The characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

Spoilers: "Leaving Las Vegas"

Many thanks to Cincoflex for the ending of this one!


They were pretending to be normal, but Grissom knew it wasn't really working. Neither of them was saying anything, but somehow they kept finding excuses to touch each other, to make skin meet skin and stay.

This morning it had culminated in both he and Sara ending up on the couch, he facing the TV for an old film while she leaned against him and read. But he couldn't really concentrate, and he suspected that she couldn't either.

This was the last day, after all.

Finally Grissom shut off the movie in the middle of a scene and set down the remote, sighing.

Without looking up, Sara spoke. "Bored?"

Grissom shrugged. "I've seen it before." He glanced at the magazine she was reading, noting that it was one from his archives, June 2004.

"When I read that last, I was still trying to convince myself that this--" He touched her shoulder lightly. "--was impossible."

Sara tilted her head back to look at him. "So what changed your mind?"

Grissom looked down at the head resting against his hip, following the line of Sara's body past her shoulders, the magazine in her hands, and the long, long length of her legs, to her bare toes resting against the other end of the couch. "A lot of things."

Not the smallest of which had been the notion that Greg had seen more of her uncovered than Grissom had, but it was on the lower end of the scale. Far more urgent had been the realization that everything he wanted out of life was in danger of vanishing entirely--

"So tell me one thing." Sara closed the magazine and let it drop to her stomach.

Helpless and loving it, Grissom lowered his arm enough to brush a wisp of hair back out of her eyes. "Hmm…your laugh."

That gave her pause, and he watched her brows go up as she puzzled. "My laugh?"

"Yeah." Grissom cocked his head, memory surfacing. "It occurred to me one night--after far too much time, I might add--that I hadn't heard you laugh since you moved to Las Vegas."

Sara frowned, her brow wrinkling. "Of course I laugh. Did laugh. You know what I mean."

Grissom shook his head. "You chuckled. It's not the same thing. Sara, I realized that I hadn't heard that belly laugh of yours, the one that makes you sound like you escaped from the Looney Tunes, since San Francisco."

"Hey!" Sara twisted around, half onto his lap. "I do not sound like a cartoon." She poked playfully at his stomach, and Grissom jumped and grabbed for her wrists.

"Do too," he countered, and they spent a couple of noisy, giggling minutes fumbling around, Sara trying to poke him and Grissom trying to prevent her. Before long they rolled off the couch, landing on the floor with a thud, and Grissom was grateful that he was on the bottom of the drop.

"Oof," he said, more out of playfulness than because he was truly winded, and Sara propped herself up on her palms to look down at him.

"You okay?" Her forehead was crinkled again with concern, and Grissom yanked her down to him for a kiss that proved he was doing just fine.

Somewhere in the middle of it he rolled them over, letting his hands slide under Sara's tank top, feeling her shiver in pleasure as he did so. He lifted his head to look down at her, carefully placing his weight so as to pin her legs, and grinned.

And, as her expression shifted from bliss to question, he tickled her, right along her ribs where she was especially sensitive.

There was the laugh he'd missed, the helpless rapid-fire hoot that always made him want to laugh as well, the one that made her sound just slightly insane. He loved it with a passion, and kept tickling just to hear it.

Sara shrieked and laughed and bucked underneath him, finally managing to pull his shirt up and extract revenge. They wrestled across the floor with a complete loss of dignity, scattered words of protest lost to breathless laughter, and finally fetched up against one of the bookcases, panting, the struggle morphing into caresses.

Grissom finally propped himself up on one elbow, unable to keep the other hand from Sara's skin. He stroked the backs of his fingers down the side of her face, taking in her flushed cheeks and lambent eyes to preserve in memory for the dry times ahead.

"It's only four weeks," she told him softly, but he could feel her own apprehension.

"Yes." Grissom leaned forward and kissed her, very gently, a soft press of lips, then pulled back. "Come to bed."

They lay together under the sheets, silent, close; as sleep crept up on Sara, her eyes drifted closed and her head sank to Grissom's shoulder. He tightened his arm around her, pulling her that much closer.

"Gil," she mumbled, and he smiled at the ceiling, feeling his throat tighten.

"Yes, dear?"

It was a sleepy whisper. "Love your laugh too."

Grissom picked up her hand from his chest, and kissed her fingertips before replacing it and covering it with his own. He watched the light shift across the ceiling and listened to her breathe, not daring to sleep.

The time was too precious to waste.