A/N: This is a response to Michelle B's "Subtlety" challenge on G&S.com. I dashed it off in about an hour, so it's not great, but I figured I might as well share it. The challenge was this: "What I would like is a short story, set on a crime scene, where Grissom and Sara show their love for each other but don't actually say anything. It's just shown in their actions. Anyone want to have a bash at this...please? Subtlety is the keyword here, and I'd like this line included somewhere 'passions implied but not spoken.'"
I don't know how well I did it, but yeah, here's my attempt.
"Give Me Strength"
She looked at him silently, wishing Grissom hadn't dragged her along on this case. He knew that any case dealing with mistreated women was sure to push her hot buttons, so of course he'd brought both her and Catherine along. All the better to start talk around the lab about how sensitive Sidle was.
He pointed to a shadow near the steps of the home they'd parked in front of. "Sara, Catherine – the victim, Angie Danes, is over there with Detective Vega. I need one or both of you to speak to her and convince her to let us examine her and let the hospital get a rape kit."
Sara swallowed hard. She could do this; she could hold the anger and tears back until she got home. Before she could speak, Catherine did. "Grissom, I, uh . . . I can't do this tonight. Would it be ok if I did the perimeter instead, and you and Sara deal with the victim?" Both Grissom and Sara stared at her in confusion, but Catherine simply shrugged.
Grissom nodded his approval apprehensively. Sara could tell that he hadn't counted on having to face the girl himself. She took another deep breath with the vague idea of raising her oxygen saturation and making herself giddy enough to not be touched by this case. It didn't work, and she sighed, following Grissom across the well-manicured lawn.
She spoke softly to the woman curled into a ball under Vega's police-issue blanket. "Angie? Hi, I'm Sara."
The woman looked up, catching Grissom's eye first, and flinched. She turned a face full of fear, anger, and pain toward Sara, ignoring both the detective and the other CSI. "He hit me. I didn't see his face. I can't even help catch the bastard who did this to me."
Sara bit her lip, hard. She knew what this woman was feeling – the helplessness and rage, against the attacker and herself. "That's not true, Angie. Just because you didn't see him doesn't mean you don't have a way to nail him. I'm from forensics," she belatedly explained, "and this is Gil. He works with me. We need to collect some samples from you. Your attacker may have left biological or microscopic evidence."
Angie nodded vaguely. "Yes . . . this man," she said, gesturing toward Vega, "told me that you'd need . . . to examine me."
"Well not exactly. If you agree to it, a doctor will do a physical examination on you. Gil and I, we're here to examine your outside. Fibers, hairs, any bruises he, um, left." Her voice broke on the word "bruises," making her terrified that she really couldn't get through this.
Her hand clenched into a fist behind her back as Sara fought with her own pain, which was again making its way toward the surface. Opening her mouth to continue, no sound came out. She was paralyzed. Then she felt a hand touch her clenched fist. She looked up at Grissom. He wasn't looking back at her, but his hand was around her wrist, warm and comforting.
"Angie," he told the woman carefully, "I know you're scared, and I know it's only made worse by the fact that Detective Vega and I are men." He was looking at Angie, but as he spoke his hand continued to comfort Sara. She knew that this was his way of speaking to her also. "So he and I are going to leave you with Sara for a while. She can gather whatever evidence we need." He gave Sara's hand a silent squeeze as he spoke.
She tried not to look at him, but when he took his hand from hers she felt naked. Glancing at him, she knew that Grissom could see her fear. He was the only person in Las Vegas who knew her story – the only person she had trusted with it.
"We'll be over by Catherine if you need us, ok, Sara?" His eyes locked on hers, his passions implied but not spoken. "I'll always be here if you need me," they told her, and Sara felt a new infusion of strength.
She nodded at him. "Thanks, Grissom." Crouching down to face Angie head-on, she put an arm around the younger woman. "Let's go to my car, ok? We're going to leave your house for Grissom and Catherine," she indicated the blonde, "to search." She closed her eyes for a moment, thankful that Angie had something that Sara hadn't – someone with her who understood. As she gently helped the woman toward the Tahoe's back doors, she knew that this was why she forced herself through nights like this.
Driving home two hours later, Sara sat in the passenger seat, watching Grissom drive, while Catherine dozed in the backseat. She knew they wouldn't speak of this again; Grissom never spoke about the times he lent her strength. She would have liked to thank him out loud, but deep down she knew that Grissom understood exactly what she was saying when she looked at him in thanks.
Their bond was subtle, but strong. Always strong.