Stating the rather obvious- I don't own it, but neither do you, and that keeps me from being depressed about it. I do claim Hermes though, and he's pretty cool.
Spoilers- The good stuff right now like LLV, a bit of Sweet Jane and a good sized helping of Redrum. Everyone's favorite plant makes an appearance, as well. Then I just made up a bunch of stuff, so if it happens...sweet!
A/N- I was sitting around thinking of something to write and the GSR light bulb inside my head got so bright it shattered…
-- Thanks TDCSI for the beta...sorry, Trudy, I just couldn't wait!
-- For Em who talked about "a good break from all the angsty stuff"…yeah right, Em, no such luck with me.
"To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge."- Benjamin Disraeli
On the first day he hadn't even waited. The plane wasn't even in the air, hell it wasn't even completely filled with passengers yet and he was already on the phone with her. He needed to be, to let her know it was okay.
They figured that letters would have been alright, but what sense was there in wasting the ink and the paper. They would just be on the phone as soon as the envelope hit their hands.
Calls were made every chance to the other. The only difference in the day was who got to the phone to call the other first- some sort of corny geek game they began playing, but they both loved it.
To Grissom and Sara, having the knowledge that there was actually someone out there in the world who, not only gave a shit about them but, actually loved them was the greatest knowledge that either of them possessed.
For Sara, more than half of her life had been spent hiding from God awful truths and painfully ignorant relationships with people it turns out she hadn't really known. She had tried to get Grissom to open his eyes for her. He ignored the efforts and she had nearly given up when he had finally come to her.
For Grissom, half of his life was already gone, but now, with Sara, it felt like nothing of the sort. At fifty, who was he to believe that something like what he had with her was possible. Before her, he thought he had found it in a couple of women when he was much younger, but those 'relationships' went bust. He had given up altogether, but with Sara, eventually gave in.
They began slowly and approached everything with certain caution. Both had very little experience with anything that came remotely close to a healthy relationship, so opportunities to screw this one up were often and pristine.
It was difficult not to step on each other's toes, but being together was still much easier than anticipated. Both needed, and got, the love, space and everything they thought was out of reach.
Grissom sucked at communication, though. Sara had known the man for almost a decade now, so she wasn't exactly oblivious to that fact, but when he sprung the sabbatical issue on her last minute, it came as a bit of a surprise.
It was a quiet night that both of them just so happened to have off thanks to Grissom, and it was being spent at home. There was obviously something on his mind, but Sara knew better than to prod; when Grissom was ready to spill, he would.
"Sara, we need to talk." came out quickly.
"Well, not to be cliché, but any conversation starting out like that can't be too fun," she joked.
"It's not going to be," he said seriously.
"I can't do it any more. I need a break."
"I…oh." Tears that she hadn't even known were in her eyes began to fall.
Worried, he said, "Don't cry. Why are you crying? I haven't even explained it yet."
"Explain what? You're breaking up with me, Grissom, what needs explaining?"
"What? I'm not breaking up with you, Sara!"
Wiping her tears, she asked, "What are you talking about?"
He got up and left the room. When he came back, he handed her his invite to teach at Williams College. "From work, Sara. I need a break from work."
"Is this because that guy killed himself? You're leaving us all behind because of that? We've all seen that type of stuff before."
"That was kind of the icing on the proverbial cake, yes. You know that I value your opinion, Sara, really, but I'm going to do this. I'm coming back in four weeks, though. I'll be back."
"I kind of figured that."
"Mad? No. Confused? A little. You say you need to do this, so go do it. I'll be here." She shrugged.
In all his years, that was quite possibly the best thing he'd ever heard before.
She didn't hate him, didn't want to kick him right where it counts and storm off never to see him or speak to him again.
Sara was going to be there waiting for him when he got back.
She might not fully understand the situation, but she understood him well enough to know that he wouldn't have made his decision without considering her at least a little bit. The decision was in his best interest.
The days up until his leaving were a little awkward though…
Every damn day in the mail there would be some fantastic offer for a couples cruise, some amazing getaway from the 'real world'. It seemed like every single show on television was about some serial killer or another, lovers torn apart for some damn reason, people getting married so that they could finally be together, or food (neither Grissom or Sara could cook to save their lives, so why torture themselves with the sight of such delectable perfection?)
