Title: In Sara's Kitchen
Graphics: JellybeanChiChi
Beta: JellybeanChiChi. Any mistakes are mine, because I continually dink with stuff when it should be "done".
Rating: General
Summary: Serious fluff. Sara makes Grissom a birthday dinner. No real spoilers.
Genre: Happy fluffy romantic stuff
Author's Note: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, seattlecsifan, happy birthday to you.


"Brilliant idea, Sidle," Sara muttered under her breath before blowing a stray hair out of her face.

Surveying the disaster in front of her, she sighed, and turned to eye the culprit of the whole damn mess. He sat on his hind legs, wagging his tail enthusiastically, occasionally licking his lips, hoping perhaps another special treat would come his way. Leave it to Hank to take after Grissom – dessert before vegetables.

"Ha! That cake didn't just magically appear on the floor in front of you," Sara said, watching Hank sink down to lay his head on his massive paws. Scowling even more at the innocent-looking dog, who lay coated in powdered sugar, she added, "It's all daddy's fault for teaching you to put your paws up on the table."

Sinking down to kneel on the floor, she surveyed her black slacks and forest shirt, not even bothering to so much as dust off the smattering of white powder contrasting off the dark shades. Instead, she looked around the kitchen, first taking in the pan that had once contained the powdered sugar used to lovingly powder his favorite desert.

Unfortunately, confectioner's sugar was not the only white powder on the floor – flour coated a good portion of the kitchen, as well. In a failed attempt to stop the impending disaster, Sara had lurched from where she stood next to the counter, inadvertently slapping the open bag of flour to the ground.

The dinner, consisting of walnut and apple lasagna, poached pear and crisp baby spinach salad, and sautéed asparagus lay on top of the white-coated floor where they toppled from the table to land alongside the cake. "Funny… you left the vegetables," she wryly stated, not bothering to hide the grin. The humor in the situation was just too much, and pretty soon the grin led to a chuckle.

The spice cake, so patiently made, once again stood proudly on the center of the table… at least, the part Sara managed to salvage in chunks before the dog could make himself sick. The rest of it ringed Hank's mouth.

As if reading her thoughts, the dog's head popped up, and he stared at Sara. Giving in, she rubbed his head and said, "I don't care what the experts say. Dogs can smile, and you're proof." Petting him once again, she stood and bent down to grab Hank's collar.

"Come on, boy, bath time."

Dragging the dog, who hated baths more than a 3 year old in a mud fight, she finally got him into the glass encased shower, didn't bother undressing, and simply began to run the water.

Meanwhile, she sang under her breath, "Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear Gilbert. Happy birthday to you," under her breath. Over and over, she scrubbed the dog, attempting to remove the flour that Hank had attempted to lick off his paws. Instead of cleaning the powder off, it had become gooey and hardened-like plaster – hence the repeated scrubbing.

Eventually turning off the water, she twisted around and looked through the glass in time to see Grissom watching. She couldn't help the wry grin and the sardonic roll of the eyes, before mischievously opening the shower door and letting loose the holy terror.

Grissom's eyes crinkled in laughter as the canine approached, and widened in horror when Hank's shoulders rolled forward. Barely had the words, "Oh, shit," escaped, when the dog let loose the first in a series of massive shakes, while Sara laughed uproariously from still inside the shower.

By the time Hank had finished drying himself off, Grissom stood sopping wet and covered in loose fur. He barely made it out of the way before the dog darted from the room an began the doggy version of a clean and happy dance (in which every dog owner knows this is when the dog runs madly through the house, dropping shoulder and head onto the ground, and attempts to bury itself under the floor… repeatedly… and in every room).

Shaking his head, Grissom opened the glass door to the shower, stepped in, and stood in front of Sara.

"Well, it's certainly going to be a birthday to remember," he murmured, dipping his head and running his tongue at the crease between her playfully pouting lips.

