Disclaimers: I don't own CSI or the song 'I Miss You' by Blink182. If I did, I wouldn't be here, on my knees, begging you not to rat me out... I DUN WANNA GET SUED!
I Miss You
The first time she had shown up at his apartment he had been shocked. The second through thirty-fifth time, he was used to it. This time though, he was confused.
angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue
She was soaked through from the gentle rain outside, and he could only assume that she had walked the hundred fifty-two blocks to his house... a hundred fifty-two and a half to be exact. For some reason though, he was hesitant to let her inside. It wasn't because he had cleaning to do, he had just finished that. Nor was it the fact that he was afraid he might accidentally make a move on her when she was in this vulnerable state; he had already done that.
He didn't know the reason.
"Greg," she muttered. The reality of it all sent him into blissful ignorance. She was shivering. She forgot her jacket. She just wanted some hot cocoa and a dry shirt until her's was good enough to get to wherever she was going. Stepping aside, he let her in.
"No problemo," he grinned. "So... want somethin' hot to warm your toes?"
"You did good today Greg," she complimented him. They were both wearing white robes, standing in wait in the Morgue. "Grissom might let you out on your own soon... or in the very least with Nick or Warrick."
"He seems to think that the ladies are the best on the shift," Greg chuckled to himself. She glared at him.
"He thinks himself as the best on the shift... or at least, slightly more knowledgeable than the rest of us," she amended.
"Right..." he nodded. "I did say, 'He seems to think that the ladies are the best on the shift', and let's face it, he's an old maid that one!"
She laughed with him at the comment, but he didn't miss the detached sound of it, or the sadness in her eyes.
"Right..." Greg nodded. "So... hot cocoa it is. I even have some little marshmallows we can melt into it and everything." He escaped to the kitchen, breathing deeply.
Why was she here? The last time had been just that, the last time. Didn't she understand what she was doing to him? Didn't she understand his little request? She already practically owned him!
"Greg," he jumped at her voice, and reached for the cocoa powder while flicking on the electric kettle. "Greg, look at me..."
He didn't turn, instead taking out two big mugs and carefully measuring out the cocoa powder for each. He thought about where he had left the candles; she liked candles better than his harsh lights, and was more comfortable talking under them...
She touched his arm, slowly coaxing him to look at her. His breath quickened as he realized he was practically pinned there. He might be stronger than the frail woman in front of him, but all his power had been given to her long ago.
"Greg," her voice was barely a whisper, and still it burned at his ears. "Are you mad at me?"
"Why would I be mad at you?" he smiled. She reflected it back to him, the sad turn of lips and hollow pools of eyes.
The kettle started to boil, clicking off.
She didn't let him move to get it, instead wrapping his arms around her waist and folding herself into his embrace. He relaxed, cautiously pulling her closer, resting his chin in her hair. He closed his eyes and breathed in her scent, submitting once again.
"This is the last time Sara..."
Of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally
If we want
The next day at work she was fine again. She radiated confidence and power like every other day at work, and was back to ignoring and teasing him with the rest of the shift, occasionally tossing him a bone to gloat about with the other lab rats of Las Vegas.
"Hey, Greggo!" It was Nick. The Texan dropped into a seat across from him and smiled. The smile soon turned to worry as he studied his strange friend. "Hey... are you okay?"
Greg grinned. Yes, she was normal again at work, but he would never be. "Fine," he muttered, sipping his drink. "Why? Think I could get away with calling in sick?"
"Actually, yeah," Nick responded, leaning over to feel his temperature. "You don't have a fever or anything, but you're as pale as a ghost an' you're not even drinking your normal coffee."
"That obvious?" Greg chuckled.
"Hey, your coffee has a distinctive smell that we've all grown to love," Nick grinned with him. "And that is not the smell of it... what are you drinking anyways?"
Was it the tenth or eleventh time she had shown up now? Whatever time it was, he had wordlessly invited her inside and set up candles in the front room before excusing himself to the kitchen to make their usual drink. Being much too early in the morning for coffee, hot chocolate had always been his second favourite.
When he got back, she was just standing there, looking at the flames.
"You remembered..." she turned to look at him, smiling. He smiled back, and offered her a mug. She took it only to place it on the coffee table, where his soon joined. She sauntered over to him, wrapping arms around his neck and draining the warmth from his skin.
Somehow, they ended up cuddled on his battered old love seat, watching a muted old black and white film as they sipped their luke-warm chocolate drinks. She loved it like that.
