Chapter 1: Moving Memories
Disclaimer: I have no control over anything that happens to these characters outside of this story. The characters themselves belong to CBS, Zucker, etc.
A/N: It's a little late for a Valentine's fic, but better late than never right? Some of you will recognize the first part of this story as it was written as part of the great GeekFiction Smut-a-thon of 2006. Parts of it have since been edited to comply with the content restrictions here, but not too much. It is part of my little holiday fluff series, meaning it takes place after "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot"
Grissom's eyes flicked back and forth between the box in his hands and SUV in front of him. Mentally he packed and repacked the vehicle, but in the end he had to concede; there was no more room in the car. What was he doing packing up her car anyways? This was crazy. He hefted the box and turned to head back inside, stopping abruptly as he almost plowed straight into a floating box. The cardboard container wasn't actually levitating; he knew that Sara was somewhere behind it, even if he couldn't see her. There was a grunt, followed by a muffled curse, and a loud thud as the monstrous box dropped to the sidewalk.
"That's the…last…one," panted Sara, as she placed her hands on her thighs to help hold herself up.
"Yes, well it's not going to fit in there." Grissom glanced significantly at the packed car.
"Which is why I called Greg," she responded, still slightly winded from moving boxes around for the past few hours. She stood up, moving her hands to her hips, and arched her back to stretch. Grissom's eyes were drawn to the butterfly brazenly emblazoned on her chest. It was the same shirt she'd been wearing all afternoon, but the glittery, inaccurate excuse for a butterfly seemed specifically designed to capture his interest. "How come you look like you're merely taking a stroll in the park?"
"Because I haven't been trying to carry boxes that weigh more than I do."
"Well no wonder there's not enough room. I'm going to have to teach you how to pack more efficiently." Sara rolled her eyes.
"You can teach me anything you want," he teased.
"Griss." Sara groaned and turned to head back towards the apartment building. "Come on, let's wait inside."
"But what about…"
"Just leave it." She didn't even stop to look back at him.
"Seriously, who's going to try to steal a box of books that big, let alone one full of entomology and forensics texts?" This time she turned to face him, grinning.
"It's not supposed to rain 'til Sunday, and since Greg should be here in less than an hour I don't think that's going to be a problem. Now, I'm sure you can think of some much better ways to spend that time than standing out here guarding my books." She waggled her eyebrows, turned slowly and sauntered away with a little more hip than usual.
Now it was his turn to groan as his entire body tingled in response to her walk, the sway of her hips bringing up memories, among other things. He couldn't believe she was his. Carefully balancing his box on top of the one she had left behind Grissom followed Sara inside. He caught up to her, or rather she caught him, just inside the door of her apartment, pressing him into the wall with her body and rising up to kiss him hard. His hands rose tentatively at first, to skim over her cheeks and tangle in her hair, before he returned the pressure of her mouth with his. The small sound of contentment that issued from her as his grip tightened reminded him that this was not a dream, not elaborate fantasy, but truth, actuality. He was standing in her apartment, with his back up against the wall and Sara Sidle's tongue in his mouth. He, Gil Grissom, was a lucky bastard.
They were both breathing hard and trembling when Sara broke the kiss and sagged against him, dropping her head so that it rested in the crook of his neck.
"Thank you," she mouthed against his skin.
His arms wrapped around her waist and squeezed tightly; the light pressure of his lips on her hair added to the surrealism of the moment. She couldn't believe he was doing this for her, allowing her into his life so suddenly after all this time. They'd only ever slept together a couple of times, and that had been years ago. In fact it had only been a month since he'd kissed her for the first time in five years, and he had just spent the afternoon helping her pack her clothes, books and art into boxes. Suddenly she wasn't so sure about this plan; restless, she put some space between them.
Sensing her shift in mood Grissom dropped his arms from around her, but she grasped them before he freed her completely and laced her fingers through his. Looking down at their twined hands she started to speak.
"Griss, I…Are you…"
"Yes, I'm sure Sara. Everything's going to be fine. C'mon, I'll show you." Grissom shifted away from the wall and began to back through the apartment towards her bedroom with Sara following.
She smiled coyly at him. "This was never the problem, even if you have been holding out on me recently."
"Maybe something's changed," he teased.
"Some things, but not this. I think I was born knowing how to do this with you. Remember our first time?"
"It was a long time ago." His tone was more serious this time, but the flare of passion and recognition in his eyes gave her hope.
"Yeah, well I think I was the one dragging you down the hallway that time."
She really hated the first day of a new job, any job. Being the new girl anywhere sucked. Being the new girl who'd been brought in specifically to investigate someone everyone loved should have been, in her opinion, one of Dante's levels of Hell. So she almost ignored the echo of her name across the parking lot in her desire to get somewhere that she could throw something. If it had been anyone other than Grissom, she would have.
