Title: Comfort

Summary: "Your arrival at the hospital was not the ideal way to find out, I know."  GSR.

Spoilers:  None

Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were.

A/N:  I am not involved with the medical field in any way, shape, or form, so please excuse any errors.

"Damn it, Grissom," Sara exclaimed to the empty office.  She knew she should have held on to that report.  She poked and prodded best she could without disturbing whatever organizational system that was in effect, but no luck.  The one time Grissom actually elects to take vacation, and the report that was supposed to have been sent on up the legal food chain had somehow disappeared into the black hole that was his desk.  The DA was going to have her head for this.

Sighing in exasperation, Sara kept digging, only to be interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone.  "Sidle," she answered irritably, focused at the task at hand.

"Is this Sara Sidle?" a perky voice asked.

"Yes.  How can I help you?"

"This is Cherry Banks with Desert Palms Hospital.  I'm calling on behalf of Mr. Gil Grissom." 

Sara jerked upright, spilling files and folders all over the floor.  "What…what happened?"

"He is ready to go home.  According to his patient information, a Catherine Willows is his emergency contact, but we have been unable to get a hold of her.  Would you be able to pick him up and take him home?  He wants to take a cab, but we are quite insistent that someone accompanies him."

Sara tried to concentrate on what was being said to her, but understanding lay just out of reach.  She blinked repeatedly as her mouth tried to form the requisite words.  Grissom was at the hospital?

"Hello?  Ms. Sidle?  Are you still there?"

"Yes, I…I'm here."

"So can you?"

"Can I what?"

"Pick up Mr. Grissom."  The caller's perky tone had shifted to one of exasperation.

"Of course.  I'll be right there."  The line went dead.  Sara shut off her phone and stared at it, as if it could tell her what the hell was going on.  With a shake of her head, Sara headed out of the office towards the locker room to grab her bag.

She pushed her way into the locker room, only to barely miss knocking over Catherine.  "Whoa, where's the fire?"

"Hey, Cath, do you know what's going on with Grissom?"

Catherine eyed the younger woman speculatively.  "Vacation, Sara, remember?  The first one he's taken in years.  About damn time, too."

Sara nodded in a vague manner.  "Right.  Um…I'm heading out.  A, uh, friend isn't feeling well.  I said I'd check in on…her."  Catherine's eyes narrowed in suspicion.  "Gotta go.  Call me if you need me."  Sara gave a placating smile and edged her way around the blond woman, disappearing around the row of lockers.  Catherine watched her retreating figure, trying to figure out what just happened.


Sara made record time to the hospital, sorely tempted to turn on the Tahoe's siren and flashing lights.  Her mind constructed possible scenarios, and each time one ended with Grissom lying hurt and bleeding at a crime scene, she reminded herself that he was fine.  He had to be.  The nurse had said he was ready to go home.  It was probably a migraine.  Or maybe he accidentally sliced his finger while making dinner.  Or maybe it was a car accident.  Oh God, what if some former case file has come back to wreak some sort of terrible vengeance?

Hysteria welled up in Sara's throat as she swung the Tahoe into a hospital parking spot.  She clung to the steering wheel, and gulped air into her lungs.  Get a grip, she told herself, that kind of stuff only happens on TV.  She squeezed her eyes shut, and by sheer force of will, created a façade of professionalism.  She exited the Tahoe, once again picking up her mantra as she crossed the parking lot and entered the hospital.  Grissom's fine.  Grissom's fine.  Grissom's fine…

The stench of disinfectant hit her, but it did not break her stride.  Sara walked up to the administration desk.  "I'm here to pick up Gil Grissom," she said, concentrating on keeping her voice from wavering.

"One moment please," an efficient nurse answered. 

"Can you tell me—"

"One moment please," the nurse stressed, and turned to a computer terminal.  Sara nervously drummed her fingers on the desk.  Taking note of the telling gesture, Sara snatched her hand away and thrust it into her pocket.  She spun away from the desk and aimlessly looked around the sterile environment.  A slumped, broken figure in a wheelchair about thirty feet down the corridor caught her eye.  Recognition broke over her.  She raised a hand over her mouth as she gasped, and tears sprung to her eyes.  Sara instinctively started towards the figure when the nurse commanded her attention.

