copyright 2004, by Hannah
Author's Note: Certain situations here might be a touch implausible, and I have taken a few liberties with characterization. I am well aware of this. I decided to allow myself to play in the realm of gleefully unapologetic fanfic for a bit. Please adjust your expectations accordingly.
Gil Grissom sighed as he finished tying his tie and shrugged on his jacket. He was not looking forward to this night. In fact, he felt as though he had gone to sleep and awakened in hell. The new sheriff had insisted that he attend a fundraiser for a local city councilman, and Sara had insisted on going along as his date. Either of these would have made for an unpleasant evening, but the combination would be insufferable.
He found himself wondering what exactly he had been thinking in recent weeks. For 48 years he had managed to avoid personal relationships for the most part. It simplified life considerably. That had changed with Heather. She’d offered him a glimpse of what he had missed, and her absence left a void that his usual interests couldn’t seem to fill.
That was why he’d let his guard down with Sara - at least that was what he told himself. In truth, he had made a calculated decision to see the young CSI outside of the lab. She was painfully available to him and so grateful for his attention that she made few demands. She was safe. It had seemed an easy solution to his growing loneliness.
Sara had confronted him almost a month ago. She’d heard his ‘confession’ to Dr. Lurie after Debbie Marlin’s murder and assumed he was talking about her. Given the similarities between Sara and the victim, he had to admit it was a reasonable assumption - if wrong. His first instinct had been to correct that impression, but he was unsure how to do it gently, and he found himself allowing her to think what she wanted. It had it’s benefits. Sara had a misguided sense of power over the situation which had the happy effect of lessening the severity of her recent moodiness.
In short, she was easier to manage.
He should have enlightened Sara and gone to Heather then. The beautiful dominatrix’s absence in his life had been thrown into stark relief, and he should have forced himself to be honest with her, asked - begged - for a second chance. What he did instead was opt for a poor substitute that required far less of him... and was far less satisfying. Not that he had allowed things to progress much at all. The ‘relationship’ thus far consisted of several dinners, and it had been obvious during the first of them that it wasn’t going to work. He and Sara had nothing in common outside of the lab... nothing but a fundamental weakness in the area of social skills.
Ever one to rely on avoidance as a coping mechanism, he had spent the subsequent month juggling the schedule to make sure that they had as little time off together as possible, but tonight she’d switched shifts with Catherine, of all people, and he was stuck. He’d have to talk to Cath about that when he saw her tomorrow. Of course, she’d only point out that he’d made his bed... and this was definitely one bed he did not intend to lie in.
The event was even worse than Grissom had expected. He found things like this boring in the extreme, and Sara’s company only amplified the problem. He had made the mistake of suggesting that they talk about anything but work for a change, and she had been holding forth regarding her current reading material. Oddly, she was a fan of cheap murder mysteries, and enjoyed picking them apart for inconsistencies. Apparently, Jonathan Kellerman did not have sufficient knowledge of forensics to suit Ms. Sidle. The ‘discussion’ required very little of Grissom beyond the concentration and strength of will to avoid rolling his eyes. He found himself tuning out and trying to calculate just how long they needed to stay to appease the sheriff and insure that he could take Sara directly home without the expectation of further interaction tonight.
His impatience with Sara was unfair, he knew. Her company had never been this distasteful in the past - of course, he’d also avoided seeing her socially, but that was beside the point. The problem was simple, really. She was not Heather, and the more obvious that became, the more Grissom resented her for failing in her task of providing distraction. He had to put an end to this. Maybe tonight, when he took her home...
Home. God, what he would give to be home right now. He felt like a caged animal. His eyes darted to the door for reassurance that escape was still possible, and he drew in a sharp breath. That was the last thing he’d expected. He knew she had clients in city politics... but, truly, what were the odds? Sultry green eyes scanned the room, stopping for an instant when they reached him, then moving on with the dismissive arch of an eyebrow.
Sara noticed that she no longer had his attention and followed his gaze to the lovely brunette standing just inside the door. The woman was in a simple gown of black silk, but it flattered her figure almost to the point of being indecent. Grissom’s appreciation was obvious, and she stiffened at his side.
“Who is she?” Sara demanded.
“What?” he muttered. “Oh, that’s right. You never met Lady Heather.”
