The Fifth Time is the Charm
Author: Summer Reign
Sara and Grissom go on a honeymoon. Or five.
Title: The Fifth Time is the Charm
Author: Summer Reign
Disclaimer: Not mine. They belong to TPTB who have finally woken up and smelled the coffee. Yay!
Spoilers: For everything up until now, including spoilers for Season 10. If you want to be unspoiled, ignore this. There is some speculation based on spoilers enclosed in this here story.
Summary: Grissom and Sara go on a honeymoon…or five.
Their first honeymoon began quite some time after they began sleeping together.
Funny expression, given that Sara didn't sleep very well.
Grissom liked his sleep. It was sometimes difficult to come by, given his profession. Those few precious hours were hard earned and greatly appreciated. So, he found it disconcerting, to say the least, to wake and find Sara staring at him with unblinking brown eyes. She would touch the side of his face and tell him to return to his dreams. Sometimes, he could. Others, he'd pretend. And still others, he wouldn't bother doing either. He'd just pick himself up and go home.
It wasn't her fault. That much, he knew. It was his idea, after all. This sleeping together deal. After Nick's abduction--right after--he just knew. Knew he was done fighting. Knew he wanted her. Knew he would have her before the day was done because he also knew that she had never wavered in her affection for
him, and he wanted to feel what he knew he would feel in her arms.
So, with Nessun Dorma echoing in his mind as the Victory March in his personal soundtrack, he went to her. And...life changed.
Certainly, for the moment.
And it was all very nice. More than nice, really.
But part of what made Gil Grissom...Gil Grissom...was his propensity to overthink. Good things didn't just happen to him. Before accepting them, he needed to examine how he could incorporate them into his life with the least amount of structural damage to his daily routine. You couldn't necessarily do that, though, with human beings who loved to stare at other human beings while they slept. So, right in the middle of a crime scene—when the moment for non-censorship of thoughts seemed safe, he more or less told Sara she might be suffocating him.
That was rather cruel, he supposed. Certainly, it wasn't a kind thing to say.
She stopped coming by for a few days. And she stopped asking if he'd like to come by.
And life got lonely again. Shallow, routine, monotonous, boring, unbearable.
He didn't apologize. There really was no need.
He just started coming round again. And letting her look at him, if that's what she wanted to do. He'd just try and fall asleep. Or, if he couldn't, he'd sit up and talk to her. And she'd listen. And talk to him. It was...nice. Much more than nice, really.
Then, one day, after a case that seemed to be full of Major Themes like dreams, desires, fantasies and unfulfilled potential, Gil Grissom attempted to do what he normally did in the aftermath of a case. He tried to extract the lessons learned along the way.
And that day's lesson was all about risk-taking and the brevity of life. He planned on filing that information away in the recesses of his mind.
But, suddenly, he couldn't think about major or minor details at all. He looked at her sitting there, in a room full of people, smiling and joking in the break room, and it was the first time the need to leap across the table was so intense it almost made the very air around them crackle in anticipation. But it was not
only sexual tension. He wanted to hold her, and kiss her, and listen to the sound of her way it was...only for him...only during their alone time.
And he wanted to wear her out,
Just so he could watch her sleep.
And thus began their first honeymoon. Not with a whimper, but a bang.
The (first) honeymoon phase of their relationship ended suddenly for Sara Sidle. Things had been going so well. Better than she ever expected. She felt...so loved. Even though those words never left his mouth.
When they first began the physical part of their relationship, she wasn't entirely sure love entered into the equation.
Need, yes. Love...maybe.
But lately, she had been thinking maybe she was wrong. Maybe love played a role in their lives. Both of their lives because the way she felt about him was never in question.
But, he left.
He was burned out and he left.
He was burned out and didn't discuss what he was feeling.
Made plans to leave and left.
When he returned, she planned on doing a lot of talking.
When he returned, her plans fell by the wayside.
He was who he was and she loved him.
And, besides, he was ready for a second honeymoon the second he laid eyes on her again.
And she was no dummy.
As always, when life offered her something wonderful, she grabbed hold. Because, as she well knew, life had a funny way of snatching things back.
They had been happy during Honeymoon phase number 2. Very happy. Once Sara got beyond her hurt over his leaving her, that is.
Hiatus. He took one and simply didn't give her a thought.
She didn't need the time off. He did. It was really as simple as that. But, he realized--later--that wasn't "couples" thinking. And she was probably thinking as part of a couple, while he...was not.
On one of the nights when he spent time watching her sleep (which, since his return, was a very rare night indeed) he noticed something he had seen before but never really paid much attention to. She had beard burn. On her neck and chest, in particular. He loved nuzzling her soft skin but her soft skin didn't particularly appreciate the Brillo pad that was his beard.
