Spoilers: Way to Go
Disclaimer: I don't own anything or anyone in regards to CSI; the show and its characters belong to a bunch of people who aren't me. I am merely borrowing the characters for my own amusement. Dance puppets, dance.
Author's Note: After some horrible writer's block, I finally finished this piece. It is my first post episode piece and my first one shot, so please be kind. My biggest and most special thank you to EllipsesBandit. Thanks for getting me through this :)
The second she stepped into the townhouse with Grissom, Sara felt tremendously relieved to be home. The past twenty four hours had left her exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Grissom too looked drained, with his slightly mussed hair and half-lidded eyes. As soon he placed the Chinese take-out on the kitchen island, she wrapped her arms around him like she had wanted, but couldn't, at the lab. She burrowed into the warmth of his chest while he held her tightly. They stood like that for several minutes.
"You still okay?" Her voice was somewhat muffled by his shoulder.
He responded, "I'm still okay." After a brief pause, he added, "I'm just…tired."
Pulling back to look him in the eye, Sara placed her hands on either side of his face. "Let's have dinner and then go to bed."
She pulled out two plates from the cupboard while he got some water bottles from the refrigerator. They ate in a compatible silence. When they finished the meal, Grissom headed to the bathroom while Sara put away the leftovers, and completed the other chores that needed to be done. Finally, she locked the front door and walked into the bedroom just as he came out from his shower. An amused grin came across her face when she noticed him wearing his navy blue Hawaiian print pajamas.
"You know most people would consider those a monstrosity."
He looked down at the shirt and the matching shorts. "There's nothing wrong with these," he said in a matter-of-fact tone. "Besides, you bought them for me."
December 12, 2005
She always missed Boston at this time of year. The holiday season there reminded her of scenic Christmas cards, with snow covered houses lined with strings of bright lights and beautifully decorated trees seen through the windows. The Las Vegas version of Christmas was certainly not the same. Hotels' staff added more lights to their displays, making the Strip shine brighter than the sun. The traffic in the casinos increased as people tried to win back the money they should have spent on presents. Tourists packed the many gift shops trying to find tacky objects for their loved ones.
And while Sara normally avoided those stores, she found herself amongst a small crowd in a tropical themed store located in downtown Las Vegas. Greg had better love his shirt, she grumbled to herself as she fought her way through the racks of clothes. She had decided to get her eccentric co-worker an outrageously bright Hawaiian shirt, and she knew just the place to get it.
In July she discovered the store while hat hunting for Grissom. He had complained about his neck getting sunburned at outdoor scenes. Baseball caps offered little help because if worn backwards, his face bore the heat of the sun. She searched for a hat with a brim that went all the way around, but she saw nothing that seemed right for him. As a last resort she walked into the store with big plastic flamingos in the display window. And there it was: a moderate-looking straw hat with a wide black ribbon around the top. For whatever reason, this was the perfect one. Sara felt nervous giving him the hat because it was the first gift she would give him as a couple. She didn't know how he'd react. As it turned out, Grissom loved the hat and wore it to the desert when they called out to a scene the next day. When Greg snickered and asked him where he got it, Grissom simply replied, "It was a very nice gift from someone looking out for me." Greg looked perplexed for a moment, then stated he now needed a flowered shirt to match.
The shirt she spotted on the wall was just what she had in mind for Greg: fiery orange, marina blue, and neon pink tropical flowers covered the entire piece of clothing. Grabbing the hanger, she quickly made her way to the registers when she passed the men's pajama section. One set in particular caught her eye. A sly grin crept on her face as she thought back to Greg's comment about Grissom's hat. Grissom definitely needed these.
December 25, 2005
For the first time in years, Sara looked forward to Christmas because she had someone to spend the day with. After an extremely slow evening, the two headed back to his townhouse to have a nice holiday breakfast and to exchange presents. He cooked a delicious meal, complete with homemade waffles, scrambled eggs, and hash browns. They settled on the floor near the small tree for the gift opening. She loved the black pea coat and the first edition copy of Moby Dick. Judging by his boyish grin, Grissom was pleased with his chess set and archaeology book.
As he set up the chess board on the coffee table, Sara pulled out a rectangular box from behind the tree.
"I got you one more thing," she told him.
He carefully removed the wrapping paper, and eventually pulled out navy blue pajamas with white printed flowers and leaves. "What are these about?" He asked as he held up the shirt.
"Now you have something to match your hat." She laughed when he quirked his eyebrow. "Trust me; it could have been a lot worse. There were ones that were just as bad as Greg's shirt."
"Well, thank you," he said before giving her a quick kiss on the lips. "I'll…be right back. I'm going to put these away." He got up from the floor and headed toward the bedroom.
Sara finished setting up the game board, still grinning to herself. Truthfully, she picked up the pajamas as somewhat of a joke; she already had his other presents when she found the nightwear.
