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Summary: A special victim brings Sara and Grissom together.
Chapter Eight - The Chase
Leaning back in his office chair, Grissom studied the evening's assignment slips. Warrick was off that night, leaving Gil with himself, Catherine, Nick and Sara to assign. The decision to give Catherine one DB was an easy one; there was a great deal of blood at the scene and blood spatter analysis was her strength. He chose the other DB for himself, another easy decision as the body was riddled with bugs. Now came the tough question, that of Nick and Sara. Okay, not so tough-I'll take Sara. Satisfied with his decision, he headed for the break room to inform his team.
"Catherine, you have a homicide at a residence in Summerlin," he handed her the slip. "Take Nick. Lots of blood. Have fun."
Nick and Catherine high-fived each other and left the break room.
"What about me?" Sara asked at last.
"You and I have a body in the mountains. Bugs," Grissom was interrupted by the ringing of his cellular telephone. "Grissom," he barked into the receiver. "We're on our way, O'Reilly... he's not going anywhere without a head... give us thirty minutes." He closed the flip phone.
"No head. Yay," Sara deadpanned. She picked up the assignment slip and read it as she followed Grissom out to the SUV. "Hey, I'm driving!"
The shift progressed smoothly. Sara and Grissom worked well together and even found themselves falling back into their old friendly banter. At one point, he thought he had found the nerve he needed, but quickly lost it, "Sara?"
"Would you," he cleared his throat. "Would you, uh... hand me my kit?"
"Um, okay." Sara sensed he had changed gears in mid-sentence, but wouldn't allow herself to speculate regarding his original intent. She handed him his field kit as requested.
Grissom mentally kicked himself for his retreat. Everyone else seemed to know what to do-his mother, Catherine, even Sara herself had all tried to tell him at one point or another. Why was this so difficult? Too late. You could really be too late. He told himself that the problem must be their location. How do you ask someone out over a decapitated corpse? Even he was more romantic than that. He would ask her later, in a more appropriate venue.
They finished the scene and took their evidence back to the lab for processing. Gil glanced at his watch. Seven fifteen in the morning. Nick and Catherine were still running with their case and would probably be working for hours still. He and Sara decided to go home and pick theirs back up that night. Most of their evidence was in DNA or Trace, so there was little they could do at the moment. "You leaving?" a familiar voiced queried. Gil looked up to see Sara leaning on the doorframe of his office.
"Yeah," Gil recognized that this was his chance. "Just heading out."
"See you tonight," Sara responded and turned to leave.
"Would you, uh, would you like to have breakfast? I make a mean omelet. Or we could stop somewhere."
Sara froze. As God is my witness, I don't know what I should do. "I, um, uh... why?"
"Why?" Grissom repeated, clearly confused by the question.
"Um, yeah, why? I mean, is this just two coworkers catching a bite before going home? Or... fill in the blanks for me. Filling them in for myself hasn't worked well for me."
"We, uh, we have a lot of things we need to talk about. How about if we just call it two friends having breakfast and figure out where to go from there?"
"We do need to talk," Sara agreed. She thought for a moment and gave in. "All right, I'd love an omelet."
"Follow me," Gil breathed a sigh of relief. His equanimity was short-lived however, when he realized that that had only been the first step. He still had much to say to her, including a confession of a secret he should never have kept from her. How would she react? Would she reject him when he bared his soul to her?
Grissom let Sara into the townhouse, then closed the door behind the two of them. "Make yourself at home," he said, hoping he sounded far more easy-going than he felt. "I'll make the omelets."
Sara pulled up a stool and sat at the kitchen counter while Gil prepared the meal. "Are you sure I can't help with anything?"
"Nope. These are my specialty. World famous."
"How's your mom?"
"She's doing well," Grissom smiled warmly. "Thank you for asking. She was very happy that Jaworsky got caught. Even happier that she doesn't have to come ID him or testify."
"She's something else," Sara laughed. "I adore her."
"She's pretty fond of you, too."
"Tell her she can send me that Dali any time. My wall is still naked."
"I'll be sure to pass that along," Gil answered with a laugh.
"How do you know what I like in my omelet?"
"I am the master chef, Sara," he waggled his eyebrows at her. "And I know what you like... I hope."
Gil was a man of his words. It was indeed the best omelet Sara had ever tasted. The light conversation continued throughout the meal, but as he swallowed the last of his eggs, Grissom tensed. The time had come for reality.
Sara noticed the sudden change in his demeanor. "Is something wrong, Grissom?"
"'All truths that are kept silent become poison.'"
"Friedrich Nietzsche. Sometimes you can keep a secret for so long that you can't even remember why you were hiding it. Then you realize that it's not the secret itself that you're afraid of anymore. It's the way loved ones may react when they learn you kept it from them."
"We all have secrets, Grissom."
"Some are bigger than others."
"You're scaring me."
"This may not come as such a surprise now that you've met my mother, but I've been concealing a very serious hearing disorder."
"Yes. I had surgery last May, which, fortunately was successful. But for a year before that, I had a great deal of trouble hearing much of what was said."
"So, all of those times I thought you were ignoring me, you just couldn't hear me."
"To be honest, some of those times I was ignoring you. I thought I could keep you at arm's length, and you wouldn't figure out what was going on. It worked too well. I discovered I didn't want you at arm's length. I needed you closer. And I started to resent the fact that you didn't know about my problems. I've made a lot of mistakes, Sara."
"So that's why you kept pushing me away?"
"That and the fact that I was angry with you, even though I knew I had no right to be."
"Why were you angry with me?" Sara tried her hardest to be supportive and to keep the emotion from her voice.
"You were with him." Gil's voice was barely audible.
"I was with him because he was the only one who was asking. I waited and waited, and you never made a move. You just kept telling me to find a diversion. So that's exactly what I did. I never wanted him. I just wanted to forget you," she paused. "I realize now that it was a huge mistake. I should have just talked to you about it at the time instead of assuming you weren't interested. I'm sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am."
"Like I said, I knew then and I know now that I had no right to be upset with you. I never promised you anything." Grissom stood and walked across the room, keeping his back to her. "Then that morning, when you asked me to dinner... I truly didn't know what to do. I had a pre-op appointment that morning. Everything was spiraling out of control."
"I'm sorry," Sara fought back tears. "I guess my timing really sucked."
"I'm ready to try now, Sara."
"Try what?" Sara asked. When he remained silent, she continued, "I'm sorry. I'm not trying to be mean, but I need for you to tell me exactly what you're thinking. I won't guess anymore."
"I'm thinking... that I want to get to know you better outside of work. I want to eat with you, to talk with you, to share my life with you. Please tell me I'm not too late."
"I'm just, I'm really nervous that you're going to panic tomorrow and push me away again. I can't take the yo-yo thing anymore. It's really hard, you know, because I'm tired of being alone, but there's only one man I want to be with, and I just can't figure out where I stand with him." She had been unaware of Grissom's approach until the moment his lips touched hers. The kiss was brief, but very, very emotionally powerful.
"I will never, ever push you away again," he said softly as he broke the kiss. "I will do everything in my power to show you what you mean to me. But I'm nowhere close to perfect, Sara, I'm going to make mistakes."
"All I'm asking is that you don't give up. Don't let the fear overwhelm you. And no more secrets."
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