I hope that you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I do not own any part of CSI or its characters.

Real Thing

By Sassy

June 16, 2005

"Oh, Greg. How bad is this going to hurt?" Sara almost cried.

They had been walking around The Strip for about two hours when they passed at tattoo and piercing shop. Greg had told her that he would get a tattoo if she got some kind of piercing. She readily agreed thinking that Greg would back out as soon as came down to it. He hadn't. The tattoo was of her choosing. He got a tattoo of a blue spotted frog on his right ankle. She couldn't back out then. So not wanting to peirce anything that anyone could see, she opted for a belly ring. She figured she could wear it for a month or so then take it out. Greg would be none the wiser.

"Come on, Sara. It will only hurt a minute or two. Come on. You can't wimp out on me now. I already got mine, Sara." Greg whined.

"Okay, Greggo. I am going to go through with. I am a woman of my word." Sara looked at the woman that was going to put the ring in her belly and said, "Let's get this over with. I want the ring with the pretty turquoise butterfly dangling from it. Come on, Greg. I held your hand now you have to hold mine."

Greg willingly obliged her. He couldn't believe that she was actually going through with it. Wait until she told him that she had just helped him win 50 bucks from Nick. That had bet that Greg couldn't get Sara to pierce her belly button, nose, or anything else for that matter. Just wait until Sara showed him.

It was twenty minutes later, and she and Greg were walking down to the Blue Iguana Café to meet Warrick. He was playing there tonight. It was the first time in a long time he was going to play piano and sing for an audience. It was the first time that Sara had been invited to one of his gigs. She was excited. Catherine, Nick, and Greg had all told her how good he could play piano.

"Greg, my belly ring ain't that gross looking. I thought a belly ring would look tacky on me. What do you think?" With that, she raised her shirt to give him a better look.

"Sara, you know you look good in anything. Why do you think all of us boys at the lab ogle you when you walk by?" Greg smiled playfully at Sara.

"Just a sec, Greg. I wanna go in this store and buy me a new shirt to wear. I wanna show this baby off. Do you think that would be trashy of me?" Sara asked. She didn't wait for his answer. She was already pulling the door open and stepping inside.

Not only did Sara buy a new shirt but some hip huggers as well. The shirt was a plum colored midriff with a sky blue butterfly with it's wings spread over the whole front. Sara bought and wore it out of the store. Greg had waited on her outside. When she emerged, he whistled.

"You are going to be beating the men off with a stick. Come on. Warrick plays in like 15 minutes." Greg said pulling her toward the café.

When they walked into the Blue Iguana, they spotted Catherine and Nick sitting at a large table. They walked over. Nick just stared at Sara. He had never seen her dress like that. He was taken aback by her clothes that he didn't even notice the little butterfly dangling from her navel.

"Sara, I think you forgot the rest of your clothes at home." Nick stammered.

"Go, Sara. I didn't think that you had it in you. You have a killer body, and it is about time you started showing it." Catherine said with an approving smile.

"You owe my 50 bucks, Stokes!" Greg said happily slapping Nick on the shoulder.

Nick took out his wallet and handed Greg a fifty. Sara turned to Catherine and she put a fifty in her palm also. Greg looked at Sara and Nick in bewilderment.

"You didn't think you were the only one that could make bets either did you, Greggo?" Sara said smiling. They sat down and listened to the current performer. He was a saxophone player. He played well.

Warrick came up to the table looking all gussied up in his suit with no tie. He sat down at the table to Sara's left. He looked a little peeved. He looked like something was on his mind. So Sara took the bait.

"Warrick, what is up? You don't look excited. Hell, I am excited to finally get to hear you." Sara said giving Warrick's hand a squeeze.

"I was fine until Chrissie called and told me she can't make it tonight. We were going to sing together tonight. I only had three songs picked and the duet with her was one of them. I can't just add another one cause I didn't bring any back up sheet music. I should no better than depend on her." Warrick said and put his head in his hands.

"Sara can sing." Nick spoke up.

Sara shot Nick a glare that could have frozen hell over. "I can't sing! What are you talking about? I mumble songs to myself at work, but I hardly call that singing." Sara looked exasperated.

"I have heard you, Sara. You got a honey of a voice. Please. Do you know "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing"? That is what Chrissie wanted to do tonight. We can go practice right now. You would be saving my life, Sara. Please. I will get down on my knees right now and beg you if that would make you say yes."

Warrick wasn't the only one encouraging Sara to get up on that stage. The whole table was telling her to go for it. That she would never know if she didn't give it a shot.

"I have always been a fan of Marvin Gaye. Yeah. Warrick, I will do it for you, but only this once." Sara said finally.

