This is a response to a challenge from Gracee, posted at YTDAW. Her rules:
THEME: Coed Naked Crime Scene Investigating
-No Word Limit
-Must use the following quotes:
-----"Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road"
-----"Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder"
-----"The best things in life are free."
-Must involve the items in a CSI kit being used in unconventional (and potentially arousing ) ways
The rain slashed down, driven by the heavy winds. Sara, holding onto her slippery field kit with one hand, tried to hold her dripping hair off her face with the other as she stared at Grissom, waiting for him to provide a solution.
Grissom, gripping his own equally slippery equipment, stared back at her. What did she expect him to do about the weather?
They were both startled when a chunk of ice shot between them and buried itself in the mud.
"Hail?" Sara exclaimed. "You've got to be kidding me." She tipped her head back and started into the sky, daring it to spit out another projectile. It did, and she ducked just in time to avoid being given a very unique black eye. "Shit!"
"Sara!" Grissom yelled over the sound of the increasingly heavy hail as it hit the ground. "We've got to get out of this, these hailstones are big enough to really hurt us!"
"I'm waiting to hear your suggestion!" she yelled back in irritation. "It's supposed to be my day off, remember? This is the last time I do you a favor at the last second!" She paused, bent over, and wrung out her hair, which had long ago been blown out of its messy ponytail - a completely useless gesture, given that rain was still soaking her hair and everything else else around them, but something to do, nonetheless.
"Later!" Grissom told her, and reached out for her arm. "Move!" he commanded. "There's a vacant warehouse back toward the woods!"
It sounded to Sara like the best idea Grissom had had in a long time, and she made no protest as they sprinted for the shelter of the building, dodging hailstones all the way.
"Phew!" Grissom shouted as they ran inside, then immediately lowered his voice as he realized there was an echo in the warehouse. "Well, at least we're out of that. We should be ok now."
"I guess so," she said unenthusiastically. "Except for the part where it's 45 degrees outside, it's raining cats and dogs and hailing, and our truck is half a mile down the road in the other goddamn direction!"
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Sara. If you look at it objectively, a storm is really quite magnificent. Besides, all we need to do is wait it out. The storm will stop eventually and we can meander back to the truck and crank the heater."
"Oh, don't even talk about being warm. It's too tempting."
"Well, how long do you think it'll la-" Sara's question was cut off when a large section of the corrugated metal roof slid down the outside of the building and struck the ground with a thunk, abruptly separating Grissom and Sara, inside the warehouse, from the exit and, therefore, their truck and its warmth. Although she wasn't in danger of being hit, Sara jumped back with a strangled scream, nearly tripping over Grissom's foot. He grabbed for her and kept her from falling, but lost his own balance in the process and landed hard on the ground.
She knew it wasn't funny, but Sara couldn't help laughing as she looked down at a disgruntled Grissom, newly covered in mud, squirming on the dirt floor of the warehouse.
"At least help me up while you laugh at me, huh?" he growled.
"Of course." She got control of herself and reached out to pull him up.Without warning, Grissom yanked on her hand, pulling her down to join him.
"Grissom!" Sara shrieked, trying to shake off the mud that was covering her hands. "This is disgusting!"
"Well it's your fault we're down here in the first place," he shot back. Pushing her hands away from him, he added, "And watch where you shake those things."
"Hmph." She rolled away and stood up, eyeing him suspiciously all the while. "No sudden moves, Gris. Remember, I've got a gun," she added after a moment with a michevious grin.
"Can I at least stand up?"
"Of course," she repled magnanimously.
"So...what now?" she asked a few seconds later when Grissom was standing again and trying to rinse the mud off his left shoe with the rainwater that was pouring through the new hole in the roof
He shrugged. "Now we wait."
With a resigned groan, Sara stalked off into the darkness of the building, searching for a dryer spot of ground to sit on.
"It's a little better back here," she called to Grissom. "No mud, at least."
"To your left and forward about 10 yards."
He obediently made his way to her "dry" area and found Sara sitting on the dirt floor, leaning against the wall with her knees drawn up to her chest, and obviously trying to keep herself warm. Without thinking, Grissom did what his mother had taught him as a child and shrugged out of his jacket, holding it out to her. "Here."
Sara reached out and, without pulling it away from him, squeezed a handful of the coat, watching water stream between her fingers as it escaped the fabric.
