Spoilers: YGM and very slight PNN
Archive: www.grissomandsara.com. Anyone else, ask permission and I'll probably say yes.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. I do own the plotline you're about to read, but since we all know it'd never make it to the show... then I must not own the show. Damn!
Summary: G/S (some W/C & N/OC) - Grissom wakes up the morning after the team's crazy night of charades...
Chapter 30 - My mother was deaf
Sara looked up at him in surprise. "Did you just say what I think you said?" Grissom was just spilling his guts to her today - not that she didn't like it, mind you. Maybe he needed someone like him, who understood what he spoke about, to confide in. "Oh don't flatter yourself, Sara," she thought. "Maybe he just opens up around the damn spider, you don't know."
Grissom considered the woman next to him. Even after the events of the past few days, she evidently still wasn't sure of him. Well he supposed he'd brought it upon himself. After years of being pushed away by him, perhaps Sara had a right to doubt when he tried to pull her closer. "What do you think I said, Sara?" Yeah, stall, Gil, that'll get you far...
"Oh never mind. I thought I heard you say something weird. Forget it. So can you, uh, take this spider back now?" Sara had relaxed slightly, Grissom noticed - she no longer looked terrified of the docile spider. Of course, she didn't look like she wanted to make friends with Fluffy, either.
Holding out his hand to touch hers, he repeated softly, "I said that you're amazing. You're sitting here holding a creature that evidently terrifies you, just because I asked you to. I just find that... well, amazing."
Sara blinked, watching the tarantula make its way back onto her master's hand. He really had said that she was amazing. Hell, she'd hold two spiders to hear him say that again! A smile slowly spread across her face as she absorbed his compliment. "Got any other bugs you want me to commune with, now that I'm on a roll?"
Grissom shook his head with a laugh. Returning Fluffy to her terrarium, he said, "I think Fluffy has been enough of an experience for you today. How about we save the dragon slaying and beetle-holding for another day - preferably after I've fortified you with some alcohol?"
"Why Grissom, I do believe you want to get me drunk," Sara chirped in a syrupy southern accent. Continuing in her normal voice, she added, "Not that I'm averse to the idea. Maybe you'll let me drag you out to a bar or something one of these days." She suddenly paused for a moment, apparently thinking, then giggled.
"Are you laughing at me, Sara?"
She shook her head, still grinning. "Nope. I was just thinking that I'd finally be able to tell Warrick what you drink when you go out at night."
"Tell him... what?" Grissom cast Sara a confused look, feeling like he'd fallen down the rabbit hole and back into Greg's lab of yesterday. "Please tell me this doesn't have anything to do with Greg blackmailing you."
Sara shook her head. "Nah, totally different inside joke. When we had that case with the deaf boy, I was wondering how you learned to sign. So I asked Warrick, who, in his infinite wisdom, asked me 'What does Grissom drink when he goes out at night?'"
Grissom was starting to get it. "And you didn't have a clue about either question." Sara nodded, looking hopeful. Grissom wondered if he should just... tell her. He knew he'd have to do it eventually if Sara was going to know him on a more personal level, and the perfect opportunity was staring him in the face at the moment. "Well you know the answer to the drink question if you remember anything of our little night of charades - I'm a martini man."
She had thought for a moment that he might actually tell her one of his secrets. More fool she, Sara supposed. "Shaken, not stirred," she added, grubbing up a smile for the man next to her.
Grissom knew she was disappointed and thinking he wouldn't tell her. This was both the perfect time to tell Sara his story... and to drop the subject. He mulled this choice over for a few seconds, finally realizing that he really did want someone to share this burden with him. "As for the other..." He watched as Sara's eyes widened, then fixed on his face.
He wondered how she was going to react. Would she cry? Hit him for keeping something so serious from her? No, he didn't really think she'd do either. His Sara saw the world in black and white. She would want to know what she could do for him - and what he could do for himself. Well, he'd just have to deal with whatever came - Grissom was, frankly, sick of imagining Sara's thoughts and actions. He wanted the reality.
"My mother was deaf from the time I was a little boy. She had a progressive disease called otosclerosis. It involves the solidifying of a small bone in the ear, the stapes bone." Sara was nodding, he saw. Knowing her, she'd probably read a book on the anatomy of the inner ear during college just for fun.
"She and I learned ASL together as she went deaf. By the time I was 12, we were both fluent, and signing eventually began to feel more natural than speaking, at least to me. Speaking just seemed so... harsh. I know you make jokes about how I never talk - well, there's the reason. I find vocal communication to be almost, well, ugly. Or, at least, I found it so. Now... the sounds don't seem as harsh, or as loud." He stopped, swallowing what little saliva was left in his dry mouth as he thought of how to continue. Sara was good - maybe he wouldn't have to say it, maybe she'd guess.
He didn't want her to guess. He wanted to put the ugly reality into words for her. Ducking his head, he spat it out. "In fact, nothing seems as loud. Lately I find myself wishing Mom were still alive - she was the only person I could talk to who knew what deafness was like. But now... I'm learning that for myself... as my own hearing fades." Grissom took a deep breath and focused his sight on Sara, wanting to see her reaction.
For the longest time, there was none.
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