Summary: "I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I think I have ended up where I intended to be."
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I'm just having a little
A/N: Part one of five. The story is finished, I'm
just working on tweaking the ending, so updates should
come quickly. Innumerable thanks to my BRs,
Sidlesmile and Mystery, for all their help and
encouragement. And thanks to Kathy who entered the
world of CSI fan fiction just to help me out - you'll
never know how glad I am that it resulted in your
development a mini-obsession. The summary quote is
from Douglas Adams. Thanks to Mystery for that also.
The steady sound of her tennis shoes hitting the
pavement filled her ears, and she focused on the
rhythm, blocking out the stream of panicked thought.
Her mind filled with the staccato of her footsteps and
the screaming of her muscles as she pushed herself
harder and faster.
Running had become her solace. She had started doing
it grudgingly when the team had begun training for the
annual law enforcement marathon, but it had quickly
become her escape. On the open road of the desert,
where she came to escape the city congestion, she
could be alone.
Back then, it had allowed her for just a few minutes
every day to forget the pain that had settled in her
chest, squeezing her heart. She had been able to
forget she loved him more than she ever had, more than
she'd ever imagined possible. And she had been able
to forget that he loved her too but was too scared to
let himself trust her. She had been able to forget
that for too short a time she had experienced heaven,
only to have it taken away. And she had been able to
forget that after having experienced a dream come
true, reality seemed like a nightmare.
For a few brief moments everyday, she had been
guaranteed a reprieve from the panic that crept up on
her at the most inopportune times, filling her with
dread whenever she thought of spending the rest of her
life without him. She wasn't sure which was worse:
imagining him old and dying alone, refusing to let
anyone comfort him or imagining him letting someone
in, someone who wasn't her. In any case, she had
imagined both situations and a million others besides.
A filmstrip of possible futures ran through the back
of her mind almost incessantly, broken only by
flashbacks and memories: his soft touch, his sweet
words, the look in his eyes when he cried out her name
and released into her.
Now things were different, with new possibilities
added to the filmstrip of their lives, but the solace
of the empty road remained the same. Now she had what
she wanted within her grasp, and for long stretches of
time she was genuinely happy. But beneath the surface
lurked a problem that could unravel the happy life she
had spent years creating. As much as she tried to
deny the evidence, there was little doubt in her mind.
There were choices to be made; there were options to
consider. In a situation where no decision seemed
right, she would be forced to take action.
But she wasn't ready to take action yet, she wasn't
even ready to think about the situation. So instead,
she returned to her desert road, feet pounding the
pavement in time to her hammering heart.
On the road, with nothing but desert on each side of
her, she could run, and by running escape for just a
------------------- JANUARY --------------------
She stood, unmoving, her gaze riveted on the glass,
or, rather, riveted on what lie on the other side of
the glass: a broken man, exhausted, his eyes haunted.
Time ceased to exist as she watched, transfixed. The
desolation in his gaze, the tired, defeated slump of
his shoulders cried out to her, and she ached for him,
desperately wishing she could ease his suffering. Yet
she wondered if she had any comfort to offer, since
her own heart had shattered with his.
Her ears still rung with his words, her mind grappling
with their meaning.
"Someone young and beautiful." It was the first time
she'd heard him say she was beautiful, though to be
fair, he'd alluded to the fact before, once with such
poetic elegance she'd been rendered speechless. She'd
spent countless hours, both sleeping and awake, since
that day dreaming of the ways he'd tell her she was
beautiful. Somehow this scenario had never crossed
"I couldn't do it." Her eyes closed involuntarily and
she choked back a sob. He couldn't do it. Did he
regret his fear and timidity as much as she did?
Somehow she thought it hurt more to think that he
probably did, but he was unable to do anything to
rectify the situation. Unable, not unwilling, because
if she'd learned anything over the past 36 hours, it
was that he was not simply playing a game with her
emotions, he was as deeply wounded by this as she was,
A slight movement on the other side of the glass
caught her attention, and slowly the room came back
into view, her own private world of pain slowly fading
out of focus. His body shuddered as he heaved a
ragged sigh and laid his head on his arms, resting on
the table. Her heart lurched, her jaw clenched, and
at that moment she'd have sacrificed anything - her
job, her career, her pride - to comfort him.
Before she could think about what she was doing long
enough to talk herself out of it, she slipped from the
observation room, took a few deliberate steps down the
hallway and opened the door to the interrogation room.
She stood in the doorway and inhaled slowly and
deeply, willing back her tears as her emotions
threatened to overflow. He didn't move, didn't seem
to notice that someone had entered the room.
