Spoilers: Minor ones up to season 4
Archive: Please ask first I might say yes.
Disclaimer: C.S.I. is a trademarked product. Not making any money on this, just fun.
Author's Note: Sorry for the delay in updating, couldn't be helped. Feeling much better now.
Summary: Nothing changes, everything changes.
Sara realised with a start that she was wasting precious time that could be spent with Gil.
Only a few minutes ago she had finally heard the words that she had wanted to hear for the longest time.
Words that she never expected to hear from him.
'I love you.'
Such a beautiful and unexpected gift from a unique individual.
And she had almost lost it before it had been given.
Sara jumped up from the side of the bed and pulled off the damp towel. She hurriedly gathered clean underwear, a T-shirt and a pair of jeans.
She dried her feet but didn't put on socks or any footwear. Bare feet seemed de-rigueur around the cabin. The wooden floor was warm underfoot.
Sara dressed quickly and brushed her still damp hair. It was already beginning to corkscrew into the curly twists that she usually straightened, but she didn't have the time or the inclination to bother with it now.
Grissom was waiting for her in the kitchen.
The man in question was actually still in his bedroom. He too had dressed quickly in clean clothes, and was just running a comb through his damp hair.
Not being a vain man, Grissom was not looking in the mirror while he attempted to restore some sort of order to his hair. When he did accidentally catch a glance at himself on the way to the kitchen he was surprised to see that he had a smile on his face.
He had been quite unaware of it.
A few minutes later the smell of brewing coffee filled the air. Grissom stood with his back to the kitchen window. He glanced at his bare wrist, then at the kitchen clock. It was nearly six but he was not thinking about a meal, he was wondering what was keeping Sara.
Just as he was trying to figure out if the knots in his stomach were nerves or excitement, he glanced up to see Sara standing in the kitchen doorway.
As she hesitated by the door, Grissom looked at her and realised that his life had changed forever.
It was still the same life; all would go on as before, except that now Sara was a large part of it.
Grissom suddenly realised that she had been a large part of his life for a long time. He thought it odd how he could have fooled himself for so long.
They say that love changes everything. Grissom was not a callow youth who had love wrapped in a pretty bow of unrealistic ideals. All he knew was that his world was the better for Sara being in it. He could see that she was feeling uncertain about how to deal with this change in their relationship. He understood that better than she realised, having spent so much time deliberating about exactly the same thing.
Grissom smiled at Sara, one side of his mouth quirking upward in his familiar way. He held out a hand.
Sara had needed him to offer that extra moment of encouragement. A declaration of love was not the end of the story, but the beginning of the next stage. She was uncertain of her place within all the aspects of his life and wanted his guidance.
Sara tried not to make her relief too obvious. She crossed the kitchen, moving around the table to get to Grissom. She put her hand out and instead of just taking her hand, he pulled her gently into his arms.
Without having to think about it at all she slid her arms around him.
They just looked at each other, checking to see what differences - if any - could been seen.
For Sara it was a relief to be able to look straight at Grissom without fear that he would know that she was thinking about him.
For Grissom it was the freedom to look at Sara without having to guard against her suddenly looking up and catching him staring.
They both suddenly grinned at the same time.
"When did you realise?"
Grissom was amused by Sara's question simply because it was such a 'girlie' question, and one that he didn't think she would ask.
"That you loved me or that I loved you?"
"Either. Both. Whatever."
Sara's trademark grin appeared and remained.
Grissom thought back for a long moment, and Sara waited patiently. He absently rubbed and soothed his hands over her back. It was... comforting.
"I have loved you for a long time, but never dared to admit that's what it was. I pretended that it was just a high regard for your intellect and your zest for living. We worked well together. In the strangest way it wasn't because you aroused the grand passion in me - which you obviously do - it was because you didn't disturb me. I was comfortable around you. When I left to return to Vegas, I missed working with you."
"But you never told me."
Grissom focused on Sara's face, seeing the shadow of sadness.
