Author's note: This little tale assumes that Sara and Grissom do not begin a relationship until shortly before the end of season 6, as opposed to the beginning. A little non-canonical, but I know you will bear with me. Spoilers for "Time of Your Death" abound, hovering around each and every corner. Don't be afraid; see it as a sign from the gods to watch a very lovely GSR episode if you already have not. And I know there's not a couch in Grissom's office, because I searched. It's not there. So I made it, because I needed it. And it's bigger and comfier than the bit of brown leather that will be a couch when it grows up that he has at his townhouse in early seasons. Enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: The couch is mine. Everything else is theirs. We're in negotiations... Wait, that was my dream last night.
"I think fantasies are best kept private."
Sara swallowed hard as memory washed over her. The way Grissom had looked at her in the conference room should have sent all of her coworkers into gossip overdrive. The case had been just a little bit strange from the beginning, and finding out that the bizarre scenario had been concocted especially for their victim had given the entire case a surreal haze. But while Greg's comment about generous bosses had caused her to smirk and chuckle internally, Grissom had hardly seemed to hear him. Instead, his eyes had focused on the table for a few seconds as he uttered the words that kept roaring in her ears. He had hooded his gaze for just a heartbeat after the declaration, and then his eyes had swept up to her face, his expression an odd mix between serious and slightly playful. When everyone else had left, however, and she met his gaze with a smile she could not suppress, his face had gone completely serious, eyes darting to her face, down to the table, and then up again, as if he had in one brief moment revealed too much and not enough.
Now her heart was racing and her lips were dry as she leaned against the cool tile of the women's restroom. She had raced for its relative seclusion as soon as the meeting was over, desperate to wash the flush from her face. Their increased time together had made her more comfortable, playful, and open with him, and so the suggestive smirk had come naturally. But watching his face change after he looked up at her, she wondered if she had reacted in entirely the wrong way. It was a razor's edge she walked with him, and she feared her feet were bleeding.
With a sigh that burned her lungs with its weight, she pushed open the bathroom door and headed down the hall, hands still slightly damp from splashing ice water on her face. The building was nearly deserted, with night shift almost over, and she started for her locker. Now would be a good time to slip away. But as she passed his office, the dim light seeping under the closed door caught her attention. His blinds were drawn, but he must be still inside.
Her fingers found their way to the doorknob, trembling slightly, before she even realized she had stretched out her arm. Through the metal and glass she could hear soft strains of opera, some glorious tenor soaring through a complicated aria. She pulled her hand away. The music would mean he was deep in contemplation, or at least doing mind-numbing paperwork. She would go home, as she had intended. It would be best.
Suddenly, the operatic vocals went silent, and she froze. He would be coming out in a moment, see her standing here, and there would be a conversation. At least, there would be looks, expressions, and probably confusion. Her chest closed up at the very idea of some awkwardness landing them where they had been before, strained and at one another's throats. She turned to hurry away before he could spot her.
His voice came through the door. She stopped, alarmed. He must be awfully close to the door if I can hear him. But how the hell—
"I can hear you breathing."
She held her breath. He would open the door. She had to have some excuse.
She inhaled. "Yeah." The sound was slightly choked.
"Is there a reason you're lurking outside my office?"
She tensed. "Um—is there a reason you're talking to me through your door?"
Silence. She pressed a hand to her stomach, tucking her hair behind one ear nervously. This could be the strangest interaction she had ever had with Grissom.
A cleared throat. "I suppose I was trying to startle you." His tone was wry, slightly embarrassed, and she imagined the facial expression that would accompany it.
She laughed aloud at the admission, unable to suppress it. "You did."
"Was there something you wanted?"
The door was still closed between them. Her fingers itched to wrench it open. No matter how calm or even blank he attempted to keep his face, she had learned to read the nuances of pursed lips, a flick of the tongue across them, the slight narrowing and widening of his eyes. Without the signals he was oblivious to her ability to detect, she felt blind and panicked.
"No, nothing." She cleared her own throat, fingers now nervously toying with the hollow there. She needed to say goodnight and walk away.
No one had ever managed to pack more inflection or multi-faceted meaning into such a simple syllable. Her mind raced to decipher it. She had heard him utter it in a dozen moods—angry, sullen, curious, exhausted. She imagined it could be heard in a dozen more.
