Scars

Disclaimer: I don't own them, but wish I did. No infringement is intended, I'm just having fun. Feedback is welcome, but not required; please be kind.

A/N: This story comes after "Play with Fire". The POV alternates between Sara and Grissom; this format is different from my other works.

He almost couldn't believe this was really happening. After long years of waiting and wanting, of dreaming and fantasizing, it was finally happening. It was real. She was here with him, and she was making love with him.

Did he really call me Honey? It's been more than a month since the explosion; my memories of that day are hazy at best. I try to recall details, only to have them slip away from me. That detail, however, stays with me; it comes back in my dreams, and it haunts my mind when I'm awake.

My hand is nearly healed; the sutures have long since been removed. That scar will remain, slowly fading with the passing of time. My other scars, the ones not so easy to see; well, that's a different story. He refused to have dinner with me, his only reason being that he didn't know what to do about this. He effectively acknowledged this while simultaneously blocking any possibility of exploring it. Could he not see how deeply that wounded me?

I called her Honey. Right there in front of all those people. She must have heard me, if no one else did. She's never mentioned it. Then again, she was in shock, emotionally if not medically. Maybe she doesn't remember it. She was injured; she needed stitches in her hand. Even though she said she was fine. She wasn't fine, not then, maybe not now.

All she wanted was to have dinner. She wasn't asking to get married or anything like that. Just dinner. Why did I say no? Why can't I deal with this?

Another shift, another night of pain and humiliation. How can he not see? Granted, he keeps himself bottled up, but how can he not realize what's happening here? He hands out the assignments, making sure we never work together. I don't mind working with the others, but that's not the point. The point is he's shunning me. The others must see it. They all have unspoken questions in their eyes when they look at me. And, I have no answers, unspoken or otherwise.

I almost let her work with me tonight. Almost. Instead, I allowed Nick to have the benefit of her professional assistance. I see the confused, questioning looks in their eyes. I simply choose not to explain myself. Call it a supervisor's prerogative; I don't owe them any explanations. We have work to do, that's why we're here. The rest of it has no place in my lab. Yeah, right. If only I believed that. What was that line from Lewis Carroll, something about believing six impossible things before breakfast? I'm really slipping, usually I have no problem recalling obscure quotes. But, anyway, if I can believe six impossible things, maybe I can also convince myself that everything's okay. With me. With her. With my lab.

Nick wants to ask. I know he does. He wants to know, they all do. Including me. I want to know, too. But, just what is the question? Exactly what is there to know? He hates me. No. No, he doesn't. Hating me would be too passionate, too intense for Mr. Repressed. So, okay, he doesn't hate me. It's more like ... more like he just doesn't see me anymore, like I'm invisible. He never looks directly at me anymore. Even when he gives me an assignment, he only looks at the paper, not at me. When he wants me to report findings, he looks at the wall, or his bugs, or ... well, basically, anything other than me. Maybe I should leave. San Francisco would take me back in a heartbeat. I don't have to stay here. So, why do I?

Why can't I look at her? This is crazy. I'm her supervisor; I need to be able to communicate with her - at least about work. But, I can't even look at her. I have got to find a way to deal with this. And, fast. Before people start asking questions. Problem is, I don't even know where to start. I've never been in this kind of situation before and it's not exactly something I can look up in a textbook. Not even my bugs can help answer this one. No, this time, I'm on my own. Okay, I've been on my own before; I've been on my own for years. So, why does this situation have me so unbalanced? Unbalanced? No, that's not quite the right word. I know the right word, I just don't want to say it. Not even to myself. Because, the right word - come on, be a man and say it - the right word is ... scared. Yeah, that's it. This situation has me scared. Oops, wrong again. It's not the situation that scares me, it's - come on, you can say it - her. Finally, there it is. She scares me. She scares me in a way I've never been scared before. But, why? Okay, okay, I know why. Because I have feelings for her. Deep feelings, important feelings, totally unprofessional feelings, feelings I've had for years. That's why I'm so scared. Because I love her. I want her. But, I'm her supervisor; I can't have her. In a nutshell, that's this.