"I need you to sign these forms stating that you are taking responsibility for Mr. Grissom."  Sara nodded absently as she begun to sign her name to the countless documents.  "And this pamphlet tells you about the care he'll need over the next few days."

Sara looked up, "What care?"

The nurse blithely continued while sorting the various papers.  "Keep him quiet.  No strenuous activities.  Keep his ears from getting wet.  The pamphlet explains it all.  He'll be a bit groggy from the drugs for a while.  And his hearing won't return for several days."

Sara glanced down at the brochure entitled "After a Stapedectomy."  Her quick mind shuffled through her human anatomy knowledge, trying to piece the clues together, when she noticed an orderly wheeling Grissom towards her.  The nurse was pushing more forms toward her that Sara signed without reading.  "Anything else?" she added impatiently, as the slowly moving figure grew closer.

"No, that's it."  The nurse handed her a sheaf of papers, presumably copies of what she had just signed.  "Perfect timing.  Here's Mr. Grissom."

Sara turned to see the desolate figure of Gil Grissom.  He was hunched over in the wheelchair, with thick bandages taped over both his ears.  His head hung down, as if he were intently studying the pattern of the hospital linoleum.  Sara knelt in front of him, and put a tentative hand on his knee.  "Griss?" she whispered.

Grissom heaved his head up, and exhibited no signs of recognition.  The flat quality in his eyes made her blood run cold.  No matter what was going on, Grissom's eyes always flashed with emotion, even if lately it was an opaque one.  His skin was pale, and he had aged significantly since she saw him only a few short days ago.  Sara reached out to cup his cheek when his head lolled back down.

"It's all right, Miss."  The orderly interrupted, "He's still feeling the effect of the painkillers."

Sara stood, clutching the papers to her chest.  She stood rooted to the spot, unable to tear her eyes away from him.  While it looked like Grissom, it wasn't the man she knew.  The orderly gently touched her arm.  "Let's get him home," he said.

Sara jerked in response and awkwardly gestured towards the exit.  "I'm parked right outside," she said, still keeping her eyes on the figure beside her.  When the orderly began the slow procession towards the door, Sara could do little but follow numbly behind him.


The Tahoe halted in front of Grissom's townhouse.  Sara turned to the man beside her, who sat unmoving in the passenger seat.  "Griss?  Griss?"  She realized the futility of talking to a man whose ears were swathed in bandages, and sighed.  She gently shook his arm.  Grissom barely cracked open his eyes; he murmured something unintelligible before allowing his eyes to slide shut once again.

Sara climbed out the Tahoe and walked over to the passenger side.  She carefully opened the door.  "C'mon, let's get you out of here," she said.  Sara grasped his hands, and Grissom opened his eyes again.  The fog that had shrouded him since the hospital seemed to have lifted a bit.  He groaned, but then began to move on his own volition.  He dropped Sara's hands and got out of the vehicle, taking a moment to stabilize himself once his feet were on the ground.  Grissom carefully avoided Sara's eyes as he unsteadily made his way to his front door.  He braced himself before finding his keys and letting himself in.  Sara watched him for a moment, before grabbing the paperwork out of the Tahoe and following him.

Closing the door behind her, Sara found Grissom sitting on his couch with his head resting on the back.  She deposited the paperwork on his table and fished out the pamphlet about what kind of care he was going to need.  Sara began reading intently, when the sound of his voice made her jump.  "You don't have to stay," he fairly shouted at her.

Sara looked up to find Grissom still had his eyes firmly closed.  She walked over and sat on the coffee table in front of him, and gently touched his knee.  His head jerked up, and he regarded her coolly.  She withdrew her hand, but allowed herself a small smile.  This was the Grissom she finally recognized.  "Someone needs to keep an eye on you," she said.

Grissom's gaze focused on her lips, and Sara realized her mistake.  She grabbed a nearby pen and notepad and wrote out her sentiment.   He pursed his lips in response, and allowed his head to drop back to the couch.  Sara watched him for a moment, before returning to her reading.  Abruptly, Grissom stood, but started to sway.  He grabbed on to Sara's shoulders for support, and his eyes bored into hers, seeking something grounding.  She could feel the heat from his palms through the thin material of her shirt.  She grasped his forearms in return, giving him a moment to get over his dizzy spell.  Once again steady on his feet, Grissom allowed the sympathy and caring clearly evident in her eyes wash over him.  He yanked his hands away from her shoulders, and just as abruptly turned and slowly made his way back to his bedroom.

