24 – A Peculiarly Passionate Form of Procrastination

His recent encounter with Carl Fisher and the still unsolved miniature killings coupled with the usual senseless insanity that is Las Vegas, lead Gil Grissom to seriously consider accepting the offer to join the faculty of Williams College for a month. But he soon realizes he has one problem: telling Sara about it.


And that proves to be a lot harder than he could ever have imagined.


Takes place post episode 709, “Happenstance,”

circa November 2006




Grissom sat in the quiet book-lined corner of his office – the one he liked to reserve for reading when time and the day’s caseload permitted it. But the copy of On Walden Pond that he had picked up at the bookstore on Las Vegas Boulevard earlier that day no longer held his interest the way it had only five minutes before.


Instead, he was currently rather lost in thought. While that was the other occupation he typically used the space for, he wasn’t engaged in his normal sort of thinking – the kind that revolved around the queries, hypotheses and experiments prompted by the lab’s current investigations.


No, he was thinking about something far more private. He was thinking about Sara. Sara, who had left just moments earlier with the spark of flirtatious mischief twinkling in her eyes and a tease in her tone.


Presently, he was having trouble puzzling out exactly how he felt about their latest exchange. After a year and a half of their dating, he was used to, comfortable with and often quite fond of the affectionate repartee that sometimes played between them. And very often he gave as well as he got. But something about this time was different.


He had originally thought Sara’s comment regarding his still unfinished crossword was pure invention on her part, but when he had taken up the clipboard to check, he found she was indeed correct. The clue for sixty-three down was Misanthrope. He was at a bit of a loss as to how she had known, considering she had barely glanced down at the puzzle before she had replaced it by his feet, when he remembered that she had just told him she’d spent the day waiting to be called into court. Typically, he found that there wasn’t a heck of a lot to do to keep oneself amused in that situation, so he often brought a copy of the morning’s puzzle. Sara had likely done the same today. It was just one of those strange sort of happenstances that the clue proved apropos to their conversation.


Yet, he knew, too, there was more to her comment than simple good-humored ribbing. It wasn’t the first time lately that she had gently reminded him to be watchful and to take care not to start slipping back into his old habits. Of course Grissom tended to regard his antisocial tendencies to be more of the reclusive than the misanthropic variety, but he knew that for the most part that distinction was rooted in semantics rather than reality.


The truth was, he had been feeling that way – sincerely wanting to be apart from the world, to sit on a pumpkin by himself as it were – for the last two weeks or so. Between Carl Fisher, his migraines and the fact that the miniature killer had struck yet again, Grissom was having a harder and harder time holding onto his faith in humanity. Or at least in his own ability to be part of the solution.


Yeah, that pumpkin was starting to sound like an attractive prospect.


As was the offer he had just received from Williams College to come teach for a month as part of their interdisciplinary graduate studies program.


Right now, a month away from the hustle and bustle of Vegas certainly had its appeal. January wasn’t a particularly heavy crime month, so the timing worked out well. Even if Ecklie wasn’t willing to grant him the time off as a Leave of Absence, Grissom had more than enough vacation time banked to go off and teach for half a year if he had wanted to. As Catherine was more than competent to take over while he was gone, she would have everything well in hand as usual.


So it wasn’t work that was giving him pause.


It was Sara. Sara, whose I won’t wait up still seemed to linger in the air.


Even now, Grissom was still getting used to the fact that he had someone to go home to. True, they weren’t officially living together, but they were together as much as their schedules would permit – whether at his place or hers, it didn’t really matter.


And he knew that while she said she wasn’t going to be waiting up for him, that more likely than not, he would find her awake and amenable to a quiet dinner at home, followed by snuggling up to enjoy either whatever was playing on a channel they could agree upon or whatever books or journals they were currently in the habit of reading. While Grissom knew that most people would have regarded the prospect as rather dull, he looked forward to evenings spent like this, for they didn’t come around all that often, or at least not often enough. And as for the night, he knew he would find warmth and comfort and rest with Sara beside him and probably something more if he had had read her tone correctly.


