Title: HALLOWEEN

Author: Michmak

Summary: Catherine helps Sara chose the perfect costume for Halloween - will it have its desired effect on Grissom?

Disclaimer: The only characters I own are the ones I create for the purpose of this story. All the rest? Not mine.

_____

"Sara - wait up!" The snick-snick-snick as Catherine chased Sara through the underground parking lot echoed oddly in the cavenerous space. Sara, two steps from her car, stopped and turned towards her. She smiled when Catherine arrived, leaned her arm against the car and heaved dramatically.

"Running in heels is a bitch! Especially when you're chasing someone with legs like a gazelle."

Sara snorted. "Right. What do you want Cath?"

Catherine rolled her eyes. "Straight to the point, as always. You know, chit-chat is sometimes a good thing, Sara." When Sara didn't respond, Catherine sighed, "Okay. Fine. I wanted to ask you what you're wearing for Halloween tonight."

"I'm not really into dress-up, so I thought maybe jeans and shirt." Sara smiled at Catherine's disgusted sigh.

"I knew it. Okay, you're coming to my place. I'm gonna help you find the perfect costume."

Sara blinked at Catherine slowly, trying to determine if she was serious or not. "Uhm, that's really not necessary. Besides, I don't think anything at your house would fit me - after all, I've got legs like a gazelle, remember?"

Catherine just grinned. "Consider this an order from a superior. You're coming. Or I'm coming to your place. I have the perfect outfit for you - for sure it will make Grissom's eyes pop."

The sudden heat rushing up her face caught Sara off guard, as did the restrictive tightening of her throat. "Why would I want to make Grissom's eyes pop?" she squeaked.

"Oh, come on! Grissom is in deep enough denial for the both of you. I'm not an idiot you know, but if you want to progress to the next level, you've got to shake him up a little Sara. What I'm planning will do it." Catherine smiled at the younger woman with genuine affection. "Without my help, you too will just end up circling each other like penguins on an ice- flow, but Grissom will never have the courage to give you a pebble without some encouragement on your part. So. You following me?"

Sara sighed. "You're going to be relentless about this, aren't you?"

"Absolutely. I was a bulldog in my previous life."

Sara threw her hands up in the air, embarrassed but secretly pleased Catherine wanted to help her with the Grissom situation. "Alright. I'll follow you."

* * * * *

"First things first," Catherine said as she bustled around her kitchen, laying a variety of make-up on the table. "We're going to do make-up."

"Do you want to tell me what I'm going to be dressed as?" Sara's voice was sarcastic as she looked at the array before her. "I'm not going as Barney, or something equally as hideous, am I?"

Catherine smiled mysteriously. "Definitely not Barney. And I'm not telling you what you're wearing - it's a surprise. Now shut up and let me concentrate."

Catherine expertly applied foundation. "You've got beautiful skin, you know that Sara? Flawless complexion. You should wear make-up more often, highlight your features more."

Sara snorted, careful not to move her head. Catherine had her chin gripped lightly in her hand, and was turning her face from one side to another. "Actually, you don't even really need a lot of foundation, but I need to make you look paler than normal for this too work."

"Great. I'm dressing up as a corpse. You telling me Grissom gets turned on by corpses?"

Catherine laughed at the teasing tone in Sara's voice. "Trust me, you will not look like a corpse when we're finished. And you know the only things that really catches Gil's attention are bugs, books and you."

Sara felt herself blushing again, and she shook her head. Catherine gripped her chin more firmly, admonishing slight, "Don't move," before picking up a small box of powdered eyeliner.

"What makes you think he's interested in me?" Sara tried to keep her voice casual, but even to her own ears it sounded wistful.

"Are you kidding me? He was on the verge of digging his own grave when you handed in that leave of absence - good move, by the way. Shook him up a bit." She grinned at Sara, ordering her to shut her eyes, before continuing. "And I was at his apartment when he ordered you the plant. His flustering was something to behold. That man is more - into you - than he's ever been with anyone else, and I should know. We've been friends for ten years now."

Sara tried not to sound skeptical when she responded. "He has a strange way of showing it, then. He hardly said 10 words to me today not concerning the case."

