Title: Getting Over Grissom Author: Summer Reign Rating: T Spoilers: Set early-season 4 Disclaimer: Not mine. Never was. Never will be.
Summary: A conversation in the breakroom leads Sara to believe that getting over Grissom might not be quite as easy as she hoped it would be. This is what used to be called UST. Now, it's just called "frustrating."
Prompt: You had me at hello (Jerry McGuire)
There was good reason people didn't enter a theater after the movie started. Even if you were able to catch on fairly quickly, the very attempt left you off-kilter throughout.
Sara often thought the same logic should apply to the break-room. Entering when others were in mid-conversation was fraught with frustration. No one was about to press an imaginary pause button to allow her to catch up on what she missed while they were lunching and she was off, overachieving.
But, in spite of her beliefs, she entered the room on this fine, pre-dawn day only to hear…
"You complete me," uttered by Catherine Willows in her finest, bedroom-esque voice. That alone would have been a bit odd and unsettling, but she followed that sentence up by uncharacteristically squealing like a teenager.
There were two other occupants in the room: Greg Sanders and, Dapper Dan himself, Gil Grissom. Gil, I- never-take-a-vacation-but-I've-been-missing-for-three-weeks-with-no-warning-or-explanation, Grissom. Gil, clean-shaven-rather-fuddy-duddy-ish, Grissom who turned up looking…not clean shaven or fuddy duddyish but…well, she didn't know exactly who he resembled but that person was rather hot and definitely…dangerous…for lack of a better description.
At the moment of the squeal, Grissom rolled his eyes and Greg looked at Catherine in shock.
"Tom Cruise? Really? He's the guy who floats your boat? That's not who I pictured at all."
"Yes, really. I mean, what woman wouldn't love to hear words like that? And I know I'm going to regret asking, but just who did you think I was going to choose, Greg?"
"Someone earthier like, I don't know, an action dude. Steven Seagal, maybe. Arnold…"
"Please," Catherine said, with an eye roll of her own.
"Long Dong Silver…" Greg said with a smirk.
"Hey, Sara," Greg said, after spotting her standing in the doorway. "Catherine's favorite actor is Tom Cruise, can you believe it?"
Sara walked in and went to the mini-fridge, pulling out a Coke. "Sure, what's not to believe?"
"See. Tom's appeal is universal," Catherine stated, smugly.
"I didn't say that. I just said, I could understand your liking him," Sara said.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Why did that woman always sound defensive?
"It just means that, as women, we often can't explain our attraction to certain men. It just…is what it is and doesn't have to make sense to anyone else."
"You had me at hello," Grissom suddenly blurted out.
"What?" Sara said, trying hard not to react.
"The next major line in the movie. I was trying to recall…"
"What movie?" Sara asked.
"Jerry McGuire? The one that Catherine was quoting from?"
"Never saw it," Sara said.
"You didn't?" Greg asked, his voice expressing as much shock as if she had just revealed she had never been potty trained.
"No," Sara calmly stated. "I don't see a lot of movies."
"Funny. That's not the impression I was under," Grissom said, partially under his breath. She shot him a look but he was already ...not looking at her.
What was his problem? The whole Hank fiasco was so last year. Unless Grissom was under some false impression that she asked him out while still seeing boyfriend #1.
Ah, who cared, anyway? She needed to face facts and get over him. They were never going to happen. Grissom probably had some girlfriend who was taking him on spontaneous 3-week vacations and convincing him to grow some scruff. Grow some scruff. She should have known that any random comment she made would karmically bite her in the ass one day.
"You know, that's weird, Grissom," Greg said, opening a container of pudding after having polished off a very substantial sandwich, earning dirty looks from both women in the room. "I kind of pictured you as an old black-and-white film buff. Not someone who gets behind chick flicks masking as sports films."
"It was Catherine's choice," he said, and Sara's eyes shot to his. He stared straight at her, his normally enigmatic face even more enigmatic with the beard. Maybe she didn't like it as much as she thought she did.
"Hold on! You went with Catherine?" Greg said, and Sara could practically see him pulling a Paul Revere down the hallways of the crime lab.