"What?" The question came out more tersely than she would have liked and she thumped her hands on the hood of her rental car in frustration.
"I know this…I thought you might…would you like to get coffee with me?"
Surprise at his awkwardness caused Sara to turn from the car and face Grissom. The confident scientist she'd come to know from their correspondence and phone calls, who'd been in evidence ever since she'd arrived at his crime scene that morning, had disappeared. The man standing in front of her looked suspiciously like an awkward geek asking his first crush for a date. Her eyes flicked around the parking lot.
"Gil, I…" Not really wanting to turn him down, but too tired to sign herself up for more forced politeness, Sara changed tactics. "Isn't there something else you'd usually be doing now?"
"Going home alone to write you an email about how shitty my day was." His reply was quick and sure. "I just…you're here…I thought maybe…"
"All right, but I need something stronger than coffee. I think my hotel has a bar."
"Sara, this is Vegas. Every motel has three things: rooms, slot machines, and a bar, even the cheap ones that the Department puts visitors up in. I'll drive."
"I can drive Gil; I have a car."
"True, but traffic is horrendous at this time of morning. You'll just end up getting frustrated. You can catch a cab back tomorrow. Let's go."
With one last longing look at her rental car and the privacy it offered, Sara followed Grissom to his car. However, by the time they reached her hotel she was incredibly glad she'd accepted his offer. His assessment of Las Vegas traffic had not been overstated.
"Thanks for driving Gil." Sara hopped out of the car and as she headed for the nearest hotel entrance he caught up to her and they walked side by side, arms brushing in accidental contact that sent shivers down her spine. The day came crashing down on her again as they stepped into the small gaudy lobby. Looking across at the garish bar Sara sighed. She turned to Grissom. "Gil, I'm sorry I'm so tired and frustrated; I don't think I'd be very good company right now."
"I should be the one who's apologizing," he said after a pause in which he scanned her appearance. "I shouldn't impose like this on your first night here. I'm sure you're exhausted."
Disappointment was clearly written on his face and she couldn't bear to let him down.
"You know what? I bet I'll feel better after I change out of these clothes." She headed towards the small bank of elevators. The lack of pressure against her arm let her know that Grissom was no longer beside her. She turned back to see him watching her. "Well?"
"What? I'm just going to wait…"
Sara cut him off, striding back to him to firmly grasp his bicep and drag him through the lobby.
"Don't be silly. C'mon, I'm not going to jump you." She smoothed her thumb over the skin exposed by his short-sleeved polo shirt. "Not unless you ask anyways."
By the time they got to her room his reluctance was merely for show. He followed her inside meekly and sat down on the bed without hesitation when she gave him a playful shove. As Sara riffled through her suitcase she made a decision. Pulling out a pair of loose drawstring pants and a well worn tank top she headed for the bathroom to change. As she passed the mini-fridge she stopped and pulled out a small handful of bottles. Tossing them at Grissom she disappeared into the bathroom.
"I don't feel particularly social. Let's stay in."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. I don't want to have to spend another minute of my day watching myself, worrying that the wrong person will overhear an off-hand comment and repeat it."
"And you don't have to worry about that with me?"
"Gil," she emerged from the bathroom and moved to drop her clothes on the lone chair. "If you were that type of person I wouldn't be here, in Vegas. Relax."
Sara lifted a small bottle of vodka from the bed, unscrewed the cap, and downed it in one long pull.
"Oh God," she choked. "That's bad vodka. I wonder if this one's any better."
She grabbed another small bottle off the bed and downed it as swiftly as the first. Grissom would have been concerned, but the look on her face as she almost spit the alcohol right back up had him laughing instead.
"Nope, their tequila is even worse." Sara collapsed backwards onto the bed with a frustrated huff.
Grissom looked back and forth between the beautiful brunette stretched out beside him and the two empty bottles on the dresser. He decided to go for it and grabbed one of the remaining bottles. He scooted back against the headboard and drained his bottle. "This really is awful stuff. Why do I feel so awkward?"
Sara rolled over and pushed up slightly onto her forearms, her tank top pulled dangerously low over her chest. "Being face to face removes the illusion of safety that comes with the distance of phone calls and emails. There's no chance to go back and rewrite something if it doesn't come out the right way the first time. It's harder to mask your reactions and misdirect the conversation."
She pushed up on her hands, raising her upper body off the bed, and slid her knees forward to support her weight. Grissom watched fascinated as she crawled towards him, still speaking in low husky tones. "For example, if we were talking on the phone I wouldn't be able to see the desire in your eyes when I told you I missed seeing you, and if I wrote it in an email I wouldn't even be able to hear the change in your voice when you replied."
She held herself before him, the angle of her body giving him a perfect view of the gap between her breasts, barely clothed in thin stretch cotton. Her eyes left his face and traveled slowly over his chest and down to his hips.
