Disclaimer: Don't own it.
A/N: Sorry this took so long to write... I had begun writing much of the second chapter ages ago and really didn't like where it was going, so I wrote it again... I like this version much better. I was completely and utterly blown away by the response to the first chapter; thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews. This chapter is dedicated to Gregsgirl4ever, because her review made me smile! Just to answer your question, my favourite pairing is by far Sara/Nick, but I like Yobling (Cath/War), and I don't mind Sara/Greg. I don't like GSR... This chapter is also dedicated to Tabbiez who is full of awesomeness & bought me a CSI crime kit for my birthday. (I feel like such a kid.XDD) (brandishes fingerprint duster menacingly) I hope you know I was inspired to write something three months overdue because of you. Thanks!
Sorry for such a long Author's Note... On with Chapter Two!
Aghast stares met Greg's dare from all around the circle the group had formed in the center of Catherine's picnic blanket. Greg's eyes twinkled in boyish amusement, watching Sara's face particularly for a reaction. Grissom rolled his eyes, finally clearing his throat to bring himself to attention.
"We aren't teenagers, Greg. This is a serious team building exercise; something that our profession requires of us. We aren't here to fool around." His voice was stern, as if he were talking to a child. Part of him just didn't want to watch Sara being kissed by Nick. He knew she was watching him, and he made an effort to avoid her eye.
"I'll do it." Nick, ignoring the supervisor's council stared fixedly at Greg, his face as expressionless as possible under the notion of kissing Sara Sidle in front of the entire night shift. In fact, he was somewhat pleased with his coworker's uncalled-for dare; it seemed a way of testing the waters with her. His focus stayed on Greg until a sigh was heard from beside him. Sara's fingers had stopped dancing on his, instead sliding tensely away in apprehension.
Greg's eyes were nearly popping out of his head. Sara shot him one of her fierce looks, her lips thin and impatient. Watching the expression on his challenger's face change from eagerly animated to that of one usually reserved for the faces of those under cruel and unusual punishment, Nick finally snapped out of his determined state. He looked to her, instantly regretful of his decision to jump into Greg's trap. Self-consciously, he wondered if he had been imagining the way she had held his hand while they beat up Greg on the beach.
"Sorry." Nick apologized, watching her dark eyes timidly, searching their depths for what he hoped would be a positive response. Sara paused for a moment, catching his gaze for a split second before throwing her gaze back to Greg. He could have sworn he saw her wink at him.
"I'm not here to appease your need to watch porn, Greg."
"Sara…" Grissom's tone was warning.
"I don't watch porn!"
"Yes you do. How about all those filthy magazines you read--"
"Those are educational literature!"
"I hardly call photos of woman dressed up in slutty schoolgirl outfits educational!"
"Those weren't mine! I told you when you found them; they're Hodges'!"
Sara looked disgusted, as did Catherine. But she wasn't giving up.
"I'll kiss you if you can convince me you didn't read it too, which I know you did."
Sara's hand was beginning to find it's way back to Nick's on the blanket.
"I didn't read it. I told Archie it was perverted!"
"Hey, that's enough. This isn't working, and Greg, that was dare was totally uncalled-for. Catherine, please tell me you have some team exercises in that book." Grissom huffed impatiently, almost glad the dare hadn't transpired. His knuckles were growing white as he hid his fists in the pockets of his CSI jacket. Sara's vicious watch remained on Greg, but the rest of the team, including Nick, had looked to Catherine, who was flipping through the pages of the large activity book, an appalled look on her face.
"Uh, yeah. I can't believe Eddie bought this for Lindsay…"
Warrick's eyebrows were raised, but his cool form was not easily broken. "This stuff is kind of… ah…. mature, for an eight year old, isn't it?" He pointed to a heading on page 168 reading: Tips for snagging him; how to kiss.
"Mature?" Greg's nervousness at Sara's glare seemed to fade as he heard Warrick's words. Slowly, he looked from Sara to the book in Catherine's hands. Apparently torn between the need to see what was so appalling in the second-grader's activity book and fear of Sara's retribution should he so much as move, he bit his lip.
"Oh my God!" Catherine choked out again. At this, Greg was unable to help himself. He ran over to sit beside the strawberry blonde. Sara's mouth dropped open.