Sara looked at Grissom as though he’d just confessed to a brutal rape or murder.
“Lady Heather?” she hissed.
“Yes.” His brow furrowed in puzzlement at the hostility in her tone. She didn’t even know the woman. “What?”
“What? You can’t be serious. I... I heard the rumors around the lab, but I never believed them.”
“Sara, I’m not sure...”
“Don’t, Grissom. I’m not blind. I saw the way you looked at her. Jesus! She was a murder suspect.”
His eyes narrowed, voice taking on a hard edge.
“Nothing in that case was compromised.” A pause, then he added bitterly, “I made sure of that.” Sara watched as a look of decided regret passed across his features and then as he turned a glare on her. “I won’t discuss this here, Sara. In fact, I won’t discuss this at all.”
She met his eyes with a challenging stare, her mouth set into a sullen line, then looked away, arms crossing over her chest. She couldn’t help but seek out the dominatrix in the crowd.
“What is she doing here, anyway?” Sara muttered. “Noone could think that... freak could be anything but bad luck politically. I mean, who the hell would want to advertise...”
“That’s enough, Sara,” Grissom snapped through clinched teeth.
“You can’t possibly defend her...”
His next words were clipped.
“Change... the subject.”
He was spared her response by the appearance of Sheriff Atwater.
“Grissom, there you are. I have someone I’d like you to meet.”
Ordinarily, Grissom would have objected to being trotted out like a show dog, but these were not ordinary circumstances. He found himself grateful for the interruption. The words judgmental bitch were prominent in his thoughts, and without Atwater’s intervention, he wasn’t entirely sure that he could hold his tongue.
Without a word to Sara, Grissom moved away with the sheriff toward a small group of local politicians and their wives. Sara stood glaring after him for a moment, then followed, radiating irritation.
Grissom’s attention was wandering. His eyes followed Heather as she moved through the crowd, though he did manage to follow the basic thread of the conversation and respond when it was required of him.
“Dr. Grissom,” a councilman’s wife began, “wasn’t there a well-publicized incident several months ago involving a teenager who was shot by his friends during some sort of game?”
The woman suddenly had Grissom’s full attention. Her question was the first glimmer of hope he’d managed to find all evening.
“Yes, there was.” A slow smile spread over his face. This should buy him some time. “You’re in luck, actually. Sara worked that case, as I recall.” He turned to the young CSI. “Didn’t you, Sara?”
“Yes,” Sara answered warily.
The woman’s attention turned to Sara.
“Really? I’d love to ask you a few questions. Teen violence is an area of great interest to me.”
Sara tried to beg off, saying that she wasn’t really in a position to discuss the department’s cases, but Atwater interrupted her with assurances that it would be fine if she avoided any identifying details regarding the boys involved. The case was closed, after all. Somewhere in the barrage of questions that followed, Grissom was able to excuse himself despite Sara’s disapproving glare. She would be more than a little annoyed when she finally managed to extricate herself, but that would take some time.
Grissom distanced himself from the group and quickly scanned the room, determined to find Heather while Sara was still occupied. He intended to take full advantage of this unexpected opportunity. He was certain he would not get another tonight.
He caught sight of the dominatrix as she was slipping through the french doors onto the terrace, and moved to follow her without hesitation. Her back was turned to him, arms wrapped around herself as she stared off into the night sky. He allowed himself only a brief moment to watch her before moving forward and coming up behind her. He stopped at a respectful distance and drew in a deep, shuddering breath before he spoke.
She was silent long enough that he began to doubt that she’d heard his nervous whisper. When she finally responded, she did so without turning to face him.
“I’d like to speak with you, if I may?”
And still, she did not turn around.
“I know how inadequate the words I’m sorry are. I used the circumstances to distance myself. It was inexcusable, and I regret it more than I could even begin to tell you.”
She finally turned to face him, meeting his plaintive gaze with a challenging stare.
“What would you have me say to that?”
“Nothing,” he murmured, after a long moment. He lowered his eyes, head bowed. “I just...” He raised his eyes again to meet hers. “I miss you.”
Her eyes flashed, and he held his breath as she took a step forward. She moved past him, shaking her head and turning back to him only when the side of the building prevented her from going further.