"Enjoying your hot chocolate?" he muttered, proud that he had refrained from combing his fingers through her hair.
"Hot cocoa," she smiled at him again.
"Hot chocolate," he challenged. She leaned closer to him, brushing a kiss over his ear as she whispered her response...
"Man, it's called hot chocolate," Nick complained. "Who calls it hot cocoa now-a-days?"
"I do," Greg answered with a shrug.
A laugh didn't surprise him as Warrick entered the break room, joining the conversation. "Hot cocoa?" Warrick laughed. "My Nana used to call it that! Jeez Sanders, you sound like an old lady."
"Force of habit," Greg muttered, busying himself with his drink. Nick and Warrick quieted down, looking at him in concern.
"I know what you mean," Warrick offered with a slight smile. One glance and he knew it was fake. "Feel better bro."
Where you can always find me
After the encounter he went back to his lab. True, he didn't technically work there anymore, but he was still the smartest lab rat around. He still did at least half the work he used to do, and people still came to him first and foremost when they wanted answers; the new lab tech was more there to take over the excess that he didn't have time for.
And the new lab tech wasn't the one there when he arrived.
"I've checked all your secret hiding spots," she joked with him. He couldn't see the humour in her eyes. "But I can't find a grain of that Blue Hawaiian anywhere... what, did you stop buying it or something?"
"Actually, yes," he answered her, brushing her off as he flipped through a file by the microscope. Nothing important, he could leave it for the newbie and wait in the break room for a case if he wanted. "I have work to do Sara-"
"No you don't," he could almost see her eyes roll, and fought the urge to check. "You don't work here anymore, and even if you did, there are no cases yet. Come on Greggo, everyone's worried about you! Nick and Warrick told me you looked under the weather earlier in the break room. Are you feeling alright?"
"I'm fine!" he snapped, a little more harsh than necessary.
She looked at him, and he noticed the frail woman that had shown up at his doorstep 36 times now. The woman who had been chiseling down his emotional barriers and then left him alone as she flirted with someone she couldn't get. The woman who came to him as a second choice, and left him with whispers of kisses and hours of talking to remember.
The woman he had fallen in love with.
"Are you mad at me Greg?" she asked.
He wanted to say yes. He wanted to yell and scream and make her tear down her mask and show the rest of the world what she had been feeling, what she had put him through. He wanted to verbally abuse her and leave her in the dust, as she had left him.
"Why would I be mad at you?" he smiled at her, and she reflected it back to him. A sad turn of the lips.
Turning around, he left the lab. Maybe he should take the day off.
we'll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we'll wish this never ends
He dialed Grissom's cell as he walked out into the crisp night air. He hadn't driven today, choosing instead to walk to work. A mile and a half wasn't too bad; a mile and three quarters really.
"Grissom," his boss said after countless rings.
"Hey, it's me, the loveable lab rat you've all deemed 'Greggo'," he joked. Alls he really wanted to do was crash on his couch watching black and white films late into the night. He had a collection of them by now...
"What is it Greg?" Grissom asked, annoyance clear in his voice.
"I thought today an opportune day to crawl into a hole and die," Greg answered. "And no, this is not a clarification of suicide, and just because Warrick and Nicky say that I look like shit doesn't mean that I have cancer or something..."
"I wasn't going to assume that," he sounded slightly amused now; Greg smiled. A true, Greg-like smile that had not been seen in a long time. "You were saying?"
"Right," he nodded to himself. "I have decided to take the day off... which reminds me, I forgot to clock out so if someone would do that for me, I will be eternally grateful."
Grissom sighed, "You can't just take the day off Greg, you need a reason." He thought he heard Nick agree in the background, but could have just been hearing things.
Greg stopped to think about that. A reason? What reason could he give to be missing work? If he told the truth, they wouldn't believe him. If he lied, he would be contradicting his first statements.
He spoke two words before he hung up, turning off his cell and ignoring all the pages he got afterwards. "Ask Sara."
"Ask me anything," she muttered from her perch on his kitchen counter. It was nearing the fifteenth time she had come.
"Like what?" he asked, grinning at her as he poured steaming hot water into the mugs.
"Like anything," she shrugged.
"Okay..." he poured the milk in, returning it to the fridge beside him before stirring it to perfection. "How did you get my address?"
"I told Nicky that I was thinking about surprising you for your birthday by dropping off a big bag of Blue Hawaiian on your doorstep."
"You don't know when my birthday is," he chuckled.
"It worked," she shrugged.