With that Warrick pulled Sara to her feet and into his arms in a giant bear hug. He pulled her backstage to practice. They went on in 10 minutes. Sara was nervous. Really nervous. "I can't believe you talked me into this after they ran through the song twice. But I think it sounds ok. You ready? Is the duet first, second, or last?"

"I was going to do it in the middle, but we can do it when you are ready. We can do it know and get it out of the way or in the middle or last. What do you think?" Warrick looked at her. He could tell she was nervous.

"Let's get it over with now. I might lose my nerve if we don't. It would be easier if Cat, Nick, and Greg weren't sitting out there." Sara said. She smoothed her hair out.

Two minutes later, Warrick was about to go onstage but was going over the last minute changes. He told the announcer that Sara would be singing with him instead of Chrissie. Before Sara could lose her nerve, she and Warrick headed onstage. The crowd gave them a round of applause. Sara could do nothing but smile. She always talked to much or smiled non-stop when she was nervous. Nervous didn't even begin to describe the way she was feeling.

Warrick took his seat at the piano. Sara stepped to the microphone. She felt as if she could pass out at any moment.

"We are going to do Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing for you all here tonight. Be kind to our girl, Sara, here. This is her first time performing onstage." Warrick told the crowded café.

The music started and they began to sing.

Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby
Ain't nothing like the real thing
Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby
Ain't nothing like the real thing

I got your picture hangin' on the wall
It can't see or come to me when I call your name
I realize it's just a picture in a frame

I read your letters when you're not near
But they don't move me
And they don't groove me like when I hear
Your sweet voice whispering in my ear

Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby
Ain't nothing like the real thing

I play the game, a fantasy
I pretend I'm not in reality
I need the shelter of your arms to comfort me

No other sound is quite the same as your name
No touch can do half as much to make me feel better
So let's stay together

I got some memories to look back on
And though they help me when you phone
I'm well aware nothing can take the place of being there

So let me get the real thing
So let me get the real thing
Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby
Ain't nothing like the real thing
Ain't nothing like the real thing, baby
Ain't nothing like the real thing

Their voices melded together like they were made to sing with one another. Sara had a good time and once she got started really got into the song and melody. Once the song was over and the music stopped, the crowd gave them a standing ovation. With whistles and clapping, Sara exited stage right. Warrick began his the first of his next two songs.

Sara walked back to the table with her head down. She didn't want anyone to make eye contact with her. She had reached the table and finally looked. Grissom was sitting there with the gang.

"How long have you been here?" Sara asked shyly.

"Long enough to know that you sing pretty well, Sara. I guess you have found your diversion. I always try to come here Warrick play or sing. He didn't tell me you were joining him tonight." Grissom gave her a smile.

"She went on last minute, Gil. And you were damn good, Sara. New clothes. Singing. What won't you do next?" Catherine commented.

They listened to the rest of Warrick's set without talking. Warrick was good at playing the piano and singing. He did good at all the old hits he was performing tonight.

Grissom kept looking at Sara out of the corner of his eye when he thought no one was watching. Sara caught him a time or two and smiled. She excused herself after Warrick exited the stage.

"I think I am going to head home now. I have had enough excitement for one day. Coming, Greg?" Sara asked looking at Greg.

"No, Sar. I think I am going to hang out here awhile longer. Will you get home ok?" Greg asked looking worried.

"I will call a cab. Bye, guys. See you at work tomorrow." Sara said and headed out of the café.

Grissom caught up with her outside. "Sara, I can give you a ride. I was heading home myself. It isn't a problem."

"Thanks, Griss. Maybe next time. I might walk around for a bit more. I just needed to get out of there and get some air." Sara said tugging at her shirt. She was trying to cover the belly ring.

To late. Grissom spotted it. "When did you get a belly ring, Sara?"

"Tonight actually. Greg talked me into it. I like it though. It is kind of neat." Sara said.

"You and Greg spend a lot of time together, don't you?" Grissom asked cautiously.

"Yeah. Greg is cool. We go to movies and eat dinner a lot. I like hanging out with him." Sara said honestly.

"Is it fair that you lead him on, Sara?" Grissom realized he had said this out loud and immediately regretted it. The look on Sara's face was that of utter disbelief.

"How can you ask me that, Grissom? You of all people have no right asking anyone else about leading other people on. You pull me in only to push me away at the first sign that I am getting to close." Sara told him and started to walk away.

"Please don't walk away. I don't know why I said that. Just forget it okay?" Grissom asked hopefully.

"No, not this time. You are so worried about me leading Greg on to see that I have no romantic feelings what so ever for Gregory Derek Sanders. I have feelings for only one man, and he won't risk his career or pride to do anything about it." Sara realized then that she had let the cat out of the bag. He knew right then that she had heard his confession to Dr. Lurie.

