Title: Fairytale of Las Vegas
Disclaimer: I own nothing, but I'm hoping Santa will be good to me this year since I've been a very very good girl... not much to ask - I'd just like to wake up on Sunday and find Grissom and Sara in my stocking... :)
Author's Note: Some Christmas fluff. Inspired by one of my favorite Christmas songs (Fairytale of New York by the Pogues and the late great Kirsty MacColl) and equally by my new found passion for Austin's "Pride & Prejudice" BTW, there is currently a leather bound volume of that work on ebay, published in 1883 (and selling at £250) (you'll understand when you read the story)
Please exuse any typos that may still be present - I did try to get them all, but I'm suffering from Christmas fatigue. Oh, and "controules" and "roome" aren't typos, that was just how those crazy metaphysical poets wrote back in the day ;)
Merry Christmas. I hope you enjoy :)
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you
It was shaping up to be the oddest Christmas ever.
For a start, and for the first time ever since moving to Vegas more than 5 years ago, Sara wasn't working on Christmas day. And for another, she wasn't going to be spending it alone.
But it wasn't even the fact that Grissom had actually asked her to spend Christmas with him that was odd. It was the fact that they were now sitting in the living room of his townhouse, arguing about Christmas songs, that was really throwing her for a loop.
"That has to be the most depressing song ever written," Grissom was insisting. "The woman is dying from long term drug abuse and the guy is locked up in the city drunk tank."
"It still has a beauty, a fierce romance about it," Sara argued back. "They started out being passionately in love with all these hopes and dreams…"
"Hopes and dreams that were soon destroyed in a haze of alcohol and drugs…"
"But they're still thinking about each other in the end."
He fought the urge to roll his eyes. "Yeah, you're right. It's really romantic. Especially the part where she calls him a 'scumbag' and a 'maggot'."
She laughed. "Well, you're the one who loves bugs. Some part of you must think that's a term of endearment." She smirked at the chuckle that elicited from him. "Even you have to admit that Kirsty MacColl's voice is beautiful."
Conceding that point, he nodded. "Shame I can't say the same about Shane McGowan's."
She shook her head, disapprovingly. "Not a Pogues fan, Grissom? Have you no Irish blood in you?"
He laughed as he went to the kitchen to check on how dinner was progressing.
As Sara took another sip of mulled wine, she though about how much had changed between them in the past year…
She had first noticed a shift in their relationship after she made the stupid mistake of getting behind the wheel of her car, having had a couple of beers. Grissom had come to the PD to pick her up and she had never felt so ashamed or embarrassed in her whole life.
But Grissom hadn't chastised her, which was what she'd been expecting. He hadn't even been angry with her. He'd simply taken her hand and driven her home.
After that, he had made more of an effort with her. Gone were the months at a time when he'd avoided working with her. He'd even increased her responsibilities by charging her with the bulk of Greg's CSI training. That fact alone gave her back all the confidence she'd lost when he'd passed her over for promotion.
When Ecklie had split the team up and promoted Catherine to head up the Swing shift, their professional relationship had developed further. Sara had become his right hand, he relied on her as much as he ever had Catherine, and it seemed like all the damage that had been done to their working relationship in the previous two years was well and truly repaired.
Their working relationship fixed, it was time to turn their attention to their friendship.
She had almost forgotten that they used to be friends when he showed up on her doorstep one night after she had yelled at both Catherine and Ecklie. She supposed he was simply there to fire her. She had supposed wrongly.
He wanted to listen. He wanted her to open up and share her inner most problems and fears with him. That gesture along was a huge step for them. So she had opened up. A lot more than he had anticipated, she wagered. But it had marked another turning point for them.
Her revelations that night had given him a new-found respect for her. Not simply as a criminalist but as a person. They were able to talk again, not just about work but about everything, as if a blockage had been removed from between them.
And then Nick had been kidnapped, and that had changed every single one of them irreversibly. The first thing Grissom had done after they had rescued their friend and colleague was to convince Ecklie to put the team back together. Catherine had agreed to come back to the Grave shift as Grissom's co-supervisor – and she took much less convincing than anyone had imagined.
The changes brought about by the reunion were varied, ranging from the obvious to the subtle. Warrick had gotten married, which no one had seen coming. The team had reinstated their regular breakfasts – trying to fit one in at least once a week. Grissom had even gone out for a beer with the boys on a few occasions.
And Grissom had asked Sara out to dinner.
Neither of them had mentioned any romantic intentions. They simply took delight in talking, sharing their stories, allowing their friendship to strengthen.
They had repeated the activity numerous times in the months that followed. Dinner, a movie, a ride on a rollercoaster. With any other man, Sara might have called them dates, but she dared not name these excursions, fearing that to do so would jinx everything.
Their last night out had been ten days before and at the end of the night Grissom had taken her hand as he walked her to the front door.
