The Body by SLynn
Disclaimer: The idea is mine; I stole the title from Stephen King and the characters from CSI. Go ahead, sue me.
Thanks and such at the bottom!
Grissom knew he should have stopped by sooner he just hadn't had a chance too. At first, there was too much to be done. He'd been forced into a night at the hospital, very much against his will, had massive amounts of paperwork to file and a new crime scene to process. This on top of his current cases as well as the new ones that had occurred during his absence had kept him away longer then he'd wanted. Three days later he'd finally shown up. Greg was being released the next day and now he felt extremely guilty for having waited so long.
Standing outside the door he didn't know what was keeping him from going inside.
"He's awake," a nurse said, seeing him standing there.
Grissom looked at her and she stared back amused.
"You can go in," she continued.
Grissom nodded and opened the door.
Greg, sitting up in bed with headphones on and flipping through a book, didn't look over. Grissom knew why, he hadn't heard him. How could he? The volume was up so loud Grissom could hear what was playing from where he stood. Not that he recognized it.
As he neared the bed Greg just caught the movement out of the corner of his eye and turned towards him. His expression was something between surprise and remonstration. It was as if Greg had wanted to see him until he'd actually shown up.
The look didn't stay on his face long. Grissom hadn't known before just how well Greg could hide things like that.
"Griss," he said taking off his headset, "what brings you by?"
His voice sounded awful, worse then it had in the desert. It was raw and scratchy like he hadn't had a drink of water in ages.
"I heard you were getting out tomorrow."
It wasn't much of an explanation. Actually, it wasn't an explanation, but it was all he had.
Greg nodded either in understanding or indifference.
"You heard wrong," he finally said, "The doc just told me I had to stay a few extra nights."
"Did they say why?" Grissom asked.
"They took a few more x-rays and didn't like what they saw. Something about not being too happy with how it was clearing. I tried to tell them I wasn't too happy being here, but what do I know. It's nothing really."
Grissom nodded and grew worried. He'd expected Greg to be acting more like his old self by now but he still seemed almost depressed. Maybe that's what had kept him away so long, he'd been waiting for the Greg he knew to be back. Apparently he hadn't waited long enough.
"So," Greg said trying to turn the topic, "What'd you bring?"
"Soup," Grissom answered digging the plain white container out of the matching white bag he'd brought in with him.
"Yes, egg drop right?"
"Greg don't look so shocked."
"Sorry, I just didn't expect you to remember that. I mean, you didn't even…"
Greg stopped talking abruptly and said no more, taking what was offered with a small smile.
"Thanks," he said after a pause. "The food here sucks."
Grissom acknowledged it with a slight incline of his head, but nothing further.
"Nick brought me a pack of Snickers bars, can you believe that? The man just isn't right."
Grissom laughed and admitted he might have mentioned Greg's new aversion to that specific candy. Greg shrugged it off with a laugh of his own.
"How's your dog?" Grissom asked after Greg had gotten through more then half of the dish.
"Good," he answered, putting it down now, "Sara and Nick have been taking turns feeding her and stopping by my place. Checking the mail, that sort of thing."
Grissom nodded and had no idea what to say next.
"How's work?" Greg asked relieving him of the obligation. "Sara said you and Sophia have been out to our house huh?"
"Yes, today we did. There isn't much to go on."
"Nothing's unsolvable Greg. It's just a matter of finding all the pieces."
Greg nodded now but looked uneasily about the room. He didn't seem to want to talk about work even though he'd brought the subject up.
"I called your mother; did she get in touch with you?" Grissom asked and Greg finally looked his way again.
"Yeah, she did. Thanks. You didn't have too. She called me yesterday. I got to talk to her and Katie. She cried, a lot."
"She's your mother Greg, that's what they do."
"Not my mother," he returned as if Grissom should have known, "My sister. Katie was pretty worked up. She'd been pretty worried; I guess Catherine had called when we got lost. She may even come visit me this summer."
"So I guess you'll need some vacation time?"
"If she gets too. She was supposed to come last summer but Henry wouldn't let her. He really hates me, doesn't like his daughters to associate with me unless they have too."
Grissom didn't know what to say to that and decided this wasn't the best avenue of discussion they could go down. Apparently, so did Greg.
"You see any good movies?"
Grissom smiled at him but shook his head. A definite 'no'.
"No time too I guess," Greg answered for him, "All I seem to have is time. Feels like I've been here forever."
"It's only a few more days."
"What's really bothering you Greg?"
"I don't know," he answered but it didn't ring true.
Grissom didn't say anything in return, just waited.
"I guess," Greg began again, "well, you're not in the hospital. Everyone is working double shifts to catch up and I'm just sitting here."
"I know, it's just, it's always something."
"Greg, it's not your fault."
"You're not sick."
