Author's Notes: This story grew from nothing and I had absolutely no idea where it would end up. It took all of an hour to write.


The Goad

by Anansay
November 14, 2003

There was something to be said for patience. But patience itself had a limit. Sure, it was different for every person, but when it came to its end, it wasn't a pretty sight.

Patience, at its end, was an ugly green monster of unlimited stamina. It surged through veins and arteries like an acid flush through the system, causing numerous bodily gyrations akin to a manic dance. Muscles tensed and breathing became curt. The gentle meanderings of the mind took on a more ferocious tenacity in its bid to temper the flaring fiend of restless perturbation.

Sara Sidle knew this demon well. It visited her on many occasions, adding fuel to an already fuming inferno of perseverance. It allowed her to continue long after many other mortals would have collapsed from sheer exhaustion. It pushed her until the end was in sight and gave her another wind to reach that destination and put yet another culprit behind bars.

Grissom, too, had witnessed this transformation from mild, docile and grinning Sara into steely eyed and set mouth, head strong woman of unbounded abilities. It is what had attracted him to her in the beginning on a purely platonic level, he would tell himself repeatedly, though not in so many words. Feelings, after all, rarely manifested themselves so eloquently in the abstract realm of the mind. Yes, her astute deductive reasoning adeptness was a rare sight to behold and it had served his team well on numerous occasions. But at this time, his heart beat a manic rhythm, though not in any welcome and titillating manner. This was a fearful rush of adrenaline meant to incite rapid movement away from the cause of potential bodily harm.

The urge to turn on his heels and hurry - no run - the other way was strong in his body, but he held it still and kept her gaze, no matter what sort of daggers she through his way. He'd deflect them, as he'd done before and go on with the shift, and his life.

But this time felt different. In fact, it hadn't felt the same for a long time. A curious thought entered his mind; that of a circle meeting its beginning. But this was a distorted beginning as it made no sense.

Grissom had realized that his shell had become a carapace keeping his fellow mates out and as such he'd consciously fought to thin it and rejoin the human race. Along with this transformation had emerged a curious sense of humour and tranquility toward the world. It wasn't a be-all or end-all as it were. Now there was rounded perspective where before there had only been a linear progression marked with fear, frustration and disappointment.

Sara stood with her face held high and forward, her nose jutting into his space like a spear of accusation. Her lips were set in a thin straight line, but would pull up here and there in a challenging sneer. Her body swayed forward into his, as she struggled with her urge to inflict her opinion on him in more than a verbal sense. It was a tangible sensation, her ire. It surged from her body to engulf the room and make it her own little battlefield.

"You can't do it, can you?" she asked him.

Grissom merely stared at her, but couldn't mask the confusion growing on his face. It wasn't a confusion born out of a misunderstanding of her words, but more of a misunderstanding of the entire situation. He chose to remain quiet; his words wouldn't come back to haunt him.

"Well?" she asked, pushing herself forward a bit more.

He stood his ground and let her come to him. He wouldn't back down, not this time. His head tilted and his eyes squinted as though he were examining her as a newly discovered species of insect.

With her hands on his hips, she appeared as a woman scorned, and yet no one had jilted her. Yet.

"Sara," he started but her sudden snort of animosity cut him short and he resumed his staring. She presented quite a picture, he thought. A fiesty woman if he ever did see one.

"Don't 'Sara' me! I know my name well enough, thank you very much. Just answer the damn question. Can you, or can't you?"

Grissom sighed and his body seemed to deflate, caving in on itself to become a mere man in a room with a woman. "I can," he said and it sounded like he was signing his own death warrant.

Sara leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest, a smug grin on her face. "I knew it. You can't."

Grissom's head snapped up. "I just said I can."

"That was a lie."

"Are you calling me a liar?"

"Yep!"

"Sara!"

"Don't 'Sara!' me! You can't and you know it!"

"I can. And I will!"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah!" Grissom blinked. How on earth had this conversation degraded to the level of five year olds? It was ludicrous!

"Then do it!"

"I will!"

"NOW!"

"ALRIGHT!"

Sara stood waiting.

Grissom just stood and stared.

Sara tapped her foot on the floor.

Grissom's mouth fell open in plain and fearful astonishment.

"Well?" Sara asked, dropping her hands to her sides and then linking them behind her back.

"Well what?"

"Do it. I'm waiting."

Panic set in and Grissom began searching for a way out, any way out, preferably physical as his mind had ceased to provide him with some form of logical counter argument. "This is neither the time nor the place for this discussion, Sara. I'm closing it, now." And he headed for the door.

"Chicken," came her soft chiding voice.

Grissom stopped and turned around. "What did you say?"

"I said, 'chicken'."

"I am not a chicken."

"Really? Then what would you call this little fiasco?"

Once again, his mind shut down on him when he looked at her flushed face. "Not. Here. Okay?"

"Then where?" She moved to partially block his exit.

He allowed his eyes to roam down her body before coming back up to meet her eyes. "Move."

"No."

"Move, Sara."

"No, Grissom."

"Dammit, Sara, we have work to do."

"That's a cop out."

"No, it isn't. Now move."

"Not until you prove to me that you're not chicken."

Grissom sighed. "Later. I'll prove it later."

Sara shifted to stand in front of him. "Now, Grissom. Prove it to me now." And then her eyes began to glitter. "Or are you afraid?"

With a loud sigh Grissom spun his body around and slammed the folders down on the table and turned back to Sara. His hands landed on her face as he crushed his lips to hers in a fierce and powerful display of public affection. Sara gasped and moaned, her body still from the mere shock of the abruptness of the action. In a turbulent show of male dominance, Grissom shoved his tongue past her lips until it met with her own and mingled in feral wantonness.

Shocked to her core, Sara was a mere passive participant in this very welcome onslaught. His lips moved on hers, his tongue with hers, as she stood there transfixed and unable to fully partake. Within moments it was over and he had backed away, his breath coming in jagged gasps as he wiped at the side of his mouth with the back of his hand all the while staring at Sara with a cunning sparkle in his eye. "I am not a chicken," he said, grabbing the folders from the table and walking past Sara into the hallway and past a group of gape-jawed onlookers.

Sara slowly turned to watch him leave, her face a picture perfect image of a woman accosted by sensuality. She sighed and leaned against the doorframe, ignoring the group. "Finally," she said to herself and proceeded to walk down the hallway toward the lab, heels clicking unequivocally on the tile floor.

~*~

Copyright © 2003 Anansay