"Right... well, why me?" he passed her a mug and sipped at his, putting it down when he deemed it too hot.
"Someone once told me that you were a very good listener," she muttered, smiling at him warmly. He smiled too, remembering the occasion.
"So..." he averted his gaze, looking at the cupboards behind her. "Why do you come to see me?"
There was a long pause after this, and he thought that he had pushed too far past the rule of anything...
When the light turned off, he panicked. Then the candle lit up, and she placed it on the counter where she had been sitting, before walking over to him and leaning heavily against his chest.
"Because I know you can make me forget."
Greg never kept track of how long it took him to walk anymore. He just assumed that if he made it home without getting mugged, it was before ten. He didn't stop for treats or coffee anymore either, yet still never managed to figure out where that extra pocket money went by the end of the day...
As he passed the candle shop he slipped in, coming out after a minute with two new scented candles. Strawberry, her favourite.
We'll wish this never ends
He was shocked when he arrived home. Sitting there on his doorstep was a gift bag that hadn't been there before. He toed around it and entered his home. Dropping his possessions on the counter, he tried to forget about the package and started to boil some water.
His home phone rang, and he let it ring. He noticed the number '10' flashing on his answering machine.
"Come on Greg! Please pick up? The only way you couldn't be home by now is if you walked, and I know you're not stupid enough to walk home in Vegas at this hour," he snorted, pulling half a tuna sandwich out of the fridge from the night before. "Please pick up? If you don't, one or all of us is going to show up on your doorstep later!"
Greg rolled his eyes and glanced at the door. He had neglected to close it, but everyone in his building were pretty friendly... he could still see the package…
Curiosity got the better of him as he hesitantly went out to get it; He brought it all the way back to the kitchen before he opened it.
The phone rang again.
"Greg? Hey, it's me, Sara... did you get my gift? I thought you would like it... I-"
"Sara," Greg cut her off as he picked up his cordless phone. He was glaring at the slip of paper that had come with the gift; a pound of Blue Hawaiian coffee beans. "Is this some sort of joke?"
"Greg!" she sounded relieved, and so did the people in the background. "How come you weren't answering? Why-"
"The last time was THE last time Sidle," Greg interrupted her again. The silence spoke on the other end, and he could easily picture her as the fragile human she was whenever she visited him... "Stop taunting me with your presence! And don't even DARE ask if I'm mad at you. You know the answer."
He hung up, letting the phone fall to the ceramic floor as he tossed the Blue Hawaiian coffee in the garbage. The note he left between his gun and his pager. 'One last time?' Retreating to his living room, he cried himself to sleep.
(I miss you)
What seemed like hours later, he woke to someone tucking a blanket around his shoulders. He dismissed it and turned to the inside of the couch, trying to hide his tear stains. It was probably the little old lady, Mrs. Hansen, from next door. She came and cooked him breakfast most mornings, and if he ever left his door open she would check up on him, closing it on her way out.
"Thanks," he muttered, willing himself to go back to sleep.
"Your welcome," it wasn't Mrs. Hansen's voice, but the frail whisper he had grown used to over and over again... no, he had to be dreaming still.
"This your place Greggo?" that he didn't dream. Sitting up, he saw the entire shift, including Grissom standing awkwardly at the door, in his home. Sara was sitting at his feet, smoothing out the wrinkles of the blanket.
He opened the door and let her in, making a checkmark on the piece of paper beside the door. It marked Sara's twenty-first visit, this visit. She came laden with pajamas, a blanket and sandwiches.
"Planning on staying the night?" he teased. She blushed, not looking at him. "Oh... you are planning on staying the night... right, okay then... I'll go make the hot chocolate..."
"You aren't mad at me, are you?" she asked right away, grabbing his arm to stop him. "I mean... if it's too much of a trouble, I'll stay at home..."
He was about to say that it was, that he never liked people sleeping over, not even when he was a kid. That he didn't like changes in his morning routines... but the look in her eyes stopped him, and he pulled her in for a hug.
"Of course not, Sara," he muttered. "I could never be mad at you... it's just a shock, that's all... now, you go get all cuddled up on the couch and pick out a movie while I get the hot chocolate, alright?"
"Thanks," she pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth before walking away. "Oh," she called over her shoulder, "And it's hot cocoa!"
"It's cleaner than I imagined," Catherine smiled at him. He stood up, letting the blanket drop to the floor. Out of habit he picked it up right away, folding and laying it neatly on the armrest. Catherine whistled. "Wow... you're a keeper; you clean up after yourself."