“You miss me.”
“Yes,” he said simply.
“And that’s somehow supposed to make all of this ok?”
“No, of course not.” A pause. “Heather. Please, give me the chance to make this right.”
She considered him with a disturbing intensity, her expression finally softening as she spoke.
“And how do you propose to do that?”
“In whatever way you require, Lady Heather.”
That earned him a smile and a slightly wicked gleam in those beautiful green eyes of hers.
“Be careful what you ask for, Mr. Grissom.”
He moved forward, his manner growing more confident now that it seemed she was prepared to forgive him. She made no objections when he brought himself close, but he did not move to touch her. His eyes locked with hers.
“I’m asking for whatever you’ll allow me.”
She smiled her approval, but allowed her lips to curve downward after a moment.
“And what about your... friend?”
His gaze flickered away from hers for a moment and a frown tugged at the corners of his mouth, but his features cleared as he brought his eyes back to her face and stepped closer.
“She’s not important.”
He reached out, hands making contact with her shoulders, then moving down to caress bare arms. She felt a rush of desire sweep through her at his touch, but was not willing to give in to it so easily. He moved forward, advancing on her. She could feel the heat from his body, his warm breath on her lips... She stopped him with a hand at his chest.
“Gil. We’ve tried this before - remember?”
“Yes,” he whispered, moving even closer while a hand crept under her chin to tilt her face up to his, “I do... every touch, every kiss.”
His lips closed over hers this time, and she found herself unable to resist. He moved against her, pushing her back into the wall. This was not the reserved man that she remembered. He had been deliberate and just the slightest bit hesitant at their last encounter, but not tonight. Tonight there was an urgency to his advances, an almost desperate hunger in his kiss that left her weak, and she realized with some surprise that whatever he asked of her she would give. He pressed into her, pinning her in place with the length of his body, and she heard herself moan a breathless ‘yes’ as his tongue darted between her lips.
His mouth eventually left hers, trailing kisses along her jawline and down the side of her neck.
“Heather.” She heard his rough whisper at her ear. “I need you.”
She pulled back just enough to see his face.
“In general...” she asked, playfully, “... or now, specifically?”
He arched an equally playful eyebrow, grabbing her at the hips and pulling her against him. “Both,” he whispered, tilting his hips and using his obvious erection to it’s fullest advantage. She offered him an appreciative groan, and he brought his mouth down over hers again.
“So...” she murmured, breaking the kiss. “Do you intend to take me here, Mr. Grissom?”
“Mmmm...” His eyes locked onto hers. “Would that excite you, Lady Heather?”
“Yes, I believe it would.”
Grissom produced an almost feral growl and moved in for another hungry kiss. He was vaguely aware that this was not the place, but his need for her was far beyond anything approaching reason. He was reaching down to tug up the hem of her gown when he heard Sara’s challenging voice at his back.
“And I was beginning to believe your sex drive was non-existent.”
“Only with you,” he muttered into Heather’s hair before turning to face the angry, young brunette. She missed the comment. The dominatrix did not.
Sara launched into a surprisingly controlled diatribe before he could say a word.
“Jesus, Grissom! What the fuck are you thinking? Do you have any idea what...”
Heather turned to him, calm beyond what the situation should allow.
“Charming, isn’t she?” He shot her a look that clearly indicated he found Sara anything but charming and rolled his eyes. She turned her attention to Sara, regarding the young woman with a mixture of smug appraisal and the slightest hint of pity. Her eyes flickered back to Grissom’s, a hand coming to rest against his chest. “You obviously have your hands full, for the moment. I should leave you to it.” A pause. “I’ll expect you later.” It was not a request, nor was there any doubt that Grissom would comply. With a final glance at Sara, she moved away, leaving him to deal with his mistake.
Sara stared after the dominatrix with undisguised contempt, finally turning back to Grissom, hands planted on her hips.
“What the fuck was that?” she demanded.
Grissom produced a heavy sigh.
“Sara, I didn’t mean for you to...”
“To what?” she interrupted. “You didn’t mean for me to find you trying to fuck some freak whore while you’re supposed to be on a date with me? Is that what you didn’t mean?”
Any regret he might have felt at hurting her was quickly beginning to fade in the face of her venom.