"Of course not. You were too young. I had no right to take you away from all that you could be."
Sara's smile faded and she tightened her hold on Grissom slightly.
"It never occurred to you that I might have wanted a say in that decision? Or that maybe you and me together could have become greater than the sum of our parts?"
Grissom smiled briefly, and looked down.
"It might have taken away any hope for me. If I had said anything and you had rejected me, I would know for certain that I had no chance. While you were unasked, I still had the hope that maybe, one day in the future, there could be something. I was equally certain that that 'something' would never materialise, of course."
Sara's gently sarcastic response made Grissom frown slightly. He continued.
"But however I was fooling myself with the semantics of 'non us', - the thing that made me realise that it was already too late - was the way I felt when that bastard Culpepper told me that you had volunteered to try to trap the 'strip strangler'."
Sara vividly recalled his reaction that day.
"I remember. 'Sit down Sara'."
Grissom raised his eyebrows and tilted his head. He could still feel the residual horror that had put his stomach into freefall.
"I tried to put all the logical reasons forward that I was right and he was wrong."
"They were desperate. I fit the profile."
Grissom half smiled.
"And part of you just wanted to argue with me."
Sara's smile was rueful.
"Maybe that too. I was too angry with the strangler to see what I should have on that day. That it was your fear - not your pride - speaking. It only occurred to me as a possibility later."
"And that same sentiment could be applied to the moment it dawned on me that you might have some hidden feelings of your own."
"'Ah' indeed, Miss 'Chalkdust'. At first I was so caught up with my anger it took me a long moment to switch tracks."
"Yeah. And it came back to bite me in the ass."
Grissom huffed with quiet laughter.
"Yes, that it did." He ran both of his hands down Sara's back and grabbed her butt.
"Not that I'd blame it, it's a very biteable ass."
It was Sara's turn to laugh as Grissom held her to him.
She was very pleasantly surprised at how playful Grissom was now. She had half expected him to suddenly realise that he was behaving inappropriately for a supervisor and snap back to being her 'boss'.
She realised too that she would never be able to go back to seeing him as that man again. This was her Gil, her man, her lover, and maybe, just maybe, the father of her child. Their child.
As she stood there in Grissom's arms, feeling his warm body against her, his beard against her cheek and his hands on her ass, she took joy in the fact that this simple moment was perfect.
They moved from the kitchen to the living room and sat comfortably together on the big couch. They talked, held each other and relaxed into being 'a couple'.
Seven in the evening found them lying on the same couch, looking out of the cabin at the view, and occasionally at each other. They would smile and touch each other, familiarising themselves with each other's non-sexual self, becoming accustomed to a proper intimacy.
Grissom was lying on his back with his right arm around Sara and his head on the padded arm of the couch. Sara lay on his right side, her back against the back of the couch, her head resting on his chest. Her right hand rested over Grissom's heart and she could feel the steady 'lub dub' of his heartbeat.
Sara exhaled heavily.
"This is nice."
Grissom smiled lazily.
"Yes, it is."
There was a long minute of silence.
"Kindova pity that there's no room service here though."
Grissom grinned at Sara's comment.
"We're fine, we don't need room service."
Just at that moment his stomach grumbled loudly and emptily.
They both started laughing, and Sara scrabbled to sit up but Grissom pinned her with his arms and prevented her from going anywhere.
"Let's eat out tonight. It'll be our first meal out together as a couple."
Sara looked down at him and grinned.
"Like a date?"
Grissom smirked back.
"Just like a date."
Sara started to get up off him, then subsided. She looked serious.
"Just to let you know, y'know, I'm not easy. I don't put out on a first date."
Grissom looked thoughtful as he swung his legs down to the floor and helped Sara to sit up.
"I see. Hmm. I guess that's okay, because I don't either."
Sara paused momentarily as she stood up in front of Grissom.
"That's settled then."
Grissom looked puzzled.
"Yep. It's our third date."
