Author's Notes: I knew it would happen, and it did. Tonight's new episode, "Leaving Las Vegas," left me with the incredible urge to write. This is what came out. It's not done, but I don't anticipate a long epic. Still I hope you enjoy it!
by Kristen Elizabeth
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest, they smiled like me and you,
But now it's come to distances and both of us must try,
Your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
After work, Sara went straight to her apartment, turning down an offer of a free breakfast from Greg. He was smiling when he asked, something he'd done a lot less of ever since he was handed a fat civil suit. Something had put him in a good mood.
She wished he would tell her what it was. Maybe it would help her, too.
When she entered her apartment, she was instantly reminded of how long it had been since she'd stopped by; she'd forgotten about a bowl of apples on her counter, and now they were mostly sour. She got rid of them quickly, and sprayed some air freshener.
Sara shed her jacket and kicked off her boots. There was an accumulated pile of catalogs and junk mail to sort through, but she just didn't have the energy.
The shift had been long and laborious for several reasons, not the least of which being the fact that the lab was abuzz with the news of Grissom's departure. Once Hodges had a piece of information in his slippery hands, it might as well have been featured on the six o'clock news.
She supposed she should be grateful for the man's big mouth. If not for him, she wouldn't have been prepared to say goodbye. She might have cried, or stomped her foot, or even begged Grissom not to go. As it was, she'd gotten all of that out of her system, and by the time he found her in the locker room, she'd been able to pull off a brilliant performance. She hadn't clung, but she hadn't pushed him away. She'd smiled, spoken when she needed to, and kept her mouth shut when saying anything more would have upset their delicate balance.
What more could he ask of her?
In the bedroom, Sara stripped and threw her work clothes in the empty hamper. The pipes hadn't been used in so long that they groaned in protest when she turned the shower on. As the water heated up, she examined herself in the mirror until steam clouded over her reflection.
The shower was scalding hot, just like she liked it. She let it pound her neck and shoulders until they ached. Only then did she lather up her hair and body. She made a mental note to buy more shampoo. Or to stop by his place to get the full bottle that she kept in his bathroom.
Dripping and shivering after she left the bathroom, Sara reached for a faded pair of Harvard sweatpants, an oversized T-shirt with bleach stains and a thick pair of woolen socks. Those clothes, not surprisingly, had never made it to his place. However most of her underwear drawer had. She was down to plain white cotton briefs and a few sports bras. She grabbed the first items she saw and got dressed.
While she was in the shower, the sun had fully risen. When she came back into the living room, she had to pull the blinds to block out some of the intense light. She wasn't hungry, but she knew she had to eat. Fortunately there were some protein bars in the cabinet. She made a breakfast of two of them, with a glass of water. As she ate standing up at the counter, she started a grocery list. Her kitchen would need some major re-stocking.
She'd just added "whole milk" to her list when the phone rang.
Sara lowered her pencil and watched the phone through three more rings. The caller ID screen told her everything she needed to know. Just before it was set to go to voicemail, she grabbed the receiver.
"How was your flight?" she asked, skipping the unnecessary formalities.
"Long," Grissom replied. "I slept through most of it."
She nodded even though he couldn't see it. "Well. I'm glad you got there safely."
"Yeah." He was quiet for so long, she was afraid he might have hung up, having said all that he needed to. "Sara…I want to apologize…" He stopped and tried again. "I should have been the one to tell you…" Another second passed before he finished with, "I'm sorry."
Sara crossed her arm over her stomach. "I found out from Hodges."
"I know." She thought she could hear him swallow. "I'm not good at confrontation."
"I would have understood. You underestimated me." She let him chew on that for a moment. "Apology accepted."
Grissom let out a breath that she could almost feel in her ear. "It's snowing here," he eventually said.
Sara smiled. "I miss snow."
"Maybe you could come see it."
If he hadn't put the idea out there with such caution, she might have dismissed it as something he felt required to suggest. But there was something in the way he said it that told her he'd put thought into it.
Sara looked down at her socks, blinking rapidly. "I don't know what I should say to that. On the one hand, you're asking me exactly what I want you to. But on the other…"
"What, Sara?" Grissom gently urged her to go on.
"You left. And maybe it really is just that you needed some time off. But I don't know that for sure. So in my mind, I've come up with all these...other reasons. And most of them have to do with you needing space away from me."
"I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you that I'd love nothing better than to fly out there every weekend. Or if I'm supposed to politely decline and stay here, letting you have whatever time and space you need. I didn't even know if you were going to call me to tell me you got there. I thought the locker room was it. And I would have been okay with that, Grissom. I would have. Because even though it hurts…it really, really hurts…I don't want to hold onto you too tightly. I mean…you didn't even kiss me goodbye."
"Do you think I could have kissed you tonight and still gotten in that cab?" Grissom was quiet for a minute. "I should have considered your feelings a little more before I asked what I did."
Sara shook her head. "Just tell me what the rules are. I'm very good at following rules. You know…when they're worth following."
His chuckle was faint. "There are no rules. I'll email you my class schedule, but you call me when you need to call me." He paused. "Can I call you when I need to?"
She licked her lip and tasted salt. "Yeah. Of course."
Another few second slipped by. The conversation was over, but neither one of them wanted to hang up. Finally, Sara worked up the courage. "I should get some sleep."
"Right," Grissom said. "Well. I guess I'll talk to you soon."
"You will," Sara assured him. "Everything else…we'll play by ear."
There was a soft click on the other end; it was awhile before Sara replaced the receiver in the phone cradle.
She wandered to the couch with the last half of her protein bar. Curling up with some throw pillows, she turned on the TV. Morning talk shows put her to sleep without fail.
Lying on her side, the extra paunch around her middle that he still hadn't noticed was even more visible. Sara put her hand against it as if to reconfirm that it was actually there. That she hadn't dreamed the results of the home test.
"It's just going to be you and me for awhile," she said to the tiny life growing inside of her. "But it's only four weeks. When he's home, we'll tell him." Sara sighed. "And hope he doesn't hop the next flight back to Massachusetts."
To Be Continued
A/N: I'm sorry if you're over the whole pregnancy thing, but dude...watch that locker room scene again. She can hide behind her jacket as much as she wants, but freeze the screen when she's standing in profile...I'm just saying. Girl's got bump.
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