One by One
Disclaimer: We all know who owns CSI and all the characters, and unfortunately it isn't me.
Summary: POV. Grissom watches on as Greg and Sara's relationship slowly develops.
A/N: Just a little bit of a twist, hope you enjoy it!
One by One
The change was a subtle one, so scarce that one may have missed if it unless it was examined closely. Though he was a scientist, studying and examining most things inch by inch daily, this would have passed by if he hadn't been there that day. He nearly wasn't.
It was his first break that night, he had put one off until now, but it was clear he could put it off no longer. His headache had only increased, and his throat was so dry it nearly hurt to breathe. Pushing back from the table, Grissom stood, stretching his cramped muscles as he headed for the break room.
Even from the hallway he could smell the sweet aroma of the Blue Hawaiian coffee Greg brewed daily. It had become a favorite of the lab in only a short time, and everyone donated a few dollars in order to ensure the expensive blend's survival. At the moment, nothing sounded better than a cup of the warm liquid.
Sara was already in the room, resting on the couch as she sorted through a stack of files. They exchanged short greetings, but little else was said, Sara's concentration heavily on the papers in front of her. Grissom brought the cup to his lips, closing his eyes as the steaming liquid ran down his throat. Perhaps it would be better if he let it cool down a little first.
Grissom raised his head as the door swung open, moving to the side as Greg poured himself his own cup. He had to grimace as the youth took a long swig himself, apparently not bothered by the temperature. Greg moved swiftly across the room, sitting himself next to Sara, peering over her shoulder as he leaned back against the couch.
"Remember the discussion about personal space we had earlier Greg?" Sara's voice was low, with a hint of amusement in it.
Greg was doing his best to keep a straight face as he shifted, promptly seating himself closer to her. "Vaguely, why don't you refresh my memory."
Grissom only shook his head as she laughed, moving to take another sip of the coffee. Greg's flirtations with her weren't something new, or out of the ordinary. It had been like this since her first day; shortly after Greg had met her, he had gone out of his way to amuse her, to make her smile. It was something he fell short of, no matter what he tried.
The topic had changed, and though he wasn't really listening, he didn't ignore it either. Sara, while having not even looked up as he came in, had completely forgotten about the files in her hand, her attention instead on the man in front of her.
"So," Greg started, shifting once again in order to get comfortable. "I got that new NFL game, the one they released last week. Supposed to make that last one like a child's game. You want to come over, check it out?"
Sara laughed again, brushing her hair from her eyes. "So, it wasn't enough that I beat you on the other game, you want me to beat you on this one too?"
Grissom raised an eyebrow, frowning. Sara had actually been over to Greg's apartment? Playing video games none the less…when did all this happen. Sure, now that Greg was a CSI now, and working with Sara, they did have the same time off. Still, that didn't give any real reasoning to why she would have gone over there.
"You didn't beat me," Greg argued, "I let you win. There is a difference."
"And I supposed the choice of words was all play as well?" Sara mocked him, grinning still.
"Of course," Greg scoffed, crossing his arms. "I didn't want you to think that I had let you win. I was being nice."
Sara nodded, but it was clear she wasn't convinced. "Okay, okay. Fine, I'll be glad to beat you again."
"Don't be so sure," Greg warned her, already standing. He left his mug on the table, heading out the door.
"Are we eating first?" Sara asked, prompting him to turn back around.
"Sure, the usual place?" Greg wondered.
Grissom had to choke back a cry of surprise. They had a usual dinner place? Certainly he would have known that, right? He fidgeted slightly, watching as Sara turned back to her work in front of her. Could it be possible? Were they really dating? No, he shook his head. Playing video games wasn't dating…was it?
He shook his head again. Of course it wasn't; it was friendly banter, that's all. It happened all the time between them, so why would it stop then just because they're off of work?
Still the thought bothered him, continually. As hard as he tried to push it away and focus on the stuff at hand, it was nearly impossible. Even when he left the building, nestled in his warm bed, alone in his house, he still couldn't get the simple thought to leave his mind.
Would Sara spend the night, and if so, was it something she always did? Were they really playing video games, or was that just a ploy, a secret code for something else. These thoughts raced through his mind at incredible speeds, and sleep was unable to find him. He spent the next day wondering, and worrying. Several more weeks passed, and though the thought became less prominent, it still hovered in the back of his mind.
