pg | no warnings apply

Grissom sighed as he drove up to the crime scene. Why tonight, of all nights? Grabbing his kit, he got out of the car as Brass approached.

"Where's your posse?"

"I have no idea. I was actually on a date." The words flew from his mouth almost involuntarily. The joy in them was camouflaged by surprise.

I was on a date. A date. With her.


Surprise tainted Brass's response as well. He knew what Jim was thinking. Grissom, on a date? With a real, live woman? Amazing.

But Grissom didn't care at the moment. He would later, he supposed, but for now, it was okay.

I was on a date. A date. With her.

The happiness in his heart was quenched, however, when he saw the body lying on the pavement. When he spoke again, his voice still contained surprise, but for a different reason.

He had never seen a hit and run that looked like this.

"My God, what am I looking at?"


Sara got out of the car and approached him, still staying on the other side of the yellow tape, not yet committing herself.

He forgot. He forgot already. I know he did.

"You know you pulled me away from a forensics anthropology seminar, right? It's required. It's part of the continuing education program."

Grissom barely let her finish her sentence.

"Well I'm sorry, but everyone seems to have something to do today. I have a teenager who was run over by a taxi. Wasn't hit by it; that's not what killed him. He was stabbed, fatally. For now, I have no ID, no suspects, and no primary crime scene."

He saw by the look on her face that he hadn't totally won her over.

"I need you."

Sara was unable to stifle the smile that threatened to overtake her face. The last time he said that to her was in a snowstorm by a pool.

This time, it sounded sincere.

"How can I help?"

Grissom lifted up the tape and handed her the yellow markers. It wasn't long before she located a blood drop and analyzed what it meant.

"Hey, Grissom?"

He hadn't really appreciated before how beautiful his name sounded when she said it. He found himself silently hoping that the operation was a success, if only so he would be able to hear her say it over and over again for years to come.

"The directionality of the drop is facing the boulevard. I think your primary crime scene is this way."

She wandered in the direction she indicated and, sure enough, located another drop.

"Blood trail."

"Wanna go for a walk?"

It was a rhetorical question. Almost a silly question.

It made her smile.


They walked down the street, stopping every once in a while to document another drop. Their fingers brushed occasionally when he handed her a fresh card. Once she stood up too quickly and almost hit her head on the camera. He jerked it out of the way to avoid injuring her.

Eventually, the trail led to a park.

"Blood leads into the grass. Trail's obscured."

He heard the disappointment in her voice. This was the only clue that they had at the moment that could help them find their crime scene. Picking up the trail again would be difficult. But not impossible.

Especially since he knew she wouldn't give up.

"Okay. So where do we pick up the trail?"

Sara scanned the area before her, thinking out loud.

"Well, vic's in his teens. Probably wasn't on the playground."

Her eyes latched on a backboard.

"My money's on the basketball court."

Grissom met her gaze as it fell back on him. He arched his eyebrow at her and she mirrored his action before they headed to the court.

"He crossed Lake Meade Boulevard at 8:15, and it gets dark at five."

"He was here after dark."

"And I don't see any lights."

He sounded doubtful, but Sara was becoming more and more convinced she was right. Her theory was confirmed when she saw a series of drops on the cement.

"Droplets and cast-off," she announced. "This is our primary crime scene."

Grissom noted that she now referred to it as 'their' crime scene, as opposed to just 'his,' as she had earlier. He glanced around the park.

"So maybe the killer tossed the knife."

And he could have done so anywhere.

"It's a big dump site," he said warily.

"Yeah. I'll... uh... order up some scent dogs. Get some uniforms."






Some people may have found the beeping of the metal detector annoying, but Grissom reveled in being able to hear each little one.

The beeping turned into a flat tone. Noticing the change, Sara lifted up the crime scene tape and joined him.

"What do you got?"

"You got the gloves on," he responded.