“I know you’re upset,” he began, “and I should have...”
Again she cut him off.
“You should have kept your dick in your pants?”
“Well, that’s certainly not difficult with you,” he snapped. She fell silent, looking as though he’d just slapped her, and he drew in a deep breath. “I’m sorry.” A pause. “This is not the place, Sara.”
“That didn’t stop you with her,” Sara muttered. Her anger was still obvious, but the force of it seemed to have abandoned her.
“Sara..." Another heavy sigh. "I should take you home. We can talk about this on the way.”
Her dark eyes were filled with pain when she raised them to his.
“Is there any point?”
Grissom pulled up to the curb outside of Sara’s apartment building and looked over at the sullen young woman in the passenger seat. She was staring straight ahead, jaw locked, tears trailing down her cheeks.
“I made a mistake.”
She snorted and shook her head.
“That’s an understatement.”
“Our relationship should never have been anything but professional, Sara.”
“That’s your mistake?”
“You have to have seen it over the past month... there’s just nothing there.”
“How was I supposed to see anything, Grissom? Have you ever let anyone see you?”
“Why? If there was nothing there, why did you even bother to start this?”
He owed her an honest answer to that question. She wouldn’t like it, and he had no desire to hurt her any more than he already had, but she did deserve the truth.
“I was lonely,” he said quietly. “And you were... convenient.”
“Convenient!?” The word burst out of her, rekindling her anger. “That’s what I am to you? After all this time, you suddenly decide to take advantage of my feelings for you because I was convenient?”
“It wasn’t that calculated... but yes.”
“How was it exactly, Grissom?”
He sighed. He did not want to do this, but he’d left himself no choice.
“After Debbie Marlin, you assumed...”
“I assumed? You’re telling me this is somehow my fault?”
“No. This is my fault, Sara. I should have gone to Heather then, rather than...”
“Heather?” Sara shrieked. “How is this about her?”
“Honestly? I wasn't aware of missing anything until she was gone.”
“And I was... what in all this?”
He stared ahead of him and forced his next words out through clenched teeth.
“You were... easy.”
He felt her fists slam into his arm, and allowed her several moments to vent her anger before turning to her and taking her by the wrists. He met her angry stare with genuine regret in his eyes.
“I’m sorry, Sara. I don’t know what else to say.”
She jerked away from him, then slumped in her seat, drained.
“There’s nothing you can say, Grissom.” A pause, then she looked up at him. “I thought you were better than this.”
“I’ve never been what you thought, Sara.”
She barked out a humorless laugh and lowered her eyes.
“I loved you,” she whispered after a moment.
“No,” he said gently. “ You didn’t.”
She glared at him.
“How can you presume to tell me what I feel?”
“You can’t love me, Sara. You don’t know me.”
“And she does?”
He pursed his lips, obviously reluctant to discuss the dominatrix with her at all, but aware that some response was necessary.
“I want her to,” he said finally.
Sara looked out the window, brushing the tears from her eyes, and nodded. She moved quickly, pulling the handle on the door and sliding out as soon as it opened. She did not turn back when she spoke.
“You should go,” she murmured, "Your whore is waiting." With that, she hurried away up the walk to her door.
He looked after her for a long moment, then started the engine and pulled away.
Sara fumbled at her door, dropping her keys several times before she actually managed to fit them into the lock. When she’d left her apartment earlier this evening, she was in high spirits. Tonight should have been perfect. Finally, a real date with Grissom. She looked down at the new dress she’d bought for the occasion, and it took all of her control not to rip the thing to shreds there in the hallway. She made herself focus on the key. All she wanted now was to get inside and forget that this night had ever happened.
How could she have been so stupid?
She’d spent the last four years waiting for even the slightest hint of encouragement from Grissom. She’d taken every look, every comment and relived them over and over looking for some hidden meaning... anything to support her fantasies. And now she understood that it all meant exactly nothing.
While she thought Grissom was excited by her mind, that he had enough substance to look beyond the superficial, he had fallen for an obvious tramp. Grissom, the consummate professional, had been completely derailed by a murder suspect who sold sex to freaks. It would almost be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. What could the dominatrix possibly have to offer him - beyond the obvious? That Grissom should be no better than any other man, brain firmly planted between his legs, was the ultimate obscenity to her. The sight of him with that... bitch had sickened her. In all the years she’d known him, she had never seen him out of control, but tonight he’d been no better than an animal. He’d actually growled, for chrissake. How could she ever look at him again?
