Greg Sanders flipped another peanut in the air, tried to catch it in his mouth, and missed. It bounced off the floor near his feet and joined several of its unlucky brethren under the lab bench. He continued to methodically flip the peanuts in the air and try to catch them, resembling a goldfish with its mouth opening and closing. Sara grimaced, and turned away from him to see if the computer had finished its chuntering and completed the file search of addresses she and Greg had fed into it. They'd been waiting for half-an-hour, and once that was done they still had the reams of photos they'd taken at the scene to go through. Yes, it had been a long and dull shift, and right now, Greg was dangling off her last nerve as they waited for the computer to finish. Usually it was faster than this, but she had a nasty suspicion that shortly she was going to have to go through its innards and find out what was slowing it up. Combine that unpleasant possibility with an incipient headache, an ongoing feud with two of her colleagues and three of the dullest, most boring cases she'd ever worked, and Greg's acting like an eight-year-old was really starting to wind her up. Unfortunately, just like any real eight-year-old, indicating irritation with his behaviour was the surest way to get him to keep doing it.
"Could you please stop doing that?"
"I'm hungry, and we're not going to get to eat any time soon." He held out the crumpled, half-empty bag. "Want some?"
"No. Could you please just eat the peanuts like a normal person?" She tried for reasonable, and wished she had Grissom's ability to shut Greg up with a look. Unfortunately, adopting a Grissomian tone of authority and disapproval simply got the reaction of Greg staring at her with a moony-eyed crush-on-the-teacher look. Not something she'd ever seen him use on Grissom. Well, maybe once or twice.
"This way is so much more fun. It adds excitement and uncertainty." Greg caught the peanut between his teeth, and grinned, showing crumbs around his lips. She scowled.
"Greg. Put. The. Damn. Peanuts. Down. Now."
Greg shrugged. "Or you'll do what, Ms. Loose Cannon With A Gun?"
Sara's jaw dropped. She stared at Greg for a while. He adopted a nonchalant face, but she wasn't fooled; she'd seen the faint oh-my-God-did-I-say-that-out-loud-yes-I-did-DAMN-better-play-it-cool expression cross his features for just a second. Right. Time for revenge.
"Greg, do you know what the latest CPR technique prescribed for choking on peanuts is?" He shrugged, and missed the catch; a peanut bounced off his forehead. She continued. "I'd have to slap you hard five times on the back. Hard enough to really bruise. If that doesn't work, I have to get round behind you, drive my fist into your solar plexus, and haul upwards with my other hand, five times. Then if the Heimlich manoeuvre doesn't work, and your airway continues to be blocked and there's a risk that your brain cells might start to die as you're slowly deprived of oxygen…"
Greg was staring raptly. She continued, wagging a finger.
"I then have to give you CPR, blowing really hard in a desperate attempt to blow the peanut all the way down your windpipe to the main fork, where it divides in two and goes into the lungs. That way, only one of your lungs is blocked; that one slowly suffocates whilst we give you mouth-to-mouth into the other lung until the paramedics get here. Then you get rushed to hospital, where they slice through your skin and muscle, crack your ribs and open up the lung in order to remove the peanut, which you can probably keep in a baggie as a souvenir to look at over the next few months whilst you slowly heal, with every breath causing you agony…. Of course, there's always the risk that the peanut gets stuck in the main airway, and all my desperate attempts won't prevent you turning blue and slowly suffocating to death. And then Grissom and I will preserve your corpse and use it in an experiment to freak out the new hires. Accompanied by a cautionary tale about the dangers of eating peanuts in an annoying fashion."
Greg paused in his peanut-catching and looked thoughtful. An unusually serious expression crossed his face. "So, basically, what you're saying is…. If I choke on a peanut I get you hugging and kissing me? It's a win-win situation both ways." He flipped another peanut in the air, and raised an eyebrow. Sara fought to keep from grinning, and focussed on the computer. Suddenly, there was a thud, as Greg clutched his throat, and keeled sideways onto the floor.