"Third, huh?" He looked at Sara. "I feel so cheap."
Sara laughed outright.
"Get used to it buster. You are SO easy!"
Sara put her hand out and took Grissom's in hers. She tugged, and he allowed her to pull him to his feet, but he in turn hauled her into his arms and into a very serious kiss. When they finally parted, Grissom sighed, almost with regret.
"I am many things Sara Sidle, but 'easy' is not one of them.
Sara didn't belittle the moment or fob him off with a flippant comment.
"Yeah, well, I think it's safe to say that you'll have your work cut out for you too."
"It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it."
Sara's mouth twitched in a half smile as she privately agreed with him, but she couldn't let him get away with it.
"Let's go eat before you need to do it through a straw."
"That's my Sara."
They returned to their rooms to change to go out, and when Grissom went to find Sara she was just putting the finishing touches to her make up.
She turned round to face Grissom and was eminently pleased with his dumbfounded expression.
Grissom perused slowly from Sara's face down to her feet in strappy heels, and then lingered at the deep V cleavage on the way back up again.
"Oh, 'I like' doesn't even begin to cover it. Is that the original dress?"
Sara was flattered that he recognised it.
"Yes. I just never got around to throwing it away."
"I'm glad. But I think that we ought to leave now, or we won't be getting out anytime soon."
Sara was pleased with Grissom's reaction, and felt very feminine and desirable. She picked up a small purse, and indicated that she was ready to go.
Grissom drove as he knew the area, and they headed into Warm Springs. It wasn't a huge place, but was big enough for their simple needs.
Within a short space of time, they were seated at a pleasant table and going over the menu. Grissom noted that they had a reasonable vegetarian menu, so he was sure that Sara would find something that she liked.
When the waitress asked about the wine list, Grissom shook his head and ordered a bottle of sparkling mineral water.
Reality nudged at Sara.
After the young woman left the table with their order and the menus, Sara inwardly braced herself and turned to Grissom. Way to ruin a moment.
"I suppose we should talk about the 'year' thing."
Grissom took one of Sara's hands in his on top of the table. Their hands were palm to palm and he put his other hand on top of the joined ones, and soothed gently.
"We will at some point. It doesn't have to be now unless you want to. If it will put your mind at rest, we can carry on with the plan. I'll go with whatever you want to do."
Sara felt relieved and yet conflicted. She still wanted a baby, Grissom's baby, but she also wanted him to herself for a while. She wanted to explore what they had together but they were running out of time. She made her mind up.
"I think I'd like to go with my original idea. I - we'll - try for the remaining four months and if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."
Grissom looked at her seriously.
"And you're okay with that?"
Sara squeezed his hand. Grissom squeezed back. He felt big, solid and reassuring.
"Yeah, I think so. With you I won't feel quite so... let down. I'll have someone to talk to about it. Sometimes, life gives you what you need, not what you think you want."
Grissom smiled, his blue eyes gentle as he raised Sara's hand to his lips.
"Sometimes, just rarely, you are lucky enough to get both."
Before Sara could form a reply, the waitress returned with their mineral water. Grissom poured them both a drink, using the wineglasses instead of the water glasses.
He picked up his glass and Sara did the same. Grissom thought for a moment.
"'To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with'. To us."
Sara tipped her glass to Grissom's and repeated, 'To us' as the glasses 'tinged' together.
She raised her eyebrows in query about the quote.
Sara smiled as she looked at Grissom.
"Do you have a stash of these written someplace, or do they just stick in your mind when you've read them somewhere?"
"They stick. Then they come out at the right time. Mostly. Though not all."
"It makes you sound very wise. Or irritating, depending on the mood."
Grissom tried to look shocked.
"Me? Irritating? I can see that I'm going to have to keep you and Brass apart."
Sara grinned briefly as she absently ran her finger down the side of her wineglass, disturbing the fine condensation starting to form there. She didn't want to think about work tonight.