With a few timid steps, she was behind him, only
inches away. She hesitated only a second before
placing a hand on his shoulder, rubbing gently. He
flinched and turned his head to look at her over his
shoulder. His look of utter bewilderment slowly
morphed into one of tender confusion.
"Sara?" His hopeful disbelief tugged at her heart, and
she acted instinctively, reaching up and cupping his
cheek, her thumb gently stroking the soft hair that
grew there now. This time she offered no excuse or
explanation. His eyes fluttered shut briefly, then
opened again and held her gaze. They sharpened and
she feared that any second he would realize where they
were and what was happening, and he would push her
away. Any other day, she would have retreated then
and there, but today she knew how much he needed her
comfort, and she refused to withdraw until he forced
her to do so.
He lifted his arm and she braced herself for the
inevitable distancing that would come when he held her
back, pushing away. But instead she found herself
being grasped and drawn into his embrace. She was in
his lap, she realized belatedly, his arms encircling
her waist, clinging to her as if she were the only
thing that could keep him afloat as he struggled in a
sea of confusion and pain. He buried his face in the
crook of her neck and her heart twisted as she heard
him whisper her name again and again.
"Shh. It's okay. I'm okay. I'm right here," she
whispered, forcing the words through the growing lump
in her throat. Her hands roamed through his hair and
stroked his neck, trying to offer what little comfort
His soft pleas tapered out, but he made no move away
from her, his arms locked in place, ensuring that she
could not escape.
"I'm just so tired," he whispered finally.
"I know," she said, stroking his hair again. "You
haven't slept in two days. You need to go home."
"No. It's not.... It's not just.... I'm tired,
Sara. I'm tired of this. I'm tired of being so
confused. I'm tired of always doing the right thing.
I'm so confused. I don't even know what the right
thing is anymore. I just want to hold you."
Her eyes filled with tears and she hugged him tightly,
resting her head against his shoulder. "Then just
He was quiet for another minute, his breathing
becoming less erratic, and she wondered if he had
fallen asleep. Then he lifted his head and sat back,
his eyes searching her face. She started to pull
back, thinking he was ready to let go, but his arms
tightened instinctively. "No. Don't leave me."
She slipped her arms back around his neck, and closed
her eyes for a moment, struggling to maintain her
composure. "I'm not going anywhere," she said softly.
"I just want to look at you. To...to know you're
okay." His explanation was so soft, his voice tinged
with embarrassment, she barely could make out his
mutterings. His eyes left hers, unable to maintain
the contact, and his gaze fell to her lap.
"Sometimes," he continued, "sometimes I'd look at her,
and I'd see you. She looked so much like you. I was
His agonized confession shot through her, sending
chills down her spine. Had the roles been reversed,
had she been forced to work the murder of someone who
looked just like him.... She didn't know if she could
have done it.
"Oh, god, Grissom."
She watched as he lifted his head slowly, expecting
him to meet her gaze again. But they stopped short,
and she realized suddenly that he wasn't merely
avoiding her eyes, he was staring at her neck.
Unbidden, images of the body she'd viewed in the
morgue earlier rushed at her, colliding in her mind
with photos from the crime scene. The woman, her face
so familiar, her neck slit straight across, blood
pooling beneath her. So much blood. He shuddered,
and she knew he was visualizing the same thing.
Silently she grasped his wrist in her hand and guided
him to her neck. His eyes fluttered to hers for a
second, questioning then grateful, before falling back
to her neck. He watched, focused single-mindedly on
the pale skin beneath his fingers, as they traced the
delicate muscles, reassuring him that everything was
She trembled, his gentle strokes robbing her of her
ability to speak, nearly stealing her breath
altogether. When his gaze finally met hers again and
she saw past the torture to the longing and need, she
gasped softly. He locked eyes with her for only a
second before refocusing on her neck yet again. But
this time he removed his fingers and replaced them
with his lips. The breath she'd been holding whooshed
out of her body with a strangled sound that was
somewhere between a moan and a cry.
His lips burned a hot, wet trail of open-mouthed
kisses across her neck. Her head fell back, granting
him unrestrained access, and his tongue darted out,
tasting her tentatively. She whimpered, her hands
winding their way into his hair, silently encouraging
him. He responded enthusiastically, continuing his
ministrations to her neck while unlocking his hands
from around her waist in order to explore her body and
stroke her hair. Somewhere in the depths of her mind,
a rational voice was screaming at her that this was
wrong. Besides the fact that they were at work, in a
room with a two-way mirror where any manner of people
might be watching them without their knowledge, she
also knew this was all going to come to an end soon
and there was no way to know how he would react. In
the past, every step forward in their relationship had
been met with the proverbial two steps back. If a
dinner invitation could cause him to avoid her for
months at a time, what would this lead to? Would he
push her so far away she'd have no choice but to let
him go? The thought sent an ache to her chest and her
sobs of pleasure were tinged with sadness.