The sound of "oh" as she pressed her lips to—
"Well, goodnight." She dared not trust her voice with more than a few clipped words. Wrapping her arms around her body, she turned.
He could do the same thing with her name that he did with monosyllabic exclamations. She closed her eyes briefly and turned back.
"You disappeared after the meeting."
Her own flushing face was all that greeted her in the reflection of the glass. She was irrationally happy in that moment that the damn door still stood between them.
"Yeah. I wasn't feeling great."
"Everything all right?" Such genuine concern that her fingers dug into the lean muscle of her upper arms.
"I'm fine now. This case was just a little…bizarre."
A pause. "Yes, it was unusual. But humans need their fantasies."
She swallowed. "I guess."
She could hear him slipping into lecturer mode. "Fantasies can lead to bursts of creativity, inspiration, increased happiness—if nothing else, they provide a means of escape for the unhappy and unsatisfied."
She nodded, forgetting he could not see her. "But you're probably right. A lot of fantasies aren't meant for public consumption." Her lips were trembling.
She imagined him cocking his head slightly. "Well, without discretion, a fantasy made known to another could lead to ridicule, abandonment—"
"Exactly," Sara agreed, too quickly. More thoughts on the subject were only going to tie her brain in knots. She had to leave before it took a drink and a cold shower to turn her mind off.
"Sara." Her name. A fourth time, a fourth intonation. Beckoning, questioning, arresting…and now what? Was she imagining the slightest trace of breathlessness to his voice? She was.
"I'm glad you understand."
Whatever she had been expecting, it really was not that. She rubbed a hand over her forehead. "Well, sure. I'm a private person. I would understand that hesitation."
Her heart lurched. The Grissom she knew, the one she could count on, even if it was only to wound and disappoint, was gone, replaced by a stranger on the other side of a door. The Grissom she knew would not have said still. There would have been no still. She pressed her hand against the doorframe. Whatever was coming after still might change everything, and she was not sure she was ready for it.
"It's late, Grissom."
Dead silence greeted her statement, and she wanted to reach out for the words and cram them back into her mouth. In this delicate dance, she had always been the lead, and he had gracefully sidestepped her guiding hands every time. Now, in the moment when he might at last be reaching out, it was she who was spinning away into the darkness.
"Is it too late?"
A breath on its way up through her chest caught, and she pressed her hand over it, feeling slightly lightheaded. She was imagining the words. She had to be. She could feel the frantic beat of her heart against her hand. In a moment, he had dragged her back years.
The word was out before she could evaluate it, contain it. A soft sound against the door, and she imagined his hand had come up to lean on the sturdy metal. Was he as breathless and terrified as she?
Minutes beat by, the silence between them so deafening that she wondered suddenly if he was still there, if he had gone back to his desk or somehow slipped past her while her mind reeled, blinding her to his passage. When he spoke again, she was so startled she almost cried out.
"In my mind, I see you standing outside this door. I see your hand on the doorknob, hesitating. I can hear you, I can sense you, but I wait for you to decide if you are coming in or leaving."
She leaned back against the glass, knees weakening. He had sensed her outside the door? She had never imagined he could be quite as attuned to her presence as she had become to his.
"When you come in, I don't look up from my paperwork, because I know the sight of you will be too distracting, and I'll either make you uncomfortable by letting my gaze linger, or I'll offend you by being gruff and dismissive in an attempt at professionalism."
Sara pressed her fingers to her lips. She had never gone inside. What— And then she clutched the wall for support, because he had never been this open before, and she realized what these words must be. She listened closely to the murmur of his voice, her legs threatening to give out and tumble her ungracefully to the floor.
"But as you so often do, you prohibit me from giving in to my habitual reactions. It's the way you do it that surprises me. It's the way you move around my desk and touch my cheek with tenderness that I can't ignore. And when your eyes tell me for the hundredth time that I'm a fool to resist you, I give in."
The world swam before her eyes. Her skin was hot, her face burning.
I think fantasies are best kept private.
"Do you remember that rush case when Warrick's evidence was tossed out?"
Sara's mind spun at the abrupt switch. "Um—yes."
