Disclaimer: I don't own anything, I'm just borrowing things for a while and I promise I'll put everything back exactly how I found it when I've finished. Well, almost exactly how I found it. ;)
"So, Grissom, where'd you find the shoes?" Sara asked as they all gathered in the break room mid-case.
"Don't you mean the peanuts?" Catherine said with a quirk of her eyebrows. "After all, they're the important thing, not the shoes."
Sara rolled her eyes. "Alright, where did you find the peanuts?"
"In the treads of a pair of shoes," Grissom replied straight-faced.
Nick shook his head while Brass sighed and also rolled his eyes. Only Catherine smiled. "And where were the shoes?" she asked.
"In the victim's house," Grissom told her.
Catherine turned to Brass. "Will I have better luck asking you?"
"We were in the closet," Grissom replied just as Brass opened his mouth to speak.
Sara's eyes widened, while Catherine quickly ducked her head and Nick couldn't help the grin that spread across his face. "So now you're...out?" the Texan asked, trying not to laugh. "Out an' proud."
Grissom just stared blankly at him, which made Nick lose his self control completely and he guffawed. Brass smirked as he looked at the CSI supervisor. "Come on, honey, don't be shy," he said. "Secret's out now, no point trying to hide it any longer."
With that statement, Catherine's self control went the same way as Nick's and soon the two of them were laughing loudly. "At least I know what to get for Christmas this year," Sara said seriously. "A set of 'his' and 'his' towels."
"Or a pair of fluffy handcuffs," Brass replied. "Then I wouldn't have to keep using the ones from work."
"Pink, darling, of course," he drawled outrageously.
By now, Catherine and Nick were leaning against each other for support, tears rolling down their cheeks. "You know, this just explains so much about both of you," Sara said, grinning broadly.
Brass put his hand over his heart and attempted to flutter his eyelashes. The results were disturbing, to say the least, but it was the final push that sent Catherine and Nick into complete hysterics. "We do try and hide it but I can see there's no fooling you, Sara."
Sara turned to Grissom, who had been silent throughout the whole exchange, to find a faraway expression on his face. It was a look that he got when working a case, when an unexpected clue or idea had just appeared to him.
"Looks like we lost him around 'fluffy pink handcuffs'," she said, turning back to Brass.
A loud thump on the floor snapped Grissom out of his reverie and he looked disapprovingly as Nick clambered to his feet. "Sorry, boss."
Ignoring the continuing snickers of a dying giggling fit, Grissom said, "I think there's something about this case we've overlooked. An angle we haven't explored."
Catherine sobered almost immediately. "You want us to check everything again?" she asked, and he nodded.
"We've got the house," Sara said, hauling Nick to his feet on her way out of the break room.
Catherine watched them go, a small smile on her face as she fixed the lightness of the last few minutes in her memory. Such moments of levity were rare in their job and she had found long ago that they were to be treasured more than diamonds or rubies. As she turned her head to ask Grissom what he wanted her to do, she caught him glancing at Brass, and for a split second, she thought she saw something in the silent exchange that she couldn't possibly have seen. Perhaps it was just amusement coloring her judgment, maybe it was the conversation they had just had, but whatever it was, it was gone almost as soon as it had arrived.
"I'll just..." Catherine pointed outside. "Bathroom," she said quietly and hurried off.
Finally, with only Brass and Grissom were left, a comfortable, companionable silence descended for a moment or two. Then Grissom stood as well and headed to the door, but stopped before he walked out of the room and turned to Brass.
"I thought the closet was the best place for us," he said mildly, before heading out into the corridor.