In real life, she almost always liked to be on top. She didn't like the feeling of being trapped under another person's body. Being at their mercy, really. She liked being in the figurative driver's seat. She controlled how fast they went—and they did go fast. How hard. She tried to view it all as a rather enjoyable form of exercise, but she still wanted it over rather quickly. She felt too…vulnerable. All that nudity meant risk. Bare one's body long enough and maybe a bit of the soul would peek through.
In her one and only sex dream with Grissom as her co-star (well, the only one her mind would let her recall, anyway), he was on top. And she was happily under him. And she didn't see the nudity. Not hers, not his. Mostly, she saw a large cream colored room with French doors that were wide open. Billowing curtains surrounding the bed. And everything around them soft. So soft. Except for him. He was big and muscular. Firm and solid. And she welcomed him on top of her. Inside of her. Moving so slowly. Controlling the pace. Controlling everything. She could feel his warmth. Feel him filling her and completing her. See the sheen of sweat on his neck, and the blue of his eyes as they never left hers, not even for the microsecond it would take to blink.
It was all so real.
Until the phone rang.
She didn't answer. Just closed her eyes tightly and tried to get it back.
And she lay her head against the pillow and wept. Not only for the lost dream, but for the lost cause.
There would be no lovemaking in real life.
The man didn't even want to have dinner with her. She knew. She had asked.
Later, Sara would wonder why she'd dream of such a random, silly event.
They were standing in his office, talking about a case. She suddenly sat down, reached out her hand, and unzipped his pants. Reached in…pushed aside the fabric of his boxers and encountered…not much to speak of. Or hold onto. She tried to pleasure him with her hands but there was really…nothing to work with.
Really, it should have been funny.
But, it wasn't.
It was downright pathetic.
Because the Sara in the dream, and the Sara in real life…
This time, she was walking past Grissom's office when she heard the noises. Loud cracks, followed by muffled shouts.
She looked around. Had someone…related to a case…gone past security? Was Grissom being held hostage?
She put her hand on her gun for the first time in a long time. And then she went to the door. Carefully, quietly, she cracked it open a bit.
And found Grissom, fully-clothed, bent over his desk. On the other side, Sofia was holding onto his hands, keeping him as still as possible. Behind Grissom, holding the largest whip she had ever seen was a dark-haired woman in a leather corset and fishnet stockings. She had never met her, but knew this must be the notorious Lady Heather.
She was bringing the whip down on Grissom's upraised, baggy-pants-covered buttocks time and time again. Grissom was panting for air, and Sara was about to tell everyone to stop when he finally turned his head and spoke.
She thought of her ridiculous dream and her reaction to it, on and off, all day.
She supposed she was finally over him. Yes, she still loved him. That wasn't ever going to change. And, yes, she still wanted a relationship with him—on some level. But not on the level that her subconscious was probably issuing warnings about. According to the lab's grapevine (a surprisingly reliable source—they had their ways of finding things out), Lady Heather was a thing of the past. But the significance of the pairing of Lady Heather and Sofia in her dream did not slip by her. She always had the feeling that when it came to relationships and men, "anything goes" would be a personal motto for Sofia. And Grissom probably enjoyed that in a woman.
Sara would give him a lot, but not…what these women could offer him. She just wasn't into the kinky stuff. And pain—well, she knew too much about it to ever find it sexy. More power to him if he could. Less power? She didn't understand that world and had no desire to.
She had just started walking down the stairs from the landing above the lab's floor, when she spotted Sofia walking out of Grissom's office. And he was following. Just a normal, everyday occurrence, really, since Sofia had joined their team, but—because of the damned dream—Sara's concentration was broken. For just a split second. One stupid, split-second before she found her foot sliding on one of the treads of the stairs and the rest of her body about to fall backwards. In a move that would impress Olympic platform divers world-wide, she somehow managed to change directions mid-fall, and flung herself forward, in an effort to avoid hitting her head. Of course, what followed was a lot of tumbling and grasping at air, until she finally hung onto a baluster and—with a wrench of her back, finally stopped falling. Her legs hit the landing while her upper body covered the two stairs above it.
