Title: Conversation by a Hospital Bed

Author: Belinda

Email: Loc6401@cs.com

Fandom: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Pairing: Gil Grissom/Greg Sanders established

Rating: PG, I think. A couple of swear words.

Status: Complete

Archive: WWOMB. Anyone else, if you really want it, be my guest. Just let me know where I can come visit.

Feedback: Yes, but please be kind. This is the first slash fic I've ever written. Besides, with all the hair goop my muse likes to wear, flames could send my whole neighborhood up like dry tinder.

Series/Sequel: No sequel planned as of yet, but if you like it I might be persuaded.

Disclaimer: As much as I'd love to pretend they're mine, I've never been quite that deluded. Property of CBS, no money being made, nothing to see here.

Spoilers: Major for "Play With Fire".

Summary: Coda to "Play With Fire". Gil visits his lover in the hospital.

Author's note: I'm very new to the fandom, and not exactly sure I've quite got the characters down. If I got them right, please let me know. If I got them wrong, please let me know gently <g>. Also, I don't think I'm alone in thinking "the hell?" about that scene with Sara and Gil at the end. I'm pretty sure Gil was as confused as I was.

Warnings: Slash. Sara angst. Spoilers for 3rd season ep "Play With Fire."


Conversation By A Hospital Bed

by Belinda

* * *

Grissom quietly opened the door, poking his head in to see if the room's occupant was awake.

"Hey, Gris," Greg greeted his visitor from the hospital bed, his voice reflecting the weariness that never seemed to leave him lately.

Closing the door behind him, Grissom smiled at the younger man, worry and relief battling for prominence in his gaze. As he pulled a chair up close to the bed, he returned the greeting. "Hey, Greg. How are you feeling?"

"Like twenty pounds of shit in a ten pound bag, as my Grandpa used to say…right before Gram smacked him for cursing in front of the kids."

Grissom chuckled, reaching out to card his fingers through his young lover's unruly hair. Greg hummed his pleasure at the touch. "You just missed Cath."

"I saw her leaving."

"Think she's gonna be ok?"

"She'll be fine. What about you?"

"It was an accident, Gil. I'm not mad at her, I feel bad for her. She's gonna punish herself way more than anyone else ever could." He hesitated, then continued, subdued. "Actually, I was a little relieved."

Gil cocked his head, his expression prompting clarification.

"I was afraid it was my fault," Greg admitted, looking away from Grissom's gaze. "I kept going over and over it in my mind, thinking I must've done something wrong. But I couldn't for the life of me figure out what. I thought maybe the concussion was messing with my memory or something. I was just sure I screwed up somehow."

"Oh, Love, I'm sorry," Grissom said, leaning in to press a gentle kiss to the younger man's temple.

"So, I've got a pretty good idea what she's going through right now. No way I'm gonna add to it."

"Every time I think I've got you figured out," Grissom said wonderingly, "you find new ways to surprise me."

"That's why you love me." Greg's smug statement was lessened in impact somewhat by a jaw-cracking yawn, followed by a wince as the burns on his face protested the movement. "Okay, no stretching the face," he grimaced

carefully. "Got it."

"Well, it's one of the reasons, that's for sure," Grissom replied, fondly stroking the uninjured side of Greg's face. "You need to go to sleep?"

"Nah, the meds just keep me a little groggy. I'm good. You weren't thinking of leaving now that you finally managed to get here, were you?"

"Not a chance. I'm sorry I didn't come sooner. I should have."

"Hey, that wasn't meant as a criticism, Lover," Greg chided, trying to raise up a little. "It's ok. You had a crisis to manage and a case to solve. I understood."

"Lie back down, Greg. Don't hurt yourself." Grissom pressed gently on the injured man's shoulder in an attempt to make him obey.

"Did you hear me?" Greg asked stubbornly. "I don't want you guilt-tripping about this."

"Okay, I hear you. Now will you lie back down, please?"

Greg's pain blurred eyes took on a mischievous glint. "I will if you'll kiss me," he offered.

"Now, that's the best offer I've had all day," the older man responded, leaning in again to suit action to words. The kiss was tentative and achingly tender, the elder man afraid of causing the younger any more pain. As Grissom pulled away, Greg suddenly registered what he'd said.

"Best offer? Does that mean you've had other offers, too?" He said it jokingly, but the way his lover's face fell set off alarm bells in his already ringing head. "What's wrong, Gil? What happened?"