At a loss now, Grissom just continued to hold the jacket out, staring at it. "Guess that's not going to be too useful." Annoyed at both it and himself, he tossed it away and it landed in a soggy heap a few feet from them. "Sorry."
Sara shrugged, then shivered. "You meant well. Damn, it's really cold, even in here."
She was right. He could feel goosebumps rising on his clammy skin wherever it was covered by wet clothing, and figured that if he was cold, she had to be downright freezing. He glanced at the hole in the roof - the storm showed no signs of letting up - and then at the now-blocked door they'd come in from. They were trapped in here until they could find an escape route or someone came to rescue them.
He looked back down at Sara, whose head was now laying on her knees. Her entire body was shaking, despite its heat-conserving posture. "Sara?"
"Wha?" She sounded exhausted.
Suddenly he realized what was happening. "Sara!" he barked, causing her to raise her head a few inches and look blearily at him. "Don't go to sleep!"
"I'm not. Just...resting." She laid her head back down.
Now feeling a tinge of panic, Grissom grabbed her arm and pulled her to a standing position. "Sara, listen to me. You're hypothermic, do you hear me? We need to get you warmed up."
Comprehension crept into her face as she processed that and he felt her bicep tense beneath his hand. Through teeth that were now beginning to chatter, she said, "That's going to be difficult. Everything here is as soaked as we are."
"I know. We need to improvise."
"Mmm," she managed, sounding skeptical, and moved to sit down again. "Grissom," she added, trying and failing to peel his fingers off her arm, "let go."
"No." He tugged again. "Look at me. Your clothes and your hair are soaked with cold rain. That's making things worse."
"So are yours."
"Yes, and I'm starting to get cold too. We need to do something now or else we're not going to be alive to be rescued." He looked around for a second, spotted his field kit sitting where he had left it, and sternly told Sara, "Stay here." He grabbed the case and returned just in time to prevent her from sitting back down again.
"Stand up! Here," he said, pushing her forward, "lean against the wall. I'm going to try to do something with your hair."
Cold as she was, Sara knew enough to be suspicious of anything involving Grissom and a woman's hair. "Exactly what do you plan on doing?" she asked, resisting his movements.
"If you'll just hold still," he grunted, "I'm going to get it off your neck and your face." Putting his hand in front of her face, he flexed the rubber band he had just taken out of his kit. "With this."
Sara relaxed. "Oh. Ok." She stood quietly while he struggled to pull the sodden mass into a ponytail, looping it through the rubber band so it didn't dangle onto her neck. "Not bad," she said when he was done. "For a guy."
Grissom, who hadn't ever considered how difficult long hair was to handle, just grunted. "Feel better?"
"Good." He took a step back and looked closely at her. "Do you really feel warmer?"
He sighed heavily. "That's what I was afraid of."
"Exactly what were you 'afraid' of?"
"We need to get these clothes off."
"We need to..." She stopped and stared at him. "Are you nuts?"
"Not usually. Think about it, Sara. The clothes are soaked and they're keeping our skin cold and wet. If we get rid of them, we can dry out and thus be a little warmer."
"With the trade-off of having to prance around naked in front of you!"
"I wasn't planning on either of us 'prancing'," he said, not cracking a smile. "It's our most logical alternative, and since we'll both be doing it, neither of us can use it as ammunition against the other in the future."
"Wait. You're going to take yours off, too?"
Exasperated, he sighed. "Yes, Sara. You are cold and wet. I am cold and wet. We can fix the 'wet' part on both of us, and so we're going to."
"You're completely insane. I'm not taking off my clothes in front of you!"
"You are if you plan on staying conscious for a few more hours." Without waiting for her retort, he turned away and started unbuttoning his shirt.
"Grissom!" she squeaked in horror as he shrugged it off.
"You're not eighteen, Sara," he told her calmly. "I doubt I have anything you haven't seen before."
"Oh my god. This isn't happening." Completely mortified, she put her hands over her eyes, repeating, "This is not happening. This is not happening. This is not..."
The sound of a zipper.
"This is not happening!"
"If you're so embarassed, then just don't look at me. At least get your own clothes off," he said as he wrestled with his wet pants and shorts. When she didn't move, Grissom lost patience. "This is a matter of survival, not modesty!" he ground out, and without giving her time to move away he grabbed the collar of her parka and pulled the thing down her arms. "Just do it."
