Disclaimer: The characters of CSI were created by A. Zuiker, and are the property of CBS and its affiliates. All other characters depicted in these stories are fictional; and there you are.
Nods: thanks again to my two betas, TAE and Rachel, for keeping me honest to the characters and clear in my direction.
Rating: NC-17
Where this fits: following "Nesting Dolls" and after Under the Radar (fan fic)

Flashes of Avoidance

by Liz

Grissom sat at his desk, hunched over paperwork that had been ignored for the past several days. He was in a zone, Yo-Yo Ma was playing softly on the CD player, and Grissom was totally focused. There was a knock on the door and Warrick walked in when he didn't get an acknowledgment. Shutting the door behind him, he walked up to the desk and waited. After five minutes of no response, Warrick cleared his throat.

Grissom looked up, slightly confused at the younger man's presence.

"Hey, Warrick. What can I do for you?" Grissom asked, waggling his pencil.

"The shift is over and I am your ride. Sara had to run some errands. She said she'd hook up with you later." Warrick said, sinking into one of the leather chairs.

Grissom looked at his watch in surprise. It was almost nine. He had been doing paperwork for almost four hours without a break and quite suddenly he started to feel tired.

"Give me a minute, would you? I just need to gather up some things." Grissom said, looking vaguely at his desk.

"I'll give you five minutes, Griss. If you're not in the break room by then, I'll come back and drag you out." Warrick said, smiling as he stood up and walked to the door.

"Thanks, Warrick, I'll be right there." Grissom replied, still caught up in his paperwork.

Warrick left Grissom alone to get organized. Standing slowly, he put his leather briefcase on the desk. He stopped the CD, put it back in its diamond case and dropped it into the briefcase. He gathered up some emails that he had printed out to review, and slipped them unceremoniously into an inside pocket. He checked for his glasses, keys, and pager, looked once more around his desk, then picked up his briefcase and headed for the door. Grissom walked into the hallway, listening to the snick of the door locking behind him and proceeded to the break room. Warrick was poring over the morning sports pages. He looked up and saw Grissom's raised eyebrow.

"I'm just looking, not buying," Warrick joked, as he folded up the paper.

Grissom smiled, put on his sunglasses, and waited until Warrick led the way to his car. Warrick stood up quickly and walked to the employee lot where his Tahoe was parked. Grissom followed him at a slower pace. By the time Grissom reached the car, Warrick had the engine on with the AC on high. He got in slowly, clipped his shoulder harness on, and rubbed his beard in thought. Warrick pulled out of the parking lot and headed to Grissom's town house. The ride was quiet with just the hum of the air conditioning.

Warrick drove fast as a rule, but had been requested by Sara to take it easy when he was driving Grissom home. Waiting at an abnormally long red light, Warrick stole a look at his boss and saw the exhaustion etched into his face. There was something else that Warrick picked up; an almost edginess coming off of him.

Ten minutes later, they pulled up to Grissom's town house.

"Thanks, Warrick. I'll see you in a couple of days." Grissom said, leaving the car.

"You're welcome, Griss. Enjoy your days off. Get some sleep." Warrick said, as Grissom shut the car door.

He watched his supervisor walk up the stairs, unlock the door, and disappear into his house, before pulling away from the curb.

Grissom was on auto-pilot as soon as he entered his home. Putting down his briefcase, he removed his sunglasses, setting them gently on the table in the foyer. He put his pager in the new ceramic dish Lindsey had made for him at school. Wary not to bump his healing left hand, he emptied the pockets of his trousers into the tray and then walked to his desk to put his phone in the charger. Grissom's next stop was the stereo. He manually turned on the CD player, smiling when Yo-Yo Ma started to waft through the living room. Walking to the bottom of the circular stairs, he kicked off his loafers and untucked his shirt. Grissom went into the kitchen and surveyed the dishes in the sink. He opened the fridge and removed a bottle of water. He took a sip and then carefully rolled his sleeves up. He washed the dishes one-handed, concentrating on the music, not the fatigue that was pulling at him or the growls of hunger that seemed constant. Just as he was drying the last dish, the door bell rang. Grissom put the dish down and slung the towel over his shoulder as he went to the door. He looked through the small security hole and smiled.

"Hi," Grissom said, after opening the door. "Let me help you with that." He said, clumsily taking the larger and apparently heavier of the two bags out of her hands.

"Thanks," Sara said, passing by him straight to the kitchen.

Grissom closed and locked the door behind him, following her retreating form.

"Did I miss something?" he asked, gesturing with the bag.

"Nope, you have no food in the house. Neither of us has eaten since you made scrambled eggs. We both have the next two days off." Sara said matter-of-factly, as she unpacked her bag.

Grissom stood next to her and reached for his water. He leaned back against the counter, watching her intently. She looked over at him, catching his look.

"Griss, you okay?" she asked, concerned.

"Yeah, I'm fine." He said, looking at his feet.

She watched his body language, but decided not to push him.

"Sara, would you like to stay for a meal?" Grissom asked finally.

"Thanks, Grissom. What are you making?" Sara said with a grin.

He looked in the bag he had taken from her and found cheese tortellini, fresh basil, a zip lock bag of pine nuts, mixings for a salad, and two six packs of imported beer.

"Cheese tortellini with pesto and a salad?" Grissom ventured a guess.

"That sounds great," Sara said, picking up her bag off the counter and moving out of the way.

She went to the foyer and set her bag on the floor next to his briefcase. Walking back to the breakfast bar, Sara slipped off her shoes while Grissom put the groceries away and started to make their meal.

"I noticed you opened a bottle of red wine, would you like a glass?" Grissom asked as he stood in the kitchen.

"Yes, thanks," Sara said.

Grissom handed her a rocks glass half full of red wine and poured his own into a standard wine glass. He turned his attention back to making the pesto and the salad, ignoring the pain in his left hand. Sara watched him and sipped her wine as she finally began to unwind. He was comfortable in the kitchen; his motions fluid yet economic, she mused. But there was something still bothering him that was evident on his face. The water boiled and he added the tortellini, setting the timer. Again leaning back against the counter, he sipped his wine and rubbed his eyes.

"Can you stay awake until after we eat?" Sara joked.

"My body is tired, but my brain is not." Grissom replied, sadly.

"Have more wine," Sara suggested, with a grin.

"You are an evil woman! Are you trying to get me drunk?" Grissom teased with a smile, as the timer went off.

"Perhaps," Sara hedged, smiling back.

Grissom looked over his shoulder as he drained the pasta, trying not to wince at the strain on his left hand, raising his eyebrows in amusement at her remark. Returning the pasta to the pot, he drizzled in the pesto and mixed it all together. He pulled two bowls out of the cabinet and filled them with the steaming pasta and placed the bowls on the breakfast bar while he reached into the drawer for two forks. Grissom dished the salad as well and served Sara before picking up his wine and joining her at the breakfast bar.

"This is perfect; al dente, hot, vegetarian, just perfect." Sara said, closing her eyes to savour the taste.

Grissom smiled as he tasted the pasta. Probably could have used an extra minute, he thought to himself, but it was perfectly edible. He finished his glass of wine, noticing that Sara had as well, and reached into the kitchen for the bottle. He divided the remains of the bottle between the two glasses, and returned to his pasta. They ate in relative silence, listening to music and the small noises people unknowingly make when they eat.

Too soon the meal was over and Grissom stood to clear the plates.

"Do you want anything else?" Grissom asked as he rinsed the dishes and stacked them in the sink to wash later.

Sara looked at him and debated her answer. She took a breath and decided to throw caution into the wind.

"Yes, I desperately want to go to bed. The catch is that I promised Dr. Wu that I would keep an eye on you for the next two days. So you need to go to bed, too." Sara stated quietly.

He looked at her and saw the logic in her statement. He glanced down and realized that the wet dish towel was still lying on his shoulder. Grissom removed it slowly and walked back to the breakfast bar, locking eyes with her. Picking up his wine glass, he finished the last two swallows and set the glass down gently. Sara watched him, fascinated by his behaviour. Very gently, Grissom reached out and took her left hand, pulling it to his mouth for a kiss before leading her to the staircase. At the foot, he leaned over and picked up his loafers with his injured hand, hesitating for a minute, as if he was dizzy. Sara squeezed his right hand softly and he started up the stairs, gently pulling her behind him. He walked into the bedroom and turned to look at her. Sara saw the fear and fatigue in his face. She reached up and stroked his cheek.

"Griss, I meant it. For right now, just sleep. I can't handle anything more than that and neither can you," She said, staring into his blue eyes. "Can I borrow a shirt?"

He nodded, putting his hand softly around her wrist, feeling her pulse race. He was too exhausted, and too emotionally fragile to be on his game, to start a relationship with Sara or even to talk about what was bothering him. He had hurt her enough without meaning to in the past. She reclaimed her hand and went into the bedroom.

Grissom entered his closet and pulled out a soft chambray work shirt, similar to the one he was wearing, and handed it to her. She smiled and went into the bathroom to change. Grissom walked back into his closet and set his loafers neatly on the floor. He took his shirt and jeans off, laying them on a chair to deal with later. He pulled his socks off and headed for bed. The king size bed was more than enough for the two of them, but it was still normal for him to sleep on the right side. He needed normal right now, wherever he could get it. Grissom got into bed and rolled onto his right side. He turned off the light on his side and started his relaxation exercises.

Sara came out of the bathroom a short time later. She put her clothes on a chair and walked to the bed. Pulling the sheets back carefully, she got into bed and turned out her light. The room was very dark. From the first floor she heard the faint sounds of the cello. From her right she heard Grissom breathing, slow and regular. Slowly she rolled towards him but didn't touch him, before falling asleep herself.

