A/N: Thank you to everyone who read my story, and especially those who sent me such awesome, supportive reviews. This story had a mind of its own, ending up in entirely a different place then I thought it would.
"I still say you could have let me pick my own workshops," Sara repeated for the third time that day.
"I had to let them know right away. You were in the garage, dismantling a car looking for evidence. I didn't want to disturb you," Grissom rationalized.
"Five minutes, Griss. You could have interrupted me for five minutes."
"You just wanted the opportunity to sign me up for all the entomology classes." Grissom gave her an innocent 'who me?' look. Sara didn't buy it. "If I have to spend the whole time watching slides of blow flies and carpet beetles feeding on dead bodies, there will be retribution."
They were seated side by side on a plane, headed east to Florida. There was a four day forensic seminar, and Grissom had announced a week ago that the two of them were going. When Sara had protested his high handed approach, telling her instead of asking if she wanted to go, Grissom had convinced her with the idea of walks on the beach and nights that would be completely free. Just the two of them, no work, no cell phones. She listened thoughtfully, but didn't accept his apology until he shut the office door and pressed his lips against hers.
"Think of it as a mini vacation. I want a little time with you, away from here." She couldn't argue with that.
It had been four weeks since their return from California, and life was slowly getting back to normal. Or whatever normal could be considered for two people who spent their nights with criminals and victims, and whose conversations featured blood, bugs, and motive. She had told him, during the long drive back to Vegas, all the details of her trip. The quest for answers that had lead to her hasty departure, the draining meeting with her mother, the cathartic feeling of finally telling her father how she felt about him, the strange dream like quality of returning to her old home and finding it changed. She left out nothing, not even the intensity of her desire to hear his voice that morning when she woke up. It wasn't a weakness to need him, and she understood that now.
"I have a confession to make." They had landed at the airport and claimed the rental car that Grissom had reserved. Their drive down the highway had been filled with observations about the scenery around them, the warm weather, and the unusualness of being awake during the early afternoon hours. During a lag in the conversation, Grissom decided that it was now time to come clean.
"Please tell me I was wrong about the entomology workshops, Griss. I was really hoping at least to go to the one on blood splatter analysis." She wasn't really worried. There was nothing in his voice or body language that said his confession was too serious.
"About that... I didn't sign us up for the seminar." He reached into the seat behind him, pulling an envelope out of his briefcase and handing it to her. Sara gave him a puzzled look, but accepted his offering. Her curiosity only increased when she opened it up.
"Gil, these are passes to Disney World."
"There are tickets to Epcot in there too."
"A couple of months ago we were talking about a case, and you mentioned that you had never gone to a theme park as a kid. I thought it was time to remedy that fact, and what better place to go then the 'happiest place on earth?'" He dared a quick glance in her direction, and was alarmed to see tears forming in her eyes.
"We don't have to go. I'm sure I can still get us into the forensic
seminar. I just thought..." He stopped talking when he felt her lips brush
against his cheek. She would have given him a more proper thank you, but
thought it would be safer to wait until he wasn't driving.
"Sometimes, Gil Grissom, you can be the sweetest man."
Sara was unpacking her suitcase when there was a knock on the door. Grissom had gone down the hallway to find the ice machine, and she assumed that he had forgotten to take his keycard with him.
"Grissom, you can be such a typical absentminded professor sometimes." She muttered to herself. "I hope there wasn't a body in the ice machine this time."
It wasn't Grissom at the door, but an equally familiar face. A four foot tall ball of energy that threw herself at Sara, hugging her waist.
"Maggie! What are you doing here?"
"Me an' mom are in that room, right there," she said, pointing to a door two rooms away from the spot they stood in. "Mr. Grissom gived us plane tickets, but he said it was a secret, and I couldn't tell you. I did good, huh? Didn't tell you, not even when I really, really wanted to."
"You did very good, Maggie Mae. I didn't have a clue." She rubbed her hand over her sternum, feeling the heart underneath speed up at the though of Grissom making all these arrangements, for her.
"I told you I could keep a secret, Mr. Grissom." Maggie turned to her side, and Sara realized that Grissom was standing in the hallway, watching her intently. He took a few steps towards her, and Sara met him halfway. She reached behind him, clasping her hands around his neck and covering his lips with her own. She kept it light, mindful of Maggie's presence. Before the released him she tipped her head to the side so that her mouth was inches from his ear.
"Remind me to give you a proper thank you, when we don't have an audience." Straightening up and turning away from him, she once again faced Maggie. "What do you say we go find your mom, so we can go meet Mickey Mouse?"
It took all of Grissom's will power to shove Sara's promise in the back of his mind. Gratitude was not what he had done any of this for, but he sure wasn't going to turn it down.
"Did you know that the sun heats the grease on the track of Thunder Mountain, causing the roller coaster to actually go faster in the afternoon then the morning?" he asked Sara as he hurried to catch up to her.
"Why am I not surprised that you know that?" Sara rolled her eyes, but she also reached out and took Grissom's hand in her own.
"That was awesome," Sara exclaimed. "We have to do that again."
They had just exited the Indiana Jones ride, and Sara decided it was her favorite so far. Favorite of the fast rides, at least. They had gone on the Jungle Cruise right before this ride, and she had found the experience. She couldn't decide what was funnier; the 'guides' comical speeches, or Grissom's half-serious rebuttals about 'real scientific facts.' These species do not all cohabitant. There is no tribe native to the African jungle that keeps their enemy's heads like that.
Grissom was pleased that his surprise was going over so well. They had spent the afternoon wandering the park with Maggie and Debra, until it was decided that the little girl was in need of sleep. Despite her protests, Maggie was taken back to the hotel, leaving Sara and Grissom alone. They were walking past the Adventureland gift shop when Sara suddenly
stopped, tugging on Grissom's hand and pulling him into the store. He assumed that she wanted a souvenir for herself or Maggie, or perhaps one of their friends back in Vegas. Instead, she headed towards a display of Indiana Jones style hats, sorting through them until she came across one that apparently satisfied her. Without warning she placed it on his head and nodded.
Grissom looked in the mirror, and couldn't help thinking that the broad brimmed leather hat did suit him in some strange way.
"You look like you could be Dr. Jones, if he studied weird insects instead of obscure relics. You already have the whole 'fighting bad guys' part taken care of." Sara joked.
Grissom laughed and removed the hat. He was about to place it back on the pile with the others when Sara took it from him and headed for the cash register.
"I have plans for this hat," she informed him. Sara refused the offer of a bag for her purchase, placing the hat on her own head as they walked out of the store.
Grissom smiled at the picture she made, standing in the middle of a crowd, dressed in shorts and a tank top. The hat was too big for her, and it almost covered her eyes. Not enough that he couldn't see the twinkle there, matching her grin. It was, he realized, the happiest and most relaxed he had seen her since before the phone call from Maggie over a month ago. Grissom grabbed her waist and pulled her to him. He kissed her, not caring that they were in the middle of a walkway or that there were hundreds of witnesses around. Grissom ran his tongue along her lower lip to seek permission to deepen the kiss. Sara granted his request, leaning into him
with abandonment. When they finally separated, it was because of the banging noise overhead. It seemed like a sign when they both raised their heads and found the sky above them ablaze with a cacophony of fireworks.
"He who controls the past commands the future. He who commands the future conquers the past." -George Orwell
A/N 2: I know that the characters in this story are fictional. In fact, they are fictional characters taken from a tv show, which makes them even more removed from reality. Still I feel this driving need to apologize to them for all the torture I put them through. Thus, a trip to Disney World. In LoA it was San Diego. Who knows where I'll send them next. (I don't need therapy. Really.)