"I've dreamed of you Gil," she whispered as she moved to straddle him, her tongue darting out to wet her lips.
Grissom's head dropped back against the headboard and his eyes rolled up towards the ceiling. With that one murmured confession he went from mildly fascinated to achingly hard and entranced, and Sara had yet to touch him. He held himself utterly still as she sat back, her weight coming to rest on his upper thighs. One hand reached forward and her fingers trailed lightly over his cheek and down his neck to rest on his shoulder.
"Am I crazy Gil? Have I made more of the past than I should have?"
He tried to answer, but found his throat too dry as she leaned forward and pressed her lips to his. She lingered over him long enough for his motor control to return and one of his hands threaded itself into her hair, pulling her hard against him. She gasped in surprise and he slid his tongue into her mouth, wrapping it around hers and tugging lightly. She followed him. He moaned, half in pain, as her nails dug into his shoulder at her first taste of him. He tried to pull back, but she scooted forward so that she was now sitting in his lap.
"Sara…maybe we shouldn't…you had…" He couldn't seem to form a coherent thought as she rubbed against him. He had difficulty voicing the few words that did float through his conscience as her lips and tongue pulled empty syllables from him instead. Drawing together the unraveling threads of his self-control Grissom yanked back sharply with the hand in her hair, and pushed lightly on Sara's shoulder. His actions backfired however as Sara gasped with arousal and arched backwards to relieve the tension on her scalp, pressing her breasts into his chest. They both panted heavily for a few moments before she spoke, her eyes still slightly glazed with passion.
"I'm sure Gil. I wanted to do this years ago. All you had to do was ask."
"You deserved more than a one night stand Sara, still do."
"But we're here now and who knows how long I'll be in Vegas."
The hand that wasn't clutching his shoulder found a crack in his armor, where his shirt had become separated from his pants, and it slipped inside to land lightly on the soft skin of his stomach. Fingers slid over the ridges of his abdomen gathering information as if reading Braille. He looked down, almost startled to find that his shirt still blocked his view of her slim digits caressing him. The thought had barely flitted across his mind when her second hand came down to join the first and together they shoved his shirt up his chest. Grissom raised his arms to allow Sara to remove it completely. When his arms were free again he moved them to grasp her hips and pull her tightly down over him.
She sat back and studied him carefully, before leaning forward and slowly painting a path from his breastbone to just below his ear with her tongue. She nipped gently at his throat and then she laid her lips over the tendon at the base of his neck and sucked until his hips bucked against her. Sara sat back grinning smugly as his fingers tightened convulsively on her. She crossed her arms over her torso, grasped the hem of her tank top and yanked it over her head in a smooth motion, baring herself to him. He twitched underneath her and his hands raked up her sides to settle just underneath her breasts. Grissom ran his thumbs up the underside of her breast and out to the side, catching the tight peaks of her nipples between thumb and forefinger, applying pressure and a slight torque until her hips ground against him.
"Gil…" His name ghosted from her lips, and her voice had never sounded quite so aroused and arousing in his imaginings.
With a low growl, Grissom sat up, scooting away from the headboard to press his lower body more tightly against Sara. He bent his head and kissed his way along her collar bone and the down to tease her with his tongue. His hand smoothed down the length of her back, under her pants, and closed tightly over the bare skin of her ass. The realization that Sara was no longer wearing underwear flashed through him and he moved quickly to pin her to the mattress beneath him. As he eased back off her body and the bed he dragged her last piece of clothing with him.
She started to rise and come to him as he stood at the foot of the bed absorbing the details her nakedness revealed to him, but a growled command halted her. Instead she watched, fascinated, as Grissom stripped himself of his remaining clothing. Part of her was surprised at how confident he was, but, she ogled him openly, he had every right to such confidence. And then his hands were on her again and her brain returned to mush as his mouth, starting at the small tattoo on her ankle, followed the path of his hands up her legs.
He found her already wet and ready for him and his long fingers teased, over, and around, and in and out, while he shifted his weight to stretch along the length of her. Sara writhed beneath him, rocking against his hand. Linking the fingers of his free hand with hers, Grissom pressed into her and his hips picked up the rhythm they had created together, moving faster as her legs wrapped around him. She tightened and trembled around him, bringing him to the edge of his control. His fingers resumed their teasing, thumb circling, pressing down on her. Her head began to thrash on the pillow and his name fell repeatedly from her lips.
"Gil…oh God, Gil."
And then she came, thighs squeezing against his hips, hidden muscles contracting around him as he buried himself inside her, trying to ride through her pleasure. He began to move again after her peak had passed intent on driving her up and over again, but Sara had other ideas. Her nails scraped down his back and dug into his butt. She started to whisper a single word tauntingly in his ear and it was enough.
