Delayed Love

Author: Moggie

Email: moggie_rf@yahoo.co.uk

Rating: PG-13

Category: Angst/Drama/Romance

Spoilers: Some, from all over.

Summary: [GCR] & [GSR] She had to wait 3 years for him to notice and those 3 years felt like decades.

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI: Crime Scene Investigation or it's characters, it's all my imagination.

Note: I have never done a challenge before, but I've actually had this idea festering in my mind too, but never got it further than a passing brain cell spark. Lol. Though I'm breaking out and having a shot. This might be long, so bare with me. It's painfully obvious that I can't write short fics. Lol. Though I've tried.

Challenge: Write a fanfic that has Grissom with CATHERINE at the beginning, but then have something go wrong (she dies, he realizes he's in love with Sara (after an infinite amount of possibilities) etc...) and make him fall in love with Sara. The only rules are that you have to make the fic believable (including the G/C moments) If you can do this you can believe that you can write amazing fanfics, and call yourself the Ultimate GSR writer. Alison alik2k@yahoo.com

Warning Note: You may need tissues!

Chapter One: Heartache

Grissom wondered down the path towards the CSI Lab building early one evening. He looked across the parking lot and let out a long breath when he saw the empty parking space.

"You miss her?"

He turned his head to see dark brown eyes looking at him. "Yeah."

"She'll be missed."

Grissom nodded and sighed, pulling his briefcase tighter under his arm. After a few silent minutes, he turned and looked into those brown eyes. "You're here early Sara."

She shrugged and smiled a little. "Couldn't sleep." She started walking away after he continued to stare at her.

~*~

Nick and Warrick sat at the break room table quietly, both reading the Vegas news in the local papers. Sara was putting a new filter in the coffee machine and absently eating a sandwich at the same time.

"Sara?" Greg called out her name as he stuck his head around the door.

She turned as she took a bite from her sandwich. "Hmm?"

Greg held up a sheet of paper. "Results on your thread."

Leaving the coffee machine, she walked across the room and made a grab for the sheet. "Thanks." She mumbled around her food.

"What about my coke bottle Greg?" Nick asked before Greg could get far.

Deciding it was a good time for a short break, Greg headed for the coffee machine and finished what Sara was doing before he interrupted her. "It's in the process of being processed Nick."

"Did someone put their stuff before mine?" Nick asked, obviously annoyed that someone had jumped the cue.

Greg looked up and turned around as the coffee began to drip through the filter and into the pot. "No." He absently looked around the room and landed on Sara's head. She was reading over her thread results with a frown.

Nick saw the attention Greg was giving Sara and felt a sudden defiant urge to stand and fight this out. "You jumped the cue, didn't you Sara." It was no question.

Sara looked up and stared at the Texan. "What?"

"You put your evidence in front of mine." Again, it wasn't a question.

Sara shifted on her chair and her frown deepened. "I wouldn't do that Nick."

He didn't seem to believe her. "Hey, we all do it, but this case I'm working on is important. I've been waiting on these results all night." He tried to keep his voice even, but anybody in the same room could see he was irritated.

"Nick," Sara shook her head. "Listen, I didn't push you aside, ok?"

"No." He snapped.

Sara stared at him, her frown replaced with a ghost white expression. She had noticed this change in him, and the rest of the staff. It had been the same thing more or less. Something related to a case gets misplaced or jumped in the evidence cue and they looked around for someone to sink their teeth into. Lately, that someone was her.

"Nick!"

Greg, Warrick and Nick turned their heads and looked towards the break room door to see Grissom standing in the doorway with a file in one hand and a ceramic cup in the other.

Grissom entered the room and set both items in his hands, down on the table. He looked around the table and stopped on Nick. "Hodges has your bottle. Go get it." He turned his eyes to Warrick. "Brass is at the Monaco waiting for a CSI." He looked up, not needing to say anything to the other male in the room. Greg went back to work with his fresh coffee grasped tightly in his hand.

Sara stood up and moved to leave the room.

"Sara."

She heard his voice and turned before leaving. "Yeah Grissom?"

He stood up straight and turned to meet her eyes. "Did you jumped the cue?"

When she said she had noticed the change in the rest of the staff, that was her supervisor included. He seemed less than pleasant and even snappy towards her lately, but she couldn't say anything, under the circumstances.

"No Grissom." She broke eye contact. "I've got to find Vega." She excused herself and went in search of the detective.

~*~

Sitting on her couch the next morning, she could see her reflection on her television set. It was turned off, but she had her police scanner turned on. She stared at herself for a long time, thinking about the past few months, then the past 3 years.

She could remember standing in his office, asking him out to dinner, but being turned down. She was certain that he was preoccupied and couldn't really give her an answer to her offer then, though he gave her a negative reply at the time.

The times they'd sat in the break room drinking coffee and reading on a quiet night or before shift even started. They wouldn't talk much, though they never really talked, unless it was about work. She felt he was taking his time to sort his thoughts out, to settle with himself what he should do and when. She was waiting for him to make the move.

It never happened and she was left to watch it unfold before her eyes.

It started with small glances. All innocent and friendly at first, but then he got more bold and the touching increased. Soon he was touching her hands, arms, backā€¦ cheek. It was all happening so fast and she couldn't do anything about it. She watched and waited, just so she could make sure it was nothing more than friends would do.

The kiss shattered her friends theory into billions of little pieces. She stood and watched it play out every time she was near them. She felt sick to her stomach and awfully betrayed, but she had no right to feel these things and as the relationship grew and flooded into the public and lab, she started to feel ashamed, ashamed of herself.

Waiting for the right moment became too late.

She had laughed and cried when she realised she was the one too late. Her over talking had made her look a fool and he no doubt saw her as such. No wonder he doesn't talk to her anymore.

It was another day and Sara was home alone, staring once again at her reflection, listening to the Vegas police enforce the law on it's inhabitancies.

She reached up numbly and wiped the ever falling tears from her cheeks. This had been the same routine every morning since it began. And after being called into work one afternoon, Brass had called her on her cough drop popping session. She hadn't had a drink since and she wasn't going to let it happen again. There was no way out of the bottle if you succumbed to it. She didn't want it to claim her.

Wiping at fresh tears, she gave a soft sigh and dropped her stare from her reflection. She felt stupid and humiliated. There was no way he was going to forgive her after all that had happened. She had fought with herself hundreds of times, arguing that it was all in her head, a fantasy that she thought would come true. She never felt so wrong in her life and it was weighing so heavily on her shoulders, she felt suffocated every time she saw him. It got worse when she witnessed it first hand, the look in his eyes, just how much he loved her.

"God I wish you looked at me like that." She whispered sadly, sniffling as she wiped the tears that were now out of control.

TBC