by Laura Katharine
Archive: FF.net and here. Anywhere else ask first, I might say yes.
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, but I can dream, right?
Author's Note: I must apologize for the apparent obsession I have with them making out in a kitchen. Why does this happen in every single story I write? I have no explanation and am truly puzzled. Special thanks to Mandy and Marlou. Thanks for putting up with my whining!
Summary: After a tough case, Grissom and Sara happen to catch each other in the right mood. A... cough, cough DATE cough???
Sara arrived promptly at 7 p.m., feeling unusually well rested considering her plans for the evening. She slept on and off most of the day and even had time for some bathtub reading. Though she spent the day relaxing, she couldn't contain the butterflies that manipulated her stomach as she pulled into his driveway. She was still reeling from their exchange in the hideout.
He finally came around.
She gave herself an internal high five for not giving up on the towering pillar of emotional stoicism. For once in her life she felt like she had made the right choice concerning a man. She made the right choice concerning this man. Quiet, brilliant, handsome, and difficult. Yet, worth it, she was sure.
She had no idea what this date meant. Was he planning to explain to her how they would handle work? Could people at work know? Was he really comfortable becoming intimate with her and then hiding the relationship while they were on the job?
She decided to leave the questions on his doorstep. The answers would come in time, and they probably would not come easily. She wanted to enjoy herself tonight; it had been a long time since she dated someone she wanted to be with. This was a big step for them, and she felt a unique sense of pride that Grissom took the step with her. He deserved a no-pressure, pleasant evening, and she intended to give him just that. Even though her gut told her he was just as interested in her physically as she was in him, she knew he wouldn't appreciate being pushed. It took him several months to 'downshift' after her dinner invitation. She couldn't imagine how he would react if she kissed him.
They talked about unimportant, trivial things at first, both of them struggling to calm their nerves. A vegetarian lasagna was in the oven, which Sara found funny, considering her comment in the hideout. While Grissom busied himself making a salad, Sara wandered into his living room, taking the opportunity to scan the various titles in his bookcases.
"Why do you have so many books on the physiology of hearing?" Her back was to him, as she continued looking at the texts.
Grissom's eyes widened, but he recovered quickly. "The sense of hearing has always fascinated me," he replied calmly. Now was not the time to delve into his recent health concerns. He intended to fill her in on his condition and surgery eventually, but surely it wasn't appropriate conversation for their first date. He wanted to keep things light, allow himself to enjoy her in this new capacity.
"Really?" She walked back toward the kitchen, making eye contact with him briefly before continuing. "I had to write a paper in an undergrad biology class once-we had to choose which of the five senses we believed to be the most and least important. Of course, there was nothing really scientific about the assignment. I think it was more of an exploration of your self. One of those 'no right answer' assignments, ya know?"
Grissom nodded dutifully. "So what did you conclude?" he asked, taking a break from slicing a tomato.
"I think I said hearing was the least important," she admitted with a chuckle.
Intrigued, Grissom asked, "What was your argument?"
"I don't really remember. I think I examined the reasons we have our senses to begin with-they evolved so animals, including humans, could solve vital problems, like knowing when to flee. If you lost any of the other senses, there's no way around their loss. Hearing is the only sense where, if lost, the other senses heighten in such a fashion that makes the loss bearable and allows the human being to function." She paused a moment, willing the memory to become clearer in her mind. "I just remember having a completely different answer than the rest of the class."
"Imagine that," Grissom teased, unable to resist smirking at her. He went back to his tomato, slicing delicately.
"Most of the class chose hearing or sight as the most important sense."
"What did you pick?"
Sara's face flushed, showing her embarrassment even before she answered. "Taste."
He laughed lightly before asking with a puzzled face, "Why taste?"
"It's more important than you think!" she argued with a smile. "Could you imagine if you couldn't taste what you were eating-every meal for the rest of your life? Think of the risk of poison or sickness. Think of the foul, nasty foods you could be chowing down on and not even know. It's kind of like when you're sick, and your sense of taste is off. You never want to eat because it's not enjoyable. Consider all the pleasurable foods you'd miss out on." Grissom's face indicated he wasn't exactly following her line of thinking. "Maybe it's a woman thing. We take great pleasure in our food," she continued sensually. Both of them noticed the erotic shift in the conversation. "Not to mention... well, never mind."
"What?" he asked, against his better judgement. No telling where she would take this.
"I vaguely recall examining the role of taste in sexual attraction." Sara averted his eyes when he looked at her. She leaned against the breakfast bar and coughed nervously before composing herself and continuing her argument. "Think if you could never taste a passionate kiss again-could you imagine?" Sara stared at his countertop, apparently imagining the horror for herself. Grissom quietly pondered her logic a moment, trying not to personalize the experiment by wondering what Sara would taste like if he kissed her.
"Well," Sara began, effectively bringing them both out of their daze. "I was dating a hot pre-med major at the time. It's possible my mind was clouded and my logic inherently flawed as a result." She flashed him beautiful smile, easing the tension for a moment.
