Title: The Ruse
Spoilers: Post PwF
Disclaimer: They're not mine- I'm a poor college student having fun... take pity...
Distribution: please ask first :)
Summary: Ruse: A wily subterfuge. Synonym: see TRICK
Author's notes: This idea caught me at work today and just wouldn't be let alone. I love feedback! And, I'm not above begging. Getting this out of my system- then it's back to work on WATOI and I&B! Thanks to Marlou for beta!
Feedback PLEASE at: TriplePirouettePhile@hotmail.com I love anything constructive! Blatant flames, however, will be disregarded and used to roast s'mores....
Ruse: A wily subterfuge. Synonym: see TRICK (Miriam-Webster Online)
"I don't know what to do about this."
Grissom's words rang in her head as Sara walked away, her hands shook, betraying the cool facade that she desperately tried to maintain. Her pace quickened the moment she was a few steps away from his office, her breathing accelerated and her eyes raced around wildly, searching. She had become so worked up that she didn't see Catherine directly in her path as she turned the corner.
Catherine threw her hands up and stopped short, but Sara still crashed into her, almost knocking them both to the floor.
Sara took a deep breath and brushed herself off, averting her gaze. "Oh my God, Catherine I'm so sorry."
Catherine took in her colleague's tousled appearance and trembling hands, sure signs of the devastation she was sure Sara felt. Catherine's ears were still ringing from the conversation she'd accidentally overheard just seconds ago, and she felt a need to comfort the unsteady woman, even though she knew it would give her unintended eavesdropping away. Her voice flowed from her mouth soothingly, "Hey, it's ok." She paused, trying to get Sara to look at her. "Are you ok?"
Sara coughed to clear her throat, a lump rapidly forming, and caught Catherine's eyes only long enough to know that she'd obviously heard the conversation. "No, um.. I'm fine." She threw on a fake smile. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Well, I heard..."
"Oh God. Cath, please, can we not talk about it?" The words came out rushed and harsh, Sara's breathing becoming shallower.
"But Sara,"Catherine said as she led her to the break room, "I really think you need to."
"Jesus, how much did you hear?" Panic fell into Sara's voice as she saw that Nick, Warrick and Greg were all in the break room, their attention stolen from the Playstation in front of them by her entrance.
"All of it, I think." Catherine put her hand on Sara's shoulder. The boys tried to pretend they weren't listening as their ears caught more of the conversation.
Sara bit her lip and turned her head away, just in time to see Grissom walk past them, eyes glued straight ahead. Sara's breath quickened. "Sorry, I uh.. I have to go." Sara turned and left, as fast as she could without actually running, in the opposite direction of Grissom.
"Cath?" Warrick put down his controller and turned to face her. "What was that about?"
Catherine looked into the hall, then walked over to the couch where she signaled the boys to gather around her. "You guys are never gonna believe the conversation I stumbled on..."
Sara couldn't take it anymore, and that's what led her to his doorstep. She rubbed her hands together, then wiped them over her face, her foot nervously tapping before she brought her hand up to knock on his door. Three quick, loud raps. She looked around and wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans.
The door creaked open slightly, then opened all the way to allow her to enter. She stepped inside timidly, as he emerged from behind the door, closing it. She turned to face him.
For a moment Grissom and Sara just stared at each other. Each with their own nervous ticks: Sara wringing her hands at her sides and Grissom biting his lip while his head reached its signature tilt to the side. Slowly a smile spread across Sara's face, and it infected Grissom. Sara started to shake her head and chuckle lightly as Grissom quickly closed the space between them.
He lifted her into his arms and she quickly wrapped her long legs around his waist as he spun her around, a soft squeak from her mouth mixing with his happy laughter. He landed on the couch, Sara's lanky body still clinging to him.
He leaned up and caught her lips in a quick peck, the smiles still on their faces. She leaned down to him for another, and another. Soon, the smiles melted from their faces and their lips were caught in a sensuous dance, their hands caressing each other, moving themselves until Grissom loomed over Sara, his hips resting in the cradle of her thighs.
He pulled away and smiled down at her. "So this means you think Catherine bought it?"
Sara tangled her hands in the downy curls at the base of his skull. "Oh, I know she did. I waited in one of the stalls of the locker room after shift. I heard Nicky and Warrick come in, saying how they were worried that I was upset, and wanting to practically kill you."
For a second, Grissom saw something dark pass through her crystal eyes. He bent down and nuzzled her cheek, whispering in her ear, "What's wrong?"
Sara moved her head, tucking herself deeper into the crook of his neck. "It's nothing."
"No," he said, moving back to look at her. "It's something." He tipped his head to the side.
"You can read me like a book, sometimes." She ran her hands over his back, letting them rest hooked over his shoulders.
"Stop avoiding my question." He sounded gruff, but concern flooded his features.
"Back there, that was all a ruse, right? Our ruse? Our big trick to get them to leave us alone?" Sara turned her head away from him, dreading that her worst fears were going to suddenly be true.
Grissom dropped a sweet kiss below her ear. "Of course. You know that. Why do you..." He didn't need to ask the question when he saw the fear in her eyes. He let his forehead rest against hers.