"I had a good time tonight," she has said, trying to keep the tremor out of her voice that she felt shudder through her at the warmth of his touch.
"Me too," he looked nervous as the reached the door, which only increased Sara's own nerves. Was he going to kiss her? "Do you… uh… have plans? For Christmas?"
It wasn't a kiss, but it was possibly even better…
Ten days later she was sitting in his living room, which was simply yet cheerily decorated for the holiday, sipping on mulled wine, while he slaved over a hot stove for her. She must have been a very good girl this year…
"It won't be too much longer," he told her, coming back from the kitchen. "Now, where were we?"
"Well, we've established that you don't like 'Fairy Tale of New York'"
"I didn't say I didn't like it – I simply disagreed with you on whether it was a particularly romantic Christmas song."
She smirked. She was talking about romantic songs with Grissom. This could either lead some place wonderful or somewhere completely awkward. At present, she had no idea which. But, for once she was eager to find out.
"Okay, so what's your idea of a romantic Christmas song?" she wondered.
He gave it some thought. "Let It Snow," he finally declared.
She couldn't help it. She laughed. "Seriously?"
He shrugged. "Is there anything more romantic than the prospect of having the excuse to stay in front of a fire all day and night with the person you love?" He smiled as his eyes met hers.
Sara's breath caught in her throat. She had never heard Grissom be so openly romantic, but she tried desperately not to read too much into his statement. She had done that far too many times in the past, which only ever led to disappointment. Instead, she smiled back and said nothing.
Dinner was a sumptuous and completely meat-free event, which surprised and impressed Sara to no end. When they had gone out to dinner, Grissom had never avoided eating meat in front of her, and she had not expected him to. But to forgo the traditional turkey on Christmas day…
"It just seemed pointless to cook a turkey just for myself," he explained when she asked him about it. "And, I didn't want the smell of it cooking to bother you."
The spread was impressive, to say the least. Nut roast, both creamed and roast potatoes, honey roast carrots and parsnips, brussel sprouts, with vegetarian stuffing and gravy to complete the traditional fare. It was magnificent.
"You've been holding out on me," she told him. "I didn't know you could cook."
"You haven't tasted it yet."
"Trust me; I'll be easy to please. My Christmas dinner for the past… who knows how many years, has consisted of either sandwiches or Chinese take-out."
That fact saddened him, and she could see it in his eyes.
"Hey, no feeling sorry for me, Griss. This Christmas is more than making up for the less than stellar ones of the past few years."
"That was the plan," he replied softly.
They ate and chatted about uncomplicated matters, as they always did when they shared a meal. The food truly tasted as good as it looked; a fact which Sara repeated frequently.
After the dishes were cleared away into the dish washer, they settled back onto the sofa with their wine. It was then that Sara noticed an impish glint in Grissom's eyes.
"What?" she asked, suddenly suspicious.
"I have something for you," he confessed. Getting up and moving to the tree, he retrieved a present from underneath it.
Grinning broadly, she accepted the gift and brought it to her ear, shaking it comically as he sat back down.
"Hmmm…." she pretended to guess what was inside. "Could it be… a book?"
Trying not to laugh, Grissom deadpanned, "how did you guess?"
"We're predictable creatures, you and I, Griss," she told him, reaching to the side of the sofa where she'd left a carrier bag. "Creatures of habit, you might say."
Retrieving the present from within her bag, she handed it to him with a shy smile. "Happy Christmas."
"Happy Christmas to you," he replied, taking the gift. "And thank you."
"You don't know what it is yet," she said wryly. "Go on. You first."
Her gift to him was actually two individually wrapped packages, attached by a length of Christmas ribbon. Untying it, he opened the larger of the two first.
"The Lepidopterist's Compendium," he read the cover. "I've been looking forward to reading this one."
She grinned. "It was only published last week, so I took a shot and got it for you. You hadn't pre-ordered it or anything, had you?"
He shook his head. "No, I hadn't gotten around to it yet," he smiled at the book and then at her. "Thank you, Sara."
She smiled back and then nodded at the other, thinner present on his knee. He opened it to reveal a book of poetry.
"John Donne," she told him. "I figured there would be no point in getting you Shakespeare, but I discovered Donne in college. I hope you like him."
"I do," he replied, both pleased and moved by her gift. "For love, all love of other sights controules, And makes one little roome, and every where."
"The Good Morrow. You really can quote everything, can't you," she laughed.
"Your turn," he directed her towards her own gift.
Sliding a short nail underneath the tape, she opened one side gently, but stopped short when she heard a "hmmm" from Grissom.
"Nothing," he replied. "I just… I always figured you for a ripper."
He shrugged and it amused her, so she ripped off the remaining paper with one eyebrow arched.
Inside, was a beautiful leather-bound volume, gilt lettering on the spine which read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.
"Oh, Grissom," she whispered. "It's beautiful…" Gently opening the cover, she noted the publishing date – 1883. "This must have cost you a fortune! Where did you find it?"
