AN: I updated a little later than expected, but at least I got you something before exams. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI. I wish I did, cuz I have a lot of ideas that I wish that they'd put in the show.
In A Plexiglas Prison With You
Chapter 14: Forever Until The End of Time
"You are Mr. Grissom's colleagues?" the doctor asked as he approached the large group conjugated in the lobby.
"Yes," Catherine replied, "Is he alright?" she asked. The others waited with bated breath for the answer.
"He will be fine," the doctor replied and a collective sigh of relief was heard. The doctor continued, "We've stitched up his leg and he's receiving blood as we speak. We did x-rays, and we figure that when the shark dragged him under the water, Mr. Grissom's knee was dislocated. I don't want him putting pressure on that leg for at least two weeks. After that, I would recommend that he see his own doctor for further instruction."
"He's not going like that," Brass quipped, smirking a little.
"Can we see him?" Catherine asked. The doctor nodded.
"Yes, of course," he said, then he paused and asked, "Are you Catherine Willows?"
"Yes, why?" she asked, confusion gracing her lovely features.
"Mr. Grissom expressed some concern about your well-being. He asked me to make sure you were alright," the doctor explained. Catherine waved him off.
"I am fine. These guys are taking good care of me," she told him. It was the truth. In the hour that they sat in the waiting room together, Warrick and Nick had brought her coffee and Jim and Sofia, who arrived about a half-hour after Catherine and Grissom, went to get take-out.
"If you're sure that you're alright, then I can take you to see Mr. Grissom," the doctor told her. Catherine was more than ready to follow the doctor to Gil, but something held her back. It was a nagging concern in the back of her mind for the younger brunette standing beside her. Catherine knew quite well that if she was to see Gil now, she would not want to leave his side long enough for him and Sara to have the conversation that they so needed to have.
"Cath?" Warrick asked when she still had not answered the doctor. Instead of answering him, she turned to Sara.
"You go first," she said.
"What?" Sara asked, not expecting this.
"You and Gil need to talk about this. As hard as it will be for the two of you, it needs to happen," Catherine stated firmly. Sara was abashed.
"Sara, I love him and I know him well enough to know that if you two don't sort this out, he will regret losing you as a friend and neither of you will be able to move on. End it on good terms," Catherine pleaded, stepping aside in respect to allow Sara to pass. Sara hesitated before stepping forwards to go to Grissom's room. As far as she was concerned, it was already over between her and Grissom. She could see that he and Catherine truly loved each other, even though it hurt her to admit it. As she walked through the plain white halls, she thought about Catherine's words and how they rang true. It was better end the relationship on good terms than letting it turn ugly and cause pain for both of them. Suddenly Sara felt a great surge of respect for Catherine, who chose not to rush in and force Sara to watch her and Grissom together. She allowed Sara to lessen the blow by allowing her to deal with it first, and for that, Sara was thankful.
"Why'd you do that?" Greg asked once Sara had left.
"Because its better for them to deal with it in private now than in a room full of people later. And besides, some things are just worth the wait," Catherine shrugged, taking a seat between Lindsey and Sofia. Following her lead, Warrick, Greg, and Jim took up their seats again. Nick stood beside the chairs as fixed his eyes on the hallway that Sara had just walked down.
Sara stopped walking just outside the doorway. She needed a moment to collect her thoughts and muster the courage to face Grissom. He was hardly a scary man. It was the looming conversation she needed to have with him that scared her. She had her heart broken so many times, first by her parents and their disastrous marriage, then by boyfriend after boyfriend, and now by Grissom, who she had thought would be everything she wanted. She had to admit that her fantasies of the two of them together were actually better than the reality. In her years of yearning for him, she had placed him on a sort of pedestal, but when they finally started seeing each other, her treasure was still out of reach. She saw that now. That treasure was never hers to begin with. She realized this now. While this conversation would most assuredly hurt, Sara would be free to find the treasure that truly belonged to her. It gave her the hope and the courage that she sorely needed.
Taking a deep breath, she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. Grissom's head snapped up to see who had come to see him.
"Sara. Hi," he said softly, dropping his eyes from hers, feeling guilt for what he had done. He hadn't even thought about how his loving Catherine would hurt Sara until he had seen the latter walk in the room.
"Hi," she echoed just as softly, taking several light steps forwards until she was standing at the foot of his bed. The closer she got to him, the more panic took hold. His hands began to sweat and his mouth had become dry. He knew needed to tell her what had transpired in the coffin, but he didn't want to cause her so much pain. There was silence in the room for a moment before he raised his eyes to hers.
"Sara, I-" he cut off, just noticing the red and purple bruising around her neck, "What happened to you?" he asked, concerned. Sara involuntarily touched her neck.
"Your stalker," she replied, and at his confused expression, she elaborated, "Karl and Markus White have been stalking you and Catherine for years because you two testified against their brother, Charles, which resulted in him getting the death penalty."
"Charles White?" Grissom asked uneasily. He remembered that case. Catherine had been a CSI for a little more than a year when she had had a gun pointed at her head. That was probably the scariest moment of his life. He unconsciously touched an old scar on his shoulder, a scar he received when Charlie White had fired at him when he had tried to distract him from Catherine.