"Sara. Oh, Sara. God, Sara. Sara. Sara. Sara." Her
name, whispered so desperately against the sensitive
skin of her neck, sent mingled waves of tenderness and
desire rolling over her body. Any thought of pushing
him away before he could hurt her any more than he had
in the past year dissolved as he continued his soft
litany, his pleading voice and the sound of his mouth
on her skin filling the otherwise silent room.
His kisses slowed and his repetition of her name
became less frantic, allowing her to slide slowly back
into consciousness. As much as she hated the idea of
breaking the moment and pulling away, she knew they
had to. Anyone could happen upon them. They were in
a well-used area of the police station. If they were
found by any number of people it could spell serious
trouble for them professionally, not to mention the
havoc it would wreak on their already-tenuous personal
"Grissom," she managed to whisper finally. "Griss,
"No," he whispered, continuing his gentle assault.
She closed her eyes and swallowed convulsively, trying
to rein in her emotions. "We have to stop. We can't
do this here. Grissom, we're at work."
His hands stopped their erotic travelings and
tightened around her waist. "Please."
Her tears were back, sparked by his desperate
entreaty. But she forced herself to guide his head
away from her before pulling him close and hugging him
tightly. "I don't want to stop either, but we have
to, Griss. We have to. We need to leave. We can't
stay here like this."
He said nothing, just continued clinging to her. She
inhaled deeply, aware that her next words could change
everything and even if things went as best as she
imagined they possibly could, she was still going to
wind up with a broken heart. "Come home with me."
When he didn't respond she worried first that he had
come back to his senses and was trying to think of a
way to extricate himself from the situation he had
accidentally created, then that he had fallen asleep
in her arms. "Griss?"
"I don't know what to do," he said softly. Her heart
twisted at the weariness and confusion in his voice.
In all the years she had known him, he'd always seemed
so strong. In the past she'd accused him of being
uncaring, but she'd known even as she said the words,
that they were untrue. He felt things, he felt them
deeply, but he was strong, stronger than she. He knew
how to turn off the emotions when they were
inappropriate, how to remain stoic when he need be.
His weakness now scared her more than she wanted to
"What do you want, Grissom. Just tell me what you
want me to do and I'll do it." She hated herself for
saying it. Hated herself for being so overwhelmed
with her love for a person that she allowed him to
choose her destiny for her. But she knew it was
true; whatever he needed, whatever he wanted, she
would give it to him.
"I want you."
She couldn't stifle the gasp. They were the words
she'd dreamed of hearing from him for so long she
could no longer remember when she'd first imagined him
saying them. She'd long ago convinced her rational
self she would never hear them from his lips anywhere
but in her dreams, though to be honest she had never
been able to persuade her heart. And yet she was
hearing them now, as she sat cradled in his arms, her
neck still wet from his kisses. "You have me," she
whispered hoarsely. Her fingers threaded through his
hair, stroking his curls gently. "You've always had
"No, Sara." His voice was miserable and she could
feel him shaking his head slightly. "I don't have
you. I can't have you. I can't."
"You can, Grissom. You do. Don't you know? You have
me. Whether you want me or not, you have me. I gave
myself to you a long time ago. All you have to do is
"God, Sara. I wish it was that easy."
"It is easy. You're making this more complicated than
it has to be."
"No, I'm trying to make you see how complicated this
is. There are far too many obstacles, far too many
reasons this would never work. And then we'll both be
more miserable than ever. The thought of losing you
now - when I've never really had you - is nearly
killing me. The thought of losing you later.... I
can't, Sara. It's not that I don't want to. I
He had pulled back during his monologue, meeting her
eyes for the first time since he'd kissed her neck.
The memory of his kisses hit her suddenly and her
tongue darted between her lips, wetting them. His
kisses had been so erotic, so enticing. She needed to
feel his lips on hers, desperately wanted to touch his
hot tongue with her own.
She shook herself from her brief reverie and focused
on the topic of hand once again. "Why?" she asked.
He had reduced her to begging once again, she
realized. After the first time -- when she'd returned
his unequivocal "no" with "Why not? Let's go out to
dinner. Let's see what happens." -- she'd sworn that
she'd never beg again. But even her stubborn pride
was no match for her need for him today. If begging
would work, she would resort to it, and she refused to
feel guilty for doing so.
