his shirt. His hand was under one of those tight shirts she always used. The blue one with the white thing---.
His lips left hers and by the way her back tensed he sensed she was ready to raise hell but the protests died in her throat. His mouth started tracing a sweet path of soft kisses on her cheek, tasting the salt of her earlier tears.
How could she be doing his? It was Grissom. The same Grissom that sat behind his desk surrounded by alarm clocks, the same Grissom that crawled on the ice looking for clues. . .
They practically stumbled towards his bedroom, tripping on their own feet as their hands removed shirts and found the much desired skin.
"Ouch," she said with a chuckle as he pinned her against a wall just outside his bedroom instead of going in.
"Minor detour," he whispered in her ear.
He was lost in the floating sensation he had with every kiss. It was like forgetting who you were and where were you for a frightening yet exiting moment.
"My roller coaster, huh?" she said, with her eyes closed, her neck tilted to one side. She felt his sizzling breath coming out in a short puff as he smiled somewhere in the curve of her neck.
He groped for the light switch. He couldn't find it. He didn't care.
Grissom thought this was it. This would be as far as the both would get but somehow they managed to half-walk half-crawl to his bed.
Sara found her naked back against the soft fabric of Grissom's bed, one thing she thought she'd never see (or feel for that matter) much less in those circumstances. A shiver rushed through her spine at the coldness of the fabric against her hot skin.
"This is…" It had started as a whisper but the last words transformed into a delighted sigh.
I can't stop. I do need this. I do need this.
"Too much. . ." he rasped.
Without breaking a kiss, Grissom's hand traced a fairy road from her collarbone to her stomach, losing speed as it drew near the previously explored territory. The first button of her jeans.
For a second he thought of stretching the time until neither of them could take it any longer. He almost laughed out loud when she spoke.
"Unbutton those now or I'll kill you," she said.
It was an intoxicating experience. The world could have ended at that precise moment and they would have noticed or cared. Hungry hands probed and caressed in the darkness, judging by the other's response what worked and what didn't. A few minutes later they were so attuned to each others needs that every single touch hit right on the spot and the right time, pushing them closer to the final ecstasy.
They felt almost feverish, not entirely aware of anything except the multitude of sensations, one after the other, assaulting their overload senses until they all jelled into one earth shattering pleasure.
Sleep the most perfect sleep, Grissom remembered Cassie's words.
His hand slid over the bed sheets, waiting for his fingertips to brush warm skin. His eyes flicked open. No Sara, the bed was empty.
He bolted upright and looked around. He felt cold all of a sudden.
He spotted a small paper over a pillow.
Rubbing his eyes a bit, he reached for it. His vision was still blurry around the edges but he recognized Sara's handwriting:
I know you were only trying to help and things got out of hand.
If I were still there, you would be stammering, saying that what we did was a mistake. It would've been an awkward moment (one of those I know you hate and run away from). So, I saved you the trouble. Don't worry, I don't expect anything more from you than I did yesterday.
He felt all the strength being drained from him, his fingers weakened and the letter fell on the bed.
No, he thought, it was not a mistake.
He pictured himself waking up next to a sleeping Sara and he panicked. Sara Sidle, former student, now working for him and in his bed, naked. What was he going to do when the shift started tonight? What if the Sheriff found out? What if everyone at the lab found out? What was he going to say-?
Oh God, what did I do? This was a mist-
He frowned. How could she. . .?
She knew what he was going to say and the way he was going to feel even before he himself knew it. She knew he was going to back down the day after and she still did it.
She'd probably had known all along.
Since the first kiss.