So, he asked her to shave him. And she argued with him. Slightly.
"If you don't do it for me, I'll just do it myself," he said, and that was enough of an argument for her. Because she knew he would. He was bound and determined to get rid of the damned thing.
She was so careful. So very, very careful not to nick his skin at all. It was, perhaps, the most perfect shave of his life.
While she was gently applying after-shave lotion to his face (another thing she refused to "slap on," although they both knew it would be rather cathartic if she did), he stilled her hand and held it to his cheek.
"Why do you stare at me during the night?" he asked her, suddenly needing an answer.
"I like looking at pretty things," she said, with a smile that was somewhere between a smirk and a beam.
"Well, my dear, you must need bifocals more than I do because...sleep isn't pretty. Snoring, drooling, gnashing of teeth..."
"You don't do any of those things. Although, you do grumble, occasionally."
"Yeah. I can't quite make out most of what you say but I think it's probably work related."
"And that's what you find so intriguing that it keeps you up at night?"
She sighed and pulled her hand away. Then she started washing off the foam-laden razor.
"Watching you sleep doesn't keep me up at night. I told you a long time ago that I had bouts of insomnia. Now, I have someone to look at when I can't sleep. If it bothers you...I can go in the other room."
"It doesn't bother me much anymore."
This gesture of reconciliation was not working out as well as he thought it would.
He listened to the sound of the water running and watched as she carefully put away his razor and shaving gear. Finally, she spoke.
"I was napping when...my dad died. Okay? So, there's no great mystery of why sleeping is a problem for me. I guess I associate sleep with potential danger. Loss, maybe. Who knows? Anyway, watching you while you're sleeping is my way of hanging on to you...for the times when we aren't together. I can close my eyes and almost see you."
"I'm not quite there yet. You'd think I would be with all the time I've spent doing this but...when you were gone...well, I realized I wasn't."
Later, when he watched her sleep, he thought about life and how odd it was. This strange woman...loving him so much that she wanted to hold onto his image when they were apart.
Afraid that he'd leave her.
And finding herself justified in her fear.
He needed not to take her love for granted. To cherish it more. To cherish them more.
To be...a couple.
But Gil Grissom sometimes got distracted and promises...were broken.
Sara wanted to stay in her own apartment after Gil spent the night at Heather Kessler's place.
But, that would give him more power than she wanted him to have. Power to know exactly how much he hurt her. Because the decision to stay away would be temporary. He'd grovel as much as she suspected he could--which probably wasn't much at all--and she'd fold like a house of cards.
And he'd know just what a wuss she was when it came to him. As if he didn't know already.
She didn't like facing the truth. He was her number one priority. She was not his.
Maybe she never would be.
And that knowledge hurt like hell.
Their third honeymoon was full of surprises.
Surprise number one: She was alive. She remembered that last awful moment before lights out. Unbearable heat. Thirst. The world spinning out of control. And the ground coming up to meet her.
One second before she lost consciousness and she knew it was all over: every moment of fighting. To stay awake. To stay alive. To memorize what was important. To hold onto it forever.
All for nothing. All gone.
And then, it wasn't.
She saw his nametag before she saw his face.
God, she loved his name. She called him Gil because he wanted her to. And, well, it was his given name. But she loved "Grissom." He looked more like a Grissom than a Gil.
Delusional. That's what the desert made her. Delusional.
Because what she saw next was not something he let her see that often. Pure, unadulterated love shining in those eyes.
Oh, sometimes, right before or after an orgasm, when he couldn't help himself--she'd catch a glimpse but...this...was just for her. Unguarded, uncensored, public.
And was just the first of many moments.
Their affair was revealed. And he was adorable when he showed up to their first "public" appearance as a couple. Donned a silly cap, in the middle of a Las Vegas heat wave. He didn't quite touch her, except for a hand hovering near the small of her back, but she could feel his body heat--he was that close. And the smile and the pride that just radiated from him was something that she knew would take a long time to get used to.
And then he proposed. And she accepted. Marriage was something she never thought would be part of her life because she never thought he would commit to anything so permanent. She had never been so pleased to be utterly and completely wrong.
They were so happy when they were alone together, awake, and away from work.
But, when one of these conditions was not present...
It wasn't pretty.
She was consumed with a undefinable fear, and an almost crushing feeling of despair. If she found herself falling asleep, she'd startle awake, heart pounding and in a cold sweat. She didn't bother looking at Gil then. She just got up and went to the living room. Hank was her company, then. She'd throw her arms around his thick, furry neck and rock against his firm doggy body.
Nothing...nothing would be the same.
A year or so ago, Gil wanted out. Why couldn't their burn out times coincide? They could both have moved to Boston, Baltimore, or Biloxi--anywhere but here. They'd be married and have babies and they'd look at life every day. Life in full bloom instead of constant death reminding them of where they were both going, probably sooner rather than later.