Overwhelmed by fright and embarassment, Sara struggled not to shut down completely and to listen to Grissom's words. "Ok. Ok fine, you're right." She grabbed the hem of her shirt, started to pull, and then stopped, glaring at him. "Word of this will absolutely never, ever, go outside this building and the two of us."
"I wasn't planning on broadcasting it. Strip, Sara."
She took one more look at him, determinedly not letting her eyes fall below his chin, and then walked away into the shadows. "Unlike some people, I'm not an exhibitionist."
"I never thought you were a prude, either, until tonight." Her blouse came flying out of the darkness and hit his face with a wet plop. Scraping the soggy mass off of him, Grissom realized that he was amused. They were in a life and death situation, having to live out one of most human' greatest phobias, and he was amused!
He tried not to make a sound that would alert Sara, but realized he must have failed when she appeared out of the darkness, sans shirt and bra and with arms crossed over her chest, fury showing on her face. "Are you laughing at me, Gil Grissom?"
Shaking his head, he fought the mirth more determinedly. "Never. I value my skin." He paused. "Now take off your clothes."
"You are laughing at me, you pompous jerk! What's so funny about me being embarrassed, anyway? It's not like you've got the body of a linebacker!"
Trying to ignore the barb, he said, "I wasn't laughing at you. I'm laughing how unbelievable the situation is. I'd be hard-pressed to think of another situation involving the two of us that would equally absurd." Stung by her "linebacker" remark despite his resolve not to be, he added, "And I thought you were refusing to look at me below the neck."
"Well I can't very well spend the rest of the night staring into space and tripping over things, can I now?"
"Heaven forbid." He shrugged. "Lose the pants."
With an infuriated "ooohhh!" Sara retreated into the shadowy area of the warehouse and pulled off her shoes, throwing one in the general direction of Grissom's head. She slipped her jeans off as quietly as possible, for some reason not wanting him to be able to picture exactly what she was doing.
"Sara, I'm giving you 45 more seconds and then I'm coming over there and stripping you myself," she heard him warn "You're being ridiculous!"
She almost told him keep your pants on, but caught herself just in time. "Don't give yourself a coronary," she told him instead. "Women wear more clothes that take longer to get off."
"I'm aware of that. You've got 20 seconds."
She stomped back to him with 3 seconds left to spare, arms still covering her breasts. "Happy now?"
"Depends. Did you lay your clothes out flat to dry?
"Are you warmer now?"
That bore thinking about. "Actually, I am."
"See?" he said in a know-it-all tone.
"I still have one more shoe I can throw at you, you know." She shifted her weight nervously. "It's still cold in here. And you're looking."
He was, indeed. Oops. He forced his eyes away from her. "Sorry. You're standing in front of me."
"So now what - we stand here until the storm stops, trying not to look at each other?"
"We could huddle together to conserve body heat."
"Got any better ideas?"
He looked around the building. "We're standing in a dirt-floored, abandoned building. We could break out the kits and set ourselves the job of figuring out what type of business used to be in here. The movement would help keep us warm."
She blinked. "Why would we do that? Our crime scene is outside. There's nothing momentous to find in here."
He shrugged. "Confucius say: '"Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road'."
"That's not one of his sayings!"
He smiled. "Prove it."
"Oh, fine. It's not like I have anything better to do." Her eyes scanned the area of dry ground, which extended only about halfway into the warehouse. "I want the dry half."
"We both get the dry half. The place is big enough."
Sara flipped open her kit. "Ok," she said, getting into the spirit of things, "We need to set up a perimeter. Here -" She tossed a roll of crime scene tape at Grissom, who, though not expecting it, caught it with an oof. "Go to it, boy!"
Unable to decide whether to be annoyed or pleased, Grissom opted for neither and started unrolling the tape. "There's nothing to brace it with."
"Just lay it along the floor."
"If you say so." He decided to make the beginning edge of their search area just past where Sara was standing, and started laying down the tape, using one of her discarded shoes to hold down the end.
Sara watched, trying to keep her eyes on the tape and not the person using it, and failing miserably at it. As Grissom came toward her, along the last wall, she redoubled her efforts and managed to appear lost in the study of a patch of rust on the wall when he reached her.
