Title: You Mean
the World to Me
Author: Klee Wyck
Spoilers: Season 8
Disclaimer: Right now I hate just about everything and everyone. Except GSR. And all of you. And I don't own GSR. Or any of you, for that matter.
Summary: This is the story of how Klee Wyck single handedly saved GSR. Yes, it's true.
Lucid dreaming (also known as dream consciousness or conscious dreaming) is dreaming while being aware that you are dreaming. To actually have a lucid dream you merely have to recognize that you are dreaming. Realizing you are dreaming may not seem all that special, but becoming aware that you are dreaming presents the opportunity of controlling dreams. The idea is that once you are aware you are dreaming you can alter your dreams and dictate what happens: you can do anything you've ever wanted and go anywhere you've ever desired.
True love doesn't have a happy ending:
True love doesn't have an ending.
It was a dark and stormy night.
No, no. That's not right.
It was a warm and sunny afternoon.
Nope. Try again.
It was mid-winter, cold, icy. Snowdrifts and long, silvery icicles. Black, black sky with tiny pinpricks of stars. The bar was almost empty at this time of night but for the one or two usual drunks slobbering over the long, wooden tables. I was used to working alone and working late, so I wasn't surprised when the tavern door banged open, letting in a blast of wintry air along with a fine spray of snow.
"Close the bloody door, Alice!" Alfred mumbled into his mead. They call me Alice here, because that's my name. I glanced over to survey my latest patron. He was covered head to toe in a heavy, dark cloak. He was bent slightly, as if with pain or fatigue. After a long moment he removed the hood and I noticed not his middle-aged face or beard, his uncombed hair or ragged breathing. I noticed at once his eyes: wild and anguished, desperate and sad.
"Is she here?" he gasped.
"Who?" I frowned.
He gripped the edge of the table suddenly and swayed. He closed his eyes. "She must be here. She … must."
I moved towards him involuntarily. He looked so frantic, so vulnerable I wanted to put my arms around him. I shook my head and grinned. What's gotten into you, Alice? It's just another drunk, probably delusional.
But even as I thought it, I knew it wasn't the case. This man was different, somehow. And I knew I needed to help him.
His knees buckled then and he fell heavily to the floorboards. He covered his face with his hands and began to cry. I did run to him then, crouched beside him.
"Who are you looking for?" I asked gently, daring to touch his shoulder. But he was too overcome with cold and, I assumed, hunger, to answer.
"I thought she was here. I've been looking…so long…" He leaned against me heavily and I held him upright with all my strength.
"Who?" I asked again.
"Sara," he whispered. "Sara. Sara."
"Come," I said. "Let's get you something to eat and drink, then a warm bed for the night. Then, then we will find your Sara."
My words seemed to calm him for the moment. He nodded, let me take his hand. He turned his anguished eyes to me, as blue and warm as any ocean I'd ever imagined.
I leaned over then, kissed him gently on the lips.
Because this is my dream.
The man stayed for three days and nights, eating very little and sleeping even less.
He wouldn't tell me his name
It became apparent to me that the search for His Sara might very well be the end of him. I watched him very closely for those three days, bringing him stew and bread and hovering while he picked at it. I filled his cup with mead but he usually asked for water or hot tea. Every time the door banged open his head shot up, eyes desperately seeking out the face of the patron.
It was never her.
Still, he never stopped looking. His entire body was vibrating, his hands trembling as they tore off hunks of bread he didn't eat.
His desperation was palpable. I could feel it just standing near him.
I wondered if he would find her.
I wondered…I wondered if anyone would ever love me like that.
I tapped on his door lightly, then a bit harder. I knew he wasn't sleeping. My room was beside his and at night I could hear him pacing, could hear him banging the walls in frustration.
I often heard him crying out as he tried to sleep and my heart turned over with pain.
He opened the door a crack. I raised my candle, showed him the steaming mug.
"Warm milk," I said. "Sometimes it can help you sleep."
He took it from me and smiled then, for the first time. "Thank you."
"Alice," I said. "If there's anything I can do…"
He shook his head, the smile gone.
"Find her…find Sara for me. That's all I want."
He gently closed the door and we were both alone again.
She arrived with the storm on the fourth night, just when the man had all but given up hope. He had his bag packed with his meager belongings and was set to move on the following morning.
The tavern was almost empty, everyone having headed home, seeking shelter from the storm.
She arrived in much the same manner he had days before; covered head to toe in a dark cloak, trembling with cold and fatigue. I knew who she was before she uttered a word. We locked eyes across the room and I nodded, ever so slightly.
"Grissom?" she said hoarsely. I smiled. She covered her face and cried. I went to her, embraced her.
"He's here. He's been waiting."
She cried harder. "I've been looking for him for so long now."
"I should never have left him at all."