"Yeah," Sara replied, "They've been stalking the two of you for ages. They sent us pictures of you two over the years as well as a link to a live feed of the Plexiglas coffin," she explained. She saw him start in surprise.
"There was a live feed?" he asked. She nodded.
"I saw it all," she told him, "and I talked to Catherine," she added. Grissom was a bit curious as to how that conversation went. He was silent for a moment as he formed the words he needed to say.
"I-I never meant to hurt you, Sara," he stated, "Never. And I am so sorry that you had to find out like that."
"I know," she assured, taking the seat next to the bed, "And as much as it does hurt, I realize that both of us would have just hurt worse if the relationship was allowed to drag on. Maybe it's better this way. Maybe we can both finally get what we truly want."
"I hope so," he agreed. He didn't want to say that he had already found everything he could ever want. That would just hurt her and even if he did not love her, he still cared about her and hoped that someday, she could find someone to make her as happy as Catherine made him. And he told her this.
"I care about you, too," she said to him after he expressed his last sentiment, "And I want you to be happy, even if it's not with me. She really loves you, you know? And I can tell that you really love her. Someday I hope that I can find the same thing."
"I know you will," he said firmly, "Someday you will find the person who is right for you."
"Thanks, Griss," she said, truly touched. They sat for another moment before Sara rose to her feet.
"Leaving so soon?" he asked. She smiled at him.
"I feel that I have deprived the others of enough visiting time with you," she told him, "I'm still not sure how Catherine resisted the urge to come running in here when the doctor gave the okay. She probably would have run the poor doctor down if she hadn't stopped and allowed me to talk to you first."
His laughter was the last thing she heard before she exited his room.
Once again, Sara leant against the wall outside his room and let out a shaky breath. True, that wasn't as hard as she thought it would be, but now that it was all said and done, she felt a twinge of loneliness that one feels when they part with a boyfriend or girlfriend. In the dark hallway, the fears that she would never find another to share her life with outweighed the hope that she had expressed before. The inner conflict was more painful that the actual break up. She swallowed hard and moved away from the wall. When she walked, her legs felt like jell-o. Somehow, she made it out of the dimly lit hall and into the brightly lit waiting area.
Nick was the first one to see her approach. He took a step forwards. The others saw this and followed his gaze to the lost-looking Sara Sidle. They all rose as one and stood beside Nick.
"How are you doing?" Catherine asked. Sara mustered a weak smile.
"It was for the best," she replied, "I think he wants to see you. All of you guys," she told them. After offering Sara some quick words of encouragement, they headed down the hall to Grissom's room. Nick remained.
"Need a friend?" he asked, stepping a little closer to her.
"Are you sure you don't want to go with the others? I'm fine," she assured him. He could see right through her.
"And I'm fine standing here with you," he told her, but unlike her previous response, he was completely and totally sincere. She knew he was sincere and she was touched by that sincerity. She cursed the few tears that leaked from her eyes. She hated crying. Fortunately, Nick didn't mind. He moved closer to her and wrapped his arms around her in a tight embrace. She found herself relaxing in his arms, feeling that same comfort that she had felt earlier. Something about it just seemed to fit. She was content to just stay in his embrace forever.
The door to Grissom's room burst open. He knew who it was without even looking up. But he did look up and he saw the love of his life standing there, beaming at him. Her grin was infectious as a wide smile played on his own face. He moved over a little and patted a spot on the bed. Taking the hint, she bounded forwards, but before she sat down, she kissed him. He happily responded, missing her contact while she was in the waiting room. He pulled her on the bed, deepening the kiss.
"Oi! There are minors present!" Greg interrupted, gesturing to Lindsey, who smirked.
"Come off it. That's tame compared to when they were inside the box," she commented. Catherine and Grissom broke apart and flushed red. They looked around and saw the rest of the team standing in the doorway with grins on their faces. Finally Brass stepped forwards and gently pulled Greg and Lindsey back into the hall.
"Why don't we give these two a moment, eh?" he suggested, shutting the door behind him. Grissom and Catherine chuckled when they heard Greg's protests through the door. When their amusement died down, they lapsed into a comfortable silence, with her sitting beside him on the bed with one arm draped around his neck. They stared into each other's eyes and knew exactly what was on the other's mind. Gil leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips before pulling back.
"I meant what I said in the box," he told her, "I do love you."
"I know," she replied, leaning her forehead on his, "And I love you too."
He used his free hand to cup the side of her face as he leaned towards her and caught her lips once more. It was a kiss reminiscent to the one that they shared inside their Plexiglas prison.
"I'm glad that I was stuck in that Plexiglas prison with you," Catherine whispered, breaking the kiss, but not the intense emotional connection that they shared.
"I can't think of anyone I would rather be stuck with, Catherine," he replied, catching her lips once more. He had been stuck with her since the moment his eyes had first connected with hers. With that thought in mind, he vowed that he would remain that way until the end of time.
He was hers and she was his. It just took a few hours in a Plexiglas prison to show them the truth; that no matter what life threw their way, they would be alright as long as they were together.
AN: So there's the end of my fic. I hope you enjoyed the ride. I'd love to know what you guys thought of this. Thanks for all your kind words throughout the fic.