Title: Waking the Weary
Rating: K (Any)
Pairing: Grissom/Sara, but primarily Grissom-centric
Spoilers: Through episode 8x12 (Grissom's Divine Comedy)
Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount own CSI and its characters. I make no profit. I just borrow them every now and again.
Summary: My (wishful thinking) take on what is going to happen in 8x12, when Catherine goes to Grissom's apartment.
A/N: For those out on my favorite GSR thread… this is for you. Written for those with the "Missing Sara Blues".
Court had been ruthless. Dressed in a dark suit, striped shirt, and tie, Grissom prepared to get rid of the choking knot that rubbed against his swollen and sore throat. Lifting the collar, he loosened the tie, and rolled his sore shoulders until the suit jacket dropped down his arms. Glancing down, he moved his lips up and quietly said, "Let me change and I'll feed you," to the patient dog sitting on his haunches, staring up at his master.
Wanting nothing more than bed and sleep he moved to the bedroom, letting his eyes drift closed. He simply tossed the garments in a heap in the closet – too tired to care. Down to only his underwear, he grabbed his cotton pajama bottoms, tossed on a t-shirt, and prepared to feed the dog, before settling down to a day of rest and recuperation.
Shuffling to the kitchen in his robe, Grissom moaned when he leaned over to grab Hank's water and food bowls for refill. He groaned in pain as he lowered them to the floor. Still bent, he pet his canine companion, made a show of standing straight, and completed his journey to the bedroom. Dropping his robe at the end of the bed, he settled in and immediately drifted off, with Hank settling on the floor next to him.
Catherine stood on his doorstep, pulling the black leather jacket tighter around her slim form. Hesitantly, she reached out, feeling trepidation at invading his domain; but orders were orders, and they not only came from Ecklie, but from the under-sheriff and the deputy district attorney. On one hand, she was curious to see the apartment into which he'd moved over a year ago; on the other hand, she felt like she was invading his privacy.
Leaning into the doorbell, she rolled her neck, and let out a small breath. So far, Nick, Warrick, Greg, and she had suffered through the weeks-long flu, and sloughed off the last of it. Everyone had been taken by surprise, when Grissom, the man who never got sick, went down like a casino under demolition.
Inside the apartment, Grissom heard the ringing, coughed a couple of times. The pain from the rough heaving of his chest sent flames up his scorched throat, and he lifted his groggy head from the pillow. The tightening ache running down his neck, through his shoulders, and down his back had him rolling sideways out of bed; finally gaining his feet, bent at the waist as he reached for his robe.
Shuffling slowly across the hardwood floor to the front door, he continued coughing into a tissue. Finally clasping the metal handle against his clammy hand, he opened the door, trying to stand up straight.
"Catherine?" he croaked with a raw raspy throat; his mind confused at his co-worker's appearance.
Apologetically, she said, "I'm sorry about this, Grissom, but I was sent to come get you. We've got a hot one."
Stepping back, he shook the last of the cobwebs from his mind, and hazily made his way toward the living room. "Why didn't you just call?" he asked.
"I tried, but your phone is off. The deputy district attorney has requested you specifically," Catherine explained. "You need to get dressed." Grinning, she added, "Don't get me wrong, seeing you show up at a crime scene in slippers and a robe would be entertaining, but I think the under-sheriff might have a problem with it."
Her face more sober, she stated, "It's high profile, Gil."
Letting out a long breath, he said, "Give me a few minutes," and made his way to the other side of the apartment, and closed himself in his bedroom. Hank lay down next to the leather chair, where his master often sat.
Smiling, Catherine crouched and murmured, "Hey boy." Reaching out her hand, she waited for him to sniff, and then relax in approval. Rubbing the dog's head, he leaned into the caress and panted slightly. When she moved away, he lay his head across his paws, and closed his eyes.
Standing straight, she looked around and took in the general layout of Grissom's home. It didn't take much to figure out it wasn't just his home, but theirs. The earth tones made everything feel welcoming and comfortable. Light filtered in from the multitude of windows along the wall, lending an open, airy atmosphere to the home, and she was surprised at how… cozy… it felt.
Catherine made her way to the kitchen cupboards, and found the cups. Pulling open the stainless steel refrigerator, she rummaged through its contents. The orange juice grabbed her attention, and she poured some into a waiting glass, laying a cough and cold pill next to it. Feeling fatigued herself, as the entire graveyard shift had been hit hard with illness for the first time in history, she placed the juice container back in the refrigerator.
