by Amanda Hawthorn
Rating: PG-13/ maybe R when finished
Pairing: Grissom/Sara Romance Nick/Sara/Warrick friendship Cath/Sara/Lindsey friendship
Category: Angst/eventual Romance
Spoilers: Lady Heathers Box, Crash and Burn, and could be an alternative Play with Fire
Archive: Sara and Grissom and my site http://www.pink-martini.net/amanda/
Disclaimer: CSI belongs to CBS and Alliance-Atlantis Productions. No infringement intended.
Feedback: Love it, but no flames please I'm fragile!!
Author's Note: This is for my huge online family at the Grissom and Sara Yahoo group. Your support and encouragement means the world to me, as do you all. As always for Niff, Phon, Geena, Rosa and Shroedy, my wonderful friends. Also for Dutchie, who never fails to leave her words of encouragement in every review. Thank you...
Summary: When tragedy strikes in the lab, Sara's maternal instincts leap into motion.
© Amanda Hawthorn August 2003
Greg looked down at the phone in his hand with a heavy sigh. "She must be a little busy right now Lind's," he told her, offering her a small smile. "How about we have something to eat and call her back in half an hour?"
"Okay," she muttered softly as she moved to climb off of the couch. "Can we call Sara?"
"Um," Greg started only to lose his voice mid flow. There was nothing he wanted to do more than call the hospital and enquire about his friends, but he didn't think he could handle any more heartache today. "Tell you what, we'll hang out here for a while then we'll call the hospital to see how Sara and Nick are doing." For a moment he thought she wasn't going to answer him, but after a few seconds she offered him a tentative smile. Immense relief washed over him, as her smile opened up his confidence no end. He watched her silently while she made her way back down the corridor, all the while hoping that his friends were all right.
Nick opened his eyes slowly to the pulsating pain inside his lower body. Squeezing his closed fist tightly, he opened it again with the pulse of agony rampaging throughout his body. Gasping aloud, he pulled on the wire that the nurse had left for him, fumbling with the call button on the other end, pressing it insistently.
A few seconds later, a nurse came rushing into the room. Looking at his contorted face she knew immediately that his pain had returned with a vengeance and went over to his side.
"Mr. Stokes," she soothed, "I'll call the doctor for you, he'll want to have a look at your wound."
"Hurts..." he muttered painfully, clutching his eyes tightly closed again.
Leaving his side, the nurse walked down to the end of the bed to retrieve his notes and started to read. "I'll get you some pain meds," she told him. "I'll be back in a minute or two."
Opening his eyes, Nick watched her leave and tried to relax. His first night here had been filled with nightmares that consisted not only of the accident, but something from his past that always returned to haunt his dreams. He had always had nightmares, but in time he'd managed to push them aside, and as the years went on, the nightmares started to lose most of their power over him. But last night, the images returned with severity to mingle in with those of the explosion to concoct a powerful image of doom that hung over and weighed down his heart.
"Here you go," the nurse smiled warmly, offering him the small cup that held his pills. "I'm Susan, so if you need me for anything you just have to call me, okay?"
Throwing his head back he tumbled the pills into his mouth then took the offered cup of water from her hands. Swallowing the tiny pills in one gulp, he allowed himself to relax a little, knowing that in only a few minutes they would provide his body with relief from the pain.
"My friend," he whispered hoarsely as she took the cup from his hand. "Sara, how is she?"
"Sara?" she asked puzzled, trying to picture in her mind who the woman was.
"Sara Sidle, she's my friend," he told her, his throat constricting tightly as he fought the urge to cough. "Can you find out for me... please?"
"Of course," she smiled softly as she came closer to sooth him back down into the pillows. "Your doctor will be around to see you in a little while, so try and get some sleep before he arrives."
"K," he muttered with a contented sigh as the pills started to work their magic to wash his pain into submission. Closing his eyes, he drifted off into a dreamless sleep, his body conceding to the urge to fight.
Gil Grissom had always thought of himself as a strong man personality wise, but after last night he was beginning to question his judgment. Sitting up slowly, his eyes drifted down to the sleeping woman by his side. She never ceased to cause his breath to catch in his throat, or his heart to beat just that little bit faster. Even in sleep. Even with the injuries she had sustained, she still took his breath away.