"Then he said 10 more non-work related words to you then he did to anyone else. Look, I'm not saying that Grissom isn't a little - odd - in a strangely nebbish and endearing way. He is. But you're not a box of Cracker jacks yourself Sara - no offense. You two would be perfect together. Besides which, I want to see Grissom really happy for a change, and he needs a personal life for that to happen. Racing beetles just doesn't cut it. Now the lips."

Catherine quickly traced the outline of Sara's mouth with a deep red lip- liner, before expertly shading in the rest with a flame red the color of Chinese silk. "Hot. This looks great. I'm going to do your hair before I put on the mascara."

Sara sat, quietly thoughtful, while Catherine finished working on her face and hair. "Stunning," she opined, "Now the costume."

* * * * *

"No way! I cannot wear that!" Sara sputtered nervously, looking at the outfit Catherine had arrayed on her bed.

"Don't be silly. Of course you can. Grissom, remember? Besides, you have the body for it. You'll look fantastic."

"What if we get called to a crime scene? I can't show up at a crime scene in - that."

"Why not?" Catherine teased. "Give the cops something to discuss." When Sara glared at her, she just laughed. "You can change if we get called anywhere. C'mon, Sara. Live a little - it's Halloween, you're supposed to dress up."

Sara lifted the top half of the costume, fingering it dubiously. "What makes you think this will shake Grissom up?"

"Trust me. It will. Remember Lady Heather? Grissom found her very interesting."

"I can't believe you're talking me into this."

Catherine grinned. "I can. 'Cuz you know I'm right. The only to move to the next level in your relationship with Grissom is to give him a swift kick in the pants. This outfit will be just the wake-up call he needs!"

* * * * *

Catherine arrived back at the lab about 10 minutes before Sara did. She had driven like a speed demon, oblivious to the speed limit, anticipating the look on Grissom's face when he would see Sara's costume for the first time. Catherine herself had dressed as a belly dancer, complete with jewel in her belly button, and was now standing near the punch bowl with Warrick, laughing at everyone's costumes.

Warrick was dressed as a cowboy - and he looked great. When Catherine had commented to him on the outfit, he had just smiled. "It's all about the chaps, Cath - all about the chaps."

Catherine had to admit, the black leather chaps against his tight blue jeans looked mighty fine, but she had responded. "It's all about the man in the chaps, Warrick." And she had laughed when Warrick got flustered, and shrugged in embarrassment.

"Wow! Catherine - you look hot!" Nick walked into the room, his admiring gaze taking in the red and purple silk of Catherine's costume, his gaze pausing briefly on the fake amethyst in her belly button. "Love the jewel."

Catherine laughed good-naturedly, accepting Nick's compliment as what it was - harmless flirting. "You don't look so bad yourself, Nicky."

Nick grinned and flexed his muscles comically. "I always liked batman. Have you two seen Greg yet?"

When the both shook their heads, Nick laughed. "His costume is great. Grissom's not going to like it, though."

"Why not?" Warrick asked.

"Judge for yourself - here's Greg now."

Catherine and Warrick burst into laughter when Greg walked in. He was wearing an oversize dark black button down shirt, baggy chinos, round rim glasses and a detached look on his face. He had taken great effort to give his hair a salt-and-pepper effect, and had somehow managed to get it into little curls. Clipped to his shirt was Grissom's lab ID, and in his arms he was carrying a stuffed tarantula.

"Has Grissom seen you yet, Greg?" Warrick sputtered between laughs.

"Of course he hasn't. Follow the evidence. If he'd already seen Greg like that, Greg would be dead by now." Catherine's voice was equally as amused, and she smiled at Greg appreciatively. "Great costume, Greggo. Very brave. Where is Grissom, anyway?"

"He was talking to Brass last time I saw him." Nick responded. "No costume."

"Figures." Catherine snorted. "Let me go and find him."

* * * * *

Catherine was dragging Grissom down the hall towards the lounge, berating him for not wearing a costume, when he suddenly stopped dead in the middle of the hallway. The sudden loss of momentum caused Catherine to stumble, and she would have fallen over if Grissom hadn't reached out an absent hand to steady her.

