Summary: Now that the secret affair has been revealed, one life and four ships hang in the balance. The team reacts to Grissom's omission of guilt concerning Sara's current fate. [Post Living Doll; implied multiple ships both het and slash
Dirty Back Roadby e-dog
The moment Grissom was out of ear shot, Greg blurted out, "We're boned."
The young CSI felt all eyes on him after the blunt admission. He shrugged, not ashamed of his ill timed comment. "Well, it's true. We're boned."
After a few nods of accord, they all just fell silent. They looked at one another for what felt like forever. Greg was right. They were boned.
Sure, Nick's impromptu burial was mildly manageable, but Sara's abduction? Her affair with Grissom? That would surely take more than a simple fade out, the words 'to be continued' being all that stands between them and the small flicker of a chance at something more.
Still, despite the urgency of their situation, no one was sure what to do. They had options, of course. They could confront Grissom, but at the moment, that would only make matters worse. Hmm. Well, they could just continue to sit there, dumbfounded. It was something they were all very good at doing during moments of crisis, but was that necessarily appropriate this time?
As if a mysterious switch was suddenly flicked, they all began to talk at once. It was all gibberish, rubbish. It was loud and garbled. As abruptly as they started, they ceased their chatter, listening to their voices die out and fade.
Now that was different. Never, ever had they been so agitated by a colleagues impending doom before. Really, though, how could they kid themselves? It wasn't really the 'impending doom' of their colleague that worried them more so than the reasons as to why the 'impending doom' was there in the first place.
Grissom said it himself. Sara was under that car because their perp realized he loved her. It was how the perp wanted to hurt him.
"Let's go one at a time?" Greg suggested. He motioned to himself and suggested, "Me first, then we go clockwise?"
They all nodded their agreement.
Greg breathed in deeply. "I was just going to say. . .Sara is still under the car. When we find her, she'll tell us what's really going on. It's that simple."
"And what do you think is really going on, Greg?" Warrick snarled. "They're screwing around. They're. . ."
Greg coughed, purposely interrupting. "You mean, 'they were', um. . .they were screwing around."
"She's not dead," Nick argued staunchly. "We can't assume that."
Catherine was surprisingly silent, considering their earlier collectivistic outburst. Her eyes did nothing to conceal her surprise, although there did seem to be a hint of expectedness. As if she expected Grissom to have a special someone in his life. Just no one expected it to be Sara.
Nick took his turn. "What I was trying to say was, we really don't know that they are dating. . ."
"Screwing around," Warrick repeated, correcting Nick.
"Dating. We don't know that they are dating. All Grissom said was that Sara was the only person he ever loved and that's why she was taken. That doesn't mean they are dating. Only means Grissom loves Sara and somehow our perp found out," Nick said, the desperate hope evident in his eyes. He knew that the words leaving his mouth were complete and utter crap.
"That's not all it means, Nicky, and you know that," Catherine said, her voice dank and low.
"Yeah, it means we're boned," Greg chimed back in, gesturing toward himself and then the rest of them. "We. Are. Boned."
They were silent again, before Warrick felt it time to say his piece. "I was going to say that now it all makes sense. You know, Sara and Gris always paired up together on a case. I feel like I haven't seen her at all in the last eight months."
"I feel like I haven't seen you ever," Catherine remarked sullenly. Warrick rose an eyebrow at her, his own confusion at her statement evident.
"Or you," Nick nodded toward Greg.
Greg frowned. "I've been around-ish. Potentially being sued tends to keep one occupied."
"Let's just focus, okay? I think it's time I point out the real issue here," Catherine snapped, suddenly coming to life. Her eyes seemed to be aflame as she pointed out not so subtly, "Has it occurred to anyone here that Grissom has been getting more action than all four of us combined?"
She watched the boys' egos deflate before her very eyes. She huffed. "Yeah, I know how you feel."
Now that they had all said what was on their minds, they were back to square one. The dumbfounded expressions returned. Their thoughtful, stern investigative frowns etched onto their faces.
Somewhere, out on a dirty back road lay their friend under a car. A woman they had all secretly desired at some point in their seven years together. Maybe, at this very moment, they all still longed for her.
Nevertheless, the question still remained: Was Grissom's omission of guilt ambiguous enough to warrant them hope? Nick's words weren't completely desperate. Grissom merely admitted his love for Sara, not that he was actually involved with Sara. Still, the more time that passed, the more they became certain of Greg's initial reaction to the whole thing. They were boned. Sara was a lost cause, both literally and figuratively.
Unless. . .
"Grissom has to go."
Which one of them said that? They looked at one another, waiting for the guilty party to raise their hand and apologize for making such a brash statement.
Moments later it became obvious that no one had said a word. It was just a thought. A thought that maybe, just maybe, they were all thinking at the same time. A thought so loud and so unanimous, it almost became audible and real.
They were all thinking that Grissom had to go. He just had to. If not, there would never be any hope.
Catherine laughed nervously, brushing lose strands of hair from her face. Nick coughed, while Warrick rubbed the back of his neck. Greg rose his eyebrows slowly as he whispered, "Sara's in trouble."
Yes, Sara was in trouble. Find Sara first, deal with Grissom later. Yes, yes, they could see it in the other's eyes now! It all made sense! If they really cared for Sara, they would find her first. They would save her life. If they saved her life, she would have no choice but to be grateful to them.
"I'll find Grissom," Catherine announced as she stood to her feet. She walked out, leaving the three men behind to gather their wits.
"She'll find some way to keep Grissom at bay," Nick promised. "When we find Sara, it'll be one of us that she sees first, not Grissom."
"Yeah," Warrick agreed, pushing himself away from the table. He left the room without another word.
It was just Nick and Greg now.
Greg stalled for a moment, then asked tentatively, "If Sara is found like this model depicts, you know, with her hand sticking out? Can I grab her hand first? I mean, it might look good for us to do that. To let me grab her hand first, to reassure her."
Nick thought on that a moment and decided it was okay. "Yeah, sure. You grab her hand first. When we lift the car, I'll help the medics. She might be awake by then. She'll see me."
"Then it's settled," Greg said.
"Settled," Nick agreed.
Neither man smiled nor did they frown. There was nothing to feel, really. What they were doing was for the sake of their own vanity, if nothing more. It was to preserve what little was left of their chances with Sara. Keeping Grissom away was the only way to do that.
They weren't proud, oh no, but nothing in their hearts felt more right.
As long as Grissom didn't save Sara, then they would all still have a chance.