Disclaimer: CSI and its characters are the property of CBS and Alliance/Atlantis networks. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's note: This is a response to last week's Unbound Improv Challenge. Real Life has interfered drastically, and didn't allow me my precious computer/internet time. So, it's a little late. Sorry about that!
Anyway, I want to thank Marlou for being my beta and a wonderful friend! You're the best!
Well, I hope you'll like the story!
Grissom remembered warm summer nights in Boston, and wine in yellow plastic cups. He'd been forced by his colleagues to attend a party in the park.
Grissom turned around when he heard someone call out his name and saw Harold Staff approaching him. Staff and he went back a long time ago, both very eager college students wanting to make a difference. And while he had become a crime scene investigator, Staff had accepted a position as a professor at the university.
"Gil, let me introduce you to our most promising student of this year." Grissom immediately recognized the brunette standing behind Staff. "This is Miss Sidle. If I'm not mistaken, she's taking your course."
He already knew. So many students had signed up for his class, yet she had immediately captured his attention with her bright eyes and her seemingly never ending longing for knowledge. At times she drove her fellow students insane by asking such complicated questions that it only prolonged the class. But to him it was something he appreciated in a student. She was not just passively absorbing information, like some of the others; she was actively internalizing it. She was being critical, questioning him, and sometimes even surprising him with her insightful comments.
"I am," she said in a slightly amused tone of voice. "And it's the most interesting course I have ever taken."
He returned her warm smile. It was their first meeting and from that moment on a bond of friendship formed between them, based on their mutual interest in science. They spent a lot of time together, probably more than was appropriate between student and teacher. They never crossed that forbidden boundary, but that didn't mean that both of them had never been tempted.
He had to admit that he was relieved when it was time for him to leave, so that he didn't have to make a choice. But deep down inside he'd always known that someday he would have to.
Grissom remembered warm summer nights in Boston, and wine in yellow plastic cups. They were sitting on a bench in the park. The same park where it had all began, where they had talked, really talked, for the first time. So much had happened since their first meeting. He'd called her when he needed her the most, bringing her back in his life and in his heart. His feelings for her had not changed, but rather intensified. But he had kept her to a distance, afraid that she would come too close. It had taken him several important incidents to realize what he was risking to lose. First the explosion of the lab, then the victim who looked so much like Sara and finally the time he was called to pick her up from the police station. It had made him realize what he had done. Not only to her, but also to himself. Hurting the woman that he loved and denying himself the happiness she could give him.
"What are you thinking about?" A small smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. She'd already recognized the pensive look in his eyes. In the past couple of months she had learned to 'read' him and she knew that something was troubling him.
"Us. And how I almost lost you."
Her face clouded for a few seconds as memories of those difficult past years came back to her. All the times he had pushed her away, all the times he had hurt her by his act of indifference. "You sure came close."
When Sara felt his body stiffen as a reaction to her words, she snuggled against him. "But I'm glad you finally came to your senses."
He shot her a warm smile, then leaned towards her and captured her lips with his. Yes, so was he.
Grissom remembered warm summer nights in Boston, and wine in yellow plastic cups. Only that particular day there was no wine in their cups, but orange juice. They were sitting on a blanket in the park, watching dogs running around and children playing together. The loud screaming of a young girl caught his attention. She'd been bitten by a boy. The mother of the child immediately rushed over to her son and took him aside. She didn't raise her voice, she didn't slap him. All she did was calmy, but not without any emotion, explain to the boy that by biting the girl he had hurt her.
Grissom recognized the tactic she was using. He had studied every book on parenting. The mother was making the child aware of the consequences of his own action. The child knew pain himself, so he could relate to the girl. That would make it easier for him to understand why he shouldn't bite anymore.
"Observing parents again, Gris?"
She chuckled softly when he jumped. She tenderly placed her hand against his cheek. "You will do fine. Trust me."
He captured her hand and held it tightly. He wanted to believe her, but as he looked at her swelling belly, he did not only feel happiness but also fear surging through his body. The fear of being a terrible father.
"How can you know? I didn't have the best example when I was young."
She knew all about his childhood. One night, a few months after they got together, he had finally told her the whole story. About his mother and her deafness, about his father leaving them, and about the loss he had felt of having to miss out on a male role model. She knew that it had left scars that could not so easily be healed. But she was convinced that together they could deal with the demons of the past. Including hers.
She rested her head on his shoulder. "Because I know you."
Grissom smiled softly. Hopefully she was right.
Grissom remembered warm summer nights in Boston, and wine in yellow plastic cups. His favorite memories. Time had gone by so soon, but while he had admitted that he had not really lived for the first fifty years of his life, he could now say that he had fully lived the remaining ones. He had taken the second chance Sara had offered him and had not regretted it for a single moment.
The laughter of his children and even grandchildren startled him out of his thoughts. A warm hand covered his.
"Happy memories?" Sara asked slightly amused.
His face softened when he looked at her. "Very happy. Just thinking about the first time we met."
"Never thought I'd fall for a professor." Sara grinned mischievously. "You were definitely the cutest though. Why do you think so many women had signed up for your course?"
"I thought they were all interested in forensics," he said dryly.
She smirked. "Guess again. They were all very interested in a certain professor."
"As I remember correctly one girl was interested in both." A twinkle appeared in his eyes when he saw the blush creep up Sara's cheeks. "And I'm glad that she wasn't only persistant in her job, but also in making that certain professor see what was right in front of him."
"Me too." Sara leaned against him and he wrapped his arm around her, pulling her closer.
"Look at Dylan, dad! Just his grandfather." Emma proudly pointed at her son who was playing a few metres away from them.
Grissom looked up and watched how his grandchild, a cute six-year-old boy, carefully picked up a beetle from the ground and studied it thoroughly. He nodded approvingly. The boy would make a good entomologist one day. Then his face crinkled into a smile as his grandson showed the beetle to another child in the sandbox who uttered a disgusted "Ewww!"
I was in the mood for some happiness for our favorite geeks. Hope you liked it! Feedback is always very much appreciated. Thank you!
- Karin -