Title: The Things We Say and Do
Grissom/Sara, Post-Too Tough To Die, angst, friendship, pg-13
"I wish I was like you, Grissom. I wish I didn't feel anything."
I regretted the words almost instantaneously, as I saw a flicker of pain cross his face, before it was once again hidden by a mask, a mask perfected after years of use.
Realising there was no way I could take it back, and nothing I could do to repair the damage I had just caused, I took one last look at his masked face, before opening the door, stepping through it, and closing it behind me.
As I wandered down the hallway, I began to question my every move. I realise now that had I kept it up for long enough, I would have rendered myself completely insane. 'Why did I agree to move to Las Vegas?' 'Why do I put up with his sudden mood changes?' 'Why do I let him pretend I'm no one special to him half the time?' 'Why did I say such a harsh, mean thing to him just now?'
It was the last one that bothered me the most. I didn't know the answer to that one. The other three were easy; I knew the answers to those. Because I love him. Because I love him. Because I love him.
I sat on the little brick wall opposite his car in the parking lot for God knows how long. He'd have to come out at some point, right? I mean he does have a home to go to. Not that he ever spends more than a few hours there at a time.
My thoughts drifted to the case we had just solved. I still believe that the judicial system is hideously unfair. I shouldn't of taken it out on him though. It wasn't his fault; he didn't make the laws. It was cruel and unfair of me. I could feel the tears forming and threatening to spill out and run down my cheeks.
Shit. He's seen me cry once already that day, I was not about to let it happen again. As I stood up with my back turned to him, I tried to regulate my breathing, while drying my eyes with two swift movements of my hand.
"Sara?" He said again, concern lacing his voice. Not anger. Concern.
As I turned around, I kept my eyes firmly directed at the floor, fearing that if I so much as let my eyes make contact with his, I would collapse into a pathetic crying heap in the middle of the Las Vegas Crime Lab's parking lot. Something rational inside of me was telling me that that might not be the best solution to my problem.
"Hey." He said, softly, lifting my chin with his fingers.
No, no, no. Avoid eye contact, avoid eye contact. Surely he didn't want to see me in that pathetic crying heap. No such luck. As our eyes met I felt mine welling up again.
"Griss, I..." I choked out. But I couldn't finish. He was indeed going to see me cry for the second time that day. As the tears ran down my cheeks, through my blurry haze I saw his features soften. His hand moved up from my chin to cup my cheek, his thumb acting like a windshield-wiper and brushing my tears away.
No words were needed. After a few more seconds he merely took me into his arms and let me cry. No questions asked. No analysis of the situation. No selfishness, and, most importantly, no anger at the way I had treated him not two hours before.
As I sobbed into is shoulder, I felt him arms tighten around me, and I was filled with a wonderful sense of security. He did care about me. This proved it. And he decided to prove in nowhere other than the crime lab's parking lot. Anyone could have walked past and seen us, but he didn't seem to care. He just let me cry out my pain, sorrow and anger from the previous few days. That was what I needed to do. And he was there for me.
As my sobs subsided, he loosened his grip on me a little so that he could lean back and look into my eyes. I felt shy suddenly, almost ashamed at my public display of emotion.
He loosened his grip completely, leaving me feeling cold, until I felt his hand slide into mine.
"Come on. I want to take you somewhere." Was all he said, and led me to his car.
We pulled into a small parking lot surrounded by trees and bushes and flowers some twenty minutes later. It was completely empty bar two other cars. I wasn't surprised. That place seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere to me, when it fact it was just well hidden amongst the hustle and bustle of the busy city that is Las Vegas.
I got out of the car and surveyed our surroundings some more. There was a single-storied building not ten feet away from where we were parked, with ivy growing up the walls, essentially concealing it from view. The door was open, and there was a warm inviting light coming from inside. A couple of park benches were placed outside it, my guess was for summer use, and a ginger cat was weaving freely in and around the legs.
I crouched down and held my hand out, cooing at the cat so that it would come over and rub against my hand. It did as I was expecting, a loud purr resonating from it's throat. The collar round its neck had on a nametag, and, upon closer inspection, I found out that the cat's name was none other than 'Ginger'.
"Original name, Ginger." I said, sarcastically, turning my head to look at Grissom who I knew was standing just to the left of me. He didn't smile, he didn't chuckle, and he didn't even look bored. He stood there, leaning against his Tahoe, watching me befriend the cat now known as Ginger. I felt a sudden sense of happiness that he was comfortable just standing there and watching me.
"Grissom?" I asked, not wanting to break the moment, but feeling as if I had to. "Come and talk to Ginger. He's really friendly."
Grissom snapped out of his trance and looked at me, really looked at me, and slowly stepped forward, bending down and resting himself on his haunches. He seemed a little uneasy around Ginger, and in an effort to make him feel more comfortable, I took hold of his hand in mine, and gently held it out for Ginger to sniff.
