Title: Bullet-proof

Author: Lifeguard

Disclaimer: I own none of the characters and I don't own the song "Bullet-proof" which is the property of Blue Rodeo. Please don't sue, I am a poor student!

Archive: Sure, just e-mail me and tell me where.

Spoilers: "Play with Fire," "Butterflied" - This story is post "Butterflied."

Rating: PG-13 for violence and some language

Summary: "Wouldn't it be great to be so strong?" When Grissom is hurt, he and Sara finally have to deal with the elusive "this" and each other. Post "Butterflied."

Author's Note: I just kind of re-discovered this song, and really wanted to use it for a story I could base it around. And I know I keep promising to update my other stories, and I will, but my muse has been really mean to me with them. Seriously, I have massive writers block. But I will get around to them soon I hope. So in the mean time, I offer you this story and my other first attempt at comedy, "Adventures in Teamwork." Enjoy.

Tell me one more time again, just like I didn't hear you

Like I don't know what's going through your mind, I do

I play the same game too

I know it's hard to stop

Even when you want to

She filled the wine glass again with the burgundy liquid. Swirling it around, she poured the contents down her throat and leaned further back on the couch. She had left work early, right after she finished watching Grissom interrogate Vincent Lurie. She had to leave. She didn't want to be there any longer, not with him there, not after what she had heard. She had feigned a headache and left.

At the memory of being in the observation room, she poured and downed another glass of wine. So now she knew what was going through his mind, she had heard it all, and he hadn't stopped. She hadn't either, when she had asked him out. Now she regretted it, because she knew the truth: he wouldn't give up his work for her.

She didn't even pour anything into her glass this time, but simply drank from the bottle.

She wanted to drink away the words, the pain they brought and just be numb.

Now the moon lights up your face, and I can see you're crying

You never liked me to see you cry, it's true

I've done some crying too

You know, the hardest part about it

Is trying to hide it from you

Lying on his couch, he tried to concentrate on the music, trying to think of anything but what had happened in the last few days. He could feel a migraine coming on and reached for the pills and water he had left on the coffee table.

He had preached to his team on many occasions to never get personally involved in case, so how had he managed to become so wrapped up in this one? He knew why. He had known from the moment he had seen Debbie's face. He had then become personally involved in the case, to the point that he had told his innermost thoughts to a murderer.

Hurting Sara by pushing her away, turning down her invitations was his greatest regret. If she only knew how much it hurt him to do it. But it was for their own good. He was her supervisor and could be nothing more. He had to deny them both what they wanted in order for them to succeed and he hated it. He knew Sara hated it too, and it was probably better that way. He wondered where she had went after she left early. He hadn't left much later, needing the rest. But yet here he was at home, and he could not sleep because every time he closed his eyes, her image would cloud his mind, merging with Debbie's. He wanted to be numb, to take away the pain.

Well wouldn't it be great to be so strong

I never needed anybody else's help to get along

But we're so scared of the silence and the tricks that we use

O, we're careful and we're cunning and we're easily bruised

I don't want to lie about it, I'm not bullet-proof.

They lay there, in their separate lives, yet both heavy with thought and the need to escape it. Both fiercely independent from lives that had asked them to be, but both needing human contact and love more than ever.

Well I finally found the way, to hide from all your glances

Till the waiting game we play is through

I can, but what's the use

When all I really want to do is hide out with you?

The next evening at work, she avoided Grissom. She would dodge his glances in the hall and only speak when spoken to. When she did talk to him, it was short, curt answers. She was grateful that he was not on the same case as her.

He didn't understand why Sara was avoiding him, and not being as friendly as usual. He wondered why she seemed mad at him. So he in return put on his quiet, lost in thought persona. Yet he missed her smile, and the way she would stand and talk at his office door. She hadn't done that much since the lab explosion. He knew why. He worked his case keeping to himself and Warrick who was also involved.

A knock on his door brought him out of his train of thought. He glanced up, half expecting to see Sara. Instead, Catherine greeted him.

"You ok? I know you're normally not the most outgoing person, but tonight you seem really reserved. Is it the Marlin case still?"

"I'm fine Catherine."

She rolled her eyes at him.

"Really I am."

"Really you're not. What's up?"

"Do you know if there's anything wrong with Sara?"