"You leave Brass alone, he's okay. Besides, you'd have to keep me apart from everyone."
"The idea has merit."
Sara looked back to Grissom to see if he was joking. Although his tone was light there was an undertone of seriousness that made her wonder.
"Nah, you'd soon tire of all that sex, sex and more sex."
"Well, maybe I'd like the opportunity to find out."
Sara laughed, her eyes lighting up.
"It'd kill you!"
Grissom looked serious for a fleeting moment, then another grin broke out.
"Yeah. Maybe. But what a way to go!"
To the two of them at the table hardly any time seemed to have passed, so they viewed the arrival of their food with some surprise. Grissom glanced at his watch and realised that they had been talking for half an hour. Time did indeed fly when you were having fun.
The food was simple but beautifully cooked, and tasted delicious. The portions were generous and both Sara and Grissom were beginning to struggle towards the end.
However, Sara made a remarkable recovery right about the time that the waitress mentioned the dessert menu.
Although she would normally have chosen fresh fruit or gone without dessert altogether, Sara chose a portion of strawberry cheesecake.
As she picked up the second forkful she figured that this cheesecake was the perfect treat. Her eyes closed with enjoyment as the creamy smooth cheesecake and slightly tart strawberries teased her taste buds.
When she opened her eyes it was to see Grissom looking at her, his own dessert untouched. A small smile played around his lips.
Sara's gaze rested on those lips. She was curious about the smile.
Grissom shifted slightly in his seat and leaned forward. Sara automatically leaned closer to him.
"You are a sensualist. I have noticed it before tonight. Once you decide to indulge yourself, you do it completely. You don't just kiss me, your whole body kisses me. You aren't just eating that cheesecake you are savouring it. Nothing is held back and that is very... seductive."
Sara shivered with excitement at the tone of his voice. She watched his heated gaze drop to the deep V of her dress then back up to her eyes. Flickering curls of desire unwound and spread through her body like quicksilver, already preparing her for him. She leaned even closer and whispered,
"Well, it is very nice cheesecake. Smooth on the tongue, slips down easy."
Grissom swallowed involuntarily, his throat suddenly dry.
"Would you be disappointed if I suggested that we take dessert home with us and discuss this more... fully?"
Sara dropped her fork to her plate with a clatter, her eyes gleaming.
"Works for me."
Grissom glanced around for the waitress who came over quickly, wondering if something was wrong with the food.
"Would you pack these to go please? I'm afraid that we're too full to appreciate them properly here."
The waitress smiled with relief.
"Sure, no problem. I'll get your bill for you too."
With the kind of haste that is usually described as 'unseemly', Grissom paid for the meal and collected the boxed desserts. Taking Sara's hand in his, Grissom left the small restaurant and headed for his Denali.
He unlocked the vehicle with the remote and opened the passenger door for Sara. In the guise of helping her into the SUV he ran a hand down the material covering her backside. Her gaze flew to his and her grin was wide, but she didn't say anything.
Grissom shut the door and hurried - as much as he could with a crippling erection -around to the driver's side. Once inside the Denali he looked at Sara before the interior light went off. She grinned back and he knew that they were thinking the same thing. Grissom smirked.
It had been a long time since he had felt like a teenager.
They buckled up and Grissom started the engine. Just as he started to pull away he felt Sara's hand slide onto his right thigh. Without taking his gaze off the road, he slid his right hand up under the hem of her dress.
He inhaled sharply when his hand encountered the lace stocking top and the catch of a garter. He flicked the dress up to her hip and risked a quick glance.
Sara slid down in her seat slightly and parted her legs a little further.
Grissom had another quick glance before they would be left in darkness when the streetlights finished at the edge of town.
Jesus H Christ - she wasn't wearing any panties.
The Denali swerved briefly before Grissom put both hands back on the wheel and his eyes front. It would do their reputations no good whatsoever to be involved in an accident and have their respective conditions revealed.
