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Cauchemar

Title: Cauchemar
Fandom: CSI
Pairing: Grissom/Sara
Rating: Teen
Disclaimer: No matter how much I begged, no one would just give me CSI...
Summary: Response to the Unbound Improv Challenge set on 19th September 2005. The first and last lines were given, and there was a 1000 word limit. It is set after Grave Danger. Title means 'nightmare' in French.


Grissom had never seen a stuffed toy do that before. He stood there, paralysed with shock and confusion as the small, fluffy, pink teddy bear wrestled a large man to the ground and proceeded to stab him several times with what appeared to be a plastic cutlass. Looking up, the treacherous toy noticed Grissom and took flight. His legs finally unfrozen, Grissom gave chase.

Surprisingly, the bear could run incredibly fast for his size, and Grissom could not keep pace with it for very long. When he realised that the bear was, unfortunately, out of sight, Grissom stopped and looked around. There was something eerily familiar about his surroundings. When he noticed two small pipes protruding from the ground a few metres away, everything clicked into place.

Not again, please.

“No!!!” Grissom yelled as he rushed towards the loose earth and began to dig frantically with his bare hands. Several arduous minutes later, a plastic box began to appear. Grissom kept digging. When he uncovered the face he screamed….

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Grissom woke up in a cold sweat and wiped an arm across his brow. Images of his nightmare returning to him, he reached across the bed to touch Sara’s arm. Lying quietly, he could hear her soft breathing beside him. She was OK. She was safe. She was here. If anyone had told him a month ago that she would be here, in his bed, sleeping trustingly beside him, he would have called them crazy. But, incredibly, it was true. He still couldn’t believe how easily it had happened…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

He was sitting in his office working through the mountain of paperwork that had accumulated (as it so often did) on his desk, when a familiar shadow fell across his door. Signing his name at the bottom of a document, hen looked up. Just as he expected, Sara was standing there, leaning against his doorframe, as was her wont. And just as he expected, she didn’t look too pleased with him.

He should have known that she would notice.

Still terrified by Nick’s ordeal, Grissom had been recalcitrant to send anyone out solo, and his terror had been even more pronounced when it came to Sara. He avoided even sending her out alone to work a perimeter, more often than not assigning to work alongside himself. He had foolishly hoped that she would not note his overly solicitous behaviour.

“Grissom, have I done something to upset you?” Grissom was a little confused. This was not exactly the question he had been expecting.

“Of course not. Sara…” She cut him off.

“Then why have you been treating me like this?” Grissom made to speak but she ignored him. “I realise the Nick thing has you a bit shaken, but I feel like I’m being smothered. It’s like I’m under constant surveillance. Don’t you trust my skills as a CSI anymore or something? Heck even Greg isn’t being watched as much as I am. Everything I do at a scene there’s someone hanging over me. I can’t work like this any more without at least understanding why.

Grissom took a deep breath and pondered quickly what best to say. The first course of action that came to mind was to feign ignorance.

“Really? I hadn’t noticed. I’m sorry.”

“You hadn’t noticed? Grissom, you’re one of the most observant CSIs I know, and we’re trained to notice things. I’m sorry, but ‘I hadn’t noticed’ just doesn’t work coming from you.”

Grissom dropped his gaze and stared at the table. What to say now? The only believable reason was the truth, and he wasn’t at all sure he wanted to tell her that. He’d spent too many years hiding his feelings regarding Sara for them to show themselves easily now.

“You’re hesitating,” Sara spoke up. “Good, we must be getting somewhere.” Grissom glanced up and caught a glint of emotion in her eyes, a look of hope flashing across her face. Taking off his glasses, he decided to go for broke.

“I know I’ve been crowding you a little, but it’s not because I think you’re a bad CSI. On the contrary, I think you’re one of the best. I just wanted to protect you.” Grissom met Sara’s gaze, hoping she would see the truth of his words in his eyes. “Seeing Nick in that box killed my soul. To see you like that would just plain kill me; heart, body, mind and soul.” Sara looked shocked, but slowly her special ‘Grissom smile’ crept over her face. Turning around, she shut and locked the door behind her, and closed over the blinds.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Later, Grissom would look back on that morning with amazement. He still couldn’t believe she had done that to him in his office. After shift ended, she had come over to his town house to talk, carefully parking around the block to avoid suspicion. Grissom had a feeling Catherine, Warrick, Nick and Greg suspected anyway.

Their talk that morning had encompassed many things. Grissom had a moment of unease when she revealed that she had overheard his conversation with Dr. Lurie over a year previously. She had soon put him at ease, telling him that although it had hurt at the time to hear him imply that she wasn’t worth it, “We’re here now, and that’s all that matters.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sara opened her eyes and turned over to face him.

“You’re awake,” she mumbled sleepily.

“I had noticed,” Grissom retorted teasingly. Sara raised an eyebrow questioningly.

“I had a really disturbing dream. I think that case we had last night is…” Sara cut off the rest of his sentence by covering his lips with her own. Grissom pulled back when he felt her question hands travel down his body.

“I thought we were supposed to be sleeping.”

“Well you know how I feel about sleep,” Sara grinned mischievously, “It’s overrated.”

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