He smiled down at her gently as he reached out a hand to stroke her hair. She had fallen into a resting slumber only minutes ago, finding the power of sleep overpowering her tired mind. His heart raced with the surge of electricity that soared through his body. The intimacy of this one simple touch opened up feelings that he had never been able to admit to before. The fact that she could ignite him in ways that no other woman had ever been able to do before caused his heart to flutter somewhere between heaven and earth.
She had rampaged into his heart a long time ago, crashing through his defenses, rendering him powerless to her beauty and personality. So why had he spent so many months trying to push her away from his heart when all he needed right now was her touch? He had no doubt in his mind that he loved her. Hadn't he always? He always constantly thought that they would always have ample time to know one another, that he could deny her advances for as long as he needed. But after last night, when he held her lifeless body in his arms, his fragile balance between denial and loving her had been shattered leaving him broken and lost.
Closing his eyes against the regret that washed over him, he found himself remembering the times when he had almost succumbed to her power. She would smile her smile and he would try to avoid her eyes, but she knew. She knew his knees were quaking and his heart was soaring and that he was fighting the urge to pull her into his arms. Had she known his inner battles, he wondered. Had she known that if he pulled her into his arms he would never be able to relinquish his hold on her, ever? So he lied to his heart and he lied to her. He allowed her to believe that she held no place inside his heart, convincing both of them that he could live without her. But time and time again, he had watched that beautiful smile fall from her lips and hated himself for causing her pain.
"Thought you'd gone," Sara whispered sleepily when her eyes fluttered open as she fought to stay awake.
"Hey," he grinned, moving closer to her once again. "How are you feeling?"
"Tired," she whispered softly, her eyes fluttering closed only to open again just as quickly.
Reaching out to her, he delicately ran his fingers down her cheek. "You should sleep."
Sara regarded him for a long moment, her eyes accustomed to every emotion that emanated from his eyes. Squeezing his fingers gently, she coaxed his eyes to hers. Pushing her fatigue away she tried to give him her best smile, "What's wrong?"
"Me?" he asked. "I'm fine."
"I know you," she whispered as she lifted her fingers to trace delicately over the stubble on his chin. Reaching up, he clasped her fingers with his own. He brought her hand to his lips, kissing her palm delicately, the touch causing his eyes to flutter closed.
"I'm sorry," he told her, his voice a mere whisper as fresh emotion welled up inside his eyes. "I've been distracted lately. I'm sorry I hurt you."
"S'ok," she smiled forgivingly, her eyes fighting their battle to remain open.
"Go to sleep sweetheart," he whispered, his voice showing the same tenderness that controlled his heart. "I'll be here."
"Griss," she smiled sleepily, a sigh on her lips as she blinked away the sleep that tried to possess her. "Wake me up when Nick comes okay?"
"I will," he whispered gently, as he leaned forward to place a soft kiss on her forehead, then sat back to watch her lose her battle and surrender to sleep.
His heart lurched with guilt when she had mentioned Nick's name. No one else had existed beyond her, and it never once occurred to him that Nick was in another room alone and in pain.
Sitting back in his chair, he watched her for a few more minutes before tearing his eyes away. Untangling his fingers from hers, he rose quietly to his feet. Nick needed someone with him too, and while Sara slept he would go and check up on him, something Sara would do herself if she were able to do so.
His eyes lingered over her sleeping face and he fought the urge to sit back down beside her. He could gladly lose himself in her presence and that thought used to scare him half to death. Leaning over to her, he placed a soft kiss in her hair then moved to back away towards the door, his heart screaming inside him, urging him to stay.
Sighing heavily, he found Sara's nurse waiting at her station when he emerged. "She's sleeping again," he smiled when she looked up at him.
"She's on heavy medication," she told him with a smile. "She's a very lucky young woman."
"I know," he nodded, his voice shaking as he spoke. "I um... now she's sleeping, I wanted to look in on our friend Nick Stokes. He was brought in yesterday."
"Nick Stokes?" she asked, her eyes looking down at her computer screen to find the information she required. "Ah yes, here he is. He's in room 9, just along the end of the corridor."
"Thank you," Grissom smiled, his eyes momentarily returning to the room behind him that held his whole life.
"She will be fine," the nurse smiled ", If she wakes while you're gone I'll send someone along to find you."
"Thank you," he grinned, his eyes falling down to her badge, "Alice."
With a heavy heart, he turned away and started the short walk down toward Nick's room. He scanned the numbers along the way until he came to the door he wanted. Moving closer, he walked slowly in through the open door and gasped at the sight before his eyes. "Oh Nicky," he sighed sadly, causing the young man in the bed to open his eyes.
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