Quick calls to Buffet City and a random book or magazine pulled from a shelf was their comfort. They ate in silence and would lie together on the couch pretending to read. Like either of them was paying attention to the reading.
"You done with this page?" Sara asked. She was their designated page turner since one of his hands held the magazine and the other held her.
"Uh, yeah." He had been staring down at her, storing away their image on the couch deep in his mind and was caught off guard by her question. "Yeah, go ahead. It's a good chapter so far."
"Really?" she loved that she caught him in a lie; like she had the slightest clue about it either.
"…I like it."
"It's a magazine, Grissom. There are no chapters." She smirked.
" 'Uh' nothing. You were staring at me weren't you? Stalker."
"You're laying here with me so it's not like I'm stalking you to stare at you. Besides, wouldn't it be more like Peeping Tom?"
"I guess so. Quit staring at me, though. You're freaking me out."
"I leave in two days."
"Gee thanks for that." She got up and headed towards another room.
He went after her. "I wasn't trying to upset you, Sara."
"Well, you did a shitty job!"
"But I do leave in two days. That's why I was staring at you…memorizing all I could. Locking away all the information I have about you."
She sighed, "Four weeks and you're right back here?"
"Not a second more," he promised.
Sara had never felt more like a complete bitch in her entire life.
He was leaving to try and get a grasp on his life again and she couldn't even tell him that she was going to miss him back?
Grissom looked so hurt when he left the locker room that night. All she had to do was let a minimum of two words fall from her mouth and she couldn't even do that.
Was it because she was mad that he was leaving or that he was leaving and she wasn't going with?
Was it because she couldn't exactly sit down with Nick or Greg or anyone for that matter and just let it all out when he was gone?
Could it have been because their entire last day at home she had never once brought herself to tell him that she loved him and he had never called her out on it?
It wasn't because she didn't love him. She did, with every ounce of her being she loved that man, but that morning, there was too much hate towards the world that was threatening to burn him out going on inside her for there to be room for love.
Their conversation that day at home was kept light for a reason. One slip of the tongue and Sara was going to lose it and Grissom wouldn't be leaving.
He had told her that he would leave regardless, but it wasn't true. If she would've just asked him, some nights he'd even wanted her to, he would've called the college and canceled his lectures in a heartbeat.
Sara knew that he would've stayed had she asked him to. His eyes had always betrayed him.
Using the gift of a plant as her guise, she had stayed in Vegas. Like a plant could've said enough to erase all of what had been done? Surely not, but Grissom's eyes said plenty.
Sara didn't know all, but she knew enough not to keep him there. He needed to go, as much as they both didn't want him to.
Their last actual conversation was to work out the details. What time he arrived, the time differences, what times would be best to call, who should call…They made lists of every possible thing, no matter how minuscule it might seem to someone else, it was written down. They determined that the knowledge was most important.
Of course they didn't stick to the list; it was Grissom and Sara after all.
The second he was seated on the plane he called her to tell her that, though it did hurt, he also kind of understood what had happened in the locker room. He needed her to know it was okay.
They fell into a comfortable conversation, more comfortable than the one at home that very morning. They talked long enough for Sara to get in trouble with Catherine (not that she could really give two shits less about being in trouble with Catherine) and Grissom was eventually being chided by a rather intimidating flight attendant to hang up.
Before they hung up, Sara made damn sure that Grissom heard her say that she loved him.
Their first few phone calls would have been sickening for an outsider to listen to. Sappy as hell, the calls would last for close to an hour and have nothing to do with the lab or the weather at the school.
They were like teenagers…really horny, sexually uneducated teenagers.
The second week the phone calls were…better. The conversations were leaning more towards the lab, the workers, school and the students.
"Overall, they are pretty intelligent. Some more than others… much more than others."
"Any…overachievers?" she asked in a teasing tone.
"Naturally, I have my share of flirts, yes."