Sara rolled over and stretched. She opened her eyes and realized she was alone. She turned her head and read the clock: it was five in the afternoon. She touched the sheets and found no warmth where Grissom once lay. Sara got up and walked downstairs. The town house was quiet. The only light came from the stereo LEDs. He obviously wasn't in the kitchen or living room. She walked to the guest room, but it was empty. Taking a chance, she opened the door of the lab room. Grissom stood and turned quickly at the unexpected noise. His heart raced as he sat back down on the stool, trying to calm down.

"Griss, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you." Sara said, walking towards him.

He raised his hand in reply and just tried to focus. His hand hurt and the sudden surprise sparked a small headache. She looked at him closely, standing shoulder to shoulder. He wore a Cubs t-shirt and sweats, with bare feet. She reached for him, turning his face to look at her.

"Did you sleep at all?" Sara asked softly.

"Yes," Grissom said, trying not to get lost in her brown eyes.

"When did you get up?" Sara asked again.

"Probably around noon," he said, looking down at the drafting board.

"Can you tell me what's wrong?" Sara asked, trying to draw him out.

He raised his head to look at her and shook it silently. Sara reached for his shoulders and slowly pulled him into an embrace. His face was buried in her hair, his arms wrapped totally around her back, just holding. She started to rub his back but stopped when he stiffened and began to pull away.

"Aren't you still tired?" Sara said softly into his ear.

"Yes," Grissom admitted in a whisper.

"But you can't sleep?" Sara asked.

Grissom didn't respond, he just held her, realizing suddenly that she might be the key.

"Sara, I....I need to sleep. I can't go on like this." Grissom started.

"I know, Griss," Sara replied.

She felt the muscles in his back tighten as he wrestled with himself.

"Would you sleep with me?" Grissom asked in a voice so low she needed to replay it in her mind so she wouldn't ask, 'what did you say'?

"uhm, " Sara replied, trying to say the right thing.

"Not make love, just hold me while I sleep... I...." Grissom said, with a sad smile.

"Okay Gil, let's go to bed." Sara said, lightening the mood, she hoped.

He looked at her with a mixture of surprise and emotion. This time she led him out of the lab room and up the darkened circular staircase. He stood, unsure, at the foot of the bed.

"Do you normally sleep in a t-shirt and sweats?" Sara asked.

"No, just in shorts," He replied nervously.

"I'm getting into bed and closing my eyes, take off your clothes and come to bed." Sara instructed.

Grissom looked at her, caught off-guard by her casual intimacy, and watched as she easily slipped into bed. He walked to the chair and pulled his t-shirt and sweats off. He padded back to the bed and got in. He rolled onto his right side and felt the bed move as Sara came up behind him. She tucked her right arm under her head and gently pushed her left arm under his to rest on his chest.

"Go to sleep, Griss. I'm here." Sara said, hoping that just her touch would be enough if his nightmares returned.

Awkwardly, he reached his right hand to touch her. He found her left hand and raised it to his mouth for a soft kiss before returning his hand to his pillow.

8:00 pm

Sara opened her eyes and looked at the clock. This was not working out, she thought to herself. Grissom wasn't in bed and the sheets were cold as well. She turned on a bedside light and got out of bed, walking groggily into the bathroom. The lights were on a dimmer and she turned them on to twenty five percent. Grissom was lying on the floor, curled up, between the Jacuzzi and the wall. Sara walked up to him, crouching quickly to put a soft hand to his neck, feeling for a pulse: strong and steady. She couldn't resist and ran her hand through his grey and brown curls. He growled softly in his sleep, but she wasn't sure if that was a positive response or not. Obviously, he felt comfortable here. There was no evidence to suggest that he had fallen; he chose to lay down here. Sara touched his skin and it was cool. Finally she decided to wake him.

"Griss, Griss, wake up. Are you okay?" she said softly as she ran her fingers through his hair.

Grissom moved suddenly, rolling into a sitting position and backing himself to the wall. He was breathing heavily, his mouth slack, his eyes wide.

"Griss, it's Sara. You're okay. You're safe." She continued in a soft tone.

He continued to stare at her and breathe hard for another five minutes. She waited him out. Then he blinked and looked at her, realizing where he was.

"Come on, let's go back to bed. Your nightly maneuvers are cramping my sleep style." Sara said, trying to get him to smile.

Grissom didn't respond except to get to his feet and walk back into the bedroom. She followed him back in and wasn't surprised to see him standing looking at photos of his mother on the tall bureau. In the weak light from the bedside light, Sara could see the scars on his back. She walked silently on the grey carpet and stood next to him. He clenched his left hand into a fist and slammed it down on the bureau, causing the photos to fall over. Sara took a quick defensive step back until she noticed the tremors in his body. He put both hands on the bureau and lowered his head. Sara put her hand on his shoulder and he straightened up to look at her. The tears were streaming down his face.

"I don't know what to do. It won't stop," was all he could manage to say before breaking down in her arms.

"I know, sweetheart, I know. You need to sleep. Please Griss, come back to bed." Sara said as she held him tighter and tried desperately not to break into tears herself.

Grissom was so tired, and hurt, and angry, but he couldn't stop. Ten minutes later, it seemed that there were no more tears.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, pulling back, his blue eyes now fiercely bloodshot.

"You never have to apologize to me," Sara said, rubbing her hands over his cold biceps.

"Thank you," Grissom said, raising her hands to his face and drawing her into a kiss.

It was more than a friendly kiss, but Sara knew he wasn't capable of much more, so she took a deep breath and tried to stop her heart from beating so fast. Whatever was causing his nightmares, his sleepwalking, and his angst was tearing him apart, but she had no idea how to help him except to wait for him to ask for it. Grissom pulled back from the kiss and looked at her face. She is so beautiful, he thought. I want her so much; I just can't summon the energy to focus totally on her. My nightmares are draining me. He took her hand and led her to the foot of the bed.

Grissom crawled in and lay on his back, pulling the covers to his waist. Sara got into bed, too, and turned off the light. She settled quickly, trying to project her calm to him, laying her head on his left shoulder, spooning against his side, laying her left arm across his belly. He reached over and interlaced his fingers over her shoulder. Sara held out, listening to him breathe until she was positive he was asleep, before falling asleep herself.

1:00 am

Grissom rolled away from Sara. His body was white hot and he pushed the sheets to his hips. He couldn't let it happen and he couldn't get away. He wrestled with his memory until his consciousness saved him, waking him up. He sat up, sweat streaming down his face and chest. He tried to calm down; still not completely awake, not realizing that Sara was in the bed beside him. Grissom swung his legs to the floor and put his head in his hands.

Every time he tried to sleep, his memories drove him to nightmares. Now, his nightmares had awakened a migraine. In the last three months, tied in to the additional stress at work, his migraines had become not just more frequent, but more intense. He had to get a new prescription for Sansert, a very strong medication, which he didn't tolerate well. Grissom walked downstairs, trying to figure out if this was a mild or severe migraine and decided it was another severe one. He just wanted to be put out of the agony of his memories and the pain that felt like a jackhammer behind his eyes. He pulled a bottle of water and the Sansert out of the fridge. Tapping out one pill, he tossed it into his mouth and washed it down. He picked up the bottle and headed back upstairs to bed. As he entered the bedroom, he stopped, confused at the other body in the bed. He stood until he started seeing the flares at the edges of his vision. Then he made his way to the bed, put down the water, and crawled under the covers as he started to shiver. Grissom smelled her shampoo and smiled, remembering dimly that Sara was his bedmate. He closed his eyes and watched the light show play out on the inside of his eyelids before succumbing to the powerful medication.

3:00 am

Sara woke up suddenly as Grissom was coming out of the bathroom. His pace was unsteady and he reached for the bed as if he couldn't see it. He sat in bed next to her, his face pale, the sheets around his waist. She listened to him breathe and waited until his breathing slowed. She reached out to touch him and his eyes shot open.

"Easy, Griss, it's just me, Sara." She said softly.

"Ah, Jesus, Sara, it really hurts." Grissom breathed, his hands clenched, grabbing the sheets.

"Did you take your medicine?" Sara asked, sitting up next to him.

"Yeah, the strong stuff." He replied. "I might have just thrown up the pill, though."

"Roll over on your stomach. I'll rub your back. It calmed you down before." Sara instructed.

"What? I don't remember any of that." Grissom said, confused.

"It doesn't matter, Griss, just roll over and relax into the feeling. If you still have meds in your system, you need to stop fighting them." Sara soothed.

Grissom slid down in the bed and rolled over on his stomach, his hands crossed under his head. Gently, Sara started to rub his back. She felt him relax almost immediately and he was asleep in minutes.

She had had more sleep in the previous twenty hours then she normally got in three days, so Sara got out of bed and pulled up a chair to be near Grissom and waited. She watched him sleep, or at least his attempt at it. He tossed and turned almost non-stop. Finally after an hour of restless sleep, his real nightmares began. Sara took a chance and massaged his face and torso as Dr. Wu had instructed her the night before. Immediately he calmed. She continued for four more hours until Grissom woke up.

"Morning," Sara asked, watching him struggle to alertness.

Grissom looked at her but his vision was still modified by his medication. He got out of bed and went into the bathroom. Several minutes later, he came out and stood at the foot of the bed, as if making a momentous decision.

"Griss?" Sara asked, standing in concern.

"I need to go downstairs," he said, slowly, and walked out in his shorts to the hallway.

Sara followed behind him, not knowing what he needed from her. He reached the bottom of the stairs and continued into the kitchen for a bottle of water. Turning around, he noticed Sara sitting at the breakfast bar.

"Sorry, did you want a bottle of water?" he asked, closing his eyes against the pain.