"Thanks Catherine," Greg grinned at her, scratching the back of his neck. "So... what are you all doing here?"
"What are we doing here?" Nick laughed, stepping out of his bedroom and looking at the young lab rat. "Look at your answering machine, check what time it is! You give us a cryptic hint to why you're staying home, you refuse to answer your cell, you finally pick up your home phone after god knows how many times-"
"I picked up on the twelfth," Greg interrupted.
"Right," Nick nodded. "Well, you finally picked up, only to freak out at Sara, then you ignore all the rest of the calls we make, even though we know your home, then you leave us outside of your apartment! Some little old lady had to let us in!"
"Mrs. Hansen is really nice," he muttered. Sara was the only one who heard.
"We think you've been spending too much time with Grissom," Warrick said, putting his two cents in. Greg rolled his eyes, moving to the kitchen.
"Seriously Greg," Catherine grinned. "Ask Sara? Great clue... she hasn't rejected you that many times, has she?"
He froze to the spot. The only person who had a clear view of his face was Grissom, who had no clue what the younger boy was feeling... but soon enough he had moved into the kitchen and stared at the tuna sandwich still on his counter.
"Greg," Grissom asked cautiously, not certain how to deal with him. "Are you alright?"
"Just peachy," he managed to say, once again a little harsher than necessary. "Now, if you all wouldn't mind, could you please leave? If Mrs. Hansen let you in that means it's near eight, and she comes over at eight thirty to cook breakfast with me every morning..."
Mrs. Hansen had let herself into the apartment with the key Greg had given her, only to see two eyes staring at her from the kitchen. Greg lifted a finger to his lips and pointed into the living room where the frail woman slept, tangled in blankets and pillows. Mrs. Hansen smiled.
"Ah... you've never let them spend the night before," the old lady chuckled. "This one must be special."
"Yeah, really special," he smiled back at her. "But unfortunately, we're just friends..."
"That's how it starts deary," Mrs. Hansen said, putting her groceries on the countertop. "With wishful thinking and heartbreak and 'We're just friends' many times over..."
"I wish you were right Mrs. H," Greg looked at the slumbering woman wistfully. "But she's in love with someone else..."
"Gross man," Nick shuddered. "You and the little old lady? No wonder you never come to breakfast with us!"
"Besides the fact that you never ask?" Greg reminded him coldly. A heavy silence hung in the air as everyone looked at him.
"Greg..." it was Sara. He amazed himself at how fast he could move to be in the perfect spot to see her; He amazed everyone else too. "What did we do? Are you mad at us?"
"I'm not mad," Greg managed with a smile. It was easy to be semi-serious if he wasn't looking at her... he looked at Catherine instead. "I have a gun right here beside me, if I were mad at all of you I wouldn't think twice about using it... so either I'm just in a really crappy mood or pissed."
"That's... almost our Greg back," Catherine said slowly. "Right… well, I for one have gotten the hint... see you later Greg, and don't you dare turn that gun on me."
"Wouldn't dream of it," Greg grinned. They all left, one by one after they were reassured... all but Sara.
Where are you?
"Greg?" Sara stood in the kitchen doorway as he nibbled on the remains of his sandwich.
"Mrs. Hansen is gonna be here soon," was his only response.
"It's Wednesday," she reminded him. "On Wednesdays she goes to her niece's house for tea in the morning. Fridays she always brings waffles. Mondays she makes green tea. Its how you keep track of the days; I know you haven't forgotten."
"Why are you here Sara?" he asked, not looking at her. "Last time was the last time, you even said it." She didn't answer, instead moving closer to him.
"Let's watch a movie," she offered.
"You didn't answer my question," he responded. She sighed and took one of his hands in her's, lifting his chin with the other to meet her gaze.
"What if I didn't want it to be the last time?" she asked.
He stood leaning against the wall as he gazed at her. He couldn't pin point when exactly their time together had changed from a necessity for her to a necessity for him... he just knew that he relied on the time they shared here.
It started to show at work too. He would zone out more often and fumble now and then, to the point where Grissom had started to assign him lab work again to keep him off the field.
What almost killed him is that she didn't try to change Grissom's mind. She looked almost smug about it at the lab... but here, she was his angel.
"Greg," he snapped back to reality to see her smile. "Come and watch the movie with me?"
Smiling back, he walked across the room and sat beside her, but didn't turn to watch the movie. He just stared at her, and she stared back... and before he knew it, they kissed.
