Sara stood outside Peter's office, watching him work. His desk was immaculate, with a neat stack of files in his outbox. The walls were adorned with diplomas and a few bland art prints. There were no mounted insects, no tarantulas, no fetal pigs… all things she'd found distasteful until she met Grissom. Now they seemed like the staples of any decent office.
She blinked, finally noticing that he'd looked up. "Hey, Peter."
"Have a seat." His smile was warm as he leaned forward in his chair. "I was hoping you'd stop by."
She sat across from him, twisting her fingers nervously. "I'm so sorry about the other night… I shouldn't have left that message on your voicemail. I should have said it to your face."
"Probably," he agreed mildly.
"I'm really sorry."
"Don't be. It happens."
Sara stared at him in disbelief. "Peter, we were together for four months. You should be furious with me!"
He smiled softly. "I've been around a while. Takes a lot to faze me."
"Was I…" she swallowed. "Did what I said in my message make sense?"
"Absolutely," Peter said earnestly. "To be honest, I appreciated it. I'm almost sixty, Sara. When you get to be my age, time is precious. If you didn't think I was the right guy for you, it was better for you to tell me right away, and not a year from now."
She chewed on her lip.
"You still feel uncomfortable," he noted.
Sara shrugged. "I'm a little concerned about us working together," she said reluctantly.
Peter's eyebrows shot up. "Funny you should say that…" He pulled a file out of a drawer. "Sofia Curtis has put in for a transfer to day shift."
"Really?" Sara sat forward in her chair, intrigued. He smiled at her and then bent down to attend to a paper quickly. "Really, though, Peter, I am sorry if I hurt you at all."
He looked up and his face softened. "I know, darling… no harm, no foul." It was amazing that she had been able to spend that much time with Peter; nice comfortable time, but time in which she was constantly pining for another man. Another man who she now knew loved her to something close to the end of the earth. He'd joked the night before about wanting to love her all the way to the end of the earth, but couldn't since he was a scientist and the earth was round.
She'd promised to flatten it for him if he just kept that promise, pressed him onto his back and proceeded to smooth the globe into a perfectly flat plain.
Sara grinned, remembering the way she had loved him. Peter smiled at her quickly, she smiled back, half-heartedly and said, "You know it wouldn't work out between us, I told you I can't–"
"Swing dance," they said in unison and had a little laugh.
Sara regarded him with kind eyes. "You know, if it had been a jazz club I would have been putty in your hands," she winked, and Peter stuck out his tongue at her.
"Ah, but hindsight is always 20/20... isn't it?"
"That it is."
Again, he picked up his pen and was down to business. "So, Sofia Curtis wants days... do you want back on night shift or should I move things around?" Peter began rearranging the files on his desk and pulling the ones he needed.
Honestly, Sara didn't really care, it didn't much matter now. "I'll go back on night shift if it's easier. Really… whatever's easier." The idea of working alongside Grissom again did appeal to her, even if it would make their burgeoning relationship more complicated.
"Should I take Curtis?" Peter paused and addressed her seriously. "I know she used to be the head of day shift, and I'm not so sure how that would work..."
Sara thought it over. "Well she requested the transfer so she must have thought the ramifications through. And… you know… she's a dedicated investigator, I just… don't get along with her."
"Sara, from what I can gather, you don't get along with a lot of people," Peter said good-naturedly.
She stood up and clapped her hands together. "So maybe that's true," she stated with a smile and went to leave the office. Pausing at the door, she turned to look at him. "You coming to give me my last assignment, boss, or should I take the evening off?"
Peter looked up at her, a wry grin plastered on his face. "Get your ass to the break room, Sidle, there's a 419 with your name on it."
She walked up the front steps slowly, running her hand over the freshly painted banister, admiring the new mounted mailbox with Grissom/Sidle stenciled on the side. Domesticity had its appeal.
"Hey," he called from the couch as she walked in the door, laden with grocery bags. "I was getting worried… weren't you just running out for milk?"
She nodded, putting a carton into the refrigerator. "I ran into Peter in the parking lot. He was there with his fiancée."
"You're kidding." Grissom walked over to plant a kiss on her cheek. "I didn't know he was engaged. Anybody we know?"
"Yeah, actually," she replied, raising her eyebrows. "Allison Freeman."
He blinked. "You… you're kidding."
"Of course I'm kidding, how weird would that have been? It's some woman he met at his racquetball center. She seems nice."
He clasped her shoulders under his thick palms and kissed her neck. It was a taste he'd shown no signs of tiring of, even after eight months. "Peter probably cries himself to sleep every night, thinking about you."
"You're terrible," she smirked, pushing him away. "He actually was really sweet… he said he hopes I find someone who will make him as happy as Pandy makes him."
Grissom tried. Really, he did. He clenched his teeth and wrinkled his nose and curled his tongue. But the laugh escaped anyway. "Pandy?"
She smiled back at him – the wide, gap-toothed grin that made his heart stop beating twenty times a day. His cardiologist would have a fit if he knew.
"So do I?"
Sara kissed the underside of his chin. "Do you what?"
"Do I make you as happy as Pandy makes him?"
Sara smirked and began pulling items out of the grocery bags. "Nah."
Grissom chuckled, knowing she was poking fun at him. "Nah?"
"Well, think about your names alone." Sara spun around, raising an eyebrow and cocking her head back and forth. "Pandy… Gil… yeah, no contest." Turning back around to the counter, she threw over her shoulder, "Gil just isn't as fun to say."
He wandered over behind her and placed his hands on her hips possessively. "You're right, it isn't as fun to say... I like it better when you moan it."
"Gee, somebody's full of himself," Sara laughed, pulling away from him to put a loaf of bread in a drawer.
Grissom leaned against the counter, watching her putter about, putting things away and pulling things out. He watched her, a warmth in his chest that he hoped would never leave.
Sara paused en route to the pantry to look at him. "What?" she asked cautiously, ambling towards him sideways. He snatched her into his arms so that she dropped the box of cereal she'd been carrying. Feigning annoyance, she blew a breath of air out, ruffling her hair a bit, doing nothing for the wanton gleam in her eyes.
"Just thinking how sad I am for almost missing out on this..." he said, trailing kisses behind her ear.
Sara giggled and sunk her body into his. "Yeah but lucky for us, you have great peripheral vision. You just had to... circumvent a few roadblocks to finally see."
His lips were about to land on hers but he had to pull back and chuckled. "You said circumvent."
"It's part of my charm," she muttered before pulling his lips to hers in a heated kiss.
Leslie's A/N: Must say... was such a blast to write. The phone convos about the route this fic would take were just too funny. It's so sad that we're not stopping here. There will be more stories, possibly more WIPs... and you will all have to suffer because it was simply too fun to work with Radish.
CSINut214's A/N: I'm actually going to be taking a break from writing for a bit… but I'll be back at some point, no worries. Ten points to the first person to figure out who wrote which parts of this chapter. And those points are redeemable for Ben and Jerry's fro-yo, yum!