Light exploded behind his eyes and he emptied himself into her. He collapsed half on top of her, still holding her hand in his. When he had recovered enough he propped himself up on one elbow and released her hand to cup her cheek. He traced a calloused thumb across her lips and along her jaw, sliding his fingers into her hair and holding her head still.
"Stay," he said and her eyes widened uncertainly.
"Gil, this is my hotel room. I'm not going anywhere."
"In Vegas, at the lab, with me."
"Are you sure?"
She looked at him, quiet and unblinking for a long moment before answering simply.
Grissom leaned down and kissed her, a gentle kiss. Then he laid himself alongside her, propping his head on one arm and draping the other over her. His fingers traced seemingly random patterns on the swell of her hip until they both fell asleep.
Distracted by the heat of memories that flushed through him, and focused fully on Sara, Grissom suddenly tripped over a random shoe lying in the middle of the hallway. He stumbled back into the door frame; his grip on Sara's wrists pulling her with him. She smacked into his chest with a muffled grunt. She shuffled her feet back under her and levered herself against him, pressing their lower bodies together, trying to stand.
"Well, hello," she purred as the action alerted her to his arousal. "Why didn't you say something Griss?"
Pressed intimately against him, Sara could feel Grissom twitch at the nickname.
It happened again; his fingers tightened on her wrists and his hips rocked forward against her.
"Grissom?" There was no measurable response. She looked at him curiously and a faint blush crept across his cheeks. He shrugged self consciously.
"Ever since the first time…"
"Talk about word association. And you encouraged me to call you that at work?" she asked incredulously.
"Well at the time it seemed both more and less dangerous than letting you call me Gil."
"I wish I'd known," Sara said, turning her head to place her lips against his throat. "Griss."
This time she anticipated his response and increased the pressure of her hips against his as she whispered the magic word against his skin.
"Sara…" His voice was harsh with desire. "Do we have enough time for this before Greg gets here?"
He felt her lips lift against his neck. One of her hands twisted out of his grasp to slide around and stroke him through his pants. Grissom's head fell back and knocked against the doorframe.
"At this rate I don't think we'll need much time."
Sara pushed back from him and sauntered into her mostly packed bedroom, pulling her shirt off over her head as she went. As she turned to face him her hands reached behind her to unsnap her bra. He stared, wide-eyed, as she slipped first one strap then the other down her shoulder, removing the plain cotton in a slow tease. The sight of one of her hands reaching down to worry the button of her jeans while the other smoothed up her body to cup a breast, spurred him to action. Striding forward his fingers brushed against her smooth skin and hooked themselves into the waistband of her pants. A swift tug pulled her back against him and his lips crashed down on hers in a desperate kiss. She left off touching herself to touch Grissom, slipping her hands under his shirt and pushing up.
"God, Sara…it's been so…I've missed you, this, you." His words began to slur together as he broke the kiss to allow her to pull his shirt over his head. His hands fumbled, but he managed to get her jeans open and the zipper down. Without conscious thought he took advantage of the space and thick calloused fingers brushed over smooth skin and damp curls. He continued to whisper a litany of apologies between kisses as he stroked her. "So beautiful. So sorry."
Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck, pressing her chest to his as she arched into his strokes. "Griss…"
Sara's eyes glazed over and her mind began to loose its hold on conscious thought when she realized the ringing in her ears wasn't just her imagination, but her phone. She tried to ignore it, but Grissom stopped moving. Groaning in frustration Sara stepped away from him, shuddering as his hand slipped out from beneath her underwear. She yanked the offending item from her pocket and punched the answer button angrily.
It was Greg's voice that answered, speaking quickly. "I know you told me six, but there's been a quadruple at the Bellagio and swing's already overloaded. I told Brass I'd let you know."
At Sara's resigned sigh Grissom stepped up behind her and wrapping his arms around her, dropped a light kiss on her shoulder. "When did you become the message man?"
"Since I lost the vote on who got to interrupt you and Grissom."
"How did you know we were…"
"Ack! Stop! Too much info!"
She could picture the younger CSI sticking his fingers in his ears as the sound of his humming carried down the line. Grissom took the phone from her.
"We'll meet you there in twenty minutes." He hung up the phone without waiting for a response from Greg. With a final kiss to the base of her neck he stepped away and lifted his shirt from where it had fallen on the bed. "Duty calls."
"Duty calls." Sara echoed as she redressed herself and followed Grissom out of her apartment. "Duty sucks."
Sara locked the door behind them and they headed down the stairs to the parking lot. Two large boxes and a car packed so full that it could only fit one person greeted them.
"Shit!" muttered Sara under her breath. "Now what?"
At that moment the blast of a car horn echoed off the buildings. Grissom and Sara turned towards the sound. A window rolled down and Greg's voice floated across the lot.
"Need a ride?"