Disclaimer: These are the characters of CBS and co. I just like to play with them.
Against my better judgment I wrote an epilogue. I received such encouraging feedback, and was thus inspired. Be warned. I am not adept at the romantic stuff. So the saccharine is interspersed with a disturbing amount of drama. I hope you will bear with me. All good things come to those who wait.
Also, this epilogue will be coming in 5-7 chapters.
Ghosts Epilogue AKA Griss and Sara's less than excellent adventure
It was this moment, walking together down the dirt road to the restaurant that brought her closest to tears. There was a breeze coming off the lake that took the edge off the heat. The dusty, yellow road was bracketed on either side by meadow: tall grass and sprays of pink, lavender, white, and blue wildflowers. Butterflies danced above the blades of grass. They didn't talk to one another, but it was a companionable silence, and they walked slow as if to savor this time.
His friend's place was beautiful; built on a bluff above Lake Mead, it had a beautiful view of the lake and the surrounding bluffs. On the drive up, Griss suggested a restaurant. Said it was only a half mile walk down from the house. Said it would be nice to do nothing on a Friday night except relax. She didn't say much of anything in reply. She wanted to follow him this weekend, get a real feel for who this man was beside her. She needed to give him a chance to be something other than the enigma she had defined him as for the last 5 years.
The beauty of the house surprised her. And she wondered about the person who lent it to Grissom. Clearly it was someone who knew him intimately enough to lend his home to him. Grissom having friends outside the lab was new idea for her. And as for knowing Grissom intimately, this was a very important topic for her just now. While she wandered the wide open spaces inside the house, Grissom handled the baggage. He was decisive; delivering her bags to one room and his to another. She smiled when she noticed this. This man would be a gentleman to the end. She knew him well enough to know that any debauchery that happened would largely have to be choreographed by her. Creating such an opportunity was definitely at the top of her agenda for the weekend.
Halfway down, Grissom stopped and crouched next to the road. Curious, she looked on over his shoulder. He picked up a caterpillar the color of new grass. He turned it over, and spent time studying it from different angles. Before she could get curious, he launched in on a brief tutorial on the life cycle of the insect. When he finished, he crouched again, and carefully placed the caterpillar on the ground. Hands on his knees, he watched intently while the insect inched away. For a moment, Sara saw a little boy who probably spent hours every day sitting in the dirt studying the lives of these tiny creatures. He wore a slightly sheepish look when he stood up as if he had somehow been able to read her mind.
The rest of the way he stayed in step with her; proximity such that they occasionally brushed up against one another. She liked the familiarity of this contact and resisted the urge to reach out and take his hand.
The restaurant was part of a lake resort, and the tables looked out on the water. Sara and Griss got a table with an unobstructed view of the sunset. He confessed to her that he had called ahead to assure that there were vegetarian entrees. She was touched by his attention to this, and was unsure of how to tell him that pan fried lake trout was what she was craving. In the end, she ordered the eggplant parmigiana so as not to disrupt his intentions.
Conversation was more natural than she imagined possible. They talked about college days, and she reflected on the first time she heard him at a seminar. He was surprised he had made that much of an impression on her, and she found that she was at a loss as to explain the substance of her initial attraction to him.
Neither one of them had enough patience to sit through dessert and coffee. He settled the bill quickly and they left. The moon shone bright and reflected the length of the lake. In the darkness, the mood of the meadow had changed. The butterflies were gone, and the crickets and their persistent song took center stage. Halfway up, Grissom slipped his hand into hers, and squeezed. She squeezed back, and held it secure for the rest of the walk.
Back at the lake house, he suggested coffee. She laughed at him, reminding him that they had just turned down that offer thirty minutes earlier at the restaurant. He blushed for a moment, and she bit her lip. She didn't want to shut him down. The awkwardness was starting to settle in again, and Sara could think of nothing to do but sit on the couch and wait for him. He finally came over and sat next to her, taking off his glasses and folding them neatly on the coffee table. He let out a sigh and turned to her, "Sara, this is not just about the physical for me. There's too much at stake here."
"Well, to be honest, I too was looking for more than just a romp in the hay." Sara couldn't keep the sarcasm out of her voice.
"I realize that, it's just that…" His voice trailed off. He seemed at a loss for words.
She shifted toward him and took his hands. "Look, Grissom. We don't get to map this out like it's a research study. The variables are impossible to measure."
"Well, it would be easier for me if they were." Grissom was essentially talking into his lap.
"Okay, here it is. Step by step. You have a fairly hot female sitting next to you right now. This female is interested in a little something something. In fact, she would like to start by nibbling on this area right here." Sara reached over and started stroking an area right below his right earlobe. "This females is reacting to your pheromones as is her nature. So Dr. Grissom, what would be a naturally occurring counter-reaction on the part of the male subject?"
