Author's Notes: Just a little something I wrote while I was being held hostage in my room as my roommate moved out. Thanks to Alison and Lisa for being my betas. And thanks for taking a few minutes to stop by:)
To the Naked Eye
by Kristen Elizabeth
My baby's got a secret. -- Madonna
She was almost afraid to go into work that night. Maybe it would be written all over her face, like some invisible sign that everyone would instantly recognize. They were investigators, after all. Trained to pick up on details and nuances. Slight changes. And this change was about as big as they got.
Would they all know? Would she care if they did?
"Hey Sara!" Greg called out to her from across the dark parking lot. "Wait up! I gotta ask you something!"
For a moment, she froze. Unlike the others who would torture her with practiced subtlety, Greg was much more likely to come right out and bombard her with questions if he even so much as suspected something was off with her.
"I was just heading inside," she said pointing to the building. It was a totally unnecessary comment, but it was all she could think to say.
He didn't seem to notice. "I'll walk you in." Without waiting for her permission, he slung his arm over her shoulders. "Okay, so I've got this little problem."
She wasn't thrilled about his too-close proximity, but she was determined to play it cool. "I'm not sure I need to hear about your little anything, Greg."
"Well, little is relative," he quipped back. "I have this friend, you see. And this friend has just started dating this guy. And I think it's getting serious. Like, sleeping-over serious..."
"What's your question, Greg?" Sara abruptly cut him off
He sighed dramatically. "Fine, I can't keep up this charade." There was a long pause during which Sara could have kicked him. "My friend's name is Lana. I'm the guy she's dating. And I want next Friday night off so I can let her fix me dinner, and hopefully put me to bed afterwards." He jumped ahead of her and dropped down to one knee, desperately grasping her hand. "Trade nights off with me next week?"
Sara closed her eyes for a second. Assured of his complete cluelessness, she would have agreed to just about anything.
After placating Greg, Sara let him run ahead to the locker room while she paused at the front desk.
"Judy," she greeted their receptionist. "Any messages for me? Or the team in general?"
"No," the shorter woman replied. "Are you expecting a call?"
She wanted to say yes. But she wasn't sure how to tell Judy that she needed to make sure a certain entomologist hadn't called in sick that night to avoid her. "Not really. Thanks, though."
As she turned to go, she found her path blocked by a tall frame and a pair of perfectly muscled shoulders.
Warrick gave her a strange smile when she looked up at him, her brow crinkled with impatience. "Sara, you're….what? Five eight? Eight and a half?"
"Nine," she replied, suspiciously. "Why?"
"Perfect." He was a little more hesitant than Greg had been about placing his arm around her shoulders, but he still did it, guiding her towards the layout room. "My suspect's about your height and build. Nick doesn't think she could have pinned down her husband while her boyfriend force fed him cocaine." In the layout room, Nick was waiting for them.
"Warrick wants you to prove me wrong, Sara," he finished up. He gestured to Warrick, who got down on the ground. "Go for it."
With a heavy sigh, Sara let her bag drop at to the floor. "You know, I'm technically not even on duty for another five minutes."
On his back, Warrick gestured to her to get on top of him. "Take one for the team, Sidle."
It was more than a bit awkward to straddle her co-worker in the middle of the lab, but Sara gingerly situated herself on his muscled stomach, holding his arms down at his sides with her knees.
"You've wanted to do this before, haven't you?" Nick teased her.
She glared at him. "Your vic would have been fighting at this point, wouldn't he?"
Nick looked at Warrick, who nodded and began to twist his body, trying to throw her off. Sara held on, although it took every bit of her strength to do it.
Several co-workers walked by as they struggled, and she found herself on the receiving end of some very jealous looks from a few female lab techs.
Warrick laughed as he continued to try to buck her off. Eventually, realizing that she couldn't be budged, he gave up. "All right. I get it, girl. You're hiding some muscle in that skinny body." He pointed to Nick. "And she didn't even have a million dollar life insurance policy motivating her."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Nick grasped Sara's waist to help her to her feet. "Thanks for nothing, Sar."
