by Laura Katharine
Archive: FF.net and here. Anywhere else ask first, I might say yes.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Just borrowing for fun. Please don't sue.
Summary: Grissom and Sara's attraction to one another starts to interfere with their work.
Chapter 2 - Playing the victim leads to
It took Sara three hours to "process" Grissom. After some considerable nagging, he grudgingly agreed to be checked by a doctor. He felt satisfied that all useful evidence had been collected, so seeking medical treatment would not have an effect on things. He was back at work that evening, complete with two stitches in his forehead, and a band aid on his chin.
Sara worked most of the evening researching the victim, Rebecca Kattner. She was a Las Vegas socialite and active philanthropist, your basic millionaire. She was single, but apparently had a slew of lovers, past and present. Sara stared at her computer screen, looking at real estate and investment records of the victim. Grissom came up behind her quietly, his voice startling her.
"Not really. Nothing fishy, anyway. I'm thinking we need to look into the boyfriends. Her business dealings seem to be on the up and up," Sara answered, glancing at him quickly.
"Brass had the latest man in her life brought in. I think his name is Mayfield. Maybe he can explain some things," Grissom said, leaning over her and looking at the screen. Sara nodded, not wanting to look him in the eye. She looked straight ahead and asked, "How's your face?"
"I'm fine," he answered, turning toward her.
"Thank you for... cleaning me up," Grissom muttered awkwardly.
She smiled briefly at him, and then turned back to her computer. "My pleasure," she said, smirking slightly. He stood up and started to walk out of the room, but paused. He looked back at her, slightly confused. He left the room and headed for the layout room to examine the glass pieces from the second floor.
Robert Mayfield became the number one suspect in the Kattner murder when he showed up at the police station with a cut on his face and two small cuts on his right hand. He had no explanation for how they got there, and demanded an attorney. After a long interrogation, Mayfield admitted that he and Kattner fought on the top of the stairs, and she threw a glass sculpture at him. According to him, Kattner went berserk and said she was going to kill herself. She started slicing herself with the broken glass, all over her chest and face. Mayfield said she was bleeding heavily and bent herself over the railing until she went over it, landing in the chandelier. When asked why he didn't call 911, Mayfield said he was in such a state of shock that he regretfully fled the scene.
No one believed him, especially Grissom. The next night he found Sara piecing together bits of the sculpture in the layout room. He stood in the doorway, holding a dummy under one arm.
"I'm finding our suspect's story unconvincing," he said, leaning up against the doorframe.
She smiled at him, knowing he was up to something. "He had me right up until he sat there and let her fling herself over the railing. That's a little over the top, no pun intended," she said.
"Here's what's bugging me," Grissom said, pointing his finger in the air and standing up straight. "If the victim leaned on the railing, like Mayfield says she did, there would have been blood on the railing."
Sara nodded, adding, "And there wasn't."
Grissom continued, "And if you went over that railing head first, you would hit the chandelier head first, and land on your stomach, don't you think?"
Sara nodded again, following his thought pattern. "Right, but she was on her back in that chandelier, so maybe she was pushed." A broad smile spread across Sara's face. "I smell an experiment!" She wiggled her eyebrows and hopped off her stool.
Back in the victim's home, Grissom had rigged up a giant box to hang where the chandelier had hung. Sara shook her head in disbelief. "That's supposed to be our chandelier?"
"The real one had an accident, remember? You think the county's going to pay for a new one so we can fling a dummy into it?"
He began climbing the stairs with the dummy. Sara followed intently. When they reached the top, they began plotting out the scene that Mayfield described, testing his story. They analyzed every possible way Rebecca Kattner could have gone over that railing. They concluded that due to lack of blood evidence and her placement in the chandelier there was no way she sent herself over the railing. People don't kill themselves by jumping backwards.
Next they role played the struggle. According to Mayfield, Kattner threw the sculpture at him. Sara agreed that it was possible Kattner hit him in the head with the sculpture, cutting his head. It didn't explain the cuts on his hand though, and there was still the question of whether Kattner's injuries were self inflicted. "Ok, you be the victim..." Grissom said, crinkling his eyebrows in thought. He moved behind Sara, tentatively reaching around her with his hands. Sara blushed, glancing over her shoulder at him. He lightly gripped her forearms with his hands.
Grissom stood still for a moment, observing the feel of Sara's skin. He slid his hands down her arms to her wrists. His voice was suddenly low and uneven. "Rebecca Kattner is right handed. So if you grab a big piece of glass and try to kill yourself, the cuts would trail from your left..." He pulled her back into his chest, bent her arm up, and slid her hand across her chest slowly. "... to your right." He spoke softly, right into Sara's ear. Sara turned her head to find Grissom's face directly next to hers. He was warm, and for a moment she wanted to just relax back into his arms. He let go of her arms, and continued his research.
