Title: Drive You Home
Author's Note: To Devanie and Marita for beta-ing.
It's funny how / Even now / You still support me after all of the things that I've done
What a mess I've made
Sure we all make mistakes
But they see me so large that they think I'm immune to the pain
I never said I was perfect
But can you drive me home
-Garbage, Drive You Home
"Grissom. What are you still doing here? Shift ended over three hours ago."
Sara. Always caring. Always thinking of others.
Standing in the doorway to my office.
I look up from my crossword puzzle, eyeing her tired face, and hunched shoulders.
"I could say the same to you."
God, she looks tired. Why don't you ever slow down, Sara? Just for once, slow down.
She doesn't respond, just comes and sits in one of the chairs in front of my desk. I set down my crossword puzzle. Somehow I don't think I'll be looking at it again for a while.
"Need a ride home?" She asks me. How can she be so pleasant? I know what I do to her. I'm not as oblivious as most people think. And I think she knows that, deep down anyway. I can't seem to stop though. I know that if I let her in, that's it, she's in for good, and she's never leaving. It's not that I'd want her to leave, I just don't know if I'm ready for her to arrive.
I snap out of my trance as her voice flows across the desk, asking me again. I guess I got lost in thought again. Seems to happen a lot when she's around.
"That would be great, thanks."
Did I just say that? My instinct is telling me that she just got one step closer. I know it's just one step, but if she takes a lot of little steps, she'll end up getting there sooner than expected. I'm not ready. It unnerves me when guests turn up early. Not that I ever have any guests. And not that Sara is a guest. Sara is most definitely not a guest. She'd be a cohabitant really, in a way.
She's looking at me patiently. I think I got lost in thought again, because I didn't even notice her stand up, and move towards the door.
She jangles her keys at me, in a 'Come on, let's get going' motion. Not only that but I could read it in her eyes. Patience, yet exasperation. I want to stop and ponder how long it's been since I've been able to read the emotions shown in her eyes, but I fear that that might encourage further key jangling, and so get up from my chair, pick up my briefcase, and move towards the door to join her.
She smiles at me. I wonder if she can read the emotions shown in my eyes? I like to keep myself pretty private. She of all people knows that. I know that that is one of the things that I have done to hurt her. Oh how I don't want to do that. But, like I said, I'm not ready for a cohabitant yet.
We've made our way to the parking lot now. I look around me, confused. I don't remember walking down the hallways, let alone signing myself out of the lab. She looks at me with a knowing smile. Maybe I am easier to read that I thought I was. Another step. She just took another step. Should I be worried?
No. No, of course not. It's just Sara.
Exactly. Gil. Exactly.
I get in the passenger side of her Tahoe, and give her a brief smile. She grins back at me, while flicking through radio stations. She stops on one, obviously happy at the song that is playing, and while starting up the engine, she starts to sing along to it.
I watch and listen to her. She has a beautiful singing voice. She's completely oblivious of my eyes on her. She turns and grins at me again, yet another knowing smile on her beautiful face. Maybe not. Was that another step?
She once accused me of being unfeeling. I know she didn't mean it. I know she didn't. She was so worried about it afterwards, it was adorable. Did I just say she was adorable? Yes, I did. Anyway, it didn't even take her fifteen minutes to get back in my office and apologise, saying she was just emotionally wound up, and she really hadn't meant it. I knew that already, but it felt good that she came and said it anyway.
Most people probably do think that I'm uncaring. Not Catherine, or Warrick, or Nick, or Greg, even, and definitely not her. But most other people, probably. I do care, I just don't show it. Most of the time, anyway. That's just my way. And she understands my way. Oh, how I love her for that.
Did I just say love? Yes, I did.
"We're here." Yes, indeed we are. That was fast.
"There wasn't much traffic." How does she do that?
As I undo my seatbelt, I turn to face her. She smiles at me again. So loving, so caring. I lean forward and give her a tender kiss on the cheek.
"Thanks, Sara. I really appreciate it."
She beams at me. I think I just gave her ten more steps.
As I hop out of her Tahoe, she calls out after me.
"Same time this evening?"
All I can do is nod. She beams at me again. Maybe that was another step.