Then why did you? I wanted to ask. But it was not my place.
She looked up at me. "How will he ever forgive me?"
I smiled. "He loves you."
Then I leaned down and gently kissed her mouth.
Because this is my dream.
My hands were shaking as I led her up the narrow staircase and down the dark hallway to his room. I knocked lightly and immediately heard movement inside. Sara stood behind me. I could feel her trembling.
"Alice?" he said, and at the sound of his voice Sara startled, gave a small cry.
"It's me," I said. "I have something for you."
He opened the door, smiling a little. "More milk?"
I shook my head and stepped aside. For a moment there was no sound at all: there was only them, staring at one another. I had all but disappeared.
"Sara—" he gasped then. He reached for her, pulling her to him roughly, enveloping her in a fierce embrace. "I thought…I thought you were…I thought you must be—"
"Grissom—" she wrapped her arms around him. They were both crying. "I'm here. I should never have left. I'm so very sorry."
She would have said more, but his hands gripped the sides of her face and his mouth found hers and devoured it, kissing her with a passion I had never witnessed before in my life, and was sure I would never witness again.
I stood and watched. I should have left, I know, given them some privacy, but I could not tear my eyes away. I had to watch. I'd never seen anything like it before.
"Where did you go? Why did you leave?" Grissom asked at last, leaning his forehead against hers. His hands roamed her body as if he couldn't believe she was there, standing before him, alive.
"I…I had all these things I wanted to do. Some were personal. Some were professional. And I really needed to do some of them before I got too old,"
"But I was wrong! I was so very wrong. I can't do anything… anything …without you."
She kissed him then, ever so gently. "Can you forgive me?"
"Sara…I love you more than anything. You mean the world to me."
"I love you," she said, kissing his face. "I love you, I love you."
Their lips met again, much more tenderly this time and I realized this was my cue.
I closed the door and left them alone at last.
I did not see them again until late the following day when they appeared for dinner. They sat close together and ate with more appetite than I'd seen since Grissom arrived.
I brought them hot tea and Sara took my hand.
"We'll be leaving in the morning," she said quietly. "If anyone should come looking for us…"
"Who is looking for you?" I asked without thinking. None of my business, I realized, but I could not help it.
Sara closed her eyes in pain. Grissom slid his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to him.
"We're being followed…chased, hunted by…very bad people." His face had gone white, his lips tight. "I thought for sure they had found her…"
He closed his eyes, too, then, terrified at the very thought of what these people would have done to her. My insides turned to ice.
"I'll tell no one I saw you. No one," I said fiercely. This seemed to calm both of them for the moment.
I'd fucking kill anyone who tried to hurt either of them with my bare hands.
And I'm not a violent person.
It actually was a dark a stormy night this time.
It was late, 2 a.m., and I'd just kicked out the last drunk. I was carrying an armful of mugs to the kitchen when a wild thundering of hooves outside signaled the arrival of a large group. The thudding of my heart filled my ears and I was gripped with a chilling fear I could not name.
They were here. And I knew, I knew as surely as those two people loved one another, I knew They were here for Grissom and Sara. I dropped the mugs and bounded up the stairs to their room. Without bothering to knock I flung open the door to find them sleeping peacefully on the small bed, entwined so completely I could not tell where one began and the other ended. They both startled and sat up, Grissom already reaching for his pistol.
"Who's there?" he barked, shielding Sara with one arm.
"It's Alice," I gasped. "Come with me…now. It's urgent."
They asked no questions, but quickly rose and, clutching the blanket and one another, followed me back down the drafty hallway to the rear staircase. We padded down and down, past the main floor into the cellar. My candle barely lit our way. I could make out barrels and cobwebs, racks of wine and drying meat. I led them to a small cot in the far corner where the cook sometimes slept when he was too drunk to find his way home.
"Stay here," I ordered. "Do not move, do not make a sound until I return."
Then I left them.
The strangers were assembled by the door when I returned. There were seven or eight of them, mainly men, but several woman, all looking extremely nasty and menacing. I don't think I'd ever felt so frightened for myself, or for anyone else.
"Bar wench!" the small man snarled. I glared at him.
"What's your pleasure?" I asked. He moved towards me while his band of nasty looking compatriots spat on the floor and made menacing motions at the patrons.
He backed me up against a wall pushing a knife blade against my throat. I was determined not to let him see me flinch.
"Where are they?" he growled.
"Who?" I asked, casually wiping at a spot on a table. My hands were shaking and I hoped he would notice.
He grimaced, displaying a set of yellow, decaying teeth. "Sara and Grissom. We know they passed this way and we have word they stopped here."
The cold blade bit into my skin and I could feel a small trickle of blood on my neck. It became clear to me in that moment, as I looked into his dead, cold grey eyes: I would die to protect them
I would die to keep Sara and Grissom alive.
