A/N - I started this fic before TGTBTD aired, and then after it aired I gave up on it because, well, I hated that episode. A lot. And also I got pretty much no feedback when I posted it, so I didn't really feel the need to keep going.
But I like this story and where it was going, so I'm resurrecting it and tweaking it so Grissom isn't so dumb and everyone else isn't so OOC. It's mostly GSR with a twist of Heather. No beta for this one. And also, for the story's sake, there is a professional football team in Las Vegas called the Vipers.
This was my first attempt at a case file, and also I intend for it to get pretty angsty. This is not a fluffy, happy time. But you probably figured that out once you saw Lady Heather's name, right?
So I hope you enjoy and feedback of any kind is always appreciated.
These are the things John Hawthorne was thinking about 5 minutes before he was kidnapped:
Oh, shit, it's midnight. My wife is going to be so pissed. But there's still game film to go over. The big game is in 3 days. I don't want to disappoint the boys. Maybe I should stop by the store on the way home and get some roses for her. No, she hates roses. Maybe I'll get her some pizza instead. Does she even like pizza anymore? How DO I make this woman happy? Oh, maybe I should mail that check to Habitat for Humanity so they'll have in time for their big party.
Here are the things John Hawthorne was thinking about 5 minutes before he died:
I am going to die. My wife will never know how madly in love I am with her. It's always been her, does she even know that? The boys, they're going to be so disappointed. Everything they worked for will mean nothing. Oh, God, my wife. What will happen to Heather? What will happen when-
24 HOURS LATER
Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle were lying in bed, hands intertwined. On a normal night they would be running very late to work, but somehow they both miraculously had the night off. In a perfect world they could turn their phones off and ignore everything and everyone but each other, but there was always the chance of being called in. They hoped this would not be the case tonight.
Gil had been taking more and more time off work lately, leaving Catherine in charge whenever he could. She welcomed the responsibility, and she didn't question his motives. Of course Catherine knew about him and Sara, she knew everything. She never confronted him about the relationship, but she did give him strange little looks whenever he sat a little too close to Sara. They'd have to have dinner someday and talk about it. He didn't like hiding things from Catherine; they had been friends way too long to keep secrets like that.
"Did you remember to pick up the dry cleaning?" Sara asked Grissom.
"Of course, dear."
"I picked up some tortillas and cheese and stuff at the store, maybe we can make veggie enchiladas later."
"That sounds good. Maybe add a little steak to it."
Neither of them would admit it out loud, but they both enjoyed the subtleties of domestic life. Sara liked coming home to him, walking the dog, doing their laundry. Gil liked getting her clothes from the cleaners. He enjoyed coming home to a house filled with the aromatic smells of something-vegetarian, her in the kitchen slicing onions or cucumbers or whatever healthy thing she was forcing him to eat. Their decision for her to move into his townhouse was an easy one to make. Her moving into his townhouse was hardly seamless, but after a brief adjustment period, they settled into their new cohabitation routines. It was nice, a lot nicer than either of them thought it could be.
Sara didn't want the relationship to go so fast in the beginning. She had spent the last few years getting herself together, trying to move on from the intense feelings she had for her boss, mentor and friend. When he started showing interest and then finally asked her out for coffee one day after shift, she reluctantly agreed. The walls she had built for herself were obvious at first, but as he showed her how serious his feelings were, they started coming down slowly. And after the first kiss, well, all bets were off. Gil Grissom was a fantastic kisser, and she wanted more of that immediately.
After living together just a few weeks, Sara suggested getting a dog. Neither of them had a dog growing up, although they both had a secret desire for one. So one day, they went to the pound and adopted a 50 pound boxer named Hank. Sara tried to talk Grissom out of the name, trying to subtly remind him of her failed dating experience of year's past, but he wanted to name the dog after his favorite baseball player. He won. They hired a neighborhood kid to walk Hank twice a day when they weren't home. It was working out nicely.
Seeing each other nearly 24 hours a day was tough sometimes, but they were figuring it out. At work, they tried to act as normal as possible so as not to turn any heads. They did anyway, and they knew it was a matter of time before the gig was up. They just wanted to wait for a while, that was all.
"I was thinking in a few weeks, we can take a little trip to San Diego or something," Grissom said softly. "Get a hotel, do some shopping, whatever strikes our fancy."
"And maybe...meet Mrs. Grissom?" Sara asked, just as softly.
"Well, yes. Obviously we'd visit my mom. Did I not mention that?"
Sara chuckled. "Yes, you left that little nugget of information out."
"She's been asking about you, you know. If I don't take you to meet her soon, I'm going to be in trouble."
"Well, we don't want that," Sara said. She didn't tell him, but she'd been trying to teach herself sign language in preparation for meeting his mom. It was hard to sneak it in because there wasn't a lot of moments when they weren't together, but she found the time. She wanted to surprise him, show him that she cared about all aspects of his life.
They were quiet again, wrapped up together, not wanting to move. They had so few moments where they didn't have to be anywhere, solve anything, prove anything, and it was nice.
Reveling in the peacefulness, Grissom leaned over and gently kissed Sara's forehead. She grinned in the darkness, and found his mouth. The only sound was lips on lips, and then zippers being unzipped. Just as things were about to get interesting, Grissom's cell phone rang. They both groaned while he fumbled in the dark to find the cursed telephonic device.
"Grissom," he said painfully.
"Gil, it's Jim. I'm sorry, I know it's your night off, but I need you to come in. I'm going to need your whole team on this one."
"Why, what's going on?" Sara looked at him with interest. He shrugged.
"John Hawthorne, the head coach of the Vegas Vipers, is missing. His wife called it in; he's been gone for almost 24 hours. She says that it's virtually impossible for someone like John to be missing for so long without someone seeing him."
"Okay, but it's only 24 hours, right? Shouldn't we wait at least another day?"
"He's very prominent in the community, Gil. Not only is he the coach of an NFL team, but he's very active with charities and stuff like that. The sheriff is even in on this one, too."
"Ah, it's one of those. Okay, I'll be right in,"
"Sorry, pal. Oh, and let Sara know, too. Call her, or nudge her if you prefer."
"Gotta go, Gil. See you in a few."
Gil stared at his cell phone. Sara said, "What is it?"
He sighed. "Well, Jim knows about us, apparently."
"Well, it's kind of hard to hide things from that man, you know that. I'm surprised he didn't bust us sooner."
"This is getting a little out of hand. Should we change the plan, do you think?"
"I don't think so," Sara said thoughtfully. "We know Catherine knows, or at least suspects. Jim knows. And that's all. Let's stick to the plan until it becomes necessary not to."
Gil nodded. The plan was only to give Catherine the reigns full-time and then cut way back on his hours. They'd tell everyone individually, and Ecklie last. They knew there might be consequences, and they would face them when it became time for that to happen.
"Well, let's get ready. Jim wants you there, too."
They both groaned again and got their kits ready to go. There would be another quiet night again, somewhere, some time, but for tonight, they would work.