A LITTLE SOMETHING AROUND THE MIDDLE
Pre-slash, Gil Grissom and Greg Sanders
Post "Big Middle" (I got to admit this: I originally thought BM referred to Gil and Greg's case. I tend to ignore CW, so it was only later when I watched a rerun that I realized that BM was about her and Warrick's case)
Romance and a little humor.
A day after solving their case in 'Big Middle', Greg reveals something to Grissom.
Gil Grissom put his pen down. He had been reviewing reports for hours, and now he needed a break. A midnight snack would do the trick.
When he entered the break room he found Greg Sanders sitting there, staring at a cup of coffee.
"Hey, Grissom," Greg said, barely looking up.
Grissom frowned. It was odd to see Greg acting so subdued.
Grissom looked around. Apparently, Greg had had company until a while ago; the table still bore the remains of a large pizza -the brand that Warrick liked. There were only a couple of slices left, and the hardened cheese looked like plastic now.
"Finished your dinner, Greg?"
"Huh?" he asked, looking up, "Oh, this was Warrick's dinner, actually. He's just left."
Grissom took a plastic container from the fridge, poured himself a cup of coffee, picked a plastic fork from the counter, and took a seat.
Greg stared as Grissom uncovered the container.
"Fruit salad, Grissom?" he asked.
"Are you on a diet?"
"Let's say I'm concerned about my health," Grissom said, shrugging evasively.
Greg smiled faintly and then he shook his head as if something amused him. The gesture wasn't lost on Gil.
"That case got to you, huh?" Greg asked knowingly.
"No." Grissom glared.
Greg gave him a look that said, 'fine, have it your way,' and turned his attention back to his cup of coffee again.
"It got to me," he admitted after a moment.
"You?" Grissom frowned, "How?"
Greg reluctantly looked up. He seemed to be considering whether or not to answer the question.
"Well…" he hesitated, "Did you ever have a case that changed the way you look at your life, Grissom?"
Grissom put his fork down.
"Why do you ask?"
"Did you?" he insisted.
"I learn from every case," Grissom said cautiously. He waited for Greg to say something, but the young man simply stared back. "Did this case affect you in any way, Greg?"
"Well… it made me think, you know?" Greg said, "About beauty… about attraction-"
"-and it made me realize that I like curves, myself."
Grissom picked his fork again. He'd been concerned for a moment: If a CSI said 'this case got to me', it was his duty to offer his help. As it was, Greg didn't need any. People's love lives were none of his business.
"Do you?" was all he said.
"Yeah." Greg nodded, and then added quickly, "Not that I'd want someone who weighs 280 pounds."
"I'm talking about, you know, someone who has a little something around the middle-"
"- and a little something behind-"
"Mmmmh." Grissom nodded distractedly as he ate.
"Just something to hold on to, if you know what I mean-"
"-someone who has some facial hair-"
Someone who…?Grissom stopped chewing. He definitely had a problem with that last revelation. Why would anyone find hirsutism attractive in a woman? Not that it was impossible, but…
He wanted to ask Greg about it, but it didn't seem appropriate. Greg's personal tastes were none of his business.
He looked at Greg, only to find him looking back expectantly. Grissom refused to make a comment; he turned his attention back to his food.
"Anyway," Greg added after a while, "This realization came to me today, while I was playing tennis with some friends."
"Oh. You play tennis?"
"Yeah. Doubles, mostly." He explained, "So, there I was, concentrating on the game, when my boyfriend came by and-"
Greg helpfully smacked Grissom's back until he stopped coughing.
"B-boyfriend?" Grissom managed to ask.
"Yeah." He nodded matter-of-factly, "Oh." He paused, "You didn't know that I-"
"No, I didn't." Grissom glared, "You- you're always talking about supermodels, and-"
"Well, yeah." Greg shrugged, "Why not? I admire beauty in all its forms, Grissom."
Grissom didn't know what to say to that.
But he did have a question.
"Does your boyfriend have a little something around the middle?"
"Nah." Greg lamented, "He's thin, almost scrawny-"
"Like you, in short." Grissom said dryly.
"Hey, I resent that!" he protested, "I've been filling out lately. See?" He lifted his t-shirt to show off his belly. Grissom stared; Greg's tummy was flat as a surfboard, but definitely not scrawny; he was filling out nicely, indeed.
Grissom kept staring at Greg's belly even after the young man covered it back.
"So, Robert came," Greg continued, "I took a look at him, and-" he paused.
Grissom looked up.
"Well… Suddenly, it was like looking at a friend, you know?" Greg said disgustedly, "No sparks, if you know what I mean." He paused, "I was just standing there, looking at him and wondering why my feelings had changed, and if maybe there was someone else in my mind-"
Grissom paused. He slowly put his fork down.
"Someone else?" he asked with a sudden interest.
"Yeah." Greg nodded, "You know," he added, "Someone who has a little something around the middle, and-"
"And?" Grissom asked.
"-and a little something behind-" he said, looking at Grissom in the eye.
Grissom shifted a little on his seat.
There was a brief pause, and then Greg added, "And, you know, some facial hair too-"
"Uh, huh?" Grissom prompted, lifting his face just a little.
"-and other things, of course." Greg finished.
Grissom's shoulders sagged. Things like youth and looks, perhaps? He wondered mournfully.
"Other things?" he asked aloud.
"Yes," Greg nodded, "Brains, for instance."
"Oh," Grissom said, sitting straighter in his chair.
"Oh, yeah." Greg said firmly, "I mean, that should go first on my list, actually."
"So-" Grissom gazed at him.
"So-" Greg gazed back.
"So, your boyfriend-" Grissom prompted.
"Oh, yeah. Well, there he was, thin and clean-shaven, and talking about something that wasn't smart or even funny…. And there I was, wondering if what I really wanted hadn't been right in front of me all these years… When suddenly, it hit me."
"What?" Grissom prompted again, "What hit you?"
"The damn tennis ball!" he scowled. "I didn't see it coming!"
"Where did it hit you?"
"On the head." Greg touched a spot on his temple and leant forward, "Can you feel it?" he asked. Grissom gingerly touched the bump, "It's nothing." Greg said dismissively, but he sat still while Grissom gently massage it.
Greg leant back after a moment, "So, my point is that the case somehow opened my eyes, and today… I just knew I had to make a decision about Robert and about -" he shrugged, "-somebody else."
"And…" he stared at Greg, "Have you?"
"Yeah." He nodded, staring back.
Grissom held his breath, waiting…
But Greg didn't say anything. After a moment, he simply pushed his chair back, picked up his empty cup and took it to the sink. He rinsed it in silence.
Grissom was looking expectantly at him, but Greg didn't say a word as he walked to the door.
"So?" Grissom prompted, "What did you decide?"
"I think you know." Greg said quietly. He smiled faintly, "The ball is in your court now, Grissom."
And he left.
… Aw, but we know Grissom's going to say yes, right?
Note added after a review: I didn't mean to be disrespectful to people who weigh 280 pounds or more. When Greg says 'Not that I'd like someone who weighs 280' (which, if I'm not mistaken, is the weight that killed that guy) he's trying to tell Grissom that he's not interested in the ladies they'd been interviewing, (and women in general, for that matter).
It does sound insensitive; it looks like Greg's putting a limit to his interest in Grissom –he'll love his boss as long as he doesn't put on more weight- but that's not what Greg meant. He was just nervous.