RATING: M - Mature (for later chapter)
SPOILERS: Post Ep for "Gum Drops" through "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" (specifically relating to events in "Secrets & Flies")
SUMMARY: What was it that made Grissom finally see the light? Could it really have been so simple?
A/N: It would seem that a few people enjoyed that last chapter. And I have to admit, it was terribly fun to write as well. Thank you all for indulging me on my own little theory about how this CANON GSR! got started. I have greatly appreciated your kind and encouraging words throughout.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT: With much love to my ever faithful beta, thank you very much for feeding my addiction for writing fan fiction. And I am glad to have you "back in the saddle again." ;) Also, grateful thanks to my pinch hitting betas, even if I did seem to start a little tiff between them (at least I tried to keep it even with the requests :D ).
REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.
They had been working the O'Neill case for a couple of nights, and when they finished up that morning, neither one had enough energy to light a candle, let alone anything more strenuous than that. However, when they woke up early that afternoon it had been an entirely different story, and Sara was now taking her second shower of the day. But she was not about to complain about the reason.
As she stepped out of the shower, she wrapped herself up in one of the bath sheets Grissom had left out on the vanity for her. He had been the first one up from their second nap, so Sara had found an empty bed when the smells from the kitchen came wafting into Grissom's bedroom. The smile on her face came from a lot of things; the fact that she had woken up in Grissom's bed, that he was busy in the kitchen fixing them something to eat, that she was sleeping better than she could ever remember, and that for the first time in her life she was willing to just let things happen and not obsess over all the details.
She smiled again as she began to towel off her hair. This new phase of their relationship was barely a week old, but it felt right, to both of them. Sara seemed to rarely make it back to her apartment in all that time, and the one day she had been there it was with Grissom.
It was a completely unfamiliar concept to them both, and they both agreed to keep it to themselves while they worked it all out. Sara was worried about how they were going to interact at work, but so far they seemed to be doing well with the whole thing. Their working relationship had improved months ago, so no one seemed to even notice a difference as they worked cases. She suspected that there would come a time that one of them would slip up, but they could only hope that their friends and colleagues would welcome the change in their relationship.
Sara dropped the towel onto the vanity and grabbed the toothbrush that Grissom had bought for her the day before. She had finally taken her suitcase home, and when she found herself waking up at Grissom's once more, she was about to hop into her car to run home, in order to make it to work in time. However, Grissom had gotten up early and gone down to the drugstore to pick up a few things for her, including a toothbrush and the toothpaste she always used. She knew they were going to have to discuss the living arrangements at some point very soon, but for the time being she would just see how things panned out. She needed to make sure she kept even more extra clothes in her car until they sorted it all out.
Just as she had managed to work in the toothpaste and had a mouthful of minty foam, her whole body cringed with the sounds of banging coming through the walls of the bathroom. She poked her head outside of the bathroom door to find Grissom standing there with a hammer. On the floor all along the hallway were the butterfly cases he used for decoration. She tried to smile with a mouthful of toothpaste as she recalled that first trip down the hall towards the bathroom and the case that had managed to break on the way.
She swallowed the toothpaste in her mouth and asked, "Why did you take all the cases down? I thought we only broke the one."
Grissom turned to greet her with a broad smile. "That would be correct. Lepidoptera Nymphalidae."
Sara scanned her memory to recall the common name of the species he was referring to and then she said, "Brush-Footed Butterflies, several native only to California, right?"
He walked towards her and said, "Very good…" He then leaned in to plant a kiss on her lips. When he pulled away he smirked, "Hmmm… Minty."
She giggled at the look on his face as he went back to start picking up the cases two at a time. "But why are you taking them all down?"
"Well…" he called from the office where he disappeared with the cases and then came back out, "…they were part of a set, and since the set has been permanently altered, it doesn't feel right to keep up an incomplete set."
"What was the set?" Sara's face betrayed her confusion.
