Some of the characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. The rest belong to me, and if you want to play with them, you have to ask me first. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

Spoilers: through "Snakes". One may consider this as taking place any time between now and then. Definitely fluff.


The problem with Nevada, Sara thought grimly, is the huge amount of nothing.

She peered into the cone of light pushed ahead by the SUV's headlights. She wasn't exactly sure where they were, but wherever it was, it was a long way away from Las Vegas. Beside her, in the dark, her companion made another faint sound, and the distress in it worried her.

"Grissom?" she asked, pitching her voice just loud enough to be heard over the sound of the engine, but not so loud that he couldn't ignore it if he wanted to. And apparently he did, because there was no answer.

Sara made sure that the road ahead was straight, and that there didn't seem to be anything on or near it, such as another vehicle or anything inconvenient like a coyote, and glanced at him. There was just enough light from the dashboard's displays to see the sheen of sweat on his skin, and she bit her lip as she looked back to the road. Okay, that's it. Time to stop.

Easier said than done. But Sara's memory for landmarks was very good, and served her well by reminding her of a small strip of civilization that they'd passed on the way out. Sure enough, within ten minutes, the glow of signs appeared along the roadway, and Sara pulled into the lot of the first motel they reached, ignoring the shabbiness of it.

The fact that Grissom didn't even seem to notice that they'd stopped only redoubled her worry.

Gravel crunched under the tires as she parked the SUV near the motel's office; when she opened her door, the light displayed a Grissom with markedly pale skin and tightly shut eyes. He swallowed convulsively, and Sara grabbed her bag and strode inside to the little reception desk. I don't think he has much time.

"One room, two beds," she said briskly to the bored-looking man behind the counter, slapping down her credit card. A few minutes later, keys and receipt in hand, she was climbing back into the vehicle to park it near their room.

She didn't have to help Grissom inside, though it was a near thing. He stumbled once on the cracked sidewalk, but steadied himself, and she merely stood out of the way. His slow pace quickened once he was in the room, and Sara watched him bolt into the bathroom and close the door. The retching sounds that carried out through it made her swallow, and wince in sympathy.

It was a moment's work to collect their bags from the SUV; she dumped them on the small table and sat on one of the double beds, after carefully peeling back the polyester bedspread and letting it fall to the floor. I'll break out my ALS in a minute.

Sara listened. The retching had gotten less frequent and vigorous, but it was still going on, punctuated by the toilet flushing every so often. Good. That means he's capable of movement. When the sounds died away, she gave him a minute, then got up to knock on the door. "Grissom?"

There was no reply. "Grissom, if you don't answer me, I'm coming in there to make sure you're okay," she said calmly.

Nothing, and then - "I'm all right," the hoarse voice answered. He was clearly lying, but Sara figured his dignity was damaged enough, and the answer showed that he was conscious and relatively clear-minded.

"Okay," she said, loud enough to be heard through the thin door. "I'll put your bag by the door. If you need anything, just shout, got it?"

An indecipherable sound came back, but she was willing to accept it as acknowledgement. She put his bag down by the door and retired to one of the battered chairs, turning the TV on low and flipping open her phone.

"Hey,, we're still out in the middle of nowhere...nope. Something came up. We probably won't be in until next, we're okay...ask Sofia...yeah, right, sure I'll tell him that...sweet, man. See you tomorrow."

She closed the phone, and sat staring blankly at the TV. For all the calmness she was making herself display, Sara was unnerved. Bad enough to worry about any colleague being ill - what if he got worse? - but this was Grissom. The Grissom she wasn't supposed to care about, but did. The Grissom who...

He retched again, and she flinched. There couldn't be anything left in his stomach at this point; his entire system was simply in full-blown rebellion. And she knew what came next -

I'm just glad I'm a vegetarian. It had to be the chicken; it was the only thing that he ate and I didn't.

Grimacing, she stood and went back out to the SUV for their kits. She didn't really think the vehicle would get broken into, but she wasn't going to take the risk.