"No thanks," Sara replied. "Would you like me to turn on the CD player?"

"Oh, yes, please," Grissom said, leaning against the counter in his shorts, rolling the cold bottle of water over his forehead.

Total James Dean, Sara thought. He has no idea how sexy he looks right now. I'll have to remind him, tonight. Sara walked to the stereo and pressed <go> and cello music played in the living room. He walked unsteadily into the living room and started to pace. His right hand held his water and his left hand, still in bandages, rubbed his forehead. Quietly he started to talk to himself, almost a chant. Sara couldn't hear what he was saying, but she did notice he started to limp. He continued to pace for almost twenty minutes and then he changed direction for the sofa, lying down on the cool black leather. He was panting against the pain, when Sara walked over to sit on the coffee table. She reached to make contact, touching his left knee. He scrambled to avoid her touch and resettled on the sofa. Closing her eyes at her mistake, she reached for his right knee.

"Griss, you need to lie down." She instructed. "You'll sleep better if you're lying down."

Grissom simply leaned to his right side and put his legs on the sofa. She reached over and stretched the blanket over him. Sara sat on the floor and pulled his right hand out for her to hold as Grissom fell asleep.

9:00 am

Grissom woke up, a little muzzy from his medication, but feeling rested for the moment and pain free. He looked at Sara, who was reading the latest forensics magazine. Stretching out his left hand, he touched her hair. She pushed her head into his hand.

"Morning, again," Sara said.

"Morning, can you tell me what time it is?" Grissom asked.

"A little past nine," Sara replied. "How is your headache?"

"Gone, but I have the aftermaths. I'm sore, nauseated, and probably dizzy when I stand." Grissom admitted.

"What can I do to help you?" Sara asked, still talking to the man behind her on the sofa.

"You've done so much to help me already, Sara." Grissom said, softly massaging her head with his left hand.

"Why don't you take a hot shower upstairs and I'll make some coffee. When you come down, maybe you'll want some breakfast." She recommended.

"Unlikely, but I'll try." Grissom said.

He sat up and realized he was still only dressed in his shorts. Then he looked at Sara and realized she appeared to be dressed in his work shirt and little else. The pace of his heart picked up a bit as he thought of her so close to him, barely dressed with her hair fanned out on the edge of the sofa from his massage. He took a breath and then stood up slowly. He looked down at her. Sara felt his gaze and looked up at his still pale face. She reached her hand up and he pulled her easily to her feet. He pulled her into an embrace, smelling her hair. Sara rested her head against his shoulder.

"Thank you, Sara." Grissom said, pulling back far enough to kiss her gently on her forehead.

He squeezed her shoulders before releasing her, walking slowly to the staircase.

"You're welcome, Griss." Sara said softly, slightly stunned by his overt affection.

Grissom entered the bedroom and turned on the light by the bed. He turned to head into the bathroom and noticed the picture frames scattered on the top of the tall bureau. Frowning, he went over and carefully put them back into position. He looked at the chair in between the two bureaus and saw his clothing. Shaking his head, he scooped them up and went into the closet, putting his t-shirt, sweats, work shirt, jeans and socks in the hamper. Grissom slid his shorts off and then padded to the bathroom. The lights were on dimly, so he raised them. Looking around, he noticed the bathmat was by the Jacuzzi instead of by the shower. He pulled off the bandages from his left hand and looked at the cuts. They were healing, but he wanted the freedom. Turning on the shower, he opened the glass door and stepped in. The hot water attacked his body, but he relished its warmth. Taking the soap from the dish, he started to wash his chest and arms. He leaned over, ignoring the tightness in his lower back and the twinges in his left hand and washed his legs. Straightening, he started to wash his back, feeling the familiar ridges as the soap bumped over them. He wasn't thinking of anything; he was simply taking a shower. He didn't black out, he just started to remember something he had thought was buried. Grissom then remembered waking up on the bathroom floor, and the look of pure fear that was on Sara's face.

"No, I can control this. I will control this." Grissom said to himself darkly, stepping under the showerhead to rinse away the tears from his face.

He quickly finished his shower and stepped out to grab a towel. He rubbed his hair and beard, then wrapped the towel around his waist and went back to the bedroom. He pulled out a fresh pair of shorts, a cotton short-sleeved shirt and, from the closet, a pair of comfortable Gramicci climbing pants. He pulled on his shorts and then the pants, tying the drawstring loosely around his waist. He slid into the shirt and only buttoned it half way. He looked around the room and pulled the bedspread to the foot of the bed in order to make it. Ten minutes later, his bedroom looked normal again, except for Sara's clothes. He turned off the bedside light and started downstairs.

He smiled when he reached the top of the stairs, as Sara had changed the music. They were now listening to the carefree music of The Beatles from the early sixties. He got to the bottom of the stairs and saw Sara standing in the kitchen staring at him.

"Wow, you look like a million bucks!" she grinned, handing him a mug of rich black coffee.

"Thanks," he blushed. "Amazing what a little soap and water can do!"

"Well, that too, but I like your casual clothes. I've just gotten used to your monochromaticness." Sara said, sipping her own cup of coffee.

"I don't think that's a word." He grinned at her, sitting on the stool.

"Perhaps, but a pale blue shirt with the pattern of those trousers sets off your skin and eyes." Sara remarked.

"Well, thank you very much. I tell you what; I'll make my famous scrambled eggs if you want to take a shower. I have plenty of sweats and t-shirts." Grissom offered.

"Thank you, but I actually brought a change of clothes. I just have to remember where I put my bag." Sara said.

"Front door, by my briefcase," Grissom said, his face darkening, remembering his promise to himself in the shower.

"What's wrong?" Sara asked quickly.

"Nothing really, I owe my mother an email session. I guess I should do that before I make breakfast." Grissom said, standing with a sigh.

Noticing her look, Grissom explained, "We IM. It's faster for us, so we have preset times. If we're online, we talk."

"That makes sense to me. Let me top off your cup; I'll take a shower and we'll meet back in the kitchen and make breakfast together." Sara said, smiling.

"Sounds like a date," Grissom said, staring into her brown eyes.

"Could well be," Sara replied in a flirting tone as she filled his cup.

She put her cup down and walked out of the kitchen, passing closely by Grissom, and bent over to get her bag, affording him a view of her long legs and beyond. Grissom watched her start up the stairs before heading into the lab room and his waiting computer. He set his cup down and turned on the monitor. He checked the online status of 'family' and saw his mother was indeed 'online'.

"Hi, can you talk or are you in the middle of some fantastic art purchase from Pago Pago?" he joked.

"You are a thankless son!" Helen Grissom wrote, teasing him. "Yes, I have a few minutes. You have been in my dreams. I haven't heard from you in almost a week. What's going on?"

Grissom stared at the blinking cursor, trying to figure out a way to explain it. He sipped his coffee and then started to type.

"My nightmares returned this week. They've been instigating migraines. Mom, I have to tell someone. I can't do this any more," Grissom wrote.

His hands were shaking and he sat up a little straighter at his desk chair. Shortly, his mother responded.

"Gil, my love, I am so sorry. I had assumed you had told Catherine or maybe Jim. Please don't worry; nothing can hurt us any more. I wish I could be there with you. What brought out your nightmares?" Helen asked.

Grissom took the meat of his right hand and ground out the tears that were threatening to fall. He took another sip of coffee for fortitude and began to tell his mother about the Challenger 300 case.

"Dearest Gil, I love you so much. Please take care of yourself. Don't work so hard. Maybe take a vacation. You could bring Sara with you. She does still work with you, doesn't she? You haven't spoken about her much, recently." Helen wrote.

"Mom, I'll do my best. I love my work, but I can't say that about my job right now. There are a lot of internal politics which are weighing me down. Re: Sara yes, she still works with me. She's been going through a rough patch, so I was trying to give her space." Grissom wrote.

"Don't let her go. You love her, and from what you've said, she may love you, as well. Do what makes you happy, Gil. Go ride a roller-coaster, race cockroaches, or give a lecture. Just relax, sweetheart." Helen wrote.

"Thanks, Mom. I guess I'll start on the 'be happy' idea and go make breakfast. I have the day off today." He wrote.

"I bet you're making scrambled eggs with cheese!" Helen teased him.

"Yes, I admit, I really do love them." Grissom replied, feeling happier.

"Sweetheart, Henry is calling from Switzerland and I really must talk to him. Please take care of yourself. I love you so much." Helen wrote.

"I love you too, Mom. Say hi to Henry for me. Talk to you in a couple of days." Grissom wrote, sitting back in his chair, holding his coffee cup, thinking of his mother's longtime beau and business partner.

"Bye," Helen said, signing off.

"Bye, Mom." Grissom typed.

He rubbed his beard, looking at the words on the screen before printing their conversation. When the three pages printed, he stapled them together and walked to the nearest file cabinet. Opening up the top drawer, he found the folder for the month and placed their conversation into it. Ever since he bought her a computer, they had communicated in this manner and he had saved every conversation.

Grissom spent fifteen minutes feeding his various pets and making notes in his notebook as necessary before turning off his monitor, grabbing his coffee, and walking out to the kitchen. He listened for the shower and heard it faintly. He looked around and decided to do the dishes, first. He lost himself in that mundane chore, trying to figure out how to talk to Sara.

She had been so brutally honest with him the month before when Ecklie had suspended her. Sara had broken down in her apartment and told him the secret that she had been carrying with her for twenty years; her mother had killed her father. After that, she grew up in foster homes. His heart broke when she told him, and yet the only thing he was capable of doing was to hold her hand. As his heart broke, a dark anger swelled inside of him; a fury at what had been done to her. He knew that some of the other people at the lab thought he had no emotions, but it was, in fact, quite the opposite. He was passionate about everything; Grissom simply controlled himself, allowing what he wanted people to see to be seen.

