The thing about shift work most people didn't realize was you always felt this vague sense of guilt when your day off landed in the middle of the week. Well, Sara did anyway, thank-you-very-much Protestant work ethic. It always felt a little bit like playing hooky, she would run her errands on her day off and couldn't help but think in one tiny part of her brain that the shop clerks and grocery store checkers suspected her of goldbricking, of goofing off. Which was utter nonsense, she knew that, especially in a 24/7 a-go-go town like Vegas. But participating in that most sacred of American institutions, "the weekend" was ingrained into the fabric of society; Mondays were universally dreaded and spent discussing the previous weekend, Wednesday was "Hump Day" the week was half over, and then of course; TGIF. But all a Friday meant to her was that people were on the verge of a 48-hour period of free time to murder each other in clever and not-so-clever ways.
Then add the fact she worked nights, which only added to the sense of disconnection and all right she'll admit it, shame. Going to bed at noon and rising at six or seven at night seemed hedonistic, as if she's spent her awake hours engaged in partying and debauchery instead of the sometimes dull and dirty work of collecting evidence. Sara had no reason to feel this way. She knew people—families even—whose entire lives were flipped around because they worked third, like her. But the nagging little voice was there all the same...early to bed, early to rise... Which she's learned to ignore...mostly...because she's become a night person now and not fitting in with the herd is an old habit for her. A habit she'd had thrust upon her and eventually learned to cultivate long before now.
Most days she's too busy, or too tired to notice her life is at right angles to the world but then bam, she'd have that rare day off that would fall on a weekend and she'd feel obligated to spend it in a frantic rush of activity, trying to maximize the potential of her chance to be like everyone else.
Then there was Greg.
Greg who didn't care if he messed up his sleep schedule by rising at seven with the rest of the "working stiffs" just to see what eating lunch in the food-court at one of the casinos was like. Or sometimes he wouldn't sleep at all on his day off, just stay awake helped along by multiple cups of coffee and go into work that way—jittery and wired—deadheading his way through a slow shift before collapsing at home at the end of it. Or the fact that preparing a huge supper with two kinds of vegetables and meat that required lengthy cooking in an oven, might be too heavy for "breakfast", nothing at all like the usual small meal she herself would normally eat before shift. Or even that he could spend his day off doing nothing at all—no errands, no chores, just laze around and play X-box and read surfing magazines and sometimes not even get out of his pajamas.
And it never bothered him. He never felt guilty, or obligated to "maximize the potential."
"Sara, It's my day off from work...I can spend it however I want...that's kind of the point." Then he'd kiss her and smile lazily while burrowing back under the covers. "You might try it sometime..." He'd murmur before drifting off to sleep again...in her bed, likely as not.
Greg and this...thing...they had. And try as she might to compartmentalize and keep her life neat and squared away, Greg and all his...Gregness were spilling over into her life.
The hell of it was...she should mind. She should mind and be getting panicked and start to chew the skin around her thumb while she fretted over this loss of control. But then she'd think about how different a casino was when you were just there for lunch and not because someone was dead. Or how staying awake for an entire day led to early morning giggle fits in the break room, because everything is funny when you've been up for 30 hours straight. Or how good a cook he was, unlike her and her famous dish, Speed Dial Number 6—Mr. Chow's Chinese. Or how staying in bed all day—especially staying in bed with him was decadent and debauched and...wonderful.
She's learning to be lazy. It feels good and a tad rebellious. She still hears that little voice, the steady yammer in the back of her head that recites lists of all the things she should be doing...laundry, groceries, housework...Sara ignores it, proud of her hard won idleness. She's lying on the couch, and while what she's wearing maybe isn't her pajamas, they could be; the loose sweatshirt is Greg's actually, the yoga pants hers. And the pile of clean laundry she did earlier? She hasn't put it away...it's still in the basket, neatly folded. She's honestly tried looking at the glossy fashion magazines Greg brought her as lures towards indolence, but beyond checking the sex columns to see if there were any new tricks she hasn't tried—and didn't she feel a thrill of satisfaction that there weren't—she'd grown bored with them. So why does she feel just a bit guilty looking at the Journal of Forensic Sciences? She's only skimming the articles, after all. Sara couldn't really call that work related reading, more like...work adjacent.
Still she jumps nervously and tucks the journal into the sofa cushions when she hears Greg's feet padding down her hall.
"Hey...morning!" Did she sound guilty? She hopes not.