When she came back in and put the latch on the door, Grissom's bag was gone, and she heard more flushing. Geez. Well, better to get it all out, I guess.

She pulled the ALS and goggles from her kit to examine the sheets on her chosen bed, but to her dismay, they weren't as clean as she'd have liked. So do I find out how bad the other one is now, or do I live in blissful ignorance for a while? Hmm…the latter. Setting the gear aside for later, she sat down.

The TV was showing a basketball game somewhere. Sara ignored it, going back over the past couple of nights in her mind, and wondering how annoyed Grissom was going to be at having been sick in her presence. It's his own fault, though. He could have brought Greg along on this - it would have been a good teaching experience. Or Sofia.

But he hadn't, he'd merely asked her if she could spare a couple of days to assist him with a bug-ridden crime scene away up in the northeast corner of Nevada. And, by the way, they'd have to drive, as his expertise was required but was apparently not enough to get them a plane flight.

It had been weird. One afternoon spent driving into evening; a crime scene that had required expertise of both of them; a day spent in separate motel rooms, and another night for Grissom to work on his timeline and Sara to process more evidence from the scene. They'd shared a cordial, impersonal supper, Grissom had spent the last few hours teaching someone to follow what he'd done, and they'd started back at about three a.m.

And somewhere along the line, Grissom had started feeling sick.

The first hint of it came when he asked her to take over the driving after only a couple of hours. Sara had just thought he was getting tired. But then he'd warned her in a strangely flat tone a little later that she might have to stop the vehicle abruptly so he could get out.

She was an investigator. It wasn't hard to work out.

Now, sitting and listening for - For what? For a thump when he passes out in there? And what are you going to do, kick the door in? - now she was sitting, and worrying. Food poisoning could be merely inconvenient, or it could be very serious, and as long as Grissom was on the other side of that door, she had no way to tell which it was.

Finally, after the flushing had stopped, she heard water running. It continued for a while before the door opened, and at the sight he presented Sara just barely stopped herself from jumping out of her chair and grabbing him.

Grissom was so white he was almost green, and he was leaning against the doorframe as though his knees were about to give out. His beard and the edges of his hair were dark with moisture; his shoes and jacket were missing, and he'd taken off his shirt, leaving only a white T-shirt.

Yet he'd turned on the fan in the bathroom. Sara admired his sense of propriety even as she shook her head. "Bed, now," she said firmly.

Grissom peered at her through eyes that were swollen and half-shut, and without saying a word took four steps to the one she'd opened and lay heavily down. Sara snorted, but wasn't about to argue.

For a while, they were silent, Sara watching the movement on the TV screen without interest and Grissom merely breathing. She was a little hungry, but not enough to bother about - and she certainly wasn't going to bring food into the room. That would just be cruel.

But after about fifteen minutes, just as she expected, he began to shift restlessly, and slid under the sheet, hunching in on himself. Sara went over and sat down next to him, trying not to spook him.

Grissom rolled over, blinking, and Sara put a hand on his forehead. "You're burning up," she told him calmly, struggling to contain her worry. A high fever was to be expected as Grissom's body tried to burn out the toxins that had invaded it, and shouldn't be a problem unless it went too high or lasted too long. "Do you think you could swallow some aspirin?"

The question seemed to take a moment to work its way through his brain. "Not yet," he finally rasped. "Blanket?"

He was shivering. Sara knew that it wasn't a good idea to increase his body temperature, but she also knew how miserable it was to have the chills. She fished the bedspread off the floor, shuddering a little, and pulled it over him; it was light enough that it wouldn't provide too much warmth. He huddled down under it, and Sara stood up to get the aspirin from her bag, for later. I wish I had a thermometer. Is there a drug store in this wide spot in the road?

But a quick call to the laconic front desk clerk told her no. Sara bit her lip as she hung up the room's phone, turning back to the man curled up so tightly on the bed. She could see the shivers passing over him even from several feet away.