She rested her forehead against the stair for a moment, trying to calmly access the situation. She didn't think she broke anything, but her fingers hurt and her upper back and shoulders were killing her.
Oh. She had forgotten about the pride and dignity factor. She took a small breath and turned her head a bit only to find Grissom staring at her with alarm in his eyes.
"Are you okay?" he asked, putting his hand on her back. She winced. No, she was not okay but, at the moment, she didn't trust herself to speak without sobbing in pain. She wasn't about to do that in front of Grissom, Sofia, Hodges, Greg and about ten other assorted lab workers who had run out when they heard her clattering down the stairs.
But was relatively minor a few minutes later. Grissom had called the paramedics and, of course, Las Vegas' finest came a-callin' and before she knew it, her old buddy Hank was loading her on a stretcher and hauling her to the ambulance.
The expression 'kill me now' entered her mind but she was pretty sure she was already dead and circling hell at that very moment.
"How many fingers am I holding up, Sara?" he asked, and she saw the gold band shining a mile away. Not that she cared. More power to him, too. The jerk.
"Three," she said, wishing she could hold up a finger to him in response.
"And what day is it?"
"I didn't hit my head," she said, as patiently as possible. "It's my back."
"Sara…you could have a concussion and not even know it."
She closed her eyes tightly and ignored him.
She felt a hand touch her own. That wasn't Hank. No…
She opened her eyes.
When did he get on board?
"Sara. You should probably do what he says. You never know about head injuries."
"I don't have a head injury. My back…" she closed her eyes tighter this time. It really hurt to get agitated. It didn't hurt to feel his hand grip hers, tightly. Was two times in one year a habit? Because, if so, she kind of liked it. Even if the surrounding circumstances sucked.
"Sara? Who is the president of the United States?" There was that irritating Hank voice again.
"Tell him to shut up, please."
"Sara…The President?" Grissom (the traitor) prompted.
"Woodrow Wilson," she said, closing her eyes yet again and hoping to slip into a peaceful coma for a while.
"What are you doing?" Grissom asked, emerging from her bathroom carrying a big red hot water bottle with a nicely rounded 'tummy.'
Sara finished her water and gingerly lay back against the pillows of her bed. "Nothing."
"What did you just swallow?"
There was that look again. In the last few hours, he had given her that look a half dozen times, at least.
There was that look when she asked for any paramedic other than Hank to drag her gurney into the hospital. There was that look when she told them she hadn't hit her head. When she refused her CAT scan (she eventually had it, as well as several x-rays). When she told the hospital personnel that there was no way in hell that she was spending the night there. When she told Grissom she just needed a ride home, not a babysitter and—finally—when she made the teeny-tiny suggestion that she might be well enough to work the following evening.
It was just a sprained back, really.
"Sara, you have a potential head injury."
"You were right there, Grissom. There was absolutely nothing in my CAT scan that indicated a concussion."
"Not everything shows up immediately."
"So, you're saying…the evidence is lying?"
"I'm saying I'm going to wake you up—briefly—every hour and you definitely should not have taken anything that could potentially interfere with an easy return to consciousness. You should know better than that."
"I believe the evidence. Plus, I know I didn't hit my head."
He gently grasped both shoulders and lifted her from the support of the pillows. She bit her lip and tried not to hiss in pain. Grissom didn't understand. A sprained upper back hurt. Really hurt. And she was no baby in the pain department. She needed that medicine. He slid the hot water bottle between her and the pillow and laid her back against it. She stayed that way for a moment, letting the heat soak between her shoulder blades. It felt very good, she had to admit. Maybe he did understand. Just a little.
"Better?" he asked, and she opened her eyes and nodded. "Good. I'll be in the other room and will see you in an hour."
"Grissom. I told you, this is completely unnecessary. I didn't hit my head. I threw myself down the stairs, face-first, in an effort not to hit my head against those cold metal stairs."
"You shouldn't have taken the pill," he grumbled, half to himself.