"But if I'm Mayfield, who is also right handed, and I try to kill you by slashing you with a large piece of glass..." He walked around in front of her, leaving his hand on her back longer than he needed to. He backed up a bit, feeling the chemistry between them. Sara continued for him, picking up his right hand and bringing it to her chest. "The slashes would go from my right..." They looked in each other's eyes longingly. She dragged his hand across her chest slowly. "... to my left."
They stared at each other for a minute, not letting go of each other's hands. Sara stared into his eyes and said quietly, "He killed her." Grissom looked at Sara's face, glancing at her lips. He swallowed hard before he softly responded, "Yes he did." Sara could not handle this much longer. She felt the words bubbling up inside her throat, and she couldn't stop them from escaping. She tightened her grip on his hand and said, "How long are you going to let this go on?"
Grissom furrowed his brow in confusion. Was she talking about them? He let go of her hand instantly, stepping back from her. She heard him mutter sorry before turning to head down the stairs without her.
"We need to call Brass. I think we have enough to go ahead," he said, bouncing down the stairs effortlessly.
"Hey!" she shouted, starting down the stairs herself. "Are you going to answer me?" Her heart was suddenly pounding.
He stopped momentarily, shocked she was still pushing this. He continued down the stairs, ignoring her. He reached the bottom, and Sara scooted around in front of him, blocking his way.
"Sara..." he grumbled, not amused. He moved to the left, but she moved in his way. He moved to the right and she slid back in his way. He glared at her, clearly irritated.
Sara smiled broadly. "I may be little, but I'm quick!"
He relaxed his eyes, nodding at her. He promptly faked her out and slipped right by her. "You're not that quick."
She dropped her head in defeat, grumbling. He started loading up their things. He squatted down to close up the box containing the dummy. Sara squatted in front of him, putting her hands on his. He looked up at her quizzically and sighed.
"Sara, what do you want me to do?" he asked loudly. He looked at her face and shook his head like she was some kind of problem to solve.
She sighed herself and sat down on the floor in front of him. She looked at him for a minute, trying to think of some brilliant argument as to why they should be together. She couldn't think of anything to say.
"I want you to try," she said softly, answering his question.
"Try what?" he asked seriously.
"Me," she answered, shrugging a shoulder. She looked at him again and almost whispered, "Please go out with me."
He stared at her expressionless. "No," he said sadly.
She stood up and glared at him, thoroughly pissed off.
"Sara, wait!" he said, standing up quickly. She started walking toward the door. He grabbed her arm gently. She stopped walking, but did not turn around. "What?" she snapped.
"Can I make you dinner instead?" he asked quietly.
Sara furrowed her brows in confusion. She didn't turn around. She just kept looking at the door.
"Where?" she asked suspiciously.
"Tomorrow night. Seven." he answered.
She wrinkled her face even more, still not turning around to face him. "I'm working tomorrow night," she said flatly.
"Your boss just gave you the night off," he said, lightly sliding his hand down her arm to her hand.
She turned her face toward him, raised an eyebrow and said, "I'm surprised. He's generally a tyrant."
"Well, don't get used to special treatment. It's the kind of thing that makes people suspicious," he said, squeezing her hand lightly before letting go and returning to his box.
She leaned up against the door, staring at him. "If you fry me a steak, I will never speak to you again," she said seriously.
"I know better than to do that," he replied, picking up the box.
Sara opened the door for him as he walked through. He looked at her as he passed her. "I'd like to go on record that I predict you will regret this."
She nodded enthusiastically. "Duly noted..." she responded, following him to the car. "... but I doubt it."
He loaded up the car and slid into the driver's seat beside her. He was freaking out, in a Grissom way, moving his jaw side to side and avoiding her eyes. He started the car, wondering if he should just back out of this whole thing. He glanced at her and noticed her grinning at him.
"What?" he practically shouted.
"Nothing!" she said, laughing slightly. "You're just panicking now. Take a deep breath, it'll pass." She turned her face from him, looking out the windshield and stifling her grin.
He put the car in gear. "It's not funny," he grumbled. They started to go, but he hit the brakes, slamming it back into park. "I'm a very private, difficult person, you know..." he began, shaking his head.
"I'm sorry, we've never met. I'm Sara Sidle," she answered, putting out a hand to shake his. He swatted it away lightly.
"Oh, never mind," he mumbled, putting it in drive and heading out of the driveway.
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