Greg is still half asleep; his hair is sleep mussed and twisted with corkscrews more elaborate than any he creates intentionally.
He says something that sounds like "Good morning" but she can't be sure, he does drop a slow lingering kiss on her mouth that's way better than any muttered greeting. He shambles into her kitchen and begins the arcane process that she can only call "the daily rummage for sustenance".
Again, this should be bothering her, unlike her sensible cup of tea and granola cereal—cup and bowl rinsed and stacked neatly in the sink afterwards—Greg will eat anything for breakfast. Chocolate cake, cold pizza, sushi...if it's food he'd eat it. She's tried buying extra granola and bagels and whatnot but anything that requires effort, even something as simple as pouring milk and cereal into a bowl, is beyond him when he's barely awake. Pop tarts however, are within his realm of capability and suddenly she's found herself to adding a box or two to her otherwise nutritious, low fat, calorie conscious, typical single woman's assortment of groceries. She'd tried one once...tentatively biting into the unnaturally bright blue icing because anything that color couldn't be good for you...she'd quickly spit the gluey mess of pastry and filling into her hand and thrown it out. But he liked them and she guessed that unlike leftover spaghetti, at least they were a "breakfast food" in the loosest sense of the term. That was another thing...since when did she care about what Greg ate? Girlfriends and wives cared about stuff like that. But there it was all the same...the Pop tarts box in her cart, evidence of a...thing...a thing with Greg that involved her and her concern for his health. Why this rapid and easy slide towards domesticity they were taking wasn't setting off huge alarm bells was beyond her.
Maybe because it was so easy...it had just kind of crept up on her. Past experience had taught her relationships were a fraught dangerous territory full of hidden pitfalls and traps. This...thing with Greg wasn't like that at all.
It was kind of like having a stray cat, first you fed it once, outside on the porch, then you let it come into the house just that one time when it was raining, the next thing you knew it was sleeping in your bed with you every night.
Not that she thought of Greg as a stray she's picked up...not really. But the ease at which he's inserted herself into her life, become a part of it really, is...disconcerting. He's very careful to observe her dictates about the strict separation of work and life after work. She had expected a fight. Had thought he would insist upon openness or be unable to draw the line she's demanding of him. But in his typical easy-going amiable Greg Sanders fashion he'd shrugged, and said "Sure thing...no worries." So she'd pressed him to make sure...absolutely sure, he understood. He'd laughed and reassured her again, somehow finding a way to get his hands up her top while he did and explained he could and would for her because "it was like having a whole secret life and having a secret is hot...doesn't it make you hot, Sara?" But she couldn't answer, his clever hands had stolen her voice and she could only nod, eyes glassy with desire.
Sara shakes off the little frisson that memory brings on. Part of her wants to fixate on the new and wholly unexpected course of her life, keep picking at it like a scab, but if she's learned anything...that way leads to Dumpsville, Population: Me. With a sense of firm mental resolve she decides she's taking a lesson from Greg and going to "go with the flow". He's mastered it when it comes to her and her quirks. So far Greg's been undemanding and easy and to her surprise two months had slipped by in a flow of hectic nights at work followed by mornings spent either at his place or hers. They seem to arrive by unspoken mutual agreement whose place they're sleeping at. Not that she's gotten much sleep lately or that she really minds all that much. Greg is...talented. Talented in a way she never expected him to be; they've gone through the giddy and heated "can't keep the smile off my face" grab-ass craziness of having a new lover, had the first intense passionate "up against the wall because I have to fuck you now" sex, tried all the usual and a few unusual positions, he's even shown her the joys of liquid latex and the naughty things you can do with it, but better than all that is the fun. She's never had so much fun before...she never realized what an aphrodisiac laughter is.
Greg plops onto the couch beside her, shifting her legs onto his lap. He offers a bite of his Pop tart, not the blue kind...she's bought him strawberry because at least that was more fruitlike and maybe healthier.
"No thanks. I've eaten."
"I see...and done laundry...I thought you were practicing goofing off today?" He chides.
"The laundry was already in the dryer...I just folded it." It was only a tiny fib, really.
"Liar. I heard you earlier. You left to do laundry."
"You were asleep...you couldn't hear anything...anyway, I didn't. Just folding. That's all, I swear."
"I know you, Sidle...you probably got up early and got all twitchy looking at the dirty clothes in the hamper and snuck off to do laundry like a..."
"Washer-woman?" She's trying not to smile.
