Archive: Please ask first, I might say yes.
Disclaimer: Crime Scene Investigation and its characters are property of CBS and Alliance/Atlantis Networks, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement is intended.
Feedback: Please let me know what you think of it. I can take criticism, as long as it's serious and well founded.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for the wonderful reviews! And now for part 2...
English is not my native/first language. If you find an annoying writing error in this story, please email me and I will correct it immediately. Thank you!
Summary: Grissom and Sara have to work on Christmas Eve. Will the Christmas spirit change something between them?
Grissom gave a visible start. He had been working so intently, staring through the microscope, that he had not heard anyone entering his office. "Have you never learned not to sneak up on people like that?"
"Sorry." The person behind him grinned unscrupulously. "Bad conscience, Grissom?"
He tore himself away from his task and turned around. The sharp lines in his face softened as he saw Sara standing in the doorway. He let his eyes run over her appearance. She was wearing a silver colored top and black satin trousers. Her hair was pinned up with silver pins, except for a few strands hanging around her face.
He smiled warmly at her. He was ignorant in many things, but this time even he could not deny that she looked beautiful. He had never seen her like this. Normally she only wore casual clothes, jeans with a shirt for example. This time she looked different. She looked more like a woman, and it wasn't an unpleasant sight. Her top didn't leave much to the imagination and...
Grissom quickly shook his head, trying to change his thoughts into another, less confusing direction. "Sara, you're early. Shift doesn't start in an hour."
Sara opened her mouth to explain her motives, to defend herself, but halfway she changed her mind. She crossed her arms in front of her. "Look who's talking!"
"That may be true, but I am the supervisor here."
"So?" she said defiantly. "I don't see Ecklie working that much, and he's a supervisor as well, isn't he? God help us all, especially his team."
A small smile tugged at the corners of Grissom's mouth. Sara was not very good with people - he knew it, she knew it - but she did see them. She felt something for them. Sometimes that feeling was good, sometimes less good in Ecklie's case.
"All right, I give up. You're right."
A triumphant look appeared in Sara's eyes. "Of course I'm right. I..."
She jumped when she suddenly heard a voice coming from behind her.
"It seems I'm not the only one with a bad conscience," Grissom remarked. Ignoring the indignant look Sara shot him, he said: "Nick, didn't you have a party to go to?"
The young man held up a bag. "Last-minute Christmas shopping. Remind me never to do that again. God, I've spent the last two hours in the company of whining children and overweight mothers. A complete disaster."
"Which is absolutely your own fault," Sara rounded.
Nick smirked. "If you don't be nicer you won't get your Christmas present."
"Is it worth it?"
"Here, see you for yourself!" He threw her a package from the bag.
Sara ripped the glossy wrapping paper from the package and opened it. Confusion was written all over her face when she held up a huge bottle. It was a shower and bath foam with lemon extract. Then her face crinkled into a smile as the meaning of his present dawned on her.
"Nick, you do know what they say about giving a woman shower and bath foam, don't you?"
"Well, you did stink like a pig."
They burst into laughter.
Grissom looked confused. "Care to fill me in?"
Sara turned around, showing him her present. "Remember the case with the bag? You told me to use lemons to get rid of the stench."
"Thanks, Nick." Sara rewarded him with one of her most charming smiles; the one she knew could easily meld a man. "You will get your present tomorrow."
"Okay. Well then, I'm off to my party."
"That won't be a problem. Oh, and Sara?" His eyes glistened of mischief. "Can't you dress like this more often? Then I'd certainly come to work with more pleasure."
"Dream on, boy," she said sweetly.
"Oh I see, you're trying to get a date with one of the corpses in the morgue. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but I don't think they will get aroused by seeing you."
If looks could kill, her colleague would have been a pile of ashes. "Since I have to work," Sara said with the emphasis on 'I', "I was trying to get in the Christmas mood."
Nick's features softened. "Well, you're absolutely stunning. Beautiful even, and that's no joke. I mean it."
"Well, if you put it like that..." she gave in willingly.
"Merry Christmas." He kissed her on both cheeks. "And Merry Christmas to you too, Grissom. Have fun tonight."
"Merry Christmas, Nicky!"
