DISCLAIMER – Not mine. Belong to Anthony Zuiker, et al, CBS and Alliance Atlantis.
A/N – This follows on from Chapter 2 of Always on My Mind, and is the second in the Sara storyline that started with From The Inside. For maximum enjoyment, they should be read first.
It'd only been a few weeks since she'd moved from Las Vegas to Minneapolis, and although she'd deny it till blue in the face, she still dreamt of HIM nightly. Finding a good psychologist was the only thing she had left to do. Then maybe, finally she'd find the key to closing the Grissom/Las Vegas chapter of her life.
Sara kept her schedule full partly out of wanting to fit in, go out with the people she worked with if asked, but mainly, so she wouldn't constantly think of HIM. If she wasn't working, she was socializing. If neither of those, she could be found at the indoor abseiling centre. It was "her thing" that everyone in Las Vegas had been after her about. She did have to admit though that it was a great way of decompressing.
As she drove home on this afternoon, she could tell she was coming down with something. Her head hadn't stopped aching all day which was strange since she wasn't prone to headaches. Her eyes were burning, and there was a very uncomfortable rasp in the back of her throat. Getting home she threw her work gear on the table and went straight to bed.
Waking a few hours later, she was dismayed to find that the rasp a turned into a painful hacking cough. It took every bit of energy to pick up the phone and call to leave a message letting her supervisor know that she wouldn't be in for a few days. She then grabbed her cell phone to send a text message letting her friend know she had the flu and wouldn't be up for a few days.
That done, she stumbled to the kitchen for a glass of juice, took care of business in the bathroom and collapsed back into bed. She was asleep as soon as she'd gotten herself comfortable.
The following twelve hours were a haze of fever dreams (all featuring one Gil Grissom) with the occasional trip to the kitchen or bathroom.
Around midday incessant knocking from her front door, and a continuous humming from her cell interrupted her sleep. Rousing herself she dragged herself to the door. If she'd had the strength she'd so be cursing out the person who was bothering her while she was busy dying.
Opening the door she squinted at the person who was trying to wake the dead. Cade Stanbury, the assistant coroner at the Minneapolis ME's office. It'd been him who'd introduced her to abseiling, him who'd taken her out with him, to the local hangouts. She could've easily fallen for him; except for the fact that she didn't have the Y chromosome, he could have fallen for her too.
He took one look at her as she shuffled her back into her apartment. "Oh Sunshine if I'd known you were so bad, I'd a let ya sleep."
She managed a small moan before he'd swept her into his arms, and bought her back to bed.
"Hey Gil, what'cha doin' here?" she asked as he bought the blanket to her chin.
Knowing some of her history with the renown Entomologist, he thought with her fever, it'd be better if he just played along.
"Hey there yourself gorgeous," he said as he rifled through her bathroom cabinet for anything that would bring her fever down. She didn't even have any asprin for crying out loud.
Cade searched her kitchen cabinets, only to find a few tins of tomato soup, ritz crackers, and various condiments. Her fridge wasn't much better. A few vegetables were dying slow deaths in the crisper, the milk seemed okay, but she was out of juice. Her freezer was a little better stocked. Frozen dinners, a few pints of Ben & Jerry's Choc Chip, no meat, but then he remembered her mentioning that she was a vegetarian.
Quickly checking on her in the bedroom, he grabbed his keys and went to get supplies.
First on his list was fresh vegetables, he had a wicked good vegetable soup recipe that would make Sara feel much better. He also grabbed some Flu and Cold medication. Didn't matter which ones, just so he could get her temperature down, and sooth the hacking cough, he also bought a few more cartons of fruit juice great for a vitamin boost. Finally, he stopped by his own apartment and grabbed a few DVD's. He knew Sara didn't have anyone else that would take care of her, and he'd appointed himself as her guardian.
Arriving back at Sara's apartment, he set to work making the vegetable soup. As he worked, he played his favourite DVD, GREASE. Humming along to the opening tune, he poured a glass of juice and grabbed a Flu capsule.
Sara had barely moved while he was gone. Her face was still flushed with fever, and her breathing sounded more sonorous than ever. Taking a wash cloth he wet it, and gently wiped her forehead with it.
"Sara honey, can you wake up for me for a while?" he said as he smoothed damp hair from her forehead.
"Gil? What's happening? I feel like shit."
Cade smiled. "I know honey. I've got some juice for you, and a pill that'll make you feel much better."
