Anywhere but Here
Summary: Greg overhears a conversation between Sara and Grissom about him. Sara/Greg
Spoilers: Up to Spark of Fire
Disclaimer: They are mine, really they are, it's just CBS doesn't know that.
Greg was walking down the hallway looking for Sara. He tried to downplay his excitement, the fact of working with Sara nearly exclusively for the past eight months had not eased his anticipation when working with her. Sometimes he couldn't believe his luck, being able to leave the lab and become a full crime scene investigator hardly ever happened, and though he had a rocky start down this road, lately he felt like he was gaining the confidence and experience he needed.
Of course, much of this was due to Sara being such a good teacher. Greg would never have thought she would have had the patience with training someone, especially someone who had no prior CSI training at all. Her patience and teaching was very methodical and Greg found their work styles complimented each other and he hoped to have many more opportunities to work together.
Whatever happened to Sara a month ago that led to her suspension seemed to have finally died down. He asked her about it, hoped she would share, but she really didn't open up, but that was OK. Greg knew Sara saw him only as a co-worker, which was why he had dialed down his flirting with her. There were a few moments when he couldn't help himself, like when she was telling him to get on his back when she lowered a dummy onto him, but she took it well and he hoped maybe she was starting to see him as more of a co-worker. He wasn't about to press it yet, though, he was happy to just work with her. Since working on so many cases together, he was delighted to find that she sought him out now to take breaks together. Their conversations during these breaks had become more personal and right now he just reveled in the joy that he knew she might see him as a friend.
As he walked down the halls, he walked outside Grissom's office where he could hear Grissom and Sara talking. He was about to walk in, but hearing what Grissom say stopped him.
"Sara, I need two CSI's on this and with Sofia on vacation, Greg is the only one I have."
"Grissom, this case is a bomb explosion, which I think Greg isn't ready for yet."
"You should give him more credit, Sara, I believe his skills are ready…"
Sara's voice got more strained when she interrupted, "He couldn't handle taking evidence off the burn victim last week. You had to take him off the case, remember?"
Greg felt his mouth get dry at that statement. Grissom HAD removed him from that case, it was really getting to him. It was the first time in the past year he had let a case get to him. He was very embarrassed about the reassignment but couldn't deny the relief he felt. He knew the case had been resolved without him, and no one brought it up to him since then. Listening to Sara talk about it now, made him feel ashamed. He knew he should walk away now, he didn't want to hear anything else, yet his feet felt bolted to the floor.
"Sara, a victim in such a state, would be difficult for ANYONE to see, Greg might have had issues, but I think he worked further then any CSI Level One could have…"
"No, Grissom, Greg dropped the ball and we both know why, the lab explosion. And now you want him to work on this case, one that is a bomb explosion."
"These cases are difficult enough, but if Greg freezes up again and you pull him out and reassign someone else, I won't have time to catch anyone up…"
"Hey, Greg, what are you doing?"
That voice was not coming from the direction of the office, but from behind him, making him nearly jump into the wall. Turning around, Greg saw Catherine with an amused smile on her face.
Walking over to her, and still hearing the argument behind him, Greg made a quick decision, "Catherine, I have a favor to ask. Can we go into your office?"
Sara was looking for Greg after losing her argument with Grissom. Trying to calm down, she knew she didn't have much time before they had to get to the scene fairly quickly, she had already wasted a lot of time fighting with Grissom. Her stubborn nature refused to allow her to admit that Grissom was right.
Walking to the locker room, she found Greg there, changing like he was going home.
"Greg, what are you doing? We have a scene to get to," she said, flinching at her agitated voice.
Greg shook his head, "No we don't."
"I mean, I don't," Greg said, turning towards her, "Catherine is switching me the next couple of days with Nick, at least temporarily, I'm sure Grissom will approve. Anyway, Nick will be working with you tonight. He's going to meet you at the scene."
Sara gave Greg a questioningly look. She didn't understand. Looking into Greg's eyes, she saw hurt. Realization dawning on her, Sara said, "You heard Grissom and me."
Greg took a deep breath; he knew she would figure it out. He had promised himself he wasn't going to get emotional about it, "Yes, I didn't mean to. I was looking for you and heard what you said. So I happened to run into Catherine and she owes me a few favors so we worked out a deal. She said she could easily convince Grissom and she already called Nick who was more then happy to help out."
"Greg, I didn't mean…I didn't want…when I said…" Sara didn't understand why she was tap dancing around the subject. When talking with Grissom earlier, she had meant what she said about Greg maybe not ready to fully work on a bomb explosion case, but seeing that she was going to get her way, she suddenly felt the opposite.
Greg shook his head, "You don't have to say anything, I understand."
Greg had to pause because his voice squeaked on the last word, but he continued, "No, really, you are right. I did wus out last week on that burn victim, and it is because of the lab explosion. I'm not the best person to do a bomb scene with, and I probably should work on that when we have more CSI's on our shift to help cover me if I wus out again."