Grissom reached out and took a sip of his cold coffee and scowled. He put the mug in the microwave, set the timer, and pulled the cheese, eggs, and milk from the fridge. He put the eggs and milk in a bowl and whisked them together. Grissom took down his favourite frying pan from the bar above his head and poured a small amount of oil into it. Turning on the burner, he heated up the pan.

"Did you see the shallots and mushrooms?" Sara asked, startling him.

Grissom took one step away from the flame to catch his breath.

"Sara!" he growled.

"Sorry, carpet, no shoes. Would you like me to chop the shallots and mushrooms?" Sara asked, grinning.

"I thought you didn't cook," Grissom countered, teasing her.

"That's not cooking, that's chopping." She replied, standing next to him, her hair back in a loose ponytail.

"Did you have a nice shower?" Grissom asked, getting the mushrooms and the shallots from the fridge.

"Yes, thanks. How's your Mom?" Sara asked.

The microwave bell rang and Grissom removed his coffee, setting it aside.

"Fine, she said hello." Grissom said, putting the cutting board out on the counter. "These are monster mushrooms, so rinse and cut four of them, I think. Then with shallots, put them on the counter and take the flat of your knife and push down. The skins come off easily, then. There are some small glass bowls in that cabinet. You have about two minutes."

"Geez, no pressure," Sara said, starting to work, grinning at him.

Sara started with the shallots and handed the bowl to Grissom, who put them in the pan. She put the bowl of chopped mushrooms next to the cheese and giggled at her kamikaze speed. Grissom added the mushrooms to the shallots, stirring quickly. Grissom whisked the egg mixture again and poured it into the hot pan, immediately pushing it around with the spatula. Finally, he added the cheese and madly stirred.

"Want to get me two pasta bowls, please?" Grissom said, gesturing with his head to the correct cabinet.

Sara pulled two pasta bowls out, set them on the counter, and pulled two forks and napkins from the drawer. Grissom deftly dished the scrambled eggs out and handed her a bowl. They moved the short distance to the breakfast bar and sat down. Grissom got up again to get the salt, pepper and coffee.

"Do you need anything?" Grissom asked.

"Salsa or hot sauce?" Sara asked, mischievously.

"Which would you prefer?" Grissom asked.

"Salsa, more vegetables," she joked.

Grissom opened the fridge and found a jar in the door and handed it to her. He sat down and sprinkled his eggs with pepper before attacking them. They sat in silence, just eating breakfast as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

"What do you want to do today?" Sara asked.

"Hmm?" Grissom replied, his mouth full.

"Well, you look better, a little less tired, no headache, nothing obviously bothering you, so I thought you might want to do something today." Sara explained.

"Why don't we do one thing for you and one thing for me?" Grissom suggested, sipping his coffee.

"Okay and then one new thing; new to the two of us," Sara added.

"Excellent, I would like to go to ride the Desperado." Grissom said, continuing to eat his eggs, and getting excited at the thought of getting out of the townhouse.

"What and where?" Sara asked.

"The fastest roller coaster in the Vegas area at the Buffalo Bill Hotel," Grissom replied. "And what about you? What do you want to do?"

Sara sat and thought. She couldn't tell him that she'd love just to spend the day in bed with him.

"Desert trail ride," Sara replied. "I haven't done it in a couple of years, but in the late afternoon, it's really spectacular."

"I haven't ridden a horse in ten years, but I'm game. What shall we do together?" Grissom asked, putting his hand lightly on her knee.

"Why don't we call spending the day together our joint activity? So, shall we start at Desperado, and see what happens?" Sara asked, putting her hand on his.

"Sounds great. Can you ride in those clothes?" Grissom asked.

"Oh, yeah, this isn't really riding as much as follow the leader." Sara asked, removing her hand to adjust her top.

"Okay, I need to put on jeans, I think." Grissom said, standing.

"Shoes would be a thought." Sara joked.

Grissom shot her a smirk and took the dishes to the sink to let them soak. He walked upstairs and pulled a clean pair of jeans from his closet. He took off his comfortable climbing pants for the cactus hating blue jeans. Grissom slipped on a brown leather belt. He found his pair of cowboy boots, a gift from his mother when he had moved to Las Vegas, and walked into the bedroom. Grissom put on tube socks, careful to make sure they extended over the top of the boots, and walked downstairs. His shirt untucked, faded jeans, cowboy boots, no one would believe this was Gil Grissom, she thought.

"I have my cooler, should we take my Tahoe?" Sara asked.

"That's a good idea, let me get some water." Grissom said, pulling a six-pack of water from the fridge and replacing it from the case on the floor.

"You all set?" Sara asked.

"Uhm, almost." Grissom said, turning off the stereo, grabbing his keys, wallet, cell phone, pager, sunglasses, and his CSI baseball cap, which he immediately put on his head.

Sara shook her head at his antics, picked up her bag and walked out into the sunlight. Grissom followed her, carrying the water, and slipped on his sunglasses.

The Tahoe was hot but not miserable, yet. Still, Grissom was perspiring as they waited for the AC to catch up. He gave her directions and they arrived forty-five minutes later.

"Hey, Gil! Long time no see." A large man with a broad moustache said as they got out of the car.

"Hey, Marty. Can you get us in?" Grissom asked, walking to the other man.

Marty gave Grissom a bear hug, lifting him off his feet easily. Grissom laughed as did Marty.

"Marty, this is Sara," Grissom said, smiling.

"Hi, Sara, pleasure to meet you." Marty said offering a huge hand. "Are you a roller coaster nut like him?"

Grissom grinned and waited for her response.

"Actually, I'm a bit of a novice." Sara said, articulately.

"No matter, you're riding with the master. Do you have your pass?" Marty asked, leading them to the roller coaster.

Grissom handed a laminated roller coaster pass to the larger man.

"You're kidding me, right?" Sara asked with a grin.

"I have a yearly pass for most of the roller coasters in the country. It has its perks." Grissom said, placing his hand to the small of her back.

"Sara, I'm going to have to hold your bag or we'll be looking for your stuff for the next week." Marty said, holding out his hand.

"It's okay," Grissom said, again touching her.

"Anything loose in your pockets? No? Shoes on tight? Here we go then. This is the roller coaster inspector. He has to ride it with his, uhm, associate. Those are the rules." Marty explained to a man and his young son.

Sara got into the first car and Grissom sat next to her. He braced his feet on the wall in front of him and she followed suit. The bar came down over them and he reached his left hand to her. She grabbed it quickly.

"It lasts for two minutes. Think of it as a physics experiment. Oh, and keep your mouth shut." Grissom said as the car started to move.

"What?" she asked, looking at him closely.

"Bugs," Grissom said, and they were off.

She remembered corkscrews, a huge drop, gut wrenching turns, shrieking from abject terror and Grissom laughing in absolute pleasure almost the whole time. The car rolled to the end position and the bar went up. Grissom stood, not letting go of her hand, and pulled her to stable land and into an embrace.

"Thanks for going on the ride with me." He said, hugging her with his right arm.

"You're welcome. It was fun," Sara said, hugging him back.

"Hey, Gil, you cut your hand somehow. Come over here, I've got a first aid kit." Marty said, seeing his left hand at his side.

Sara and Grissom looked to his left hand and saw the blood dripping to his fingertips. Holding his hand away from his body to keep his clothes clean, he walked to larger man and sat down.

"Oh, Griss, I'm sorry, I opened up the cuts on your hand." Sara said, concerned.

"It's all right, Sara, it doesn't hurt." Grissom said, lying slightly.

"This is nothing, Sara. Just looks bad. Oh, you should clean up too." Marty said, motioning to her.

Sara looked at her right hand and the top of her pants noticing blood and walked to the bathroom.

"She's cute," Marty observed as he poured hydrogen peroxide on Grissom's hand.

"She's beautiful, but more than that, she's smart." Grissom replied, with a small smile.

"You dog," Marty said, thumping him on the back.

Grissom looked at him, embarrassed.

"Marty, we've got about four hours to kill before we go on a late afternoon nature ride. Any suggestions?" Grissom asked.

"Hell, I'd go to Lake Mead. I wouldn't eat lunch there, though, expensive park food." Marty said, finishing up with Grissom's hand.

"That's okay, we just had breakfast." Grissom said.

"Yeah, well, she looks a bit green so you may want to feed her before dinner." Marty said, looking over Grissom's shoulder at the approaching Sara.

Grissom stood easily, holding his hand loosely at his side, ignoring the pounding pain.

"You okay? You look a little pale." Grissom asked, reaching his right hand to her shoulder.

"I'll be fine." She assured him.

"What do you think of driving to Lake Mead for the afternoon?" Grissom asked.

"Great idea!" Sara said with a grin.

"Marty, thanks again." Grissom said, offering his hand.

"You're welcome, Grissom. Here's your card, before I forget, and your bag, Sara." Marty said.

"Thanks, Marty." Sara said.

They headed to the Tahoe and Grissom handed out bottled water. Sliding the car into gear, Sara eased into traffic and drove the twenty plus miles to Lake Mead. They paid their six dollars for day admission and received their maps.

"I've never been here." Grissom admitted, looking at the site map, slightly daunted.

"Me neither, let's investigate." Sara replied.

They found a parking place and pulled together what they thought they'd need for the next three hours.

"Do you want to call the horseback riding place? Do we need a reservation?" Grissom asked.

"Thanks, Griss. Yes, we do need to call. Hang on for a couple of minutes, okay?" Sara asked.

"I am yours all day." He said, leaning against the Tahoe, feeling the sun on his face.

Sara looked at him and smiled before delving into her bag for her Palm Pilot. She found it and found the stables she had liked before.