"I love you Sara..." he muttered, moving in to kiss her again... her next words stopped him.
"I love you Grissom..."
"What if I wanted it to be the last time?" he asked, not looking at her. He noticed the bag of Blue Hawaiian on the countertop beside the fridge and wondered briefly who had put it there.
"Greg..." she moved back into his line of vision. "I lo-"
"Don't ask that!" he snapped once again, stepping away from her. He dragged sweaty palms through his messy hair as he started to pace the small kitchen. "I'm trying my hardest to stay mad at you, and every fucking time you ask me that I can't help but notice how heartbroken you look, how cute your pout is, how beautiful your eyes are! Do not make me regret this!"
She bit her lip for a moment before forcing herself to stop. Stepping away from him, she straightened out the hem of her shirt, fumbling over her words. "Well... I was wondering if... maybe, if you want... maybe we could go out for dinner sometime?"
He just stared at her.
I'm so sorry
I cannot sleep
I cannot dream tonight
Later he sat in his worn love seat, the scent of her and her blanket enveloped around him as he sipped his hot cocoa. All the lights were off and the blinds were dimmed, and in the corner of the room he had lighted the new scented candles, their scent bombarding his senses as well.
Sara, his darling angel, had asked him out, and he had said no.
The black and white screen in front of him played not the memories of Anne Frank, but of a twisted reality that was no dream. She would walk up to his door and wait to be let in. He would complement her dress and they would spend hours just talking to each other... and when she left, they would kiss.
The kiss would be magnificent and magical, but when he tells his angel that he loves her, her response is bleak... "I love you Grissom"...
Greg had started to wait by the door near 10 o'clock on the days he knew that both he and Sara had off... and sure enough, she would knock. He hadn't figured out how she got up without buzzing. Maybe one of his neighbours let her up?
He let her in without a word, the candles already set and the water already boiling. She smiled at him; a sad smile as she walked into the living room and sat down, pulling the blanket she had left there around her frame.
He hadn't once looked into her eyes.
He mixed their drinks and brought them to the strangely dark living room, only to find that no movie was playing. He passed her a mug and set his on the coffee table, sitting next to her.
"I still love you..." he whispered, not looking at her.
"I still love Grissom..."
He hugged his knees to his chest as the room around him evaporated into darkness... he knew this wasn't healthy. He knew what this might lead to if he kept it to himself. He had seen the results in the people he had interviewed in the past, innocent or guilty. He had seen it in the eyes of nameless strangers and the kids he passed in the streets. He had seen it just ah hour ago, staring out from his mirror.
Shakily, he stood up and walked to where someone had put his cordless phone back in its rightful spot. Grabbing it, he sunk down the nearest wall, hitting his head against it.
Who could he phone? Who might understand? Not Mrs. Hansen, she was too sweet to trouble with something like this... Grissom was one of the reasons for his distress and Warrick just wouldn't connect like some people would. Nick? Nick hadn't been in love like this before...
I need somebody and always
"Hello?" Catherine's tired voice said from the other end. She must have been asleep.
"Hey, it's Greg," he muttered into the mouth piece.
"Greg?" she sounded considerably more awake. "Hey, what's up? Is anything wrong? Would you like me to come over?"
"No... I just..." he couldn't say it. He couldn't tell Catherine.
"Just what Greg?" Catherine pushed. "Is this about what happened at work today?"
"Yes... no..." he sighed, hitting his head against the wall behind him. "I... I can't say it..."
"Right..." he could imagine the look on the blonde's face. Motherly and insightful as she tried to think of a calm way to get the information out of him... and if that didn't work, she would be over there in fifteen minutes. "Hey Greg... by any chance did one of your friends at the lab... say... Mr. Swami, feel bad today?"
"Mr. Swami?" Greg blinked.
"Yeah," Catherine continued. "And by any chance, did he maybe overreact just a little bit and go home early because he wasn't feeling up to it?"
"Oh..." he saw what she was doing... playing make believe. "Yes... actually, he did..." It was easier to play make believe.
"Is there anything about what happened to him that you want to tell me about?"
"Yes..." he nodded to himself. "You see... my friend, Mr. Swami... one of his co-workers kinda fell in love with one of his other co-workers, and instead of confronting him about it, she went to Mr. Swami instead... so they would stay up late watching muted black and white films by candle light, drinking hot cocoa and talking about anything and everything, and they started to grow closer... at least, Mr. Swami thought so..."
"Right," Catherine said, more to tell him she was still listening than anything else.