That didn't bother Sara in the least bit. She trusted him completely. "Of course you do, Doctor Grissom."
"How is everyone at the lab?"
Sara took a deep breath, signaling the beginning of a long story. And it was.
"I'd have to see it to believe it. Though, I'm not sure I want to," he laughed.
"He'll shave it off by the time you get back."
"Why is he growing it back?"
"A 'surefire bet,'" she quoted in her best Warrick voice.
"And we were all so delighted at the thought of never seeing Nick with that horrid mustache again," he laughed.
"I'd gladly jump a cross country flight to hide from it." she laughed back.
He wasn't laughing anymore.
"Grissom...that's not what I meant." She sighed.
"Yeah, I know. Um…look it's late here. I should probably get to sleep."
"Yeah, sure…love you."
"Love you, too." And he hung up.
Sara glanced at the clock on the wall and quickly did the math. With the time difference, that made it 7:49 where he was…
Life was odd without Grissom around. There were no strong arms around her while she lay lazily on their couch or sleepily in their bed.
There was no consoling face to go along with his voice over the phone when shit at the lab was just that bit too much. Shit being that tool Keppler…'Who the hell was that guy anyways?' She thought.
It had taken her four times of ordering too much take out to remember that there was only one person in that house eating it. Grissom would get upset if he knew she'd wasted food.
Being at home, their home, alone sucked royally. Maybe she would ask him about a dog next time they talked.
Of course, life wasn't all sunshine, rainbows and dancing pygmies for Grissom either. He had gotten so used to falling asleep with her wrapped in his arms, the smell of her shampoo in his nose.
He could talk her through problems over the phone but that wasn't enough for him and he could tell it wasn't quite enough for her. Not being able to see her while he talked to her was a bitch.
He doubted she was eating very well without him there seeing as she never did before they got together. Of course he was really one to talk. His trashcan was filled with fast food containers. They really needed to learn how to cook…
"I want to get a dog," she said.
"Why?"he snorted out.
"I always order too much food for myself and, well…because it sucks around here."
"'How so?' Are you telling me it doesn't suck being there alone?" she asked angrily.
"Okay, get a dog. Just not a big one and…don't get too attached to it." He warned.
"Why the hell not?"
"I'm not a huge fan of them. I don't really want one when I come home."
"What if I don't want to get rid of it?"
"Sara, I don't want a dog."
"I do," she said.
"I'm here and you aren't! I'll get a damn dog if I want a dog! I'll go get the biggest son of a bitch they've got! A big ol' slobbery bastard!"
"Sara." He warned again, this time with a heavier tone in his voice.
"No! Like I said, I'm here alone and not you. I'm getting the dog. Go teach your class." she commanded.
She hung up. Just like that, no 'Love you' not even a 'Goodbye'. Over a dog?
About that 'never having felt like a bigger bitch before' thing… Well an hour later and she was on the phone with his answering machine trying to explain to him why she just bit his head off over a dog.
He never picked up that night, but the next day he called her before she left for work and told her to expect an overnighted package.
She had been expecting it like he told her to, but she wasn't expecting it at the lab.
It even had both of their names written on the outside of it. For all to see, and he obviously didn't care.
She was going to wait until she got home to open the box. Key word there being 'was'. Sara Sidle was not patient when it came to presents.
She couldn't help the smile that spread across her face. To anyone else it was just a shitty little cocoon on a twig, but Sara figured she knew what it meant.
It was more precious than anything he had given her in the entire length of time they had been together. For one thing, he had forgiven her. For another thing, we've all seen what beautiful things can come out of a shitty little cocoon on a twig.
Digging through the box got to her though.
No sentiment at all?
A stupid plant got a card but something of this magnitude warranted nothing? Had their conversation really stung him that badly?
Well, work would certainly be fun…
"So work was a bust again?"
"Of sorts, I don't really feel like talking about it," she said, trying to change the subject.
"Just ask, would you?"
He sighed heavily. "How is he?"
"He's a huge dog, Griss"
"I said not to get a big one, Sara."
"He isn't big. He's huge," she said as she laughed.
"Sara…you're in love with that mutt already aren't you?"