Catherine smiled when she saw who Grissom was staring at. Sara had arrived. Flashing the younger woman a quick thumbs up over Grissom's shoulder, she uttered something about meeting them in the lounge, and hurried away.

Sara walked slowly towards Grissom, smiling tentatively as she noticed the complete shock on his face.

"Hi Grissom. Where's your costume?"

Grissom swallowed thickly. "Where's yours?"

Smiling at the low rumble in his voice, Sara did a slow turn and smoothed her hands nervously across her hips. "I'm wearing it - don't you like it?"

She shifted uncomfortably as Grissom's gaze traveled over her, still unsure whether to curse Catherine or to thank her. She was wearing knee high black stiletto boots, fish net stockings and a black leather mini so miniscule it almost didn't exist. Her top was a tight black leather vest that laced up the back. For added effect, Catherine had applied a fake tattoo of barbed wire around Sara's upper bicep. Hanging from the belt loop on the skirt was a pair of handcuffs, and in her hands she carried a black leather riding crop.

Catherine had done her makeup expertly, smoking her eyes with smudged black eyeliner. Copious amounts of mascara and an eyelash curler had made her eyelashes huge, and the bright red lipstick emphasized the perfection of her lips. Grissom's face took on a mottled flush, and Sara smiled when she noticed the elevated rise and fall of his chest.

Before she could stop herself, she reached out a hand and placed it gently on the pulse point on his neck. "What's your pulse at, Grissom?" she murmured throatily. When Grissom didn't respond, her smile grew even larger. "What's the matter? Cat got your tongue - or can I have it?"

Lifting her hand and patting him lightly on the cheek, she turned away from him. "I guess I'll see you in the lounge - Gil."

His eyes burned through her back as she sashayed down the hall.

* * * * *

"Holy Toledo!" Greg's startled yelp made everyone stop talking and look towards the door. Sara slid into the room, and three pairs of male eyes almost popped out of three equally stunned faces.

Sara tried not laugh at their shocked expressions, coolly wandering to the coffee machine and pouring herself a cup. "Hi boys," she purred.

Nick was the first to break the silence. "Wow - Sara. Just - wow!"

"Where you been hiding those legs, girl?" Warrick's mellow voice followed. "You look hot."

Sara arched a brow, smiling. "And I normally don't?"

Greg interjected, "You always look hot, and you know it. Can I touch your whip?"

Sara turned towards him and grinned. "Sure, whatever turns your crank. Has Grissom seen your costume yet?"

Greg shook his head, smiling as Sara hand him the crop, flicking it playfully at him before she rested it in his hand.

"That explains why you're still breathing."

Greg hit the riding crop lightly against his hands a couple of times, before testing it experimentally against his thigh. "This could be fun." He looked at Sara, his expression teasing and flirtatious. "If I asked you to beat me and bite me and teach me to bark, what would your response be?"

"She'd say you were sexually harassing her." Grissom's tight voice answered before Sara could, and he strode into the room, glancing only briefly before his eyes fell on Sara again and stayed there.

"Actually, Grissom, I think Sara's sexually harassing me! You see -"

"Can it, Greg. Sara, can I see you in my office, please?"

He didn't miss Greg's loud whisper, or the amused snorts of the rest of his team as Greg handed her back the riding crop. "Take this - you might need it!"

* * * * *

Grissom shut his office door gently, despite the urge to slam it as hard as he could. Turning to Sara, he stared at her in silence for a few moments, making her squirm.

"Don't you think this is a bit over the top, Sara?" His voice was tight, and Sara noticed he was gripping the back of his chair so hard his knuckles were white.

"What? This costume? It's Halloween, Grissom. No one else seemed to object."

"Of course not. They're all too busy salivating over you - like you were a piece of meat."

Sara grinned. "No one was 'salivating'. C'mon! Catherine's dressed up like a belly dancer, and you haven't said anything to her."

"Catherine's not you." Grissom whispered harshly. "Besides, don't you think it's rather mean of you to be teasing Greg this way? He's got a huge crush on you."

