Title: The Hand that Holds the Gun

Author: fanofkdc

Summary: Grissom is suspended for shooting a suspect

Rating: T, for the moment.

Disclaimer: Yeah, yeah, you can have 'em back when I'm finished ...

It was only supposed to be a normal day at work. Sara had been reading a book and sipping coffee in the break-room, Catherine had been racing to get in on time after having (yet another) row with Lindsay, over the issue of whether of not Lindsay could wear make-up to school. Warrick had reluctantly left his marital bed, and Nick was smiling to himself as he thought about the previous day's 'conquest.' And Grissom was late to assignments.

"Hey, what's with you, boss?" Nick commented, extracting himself from his pleasant memories.

Grissom's disdainful look said it all. He returned his eyes to the assignment slips in his hand. "Warrick, Nick, DB in Henderson," were his first words, and he gaze the two men a cursory glance.

"Oh, hey, does anyone know where Greg is tonight?" Warrick said, patting his pockets, subconsciously checking his phone was there.

"He's doing a favour for Ecklie," came Sara's voice from the far corner of the room. She purposefully avoided looking at Grissom when she said this, not that anyone else had noticed.

Nick gave a knowing smile. "Ah, he's Ecklie's bitch now," he remarked, earning a stern glance from Grissom.

"Henderson. Now." He waited for them to leave the room, then commenced with the cases. "Catherine, you've got a solo by Lake Mead. Sara, you're with me."

Sara inwardly winced, wishing, for once, that she were doing the solo. "Can I trade with Catherine?" she asked, despising the fact she probably sounded like a wheedling schoolgirl.

"Do I need to remind you that the assignments are non-negotiable?"

Catherine froze mid-reaching out for the assignment slip, mouth partly open, eyes darting between Grissom and Sara. "I take it that means I'm still out at Lake Mead?" she asked tentatively.

Grissom shot her a look, and she quickly departed. "I would prefer it if you didn't continuously attempt to usurp my authority," Grissom stated when it was just him and Sara left in the room. He received a laconic shrug for his efforts. "I really think we need to discuss what happened last night," he said.

"Not at work. I gotta go get my kit. Mmeet me at the car in five minutes," she said, quickly changing the subject.

Grissom knew he shouldn't try to force the issue; Sara wouldn't talk about personal issues at work. He realised they would have to talk, but knowing her, she would most likely scoot off at the end of shift, back to her apartment, and either shout a ton of abuse through her front door, or call the cops if he followed her.

What he had done to deserve this, he didn't know ... well, he did, but all he wanted was a chance to explain himself. And having never been in this particular boat with her, he wasn't quite expecting that people didn't ever really get a chance to explain themselves to Sara Sidle.

As he sat in his car, Grissom tried to hide all visible nuances of emotion from his face - Sara was making her way over. It was a feat not hard to accomplish - he was, after all, the Ice King. From the look on her face, if he was the Ice King, then she was the Ice Queen. How ironic.

"So, what's the case?" Sara settled herself into the passenger side, and stared out of the windshield.

"B and E." Grissom answered abruptly.€

"Why do you need two people to attend to a B and E? I'm sure Catherine could do with a hand on her Lake Mead case."

"I'm sure Catherine can handle herself perfectly fine," Grissom deadpanned back, keeping his eyes on the road.

"That's what I'm concerned about. She can handle herself too well." The small moment of humour lightened the mood in the car tangibly, if only for a moment, then the atmosphere re-darkened . Sara thought for a moment, then spoke. "Or is this some kind of ploy?" Her eyes narrowed, and she reached for the door handle, pulling it open.

Grissom braked the car to a stop, thankful that there were no other cars around. "What the hell are you doing?" he yelled.

Sara raised an eyebrow. "You are not putting me on a case with you just so you can try and talk over things with me. I'm hitching a lift back to the lab to help Greg."

Grissom's mouth opened and closed soundlessly, like a fish. "Sara ... I-I-I-"

"No." The word was said adamantly. "This is not being brought into work. What did we say? Personal does not interfere with professional." She turned her back to him, and began to stalk rapidly from the car.

Grissom was briefly left fighting for words. Then his faculties caught up with him, and he reversed back down the road, caching up with Sara.

"Just leave it, and go and do your job," she spat before he could even open his mouth.

"Are you coming home tonight?" was all he could ask.

"No. I took my things back to mine this morning."

"Sara ... can't we at least talk about this? Please? Please, just come back, meet me somewhere after shift, and we can talk about. I'm not angry with you," he wheedled.

"I don't think we can," she replied, closing her lips firmly. "What right have you to be angry with me? I'm not the one who lied."

"I'm not the one who was being evasive."

"Yeah, well, like I said, just go and do your case. My resignation can be on your desk tomorrow after shift. And if you don't accept it, you know what I'll do." With that, her long legs carried her off in the direction of the lab.

By the time Grissom arrived to the B and E, he was seething. He ignored Brass completely, and burnt a path into the ground from his car to the house.

"Woah, woah," Brass murmured as his friend brushed past him abruptly. "Is everything okay?"

"Just give me the details, Jim," he snapped.

Brass knew better than to argue with Gil, or press for information, so he just filled him in on what had happened. A couple had heard noises in the night, woke up, found their downstairs trashed, and no sign of the intruder.

Grissom shrugged, and lugged his kit into the house.

Halfway through humming the 'Dies Irae' of Verdi's Requiem, about five minutes into processing the house, Grissom heard shuffling. He was standing in front of the smashed television cabinet, looking at some unusual fibres. His head snapped up at the sound. He looked around the room, focusing in particular on a solid oak cabinet over the far side of the room. There were no police officers in the near vicinity, and Brass had told him that the house had been cleared.

In a split second, three things happened - the doors to the solid oak cabinet burst open, a figure leaped out of the cabinet, and Grissom reached for his gun. Before he even had time to register, his finger tightened on the trigger, and squeezed - pop! pop! pop!