"No…why?"

"She just seems angry, especially at me tonight for some reason."

"Maybe it's because of the Marlin case, or maybe she's just having an off night. Why don't you talk to her? Pull your head away from the books and microscopes and find out what is wrong yourself?"

Grissom sighed. He hated when Catherine was right. Taking off his glasses he got up from his chair.

"Where is she?"

"Last time I saw her, she was in the locker room, probably going to head home."

"Is it that late?"
"Yeah, shifts nearly over."

"Thanks."

Catherine smiled as he left the room.

Grissom walked down the hall to the locker room, but she wasn't there. He headed to the front desk and asked if she had left. He caught up with her in the parking lot.

"Sara wait!" he called to her.

It would be great to be so strong

You never needed anybody's help to get along

We're so scared of the silence and the language that we use

Oh we're careful and we're cunning, but we're easily bruised

I don't wanna kid about it, I'm not bullet-proof

She heard him call her name. At first she didn't stop. She still had no desire to talk to him. All she wanted was to go home and drown herself in another bottle of wine. He called her name again. This time she stopped, whirled around and sighed.

"What is it?"

"Can I talk to you?"

"I was about to go home."

"Please, just for a moment."

She sighed again and crossed her arms, waiting for him to go on.

"Sara, I want to know, are you mad about something? You've been almost hostile tonight. Do you want to talk about it?"

She was floored that he had come all the way out of his office, to chase her through the parking lot to ask this question. She didn't even know where to begin, or if she even wanted to.

"Nothing. Nothing is the matter," she lied.

He didn't buy it, and starred her down. She watched him, and held his gaze, challenging him to speak again. It was obvious he didn't believe her.

"Are you sure you don't want to talk about it?"

She had had enough.

"Damn it Grissom! Where do I even begin with what is wrong!" she spat out suddenly.

He was surprised at her tone and the fact that she was going to talk to him. But before he could respond, she continued.

"How about I start with you? Yeah, let's start there. It's not enough that you've brushed me off before, but you did it again and pretty much ignored me throughout the entire Marlin case. I'm sick of it Grissom! I'm sick of you ignoring me to the point where I wonder why you even called me to Vegas, and then I hate that when I want to leave, you want me back. I can't take it!"

He was shocked. He didn't even know how to reply. His lips moved but nothing came out.

"And then, after everything you've done, you can't even talk to me! You go and tell a murderer how you feel! I was there Grissom! I heard everything!"

Tears began to streak down her face, and she swiped at them angrily.

He was sick to his stomach. She was there. She had heard it all. This fact swam in his head as her tear stained face was all he could see.

"Well? What now Grissom? Huh?" she asked, her voice breaking.

He began to shake his head…

"No! Don't tell me I don't know what to do about this again! I don't want to hear it!"

He was distracted by someone approaching behind Sara. A man, a man he recognized. It was the guy from the case he was working, a suspect.

"Are you even listening to me?" she threw at him.

The man starred at the night supervisor. Grissom knew this man was guilty, and it was only a matter of time before they got him.

"Grissom? Fine! Just go. I don't care anymore…"

He watched in horror, frozen, as the man pulled a gun from his jacket and aimed. Sara was in the line of fire.

Before he even knew what he was doing, he launched himself at Sara, knocking her to the ground as the man fired two shots. They echoed out in the night as he and Sara hit the ground. Within seconds, an officer who had been at the building entrance was rounding the corner, and took out the man with a bullet to his left leg.

She felt him on top of her. If the last couple of days had not happened, she would be happy to be in this position, as close to one of her fantasies as she could ever get. But as they lay on the cold pavement, none of those thoughts ran through her mind. Instead she wanted to push him off and leave, regardless of whether he had just saved her life or not.

"Grissom, get off! I'm fine," she said, her voice shaking a little.

He groaned and rolled onto the ground beside her.

"What happened? Why was that guy shooting at us?"

He didn't respond.

"Grissom?"

It was then she noticed the crimson stain beginning to form on the right side of his shirt.

"Grissom! Grissom! Wake up!" she shook him, and then leaned over his chest. She unbuttoned his shirt and gasped when she saw the bullet hole half way down his ribs.

"You're gonna be ok…" she said nervously, and applied pressure to the wound.

