Title: This Way Up
Author: Klee Wyck
Pairing: GSR
Spoilers: Post-LD, I suppose. Because my gosh I haven't written enough of I these /I yet.
Rating: T
Disclaimer: Mine, all mine! Well, no. Not really.
Summary: Tears or rain, it didn't matter in the end. It was still all about water.


Two things happened to happen on that Thursday afternoon.

First, their fridge broke.

Second, she bought a book of dreams.

But, not necessarily in that order.

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols, it was called.

"The fridge broke," she told him when he walked in the door. He raised one eyebrow. "I went to get a beer and it was warm. Ugh."

"Huh," he said, putting down his briefcase and toeing off his shoes. He looked at her. "What are you reading?"

"The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols," she said, not looking up. "I just bought it."

He came over to her, leaned down, pressed his lips to the top of her head.

"Learning anything interesting?"

"Dreaming about a lobster means luck."

"Uh huh."

"Dreaming about two oranges symbolizes a woman's breasts."

"Hmm."

"But dreaming about orange juice means you're actually thirsty."

"I see."

She looked up at him and grinned.

"So, what do we do about the fridge?"

He sighed, pursed his lips.

"I could try to fix it."

"This is the third time this has happened. In two months."

He nodded, sighed.

"I guess we buy a new one."

"Well, we can't drink warm beer."

"That's all right. I'm suddenly craving some orange juice."

"Pervert."


She'd bought it for the water symbolism, of course, because it was all she dreamed about these days, all she'd dreamed about since she'd almost drowned.

She still couldn't shower, couldn't stand the sensation of water falling on her, couldn't stand the sound of water hitting the walls, the floor, her skin.

Baths were, unfortunately, necessary, but not much easier to handle.

Too much water. Too much water, all in one place.

So, she quickly filled the tub with about two inches, crouched in the middle and cleaned herself as quickly and efficiently as possible. Getting her hair washed was the biggest challenge, but so far no one had made any disparaging comments about oiliness or dandruff.

She used a lot of deodorant and body spray, just to make sure.


Water is the place where the souls of the dead meet the spirits of the water; it is a place of repression, of secrets with unknown depths and an element of rapture. It can tear us away and sweep us off, and it can be very frightening.

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols


She'd had the first dream in the hospital, before she'd even regained consciousness.

Water. Water. Water.

So much water.

Water, so cold, so cold it felt like ice, even in the middle of the desert, and she knew she was in the desert because of the sand, the sand in her mouth, in her eyes, grinding mercilessly into her chest, her face.

Sand.

And more water, of course. The water was everything.

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.

No, not a drop to drink, but many, many drops to choke on, and they did choke her, they filled her, suffocated her, trickled down her throat, into her lungs, filling her until she could no longer take a breath, could no longer breathe

Grissom, Grissom, where are you? I don't want to die here. I don't want to die at all.

"Sara. Sara. Sara."

Shit.

She could even hear him. Now if she could just see him.

Kicking, gasping, water filling her lungs, sand scraping her skin—

One last flailing wrenching kick and she broke the surface.

Air. Air. Air.

Huge, blessed, gasping gulps of air.

"Sara, oh my God, Sara."

She could still hear his voice, and then she felt his hands on her hands, on her arms, on her face.

Then water.

Shit.

More water.

She opened her eyes. There he was.

She smiled.

"I thought—" he stopped, closed his eyes, then opened them quickly, like he was afraid she might vanish. He was crying.

"Me, too," she said. Her throat hurt. Hell, her whole body hurt.

But, she smiled again. She couldn't seem to stop smiling and he couldn't seem to stop crying. They were quite a pair.

With great effort she lifted her hand to his face and he leaned into her touch.

Tears or rain, it didn't matter in the end.

It was still all about water.


"What about this one?" She stood in front of an imposing model, silvery-grey, about 20 feet high, it seemed. "It has a built-in water dispenser and everything."

"Just something else to break down."

The stepped back, looked up.

"It's rather…frightening."

She nodded. It was.

"I think it might give me bad dreams."

"I wonder what that would mean."

"We'll have to look it up."

"Refrigerators."

"Or kitchen appliances, in general."

They wandered the showroom floor, wondering what they were looking for exactly.

"Here. Look, and it's on sale, too."

Medium-sized, black.

"Matches the stove," she said.

He opened the door. They peered inside.

"Lots of room for beer," he smiled.

"And oranges."

"We'll take it."


Water is the symbol of what is changeable. Diving into water means to seek wisdom. Whoever looks into the water always sees the Self.

