Author's Notes: Uhm . . .?

Coward

For my Mom and Skip

Who are obsessed with this show

I've always considered myself a brave man. I've never shirked responsibility, never shied away from getting dirty for a good cause. When justice needed to be done, I did it; when someone needed to put their neck on the line for the sake of compassion or truth or loyalty, I offered myself as the sacrificial lamb.

But my name is Gil Grissom, and I have been a coward for eight years.

Guns and death and pain don't frighten me. I have felt a blade against my neck, watched tiny rivulets of my own blood flow from a potentially fatal wound. Through these crisis I kept my head, pressed my fingers against the wound and dealt with the problem as logically as I could.

But she was one wound I could not bear to touch. I have been a child, too afraid of pain to let his parent pull the splinter out of his foot. For two thousand two hundred and ninety days I've limped through my own life, that same splinter burrowing deeper and deeper under my skin. But still I've avoided it, too frightened to even brush my fingertips across its surface.

I loved her, you see.

My name is Gil Grissom, and I have been too afraid to say it. Too terrified of rejection to take her face in my palms and murmur against her lips what I should have said the very first moment I knew its truth: IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou.

I should have. I did not. Those are the facts; that is the evidence. A more than convincing argument for the jury, prodding them to rule against me-- guilty, they will say, guilty of cowardice.

My name is Gil Grissom, and the only person I have ever loved is dead under a car somewhere.

My name is Gil Grissom, and Sara Sidle died never knowing how much I love her.