Ginger Ale, Soda Crackers, and a Red Mustang

AN: This is an impromptu challenge from bellaelle52 at YTDAW. She was looking for a fic that dealt with the crime scene involving the red mustang and the "arm sex" that occurred in public. This is just a very short insomnia induced one-shot. Disclaimer: I don't own CSI.


Sara lay curled up in the fetal position, hugging her knees to her chest. The sheets felt cool against her clammy flesh, and the fluffy pillow supported her heavy head. Every breath was a challenge; the fear of being sick again accompanied each exhale. A cool, soft cloth was gently draped over her forehead as she attempted a smile in place of the thank you she knew she couldn't muster at that moment.

Gil sat down carefully next to her as he placed the damp washcloth over his soul mate's forehead, softly asking "How you doing?"

She barely managed a shrug before flying out of bed and sprinting for the bathroom yet again. He was there almost immediately carefully pulling loose strands of hair away from her face. She had already given up everything she had eaten and now she was pretty much just going through the motions. He felt so bad for her. He knew that for Sara being sick was bad enough, but she really hated throwing up. The sounds of her body betraying her broke his heart, and guilt washed over him. This was all his fault; he did this to her, and what was worse was he got off scot-free. Well, except for the pain he felt while watching her suffer.

Once she calmed and was able to rinse her mouth and splash cold water on her face, he helped her back to bed. Holding the covers up for her, he felt even more ashamed. As sick as she was, he still found her to be the most attractive woman he'd ever met: Mind, body, and soul. God help him he was having impure thoughts about her in this condition, nauseous and sweaty wearing only a pair of panties and a tight white tank top that he could see right through. He mentally slapped himself as she climbed into bed and he nestled the covers around her.

Her breathing was ragged, like someone who had expelled all of their energy and now their body was forced to fight for each and every breath. He walked around the bed and crawled in next to her, wrapping his body around hers. He softly stroked her hair until her breathing evened out and he was positive she had fallen asleep.

There were a few more episodes during the night, but by morning Sara was feeling much better but very weak. She wasn't ready for anything too heavy, so she settled on saltines and ginger ale for breakfast.

As badly as Grissom wanted eggs, he didn't think Sara could even handle seeing them that morning so he settled on a toasted bagel with jam.

They ate in silence for a bit. Sara nibbled on her crackers as Grissom chewed his bagel, until she broke the quiet, "Gil?"

"Hm," he responded with his mouth partially full.

"What did you tell them when you called in last night?"

He took a quick sip of coffee before swallowing the bite of bagel in his mouth. "That I wasn't feeling well and needed to take the night off."

"That's it?"

"Yeah, why?"

"I was just wondering. I'm surprised they didn't try to call me to cover since it was my night off." Sara took a small sip of ginger ale and then glanced at the man across the table from her.

He met her eyes and, "Catherine was going to, but I mentioned that once again you had too much overtime so she couldn't."

Not quite understanding Sara said, "Gil, I hardly have any overtime this month."

He stood and walked around the table, placing a hand on her right shoulder, and leaning down to whisper in her left ear, "You know that and I know that, but Catherine doesn't know that." He kissed her on the cheek as the fingers from her left hand grazed the top of his right hand, and she leaned into his body.

Sara took it easy the rest of the day, sleeping an hour or so here and there. She had a few waves of nausea, but by the end of the day was even able to keep down some rice and toast.

"You know, you don't have to come in?" Grissom's eyes were laced with concern for her as he watched her get dressed for their shift.

"I know, but I really am feeling much better." When his eyes did not leave her, she walked into his embrace. "Besides, my boss is a softy. If I start to feel worse he'll send me home, hell he may even offer to drive me." She gave him a soft kiss, which made him relax a bit.

"Just don't spread the word about this boss of yours," he squinted his eyes at her. "The last thing we need is everybody wanting the night off and rides home."

Most of the night was uneventful, for which Sara was grateful. Normally she hated catching up on paperwork, but tonight it meant very little energy expended on her part. That is until the call about a multi-vehicle accident came in, and Grissom reluctantly pulled her from the files that needed her attention.

They started their work under the cover of darkness, but by the time the last victim was extricated, dawn had arrived. Three of the four cars were dark colored and family-type vehicles, but thankfully no children were involved in this accident. The other car stood out. It was a bright red seemingly brand new mustang. It looked oddly out of place among the other vehicles involved. Sara snapped a number of pictures on their arrival, but now with the natural light, she began taking even more. She draped the camera's strap over her shoulder and made notes on the evidence collected.

Sara worked diligently, even though she could feel the energy drain from her body. She pushed through, it was what she always did, and that was not going to stop today.

Gil noticed his one time student who had become so much more become pale as the morning continued. He stole a moment when he didn't think anyone was within earshot, "How you holding up?"

His concern was touching; she gave a small smile before taking a deep breath. She went to say something, but the words were lost to Gil as he took a good look at her pale skin and sunken eyes which spoke volumes. "Let me get this," he said as he removed the strap from her shoulder, gently caressing her arm as he did so. Their eyes locked for a moment before they returned to the tasks at hand.

Once the scene was released, they both climbed into the department issued SUV. Rarely did Sara go to the passenger seat without a fight, so Gil knew she was exhausted. "I'll take care of logging the evidence in when we get back to the lab; you go home and get some rest. If anyone asks will use the too much overtime excuse again."

He waited for a response but when none came, he turned and saw her sound asleep leaning against the door. The crook of her arm holding her head in place. He smiled and continued his drive to the lab.

As soon as Grissom parked the SUV, Sara woke up, and fought him on sending her home, "We'll get done twice as fast if we both do it," she protested.

Eventually he reluctantly conceded, and nearly an hour later they were both headed home for some much needed rest.

The next night Sara walked into the break room before shift to find the guys watching ESPN and Catherine reading the paper. Grissom joined them a few minutes later. He poured himself a cup of coffee and took a seat opposite Catherine while Sara went through the mini fridge throwing out the expired and moldy food she found.

"Did you guys hear about the e coli breakout involving spinach?" Catherine asked, her eyes never leaving the paper. "It says here that some of the tainted spinach was sold in grocery stores around here."

"Yeah, I heard about it," Sara said dryly as the memory of the last few days come rushing back.

Grissom chewed his lip as he thought about the spinach salad he had purchased for Sara.


The End