Disclaimer: Don't own it… I just like playing with the characters for fun.

Rating: M for Mature – This means smut people!

Pairing: GSR

Spoilers: Post Season 6

Summary: Why did Grissom really shave the beard?

A/N: I blame this on Laura Katherine… She's the one who put out the challenge and it was all I could think of last night.

My intention was to make this into a smut piece, but that ended up being just a small part of the whole thing. Sorry, Beelzabunny wasn't quite so evil this time.

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It had been an unusually long shift and Sara ended up working well into the Day Shift time slot in order to get to a workable closing point on her case. She had worked solo last night because of the volume of cases, and unfortunately she had drawn the most frustrating one. It was an officer involved shooting, and there were a lot of shots fired that she had to retrieve. The only reason she had even gotten done at all was because Greg had finished up his case early and came out to give her a hand.

By the time Greg showed up, she was already on her hands and knees digging through the brush for shell casings. She had to slipped into the coveralls just before he got there and taken off her jacket and scarf to deal with the heat from the rising sun. She was hot and sweaty and grimy when he got there, but he still managed to pull off the attentive puppy dog look for her when he got there. If nothing else, Greg Sanders was always good for her ego.

As she was finishing up at the scene, he got called into the lab for something on his own case. As a result, she was left to seal up the evidence boxes and haul them back to the lab herself.

Once everything was logged and the casings turned into Ballistics, Sara slowly trudged out to her car to make the trek home. All she wanted was to get home, take a nice, hot shower and then crawl into bed. So focused on her goal, she never noticed the quiet chitter of the office staff as she exited the building.

When she pulled into her parking place at home she saw that the papers were in the bushes. She was going to have to call the service again and complain, again. She had trouble understanding why it was such a hard concept to make sure the papers made it into the breezeway and not into the bushes where the sprinklers would ruin them in the morning. She grabbed up the sopping paper pulp and walked it over to the trash can sitting inside the breezeway with a disgusted look on her face.

She brushed her hands off on the coveralls to get the water off of them, because nothing was going to help with the grime except a good, hot shower. Putting her key in the lock, she crunched her finger when the lock stuck halfway through the turn, again. She was going to have to call the locksmith to get it fixed herself. All in all, Sara decided this was obviously just not her day.

As she walked in, she dumped her jacket and purse onto the table, not even bothering with being tidy. She was in no mood for cleaning anything other than herself at the moment.

She shuffled through the house, barely able to lift her feet anymore, Sara was just plain exhausted. But, as she neared the bathroom she could hear the water running. This was just not her day.

"Giiii-iiiiil! You better not have used all the hot water!" She put her hand on the doorknob and found that it was locked. "Gil? Are you in there?"

From the other side of the locked door, she heard his slightly muffled reply. "Be out in a few minutes."

"But I want to get this crud off of me now." Sara was a little surprised by the whine that came out of her throat with that statement. It only confirmed her suspicions that she was completely spent.

"Just a minute," was the only response she got.

Sara leaned her forehead against the bathroom door and stumped her foot into the bottom of it somewhat softly. "Why is the door locked?"

Her answer came when she heard the lock disengage and the door opened, setting her a little off-balance from her leaning position. But nothing set her more off-balance than the sight her eyes beheld as she looked up into his face. "What did you do!"

"I shaved." Grissom's face was completely smooth, revealing that dimpled chin she had first seen all those years ago in that lecture hall at Berkeley.

"No shit! Why!" Unconsciously, her hand immediately went to his cheek to verify with her touch that which her eyes had told her.

"I needed to make a change." His answer was not only vague, but it was not the whole truth.

"Okay…" Her hand was now stroking the baby smooth skin of his cheek and along his shorn jaw. "Now, really… Why did you shave?"

He reached up to her hand, and pulled it away from his jaw and was about to bring it to his lips to kiss when he saw what they looked like. "You need to get cleaned up."

"You're avoiding the question." His eyes dropped. At first she thought they had dropped to the floor, but then she realized they were actually trained on the side of her neck. "What? I know, I'm filthy right now, but-" She was reaching up to wipe whatever it was off of her neck with her hand, except that he intercepted her hand.

