Rating: K? (don't nod off on me yet. You can't have sex all the time!)
Spoilers: Post-Committed, although extremely fluffy.
Disclaimer: I haven't tortured you (much) yet…so, that means I still don't own them.
Summary: They've covered butterflies and bees. Enough, already, with the insects. The amphibians want their day and I'm giving it to them.
Alternate Summary: A quote from a favorite song, "keep your heart open and your eyes shut tight."
Either one explains this story perfectly!
"You're still here," Grissom said to her, as she took another sip of some really bad coffee.
Her shift had been over for a while, but she stayed behind to hear Nurse McKay's interrogation, write up her final report, and indulge in one last cup of rancid caffeine in the break room before heading home. The truth was, she just didn't want to face the silence of her apartment. There would be nothing left to do but think about…almosts.
"Just for a few more minutes," she said, as casually as possible. He had a habit of being nitpicky about time whenever he felt he had just cause to be 'concerned.' At all other times, though, he didn't really care how long she stayed.
But, now, even with good reason to send her straight home, he surprised her. "Stay here, I'll be right back. Don't move. Okay?"
"Sure," she said, curious, as he almost sprinted (well, for him, anyway) out of the room.
She put the Styrofoam cup down on the table and sighed. He'd probably give her another case and she'd be pulling a triple before she knew it. While she didn't want to go home, she knew she should before tackling something new. But, if it was Grissom doing the asking, there was pretty much no way she'd turn him down. He knew it; she knew it; the janitor's fourth cousin's son knew it.
"Hey, Sara!" Greg came bounding in the room, plopping himself in the chair next to hers and leaning so far over that he was in serious personal space violation mode. "No one told me about your time at the nut house. I mean, geez. That must have been scary, huh?"
She placed her hand firmly against his shoulder and gave him a gentle, but sure, push. He got the message and moved away a bit.
"I guess so," she said, lying through her teeth. There was no guessing involved.
"Man, you shouldn't go anywhere without me. I would have taken a chair, smashed that window and pulled you out."
"Good plan. Except for the part where I'd be dead before the glass hit the ground. That guy was not messing around. He had some things to say…or do…" her voice faded away. Or do. He was a convicted, psychopathic rapist. For some reason, that thought really hadn't hit her before. She had 'just' feared for her life. The thought of being raped--before witnesses, before Grissom, before death--never really hit her fully. Until now.
"Hey, Sara," Greg's concerned face snapped her out of her terrifying thoughts.
"Sorry, I…zoned out a bit there."
"Hey, you want to go out for breakfast or something? Well, lunch, now."
"Greg?" Grissom's voice came loud and clear from the hallway. He had a look on his face that was clearly from his disgruntled collection, and she wondered how long he had been standing there. "What are you still doing here? Your shift ended two hours ago."
"I was just finishing up some paperwork."
"Go home. I don't need another overworked person on shift tonight."
"I'm going, I'm going. Sara? You coming with me?"
Grissom added a frown to his formidable expression.
"No," Sara said to Greg. "No, thanks. Maybe some other time. I just want to go home and get some sleep."
"Okay. You've got my number if you need to talk or anything."
Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Grissom taking a quick breath as Greg left the room. He stared at his shoes and seemed to be trying to regain his equilibrium. She knew he liked Greg—a lot. But, she also knew he could be a tad jealous of him. And she suspected it was more over the younger man's lack of self-consciousness than any attention he paid to her.
She looked up at Grissom and he took another deep breath. Then, he seemed to shake off whatever funk he was in, and looked at her with a weird attempt at a smile. He put his hand in the inner pocket of his jacket.
"Catch," he said, before seeming to shift gears, quickly balling up what was in his hand. She didn't see it long enough to identify it, and had no idea why he was suddenly frowning again.
"Uh, Gris? You have to actually throw something in order for me to catch it," she said, feeling the amusement bubble within her in spite of the circumstances.
"I changed my mind," he said.
"Oh." What was she supposed to say to that?
Uh, okay? I'll be going home now, then.
No! Gimme, gimme, gimme!
Oh, come on, you show me yours, I'll show you mine, big boy.
"I see," she said, not really 'seeing' anything at all.
He walked over to her and something green fell from his hand into her lap.
She looked down and saw a small, stuffed frog, about six inches long—four of which were legs in full stretch, resting against her right thigh.
"This is for me?" she asked, and mentally kicked herself for stating the obvious.
"Thanks," she said, lifting it up and taking a better look at it. It was adorable. Covering the bugged-out eyes were a pair of spectacles. Cute touch. Myopic frog. She had no idea why he would give her this. She should just shut up and not look a gift frog in the mouth…
"Grissom, do you keep a whole box of gifts in your office for CSIs who've had a bad day?"
He smiled. "If I did, I think you would have quite the collection by now, wouldn't you?"
"I suppose so," she said, and felt the good humor draining away.
Yup. Poor old needy Sara. She'd be getting a doodad a day. A philosophical thought had hit her when Adam cornered her in the nurses' station. Not the whole vibrating at a different frequency thing, but one about attracting the same energy you send out. She wasn't aware of seeking negative things in her life. She wasn't aware of wanting anything badly enough to "put it out in the universe" except for, well…Grissom. But, maybe she did just that. She certainly got more than her share of negatives knocking on her door.