"A wicked washer-woman with a guilty conscience who can't lie worth a damn, yes..."
"And you've got a work ethic that makes the Amish look like shiftless layabouts...we agreed you were going to try for one day of total sloth. For your own good."
"No, you agreed, I just went along because—" She stops, heat flooding her face. Greg pounces.
"Because why...why is that exactly, hmmm?" He's too smug for someone who's just woken up.
"Because...I lost the bet. So! I'll win the next one. Don't worry Greg, I'll get you back."
"Never happen...besides, I think you lost on purpose. Hey, I'll admit that I was thinking about it too, considering the game we played...pretty tempting." Greg's eyes grow dark with the memory of that game, one of many she's learned to play, she feels a quick prickle of heat in her belly.
"I never lose on purpose." Another tiny lie. She'd lasted almost 45 minutes before she'd given in and shuddered over the edge of an enormous spine bending orgasm that had left her feeling like jelly. Happy, enormously satisfied jelly.
"Lying makes the Baby Jesus cry, Sara..." Greg says gently.
She won't, she can't give him the satisfaction. Her teeth bite into her lip.
"And puppies...Jesus and puppies everywhere are crying because you lie..."
Despite her best efforts the giggles escape so she smacks him with a rolled up magazine.
He's laughing and holding out his hands to defend himself, still rambling on about puppies and Jesus and are her pants on fire because she's such a liar? So she doesn't quite recognize it when something inside shifts and moves just a tiny bit closer to that place called love...if she did she might worry, but then again she might not notice because she's laughing so hard.
Satisfied he's safely in the shower, she pulls out the Journal from underneath the sofa cushions. The articles are fairly standard—predictable really—except for one slightly hysterical missive about the psychopathy of female killers in abusive relationships that gets Sara peeved enough that she's considering responding to this misguided sexist prick—
"I don't think JFS counts as light reading..."
"Greg! I didn't hear—done in the shower already? That was quick!" She should put a bell on him; the way he sneaks up on her sometimes. She tries for casual; perky is always a dead giveaway she's lying.
"It's no big deal...I was just flipping through it..."
"You were making notes." He points to the pad and pen she's quite unconsciously grabbed from her desk. Dammit. She was too.
"Uh...no. I wasn't." Wow, you think spending all that time around criminals would make her a better liar. Sara brazens it out.
Greg sighs and slips the tee shirt he's wearing over his head. On the one hand she's relieved because No Shirt Greg is hard to concentrate around, now she'll be able to lie like a pro, but No Shirt Greg is nice to look at...along with Sleeping Greg and Vest Wearing Greg and Lab Coat Greg and Naked Greg...
He's speaking to her now...Greg...Sara makes an effort to focus.
"Hello...where'd you go? You weren't here; that much is obvious...you were thinking about the article again, weren't you? God Sara, the hamster's tired...give him a break."
"The one on the little wheel in your head..." He makes a whirring sound and loops his finger by his ear.
"Actually, Mr. Know-it-all...I was thinking about...(not naked don't tell him that you think about him naked us naked having sex...) Uh—us."
"Us? What about us?" His voice jigs up a little.
"Nothing...nothing really...just things, y'know...the bet." She'll attempt to divert his attention back to more pleasurable things.
"Right...the bet." Greg isn't teasing her with that sexy grin like he usually does when their extra curricular activities come up. "Look Sara, you spend your day off however you want to okay? Read a hundred journal articles if that's what you want to do...you don't have to pretend for me."
Sara frowns, this whole conversation has gone skittering sidewise on her, quite without her realizing how.
"I'm just gonna go and finish getting ready...I have some stuff I need to do before work. I'll be out of your hair in a few minutes." Greg disappears back into the bathroom.
"Sure..." Sara chews on her thumb. Greg was running errands today? He didn't mention that...not that she expects him to hang out with her just because it's her day off; it's just the habit they've fallen into. She can't expect him to do that all the time, can she? Of course he's got stuff to do. So does she. She worries at her thumb and ignores the disappointment she feels.
He's left. Gone to run his errands, and while he still kisses her goodbye there's a kind of awkwardness. Not that Greg isn't awkward at the best of times...but this. This is different; he's not here before he's even left.
