2004-05-25 - 10:57 a.m.

Chapter 4

Which I swear I wrote before bloodlines thus any vacation talk is NOT from any cues from the show, which in fact, I still have not seen.

“You can go in and sit with her, she’s resting.”

“Did she ask for me?”

“We gave her a sedative, she’s out of it, but I’m sure when she wakes up she’ll want to see a friendly face.”

Grissom tried a smile. He wasn’t sure she’d considered his a friendly face for a while, now the best he could hope for was that it was a face that didn’t terrify her.

He knocked softly on her door and then walked in. She slept on her side, fetal position, self-protection. It was difficult not to stare at her. Her normally pensive face was tender in sleep. Someone else might not see the slight bruising on her lower lip, but for him it was like a neon sign. He could see bruising at her wrists, was worried that the red marks on her biceps could be from him, when she’d lost her balance. He realized he was assessing, categorizing, but not processing the fallout from what had happened. It was too soon to face the full on horror of what had been done. Certainly it was too soon to think about having to talk to his mother.

He grabbed the phone in her private room.

“Brass”

“Grissom. No one has informed the ah, family of the deceased. Yes?”

“Just you. How’s Sara?”

“Sleeping. Make sure no one searches out any other family to inform.”

“You got it. Gil…if there’s anything else you need…”

“Time. I’ve got plenty of vacation time, I’m taking it. “

“Got it.”

Light from the window fell in slats across her face. Her eyes opened, then closed. She stretched, winced and sat bolt upright.

“It’s okay.” Was all he could think of to say.

“How long was I out?” she stretched more carefully this time and took in the room.

“Two hours, give or take. “

He wanted to ask her how she felt, he wanted a sign that she could look at him and not be ill, he wanted so many answers to questions he couldn’t even form or imagine. Instead he poured ice water and held a cup out to her.

“Thanks. Do I look as bad as you?”

His face softened, “Impossible.”

He sat by her bedside, encouraged that she seemed to be able to look at him without fear.

“Doctor said I’d be okay. Gave me a number of a counselor, bandaged some stuff… I think I have a scrip for painkillers and sedatives coming.”

“Good.”

“I won’t take them.”

“Sara.” He took a breath. “I know you’re strong, no one is disputing that, but you won’t be if you don’t take time to heal, take care of your self.”

She looked down, the twitch in her smile spoke volumes.

“That’s good advice, you should take it.”

“Done. I’m on vacation, and you’re on leave.”

Sara took a moment to process this. “So you told them I was on leave?” her voice was indignant. “No,” his was patient, “that’s not my place, but I strongly suggest you make the call.” He understood her need to feel control over her life; he’d struggled with the same need for years.

A nurse came in and smiled in Sara’s direction, “You’re awake, good. Perhaps we could have a moment alone?”

When the heavy set woman in peach scrubs came out of the room she told Grissom that Sara was “…ready to go home.”

Grissom felt his chest tighten. No, he thought she is NOT ready to go home, and neither am I. When he worked up the courage to return to her room Sara was sitting on her bed, dressed, obviously waiting for him.

“They told me you’re ready to…go.” “Yeah. I guess.” Sara looked around nervously. “The question is, go where?”

Grissom looked around the room as though the answer might be in the bad paint job or ugly curtains. Sara reasoned, “It’s Vegas right? Hotel city, I’ll just…check into…”

“I’m going home to California, Sara. I have to…talk to my mother, tell her what…happened.” He sighed then continued. “I wish you’d come with me. I understand that under the circumstances you might not want to, be around, well, anyway, I think you need to get away, and I think we both have a lot to say to one another that we can’t say here.”

Her mind gave her a thousand responses. She couldn’t go with him, it hurt her just to look at him, she didn’t want to face his mother, the mother of the man she most loved and the mother of the man who had hurt her.

In the end it was her heart that responded, she nodded her ascent and Gil for the first time since he was very small began to believe that things might just end up okay.

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