SUMMARY: Sara finally pays Greg back for that rain check.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Everything belongs to Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for the sandleslove challenge on LJ.
Sara Sidle kept her promises. She was used to people not keeping their word – her childhood was peppered with broken promises – so when she made a promise, she kept it.
Even if it took her five years.
And it was the five-year-old promise of a raincheck that had her seeking out Greg in the lab during shift one night. She schlepped through the halls, peering into every room she passed. She even went so far as to peek into the men's room, which was thankfully empty.
She found him in the break room, attempting to surreptitiously brew a pot of his famous coffee. He glanced around several times, trying to look nonchalant, before he reached for the pot and began to measure the coffee into the filter. She waited until he was about to put the filter into the machine to walk into the room. "Hey, Greg."
He jumped and dropped the filter, spilling coffee all over his shoe – and the rest of the floor. He whirled around to glare at her, but it held no malice. "Hey, Sara."
She cocked her head to the side, watching as he stooped to clean up the coffee beans. "Making coffee?"
"I was," he said, and she could almost hear him rolling his eyes. "But you messed it up, missy. You owe me coffee. Good coffee."
She smiled. "Okay, then. You want to go get some coffee?"
Greg stopped mid-scoop and glanced up at her. "Seriously?" She nodded, and he leapt to his feet. "Great! Let's go!"
He headed towards the door, and she said, "Greg?" He looked at her, his eyebrows raised. "Coffee grounds?"
"Dammit," he grunted, crouching back down to finish his task. "This is all your fault, you know. You should be the one cleaning this up."
"Bitch, bitch, bitch," Sara giggled, enjoying the sight of his T-shirt riding up, exposing a small strip of skin just above the waistband of his pants. "Come find me when you're done."
Greg snapped into motion at that, scrambling to dump the rest of the spilled coffee into the nearby garbage can. It was quite funny, watching as he sprawled on the floor in order to pick up every last bean. "Done!" he exclaimed.
Sara laughed and shook her head, then jerked her head towards the door. "Come on, Greggo."
They ended up at the all-night diner frequented by a majority of the team. The food could not really qualify as food, and the coffee was best used as engine cleaner, but it was open all night. Sara had a great time with Greg. He entertained her by doing impression of the lab techs; her favorite was his spot-on imitation of Hodges, complete with a rousing rendition of the Robot. She laughed so hard that her coffee almost came out her nose. He was also able to slip into Bobby Dawson's southern drawl, which actually sounded quite sexy on him.
"Do you miss being in the lab?" she asked as the waitress came over to refill their mugs with the sludge they had the audacity to call coffee.
Greg pursed his lips, his face turning somber. "Let's see… Getting beat up in the field or getting blown up in the lab."
Her stomach turned cold. And not because of the coffee. Greg rarely talked about the lab explosion. She sensed it was something he didn't like to talk about, so she had never pushed. She chewed on her bottom lip, unsure of what she should say, or even if she should say anything. She took a deep breath and said, "Well, either way… Women dig scars."
His eyes widened, and for a moment, she feared she had said the wrong thing. Then Greg started laughing, pounding on the table. His reaction caused Sara to laugh, and pretty soon both of them were engulfed in a fit of giggles so intense that Sara's sides literally hurt. When she finally managed to calm down, she realized it had been a long time since she'd laughed like that.
They split a piece of apple pie, using their forks to battle over the last piece. Greg adopted some sort of pirate voice that made Sara start laughing again and lose concentration. He happily scooped up the remaining bite of pie. She paid the bill and they began walking back to the lab.
"So…" Greg said after a bit, "not that I'm complaining, but what prompted this?"
She swallowed uncomfortably and shoved her hands in her pockets. "What do you mean?"
He smiled, and her heart gave a little flutter. Good god… Was she really getting all dizzy and light-headed over Greg? It must have been the coffee. Or the egg salad. She knew she should have gotten the veggie burger. "Haven't seen that much of you lately," Greg murmured. He didn't quite look her in the eye when he said it, fiddling with the sleeve of his shirt.
She gave a nervous laugh. "Yeah. I, uh, owed you dinner."
Greg furrowed his brow. "You did?"
She bowed her head, slightly disappointed that he didn't remember. It had been five years, after all. "Well, I owed you coffee."
"And I hope you realize that whatever concoction the diner serves doesn't qualify as coffee, so you still owe me. Good coffee, I said. The kind that actually has flavor…and whatnot."
Sara turned to argue that buying him a meal should have more than made up for spilling his coffee, but before she could open her mouth, the toe of her shoe caught on the uneven pavement of the sidewalk, and she lost her balance. She threw her arms out to break her fall, but Greg caught her before she landed. She had to admire his reflexes as he grabbed her wrist and yanked her to her feet, causing her to crash into him, bringing her face only inches from his.
Her breath caught in her throat. His eyes were brown – almost mahogany – and he was gazing at her with a look she recognized that she never thought she would see again. She had missed that look. It made her feel beautiful and desired.
"Sara?" Greg whispered, his voice husky.
She blinked, a sudden surge of desire threatening to remove her knees from her legs. "Yes, Greg?"
He licked his lips, and her eyes were locked on that action. "I could really, really just kiss you right now."
Her eyelids fluttered shut and her lips pursed of their own accord as she waited for him to press his lips against hers. But he didn't, and when she opened her eyes, she realized that he was walking away. She made a noise of disgust in the back of her throat, and Greg glanced at her over his shoulder.
"Oh, so you don't like it either? Well, let's see you try to sleep tonight, Miss Sidle!"
"Gregory Sanders!" Sara yelled. She wasn't sure whether to be flattered that he did remember or pissed that he'd put her through that. She ran after him, and he scampered off, laughing. She chased him all the way back to the lab and caught up to him at the entrance to the building. "I'd say," she gasped, out of breath, "that makes us even."
He hunched over, breathing heavily. "That only makes us even if you wanted a kiss as much as I wanted that coffee."
She smirked. "Well, then… I guess I still owe you."
Greg glanced up in shock, his eyes and mouth wide. Laughing, she went inside.