"Spread out!" he barked then. "Search the place. If they're here, we'll find them."
"And if you do find them…bring them to me, alive."
With a clatter of boots his band of idiots took off, no doubt waking every patron in my bar. I'd catch hell from all of them later.
The small man pushed his knife to my throat one last time, cutting deeper. I gasped and he released me finally with a laugh.
"You have no idea who you're dealing with, do you?" he hissed.
"What do you mean?" I put my hand to my neck, felt the warmth of my blood. Just a flesh wound, I assured myself. I would endure much worse to keep them safe.
"We're The Powers That Be," he cackled, licking the edge of his knife blade. "Surely you've heard of us."
I shivered. I had, in fact, heard tales of this gang, TPTB, wandering the countryside in search of lovers on the run, determined to tear asunder their union for no reason other than to create heartache and pain.
They were ruthless and they were all powerful.
I was suddenly terrified.
I could hear them all over the tavern, slamming open doors, yelling, cursing.
Don't find them, I begged in my head. Don't find them. Please. Please.
The minutes stretched on and on with no triumphant shouts reaching my ears.
Maybe…maybe. I held my breath, tried to still the pounding of my heart.
They returned, dejected, one after another. The small man glowered.
"We move on then, traveling east!" he shouted. He turned back to me. "But don't worry. We will return. We will never give up our fight to find them. And if we ever discover you assisted them, in any way…"
The knife found my throat once again, but I was no long afraid. I had beaten them.
I had won. Sort of.
Then, they were gone.
I found them huddled together in the cellar, a blanket thrown around their shoulders, his arms wrapped tightly around her.
"They're gone," I murmured into the darkness. "You're safe, for now. But you must go, and go quickly. I know they'll be back. They're desperate to find you and if they do…"
I bit my lip, horrified at the very thought.
"They don't want you to be together…for some reason."
"We don't know why!" Sara cried. "We've never done anything to them."
"We just want to be left alone."
"We just want to be happy."
I pondered the cruelty of people so determined to break apart a couple so obviously and passionately in love.
I could not fathom the depths of their evilness.
"You must go…you must leave now. I have a horse at your disposal. I can have him saddled and ready within minutes"
They stood close together, watching me closely.
"You're hurt," Grissom said suddenly, studying my neck, my blouse spattered with blood.
"It's nothing," I assured him, grinning. "Battle wound."
"Alice—" Sara began, but I cut her off.
"Hurry, please. They may be back."
And with that, I sealed my fate. I would help Grissom and Sara escape TPTB gang and would possibly pay for it, with my very life.
Half an hour later we stood at the back of the tavern, listening to the winter wind whip around the building. They were dressed with warm clothing, a sack of provisions clutched in their hands.
I blinked back tears.
They were leaving. They were actually going to leave me and I'd probably never see them again. I didn't think I could bear it.
But, at least they were leaving together. Could I really ask for more than that?
"I'm going to miss you both so very much," I said.
They looked at me rather oddly then, smiling a little.
"You hardly know us," Grissom said gently. I shook my head violently.
"No, no. You don't understand. I do know you. I know you better than you will ever know. I love both of you, so very much."
I grabbed him around the neck, pushed my face hard against his cheek. The roughness of his beard scratched me. I was starting to cry.
"Godspeed," I whispered.
What the hell? What did that mean?
No matter. Grissom seemed to understand.
"We don't know how to thank you."
"You don't need to," I said, wiping my eyes on my sleeve.
I turned to Sara. "I'll miss you most of all," I said. She nodded, but didn't speak. We embraced. I briefly pondered the possibility of a threesome, but there was no time.
No more time.
They grasped hands, fingers entwining.
"We'll never forget you," she said.
"Nor I, you," I said. Sara pulled the cloak's hood over her head. Grissom pulled the door open, letting in a blast of winter air. I put my arms around myself, shivering. I felt I'd never be warm again.
"We have to go, my love," Grissom said quietly. Sara nodded. He pulled her to him, pressed his lips to her forehead, her nose, her lips.
"Remember, go north. North and north, until you can go no further. There's a wonderful land up there where you will be free forever."
Outside I heard the horse whinny, stamp its feet in anticipation. In a whirl of dark wool they hurried through the door, mounted the horse. Grissom climbed on behind, grabbed Sara tightly around the waist. They looked over at me one last time. In the glint of the mid-winter moon's light, I thought I could see the faint shine of tears on their cheeks.
But I do have a rather active imagination.
Then they were off.
"You mean the world to me!" I shouted into the wind. If they heard me, they gave no indication, but I could have sworn Sara raised her arm in farewell.
Then a cloud covered the moon and all was dark.
So very dark.
So, I had this dream, see?