What did she do? Was it even her? She sits slumped on the couch and thinks hard. Reasoned analysis of a situation in light of new evidence may work in a lab but it sucks when you try and apply it to your personal life. Because you can't tease out emotions and lay them on a table and take a good long look at them, even digging around inside to find them hurts. Brooding is better...and she's really good at it. Sometime later she realizes she's not even brooding anymore, she's sulking. That's fine by her...great even, because a good sulk can bury a lot of other things underneath it. She half-senses a hot skittery gnawing feeling that might be fear and the longer she can ignore that the better. So Sara gets her mope on good and she chews the skin around her thumbnail bloody.
Greg finished his shift and went back to his place.
That's fine. She doesn't own him. He called and he did sound really tired.
"Hey...listen, I think I might just crash at my apartment, okay?"
The awkwardness rises up again and that clawing little thing deep in her head gets loose for a moment until she collars it.
"You don't mind?"
Yes I do. I do mind...because you're supposed to be here...or I'm over there. And I don't even have to ask anymore because you just...know.
But she doesn't say that. No, she says,
"Why should I mind?"
As she hangs up the phone she realizes she's always been a terrible liar.
It's only when she's passing by a long glass window at the lab that Sara realizes she's wearing her heart on her sleeve. Literally. She'd spent the next 24 hours alternating between compulsive cleaning fits when she'd storm through her apartment like a sudden summer squall, to moodily staring off her balcony, listening the voice in her head replaying their last conversation over and over again, waiting until it was time to get ready for work.
To which she wore all black. Black jeans, black shirt, black shitkicker boots with steel capped toes, she'd even used more than the usual amount of black eyeliner...all that was missing was the pack of cigarettes rolled up in her sleeve and the switchblade. Her entire outfit screamed Fuck-off. Angry Sara was back in town.
She almost cracked a tiny smile. But she couldn't get it past the huge ball of hurt in her gut.
She saw Greg. He'd come in early too, probably trying to avoid the same thing she was; the stiff way your face got when you forced herself to make small talk with someone who was shriveling you up inside and you didn't know why. In a way, she felt sorry for him. He was a novice at this—the dark purple smudges under his eyes spoke volumes—she'd had way more practice at it. She knew enough to wear sunglasses.
"Hey, Sara..." He ducked out from behind the lab bench and stood in her path, hands stuffed in his pockets, misery so thick she could almost smell it. Her heart started a slow heavy beat she could feel pounding in her head like a rotten tooth.
"Hey, Greg...how's it going?" And she stepped around him and kept walking.
She didn't see him again for the rest of the night.
"What did you do to Greg? Did you two fight?" Grissom corners her in the tiny office she's (hiding in)using to catch up on paperwork.
Anger, shock, fear...most of all fear, bite at her like snapping dogs. She keeps her head down a minute longer than necessary to make sure he won't see. Why she bothers is the real question...if Greg can read her like a book, it should be a cakewalk for Grissom. Still, once you got into the habit of lying—and hadn't she lied long and hard and disingenuously when it came to Grissom—the first thing that fills your mouth is denial.
So why does she find herself telling the truth?
"No. I didn't do anything to Greg and no...we didn't fight." And that was the most fucked up thing about this...there was no fight. Things just seemed to be flying apart, and that somehow, was the scariest thing of all.
"I thought he was doing good work out there...does he need more supervision?" And for a bizarre minute Sara thinks Griss' is asking about...well that. She bites down hard on the crazy suicidal urge to say,
Nope, he's amazing. He can fuck me six ways from Sunday and it's me, I'm the one who needs more... But she realizes with a dawning sense of mingled relief and hurt, that he has no idea. No idea at all. Grissom doesn't know anything about what's been going on between her and Greg.
She's a little bit shocked and vaguely embarrassed for him. Like seeing the Emperor with no clothes on, the Grissom she knows should have cottoned on what was happening to her almost before she did. On the heels of that, comes the other sickening realization, how can Greg—Greg—read her moods so easily, and yet, not Grissom? Unless...he's never cared enough to be able to...
Understanding is a hammer blow, her idea of just who Grissom is...is wrong. She's never really known him because he's only ever chosen to show her glimpses and fragments, never the whole man. And she's taken those bits and pieces of a person and woven a perception that she's clung to for years. The force of that knowledge rocks her a little bit. The hard and bitter truth of it sticks in her craw.
Then anger rises and spills all over everything like caustic bile.