Grissom felt Sara rub him through the material of his pants. Even above the engine noise he heard the rasp of the zipper and then felt her hand slide inside and grasp him.
"Why Mr. Grissom, what have you done with your underwear?"
Grissom practically spluttered when she giggled.
"You're a fine one to talk!"
"Mmm. I guess we'll call it even."
Sara leaned over to Grissom's side as much as she could while still restrained by her seatbelt. She leaned on his right shoulder and looked down at what she was doing as she released him from the confines of his pants. He made a determined effort not to look himself, but instead remain looking at the road ahead. That did not stop him from feeling every move she made as if he were looking.
Thank the Lord that there was no other traffic.
Ten agonisingly long minutes later Grissom turned off the main road to follow the road out to the cabin. Sara had stroked him and toyed with him the entire time and he was beside himself with arousal.
Glancing quickly in the rear view mirror, he suddenly pulled off the road and drove a little way in to the trees. Sara looked up when she felt the vehicle bump over the rough ground.
She grinned and licked her lips.
Before Grissom had even turned off the ignition Sara had released both their seatbelts and her mouth joined in with her hand.
Grissom's groan had at least three syllables in it.
With only the moonlight for illumination, Grissom could barely see Sara's head, but he was in absolutely no doubt as to where she was. With one of his last moments of clarity he remembered to turn off the engine and the lights.
He sucked in a lung full of air as Sara's tongue twirled around the top of his arousal. She ran her tongue down the side of his erection, then back up to the top. She blew very gently on the wet skin and Grissom shivered with the unusual sensation. He didn't know what to do with his hands, although the urge to run his right hand through Sara's hair was strong. He contented himself with stroking her back until he realised that he could reach underneath her and inside the deep V of Sara's dress to caress her left breast. He clasped his own thigh with his left hand so that he didn't grab Sara's head. He felt her take him into her mouth and then suck hard as she withdrew up the shaft. Without realising it he squeezed her breast, kneading it firmly and loving the feel of her flesh in his palm. Sara repeated her ministrations and Grissom shuddered in reaction.
"Oh God that feels so good!"
Sara used her free hand to tug at Grissom's pant legs, having more success once he realised what she was trying to do and helped her. The pants dropped down his legs, leaving him exposed.
Now that she had clear access Sara cupped Grissom's balls and gently massaged them. She swapped her mouth for her hand for a moment, then licked across the base of his erection and again blew on the wet skin.
Grissom felt himself contract and the pleasure intensified. His breathing was erratic and he felt very hot. He wondered fleetingly if it was possible to die of an excess of pleasure.
Sara's mouth closed on him again, her left hand working in conjunction with it. She enjoyed several minutes of trying slight variations on a theme until Grissom was practically boneless with bliss.
He slumped down in the driver's seat and spread his legs to give Sara better access. He couldn't help closing his eyes and his head thumped back into the headrest. His mouth was open, his lips drying with his rapid breath.
Just when he thought that it couldn't possibly get any better, Sara used the fingernails of her free hand to gently scratch over his balls.
The jolt of sensation was so intensely brilliant that it almost bordered on pain and Grissom couldn't help his explosive exclamation.
"Fucking hell - Sara!"
Sara had no idea where the idea had come from to try that with her fingernails, but she was definitely keeping it in her repertoire.
She would have to remember next time to make sure that he wasn't holding her breast though. There was the distinct possibility of bruising there.
When he thought about it later, Grissom concluded that the only reason that he didn't come there and then was because of the amount of sex that they had been having all week.
But that insight didn't arrive until much later, and right at this moment Grissom was completely focused on one thing.
As soon as possible.
Sara was unaware of her lover's decision and was just trying out a new variation - short and shallow but hard sucking of just the head of the shaft - when she suddenly found herself pulled upwards.
It was as all she managed to get out before Grissom ground out the words;
"Out of the car - now!"
His voice was tight with arousal and Sara realised that she'd got so carried away with her enjoyable experimentation that she had actually forgotten what it was doing for him.
