Sometimes It's Tough Being Me

Disclaimer: Unfortunately they are not mine, but you already know that, huh?

A/N: Achtung! Second language-speaker ahead. Please R&R.

Summary: Hail to Beaujolais and the other Anonymous Brass-oholics out there. Last part of my Brass-Trilogy. There's something fluffy cooking! Spiced with a pinch of B/C, a dash of W/C and a spoonful G/S. Enjoy.

Rating: PG13, creative language, again

Spoilers: None to speak of.


Have Nick do it!

Jim Brass lingered around in the hall way. "Hey, Stokes." he called and pulled Nick into the corner at the water cooler. "You gotta do my a favour. I'm stuck with paperwork here, and I need you to follow a hunch."

Nick nodded seriously. "Sure, what's up, Brass?" He knew, every time Brass had raised such a demand it involved a twist in a case where evidence rather tended to mislead than to solve a crime. Jim turned his head twice to make sure nobody else would listen and explained his request.

"Gee, Brass. You're in a jam, huh?" Nick raised an eyebrow and bit his tongue in order to avoid bursting into laughter.

"What? Can't I have a life? These things happen." Jim growled. "Don't you dare to tell anyone, Mister!" he glared back and tipped his index finger on Nicky's chest.

"Sure, man. My lips are sealed. But why are you so cagey about it?" Nick grinned.

"That would be none of your business, Stokes." Brass felt a sudden heat raising in his head. Stay cool, Jim. You've trained it several time in front of the mirror. You're not going to blush in front of this kid! he reminded himself and managed to escape in dignity.

Willows knows!

Lost in his thoughts Brass walked down the hallway when he literally bumped full speed into Catherine Willows.

"Hey, Jim. Excuse you.!" She shouted at him.

"Calm down, Cath. Sorry, I have simply overlooked you." He replied.

Catherine scoffed. "Thanks, Jim. This comment just made my day. Glad, I have a healthy Ego."

Brass raised his hands in a defensive gesture. "Don't be so touchy, Cath."

"That had hurt, man." Catherine kneaded her shoulder. " That Gym training seem to be good for you, less good though for those who you encounter."

"What do you mean by this? What have you heard?" Jim looked at her with big eyes, alarmed and getting nervous.

"Intriguing question, Jim. Is there something I should have heard about?" she asked suspiciously.

Jim acted the innocent, his face without expression.

"I know that face, Jim. Grissom is exactly doing the same to me when he's hiding something. Do you guys actually learn that in a special seminar?" Cath stepped back and watched him carefully.

Jim cleared his throat, straitened his shoulders and smiled at her in mild self-confidence. Not that he actually felt confident. Inwardly shaken up he prayed for enough stamina to withstand her examining eyes.

She circled around him. "Well, well. New suit, even a new brand." She took a closer look at his jacket. "Jim Brass is an Armani guy. Didn't know that you are into fashion lately." Cath smirked, stepped closer, sniffed. "Changed your aftershave too." Surprised she raised an eyebrow and whispered in his ear. "There, I get some new sort of vibes out of you. You're radiating, Pal." Jim felt shivers running down his spine.

Her hand rested on his arm now. He felt her grip burning a hole in his sleeve. His collar was choking him. Jim swallowed hard. No, not Catherine as well. Somebody gotta help me outta here. I just can't handle that anymore.

He must have said that out loud, because Catherine glanced at him, and than started giggling.

"Gotcha." She watched him blushing. I'm so busted. Damned, isn't there any drug against turning into red tomato? Hate that face! Jim thought.

"It's written all over you, Jim. Finally you seem to have found someone who knows how to press your buttons, Jim. Shall I make a guess or are you going to let me know what happened lately?" Catherine linked her arms with his.

"Give me a break, Cath." Brass attempted to draw away from her.

Cath gave him a meaningful glance. "Nope, buddy. My office. Now. You won't get away from me until you filled me in completely." She stopped, laughed and corrected herself when she saw him blushing again. "Relax, Jim. You know that I mean, until you've told me, do you?" She smiled at him.

Jim Brass took a deep breath and followed her in surrender.

...

Brown turns pale and Greg gets superstitious!

In the hallway stood Warrick Brown, watched them leaving together, arm in arm. A hot stroke of jealousy tormented his bowels.

"Hey, calm down, that's just Jim Brass." He mumbled to himself and took a deep breath.