She heard a sound and then felt the couch sink down a bit. Something cold hit her shoulder.
"Eat," Grissom said, handing her a pint of Rocky Road and a spoon.
She almost shook her head no, but took the gift. A gift of love. He was trying so hard to be thoughtful and attentive. To "make up for past mistakes," as he told her while she was still in the hospital.
She had told him there was no need.
The ice cream almost stuck in her throat. There were so many unshed tears blocking the way.
He put his arm around her shoulder and drew her to him. And she held herself against his body.
It would be okay. Soon. It would be okay.
How could it not? They were on a honeymoon.
Gil Grissom was alone again.
And it wasn't even entirely his fault, this time.
He had made her happy. Lately. He knew he had.
Life had made her sad.
And she left. She was burned out and left.
She was burned out and didn't discuss what she was feeling.
Didn't make any plans but left.
When she returned, he planned on doing a lot of talking. A lot of drawing out of feelings and clarifying emotions.
When she returned, he fucked up.
She wasn't returning for good. And he couldn't deal with he fucked up.
As always, when life offered him something wonderful, he didn't know what to do with it. With her. And usually chose door #2. And was left with nothing.
But, Sara knew him. And loved him. And they'd be all right again.
The fourth time was their Official Honeymoon. Sanctified by actual marriage.
Sara had to smile. Life was very, very good. After a long time of it being very, very bad. And then very, very...not what she wanted, but what she reconciled herself to living through.
One week ago, she was standing in the middle of the jungle, photographing capuchin monkeys. And then, suddenly, like some older (handsomer) version of Indiana Jones, HE was just...there.
There. And she knew what that meant. It meant that he had been rather full of shit when he told her how static their relationship had become. But, she loved him anyway.
And, more importantly, he loved her...enough. More than enough.
"What are you smiling about?" she heard him whisper.
She opened her eyes to see him staring down at her. Her husband. Sounded strange. Felt wonderful.
"I was thinking about how weird it was to be married."
"Weird? You couldn't come up with a more flattering word than weird?"
"You don't find it strange?
"I guess I do."
Well, he was about to find it more strange in about 30 seconds.
She had taken to calling him that again--as a compromise of sorts. 'Gil' never did feel as natural to her as it should have. And 'Gris' would ... address potential complications.
"I'm dumping Sidle."
He frowned. What was that all about? She searched his face until she realized he had no idea what she was talking about.
"Sara Grissom? Hello? Has a nice ring to it? Pardon the pun. Oh! See, I guess bad puns come with the new name."
He still looked...flummoxed.
"Do you want me to keep Sidle?" she asked.
He shook his head slowly, then opened his mouth. And closed it again.
Oh, it was one of those moments. The...say something to fill in the uncomfortable silence as Gil organizes his thoughts…moments.
But she wasn't letting him off the hook this time. She'd keep her maiden name if that's what he wanted. But she wanted his honest opinion about it. And would wait for it all night long, if she needed to.
He opened his mouth again. "I've thought of you that way for a very long time, Sara. And I like it. Of course, you won't have the dual S's as a monogram anymore…but…"
"It's a sacrifice I'm happy to make," she said.
And she was.
Sara Grissom was reborn while celebrating her fourth honeymoon.
It was this big, modern money-pit. Or it would be if they didn't get someone else to sublet the damned place.
He should have sold it at a loss. Big deal. Now, if they were going to continue living this rather nomadic, but thoroughly romantic life, they would have to return to work. Well, he would.
He was offered a job first. It was as simple as that. But the damned economy meant a stipend and living expenses for him. Not for her.
And they argued. End of the honeymoon? Maybe. Not because of the arguing. But because they would be physically apart. Because Sara, ever-practical Sara, would not let them waste his stipend on picking up her living expenses when "they had a perfectly good townhouse sitting there, vacant."
"It's in Las Vegas," he pointed out to her.
"I know that."
"You hate Vegas. Couldn't stand living there any longer."
"Yes, well. Maybe it's time I got over that."
"Just like that?"
"No. Not just like that. But...I'd like to try, Gris. I really would. We have friends there. We had a life there. I don't want to live there, permanently. But, for a short while...until we get a bit more settled...I'd like to try."
And so, honeymoon number four ended.
He was in New York, and she was in Las Vegas.
The initial phone call came about a week after he left for his six-week stay in New York City.
And triggered their biggest argument to date.
According to her, she felt better about being in Las Vegas than she thought she would. So much better, that when Ecklie got wind of the fact that "Grissom was back in town," he called the townhouse and found out that she wasn't quite the Grissom he expected to be picking up the phone. And this Grissom didn't give him quite the answer he was expecting to hear when he told her they were short-handed at the lab and wanted "Grissom" to recommend someone.