"Get rid of it," he ordered
"Do it now and it won't be hard on you."
"You know I value your opinion, Grissom," she mocked angrily "but I'm keeping the dog. Why the hell does it matter to you anyways? You aren't even here to deal with him so shut up about it!"
"That's about enough, Sara!"
"I'm not five, Grissom-"
"You sure as hell could have fooled me! Starting a fight over a dog?"
"Enjoy Williams." She slammed the phone down, scaring the giant Hermes, but he didn't run from her. He got up and moved closer to her, to comfort her…unlike some beings in her life.
That conversation was an entire week ago and neither had heard from the other since then.
Both believing that the other was in the wrong, there was no way in hell they would be the first to pick up the phone.
Sara went on with work, avoiding Catherine and that guy Keppler. Every night she would go home and her new buddy Hermes was there waiting anxiously for her return.
He never questioned her, never yelled at her, never doubted her or left her. Hermes was just there and he was quite the listener too when he had an order of spring rolls in him.
That stupid dog had a habit of bringing up Grissom, though. It certainly wasn't her guilty conscience that kept creating the sick feeling of regret that was rising in her throat...
Grissom went on with his life as well. He had more time to do some extra research for his class now that he wasn't busy being yelled at by Sara for no reason.
He would return every day to an empty room and noticed that the reality of being alone still wasn't too far in the back of his mind.
Grissom didn't have a Hermes to go home to. He had a folder full of papers to grade though and they would be enough.
He read the same page four times and not once did it make sense to him. All he could see out of the corner of his eye was the blue vase on his nightstand. It held six beautiful flowers, Sara's favorites.
He threw the folder across the room hitting the vase, shattering it and sending it in bits to the floor along with those flowers that his Sara, if she was still, loved so much.
He sat staring at the shards covering those handsome things and the guilt and regret started rising in his throat...
On opposite sides of the country, Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle were beating themselves up. And with damn good reason, too.
You couldn't have measured the time by which Grissom's fingers hitting the 'dial' button had beaten Sara's.
They both had a lot to talk about.
An entire week's worth of things to talk about…no matter how painful.
The knowledge of what she'd done would cause Grissom to resent ever giving her the chance. He had called it from the very beginning, from before there was a 'them'.
The knowledge of what he'd done would cause Sara to leave Las Vegas once and for all. No plant or cocoon, whole forest or entire species of butterfly could undo it.
"Hey," he said, unsure of anything else to say.
"How are you and Hermes?"
"I'm okay, he's fat. You?"
"Honestly, Sara? I've been better."
"Yeah, me too, I guess."
Small talk went on for the better part of an hour. They knew each other damn well and there was definitely something wrong. Neither could bring themselves to start the conversation that would surely end what they had together, whatever that was at the time.
They heard it in the other's voice, in the way they sighed and the way they faked a laugh. There was some recognition as to what the situation was- changed.
The call went on for another half an hour before Sara got called into work.
Both were incredibly relieved by it, they were off the hook for the night.
In the hour and a half that they talked, Sara hadn't managed to tell Grissom that after the fourth day of him not calling, when asked by the new deputy on a date, she had accepted the offer.
There was no way she would have been able to bring herself to tell him that the date hadn't ended with 'I had a nice time tonight.'
Grissom hadn't really paid attention to how long they had actually talked for, but he knew it had been ample time for him to have told Sara.
For him to have told Sara that on the third and fourth days of her not calling him, he had still been telling his beautiful brunette student 'no,' but by the fifth day, he had asked her out for coffee.
There was no way though, that for however long they were talking, that it would've been long enough to tell Sara how the date hadn't ended at her front door.
Would they ever eventually be able to tell each other what they had done, or would Grissom and Sara keep their knowledge of what they'd done to themselves and just let the other live in a sort of blissful ignorance?
I know it was different from my view in Back, but like I said, the light bulb shattered…
Perhaps your reviews can repair my light bulb...let's find out, shall we?
thegreatbluespoon—is beginning to wonder why the only serious stories that are coming to her mind are ones in which Grissom and Sara don't do so well…DOOM! –as she runs and cries for the future of GSR-