"What did you say?" Grissom asked looking her straight in the eye.

Not wanting to back down now. She had went to far. She just kept on going. "I heard you, Grissom. You told him all about me. Why can't you tell me that? Why did it have to be some stranger? I have been waiting on you forever, Grissom. All that is about to change." And with that she pulled Grissom to her and kissed him hard and full on the lips. Hard at first then tender. His mouth opened to hers and their tongues met and danced together.

Then they heard the clapping. They broke the kiss and looked toward the sound. The whole gang-Catherine, Warrick, Nick, and Greg-had witnessed their first kiss.

Sara couldn't help but think that it would be her first and only kiss with Gil Grissom. Talk about timing. Her face flushed red. She turned away from them all and ran down the street. She lost herself in the crowd. Grissom had ran after her, but had eventually given up on his search. He decided to go to her apartment and wait for her.

Two hours later, Sara pulled into the parking lot of her apartment building. She was mortified and exhausted. She had spent the last two hours standing in line to ride the Canyon Blaster at the Adventuredome. Grissom had said that it makes you feel alive to ride a coaster when your world is falling apart. He had been right for the moment. The minute her feet were under her again, the horrifying scene played inside her head again. She gave up and headed for home.

Someone was leaning against the wall in her hallway. She saw the build of the man before her and took a deep breath.

"Grissom, what are you doing here?" She asked tentatively.

"Waiting for you." Grissom said softly.

"What for?"

"You left before we had a chance to talk about this. I want to talk to you. I have to talk to you. Can I come in, Sara? Please." Grissom asked reaching out to lift her chin so that she was looking at him.

"Yes." Sara opened the door and let him pass in front of her. She knew this was either the end or the beginning. No matter which way it went tonight, she was starting new in the morning. With or without him. It was killing her soul.

Grissom sat on her couch. She paced back in forth in front of her windows. Ten minutes passed and not a work was spoken. Finally, Grissom broke the silence.

"Is it to late, Sara?" Grissom almost whispered.

"No." That was Sara's only comment. She didn't walk toward him. She only looked at him. If he wanted this, he had to come to her. She had chased and chased and now she was going to stand still and let her world come to her.

Grissom stood. She could tell he was nervous. He took a step toward her and then another. He took those steps determinedly and without pause. He reached her and took her in his arms. He kissed her first on the cheek then moved to her lips. He took her mouth with his and caressed it ever so softly with his.

A moan escaped Sara's throat. And he held her tighter. He was afraid she would disappear like in all the dreams he had had of this moment.

"Is this really happening, Sara?" He asked her all the while hugging her close.

"Pinch me." Sara deadpanned.

Grissom chuckled and kissed her again. Harder more eager this time. His hands and her hands were eagerly exploring parts of their bodies like never before. He picked her up and laid her gently on the couch. Continuing to kiss her, he slid the belt from her waist. She unbuttoned his shirt and was working on the button of his jeans when she stopped abruptly.

Feeling her stop, Grissom looked at her. "What is wrong, Sara? Is this okay?"

"No, we can't let our first time be here on my couch, Gil. I do have a bed in the other room." With that he scooped Sara into his arms and she guided him verbally to where her bedroom was. He gently set her on the bed. She stood and started to undress.

"Let me, Sara. I have wanted to do this for so long." He pulled her shirt over her head. And slid her jeans to the floor. He bent to untie her boots and pulled her jeans from her feet. He removed her socks.

"Lay down, Sara." She obeyed. He removed the rest of his clothes as well. He joined her on the bed. He kissed her softly. Then his kisses made a trail down her neck to her breast and then on to her belly.

"I really like this, Sara. Did you pick a butterfly for any particular reason." He asked her seductively.

"You know the answer to that, Gil. I know that you like butterflies and thought you might take notice. It worked didn't it?" Sara drawled. He was kissed his way back up to her mouth.

"Are you sure you want this?" he asked before continuing. "We can stop now and take this slow if you want."

"Slow? Any slower and I will be 70. Make love to me, Gil. Make love to me like you have never made love to another woman. Take me." Sara told him.

He moved on top of her and sank into her center. She moaned. That was all the encouragement he needed. He moved within her slowly. Kissing her and touching her. Her moans and his melded together. He took her to edge to many times to count before finally climbing to edge and falling himself. As he released himself within her, he whispered into her ear, "I love you, Sara."

"I love you too, Gil" Sara told him and held him tighter. He started to move himself off of her and she held him even tighter. "Don't leave me." She pleaded.

"Honey, I could never leave you." With that he lay down beside her and pulled her to him and held her for the rest of the night and most of the next day. They made love many times before their shift the next night.

They rode to work together that night and had to face their team of innocent bystanders but that is another story.