Title: Trying to Find Common Ground
Genre: CSI Las Vegas
Disclaimer: *Sigh* not mine, but they're on the Xmas list… come on Santa be nice.
Timeline: This is a combination of smaller sections, covering the mid to end of Season 5. Part 1 5X14, Part 2 5X19.
Spoilers: Everything is game up until season 6.
Rating: M for adult themes.
Characters: Grissom, Sara, Greg, Sophia some mention of the others, and Ecklie.
Lyrics: (Both sections.) Top - Grissom, Bottom – Sara.
Story word count: 2 985 (excl Lyrics)
Guilty as sin, yes I confess, I can't deny,
Strong in the heart, but weak in the flesh,
I never meant to do you wrong
I swear the soul gets blistered, along the way
Guilty – Def Leppard
Grissom lay in his bed. If ever there'd been an evening he'd regretted, it was tonight. All throughout dinner he'd listened to Sophia, had tried to remain focused on the conversation at hand. But all he'd been able to deliberate was that he'd actually wanted it to Sara sitting across him, discussing whatever was on her mind, rather than the blond investigator. At first he'd issued the invitation just to assure himself that he actually could still do this, and for him to find out the reason why she wanted to go. But he'd realized the mistake in his judgement when they'd arrived at the restaurant, and immediately regretted his actions.
Sofia had been under the impression that his intentions had been for more, and he'd been partially oblivious to her come-ons at work. His mind having focused more on thoughts of Sara and the turn of events between them, and what that now meant for them. He'd managed to keep her on his team, much to Ecklie's joy or disgust he still couldn't decide which. He'd also kept her closer to him - he watched her more. The week without her had been hard on him, and Greg. He knew better than to think of Greg and Sara in the same breath, those thoughts alone would pain him. The younger CSI'S attraction to her was notorious throughout the lab, and Greg was not scared of her rejections either. He brushed them off like… water off a duck's back. Unlike him… a rejection from Sara on any level felt like an outright assault on his self-esteem.
Her confession had in some ways rendered her weary of him, although it had lent him a better understanding of her, for which he was thankful. It hadn't made things any easier between them. This morning at shift's end she'd been almost cold towards him, and he couldn't understand why. He'd done nothing out of the ordinary.
Sofia had seemed put out at the end of the evening as well, especially since he'd shown almost no interest in her overtures. In his heart he wanted, yearned for Sara. Sofia may be what most men's considered to be a beautiful woman, but she was nothing compared to Sara… Just looking at her could awake a primal need, a gnawing hunger he knew only she could satisfy. But he knew that it could never be, that it was a desire that would ruin a friendship.
Closing his eyes he thought back… He could still feel her body against his as he'd held her close. The softness of her body, the sensations holding her so close to him had provoked. How it had stirred the adherent nature within him. He knew now what it felt like to really hold her, what her body pressed against his felt like. What it was like to draw in the scent of her, without fearing discovery for having gotten too close or having invaded her space. Knowing he would willingly sacrifice his sanity to be allowed that close to her again, just to wrap his arms around her and be able to hold her again. He would solemnly look for a reason any reason would do, so that he would able to feel her again. But he couldn't, and coming to terms with that was proving to be more arduous than he'd thought it would have been. He was to be Sara's friend, the person she could lean on. That way he would have a permanent place in her heart, and her life. But his heart and his head were waging a constant war, with either winning at times.
A sigh escaped him as he turned onto his side, settling himself he closed his eyes, he needed his sleep and he wished it would claim him. Because maybe then his mind will take him to that place where they were together, were simple gestures were a part of everyday life, where holding and loving her was something he could freely do.
Sara got into bed, her heart heavy in her chest. She'd known that there would never be a chance of anything other than friendship between her and Grissom now. Yet still she couldn't master the burning sensation in her stomach, the inability to breathe whenever the thought of Sophia and Grissom crossed her mind. The fact that he had asked the blond out on a date had cut her like a knife. She would have traded anything to take the woman's place, to be allowed to bask in his presence. Sara's affection for Grissom was infamous throughout their shift. More often than not these days she wished that she could make it go away. She'd even tried to keep her cool, her distance from Sofia after she had heard the woman mention their upcoming date to Greg. It had made Greg weary of what to say around her, so much so that she'd felt like shouting at him that she already knew, that she'd heard the news already and he didn't need to spare thought for her feelings.
She could live with the knowledge that there never would be anything between them. But the fact that he had moved onto Sofia, that it had not been their work which had separated them, had prevented them from exploring their attraction towards each other, ate her. It filled her with the type of pain that only those familiar with unrequited love could experience.
Sara was also seriously considering moving out of her apartment. Especially since that evening he'd last been there. Its familiar walls were somehow tainted with his presence. Her couch, she'd thought of getting another, but then those bittersweet memories would assail her. The memory of him holding her to him, which was usually soon followed by the reality check… that it will probably never happen again, and that Sophia could now also have experienced that embrace, and possibly… more?