Her hand lingered over the handle of the cool stainless appliance, and she stared at it blankly, thinking of the decimated team barely coming back to life. Clearing her mind, she glanced down, and saw the picture. Curiously, she moved the small magnet from its corner, and picked it up to get a better look.
"Well, well, well," she softly murmured. In her fingers, she held a picture of a much younger Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. For a moment, she just stared. With her brows arched in surprise, she studied the faces peering back – Sara's smile, and Gil's grin. He looked to be about a decade younger.
The full implication hit her, and Catherine couldn't help the slight laugh that huffed out on a breath, as a grin broke across her face. Looking more closely at the picture, she could see how… content and happy they seemed. Huddled close, they looked like any other couple having their picture taken by some passerby.
She'd always considered Grissom to be a friend, but at that particular moment, all she could do was wonder, how did we miss this? Pegging the picture back on the refrigerator, she made her way back to the living room, taking in the feminine touches around the home – the beautiful pottery, pictures Catherine was sure she'd never seen before, and other small items placed here and there.
On a small coffee table lay magazines ranging from Entertainment Weekly to National Geographic. Other items, such as a small jar with change and a deck of cards lay sprawled on the low wooden table.
Returning to the dog, Catherine moved Grissom's tome of Shakespeare's work for the chair, and took a seat. Upon her settling, Hank raised his head, and she chuckled lightly at the look of heaven on his face, when she pet him some more.
While Grissom slowly dressed, his head stuffed up and dread of having to swallow down anything, even if the accompanying pill would help, it occurred to him that another woman was inside his home. Picking up the pace, he settled into his slacks, shirt, and jacket, before making his way to the bathroom.
Completing his ablutions, including taking a moment to sigh over the paleness of his face, he eventually made it to the living room minutes later to find Catherine waiting for him.
"There's juice and a pill on the counter," she stated, watching him make his way silently to the kitchen. She waited until he held the glass to his lips, ready to take a swallow, before casually stating, "So. You and Sara have known each other for quite awhile."
Catherine watched his face, trying to find some kind of reaction to what she'd said. Instead, his face remained impassive. Had she not been staring at his eyes, she would've never seen the split second where they scarcely squinted. What he didn't reveal was the gut clenching pain that made him feel he'd been kicked.
"Yes," he quietly replied.
With orange juice in hand he dropped the pill in his mouth and took a swig, cringing at the abrasive feel of the cool drink sliding down his abused throat. Glancing at the picture on the refrigerator, he felt something clench in his stomach, and he took a moment to shift his focus. Letting out a soft breath he moved to the sink, took one last drink, and set the glass in the stainless sink.
Glancing down at the canine, Catherine asked, "What's his name?"
"Hank," Grissom replied, making his way over to them both. With every step he felt more and more energy drain from him, until nothing but fatigue remained. Crouching down, he felt each stiff muscle in his legs and up through his hips protest.
"When did you get him?" Catherine casually asked.
"About a year and a half ago," he replied, slowly standing under the strain of exhaustion. "We found him about a year and a half ago."
"Found him?" she queried.
"Yeah. He was a complete mess when we found him out on the strip," Grissom replied. She barely heard him add, "He seems to just fit right into our home."
A moment of uncomfortable silence slipped into the room, and Catherine could no longer contain the question that plagued her.
"Have you heard from Sara lately?" she quietly asked.
"We've talked," he succinctly replied, uncomfortable with the question.
Feeling a bit awkward, Catherine pressed further. Exasperated over his lack of response, she eventually asked, "Are you and Sara going to be able to work this out? Work out what happened between you?"
Exhausted, Grissom stared about the room, his gaze fixed on the woven basket on a bookshelf. He never dropped his gaze from the container when he spoke.
Catherine was stunned by his passive tone, when he said, "It seems like wherever we are or whatever we're doing, we manage to weave ourselves in and out of each others life." For a moment, she wondered how many times in the past they'd passed through each others lives. It was in that moment and with startling clarity that the depth and breadth of their relationship sank into her.
"Are you okay?" she finally asked.
Closing his eyes for just a moment as a slight wave of dizziness passed through, he reluctantly nodded at Catherine and turned his attention to his dog.
"Come on, Hank." With a quick whistle, the dog followed him into the bedroom, where Grissom filled an extra water bowl in the bathroom, and felt terrible at having to leave his boxer alone for the day.
"Are you ready to go?" he asked, grabbing his keys and cell phone from the small table next to the front door.