Okay, I've decided. I'm out of here. I have the transfer forms all ready to go. If he won't sign them himself, I'll go over his head. It's clear I can't stay here. I'm sure he'll be glad to see the last of me. He probably won't even want me to serve out my two weeks notice. The others will miss me, though. Especially Nick. And Greg, he'll be heartbroken. I just hope nobody tries that farewell cake in the break room thing. That would be just too sad. Well, I'd better get this over with. There he is, in his office. Be brave and get it done. And remember to breathe.

She wants to leave, to transfer back to San Francisco. I don't understand. How can she leave? And, she says she'll go over my head if I don't sign her papers. I don't know what to do. I only know the lab can't afford to lose her. Then again, neither can I. What are my options? Offer to transfer her to the day shift? No way, she and Ecklie would be at each other's throats before the end of the first week. She's standing there looking at me, waiting for an answer, and I have no idea what to tell her.

What's his problem anyway? He's just sitting there staring at the forms. It's really very simple, Bugman; just pick up the pen and sign the damn papers. Then, I'll be out of here forever. Maybe he thinks I'll just go away if he ignores me long enough. But, not this time. No, this time I'm not leaving this office without some kind of answer. I'll just keep standing here for as long as it takes.

I don't know what to do. I can't sign these papers, but if I don't, she'll just go over my head. Wait a minute, who am I kidding here? I do so know what to do. I'm just too scared to do it. I have to talk to her. About everything. I have to talk to her about this.

"Sara, before I sign these papers, we need to talk."

"So, talk."

"Close the door, and sit down."

"Done. Talk."

"When you asked me to have dinner with you, I reacted badly. I could offer excuses about how you caught me at a bad time, but I won't. I said no."

"Yeah, I was there, I remember."

"Please listen. Since then, I've been thinking about it. Thinking about why I said no. And, it's because ..."

"Go on."

"This is hard for me. I said no because ... because I was scared. I'm still scared."

"Scared of what?"

'Scared of you. You scare me, Sara."

"I scare you? Why"

"So many reasons. Because I feel things for you I've never felt before. Because I'm your supervisor, and our relationship is supposed to be strictly professional. Because I don't want to lose you."

"You mean, you don't want the lab to lose me."

"Well, that too. But mainly, I don't want to lose you. In any way."

Is he really saying all this? He really doesn't want to lose me? How can I answer that?

Okay, I told her I don't want to lose her. What happens next?

"So, if you want me to stay, give me a reason."

"A reason to stay?"

"Yes."

"Okay, more nights off?"

"Maybe. But, that's not what I meant."

I know I'm probably pushing him too hard, but I need to know where we stand. One way or the other, I need a little resolution here. Yes or no. In or out. Up or down. Anything besides this intolerable limbo.

Not what she meant? Oh, I see. What she wants is not work-related, but personal. She wants me to make some sort of statement here. About this. And, if I don't, she'll be gone. Forever. I can't let that happen.

"Okay, how's this? Have dinner with me; and we'll just see what happens."

"Now, that's more like it."

"Still want the papers signed?"

"I'm willing to wait until after that dinner."

Dinner had gone amazingly well. He found that seeing her away from the lab made it far easier to talk to her. To really talk to her. In the end, he told her everything. He told her all about his feelings for her, his love for her, his desire for her, and how long he had harboured those feelings. He told her about his mother and his hearing loss, and how frightened he was that it would become permanent. He told her how his heart had nearly broken after the explosion when he found her sitting alone on the sidewalk, looking like a lost little girl and not even realizing she was hurt. He even told her about how he had called her Honey.

She had told him everything, too. How long she had loved him. How working here with him had been the best thing in her life. How much it hurt when he wouldn't look at her. How she had never really wanted to leave. How leaving was just a way of escaping the pain.

And now, here they were; in his townhouse, in his bed. Naked and doing incredibly, deliciously erotic things to each other. It was so ... beyond even his vocabulary. Now, his only regret was that he had taken so long to speak. Almost too long. It had taken a crisis, the unbearable threat of losing her. He promised himself it would not happen again.

FIN