""Don't… You'll get it infected." His voice was filled with concern, but she did not understand what he was talking about. He ran the back of his finger over the spot he had been looking at and she felt just how raw the skin was there. That was when she realized what he was referring to; a little patch of beard burn from a little impassioned display the day before.

"Is that why you shaved?" She waited for him to look away from her neck and into her eyes. When she looked into those deep blue eyes she saw shame, mixed in with the pain. She hated seeing that in his eyes, and her arms automatically went around his neck. "It's not bad… It'll be gone tomorrow, honest. Besides, if it bothered me, don't you think I would have said something?"

He looked down to the floor that time and murmured, "You didn't have to."

She tried not to smile broadly, for fear it would bruise his already sensitive ego. "What do you mean?"

When he looked up again, she saw even more hurt in those loving eyes as he blurted out. "Sara, do you really think no one has noticed that you keep wearing scarves all the time! It's summer for Christ's sake!"

Suddenly it hit her: someone must have made a comment in front of him at the lab. That was also when she realized that she had taken off her scarf earlier at the crime scene, and the coveralls did not cover her neck, at all. Damn it, Greg! When she got to work that night, she was going to beat him.

"I'm sorry… I shouldn't h-" He stopped her from saying anything else by putting a finger over her lips.

"No… It's done, and I should have done it the first time I noticed what was happening." He shook his head a moment and then laid a chaste kiss upon her lips. "There is no room for pride right now, and keeping the beard was a matter of pride."

"Pride, huh?" Her right hand moved from the back of his neck to his cheek again.

His arms moved their way around her waist as she continued to stroke the skin of his face. "Yes… I was trying to hide my extra chin."

She tilted her head to the side, looking at the underside of his jaw, scrunching up her brow as she regarded the item in question. "What extra chin?"

"The one that has mostly disappeared thanks to a better quality of life." His eyes seemed to have lost the pain and hurt and shame. Now they looked to be filling with another emotion she knew all too well.

She moved in closer to his face, until she could feel his breath on her own face. "I just had an interesting thought."

There was barely a hair's breadth of space between them when he asked, "What's that?" The words were practically rumbled over her lips as he spoke them.

She regarded him with an positively feral smile as she nearly whispered, "I've never kissed a smooth faced Grissom before."

"Well, there's only one thing to do to fix th-" Her lips pressed into his, silencing the last of his words. It was not long before their crushing lips parted and they continued to deepen the kiss. His hands automatically began to roam over her back, with one moving to grasp the back of her neck, while the other found its way to the zipper of her coveralls.

When her mouth finally released its death grip on his she had managed to suck his bottom lip into her mouth which then came out with a resounding pop. The sensation of that release and the sudden availability of added oxygen caused Gil to stay his hands and gasp for air. But when he felt her tongue begin to trail down the center of his bare chin all ability to think or breathe disappeared. His desperation for air only increased when she continued to drag her tongue along the underside of his chin all the way to his neck, before kissing her way back to his chin.

However, when she drew the tip of his smooth chin into her mouth his whole body came alive with the ripples of pleasure that washed through him. It took him nearly a minute to realize she had pulled away and was staring at him with a dangerous smile on her face. She looked down to where his hand had halted its progress halfway down and she slowly dragged her eyes back to his and asked, "Aren't you going to finish?"

"Huh?" His stupor was broken by her laughter. He looked down at his hand and realized what she was talking about. "Oh yeah… Sorry, I got a little…distracted." As the blush filled his newly shorn cheeks he finished working the zipper to the bottom and then pushed the coveralls off of her shoulders. Seeing the red and raw mark extending from the side of her neck, down to her right shoulder he paused and ran a finger along the angry patch of skin. "I really wish you had said something." His voice was nearly reverent enough for a prayer and the gentle kiss he laid there made her silently thank whatever deity he was praying to for his lips.

The feeling of the bare skin of his face against her shoulder was a strange one, but she found that she was enjoying the exploration. Her hands had moved to his waist and dug out the tail of his shirt with one tug. When they made their way to the front and the button of his pants he whispered into her ear, "I take it you want some company?"

She laughed her answer of, "After the last ten minutes… I think you've gotten a little dirty." He looked down at his once white linen shirt and understood what she was talking about.

