Spoilers: No More Bets, Bloodlines
Archive: Please ask first!
Disclaimer: As if.
Author's Note: My weekly Improv challenge response. This one requires a serious OOC fluff warning. I want to thank Maddy and Kate for their help when I came up empty in a couple of places.
Summary: Weekly Improv fic. Sara has a puzzle to solve.
"Rub-a-dub-dub, two ducks in a tub?" Sara groaned as she read the note aloud. "How cheesy." The rhyme had arrived along with a basket of bath soaps and lotions, all adorned with the saccharine
logo featuring ducklings in a washbasin. "Hmph, this one's not his best."
She slammed her locker shut. The soaps made the seventh gift that had mysteriously appeared in her locker, gifts from an apparent secret admirer. Initially, she'd been nervous at the thought of an unknown person accessing her locker and anonymously leaving gifts; it seemed like something a stalker would do. But locked-down lab was accessible only to those with security clearance, the gifts had been small and sweet, and whoever he was, he seemed harmless enough. If things escalated, or if gifts started appearing at her home, she would report it. For now, though, it had become a pleasant mystery for her.
Arriving at her apartment, she retrieved her breakfast from the refrigerator and puzzled over her riddles. Her case during the night was emotionally draining, so the "secret admirer" was a welcome diversion. She pushed her cereal around the bowl with her spoon and looked around her home at the array of presents he'd left for her.
The copy of Shakespeare's "Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?" sat on her kitchen table next to her. It had been the first to arrive, and had definitely piqued her interest. The other literary gift was a book of Greek mythology, which had long been her favorite. But how would her admirer know that? It was the third gift to arrive.
Her second gift was a pendant in the shape of an Egyptian scarab. Sara knew that the beetle had symbolized good luck in the times of the Pharaohs, and when given as a gift had carried great meaning. The pendant was positively exquisite.
Arriving fourth was the gift certificate, a ride for two on a hot air balloon, complete with a champagne brunch. Did the giver want her to take him as her guest?
Her favorite gift was the one she received next: two seahorses in a small tank. She hadn't even been aware that fresh-water seahorses existed. They were delicate and beautiful, and she was fascinated with watching them swim about gracefully.
The orchid came sixth. It stunned Sara, reminding her of the one Grissom had sent her once. It didn't fail to strike an emotional chord within her.
What did it all mean? Who was behind it? She knew it was wishful thinking to imagine that only Grissom would choose such meaningful literary and historical references. She finished her cereal and flopped down on her bed. It creaked warningly. The cheap bed frame was only of the pieces of furniture she'd hastily acquired when she'd first arrived in Las Vegas. She had meant to replace most of it, but never seemed to find the time.
She lay quietly, staring at the ceiling. Shakespeare, mythology, pendant, balloon ride, seahorses, orchid, soap. Shakespeare-what did that conjure up for her? Tragedies, sonnets, Globe Theater, iambic pentameter. That's it-iambic pentameter! And it's not pendant he's after, it's scarab! Iambic pentameter gave her the letter I. Mythology gave her M. The scarab was S, seahorses a second S. Orchid led her to the letter O. Cheesy though it may be, the duck soap gave her R. Where did the balloon ride fit in? It was a hot-air balloon. It was airborne. It had a basket and a flame. It was gas-powered. G.
I-M-S-G-S-O-R. Sara laughed aloud at the absurdity. She must have needed sleep more than she thought, because this just couldn't be right. G-R-I-S-S-O-M. Grissom? Naw, he'd spurned her advances and remained distant. Why would he suddenly make such a drastic move? It would be like him, however, to try to win her over by giving her a puzzle to solve. Is she was right, then the puzzle had been the real gift, the other things merely peripheral to his purpose.
Curiosity got the better of her as she leaned over and began dialing the telephone.
"Hello?" Came Grissom's alert voice at the other end.
"Hi, it's me," she said.
"Sara? What's up? Is everything okay?"
"Everything's fine." She hoped he could feel her grin through the telephone. "I have a little puzzle that I think I've solved, but I can't be sure. Can you help?"
Trepidation was evident in Grissom's voice. "Uh... okay. Go ahead."
"Am I crazy to get the letters G-R-I-S-S-O-M from a gas-powered balloon, Rub-a-dub-dub, a Shakespearean sonnet in iambic pentameter, a scarab, a seahorse, an orchid and a book of mythology?" If she were wrong about this... well, it was possible to die from embarrassment, right?
Grissom exhaled. Busted. "You're not crazy."
"Don't you think maybe we should talk about this?"
"I'll be over in twenty minutes," he answered calmly. As he'd hoped, she'd figured out his riddle; now he had to proceed with the next step.
Sara spent the next nineteen and a half minutes vacillating between wanting to slap him silly and wanting to take him in her arms and never let him go. On one hand, it could be construed that he was jerking her around again; on the other hand, it was very sweet and could be viewed as a genuine attempt, in his own Grissomian way, to bridge the distance between them. They had hardly spoken since the last, and first, time he'd been to her apartment, when he gave her a ride home after that unfortunate stupid mistake she'd made. He'd been nice enough about that incident, but she had felt as though the camel's back had irreparably broken when he'd given her that lame excuse for stagnating her career.
Grissom arrived right on time. And Sara finally stopped vacillating. With one look into those impossibly blue eyes, she melted.
"Can we start over?" he asked softly.
"It's the only way."
He began kissing her, first sweetly, then with growing intensity. Locked in their embrace, they moved into the bedroom and fell into a tangled heap onto the bed. And then the bed's legs snapped in half.
- The End -