His voice, questioning and matter-of-fact a moment before, now dipped back into the hushed tones laced with sensuality that had her senses reeling. "Do you remember what you asked me?"
She had probably asked him a dozen questions during that long day. She instinctively knew which question he was referring to, and every muscle in her body tightened. "Yes."
A pause. "What was it?"
She could not do this. Whatever this was, whatever was happening, she was not ready for it. The strangeness, the literal wall between them as he spoke in a tone she had never heard before—her nerves were twanging with tension.
"I can't," she whispered.
He was so silent and still. She wanted desperately to see his face. "I'm in the hall, Grissom. I'm alone in the hall. I don't want to repeat it alone in the hall." She pressed her hand to her mouth to stop the babbling.
"Then come in."
Her fingers were numb, one hand still pressed to her lips, the other wrapped around her waist. She could imagine what someone walking down the hallway would see—her body leaning helplessly against a closed door, her cheeks flushed and her hands shaking. She turned, hesitated, and closed her eyes. She could not draw in enough air. Her hand fell from her mouth to the doorknob, and she twisted it, pushed against the heavy door, moved into the shadowy room, let it fall shut behind her. All without opening her eyes.
She could feel him beside her, on her right. He must have been leaning against the doorframe, or the wall beside it. She balled her hands into fists to still their trembling, but instead the shaking traveled up into her shoulders and down her torso. She inhaled deeply and pushed one hand through her hair, silently pleading with the oxygen to steady her.
"What was it?"
There was not another voice like his on earth. Baritone, smooth, serious and careless by turns, rich and vibrant and young, even. But the husky quality to it now was foreign, and in this conversation turned revelation, she imagined it could only mean exactly what she wanted it to mean. It was the most terrifying thought she had ever had.
"Pin me down."
It was a whisper, a murmur that verged on a moan. She wanted to swallow it, choke it back down, fight for some control over her traitorous vocal chords, but she only had seconds of time for self-deprecating longing before she was against the door, wrists held firmly into place beside her face, and the heat of his proximity was not from crime scene examination or laboratory study, but from his body pressed closely to hers. For the first time since her fingers had touched the doorknob, she opened her eyes.
Grissom's face was beside hers, their cheeks millimeters from touching. His hands were around her wrists, and his breath was hot next to her ear. She inhaled sharply and fought to remain upright, her eyelids fluttering closed again as he continued his aborted narrative, his exhalations stirring her hair.
"You pull me to my feet and say the words that echo in my head at least once during every case we work together. And I obey you, because I'm done trying not to. I press you to the door, really pinning you this time, because there's no evidence in the way to prevent me. And I wonder if you'll struggle again in my grasp, and I wonder if it's wrong that I want you to."
Sara wondered briefly what he would do if she passed out while he held her here. The knot in her stomach had untwisted and released warmth that spiraled through her blood and into her head and thighs. Somehow, he sensed her weakness, and pulled back just enough to look at her face. Their lips were inches apart, and some still-aware portion of her brain noted that his breath smelled of coffee and mint, and his skin of shaving cream and soap. She opened her eyes.
It was the same look he had given her after her smile—the one out of which all playfulness and teasing had vanished, the one so serious that her chest ached. She stared back, trying to read it, looking for a movement in his eyes, his lips, that would tell her something. There was nothing.
Slowly, shutting down the part of her brain that screamed at her of her own insanity, she twisted her wrists in his grasp, just a quarter turn. His expression never changed, but the blue of his eyes darkened slightly, and her heart skipped a beat. Experimentally, she twisted them back, and was rewarded with an almost imperceptible stiffening to his back and shoulders. Her lips parted slightly, and she rotated them again against his hands, this time farther, while tugging downward slightly. His eyes closed, expression never faltering, hands and body never moving.
This time it was a whisper, and she could not identify a single emotion behind it. He sounded as if he wanted her to stop, as if he wanted her to continue, as if he wanted the earth to swallow him whole. Embarrassment laced with desire. Longing entangled with fear. No purity of feeling, but a mixture of what she always wanted from him and what he always gave. With a swift yank, she pulled her wrists free, and his eyes flew open.
She let all of her confusion, all of her desperation and uncertainty and frustration leak into her voice as she spoke his name. If this was a game to prove his point, it was a horrible one, and if it was not… She waited for him to speak again.
