This is a warm up for my chapter of Detour... and that's all I'm saying.


If she'd chosen to face the music, Sara Sidle would have admitted that she had indeed, yes she indeed had, wait... yes, she'd had one too many glasses of wine. Or two. Something; point was she'd had too much wine and it was making her vision all fuzzy in a fascinating way.

Never before had she quite enjoyed the feeling of being tipsy, if only for the sole reason that it rushed to her head all at once, creating a deep thrumming that sounded like Greg's horrendous techno music. No, the wine was making the slow trek to her head, warming her limbs on the way. Delicious was a great adjective; she felt delicious; the wine was delicious; the way her clothes felt against her skin at that moment, that felt delicious too.

She swirled the merlot around in her glasses, not drinking it but enjoying how the candlelight looked through the burgundy of the liquid. It sloshed back and forth in the glass and Sara moved her head just as she moved the glass. She forgot what music was listening to, but she was singing along anyway, wanting more than anything to play guitar again. Eh, but that would be too much effort and she was much too comfy on the couch.

What was, why was she drinking wine, alone... Oh yes! Birthday, it was her birthday and she was celebrating in her own little way. Earlier in the day she had bought herself a silk camisole, a nice gift to her feminine side. She'd never wear it, but that was fiine, it made her feel better. Hey, it was pretty and pink and she was sure it would look killer on her, except she had no one to wear it for, no one to tell her she looked killer in it.

Eh, it was inconsequential. She was ridiculously happy with her life for the moment and she didn't care that the shirt would go to waste. It didn't matter. For a second she toyed with the idea of changing into it and lounging around the house... why not? Why the hell not, she reasoned, it was her birthday, why the hell not.

She didn't even stumble as she made her way to her bedroom to pull the cool silk over her pretty black bra. Sara admired herself in the mirror again. Yes, a purchase well worth it. Again, she made her way back to her couch and plopped down, regarding the remnants of the wine in her glass. She picked it up and brought it to her lips and swallowed the liquid with greediness.

Wine was her weakness; the sleek smoothness of it, the wonderful color and texture. Wine was Sara's guilty pleasure. On the outside she was a beer girl, but beneath the tough exterior she wore a slip of chardonnay. It slid down her throat as if it were some sort of lover's caress and she welcomed the warmth. 'Happy birthday, Sara Sidle, you're thirty-something and single. Buckle down and buy some Sex and the City DVDs and be content. This is the long haul love.'

The leather felt odd against the silk but she didn't bother analyzing it. If she tried to remember it in the morning, well, she wouldn't and that was all. A lovely night off for her birthday and yet nothing to do. Probably sad, but she didn't care because she had her anonymous music and her lovely candles and her tasty (damn delicious) wine. She really needed nothing more.

Sara thought that she imagined the knock at her door, so she stayed reclined on the couch, content to twirl her empty glass in her hand. But the knock resounded again and she was sure that she'd heard it so she pressed herself off of the couch and answered it.

Her head was down when she opened the door so he wasn't graced with the unabashed shock that she reigned in at the last second. "Uh, hi Griss..."

She'd received a call from Nick and a card from Warrick and Greg, but Grissom... he was the very last person she'd expected to see on such a day. Grissom lifted his head and smiled at her, lopsided and graceless. It was perfectly adorable, and her slight state of inebriation made it even more so.

Surprisingly enough, there was no hesitation in his voice, no bumbling, no searching for the right words. "I thought I'd forgotten your birthday, but it turns out I didn't."

"No, you didn't forget. But then again, you never remembered in the past."

"You gonna invite me in or am I standing in the doorway all night holding this nicely wrapped gift?" And from behind his back he produced a giftbox, wrapped delicately in light green, metallic paper. Sara held off from inviting him in for a moment and blinked, attempting to disappear him from her vision... nope, he was real and she was shocked, but she gestured for him to come inside.

He looked so natural surrounded by the dull glow of the candles and the shimmer of the light from the kitchen. Maybe that was the wine and her mood though, she couldn't really tell. He was an astonishing shade under the lights there in her living room and she had to regard him carefully to be sure she wouldn't speak words that he would never be ready to hear.

As she was regarding him, he was regarding her, scanning his eyes over the soft flesh revealed by the delicate plunge in the neckline of her top. The color, powder pink, the color one might place on an infant girl. It hugged her stomach and flared out at the end and stopped at her breasts, white lace capping the delicate material. He too saw her differently in an instant and noticed the open bottle of wine on her coffee table. Dare he?

"Celebrating?" He gestured to the glass and the bottle beside it and she flushed, half from the heat of his gaze and half from being caught drinking alone. Not really drinking, enjoying.

A nod and she ran a hand through her hair from the crown of her head to the dip of her skull in the back; she held her hair there and nodded again. With a soft "Yeah" she released it to fall over her shoulders.

Grissom stood before her, gray and orange, a magnifigant sunrise in her living room, and pulled something from his pocket. "Oh!" A small cardboard box followed by the stub of a skinny birthday candle which he dipped into a votive flame on the table. Flicking the box open he revealed a sliver of cheesecake and stuck the candle in. "Happy birthday," and with a quirk of his lips and a tilt of his head he presented it to her.

A smooth breath escaped her lips and she extinguished the flame.

"Did you make a wish?" A casual question laced with desire, she knew it.

Sara plucked the box from his hand and dipped three fingers in, pulling at the pliant sweetness, bringing it to her mouth and eating. "Yes."

His adam's apple bobbed in his throat and her eyes were immediately drawn to it. "What did you wish for?" He asked her slowly.

"Uh, uh. You and I both know that if you tell, the wish doesn't come true." It was a tease, she was sure (or was she?) but she didn't particularly care. It would have been far too bold for her to have offered him cake from her fingers so she retreated to the kitchen to retrieve a fork.

When she returned, the gift was on the coffee table, but he still stood. And so she, in a moment of silliness, scooped up a piece of cake with the fork and offered it up to him. His eyes flinched a bit but he opened his mouth and accepted the sweet confection. As he was chewing she asked, "What's in the box?"

Grissom finished chewing the dessert and returned, "Open it and find out."

Sara sat down on a chair and poured herself a bit more wine. The night was shaping up to be something veguely reminscent of Stanley Kubrick and she willed it to stopped rolling the way it was. She took a sip from the glass and handed it to him. He, to her absolutely surprise, took a few gulps from it and placed the drained glass back down on the table.

It was then and there that Sara placed the single most erotic moment of her life: Grissom, with a droplet of merlot clinging to his lips, asking her to open her present.

Sara slipped a finger under the edge of the paper and pulled it back from the box. The box itself was a deep purple, the color of shriking violets. Sara met his eyes and he smiled, soft this time and eached out to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear so he could see her reaction.

Instead of opening the box, she placed it down on the table and looked over at him through half lidded eyes. "You're not going to open it?" He asked.

Sara pressed herself forward, closer to him. 'Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me...'

"I'm more interested in what's outside the box..."