He tossed his jacket over the hook, and slammed the door behind him. Sighing, he took off his shoes, and padded over to his neat leather couch. He pulled his migraine pills from his pocket, swallowed a couple, and placed the bottle gingerly on the table.
Inside his head it felt like lumpy soup, all slushy. He couldn't think straight, and the more he tried, the worse it got. Visions of Sara's face as he turned her down had the indecency to keep replaying over and over just behind his eyes.
The pain, the shine of those unshed tears in her eyes as she looked up at him.
Those glorious eyes.
He covered his face and lowered his head, causing all the soup to rush forward at once. This nauseated him slightly, and he had to lie down.
Before long, the drowsiness of the day and the migraine pills overcame him, and he fell into a deep, hazy sleep.
"So anyway. That's what happened. He turned me down. He hates me." She stifled a hiccup, which made Nick giggle.
She stared at him. "Wasn't funny. He hates me."
"He doesn't hate you, Sara. He's just… well, who knows what Grissom is. But he doesn't hate you." He gently prised her glass out of her hand, half a vodka and coke still in it. She could only manage to give him a look of sadness, as he pulled it away. She had started on the spirits a half hour ago, and they weren't having that good an effect on her. She blinked slowly and deliberately, trying to clear her fuzzy vision.
"I think maybe you're a little inebriated, Miss Sidle. Time for bed."
"I only wanted to go to dinner…"
"I know. Up you get now."
He half dragged, half lifted her onto her feet.
"He hates me." She sniffed.
"He doesn't. Which way to your bed?"
"He doesn't know what to do about me."
Nick figured it had to be one of these doors. He tried the first one.
"Nicky, what are we doing in the closet?"
"Never mind." Ok, next door.
"Now we're in the bathroom. Sorry Nicky. I don't have to go right now. Maybe that's what Grissom wants me to do." She rambled, causing Nick to frown in confusion.
"What? Grissom wants you to pee?!"
She punched him rather hard in the shoulder. "No, Nicky. Maybe I should go. Away."
Now he understood.
"Sara, listen. Grissom is just a little confused."
Sara looked up at him, tears in her eyes. "What about, me?"
"Well, yeah. Give him a while, he'll get it."
"I hope so." She sniffed.
He tried the final door, and found a neat, ordered room with a plain, fresh bed.
"Here we are. Now, are you gonna be ok?"
"Goodnight, Sidle." He mock saluted her, and left.
She listened for the door closing behind him.
When she heard it, she sat down heavily on her bed, and burst into tears.
Grissom woke to the ringing of his cell phone. The name on the caller ID made him frown in confusion.
He flicked it open.
"Sorry to disturb you, Boss… But…"
Grissom was alert. He didn't like the tone of Nick's voice.
Rubbing his eyes, he sat up.
"What is it?"
"Normally, I'd say that this wasn't any of my business, and I'd just let the two of you figure it out on your own… However…"
"Come on, Nick. Spit it out."
Grissom's mouth went dry, and he blinked rapidly.
"What's happened? Is she ok?"
"Nothings happened. Yet. She's upset. She talked about leaving."
"Yeah. She'd had a few, but I think she might be serious."
"Where is she?"
"At her place. Maybe you should go and-"
Grissom snapped the phone shut before Nick could finish his sentence. He stood up; ignoring the head rush he got from doing so too fast, and tried to smooth out his rumpled clothes. Deciding that this was a lost cause, he changed into a fresh shirt and slacks, pulled on his shoes, and headed out the door.
He arrived at Sara's in a time that any speedway racer would envy. And, to his credit, he only broke a couple of laws.
"Here goes nothing." Grissom muttered to himself.
He pressed the buzzer, and waited nervously for her answer.
"Who's there?" Sara's muffled voice came to him through the intercom.
"It's Grissom." He waited for her to shout, yell, or scream at him to go away.
She did neither.
"Sara? Can you let me in? We need to talk."
"I don't want to talk."
Could he blame her?
"Please, Sara. I just want to explain myself."
He had to wait a few agonising moments, before she answered.
"I don't want to listen."
"Can I, uh, come in?"
"Sara-" Just then, he felt a heavy drop of rain fall on his face. He looked up, and another fell on his forehead.
"Sara, it's raining."
"Good." He heard the buzzer click as she left him alone on the doorstep.
Fair enough, he thought. She wanted to punish him. Well, he was just going to have to stay there till either she forgave him, or she sobered up. Whichever came first.
The rain was getting heavier.
He would make her listen. He raised his voice.
"Sara!" There was no answer, but he figured she must be able to hear him. "Sara, I'm sorry." He stepped back, looking up at the many windows in her apartment block.
He took a deep breath, and shuddered as he felt the rain running down the back of his neck. It had reached downpour status now.
"Nick said… Nick told me you wanted to leave."
Grissom swallowed hard, not completely sure of what he was about to do.
He wished he was wearing his coat; the water was soaking quickly through his lightweight shirt.
"I came over here to tell you… I wanted you to know that…"
Still he was shouting. A few of Sara's neighbours were frowning at him from their windows. He found that he didn't care.
"I don't want you to go anywhere, Sara." He took a deep breath, hoping she could hear him. Maybe he had better shout a bit louder.
"What I mean is… I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't see you, if I couldn't hear your voice everyday. I need you..."
He tailed off as he saw the door open, and Sara, standing in the doorway.
He finished his sentence softly; there was no longer a need to shout.
"Please. Don't say anything. I need to finish. I know what I feel for you is more than I've ever felt, but I never believed there was a way it could work."
Sara's eyes fell to the floor. She found herself studying his reflection in the puddles of water.
"But tonight, tonight I realised something." He took a step towards her.
"I realised that the fact that I love you should mean that I find a way to make it work."
Sara was staring at him now, not daring to believe her ears. She realised that her jaw was somewhere between her knees, and she snapped her mouth shut.
"I love you, Sara."
She ran out to meet him, oblivious to the elements, to everything except the arms that greeted her.