"Amberly Stables, may I help you?" a woman answered.

"Yes, do you still have sunset rides?" Sara asked.

"Yes, we do. Today we'll leave the stables at 5pm sharp and return by 7pm." Came the reply.

"Terrific, I would like to reserve two spots." Sara continued.

The two women talked details for another five minutes before Sara hung up and walked to the front of the Tahoe.

"It is almost one o'clock. We need to be at the stables, which are southeast of town, at five." Sara said.

"Okay, so we need to be on the road at three fifteen. The traffic will be murder." Grissom said, looking at her.

"Sounds good," Sara said.

"Lay on, Macduff," Grissom said, bowing slightly.

"Name your source," Sara challenged.

"The Scottish play, Act five, scene eight," Grissom intoned seriously.

They grinned at each other and started walking toward the lakefront. It was slightly loud with children, boaters, swimmers, etc., by the water's edge, but they persevered and continued to walk on the path, just enjoying being outside with each other. Grissom moved to walk on Sara's left, reaching for her left hand and squeezed it. It just was right, no pressure, no work, just two people walking through the park.

An hour later, they came up to a sand volleyball court.

"Would you mind if we sat down for a little while?" Sara asked him.

"No, of course not," Grissom replied, slipping his hand to the small of her back.

They sat in the bleachers and watched the volleyball game. Grissom watched intently, noting the moves and behaviour of the men in the pit. They were his age and very intense. Then Grissom saw it. The blonde in the front of one four man team fell in the sand, clutching his knee in agony. His friends went to him and there was a long discussion. One of his friends looked into the stands and spied Grissom.

"Hey, can you play?" the man asked.

"Yes," Grissom replied with a small smile, standing to divest himself of his electronics.

He turned his hat around so the front curls appeared through the strap and leaned down to remove his boots and socks. Sara was mesmerized. She had never seen Grissom athletic, but suspected that he was. Grissom turned to her and gave her a quick kiss on the lips before joining his new teammates. Whatever he and his mother discussed, this was a lighter, happier Grissom.

"Thanks for helping us out. I'm Ray; this is Adam, and Rick." The man said.

"I'm Grissom, but call me Griss, it'll be faster." Grissom said, smiling.

"Okay, Matt was the spiker; you're smaller and heavier so I want you in the back, okay? I'll move everyone around. We're down-" Ray said.

"You're down two points. The redhead is slamming you. We need to shut him down." Grissom said, eloquently.

"Let's get to work. No shorts, hunh?" Adam said.

"Who knew?" Grissom replied, throwing his hands in the air with a grin.

"Your hand gonna be okay?" Rick asked, noticing the mercurochrome and bandages on his hand.

"I'm fine," Grissom said, smiling.

"Let's play some volleyball." Ray said.

They set up with Ray and Adam as the forwards and Grissom and Rick in the back. The opposing team served and Grissom returned with a perfect bomb to the redhead, who missed. Rick had the service. Rick served and blasted them. On the second serve, the redhead returned it well, Grissom dove in the sand and saved the point, getting to his feet quickly, again the redhead slammed the ball at him, and again Grissom saved the point, finally, the redhead tried a cross court shot. Ray leapt up and stuffed the ball between the four men. The score was tied. Sara was amazed, watching Grissom move like a cat. His shirt clung to him and his face was red on top of his perpetual tan.

"Serving for game," Rick announced dramatically.

He served the ball long but the man in the blue shirt saved it in the sand. The redhead tried to stuff it back.

"Mine," Grissom grunted as he dove and set the shot for Adam.

The ball came back harder and Rick hit it back easily. The volley lasted for almost five minutes; each team giving their all. A crowd had gathered, watching the seven men in shorts and tank tops and the one man in blue jeans play this end-all game. The ball came back to Grissom and he fell to his knees to grab it from the sand. Ray slammed it back and the other side missed it.

"Final point, "Rick said, gravely.

He served the ball and it was very deep, pulling everyone out of position. They got it back and Rick barely got it out of the dirt. It was right in front of Grissom; he jumped up, and slammed it over the net. The redhead returned it beautifully, aiming between Rick and Grissom.

"Mine," Rick said.

At the last moment, Grissom knew Rick wasn't going to be able to get it and he threw himself towards the ball. He popped it up, but it was too far back to spike. Rick was in the sand on his face, having tripped. Ray stepped back and set it to Adam who spiked it over the net. It was all over. The whoops and hollers began as well as a lot of back slapping. Grissom stood and Sara knew that he had pulled something.

"Grissom, man that was awesome," Ray gushed.

"Where do you play? We've never seen you around." Adam said.

"Thanks for saving my butt," Rick said.

"Thanks, and you're welcome, and I don't play, really." Grissom said, walking to the bleachers, limping slightly.

Sara walked to the first row of bleachers, carrying all of their stuff. She grinned and he did in return.

"Wanna beer?" Rick asked.

"What time is it?" Grissom asked.

"Two forty-five," Sara answered, handing him a bottle of water.

"Yes, I'll have a beer," Grissom said as he dumped half the bottle of water on his head and drank the rest of it.

"Here you go," Rick said. "I'm Rick."

"I'm Sara," she replied.

"He's really good," he commented, gesturing to Grissom with a beer bottle.

"At many things," Sara replied, accepting a bottle of beer.

Grissom and Sara spent ten minutes talking to the volleyball players, exchanging phone numbers, and drinking their one beer.

"We have to get going. It was fun." Grissom said, shaking each member's hand.

"We're going to call you. Walt may not be able to play for a while." Adam said.

"No problem," Grissom answered as he and Sara started to walk to the car.

They had been walking about ten minutes before she said anything.

"First of all, that was amazing." Sara said, reaching for his right hand.

"Thanks," Grissom replied, blushing and squeezing her hand.

"How's your knee?" Sara asked, tightening her grip on his hand.

"It'll be fine. It doesn't hurt right now." Grissom said, not daring to look her in the eye.

"Wait until you get off the horse." Sara warned.

They arrived at the hot Tahoe and opened the windows. Grissom grabbed one more water and they were on their way to the stables.

Even allowing for traffic, they arrived on time at quarter to five. Grissom paid for the rides and met Sara at the stables.

"We're their only riders, tonight." Sara said.

"Excellent," Grissom grinned.

"Hi, I'm Bert; I'm your nature guide trail master. Do you folks ride?" Bert asked.

"I ride but haven't in about two years." Sara said.

"Can you handle a horse?" Bert asked.

"Yes," Sara replied, and Bert had no difficulty in believing her.

"What about you, sir?" Bert asked Grissom.

"The last time I rode was maybe ten years ago." Grissom replied.

"Did you know how to handle a horse?" Bert asked.

"Yes, I had a job at the local stables for eight years." Grissom answered.

"Well then, let's get started. Oh, make sure your cell phones and pagers are well-secured and are on vibrate. It's an unnatural sound in the desert." Bert said, walking to a line of horses.

"Done," Grissom and Sara replied at the same time.

"Miss, what is your name?" Bert asked.

"Sara," she replied.

"Sara, this is Half-pint," Bert said, walking out a beautiful chestnut.

"Hello, Half-pint," Sara greeted her horse.

"Let's get you up and then work on those stirrups." Bert said, reaching a hand down for her knee.

He gave her a leg up and then adjusted her stirrups. She stood for him, showing the distance between her crotch and the saddle.

"Right, now you," Bert said.

"Grissom," he replied.

"Grissom, this is Kilo. He can be a pain so don't let him get away with anything." Bert said.

"Hello, Kilo," Grissom said, lifting his left foot to the stirrup and pulling himself up in the saddle.

Just before Grissom was out of reach, Kilo swung his head around and grabbed his shirt at his left triceps.

"Kilo, cut it out," Bert said, pulling the horse's head around.

Grissom sat comfortably in the saddle as Bert adjusted the stirrups. His shirt was torn where Kilo grabbed it, but there didn't appear to be any other damage. Bert quickly mounted his horse and they were off on their next adventure.

For the first hour, Bert took them on beautiful trails, pointing out different plants. Grissom added to the trip by pointing out different animal tracks and insects. They walked and trotted mostly; trying to remember what it was like to be on a horse. Bert stopped at the edge of a wash and turned his horse back to talk to them.

"Look it's just us, wanna have some fun? How about a lope through this wash? When I raise my hand, we're stopping. Keep one horse space between you, and Sara, watch yourself, Half-pint used to barrel race. He may take the cacti a little close. Grissom, sit your seat and tell him who's boss and you'll be fine. Let's go." Bert said, trotting to the front of the line.

He continued trotting and picked it up to a slow lope, twisting in his seat to watch his charges. She was fine, a little tight, but fine. He had a stupid grin on his face and was a natural horseman. Bert turned back in his saddle and picked up the speed.

They loped for almost fifteen minutes. Bert raised his hand as did Sara and they all stopped.

"Fantastic," Sara said, rubbing Half-pint's neck.

"Not too close?" Bert said, looking at the spines in her pants.

"Oops!" Sara said, grinning.

"How about you, Grissom?" Bert asked.

"When he finally understood that he wasn't lead horse, he was fine." Grissom replied with a smile.

Something about his voice sounded funny and Sara turned to look at him. She knitted her eyebrows and brought Half-pint around so she could talk to Grissom.

"You okay?" Sara asked, looking at him closely.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks for this. It's really beautiful." Grissom said, lightly.

"I don't believe you, about being fine I mean. I see hours in the Jacuzzi tonight." Sara said, and turned back in line.

So do I, Grissom thought.

