I Cannot Believe this is Finally Happening

Chapter 1

(AN: This is a prequel to 'I Cannot Believe This Is Happening'. You do not need to read the other to understand this, but feel free to check it out anyway. Spoilers for 'Grave Danger'. Disclaimer: I do not own CSI)

The night had been so long and nearly impossible. She still could not believe everything that had happened. Nicky, they had very nearly lost him tonight, and now that thought was keeping her awake. She knew if she actually did fall asleep, the nightmares would wake her before long so she didn't even bother to try. Her only company was the brown bottle filled with the numbing cool liquid that felt so good as it made its way from her mouth, cooling her throat as it traveled down. She stared at the television not even paying attention to the program, just lost in her thoughts. Easily emptying the bottle, she left it on the coffee table and went to the kitchen for another.

Taking a long swig upon returning to the couch, she sat back down still lost in her thoughts. The light knocking on the door forced her back to the here and now, but it still took her a minute to realize what it was she was hearing. She grabbed her bottle and went to the door. Suspiciously, she opened the door after glancing through the peep hole. She just stood there staring at him, unsure what to say and curious about why he was standing there, dripping all over the entryway.

"Do you want to go for a walk?" He spoke first.

"It's raining," she said still not sure of what he was doing here.

"I know." He never took his eyes off of her.

"Why don't you come inside?" Sara stepped aside to let him pass by, but he didn't move.

"Because I need to walk." He sounded like a child pleading for his way, but then he softened. "Walk with me?"

She could see his mind racing behind his dulled blue eyes and thought for a second. Holding up her index finger, she turned back into her apartment. She was relieved she hadn't changed her clothes after work, but she needed to put her beer down and turn off the television. Sara then grabbed her keys and joined him at the door.

"You might want an umbrella." He offered.

"You're already soaked," she said matter-of-factly.

"But you're dry."

"I won't melt."

He gave her a small smile then turned and headed down the stairs.

They walked side-by-side for a few blocks. She still wasn't sure what was going on, but she figured maybe he needed the company today just as bad as she did. A few blocks later, and she couldn't take the silence any longer, "Do you want to talk about it Grissom?"

"Talk about what." They kept walking.

"About why we are walking in the rain," frustration shone in her voice.

He looked around, "Have you eaten?" He asked, effectively changing the subject, because he was still not ready to talk.

She just shook her head. He put his hand on the small of her back and guided her across the street to a diner. Before they sat down, Sara said "I'm going to find the bathroom and dry off a little."

"I think I'll do the same," and they both went off in search of a bathroom.

Before long, they were sitting in a booth sipping coffee, waiting on their order. "You ready to talk now." She was starting to get really concerned about him. She gently touched his hand that was sitting on the middle of the table. This was strange behavior, even for Grissom. She knew Nick's kidnapping had really affected him, but this seemed to be more than just that. He still had not answered, "Grissom?"

He stood up, and immediately she thought she had pushed too much, but then he did something she will never forget. He immediately lowered himself onto her bench, grabbed her face and kissed her with everything he had. She was so shocked she nearly forgot to enjoy herself, but then realized what was happening and eagerly returned the kiss.

A minute later they broke apart, remembering where they were. Sara nervously bit her lips, "Boy, the lengths you'll go to to avoid talking to me." She said more to herself than to him, but he heard her words.

He moved back to his seat, "I'm sorry; I didn't know how to say that."

She nodded, thinking to herself proceed with extreme caution. "I see."

"Sara,…I…well." He took a deep breath, and forced it out. "I went home today, and I couldn't stop thinking about everything…today…Nick…you." His eyes met hers on the last word. "I needed to see you, to be with you. I still don't know what to do about this thing between us, but I want to do something," he took another deep breath. "Just tell me that I'm not too late."

Their food appeared at that moment, and they began to eat in a strained silence, until Sara spoke, "You're not."

He looked up and smiled at her. She immediately returned his smile. They finished their food, but unsure of what else to say so they just remained silent. When the bill came, Grissom paid it and they headed back out to the street.

It had stopped raining so they didn't get soaked again on the walk back to Sara's place. A block later, they had fallen into comfortable conversation about their first meeting in San Francisco, about him calling her to help him in Las Vegas, about bugs, about bodies, about tourists, about local restaurants, about anything they could think of to keep the conversation between the two of them going strong. At some point in the middle of it all, Grissom took her hand in his. A shock of electricity shot through her, and she hoped he didn't let go anytime soon.

When they arrived at Sara's door, she got her wish as he was still holding her hand. "Would you like to come in?"

"I would, but I think we should take it slow for now."

"I think I can handle that." She was disappointed, but if Grissom wanted to take his time, that's what she was going to do.

"Well we are off for the next two nights, so can you handle dinner with me tonight?"

"I can handle that if you can." She said in her most sultry voice.

He smiled, "I'll be here to pick you up at seven. Dress casual and comfortable." He went to leave then turned to kiss her good-bye first. Then he was gone.

Sara walked in her apartment and locked the door. She made her way to the bathroom to shower before bed. Her thoughts kept drifting back to him, and she just kept reminding herself, Don't over analyze, just enjoy it and see where it goes. Keep your head and you won't get hurt. How she wished that were true, without even trying, he could hurt her and that scared her. She shook the thought from her head and after drying her hair, crawled into bed, wondering what tonight would bring.