Why was it that men always seemed to prefer blonds? Why was it that he would risk it with her? Sofia was about her age… she'd never asked the woman, not that it had interested her. But why was it that he could go to dinner with Sophia? When he'd turned her down so out rightly that time? Sara knew that she would accept whatever small morsel of attention he bestowed her. She lived for those moments at times, even having pushed for them at times. But the news of Grissom and Sophia had eaten away at her. It had rendered her unwilling to even try to catch his attention, having completely taken the wind out of her sails.
She wondered if she would be able to go on like this of if she shouldn't make more of an effort to get on with her life, get out and enjoy things more. If she could somehow stop this attraction she felt for him, the power he wielded over her.
Closing her eyes she allowed her thoughts to slip back to that evening. Wanting to remember the feel of his arms around her, his breath near her ear, his heartbeat under her one hand. It had seemed so simple, so easy, and so perfect. Why couldn't it just be like that? To just be together, to stop analyzing everything, to stop fearing the what if's and the why not's, and to just be. It had been so easy, so uncomplicated when they had not thought about it. When they'd simply allowed for it to just happen.
Sara loved him. she would never deny that. The same as she knew that she was willing to work the hours, put in extra, even unpaid, if she could spend that time working with him. All too often even those hours weren't long enough. The times she that spent away from him working with and helping out the others, too often required. Pulling the pillow closer she held onto it as she allowed her body to succumb to its exhaustion, a few hours sleep before shift would do her some good.
I believe in what I'm feeling,
I'd give everything up just for you,
Love is devoted to those who see,
That the last dance you dance with the truth.
Angel Eyes – Ace of Base
Part 2 (5X19)
Greg and Sara shower…
It's hard to hold your head up, when you're kneeling down to pray.
And talking don't come easy now, when the words get in the way.
And if you could see what's going on,behind these private eyes.
The truth would look so easy now,but I'm running out of lies.
All I Want is Everything - Def Leppard
With the passage of time, Sara and Grissom managed to re-establish their friendship. However, it still leant more towards a rocky start than a solid foundation. But it was once again growing and Grissom took heart in that, with their footing almost being back to that which it'd been, before things had started spiralling out of control.
Sara spent time with him on cases, and didn't push for anything more. Grissom paired them together as often as possible, and made sure to encourage her. He wanted to keep an eye on her, to make sure she could cope with what was going on. And if he were honest to himself, he'd admit it was also because he wanted to spend some time with her, to have her to himself in a manner of thinking. He liked the idea of her being with him. But Nick and Greg still received the bulk of her smiles. Grissom had tried to accept it as part of the growing process, had tried to control the jealous pangs and thoughts that would swirl in his mind whenever it happened. He'd reprimanded himself, saying that they were only friends and that it didn't threaten their friendship. But all to often his instincts would kick in, shouting that they were competition and required elimination.
He envied the spontaneity she showed towards them. The way she could so freely hug them at times, especially if they were excited about things. He wanted that for himself, craved it. He'd on a few occasions come in early to find her and Nick chatting about things over a cup of coffee, and had started wondering if there wasn't something developing there. He liked the younger man, knew that he would look after her… but then the image of Nick over Sara would appear in his minds eye, causing him to clench his fists in an effort to control the inner turmoil he felt, at the mere thought of the two of them together.
He'd sent Sara and Greg out to process the bodybuilder's scene, and was hoping to get some feedback from them soon enough. Grissom walked down the corridor towards his office. Just before entering it he heard her voice reach him, turning slightly to see where they were, he saw her and Greg walking towards him. Hoping to catch her eye he was shocked when he overheard the subject matter of their conversation.
"Just to let you know Sara, when we were in the shower, I saw nothing."
"Oh, coz I saw everything."
Grissom felt his heart speed up and his breath hitch, neither in a good way, as the words and their meaning sank in. He felt the agitation starting, felt it climb from the pit of his stomach encasing his lungs causing him to gasp as suddenly his breathing felt restricted. His free hand he clenched in a tight fist, in an attempt to control the shock and carnal feelings of jealousy that surged through him within seconds. His eyes remained on them until they disappeared from his line of sigh.
Greg and Sara in a shower… When had that happened? Turning towards his office he fought the surge of adrenaline that coursed through his body as the fight or flight reflex kicked in. Which had centred more on the fight side of things, as he restrained himself from grabbing Greg by the scruff and demanding an explanation. But he knew he would then be faced with the wrath of Sara, which was not a situation he wanted to find himself in.