If she hadn't been trying so hard not to look at him, she would have caught the crafty smile on his face. He pulled out a little extra lead on the tape and got ready, noticing that she was busy poking at the wall and seemed to be oblivious of his movement. When he got within easy reach of her, instead of bypassing her to complete the lopsided rectangle of tape on the ground, he moved the roll up and passed it between her belly and the wall, then completely around her torso. Then he stood back and studied his work.
"Grissom! I am not a stake!"
"You are now," he pointed out. "And a very attractive stake, at that."
Ignoring the possible connotations of that remark, she struggled to remove the slightly-adhesive tape from her damp skin. It was harder to do than she expected, especially since Grissom hadn't relinquished his hold on the roll itself, and after a few seconds of pulling she stopped and glared at him. "Well?" she asked.
" 'Well,' what?"
"Well you've got me caught in all this tape and I can't get it off without my scissors, so you might as well move on to the next stage of your prank."
"I hadn't though that far ahead. Stage one is all I got."
"In that case, go get my shears from the kit."
He decided to be nice and do as she asked, and promptly fetched the medical scissors that were in his kit. "As requested," he announced, holding them up when he returned to her.
"Thank you," she said primly. "Now pull the tape loose."
"I need both hands to work the scissors well at this angle. That means that, unless you want to explain a gash on my abdomen when we get out of here, you need to hold the tape away from my skin so I can get the scissors under it."
"I'm going to have to look at you to be able to do that, you realize?"
She snatched the shears out of his hand and ordered, "Just do it!"
He couldn't think of another clever retort, and so he shrugged and took a step closer to her. Trying to do the right thing and look only at places that needed to be looked at, he slipped one finger under the sticky tape and worked it back and forth until he had enough slack to pull it away from her skin.
She had very soft skin. He paused for a fraction of a second, then ran his finger back across her belly, but slower this time. Yes, she had very soft skin.
But that was enough of that, he told himself, forcing his hand to a stop.
"Grissom?" She waved the scissors at him. "I think it's plenty loosened. You ready?"
"Sure." He pulled the tape out and she neatly snipped it.
She peeled the stuff off of her body, wadding it into a ball that she dropped onto the floor and promptly kicked across the room. "That's better. Now give me the tape," she said, holding out her hand.
"I thought the tape was my job."
"You've just demonstrated that your taping skills...are somewhat lacking. Let an expert do it. Gimme."
"So you think I'm not capable of handling any tape?"
He harrumphed and handed her the roll. "Fine."
He didn't bother to reply. Instead, he turned and walked back to their open kits. It was war now, and he needed to find a useful weapon.
A few minutes later, Sara knotted off the tape and studied their "scene." A bright yellow perimeter was now neatly laid down, and she's scratched rough grid marks in the dirt with a finger. She hadn't heard Grissom in a while, she realized. What was he doing?
As she turned to search for him, the light of one of their powerful flashlights shone out of the darkness, directly onto her chest. "Grissom!"
She moved a few steps to the side and the light followed. "Stop it!"
She thought she heard a chuckle, but nothing else. The light moved downward and twitched back and forth pointedly, but still didn't move away from her. Growling, she took a big leap to the side. "Grissom, I'm warning you! You promised you weren't going to look!"
"No I didn't," he said, moving the light along with her but still not showing himself. "I just implied that I would try not to."
She sputtered. "Well...well...then I'm going to look at you!"
Another laugh. "If you can find me..."
"Oh, you can bet I'm coming after you now!" She strode forward, stalking him and measuring his position by the angle of the flashlight that still wouldn't move away from her.
"You've got very soft skin, Sara," he said.
"How would you know? You're nowhere near me."
"I was a few minutes ago." He tried for a spooky laugh.
"How could you have judged my skin by pulling something away from it?"
"I'm a very smart man. I can figure out a lot of things without having to touch them."
"Like you." With that, he snapped off the flashlight, leaving them in darkness.
She was losing patience with this. "Come out of there, Gil Grissom."
"Why should I?" She moved more quickly, now tracking by the sound of his voice. It was complicated by the echo.
"Because you have nothing better to do. I'm your only entertainment."
"You're not being very entertaining." He was off to her right, she decided.
"On the contrary, I'm highly entertained right now. And just think, you're getting free entertainment tonight. The best things in life are free!"