Who was she kidding? The saddest thing about all of this was that she still wanted him. The passion that she saw tonight was far beyond anything she could have imagined, and she found herself more than a little envious that it should be for someone like Lady Heather rather than her.
A harsh voice sounded in her head as she finally managed to unlock the door and push it open.
What was that about being pathetic? You’ve got the prize tonight, Honey.
Gil Grissom was pensive during his drive.
Things at work would be more than a little uncomfortable. He was not looking forward to Sara’s moods over the next weeks, but he’d brought this on himself. He should have put a stop to this as soon as he realized his mistake, instead of waiting for it to deteriorate like this. He shouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place. He knew better.
He’d told Heather months ago that he was losing his balance, but he’d had no idea how true that was... or how far-reaching. He should be terrified of her. Nothing else in his experience had the ability to put him at such a disadvantage. In moments of brutal honesty, he admitted to himself that his fear had played more of a role in his behavior regarding that damn warrant than his professionalism. He also admitted that in spite of the fear - perhaps because of it - he was drawn to Heather. He needed her... whatever the risk.
When Grissom arrived at the Dominion, a pretty redhead answered the door and told him that Lady Heather was waiting for him in her private rooms.
“Shall I take you up, or do you know your way?”
“I believe I remember the way,” he smiled.
“As you wish.”
He made his way upstairs and found Heather’s rooms easily, knocking softly at the door to her sitting room. When she answered the door, she was tying off the belt of a short silk kimono, and it was obvious he’d taken her by surprise. She arched an eyebrow and offered him a bemused smile.
“I wasn’t expecting you so soon.”
He allowed himself a moment before offering a reply, his eyes moving to the considerable length of bare leg beneath her robe then back up to meet hers again. She had not invited him in, but he stepped forward anyway, bringing himself close to her and slipping a hand into the dark silk of her hair.
“There was nothing to keep me away.”
“No?” Heather smiled and leaned into his touch for just a moment before stepping back and moving toward a plush sofa. Grissom sighed. She had been more than willing to submit to him on that terrace, but now she was most definitely in command of the situation. He had the distinct impression that this was a test. He moved into the room behind her and joined her on the sofa, waiting. “Tell me about her.”
“There’s honestly not that much to tell,” he began, deciding that it was best to do this with as little prompting as possible and forcing himself to continue. He knew what she required of him, and he would do his best to give it to her. “Sara was a student of mine years ago. We became friends, and when I needed a CSI on my team, I asked her to come to Las Vegas.” How much would she require, he wondered. “She’s... interested in me.” The lovely brunette arched an eyebrow and leaned back into the cushions expectantly. He pursed his lips and drew in a deep breath. “I should never have encouraged her. I knew better than to allow things to become personal... not that there was ever anything...” He looked away from her steady gaze. He hated this, and she knew it... but hadn’t he known there would be a price for her forgiveness? He looked up to find her struggling to control obvious amusement, and his blue eyes flashed irritation. “Heather, this isn’t...”
“No,” she interrupted him.“It’s not easy for you. I know that. I’m just...” She paused, her full lips quirking into a guilty smile. “Gil, it’s obvious that there was nothing intimate between you.”
He was forced to smile as well, though his discomfort was extreme.
“Well, at least that eliminates the need to clarify the extent of my error,” he muttered.
“Why?” she asked simply.
He looked at her for a long moment, eyes holding hers. If he was ever going to win her trust again, now was the time to try.
“Because I was a coward. I missed you too much to be alone, and I was too afraid of you to try to make things right.” A long pause, as he lowered his eyes. “Sara seemed like an easy solution. I knew it was a mistake almost immediately, but I wasn’t sure how to correct it.”
“You’re here now,” she said softly, dismissing his mistake in favor of more important concerns. “Does that mean you aren’t afraid any more?”
“I’m terrified... but I don’t seem to be able to do without you.”
“Tell me what you’re afraid of.”