It was obvious that he was very happy with the results.
Although perhaps 'happy' wasn't quite the right word.
Grissom flung open his car door and - fortunately for his dignity - had the presence of mind to pull up his pants sufficiently not to fall getting out of the vehicle. He looked back into the interior as he unbuttoned his shirt.
Sara didn't bother getting out her side, but crawled hand over hand to Grissom's side, somehow managing to make it look both sensual and predatory.
In the very limited illumination available from the courtesy light he watched her move towards him with a look on her face that said 'this is mine and I want it now'.
He was sure his expression mirrored hers.
He could see straight down the front of her dress to her lace covered breasts and he licked his lips as he imagined tasting her. His fingers tingled as he anticipated touching her.
As Sara reached the opposite side of the Denali, Grissom let go of his pants to reach in and haul her out of the vehicle and on to her feet in front of him.
He heard her suck in a surprised breath as he slid both hands under her dress, one to cup her ass, the other to delve between her legs.
Neither of them said a word but they stared at each other's face, each watching the effect that they were having on the other.
Sara could feel Grissom's cock hard against her leg, his fingers probing her soaking folds and his thumb rubbing in small circles on her clit. Her legs felt weak with the effort of holding the rest of her body up under such intense stimulation.
She grasped his shoulders to steady herself and moments later she was grateful that she had.
Without warning, Grissom picked Sara up with both hands on the cheeks of her ass, spreading her legs with his body as he pushed her up against the side of the Denali.
Pinning her with his own body, he moved his hands to the back of Sara's thighs and lifted her higher until he felt the head of his cock slide forward against the heat of her other lips.
He stilled briefly and their eyes locked.
Sara watched him as he lowered her down enough to feel that he was only just inside her. The effort was evident on his face.
She bit her lip as he teased her by not moving any further into her. She gripped him with her legs, crossing her ankles behind him, but he still didn't move.
Sara grabbed his head and pulled him into a searing kiss that was deep and hotter than hell.
Their tongues fought and duelled, equally matched, until they needed to part for air.
They glared at each other, Sara pulling at Grissom's shoulders in frustration.
Finally he spoke. His voice was quiet but gave no quarter.
"You are mine."
He gave a fierce grin that was half arousal and half challenge.
Sara realised that he was waiting to see if she would argue with him.
He was still an alpha male caveman at heart; she was the alpha female and his choice.
But was he her choice?
Sara grinned exultantly.
"Yes, I'm yours..."
Even before she had finished speaking he was inside her, his first thrust burying him to the hilt and forcing her legs further apart.
They both groaned aloud with the pleasure of it.
Sara managed to get out the words,
"... but you're also mine!"
before she was lost in him and he in her.
Sara was barely aware of the car at her back as Grissom slammed into her repeatedly. Each thrust and retreat dragged back and forth against her clit, building layer upon layer of heated sensation.
Grissom leaned against Sara, pinning her with his upper body and holding her thighs up either side of his working hips. He was sweating with the effort but he wouldn't - couldn't - stop now.
Every sensation was magnified. The lace of Sara's bra chaffed erotically against his bare chest. The smooth skin of her thighs was like silk under his hands, the puff of her breath against his cheek, even the grunts of his own efforts, it was all stunning.
They were both too far gone to even attempt to kiss each other. This was more than simple sex, it was not both of them just yielding to the urge to scratch a mutual itch.
It was exhilarating.
Sara's head was flung back and she was half moaning and half sharing her delight at the feelings Grissom was creating in her.
"Ohhh, that is SO good... yeah, oh God, yeah baby, that's it...!"
She strained against him, meeting his thrusts and trying to get even closer to him.
Grissom was so focused on what they were doing for each other that he wouldn't have noticed anyone or anything within twenty yards of him. His vision had tunnelled solely on Sara and the delicious ache of his approaching climax. Listening to her enjoyment was feeding his, and his only worry was that he would beat her to the finishing line.