For a while life seemed to go on normally. Greg and Sara were no different then they always were. Grissom made the point of keeping a closer eye on them, for curiosity's sake at least. It wasn't that he was jealous…Grissom came to a stop.
Was he jealous? He nearly laughed at the idea. Why would he be jealous? What reasoning was there for him to be so? The only person he had ever felt a real connection for was hanging out with someone else. Grissom swallowed, leaning against the wall. He closed his eyes, repeating in his mind that he wasn't jealous. He hadn't been jealous of Hank, but then again he didn't know Hank like he did Greg.
Greg was everything Sara could ever want; he was able to give her anything she ever asked for…why would he be jealous?
Grissom opened his eyes, listening intently. He could hear their voices through the wall. The rooms here provided very little soundproofing. Scooting closer to the door, Grissom took care not to make any sound as he listened in, peering around the door frame.
The pair was clad in dark blue jumpsuits the workplace provided, sorting through a pile of scattered garbage that had been dumped on the floor.
"I'm allowed to have a life of my own Greg," she told him, resting her arms on her knees.
"I know," Greg muttered, reaching across the pile to pull free a torn plastic bag. Grissom watched as he jotted down several notes on the yellow notepad he had balanced on his knee. "I still missed you last night, and you didn't even call to let me know you weren't coming over."
Grissom's eyes narrowed. How often did she go over there to warrant a call when she wasn't going? He moved a little further in the room, hanging onto the door frame.
"I lost track of time, I swear. I had some errands to run, and by the time I was done, I didn't even think about it. Besides, I know how to make it up to you."
Grissom watched as Greg poked his head out, a grin plastered on his face. "I'm listening."
Sara laughed, a soft, yet high giddy laugh. It was a laugh Grissom had never heard from her before. "Okay, just think, the two of us, a couple of lit candles, a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc, and then afterwards…"
Grissom pulled back suddenly as he heard his name called. He straightened up, fighting off the nervousness. Hodges gave him a strange look, before handing over the files. "I ran the blood samples from your hit and run case. They're a no show against your suspect. A match to the victim of course…what are you doing?"
"Nothing," Grissom shook his head, clearing his throat. He glanced over the readouts quickly, not even paying attention to what they were saying. "Thanks David."
He stood there for a moment longer, until Hodges had disappeared back into the DNA lab, but not before giving his boss another strange look.
Grissom turned back to the doorway, surprised to find the both of them laughing now. Greg had his arms wrapped around her waist, holding her close to him. A little too close for his taste. He had half a mind of walking in on them, if only to stop what was happening.
Sara squirmed in his grasp, laughing. "Greg, let me go," she pleaded, laughing still. "We've got to get back to work."
Greg let out another laugh, but did as she had asked. "Is that all you ever have on your mind? He wondered.
"If I did, do you think I'd be able to do half the stuff we did last night?" She started, only to stop as Grissom walked in. Her demeanor changed within seconds, becoming the same Sara he had always known. Quiet and serious, professional even…
"How are you coming?" Grissom asked, doing his best to not stutter. He had no real need to check up on them, but the strange feelings he had experienced weeks ago hadn't gone away. For some reason he needed to stop the conversation, needed to steer them off topic. Even if it was only for a little while.
"So far so good," Greg spoke up. He too had become more serious, his early mood washed away. "Almost done actually."
"That's good," Grissom nodded, knowing he was stalling for time. The three of them stood there, watching one another, and sometimes staring at the ground until Greg spoke up once again.
"Is there something you wanted?
Grissom shook his head quickly, already turning to leave. He gave no excuse, nor did he stay to hear their next conversation. A part of him didn't want to.
Sara and Greg were involved. It wasn't hard to miss now. Surely he didn't care, he had never thought about having a serious relationship with anyone before. Not even Sara had come across his mind. Dating maybe…but it wouldn't work. Would it? It was an annoyance; it shouldn't be bothering him this much. Yet it was the only thing he could think off.
As it had done so the first time, the conversation lingered on his mind for the next several days. It wasn't until then that he was able to push it away, store it in the back of his mind for later. This time though, it was refreshed much earlier.