The sun was low in the sky when they made it back to the stables. They loped four more times, each one longer. It was a terrific afternoon. Sara walked Half-pint to the rail and easily dismounted, attaching the lead rope to the halter the horse wore under his bridle. She went up to Kilo and looked at Grissom. He stood in his stirrups, lifted his right leg over the horse's back and paused for a moment, left hand on the pommel and right hand on the cantle. He kicked his left foot from the stirrup and slid down, careful to land on his right leg. Sara tied up Kilo and put her arm around Grissom, walking slowly to the car.

"Grissom, you okay?" Bert called, seeing him limping to their car.

"Yeah, Bert, just an old sports injury." Grissom lied, turning to look at him.

"Thanks for the ride, Bert. It was amazing." Sara said, honestly.

"Thank you and I hope to see you two again." Bert said, walking back to take care of the horses.

They got to the car and Sara started the engine.

"I really wanted to take you to a nice dinner tonight, but you smell," Grissom said, looking straight ahead, trying not to smile too much, his left hand on his left knee.

"Thanks a lot, mister testosterone." Sara said, cheating a look at him, feigning anger. "You want some aspirin?"

"Yes, please," Grissom replied, looking at her.

"Check the middle thing," Sara recommended.

Grissom raised the middle divider's top and found a bottle of aspirin. He shook out six and retrieved a bottle of water from the cooler. Twenty minutes later, he actually felt the effects of the aspirin. Another twenty minutes later and they were at the townhouse. Grissom limped up the stairs and walked in, Sara at his side. She stood back as he went through his routine. He dumped his keys, electronics, glasses, and wallet at the front door. Grissom limped to the stereo and shuffled the discs, playing number four. Ella Fitzgerald sang in the living room. He checked his answering machine and hit the button.

"Hey, man, just checking up on you." Jim's voice came through.

Grissom reset the machine and limped slowly up to Sara.

"I'm going to take a shower and just ice my knee, I think. What do you want for dinner?" Grissom asked.

"I would love Chinese." Sara said quickly.

"Okay, menus are in the right drawer in the kitchen. I'll have whatever you're having." He said, walking to the staircase.

"Are you sure? No meat tonight?" Sara asked, startled.

Grissom turned around and walked back to her. Gently he tipped her jaw and kissed her intently.

"If I kissed you like that after eating my beloved Mu Shu pork, you'd be pretty grossed out." Grissom said, smirking.

"Thanks for being so considerate," Sara replied, still stunned at the kiss.

"Why shouldn't I be, don't you deserve it?" Grissom asked, turning to walk up the stairs.

Hell, yes, I deserve it. I just hadn't gotten the feeling lately that you thought so. Sara commented to herself while watching him on the staircase.

Grissom walked into the bedroom and sat in the chair near the closet. He pulled off his boots, although the left one was pure agony. Socks came next and then he loosened his belt, unzipped his jeans and slowly took them off. His left knee was swollen with an ugly bruise, probably a rock in the sand that he landed on. Grissom stood carefully and removed his shirt. He limped into the bathroom and noticed the bruising on his shoulder from Kilo's love bite. He also noticed the colour in his face and the spark in his eyes. He smiled and stepped into the shower, setting it for as cold as he could stand.

Grissom stepped out of the shower, quickly toweled dry and put on a pair of sweat shorts and a long sleeved sweatshirt. He walked downstairs slowly and was surprised to see that Sara had showered in the downstairs shower.

"Can I get you anything to drink?" Sara asked from the kitchen.

"I would love bourbon with a splash of water. Also, can you hand me the ice pack out of the freezer?" Grissom asked.

Sara opened the door and found the large refreezable ice pack. She handed him a dry dish towel and followed him out of the kitchen to retrieve the Maker's Mark from the liquor cabinet. Grissom sat on the sofa, putting a small pillow on the table and resting his left leg on it. He put the dish towel on his knee and then the ice pack, groaning softly.

Sara walked up to him and handed him his drink.

"Dinner should be here in a little bit. Would you be up for a movie?" Sara asked, sitting on the coffee table, next to his foot.

"Sure, what do you have in mind?" Grissom asked, sipping his bourbon.

"I have a selection, Fourth Season of STNG, North by Northwest, Shane, It Takes a Thief, and Galaxy Quest." Sara said, reciting from memory.

"Wow, that is a selection. The only one I don't know is Galaxy Quest." Grissom said, smiling at her.

"It's a screwball comedy that you have to be in the mood for." Sara explained.

"I tell you what, I can feel how tired I am and you must feel the same. Why don't we watch STNG, each episode is fifty minutes long. If we fall asleep, we won't feel guilty." Grissom reasoned.

"Sounds logical to me." Sara said, as the door rang.

"I'll get it, just relax," Sara said, standing to answer the door.

She paid for the food and brought the bag to the coffee table. Sara went back to the kitchen for extra spoons and bowls. She dished up dinner, handing Grissom his chopsticks, and popped the DVD into the player. Walking one last time to the kitchen, she took a beer from the fridge and opened it. Sara hurried back to the sofa when she heard the familiar music from Star Trek Next Generation and Patrick Stewart's voice intone. She sat next to Grissom and ate dinner.

10:00 pm

Grissom had fallen into a light sleep, his head resting against Sara's shoulder. The DVD was playing and the episode had children in it, their voices loud with concern. Before she could turn the volume down, Grissom's subconscious had interacted with it.

"No, stay away," He said as he tried to turn away, kept in place by his knee.

"I'll be good, I'll be quiet," the meek Grissom cried out in his sleep.

"Grissom, wake up," Sara said, her hands on his shoulders.

Grissom's eyes flew open and he knew it was time. He rested his head back on the sofa and closed his eyes for a moment, trying to get his breathing under control. Sara stopped the DVD and looked at their drinks. She took his glass to the kitchen and refilled it, getting herself another beer at the same time.

"Grissom, sit up a little bit, and drink some of this." Sara suggested.

He opened his eyes, sat a bit straighter, and took the drink from her hands.

"Thank you," He said, huskily.

"Griss, you need to talk about this." Sara started, turning her body towards him, slipping her right leg under her left one.

He looked at his drink and felt his emotions start to rise. His hands started to shake. Sara gently took his left hand and held it in both of hers. He took one last sip of his drink before speaking. He knew that he had to get it out and he also knew he was going to be a mess afterward.

"There were just three of us, my father, my mother, and me. My father was abusive to both of us. It came to a head one day when I was eleven, he started yelling at her. His back was to her so she couldn't read his lips. I'd never seen him so angry; cursing both of us. He had been drinking and he went after her." Grissom said, his voice so quiet, she struggled at times to hear it.

"I could take him hitting me, but not her. I lost it. I...I picked up my baseball bat and got off one swing. I thought I'd killed him. There was so much blood." He said, looking into his glass.

"Head wound?" Sara asked, softly.

Grissom nodded. His eyes were full of tears and his shaking had increased as the emotion and fatigue overwhelmed him.

"I turned around to help my mother, who was lying on the floor. She looked up, her eyes opening wide, and that's all I remember. I woke up three days later, my left leg had multiple fractures and my right leg was badly bruised. After he did that to me, my father left us and we never heard from him again to this day." Grissom said, the tears finally streaming down his face.

"The scars on your back?" Sara asked, gently.

"I was eight. My mother could still hear, then. He went after her with a fishing rod and I got between them." Grissom explained.

"You're the knight," Sara surmised.

Grissom looked at Sara. He pulled his leg from the table, gently setting his foot on the floor. He stopped crying and moved his hands to her shoulders, pulling her in slowly for an embrace.

"That's what my mother calls me," he said softly, his tears renewing.

"Griss, why didn't they take your father from the house?" Sara asked into his ear.

Grissom held her tighter, his body shaking with the tears and frustrations that he had so long suppressed.

"Oh, my God, you never told anyone?" Sara said, holding him

Grissom was raw and open. He was scared, but he trusted Sara. They held each other until he calmed down. Grissom leaned away from the embrace. He wiped his face and took a deep breath. Standing carefully, he walked to the breakfast bar and paused. Suddenly, he felt nauseated, and limped quickly to the bathroom to throw up. Sara ran in behind him, getting the washcloth sodden with cold water. When he had finished, she handed him the washcloth and helped him stand up. He washed his mouth out with cold water and a shot of Listerine. Grissom was still very shaky, but able to walk out to the stool at the breakfast bar.

"I'm sorry about dinner," Grissom said, his face in his hands, leaning against the marble top.

"Me too. Just hang out here while I clean up, okay? Do you need anything?" Sara asked.

"Nothing for right now, thanks," Grissom replied quietly.

Sara cleaned up the food and put the leftovers in the fridge. She grabbed his ice pack and put it back in the freezer for tomorrow. Lastly, she took their glasses and bowls and set them in the sink.

"Griss, let's go to bed, all right?" Sara asked, standing at his side.

He straightened slowly and started up the stairs with Sara gently putting her hands on his waist. He got to the bedroom door and turned to look at her. The fear that she had seen before was gone, replaced by exhaustion. She reached up to his face and kissed him gently on his cheek. Slowly, they turned and walked into the bedroom. Grissom switched on the bedside light. He pulled his sweatshirt and sweat shorts off folding them neatly on a chair. Standing in his boxers, he looked at Sara and read her mind. Limping slowly to the low bureau, he pulled a t-shirt out and handed it to her. He walked to the right side of the bed and pulled back the sheets and sat facing away from her, giving her a little privacy to put on his t-shirt. Gingerly, Grissom got into bed. He felt Sara get into bed and reach across him to turn out the light. She spooned against him and kissed his shoulder. Grissom groaned in spite of himself.

"I'm sorry, did that hurt?" Sara asked, sitting up on her elbow to look at him in the darkness.

"Not you, honey, Kilo's love bite." Grissom replied, on the verge of sleep.