Sara looked in his eyes, and felt her heart sink. She didn't understand what she was feeling, she should be glad Greg was acting so mature and strong about this situation, it should relieve her. But instead she was feeling something else.
"Greg, it's not that I don't like working with you, in fact, I do," she just now realized how true that statement was.
"It's ok, really," Greg answered and walked away. Sara started to go after him when Grissom stopped her. He had just talked to Catherine. He actually didn't like this one bit, but he knew that Greg had overheard the conversation earlier and had to begrudgingly agree that Greg's self confidence level needed to be boosted up some before he could take on a case like this. Grissom was about to fill Sara in when she started telling him what Greg said. Sighing, Grissom told her to just go work the case.
One week had passed since Sara and Greg had spoken to each other. Greg would have told anyone that it was because he was on the swing shift, their paths weren't supposed to cross. However, Sara made that statement untrue, as she would seek him out trying to talk to him. He always managed to either avoid her or claim he was too wrapped up on his particular case, a convenience store robbery. Part of him wanted to speak to her, but knew what her real feelings were and just didn't think he was strong enough to handle hearing it from her directly.
Now, however, that was over. Nick and Sara had wrapped up the bomb explosion and his suspect in his case confessed. Now he and Nick switched back to their original shifts and Greg knew he was probably going to have to work directly with Sara tonight. As he arrived to start his shift, he was surprised to find Sara at his locker, waiting for him. Seeing her there, he couldn't help but think of the irony, Sara finally begins looking for him, only now she is the last person he wants to talk to. God could be cruel sometimes, Greg thought to himself.
"Hey," he said.
Sara put on an awkward smile, "Hey."
They just stared at each other for a minute but Greg couldn't stand the silence and asked her how she was doing.
"Oh, I'm fine. I was hoping we could talk before shift."
Greg shrugged deciding inwardly to just get it over with, "Sure."
Looking down and moving out of the way, she let Greg walk to his locker. Watching him get ready, she became lost in thought until Greg turned to her, waiting for her to speak.
"First," she said, taking a deep breath, "I want to say I was wrong. I should never have assumed you couldn't handle the case, plus even if there were issues with it, you can only learn to deal with them with practice."
Greg just kept staring. He knew he should say something to what she said, but he was sure he saw something in Sara's eyes. Something else besides professionalism. So he just kept staring.
His stare, unnerved Sara, and helped her lose her built up confidence. Walking around him, she laughed a little, and at his look said, "I have been practicing this speech to you before you got here, and now I can't remember anything else."
Seeing Greg had nothing to add, she continued, "Anyway, I was wrong."
Greg finally finding his voice, answered, "Was there a second thing?"
"Yes, but it's actually harder to say." She shifted from one foot to another. "I realized something this past week, working with Nick. Something about you."
Greg's heart sank. He had been wrong. What he saw in her eyes had to do with her not wanting to work with him. Probably back to working with someone as knowledgeable as Nick made her realize she was tired of babysitting him and was looking for a way to ask him to move back to swing full time. Swallowing, he waited to hear her say she would ask for him to remain on swing shift.
"I like working with you. I mean, I really like working, ok, not just working, I missed you. I like spending time with you. I like talking to you and having our breaks together and when I know you aren't going to be here with me on shift, I really don't look forward to going into work," Sara, so nervous now, just said everything in one big breath and now stood to see Greg's reaction.
Greg heard what she said, heard everything she said, but was confused, did he hear right? She was saying she liked working, no liked him? She had missed him? Greg felt like someone could have knocked him over with a test tube.
Misinterpreting his silence, Sara thought he didn't want to hear the rest. She was going to ask him out after shift.
"Well, I can see that isn't the case with you. Um, just, anyway, you know, just ignore what I said. It's not like it's a problem. I just thought…I mean," Sara was horrified to hear herself laugh out of nervousness. She started to walk past Greg towards the door, she needed to get away from him.
Greg saw the fear in her eyes, and snapped out of his shock. As she started to walk past him, he felt himself gently grab her and turn her towards him. He leaned in, and kissed her with all the stored up passion he had been saving for the last 5 years. Though caught off guard, Sara quickly reacted and kissed him back. Neither knew how much time passed when they finally pulled away, both out of breath.
Looking into each other's eyes, both saw the similar grin each was wearing and knew they would be spending a good deal more time together from now on.
They reluctantly let go, and each stood trying to regain voices to speak.
"So," Greg said, finding he had to concentrate very hard on what he was saying, asked, "What do you want to do after shift?"
Sara, with the same measurement of concentration replied, "I was just going to suggest dinner, but I like what you suggested much better."
Greg held Sara's gaze and smiled, this time, the look in her eyes left no doubt in his mind what she wanted. They both left the break room, both anticipating that it was going to be a very good day.