“When I told you I was losing my balance...” he began, after a long moment. “... I had no idea... Heather, I’m used to being in control, but... I’m at a loss with you. I don’t seem to have any self-control where you’re concerned, my judgment is compromised...” He looked down at hands clasped tightly in his lap and shrugged helplessly.
“Gil.” Her hand covered his, and he brought his eyes back to hers. “You have a carefully built life... one that hasn’t allowed for the possibility of others taking up residence. We’re very much alike in that regard. When you decide to make room for someone else, it’s a difficult adjustment.”
“It’s not a decision, Heather. I have no choice. I need you. That’s what scares me, I think... that something I need so desperately is so completely out of my control.”
“Trust doesn’t come easily to either of us.” She moved closer and reached behind his neck, a hand curling into his hair and pulling his face close to hers. “Since we seem to need each other, we’ll just have to work at it until we get it right.” She held his gaze, waiting to see the recognition there before moving the discussion to less threatening territory. She had asked enough of him - at least for the moment - and he had not disappointed her. Her voice dropped to a sultry whisper, and she shifted her position again as she spoke, bringing her body into contact with his. “Of course, exposing yourself to the risks of intimacy does have certain... rewards.”
“Yes,” he conceded, bringing his mouth to hers and tugging at the loose knot holding her robe closed. “There are definitely rewards.”
“Catherine.” She turned at the sound of her name to see Grissom walking toward her in the hallway of the crime lab. “Got a minute?”
“Sure. What do you need?”
He was about to steer her into his office when Hodges intercepted him.
“Boss, I have the results on those fibers from the...”
He looked over his shoulder at the lab tech, eyes flashing annoyance.
“Isn’t that Nicky’s case, Hodges?”
“Well, yes, but...”
“Take it to Nicky.” With that Grissom turned back to Cath and guided her through his office door, shutting it firmly behind him, lest the over eager lab tech decide to follow.
He turned his attention to Catherine, only to find her smirking, and raised an eyebrow in question.
“I guess you had a good night with Sara.”
His brow furrowed in confusion.
“Not exactly. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about...”
Now it was Catherine’s turn to look confused.
“You didn’t have a good night?”
“Not with Sara.” He rushed on before she could ask. “Catherine what were you thinking switching shifts with her?”
“Ok, I’m confused,” she began, ignoring his last remark. “How did you... ?” She trailed off, and he rolled his eyes as she gestured toward his neck.
Great. When he turned to look at Hodges she must have noticed the bite mark behind his left ear. Did she really think... He looked at her with something very close to horror at the thought.
“Certainly not Sara!”
She arched her eyebrows and held up her hands in surrender.
“Sorry.” She paused for a moment, looking at him sheepishly. “Whoever is responsible for that little trophy wanted to make sure you wouldn’t be able to hide it.”
He produced a weary sigh. There was no way around this.
“Heather was... making a point.”
“Heather?” Cath smiled. “As in Lady Heather?” He shot her an impatient look in lieu of an answer. “I didn't think she was talking to you.”
He offered her his most innocent smile.
“I don’t recall her talking when she did this.”
Not entirely true. He recalled the moment quite clearly. Heather had been straddling him at the time, and had bent over to whisper two words in his ear before sinking her teeth into his neck... ‘You’re mine.’ That, however, was not an image to focus on right now... not if he ever hoped to regain control of this conversation.
Catherine arched an eyebrow, but at least she seemed at a loss as to how to continue.
“Sooo..” she went on cautiously, “I thought you had a date with Sara last night.”
“I shouldn’t have.” His words dripped with irritation. “But one of my coworkers was trying to be funny.”
“I was not trying to be funny,” she insisted. “I was just trying to encourage you to resolve an uncomfortable situation.”
“Well, that worked,” he muttered sarcastically.
“How bad was it?”
He waved off her apology.
“It’s my fault.”
“Have you seen Sara?”
“Yeah.” He pursed his lips, staring down at his desk and brooding over the possibilities.
“Gil?” He looked up to find her smirking again. “I’d try to keep her on my right if I were you.”
Sara had thought seriously about calling in and taking some vacation time, but decided that she needed to show up at the crime lab... to make Grissom uncomfortable, if for no other reason. The last thing she needed was to sit in her lonely apartment and sulk about Grissom’s shortcomings. She’d wasted more than enough time on him as it was.