"Well," he took a breath. "At work nothing really changed... at least not with her. He started falling behind and still she practically never noticed him, and when he was told, rather pathetically, to do lab work instead of field work for awhile, she agreed with it instead of defending him... which he never really took to heart. But that night, the thirty-fourth night that they spent together watching movies and drinking hot cocoa and talking late into the night, he kissed her... and that night, he confessed that he loves her... and that night, she confessed that she loves her other co-worker..."
"Oh, honey..." he bit his lip as he tried not to cry. "I'm so sorry..."
"And the next time she came over," he continued, fighting the tears out of his voice. "They didn't watch a movie at all. He had the candles set up and made the hot cocoa and everything, and then he told her that he still loves her... and she said that she still loves the other guy... then... then he told her to leave, and she did. She was very respectful, and left him alone... but now it's been almost a month since then, and just yesterday she came by away, soaked to the bone and looking to forget the man she loved in the first place, which he already knew of. But he couldn't stand it, and when she asked if he was mad at her, he wanted to say yes... but looking at her he realized how much he still loves her and he couldn't be mad at her, and she ended up spending another night, and ended up, once again, confessing her love for her other co-worker... and now, just earlier today, she showed up, and after everyone else left, she asked him out, but he couldn't stand it... he said no..."
There was a long silence. He was just about to hang up, thinking that the blonde had already done so, when he got a response. "I'm coming over right now sweetie, just hang tight, okay?" She hung up before he could say no.
sick strange darkness
Comes creeping on so haunting every time
Almost twenty minutes later Catherine had buzzed up, and a few minutes after that she was cooking in his kitchen. The smell of strawberries still lingered in the living room, and the blonde noticed how candles had been stored in every free place.
"She loves candles," he answered the unspoken question, sitting on the counter by the fridge. "She would fall asleep after the movie had turned off, just watching the candle burn as she snuggled deeper in my arms... she always used to wake up before me and sneak out without waking me up, until that one night... she brought her pajamas with her and a blanket, and I woke up before her. Mrs. Hansen knew how special she was to me when she came in that day; I've never let anyone sleep over, not even a friend who just needs a place to sleep off a hangover..."
"You love her that much?" Catherine asked over the sizzling of eggs. She didn't need to ask who, she had already figured out.
"Yes," he pulled his knees to his chest, resting his feet on the edge of the counter. "But she loves someone else... you could tell by the way she said it that she won't be getting over it anytime soon."
"It was a month ago," Catherine reminded him. She served him the scrambled eggs before she pulled herself onto the counter opposite to him. "She might of changed her mind."
"She confessed just last night," he drawled, eating his eggs.
"It could of been a force of habit."
As they sat side-by-side on the love seat, his hand absently went to rub her shoulder. She pulled away from him and gave him a strange look.
"Sorry," he grinned sheepishly at her. "Force of habit, I'll stop."
"No..." she smiled, moving back. "It felt kinda nice actually... just surprised me."
"Oh..." his grin grew as he pushed her forwards, only to move to sit behind her.
"Hey!" she laughed, but it stopped when he started rubbing her shoulder's again, this time more carefully. She groaned lightly and let her head lull forwards. "When did you learn to massage like that?"
"You learn a few things over the years."
"Force of habits can lead you into trouble," he muttered. Catherine didn't hear. "Thanks Cath, for coming out and for listening... I was kinda scared that I might... ya know... do something stupid..."
"I know you wouldn't have," she smiled at him reassuringly. "But you should talk to her you know." He shook his head. "Right... well... I would love to stay, and this may sound selfish, but I need to go sleep 'cause I have to pick up Lindsey later... but if there's anything else, don't hesitate to call, alright Greggo?"
"Alright," he nodded and listened to her retreating footsteps... she hugged him before she left.
And as I stared I counted
Next shift came too soon. He needn't worry about running into Sara, for she was running late anyways; Rumour around the lab was that she and Grissom had gone out on a date just beforehand.
Sitting alone in the break room, he tried to swallow some of the Blue Hawaiian coffee that he was known for. It wasn't the fact that he didn't like it. He loved it still, and cherished the very flavour on his tongue. It was because it was from his angel that made him hesitant to drink. Would he ever have anything else to remember her by?
That was silly, he had her blanket and all those candles... but that wasn't true. He had taken all the candles in his home and carefully wrapped them in the blanket before putting it into the gift bag that he had received the Blue Hawaiian from.