"I think that... part of the reason I was able to convince Catherine.." She paused a second and drew in a shaky breath, "was that it was too real... and for a while there... I was afraid that...."
Grissom cut her off with a long, smoldering kiss. Stiff at first, Sara relaxed in his embrace, twining her legs with his and pulling his shoulders down. She wanted to feel his entire weight crushing her body, to know that he was here, with her, and the hurtful things he'd said this morning were just scripted, just words that he never meant.
Grissom reluctantly dragged himself from Sara, but she pulled at him like the sun pulls a planet into orbit. Through his words he planted tiny lingering kisses over her face and throat. "Sara," kiss, "honey," kiss, "what we do," kiss, "At the office," kiss, "in front of everyone else," kiss, "is the ruse." Kiss. "Our ruse." Kiss. "What we do," kiss, "here," kiss, "anywhere," kiss, "off hours," kiss, "is real."
He planted a last, compassionate kiss on her forehead before rising up on his forearms to look at her. "I never want you to doubt that. What we have to do to keep our personal lives personal is unfortunate, but for now, we have to make some sacrifices. Just know that what I do at work isn't always real. That's not me. That's Dr. Grissom, CSI level III. That hasn't been the real me for a long time, now. What I do here, when we're home, when I'm with you, that's real. That's what matters to me."
Sara smiled and pulled him in for another long kiss. "I know that," she whispered against his lips, "I do. I just..."
"I know," he whispered, "Because I felt it too. But then I saw you standing there just now, a smile on your face, and I knew that I love you, and you love me."
"Mmmm..." she sighed as he kissed her neck again. "Never forget that, Grissom." He simply nodded his head against hers, letting the soft of his lips and the rough of his stubble drag across her flesh, creating a trail of fire. "It took us too damn long to figure it out to ever forget it."
After a moment, he rolled off her, and threw a protective arm around her torso, leaving her body spooned up against his. They were content to just hold each other, have a quiet moment in which they could be themselves.
"So," Sara said to the empty room, "What should we do to them tomorrow? What's the plan?" she let her hand play over Grissom's arm that was wrapped protectively around her stomach. Her hand played over his strong forearm before she let her fingers twine with his.
"Hum, do you have a suggestion?" Grissom propped his head up on his hand, effectively looking down on Sara's relaxed and far-away, dreamy stare. An evil smile slowly grew on her features, and quiet laughs reverberated deep in Grissom's chest. He squeezed her body to his, letting his head rest in the soft curve of her neck. "You're absolutely diabolical, you know that?"
"Yeah, I know."
"Cath, are you sure you heard what you thought you heard yesterday?" Nick had cornered her in the DNA lab while they were both waiting for results. Greg looked up expectantly, dying to know the answer.
"What? Yeah.. Plain as day I heard Grissom turn Sara down... Why?"
"Well, it's just that they're acting a little strange..." Nick began as he sat on a stool, only to be cut off by Greg.
"Forget strange, Nick." Greg stood and walked over to Catherine. "They're acting like it didn't happen! I haven't seen them together yet, but I saw them pass each other in the hall, and Sara smiled at him. He did his little tippy head thing back." Greg tried to demonstrate their boss' signature move, but only accomplished in making it look like he was trying to break his own neck.
"Wow..." Catherine looked deep in thought.
"Yeah." Nick agreed.
"It's almost like they're screwing with us... you know? Let's see how crazy we can make the staff- do we love each other? Do we hate each other? You have to guess!" Greg was making himself manic.
"Wouldn't that just take the cake, if they were foolin' with us?" Nick smiled and got up as he considered the possibility. "You know- I wouldn't put it past Sara- how long do you think it's been going on?"
"Oh, God, who knows!" Greg threw up his hands in defeat.
"You guys," Catherine interjected, "Sara might do something like that, but could you really picture Grissom doing it? Screwing with our heads just for a laugh?" The boys were quiet for a minute, taking in Catherine's words.
"Yeah, Grissom would never do something like that." Greg sulked as he returned to his computer.
"Yeah, you're right Cath. It could never happen." Nick accepted defeat. She knew Grissom much better than any of them did, save for possibly Sara, and if Catherine said this wasn't something in his nature to do, he never would. Would he?
"It would be pretty damn funny, besides the obvious," Greg chucked to himself.
"What do you mean, Greg?" Catherine asked as she and Nick joined him at the computer, waiting for the report that was printing out.
"Well, I mean, it would just be funny that they did that in the first place." Greg put a smirk on his face and wagged his eyebrows, "But what kind of CSIs would you guys be if you couldn't figure out something like that going on right under your own noses? Following the evidence and all that sort of thing... I'm sure you could prove it one way or another."
"Well, that's nice, Greggo, but it's not happening. So just give it up." Nick patted the lab tech on the back. "Besides, you should be happy. Maybe Sara will go out with you now!"
Greg just laughed and watched Nick grab the results, leading Catherine out of the room to find Warrick. He was almost sure that they weren't playing everyone in the lab, but Greg smiled as he turned back to him computer. If they were, it was one damn good ruse.