16 – The Ties That Bind

Sometimes the simplest of gifts speak volumes.

Takes place post “A Rather Peculiar Proposal,”  circa March 2006.

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Day had already come and gone by the time Gil Grissom woke rather surprised to find himself in bed alone. The waking up by himself wasn’t the discomforting part, as he had done so for most of his life. It was that this time, he distinctly recalled that when he had finally fallen asleep several hours earlier, there had been a very soft and warm presence in the bed beside him.

Sara, he thought with a slight smile as he stumbled out of bed and down the hall in search of her.

Over the last few months, both he and Sara had been making a concerted effort to spend more afternoons together, even if all they ended up doing was curling up to go to sleep.

He found her standing at the kitchen counter casually perusing that morning’s paper, a tall glass of juice in one hand.

“Any good news?” he asked, pouring one for himself.

“Not really,” she replied almost absently and automatically handed him the entertainment section already folded open to the puzzle page along with his reading glasses.  “And before you ask, I didn’t touch your crossword.”

But instead of turning his attention to the paper, he put it aside and simply leaned in and gave her cheek a gentle peck before asking, “You get any sleep at all?”

“A little.” At the disbelieving raise of the eyebrow he was giving her, she amended her response to, “Not really.”

“You should have woken me,” he said.

“Why? So we could both be awake? What good would that have done?”

He ran his thumb along the side of her neck, “Still,” he replied. “Or are you tired of my company already?”

“Hardly.”

And she leaned in and kissed him for extra emphasis.

When they finally broke apart, Grissom let his fingers linger a little longer along the collar of the shirt she had on, suddenly very aware that it was one of his own she was wearing.

“That reminds me,” he began.

“Of?” Sara prompted when it seemed like he wasn’t going to explain any further.

“I have something for you.”

“Right now?”

“Yes, right now.”

Before she could protest any further, he took her hand, led her down the hall and motioned for her to have a seat on the unmade bed, before pulling a lumpy, shapeless sort of package from his dresser and extending it to her.

“I’m a bit out of wrapping practice,” he apologized as he sat down beside her.

She stared incredulously at the neatly wrapped present. “Isn’t it about a few months too late for Christmas?” she asked still rather perplexed.

“It isn’t a Christmas gift,” he countered. When she continued to just sit there motionlessly, he said, “Go ahead and open it.”

Slowly, Sara slipped a finger under the seam and began to edge the tape free. For once, it was Grissom who uttered an impatient sigh, something which made her smile more out of amusement than nerves, and would have encouraged her to prolong the process just a little longer, if it hadn’t been for her own mounting curiosity.  But finally Sara peeled back the paper to reveal a dark full-length silk robe patterned with sprays of white cherry blossoms and brilliantly blue irises.

“It’s beautiful,” she murmured, running the fabric appreciatively between her fingers. “But I am a little curious about one thing,” she said peering up at him.  “Is this your way of telling me that you are tired of me appropriating your shirts?”

Grissom shook his head. “I just thought,” he replied, his voice suddenly a little more vulnerable and a lot less sure than usual, “as you have been spending more time here, that you might like to have something of your own to keep in the closet.”

Sara sat there speechless for a moment before saying, “I would.”

Then she gave him one of those rare full smiles that made her whole face light up and her eyes sparkle — the kind Grissom found he never could resist. “Thank you,” she said, and planting a long lingering kiss on his lips before rising, whispered into his ear, “Why don’t I go try it on?”

When she returned, Grissom rose to meet her. “It suits you,” he said and gave her an admiring once over. Sara felt the heat and color rise to her cheeks at the intensity of his gaze. He took a few steps toward her in order to narrow the distance between them then gave the sash at her waist a playful pull to tug her the rest of the way. The knot came easily undone with the pressure, but neither of them seemed to mind.

“Is this why you bought it?” she asked as his hands came to rest on her bare hips. “Easier than buttons?”

“No. Just fortuitous happenstance.”

“Right,” Sara shook her head ruefully, but couldn’t hide her grin or pleasure.

 

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