"I liked the door."
Heat leeched away from her core, seeping out through her limbs. She slid past him and dropped into a seated position on the small couch in the corner of the office, staring at the opposite wall.
He moved to stand beside her, and then she felt him crouch down next to her. She could not turn her head. She would not move or speak until he told her what the hell he was doing to her and why. Her fingers tightened on her thigh.
"What I said—in the staff meeting—I meant it." His words were slow, halting, and she realized he had truly been more fluid when a barrier separated them, whether it was a wall or the mist of her hair falling over her cheek. "Privacy is as important to you as it is to me, and I knew you would understand my sentiments. And you did."
Sara kept her breathing slow, even. His hand came up to touch her hair, and unconsciously she bit her lip.
"But your smile seemed so knowing, so suggestive, that I wondered if you could read my mind. And when I came back here, only one thought played itself out in my head until I thought I would go mad. And then I sensed you outside the door, and I wondered if it was a sign."
The hand in her hair traveled down to her neck, brushing lightly over the skin exposed there. Her hand on her thigh clenched tighter, willing herself to remain motionless, silent, unmoved.
"When I couldn't see your face, the words came so much more easily. I didn't intend to share with you what I did. It went against the very statement I made earlier, and reiterated to you, that such things should be kept private. But when you said—"
Grissom stopped, and Sara turned at last. Their eyes met, and she swallowed at the sight of the same maddening expression on his face, so very serious and unreadable.
"What does it mean when you look at me like that?"
He seemed startled. "Like what?"
"The way you looked at me in the conference room when I smiled at your comment. The way you looked at me when you held me against the door."
A slight increase in the pace of his breathing caused things low in her belly to tighten. "I'm not sure."
She crossed her arms over her body, unsure of what to do. The sharing of an obviously private fantasy had swept them up for several long moments, and the shudder back into reality had been bracing and disconcerting. Her head ached.
"I should go," she murmured before she could stop herself. Once upon a time, she would have pushed him and herself until he stopped her abruptly like a brick wall. Lately, her modus operandi had changed, and now the urge to run was overwhelming. She had given into it without a second thought.
His face fell so obviously at her words that she almost gasped in shock. In all of the awkward, tension-filled moments they had shared, she had never seen him look quite so disappointed.
A fantasy made known to another could lead to ridicule, abandonment…
He stood, moving out of the way so she too could rise. Her mind whirled as she turned for the door. Everything had been so strange, so unexpected, but now she was on the verge of losing whatever might have followed in his tale, and the thought of that loss frightened her more than the unpredictable nature of this moment. She stood on the razor's edge, dripping blood, and made her decision.
Turning back, she grabbed Grissom's hands and tugged, pulling him toward the door with her. His face was startled briefly, then confused. When her back touched the door, she closed her eyes and lifted her arms until the backs of her hands rested on the solid surface just behind and beside her head. His hands were still clutched in hers. She waited.
A breath, a heartbeat, and then another. A chill washed through her as she wondered if she had made a terrible mistake. And then his hands slid from hers, down, away…and clasped around her wrists. A step, and he was pressed against her again, and her chin came up slightly as her head fell back against the door. Another step, and her spine was tight against the cool surface, and she gasped at how warm he was even through layers of fabric. She could not open her eyes.
"Desire so intense that I'm afraid to breathe."
She inhaled. "What?"
And then Grissom's lips touched hers for the first time, and her world exploded around her. She had imagined him gentle, seductive, even hesitant. She was not prepared for the passion and command his lips conveyed. Unconsciously, she twisted her wrists in his hands again as her lips parted beneath his, and his thigh roughly insinuated itself between hers, parting them slightly. She fought back a moan and tugged against his nearly vice-like grip.
In a moment she was tumbling backwards onto the couch, his arms beneath her waist and shoulders to soften the fall. He had whirled her around, his hands now on her shoulders, and guided her stumbling feet the several paces back while never breaking the kiss. Her legs fell open slightly as she landed and gasped, and swiftly he was kneeling between them, his hands on her hips. She stared up at him breathlessly.
"Tell me to stop."