Grissom leaned into the fingers stroking his neck. "Well, if this female happens to be the very beautiful Sara Sidle, then the male is naturally excited, but a little intimidated."
"So he runs away?" Her fingers stopped.
He reached up and put his hand over hers. "No, he approaches carefully as he knows that this is a very important opportunity."
"Not too carefully though or the female could misinterpret this as disinterest leaving the female to wonder if she holds no attraction for him or suggesting that she needs to introduce him to some gay friends she knew in grad school."
"Ahh, I see. The male needs to make a definitive move or the female will come to some rather erroneous conclusions." Grissom reached across her collarbone brushing it softly. Then he slid his hand under the strap of her blouse, and slowly pushed it until it slid off her shoulder. Sara shivered in response. His hand then traveled back along her collarbone until he found the strap closest to him. He pulled that down, and then reached over and kissed her bare shoulder. He stopped long enough to whisper softly in her ear, "So the male must become more expressive regarding his intentions."
Sara shifted and lay back on the couch pulling him in on top of her. He buried himself in her neck, and she moaned. Her hands found his hair, and she played with his curls. He lifted his head and looked at her. His curls stuck out at all angles, and she laughed. His hand hurriedly worked to tame the wild waves. "Leave me some dignity, Sara. You have no idea what it takes in the morning to make this head presentable."
"You're a hair queen. Gil Grissom is a hair queen. People would pay to know this about you."
He pulled himself up to her face and silenced her with his lips. She wrapped her arms around his neck, and began kissing him deeply. He began to tug her blouse down off her breasts. Her body tensed in anticipation of his touch. A sharp rapping on the door interrupted the interlude. Startled, Sara pushed him off her, Grissom landed on the floor, and looked up to find her wrestling with the straps on her blouse. Years of fantasying about her and her body had finally come to life for him, and here it was being snatched away in an instant.
The rapping on the door was insistent. "Who is that?" Sara whispered. He shrugged and pulled himself to his feet, taking a second to do up the last two buttons on his collar.
"Gil are you in there? I see your vehicle out here." Came a voice from outside. Grissom opened the door to an older man who came stumbling over the doorway.
"What were you up to, anyway?" The man glared at Grissom, and then noticed that his hair had a particularly wild look. "Looking good, Gil. Going to take some time to get used to this new 'do though."
The man stopped short when he saw Sara busily brushing her fingers through her hair on the couch. Her blouse lay on her shoulders at an odd angle. He turned back to Grissom. "You old dog. I should have known what you were up to when you said you were bringing a friend."
Grissom wrinkled up his face as if encountering a bad smell. "Ah, Roland, this is a…colleague of mine, Sara Sidle. We work together at the crime lab."
"Hell, and here I thought you were just babysitting."
Grissom's face reddened. The old man saw him and laughed. "Don't pay any attention to me. You get older, and you say the first thing that comes into your head. Worst part of all is that you just don't seem to care."
"Ah, Sara," Grissom gestured at the man. "This is Roland Worthington. We are in his house. He's a retired sheriff for Clark County. I met him when I first came to Vegas."
The man reached over and shook Sara's hand. "Nice to meet you. Sorry for the teasing. Hard to resist sometimes when it comes to the indomitable Gil Grissom."
Sara smiled back at him. "Yeah, I sort of know what you mean."
"Yes, well I am sure the two of you can compare notes on that later. In the meantime…"
"Shit! You distracted me. I got an emergency. Was going to take you along…before I knew that you were, ah, occupied. But, um…"
"What is it, Roland?"
"Rained hard last night in the mountains twenty miles east of here." Worthington was pulling flashlights out of a closet near the back door.
"I don't understand." Sara's brow furled.
Grissom turned to her. "It rains hard there, and then the water comes down the mountain into local streams, can set things up for some pretty serious flash flooding."
"Yeah, and the hard part is that you never see it coming. Could be sunny here, and then, all of a sudden, a creek bed becomes a powerful river." Worthington talked while sorting through boots.
"Do you need us to evacuate, Roland?"
"No, we're going to be fine. But a car got swept in about three miles from here. A mom and kids. We don't know more. The creek winds around about a half mile north of here. Got to get up there, and see if I can find them. Law enforcement has people already, but you need as many bodies as possible to help in the search. Right now, we are all spread out."
Sara disappeared into a bedroom. Grissom turned to Roland. "We're happy to help."
"Sorry to screw up your time off. I know how hard you work."
"Not a problem." Grissom said as Sara appeared at the doorway of her bedroom wearing jeans, a flannel shirt, and hiking boots.
"I'm ready." She went over to help Roland organize the gear he had scattered on the floor around him. The man just watched her for a moment. "Sure, you don't want to think about it." She shook her head, grabbed a flashlight, and stuffed a couple of flares into her back pockets. Grissom smiled as he watched her, and the endless energy that seemed to emanate from her. He grabbed some gear for himself and followed the two of them out the door.