"Good night to you, too." Sara said to his retreating figure. 

After what seemed to be a reasonable time, Sara approached his bedroom door.  She pushed it open ever so slightly to see Grissom had collapsed on his bed, still fully clothed.  She pulled off his shoes, and draped a blanket over him, and quietly exited the room.

Back in the living room, Sara booted up Grissom's computer and started researching all that she could about stapedectomies.  Then otosclerosis.  As each piece of the puzzle fell into piece, Sara's heart constricted in pain and empathy for him.  Suddenly what once had been chalked up to Grissom's lack of personal skills took on new meaning.  He had withdrawn into himself, facing a possible permanent disability, while they had decried his inability to lead and seeming departure from the team.  "Why didn't you tell us, Griss?" she wondered aloud to the empty room.  She cradled her head in her hands as exhaustion pressed down on her.  Brushing tears from her cheeks, she stumbled over to his couch and collapsed, quickly allowing sleep to overtake her.


Sara awoke several hours later with a cramp in her leg and a pain in her neck.  She unfolded herself from the couch, silently wishing Grissom had bothered to buy one that was actually comfortable.  After shaking the last vestiges of sleep from her brain, Sara walked unsteadily towards Grissom's bedroom.

She carefully cracked the door open.  Taking note of his sleeping figure, Sara quietly crept in and leaned over him.  He lay on his back, one arm flung over his head and the other resting across his torso.  In sleep, his face had relaxed to look almost boyish.  Careful not to disturb him, Sara sat on the edge of the bed, and gently checked to ensure his bandages were intact.  Everything seemed to be in order, as best as she could tell.

Out of its own volition, Sara's hand lovingly cupped Grissom's cheek.  She smiled down at the unconscious figure, indulging the feeling of warmth and tenderness that swept through her.  Grissom began to shift in his sleep, and Sara pulled the blanket up around his chest.  Grissom's hand suddenly caught hers, and his sleepy gaze met her wary one.  "Sara," he whispered.

"Hey, Griss.  How ya feelin'?" she said softly.

He gave her a lopsided grin, and she realized that while his eyes were open, he was not awake.  She returned his smile with a tender one of her own, noticing his eyes were sliding shut even as she leaned over and placed a kiss on his forehead.

"Mmm, sweet Sara," she heard him murmur as his grip on her hand eventually relaxed.  Ensured he had returned to sleeping, Sara left the room.

In the kitchen, Sara checked the time and realized she only had a few hours before shift began.  Enough time to swing by her apartment for a shower and change of clothes before she had to be back at the lab.  Indecision tore through her.  While she knew she had to work, she loathed to leave Grissom alone while he was recuperating.  But she knew he was going to keep sleeping for the next few hours, and she wouldn't do anyone any good sitting around here twiddling her thumbs waiting for him to wake up.  She had to go in, so she left a note on the kitchen counter, urging Grissom to call her if he needed her.  Her decision made, Sara left the townhouse.


Sara spent most of the beginning of shift heading towards the parking lot to climb in her Tahoe and return to Grissom, only to reverse course to a layout room to catch-up on long delayed paperwork while convincing herself she had made the rational choice.  After incorrectly filling out rote reports for the third time in a row, Sara gave up on the pretense of work all together, and decided to at least pretend at reading whatever magazines had accumulated in the break room.  However, it quickly became abundantly clear that she couldn't accomplish that either.

"Sara.  Earth to Sara." Nick said as he waved his hand a few inches in front of her face as he crashed on the couch next to her.

"Hmm…what?" Sara answered.

"You've been starin' at the same page for 5 minutes.  I know you're missin' Grissom and all, but you don't need to go mopin' around the lab."  Sara leveled a glare at him that triggered fear in suspects and trembling in unsuspecting lab techs, but Nick laughed it off.  "That's not going to work on me.  I know you too well."