"I don't even know right now, Sara. I can't think.
But I know there are reasons. Do you think I would
make us both this miserable if I thought there was a
way? There's not. It can't work. And once I've had
some sleep, I'm sure I'll remember those reasons all
"But you can't remember them now, can you?" she asked,
somewhat stunned by what she was considering. Her
attraction to him had never been the type that would
be satisfied by a fling. One night had never been her
goal. But the thought of leaving him tonight was
unbearable. Her desperation making her brave, she
slid one hand up to cup his cheek. Her voice was low
and seductive as she continued. "You can forget all
the reasons tonight, can't you? Just tonight."
"Sara...." His breath was labored suddenly, his eyes
boring into hers. "You don't mean that. We
"You need me, and I need you. For one night, can't we
just forget why it's wrong and lose ourselves in how
right it is?"
His body stiffened beneath her and she wasn't sure if
it was because he was upset or because he was
contemplating her offer. "This doesn't change
anything, Sara. In the morning, we'll still be who we
are, and we'll still be unable to do anything about
this. Tonight...would just make tomorrow morning that
"I know that."
"Do you really?" He didn't believe her, but he was
wavering nonetheless. She could see it in his eyes.
The thought of being separated from her tonight was no
more bearable for him as it was for her.
"I do," she breathed, taking one final chance and
leaning forward. Before he could stop her, she
pressed her lips to his.
The spark was immediate. His lips were firm on hers,
tugging and teasing. His tongue pressed forward
boldly, demanding access, which she granted eagerly.
His hands roamed her back frantically before one crept
up, tangling in her hair and holding her to him as he
continued his battery of her senses. Her mind whirled
as she tried to comprehend what was happening. All
logical thought had vanished though, and all she could
think about were the sensations he was creating.
Finally, she jerked away, her eyes flashing as she
held his gaze.
When she spoke, her voice was husky with
long-restrained desire. All vestiges of begging were
gone, replaced by a quiet demand. "Come home with
Twenty minutes later, they stood in front of her door.
Her hand trembled as she inserted her key into the
lock. Grissom stood behind her silently. He had
responded to her demand in the interrogation room with
a heated look and a slow nod, and they hadn't spoken
since. They had made their way quickly out of the
station and into her Denali where the air between them
had crackled with electricity as they refrained from
touching each other during the fifteen minute drive.
It was almost as if they knew once they started again,
there could be no stopping, regardless of where they
After only minimal fumbling, she managed to disengage
the lock and open the door to her apartment. She
stepped inside and held the door open for him. He
followed her and moved aside to allow her to close the
door behind him. She turned to face him and opened
her mouth to speak, but nothing came out. She licked
her lips slowly, then tried again, gesturing toward
the kitchen. "Do you want-"
The words never left her mouth because suddenly his
lips were covering hers swallowing any offer of
refreshments before she could utter it. She was
pinned to the door, his solid body pressed firmly
against hers. His hands held her face tenderly while
his tongue swept through her mouth frantically as if
trying to learn and memorize every taste and texture
as quickly as he could.
She gasped, but responded as fervently as possible
once she had recovered from the shock. Her tongue
tangled with his and she smiled against his lips. One
of his hands left her face, traveling down her body,
tracing her arm, her waist, her hip. He rocked
against her and she felt a stab of almost painful
arousal twisting in her gut as the growing evidence of
his desire pressed into her hip. Her arousal was only
intensified when she heard him moan her name against
She whimpered in protest when he ripped his lips from
hers, but the frustrated noise slowly morphed into one
of pleasure as his lips found her neck. Her head fell
to the side automatically granting him freer access,
and he took advantage of her offer, his lips
frantically roaming the exposed skin of her neck and
upper chest. His hand slid down her body, caressing
her curves and sliding between her hot body and the
cool wood of the door to cup her bottom before
slipping down further, urging her silently to lift her
leg. She responded immediately, wrapping her leg
around his tightly, seemingly trying to merge their
two bodies into one. Her hands slid down his back,
yanking his dress shirt from his pants and winding
their way under his clothes to stroke his bare skin.
