25 – Talent Borrows, Genius Steals

Just before Grissom leaves for his sabbatical, Sara makes the decision to ignore that year’s agreed upon no gift policy.

A companion piece to “When Words are Scarce.” Takes place between episodes 710, “Locomotives”

and 711, “Leaving Las Vegas,” Christmas 2006



While Gil Grissom appeared to be absolutely engrossed in the series of files spread all over his desk, Sara knew better, so she didn’t feel the least bit guilty when she gave the open door to his office a firm rap.

“You busy?” she asked. Even though the dour look he gave her as he peered up at her through his reading glasses was more testy than anything else, she gave him an almost playful grin in reply and answered, “Dumb question.”

He nodded wearily in agreement. Sara’s smile turned concerned. Grissom was looking tired. In fact, he had been looking more and more tired and weary ever since Ernie Dell’s suicide a few weeks before.

“You got a minute?” This time her voice was soft, almost tender and Grissom noted the change.

His reassuring attempt at a smile didn’t quite make it to his eyes, but there was warmth in the way he said, “For you? Always,” and indicated that she take a seat.

But before she could get more than a couple of steps inside, his phone began to ring, insistent as always.

“So much for a silent night,” Sara sighed and indicated that she could wait for Grissom to take down the details of yet another case.

Even at this time of year, Vegas never slept. Still, Grissom had wheedled, threatened and cajoled Ecklie into placing most of the graveyard shift who weren’t already off for the holiday onto on-call status so they could spend the time with their families while still leaving Las Vegas covered if there was anything worse than the usual holiday mischief. This left just Warrick, who was in the midst of a messy separation and was more than happy to work, and Sara who had readily volunteered to switch her regular days off with Greg so he could spend the extra time with his family out east. Both she and Grissom had thought it a very good idea after the results of the Demetrius James inquest the month before.

But all their good intentions had apparently left them more than a little short staffed. Warrick was already out in the field investigating a fatal DUI traffic accident off Blue Diamond Road. Sara had just wrapped up an assault case on Fremont Street and was about to head out the door to investigate a missing persons report in Spring Valley. And while the state of Grissom’s desk suggested that he had spent most of the shift behind it, Sara knew he had just gotten back from an armed robbery call at the Gas ’n Sip off Industrial.

It was going to be a very long night.

Sara gave him a placatory smile once he had hung up and said, “At least you get another temporary reprieve from paperwork patrol.”

As Grissom didn’t appear to see the bright side of this, he didn’t bother to comment.

“I doubt you are going to miss that while you are away,” she teased, but then realizing the sad reality that lay in what she had just said, hurriedly added, “As it sounds like we’re both going to be out in the field for most of the night, I wanted to make sure to get this to you in time. It being Christmas and all.”

She pulled a thick parcel from under the coat draped over her lap.

“Merry Christmas,” she beamed, extending it to him.

“I thought we agreed…” Grissom began uncertainly.

“No gifts this year?” she supplied. “I know, and I was planning on doing just that as you are… impossible,” she laughed. “You do realize how hard it is to find a gift for a man who has everything and wants for nothing?

“But when I saw this, I couldn’t resist.”

When he still didn’t take the gift, she gave it a little shake and said, “Don’t worry, it isn’t anything….” she paused, as if searching for the right word before settling on “inappropriate.

He shot her an incredulous look, but couldn’t completely restrain the smile that was beginning to tug at the corners of his mouth. Sara’s own grin turned from playful to almost sensual as his hand lingered just a little longer on hers than was appropriate for work as he finally took the package from her.

With his usual unhurried attention to detail, one that sometimes drove Sara crazy especially when she was eager to get to the end of something, Grissom unwrapped a large gilt and leather covered volume of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

“Besides,” Sara added. “I believe it was you who told me one could never have too much Shakespeare.”

He smiled at the truth in that.

“Open it,” she prompted.

Grissom’s smile widened even further as he squinted to read in Sara’s best attempt at a legible hand the inscription on the front piece:

Gil – For all the times you are in want of words remember –

Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain” – Richard II

and “Talent borrows, genius steals” – Oscar Wilde

– Sara

He cocked his head to one side and said, “I thought you said that quotation was a serviceable substitute for wit.”

“I believe that was Oscar Wilde as well,” she countered.

“I see,” he replied. He rose from his chair, took a seat on the edge of his desk and began to flip through the tissue thin pages until he appeared to find the excerpt he wanted. Then he adjusted his reading glasses to the optimal distance between his eyes and the book in his hand, a gesture Sara found even more endearing than usual, but perhaps that had more to do with the impish twinkle his eyes had suddenly taken on.

In the rich, deep, almost fluid tone his voice would often get when he was intent on something, he began to read, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.”

Sara tried to suppress a smile; she knew where this was headed, but didn’t interrupt.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know/That music hath a far more pleasing sound,” he continued. “I grant I never saw a goddess go/My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground.

He shut the volume carefully. The last few lines he spoke from memory, leaning in slightly and meeting her eyes as he did so, “And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare/As any she belied with false compare.”

Sara sighed, “Flattery will get you everywhere.”

Unfortunately, her phone chose that moment to give an impatient chirp. “But…” she said apologetically as she peered down at the text message flashing on the screen.

“Duty calls?” he supplied reluctantly.

“Yeah. I’ll see you later then?” Sara asked, shrugging on her coat.

He nodded, looking far more cheered than he had when she had first stepped into his office and for that she was both relieved and pleased. She gave him one last smile before turning to go.

“You might want this,” Grissom said calling her back. He closed the distance between them. Sara tried to hide her chagrin as he extended the assignment slip to her, but her eyes went wide as she realized he was pressing something else into her palm as well. She quickly and quietly pocketed the key.

“Oh and, Sara,” he said.


“Try to resist the urge to snoop.”

While she thought, yeah, right, Sara simply smiled and obediently replied, “Yes, dear.”



Have a question or want to leave a comment or concern and don’t have a wordpress account? Please feel free to email me at kadhmercer@gmail.com

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. jenstogner
    Jan 12, 2009 @ 03:42:35

    TEARS in my eyes Karen! Geekily hot in the best of ways with enough underlying sadness to really pull the heart-strings.

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