"I'm sorry," she said, not really sorry at all. "I'm not into pain."
He stared at her for a full moment, before letting his lips twist into a smirk. "There are all kinds of pain, Sara."
Okay. That was…odd and probably not meant to be nice, judging by the immediate clenching of the muscles of her stomach and the look of sheer horror on his face about ten seconds after the words left his mouth. But she didn't want to over-analyze anything at the moment. She did, however, know that she wanted him gone
"Go home, Grissom. You've tucked me in, and warned me about the dangers of concussions. Your work here is done. The front door locks automatically when you close it."
"I'll…see you in an hour," he said, and left her bedroom, after turning off the overhead light.
For a moment, Sara luxuriated in the warmth against her back and the fuzziness descending over her mind.
And then it dawned on her. The reason for her clenching and his horror. He thought she was into pain. Emotional pain. The pain that came from loving someone who didn't love you back and never giving up even when the other person did nothing to encourage you, and everything to discourage you.
Yeah. As far as things to say, that was definitely…not nice.
After two more hourly "are you still alive" visits from Grissom, Sara finally beat him to the punch. She was up and about to swallow another pill just as he was coming into the room.
"Hey! Don't do that."
"I have to, Grissom. It's really painful."
"Okay. All right. You can take the pill but can you wait for a few minutes?"
Sara narrowed her eyes. He wasn't thinking of taking those pills away and hiding them for 24-hours, was he? She tucked the pill bottle under her pillow, just in case. He smiled in response and sat on the edge of her bed next to her left hip.
"You okay?" he asked.
"Well, except for the pain I keep mentioning, I'm just fine."
"I meant, with me sitting here. Am I hurting you?"
"Good," he sat and looked around the room. She wanted to remind him that she only agreed to delay her pill popping for a few minutes, not hours, but he began to speak. "Uh, when you said that thing about pain, earlier? I had a rather knee-jerk, entirely inappropriate reaction to it. I thought, well, I know—there have been rumors about…I thought maybe you were judging me based on what you heard and … And I didn't stop to think that …my response was insensitive and I apologize."
Well, she was right. Sort of. But at least he was sensitive to being insensitive about her being in love with him and it all being futile. He got brownie points for that, at least. But, what was she supposed to say to all of this? Hey, I heard and…way to go?
"I…heard the rumors," she said, slowly, buying herself some time. "And, well…whatever you do in your private life is your choice, of course. I'm…my life has been sort of screwed up so who am I to judge anyone else?"
"So, what were you referring to when you said you weren't 'into pain?'"
"Grissom," she exhaled a bit and wondered if his elevator really went all the way to the top, sometimes. "You must have told me I had a concussion about 10 times this evening. I've told you I sprained my back. The doctor told you I sprained my back. It hurts. I have little tiny pills that make me not hurt so much for a while. That's what I was referring to."
He let out a short, unamused laugh. "Oh, it was literally about your current situation."
"Yes." If she felt better, she'd be jumping up and down on the mattress in celebration of his Eureka! moment. But, now, she knew she had one more task. To make sure she understood what he had been saying without aid of her own interpretation. She needed to do that. For the sake of her future sanity. "And what kind of pain were you referring to…earlier?"
"Emotional," he said.
Okay. He was easier to read than she thought. And he had meant to hurt her.
"You know," Sara said, no longer feeling like she had anything left to lose, "I think I may have grown a bit as a person in the past few years. Developed more of a sense of myself. When I first came to Vegas, I think…think…that I might have done just about anything you asked of me. And that doesn't exactly make me happy. Of course, that doesn't mean that you were ever interested in asking me anything or that you're interested now. I'm just having a kind of theoretical discussion here. But, theoretically speaking, if you had wanted something out of the realm of what I felt comfortable giving, I probably would have given it anyway. And that scares me. Because what may start out as one thing can escalate into another.
And, well, you know how things were. I told you. And you asked me, then, what made me so angry all the time. Well, fear and anger are sometimes connected. The walls were thin in my house. And my parents were loud. All the time. When they were fighting and…when they were not. And it scares the hell out of me—thinking that violence may have been a turn-on for either one of them. And knowing that it was, at times. And it scared me—and made me angry—to think if I wasn't out slaying the dragons, I might be one step away from being just like them."
