Elevator Experiment

Rating - PG Spoilers - None Comments - They aren't mine, wish they were. No infringement intended, just having fun. Feedback welcome, please be gentle. This is my first story.

Summary - Our two fave CSI's get stuck in an elevator.

"Hey, Griss, come see what I have." Sara was intently studying the evidence she had just found, an item that just might prove to be the case-breaker.

"Let me see." Grissom was looking over Sara's shoulder. Sara moved away to give her boss a clear view, then turned to watch his face as he examined the find. "Good catch, Sara. Get it processed. I'll finish up in the bedroom, then we can head back to the lab." He flashed her a smile, his eyes briefly locking onto hers.

Sara paused only long enough to take a breath, and sneak a peek at Grissom walking away, then she was hard at work again. Taking photos of the evidence in context, collecting, swabbing, bagging and tagging - all the minutiae of forensic work - consumed her for the next hour or so; it had already been a long night, and she was no where close to done yet. Yup, this was a hot case, she was working with her favorite CSI, and she was not quite maxed out on overtime yet. It was, all things considered, her favorite place to be.

Finally, she and Griss were both finished. Judging from the quantity and quality of the evidence they had found, they should soon know exactly who- dun-it. At least, Sara fervently hoped so; the case was the murder of a very nice, very elderly widow. It was the kind of case that could give Sara nightmares if she wasn't careful.

The two investigators, each carrying a field kit and several sealed evidence bags, left Mrs. Patterson's apartment and Sara herself carefully applied the police seal to the door. A few yards away, Gil pushed the elevator down button. They were on the 16th floor of the building.

As the elevator began its descent, Sara allowed herself a small yawn. Sure, she was tired, but she never let tiredness interfere with her job. Gil noticed the yawn, and responded with one of his own. "I wonder if any scientist has ever done a study to determine why yawns are so darn contagious?" He smiled at her as he said it. Smiling back, she was about to suggest he do the study himself, when the elevator suddenly gave a noisy lurch and stopped moving. Sara staggered a bit, bumping against Grissom's arm in the process. The lights flickered, and went out. The elevator was in total darkness.

"Sara, can you find your flashlight?" A few seconds had passed.

"Think so, I'll try. Can you find yours?" She was putting down all the things she was holding.

"Just find yours."

"Working on it" She thrust her now empty hands into the pockets of her jacket. "Here we go" She had it turned on before it was out of the pocket.

"How long do you think we'll be in here?" She shone the light in Gil's direction.

"I have no idea."

"I'll try the emergency phone, let someone know we're stuck here." She already had the receiver on her ear. "That's weird, it sounds dead. No dial tone, no ringing. No nothing."

"Try your cell."

"Okay, but they don't always work in elevators."

"Try anyways." Gil's voice had an edge to it now.

"You okay, Grissom?" Sara glanced at him. He had hardly moved since the elevator had quit, hadn't even put down his stuff. He was staring at the door.

"Just try." She did try, but could not get a signal. "Nope, nothing, Try yours."

"Sara."

"This could take a while. Wasted time while we wait it out."

"Sara." His voice was sounding decidedly stressed.

"Still here, Griss. Haven't gone anywhere."

"Sara, get me out of here."

With sudden understanding flooding her mind, she turned towards him. "Oh Grissom, you're claustrophobic. Sorry, didn't know."

"Yes, Sara, that's the scientific explanation. But I must confess that science has precious little to do with what I'm feeling right now."

"It's okay, Griss. We'll be okay." She was standing close to him now; she put her hand on his shoulder.

"Will we? We could be here all night. No one knows where to find us." Panic was creeping into his voice.

"Catherine knows about our case, she'll find us."

"Maybe." He still hadn't moved.

Realizing that her friend was struggling to maintain his self-control, and was dangerously close to the breaking point, she knew that she had to take charge of the situation. She positioned her flashlight on her field kit, with the beam shining across the elevator, then she reached for his kit. "I'll just put this over here next to mine. Ditto the evidence bags." It wasn't easy; his grip was strong and his fists were clenched tightly around the things they were holding. Once she had his stuff looked after, she said, "Let's sit down and try to get comfortable." She gently pushed him down, and rapidly sat beside him. She took one of his hands and held it between her own. "Grissom, look at me. It's going to be okay." She said it quietly. He continued to stare at the door, with eyes that were not quite focussed. "Grissom." a little louder. Still no response. "Gil, please look at me." She touched his face, meaning to turn him towards her. He gasped, startled, and pulled back as if burned. Then, he did look at her; and the fear she saw in his beautiful blue eyes made her heart ache. "Sara, you have to get me out of here." It was barely a whisper.

Sara, still holding his hand, simply nodded. In her thoughts, she knew she had two problems, one being the stuck elevator, and the other being this dear man's escalating terror. She didn't know what to do about either one, and she absolutely knew that he could never know that.

"Let me try your cell phone."

"Why, yours didn't work. Why should mine?"

"Scientific research. Yours is a different model, so maybe it has a chance."

"Whatever." He fished it out from his pocket and held it out to her."

She quickly dialled Catherine's number. To Sara's great relief, the call went through.

"Hey, Gil. Not like you to goof off. Where are you?" Catherine sounded distinctly annoyed.

"Actually, it's Sara. And he's not goofing off. Thing is we're stuck in an elevator."

Catherine was confused. "Sara? On Gil's phone? Talk to me, Sara." Sara explained the situation.

"I'll get someone over there ASAP. You guys okay?"

"Been better. Don't like wasting time like this." She didn't want Catherine to know just how "not okay" Grissom really was.

"Yeah, the two workaholics stuck on hold. Better watch out for withdrawal symptoms." Sara knew that Cath was only teasing, but it sure wasn't funny. She hung up before she could say something she would only regret.

"Sara, I can't do this" He was looking into her eyes.

"Catherine is sending help. We'll be out soon. Gil, you'll be okay." His grip on her hand was painfully tight.

"You don't understand. I can't do this."

"Yes, you can, Gil. We can. I'll get you through this."

"Just get me out, Sara, get me out." His voice was rising, his control was almost gone.

At that moment, Sara knew what to do. Maybe it wasn't a textbook example of how to calm a panicking person, but still worth a try with this particular man. She leaned in and firmly kissed his mouth. He pushed her away, his face showing surprise. Then, he grabbed her and kissed her back with an intensity that bordered on violence. "Good, it's working" Sara thought, "Replace the fear with something else. Fear is primitive, replace it with something equally as primitive, the fear gets pushed out."

Some time later, Grissom suddenly stopped kissing Sara. He released her and turned away. He looked embarrassed. "Sara, I'm so sorry. I don't know why I did that."

"Well, I started it. And my experiment seems to have worked." She observed that though he was still jittery, he was also much calmer.

"Experiment? What are you talking about?"

Sara said nothing; she just waited. She could see that he was once again capable of rational thought; he'd figure it out on his own.

"Oh, you were clever." The light had dawned. "And I'm no longer so afraid. Just one question, what if it had been someone else freaking out on you? Like Brass, maybe?"

"But it wasn't Brass, it was you. And we both know that sometimes science is very situation-specific."

After a long pause, he said, "Sara, I know something else, as well. For all that I hate being stuck here in this elevator, I wouldn't trade what happened for anything. I wouldn't trade you, either. And as for your experiment, let's try that again sometime when we're not stuck."

Sara's face lit up. "Sounds good to me."

Just then, they heard footsteps on the other side of the elevator door, and Catherine's voice telling them that they would be out momentarily. Gil turned to Sara with a mischievous smile." Should I tell her to go away?"

FIN