Title: Hear the Rain Fall
Summary: A Grissom-centered piece. The realization of what he is losing is about to hit him full force. How will he deal?
He sat mesmerized, listening.
It was a habit of hers - to sing when deeply involved with a case, but tonight, he had indulged himself: he had allowed himself to listen to her. Normally, he wouldn't have done so as it would have been too distracting.
Leaning across his desk, he wiped away the last remnants of crumby insect food, and very neatly brushed the small flecks into his hand, before depositing the waste into the trash bin.
They had janitor personnel, sure, but in his opinion, cleaning crews should only be concerned with upkeep - with maintenance - not cleaning up other people's messes because some people were too lazy to pick up after themselves.
With that thought, he rose from his chair, and moved towards his office door, cupping the door knob with his hand, and prying it open another two or three inches.
Her voice was strangely melodic - sweet and tangy at the same time; the sweetness linked to the attempt, yet the tone of her signing - bittersweet. Maybe even a little off key. But still very soothing - very calming.
He couldn't make out the words, but could feel the smile break across his face at the soft, warm sound of Sara stalling as she came to a part of the song which she didn't seem to know. All at once, some powerful urge shot through him: he wanted to hear her more clearly.
His eyes darted from shelf to shelf, and from desk to desk. He retrieved a battered pen - its edges near the end worn down from chewing.
Nick had teased her about having an oral fixation once.
It was akin to nail biting. She did it when she was stressed. Glancing at his pencil holder, he realized that all of his pens - well, most of them - had been crunched upon lately by the female CSI.
So, logically, he could only assume that she was stressed now, and the thought upset him because he didn't know what to attribute her anxiety to - he didn't know how to proceed.
Therefore, he didn't know how to help lessen her worries - how to help in any real sense.
Scanning the pen, he sighed, pocketed it, and grabbed some finance forms.
It was a slow night.
He had fed all of his creatures, replaced their water tanks, watered and fertilized his plants, and had alphabetically organized his files. He had even done some cleaning.
He hated filling out finance forms, and always procrastinated when it came to completing them. Catherine usually ended up badgering him into doing them and he usually STILL found a way to run an experiment at the same time - to multi-task.
Last time, he had done a 'bookie' experiment. He wanted to see how radiation, light sources, and heat sources individually affected the bindings and pages of books, and which element, and what level of intensity, would cause combustion, in order to confirm a witness' statement about a suspected arson episode within a central city library.
Tonight, however, he was stock out of cases.
With forms in hand, and pen clip pulled over the lapel of his shirt, he sauntered into the DNA lab.
Greg was away on a one-week holiday in Japan - some Anime convention or something - and since the nightshift hadn't had any new cases to work on, Sara had come to shift with the determination of an Olympic athlete: she had decided to finish running assays on all of Greg's leftover work, to get him back on track so that he wouldn't be behind on anything when he returned.
Catherine and Warrick were both working on a dayshift case, as their forensic expertise could be aptly used in such a situation, and Nick had came in every other day, a little disgruntled. Especially yesterday, when he had finished up a murder-suicide along with Sara because today he was expected to be at the law courts, meeting with lawyers, and pulling his share of weight as far as legality of cases was concerned. And none of them liked dealing with lawyers very much.
So the halls were quiet and without bustle as he moved closer to the lab.
Grissom stood near the entryway for a moment, being as quiet as he could possibly be.
"See the storms broken - in the middle of the night. Nothing left here for me. It's washed away. The rain pushes the buildings aside. The sky turns black. The sky. Washes the fog - push it out to sea. There's nothing left here. For me. I want you to lift up to the sky. I want you to crush me, and never die."
"Speak to me baby. In the middle of the night. Pull your mouth close to mine. I can see the wind coming down - like black night. Speak to me - like the winds outside. Broken up, pushing us. Hear the rain fall, see the wind come to my eyes. See the storm broken-"
He was thinking about very slowly, very quietly sneaking back to his office, when she turned slightly, caught sight of his shadow, and startled.
Shocking her, she dropped her papers.
"God Griss - you frightened me!"
He had the sense to look apologetic.
"Umm - sorry, I was just…" he stopped, "how are you coming on the assays?"
Sara grinned widely. "You didn't come here to ask me about Greg's left over's. So - what's up?"
He couldn't answer that right now. He wouldn't. It was that simple.
"What…were you singing?"
Sara's face crumpled in thought. "Honestly? I don't remember. Must have been something off of the radio." She was quiet for another second as she willed herself to think...to concentrate.
She must have been singing absent-mindedly.