"He needs to be able to trust you. If you hold out your hand it's a sign that you are no threat to him. Then it is up to him whether or not he is trusting enough to come and sniff your hand."
Intrigued, he let me slowly edge his hand towards Ginger. I loved the feeling of being able to teach Grissom something. Usually it works the other way around. This, this was special.
"How do you know so much about cats, Sara?" He asked me, genuinely interested.
"I used to have a lot of cats as a kid. They kept me company when there wasn't anyone else." I finished my sentence softly. I knew I shouldn't be thinking about the bad memories, only the good, but I couldn't help the images flooding me once again, of sitting in my room, a couple of cats on my bed, one on the floor, and another wandering in from the hallway, and thinking 'these are the only friends I have'.
Grissom must of noticed my change in mood, and changed the positions of our hands so that he was holding mine. Slowly he rose to his feet, pulling me up with him, and led me into the building.
"Grissom, what are we doing here?" I asked him as we stepped inside. Ginger was still outside, lying on his side, stretched out in the sun.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm under the impression that you haven't eaten anything in the last couple of days."
I looked at him, shocked that he had noticed something that had slipped my mind completely, and that he actually cared enough to do something about it. I watched as a small smile appeared on his face, which was nothing compared to the massive grin that had now taken up residence on mine. Still holding my hand, he led me to one of the booths next to the window near the end of the room.
"It's beautiful here, Gris." I said gently, as I slid into one of the booths.
"Yes. It is." He said, looking out the windows at the scenery.
"How did you find this place?" I asked, astounded that somewhere like this actually existed in the middle of Las Vegas, and yet she had never heard of it.
He just smiled at me. Yet another thing about him that I would probably never find out about. He called the waitress over, who seemed to recognise him, and smiled a friendly smile at him.
"What can I get you two today, Gil?"
I arched my eyebrow at him. He either didn't see me do so, or was ignoring it. I think it was the latter.
After the waitress had taken our orders and gone back to the counter, I questioned him.
"On a first name basis here then, Gil?" emphasising his first name as I hardly ever use it. I remember hoping my voice sounded casual, and was covering the jealousy that was rapidly growing inside of me.
I think he noticed, because he smiled at me and said "Just a regular, that's all. Besides, they serve great coffee!" He finished with a grin. I love it when he grins.
"Grissom, I'm sorry." I blurted out finally, after we had finished a wonderful breakfast. Grissom was right, as always. I was starving. I just hadn't realised it until I had started eating.
The guilt had been growing steadily inside of me the entire time I was with him. There had been a mixture of comfortable silence and enjoyable conversation. I don't know how he was able to be so comfortable around me after what I had said to him a few hours before. I felt I needed to explain to him why, and how, I could have possibly said such a thing to him when I knew it wasn't true.
"I was angry, and hurt, and I should never, ever have taken it out on you. It wasn't fair of me. And I didn't mean it. You know I didn't mean it, right? You have just gone and proved to me what a caring person you are, not that I ever thought you weren't of course, it's just that..." I rambled on. I had been staring at the table the entire time, playing with the long round sugar packets and unsuccessfully trying to make pyramid shapes by pilling them on top of each other. I only stopped rambling when I felt his hands take mine, consequently ending my diversion with the sugar packets.
When I looked up at him, instead of a mask or a face that betrayed pain and anger, I saw a beautiful smile that lit up his blue eyes.
He didn't say anything. He didn't have to, I knew I was forgiven. Still smiling, and letting go of my hand, he slid out of his booth, threw some notes down on the table, and held out his hand to me for me to take again. I took it, gingerly, and, hand in hand, we walked back to his Tahoe.
Grissom pulled into the LV Crime Lab's parking lot, in the slot next to my Tahoe this time, dropping me off so that I could get home. He shut of the engine as I undid my seat belt slowly. I did not want the moment to end. Sitting back in my seat, I said sincerely "Thank you, Grissom. It really means a lot that you took me to that place with you. And after I treated you like shit and everything, you still came through for me. So, thank you."
He smiled again, usually so rare, but today, a recurring event. Not that I was complaining. "Let's leave the past in the past" he said softly, as he reached out and took my hand, squeezing it gently. "Besides, I have you to thank for teaching me how to befriend cats" he said with a twinkle in his eye.
I smiled, and leaned forward, kissing him on the cheek, my lips lingering a couple of seconds longer than they probably should have. His skin felt so good underneath my lips. I remember wishing I could feel that more often.
I pulled back slowly, smiling, and saw he was smiling too. Looking down at our still intwined hands, I gave his one last squeeze before letting it go, opening the door, and hopping out of the car.
As I walked over and got into my car. I gave him a little wave to which he waved back, before I started up the engine, and drove out of the parking lot. I could see him doing the same thing in my rear-view mirror, before he turned in the opposite direction to head to his own home.
I smiled at the memory of my lips on his skin, and the closeness I had felt with him that entire morning. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to get used to those things.