He took a seat directly across from her and put his hands flat on the table in front of him. He stretched out his fingers and spent an inordinate amount of time looking at them. Such a long time, in fact, that Sara stopped thinking about universal energies and started to notice his fingernails. They were nice. Nicer than hers, at the moment.
Perhaps he knew what type of energy to send out for that type of thing.
"I bought the frog a long time ago," he said, without looking up at her.
"About the time that…you came back from your….about the time we had that discussion about your PEAP sessions. Remember?"
He was back to flexing his fingers.
Sara could have recited the Gettysburg address in the time it took for him to spit out a word. No wonder she was always butting in to save him. But, he obviously had something to say about the gift, and she had no clue how to fill in the blanks this time. So, she had to wait. And waiting was not something she did for anyone but him.
"I thought it would make things easier for me when this conversation eventually took place," he said so quickly that she almost wanted to press a non-existent rewind button to make sure he did, actually, speak. He looked up, shrugged, and smiled.
"I can see it's really working," she said and his smile grew a bit.
"It's symbolic," he said, after a few more seconds, and then nodded at the frog in her hand.
"Symbolic?" She pondered that thought for a few moments. She could go over frog biology, but she had a feeling it was less about the real creature and more about the plush figure in front of her. She looked it over again. "The frog has glasses. You wear reading glasses. Is that the connection? Is the frog supposed to represent you?"
For a man who dealt with unraveling mysteries, he did a rather sucky job at creating one.
"So, the frog is you," Sara said, laying out the evidence. "He needs glasses. Uh, something about none so blind as those who will not…"
"That's not what I had in mind. But, it also fits. Sort of. Still, look at the legs."
"They are long. You have long legs, Grissom."
He grimaced. "No. What is he doing?"
"Stretching them out?"
"Yes, but why?"
"I don't know, so he can leap to another lily pad?"
He made a sound in his throat that was just…odd. "No. Yes. He's leaping. But, he's not necessarily looking. Get it?"
"He's not looking before he leaps?"
"Right." Grissom was smiling and looking extremely proud of her. Like she had solved a great mystery of the universe instead of contemplating a stuffed toy's non-existent life plan for all of 45 seconds.
Although she still didn't exactly 'get it.' He was leaping into something without looking…
Oh. It took her another five seconds to totally get the fact that what he was telling her was not exactly flattering. He had to leap into a relationship without looking or he'd never do it at all. She held onto the frog just a tiny bit tighter than she had before.
"This is about us, I assume?" Sara asked.
"Yes," Grissom said, and then took another deep breath. "I'm not doing well, am I?"
"No," She wasn't about to sugar-coat something like this.
"I've looked enough. It's time to leap."
"Ah," that was slightly better but not by much.
The smile on his face froze and disappeared. "I…I guess it's not a good time. I'm sorry. I just…"
"Grissom, just to make sure we're on the same page, you are talking about us, right?"
"Then, yes," she said, giving the frog another squeeze. "I do question the timing. I mean, you said yourself—you bought this awhile ago. And since you bought it, obviously, the time has never been right because you never gave it to me. So, now, today—something bad could have happened to me and you pushed yourself into action. You're not even finding the words to tell me how you feel. That's not how I want you to enter into a relationship. With your eyes closed, feeling forced into it by some freakish incident."
He leaned forward and took the frog from her fingers. He wrapped both hands around it, and seemed to compose himself.
"Let me start again. I've examined our relationship from all angles, for many years. And moving from what we have to what we could have, never seemed to be the prudent thing to do. But there are other factors involved and being practical isn't always the number one priority. When I got this little fella, I thought I would suddenly find the right words or, if not, you'd look at him and fill in the blanks. But, yes, I've kept putting off the moment because I guess I knew it would be complicated. The timing would have to be just right. And I guess I was looking for some sign from above. And I've had them. They've just been really odd signs that I could justify away. I was a coward. I'll admit it. But, today I got a sign that was equivalent to a lightning bolt right up my ass. And I can't ignore that one."
She stifled what she knew would be a rather hysterical laugh. One could never accuse Gil Grissom of not having a romantic soul.
"I'm not asking you to move in with me, Sara. I just want…a chance. Let me be the one to take you to breakfast today. Let me be the one you talk to about what you're feeling. Let my shoulder be the one you rest your head against…"
Let him be the one to wrap his arms around her and just hold her for a while.
She could never say no to him.
He knew it.
She knew it.
The janitor's fourth cousin's son knew it.
She extended her hand and he placed the frog back in it.
"I like this," she said, lifting it to her face and giving it a quick kiss on the nose.
"Symbolic?" Grissom asked, amused.
"Nah. I don't need a prince. Too high maintenance."
"Just me?" Mr. Low Maintenance asked, extending his hand across the table.
She slid her fingers against the warm flesh of his palm, and interlaced them with his. He tightened his grip and, for the first time in the last twelve hours, she felt sane again. And optimistic.
"Just you," she said.
They got up and went to the door together.
"Just one more thing, Sara…"
"Your pad or mine?" he said, and winked at her.
She groaned. There was definitely no prince here but in spite of the corny puns…
A/N1: the quote from the song (in the summary) is from You and I, Part II by the very yummy Lindsey Buckingham (oh, and Christine McVie helped).