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Author: Summer Reign PM
Gil and Sara, a canoe, bugs...what else can you ask for?
Title: Paradise Found
Author: Summer Reign
Spoilers: Mild one for Unshockable
Disclaimer: I didn't get rich lately so…they still aren't mine.
Many thanks to: Bongo (because she asked for it, and well…I wasn't quite ready to finish writing Connections, anyway) and wobbear for issuing the canoodling challenge. How could I resist?
When Sara landed in Costa Rica, it seemed as good a place as any to begin her new life. Up until that point, her life had been an endless search for stability. One that she thought was successfully completed. Perhaps others might find it unconventional, given the fact that her work life changed every day and could sometimes be just a tad dangerous, but it was good enough for her.
With said stability, she also found her Rock: Gil, Mr. Stability himself, Grissom. At the center of the see-saw of her life (she'd use roller coaster to describe it, but…that metaphor was already taken), he was the balance beam. But, that's not why she fell for him. That was just one of the unanswered whys he was so fond of. No, she fell in love with him way before she knew he was so stable and sensible. After all, when she first met him, he hadn't even discovered the joys of unstructured jackets and baggy pants. Plus, he had gone haring off on a funky little teaching assignment, and had quite the flirtation going with his much younger student. So, no, she didn't even suspect this highly desired trait lurked beneath the much tighter, less practical, chinos and blue button down shirt. It was just a major league bonus. Especially when he eventually (and we do mean eventually) seemed to return her feelings.
They were happy in their cocoon of safety and warmth. Cocoon for three: Sara, Gil and Hank the Dog.
But, it wasn't really meant to be. She discovered it was all an illusion. Because, even though nothing much had changed on the home front, everything had changed. She no longer felt safe. In her current environment, she just wanted to run under the bed and hide. The see-saw went down with a bang and nothing could get it to go up again, or even teeter in the middle. So, after licking her wounds a bit, she decided to go in the opposite direction. No more seeking that which she could not permanently attain. Travel was where it was at. She would go to far off places, research their needs and hope to leave a slice of the world just a tiny bit better for her being there, before moving on to the next place that could use her help. She would now be Sara Sidle: Crusader.
Except that wasn't her destiny either, as it turns out. Because, lo and behold, one day she was taking pictures of monkeys when who should be standing there when she turned around? The Rock himself, as a matter of fact. And his very presence meant that he had left his cocoon for one (or, oversized pumpkin if you prefer your metaphors with an existential flavor).
They could now be unstable together in this wild and exotic piece of earth.
During the time she spent alone in Costa Rica, she constantly thought of how much Gil would like to see certain things. And she was now having one hell of a time showing them to him. He was absolutely as excited as she expected him to be. Those blue eyes would light up like a string of Christmas…no, actually, Christmas would mean he had red or green eyes…like a string of Hanukah lights. Yes, that was more like it.
And, of course, the greatest surprise was, after two days of Sara's Show and Tell, Grissom re-popped the question. This time, a bit more formally, getting down on one knee in the middle of a particularly lovely stretch of rain forest. As she was about to say yes, he was the one who was bitten. The fact that he was Gil Grissom, entomologist and friend to bugs everywhere, did not impress this nasty little spider. All he knew was he was kneeled on by a Rock and that was justification enough to strike.
But…no bug could stop their love. They were married the next morning. And, unbeknownst to Grissom (lest he annul the marriage), Sara did buy a small can of insecticide to put in her knapsack…just in case.
And, now, life was paradise…in paradise.
She was waking up, on the fifth morning of their "honeymoon," (an old fashioned word he insisted on using, and she got a secret thrill hearing), feeling a lovely cool breeze saunter through the open window. After two days of almost unbearable heat, it was a pleasure. She lifted her head off the pillow and looked around. Hank: in the corner, asleep. Check. Breeze: still going. Double check. Husband: right there, with his bare (gorgeous) back to her. Bingo! She lightly ran her fingers across the nape of his neck, across his shoulders and down his spine.