That, as far as Grissom was concerned, was clue #2 that something was wrong.
Sara, after all, never did anything absent-mindedly.
"Why?", she asked, breaking through his thoughts.
That was an even harder question to answer than her previous one.
What was he supposed to ask her? 'Are you happy, Sara?' Or worse, 'Are you worried about me?' Or even worse, 'Do you know? Did you figure it out? Do you know I'm going deaf, and I won't be here in a year, and I'm afraid that I'm going to lose you. That I'm going to lose myself?'
Could she know?
He gulped down the rock hardness of his tenseness, which had welled up in his throat like a bullfrog at the very thought.
No - there was no way. It was impossible.
Pull your mouth close to mine.
I can see the wind coming down - like black night.
"Oh - sorry, umm... I was wondering if you wanted to give me a hand with the finance forms?"
He was staggering speech-wise. He never 'umm'ed' or 'uhh'ed' his way through conversations.
Speak to me - like the winds outside.
"Grissom? What's wrong?"
She cut straight to the quick.
He gave a humbled smile in return.
"You know how I hate doing these forms."
He willed his hands to stop fidgeting.
Broken up, pushing us…
Sara shot him an odd look: half smile, half frown.
"You know that I know how much you hate to do the finance related stuff. But you are the supervisor. So, what's the trap?"
It took him a moment to figure out that she was just pulling his leg.
"I'm kidding Grissom. Here - let me see them."
She sighed dramatically - indulgently, and all at once he felt like a 6-year-old who had come to his mother with a request for help with spelling words.
And he knew his need to be near her had very little to do with his hatred of paperwork.
But he wanted to be close to her tonight: the stillness, the deadness of the lab, and the workspace were all getting to him. His hearing had been cutting in and out all evening; his hands had gone white, then red, then pink, and then white again, as he clenched them and twisted his shirt is restless, nervous apprehension.
For he never knew when it would happen. When he'd lose his ability to hear altogether.
But he could feel it - he could tell that it was close. Imminent.
Just like when a wounded animal lays down in a forest and gives in to death, as if it can sense death's approach.
As if it knows.
Hear the rain fall, see the wind come to my eyes…
Sara stared at him for a second, analyzing his gait as he moved uncharacteristically from one foot to another, and took in his posture - the slight slouch as he used the door frame for physical support.
Bringing her palms to her eyes, she rubbed them vigorously.
"Yeah - okay. Do you want to go over them in the lounge? It's warmer there, and we can grab a bite to eat."
Relief flooded him. He wondered if she could see it as it pulsed through his veins, mollifying him.
With a wry tone, "When was the last time you ate, Griss?"
See - the storms broken - in the middle of the night…
He cleared his throat. "Probably not in awhile. I'll go heat up the noodles. Do you want cream sauce?"
She gave him a curt nod, started packing up her forms, and met up with him not two minutes later as he was pouring Alfredo sauce over a generous serving of linguini.
The loud, electronic beep of the microwave broke her mid-thought, and she ambled over to the appliance, opening up its plastic door and grabbing a hold of the hot base of the plastic heatable container.
A bit of the sauce had dribbled over the side of the Tupperware, burning and messing up her hand simultaneously.
Her first impulse, to temper the pain, was to stick the digit into her mouth - which she probably would have done if Grissom hadn't been present.
Instead, she made her way to the sink, and doused it in cold water.
Glancing over to Grissom, she noticed that he had felt pen in hand, with the form resting on the table's edge.
He was scrawling something onto the sheet.
"Hey Griss? Which one is yours?"
She waited for him to meet her eyes, while she held the plates in the air to help him quickly assess what she was referring to - what her question had been.
He didn't look up.
"Grissom?" She kept her voice purposefully soft. Loud enough to hear over the pounding racket of her chest, but not much louder.
With light motions, she moved back to the table, touching his wrist with her cool fingers - noting dismally when he jumped at the touch.
As if he hadn't known she had been there at all.
As if he hadn't heard her approach.
"This one yours?" She kept her voice steady - happy.
He nodded appreciatively.
"Thank you Sara. For - this." He motioned to the food and the forms with one wide spanning gesture.
Sara bit down on her tongue, forced a smile, and scooted in closer to him, bringing her chair across the floor - sending chills through her body at the screeching sound of it all.
"Okay. Line 24 - Form A-"
And she began to read, knowing that when he was ready, he would tell her.
Knowing, just like an animal that senses a change in the weather, or the onset of a storm, that he would be doing so soon.
Preparing herself for that which she knew scared him - yet having ultimate faith that it would only bring them closer together.