She recommended herself.
Just to "fill in."
And now Grissom (Gil Grissom, that is) was the one who would be having the panic attacks.
Because Sara alone in Las Vegas had been bad enough. Sara never loved the garish lights. The neon. The gambling. The half-dressed women. The 1001 decadent ways people had for doing almost everything.
But, working as a CSI was worse. It nearly broke her the first time. His strong, confident Sara had nearly been broken. Because of a job.
What if it happened again? What if she ran into someone like the Undersheriff? Or Natalie? Or any number of Las Vegas' finest?
What if all those nights of staring at her while she slept hadn't been enough?
He closed his eyes.
It would be difficult. But she needed this.
They needed this.
And Gil Grissom had to do the hardest thing he ever had to do. Trust. Life and love. Trust.
And when the six weeks were up and he saw her again, he knew he had his Sara back again. For the first time in quite some time. Maybe for the first time, ever.
She was free. And she was his. And, this time, he knew exactly what to do about this gift that life handed him. And with no second thoughts or over-thinking, he walked straight into her arms.
Sara Grissom met him at the airport.
She had so much to tell him. So very, very much.
Work--had been a bit scary at the start. There were moments when she thought...maybe...all those horrid feelings were returning. But, she'd get lost in the minutia of the job. The thousands of fingerprints there were to take. The shots of the crime scenes. Evidence bags and test tubes and lab results...she concentrated on all of these things and on gathering enough evidence to help a handful of families find justice for their loved ones.
And then there were her friends. Her family, really. Greg and his moaning about her name change. Because that's the only change in her he'd acknowledge. Hodges and his moaning about his lost love (not in so many words but his subtext was not hard to decode). Nick and his southern twang and new demeanor. Catherine and her ...surprising...second banana role. Sara liked to think she helped kick-start her right back into her sometimes obnoxious, but always competent leadership role. And the new guy--who was really just a slightly younger, less pale version of Grissom. And one hell of a nice man.
And, of course, Brass and Doc Robbins. The two other 'older' men in her life who...she swore...each had tears in their eyes when they saw her walk in the lab again.
Oh, who was she kidding? Even she was proud of herself. And she wanted to share that victory. So badly.
Sara Sidle was a confident young woman when she first arrived in Las Vegas. She had been called by the man she somehow knew was "it," for her and she was smart and competent and raring to go.
Sara Sidle left Las Vegas defeated, broken.
And left a second time not only the victim of her own circumstance, but having had the very worst thing that could happen to her, happen to her. She lost Grissom for what she thought would be forever.
And she survived. Not the way she dreamed. Not the way she wanted. But she found a way. Sara was still a survivor. No matter what. If she and Grissom hadn't been apart, she would have never known that. And never have had the strength to even attempt this move.
Those scary moments at the lab weren't going to defeat her. She remembered a story Grissom told her when they were in bed one night. About their first time and his using a Pavarotti aria as his victory march straight into her apartment. She giggled to herself. She could so see him doing this.
She just closed her eyes and saw his...deep and blue...felt his curling gray locks caress the tips of her fingers...smelled the aftershave he wore daily now....
So, either by thy picture or my love,
Thyself away art resent still with me
For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move,
And I am still with them and they with thee...
She smiled. Thinking about opera and quoting Shakespeare seemed to come with the Grissom territory, too.
So much to tell him. She sublet the townhouse. A nice deal with a two-year lease. They'd have one month to find somewhere else to live. And a little money, even in this economy, to do more of what they liked to do.
And Sara Grissom left the lab, this time, on her own terms.
It was the best temporary job she had ever had.
But, for now, all that talk would have to wait. Because the minute he saw her, he was giving her "that look" again.
And this time, after throwing herself in his arms and both of them giving the other inhabitants of McCarran a bit too much in the way of public displays of affection...she strongly suspected that this honeymoon would just go on and on....
Because, on their fifth attempt, they finally got it just right.
A/N: Um, let's see. Props to Shakespeare for Sonnet 47. Props to Pavarotti for his kick-ass version of Nessun Dorma. Props to Puccini for writing said aria.
And…man alive! Props to Jorja for coming back to us! She's not even here yet and I'm thinking Grissom and Sara all the time again.
Here's the deal (in my world). I was thrilled with the way it (the GSR storyline) ended. Thrilled. Because, well—given TPTB, there was always that niggling little thought that they'd have Grissom run off with Heather or something. But there was so much more to say, and I'm really hoping they grab onto this opportunity and run with it.
But, in any case, this little ditty (ha!) came to me and I used 90,000 word or less to work it out.
And I haven't abandoned Connections. I will finish it off before the season premiere. I just wanted to take a break from it. (That's why I hate writing series and never should start).
Thanks for reading!