TITLE: TELL ME SOMETHING
SUMMARY: GRISSOM AND SARA SHARE STORIES ABOUT THEIR PAST. ONE SHOT, JUST FELT LIKE A BREAK IN BETWEEN CHAPTERS OF OTHER STORIES.
RATING: T. DEALS PARTLY WITH ADOLESCENT ANGST, ABORTION AND SELF-HARM. JUST A WARNING.
DISCLAIMER: NOT MINE. YOU KNOW THAT IF IT WAS, THE FINALE WOULD HAVE PUT HBO TO SHAME.
"Are you sure this isn't 'Truth or Dare'?" Sara reclined on the floor of their living room, back propped up against the couch.
Grissom raised an eyebrow and sat opposite, resting against the coffee table. "Positive. Just 'Truth' as there's no dare involved." He crossed his legs in front of him and sipped his glass of wine. "So, come on. Spill. What were you most afraid of as a child?"
Sara thought for a moment. "Does it have to be complete truth? Or can it be, it didn't scare me the most, but it had a pretty big scare for me?" She brought her knees up to her chest and grinned at him.
"That kinda defeats the whole object of the game, doesn't it?" He forced a sigh, knowing that things that scared Sara the most might have been things she wasn't entirely happy with expounding upon. "But in your case, I suppose I can make a few exceptions." He smiled around the wine glass.
Sara returned the smile, flashing white teeth and her diastema. "That means you're exempt too." She shuffled her hips slightly, getting comfortable on the floor. "Shouldn't we be sitting on cushions?"
"Wuss," Grissom grumbled. "If you want one ..." he trailed off. "They're behind you." He put his wine glass on the table behind him, a wise move, as Sara turned, hefted a cushion from the couch, and threw it at him. It hit him squarely in the face. "Thank you. Just what I've always wanted," he muttered drily. "Just answer the question."
"Okay, aside from parental arguments and trips to the emergency room, I was most afraid of waking up and finding a spider on my face," she said, blushing and ducking her head. "You?" she croaked.
"Not so much as a child," he began, "but when I was a teenager, and my hormones were raging, I was scared that I had a latex allergy." Sara spluttered, then saw his face, and tried to control her giggles. "Hey, I didn't want to lose my virginity, and die because I had an anaphylactic shock. It would have killed my mother."
"Couldn't you have just not used a condom?" Sara asked, closing her eyes, fighting hard to keep her voice steady and laughter-free.
"Nuh uh. I was an
honourable teenager. I'd like to think I'm still honourable
and noble, but you've corrupted me. Anyway, as I was saying,
there's no way I would have considered not using one. Not
until later on, in the seventies, when women had more say over birth
control." He tapped out a little drum roll on his left thigh.
"You're turn to ask a question."
Sara grinned. "What would you have done if you got a woman pregnant?"
He stopped dead. "I can't believe you asked that," he gasped. She shrugged, and he couldn't blame her - after all, he had quite freely elaborated in the previous answer. "I would have supported the woman carrying my baby, no matter what she decided to do. What would you have done if you'd gotten pregnant?"
"Abortion," came the immediate reply. Upon seeing his look, she elucidated. "I'm no good with kids. And I would have been young, and still fucked up over my parents. I wouldn't have been able to cope. Next question," she murmured, changing the subject.
Grissom was caught slightly off-guard. "Um ... what book do you wish you'd have written?"
Sara breathed an inward sigh of relief, grateful that he hadn't forced the subject. Not that he ever did. He was always courteous and respectful. A true gentleman. "I think it would have to be either 'Catch-22' or 'Steppenwolf.'"
"Why?" That was interesting.
"I don't know. I though Heller just had it right off. That humour - you don't find that in a lot of books now, didn't back then, either. The whole chaplain story, and the Washington Irving wordplay. That was clever. I think 'Steppenwolf' purely because I felt I could relate to a lot of the absurdity it dealt with. No reason to feel depressed or suicidal, other than sometimes it's just the nature of the beast. What about you?"