He shivered, startled and was awake within seconds.
She moved closer, enveloping him in a backwards hug and kissing his shoulder blade.
"Mmmmm…morning, Gris, " she said, kissing the back of his neck.
She nearly was thrown backward by his sudden spring forward.
"What?" She asked. "What's the matter?"
"I know. Come back to bed, Gil. It's sooo nice this morning. Cool breeze coming through the window. We can warm each other up. I'm feeling a bit nippy, aren't you?"
"It's Tuesday, Sara. Remember?"
Tuesday. Tuesday….what was on the agenda? Oh, a small boat ride looking for the Blue Morpho butterfly in its native habitat. That would be nice. She had drawn the line on other bug species after he introduced her to the zebra cockroach the other day. She shuddered at the memory.
"We're going butterfly hunting. Okay. We'll do that, but first…" She really had a thing about Grissom in the morning. He was just so…messy. Especially his hair. Curls in every direction. It really turned her on.
"Not hunting. Never hunting. Observing, " he chastised. "Sara, we only have a small window of time when we can see them land over the water. You can't miss this. It's spectacular. Believe me, you have to get dressed. Now."
"Come on. We can do that later. Shake a leg."
Well, that had been part of the plan, but not quite in that context.
She was up and they were out of the room within 10 minutes.
2 hours later.
The heat was beginning to be unbearable again. Sara looked around. The butterflies had landed by the time they got there and rented their canoe. Apparently, they came to the water in a lovely swarm of blue, but once they landed, they closed their wings and the brown coloring blended into the environment. Truthfully, they looked like dead leaves in the water. Which is pretty much what they had been gazing at for the past couple of hours. How romantic. Gil tried to make the most of it by looking for some other exotic bug and was now sulking that it didn't seem to want to come out and play either.
She took the sunblock and slathered some more on her skin. She had a fear of getting sunburned since…well, since her long walk in the desert. She had the mother of all sunburns then. The redness didn't go away for quite some time and a dermatologist actually removed some patches of skin he thought might be a problem in later years. And that had hurt. So, she was careful now. She sighed. Might as well pull out the ugly Mrs. Grissom hat, too. One of her gifts from the Mister. How he managed to find not only a straw hat that matched his own, but one that looked about 100 years old, was beyond her. Still, it did block her face from the powerful rays. Come to think of it, it blocked a good deal of the rest of her body, as well.
She sat back a bit in the canoe. These things were not built for comfort.
"Here, buggy-buggy," she said, more to herself than anyone else. She just wanted the damned thing to show up so Gil could look at it, play with it, serve it over eggs or whatever he was planning to do, and they could get back to the hotel. The breeze would be gone, but she'd close the windows and turn on the air conditioning, and pretend she was in some part of the world that was more citified and less paradise-laden.
Who knew Paradise came with so many bugs, freakish critters and heat?
And she loved them all. Really, she did. And loved the guy who loved them even more. But, she just was disgruntled that Gil was in Mr. Intense mood when she just wanted him…not to be.
"What did you say?" He asked. She looked at him. He was watching her intently.
"Did you actually say, 'here, buggy-buggy?"
Uh-oh. She didn't know she had said it out loud. Well, shit. She was busted. She probably blasphemed in the bug world or something.
"I guess I did."
He put down his binoculars.
"I guess this is boring to you," he said.
"Well, it's been a while and … I'm just hot."
"It's okay if it's boring. You can admit it. You can tell me anything, you know."
"It's…not exciting. But, I'm sure whatever that thing is that you were looking for will show up."
"Wishful thinking, I'm afraid. I'm pretty sure Diphthera festivais more likely to be found closer to San Jose."
"Ah. So, are we waiting for the Morphos to take flight again?"
"We can do that. They'll probably take off by late afternoon."
Shit. Stuck here for another few hours. At her own suggestion.
