Disclaimer: All together now, "They're not mine."
Most of the time she could convince herself that the ache didn't exist; that there wasn't a hole in the middle of her soul threatening to pull her down into darkness. But some times, like tonight, it was impossible. Tonight she needed to be touched by someone, to be reminded that she was a woman, to be shown that they, that He, recognized her as a woman. She needed the heat of another living person to warm her; needed to feel strong arms wrapped around her and the friction of skin on skin.
It was days like today that she acted out. She wasn't Catherine, to go out drinking and pick up a random man. The one time she'd tried she'd ended up at the police station with Him holding her hand. Instead she laughed a little louder at Greg's jokes, smiled a little wider at Nick, and stood a little closer to Warrick, pushing for reactions from guys she wouldn't normally dare to tease; especially when He was near, because, after all, it was His attention that she craved not theirs.
Someone had turned the heat on in the lab over the weekend to finally account for the arrival of fall and Sara made the mistake of coming to work after her nights off dressed for the previous week's climate. So a few hours into what was beginning to look like a long night of paperwork spent in the break room with the guys, she'd stripped down to the form fitting tank that had originally been covered by a long-sleeved button down shirt and wool sweater. She was laughing at Greg's most recent bawdy joke, a hand resting on Nick's thigh, when Grissom entered the break room. She felt his eyes on her, a more potent contact than that of Nick's muscles under her finger tips, before he spoke and she turned to look at him, maintaining eye contact longer than strictly necessary.
"Sara, a word?"
His eyes angled quickly to take in the position of her hand before returning to her face.
He turned and left, heading for his office, as she extricated herself from the guys. Sara followed Grissom down the hallways she knew by heart, anticipating the next step in their dance, hoping that tonight things would be different, but trying to expect nothing more than his normal, all business manner. He was not seated behind his desk when she entered the room, but rather standing, staring at his shelves. On a normal night she would have hovered in the doorway or perched on a chair, but tonight the craving was stronger than self-preservation and Sara took advantage of the fact that he had not placed a barrier between them. She stepped up next to him. Her body angled towards his and she stroked her hand down his arm and did not let go. Grissom's jaw clenched but he did not move.
"You wanted me?"
He canted his head to look at her, curiosity at her temerity clearly mixed with the frustration and annoyance plainly written in his gaze. He blinked then shifted, eyes focusing beyond the shelves, emotions hidden again.
"Yes. Brass called. I need you to…"
Grissom trailed off as Sara moved out of his periphery and directly into his line of sight. Where before there had been cold concrete and rows of specimen jars there was now a vast expanse of pale white skin: neck, shoulders, and chest exposed by her tank. Sara's desire to feel his skin against hers flared to life and she watched herself as she lifted the hand she still held. She placed Grissom's palm over her heart and his fingers splayed across her bare flesh.
Grissom's voice was harsh as he tried to pull his hand away, but she trapped him with both of her hands pressing him back into her. His resistance ceased, but he made to speak again and Sara moved her hand to press against his lips in the universal signal for silence. Her gaze flicked back and forth between his hand on her and hers on him.
"I need you too Grissom."
After several heart beats of stillness Sara raised her gaze from Grissom's mouth to his eyes. This time nothing in them was clear.
"But then you already knew that. Just…just let me pretend for a moment."
Sara stole a quick downward glance to check their positions and then stepped forward. She dropped her hand from his lips only to replace it with her forehead. Grissom's free hand snuck around her waist and Sara shuddered when he found the exposed patch of skin on her back where the tank had ridden up and away from her pants. She melted as his thumb began tracing patterns over the area; some of the tension finally began to ease and the ache began to subside. When her need for contact had receded to the point where it was once again manageable, suppressible, deniable, Sara pulled away.
"Thank you," she whispered as she slipped from his arms, now lacking the courage to meet his gaze.
Sara reached across Grissom's desk and plucked the sheet he'd written down the case information on from the notepad. As she reached the door Grissom spoke.
She paused and half turned to look back at him, still not making eye contact.
This time it was more a command than a request and her eyes lifted involuntarily to his.
The single word was not a question, but a decision and Sara nodded her acquiescence. She stepped from his office and headed for the car, her movements considerably lighter than before. The need hadn't been completely satisfied, but it was enough to tide her over, like so many of their other moments together. And one small word, spoken in low promising tones had started to fill the hole in her heart.
A/N: So...what did you think?