Well, there was nothing she could do but wait. Sara fished up a journal from her bag and pulled her legs up so she was sitting sideways in the chair. She'd give him a half-hour or so and see if he could take the aspirin then.

It turned out to be twenty minutes before she couldn't stand it. Grissom was restless, his legs moving, and though Sara knew it was due to the fever, she couldn't concentrate. Every movement made her want to go over there and...soothe him.

Leave him alone, Sidle. There's nothing you can do and he'll just be embarrassed anyway.

But as he twisted and muttered something, she got up and went to fill a glass with water.

This time, when she sat down next to him, Grissom rolled over again but stared blankly at the ceiling. "I'm hallucinating," he said in a mild tone.

"I'm not surprised," Sara answered, biting back worry. "Can you sit up?"

Grissom slowly pushed himself up, and Sara handed him the aspirin. He put them in his mouth and took the glass, but his hands were trembling; Sara kept one hand on it to keep it from spilling as he sipped.

He only took two swallows, and she wanted to urge him to drink more, but she feared it would make him vomit again. Instead of lying back down, Grissom sat back against the headboard, letting his head tip into the wall. "Fascinating," he said, still calm. "I can hear two people talking, but I can't make out what they're saying."

Sara glanced over at the television, but it was currently showing a car commercial that had only quiet music.

"A man and a woman," Grissom went on, staring into space. "And it feels as though I can see every separate molecule." He startled her by smiling - a small, weak smile, but a genuine one. "I haven't hallucinated since I was a teenager. This is really fascinating."

She had to laugh at that. Only Grissom would find the unfettered gyrations of the fever-struck mind to be something to learn from rather than to fear. "Well, why don't you lie down while you observe?"

"Mmm." Grissom slid slowly back down into the sheets' embrace, and Sara took a chance and tucked them back in around him, leaving off the bedspread; his shivers had stopped. His only reaction to her tenderness was to sigh and close his eyes.

She retreated to her chair and picked up the journal again, but couldn't concentrate. It was weird, the whole situation was weird.

We settled it. Well, I did. Told him what was going on, and as usual he couldn't say anything.

He was probably relieved.

It had been easier than she'd thought it would be; all her apprehensions of his being angry, or annoyed, turned out to be unnecessary. He was just, apparently, confused.

And now here she was, struggling to figure out how to deal with a rather awkward and potentially dangerous situation, trying not to cross the line. Trying to act as a co-worker, maybe even a friend. Trying to keep in check the feelings that he didn't want, that had gotten her into trouble before.

Gradually, Grissom's restless movements subsided, and his breathing slowed. Sara gave him an hour, then went back to check on him.

His skin was still hot under her palm, but noticeably less. Grissom's eyes opened slowly at her touch, and she smiled down at him. "Just checking, Griss. Go back to sleep."

He nodded a little, and let his eyes close again.

It was a slow, quiet two hours. Grissom's fever kept dropping, and when his skin was cool to the touch and he didn't wake when her fingers brushed his forehead, Sara decided it was safe to take a shower.

She shook her head again when she entered the bathroom. Grissom had somehow managed to rinse out his shirt and drape it over the shower curtain rod, though his shoes, cap, and jacket were tumbled in a heap in the corner. She tidied his clothing out into the main room, and took her shower, grateful that the cheap motel at least had sufficient hot water.

She dressed in the same sweatpants and tank top she'd worn to bed the last two nights, and retrieved her ALS. The sheets on the empty bed seemed clean, much to her relief, so she climbed in.

The sun was coming up, lightening the windows around the edges of the dull curtains. Sara stretched. She didn't expect to sleep much, or deeply, not in a strange bed, and certainly not with someone sick only a few feet away. But she had to try, at least, since she would probably be doing all the driving on the way back. The aftereffects of food poisoning could last as little as a day, but Grissom was likely to be pretty wiped out for that day.