"Okay Griss," she winced as she swallowed the juice with the pill. "I'm going back to sleep now."
Wiping her brow with the wash cloth once more Cade said, "You sleep Sunshine. Get better."
Next on Cade's agenda was calling work and letting them know he'd be taking some time off. "Hi, I'm calling cause I won't be in for the next few days. I know, but Tom said he'd fill the shift till I get back. No, just taking care of a friend who needs someone…Yeah. Thanks."
That done, he checked on his vegetable soup which was coming along nicely. Sitting down in the lounge, he turned the volume up on the movie, as Sandy's Hopelessly Devoted To You started. Damn but he loved this movie, especially this part.
Four days later, and Cade had stayed pretty much by Sara's side. Feeding her vegetable soup heavily laced with garlic and onion. Making her take the medication that was finally starting to show results. Taking advantage of the fact that she was in bed sleeping, he put the Grease disc back into the DVD.
Sara had flatly refused to watch it when she was in the living room, something about having to see it more times than any child should be exposed to.
Though she hesitated when he asked her why she'd seen it so many times, he was a good friend and would not be judgemental about the foster homes, so she told him. But not why she'd been sent there. Her foster brothers and sisters had varied tastes, one of her sisters had a taste for musicals. So she'd been forced to watch Grease and Xanadu enough times to last a lifetime.
Half way through the movie, the phone started ringing. He picked it up quickly before it had a chance to wake Sara. "Hello?"
Silence. He repeated his greeting and was still met with silence. "Listen creep, I don't know who the hell you are, but I don't appreciate these kinds of calls."
With that he slammed the phone back into its cradle. Hearing sneezing and sniffing coming from the bedroom, he quickly went to see what Sara needed. "Hey Sunshine."
She looked at him from under the blanket. "Cade? You still here?"
"Sure I am Sunshine. Not gonna leave until your up and about on your own."
"I really wish you'd stop calling me that. Damn I feel like shit," she said grabbing the glass of OJ she took a sip and grimaced. "It's warm."
Cade recognized the slight whine of someone whose finally getting better. Smiling he took the glass from her and went to get a fresh cold glass for her. When he got back, he smiled. Sara had fallen asleep again. She was getting better, but still in need of a lot of sleep. Returning to the living room, he reset the DVD to play from the beginning.
As Sandy started to sing Hopelessly Devoted, the melody and words drifted to the bedroom, and into Sara's mind. The words spoke exactly of her feelings. She knew she wasn't the first, nor would she be the last to have her heart broken and cry over a man. Who was she kidding, Grissom.
From the first moment she'd seen him at the seminar, to dropping everything in San Francisco to join him in Las Vegas. The endless flirting, that had suddenly ceased. The lab explosion, and putting everything on the line to finally ask him out to dinner, and the crushing sadness at his firm almost cruel outright refusal. Hearing his confession of feelings and inability to commit to doing anything about them to Lurie.
She'd finally moved to Minneapolis, made friends, been accepted in a new job, but there was just no getting over him. Her mind constantly screamed at her to forget him. Usually she could silence it with more work, socializing or an extra hour abseiling.
Her heart was at constant odds with her reason. No matter how much she tried to distract herself, her heart always went back to Grissom and inexorably her head would follow.
She was woken by Cade shaking her softly, "Hey Sunshine, you alright?"
Surprised, Sara wiped her eyes and found her face wet with tears. "Yeah, just a dream."
"Come on into the lounge-room, get you moving a little more. Also have some more soup I need to feed you."
Moaning as he helped her up, she leant against him. She was much better but still a little weak.
Greased Lightening was currently on screen. Sara sighed, "You still watching this?"
"Hey, I know you had a bad experience, but I told you the week you got here, that this was my favourite movie."
"Okay, my favourite movie is Marnie. Doesn't mean that I'm gonna still and watch it continuously for four days. Have you watched anything else at all?"
"Sure. Queer Eye, South Pacific, The L Word, Victor/Victoria."
Knowing he wouldn't take offence she said, "Gee, gay much? What about Will and Grace?"
Smiling broadly he said, "Oh yeah, that too. Although I can thankfully say I've never come across anyone as shallow as Jack."
The phone rang again, and Cade was about to answer it when Sara asked to look at the caller ID. Her heart leapt as she recognised the number.
"Give it here. NOW!" She held out her hand. He quickly dropped the still ringing handset into her open hand.
In a small soft voice she said, "Hi."