"HELP!"

His chest burned, a fiery sensation of pain consumed him. It hurt to breathe, and he tasted blood. He wanted to close his eyes, to sleep, to escape the pain. He was aware of someone calling his name repeatedly. A female voice….Sara! He struggled to open his eyes, and through the haze he could make out her face. Her words sounded blurred to him. Then she called for help.

She held her hands over his injury, but there was so much blood now. She stripped off her jacket, balled it up and applied it to the wound. He had opened his eyes and was gazing at her, but in a far off way.

"Grissom talk to me! You gotta stay with me," she pleaded.

She could hear people running towards her.

"Come on Griss, say something, anything…"she said, fresh tears welled in her eyes.

"Sara…I didn't mean…I'm…" he struggled.

He coughed, and a small trickle of blood ran down his chin. The tears rolled down her cheeks and she couldn't speak past the lump in her throat.

He needed to tell her. He didn't know if he would make it or not. Remaining conscious was getting harder and harder. He wished he had told her sooner. Thoughts of her ran through his head. Her as a student. Her as a friend, talking, laughing. The two of them going out together. The memory of her lips on his, a long time ago. Then the painful goodbye, only to be reunited years later. And then friendship. The memory of the lab explosion and the date proposal. How could he have not told her before. He had to now.

"I'm sorry…Sara…I was…scared…regret it….I…love…you…" he choked out, using his last ounce of strength to place his hand on her arm.

She sobbed out loud and turned away. When she returned her eyes to him, his had closed.

She leaned down to try to hear him breathe, but he wasn't.

"No…no!" she cried.

"Miss! Miss please! Let us work on him."

From no where, two paramedics had appeared by her side. As she moved away from Grissom, she was aware of Brass standing behind her on the radio, and the rest of the team not far from him.

Brass reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder. She instantly fell into his embrace and began to cry. Brass held her as she shook from sobbing and watched as Grissom was loaded into the ambulance.

Tell me one more time again, I guess I didn't hear you

And I don't know all the secrets that you keep inside

I tried the same thing too

But they all come pouring out of me when I'm talking to you

She found herself in the waiting room with the rest of the team. She sat, lifeless in a chair, a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. Someone sat down beside her, but she didn't even look at them.

"Sara?"

A hand was placed on her shoulder, and the contact made her turn to face the owner of it. Catherine looked back at her.

"Are you ok?"

There was silence for a few moments until Sara spoke;

"Bastard. That stupid bastard…"

Obviously not the answer Catherine had been expecting she looked askew at Sara.

"Pardon?"

"He waited until what he thought were his dying moments to tell me he loved me. He could tell a murderer, but not me. I should hate him and I want to, but it keeps coming down to the fact that he saved my life. I hate the fact that he loves me, but is unwilling to show it unless one of us is in danger. That bastard has me emotionally flip flopping and I hate it."

Catherine shook her head.

"Sara, if you only knew…"

"I know! I watched him confess to how he could not give up his work for me. I know that it's so much more important than love. I know where I stand to him!" she snapped.

"Sara, do you know why Grissom was avoiding you on the Marlin case? Do you know why he pushes you away? Really?"

"Because his precious work is so important to him," she answered dryly.

"No Sara. Because you are important to him. His work is important, it's just that he values your work as well, and he doesn't want to risk both of your jobs and what you've worked so hard for. The Marlin case was so hard for him because he connected it to you. If it had been you, it would have devastated him, and Debbie haunted him."

Her eyes grew wide at this revelation. He was doing this for her? He cared that much about her?

"I think this case opened his eyes to just how short life is, and what happens when you don't take a chance. Now ironically, Grissom's learning this the hard way. You know, when he gets better, maybe he'll see everything in a new light."

"If he makes it out…" Sara added softly.

Fresh tears rolled down her face.

"Oh Sara, don't cry…"

"Why is it that I can solve cases, but not be able to figure out my own life? Why does it have to be so complicated? Now I feel terrible because my last words to him were that I don't care anymore…"

"It will be ok…when he makes it out of there, you two can talk everything over."

Catherine brushed a few tears from her own cheeks.

The doors to the operating room opened and a doctor walked out.

"You're all here with Mr. Grissom?" he asked them.