" 'Origin of the Species,' " came his instantaneous reply. "Or possibly 'Catcher in the Rye.' "
"Ah, biology. But teenage angst? Actually, I can see that in you. Gil Grissom, the original Holden Caulfield." She smiled. "How come?"
"I wish I'd had the brain and drive that Darwin had. Wish I'd have had the influence. And 'Catcher'? Holden's like Jimmy Dean in 'Rebel Without A Cause.' Everyone thinks they're so bad, rebellious. But they're desperate. They have morals, but because no-one else appears to have these morals, this shared world-view, they're seen as wrong, as the enemy. Plus, I read 'Catcher' a couple of years after my mom started losing her hearing. I could identify with that desperation Holden felt when he lost his brother. Like he wasn't good enough. Except I never bust the car windows."
Sara's gazed at him unwaveringly. "Oh?"
"I, uh, for a while, I self-harmed. Except it wasn't called that back then. I was angry, and not very emotionally eloquent. My rage was all I had for about two years." He smiled sadly. "Next question."
"Which film star did you fall in love with?"
"Oh, that's easy. Natalie Wood in 'Rebel Without A Cause.' I saw that when I was ... about ten, quite a while after it was released."
"Wow. Y'know, I think a lot of people wouldn't have had you down as that sort of guy, and I know sometimes you surprise even me, but when I think about it, your answers make sense."
"What sort of guy?"
"Behind that scientific exterior, you've got that artistic bent. I'll bet you're existentially scarred. I fell in love with Martin Sheen in 'Apocalypse Now.' I don't know why."
"Have you ever read 'Heart of Darkness'?" He was slightly taken aback by the quick change in conversation direction. Damn grasshopper mind.
Sara nodded. "Hated it. Conrad was condescending and racist, and that book pissed me off no end." She rested her chin on her knees. "What do you wish you'd done with your life? What's your biggest regret?"
"I believe that's two questions," he chided, the corners of his mouth poking in a faintly upwards direction. "But I'll answer both, seeing as I'm so generous and kind and accommodating." Sara snorted, but he ignored it. "I wish I'd have gotten married and had kids, sometimes," he said quietly. "And relating to that vein are my two biggest regrets. Firstly, that I didn't accept your dinner invitation. Secondly, that you had to ask. I should have been off the mark way sooner than I was. Shit, I should have proposed to you right then and there in that seminar."
Sara gasped, shocked at his frank admission. "Jesus," she whispered. "Well, I guess my main regret is ... I don't know. I can't think."
Grissom smiled gently. "Okay then, we can come back to that. When did you first realise you were attracted to me?"
She shot him a look. "When you took me for dinner three days in a row, when you had your week of seminars at Harvard. You were such a gentleman. You still are," she added.
"I can recall plain as day seeing you in that lecture hall, front row right in the middle. You taped my talk, and your eyes didn't leave me. You are, and always have been an attentive student. Those brown eyes following me around the room - I have to say, it gave me a feeling of power, that I had your attention. So I guess straight away, when I first met you. Not only are you pretty, but you're an intellectual challenge to me."
The left-hand corner of Sara's mouth perked. "You keep on with the surprises, don't ya?" she smiled.
Grissom shrugged, and pushed forward, crawling towards her on his hands and knees. He took up a position next to her and slipped his arm around her waist. "I think that's enough for now."
Sara snuggled into his grasp. "What you wanna do now?" she sighed.
"I've got another game."
"Not another one," she groaned, mock-exasperated. "My brain's tired."
"That's okay, honey," he said seductively. "I was thinking maybe 'Spin the Bottle.' Except without the bottle and the other players, and maybe more of the kissing and possibly a bed."
Sara raised her head to look at him. "I think you've got yourself a deal," she said, standing slowly. "Meet me in the bedroom in five minutes."
Grissom couldn't suppress his glee as he watched her lanky frame saunter in the direction of their room. This is a game I could play every day.