Sara muttered a response under her breath that questioned the legitimacy of Nick's parentage, which only caused Nick to laugh some more.  Giving up, Sara stalked out of the break room, and headed towards one of the layout rooms.  Maybe helping Warrick with whatever case he was stuck with would keep her mind off of Grissom.

Instead of Warrick, she found Catherine checking a suspect's coat for bloodstains.  "Hey," Sara said, while leaning against the doorway.  "Need any help?"

"No, thanks.  Gotta love it when they try and hide the evidence," Catherine said while brandishing a swab stained bright pink.  "How's your friend?"

"He's, um, doing better," Sara answered while intently studying the toe of her boot as it kicked against the edge of a filing cabinet.

"I thought yesterday it was a "she"?" Catherine responded, raising an expectant eyebrow.  Sara flushed and her mouth dropped open.  Catherine let out an inelegant snort, "Forget it.  Whoever it is, I hope this time he's worth it."

Sara returned to concentrating on her shoe, saying almost quietly to herself, "Yes, he is."  Her decision made, Sara quickly quit the room, and shortly thereafter, the building all together.

"We'll call you if we need you," Catherine shouted to her vanished co-worker, and with a shake of her head, returned to her evidence.


"Grissom?" Sara called out as she entered the townhouse.  "Grissom?" she repeated, before reminding herself he probably couldn't hear her.  She slung her bag and keys onto the kitchen counter before going in search of him.

He clearly wasn't in the living area, or his bedroom.  She rapped lightly on the closed bathroom door, before rolling her eyes at her own actions.  Praying she wasn't about to stumble onto something potentially embarrassing for both of them, she partially pushed the door open, only to have it slammed shut.  "Go away!" Grissom shouted from the other side.

"Griss!" she shouted, before pushing on the door again.  Her entry was denied, and Sara began banging on the door.  "What's wrong?  Let me in!"  Knowing she was acting like a petulant child, Sara kicked the door.

Silence hung over the obstinate pair, until Sara gave the door one more push, and it quickly swung open.  Grissom sat on the bathroom floor, clad only in his boxer shorts.  His face was haggard, and his hair disheveled.

Sara hurried to him and knelt on the floor.  She placed a hand on his cheek, which Grissom leaned into like an abandoned dog seeking a kind owner.  His eyes slid shut while Sara made nonsensical, soothing sounds as she ran her hands over him, checking for cuts or bruises.  Nothing seemed to be amiss; the bandages were still intact, and there were no signs he had hurt himself otherwise.

She cupped his face again, willing Grissom to open his eyes.  When he did, he answered her unspoken question.  "Dizzy spell made me nauseous."  She nodded in response.

Turning her face fully toward him so he could lip read, she asked him if he wanted to get back into bed.  He slowly shook his head.  "I don't think that would be a good idea yet," he answered wanly, before resting his head against the bathroom wall.

Sara took a seat next to him, clasping his hand in hers.  The sheer odd nature of the scene hit her full force; here she was sitting on Grissom's bathroom floor fully dressed holding hands with him, while he's barely decent, and nauseous to boot.  A sharp hiccup of laughter escaped her lips, and she was glad that Grissom could not hear her.  That thought quickly chased away any remaining mirth.

Grissom lurched towards the toilet, his body convulsing as it rid itself of whatever he had managed to consume during the last few hours.  Sara rubbed his back and did what she could to alleviate his pain, again murmuring words she knew Grissom could not hear.  Eventually, the heaving stopped, and he slumped down on the floor again.  Sara found a damp washcloth, and gently wiped off his face and neck.  Grissom looked up at her, embarrassment and gratitude warring with one another in his eyes.

Taking in his exhausted expression, Sara said, "I think it's time for bed."

Grissom nodded, as Sara helped him to his feet.  Keeping her arm firmly around him, she guided him into his room and his bed.  She tucked him in, finally allowing herself to take full advantage of the views offered by his state of undress.  Slightly disgusted at herself for lusting after a man who was clearly unwell, Sara stood to leave, when a hand on her arm stopped her.

Grissom said nothing, but Sara understood completely.  She sat back down on the bed, and tenderly rubbed his arm until he fell asleep.  She disengaged herself from his sleeping form, and withdrew to the living room, resigning herself to another night on that wretched couch.


