DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!
RATING: T – Teen (for some possibly mature content)
SPOILERS: Season 7: Generally
SUMMARY: Greg overhears a conversation, and jumps to an outlandish conclusion.
A/N:Okay, this started as a way for me to break through my writing rut, and has turned into a fluff fest, to be sure. Anyway, it's helping me to deal with the anticipation of Season 8's premiere, and the pain of a broken tooth, so I'm not really complaining, either. This was one is the result of my beta winning a Stump the Author meme on my LJ. We were talking about our plans for a conference call tonight as I was driving into work this morning, and it suddenly dawned on her what her prompt was going to be. Overhearing Sara talking about a 3-Way, and being as she is from Ohio, the conversation naturally changed courses.
REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.
Greg hated logging in money. It was the most boring, tedious, repetitious job in their entire field (this from the man who processed a few hundred saliva samples in one shift, back in his lab rat days). So, when he heard Sara's voice filtering in from the next room, he was more than ready for a good distraction. And Sara was his favorite distraction.
He was about to call out to her when he suddenly realized that she was actually on the phone. Greg knew from a previous incident that interrupting Sara on a phone call was punishable by a near death experience, so he waited to hear her finish up the call. What he had not figured into the process was that half listening to her would turn his entire world upside down.
From the tone of her voice, he knew that she was wrapping up the conversation, but the words that escaped her lips sent his mind reeling in a thousand different directions. "Man, it's been ages since we had the three-way! That sounds great…That's true. I could probably use a little more protein than that…" She giggled at the response of the person on the other end of that line, but Greg was still trying to process the first line. "Mmmmm, yeah, sounds perfect. I'll be sure not to work late tonight, so make sure everything's ready when I get there… Sweet dreams, baby."
Greg watched as she closed up her phone and paused to smile a bit longer before her expression returned to work mode. He closed his eyes, hoping it was all some twisted delusion, brought on by staring at too many twenty dollar bill serial numbers, but her abrupt entrance into the processing room shattered that hope.
"Oh! Hey, Greg… I didn't realize you were still in here." She looked around suspiciously and found the stack of bills on the table. "Right, the money from that narco raid… Don't turn your back on it, and where's your counting partner?"
Unable to actually speak after overhearing her incredibly intimate conversation, Greg could only sputter. Sara seemed to take pity on him and nodded her head. "Don't worry about it, Greggo… I'll help you, but we'll have to record the mistake and start over in order to remove an impropriety." She gave him a friendly tap on the shoulder, and added, "You just better hope the count matches what the on-scene report says, buddy."
They worked in relative silence for the rest of the shift. Side by side, counting, recording and marking for storage in the vault. However, if asked about the process Greg would have been hard pressed to remember any of it. The only thing that was in his brain all night had been burned indelibly for all eternity. And if he had spoken in all that time, the first thing that would have escaped his precariously controlled speech would have been, "SARA'S HAVING A FREAKIN' THREE-WAY TONIGHT!!!" And so, he said nothing as she left the lab a little early, leaving him to fill out the final form to declare the bills counted and catalogued.
The next shift came upon him like a ton of bricks, because he was completely incapable of sleeping. Every single time he tried, his mind filled with images of Sara with any number of combinations of people from their lives, and it had him waking in a cold sweat each time.
He considered himself a very open and accepting person, and he also knew that he had a better than average imagination, but never in a million years would he have ever dreamed that Sara was into anything even remotely as fringe as multiple partner sex. It was just too much for his fragile psyche to handle, and his appearance reflected the turmoil running through his brain as Warrick and Nick came meandering into the break room.
"Look, I'm not saying that Favre is washed up, or anything… But facts are facts, brother. The guy is past his prime, and he just doesn't seem to have his heart in the game anymore, so I just don't see the Pack making the cut this year, if the guy comes back." Nick gave his little analysis of some sporting issue as the two CSI's made their way to the coffee pot.
Warrick grabbed his cup from the rack and pointed at Nick for emphasis. "You're gonna eat those words, Nicky. Favre is gonna have the whole NFL bowing down to him this season, for the football god that he is. You mark my words, man, bowing."
Normally, Greg would have attempted to show some interest in what they were talking about, but his mind was still dangerously preoccupied with the salacious bit of information it had learned.