"Look. Greg is fine. Thanks for assuming I did something by the way. That's big of you." Grissom takes a tiny hesitant step back. She can hear in her voice just how angry she actually is. Her words are clipped and tight, measured little bites of sound meted out in bursts, odd quivers jerk her voice up and down; static surges of rage She's only ever talked like that when she's close to losing control...The effort of smoothing her voice out, slowing it down, leaves her trembling. "I have no qualms with his field work...none at all. It's solid. He's solid. Can't someone just have an off day once in a while?"
He purses his lips and considers for a long quiet moment; she keeps her head down, pretending to work. Impossible, when the tears blur and treble the meaningless words on the forms in front of her, she concentrates on breathing slow and steady.
"All right, Sara. I'm sorry I accused you of anything...he just seems..."
Heartbroken. She knows, because she feels the same way. And not like in some dumb romance novel way either...but like some heavy hand is squeezing your heart, tight enough that you can't catch your breath...iron fingers digging into the soft meat, digging hard enough to make blood sweat to the surface from the force of the terrible gripping hand.
She's on her feet and pushing past Grissom.
"I'll go talk to him."
"I sent Greg home...he was no use to me like that...Sara wait!"
She doesn't look back; her days of trying to read the inscrutable Gil Grissom are over. She no longer cares what he'll think of her abruptness, her anger. She guesses he'll assume that once again her actions are dictated by his, that her heart will always feel that tidal pull towards him and react.
She wants to call it arrogance but she's proven that it's truth to him often enough in the past. And maybe deep within her some part always will feel that pull, that oceanic longing for a distant unreachable moon.
"I'm no use to you either, Grissom...I'm finished with all this...I'm leaving..."
That was another truth. One she suspected Grissom would learn sooner or later...or never. She doesn't care; right now she needs to find Greg. She's horribly sure that it's too late... this thing between them is too delicate for such rough treatment. Still, she's close to running when she pushes through the plate glass doors to the parking lot.
His car isn't in his spot at his apartment. Her stomach—busy doing huge looping turns the entire drive over—stops and clenches tight, fear sharp and bitter floods her mouth. There's still a chance...
Sara doesn't allow herself to hope as she heads back over to her place. She's on automatic pilot, only vaguely aware of the gradual lessening of the dark outside her car windows, the growing flush of sunrise over the distant mountains. At least the pre-dawn streets are relatively clear of traffic and she makes good time. But hope must have crept in anyway, because when she sees the familiar boxy shape of his Jetta it leaps up bright and shining in her chest until she draws closer. The car isn't his...she's mistaken. She stands by the car—that practical imposter from Germany—staring down at the grinning chrome expanse of its grill, cheerful killer of insects and hope. Sara uses one of her shitkicker boots to smash in the left headlight. The sound of shattering glass is barely heard over the growing hum from the freeway as a few early morning commuters get the jump on their busy day. Shards crunch dully under her heels as she heads inside. Sara wonders if she'd feel better if she were barefoot and bleeding.
The sobs get her at her front door. Harsh racking sobs that she can barely hold in; she clamps her lips against them trying to slot the jittering key into her lock. She manages finally and is grateful to escape into her home. She presses her back against the door she's slammed against the world and slides down until she's on the floor. Once there, she gives in, gives up and lets herself cry. She holds her head in her hands and just cries until her head feels thundery and her eyes are hot and overfull. She curls into a ball and rests her feverish cheek on the cool smoothness of the floor and lets the emptiness of her house fill her.
Sara must have fallen asleep because she's jolted awake when her front door cracks into the small of her back. She cries out in pain and alarm as she crabs backwards down her hall. Her arm has gone numb and when she puts her weight on it, vicious pins and needles stab up her arm, she rolls over onto her back clutching her arm in agony.
"Ow! Owww! Shit! Ahh!" Her eyes are screwed shut but she hears the soft thump as something is dropped to the floor then suddenly he's there beside her...Greg.
Greg. He's there. He came. And she smiles a little through the pain.
"Holy Shit, Sara! Are you okay? Are you hurt? Why are you on the floor? What's going on?"
Typical Greg...talks too much...she's not sure which question to answer first. She opens her mouth to say something sarcastic but all that comes out is a pained groan. She opens her eyes and he's crouching beside her. His worried hands hover over her, unsure if she's hurt, unsure if touching her will cause her more pain. And the panic he feels for her when all she has is a stupid case of pins and needles is so gratifying and genuine and so typically Greg that she laughs a little and says,
"No...I'm fine. My arm fell asleep...that's all. Everything's fine now."