"You are such a guy! A minute ago you were trying to convince me that you weren't interested in that stuff!"
"Sara- I'm only interested in Lindsay's well being! I'm just being a good uncle."
Catherine looked up from the book and at him.
Warrick cocked an eyebrow. Grissom sighed, looking as if he was ready to give up. Nick, however, looked at Sara and smiled, daring to throw his arm around her. To his delight, she pursed her lips, trying not to smile, and did not pull away. Her attempts to avoid her own gap tooth grin failed most miserably when Nick's other hand, which was still holding hers, poked her playfully in the stomach. The sharp intake of breath that followed brought eyes in her direction.
"Uhhh…. There was a bug on me." Sara lied, smiling weakly up at her coworkers. Catherine, however, eyed Nick's arm around her shoulders with mild interest.
"A bug? What kind of bug?"
Grissom had stood up, finally intrigued by something in what he would consider a dull conversation. Sara found herself wanting to hit her head against something, possibly a wall. The entomologist had pulled out a pair of tweezers and an oversized butterfly net.
"I'm going to fall!"
"The whole idea is not to fall! Grab onto Nick's shoulders properly, Greg!"
"Who's idea was this again?"
"Does it matter?"
"Everyone shut up and concentrate so we can get this done." Catherine's voice was impatient.
"Shit, Greg… now that you've said you were falling, the rest of us are too. Ooof! Sorry, Nick!" Sara fell less gracefully than she'd intended into the Texan's lap after Warrick had sat down on her faster than she'd expected. The team was assembled in a balance circle, each person sitting on the person behind them, holding the shoulders of the person in front of them. Sara sat on Nick, who sat on Greg, who sat on Grissom, who sat on Catherine, who sat on Warrick, who sat on Sara. The exercise was a physical one often performed by teams practicing teamwork and trust.
"Not at all, Sara… I can hardly complain…" Nick teased her in response, letting go of her shoulders to catch her waist in mid-fall. Sara laughed, thanking him before warning Greg as he opened his mouth. Catherine looked back at Warrick with a knowing smirk toying at her lips. He cocked an eyebrow and responded silently with a smile of his own.
"Neither can I complain…" He whispered in the blonde's ear suggestively, evicting a would-be flustered grin.
"Thirty more seconds!" Grissom announced, leaning over to steal a glance at the watch on his left wrist.
"If Ecklie could only see what we're doing for teambuilding…"
"Well, it's better than truth or dare…"
"Truth or Dare is a great game, Sara. You're just sore because you suck at it!"
"How the hell does one suck at Truth or Dare, Greg? It's a pointless game played by twelve year olds and generally includes questions about crushes on teachers…"
"Crushes on teachers is a mild subject compared to the other junk in that book." Catherine's statement was laced with chemical disgust.
"Hey Nicky, did you ever have a crush on a teacher?"
"I get the feeling he'd never admit it even if you asked him, Sar." Warrick chuckled. She wondered vaguely if he already knew the answer to her question, but shoved the thought to the back of her mind.
"Yeah, right Nicky. I bet there was a tall, slender woman with shoulder length raven hair, chicken scratch writing and a gap tooth smile who taught you grade three English or something."
"What is it exactly that you are implying, Greg?
"Five seconds, four, three…"
"…two, one, and stand!"
The circle of people stood up in unison, most quite gracefully; minus one tall, slender woman with shoulder length raven hair, chicken scratch writing and a rather endearing gap tooth grin. Sara stumbled the same way she had when Warrick had sat down too quickly. This time, he had stood up too quickly.
"Hello, Miss. Sidle." Nick smiled smugly as he again caught her in his arms. He delighted in seeing her cheeks stain a light pink.
"Hello, Nicky... Thanks." Sara grinned sheepishly, her face inches from his.
Catherine and Warrick watched the pair wrapped up in each other, mild amusement detectable in each of their expressions. Warrick piped up;
"Hey, Gris… isn't it break time?
A/N: I'm going to try and post an update within the next week... I think if I set deadlines for myself I may actually follow them... However, I can't completely promise... You know how life is. XP I have two massive media and politics projects due in the next little while that I have to write for. Hopefully all works out, though. Thanks for such a positive response on the first chapter! You are all so inspirational D. Please continue to R&R!
Until next time...