Sara awoke with a start, but eventually remembered where she was.  She stretched and staggered her way to the kitchen, hoping whatever money he saved on a couch he spent on coffee.  Satisfied that her caffeine needs were going to be met, Sara checked in on Grissom to find him still asleep.  She returned to the kitchen to get some coffee.  Technically, today was her day off, but given that she had barely been present at her last shift, she thought she would probably have to at least make an appearance today.

She heard footsteps coming from down the hall, and a scruffy Grissom shortly appeared.  He had donned a robe, and his hair was flattened on one side, but he looked worlds better than he had over the last thirty-six hours.  He momentarily paused at the sight of Sara calmly sitting at his table drinking coffee before continuing his quest on to the kitchen.

She found him standing at the sink, draining a glass of water before filling it again and repeating his actions.  Sara thrust the notepad in front of him.  He glanced at the message before turning his attention to the coffee.  "I'm done resting," he said by way of a response.  Sara said nothing, but disapproval was clearly evident in her posture.  "I'm fine," Grissom said, which only got him a raised eyebrow.

Grissom made his way past her and to his couch.  Sara quickly followed, and began inspecting the bandages to see if he had pulled his stitches.

"Look, Sara, go home.  You don't have to stay here with me.  I'm fine," he said.  He grabbed her around the waist and forced her to sit down on the coffee table.  Surprise was written all over her face.  He moved his hands to hers, and gazed intently at her.  "I'm fine," he repeated.

Sara frowned at his statement, knowing she was going to have to leave soon anyway so she could go by her apartment before shift started.  She continued to stare at him, as if by looking alone she could gauge how well he was actually doing.  She retrieved the notepad and began to furiously scribble away.  Thrusting it into his hands, Sara stood to gather up her bag and shoes.

Grissom forced his gaze to the sheet of paper in front of him which read:  "Call me if you need me.  I'll come by and check in, and I'll be here right at the end of shift."  His expression suggested he was going to fight her, but he curtly nodded his assent.

She reached out and ruffled his hair with her fingers.  "You okay?" she asked when he looked up at her.

"I hate not being able to hear your voice," he answered, causing her to jerk her hand away as if it had been burned.  She could feel her cheeks burn up as well.  Time seemed to freeze as her brown eyes explored his blue ones.  Grissom finally turned his gaze back to the coffee table.  "You better get going," he said.

Sara stood momentarily dumbfounded, before turning and fleeing the townhouse.


Sara returned after the end of shift, as promised, and the pair quickly fell into a pattern over the course of the next week.  She would try to discreetly check his bandages, while he assured her he had changed them and he was fine.  He would make breakfast, while she tried her to fill him in the best she could on what was going on in the office or her latest case.  Occasionally they would play Scrabble or read.  Whatever their activities, they allowed their expressions and silent communication fill in the spaces where words had once been. 

After a week of existing together in an amiable, if odd pattern, Sara was apprehensive over the changes that she knew were coming.  Soon, they would remove the stitches and bandages and determine if the surgery was a success.  If the surgery was successful, he would no longer need to have her check in on him.  On the odd chance the surgery failed, she knew intrinsically that he would withdraw into himself so far she would never be able to find him again.

But that was in the future, and right now Sara had to smile at the rather strange turn their relationship had taken.  Where once she was sure he was no longer listening to her, now he could not hear her, and they were communicating better than before the surgery.  She now knew that when he rubbed his neck below one ear, the ringing in his ears had worsened.  When he tapped his fingers on the couch armrest, he was disagreeing with the author of the forensic article he was reading.  When he stuck the tip of his tongue out to one side of his mouth, he was on the verge of laying out his Scrabble tiles in a game-cinching, triple scoring word. 

Grissom, in turned, recognized that when she twisted the ring on the middle finger of her right hand, she had had a rough interrogation with a suspect.  When she tossed her head back and exposed the long smooth column of her throat while laughing, she had drunken too much wine.  When she drummed her fingers on the table top, she could not wait for her turn to lay out her Scrabble tiles in a game-cinching, triple scoring word.