Greg and Sara. He'd not for a moment even thought that she would, that they would. It was against regulations… Was that why she'd been as willing to be paired up with him? So that she could show him the ropes? He'd hoped that she'd realized that time at her apartment, that she's more than just a staff member to him. Her words in his office had once given him hope, that she could've seen him as more, now there was her and Greg. The thought was too painful just like the image of Nick pinning her down had been.
For the first time he realized just how difficult this new relationship with Sara would be for him. Convincing himself that he'd be okay with her seeing someone else, someone closer to her age, had been easy. But to actually see it happen was excruciating, almost unbearably arduous.
Sitting down at his desk he tried to come to terms with Sara and Greg, when his phone rang. He reached over to answer it, an automatic reflex. His thoughts and mind focused on the person on the other side of the line. It was the CDC confirming that no biological of chemical contaminants had been found, and that the scene was cleared. Setting the phone back on its hook he ran his hand over his face, before sitting back in his chair. Closing his eyes he took a deep breath, realizing that the heavens and fate were conspiring against him. For weeks now he had kept her close, hoping to have a legitimate reason to share personal space with her again. And in one day Greg had not only spent time in that space with her, they'd both been naked whist doing it. The thought of naked Sara caused certain parts of his anatomy to awake. Realizing that the closest he'd ever come to sharing space with her, was that one case a year ago. And even then there'd been a good five inches between them at all times, he remembered the smoothness of her wrists as he held them. He remembered the inner struggle he'd had to just let go of them. The desire she'd awoken that day, within those moments. How he had tried to will her into turning her head, so that he could look into her eyes, possibly letting her know what was happening. Then she'd broken the spell by reminding him of their job at hand. It was there and then that he'd known he was in serious trouble where Sara was concerned. Even now, there was no telling what he would've been willing to do, had she not drawn him back from his desires.
Both Nick and Greg had recently shared personal space with her now. He'd made sure that she worked rape cases on her own or with him, and made sure he was on had to help with any of her other cases. How had they gotten from process a dead body and a crime scene, to showering together? The gods were conspiring against him, all humanly known divine entities, Venus and Zeus included.
Suddenly realizing what that meant. That not only had Greg and Sara been naked together, there would also have been a team of haz-med guys. Meaning that at least three men had seen Sara naked today. Questioning as to why he never ended up doing such cases with her. But he also knew had it been him, he would most likely have chased off the haz-med lot, for invasion of privacy. Threatening them with sexual harassment before taking his time and showered her himself.
Getting up he made his way to the break room to get some coffee, slowing as he neared the break room when he heard her giggle.
"Your lucky she doesn't have a boyfriend Greg, or you'd be beat." It was Warrick's voice.
"Yeah, I wouldn't take to kindly if Sara were mine. And she'd needed to get naked and wet with you." Nick added.
"Ah your just jealous because it wasn't you." Greg countered.
"You bet I am." Nick replied.
"Guys, I'm in the room." Sara injected.
"So Sara, you saw everything, are you now going to sell him out with the girls." Nick goaded her.
"Oh definitely." Sara threw back.
"Hey, I'll tell them about your tattoo." Greg threatened.
"You have a Tattoo?" Nick asked stunned.
"I thought you weren't looking." Sara said turning to Greg.
"I'm a man." Greg said in defense.
"Sometimes we wonder." Warrick added.
"Come on Greg spill it, we know little enough about Sara." Nick encouraged.
Grissom chose then to enter the break room, trying hard not to clench his fists in an effort to control his frustration. Making his way to the coffee machine. Not sure how he felt about Sara having a tattoo in some secret region of her body, or the fact that Greg knew about it and had seen it. It was a little too personal for him.
"It's on her left ankle, it looked like..." Greg started.
Turning around Grissom looked at them, rendering Greg speechless within moments.
"Don't you think you should rather be working on catching the bad guys, instead of standing here discussing co-workers?" Grissom deadpanned.
Chided, everyone and started filing out of the break room.
"I'll get you for that." Sara threatened Greg, keeping her eyes lowered as not to meet Grissom's.
Sara dropped her head before passing Grissom, not sure as to what he would be thinking. Seven weeks ago shed been in his embrace, having willing lost herself in its comfort. And now here she was, being reprimanded with her friends for something she'd had no control over. And not for the first time that day she wondered what it would've been like had he been with her. Knowing that she would've fed her mind images of him, of his body. Would he have done the same? Could it possibly have been the shove he needed, to be able to look at her as more as just a CSI, or one of his team? Would he have liked the view, and would he have wanted to claim it for himself? A sigh escaped her as she entered the passage. She'll never know…
I hope and pray my faith won't leave me
When it comes to me and you
Try a little tenderness,
I die a little for a long lost sweet caress
Breathe a Sigh – Def Leppard
A/N: There were three parts to this one, but I decided against the third. The Committed companion fic (Chapter 7) is undergoing some editing (and some rewriting… blame chapter 5) and will be up soon enough.