"Or," he said, putting both hands on her seat, on either side of her hips, with 'that look' that only she knew (she hoped) firmly on his face, "we could finish what you started this morning."
"As I recall," she said, feeling the canoe lurch a bit at this sudden change of weight toward the back, "I didn't start much of anything. I was rebuffed."
"Temporarily rebuffed," he said, bending his head and kissing her neck. Nice. The canoe moved a little to the left. "I've been watching you for the last few minutes. You were so intent on putting that lotion all over yourself that you didn't even know, did you?"
"No," she said, "You must be bored."
"Hardly. You never bore me, Sara. And, in spite of appearances, I'd choose you over a bug any day. I just wanted you to see this. I know you're willing to share anything with me. And that's exciting but I know you can't love every roach or beetle I'm interested in. So, I wanted you to see something incredibly beautiful. I wanted to share that with you because…well, you know."
She smiled and ruffled his hair. He had a habit of leading up to something incredibly mushy but unless he could bury his head in a book or computer when he was saying it (or unless it was dark in the room), he had a habit of not following-through. But, that was okay. She did "know."
He smiled back and unbuttoned the top button of her blouse and went to work on kissing her neck again.
"Gil, this thing is not built for…canoodling," she said as he shifted more of his weight so he was now hovering over her seat, squeezing the majority of his body between her legs.
"Um, I think that's exactly what it's built for…canoe-dah-ling."
She couldn't help herself. He swiped his tongue against her collarbone (always a ticklish area) and she thought of his dorky pun and Sara started to laugh. Hard.
Gil joined her.
And before they registered exactly what was happening the canoe did…a sort of triple lutz… and they were in the water, canoe nicely floating next to their flailing, sputtering selves.
"Sara!" Gil shouted, even though he was right next to her.
"I'm fine, I'm fine," she said, treading water.
"No…look!" and she looked where he pointed. Hundreds of blue morpho butterflies took off all at once. No dead brown leaves but beautiful iridescent blue lighting up the hot morning sky.
The fact that they were running for their lives from two drowned rat Americans didn't mar the beauty of the moment.
Later, they washed up and resumed their morning's activities. For a long, long, satisfyingly long time. Nothing was more of an aphrodisiac to her new husband than witnessing a buggy miracle.
Gil was sated and sleeping like a baby. And Sara got up to clean up a bit and take Hank out for a walk. She went into the bathroom and stretched like a well-fed cat. Their wet clothes were on the floor. She lifted them up, planning to put them in the hotel's laundry bag when she spotted an ant the size of Texas, using their clothes as an obstacle course.
Bugs were okay. But…she was kind of sick of them. Some stung. Some were ugly. Some were downright scary looking. And Gil liked to hold all of them. And liked for her to hold them, too. And, of course she did. She loved him. And trusted him. And wasn't about to let him know that they grossed her out completely.
She took another quick shower. And slipped into his favorite robe of hers, the light pink one with the exotic flowers on it. He loved that one.
Added a spritz of his favorite perfume, for good measure.
She climbed back into bed, reached across his bare back and clasped her hands in front of him, burying her lips in the crook of his neck. She kissed him warmly until she felt him stir from sleep. And, like a good Phoneutria fera, she went in for the strike…
"Gil…" she whispered in his ear, "How do you feel about Paris?"
A/N: This bit of fluff was awfully fun to write, even though I made a big boo-boo and didn't save a much funnier version correctly and lost the whole damned thing.
Did you know, that a canoe ride down some river in France is listed on some website as one of the Top 10 canoe trips you can take (don't expect details—I had to do enough research on ugly bugs, so I'm not in the mood to look up travel stuff anymore than I already have). At any rate, I'm sharing that bit of info with you since…well, it's a given that they didn't stop taking canoe trips. And, hopefully, they learned the fine art of balancing while…pollinating.
Might as well carry the overabundance of metaphorical junk through to the end!