Nick came to stand behind Greg and pushed his arm to get his attention when he asked, "C'mon, Greggo… Back me up on this one… Favre is done, isn't he?"
Greg took a deep breath and prepared to answer in on the topic, but what came spurting out of his mouth made him wish he had called in sick. "SARASHAVINGTHREEWAYSEXOHMYGOD!" Before he could stop himself, the words were out there, and he instantly covered his mouth in panic.
Both Nick and Warrick looked completely thrown by his nearly boisterous exclamation, but before anyone could make a comment, the subject of their shock and surprise came waltzing in the door to the break room.
"Hey guys! How goes it?" She walked over to the refrigerator and deposited a pair of large bowls, as well as a grocery bag of other items. Sara turned back to look at the men she worked with to find only gaping expressions. She looked behind her, to see if there was something there to have captured their stunned attention, but found nothing. Then she looked at herself, to see if there was anything amiss with her wardrobe. Sara had always been very careful about making sure everything was straightened and there were no visible signs of any activities that may have occurred prior to work, but she was still worried that something had given away her secret relationship. "What?"
Her accusatory question managed to shake Nick out of his stupor, and he flashed an embarrassed smile before he tried to laugh it off. "Ah, nothin', Sar… Just Greg tellin' us one of his tall tales had us a little surprised to have somebody come walkin' in, is all."
Sara shook her head, secure in the knowledge her secret was safe, and the boys were just worried about being busted for inappropriate behavior, again. "Whatever." She took her cup from the rack and filled it with water before heading for the microwave. "Oh hey, Nicky… I made some of that chili I was telling you about and brought a bunch with me tonight. Made way too much, so I figured I would share the experience with you guys."
Nick tried to search his brain for the conversation Sara was referring to when his face scrunched up with the memory. "Aw, man… That's not that spaghetti chili nightmare you told me about, is it?"
"Don't knock it 'til you try it, Cowboy. I even brought all the fixings so you can have it any way you like." Sara smiled proudly at her feat and sat down at the table as she dipped her tea bag into the mug of steaming water.
Catherine chose that moment to enter the room and the conversation. With her head in the fridge, she called out, "Hey! Did you bring some of that chili stuff, Sara?"
"Yep…and all the fixings, too." She stuck her tongue out at Nick when he showed another grimace at the thought of his precious chili sitting atop a mountain of spaghetti.
"Damn! I've got court in the morning, so I can only go for the three-way." At her words, all three men spit coffee across the room.
Sara and Catherine were both completely baffled by the men's outburst, and their expressions showed it. Catherine was the first to shrug it off, and went back to fixing herself a cup of coffee.
When Grissom finally entered the room, the boys had managed to regain their composures. That was soon to change.
Peering out over her newspaper, Catherine nodded to acknowledge his entrance and then informed him, "Gil… Remember that chili I told you about years ago…that my old roommate from Ohio, before I met Eddie, would make?"
Grissom barely looked up from the assignment slips in his hands and answered, "Skyline Chili, as I recall."
"Yeah, that's it. Well, Sara and I were talking, and one of her friends in San Francisco used to make it, too. Some kind of Ohio thing, I guess. Great stuff, once you get past the weirdness of it." Catherine rattled on in her normal hodge-podge stream of consciousness style. "Anyway, Sara brought some in for the whole crew tonight. Now you can try it for yourself."
"Thank you, but I've had it before, Catherine." Catherine fought to contain her disgust at his manners in relation to Sara's gesture, but then he surprised them all with his next statement. "And I prefer mine in a four-way." Guffaws went around the room as he continued, "with beans instead of onions. The onions give me horrible indigestion."
However, Greg nearly swallowed his own tongue when, with a sideways smirk, Sara added, "There's more protein that way, too."
A/N2: Skyline Chili is an Ohio original, and often duplicated by displaced Ohioans all over the world. 3-Way is the traditional arrangement, with Chili, Spaghetti and Cheese; a 4-Way is the previous and either beans or onions added in; while a 5-Way is all of the above. I am not a chili person, but I have witnessed this phenomenon many times, and they sure seem to enjoy it the heck out of it. LOL For the purposes of this story, just assume that Sara's version is vegetarian chili. :p