He waited for her at the end of the shift, waiting in his car outside the CSI building. His window was down and his arm rested in the opening. He held the steering wheel steady as the engine gently purred.
Turning his hand over, his eyes carefully studied the ring in his palm. The stones sparkled with the parking lot lights bouncing off them.
"I'm not being hasty." He muttered to himself as he closed his fingers around the ring and held it safely in his palm before sliding it into the inside breast pocket of his jacket.
Several hundred thoughts rushed around his head as he waited patiently. His determination was not going to wane; he had promised himself that he would do this. It was the only thing he could think of to do, and the fact that it felt like it was long overdue, made him more determined to wait it out to receive her answer.
She stood in reception, watching him. It was more than she expected from him. After three years of unsettled confusion and misplaced emotions, she honestly thought that anything further than a work friendship wasn't on the cards between them.
His proposal was an understatement of 'wasn't on the cards'. He had obviously been thinking about it for a long time, if not the whole time since she'd shown him her feelings, which would have been three years to the day.
"He's pushing." She muttered to herself, looking around her when she realised her voice was louder in her own ears.
He'd not shown her anything overtly relationship towards her since she moved to Vegas. Touches were far and between. Soft spoken words were rare if not harsher than intended. Even working together seemed to be a chore in the long run, neither of them able to work together without something personal getting in the way.
'Personal?' What personal stuff did they have to get in the way of work?
A preparation for a marriage proposal would be his, for starters, but what about hers? It had to be the feelings not being reciprocated.
Perhaps they had gone as far as they could and a decade of friendship was almost marriage on its own. But making it official, before they'd even kissed was more of a shock than the actual proposal itself.
She couldn't think straight with everything going on inside her tired brain. She couldn't just give him his answer, though he was obviously waiting for her.
"Night Sara." Catherine called as she walked by.
Breaking out of her scattered thoughts, she nodded. "Bye Cath."
Thinking it was now or never, she left the safety of the lab and headed down the path towards his car. He wasn't looking in her direction and it made her smile when she tapped his arm, making him jump.
"You're smiling, that's good." He nodded nervously, stumbling to relax. His voice was almost high pitched, giving him a teenaged look when his eyes locked with hers.
"I have to be smile. I'm still confused, if not a little worried about all this." She waved her hand between them, indicating in the age old, 'me and you' gesture.
Grissom cleared his throat to retain his voice. "Get in. I'll drive you home." When he unlocked the passenger door and realised she didn't move, he sighed. "Sara, I'll pick you up before work. I think we need to talk."
"Nope." She said a bit too cheerily, causing him to panic. She shrugged and continued. "I KNOW, we need to talk."
Sighing with relief, he sat back and nodded as she round the car and climbed into the passenger seat.
Sitting on Sara's couch in her small apartment, he could see that even though he had thought everything out, he couldn't remember what to say. His courage was stalling on him and he needed to get it back or he'd bail out.
And he wasn't going to let that happen after he'd already proposed. All he needed was an answer.
"So?" He tilted his head at her, waiting for her to say something.
Sara narrowed her eyes in momentary confusion. "So?" She shrugged.
"Do you have an answer or are you going to make me beg?" He asked in mock exasperation.
Eyebrows shot up when realisation hit her. "Oh."
He nodded and repeated. "Yeah, Oh."
Sitting back with her hands wrapped snugly around her coffee cup, she sighed. "Griss, we've never even kissed and you want me to marry you."
Grissom nodded, contemplating her words. He set his cup down on the coffee table before sliding over the couch to sit very close to her. Taking her cup and setting it beside his, he took her hands. "Ok. Let me just say a few things and then give me what you got on how this is good, or bad, very bad… whatever."
Sara's mouth twitched in amusement, but urged him to continue.
"Well," He started, stammering a little, but then losing the stammer to confidence. His eyes settled on hers and everything suddenly seemed so clear and calm between them. Everything in the world was right for just that moment in time and Grissom took advantage of it.
Leaning in slowly, he placed the lightest of kisses, full on her lips before pulling back a little to look into her eyes again.
"There, I kissed you." He muttered softly, his blue eyes brightening.
Sara huffed a laugh. "That was a kiss?"
Grissom sighed and momentarily released one of her hands to rub his forehead. "Yeah, well, anymore kissing and we won't get any talking done."
"Uh huh." She nodded disbelievingly. "Right."
"Sara, I'm trying not to blow this off. This is very important to me and I don't want you thinking that I'm rushing things, when I'm not." He explained hurriedly, taking her hands in his once again.
"Ok Griss. Talk. I'm listening." She encouraged.
His face softened as the tension in his muscles seemed to vanish with her voice. He took a deep breath and went for it. "A fortune cookie was just the start of what I'm capable of in the romance department, but I'm rusty, Sara. God I'm rusty." He said empathically, causing Sara to giggle slightly.
"Hey, I'm serious. I've got all these ideas of really romantic ways to woo you and they don't seem enough in my eyes. You deserve more, that's why I proposed."
Not quite understanding, she stared at their hands. "Marriage is a rather large step from what we've been doing for the past few years."
"Well, yeah, but don't you think it's the right step?" He asked.
Sara shrugged, absently running her thumb back and forth over his. "We've never dated, and no," She said suddenly when he breathed in to say something. "No date, not tonight. I think it's a bit late for that anyway." She shrugged helplessly. "You proposed. I don't think you can date after that."
"Well, I wouldn't know. I've never been married." He confessed, deep in thought.
"Oh man, what am I gonna tell the others?! My parents?!" She exclaimed, staring him in the face.
Grissom raised his eyebrows. "No idea."
"Griss!" Sara said sternly. "You asked me to marry you for Christ's Sakes! My mom is gonna have a fit when you finds out we've never even dated!" Shifting to lean back against the couch, she continued. "And the guys! What about them?! They think we hate each other for crying out loud!"
Not knowing what to say, he moved closer and slipped his arms around her. "Come on. I think we can do this without complications." He said, referring to the hug.
"Yeah." She chuffed. "But a wedding? No way." She sighed and turned her head towards him.
Grissom's heart near enough stopped. "Was that an answer?"
Sara pressed her cheek to his shoulder and sighed. "No, that wasn't my answer. That was me being pissed off."
"Ok. Just as long as you know, I don't care what the other's think. We don't even have to get married here if you don't want." He informed her.
Humming in thought, she wrapped an arm around his chest and sighed. "You know," She said after a while. "I've always wanted to do this."
"Do what?" He asked innocently.
"Be held by you." She said on a contented whisper.
Tightening his arms around her, he smiled. "Well, if you marry me, there will be plenty of hugging and kissing."
Sara scoffed. "Just hugging and kiss?"
Grissom cleared his throat at the inclination. "Well, no, but it's a start, right?"
"Well," Sara smirked into his shirt. "We'll just have to think about that until our wedding night."
Looking down sharply, his chin bumped Sara's nose. He quickly kissed it better and smiled widely. "That was yes, wasn't it?" He asked.
She nodded against his chest, closing her eyes.
"Can you say it? Please Sara. I need to hear you say it." He pleaded gentle, kissing her face.
Taking a moment to revel in his assault on her face, she smiled. "Yeah, I'll marry you."
After a kiss that was better than the first, Sara murmured. "You better not snore or steal the sheets Grissom."
He chuckled and dug into his jacket pocket that was draped across the back of the couch between them. He slipped the ring onto her finger and admired the view.
Now everything was perfect in the world.