So when Grissom pulled himself out of bed, later, Sara's eyes opened enough to make sure that he wasn't going to run into anything. He stumbled into the bathroom, but no retching sounds resulted, and Sara drifted on the edge of sleep, her ears hearing him brushing his teeth without her brain really processing the data.

Eventually he came back out, walking with the heavy tread of someone still exhausted. It should have alarmed her when he hesitated, looking like a bear woken from hibernation too soon, and then slid blearily into her bed instead of his. But when he merely pulled the empty pillow under his head and fell instantly back into sleep, she had to giggle a little. Boy, is he out of it.

She had a problem, though. Propriety and common sense demanded that she get up and move to the other bed, but there was no way that she was going to lie on dirty sheets. And if she moved to one of the chairs, she'd never get back to sleep.

If I'm going to drive, I need more sleep. I refuse to worry about this.

Sara turned over to put her back to Grissom, and closed her eyes.


She hadn't felt like this in a very long time. Not only comfortable, but warm, the kind of warm that only came from a thick down comforter or an outside heat source. She was relaxed. She was never relaxed in motels.

And then she realized what the sound was in her ear, and the tickle on her neck, and her eyes snapped open. Whoa.

It wasn't like she'd never imagined it; she'd just given up hope of it. And she'd figured earlier that if Grissom woke before she did and found himself in her bed, he'd just get out of it as quickly and quietly as possible, and go back to his own.

Well, maybe he's not awake.

She didn't know what to do. Grissom was spooned up against her; his knees behind hers, his chest against her spine, and, apparently, his face tucked against her neck, since his breath was stirring the fine hairs on her throat. One arm was slung over her waist, his hand burrowed neatly beneath her in a fit so perfect that it might almost have been designed.

And therein lay the trouble. Sara couldn't figure out how to get out of his unconscious embrace without waking him, and embarrassing them both. The fact that she really didn't want to move she dismissed as irrelevant. Shit, what do I do? He's either going to be really embarrassed when he wakes up, or really pissed, and either way we'll both be miserable on the drive back. She bit her lip. Maybe I can play possum - if he thinks I'm still asleep when he wakes up, then it's up to him to get out of th -

Her thoughts scattered as the arm around her tightened. Grissom let out a low sound of satisfaction, almost a purr, and Sara felt goosebumps spring up as he rubbed his face against the back of her head. "Sara," he said, the word muffled in her hair, and her brain spun.

Is he awake? He can't possibly be awake - great, is he having some kind of wet dream -

Before she could think what to do, Grissom moved, turning her in his arms so that she lay supine. His eyes were still closed, and he had a little smile on his face, but that was all she had time to register before his mouth came down on hers.

For the life of her, she couldn't move. His kiss wasn't what she was expecting; it wasn't invasive, nor the fumbling move of someone who was truly asleep. Instead it was tender and warm, the sort of kiss that a long-time lover would bestow. A loving, gentle, good-morning kiss.

It made her want to cry, or yell at him. It made her want to kiss him back, and pretend.

She did neither. For one selfish, bittersweet moment, she let him kiss her, then turned her head to break the contact. Grissom grunted a little, and as she inhaled to speak, the hand not under her shoulders came up and turned her face back to his.

This time, his kiss was definitely invasive, in the best way. Sara heard herself make a helpless, surprised noise, but the realization was a little distant. Most of her attention was taken up by his exploration of her mouth, the press of his body half over hers, his hand moving from her cheek to her throat, her breast, her hip. His knee was slipping between hers, and Sara knew she had to stop this right now -

She pulled her head back as much as she could. Grissom's eyes fluttered open, confused and cloudy. "Why am I still wearing - " he said thickly, and then his gaze sharpened as he took in her face below his, her apprehensive expression. "I'm not dreaming."

"No." Sara didn't move, didn't quite dare. She had no idea how he was going to react. She didn't even know how she was going to react. Part of her wanted out of the bed as soon as possible, and part of her wanted to yank him back down, and let the dream proceed full speed ahead.