She reached under his arm and put a protective hand on his belly and fell asleep.

6:00 am

Grissom was facing her, watching her sleep. He reached over and ran his fingers slowly through her hair. He was calm and at peace for the first time in a long time. He didn't feel that oppressive weight of his past on his shoulders. Instead he felt an odd giddiness after confiding in Sara; he could become emotionally involved with her at last. She opened her eyes and smiled at him.


"Hi," he said, absolutely taken with her.

Grissom carefully reached over with his right hand and traced her jaw, finally leaning over to kiss her. He held his body up on his left elbow, leaning into her. His hand followed her contours until he hit her ribs below her left breast. She reached her right arm under his body to hold him close, her left hand got lost in the tangle of curls on his head. Continuing to kiss slowly, he ran his thumb slowly along the underside of her breast through the t-shirt. Sara moaned slightly and rolled her body towards him. He chuckled, opening his eyes to look at her. He held her rib cage and drew her near to him, his kisses getting deeper. His right hand sought and found the edge of her t-shirt and slowly snaked under it, reaching her breast. Sara moaned again and Grissom caressed both nipples.

Sara pulled back from the kiss and sat up slightly to remove her t-shirt. She settled back on the bed and drew his head to hers. Grissom kissed her passionately, but had other plans. He pulled back the sheets and sat on his knees, slighting favouring his left one, and just for a moment looked at her. He leaned in and gently sucked each nipple as she ran her hands over his delicate ears and the nape of his neck. He paused for a moment, listening to her breathe. It was fast and rough.

"Sara, are you okay? We're approaching the point of no return here." Grissom said, his voice like honey.

"Griss, I am beyond okay, okay?" Sara said, her eyes closed.

Taking that as a 'Hell, yes, please continue,' Grissom began a slow, long, journey starting at her breasts. She gently held his head, tracing his ears with her fingertips. He kissed her navel, darting his tongue in, while softly kneading her breasts. Avoiding her prize, Grissom traveled down her right leg, pushing the sheets away with his feet as he backed up to the foot of the bed. He kissed her, soft butterfly kisses with his long eyelashes, grazing his beard across her knee, tickling her. His right hand anchored him at her left hip, while his left hand held her ankle easily. Finally he reached her toes, and started to gently suck them. Sara was in heaven, floating on the sensation. Grissom shifted positions, leaving her right foot for her left one, shucking off his shorts in the process. She whimpered in complaint, settling when he lips resumed their trek up her leg. At long last he reached her mound.

He reached around gently and tugged at her panties. She lifted her hips and moments later he was looking at her, his emotions running high. Her hair was spread on the pillow, her arms outstretched as if trying to feel with her entire body. She is lovely, he thought. She is so energized by me. I just want to do anything to please her. He reached his hands up to hers and their fingers intertwined. His tongue assaulted her slowly. He smelled her scent, and it excited him more. Her moistness was intoxicating. He wanted more of her right now and fought hard to slow down. She was so close to her first orgasm, but he wanted her to enjoy it. She came moments later, her hands breaking from his to find his head, massaging it in encouragement.

He lifted his head from her and watched her as he inserted one finger, searching for her g spot. It wasn't long until Sara was well on her way to her second orgasm. He is amazing, she thought. When she tried to reciprocate, he whispered to her that today was all about her. Her eyes closed on an indescribable feeling. He feathered her breast with soft kisses, and brushes with his beard while his finger continued an onslaught of its own. She came again and he moved up to kiss her on the lips again.

"Sara, honey," he started to say.

"Griss come on. I'm on the pill." Sara said, her hips bucking for him.

Grissom reached into the bedside table, removed a condom and sheathed himself, taking responsibility for what was about to happen. He positioned himself above her and slowly thrust. Her legs came up to his shoulders as he held the bulk of his weight on his arms. He started to thrust deeper and with more frequency.

"Griss," Sara said, panting, her voice tight.

He stopped, using every ounce of self control.

"Sara?" he replied, concerned.

"Can I be on top?" Sara asked, softly

"Sure, honey," Grissom said, running his hand around her tightly, he flipped them without losing internal position.

She reached out and pinned his hands down as she started to ride him, tightening her internal muscles on the offbeat. Grissom groaned and tried to sit up to kiss her or her breasts but she held him well. They accelerated and Grissom was very close to losing it.

"Sara, I'm coming, I'm coming," he said panting, wanting to touch her but not wanting to exert force.

"Me too," Sara said as she came, with Grissom following.

She collapsed on his chest and he felt her length against him for the first time. She weighed nothing. Suddenly she pulled off of him.

"Are you okay?" he asked, concerned.

"That was amazing," Sara said softly.

"Yeah, I've dreamt about that." Grissom remarked.

"Really? Well I've dreamt about this." Sara said, removing the used condom, tying a knot in the end, and tossing it in the waste paper basket by the bed she had spied earlier.

She reached for him and immediately he began to respond. He reached for her breasts but she stayed out of reach. He was ready again and she slipped him in without a condom, it was wonderful.

"Sara?" Grissom asked, panting, wanting to do so many things.

"Mmmm," she purred, leaning down to suck his nipple.

"Happy, ohmygod," he growled as she tightened her internal muscles around him.

"Yes, and you?" Sara replied, her voice sounding far away.

He couldn't respond. He was feeling things he had never felt before. He reached for her again and this time she let him reach for her breasts and she reached for the base of his shaft and in doing so brushed her own core. They both jumped and accelerated their actions.

"Grissom, I can't....I can't..." Sara said, panting.

"Let go, Sara," he said softly.

And she did, a fourth orgasm, the first time that had ever happened. He came shortly afterwards, feeling her collapse on his chest, both of them covered in sweat, breathing like they had run a marathon.

"Honey? I need to sleep now," Grissom joked.

She reached down and grabbed some curls above his ears, kissed him hard on the lips and gently rolled off of him. They spooned together, pulling the sheets up to keep them warm, and soon were asleep.

9:00 am

Grissom awoke to pain in his knee. He didn't want to take the pain pills for his hand in case he had another migraine. He kissed his sleeping Sara and limped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. He started the Jacuzzi, adding Epsom salts, waiting for the tub to fill. Finally he slipped in, swallowing a groan as his knee hit the hot water.

Sara woke up and frowned that he wasn't in bed. She looked at the bathroom door and got out of bed. She opened the door and found Grissom in the Jacuzzi, all jets running, trying to ease the pain in his knee.

"Care for company?" she asked, standing naked before him.

"Sure, sweetheart, just watch the knee, please." He gestured through the bubbles.

She slipped in and gently came to his side, sitting on the ledge with him. He leaned over and kissed her passionately.

"Thanks for that," Grissom said, staring into her eyes.

"For what?" Sara asked, confused, running her hand up to the nape of his neck.

"For everything, for taking care of me, for not pushing, for not asking." Grissom said, unable to find the right words.

"You're welcome," Sara said, continuing to caress his neck.

"Sara, this morning was extraordinary. It was more than what I had dreamt it would be like. I ...I don't want it to be a fluke. I want to wake up to see you every morning and go to bed with you at night. I'm sorry if I sound selfish, but...I think I've figured out...in these last two days...that I am deeply in love with you." Grissom said, the passion in his voice causing it to diminish to almost a whisper.

His eyes were full of tears as he turned his head to look at her. Sara's heart beat quickly when she saw his face.

"What's wrong, Griss?" Sara asked, brushing the tears from his face.

"I'm scared, scared of a relationship, scared I might screw it up. Scared for you and scared for me. Where do we go from here?" Grissom asked, his voice catching slightly.

"Griss, you are a renaissance man and a romantic. I'm scared too, scared my past might invade my present but, I love you, Gil Grissom and after the last two days, I love you more. So I recommend we take it slowly, very slowly and it will be fine." Sara said, her right hand now teasing his ear.

Griss twisted slowly and took her head in his hands. His kiss started softly, then turned passionate, then increased to intense. She responded and soon they were lost in each other.

10:00 am

Sara walked downstairs to start coffee as Grissom finished getting dressed. He limped downstairs slowly, finally resting on a stool at the bar.

"Aspirin or something stronger?" Sara asked.

"Aspirin and my ice pack, I think." He said, shivering slightly.

"You okay?" Sara asked, walking up to him and looking at him closely.

He wrapped his hands around her waist and drew her to him.

"Yeah, it just hurts, that's all." Grissom said, giving her a long kiss.

"Should you see a doctor?" Sara asked, concerned.

"No, I don't think so. Let me just lay around the house today, and I should be all right for work." Grissom said.

"All right, I don't like this but let's start out believing that you know everything." She grinned.

"Thanks a lot." Grissom growled, shifting slightly to relieve the pain in his knee.

She walked into the bathroom and returned with a bottle of aspirin, which she handed to him. He poured three onto the counter and took the bottle of water that Sara offered, swallowing all three pills simultaneously. Sara handed him the ice pack and dish towel. He walked to the sofa and put his leg gingerly on the table, covering the knee with the pack. He shuddered and closed his eyes.

The coffee was ready in five minutes and Sara poured two cups the way they liked it. She walked to the living room and sat next to him. Grissom seemed asleep, at first, until she noticed the tears in his eyelashes.

"Grissom, have some coffee, I need to make a call." Sara said, handing him his mug.

She walked into the kitchen and picked up Grissom's landline to call Doc Robbins.

"Doc?" she asked.

"Sara?" he replied.

"Hey, I hate to bother you, but Grissom hurt his knee yesterday and I need some advice." Sara explained.

"Go ahead," Doc Robbins said, settling into his chair.

"He took six aspirins when it happened at about three yesterday afternoon and just took another three after sitting in the hot tub with Epson Salts for an hour and a half." Sara said.