"He saw it at my house. On video. It was payback for some crappy thing we saw together…a crappy movie of HIS choosing, I might add."
Okay. So maybe this whole getting over Grissom thing was not as simple as she thought. And not feeling that stab of jealousy was even less simple. She always knew Grissom and Catherine were friends. Friends saw movies together. At theaters, in each other's houses…
But, the thing was…Grissom was not exactly the BFF type. She didn't see him kicking back with a vat of popcorn and his hole-y socks on the coffee table.
But, Catherine could be persuasive.
"Earth to Sara, earth to Sara…"
"What?" she snapped out of her own thoughts to hear Greg needling her, as usual.
"While you were off in la-la land, I asked you who your favorite actor is?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know?" There was that potty-training expression again. "Ooooh-kay. Let's start with an easier question, then. What's your favorite movie?"
Favorite movie? If she didn't answer, Grissom would think she never went to a movie in her life, thus negating her initial reason for seeing Hank. Not to mention making her look as pathetic as she, apparently, was.
So, what was her favorite movie?
"Bringing up Baby," she heard herself answering.
"Huh. I don't really see you as the maternal type, Sara," Greg stated.
"First, you have no idea what 'type' I am, Greggo. And second, the baby in the title refers to a leopard. It's an old movie with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. It was funny. Kind of romantic. I just…it cheered me up at times when I kind of needed a good laugh. So, yeah. That's the one."
She felt him staring at her and, when she looked this time, she saw a tiny smile light up his face. Ah, there was the real Grissom, hiding behind the facial foliage. It felt as if it had been a very long time since his last appearance.
"Cary Grant played a rather staid scientist, as I recall," he said.
"Totally devoted to his bones," Sara said, nodding her head.
"Geez. And I thought Catherine was the one into porn."
"Greg! Bones—with an 'S,' not an 'R.' Dinosaur bones. He was a paleontologist."
"Ah, like the dude on Friends."
Why did she bother? Greg was almost abnormally intelligent, but his immaturity sometimes reached staggering proportions.
It was Sara's turn to roll her eyes. And leave. Because, really, the conversation was silly, bordering on the surreal.
"I've got to get back to my reports. See you later," she said, and made for the exit.
She never did find out what Grissom's favorite movie was.
Not that she cared.
She sat in one of the outer offices, typing away on the computer for what seemed like hours. And then he came in and sat down in a chair across from her.
And didn't say a word.
She kept typing until she found herself staring at three lines of gobbledygook—the result of her right hand being on the wrong keys since he entered the room.
"Do you need me for something, Grissom?" She stopped typing and looked at him. He had already been looking at her and let his eyes remain where they were…for a few seconds.
Okay. It was going to be one of those conversations.
"You know what the trouble with movies is?" he asked her.
Okay, this was weird, but she would play along. "What?"
"They tell only part of the story. I guess that's their allure, as well. They generally end when happily ever after appears to be a given. And the reality is, if the cameras kept rolling, maybe we'd find out that 90 of the time, it isn't."
"Is this an actual statistic, or something your cynical side dreamed up?"
He smiled slightly. "I suppose the latter."
"Then why do you keep going? To the movies, I mean."
"To see the ideal, I suppose."
"Even though the heroes are already doomed, in your opinion?"
"Well, they are in light of the relationships I've witnessed. Even in light of my own experiences. And …I think, maybe in yours," he said, and then stopped, thought for a second, took a deep breath and continued "You…didn't get your happy ending with that paramedic, even though—to all outward appearances… things seemed to be headed in that direction."
She looked at him. And the damned man was looking straight at her this time. She couldn't read his expression at all, but it didn't really matter. He had managed to piss her off, however innocent his intentions may (or may not) have been.
"First of all," she said, feeling a sense of déjà vu from her previous conversation with Greg, "You never saw us together so I'm not sure what you're basing your conclusions on. Second, I told you we went to movies together, and that's all it was at the start. That's all I wanted. To have someone to talk to. To see a few more than the zero movies I was averaging, per year. It was a stupid decision based on extreme loneliness, but I not only did not learn my lesson about 'settling' but I compounded the mistake by getting more involved—thinking that the empty feeling that continued after I started seeing him would go away if we were…closer.