Grissom squeezed his eyes shut. Sara felt his hand tighten on her hip, and then he exhaled sharply and rolled off her, ending up sitting with his back to her. "Sara." He swallowed, she could hear it. "I'm sorry."

It's okay didn't seem appropriate. "Don't worry about it," she managed, sitting up herself, struggling with her body's disappointment. "You don't have to explain anything," she added, hoping to forestall an awkward conversation.

"Yes, I do," he said sharply, and put his elbows on his knees, rubbing his forehead. "Sara, I really did think I was dreaming."

It was a very strange mixture, this hurt that he had to be asleep or close to it to touch her and pleasure that he dreamed of touching her. "I believe you. Really, Grissom."

He sighed. "It's all a blur...I don't even know where we are."

A little humor returned. "Do you remember being sick?"

Grissom shuddered. "Yes, unfortunately."

Sara nodded, even though he couldn't see her, and stood up, glancing at the clock. It was just after ten. "I'm not sure where we are either, but we needed to stop driving for a while. How are you feeling now?"

"Mm. Sore, but I'm not sick any more."

"Good." Sara stifled a yawn. "Hopefully there's a convenience store or something where we can get you some sports drinks. You need the fluid."

He grunted, and she heard the squeak of springs as he stood up. She turned in time to see him close the bathroom door behind him, and fought off frustration.

Scrambling into her clothes, she unlocked the front door and peered out. The sky was overcast; the stretch of highway didn't seem very appealing in the dull daylight, but Sara spotted a familiar sign about two blocks away, and ducked back inside for her wallet and the room key.

Grissom had not yet emerged from the bathroom when she returned with a bag, but he appeared as she was setting out her purchases on the little table. His hair was wet and he was dressed in fresh clothes, and Sara pushed down a surge of affection at the sight of his bare feet. They were nice feet, with long toes, but they looked somehow vulnerable.

Grissom homed in on the coffee, but Sara snatched the cup away. "Not right after food poisoning, Grissom, sheesh!" She ignored his glare and handed him the bottle of sports drink. "If you can keep that down, I've got crackers for later." The bag held more bottles and a package of saltines, as well as a couple of apples for her.

"I'm not pregnant," Grissom said sourly, twisting open the bottle and taking a cautious sip.

Sara started to laugh, both amused and annoyed. "No, of course not, we didn't get far enough for that." His eyes widened. "You scared me, Grissom."

His hand tightened on the bottle, and he turned away. "I - I'm sorry, Sara, truly. I didn't know what I was doing."

Behind his back, Sara rolled her eyes in exasperation at her faux pas. "That's not what I meant. Grissom." She walked around him, trying to catch his gaze. "If you'd scared me then I could have laid you out flat. I meant when you were sick."

"Oh." He still wouldn't meet her eyes, and fed up, she reached out and cupped his chin in her hand - not something she would normally dare, but their barriers seemed to have eroded over the past few hours.


For a moment he was very still, and then his fingers wrapped around her wrist and pulled her hand down. "I believe you."

He let her go and walked away a few steps, swallowing some more of the liquid. Sara bit back a wince at the rejection, and grabbed the keys and their kits. She might as well start loading up the SUV.

But as she slammed the vehicle's hatch closed and started back towards the motel room, she noticed that there was a wide stain spreading from underneath the SUV. A fresh stain, coating the gravel. Feeling her stomach sink, Sara crouched down to peer under the vehicle.


"Well, that's that," Sara said, closing her phone with an air of finality. "They're sending a car out for us, but it's still going to take five hours to get here."

"I still can't believe they can't fix it," Grissom said wearily, sitting on the edge of one of the beds.

"Nobody around here has the right part." Sara leaned back in the chair and eyed him. Grissom still looked pale and tired, despite having finished two bottles of sports drink and a handful of crackers. "Why don't you go back to sleep for a while?"

"Because I'm not sleepy," he snapped, rubbing his forehead.