Sara was leaving for required training, and would be gone for a week. He had come across the pair while trying to find a temporary replacement. Greg still wasn't fully trained, simply meaning that any case he worked would be with him. He needed someone else, especially considering that Sofia was on vacation time.
Sara was packing the last of her stuff, Greg standing just behind her. Grissom came to a stop, watching them through the window. They were talking, quietly though, prompting Grissom to move closer.
"I'm really going to miss you," Greg said, running one hand along her back. "What am I supposed to do for a whole week?"
Sara smiled softly, turning towards him, capturing his hand I her own. "It's only for seven days Greg, and I promise to call you every night, when I get the chance."
Greg nodded sullenly. "I wish I could just go with you."
"No you don't," Sara laughed, "trust me on this one. I'll be back before you know it," she reassured him, pulling him into a hug.
Grissom shook his head, about to continue on. Maybe some time apart would be just what they needed, maybe they would pull apart, maybe they would split up, find someone else…yeah, and maybe his cockroaches would sprout wings and take flight.
He came to a stop though, mouth hanging open slightly as he watched Sara reach up, kissing him full on the lips. Greg returned the kiss, pulling her closer to him. Grissom blinked, resisting the urge to rub his eyes. She had kissed him…Sara had kissed Greg. She was still kissing him, and now she was using…
Grissom jumped, turning around as a door swung open, the force of it hitting the wall echoing through the hallway. He frowned, watching as the delivery guy started unloading supplies. Shaking his head he turned back to the pair, relieved to find they had pulled apart; somewhat anyways. Greg was still holding her, rocking back and forth on his heels. Sara had her head resting against his chest, her eyes closed.
Grissom turned around quickly, heading back down the hall. Suddenly he felt the need to get some fresh air. The cool night air swarmed around him, encasing him. Grissom took in a few breaths, closing his eyes.
There wasn't a need to be jealous…really there wasn't. He kept repeating this phrase over in his mind, hoping that somehow it would come true. Why hadn't he made a move sooner? He knew that he cared for Sara deep down, so why then had he been so afraid. She had even come to him, had more or less begged him to go out with her. He had turned her down, hadn't even thought about it.
Once again, sleep did not find him that night. The next week passed by slowly. With Sara gone, Greg had been quiet, his usual charm gone. Since he hadn't been able to find a replacement, Nick had offered his time, switching off of swings. It was a hard change to make, especially considering it was only for a week's time.
It was on this night that found the two men working together. Grissom was in the corner of the room, sorting through the filing cabinets. There had been a file misplaced, one that he was sure he had filed just a few weeks ago. Nick and Greg were at the table, mapping out selected paths for their newest case, and kidnapped teen.
Nick was the first one to speak, alerting Grissom to the conversation. "You are so distracted man," the Texan laughed softly.
Greg response was a soft 'huh?', before he caught the full drift. The young man forced a laugh, nodding in agreement. "Yeah, just been thinking."
"Sara will be back soon enough," Nick told him, smiling still as he shook his head.
Grissom frowned. How did Nick know they were dating? He didn't even work the same shift. The only way he would know would be that Sara or Greg had told him. Why would they tell Nick and him?
"I know," Greg agreed. "I miss her being around, talking to her, just seeing her. You know."
Nick nodded, agreeing with him. Grissom watched them for a moment, slightly confused. How was Nick able to understand everything, how was he able to just shrug it off like no big deal? To make matters worse, he actually supported the two. Grissom shook his head, closing the filing cabinet before leaving. He gave no excuse to the other two men. Still, neither of them noticed his sudden departure.
Perhaps this was how it was meant to be. Unnoticed. He had his chances before, plenty of times. Still the story had ended the same way every time. Fairy tales only happened in books, or in this case, to those who deserved them, like Greg and Sara.
Grissom kept on telling him that he should be happy. After all, all he ever wanted to do was to make her happy, to see her smile, to hear her laugh. Now that she was with Greg, that was all she seemed to do anymore. Why then, did he feel so bitter? Grissom let out a sigh, pushing past the doors that led outside. Even a scientist could only answer so many questions, and the human emotion wasn't one of them.