A/N: I stumbled across some old episode clips on YouTube the other night, and this idea clobbered me over the head and wouldn't let go. Eh—writing is more fun than studying for finals anyway.
Quote at the beginning of the story, which was the inspiration for the entire thing, is from Toe Tags. This is also un-beta'd, so any mistakes are all mine.
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"You know what this reminds me of? The time we first met. San Francisco. Your lecture. Double murder in a garage. I'd heard you were a little dull as a speaker, but you can't rely on your first blush. That was the, uh, the subject of your talk."
"I believe that I said, 'First opinions are crucial, but if the evidence changes, so must the theory.'"
It was amazing how Sara could take what he said and put it in simpler, more succinct terms. Catherine could do it at times, but Sara…Sara had it down to a science.
He told her of his unanswered whys when she first came to Vegas, and somehow she knew that he was saying "Hello" and "It's good to see you" and "I've missed you" all at once, smiling brilliantly at him and then diving headfirst into the action.
She knew that "The lab needs you" was really "I need you," even if he didn't know it yet himself, but it wasn't enough, and she turned and left his office.
It was easy for her to recognize that his name, printed on the simple cardstock attached to a stunning orchid, was actually saying "Catherine made me do this, but I really am sorry," and this time it was enough. Her lips quirked into a half smile as she met his gaze through the door of his office and slowly, deliberately, nodded. Apology accepted.
When he said "I don't know what to do about…this" as they stood in his doorway, all she could hear was "I do know what to do, but I'm scared, Sara," and all she could do was let him know she couldn't wait forever.
She could even read his silences. Although he said nothing when she started crying after revealing her parents' abusive relationship, she could hear the words in her mind as his thumb stroked soothingly over her knuckles. "I'm trying, Sara. I really am. Please give me just a little more time."
So when she read the letter he'd written during his sabbatical, full of Shakespearean sonnets and eloquent turns of phrase, she knew exactly what he was trying to say. She leaned over on the bed and kissed him, briefly but soundly, smiling when she pulled away.
"I love you too."