Nick and Warrick came over to him and Catherine stood up.

"How is he?" Catherine asked.

"Mr. Grissom pulled through. He should make a full recovery."

The team let out sighs of relief.

"When can we see him?" Sara quietly asked.

"In a little while, when he's out of recovery. I'll have a nurse come get you."

"Thank you doctor," said Nick.

Well it would be great to be so strong

Never needed anybody else's help to carry on

But I'm not waking up each morning with forgiveness I can use

No I'm careless and I'm cruel, but I'm still easily bruised

But I'm so tired of lying about it, I'm not bullet-proof

He was floating softly through the air. It was something he'd never experienced. He couldn't remember how he came to be this way. He didn't even know where he was, just that it was pleasant.

Then suddenly, the floating turned to falling. He was hurtling towards the ground at a rapid speed. He couldn't stop it. There were noises, beeping sounds then pain. But it wasn't the pain he'd had before, it wasn't burning, it was dull and throbbing. Then he remembered.

He remembered the parking lot, Sara, the man, the gun. He remembered pushing her to the ground, and the fiery burn of the bullet biting through his flesh. He remembered greater pain than that: knowing Sara had heard him in the interrogation room. He wanted to go back to floating, to not remembering.

But the noises grew louder and the pain was no longer so dull. A heart monitor blipped steadily somewhere, and he could hear low talking. Then came the smell. He knew then that he was in the hospital.

Struggling, he tried to open his eyes. He wondered when that had become so difficult. The light hurt as he cracked them into little slits. He became vaguely aware of someone sitting next to his bed, listening to their breathing. He tried to move to see who it was, but his body felt as if he had been hit by a train. He opened his eyes a little more, and groaned.

She had been sitting beside his bed ever since the nurse had let her. It had been a few hours, they had said that it would take that long for the medications to wear off. Listening to the steady beat of the heart monitor and his breathing, she had fallen asleep on the chair beside his bed. The rest of the team waited outside, not wanting to interrupt her time with him. Her sleep was dreamless, dark and lonely. Then from the silence came a sound. Her eyes flew open and there was Grissom starring back at her from the bed. He looked older somehow lying there, so weak, but his blue eyes shone bright still.

"Hi…" he whispered weakly.

"How are you feeling?" she answered quietly.

"Sore."

"I'm glad you're ok."

He gave her a quizzical glance.

"Really? I thought you hated me."

"Would I be sitting here if I did?"

"Well I'm glad you don't."

She smiled a little at him, and wondered if he remembered what he had told her when he thought he was dying. She wondered if he did remember, if he would brush it off. She hoped that like Catherine had said, that this would make him look at life differently.

He watched her watching him and wondered if he had actually said what he thought he remembered saying. Had he really told her those words? Why else might she be sitting there? She didn't hate him, so that was a good thing. Was it just because he had taken the bullet? Was she sitting there because of guilt?

She couldn't take it anymore, him starring at her, wondering if he would say anything or not. She had to know, so she figured that yet again, she should take the first step.

"Hey Grissom…Do you remember what you um…told me before you went unconscious?"

He had said it! It hadn't been a dream or a hallucination. He wondered where to take this. He could deny it, and then they could go back to the way things were. But thinking harder about it, he didn't really want that anymore. He recalled what he had thought about when he was lying there, thinking he was dying. Life was to short to deny what his heart really wanted, and life was to short to be careless and cruel to Sara.

"I meant every word Sara."

She was stunned. He wasn't going to deny it, nor was he going to brush it off. She felt her eyes water for the umpteenth time that night. Before she could respond to him, he continued;

"I'm sorry Sara that I never told you before. I was stupid, I regret it…"

"Grissom stop."

He stopped, and hoped that it wasn't to late, that she had decided not to pursue him anymore.

"Griss, I understand," she said simply, taking his hand.

"You understand?"

"I do. Inow knowwhy you didn't know how to deal with me, and I understand."

"You're not saying it's to late are you?"

"It was never to late Grissom."

She rubbed his hand, and he gazed back at her, a smile on his face.
"I meant it every word Sara."

"I know you did."

No, and I'm not going to lie about it, I'm not bullet-proof.

Hope everyone enjoyed this. Now click that little review button and tell me what you think. Thanks!