15 – In the Eye of the Beholder

Both Grissom and Sara learn that what may seem so obvious to them is often the last thing the other notices about themselves.

Post episode 613, “Kiss-Kiss, Bye-Bye,” circa January 2006.

*******

Waiting for the coroner to show up to release the body was often a trying and tedious task, especially when it involved waiting in the absolute middle of nowhere and it was literally freezing out.

It seemed that no one ever thought of Vegas as ever being bone-numbing cold, but far outside of the glare of the city, at just after two in the morning at the end of January, it was.

The two responding officers had hurriedly retreated the quarter mile back to the warmth of their squad car once the two CSI’s arrived on the scene. But there was only a limited amount of things either Sara or Grissom could really do before the on-call coroner arrived and from all the radio chatter on the way to the scene, it sounded like it might be some time before David got there.

It didn’t take long for the two of them to exhaust the usual minutia of processing the scene. Overall and locator photographs had been taken, sketches completed, soil samples gathered, shoe impressions molded. All that remained was the body, and that was going to take a while.

It was going to be a long night.

At least it wasn’t raining and the wind was at minimum. The mangled body made the darkness slightly haunting enough as it was, as there was no moon and no civilization for miles and while visibility was fairly good, the stars seemed to shy away from shedding any light on the scene.

So Grissom and Sara sat huddled on their cases, both of their gloved hands buried in their respective coat pockets.

Grissom seemed to be considering something for while.

“Grey hair can be very attractive?” he inquired, attempting to look and sound cool and calm and indifferently nonchalant.

Sara laughed. “Jealous much, Gris?” she questioned in turn. “I wasn’t talking about Hodges,” she added with a bemused grin.

His “Oh?” wasn’t quite convincingly blasé.

“Why do you look so surprised?” she asked. “You are surprised,” she said, realizing just how true that assertion was. “You honestly don’t think of yourself as physically attractive, do you?”

Grissom shrugged. “No, not really.”

Shaking her head in exasperation, she sighed, “You know for a brilliant man, you can be monumentally clueless about some things.”

And he looked it at the moment.

So she tried to explain it to him in a way she thought he might understand, “I mean I’ve heard you talk about insect attraction plenty of times and even apply those principles to people, but you’ve never thought to apply any of that to yourself?”

He frowned. “Obviously not.”

“Is it such a terrible thing to be thought of as attractive?”

“I suppose I would rather be appreciated for other things,” he answered.

“Like for that irradiated fetal pig that you keep in a jar?” Sara teased.

“Why does everybody act as if that is so strange?”

“Because, it is strange, Grissom,” she replied. At the slightly hurt and perplexed expression he was giving her, she smiled fondly at him and said, “But I like strange. And I like you.” He seemed to brighten a little at this. “And,” she continued, her grin growing as she did so, “you are just going to have to accept the fact that while I am attracted to your strangeness and your intellect and your sometimes equally odd sense of humor, I am also attracted to your appearance.” She fixed him with a serious gaze and said, “You, Gil Grissom, must just accept the fact that you are an attractive man.” Her features softened and her voice turned almost breathy when she added, “A very attractive man.”

He raised an eyebrow at this, but seemed to think it was fruitless to argue or protest. Instead he said, “And you?”

It was Sara’s turn to be bewildered. “And me what?” she asked.

“What about you?”

She laughed a little nervously this time. “What about me what? I know I am not an attractive man.”

“Yes, well thankfully not,” he chuckled. “But don’t tell me that no one has ever told you you were beautiful, Sara.”

She promptly shook her head and smiled a little sadly. “Catherine once asked me if my father had ever told me I was pretty,” she said.

“And?” he prompted when an answer was not forthcoming.

“Perhaps he did,” she answered vaguely. “Although I don’t remember him ever doing so. When I was growing up, I was all limbs and stringy hair and there wasn’t money to fix the gap in my teeth. Boys weren’t all that interested.”

“Guys aren’t always the smartest of beings at that age,” Grissom offered.

Sara merely shrugged just as he had earlier. “But smart I could do,” she said after a while. “So I just figured it was better to be considered smart instead of beautiful.”

“And it’s not possible for a woman to be both?”

“Not really,” she answered sadly. “Look at Catherine. She is smart as hell, but what do the men see when they look at her — just another beautiful woman.”

“Yes, but the difference is Catherine knows better,” he countered. “And how to use that to her advantage.”

“Well never underestimate an intelligent woman.”

“I try to never not to,” he said with an almost waggish wink, causing her to smile. However, his face turned oddly pensive when he next said to her, “You are beautiful.”

The unadorned simplicity of this statement rendered Sara speechless for a moment.

“Now who’s surprised?” he asked with a grin. “Maybe I don’t tell you enough,” he said. “But I know you are beautiful, Sara.”

She colored slightly, “Grissom –”

It was his turn to be amusedly vexed. “What? You can think I’m attractive, but I can’t think you are beautiful?” he asked. “Isn’t that slightly hypocritical, my dear?”

Just as he had done, she demurred. “I will take it as a compliment,” she replied.

“It’s merely an observation,” he insisted.

“My hypocrisy?”

He shook his head. “No, Sara.”

With a grin, she said, “I think you are a little biased. Besides you have to say such things.”

“Why is that?” asked Grissom.

“So you don’t get kicked out of bed,” she laughed.

“Very funny,” he intoned, having a hard time keeping himself from grinning.

“Fine,” she said. “I’ll make you a deal.” She paused and he waited for her to continue. “I will entertain the possibility that you are not completely crazy, if you will accept the fact…”

“That you aren’t completely crazy either?” he suggested playfully.

“No, that you are a very attractive man.”

“Well, they do say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Grissom answered.

“And that attraction is biological,” Sara added. “Well, more like chemical,” she clarified. “But…”

“I think we’re over-thinking this,” he interrupted.

“Really?” she giggled and he joined in her levity.

“So grey hair on Hodges is not attractive?” he asked.

When David showed up to release the body, he found the two of them still laughing.

 

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