"I'm sure you're not the first person to forego rational thought because of a pesky sexual attraction," he quipped, remembering the countless occasions he couldn't seem to think straight in Sara's presence.
Sara was quietly stunned by his admission. She couldn't picture Grissom foregoing rational thought under any circumstance, much less one that involved feelings and emotions.
Desperately needing to busy himself, Grissom added some seasonings to the garlic bread before placing it into the oven. An awkward silence filled the air. He refused to make eye contact with her, using the moment to compose himself and gather the nerve to touch her. Sara sauntered around the bar and watched him. 'Date Grissom' was squirmy and cute. This was going to be a fun evening.
The silence was getting to her, and Sara felt the need to speak. While Grissom wiped crumbs from his counter, Sara commented, "Brave man, putting garlic in the dinner on a first date."
"Why's that?" he asked, trying to ignore the fact that she referred to this as a 'date' out loud.
With a coy grin, Sara explained, "First dates traditionally lead to first kisses." The words seemed to come out of her mouth before checking with her brain. So much for the 'no pressure' evening. Her mind turned to mush as she frantically tried to change the subject.
"Feeling pretty confident tonight, I see." Grissom leaned back against his counter, resting his hands along the edge. Before Sara could sidetrack him with a different topic, he asked, "What makes you think I was going to kiss you after dinner?"
Sara gave an embarrassed smirk. She felt her face flush and deliberately avoided his eyes.
Grissom watched her closely, enjoying her discomfort. What was this? She could dish it out but couldn't take it? In an uncharacteristically bold move, he said, "Maybe I was going to kiss you before dinner." He was suddenly quite proud of himself for bantering lightly with her, when internally he was panic stricken.
"Yeah, right," Sara groaned, moving a step closer to him.
Grissom cocked his head. Was she goading him?
"Apparently, you're too busy!" she said with a huge grin. "I've been here for twenty minutes and I don't think you've come within four feet of me."
Grissom lips wrinkled as he tried to suppress a smile.
Sara took a few more tentative steps toward him and asked reluctantly, "Are you okay with this?"
"No," he admitted honestly, after thinking about it a little while. Though his eyes seemed to be smiling, the rest of his face held his typical, vacant expression. Sara swore her heart stopped beating for a moment. He didn't say anything else, just stared at her-with those emotive eyes that bore into her soul.
"Great. Maybe this wasn't a good idea," she muttered, turning toward the door.
Only his arm moved, as he reached out and easily gripped her arm. "I don't want you to go."
Sara watched him curiously, feeling the heat of his hand seep into her forearm. "If you're not okay with this, then why am I here?"
"I invited you." He let his hand slide down to her wrist and soon after, released it.
"I already told you why."
To see what happens. Sara sighed quietly, thinking maybe he wasn't really ready for this. The thought of waiting around for him any longer made her sick to her stomach.
"Look," Grissom began. "Just because I still don't know how this is going to work and you... make me a nervous wreck, doesn't mean I don't want you here."
"I do not make you a nervous wreck. You work with me every day!"
"Apples and oranges, Sidle." He waved his hand about, encompassing his kitchen. "No work here."
Though clearly flattered, Sara still appeared baffled. She stepped directly in front of him, letting their hips and thighs brush against each other. Careful to watch his eyes for any resistance, she placed her hands loosely on his waist. "It's just me." she said quietly, impressed she was able to maintain eye contact at such close proximity.
His face was unreadable. He didn't seem annoyed, but he didn't seem thrilled either. Finally he said quietly, "I'm not used to this."
"To what? I know for a fact you've dated women before."
He just shook his head and raised an eyebrow. "Not like you," he said dryly.
"I'm going to take that as a compliment." She leaned in a little further, pressing the rest of her body against him lightly. She felt like she was on a downward slope here, unable to resist touching him. Her vow to keep things light and easygoing now seemed like a vague, distant memory.
"It was meant as one," he replied with an affirmative dip of his head. His chin brushed against her hair, startling him into reality. She was really here. She was really this close to him. Grissom let his arm slip behind her waist, caressing her back lightly and encouraging her seduction. She moved her arms further around his back and rested her head on his shoulder, happy to be free from his gaze. "I don't know how it's going to work either," she admitted.
Grissom let his other arm join the first. His mind was a buzz, trying to catch up and get past the fact that he was holding her. "I thought you had this all figured out."
"Oh. That was just an act."
"Well, you had me fooled," he said, bumping her head lightly with his shoulder, making her smile slightly. "One of us better know what we're doing here," he advised in a mock serious tone.
Sara sighed softly. "I'm as clueless as you are, but I decided on the way over here that all the questions don't have to be answered tonight."
"Hmm..." Turning his head slightly, he let his lips touch her hairline, feeling more confident every second she was in his arms. He stood there, waiting for her to lift her head. She didn't. It was his move to make.