"Well I didn't start off sick," Grissom said sounding almost angry, "Sara told me you've been fighting off the flu for weeks now. You should have taken a few days off sooner."
"I know," Greg said looking down, embarrassed.
"You can't do your job if you're not operating at one hundred percent."
"So I've heard."
Grissom stopped and realized he needed to change his tone. Change his tactics even. He imagined Sara must have told him the same thing, several times over. He hadn't come here to berate him.
"You can't be afraid to ask for help."
Greg looked up at him sharply.
"I'm not, I just…. I don't know. I'm always asking for help. Half the time I feel like I don't know what the hell I'm doing. And when I do think I have it down I find out I'm doing it wrong. And now, now I'm just completely useless."
"You're not useless."
"Well I can't exactly wheel my oxygen tank into the lab with me."
Grissom smiled at his humor.
"Greg, we all make mistakes. You're still new to this. It's expected."
"See, that's it. I'm not use to that. You can't afford to make mistakes in the lab and I guess I still have that mindset."
"I'm not giving you a license to screw up…"
"Oh, I know it. I just meant that it's different. In the field, if I mess something up Sara or you comes along and corrects me before it gets out of hand. If I'd done the same thing in the lab, well, we'd be renovating a lot more."
"I probably don't tell you enough but you are doing a good job."
"I told you Griss," Greg said with a shrug, "I don't need praise. Just, on occasion, to hear that I'm not a complete idiot would be nice."
"I think I can handle that."
Greg nodded, feeling a little better.
"So, have you added anything new to your list?"
"Heard I got it back huh?"
"Not yet. I've been thinking about what I want to do next and haven't come up with much."
"I'm sure you'll think of something."
"I'll probably just end up putting down skydiving."
"Yeah, why not? I might even go on my birthday. I am going to turn thirty, might as well go all out."
"You say that like it's a death sentence."
Greg shrugged and Grissom realized he probably thought it was.
"Sir," a voice interrupted them both from the doorway, "Sorry but visiting hours are over. You're going to have to come back tomorrow."
Grissom thanked the woman and stood to go.
"You don't have to come back," Greg offered, "I know you're busy. I'll be out soon enough, back at work and driving you crazy."
"I'll see you tomorrow Greg."
Greg smiled and said nothing more, just watched him go.
As Grissom had expected Greg's 'nothing' turned out to be more serious then he let on. A few more nights turned into a full week. Grissom now stopped by nightly, before shift started, late enough where he knew no one else would be around. It was funny that way, but he knew if he'd gone with anyone else or at any other time that Greg wouldn't talk to him the same way he'd gotten use too.
After he was released Greg still had another week of at home recovery time, doctor's orders. It was a long week for him. Greg was bored. Twice, towards the end of his mandatory leave, he tried sneaking into the lab to just to be doing something, only to be rushed out again.
His first day back, Grissom had expected him to stop by his office. He knew Greg had come in early, had seen him several times talking with Jacqui and Archie in their respective labs. Greg seemed to have taken the time to personally greet everyone who had visited him while he was sick. He'd heard that Greg even managed a polite word to Hodges, but still he hadn't stopped by to see him. Grissom now assumed this was how it was to be. He was alright with that, hadn't expected Greg to suddenly grow easy around him despite the circumstances, but was sorry for the change.
It wasn't until he actually opened up his desk, looking for a pen, did he find that that wasn't exactly true. Someone and he had a good idea as to who, had filled it full of bite-size Snickers bars. Grissom smiled and knew that this was just Greg's version of a thank you card.
The staff meeting they held before shift was pretty typical. On the way in the door Grissom had tossed one of the candies at Sara who caught it with a bemused look on her face. Greg had to fight down a laugh, but otherwise the whole thing had gone unmentioned. All of it. Grissom didn't have to say it, but it was nice having them all together again.
"That's everything," Grissom said, effectively wrapping the session.
They all stood to go, there was plenty to do. They'd come a long way to catching up but were still behind enough that Nick and Warrick, who were with them tonight, had volunteered a few extra hours to help clear the back log. Before anyone could make it out of the room Grissom spoke again.
"Oh and Greg?" he said in a tone everyone was use too. It was the one he used when he was being deadly serious and it was enough to stop not only Greg, but everyone else as well.
He turned and looked back, not sure what was about to be said. Fearing that maybe filling the boss's desk with chocolate wasn't such a good idea even if you were on better terms with him then you'd ever been before. Maybe he'd crossed the line on this one. Grissom looked mad even. Momentarily that is.
"You're not a complete idiot."
Greg's face broke into a huge grin. Laughing at Grissom's dead pan delivery, accent on the 'complete'.
"You're not so bad yourself," he returned.
Greg didn't say anymore, just turned to go. Sara remained behind momentarily giving Grissom a questioning look before heading out after Greg.