He peered down at the book he still held in his hands. With the opportunity to spend the evening with Sara before him, transcendentalism wasn’t quite as engrossing a subject as it had earlier been.


Besides, he thought as he carefully marked his place, perhaps he would have the chance to tell her about the letter from Williams and how he was seriously considering taking them up on their offer.


Having decided on his next course of action, he hurriedly packed up and was soon out the door. He thought that he might still be able to catch Sara in the locker room, but she was already gone and her spot out in the lab lot was empty.


Neither of these things mattered. He already knew where she was headed.


Sara must have managed to hit every light on the way home though, for Grissom caught up with her just as she was about to enter her apartment. But as he stood on the landing watching her bend to slip her key into the lock, he found he no longer wanted to talk – not about Fisher, or the miniature killer or Williams or Thoreau. He didn’t want to talk about the past – or the future. In fact, he really didn’t want to talk at all.


He wanted –


He wanted Sara.


And to simply love and be loved by her. To be lost if only for a little while in the comfort and joy that only her presence could bring.


And her name was out of his mouth before he could catch himself.


She turned.


Even under the harsh glare of the security lights she was radiant. He found himself almost wishing that she was called in to court to testify more often, for it seemed she had for the occasion encouraged her hair to curl about her face in such a way that he always found utterly captivating. He was surprised that he hadn’t noticed it earlier. Or the way her blouse was just low-cut enough to reveal a smattering of freckles beneath the simple gold necklace she was wearing. And then there was the fact that the impishly playful look she had worn earlier in his office had been replaced by a pleased sort of smirk that extended all the way to her eyes.


Talking was certainly no longer what he had in mind.


For her part, Sara was about to tease him about his hasty appearance on her doorstep and to tell him that she would have gladly waited up at least for a little while when he caught her and her lips up in an unexpectedly heady sort of kiss.


It and the several equally breathless ones that followed left Sara reeling and feeling more than a little weak at the knees, so much so, that she was thankful to be practically pinned between the door and Grissom’s equally unyielding body.


Although surprised at the urgent, almost possessive quality of his attentions and especially at the fact that he had chosen to rather publicly demonstrate them on this side of her front door, she eagerly met and matched him kiss for kiss.


It wasn’t that Gil Grissom wasn’t a passionate man – or lover for that matter. He just tended to be more cautious and discrete in his displays of affection.


But he didn’t seem to care at that moment, for he was kissing her again – long and longingly. That Sara returned his affections with equal fervor had only spurred him on further, for he was encouraged and pleased to find that he wasn’t alone in his wants and desires.


Although if Sara had stopped to ask what had so suddenly come over him, Grissom would likely have not been able to formulate a reply. Possibly it had been the memory of that grin of hers and the teasing lilt to her voice. It may have been the bizarre events of the day – and the last few weeks. Or maybe it was the seeming ever-growing sense of unease he was beginning to feel at work. Maybe it was the welcome he spied in her eyes when she had turned to look at him only moments before. Perhaps he was attempting to cling to the only thing that still made absolute sense to him: to her, his love for her and the love he knew she had for him. All he did know was that he wanted to be close to her, as close as he could and have her reassuring presence just as close.


He wanted her. Desired her. Needed her. And the feeling of her beneath his mouth, his fingers and ultimately against his own skin.


When Sara began to feel the hands that had settled on her waist begin to edge beneath her top, a slight measure of sanity prevailed and she practically gasped,

“Maybe we should take this inside,” as his mouth moved from hers to the side of her neck.


With a great deal of reluctance, she momentarily disentangled herself so as to devote her attention to getting the door open. She only succeeded in clumsily fumbling with her keys. When she managed to drop them a second time, she heard Grissom chuckle from behind her, which she thought was rather cheeky of him, since it had been his fault, him having distracted her by continuing to nuzzle her neck. She shook her head in bemusement when he reached down to pick them up and then proceeded to deftly slid the proper one into the lock.


They were both barely inside with the door shut behind them, when his lips were on hers once more. While his ardency still astonished her, Sara willingly accepted this departure from their usual languidly drawn out lovemaking.