"Hey." He tapped her back gently.
"Hm?" She still didn't move, suddenly remembering her promise not to pressure him. She was completely content in his arms, and vowed not to make another move unless he did.
She looked up to find him staring back at her, a marked determination coloring his face. He raised his hand, gently wrapping his fingers around her neck. He stared at her for a while, trying to think of something to say. He had hurt her in the past. He had avoided her for months. An intimate relationship while working together would be so difficult. There was so much to discuss, and yet, he couldn't speak. She was too close, and he was touching her. To see what happens. As if they didn't know. He closed the gap between them and kissed her, small, slow kisses at first, which quickly blossomed. Just as things began to get interesting, the oven timer buzzed obnoxiously, breaking the spell of the moment.
Grissom removed the lasagna from the oven and set it on top of the stove, while Sara stood next to him, staring at the dish, mimicking his exact position.
"It has to... sit... for a few minutes..." Grissom muttered.
"Mm," Sara agreed, slipping her fingers around his forearm.
Unable to withstand the practically magnetic pull between them, they kissed again, skipping the small kisses in exchange for more passionate ones. Lips glided over cheeks, necks, and earlobes. Hands explored backs, faces and hair. The odd thing was the awkwardness-there wasn't any. They made eye contact, even smiled at each other, while devouring one another affectionately.
Though he didn't stop kissing her, Grissom had to talk to Sara. He felt guilty for the way he had handled things up until now. "I should've..." His lips made their way up her neck toward her ear. "I should've..." He was finding it difficult to concentrate, distracted by Sara's quiet moan. "I..."
He glanced at her eyes before continuing his assault on her neck. "I should have done this a long time ago." He pulled back a moment, holding her face in his hands. "I'm sorry," he said contritely.
Sara rested her forehead against his, taking a second to absorb the moment. She really did not want to get into emotional apologies and a heavy discussion. She gave him a half smile. "Oh, should-a, could-a, would-a. Just do it now," she comforted with a nod. They kissed a while longer.
Finally breaking away from her, Grissom announced, "We should eat."
Dinner held the strangest combination of quiet spells and enthusiastic conversation. One minute they'd be talking about recent cases and forensic techniques, and the next minute they'd be silent, both carefully contemplating how this shift in their relationship was going to play out. Though both of them believed they deserved this uncomplicated evening, the facts of the situation seemed to be gradually eating away at them. They still hadn't talked about anything.
They rinsed and loaded the dishwasher together, occasionally touching and bumping against each other. They began to relax around each other physically, no longer thrown into a sexual tizzy when they brushed against one other. When the dishes were done, Grissom took her by the hand and led her into his living room.
With soft music filling the room, they sunk into his sofa, leaning into each other slightly. Neither of them spoke, staring absently at their intertwined hands. Finally Grissom said seriously, "You know we're going to have to be very discreet."
"I know," Sara replied, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.
"I don't know how I'm going to--"
"Grissom," she interrupted. When she looked at him she noticed him staring off, deep in thought.
As his thumb ran over the back of her hand, he said honestly, "I really don't know how to make sure this doesn't interfere with work."
Sara leaned closer to him, and touched his face. After kissing his cheek softly, she pleaded, "Do you think we could not talk about this?" She moved to his lips, wrapping her arms around him lightly. "Just for tonight." She trailed her lips over his face lightly. "I mean, I'm not stupid. I know there are things that have to be discussed, but it doesn't have to be tonight, does it? Can't we just..." She gave up talking and buried her face in his neck, hugging him tighter.
Grissom was beyond puzzled. "What?" He stroked her hair, trying to comfort her, though he was unsure what was bothering her.
"Can't we just hide out a little while and enjoy it before we over think it to death?" As soon as she said it, she knew he wouldn't go for it. She prepared herself for a lecture and an exhausting conversation.
Sara picked her head up in disbelief. "Okay?"
"Sure," Grissom added with a shrug. "I may be a nervous control freak, but I can recognize when it behooves me to let it go for a day." He turned his head, intent on reaching her neck. "Besides, your boss ordered you to take two days off, so theoretically it's a moot point if the subordinate he's dating isn't at work."
Sara pondered Grissom's situation. He continued kissing her softly, but he could sense her distraction. "What's wrong?"
She looked at him, realization written all over her face. "This is going to be difficult, isn't it?"
"You're just now realizing that? Sara, why do you think I was dragging my feet? It wasn't due to lack of interest!" He smiled at her, touching a strand of hair that framed her face.
Sara suddenly realized the sacrifices Grissom was willing to make to be with her. Her emotions got the best of her, and her eyes misted slightly.
"We'll figure it out," Grissom reassured, kissing her cheek.
"And if we don't?"
"Well, then I guess we'll have to go down trying."
- The End -
Author's Note: Thanks for reviewing... sorry it took me so long to finish. It was too fluffy for my liking, but some nice folks convinced me to post anyway!
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