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!
Author's Note: As far as I know, the signing in this chapter is correct. I don't know ASL or finger spelling though - got all the info from secondary sources - so if I have something wrong, please let me know.
Summary: G/S (some W/C & N/OC) - Grissom wakes up the morning after the team's crazy night of charades...
Chapter 31 - Deaf doesn't mean disabled
Sara's face remained perfectly blank for what seemed, at least to Grissom, like hours. Behind the serene façade, though, he knew her brain was working madly to assimilate and verify what he had said.
She couldn't believe she hadn't figured it out before. His blasting music... staring at people's lips... not hearing people calling... all explained. Deaf? Grissom?
"Is there any medical remedy? Something you can do?"
Grissom nodded. "There's a surgery - it involves removing the stapes bone -that's highly effective for otosclerosis..."
He was cut off by Sara's excited voice. "That's great! So you can get this fixed!" Yes, he mused, she was a black-and-white sort of girl.
"Let me finish, Sara. There is a surgery... but I haven't decided whether to have it yet."
She blinked, not understanding. "But you said it's highly effective. You don't have to go deaf. Why wouldn't you have the surgery?"
This was what had worried him about telling his friends - they weren't going to understand his hesitation. "I wish you could have met my mother, Sara. She was deaf... but she wasn't disabled. Not being able to hear won't ruin a life, or even impair it." Sara started to speak, but he held up his hand to stop her.
"You see deafness as a pathology - something to be fixed. But to a deaf person, it's just a part of who they are. Humans are highly adaptable, and not hearing never slowed my mother down, the same way that being little doesn't slow down people like Miss Grace."
She shook her head, not comprehending. "But you don't have to adapt. You can head off that necessity!"
He tried a different tactic. "Would you want to undergo surgery to make your hair," he began, flicking a small curl that had escaped her blow-dryer, "naturally straight?"
"Of course not. My hair is just part of my body."
"But you wouldn't ever have to 'adapt' yourself by straightening it," he reminded her.
"It's just not necessary. Straightening it may be a pain in the ass, but it doesn't get in the way of my life," she concluded triumphantly.
"Neither did my mother's deafness."
"I understand your argument, Sara. It's one I've had with myself. What I'm trying to explain to you is that the decision to 'fix' my hearing is nowhere near as clear-cut as you think."
Sara's body seemed to wilt. Biting her lip, she nodded. "I see. It's your decision, of course." Speaking almost to herself, she added, "But if you go deaf... I won't be able to talk to you."
Grissom's eyes widened. He hadn't really thought about how allowing himself to lose his hearing would affect others in his life. "Oh Sara, no. I'm learning to read lips, and people who lose their hearing as adults don't usually forget how to speak. And you... everyone on the team... could learn ASL."
She didn't look reassured, he noticed. "Come here, Sara." She looked at him in surprise, but crossed the couch to sit next to Grissom. "Give me your right hand." She did. He wrapped his hand around hers, manipulating her stiff fingers and translating out loud as he went. "S-a-r-a- S-i-d-l-e."
"Show me again," she demanded when he finished fingerspelling her name. Brow furrowed, she watched his fingers dance. "What about your name?"
Grissom smiled sheepishly. He crossed his hands, palms down and fingers interlocked and wiggling, then separated them and drew his right hand toward his body. It continued up to his head, index finger pointing, and finally gestured outward from his right ear.
"I know, it's kinda silly. But bear in mind that I made it up when I was 8. It's a spider," he explained, demonstrating the interlocked fingers again, "combined with the letter 'g'," he showed her the pointed index-finger part, "and ending with a gesture to indicate that I hear." He paused. "Or at least, heard."
Sara laughed. "Even as a kid you were a spider-lover, huh?" Grissom nodded, smiling, and she continued, "Does everyone have a sign for themselves like that? I could have one for myself?"
"Sure. But it helps to know sign language before you start trying to come up with signs!"
"I will. C'mere," he said as he pulled her off the couch toward another bookshelf. After searching for a few minutes, Grissom retrieved a book on American Sign Language from the bottom shelf. "I keep this to give myself refresher courses every now and then. You can have it to study from, and I'll teach you as best I can - but I warn you, I'm better at teaching entomology than I am at teaching languages."
"I trust you to teach me. But let's save that for some other time - I need to go to bed." She flushed. "I mean, I need sleep." That still didn't sound good. "Not here, of course - I mean, I'll go home - I wouldn't want to impose..."
She stopped as Grissom took her hand and wiggled his eyebrows licentiously. "My bed is your bed, my budding spider-woman."
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