"Fine." Sara gritted her teeth. The last thing she wanted to do was stay cooped up for five hours with Grissom when he was in a pissy mood. Under more normal circumstances, she would just go for a walk, but she was afraid he might relapse and she didn't want to leave him alone.

"I'm sorry."

Taken aback, Sara looked over at him again. He wasn't looking at her, but his expression was sad. "It's okay," she said automatically.

"No, it's not," Grissom muttered, but instead of elaborating he just kicked off his shoes and lay back on the bed. Sara sighed and reached for her journal.

"Did you ever have fever hallucinations?" Grissom asked abruptly, staring at the ceiling. Surprised, Sara thought for a minute.

"I remember that I had them once or twice as a kid, but I don't remember what they were. They scared me," she recalled.

Grissom nodded. "They scared me too, when I was little. But when I got older, they were fascinating, because I always had the same ones."

"So this morning, they were familiar?" Sara asked, her interest piqued.

"Mmm." The noise was affirmative. "Very vivid, but the same thing. I don't know why."

"And what about your other dream, was that familiar?"

Sara couldn't believe the words that had just fallen out of her mouth. Grissom turned his head to look at her, face creasing. "Sara. Please. Don't be cruel."

"I - cruel?"

He sighed, and turned back to the ceiling, rubbing his eyes. "It's familiar, yes."

Embarrassed, Sara said nothing, but she couldn't help remembering what had happened. He'd cuddled her in his sleep, okay, something anyone might have done, but the rest of it...he'd thought he was dreaming, so he'd...done what he wanted to? Isn't that what people did, when they thought it wasn't real, that there'd be no consequences?

Well, she knew he was attracted to her. Overhearing him in the interrogation room had been proof enough of that. People had erotic dreams, that was natural. It was just his body responding to stimulation.


She kept remembering that first kiss. It wasn't the kiss of someone with one goal in his mind; it was intimate, sweet, loving.


When are you going to start trusting the evidence?

Sara swallowed. She stood up, feeling her hands starting to tremble, and walked over to the bed where Grissom lay with his eyes shut, and sat down next to him. His eyes snapped open. "Wh - "

Sara laid her fingers over his lips. "Shhh." Bending down, she moved her hand to his cheek so she could kiss him, giving him the same kiss he'd given her, tender and soft. He was as motionless as she had been, but when she lifted her head his eyes were glittering.

"I didn't think you were cruel."

She shook her head, letting her fingers trace the line of his beard. "Grissom. Get it through your head. I want you. And I know you want me."

He regarded her for a long moment, then shook his own head slightly. "It's not just want, Sara. I can't just be your 'inappropriate validation'."

It was obvious the words hurt him. Sara sighed, annoyed at how they'd confused each other. "I wasn't talking about you, Grissom. I was talking about work."

He blinked. "Oh."

She bit her lip, suddenly uncertain. "Am I still too much of a risk?"

As though that show of vulnerability gave him permission, he reached up to touch her face. ""

They stared at each other, absorbing, wavering. "Then why are we still apart?" Sara asked at last, half-whispering, afraid that somehow she'd misjudged things.

To her surprise, Grissom started to chuckle, the sound combining amusement and amazement. "Because we're both too stubborn for our own good?"

His arms went around her, and then she was lying next to him, and his chuckle was trailing off as he slid one arm beneath her head and touched her cheek with the other hand. "Sara, Sara, Sara Sara..." Grissom's voice trailed off, and she raised her head just enough to meet his coming down, putting her arms around him to pull him closer.

This time the kiss was very mutual. Sara let herself get lost in it, the warmth and flavor of it, the almost unbearable rightness of something that had been denied far too long. Grissom groaned against her lips, and she recognized the sound as relief, the same relief she was feeling, the same surprised delight. At last.

They kissed for a long time, just enjoying the feel of each other, getting in some of the kisses that they'd missed over time. To Sara, it was one of her own dreams come true, an old wistful imagining from the edge of sleep a sweet reality with every touch of Grissom's mouth against hers, with the stroke of his fingers through her hair.