"You really don't want to kiss me," she whispered, wrapping her hands around his neck. "I smell like wet dog."

"So?" he asked, reaching over to flick on the water.

Laughing, they undressed, played, washed, played… eventually, as Grissom gently massaged her breasts, Sara grunted, "We really have to stop now."

"You said that 10 minutes ago," he replied before sucking on her neck again.

"Yeah, but I just heard the doorbell."

The loud groan coming from the depths of his stomach as he leaned back against the marble wall started her fit of husky laughter. On her way out, she kissed him hard and deep, ran a hand the length of his erection and flicked the water to cruelly cold.

"Son-of-a-bitch!" His hand shot out to slam off the water.

"Luckily, it's just Greg bringing by the birthday cake replacement," Sara laughed with a wave. As she made her way out of the bathroom, he couldn't help but grin at the saucy sway of her hips and the promise of the night.

It was another 10 minutes before Grissom made his way out of the bedroom to find Greg and Nick cleaning up the last of the disaster, while Sara stood poised with spatula in-hand over the stove. Without a second thought, he approached her, wrapped an arm around her waist, whispered, "You're just cruel," and kissed her neck. With a satisfied smirk at the shiver that he'd felt run up her spine, he felt cocky enough to give her a nice slap on the ass.

"Sure. You'll let Grissom get away with that. I smack you on the butt just once, and you threaten to stuff me in my locker at work," Greg grumbled, his face mocking a pout, but his eyes and tone giving away his amusement.

"Yes, but, Greg… I've never wanted to sleep with you, either," Sara flippantly replied, before giving Grissom the look. He damn near started whistling at the thought of getting laid by Sara, but choked back even the look on his face when he realized Greg and Nick were both staring. Not at Sara, as they usually did, but at him.

Clearing his throat, he backed away from the situation entirely and nearly let out a long sigh when the doorbell rang. He had a grin on his face when he swung the door open to find Brass and Catherine both on his doorstep.

"Come on in," he offered, standing aside and grandly gesturing the detective and the CSI inside. "Can I get you anything?" And Sara doesn't think I have a clue how to entertain, he gloated to himself.

"We're down here!" Sara yelled, waving her spatula up at the two descending the staircase. "Gil, why don't you grab a couple of folding chairs, baby."

Catherine didn't even attempt to hide the snicker when a faint, "Yes, dear," could be heard from some distant recess of the condo.

While everyone settled in and Sara continued cooking up a standby meal of omelets, everyone talked. As per the typical gathering, everyone spoke… or shouted… to and over each other.

With her back turned, she simply listened to the ebb and flow of conversation, relishing in the free-flow style of it all. Since she'd begun having people over, Sara had discovered the wonders of a kitchen and the activities within. Sure, it was an intimate place on many levels with him. However, her friends had shown her a sharp contrast.

In her early years, it had been only her mother and herself; and when she'd been extremely young, even Sara had been forbidden from spending time in the kitchens of the bed and breakfast her parents ran. As a teenager, she never felt all that comfortable in such an intimate environment with any of her foster mothers, save one. That family had been small and prone to spending very little time with others.

As she flipped over the omelet and absently reached out to spoon in some vegetables and cheese, she listened. Nick told a bad joke. Brass told a worse one. Greg was the one that had everyone rolling, though, with some tale he told of his research. Every now and again, someone would ask Grissom his opinion, and he'd gladly give it.

More than once, Brass attempted a bawdy joke about Grissom and Sara, but it always seemed to fall flat. For a seasoned detective, it's strange that he hasn't figured it out yet – that he talks about me like I'm his kid, and crude remarks make him stutter, Sara thought, feeling a cross between confusion and wondrous amazement. Her relationship with Brass had always confused her just a bit.

Grissom sat at the table with a scotch on the rocks in his hand, watching her at the stove. With only her back to the group, as her head was bent over the stove, most would simply think she was lost in concentration. He knew her. Pure and simple, he'd never known anyone as well, and never would again.