"Sanders, what the fck!" He winced when Greg Sanders approached giving him a friendly punch. "Yo, War. What's up? You don't look good. Wanna have a mug of my special coffee brand? I've just made fresh one. You better follow me in the break room without attracting too much attention, I don't want Grissom to empty the pot before I had my second cup."

Warrick didn't react. "Hey, Earth to Warrick Brown. Mind talking to me?"

"Look at them." Warrick said half in rage choking at his words. He pointed at the pair behind the window. Jim was relaxed sitting on a chair and seemed to feel pretty comfortable. Catherine leaned on the table in front of him, she was just inches away from touching him. They obviously had fun while talking, they laughed, shared special looks, behaved almost flirtatious.

Greg gave it a second thought. "That definitely doesn't look like they are talking business. But who cares?." He shrugged.

In sudden surprise he stared at growling Warrick who stormed in the office, startling Cath and Brass.

"Cath, I need to talk to you. Now!" He glared at Jim.

"I'm outta here, Cath!" Jim winked at her and grinned at Warrick, all of a sudden realizing that is was just he, the good old Jim Brass himself, who had caused this very reaction.

My gosh, what's going on here? What's happening to me? Jim mused. First the lovely encounter with that copper head, followed by a very intriguing kissing scene with Sara and now Brown in jealous rage because of him talking to Cath. Yeah, Picture that. Ladies and Gentlemen! Beware of the heartbreaking Brass-Man. No wait! What am I thinking! Me a womanizer? Oh, I'll be damned. Yet the smile wouldn't leave his face.

Greg didn't get it. What was wrong with Warrick? Captain Brass and Cath sitting together, having a chat? So what? They do that all the time.

"Hi, Greg." He heard a soft voice calling his name. "You do not even care to pretend working, do you?" Grissom looked at him over his glasses with that special cold gaze of his blue eyes.

"Wait! I smell something!" Grissom raised a hand. "Your coffee is ready. You got away this time, Sanders." He smirked, turned around and went straight up to the break room.

"You're welcome, Sir." Greg sighed with a flat voice. Frustrated he followed Grissom. It's MY coffee. How does he do that? Always tracking me down in the wrong moment! This man just gives me the creeps.

...

Grissom, concentrate on what cannot lie, the evidence!

"Hi, Gil. May I speak to you in private?" Brass entered the office and shut the door behind him and leaned on the wall, his arms crossed.

"You have already closed the door, Jim. So, I guess I don't have much of a choice here. Go ahead." Grissom put down his glasses and watched Jim. He has changed. He thought. I don't know, but something is different.

"We need to talk!"

"Then talk!"

"About Sara."

"About Sara?"

"We kissed, Sara and me. It was my bad. I kissed Sara." Jim blurted out.

"KISSED SARA?" Gil scoffed.

"Is there an echo in here, Gil?"

"Why do you have to tell me?" Grissom said in a flat voice, his face deadpanned. "It's certainly none of my business." He emerged from his chair escaping in the semi-darkness of the back of his office to avoid Jim's inquisitive stare.

Brass, feeling empathy with him, stepped forward and rested a hand on his shoulder. Grissom flinched slightly and turned around, raising his hands in defensive gesture.

"Leave it alone, Jim. I'm not going to discuss this issue with you."

Jim Brass watched his friend quietly for a moment and than exploded. "Gil, how dare you! We are not talking an issue. We are talking Sara Sidle, a beautiful living breathing female human being."

With a sad smile Jim continued. "You don't get it, huh? Well, let's state the facts. Sara deeply cares for you. She's in love with you. It's about evidence, Gil. Sometimes evidence lies in what people do. Why do you think she moved to Vegas, you moron? Why do you think she's still here despite the fact that you treat her like, like an issue." Brass scoffed.

He was getting more and more exasperated while watching Grissom's non-responsiveness. "Fine! I see that I'm wasting my breath here. Catherine is right, you'll never pull your head out of your ass to see the light, man. Yeah, go on pretending that you are not interested in her. Good for me! Because I am!" He was ready to storm out of the office as Gil spoke up.

"Actually, Jim, I remember Catherine having said something in context with a microscope." Grissom raised his head and glanced at Brass with a half smile. "And I certainly do not want to know why you two are having discussions about Sara and me."

Brass turned around. He was still mad as Gil but he wanted to do something right here.

"Are you really interested in Sara?" Grissom asked. "I mean, do you…" He swallowed. "Do you have feelings for her?"