He tasted wonderful.

After a while she shoved him gently, rolling them both over to reverse their positions. He went easily, hands falling to her waist as she braced herself over him, and his smile up at her was a little dazed but very happy.

She couldn't help smiling back, and ducking her head to kiss his chin through his beard. Grissom's fingers had slipped beneath the loose edge of her shirt and were making small circles on her skin, but he didn't seem to be trying to arouse her. In fact, she was pretty certain he wasn't. She knew this man; she knew that no matter how much he might want her, he wouldn't try to push her.

But she knew what she wanted. And we've known each other how long now? Sara felt her lips curving in a smile more predatory than any she'd worn so far today. "So...tell me more about your dream?"

Grissom blinked, and then a faint flush crept up the edges of his face. "It's not what you're thinking," he said softly.

Sara's smile widened. "How do you know what I'm thinking?"

He snorted, and squeezed her waist a little. "It's not hard to guess." His eyes closed for a moment, and when they opened, Sara was startled by the vulnerability that appeared. She softened.

"Tell me," she urged him, trying to promise without words that she wouldn't hurt him.

He sighed, and she shivered a little at the feel of his breath against her face. "It's an old dream," he said, voice still low. "I dream...ordinary things. Grocery shopping, making dinner, coming home from work - just daily tasks. Except..." The corner of his mouth twitched. "You're there."

The sheer longing in his voice took her aback, and she stared down at him. He shrugged a little, as though to negate the power behind his words. "It makes all the difference, Sara. I eat dinner with you, talk with you, lie in bed with you, and I don't want to wake up."

Sara bit her lip, struggling to hold back the emotion he was evoking. Grissom went on, his eyes drifting away to one side as though her gaze was too much to bear. "That's what I was dreaming. We were asleep, it was a sunny morning, and when I looked over at you, you woke up and smiled at me..."

That did it. Sara dropped her head to his chest, letting his shirt absorb the trace of moisture that had escaped her. She didn't know whether to kill him for denying them both his vision, or to drag him home and prove to him that it could come true.

She felt his arm wrap around her back, his hand cup her skull under her hair. "Sara, sw - I'm sorry..."

She raised her head. "For what?"

"For...oh." Grissom seemed to realize that he hadn't upset her with his confession. A little smile appeared as he shrugged again. "That's all...I just..."

"Did what came naturally?" Sara grinned at him again. He pursed his lips, eyes crinkling, and took his hand from her hair to trace the outline of her mouth. She drew in a breath at the sensation.

"I'm sorry I got so pissy," he added. "It was hard, waking up and realizing that it wasn't real."

"I know what you mean," she said, and gave him just enough time to figure out what she meant; as his eyes widened, she nipped his finger.

Instantly Grissom's gaze narrowed and darkened. "Sara..." he warned, his arm tightening around her.

Sara let her leg slip between his as he had done earlier. Maybe she was pushing it a little, but even though she didn't think Grissom was going to back out of this, she wanted him bonded to her before they left the motel room.

And she just wanted him. Period.

It wasn't like there was a question about him wanting her, either, judging from the evidence pressing against her pelvis. Sara let herself down against Grissom's body, ignoring his inhale, so she could cup his jaw in her hands. "It isn't just want," she murmured. "You know that, right?"

He regarded her for a long, intense minute, and it seemed to Sara that she could see his dream in his eyes, a tiny simple vision of the two of them living life together instead of apart. "Yeah," he said finally, and Sara's fingertips felt his pulse picking up.

"Show me your dream, then." She kissed him slowly, teasing him with her tongue, and his hands slid down to her backside to press her gently closer.

"Why don't you show me yours?" he asked when she broke the kiss, both of them breathless. There was a challenge in his expression...and she loved a challenge.

She grinned again, feeling that anything was possible.

"Which one?"