There was a look on his face that was, perhaps, worse than any expression she'd ever seen before. Way to kill a non-relationship, Sidle. Oh, well. She could always leave town. Maybe this was just the push she needed. Or, maybe she was into emotional torture, in lieu of the physical.
"Hey, I'm sorry. It's probably the drugs. I mean, this is a non-issue. I'm not telling you to not indulge in whatever floats your boat. It's just my own thoughts on the matter for myself, which you don't need to know about anyway. Forget I…" Oh, there was the over-talking thing again.
"I'm not 'into' physical pain, for the record. That was not part of my involvement with…Heather Kessler."
"Oh. Well, okay. Then, never mind."
"I don't even think it's possible, now, to apologize for what I said earlier. I…"
"Aw, don't do that, Grissom. We're just having a conversation. I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I just kind of wanted to explain why I would prefer a rather sedate, stable lifestyle, that's all."
The laugh she heard this time was definitely more amused. She looked at him and his eyes were twinkling.
"Stable? Sedate? Sara—you are the modern equivalent of Super Woman. You go out there, throw your heart and soul into everything you do and don't think twice about consequences to yourself."
"Super Woman? Hardly. I proved that 'unable to descend tall stairwells with a single bound' thing today, didn't I?"
He frowned. "I have a confession of my own."
"Well, feel free to tell me anything. I probably won't remember it after my second dose of painkillers, anyway."
"Good to know. I…the reason I've been so worried is because you were…so still…when you stopped falling. I was sure you were unconscious or…"
"Well, that must have been kind of scary. It would be an ironic way to go, wouldn't it?"
He nodded again with a very sad look on his face.
"I was just lying still, trying to figure out if I broke my neck, actually. But I could feel my fingers and toes and then started to move a bit. I guess I'm lucky to feel the pain, huh?"
"Yeah," he said and they both looked at his hand where it was resting against her blanket-covered thigh. He smiled slightly, and she returned the gesture. He patted her leg. "I'll get you some water for that pill now."
"Thanks. Would you warm up the hot water bottle for me?"
"Of course," he went over and lifted her away from the pillow, and slid the hot water bottle out. She realized she probably should have asked for him to do that after her dose of medication.
She bit her lower lip and closed her eyes tightly, until she felt his hand lightly cup her shoulder and his lips meet her forehead. His kiss was warm, full, and moist and his beard was just slightly scratchy. She opened her eyes in surprise.
"A kiss to make things better?" he said, completely unsure of himself.
She smiled. Oh, yeah. It made things a lot better.
She was running down a beach. She was cold and alone and she just wanted to stop. Just wanted a normal, stable, safe life.
And she ran faster. And faster. The wind filling her lungs until they felt as if they would burst from the pain.
Her foot encountered something. Not a pebble, not a rock, but a hole. Some child had dug a hole to bury herself in, and the damn thing hadn't re-filled up all the way. Sara was falling fast. She didn't have time to decide how to do the least amount of damage to herself. She just pretty much fell on her face.
She lay with her nose in the sand for a moment until she sensed his presence. She looked up and there he was, reaching out a hand to her.
She grasped it and he yanked her up quickly.
"Thank you, Gil," she said, and before he could say a word, she had her hands in his hair and her lips pressing against his. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her as close to him as they could possibly get.
She opened her eyes slowly. Gil was up on one elbow, staring at her.
"What?" she asked, still half-asleep.
"You were smiling in your sleep," he said.
She smiled again and stretched her back a bit. "I had this dream…"
A/N: Sometimes, there are bits of dialogue in an episode that are kind of left hanging. And I felt that way about the "Why are you always so angry?" question in Nesting Dolls, and the "someone who doesn't judge me" answer to Greg's question about what gets Grissom's juices flowing in Big Middle.
So, I came up with this scenario and now I am happy;-) Fan fic provides a lovely service to my mental health.