"Yes, Gil. I do care for her. We have been close in the last couple of months. I mean, we haven't, you know, dated. But we used to hang around once a while, watching movies, cooking dinners and stuff."

Grissom looked at Jim surprised, shocked and hurt. "I, uh, look, I was not aware of that. Guess I'm too late, huh?"

"Well, how about a challenge, Gil? We take it out. You and me, old fashioned Vegas style. Shall the best man win and get the woman. I'm going to beat the crap outta you." Brass remarked in a chipper voice posing like a boxer.

"Jim. Please. Come on." Gil scoffed. "Let's solve our problem in a civilized manner. Let's, um, what about challenge who's going to break the next case first, or how about riddles or cross word puzzles?"

Jim burst into laughter. "Gil, you wanna fight over a girl with a puzzle? Don't ever let Sara get intelligence about that. Oh, poor man. Why don't you just pull yourself together and start talking to her? And I certainly do not speak of your brilliant quotes. I mean really saying something. That's how civilized people deal with it. Use your mouth, man!"

A knock on the door, then Sara went in. "Oops, sorry guys. Didn't want to interrupt." She immediately sensed the tension between the two men. And by the look they were giving her, she couldn't explain why, she anticipated it had to be about her. Sara blushed and stepped back, ready to escape. She certainly didn't want to be a part of this.

"No. Wait, Sara. Everything is fine. Come in." Grissom said in a tender voice. She looked at him, confused. The melting gaze of his blue eyes made her weak in her knees. Gris, please! don't do that to me. She averted his glare and tried to focus on Jim, solid as rock he was standing beside her.

"Hi, Jim." She nodded to Brass, giving him a little smile.

"Hi, gal." Jim answered and pulled his arm around her, giving her the comfort she needed. A safe harbour.

Gil, I don't know how you do that. I feel her trembling. I've already lost the game. For one moment in five years you show your true colours and she's up and away with you on an emotional roller coaster ride. It's not that my heart would break when you two would make it up right here, but, well, yeah there maybe a little crack in it. Sometimes it's tough being me.

Grissom looked from Brass to Sara and back. He didn't know how to handle this particular situation. Does it mean that Sara is going to be with Jim? Has she already made her decision? What was Jim saying before? TALK. SAY SOMETHING. MEAN IT.

In his mind Gil pushed away all the smart quotes which had always come in handy to confuse his partners in dialog. He cleared his throat and took a deep breath. "Look, Sara. This, um, this may not be the right place or the right time. In fact I'd always found reasons why it wouldn't be. I, I need to talk to you. Alone. About…" His voice collapsed.

"What he means, honey, is us." Brass tried to help out.

Sara's mind stepped to the next level of emotional turmoil. "Us, Jim? You mean us, like in Brass and Sidle?" It's my fault. Oh, Jim. It was the kiss, right? I shouldn't have done it. But he was so sweet and he was available, I couldn't resist. Sara didn't know what to say.

"Sara, listen." Grissom's voice recovered. "And would you please stand away from Jim. This image of him pulled his arms around you is definitely confusing me." He paused, Say it! Say in now! "Uh, um, I'm not sure that I can handle this. It means us, as in Sara and Gil."

Sara couldn't believe what she just heard. She scoffed in disappointment "Yeah, guys. Nice try. I figured it out. You're kidding me, aren't you. Please, don't make me part of your silly mind games. Jim, let me go. Gris, always nice talking to you." She turned around trying to hide her tears.

Before she reached the door, Grissom was holding her back. "Wait, Sara."

She looked at him and from him to Brass. "What's going on here?"

"Sara, trust me when I'm saying it." Jim answered. "Gil is going to… no wait. Take your time to find out yourself. It might well be something you'll like!" He winked at her with an encouraging yet wistful smirk and left the office.

Through the window he watched Gil taking Sara in his arms, leading her to his chair, asking her to sit down and listen. You definitely have her attention, Gil, you always had. If you are going to hurt her one more time, Jim Brass thought, I'll be all over you, Fly Boy. Old Vegas Style! I promise!

Back in his office he found a note from Nick. "No report filed! BTW best wishes from copper head. Nice gal! NS" Satisfied with the good news, he crumpled the paper and threw it in the trash bin. Sometimes it's indeed tough being me, but sometimes it's, well, it's…enough.

...

Honey, I'm home!