"Yeah, yeah. Stop faking, Sanders." She didn't even bother to look up as Greg continued to writhe theatrically on the floor, clutching his throat and making "Mmph! Mmmph!" noises. Suddenly he went limp. Damn. Did she rush over to take a look? If he was faking, she'd have fallen for it. If he wasn't… okay, maybe she had better look. She padded across, just in time to see Greg open one eyelid and peer cautiously around, before closing it and continuing to play possum. Okay. Definitely faking. Suddenly, before she could decide what to do next, Hodges rushed in, flailing his arms. He dashed across to Greg's supine body. "What happened here?"
"Umm…. He was eating peanuts! Then he just collapsed!" An evil idea formed in her head.
"Do you know if he's allergic?" Hodges worriedly knelt down beside Greg. "Sara, why are you just standing there?"
"I'm not! He doesn't wear a MedicAlert bracelet, he's not allergic to them… one must have gone down the wrong way! I tried slapping him on the back, but it didn't work!"
"Have to try CPR… have you called for the paramedics? This is really serious, Sara!"
"You're right! Ohmigod!" Sara yelled, and flapped her hands for emphasis, hoping that she wasn't about to ruin the effect by breaking out into hysterical giggles. "CPR! He needs resuss!"
Hodges bent over. Sara grabbed the nearby camera and muttered a short prayer: Please God, if you let me get this one photograph I swear I'll never complain about Hodges again…. She pointed and clicked just as Hodges planted his mouth over Greg's.
"What the…?" Greg staged a miraculous recovery, jumping up so quickly he and Hodges banged heads. Hodges' jaw dropped, he lost his balance and fell backwards onto his butt, staring at Greg and looking as though he'd just had the fright of his life. Greg stared at him with an expression of absolute horror, as Sara clung onto the lab bench to keep her balance as she laughed so hard she thought that she might crack a rib. Greg's eyes swivelled across and fixed on the camera she was clutching. His face turned slowly white.
"I got you this time, Sanders," she choked out. Hodges stared at her with an expression of wounded dignity that caused her to break out into a fresh set of giggles. Just then a bearded face poked around the lab door, looking puzzled. "Sara, what the hell's going on in here?"
At the sound of Grissom's voice, both Greg & Hodges quickly picked themselves up and tried to look busy, although the expression of stunned horror dawning on Hodges' face rather spoilt the effect.
"Umm…." She thought fast. "Greg and Hodges and I were just saying, we should all brush up our CPR skills, in case someone… has an allergic reaction to something at a crime scene. We were just… trying to remember the appropriate techniques. Maybe we should all do some refresher training?"
"Yes, that's a good idea. I'll mention it to Ecklie; I'm supposed to be seeing him about this 'Raising Staff Morale' programme of his." Grissom sighed and rolled his eyes heavenwards.
"Oh yes. Isn't he thinking about setting up some sort of staff website so that we can swap ideas and have discussions online? Cause I have some photos that might be good for that." She fought to keep from laughing as Greg and Hodges stared at her mutely with identical horrified expressions, eyes fixed on the camera.
"Really? Perhaps you should come and show me them… when you get a spare minute." Grissom caught her eye for just a second. His mouth crinkled slightly, and she suddenly wondered how much of the previous few minutes he'd just seen.
"How about right now?" She smiled sweetly and skipped out after Grissom, clutching the camera protectively. Behind her, Greg called out "Hey, Sara? Can I be your partner if we get some First Aid refresher sessions?"
Truly, hope springs eternal in the human breast. She smiled affectionately, and turned to look at them both. "No, I think you should partner Hodges… he obviously needs to work on his technique."
Author's Notes: This fic practically wrote itself; I was bitten by a plot bunny during Easter Sunday church service this year (of all places). Possibly it was the plot Easter Bunny. It may not be hugely original, but it was great fun to write.
I'm not making it up about the CPR treatment for choking on peanuts. Although you'd better hope that if you choke on a peanut, you don't get Hodges trying to treat you; he should have checked whether Greg was actually breathing or not by observation, not just assumed that he wasn't because he'd collapsed. (Never do mouth-to-mouth on someone who is breathing!).