"Danidae, Hesperiidae, Lycaenidae, Megathymidae, Nymphalidae, Papilionidae, Pieridae, and Riodinidae specimens of a very elite grouping." Grissom was wearing that enigmatic grin on the corner of his mouth as he passed her with another armful of cases.
Sara tried to recall everything she knew about butterflies to piece together the connection between the families he had listed off, and then it hit her in an instant. "Those are all in California, aren't they?"
"Still the teacher's pet." He kissed her on the cheek as he came back for the last load of cases. "The Lepidoptera Nymphalidae case was crushed during our little trip down the hall, and two of the species were damaged beyond all hope; Nymphalis californica and Junonia coenia."
Sara's became pained as he told of the demise of some of his beloved butterfly collection. She knew he had spent a lifetime collecting the specimens that adorned the walls of his home. She tried to work out in her mind how she was going to be able to help him to replace the creatures, but she knew so little about the process.
When her eyes met his as he walked back into the hallway, she shied away for a moment and he reached out for Sara and took her into his arms. "Don't worry… The most important one is just fine. The others can be replaced without much trouble; just a trip to my mother's garden at the right time of year." He placed a final kiss on her forehead before he pulled away. "Besides, the most important case was completely untouched. Surprisingly, we didn't even bump it."
Her curiosity took over and she had to ask, "What case was that?"
Sara's brow became creased with his answer, because she could not understand what was so special about a case of common Whites and Sulfurs. "I don't get it, why is that one important?"
"Because I have the two most perfect, and largest specimens of Anthocharis sara sara ever recorded in that case." Her memory was failing her on the species name as she watched him measuring the spaces between the four remaining hangars. When he turned to see her pensive expression he chuckled and said, "Commonly known as the Sara Orange-Tip Butterfly." Once the realization dawned on her, the blush that rose in her cheeks made him laugh out loud. "Of course there's also the whole case of them in my office, but the best ones are in this one." He kissed her cheek again as he walked past her on his way into the bedroom.
Sara went back into the bathroom to return to brushing her teeth as she tried to compose herself after having learned a little more about Grissom. It had barely been more than a week since things got serious between them, but in that time Sara had quickly discovered that there were a multitude of things that had been staring her in the face for years which had betrayed his feelings for her and yet, no one ever saw them. Each time she learned of another clue, she worried less about their relationship being revealed to their co-workers, because it was obvious that Grissom was really good at hiding in plain sight.
As she finished up, Sara remembered that her clothes were still out in the car, so she called out to Grissom, "Hey, Gris… Can you grab my clothes from the c-" She stopped when she found him in the hallway hanging up the last of four frames that he had put in place of the cases. She stood there with her mouth hanging open, still wrapped up in the towel. "What are you doing?"
"What? Should I change the order?" Grissom stood back to inspect the lithographs he had just hung. "Hmmm… It is a little different than being on both sides of a window, isn't it?" He takes two of the frames down and then rearranged them on the wall. "There we go… Better?"
Sara simply shook her head and said, "Why did you take them out of the bedroom?"
Grissom sighed and thought about his answer for a moment, and then the corner of his mouth turned up into a grin as he said, "Well, I still want to see them, because they really are beautiful pieces and they were given to me by my mother-"
"Your mother gave them to you!" Sara was in total shock with that little fact.
"Well, yes… She saw how much I liked them when we were at the original show, so she arranged to get me a set of the lithographs when they were available. Mallett is an amazing artist, after all, and it made her happy to be able to share that with me." Grissom's explanation put Sara a little more at ease, but it still felt odd considering the circumstances. "Besides, it's not like I told her why they had intrigued me." He winked at her with that admission and she felt much better.
They both looked back at the wall to make certain it was exactly right. When Sara put her arm around Grissom's waist, they knew it was perfect. "Yes, and now I can have my own little private joke."
She turned her head to look at his face as she asked, "And what would that be?"