He woke up in darkness with a terrible headache. His eyes hurt too, his vision was blurry. This must be a heck of a hangover. Jim Brass thought. He went in the bathroom and discovered that he was still wearing his street clothing. He didn't even seem to care to get rid of his shirt and trousers. At least I somewhat lost my socks. He looked at his bare feet. He swallowed some Advil dry, undressed and took a shower. He turned the water hot to release the pain in his shoulders and relax his aching muscles. I'm definitely getting to old for this. He mumbled musing what this could mean.

Jim returned to the bedroom, pulling out some fresh shirt and slacks out of his closet when he heard the noises coming out of the living room. Alarmed he grabbed his gun from the nightstand and jumped into his trousers. Routine is routine. He thought, even with a hangover. He cocked his weapon and opened the door looked through the gap. On tip toes he slipped in the living room trying to catch the intruder by surprise.

"Freeze! Hands where I can see them!" He shouted.

Then he shook his head in disbelief. "You? I, um. I, I'm sorry. How…? I mean, what are you doing here?" She was shaken but smiled at him when he secured and put away the weapon.

"Cool down, honey. You don't remember a thing, huh? You, me, White Wedding Chapel? Doesn't ring a bell?" She tried to remain serious upon his confusion. He just stood dumbfounded.

"Is this a trick, a bad joke? I do not remember at all. I don't even remember your name." He mused. "Well, if what you say had happened, tell me, who am I?"

"So you neither know who you are?" She teased him.

"Go ahead. Tell me." Jim asked in a dangerous low voice.

"You are…" He frowned when she paused. "You are…" He grabbed her arms. "Stop this charade. You don't know my name, right. Now, what are you doing here?" He shouted at her.

"Ok, ok. No more games. Your name is Jim Brass, you are a police officer with the LVPD. You have very nice friends, some Gil Grissom, who by the way called already twice. I shall greet from Catherine and Sara actually just left. She wanted to know if you are ok. By the way, do I need to know, why she holds a key to your house?"

"So, now I'm confused." Jim sat down on the couch. "What happened? Did I have an accident? He looked at his watch. My, I'm late for shift. I need to make a call."

"No, not necessary. Jim. Sara is going to report you sick for tonight." She calmed him down.

"Help me out here. Will you?" He rubbed his temples in desperation.

"Listen Jim. You had an accident, well sort of. You were at the Gym for a workout. They had a street fighting seminar ongoing, which I attended. Clive, the trainer, a black belt, and a champion in his discipline hit me, unintentionally of course. You saw it and simply went mad. Kicked him, punched him several times, he couldn't manage to calm you down. So he had to knock you out. You got some bad concussion. He was terribly sorry about that. Clive and I got you to hospital. You didn't want to stay there, you said. So we drove you home after treatment. You seemed ok at that time, named the address and gave me your keys to open the door. But then the drugs kicked in and you collapsed. Clive and I put you to bed and you slept for sixteen hours in a row. I didn't want you to leave, I mean, in case I could be of help." Jim looked at her in complete confusion. His face a big question mark.

"By the way, Clive would be glad if you could refrain from filing a report against him. He could loose his trainer licence."

"Yeah, Whatever. I was out? For sixteen hours?" He was stunned. "So you and me, I mean, we didn't, um, uh?" He blushed.

"You mean what? No, we haven't married, I was just kidding." She smiled, sat down beside him and touched his arm.

"That's, uh, not, what I meant." Jim blushed, again. He looked at her, melted in that grey blue eyes of hers, noticed her spiky strawberry hair. He gently touched her cheek.

"Everything was just a dream. A mind trap. Wishful thinking." He sighed. "But I had his dream, and it felt so real." He started daring. "And you had a part in it. I, I mean there is that saying, that eventually dreams can become true."

He would blame it on the drugs, Yes, that will do the trick. Perhaps she won't slam me right in the face, due to my condition. And than Jim kissed her and she… yes, she kissed him back, caressing his neck.

He flinched, looked at her. "You are real, are you? I mean, not another drug trip?"

"How real does this feel to you, Jim?" She whispered and teased him with his tongue.

"I guess, I really haven't felt that for a while." He must have had a flashback.

"No wait. One more question, copperhead."

"Yes, Jim?"

"Who are you, gal?"

She didn't answer that particular question and he became too distracted to repeat it.

Life's a bitch and sometimes it's tough being me, but this time I won't complain. Was his last thought before conscious notion left his mind, again.

FIN