And she's not crying...not exactly...she doesn't think she has any tears left but as he gathers her into his arms—sitting spraddle-legged on the floor right there beside her and pulling her to him—her sizzling nerves wake up again and she's fairly sure she's whimpering. His hands soothe and gentle and as her head fills with the steady whisk-thud of his heartbeat she finds she has a few tears left after all.
Greg isn't talking for a change. Instead, his warm hand has found the nape of her neck and he's stroking her, thumb gently working at the knotted muscles. Sara had drifted for a while after the tears had passed, just letting him.
Her hand toys with the buttons on the sleeve of his shirt, one was coming loose.
"I can sew that on for you...if you want..."
"Yeah...that'd be great." His voice resonates in her head; she's still got her head on his chest. She thought she might stay there forever, but Greg shifts as he digs something out of his pocket, with a sigh she sits up, quickly wiping under her eyes dismayed to see the black smudges she finds there. She must look a mess.
"I found these." He holds out her house keys. "They were still in the door...so I let myself in...I hope that's okay?"
"Sure. No problem. I—I was going to give you a spare key anyway."
"Well yeah..." She shrugs "Seeing as how you spend so much time here...you don't have to take it—I just thought—"
"I'll take it. I want to have it..."
They smile cautiously at each other.
"So—uh. This may be kind of a dumb question but what the hell happened today, Sara?'
"Before I fell asleep in the hall?"
"Yeah—wait...why were you sleeping in the hall anyway?"
Sara knew as well as he did how she looked...tearstained and puffy-eyed.
"Haven't you heard? Hall sleeping is the new big thing...all the kids are doing it."
"Yeah...I may have heard about that...Myself? I did the aimless driving while playing sappy music on the radio thing...have you tried that?"
"Once or twice..."
"Sucks doesn't it."
Sara wraps her arms around her knees. She's unsure what to say because she still doesn't know how they got here. Greg clears his throat and says,
"I want to apologize...
"Apologize—" She starts but Greg leans over and puts his hand over her mouth.
"Listen...don't take this the wrong way but shut-up, okay?"
She's so startled she nods. He releases her.
"So...as I was saying. I guess I overstepped some boundaries yesterday. I knew you were pissed at me about the whole stupid bet thing...then I got mad and I just kind of left. Then when you blew me off at work...well I pretty much figured I'd wrecked my only chance to be with you. You can imagine how stupid I felt...and how little I cared about whatever the fuck case we were working on. I guess Grissom thought so too, because he sent me home...I didn't feel like going home so I drove around...listened to way too much Damien Rice...and figured the least I could do before you kicked me out of your life for good was apologize..." His voice cracks a little when he gets to the last part. "So I screwed around in the Bellagio until I knew you'd be off shift and came by...I brought you some of those croissants you like by the way..." He tips a finger at the little white bag that he'd dropped to the floor when he'd found her on the floor. "Chick at the coffee shop thought I was nuts...I was like the first customer they had and I'd been waiting around since five for them to open...Anyway." He sucks in a huge sigh. "I came by and found you on the floor and thought you were dead or hurt or whatever and here we are. So, what did you do today?"
"Walked out on Grissom at work and kicked in a headlight..."
"You live life on the edge a little bit, don't you?"
"You must've heard about..." Sara digs a Kleenex out of her pocket and gives her nose a good honk, "what a bad-ass I am?" she finishes. Greg nods and grins at her.
"So you walked out on Gris'? How'd he take it?"
"Don't really care..." She shrugs "I'll tell him I had cramps or something."
"Two words that always worked for me...explosive. diarrhea."
She laughs and after a moment he joins her.
"Then I came here and saw a car that looked like yours and kicked in the headlight."
"Wow...you really are pissed with me aren't you?"
"No. I kicked in the headlight because the car looked like yours but it wasn't yours, that's why I kicked it in."
"Because..." She takes a deep breath and steps off the cliff. "Because I wanted you here...and you weren't. And I was so worried that I'd fucked it all up...that you were gone for good." Sara leans forward and takes his hand. "I'm the one who's sorry...I wasn't mad about the bet...I wasn't even thinking that. I love the things we do...the things you make me try, Greg. Everything. I've never had so much fun...and we had this habit of just kind of hanging out with each other all the time and yesterday you left and didn't ask me to come along—"
"Why didn't you ask to come with?" He says gently.
"I—uh—I" Sara's mouth snaps shut. Embarrassment makes her frown, why didn't she ask to come along? He'd let her. He lets her do most anything she wants.