She was there, but she was not in a good mood. Grissom, predictably, was avoiding her. Catherine had intercepted her with word that she was working a home invasion, and that Nick would be joining her to help process the scene as soon as he wrapped up another case. Sending Cath to get rid of her was enough to piss her off even without last night’s performance, though she had to admit, the routine tasks were comforting and she was thrilled to be free of the need to interact with anyone - Grissom in particular. Brass was the officer on the scene and was interviewing the homeowner while she went about the process of evidence collection.
When Nick showed up, he gave her a huge grin and set about rummaging in his kit for a pair of gloves. She rolled her eyes and went back to her work.
“I thought you’d be in a better mood tonight."
“I’m sorry to disappoint you,” she snapped.
He looked at her, eyes narrowing.
“Look, it’s none of my business. I just thought since you got lucky last night...”
He trailed off as she turned to him with pure rage flaming in her tired, brown eyes.
“What are you talking about?” she demanded. “Who told you I got lucky last night?”
“Take it easy,” he began, obviously taken aback by the violence of her response. “I’m just saying good for you. Look, if you didn’t want anybody to notice, maybe you shouldn’t have left a bite mark in such an obvious place.”
“A bite mark!?” she hissed, her face turning an alarming shade of red. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I didn’t leave a bite mark anywhere last night.”
“I thought...” he stammered, suddenly feeling extremely stupid and wishing he could just start over and keep his big mouth shut. “You know what? Never mind. Forget I said anything.”
“Oh no. You’re telling me that Grissom is advertising...”
“No!” he answered quickly. “I just noticed... look, it was behind his ear, nothing really obvious, but there, and I thought...”
“You thought I was the type to make an announcement?”
He looked away from her, desperately wanting to be anywhere but here. Frankly, he did think she might have wanted to mark her territory if she’d finally gotten Grissom to give in to her advances. Hell, he and Warrick had noticed more than once over the last few years that she did everything but piss on his leg when another woman got anywhere close to their elusive boss. And she’d certainly made no secret of the fact that she was going to that fundraiser with him.
Whatever was going on, it was big. Nick was dying to know who she was. Maybe someone back at the lab would have the 411 later. He’d stop by to see Greg. The young lab tech was always surprisingly well-informed where office gossip was concerned.
“Everything ok here?”
Nick could have hugged Brass just then. He looked up at the detective and shrugged, nodding subtly toward the belligerent young woman next to him.
“Fine,” Sara barked. “Everything’s fine.”
Everything was most definitely not fine. Sara was practically vibrating with rage, but neither Nick nor Brass had any idea how to deal with her. Instead they both opted for finding excuses to keep their distance until the scene was processed and they were all in their respective vehicles headed back to the crime lab.
Sara was fuming as she drove in from the scene. That witch! She had no doubt that the dominatrix had done it on purpose as a personal little ‘fuck you’. Grissom should be pissed, but after last night, she didn’t dare guess at his reactions to anything any more. He certainly hadn’t been shy about advertising his relationship with Lady Heather then. She’d been certain that he would go rushing off to that godforsaken fetish club as soon as he got rid of her; she sure as hell didn’t need any confirmation.
She was unsure whether she wanted to confront Grissom when she got back to the lab or simply avoid him - but she knew that she would love 5 minutes alone with Lady Heather.
I’d rethink that one. The unhelpful voice from the previous night sounded in her head again. You might get a little more than you bargained for. Where Grissom is concerned, there’s no question she has the upper hand.
She’d made that perfectly clear.
Nick stopped by the DNA lab on his way back in from the crime scene.
“Hey, Greg. What’s up?”
“Nothing much yet. What have you got for me?”
Nick looked more than a little sheepish as he muttered his response, shuffling from one foot to the other.
“Well... it’s not exactly what I’ve got for you...” He began.
“Ahhh! Say no more, my friend. You want to know who the woman is.”
“Well, yeah.” Nick grinned. Greg leaned back, arms folded across his chest and a decidedly self-satisfied smirk plastered across his lips.
“It seems that Grissom managed to get back in the dom’s good graces.”
Nick looked at him blankly for a moment, then understanding dawned.