He was unaware that he was muttering but Sara could hear him over the whoosh of blood in her ears and it reminded her of their rain lashed picnic fuck. His words added to her frenzy and suddenly with very little warning she was right on the brink.
Sara stiffened and her eyes flew open as Grissom pushed her over the edge into an explosion of exquisite delight that pulsed through her in wave after blissful wave.
Grissom stopped worrying.
As Sara clenched around him, he allowed the molten flow of pleasure to surge through him until his climax overtook him. He cried out, coming in sharp bursts of ecstasy. He shuddered as Sara's residual spasms milked him until he had nothing left to give.
Grissom released his grip on Sara's thighs and allowed her legs to fall to the ground as he fought to catch his breath. He remained intimately connected with her and dropped his head for a soft kiss to her neck.
Sara became more aware of her surroundings now that her climax had passed. She had both arms over Grissom's shoulders, her hands hanging on to his shirt. Her legs were so shaky she wasn't sure that she could stand unsupported yet. Her insides tingled with tiny aftershocks. It felt so good that she deliberately tightened as if doing a pelvic floor exercise.
Grissom's head came up in surprise.
"What was that?"
Sara grinned. All that yoga was finally paying off. She did it again.
Grissom sucked in a breath.
"A pelvic floor exercise. It's like at the end of movies you get out takes? It kinda says 'thanks for hanging around and reading the credits'."
Grissom took it as the compliment it was and shook his head in amusement. She was one of a kind.
He bent down and kissed her.
"I have new respect for the end credits."
The drive back to the cabin was short but sweet. It felt very comfortable to both of them in the emotional sense, if slightly less in the physical.
Grissom was feeling a little sensitive and going commando chaffed somewhat.
Parking the Denali in its usual place, he decided that he couldn't afford to go without underwear all of the time, or he'd be in a constant state of arousal at work.
In a stunning moment of clarity he suddenly realised that it was the first time he had thought of himself and Sara together at work as a couple.
Sara's drowsy voice brought Grissom back to the present. He looked at her and smiled gently.
"Yes. Yes, I'm okay. Better than okay."
Sara reached over and took his hand in hers, palm to palm.
She brought his hand to her cheek and rubbed gently before kissing the back of his hand.
"Love you, babe."
Grissom didn't hesitate. She made it so easy for him. He tipped his head and raised his eyebrows as he smirked.
He brought their joined hands to his lips and kissed the back of hers.
"Love you right back, 'babe'."
Sara smiled as she was supposed to at his teasing, but she was in no doubt of his sincerity. She had seen the momentarily shocked look on his face a few moments ago and knew that something had 'clicked' for him. She had the impression that it was a good thing, but she would find out when he was ready to tell her. They had enough time before they had to go back to work.
When they got out of the Denali, Grissom waited until Sara joined him, and then he took her hand as they both walked in together.
Had they but known it, they shared a single thought.
They were home at last.
Sara turned around from her contemplation of the view out of the living room window and smiled at Grissom.
Grissom crossed from the kitchen doorway to stand in front of her. He put his hands on her shoulders, and pulled her into his arms. He rubbed her back gently as he felt her arms go around him.
"It'll be okay, you'll see. The dust will settle and before you know it things will be just like before. Only better."
Grissom pulled his head back so that he could look into Sara's face.
She looked like a different person than the tired stressed Sara that arrived here less than two weeks ago. She looked relaxed and happy, if a little reluctant to leave their bolthole.
He could understand that.
"I know, Gil, but I can't help feeling that I'm waiting for the other shoe to fall."
"That's natural, but it shouldn't stop us from living our lives and looking forward to whatever we have to face - good or bad -, because we'll do it together. Never forget that."
Sara smiled at Grissom's earnest expression. This, from the man who 'didn't know what to do about 'this'.
Grissom raised one eyebrow at her dry comment.
"I should spank you for that."
Sara laughed outright, her low mood lifted.