"Hmmmm… I wonder how that happened?" He reached behind himself and pulled the shirt up over his back and then removed it completely, tossing it onto the hamper in the corner.

In no time flat they were both naked and pressed into the shower wall, fumbling with the water handles. Feeling the heat, despite the slowly warming water, between them Gil remembered exactly how the mark on her neck had been created in a similar scene the morning before. There were simply times when just being near each other was enough to make him lose control. The only thing that saved him was his complete and total trust in Sara.

He had spent years worrying about those feelings of desperation when it came to her and, in the end, his worry had all been for naught. She was more than willing to hold onto him as he released that tightly held control on his passions. She was the rock upon which his entire foundation now rested, and that fact only made him love her all the more. He only wished he could share that fact with everyone, but for now, they still had each other. And that was far more than he ever thought possible.

His thoughts only drove him to worship her skin all the more as they did that special dance there under the water. His lips covered every scrap of skin they could reach, touching each freckle, each curve, each dip, exploring the area with the new feeling of her flesh pressed directly into his flesh.

He had almost forgotten there was flesh beneath those whiskers, behind his shield. His beard was more than pride or vanity; it was a physical boundary between him and the rest of the world. He had grown comfortable behind the barrier of his hearing, and once it was restored he needed something to help him keep his distance from the world; from Sara. It never really worked. Sara was much stronger than the hair on his chin, or any other obstacle he tried to place in her path. She had always possessed the keys to his heart, and merely waited until he let her near enough to use them.

Feeling her hand wrap around him, he knew the time for any further thought had passed. With the steaming water crashing down on them, he pressed his body to hers, and hers into the wall of the shower. She knew what was next, as she drew her left leg up the back of his calf, along his thigh and then rested it on his hip, giving him full and unrestricted access.

As his mouth continued to assault hers, his right hand trailed down her shoulder, along the outer edge of her breast, tickling over each rib, smoothing out over her waist, traced the edge of her hip to then dip inside to the junction of her thighs. Her breath hitched as he made that first exploratory prying of the folds, but he had to struggle with his grasp of her torso when his thumb found that delicate nub.

They were both quickly becoming breathless as they stroked one another into a heightened state of arousal: her slender fingers wrapped around his length, slowly pumping him into total hardness, while his thick fingers stroked and explored her folds, plunging in to test her readiness. As she began to clamp down on his fingers, he felt his own need become overpowering and he dropped both his hands to rest just below the swell of her ass. Lifting her higher along the shower wall, he felt her hand working to guide him into her center and they were instantaneously joined with a single thrust.

She gripped his shoulders as though her life depended on them and he buried his face into the crook of her neck as he began to move inside of her. His bare chin rubbed into the same space as the day before, but this time the friction was gone. He could only feel the heat of her flesh against his as he continued to hold her tightly while he thrust into her over and over.

Just as he was about to reach his peak, he felt her walls closing around him in rhythmic waves and he was not able to resist any longer as he went over the top. Their bodies worked together without conscious thought or action, but innately carried them through the climax as the water continued to cascade around them.

Eventually they made their way from the bathroom to the bed, and as they settled in for a well deserved, and desperately needed slumber Gil was overcome with curiosity regarding Sara's final opinion on the status of his face. When she nuzzled into the crook of his neck, he had to assume that she approved, but he still needed confirmation.

"Sara?"

"Mmmmm?"

"Have you ah, formulated an opinion on the ah, beard?" She giggled at his question, because it made him sound almost like a teenager.

"Honestly?"

He sighed at her question. "That would be why I asked."

"Well…" She sat up, pressing herself up from his chest so that she could see his face when she answered, "I'm good either way. They both have their…advantages." The lascivious glint in her eyes told him that there would be a return of the beard in the future.

She snuggled back down after stealing one last kiss, and then her own curiosity took over. "So, can I ask why you suddenly decided to shave? What happened?"