More often then not, their evenings would end with the two of them curled up together on the couch, indulging Grissom's penchant for inexcusably bad science fiction movies.  When she had openly gaped at him, he had merely shrugged and offered the phrase "guilty pleasure" as an excuse.  Last night, while watching a film that was incomprehensible even with the closed captioning, she had muttered, "God I must love you if I'm willing to sit through this."  Grissom was suddenly seized with a coughing fit, and Sara rubbed his back until it passed, before returning her attention to the screen.

Following what was now their routine, Sara parked and entered Grissom's townhouse, still singing along to the song she had just heard on the radio.  She set her bags on the counter, and starting putting away the few groceries she had picked up on her way over.  She turned to find Grissom casually leaning against a support column.  He was obviously fresh out of the shower, since his hair and skin were still damp.  He wore his robe cinched low around the waist, exposing a fair portion of his chest.  Sara's admiring gaze swept up and down his body, only to finally reach his face and his smirking, knowing expression.

Sara refused to be embarrassed, and did her best to match his smirk with one of her own.  "Hey," she said.

Grissom's gaze began its own travels along her figure, before returning to her face, and said, "Hey, yourself.  You have a nice voice, by the way."

Sara was thoroughly enjoying this little skirmish between them, until she noticed that Grissom was no longer wearing his bandages.  She frowned and advanced towards him.  "Griss, where are you bandages?  You know you're not supposed…" she said, as she reached out to check his ears.

Grissom grabbed her wrist, and moved his head away from her grasp.  "Relax, Dr. Sidle," he said quietly, as he leaned in closer to her.  "I was about to replace them when you came barging into my house."  The timbre of his voice triggered goose bumps all over her body.  Sara's breathing became shallow, as the nearness of him overwhelmed her senses.  No man should ever smell this good, she thought, as his lips moved a little closer to her own.

Grissom's eyes searched her, and he must have been satisfied with what he saw, for he imperceptibly nodded, before releasing Sara's wrist and walked away.  Sara stood frozen to the spot, before letting out an exasperated groan and returning to the abandoned groceries.  She threw the carrots into the refrigerator with a vengeance, damning Grissom for his ability to completely disarm her.  And make her lose any rational train of thought.  And for having eyes that impossibly blue.  And for liking her singing.

With that thought, Sara abruptly stopped what she was doing.  Wait a minute, Grissom had heard her singing?  "Grissom?" she shouted, heading towards his room.  "Grissom!" she repeated.

He exited the room fully dressed, yet still buttoning the cuffs of his shirt.  "What?" he asked nonchalantly.

"You can hear me," Sara said, trying her best not to throttle him.  All she got was a noncommittal shrug in return.

"It's kind of a yes or no thing," she pointed out.

"Yes.  Not consistently until about the last twenty-four hours.  Extremely high and low tones are still indistinguishable, but the normal range of human speech…"

He was interrupted by a wide grin spreading across Sara's face.  "Well, I'm sorry the first thing you had to hear was my singing," she said.

Grissom gazed at her intently.  "Actually, the first thing I heard was what you said last night."  He paused.  "About my choice in movies."

Sara furrowed her brow in concentration, before blanching in realization.  "Uh, Griss…" she floundered and started to back up.  He said nothing as he followed her, until she had her back pressed up against a wall.  He reached up and slid a strand of hair between his thumb and forefinger, as she struggled for an explanation.  An excuse.  Anything.  Grissom reached up with his other hand, running his palm along her jawbone, devouring her with his eyes.  Soon, both hands were cupping her face as he pressed his mouth on hers.  His lips were insistent and demanding in their passion, and Sara reveled in it.  His hands roamed down her body, clutching her hips and pulling her body into contact with his.  Sara moaned in response, allowing his tongue to sweep into her mouth and stake its claim.  Any last remnants of coherent thought left them both as they became focused solely on the pleasure of kissing each other.

Grissom tore his mouth away from hers, yet continued to cradle her head in his hands.  "Damn," he whispered, as he lowered his forehead to rest against hers. 

Sara tried unsuccessfully to gain control of her labored breathing before answering, "What?"

Grissom raised his head, and smiled down at her.  "Your phone.  It's ringing."