His voice was commanding, but she was certain it was not an order. As she tried to shape a coherent thought, she realized it was a warning, perhaps even a bit of a challenge. In another tone, in another time, it would have been a plea, or it would have simply been reversed as he ordered her away. But now, he wanted her acquiescence, her surrender, and he wanted her to know that she would have to act in order to end this, that he would not. Her mind offered up only one word.
And then the time for words was gone, and it was only his lips and hands on her body, and his breath against her skin. Buttons came undone, zippers and closures slid down and opened, fabric fell away. His eyes burned into hers, bright blue flames, and she scorched beneath his gaze. When his hand encircled her breast for the first time, she arched into it wantonly, and when a thumb and forefinger closed over her nipple, she could not help but moan aloud. Her hands ran over his shoulders, his chest, his back, and she was rewarded with the quickening and harshening of his breath.
When he lifted her hips at last, her neck and chest were flushed with arousal from his kisses, and her swollen lips parted in a soft plea. She started to close her eyes, but he brushed a finger over her intimately and they flew open. He smiled a slightly feral smile she had never seen before and repeated the gesture, and her hips bucked up into his hand. With one swift motion, he drove into her until his hips were firmly against her body, and she bit her hand to muffle a scream.
He moved swiftly and surely, each thrust driving her closer to a loss of control. His eyes never closed, never left her face, and she felt vulnerable and open in a way she never had before in her life. Moans and gasps tumbled from her lips, but he made no sound, only the rapidity of his breath a revelation to his arousal. Rather than troubling her, the silence seemed to be born of reverence and focus, and strangely she found it even more stimulating than his groans of pleasure would have been. His fingers dug into her hips and she cried out, lifting herself on her elbows to find his mouth. He bent over her, pressing her back into the couch with his kisses, and one hand slipped between their bodies to touch her once more. A single stroke of his finger and she was slipping, falling into a glorious darkness, muffling her cries into his shoulder as her hips writhed beneath his. The feel of her release was a catalyst, and with a sound at last he tumbled after her into the abyss. The groan into her hair sent another spasm of pleasure through her body.
They lay entangled for a moment, her feet curled around his ankles, his hands beside her head barely keeping his weight from settling onto her in pleasurable exhaustion. Now he kept his eyes from her face, and an invisible hand tightened around her heart. The line had been crossed, and if he tried to back-track his steps, she would withhold her forgiveness for the rest of their lives.
At last he rose, moving to sit beside her at the edge of the couch, his hip brushing her leg. Sara reached for his jacket that was draped over the arm of the couch beneath her head, tugging it over her body. The room was cold without his skin against hers, and the temperature seemed to be rapidly dropping.
"Are you angry?"
His question was so startling that she had to bite back a snappish reply. She breathed in and out deeply before asking, "Why would I be angry?"
He sighed heavily. "So many years of pushing you away, telling you no…are you angry that I finally gave in?"
"That's not how I would put it," she said wryly. Grissom twisted slightly to look at her. His iron grey curls were mussed, and she lifted a hand to run her fingers through them.
"Gil—" She smiled faintly. "Why did you give in?"
He cleared his throat, eyes falling to the black coat covering her. "I couldn't get the subject of fantasies out of my mind ever since we finished the case. And then I couldn't get the subject—" He stumbled over his words. "The subject of my fantasies out of my mind. You were there, and I could tell you, because it was easier to pretend there were no consequences when you weren't standing in front of me."
She continued to stroke his hair, silently willing him to finally speak honestly to her. "But then I was."
He nodded slowly. "And you did exactly what I wanted you to do. I couldn't stop even if I wanted to." He rested a hand on her cheek. "And I no longer wanted to."
Desire uncoiled in her abdomen once more, and she felt her face heating. She laid her hand over his, pressing it into her cheek. "And now?"
"Now," he murmured, sliding his hand out from under hers, "I go home and get some sleep. And when I wake up, you're there beside me."
Sara smiled, slight at first, then completely, her eyes alight, a slight laugh escaping her lips. "Really."
Grissom smiled in return, his eyes holding a trace of the serious expression he'd given her several times that day. "The simplest, most perfect fantasy I've ever had," he said softly.
Once redressed, he took her hand in his and silently led her from the room. She flipped off the light switch as she slipped into the hall after him. The heavy door clicked shut behind her, and she paused to press her fingers to its smooth surface in silent gratitude.
She smiled softly. "Coming."