His arousal was unmistakable now, straining the bounds
of his loose dress pants. His hand left her leg and
found her breast, kneading it gently through the soft
material of her T-shirt. He found the pebbled nipple,
rolled it between his thumb and finger and she inhaled
sharply and arched against him, her hands immediately
finding his face and lifting it to hers. Her lips
sought his, her eager tongue plundering his mouth as
she tried to tell him without words exactly how she
was feeling. He groaned and thrust against her, and
even through the layers of clothing that separated
them, Sara could feel the jolt of pleasure shoot
Unable to wait any longer, she pushed herself away
from the door and began half leading, half dragging
him toward her bedroom. They crashed into the wall,
then the doorframe as they stumbled down the short
hallway, unwilling to separate long enough to make the
short trek. Once inside her bedroom, he immediately
slid her jacket from her shoulders, letting it pool on
the floor at her feet. Suddenly their hands were
everywhere, unfastening buttons, sliding zippers.
Shoes and socks were removed awkwardly as they tried
to shed their clothing without stepping out of their
embrace. When their outer layers of clothing had all
been disposed of and they were finally clad only in
their underclothes - Grissom in his boxers, Sara in
her bra and panties - they fell on the bed, making no
effort to draw back the covers or do things
His hands roamed her body, massaging and caressing.
"God, Sara. You're so incredibly beautiful. You have
no idea," he mumbled, his lips leaving hers to begin
an exploration of her body. "I've wanted to do this
since the first time I laid eyes on you. Sometimes
just being in the same room with you makes me
incapable of coherent thought."
Sara smiled brightly, her eyes glazed with passion as
his lips trailed over her ribcage and across her flat
stomach. Her hands stroked his hair as she sighed
happily. His kisses stopped suddenly, and she looked
up confused. Once things came into focus, she
realized he had moved to the foot of the bed and was
looking up along the length of her body as she lay
sprawled across the bed. He placed a kiss at her
ankle, then began moving up her leg, lingering once he
reached the sensitive skin on the inside of her knee.
"Griss." Even she was uncertain whether her
breathless plea was an entreaty for him to continue
what he was doing or to hurry along.
"If you're trying to rush me, don't bother," he
replied, his voice thick with desire, but tinged with
humor. He continued his ascent for awhile longer
before speaking again. "Do you have any idea how much
time I've spent fantasizing about these legs over the
last ten years? God, Sara. They go on forever and
"Trust me, they end eventually," she said, her voice
strangled, as his lips grazed the edge of her black
"Yes, yes they do." His mouth hovered for a minute,
and she could feel his hot breath as it came in puffs
against the damp garment. He glanced up momentarily,
his gaze burning her, before focusing on the task at
hand. He hooked his fingers on the sides of the tiny
scrap of cloth that separated him from her. She
lifted her hips obligingly, and her breathing was
labored as he began sliding them down her legs in an
agonizingly slow path. Finally he tossed it aside and
returned to his previous position, his mouth hovering
above her incredibly sensitive skin.
When his lips finally found her in his most intimate
kiss yet, she reacted automatically, lifting her hips
and gasping. "Oh my god. Grissom."
"Say my name, Sara," he demanded, his kisses moving
higher, tracing a line where her dark curls met the
pale skin of her stomach.
She didn't respond immediately, his words drowned out
in her mind by the incredible pleasure he was
sparking. His kisses continued as he worked his way
higher. He reached the bra finally, the only item of
clothing she continued to wear, and slid his hands
under her, deftly undoing the clasp. She shrugged out
of it eagerly, tossing it over the side of her bed and
heaving a ragged sigh as he sucked and licked along
the undersides of her sensitive breasts. She
whimpered, her chest tight with longing and need,
arching towards him in a silent plea. He complied,
but slowly, his mouth tracing the swells with infinite
care and attention to detail. As he neared the tight
peak of one breast, a strangled sound of pleasure
escaped her lips as she writhed beneath him. He
placed three final kisses around the hard nub,
punctuating each with a single word, "Say. My. Name."
Then his mouth engulfed the bud, sucking fervently and
swirling his tongue over her sensitive skin.
"Gil!" Her back arched off the bed, her head pressing
into the pillow, eyes shut tightly. "Oh god, Gil.
He rewarded her by moving eagerly to the other nipple,
giving it the same erotic attention. She lay beneath
him, reveling in his kisses for another moment, before
grasping his face firmly with her hands and bringing
him up to her lips. Her mouth covered his, her tongue
thrusting into his mouth repeatedly in a sensual
preview of what she wanted him to do.
Her patience was beginning to wear thin, but she would
force herself to delay the ultimate pleasure, first
giving him the same sweet attention he'd lavished upon
her. Sliding her feet along the mattress, she raised
her knees, capturing him between them and cradling him
in the valley of her hips. She reveled in his solid
weight for a minute, then rolled forcefully, deftly
changing their positions.