But I never expected a happily ever after—not with him. Maybe not with anyone, for that matter. At the time, I just wanted to feel less alone. I know better now. Being alone is better than settling for the wrong person. But, that would make for one hell of a boring movie and…besides, this conversation is…very ...lame."
"I suppose it is," he said, and she expected him to drop the subject and leave the room. He, apparently, had other thoughts. "Although, I sometimes wish my life was more like a movie. If it were, my words would match what I feel. Compliments of a screenwriter, of course. I'd like that."
Sara laughed a little. "Wouldn't we all?"
"I don't know. You're pretty good at saying what you mean."
"That's because losing my heart doesn't scare me. Neither does being honest about it."
"What does scare you?"
"The thought that, at the end of it all, I may look back and consider my life a waste."
Grissom frowned, "Your life could never be a waste."
Sara shrugged again. "Okay then. My love would be wasted."
Grissom looked down and, once again, she expected him to bolt at any moment.
But, he didn't. And she was a little worried about that. Why in the world wasn't he leaving?
"I, uh, might have tried—back there, in the break-room, to give you the impression that Catherine and I were spending a lot more time together, outside of work, than we actually have."
He opened his mouth, closed it and then opened it again. "I suppose to make you feel some of what I felt when I heard about the paramedic."
Sara smiled at the distinct aversion Grissom seemed to have for Hank's name.
"You felt jealous?" she asked.
"I did," he stated, simply.
"Why? I told you we were just friends and, at the time, that's all we were."
She saw him wince. Enigmatic, Dapper Dan himself, winced.
"Didn't you believe me?" she asked.
"I believed you. But, you were…my friend…first."
"Was I? The longer I've been in Vegas, the less I've seen of you, outside of work. It's like you can't be my boss and my friend at the same time, although you have no problems in that area with some of the others. And, even after I realized my mistake with Hank, and actively tried to get you back into my life, you made it pretty clear that you didn't want that."
Now, now, he was going to bolt.
And, again, he surprised her. He didn't answer her question but threw out a whopper of his own.
"That 'you complete me,' line that Catherine likes so much…is that what you're waiting to hear someday?"
"Unlike the movies, I'm not waiting for some scripted line. I'm not waiting for anything, Grissom," and she realized, with a rather heavy heart, that it was true.
"Okay. What do you want, though?" Sara looked at him. He was looking back at her, expression unreadable, but eyes intense and curious. She started speaking almost in spite of herself.
"I want someone who will tell me that he wants to …God, this is lame."
"You said that already. Tell me."
"That he wants to know…my heart. And he wants me to know his. That's all," she said, knowing that was true, too, and way too much to ever expect from the man sitting across from her.
"See, I told you you were better at this than I am," he said.
Bugs Bunny was better at 'this' than Grissom was. But, she wasn't about to tell him that.
Finally, he stood up to leave.
"If I run across 'Bringing Up Baby' on the big screen somewhere, I'll let you know."
This time, she opened her mouth and then closed it again. Quickly.
He almost had her. Almost sucked her into his game. But, she knew better. 'Bringing Up Baby' was not a movie that EVER played in the nostalgia houses. It was rerun on tv too often to make it seem special. Grissom knew this. He had to know this. And she was this close to issuing him an invitation to come over and watch it on video at her apartment, when she realized he never actually said he was planning to go with her, even if he did find it playing somewhere. In all probability, she would go by herself, and find Grissom sitting in the front row… with Catherine or the Vacation/Scruff-Inducing Mystery Woman.
Yup. He almost had her.
"That would be nice, Grissom. I'd like to see it in a movie theater someday," she said, noncommittally.
"Okay," he said, taking the time to look at her for a very long moment. Then he smiled, gave her a wink, and left the room.
She stared at the door and a slow smile spread over her face. It took her a few minutes to realize that she had not moved. Just kept looking at the door, thinking of what it must be like to go to the movies with Gil Grissom.