Sara, lost completely in the ardent expression shining from his blue eyes, did not register what he was saying, until the ringing of her phone reached insistent levels.  Without breaking away from his gaze, she reached down to unclip the phone from her belt and answered it, "Sidle."

Sara tried to concentrate on what Nick was telling her, something about a burglary and she was needed to help process the scene, but Grissom's hands were gently stroking the skin just above the waistband of her jeans.  He was going to drive her mad, and she was going to enjoy every moment.  Sara made what she hoped were the correct responses before ending the call.  "I have to go," she said.

"I gathered that," he responded, but neither moved.

"They need me at a scene.  Days was swamped with cases, and there was something about a robbery…"

"Hmm.  Sounds bad."  Grissom leaned down to collect another kiss.

"I have to go," she repeated.

"I'll come with you."

Sara smiled up at him.  "No.  You're still on vacation, remember?"  He sighed, conceding her point.  "Don't worry, Griss.  I'll come back here as soon as I can get away."

He flashed a mischievous grin at her.  "I think this is the first time I've ever been jealous of a crime scene."  Sara laughed while finally forcing herself to move away from him.  He caught up with her at the open door, and said, "When you get back, we'll pick up where we left off."

"Oh no.  You're not supposed to participate in any strenuous activities for three more weeks."  Sara flushed in embarrassment at what she had said.  She began to concentrate on the key ring she was holding in her hand.  "I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have said that.  It was presumptuous…"

Grissom nudged her chin with his hand, forcing her to face him.  Amusement danced in his eyes.  "Hey, I'm flattered, but I was thinking more of breakfast and a game of Scrabble." 

Sara realized he was teasing her, and she lightly socked him on the upper arm.  "Now I'm leaving."  She exited the apartment and reached the Tahoe.  Before she could climb in, Grissom called her name from the doorway.

"Sara, be safe."  She flashed him a quick grin, before climbing into the vehicle and driving off.


Sara's quick trip to the crime scene turned into several hours, and before she knew it, it was time for her regular shift.  She tried sneaking away to give Grissom a call, but was pulled away by Nick to attend an interrogation.  Finally, the case was laid to rest, and Sara dragged herself home to Grissom.

Sara entered the townhouse, leaving her keys, bag, shoes, and cell phone in her wake as she made her way to his bedroom.  Grissom sat propped up in bed, asleep, with his glasses slipped halfway down his nose and his bedside light on.  An open book lay spread across his lap.  She smiled at the sight, finding it sweet he had tried to wait up for her.  She moved the book to his nightstand, and reached up to remove his glasses.  His eyes fluttered open, and he said, "You're late."  Grissom took note of her drooping posture and the shadows under his eyes.  "Rough case?"

She nodded mutely, as she placed his glasses on top of the book and turned off the light.  The engulfing darkness was mitigated by a slight shaft of light cutting through from underneath the draperies.  Sara started to stand up.  "Stay," he whispered.

Grissom reached out and gently tugged her down next to him as he shifted over to give her some room.  Sara sighed contentedly, as Grissom wrapped his arms around her.  She turned towards him and snaked her arms around his waist, nestling her head against his neck.  He pulled the covers up around both of them.

"This is so much better than your couch," she murmured, and he chuckled in response.  They lay quietly for a few minutes before Sara whispered, "Griss?"


"Why didn't you tell…me about your hearing?"  Grissom said nothing, just began stroking her hair.  "Were you ever going to tell me?"

Grissom sighed and shifted enough so that he could look down into Sara's face.  "Your arrival at the hospital was not the ideal way to find out, I know.  I was planning on disappearing for a few days, getting the surgery, and returning to work with none the wiser.  Fortunately, that's not what happened."

"Fortunately?" Sara asked, raising her eyebrow questioningly.

"We'll talk more about this tomorrow.  You're tired, you've had a long shift…"

Sara interrupted.  "Grissom!"

Grissom snorted in response.  "I must love you if I'm willing to go through an interrogation in my own bed."

Sara's smile could have challenged the Sun itself for brightness, and it was more than matched by the grin spreading across Grissom's face.  He leaned down for a lingering kiss, before once again pulling her tight up against him.  Sara sighed, and the contented pair soon fell fast asleep in each other's arms.