"Is he icing it?" Doc asked.

"Yes, but I can tell he's really in pain. Can I give him one of the pain pills for his hand? He hasn't had a migraine in over twenty-four hours."

"Definitely, and remember ice for fifteen minutes off for fifteen minutes." Doc warned.

"Thanks, Doc. See you tonight." Sara said.

"Oh, hey Sara, what was he doing when he injured his knee?" Doc asked.

"He was playing in a pick up beach volleyball game." Sara said, casually.

"Oh, okay," Doc said.

"See you tonight," Sara said, again.

"Bye," Doc replied, chuckling softly.

"Bye, Doc." Sara said, hanging up.

She walked back into the living room.

"Griss, where are the pain pills for your hand?" she asked.

"Check the bureau upstairs." Grissom said, resting his coffee on his chest, his eyes closed.

Sara went upstairs and easily found the envelope. She brought it downstairs and grabbed his bottle of water. Removing the hot cup of coffee, she handed him the pain pill and the water.

"Please take this," Sara asked.

Grissom opened his eyes to look at her and took the pill, washing it down with water. Within moments he was asleep.

Sara sighed and went into the kitchen to do the dishes and put things away. She needed to go home to get fresh clothes for work, but didn't want to leave him alone.

12:00 pm

Grissom awoke, startled from the rockiness of the medication. He looked around the apartment and was surprised at the silence, until he saw the note.


You needed to rest and I needed to get clean clothes from my apartment. Call me when you wake up.
Are you free for breakfast tomorrow?

Xxxxoooo SS

Grissom smiled and reached for the portable phone at the end of the sofa. He speed dialed her home and sat back on the sofa.

"Hello?" Sara answered.

"I'm conscious but not vertical. How are you?" he asked, shifting his body so he was lying on the sofa.

"I'm fine. I need to do laundry and a couple of other things here at my apartment." Sara said.

"No, problem. I'm really out of it with those pain meds, anyway. Call me at eight, would you? I don't trust myself to wake up on time." Grissom asked, falling asleep on the phone.

"Sure, Griss. Griss? Grissom!" Sara said, loudly into the phone.

"What? I'm here, Sara," Grissom said, barely awake.

"Hang up the phone, Griss. I'll call you later." Sara instructed, giggling.

She heard the click and then the dial tone, shaking her head as she put the receiver back in the cradle. At least he's getting his rest, she thought as she started to sort her laundry.

8:00 pm

Sara dialed Grissom's number and pinned the phone against her ear as she folded her laundry. She was counting the rings; five, six, seven. Come on, Griss, answer the phone.

"What?" Grissom muttered, clearly just waking up.

"Hi, Griss. This is your eight o'clock wake up call, as requested. How's the knee?" Sara asked, in an upbeat tone.

"Oh, hi, Sara. I'm sorry for being rude." He said, struggling to sit up, wincing at the pain in his knee.

"Griss, I woke you up. It's okay to be a little grumpy. So, how's the knee?" She asked again.

"Sore, I'll wrap it and try not to torment it too much tonight. Should be okay in a couple of days." He replied, looking at the bruising.

"Do you need me to drive you in?" Sara asked.

"No thanks, I should be fine. I'm gonna hop in the shower and head in a bit early to get a jump on the paperwork on my desk." Grissom said.

"Okay, so we'll see each other at work. Take care, Griss." Sara said.

"Thanks, Sara. I'll see you tonight." Grissom said. "Oh, and Sara, I'd love to have breakfast with you."

"Great, it's date then. Gotta go, see you soon," she said.

"Looking forward to it," Grissom replied, hanging up the phone.

He stood slowly and walked up stairs. Grissom picked up the bedside phone and dialed Jim.

"Brass," he answered.

"Hi, it's Grissom," he replied.

"Hey man, how are you?" Jim asked.

"I'm good, look I'm coming in a little early tonight, and I was wondering if we could talk." Grissom said, slowly.

"Sure, nine-thirty in your office?" Jim asked.

"That would be fine, see you then." Grissom said.

"Bye, Gil,"Jim said, hanging up the phone.

Grissom replaced the receiver and headed to the closet. He pulled off all of his clothes and put them in the hamper. Walking into the bathroom, he started the shower as he looked at himself in the mirror. He needed to trim his beard and shave, but he looked rested. Feeling the steam on his back, he walked into the shower and reveled in the hot water.

Twenty minutes later, Grissom left the shower, trimmed his beard, and shaved the odd errant hairs. Smiling briefly, he grabbed a towel and padded into the bedroom to figure out his loose clothing for the night. He toweled dry and then settled on black trousers with a dark blue short sleeved shirt. He wrapped his knee and then got dressed. Taking one last look in the mirror, he headed downstairs to start packing up to go to the lab. Five minutes later he was slowly negotiating the stairs down to his Denali. The drive to the lab was quiet and he arrived well before his nine-thirty appointment. Parking the car, he grabbed his briefcase and walked into the building. He picked up his messages and headed to the office. Seeing Greg in the DNA lab, he made a turn and walked in.

"Hi, boss, how goes it?" Greg asked, turning down Alice in Chains.

"I'm well, Greg, thank you." Grissom said, putting his briefcase on the stool. "Look I just wanted to thank you personally for your concern about me. I've had a lot of things on my plate lately and well, I think I owe you an explanation. The scars on my back that you saw in the locker room are from my father. He abused my mom and me. "Grissom hesitated, looking at the younger man.

"Thanks for telling me, Grissom. It means a lot for me to be in your confidence." Greg said, holding back from touching Grissom to offer support, knowing that it wouldn't be understood. "Oh by the way, Dr. Wu is great. We had a session today."

"Good, yeah, Dr. Wu is great. I've been going to him since I moved here." Grissom said, looking him. "Sometime, when we're not here, we should talk about the essence of acupuncture."

"I look forward to it," Greg said, sincerely.

Grissom smiled and left the DNA lab for his office. He unlocked the door and flipped on the desk light, tossing his briefcase on the couch. He sat in his chair and pulled out his crunched messages from his pocket, spreading them on his desk. He noticed one and picked up the phone.

"Morgue," the voice answered.

"Hey, Al," Grissom greeted.

"Gil, how are you?" Al asked.

"Can you come over in fifteen minutes or so? I need to talk to you. Brass will be here as well." Grissom said with a smile.

"See you then, Gil," Al said, hanging up the phone.

"Bye," Grissom said to the dead phone.

He looked back at his desk and then stood to get the Yo-Yo Ma CD from his briefcase. Inserting it into his CD player, he put the volume to seven, feeling his desk vibrate slightly.

9:28 pm

"Hey," Al said, crossing the parking lot.

"Hey, you here to see him?" Jim asked, waiting for the other man to catch up.

"Yeah, I was requested." Al replied.

"The great Gil Grissom speaks. It should be televised." Jim joked.

The two men walked together in silence to the lab building.

"He was putting himself through some kind of hell. I hope there was a reason behind it." Al said, opening the door for Brass.

"Yeah, me too," Jim said, softly, walking into the building.

The two men walked side by side. Twenty feet from Grissom's door they heard the unconstrained notes of the cello. Looking at each other they smiled and walked into his office without knocking. Grissom was sitting at his desk, absorbed in a document. Jim walked forward and turned off the CD player. The jarring silence caused Grissom to jump.

"Sorry, man," Jim apologized.

Grissom looked up suddenly and stood, planting his hands on his desk, catching his breath.

"It's okay, I didn't hear you. Thanks for coming down. I think I owe you an explanation." Grissom said, shifting his weight to his right leg.

"You don't owe us anything," Al started.

"Yeah, I do. For me, if not for you," Grissom replied.

Jim and Al sat in the leather chairs and watched their friend as he tried to stand comfortably.

"My father abused my mother and me. The scars on my back are due to my father going after my mother with a fishing pole when I was eight. The way I walk, and today the way I limp are because I went after him with a baseball bat when I was eleven. He was beating my mother, I home-runned him once. It wasn't enough. When I woke up, he had skipped town, but my left leg was a mess of broken bones and the right one was bruised. I just thought you should know why I'm sensitive to child abuse cases." Grissom finished, leaning against the desk, his face pale from the memory of the pain.

Jim stood and embraced him.

"I figured as much, I just wasn't positive you were a hero as well as the victim." He said in Grissom's ear.

They pulled out of their embrace and Al stood awkwardly with his crutches.

"I'm sorry, Gil. I should have figured it out from your response in the morgue. I should have kept that kid from you." He said, looking at Grissom emotionally.

"I wasn't sending out a lot of signals, Al. Christ, none of it was ever reported; none of the abuse. How could you know?" Grissom said.

Al embraced him tightly.

"How's the knee?" Al said, pulling back.

"What?" Grissom asked.

"Your knee, how does it feel?" Al asked.

"It's sore, I have it wrapped. Sara called you about the meds, right?" Grissom said, seeing the light.

"Yep, she was very worried about you." Al replied.

"Wait, she was at his house?" Jim asked, ignoring Grissom and looking directly at Al.

"I guess so, she called about him." Al replied, to Jim.

"All right, stop. Sara and I are seeing each other, but it is not public yet." Grissom said, exasperated.

"I think that's great, about time." Al said, with a smile.

"Definitely, I thought I was going to have to lock them up at a crime scene." Jim said to Al.

"Are we done now? Are we done with Gil bashing? Can we get back to work, please?" Grissom asked, blushing madly.

"Yeah, I'm done, are you done?" Al asked Jim.

"Nah but then I can see him in the field and tease him." Jim said.

Grissom rolled his eyes and sat back into his chair. Tonight was going to be a long night indeed.


  Please post a comment on this story.
Search for another story

Failed to execute CGI : Win32 Error Code = 2