“How many dominatrices does Grissom know?”
“It’s Grissom, man, who knows?”
“No wonder Sara’s not happy.”
“So, how bad is it?” Greg asked, with a little too much amusement in his tone.
Nick shuddered and shook his head.
“You got any vacation time?”
“Ooooooo...” The lab tech flinched, but a grin spread across his face. “I would hate to be Grissom right now.”
“Man, I don’t think you need to be Grissom... you just need to be in her path.”
“Noted. Thanks for the warning.”
“Any time. Listen, I gotta run. Appreciate the info.”
“Happy to be of service.”
Gil Grissom escaped to his office, falling heavily into the chair behind his desk. In the past hour, he been warned by Nick, Greg, and Brass that he might want to avoid Sara for the remainder of tonight’s shift. Greg’s warning had been accompanied by a not so subtle attempt to maneuver to his left side - to get a look at the evidence of Heather’s mischief, no doubt. Brass’s warning, had begun with “I told you to get a damn sports car.” And Nick’s... well, Nick had been sheepish and slightly disapproving. For the first time in recent memory, Grissom found himself wanting nothing so much as to get out of this lab.
He flipped open his cell phone and punched in a string of numbers, smiling when he heard the familiar voice at the other end.
“Gil... to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?’
“Other than a desire to hear your voice?” There was a pause, and he could almost see the smile spread along those perfect lips. “Nothing, I’m afraid. How’s your night?”
“Uneventful... and yours?”
“A little too interesting... thanks to you.”
“Me?” she asked, the word dripping with mock innocence. “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.”
“Is this sufficient, or should I expect more?” The rich laugh that he received in response to his question was both charming and disconcerting.
“I haven’t decided yet.”
“I’m not a big fan of uncertainty.”
“Mmm... that’s a shame.”
He produced a weary sigh.
“You will let me know when I’ve gained absolution?”
“You’ll know,” she assured him.
“Can I see you in the morning?”
“Don’t you mean can you fuck me in the morning?”
He shook his head slightly at her directness, feeling the beginnings of arousal.
“I suppose I do.” His voice was lower both in volume and in pitch, the tone decidedly more intimate. He waited, but there was no answer. “Heather?”
“What was the question?”
A wicked grin tugged at the corners of his mouth.
“Can I fuck you in the morning?”
“Yes.” She managed somehow to make that one, simple word seem incredibly dirty.
He felt himself stiffen, only to go immediately flaccid once again when Sara came storming into his office.
“Are you trying to make me look like a complete idiot, or is it just a happy coincidence?” she demanded.
“It sounds like you need to go?”
“It would seem so.”
“I’ll... see you in the morning, then.”
He found himself smiling in spite of Sara’s obvious irritation.
“In the morning...” he murmured, flipping his phone shut.
“You just left her, Grissom. Is she that demanding?”
He ignored the comment.
“What do you want, Sara?”
"What do I want? I want everyone in this fucking lab to stop watching me like some specimen under a microscope. I want you and that freak whore of yours to drop dead. And I want to go back about five years and tell you to find somebody else when you ask me to conduct your fucking investigation.”
“If you’re determined to scream obscenities, Sara, would you at least close the door?”
Damn that icy calm of his!
She spun around, slamming the door with enough force to cause the specimen jars on nearby shelves to rattle. He barely registered that she had turned back to him when she was already around his desk. She grabbed his face before he could think to stop her, turning his head to the side, then pushing him away as though touching him might somehow contaminate her.
“Freak whore!” the angry brunette hissed. “Wasn’t it enough that she humiliated me last night without having to make sure the entire lab knew about it?”
“That wasn’t about you.”
“No, I guess not. Nothing for you has ever been about me, has it, Grissom?”
“Fuck you!” She turned and headed for the door, stopping when she had opened it and turning to face him once again. “You’ll have my resignation on your desk by the end of shift. I’ll be taking vacation time to finish out my notice.” She stalked through the door and slammed it behind her. This time, the singing Billy Bass over his door was shocked into life.
Don’t worry. Be happy.
The entire situation suddenly seemed ludicrous in the extreme, and he found himself laughing in spite of the scene that had just played itself out. Definitely no plant this time, he decided.
copyright 2004, by Hannah