For even with all the rush of it, Sara knew that Grissom didn’t want, and this wasn’t meant to be, a mad, clandestine quickie. But it was passion and possession in a way she hadn’t quite expected from him or from herself.


For Sara found that she wanted to give in to the rush of yearning, to the almost overpowering sensations. She wanted to be overwhelmed and caught up in it and not care to know why.


So she did.


She began to hurriedly ease the shirt jacket from his shoulders; neither of them noticed nor cared when it fell to the floor. At the renewed feeling of his fingers on the small of her back, Sara began to scrabble for the buttons to his shirt.


While she always enjoyed the sight of him dressed in that particular blue oxford, she rued the fact that it had so many damn buttons. Ultimately, she ended up doing what she often did – made it half way through them before simply giving the shirt a brisk tug from his trousers and then a not quite so deft pull over his head.


That particular display of impatience always seemed to amuse Grissom. This time was no different, for she felt him laugh against her neck.


They stumbled their way towards the bedroom, still kissing and touching and hopelessly intertwined. Sara discarded her suit jacket, blouse and shoes along the way.


It wasn’t long before the two of them had shed the rest of their clothes and were naked on top of her ever neatly made bed.


No matter how many times they had been together in this way, she never got over the feel of his bare skin or the weight of his body against hers. Sara hoped she never would.


His hands were smoothing her curls away from her face, as hers ran their familiar course over his shoulders and down his back in such a way that was always guaranteed to elicit from him the deep rumble of a long moan.


Grissom closed his eyes, paused and breathed and rested in the relief, for being with her like this always seemed to still and calm his racing thoughts and soothe his anxieties. It wasn’t just the physical pleasure of it, though that was almost overwhelming all by itself. It was the closeness, the connection, the comfort only she could give him.


While he had intended to tell her about the letter from Williams, that he was thinking about going away, about his needing to go away for a while, Grissom found he couldn’t. Not when she was so warm and present in his arms. Moreover, he reasoned that there would be plenty of time to tell her all of this later. For right now, those things didn’t matter nearly as much as the taste, touch and feel of her, of the way her breath would catch in the back of her throat when he stroked or kissed her in just the right spot.


So he said nothing, and they said nothing; had not exchanged a single word since she had suggested they move inside. But there didn’t need to be words – hands and eyes and kisses conveyed anything that might have needed to be said. Besides, while their lovemaking was always punctuated with sounds of soft sighs and deep moans, with the appreciative intake of breath and gasps of pleasure, there were seldom words exchanged. Sara knew that he loved her, adored her, needed her, he said as much with every look and caress. And Grissom felt the same. Some things just didn’t need to be spoken, and there seemed barely enough breath for air, let alone speech, as he settled between her legs and they began to make love in earnest.




Later, Sara woke to find Grissom watching her, his eyes and face full of a look she couldn’t quite name. She gave him a sleepy sort of smile and an appreciative sort of kiss before asking if he had been awake for very long. He nuzzled his “No” against her neck. Despite the tight feeling of stiffness in her spine, Sara sighed with contentment. She shifted slightly to stretch; for the two of them had been curled up on their sides facing each other in the same way they had been when they had fallen asleep. Grissom seemed to sense her discomfort however, for his fingers began to massage the knot.


“When do you have to be back in court?” he asked after a while.


“Not until ten,” she replied and then inquired after whether or not he was expected in early at the lab, as Ecklie often seemed to favor late morning staff meetings. When he replied “No,” she grinned and said, “Good.”


This time, she was the one who eased him back onto the pillows, pinned him to the bed and didn’t let go until they were both again breathless and spent.




They lay in bed for a while longer after that, quietly kissing and touching before they both finally gave into their need for a long hot shower.


Sara had never really been keen on sharing showers, for it seemed that inevitably one person or the other usually ended up in the cold, and washing up often proved awkward and not the least bit romantic, and at times, it was even like that with Grissom on the still rare occasions they could indulge in one. But that day, showering together seemed like a natural extension of the events of that morning and the night before, simply another interlude of lovemaking. For his hands were firm yet gentle when he rubbed the soap over her skin.