Sara shrugged, suddenly angry. "Really? At least someone around here does. Thanks for pointing that out to me Grissom - maybe I'll invite him to my place for breakfast." She snapped the riding crop against hand as if to emphasize her statement. "Yessirree - he really seemed enthralled with the crop."

Grissom's nostrils flared in anger, and he let go of his chair and strode towards her. "Do you think this is funny?"

"Actually, yes. I don't know who you think you're talking to, Grissom, but I'm a grown woman. I'm not your student anymore; I am your colleague. And unless you have a really good reason for objecting to this costume, I'm going back to join the others."

She cocked an eyebrow at him, waiting for his response, sighing when it looked like she wasn't going to get one. Turning angrily on her heels, she took a step towards the door.

"I don't want anyone else but me to see you like that." Grissom's hoarse admission stopped her in her tracks. He stepped after her, reaching his hands up to her back, fingers tracing the lacing against her bare skin before playing absently with the bow. Sara felt goose bumps rise along her arms, and she gasped at the sudden electric jolt flowing through her body. She still hadn't turned around to look at him, and he continued stroking her back, slowly moving his hands up to her shoulders.

"What are you trying to do to me, Sara?" Grissom's voice was husky, almost in her ear. Sara could feel the heat from his body scorching her as he stepped closer. His breath was warm against the back of her neck, and Sara realized in the stilettos she was a few inches taller then him.

Biting her lip, deciding to go for broke; she leaned back into his chest. "I'm trying to get you to notice me, Grissom."

"You don't need to wear stuff like this to get me to notice you, Sara. Trust me on this. I notice you too much."

"Then why don't you do anything about it?" Sara sighed, and closed her eyes. She knew she and Grissom would never be having this conversation under normal circumstances, and she had to silently hand it to Catherine. She knew Grissom, and this had shaken him up. Sara only hoped it had shaken him in the right direction.

Grissom exhaled, and Sara felt the fine hairs on the back of her neck move with his breath. "I'm scared. I don't - I'm not good with people. I'm not good in relationships. I'm your boss. There's the age gap. And what if I destroy our friendship?"

Sara smiled, knowing that even if Grissom couldn't see it he would hear it in her voice. "First off, I'm scared too. This is big for me, and I've never felt this way before. Secondly, I'm not people - I'm Sara, and we can work on a relationship together and make it good. I don't care that you're my boss, I don't care that you're older. All I care about is you. And I will always be your friend."

Grissom's arms traveled around her waist as she spoke, and Sara rested her own lightly across them, fingers twining with his as she pulled his arms tighter. "How can this feeling be wrong, Gil?"

They stood in silence for a few minutes, breathing each others air, Grissom's chest rising and falling against her back. Finally, Grissom spoke.

"I like your tattoo."

Sara turned her head sideways on his shoulder and kissed his cheek, loving the rough texture of his stubble against her lips. "I have a real one, you know. Maybe I'll show it to you some day soon."

* * * * *

Sara and Grissom returned to the lounge together, an easy peace between them. Catherine grinned when they walked in, raising an eyebrow at Sara before sliding over to Grissom and smirking.

"So, got everything settled, did you?" Her voice was silky, her eyes snapping at Grissom in amusement.

Warrick, Nick and Greg were playing video games on the lounge TV, egging each other on; trying to ignore the other three.

"Everything settled." Grissom agreed calmly. Catherine smiled again, taking the napkin she had been holding under a cookie she was eating, and licking it. She gently applied the napkin to Grissom's cheek, rubbing gently. "Good. Red's not your color, Grissom. Tell Sara if she's going to be marking you that pink suits you better."

Grissom smiled absently at Catherine, before turning to the three men who were staring at him in varying degrees of amusement, all pretense of playing video games gone.

Greg grinned at the faint smudges of red still staining Grissom's cheek. "So, have we decided who's sexually harassing who here, or what?"

~Fin~

_________

Author's Note: I was going to try to write a sequel to Disco Daze, but got thinking about Halloween instead, which led me of on a whole other tangent of thought. Grissom and Sara are like a goldmine - the deeper you dig, the more you can come up with. Please R&R and let me know what you think!