A few minutes passed, and he still hadn't come back. What in the world is he doing? How long does it possibly take to put pajamas in a drawer? She sighed, and opened her book. Just as she read the third sentence, his voice came from behind her.
"So what do you think?"
Turning her head, she giggled at the sight before her. Grissom leaned on the wall with his left forearm and had one leg crossed in front of the other. The dark blue brought out his aquarian eyes. The shorts that came just above his knees made his bow legs more obvious, but she found that feature incredibly cute. His little smirk and the straw hat completed the ensemble.
She walked over to him, her shoulders still shaking. "Sweetheart," she finally managed, "I don't want to be mean, but the guys would probably die of laughter seeing you like this. But I love it."
"So do I. Thank you, honey." She reveled in the familiar softness his body provided when his arms wrapped around her. As he kissed her sweetly for a long moment, she drowned in the syrup flavor of his mouth and the tickling sensation on her chin from his beard. And when he plunked the hat on her head, she laughed against his mouth.
"You know, Catherine would kill me if she ever knew I bought those. And then she would kill you wearing them. And then figure out a way to kill you again for saying that you like them."
"Well I do like them." He kissed her on the cheek as she brushed by him on her way to the bathroom.
After drying herself with the towel and applying lotion to her arms and legs, she slipped into her white silk robe; a feminine indulgence she had gotten from an expensive lingerie shop. She opened the door to release the pent up steam. "Do you know where Ellie went?" She called as she dried her hair.
"No," he replied from the bedroom. "She took off after the doctors resuscitated Jim. Warrick combed the hospital, but he couldn't find her. She hadn't checked out of the motel as of this evening though."
That was good news, thought Sara. It meant Ellie hadn't left town yet. Maybe after the shock of the situation wore off, the young woman would go back and see her father. Possibly stay to help take care of him once he was released. A long shot, obviously, but Sara held out some hope.
A few minutes passed before Grissom spoke again. "Ellie asked me if I thought Jim was better off lying there, never waking up. She said it would be easier."
Sara stopped pulling the brush through her hair. "For him or for her?"
"I think she meant for both of them."
Shaking her head she spoke, "It wouldn't be easy for Ellie. She'd never get closure. Never get the opportunity to fix her relationship with her father. She'd always carry that pain and regret."
"And Jim wouldn't want to take the easy way out." He sighed. "He wouldn't want to die like that."
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. Most people want to die in their sleep, I suppose. Never know that it's happening. Like a crime scene. Surprise! You're dead. I'd prefer to know in advance that I was going to die. I'd like to be diagnosed with cancer actually. Have some time to prepare. Go back to the rainforest one more time. Reread Moby Dick. Possibly enter an international chess tournament."
She walked out of the bathroom to find him casually lying across the bed. The prospect of waking up one day and not having Grissom there made her feel uneasy. But she knew she would never be able to function normally if she put all her time and energy into worrying about his safety. Instead, it was better to concentrate on the days they were going to have together.
"At least have time to say goodbye to the people I love." The sincerity in his voice and his calm expression as he looked at her made it clear to whom his words were directed.
Kneeling by the edge of the bed, she took his hand and interlaced their fingers. "I'm not ready to say goodbye."
He gave her one of his infamous half-smiles that she adored so much. "I didn't mean right at this minute."
"Good," she told him, relieved by his words. "Because I'd like to keep you around for a little while." She gave his hand a small squeeze before letting go.
The smile on his face grew slightly wider. Grissom then scooted back on the bed, and propped himself against the stack of pillows. His blue eyes softened with certain tenderness and he cocked his head to the side; the signal he wanted to cuddle.
In the ten years Sara had known him, she had never seen Grissom be affectionate with anyone. Not even small hug with Catherine; and she knew her blonde colleague would force him into the gesture. But at home, he'd been more loving than any man she had ever dated. When the pair watched television, he would always allow her to lean against him. The times she worked with her laptop at the kitchen table, he'd sometimes come up behind her to place a kiss on the top of her head. And the last thing she registered before she fell asleep was his touch -- whether he simply had a hand on her arm or was completely spooned against her.
Sara rose off the floor to join him on the bed. She nestled into his left side, keeping her head on his chest. The warmth of his body, the soft and steady sound of his heart, and his fingers gently combing through her hair lulled her into a deep state of contentment.
The vibration of his chest tickled her ear when he murmured, "I'd also want more of these before I died."
Not bothering to open her eyes or lifting her head she asked, "More of what?"
"Quiet nights," he said softly. "You and me. Alone here. Just like this."
Taking a shuddering breath, she tried to fight back the threatening tears. However, two droplets made their way to his partially exposed collarbone. She nuzzled the crook of his neck, tightening her arm around his stomach.
"If I had known being emotionally available got me this kind of reaction I would have tried it a long time ago," he said soothingly with a touch of humor in his voice. Sara chuckled with Grissom before their lips met in a slow, warm kiss.