Touch of Rememberance

by Camilla Sandman

Disclaimer: All not mine. CBS owns these characters, I just play with words.

II

There are days when I don't even remember why I love Gil Grissom any more.

On an intellectual level, I know the reasons. His mind, my mind, his eyes that penetrate deep into my bones, the gentle pitch of his voice, his withdrawn nature, the symmetry in our lives. I know the reasons. I don't remember them.

They're hidden behind complications and hurt and thorny words that some days feel like a hardened tar, filling all of me. I'm not sure I love him any more. I'm not sure I'll ever know how not to love him.

I'm tired.

Another week passed, another week not lived. Another weekend night out, meeting the others as usual. Except it is only me here, waiting, sipping the beer idly. I'm almost beginning to wonder if they've changed locations on me without saying when Warrick drifts in, looking slightly beleaguered.

Ah. One of those cases.

"Hey!" I call and he sinks down on the chair next to me.

"No Nick?"

He shakes his head, accepting the offered beer bottle. "No Greg?"

I shake my head.

"Cool," he mutters, pouring the beer down as if there is salvation at the bottom of the bottle. There is not, I know. But I say nothing.

"I hate this job sometimes," he says, setting the bottle down with a hard clang.

"Yeah…"

"I hate Grissom for not firing me sometimes," he goes on, then seem to suddenly realise who he's talking to.

"That's okay," I say brightly. "I hated Grissom for not firing you for sometimes too."

He chuckles, but there is a hard edge to it, an edge that will never quite go away.

"Come on," he says and takes the bottle out of my hand, "I know where we'll go."

II

It is almost light on the horizon as Warrick pushes me into the last club, soft tones of jazz greeting us. I'm exhausted, but it is a good kind of exhaustion, reminding me I'm alive. My head feels strangely clear for all the alcohol I've consumed, as if it can only reach one Sara Sidle.

Warrick's hand lingers at the small of my back as he guides me through the room, and it occurs to me that in one night, he's touched me more intimately than Grissom in five years.

I feel a wall against my fingers and lean against it, Warrick by my side.

"You have that Grissom look," he observes. "What did he do?"

"It's what he hasn't done."

"Mmmm."

"Why can't I get over him?"

"Do you want to get over him?" Warrick asks, tucking a hair behind my ear and I lift my face to look at him.

"I don't know."

He seems to consider this for a moment, searching my face and I feel myself leaning towards him, almost as a plant blindly seeking the sun.

He kisses me. His lips are rough and demanding on mine, no hesitation in seeking what he wants. The wall is hard against my back, but his hands are soft on my hips.

For a moment, I wish Grissom was the one doing it. But Grissom's skin doesn't feel like this and I let the illusion go. This is Warrick, tasting of beer and pepper and cheese.

He pulls back slightly, eyes blue as he regards me.

"I thought you and Catherine had something," I challenge.

"We do. But not like that, not yet."

"Are you getting even with her?"

"Are you getting even with him?" he challenges back. For a moment, we face off, as we have done so many times and something treacherous is aflame up my spine. Passion. Desire. Life.

"Maybe I was with that kiss," I finally reply. "But not with this."

His unshaved skin scratches mine as I seek his lips, letting the flame become a burn. I'm alive. I'd forgotten how it felt, to have fingers trace my collarbone and the thrill of skin discovering skin. He makes a sound at the back of his throat, something between a moan and a groan.

"Your place is closer," he whispers against an ear and I wonder if I'm still standing as he finds a sensitive spot just behind my earlobe with his tongue.

"You drive," I whisper back.

"No. Cab," he says, a hand on the small of my back already guiding me towards the exit. "I don't have to let go of you there."

"Good idea." My voice no longer sounds like mine, but I know it's my words. It is my hand lacing itself with his, a hand larger and rougher than mine.

The drive is hazed. I can sometimes feel the driver's eyes on me, shamelessly peeking, but I care not as Warrick's teeth scratches my collarbone. His jeans are rough against my skin as I perch myself on his thigh, my skirt creeping upwards. His hands slowly follow it, pressing his fingerprints on my skin.

I didn't even realise I'd been cold so long or that a touch could be this warm.

I think Warrick pays the cab driver. I know I don't. The air is cool as it slinks against my body, but Warrick's hand is still laced in mine. I stumble up to the door, feeling Warrick's hand burn against my ass and finally he pins me against the door, lifting me up to straddle him. Something hard is pressing against my inner thighs and oh God, I want him.

"Keys," he breathes against my neck.

"Purse," I mutter, letting a hand trail down his arm, feeling his muscles, hard and soft both. He is strong and I want that strength, feel it push against my own.

He must have found the keys, for the door behind me gives in, but he still doesn't let go of me and we tumble in. I half-slam into a wall, groaning at the impact, but he's kissing my breath and pain and thoughts away and what the fuck do bruises matter when skin can heal and death cannot?

"Bedroom?" he mutters, fingers clutching at my top.

"Yes. Yes."

"Yes," he agrees and I cling to him as strides into the designated room, and I dimly make out the trail of clothes we've left. No crime scene investigator needed to figure out what that entailed, evidence plain and clear and in no need of interpretation.

