Grissom sat on the stool in front of his kitchen counter fingering the slip of paper Terri Miller had tacked on his cork board. He'd never been so rattled by a woman before and never had any woman pinpoint what he would like, what he could do, or what he wanted to hear or see like she had done. She had completely and flawlessly dissected his personality and pieced it together as easily as if it had been a broken human skeleton. It was true that Terri was a gifted scientist, and an anthropologist at that. It was her job to read people, to learn from their habits and behaviors, to study their mannerisms and deficits in order to piece together the puzzle of the society as a whole. Still, Terri had pinned him like a thumb tack to a butterfly's wing. Not even Sara had done that.
Sara was good at reading him. She knew him well, his body language, his soft spots, his triggers, but she didn't shake him, at least not he way Terri did. There was something nice about feeling so out of control, like he could change courses and not leave anyone behind him spinning on their ear. It would be nice to be able to relinquish that control for a while.
Grissom heard the door open and close signaling Sara's arrival. He put the phone number down next to his mug and called out a greeting. "Hey, Sara. You're late."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "I know. PD took forever with the paperwork. I cannot imagine it being any worse if we actually had to charge the officer." She stowed her kit and closed the gap between them putting her arms around his neck, "I heard about what happened with you and Nick tonight. Are you okay?"
Grissom held her tightly and smiled against her hair at her concern, "I'm fine. We are both fine."
They both stepped back at the same moment, neither one sure what to do. They hadn't spent a lot of time alone outside of work since their relationship evolved. Grissom was not sure what it all meant, and neither was Sara. They both admitted nothing would ever be as it had been but neither knew what it may become.
"I'm glad," Sara smiled as her eyes fell on the paper lying on the counter. "What is this?" she asked.
"It is a phone number," he answered.
Sara picked up the slip, "Terri Miller? Isn't she that forensic artist you called in for the skeleton?"
"Yes, she is. She does very nice work," said Grissom moving around the counter to grab a bottle of water out of the refrigerator.
"Apparently, but Gris, her number and other information is on file at the lab. Why would she need to give you a contact number?" Sara asked. She had been wondering about their encounter for two weeks and what it would mean for their relationship. Did it, as she hoped, turn their friendship into romance? Or was it, as she suspected, another form of psychological diversion? Now was her perfect chance to find out the answer.
"It's a private contact number, Sara," Grissom replied. "I believe she meant it for personal use."
Sara slowly nodded, feeling her heart crack in two. "I see." She cleared her throat surprised by the depth of emotional she was feeling at his response, "And do you…Do you plan on using it?"
"I don't know," he answered honestly. "I may."
Another careful nod, "You should. You work hard. You deserve a social life outside of CSI."
Grissom could see Sara was playing it up for his sake, not wanting to commit either way to revealing how she felt or what she wanted from or with him. She did not even mention what had occurred between them. She left that up to him, more than likely, he guessed, knowing he was nearly incapable of accurately speaking his feelings about it. "Sara, about what happened between us," he began.
"It's okay, Gil," she assured him. "Really it is. We both need that connection that night, the feel of another person and we gave that to each other. It's fine."
Grissom wasn't sure how he felt about her position, but she was the reason he'd stayed distant all along, for her happiness. If a relationship was not hat she wanted, he would not force her. He was so much older and she deserved to make a life, make a family, whatever she wanted with someone who could and would be around for her entire life, not just the next 25 years or so. A commitment had to be her call, a relationship had to be her choice, and it did not seem to be what she wanted.
"It's was very special to me, Sara," he admitted. "I…"
Sara closed the physical space between them and took Grissom's hands in hers. "To me, too. But you have doubts about it and so do I. You can't start anything with doubts before finishing it at the same time."
"What doubts…" Grissom began, feeling completely unsteady given her proximity and the intensity of the discussion.
"Same as you," she answered. "It would affect our work, our other relationships, and for what…We don't need to dissect it. We both know the reasons we can never be more to each other than what we have all ready been."
She left him with that retreating to the safety of her bedroom where she could grieve the loss of her dream in peace. Grissom stared after her his mind spinning? Sara was making this easy on him and Grissom knew that. She knew him well enough to know the though of a serious and emotional connection terrified him almost as much as the thought of breaking her heart did. Still, the question remained did Sara really feel that way or did she only believer that he did. Grissom was too tired to try and answer that question. For now, he'd do as he always did when it came to Sara, leave well enough alone, go to his room, and sleep.