TITLE: LUMP IN MY THROAT
RATING: T (?)
SPOILERS: NONE THAT I CAN THINK OF.
CONTENT: GSR, BIT OF ANGST (HOW UNPREDICTABLE AM I?).
SUMMARY: IT IS LEFT UP TO CATHERINE TO INFORM GRISSOM OF A SITUATION SARA MAY OR MAY NOT BE IN.
DISCLAIMER: NOT MINE. EXCEPT FOR THE DOCTOR, AND CHARACTERS IN THE HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM.
PART ONE OF TWO (KNOWING ME, I'LL PROBABLY GET CARRIED AWAY).
Knock knock knock. "Grissom?"
The night-shift supervisor looked up from an entomology textbook, setting his magnifying lass on the table in front of him. "Sara. What can I do for you?"
Sara stood by the open door, unwilling to proceed any further, as if his office held some kind of red cross on it, like a plague warning, preventing her from entering his domain. "I'm really sorry to bother you," she said. "I can come back later if that's more appropriate."
Grissom frowned, his brows knitting together in concern. "Is something wrong?"
Sara did her utmost to maintain her look of nonchalance. No, I was just wondering if it would be possible for me to take two days off next week." The corners of her mouth moved imperceptably.
"Are you sure nothing's wrong?" The top half of face has compacted so much that it looked quite ready to cave in on itself.
"I'm fine," she said, the words feeling so familiar as they slipped across her tongue, leaving a bitter taste behind. "I just have a hospital appointment, they said I'd need to rest for a day or so before going back work."
If it hadn't already been so, her words piqued interest, and he was glad he'd had his otosclerosis operated on. "And that's routine?"
Sara shrugged. "I don't know. I've never had this particular procedure performed before," she said obliquely.
"Is there anything I can do to help? Will you need someone to accompany you, or take you home?" He folded his big hands on the desk in front of him, twiddling his thumbs rapidly.
"No, it doesn't require any sort of anaesthetic," she answered, completely ignoring his offer of help. He repeated it. "You can give the two days off," Sara said defensively.
Grissom's mouth twitched. "Okay. If there's anything I can do ...".
"Yeah, sure, I'll let you know." Sara turned swiftly, exiting without so much as another glance at her boss.
Grissom and Catherine were alone in the locker room, Catherine pulling on a jacket and getting ready to pick Lindsay up from a sleepover, and Grissom was re-arranging the items in his locker.
"Has Sara spoken to you at all recently?"
"Well, we were working a case today, as you well know," Catherine teased.
"Ha. Were you aware that she is going to require two days off next week for a hospital appointment?"
Oh, Sara had already spoken to him. "Why are you telling me? You're the supervisor."
"You're comedic form tonight astounds me," Grissom replied bitterly. "Did you know she had an appointment?"
"Why do you think I'd know? I do know, but why you think I do is beyond me."
Grissom's broad shoulders lifted themselves, and for a second he looked like a puppet that was being teased by whosoever was pulling its strings. "You're both women ...".
"Thank you for noticing."
"And I thought that she might tell you."
"If she didn't tell you why, then it's not up to me to do so. She has her reasons for not telling you everything."
Intentional or not, Catherine's words stung Grissom's ears. "Is it serious?"
"I don't know." Catherine tried not to look at Gil, whose eyes were penetrating her back.
"I thought you did," he insisted rather desperately.
"I know what's wrong, so to speak, but I don't know if it's serious because she doesn't. That's why she needs two days. The hospital want to run some tests."
Grissom's face was in real danger of being stuck permanently in a look of extreme concern combined with extreme horror. "Why the hell does she needs tests running. Tell me Cath, I'm your boss. Plus, I'm the person who writes your evaluations." On another day, there might have been a trace of humour in his voice, but today, the only thing with which it was inflected was anger and urgency.
Catherine rolled her eyes and sighed. "Okay. But I won't be held responsible for what she does when she finds out you know. If you're my boss, you can pay for my burial."
"What. Is. It?" Grissom growled.
"She found a lump," Catherine replied, her eyes closed, her face screwed up in nervous anticipation.
"You mean, in her breast?"
"No, in her throat you fool. Yes, her breast," Catherine snapped, both eyes flicking open.
Grissom's fae lost all of its colour. "Oh shit," he muttered. Still one moment, his sudden movement to retrieve his phone from his pocket making atherine jump.