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols


She'd learned to swim when she was six, more by necessity than choice.

Her family had moved often as a child, and she hadn't realized why until much later.

Hospitals had a tendency to get suspicious when a child showed up once too often with cuts that needed stitches, broken bones, mild concussions.

Anyway, there was one glorious summer, the summer she was six and they lived next door to Anna, who had a pool. It seemed huge to Sara, but probably wasn't. Aboveground, with a narrow walkway around the edge, a small deck outcropping on one side. Anna and Sara became friends, or as friendly as Sara's parents allowed her to be, and Sara spend many afternoons in Anna's backyard, dangling her feet in the pool, wishing she could swim. Anna took lessons and swam like a mermaid, her long blonde hair waving in the water down below.

She wanted to be like Anna. No, she amended with sudden childlike clarity: She wanted to be Anna.

It all came to an end, of sorts, one blistering hot August afternoon when Anna's older brother pushed Sara into the water as he ran by.

Stupid boy. Stupid boy with cooties.

She remembered pure, unadulterated panic. She remembered not knowing where she was, exactly, or what had happened. She remembered not knowing which way was up, or how to get there, even if she did figure it out.

She remembered thinking she was probably going to die in Anna's pool.

Finally, somehow, she kicked and flailed and moved hard and fast enough to make it to the surface. She remembered throwing up on the deck and she remembered Anna crying.

She remembered vowing that day was the last day she'd ever be scared of anything in her life.

Sara thought about that summer often as she crouched in the bathtub, frantically scrubbing away the night's grime, held her hair under the faucet, fingers sliding through the dark soapy strands.

She made the water her friend after that day and though she'd never felt completely comfortable in it, she never feared it again.

She toweled off, pulled on an old T-shirt and slid into bed, slid up next to Grissom, cupped his face in her hands and kissed him, hard.

He watched her, as he often did and attempted to puzzle her out, which never did.

Sometimes, when she looked at him, when she allowed herself to really look into his eyes, blue blue like a warm, tranquil ocean, she felt like she was still drowning.


Drowning: Sinking into the unconscious, helplessness, lack of planning in your life. Being washed away by the flow of emotions. Fear of being swallowed up by the unconscious. As in suffocating, where the issue is to get more air, here it a matter of being safe in the water, about feelings and (emotional) needs that bring more energy and inner strength.

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols


She was dreaming again.

At least, she hoped she was.

Water. Water. Water.

Water, everywhere and everything.

Nose, eyes, mouth, throat, lungs.

Gasping, choking, Grissom, Grissom.

This time, she saw him. She saw him, high high above her, framed in light. Yes, it was him. He was making frantic hand gestures. She kicked her feet, hoped she was moving in the right direction.

Yes, she was getting closer, closer.

He was beckoning. This way, this way.

Follow me.

Up, up, up.

Yes. Up, up to him.

Kick, kick, kick.

Don't breathe.

Don't breathe yet.

The pressure in her chest was lessening, gradually, the pain lessening, gradually, thankfully.

She kept her eyes open this time and fastened on him this time and she swam with all her might this time, to his light and his eyes, which were the same colour as water.

This time, this time, she wouldn't drown.


Tears: The Water of life is able to flow. It is a sign of solution and resolution.

The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Dream Symbols


"So, what does it mean if I dream about you?"

She smiled. "Look it up."

"Somehow, I don't think I'll find Sara Sidle in your dream symbols book."

"You never know." She closed her eyes, started to drowse. He watched her a moment, then moved forward, pressed his lips to hers, softly insistent.

"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each others dreams, we can be together all the time."

"Shakespeare?" she whispered.

"Hobbes. As in, Calvin and."

She smiled.

"What a wise little boy."

"Who loved his so tiger very much."


After she was finally, deeply asleep, he reached across to her bedside table for the book.

Insects: Deeply rooted unconscious content. Almost always a sign of nervousness and unconscious fears. Insects behave like mini-robots and, in that sense, this dream image is a warning against living carelessly.

He smirked.

Well.

Anyone knew that.

Common sense, really.


Two burly deliverymen brought the fridge in, grunting, shouting to one another ("This way." "Watch it, watch it!" "To your left… your left. "), carefully navigating the stairs, the doorframe, the curio cabinet.

Sara stood off to the side, watching, cupping her elbows, not saying a word.

The box was huge, fridge-shaped. A big, tan box covered in thick, black writing.

Fragile.

Handle With Care.

And one gigantic red arrow pointing to the ceiling, and beyond.

This Way Up.

Sara nodded.

This Way Up.

That's right, she thought.

That's exactly right.


Fin.