"I won it on ebay," he said simply, more interested in enjoying the look on Sara's face. Her eyes had lit up, brighter than he'd seen them in a long time.
"Grissom, it's…" she was at a loss for words. "It's too much… It's the most beautiful present anyone has ever given me."
"I'm glad you like it," he said sincerely – relieved that he had gotten it right. "I remembered hearing you discuss it with Catherine and you said it was one of your favorite novels."
Sara was embarrassed to realize that she had tears in her eyes at the thoughtfulness of the gift. Unable to find the words to adequately thank him, she threw caution to the wind and leaned across the couch to deliver a soft peck on his cheek.
"Thank you," she said softly, her breath caressing the side of his face, making him close his eyes for a moment and enjoy the sensation.
"You're welcome," he told her, leaning his face towards hers, so that his beard brushed softly against her cheek. "And thank you for your gifts."
For a moment, neither of them moved, both savoring the closeness, while at the same time terrified to break the spell. Sara worried that as soon as they moved away, things would become awkward between them again. But, instead Grissom leaned closer towards her, his lips coming close to her ear.
"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you," he whispered.
His words sent shivers through her, but he was quoting again, this time from the book he had just given her. Was he just rising to her earlier challenge of being able to quote from all great works of literature, or did he really mean those words?
"Okay, you've impressed me," she said into his ear. "You can even quote the great Darcy himself."
She could feel his hand take hers, their fingers intertwining. "He wasn't so great," Grissom replied. "He was arrogant. Socially awkward. Found it difficult to express his feelings. He treated Elizabeth badly in his efforts to ignore his feelings for her."
She gave his hand a gentle squeeze. "Some girls find that attractive in a man."
Slowly, Grissom pulled away so that he could meet her eyes. "I've done my best to rectify my past behavior towards you, Sara. I know how much I hurt you…"
She shook her head. "It doesn't matter anymore."
"It matters to me," he told her. "I was a coward and an idiot and I don't deserve to have you still be in my life. I figured if I stood any chance of ever moving forward with you, I'd have to make amends for everything in the past first."
"Sara, let me get this out. I've no reason to expect anything from you. But, we've been getting closer these past few months and I…"
"Grissom," she finally succeeded in interrupting him, placing the fingers of her free hand against his lips. "You seem to have contracted my habit of over-talking."
"Griss, if you want to move forward with me?" she said, her eyes burning into his. "Just shut up and kiss me."
It took a moment before the surprise on his face melted away, leaving behind relief and no small amount of desire in its place. Leaning towards her, he brushed his lips against hers in a gentle caress. One last look in her eyes to ensure this was what she wanted; he finally threw down the last of his caution and leant in to deepen the kiss.
More than five years of pent-up sexual tension crackled between them, finally being released. She wrapped her arms around him tightly now that she finally could, her lips tingling at the sensation of his beard against them.
His tongue stroked against her own and she was lost, dizzy with desire and she shifted her weight so that she was underneath him slightly. He turned his attention to her neck, and she hummed and moaned and begged for more with every touch of her fingers against his back.
As he traced the contours of her neck with his tongue, his hand moved to caress the small area of exposed flesh between her sweater and her jeans. Meeting no resistance, he slid his hand up further, finding her skin feverishly hot. He moved back to her lips and kissed her deeply.
He had lost track of how long they'd been kissing when the demon of sense overtook him. Giving her one more, almost chaste (in the light of their previous activities) kiss, he drew back slightly and looked at her. She lay beneath him, her lips slightly swollen, looking completely beautiful.
"What's wrong," she asked.
Reaching out, he brushed an errant strand hair from her face. "I don't want you to feel like we have to rush into anything."
To his great surprise, she laughed. "Grissom, how long have we been dancing around the subject of 'Us'?" she asked. "It's been what? A little over five years since I moved to Vegas. And you're afraid we're rushing?"
"Yes but…" he stooped to kiss the tip of her nose. "It was five years of me being a jackass."
She smirked. "True. But the past six months or so? They've been good, right?"
"And we've gone out to dinner a lot, watched movies…"
He waited for her to reach her point.
"Sounds an awful lot like dating to me," she told him. "Six months of dating could hardly be considered 'rushing'. Unless…" her eyes searched his face, suddenly worried. "Unless you're not ready."
His smile dismissed her fears. "Oh, I'm ready. I'm definitely ready," he said, kissing her again. "But…"
Not letting him finish, she scrambled from beneath him and moved towards the bedroom door. "Good. Because I think we've waited long enough. Don't you?"
He got up and followed her, unable to disguise the desire in his eyes. And yet, part of him still felt like he should hold back, still afraid he was rushing her, still feeling unworthy of having her this completely. "Sara… are you sure…?"
She took both of his hands in hers. "Grissom," she said, her voice smoldering with desire. "Come and unwrap the rest of your Christmas present."