"Look, Gil, I'm going to have to go, otherwise Lindsay's going to be wondering where I am. I'm sure everything will be okay," she added, putting a comforting hand on his arm.
Sara pulled her car over into the curb when she heard her phone ring. "Sidle," she answered idly.
"Sara, it's Grissom."
"Oh. Do you need back at the lab? Is there a problem?"
"There's a problem, but it's not do with a case," Grissom snapped.
"What's wrong then?"
"Catherine just told me why you were going to hospital."
Sara's jaw tightened, her mind suddenly racing with thoughts of killing Catherine and dumping the many various body parts into Lake Mead. "She did, did she?"
"I forced her to." Not entirely true. "Honey, why didn't you tell me?" His voice softened.
He only said 'honey' when things were bad. The poor bastard was probably ready to have an aneurysm. "I didn't want anybody to know. I only told Catherine because I asked her if she had anything similar before, which she hadn't. Besides, I might be okay." She looked out of the car window, car headlights flashing past in the early morning light.
"Nevertheless, why didn't you say something?"
Sara took a deep breath, trying unsuccessfully to keep a barrage of abuse and insolence in her stomach. "Because I don't need you to get close to me when you think I've got cancer only to turn away and pretend nothing happened when it turns out I'm okay."
So it was like that. "I wouldn't do that. I'm just ...".
She heard a sharp intake of breath down the line. "What?"
"Will you come back to the lab? Talk me through it," he explained.
Sara bit back a snort of derision. "It's a damn good thing I only left ten minutes ago. You called any later, I would have told you where to get off."
"I would have come over to yours," came the simple, honest answer, defaced by interference.
Sara could tell Grissom was stressed when she returned to the lab. He was pacing, clenching and unclenching his hands in the endearing way he did when he was walking around, looking for evidence, and his cheeks, once pale, were now flushed.
"Damn it, Griss, sit down," she chided. "Your blood pressure's gonna go through the roof."
He simply looked at her. "So what's going on?"
Sara looked around. "I don't want to talk about here."
Wordlessly, he padded off down the corridor, Sara lagging behind slightly with her insecure gait.
"What's going on?" he repeated. "What happened?"
Sara raised an eyebrow, not of surprise, but simply as a reflex. "I was getting rwady for work the other day, and felt a sensation I don't normally feel there. I checked it, and felt a little lump, so I called the hospital and asked to make an appointment."
"A sensation you never feel, as in, you've never felt it, it doesn't occur near menstruation or anything like that? Do you know ...?"
"I've never felt it before," she replied. "And yes, I do know what my own body feels like, I check every day for anomalies."
"Do you have a history of breast cancer in your family?"
Sara shook her head, amused somewhat at the scientist within Grissom. To her, his interest wasn't concern, but a pure curiosity, as if she had been bagged, tagged, and marked 'exhibit a' for a court case. "They need to do a scan and a punch biopsy, so they told me to just relax afterwards."
Grissom sat in silence, his blue eyes preoccuppied with something beyond both his and her field of vision. Eventually, he looked up, his jaw working side to side, his mouth partly open in the way it always was when something was troubling him, begging his attention. "Would you ... would you like me to come along with you?"
This time, Sara's arching eyebrows were the result of his words. "What?"
"Would you like me to come with you? I know I appreciated Catherine paying me a visit before my ear operation, so I'm extending a courtesy."
"Oh, that's all," Sara answered, slightly disappointed. That's all I am - something you can help occassionally in order to appease your sense of guilt.
Gil didn't miss what her tone of voice implied. "What if I told you I was concerned about you?"
"I'd tell you that I'd heard those words from you before, but so far, they haven't yielded much hope."
"I'm trying. Damn, give me a chance."
Sara shrugged. "I'm patient. Why do you think I've waited over ten years?" Before he could answer, and she could that he wanted to, as his lips had parted, she spoke. "I'll pick you up and go to the hospital from there."
"But Desert Palm is out your way. Besides, if they're doing a punch biopsy, aren't you going to be in pain? Let me take you to the hospital, then I can drop you off, or stay if you need me to."
Sara regarded the implications of his words, taking them (mentally) in an entirely different context that they were meant. "If it's no trouble."
Grissom attempted a smile. "You may be many things, but trouble isn't one of them," he replied. "Will you be okay?"
"Yeah," she said as quickly as possible, not wanting to fill up. "I'll be fine." Again, those loaded words, revealing more than if she had told him that she wasn't fine. Possibly.
"Well, you know where I am if you need to talk," he insisted gently.