She snorted. "Yeah, well, you're the one seeing a show. All I see is a 100 yards of dark warehouse." Almost there. She started tiptoeing.
"You have a point. If you can find me, you can drag me back out into the light and stare at me, how's that?"
"Better than nothing, I guess." She squinted, trying to use what dregs of light were coming through the hole in the roof. Aha!
She took one last step, one that should put her within inches of him if she had judged right.
She was only off by two inches, bumping into what felt like his shoulder. "You called?" she said sweetly into his ear, which was conveniently at mouth level when he stood like he currently was.
She smiled and grabbed his arms, pulling them behind his back. "Gotcha."
"You're good," he said, allowing her to lead him closer to the light side of the building, "I'll give you that."
"I'm better than 'good' - didn't I just catch the great Grissom?"
"Ok, you're great."
"Now you're getting the idea." Keeping her grip on his wrists with one stretched-out hand, which she knew was only possible because he was playing along, she bent down and fished around in the pile of clothes she'd discarded earlier.
"Uh...what are you doing?"
"Why," she said innocently, "I'm preparing to be entertained." Ah, there was what she needed. She grabbed it and stood back up.
"Now you're scaring me."
"Good," she smirked, and neatly clicked the handcuffs onto his wrists.
There was thick silence for a moment. Then: "Sara...did you just handcuff me?"
She reached out and wiped a smear of mud off his face. "Yep."
She stepped back and admired her work. "You said you'd entertain me."
"I wasn't planning on being restrained while doing it."
"Oh, you'll manage. You're adaptable."
"At the moment, I'm fresh out of ideas."
Sara's eyes widened mockingly. "You're out of ideas? Well, I guess I'll have to help you come up with some, then." She moved toward him.
He took a step backward. "Sara?"
Another step forward. "Yes?"
Step back. "You're stalking me again...oof!" He hadn't been expecting the wall to be there, and he'd hit it hard.
She took one last step toward him. Now they were standing nose-to-nose, able to see each other only vaguely through the dark. "Now..." she whispered, close enough that he could feel her breath as she spoke, "entertain me."
Tentatively, he tried to move his hands to touch her, only to remember the cuffs. "You want me to...entertain you?"
One of her arms snaked around his neck. "That's what I said."
"I don't think I'm much good at..." His lips touched hers as he breathed the last word: "...entertaining."
"Oh..." She traced a finger down his arm, following it behind his back. "I think you're doing just fine."
"Will you take the cuffs off now?" he asked.
"No, I think I'll leave them on for the time being." she told him, backing away and allowing her eyes to run over him, head to toe. "Hmm, very nice."
"You're not so bad yourself. And I thought you preferred linebackers," he teased.
"I never was much for the jock type." She moved toward him again, but held back the last inch.
He would have sworn that the air between them heated up.
"I think this is more fun than..." She kissed him again, playfully, and then pulled away. "...doing a grid search."
"And here I had a plan for a very interesting type of grid search..."
"You'll have to let me out of the cuffs."
"Well..." She pretended to consider it. "You are my boss..."
"And this is probably the first and last time I'll ever use that fact to get you to obey me."
"Because you wouldn't try? Or because you know it wouldn't work?"
He shook his head. "Not telling until the cuffs come off."
"In that case..." She opened the cuffs with they key she must have been hiding somewhere on herself, though he had no idea where it could have been.
He shook them off his wrists, then bent over to pick them up when they fell to the ground.
"Well?" Sara said. "Why is this the first and last time you'd try it?"
Grissom didn't answer, only took her hands in his and ran his thumbs over her palms. "Hmm."
"Gris?" She raised her eyebrows. "Answer me."
He continued to look at her hands, then moved his fingers to her wrists, grasping them gently.
He smiled, and at the same time his hand clamped down on her wrists, holding them together. He dangled the handcuffs in front of her face, shaking them teasingly. "This is the first and last time..." He paused and closed the first cuff on her left wrist, keeping his grip as she tried to twist away. "Because..." He neatly foiled another escape attempt and the right cuff clicked shut. "All I have to do to get you to do what I want is use my brain," he finished.
She couldn't decide whether to be angry or excited.
"And now you," Grissom added, running a finger from her neck to her hip, "you, my dear, are my crime scene. And I need to do a very thorough grid search."