As Grissom knew that Sara wasn’t expected at the lab that day, he reached for the bottle of lavender-scented shampoo that she kept separate in her shower caddy. As he began to massage it into her hair, he closed his eyes and breathed in deep, enjoying the surge of fragrance brought out by his fingers and the heat of the steam. Sara practically purred with the pleasure of his ministrations. After a few minutes, he tilted her head back to rinse out the shampoo and then kissed her under the spray before allowing her to soap him up in return.


Despite the sensual nature of it all, there was laughter, too. Mostly the unintentional kind caused by fingers that strayed a little too close or lingered a little too long in certain sensitive spots. But sometimes showers were for mischief, too. Even on that particular morning, Sara couldn’t resist the temptation to deliberately attack the one place she knew Grissom was most ticklish. He let out a high-pitched sort of titter and hurriedly brushed her fingers away and although he was shaking his head ruefully, he was smiling as he did so.


Them both freshly washed and rinsed, Grissom shut off the tap, reached out to pull a towel from the rack and proceeded to rub her limbs dry. While this was something she could have managed perfectly well on her own, that morning Sara probably would have allowed him anything, no matter what he asked. And he let her towel his hair, then the rest of him before they stepped onto the tile.


He held out the pale pink robe he had given her for her birthday; she slipped her arms through the sleeves and cinched the belt at her waist in a hurried bow while he pulled his own robe from the hook on the door and did the same.


Sara never understood it, but she had long since stopped questioning the fact that Gil Grissom always seemed to be fascinated by watching her do the most mundane tasks, like brushing her teeth or combing out her wet hair. This morning proved no different. She had to shoo him out with the suggestion that he get started on breakfast, otherwise she knew she would never be able to get ready in time. He wasn’t the only one who sometimes suffered from distraction.


She had finished doing everything but putting on her dress suit when she finally made it into the kitchen twenty minutes later. Sara knew better than to dress before eating, for there was no surer way of staining whatever she was going to wear.


Grissom greeted her with a tall glass of juice and a grin; she gave him a long lingering kiss on the cheek and a smile of her own in return. He motioned for her to sit, before he pulled from the oven a cookie sheet covered with the pancakes he had been keeping warm and started piling them onto a plate for her, pausing only long enough to ask her how hungry she was. Then he put out the syrup and after pouring a cup of coffee for her and then for himself, joined her.


She asked him about his plans for the day. Perhaps he should have taken the opportunity to tell her about Williams then. But he hadn’t wanted to spoil the quiet ease that flowed between them. So instead Grissom spoke about hoping that the prosecution would finally get to her testimony. Sara surmised that there were likely to be ulterior motives behind that wish. The sooner her time in court was done, the sooner she would be back at the lab. As she preferred it that way herself, she didn’t complain. But it seemed he had other ideas.


But soon, all too soon, the clock was indicating that it was time for her to finish getting ready to go. Grissom assured her that he could handle the cleanup, for her not to worry out it and not to worry about coming in later that night, as he was sure they could handle whatever came up without her.


Sara teased that he wasn’t going to be able to avoid her that easily, and if he was so intent on keeping her from distracting him at the office, he could pair her up with Nick or Warrick or even Greg.


“Suit yourself,” he conceded and kissed her good-bye, but not without telling her that he would “see her later.”


Sara smiled, wiped the faint trace of lipstick from his mouth before she assured him that he would.


As he closed the door behind her retreating form, Gil Grissom felt the joy and happiness of the previous hours begin to fade away. He hadn’t thought that seeing Sara, being with Sara, would make it harder to talk about his thoughts and plans and worries, but it had, it had made it almost impossible to tell her.


Tomorrow, he thought. He would tell her tomorrow.


Neither last night nor that morning had been the right time. But tomorrow he could tell her.


Only tomorrow ended up being nearly a month later.


A/N: Want to know what happened when Grissom finally told Sara about his plans for his sabbatical?  See, “Colloquy,” the second chapter of No Place Like Home.


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

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