I'm still straddling him as we sink down on the bed, his bare chest smooth under my hands, his hands on my hips, burning their mark into my skin. He looks at me seriously for a moment, eyes still dark with desire, but something else too. Not pity, not quite sympathy, but understanding.

When he kisses me again, it is a lazy exploration, as if he has all the time in the world. I don't. Impatience is a need in my body and I'm aching, wanting, desiring.

His fingers have already found their mark and I'm breathing, breathing, breathing…

"Yes?" he asks.

"Yes," I reply seriously and close my eyes to the wave of light and heat.

II

The next day, Warrick is gone, even if he leaves breakfast and a note. Strangely, I don't feel hurt. It is almost as if we made a silent deal in our kisses, and we both know what the other truly wants.

I see him at work, and the tone between us is the same, even if our bodies now seem to share a secret language of their own. What the mind pushes aside, the body doesn't forget.

And my body is remembering how to live.

I can feel more than hear the rumours buzzing and I can tell what they say just from Catherine's pissed off look and Grissom's awkward glance.

Warrick and Sara are acting familiar.

Warrick and Sara may have slept together.

I almost hope the rumours hurt Grissom as much as he has hurt me. Almost.

Even now, I still want him, still want him to never be hurt and always be happy. No logic in that. No logic in me.

Perhaps there never was.

II

I find him in his office one day, sitting in the dark, looking as if it owns him.

"Good night," I say softly, and he looks up startled.

"Sara… Um, Sara, you have a moment?"

"Yes, I reply, feeling part dread and part strange joy. But then, my link to Grissom has never much stood up to logic.

""You know the lab policy on… Eh, interpersonal relations?"

"Of course."

"If you and Warrick are…" He closes his eyes, looking pained. "It might be best for the lab if you two… Um, don't."

"Been listening to rumours, Grissom?"

"I just heard…"

"Rumours say you and I did it years ago and that's not true, now is it?" I reply and he winces.

"In a way, they were right," he says after a moment and I'm not sure if I want to kiss him or hit him.

"Yeah…" I mutter, feeling the word as a leash on me. Always, I think I am free and I never am.

"Did you sleep with him because you couldn't have me?" Grissom asks after a moment, his voice so even he must he hiding something beneath it.

"No. I slept with him because I could have him."

He looks surprised at that, but then nods once, very slowly.

"I see," he says and we stand still in the dark for what feels forever, two shadows and no light.

II

I can tell Catherine's talked to Grissom from the way she comes barrelling at me the morning after, rage like a thick coat around her.

"You can't have Grissom so you have to have Warrick instead!" she flings at me, eyes narrowed.

"What's it to you?"

"What's it to…" She trails off, shaking her head. "Grissom's my friend; I don't want him to be hurt just because you decide to give him reason to be jealous. And Warrick's…"

She trails off again and I wonder if she even knows how to word it.

"Warrick's yours?" I ask, crossing my arms.

"Go to hell, Sara."

"No. I'm here to stay, so if you want him to be yours,you better claim him," I spit back and walk away before my anger can become understanding.

I know all too well the hurt of seeing another take what is perceived as yours.

II

I see Catherine and Warrick in the locker room one day. Her bitter words are ringing in my head still and I wonder why Warrick isn't walking away. But he is standing still, leaning against the locker as Catherine talks, her voice low. I cannot hear what she says, but her face holds no anger. Her hair falls before her face and he reaches out, brushing it away. Her face softens as his hand lingers, his dark hand beautiful against her pale cheek. Her eyes seek him and for a moment, it is as if a veil passes and Warrick lets me see her, see this woman he wants.

And I understand. I understand so well it cuts to my own heart. Perhaps that is why we sought each other, Warrick and I.

I look away, letting the two be naked in each other's presence. They'll work it out, I know. Strangely, I feel no bitterness. Catherine has his heart. But for a little while, I had his body and there was comfort in the touch of his skin.

As I turn, I feel Grissom's eyes on me. His gaze catches me, as it always does.

"Are you going to give them the speech about what is best for the lab?" I ask, but he is calm in the face of my bitterness.

"What's best for this lab is its people and their humanity," he says and I realise for Grissom, this is an apology.

"Change of heart?"

"Change of perspective," he says and looks at Warrick. "Sometimes you need a new glass to tilt the world into focus."

I nod, biting back the desire to ask just what was said between him and Warrick. Perhaps one day he will tell me, even without asking. Perhaps pigs will fly.

Grissom is looking at me and I know he thinks, considers, worries. Always thinking, always analyzing. He tilts his head as he regards me and I wonder what his new focus means. Perhaps it is his time to pursue me now.

Maybe I'll even let him catch me.

"What are you thinking?" he asks.

"How far I'd have to run before your gaze didn't catch me."

The smile softens his face and the world tilts into perspective, into focus. "I would find you anywhere."

"You would," I agree.

The hallway is quiet as we walk away, and it almost feels like just the two of us in the world, the world we've created between us.

I remember.