"What was that all about?" she asked catching him halfway down the hall.
Greg turned to her, still smiling and shook his head.
"You had to be there."
A/N: Thank goodness it is done! I am going to start a flip side to this story, just not right away. It's going to primarily be a Nick and Sara POV and I'm toying with the idea of keeping the same number of chapters and same chapter headings. It is tentatively titled 'The Search' but I can't even guess as to when I'll have it out.
As I always say and mean sincerely, thanks to everyone who has read this. I know it hasn't been updated as frequently as even I would like (the last few chapters especially) but I appreciate your patience and hope you felt it was worth it. If you read it and reviewed it, thank you once again! I enjoy the feedback it's what really makes this worth doing.
life sucks, get used to it – the plot thickens… you know I'm not sure I know either. Maybe it's a soup reference? For awhile I thought I was getting a bit Jack Handy on everyone. :)
Emmithar – pneumonia is awful. I've only had it once and that was enough. I like how your story is going too! I've almost gotten to the point where I need flow charts for mine as well, but I always have a 'working' doc where I put the ideas down Yes, I've titled a story (as mentioned above) from their POV. Yeah, if I didn't end this story now it would go on and on and on… you get the point.
BeyondMyStar – I had to make Griss sick. It's just not possible to be out in those conditions and not feel bad. It was also a good excuse to cloud some of his judgment. I kept the name Brown for personal reasons. I knew Warrick already had it, but I couldn't help myself. :) Yeah, my ship shows pretty quickly nowadays! The companion piece will get into more what Nick and Sara went through during this time. Sorry the wait was long…
Storyspindler – yeah, I'm not too subtle with the foreshadowing am I? LOL, first the walking stick then the hints about Griss. :) I hadn't always intended for Greg to get his notebook back, but couldn't help myself at the end. What a compliment! I can barely go back and read my own chapters after they are posted… thank you! Yeah, Greg wouldn't be very eager to get to that scene… no sequels yet, just a flip-side piece.
Strata – I love suspense and I love to leave chapters hanging like that, sorry. Everyone really liked that line which surprises me because it was added as an afterthought. Glad it worked! that line was my favorite (ch 10).
Fwe – I had to add the part about the gossip. I can't imagine any work place without it! Oh, and I've recently discovered it's called egg flour soup as well. I kept the body kind of ambiguous but without intending too. I'm not sure if there will be more too it yet. this one is it, I promise!
Tripp3235 – hee hee, you know actually the brunette who was going to find it was going to be Nick. After your review I changed my mind. I think I was the most relieved to have them found! It's been more draining on me to keep them lost! I had to throw Hodges in there, I'm still very happy he's becoming a regular on the series! And yeah, I messed up and forgot the dog! Oops.
white rose01 – very good incentive. I've almost given up a dozen times this week in ever getting this one done! Glad you enjoyed it! Sorry the ending was so drawn out! I couldn't let him live a lie now could I:)
tabbi – I'm so glad everyone liked this, at least everyone who reviewed did. :) It was tough just having two characters to bounce off each other.
peaceful river – so, I'm revising my 'killing off' statement to say that I'd never kill of Greg. Everyone else is fair play. (insert evil laughter here).
Duckie – wouldn't that be horrible? Hey, stuck in the desert for a week. We've got no food, what's that behind your back? Oh crap, guess we're dead after all. :) I'm evil but not that evil. I couldn't help myself! I'm such a Greg/Sara shipper it's becoming sad.
carolann – I assumed after a week spent by each other's side, separation might not be easy.
werewolfe – my favorite too.
raccoony – hey, if I can get one person to cry a day I'll consider my work here done! thanks again!
Teenwitch – I thought the bonding would be easier, but it did turn out pretty hard. They're very different characters and it wasn't easy getting them to talk. I'm glad you found it convincing.
Amy – I'm glad you liked it. Friendship pieces aren't easy I've found. :)
lins – Aside from the companion piece, I'm not sure if I'll continue this any further as it's own series. The notebook was originally to be lost for good but I couldn't go through with it. And yes, I'm an admitted Greg/Sara shipper so I had to throw that in there.
Sillie – I'm relieved too! Glad you're liking it! Originally that was the last chapter and Grissom was going to be the last visitor, but it just got so long he had to wait.
dee – Everyone's so happy! I've got to learn to draw out the angst (kidding!)
Jackie – Thanks! Happy you've had fun reading!
LuvinNickyStokes – I love your id!
ScribbleDream – hee hee, hot indeed!
NothingGein – thank you! I'm working on the fourth piece to take place after 'Privacy' and it's tentatively titled 'Precious Things'. It should be the next new story I post here.
GypsySmiles – so cool, I love hearing that!
Roz – I think most people were more relieved about the notebook then about them actually making their way out! Me included!
Once more thanks to all! Hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I have writing it!