"I thought you didn't want me along..." Her voice is tiny.
"And I thought you wanted me to go..."
They sit and consider this for a moment.
"Wow. We're really dumb." Sara says.
"Yeah. We kinda are...and you know what the scary part is?"
"We fight crime..."
Sara leans back on the sofa, deeply content. She's showered and washed off the worst of the day and is once more in Greg's sweatshirt and her comfy pants. She uses the tip of her finger to get the last few crumbs of the croissant she's had for breakfast.
Greg's hand finds the nape of her neck again,
"Do me a favor next time?"
"Well, when you get mad...it's just like on Star Trek. 'Red alert Mr. Sulu...There's a Klingon Bird of Prey off the port bow!'" Greg makes alarm noises.
"What! What are you talking about?"
"Aw c'mon...what do they do on Star Trek when that happens?"
"I don't know...get out the light sabers?"
"Jeeze! Sara, you're killing me here...light sabers are from Star Wars! Star Trek has photon torpedoes and phasers and...shields."
She stares at him. She's lost.
"Shields up Mr. Spock! You do the same thing...you get mad or upset and I can just see them go up. No offense, but you can be a bit...intimidating when you're like that."
Greg makes the alarm noises again, "See. There...right now you're starting to do it."
She stops...she was feeling a bit...irritated when he said that. "Okay...maybe I do get a bit defensive when I'm angry, what about it?"
"Well when you're hurt? Those shields go up to maximum power..."
"So...this whole thing wouldn't have happened if you'd just said what you wanted to say instead of trying so hard to protect yourself."
"Well...the same could be said for you."
"True. And being the sensitive caring kind of guy that I am...in touch with my feminine side and all that crap...well I came back even after you pushed me away, didn't I?"
"Yeah...I guess you did. I'm glad you did."
"Me too. You have incredible legs...I would really miss not being able to stare at them." He leers at her. "Well outside of work hours anyway..."
"And now Mr. Sensitive makes way for the real Greg Sanders..."
"Outstanding legs...and your ass? Damn. Just damn."
Sara shakes her head pretending she's not ridiculously flattered like some silly teenager.
"In fact, I've gone for over 24 hours without seeing that ass...I think I'm suffering from withdrawal." Greg's hand slides up her thigh.
"Oh, and you think I'm going to help you out with that?" She says archly.
Greg pulls her onto his lap, one hand slips down the back of her pants. His fingers find the dimples just before the swell of her addictive ass and stroke lightly, knowingly...she shivers.
"I'm counting on it actually..."
His mouth finds hers.
It's not long—it's never long with him—before Sara is yanking Greg's shirt down his arms, desperate to feel his skin on hers. The sleeves of the shirt catch on his wrists and refuse to go any further, hampered no doubt by the fact that he hasn't taken his hands off her yet. She growls in frustration, nipping at his lip.
"Ow...hey easy." Greg's lazy grin makes her even more impatient. When he wears that grin he does the most delicious things to her. He nips her back, sucking on her lip while he shakes loose first one arm, then the other. Not much of a punishment because it only makes her hotter. So does the fact that now she can run her greedy hands over his chest. She loves the texture of his flesh, all smooth skin and lean muscles; here and there his bones will press up against her fingers and she worries he's too thin but then he'll move under her and she'll feel the muscles jump and shift as her fingers trace them. He's slim but there's a hidden strength to him...Sara decides—as she always does—that she likes him exactly the way he is.
She smirks at him through her mussed hair because he'd just raised her arms and yanked the shirt she's wearing—his sweatshirt and he'd never noticed—off in one swift movement, but somehow managed to never stop kissing her. His lips just found new areas of skin to lick and nibble as he did it. It was kind of like a magic trick, but then again he'd seemed pretty impressed when she'd unhooked her bra and pulled it out of the arm of the sweatshirt earlier, without once removing her shirt.
"How'd you do that?" He'd asked, holding the small satin garment, a mystified expression on his face.
"It's a girl thing..." She'd explained before cupping his face and kissing him.
Now she smiles down at him from where she sits perched on his lap. He's half dressed, hair more than usually messy, looking at her like she's got a fantastic secret that she may or may not share with him...and Sara thinks he's quite possibly the sexiest thing she's ever seen.
"What?" he says.
"Only happy? Not quivering with desire...trembling with need...aching for me?"
Sara snorts. "You sound like a bad Harlequin romance."