The gift bag sat with an envelope, her name clearly printed on it, on the opposite side of the room.
"Hey Greg!" Nick welcomed warmly as he came into the room. He didn't notice the gift bag, and neither did Warrick after him. "Feeling any better?"
"Just fine," Greg smiled at them. They seemed pleased and continued with their mindless chatter. He listened in enough to seem to be interested, but was really watching the door.
Catherine came in next. She noticed the bag but didn't touch it... Sara came in soon after her with Grissom.
"Hey guys," Sara chirped to them all. "Who's the gift for?" The three of them all shrugged together as Sara went to investigate the bag. "Hey, it's for me..."
"Awe, Gris, you didn't!" Nick teased. Grissom rolled his eyes and watched curiously.
Sara pulled the blanket out first, not bothering with the card. He had known she would do this... when she pulled the blanket out fully, it unraveled, all the candles falling out and rolling across the room.
"Woah... not smart Grissom," Nick blinked at all the candles. Two certain strawberry ones rolled nearby...
"I didn't get these," was all the supervisor said. Everyone looked at him blankly, and Sara opened the card. Without a word she let the paper drop to the floor, turned on her heel and left.
Grissom picked the paper up and read it over. He stared at it in confusion before looking up at everyone else. "It says," he weighed his words carefully, "'I still love you, you still love him'."
Catherine glanced at Greg knowingly as he left the room.
webs from all the spiders
Catching things and eating their insides
He went to his lab, nodding to the new lab tech there. He had no reason (yet all the reason), to be here. Grissom would probably send him here sooner or later.
"Hey Greg," the newbie said, awkwardly coming to stand before him. "Someone dropped this off just before you arrived... here." He stared at the envelope the lab tech had dropped in front of him before going back to his work. Cautiously he lifted it up and spied the neat writing his name was printed in. It was Sara's writing.
His mind switched to detective as he noticed all the little details on the envelope. It was thick and heavy, obviously not hastily made. Nor was it the usual envelope for letters, but a large brown one, like the ones sealed reports came in... He stopped his analyzing and ripped it open.
Several things dropped out of it when he turned it over: CDs of punk rock and heavy metal bands, a frame with a dried flower on one side and its composition on the other (with notes and other information on it), some knickknacks, a note, and a necklace.
"This is pretty," he looked up to see what she was holding; a pendant that his mother had given him. It was really just a small ring on a chain. His great grandmother's wedding ring.
"Family heirloom," he smiled as he crossed his room and sat beside her on the edge of the bed. "There's an engraving on the inside... Hjem er hvor Hjertet er."
"What does that mean?" She asked curiously, looking at the minute scratches on the inside of the ring.
"Home is where the heart is," he whispered to her, taking the necklace away. He carefully clasped it around her neck. "Now come along, dear-heart, let's go watch ourselves a movie."
He pushed everything but the note and the necklace aside, clasping the delicate chain in his fist.
I'm sorry for anything that I've done, and I hope I can make it up to you. I thought you would like your necklace back. Thanks, for everything.
He took a deep breathe and stepped away from the counter, looking at the ring in his hand. The chain dug into his skin, and he squeezed his fist shut again. She didn't understand that he had given it to her? Didn't she understand that it's forever her's, like his heart?
"Hey, Greg!" he didn't look up at Catherine's voice. "Why did you leave? Greg?"
"I can't handle it," he said, loud and clear. He didn't care who heard him. "I can't handle doing everything that she wants me to do without her even asking. I can't handle hearing her voice every moment of everyday. I can't handle her ignoring me one moment and needing me the next, and I can't handle her sudden bouts of generosity; but what I really can't handle is being so far in fucking love with her and her not seeing it!"
He turned and left, brushing past Catherine. He noticed Nicky standing there too, shocked. He ignored their looks and stormed back off to the break room.
Arriving, he saw Warrick and Grissom helping Sara pick up the candles. Sara took great care picking each one up and placing it back into the bag, while the two men just did it as fast as they could...
"Sara," all three of them looked up at his voice; He tossed the pendant to her. "You left that in the lab."
Turning on his heel, he left. Like she had left him.
indecision to call you
And hear your voice of treason
The sudden desire to turn around and force her into conversation was new to him. The sickeningly sweet tones of her voice that burned his ears until they were all he heard were the only thing he wanted to hear...
"Greg!" and there they were, cool as silk over flushed skin. "Greg, wait up!"
He didn't stop, didn't change his pace. He carried on as if he hadn't heard her. Nick and Catherine were ahead, walking towards him curiously. They moved, not wanting to interfere...