He drew in a deep breath, raising her up with him as he did and then sighed, "Sanders." He could feel her giggling against him, though she did a decent job of muffling the sound. "Little twerp came in telling anyone that would listen that you weren't using the scarves to cover hickeys, but whisker burn… Went on and on about the possible guys it could be." Her giggles were becoming uncontrolled and his blush was rising again. "It's not funny, Sara! Not when I heard the girls in reception saying something to the effect that you were probably just trying to hide from me because of the way I behaved the last time you were seeing someone. It wasn't right."

She managed to get control of her laughing to ask him, "What do you mean? It's not like it's another guy."

"That's not the point."

She knew without a doubt that he was pouting by that time, because she could now see the underside of his jaw moving. "Fine… Then I'll deal with it tomorrow."

She felt him tense beneath her and had to strain to keep from giving herself away. "What are you going to do?"

Her smile was broad and bright as she snuggled in closer and simply said, "You'll just have to wait and see," as she drifted off to sleep and many pleasant dreams.

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The guys were sitting in the break room waiting for their assignments when Nick finally looked at his watch and had to make a comment. "Man… It's almost shift time and I haven't seen Sara yet."

Greg smirked and said, "Probably got tangled up with her burly boyfriend again."

"Dude, you better keep a handle on that… She's liable to knock your block off for that crap when she finds out where it's comin' from."

"Nick's right, little man… Sara's not well known for puttin' up with gossip." Warrick's warning was falling on deaf ears.

Greg brushed off their warnings with a wave of his hand. "Oh come on, it's not like everyone hasn't been speculating about it for weeks."

"Speculating about what, Greg?" Sara was standing dangerously close to him as she asked.

Nick and Warrick grinned as the color completely left Greg's face. "Huh?"

She moved towards the counter to retrieve a cup for her tea. "Oh Warrick?" Sara appeared to be ignoring Greg entirely as she then headed for the microwave. "I'm having trouble with my gym, does yours have any openings?"

Warrick tried to follow the conversation for the sake of saving Greg's life, but he had a sneaking suspicion that it was only a futile effort. "Ah, well, they might, but it's a men's gym." He saw her scrunch up her brows and asked, "So, what's the beef with yours?"

The microwave beeped and she took her cup from it before turning around to say, "Cleaning… The place has a real problem cleaning up the equipment."

Nick decided to join in the fun, as Greg sat rail straight, hoping to further avoid Sara's wrath. "Ya know, Sar… Gym's are usually sweaty places. It's kinda why most people go there."

Warrick shook his head, because he figured Nick had no idea what she was talking about. "No, man… You gotta keep the mats and the bags clean or you get some nasty infections. Sara's been teaching that close combat class for the city." He turned back to Sara and said, "I can ask the owner if he knows of any other place. The guy runs a clean joint, and he's a big shot in fight circles, so I bet he's got somethin'. I'll check it out for you."

"Thanks, Warrick." She sat down at the table, stirring her mug one last time before bringing it to her mouth to blow off some of the steam. Then she looked pointedly at Greg when she said, "I'm getting really tired of finding new ways to deal with this stupid mat rash."

Warrick laughed at her comment, because he knew exactly what she was talking about. Greg, however, was intrigued. "What's mat rash?"

Warrick looked down and thinned his lips when he explained, "It's what you get from a place that doesn't keep up on the cleaning whenever you get a scrape from the mat, or the bags, or even the gloves." He looked over at Sara and asked, "I got some cream if yo-"

"No, I've got that… It's just keeping the stuff covered part that I keep running into trouble with." She put her mug down and then reached up to peel away the scarf she wore around her neck, exposing the angry red patch of skin along the crook of her neck. "I mean really, with my skin I can't use tape without making the whole thing worse." Greg's face went from white to bright red once he watched her replace the gauze pad and secure it back down with the scarf.

Warrick and Nick were both laughing as Sara sipped from her mug as Greg tried to recover from his embarrassment. But the real fun came when Grissom walked in with the assignments.

"Okay, we've got a slow night, so everyone work off the board…" He turned to stare directly at Greg when he added, "Except you, Greg… You seem to have a lot of extra time on your hands lately." He watched as Greg realized he had been nailed twice, "You've got an appointment with the supply closet."

There were smiles and laughter all around as Greg left the room with his shoulders slumped mumbling something about, "It was an honest mistake… Who would've gone with mat rash, anyway?"