"Cool! A romance novel hmmm...Ooo! Maybe one with a pirate on the front! Can I be your sexy dashing pirate captain, ready to ravish the heaving bosom of the buxom wench that is you?"
Sara looks down at her chest,
"I'd hardly call these heaving or buxom..."
"Arrr wench...I say these be a bonny buxom bosom! A fine rack for ravishment!"
Sara giggles, god he was such a dork sometimes...
He closes his teeth on one nipple, and bites gently. She hisses in a shocked breath, nails digging into his shoulders. "Should I stop...?" He teases as he licks at her other breast.
Eyes heavy with desire she says,
"No...Mr. Pirate, sir...don't stop..." God she was such a dork too...
"That's Dread Pirate Sanders to you, wench!"
They both were. Geeky and dorky to the core and she wouldn't change a thing.
Fun and games aside...Greg always knew how to get her going. Right from the start, he'd...just known. He's moving on top of her, watching her intently. His whole body tuned to hers, each small cry, every moan she makes he's using against her.
"Like that...is that what you want?"
She swallows and nods, mute from the desire raging through her. He's never let her get away with that.
"Tell me..." He's whispering into her ear. "Tell me or I'll stop..."
And her fingers are clawing at him, frantically scrabbling to prevent him from doing just such a thing. Of course, he slows right down then...
"No good Sara, tell me...I need to hear it...I want to hear you."
Moans wouldn't satisfy...even when she's finally let go and gotten really loud. Louder than she'd ever been or thought she could ever be.
"Yes...oh yes. That's nice...feels so good, doesn't it? Tell me how good it feels..."
Always in her ear...soft whispers. Implacable, insistent, demanding.
"Oh Sara...you feel so good I don't want to stop..."
"...oh God don't stop never stop..."
"Tell me. I want to hear you come. Tell me how..."
Each confession makes the next easier. Every word...every sigh pushes her closer. Coaxed higher and higher by the heat in his voice, the feel of him within her, he'll pull her desire from her; make her reveal everything and she'll give it all over to him, willingly. Anything to come...come for him. Until at last she's climaxing, chanting her song of desire just for him.
She's lying on her belly...totally and utterly wiped. And somewhere in the midst of the rich mixture of endorphins, hormones, and other such esoteric molecules her still frantically pounding heart is pumping through her systems is a happiness so total, so pure that if she weren't a scientist and knew better about such things, she suspects she might actually be able to see it if she took a sample and looked at it under a scope.
His hand sweeps slow and lazy circles along her back. Sara almost purrs.
Instead she rolls over, his hand finds other, more varied terrain to explore. His fingers find the tattoo she has on her belly and trace it. He's got the sheet draped over his hip but she can see the edge of his, the bright little twist of a DNA spiral...the one he'd gotten because she'd mentioned once how sexy she thought tattoos were.
"Good thing I like tattoos and not shaved heads or nipple piercing or some other such thing hmm?"
Her hand slides under the sheet, fingers brushing teasing promises against the other parts of Greg she likes a whole bunch. "This...your DNA..."
"Oh I know you like my DNA...you let me get it all over you...you naughty girl."
She tries not to smile, "No...the tattoo...you perv."
"I know." He considers. "Even if this..." He gestures at her and him.
"Yeah...this thing between us didn't work, I still would have done it."
"Because, I want to remember yours. It's kind of the reason we hooked up. Whatever happens...it was worth it. That first time, the next time...the times after that...hopefully the countless numbers of times in the future..." He says playfully as he strokes her hair back.
Because she can't say what she thinks she may want to say...maybe not right now, but soon, she says,
"You're a cool guy..."
"It's a curse. Being as righteously cool as I am, is more work than you'd think..." He feigns a long-suffering face.
"And you're surprisingly unconceited to boot..."
And as he kisses her he gently says, "I know..." And she thinks he just might know what she's trying to say after all.
Because that's the hell of it...somehow along the way he's gotten quite good at knowing things...knowing her. He wasn't perfect—their recent misunderstanding had proven that—but he was way better at it than she was. Which should bother her...right?
Sara decides that maybe its okay if it doesn't. But just to keep him on his toes maybe she'll stop by that costume shop on the way home from work tomorrow night after all, because she doesn't want to be too predictable, and anyway...he'd look really sexy in an eye patch.
Summary: Just because you're a scientist, doesn't mean you're smart. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart (Greg/Sara) Post: "The Shape of Happiness"