Title: The Fives Stages of Grief – Four Down & One to Go
Spoilers: Thru 8x12 (or what we know of it)
Disclaimer: I don't own CSI. They are the property of CBS/Paramount.
A/N: Well, the angst monster came out to play. I hope you enjoy. Special thanks to Seattlecsifan for her beta on my work, in the middle of the night no less!
Grissom lay back on his bed, the pillows propping him – thankfully – because his energy was nearly gone due to the damn flu. When the coughing fit hit, he reached over for a tissue and his glass of lukewarm water. Every muscle ached, and when another chill hit, he groaningly reached out for another blanket to stack over the three that already haphazardly lay across him.
Grabbing the remote, he turned on the television and stared, while the local news droned. When the reporter began talking about the couple robbed and killed in an alley off the strip, he sighed heavily and flipped channels to one he knew would have something interesting. The Science Channel.
"The Kubler-Ross model introduced what is known as the 'Five Stages of Grief'," the narrator stated. "The stages are distinctive, and explain the natural behavior of grief as experienced by the loss of a loved one."
As he listened, Grissom's brain began to fuzz, and slowly he drifted into a zone where everything seemed hazy, and reality bumped into the narration buzzing from the television. His eyes burned and the weight of them forced his eyelids to drop closed on their own.
"The first stage of grief as described by the model is Denial." The narrator went on to describe the affects of denial. Grissom murmured, "I'm not in denial. I knew she was gone." Forcing open one eyelid, he glared at the television, and continued, "Hodges is an idiot – she needed to leave, yeah. I couldn't stop her, but I wouldn't want to try." Shifting slightly, he drifted a bit more, when he muttered, "Stupid game."
He didn't know how long he slept, but he knew the cold medicine had kicked in. The pain in his chest from harsh coughing had eased, but his head still felt stuffy. Grabbing a tissue, he wiped the sweat from his forehead and blew his nose. Tossing the tissue toward the trash can just a couple feet away, he grumbled when it hit the hardwood floor instead.
His attention turned back to the lightly inflective voice of the narrator. "The model then addresses the Anger one feels at the world, the loss, the loved one, and even themselves."
Letting his eyelids slowly close, his mind drifted around. He still didn't understand Warrick's comment. He just knew it 'pissed him off' as Sara would say.
"He didn't have a right to throw it in my face," Grissom slurred. "It wasn't my problem that he didn't show up on time. Or that he had problems sleeping. He had no right to use Sara as an excuse for his life falling apart. It just made me angry."
With the end of that speech came a blissful nothingness for several minutes, until the cough rose in his throat. Bending forward and sitting up higher, he hacked painfully, with sharp needles running through the muscles in his back and chest. Sitting up, Grissom sipped his water, carefully set it back on the coaster.
For a moment, he wondered if he was dying, and the pain coursing through him was his penance. Snorting out a half laugh, he said, "You know what? Being sick isn't much fun."
As he looked around the room, he let out a wispy whistle, and watched Hank make his way from his doggy bed. When the canine put his front paws up on the bed, Grissom found just enough energy to wave the boxer up onto the mattress.
He would've smiled, but every muscle in his body felt so limp, he didn't feel it would be possible to attempt to turn up his lips more than the fragment they'd already risen. Reaching out, he patted Hank and heard a listless groan emanate from the dog. Yeah. That pretty much describes how I feel, he thought.
Turning his attention back to the television, he watched the program come back from commercial, and the narrator's voice came back. "The Kubler-Ross model goes from the second phase of Anger onto the third phase called Bargaining. This can take place in a multitude of forms…"
Grissom's mind wandered as he thought back to the cowboy poetry Nick and Catherine had found in that bull rider's hotel room. He could understand… the need to read or write something that just for a moment brought someone back in a more vivid way than a memory. As his eyes gradually closed, and he dozed a bit, his mind wandered to not long ago, when he'd spent an entire day off trying to figure out what he could say or do to make everything all right. In the end, he'd felt like he'd had no choice but to let her be, but for hours on end he'd analyzed each moment of their time together, wondering what he could do to make it better.
The sudden blaring of the television, as the program let off for a rather loud commercial had his eyes opening. Hearing snores next to him, Grissom glanced over to see Hank's chest moving up and down. The dog's sleeping better than I am, Grissom thought.
When he looked around his room and noticed the clutter – shelves stacked with a multitude of journals and books, a dozen or so tissues balled up on the floor, and crumpled clothes near the dresser, as well in front of the closet.
Picking up his glass, he went to take a swig, only to find it empty. With a heavy sigh, he laid it back on his nightstand. Heaving himself up, he stood bent and aching as he reached for his robe. Putting on his slippers, he shuffled through the apartment to the kitchen, empty glass in hand, and nearly knocked himself into the door frame when a sudden sneeze burst out. Bent over, clutching the refrigerator, he breathed deep in an attempt to get the ache to back off.
Refilling his glass, he shuffled his way back to the bedroom, just in time to hear the narrator speak. Easing under the blankets and back into a semi-comfortable position, he listened. "The fourth stage of grief, as described by the model is Depression, which can occur in the form of extreme sadness, change of moods, a desire to stay in bed…"
With drifting eyelids, Grissom took one more look around the bedroom and sighed at the general clutter. A mental shrug followed the thought, it's just where I sleep. Wishing he could simply sleep for the next five years, he snuggled a bit deeper under the massive amount of blankets over him. I'm not just sick. I'm tired. I just want to stay in bed.
The last thing he heard before finally drifting off for a peaceful sleep was the narrator saying, "The final stage of the model is Acceptance…"
Several hours later, he woke to the sound of his doorbell. Groggily making his way on a fit of coughing, he heard Catherine's voice on the other side of the door. "Grissom. Look, Ecklie and the under-sheriff sent me over to get you. We've got a hot case."