"Promises promises. You'd better wait 'til we get to Vegas, or we'll never get out of here."
She gave Grissom a swift kiss on the lips, and moved out of his arms before things got out of hand. He let her go, and smiled ruefully. She'd keep him on his toes.
And he'd love every minute.
A few minutes later they said goodbye to the cabin and started their journey. As Grissom pulled away he glanced in the rear view mirror and vowed that they would come up here a lot more often.
The hot tub would be too big without her.
The two-hour journey passed very swiftly for them both. They had already discussed many of the things that would need sorting out once they had got back to their normal lives, so they enjoyed ironing out the finer details.
Although it was midday when they arrived in Vegas, the traffic was not very heavy.
They were within half a mile of Grissom's town house when they heard the sirens closing on them, but couldn't see where they were coming from.
Later Sara was to discover that the police were behind them and chasing two boys who were joyriding in a stolen car.
Grissom caught a glimpse of flashing lights in the rear view mirror and started to pull over to the right to let them through. Unfortunately the car behind them decided to take the opportunity to go past the Denali and get ahead.
He failed miserably.
The stolen car stuck his car first, making it spin to the right and smack in to the Denali. Being an SUV it was sturdy enough not to crumple immediately, but the impact did discharge the airbags, shocking both Sara and Grissom, but not knocking them out. The airbags deflated immediately.
They had only a split second to look at each other and wonder what they hell had happened.
With brakes screaming, the police car tried to stop in too short a distance. It stuck the stolen car, which in turn was smacked into the side of the Denali. Both Sara and Grissom were jerked sideways to their left, which left Sara with a sore neck, but made Grissom's head strike the edge of the caved in window frame. It made his head ring and for an absurd moment all he could think was that he hoped it wouldn't jeopardise the operation that he had undergone for his hearing.
While he was still dazed he realised that Sara had released their belts and was tugging his arm, trying to get him out of the car. She had a cut on her forehead that was bleeding down her face and she looked both terrified and determined. She was shouting something about getting out and fires.
He wondered why he felt so distant but made an effort to do as Sara asked. He managed to crawl out her side of the Denali and move away from the accident.
Sara pulled Grissom well away from the wrecks and seated him on a nearby kerb. She didn't like his colour or his calmness, though she knew that both could be due to shock. He had a couple of cuts on his face and his nose was bleeding a little. She figured he'd have a couple of black eyes before long. Thank God he didn't need his glasses for driving and hadn't been wearing them.
Contrary to Sara's initial worry, none of the cars had caught fire and the emergency services were already starting to arrive.
The paramedics found the two of them sitting holding hands and examined them.
Neither of them liked the look of Grissom's head wound and insisted that he be checked over in hospital. The ambulance took them both together at Sara's insistence, and she remained with Grissom in the back after the paramedics made him lie on the gurney.
"This is ridiculous, I'm perfectly capable of sitting up."
Sara smiled, happier now that Grissom seemed more like himself.
"Humour them, honey. You know the ropes. Besides, I'm worried too."
Grissom looked at her and reached out to take her hand.
"Sorry. I have to get used to someone else looking out for me."
Sara's eyes glistened as she made a valiant effort not to cry.
"Damn straight. I don't want to have to tell our kid his father was a stubborn jackass."
"Fine way to talk... jeez, now that's a headache..."
Sara looked alarmed as Grissom broke off with a grimace of pain, and put his free hand to his head.
The paramedic in the back moved forward to check Grissom out.
At her panicked cry Grissom looked at Sara and tried to reassure her that she wouldn't have to tell the baby that he was a jackass, but she seemed to be backing away from him down a dark tunnel. He tried to reach her.
"... tell baby not jack..."
Sara barely heard his whisper as his hand went limp in hers. The paramedic shoved her to one side as he shouted to his colleague to 'hit it'. She heard the sirens and felt the ambulance surge forward.
She screamed out.
"NO! Don't you dare do this to me Gil Grissom! Stay with me babe, stay with me!"
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