The characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.
Spoilers: Way to Go.
Cincoflex challenged us both to explain that shirt in 300 words or less. Neither of us actually came within the limit, but we had fun!
"Okay," Sara said later, when they were getting sleepy. "I have to ask. What's with the shirt?" She waved a hand at the article in question, which was draped haphazardly over a chair along with Grissom's crumpled slacks. "I mean, it's not your usual taste. No offense."
Grissom let out an amused breath and rolled onto his back, taking her with him so that Sara stayed in the circle of his arm. "No, it's not. This is probably only the third or fourth time I've worn it, even though I've had it for years. It's a...victory, of sorts."
Sara lifted her head to meet his eyes, her own bright and curious. "Really? Do tell."
"Hmm." Grissom thought for a moment, looking back into memory. "You know, Greg asked me earlier about Jim, and I had to tell him that we don't really spend that much time together outside of work. But we've always been friends...sometimes despite my neglect."
The thought brought a mild pang, but there was no accusation in Sara's encouraging hum. Grissom let his hand curl around her shoulder, and continued.
"We both used to travel often, to seminars and training sessions, that kind of thing. And we got into the habit--well, more like a competition, really--of finding the tackiest possible souvenir to bring back."
"Like trophies?" Sara asked, and he couldn't help an answering grin at her husky giggle.
"Nope. As presents. For instance, once he brought me a ceramic burro that could be used as a flowerpot; the next trip I found a shellacked and mounted cow chip."
Sara was laughing in earnest now. Grissom jerked a thumb at the ugly little statuette on the bedside table. "That's actually a product of those times. Anyway, Jim went to Honduras once for vacation, and he brought me back that shirt."
Grissom stared at it for a moment, remembering the cleanser-and-fear smell of the ICU. "He said it was the tackiest one in my size. After he woke up today, well...it just seemed the thing to do."
"I understand," Sara said, calming. "And I'm sure he'd appreciate it."
"Mm." Grissom gazed at the ceiling, reminding himself that Jim was going to recover. "Maybe. But if the circumstances were reversed, I'm not sure he'd wear the cowboy hat I got him."
"Why not? It doesn't sound very tacky." She placed a hand on his chest, fingers soft on his skin.
He couldn't help smirking a little. "Well, it also lights up. And plays 'Home on the Range'."
Sara laughed even harder.