Shaking off his reluctance, his face a mask of confusion, Grissom came clean. "Sara came into my office today, just as I was getting ready to leave. She…" he paused, uncomfortable.

"Yes? What did she?" Greg prompted.

"She came on to me, Greg."

Greg blinked.

"Come again?"

"You heard me," Grissom grumbled, unable to meet his lover's eyes.

Greg processed for a moment. "Okay, what exactly did she do?"

"She just asked me out, but when I turned her down, she persisted. I tried to do the gentle brush off thing, but she blithered something about me waiting too long, and stormed off in a snit."

Greg blinked again.

"Where did that come from?"

"I wish I knew."

"I mean, I know she's had a crush on you since, like, ever, but I thought she'd pretty much gotten over it. Or at least that she knew it was just a crush, and didn't plan on doing anything about it."

"That's what I thought. This was completely out of the blue. I hadn't seen any signs of interest from her in literally months. Then this."

"Think she inhaled some kind of weird fumes in the explosion?"

Grissom shot him a disapproving look, but couldn't quite mask his amusement.

"Sorry, but it's just so out of character."

"I don't know. She's been acting strange ever since then, though. Tried to help with a sweep of a suspect's apartment." Greg's eyebrows rose at that. "Brass read her the riot act about that, and deservedly so. Nicky thinks she thinks she's indestructible. Psychological reaction to the trauma of the explosion, not getting hurt really, something. I don't know. Psychology's never been my strong suit."

Greg snorted.

"Oh, shut up," Grissom grumped.

"If it doesn't have at least six legs, my man just can't relate to it."

It was Grissom's turn to snort.

"So, what are you going to do?" Greg asked, sobering and returning to the matter at hand.

"I haven't a clue. Just keep turning her down until she takes the hint, I suppose." He shook his head. "And hope it doesn't ruin our friendship in the process."

"I'd say that's up to Sara, not you," Greg advised, not without sympathy. He knew how much his Gil cared for his former student.

"I guess."

"Do you think," Greg hesitated again, "maybe you should tell her the truth?"

"About us?"

Greg nodded.

"I don't know about that, Greg. Depending on how she reacts, it could get ugly for both of us at work."

"You don't honestly think she'd try to make trouble, do you? It's Sara."

"I just don't know, Baby. She's not acting like herself at all right now. If she were, she'd never have behaved that way."

"Good point."

"I'll tell her the truth if it comes down to it. Hell, I've been seriously considering telling the guys anyway, just Warrick, Nick, Cath, and Sara, if only so we'd have someone in our corner if the shit hit the fan."

Greg didn't respond for a moment, then said only, "It'll be ok, Gris."

"Yeah," Grissom sighed, suddenly looking and sounding as exhausted as Greg himself felt.

"Come here," Greg invited, reaching for his weary mate with his uninjured arm. Grissom obeyed gratefully, claiming the comfort that went with the kiss.

* * *

The door wasn't opened far, but she had just enough room to see. After the deeply disappointing conversation with Grissom, Sara had grabbed a meal from a fast food window, thinking to take her mind off her troubles by checking on Greg. She'd felt badly that she hadn't been to visit him yet. When she got there, she'd opened the door slowly and quietly, not wanting to disturb him if he was sleeping, and she'd frozen when she saw Grissom himself sitting by

the injured DNA tech's bedside. She was about to beat a hasty retreat, unwilling to see him again so soon after his rejection of her, when she heard her name. Curiosity overruled common sense, and she'd listened to the conversation, wanting to know what they were talking about, and dreading finding out.

Now she stood, shock rooting her to the spot as Grissom's mouth angled over Greg's in a kiss that was anything but chaste. Greg's uninjured arm reached up, hand cupping the back of Grissom's head, fingers sinking into the graying

curls. The arm tensed, pulling the older man closer, deepening the kiss. Grissom slid his own hand down Greg's arm to his elbow, then up and into the loose sleeve of the hospital gown, caressing the bare skin of the shoulder

gently, mindful of bruises, but hungry for contact. Sara didn't breathe as she watched, the rational part of her mind urging her to turn away, to give them their privacy, but instead she stood entranced, overwhelmed by beauty

and pain all in the same moment. Grissom finally pulled away, his lower lip caught for a moment between Greg's teeth, and Sara finally drew a breath when she began to get dizzy. Slowly, silently, she pulled the door closed.

Stumbling backwards a few steps, she turned and fled, walking as quickly as she could, trying not to look like she was running.

She reached the relative privacy of her car before she allowed the tears to fall.



10 May 2003