"Greg!" she was closer now. So close, in fact, that she grabbed his arm and turned him around. Holding him there, she panted lightly before looking him square in the eye. "Greg, no jokes here. You and I seriously need to talk."
"We needed to talk a month ago," he responded, chewing his tongue.
"Well, we're going to talk now," she challenged.
"You had a chance," he shrugged. "Mrs. Hansen says hi by the way. She's really starting to wonder why you aren't there in the mornings anymore."
"Greg..." Sara sighed, stepping a little closer to him. "Are you trying to torture me?"
"I could ask you the same thing."
"Take this," she held out the necklace. He didn't take it.
"It's yours," he could feel Nick and Catherine's stares on his back... "I gave it to you, remember?"
"You put it around my neck and never took it off!" She glared. "I thought that you misunderstood something and thought we were dating and that's why you gave it to me, so I gave it back."
"I knew we weren't dating," he chuckled. "But I was hopeful... but that hope was shot down after I said I love you for the second time, and for the second time you said 'I love Grissom'."
"But I don't!" she almost screamed. He spied Warrick and Grissom over her shoulder. "I don't love Grissom! I thought I did, I really thought I did, but I don't... please believe me?"
"Why should I?" he sneered at her. "And don't say that you don't, because you said that you did just last ni-" his words were cut short by the last thing he ever expected.
you come home
And stop this pain tonight?
After long moments he pushed her away. He took a good look at her, his angel, his Sara. Tears brimmed over her eyelashes, threatening to fall. Rosy pale cheeks looked soft to the touch. Shoulder-length brown hair framed her perfect face.
He stepped away from her and shook his head.
"I can't deal with it," he whispered. "You already control my life, and you're barely even in it."
He left her standing there, crying by herself. The other's stared after him blankly. How long had this been going on for?
At 27, Madison was a year younger than Greg. He thought he loved her... that had to count for something, right?
"Jeg liker ikke hennes Greg," his Grandma whispered to him. His mother rolled his eyes.
"Hear that Greg?" she scolded him. "Grandma doesn't like her either... why don't you ask her to leave?"
"Because it's impolite?" Greg offered.
"Hey, Greg," him and the two women around him looked up to see who was talking to him. One Sara Sidle, who had been invited along with the rest of the night shift, to his family reunion. "Where's the bathroom?"
"I... don't know actually," he grinned at her sheepishly. "One moment..." he turned to his Grandma, "Hvor er toalett Bestemammaen?"
"Opp trappen, på slutten av hallen," the elderly lady answered. "Hun er meget vakker... hvorfor gjør ikke De gifter seg med henne?"
Greg blushed. "Up the stairs," he said, turning back to Sara. "And at the end of the hall... oh, and Grandma here says that your looking lovely tonight."
"Stop flirting Greg," she rolled her eyes. "I'm not going out with you." She left them alone, and his mother giggled.
"Grandma is right," she said to her son. "You should marry that one... she's funny."
Greg stepped out into the night air and growled furiously to himself before kicking at the ground.
What had just happened? He hadn't really just been kissing Sara Sidle, in front of everyone, at work, had he? No, it was impossible. Sara Sidle is in love with Gil Grissom. Sara Sidle is strong and confident. Sara Sidle wouldn't think twice about Greg Sanders.
Or maybe she would come waltzing out to him and swear that she loves him. Maybe they could have their dinner, and maybe she would give him her heart. Maybe, together, they would piece his back together.
Maybe he wouldn't fall asleep on the couch, crying to muted black and white movies...
Stop this pain tonight
It came as he had finally given up on 'what if's and 'maybe's. Starting as the whisper of a door opening and stretching out to the murmur of footsteps, before it finally called...
He turned around to look at her, schooling shock off of his face. She stood almost glowing in the moonlight, a dull gold necklace around her neck. "What do you want Sara?"
"You have to come back to work," she smiled at him. "And so do I... a case just came in, and the others are leaving. I was thinking that you and I could maybe drink some of your coffee? And then, maybe later we could go home and watch some movies?"
He sighed... what was stopping him from giving in and saying yes? "Sara... we don't live together. Home would be me at my place and you at yours..."
"No," she shook her head, slowly walking up to him. "Home is where the heart is... remember? Not everything will work out in the end, but at least we have each other's hearts."
As the words slowly sunk in, he smiled. A true, Greg-like smile, and she reflected it back at him.
"Hjem er hvor Hjertet er."