As Nick left the office, Sara rolled her eyes. "God, he needs a sister to tease."
She turned around when she didn't get a reaction from Grissom and caught him staring at her. His eyes were intense; it felt as if he was burning a way through her soul. Their eyes locked, and for just a moment they were both unable to break away.
Grissom's eyes were cloudy. Sara couldn't read any emotion in them. They were bottomless, a little mysterious and dangerous even. They were the eyes of a man who kept himself from others, of a man who demanded so much of himself and of everyone else around him. But also the eyes of a man who could love someone with all his heart if only he'd be able to open up and trust again.
Sara's eyes on the other hand were clear, almost like a mirror. Grissom could see her confusion, her discomfort, but also the warmth she only radiated in the presence of certain people. He counted himself lucky to be one of them.
Sara was the first to lower her eyes, breaking the moment. "What is it? Do I have something on my nose?"
"Nick was right," Grissom tried to say as casual as possible. He failed miserably. "You do look beautiful, Sara."
Her face betrayed surprise. "Do you mean that?"
He knew she wasn't fishing for compliments. She wasn't like that. Sara wasn't like any other woman he'd met. She didn't care much about how she came across to people - her work was more important - and he appreciated that. He liked her the way she was. She didn't have to hide herself under a layer of make-up or wear short skirts to get his attention. She already had his attention.
"I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true."
No, he wouldn't. Grissom never said something he didn't mean. In that way his compliment meant more to her than Nick's did. Especially since Grissom wasn't the kind of man to give compliments that easily. Knowing him - though not as good as she sometimes wished she did - he would sooner compliment his cockroach than a woman.
Her face turned into a flattering shade of bright pink. Sara suddenly felt shy. It surprised her, 'cause she hadn't felt like that in a very long time. Confused feelings surged through her.
'Don't do this, Sara. Don't get your hopes up. He's only being nice.'
Taking heart she turned around, away from his gaze. She started to shuffle with the bag she had taken with her to work. Anything to keep her mind off her disturbing thoughts.
"What's with the bag?" Grissom asked slightly curious.
"Do you really want to know?"
He gave her a puzzled look. "Should I say 'no'?"
Sara stuck her hand in the bag and took out a small Christmas tree. It was a fake one, made of plastic for those who were either too lazy or not wealthy enough to buy a real one. It was decorated with little colorful balls, golden bells and lights.
Grissom raised his eyebrows. "What did you buy that one for?"
"For on your desk of course!"
The absolute terror clearly shone in his blue eyes. "My desk?"
Sara burst into laughter. "Gee, it's not the end of the world, Gris. To be honest, I had it stored away in a box and since I won't use it, I just thought that maybe we could brighten up your office a little, bring the Christmas spirit in here."
"The Christmas spirit will do fine outside my office, thank you."
Ignoring his sarcastic tone of voice Sara continued: "Your office is boring, no offense," she added mischievously. "But do you really want to spend Christmas Eve with Billy Bass the fish, your tarantulas and your cockroaches?"
"Wait, don't say a thing!" she said quickly, before Grissom could open his mouth and give her an affirmative answer to her question. "Oh come on, it's a funny thing. Look."
She put the tree on Grissom's desk, and then pushed a button. Immediately the lights in the tree switched on, the bells started swinging and the tree began to sing 'Jingle Bells'.
Grissom looked from the-- in his eyes-- most kitschy thing he had ever seen to Sara. She was grinning from ear to ear. Her face had lit up and her eyes were sparkling. The same sparkle he loved so much. She was totally in the Christmas spirit and unwillingly he had to admit that it did brighten up things. Not only his office, but Sara as well. And he'd rather look at her than at the horrible thing on his desk. She was a far more pleasant sight.
He could not help but laugh. Although he never would have bought it himself, he did appreciate the thought. For a moment he wondered what her house looked like. An image of a cold and cheerless place flashed before his eyes. Her place, his place. Their houses probably looked the same, without a trace of the holiday spirit. The least he could do was make their workplace, where they spent most of their time, a little cozier.
"Thank you, Sara," Grissom therefore said.
Author's Note: How will the night proceed? Write a review and you'll find out! No, just kidding. Blackmail is not my thing! :-) But please let me know what you think of it. Thanks!
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