"We're all slaves to the evidence, Nick," she replied. Her worry had all but dissipated. They might have been trained investigators, but as far as her personal life was concerned, they were just your average oblivious men. "Glad I could help." Picking up her bag, she left them to argue the truths their experiment had presented.
Five minutes later, Sara examined her reflection in the mirror that hung on the inside of her locker door. She wasn't sure what she was looking for exactly. She'd passed three major tests…named Greg, Nick and Warrick…so it was highly unlikely anything showed in her face.
She smiled at herself. Having a secret made for just as good of a high as smoking a joint had back in college. When she stopped to think about it, she felt lightheaded. Dizzy with the joy of it all.
Sara shrugged out of her jacket. She was just about to hang it up inside her locker when she felt a warm body silently slide up behind her. Rather than be alarmed, every nerve she possessed instantly tingled with recollection and anticipation.
"You know," Grissom began, his breath rousing the hairs on the back of her neck. "Since I pulled into the parking lot a mere fifteen minutes ago, I have watched every single male member of my team manhandle you in some way."
A thrill ran up her spine at his possessive tone. "Don't leave out Greg getting down on one knee."
"Oh, trust me…" He pulled her hair to one side in order to plant a kiss on the side of her throat. "If a decomp comes in tonight, he'll be on it."
Sara closed her eyes at the delicious brush of his lips over her flesh. "Someone could walk in…" she whispered.
He stepped back because he had to, not because he wanted to, and knowing that made Sara want to forget the fact that they had a secret to keep, and have her way with him right there in the middle of the locker room.
She felt him watching her from the other side of the room as she stowed her bag. "Are you okay?" he asked a moment later.
"I'm fine." She gave him a little smirk. "You?"
"Never better." He glanced at the door before he went on. "I meant…are you okay with…um…everything?"
Sara closed her locker door and faced him. "It's what I imagine getting glasses must be like. Seeing the world you've always seen, only now you see so much more."
"Yeah," he nodded. "That's exactly what it's like."
"It changes everything, though. Doesn't it?"
Grissom kept nodding. "In a good way," he quickly added, like he was worried his non-verbal response would confuse her. "It's a change we needed."
"I'm really glad to hear you say that," she said with a soft smile. "Am I paranoid to think that everyone will know just by looking at me?"
"Well, if you are, you're not alone in your paranoia. I'm supposed to be at PD later, and I'm dreading having to talk to Jim." He paused. "Don't worry honey. You look the same to me." They heard voices in the hall, so his final word was quick and quiet. "Beautiful."
Catherine entered the locker room, balancing her oversized, and likely overpriced, shoulder bag, her cell phone, her car keys, and what looked like a venti latte. By the time she glanced up from her load, Grissom was busy donning his crime scene vest, and Sara was untying and retying her boot lace.
"Hey, guys," Catherine said, dropping her things onto the bench that ran between the rows. "I can't believe I'm here on time. Traffic was a nightmare." She twisted her locker's dial. "I had to take Lindsey shopping earlier today for a dress. Her first formal dance, and she got the one guy in her class who isn't being bred for the Ivy League to take her." With one hard yank, she pulled the metal door open. "Like mother, like daughter, I guess. We always go for the least likeliest to succeed."
Somewhere in the middle of Catherine's monologue, Grissom made a stealthy, silent exit. She didn't even notice as she kept chattering about how her bad luck with the opposite sex was probably genetic.
When she paused for a breath, Sara asked, "Is he at least cute? Lindsey's date?"
Shaking her hair out of her eyes, Catherine looked up at her for the first time since she'd entered the room. Her eyes narrowed after a second of studying her younger co-worker.
Sara frowned, suddenly uncomfortable. "What?"
"You had sex today, didn't you?"