From the way she dropped her weight to the balls of her feet, he knew she was lost in thought. From the way her shoulders stiffened when Catherine and Nick began to laugh at a joke, she knew the thought roiled her emotions. Quietly, he stood and made his way to stand behind her, and was gifted with a soft sigh when he laid his hand on her shoulder.

"Penny for your thoughts?" he asked, as she flipped an omelet onto a plate, and tossed the plate in the warm oven.

"We're lucky," she murmured, listening to laughter burst once again from behind her.

Pulling the spatula from her hand, he turned off the gas flame, gripped her hand, and the two of them slipped unseen from the room.

It wasn't much to hide in the confines of their bedroom – the one place off limits to anyone other than themselves and Hank.

"Wait right here," she murmured, kissing his cheek, and disappearing into their walk-in closet. Re-emerging just moments later, she held out the gift, and watched his eyes light up as he calculated the contents in his head.

"Happy birthday, Gil," she said.

With boyish delight, he asked, "Can I open it?" as he danced from foot to foot and she laughed, bordering on a giggle.

"Of course," she said and watched her meticulously wrapped present encased in whimsical paper covered in guitar-playing bugs, declaring 'Beetles Rock!', get tossed to the floor in shreds.

Watching his face soften at the sight of the tome, a collection of classic literature, she knew she'd hit the nail on the head with this one. On several occasions over the years, he'd spoken of the long lost book he'd had years ago – the one that had accidentally been given away when he moved to Las Vegas. She didn't cry until he opened the front cover and he saw his name, written years before, on the inside of the cover.

"You're perfect," he said, the rare full smile shining him up from the inside, until he roughly grabbed Sara, pulled her in for a fast, heated kiss, and hugged her. "I can't believe you found my book after all these years."

After humming into his ear for a moment, she languidly said, "I do love you, Gilbert Grissom," and felt him tighten his hug a fraction.

Together, they stood like that, holding easily to one another, until Grissom finally said, "They're going to wonder where we went." It took several minutes more before they let go and walked back out to the kitchen.

Nick stood at the stove, flipping an omelet onto the warming plate. With a wink at the brunette, he grinned wide and said, "I thought maybe you two got lost back there," and Sara's face flushed. When he chuckled she felt the heat spread further and grinned back at him.

Before she could make a move to man the stove, though, she felt Grissom's hand on hers, halting her initial forward movement. "Hold on, honey," he said, and turned her to face him.

"What?" she asked, curious at the look on his face. The only other time she'd ever seen him look so nervous had been when he'd proposed, and she'd been so eager to see him she hadn't really recognized that contemplative trembling at the time. "What are you up to?" she finally asked, stepping close and kissing his cheek.

"This has been a long time coming," he whispered. From his pocket, he pulled a black velvet box. He didn't understand why his hands shook. When he flipped open the box, he heard her gasp and stared deep into her eyes.

She didn't try to speak; she simply couldn't. Tears delicately slid down her cheeks as she stared at the woven band.

"I should've given you this ring five years ago." A wry smile crept over his face when he added, "Honestly, I didn't want to slow down to hit a jewelry store the day we got married," he stated, pulling the item out and sliding it onto her finger.

Sara closed her eyes as Grissom cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand, and rubbed his thumb over her lower lip.

"I can't wait for our anniversary next month to slide this onto your finger," he continued. Staring deep into her eyes, he said, "Somehow, I got lucky and met you. Then somehow I got even luckier and you loved me back." Tilting his head and leaning in, he kissed first one cheek and then the other. After a gentle kiss on the forehead, he smiled and dipped his head to hover over her lips.

As his lips met hers, they were momentarily oblivious to sight and sound, until Nick shouting, "Hank!" permeated the room, followed by a loud crash. They laughed into their kiss when they heard Greg chirp, "I'll order the pizza."