Sara could see that he was grinning, and obviously enjoyed the humor of the moment. When he spoke, she was floored again, "If you look at the pieces from the living room towards the bedroom, you'll see you as I have seen you. The first piece is titled, Mystique, then Énigmatique, followed by Poise, and then finally we have La Seductrice. When we first met, you were a mystery I wanted to solve. Once I got to know you, I spent most of my time confused and fascinated by your charms. Then I became impressed with your grace and poise after everything we had been through. And finally, I was defeated by everything you had to offer, and completely seduced by everything about you."
Sara turned her body to face him and said, "You know, if we didn't have to go to work… I'd show you exactly how I feel about this."
"If we didn't have to go to work right now…" Grissom held her tightly to him when he continued, "I wouldn't have bothered with hanging pictures." They exchanged a long and meaningful kiss as they held each other in the hallway. When they broke from the kiss, Grissom sucked in a lungful of air and added, "And if I don't get your clothes out of the car, we're both going to be very late for work." He looked down, and Sara realized that her towel had come loose and was only being held up by the pressing of their bodies. She reached down to hold the towel and Grissom reluctantly turned towards the front door.
Before long they were both dressed and ready for work. They exchanged one last kiss before getting into their own cars and leaving for the lab. Sara had planned to stop at her apartment on the way to get a fresh change of clothes, and to insure that they did not arrive at the lab together. They were still working the O'Neill case together, along with everyone else on Graves, but they had to maintain a certain amount of professional distance in order to continue to keep their relationship private.
When Sara got to the lab, she learned that Catherine had gone out with P.D. to check on a lead, so she went to Grissom's office to see if the report from Trace had come in yet. "Have we gotten anything on the ring, yet?" His head popped up at the sound of her voice and he gave her a smile when he found her leaning against his doorframe.
"Ah, not yet… Maybe we should go check on those in case Catherine has something for us from her lead." He closed the folder he had been looking at and got up from behind his desk to follow her to the Trace Lab.
Once they reached the lab they found Hodges looking into a reflective surface with a Sharpie in his hand and it looked as though he was using the black marker on the gray in his hair. They stopped to watch as the technician actually ran the marker through his hair, and they both exchanged amused looks before Grissom decided to interrupt the activity.
"Vanity, thy name is Hodges." Hodges took on a deer caught in the headlights look and quickly capped the marker to hide it from his visitors.
"This isn't what it looks like. I actually like my gray hair. The few that I have." He was acting like a guilty man under the spotlight as he fumbled through his explanation.
Sara smiled and softly said, "Hodges, don't you know that gray hair can be very attractive?"
Grissom stiffen his back and looked at Sara in complete disbelief that she had just said that to Hodges. The look that Hodges gave Sara led Grissom to believe that the man was trying to find more meaning in the words.
Sara smiled somewhat nervously and asked, "The ring?" She was anxious to move the focus off of her.
It obviously worked, because Hodges practically fell over himself to reengage in the conversation, and then nodded almost automatically as he responded, "The ring?" He shook himself out of his stupor and turned to get the results as he reported. "The ring… The ring was positive for GSR." He handed the results to Grissom and watched curiously as Sara read them over his shoulder.
"That means Lois could be the shooter."
Grissom tilted his head to the side and concluded, "I guess we'll have to bring her in."
They both walked out of the room, with Grissom headed straight for his office. Sara followed quickly behind him when she saw the raise of his eyebrow as they left the Trace Lab. Upon entering his office, he turned to her and asked, "Do you think you could try a little harder next time to let on what's happening?"
Sara was a little surprised by his sarcastic question. "Grissom… If we stop flirting altogether, that would be more suspicious than anything else we could do."
Instantly, he knew the wisdom of her words and he bowed his head before he said, "Fine… But could you at least not try so hard around Hodges? He's enough of an office gossip as it is, so it's not like we actually need to give him any real ammo."
Sara struggled to stifle her smile through her pursed lips. "Are you kidding? Anything we say in front of Hodges is free… After all, who's gonna believe a word that comes out of that little worm's mouth?"