Giving him a small smirk and wondering if there was a double meaning hidden in those words, she kneeled down and brushed the leaves away, revealing a revolver.

"Looking for a knife, uncover a gun."

"What is happening to our parks?" he said incredulously.

Sara worried for a second that he was going to launch into some speech about how this never would have happened when he was a child, but thankfully, any further comment he was going to make was thwarted by the barking of the scent dogs. As she walked over to the cops, she heard Grissom calling for an officer.

"Back the dogs off, please."

One of the policemen walked the dog right over the pile of leaves. Sara bit her tongue to avoid snapping at the guy for trampling on a potential crime scene. Her eyes wandered over the area as he joined her.

"Dead body found twenty yards from where our vic was knifed. You think they're related?"

"Well, they're related by geography... but for now, it's just a dead guy in the park."

She knit her brow to look at him, but his gaze was focused on the victim.


I'm right down the hall. He could have even just called down the hallway. Start analyzing something without me...

"You know... you could have waited for me."

Grissom lifted his head from the microscope and gestured to it.

"Take a look at this," he said, sidestepping her comment.

She looked into the eyepieces and took in the image there.

"Looks like burnt skin."

"I think maybe someone palmed the cylinder gap."

"Todd Branson had GSR on his jacket. It we could get his DNA off this revolver, we could tie him to this."

"Burnt skin is useless for DNA."

She felt like rolling her eyes. I do know that. Even rookies know that.

"Yeah. But what about sweat? There's a seventeen percent chance of DNA recovery from a shooter's perspiration."

Grissom gave her a dubious look.

"Seventeen percent?"

Aha. I know something you don't know...

"Yeah. New paper out of Australia. You haven't seen it? Seventeen percent chance of DNA recovery from the grip of a gun. Sixty-seven percent chance from a cigarette. Thirty-two percent chance from the brim of a hat. Would you like a copy?"

"I don't need one. I have you."

Uh... what?

"Swab the pistol grip, get it to DNA."

He slipped from the room, leaving her standing there, contemplating his words.

I have you?

I have you?

Okay, calm down.

Get that heart rhythm under control.

I have a grip to swab.

She snorted quietly in the empty room.


Sara followed Grissom and Brass out of the interrogation room. Grissom seemed lost in his own world as he hurried in the direction of his office.

"Maybe he's in a hurry to get back to his date."

She turned her head towards Brass. He was almost smirking.

"His date?"

Now he was definitely smirking.

"Yeah. Told me he was on a date when I paged him."

Sara glanced to the side, her eyes narrowing. "Did he?"

"Yeah." She couldn't see the smirk anymore, but she knew from his voice that it was still there.

"Excuse me," she said as she walked away.

Brass just shook his head.


He could see it. Literally see it. Like a hallucination. He saw the driver pulled from the taxi. He saw them killing him.

"I knew you'd be here."

That voice was not a hallucination.

Grissom turned to face Sara, who approached him with arms crossed over her chest. He nodded to her before turning his attention to the street. She stood next to him, staring at the same spot.

"There are so many things about this case that disgust me, but I gotta tell you, the fact that he would blame the murder on his dead brother, the brother that he indirectly helped to kill, just to save his own skin... that one's right up there near the top of the list."

He nodded again. They stood there, staring out at the empty street. He wondered if she could see the same things he did, if they were having some folie a deux.

Time passed. Neither really noticed.

"So... Brass said you told him you were out on a date when you got paged."

He turned to her, but she still gazed out straight ahead. They stood in silence, his eyes on her, until she spoke again.

"You could just... confirm or deny, Griss. It's not a hard question."

Actually, Sara, it's not even a question.

Rather than debate semantics, he replied simply. "Yes."

Her eyes glanced down before she swiveled her head to look at him. Suddenly unsure of where this conversation was going, he dropped his gaze to an area on her left cheekbone.

"Was it a date?"

He continued to stare, perplexed by the question, and unsure if he knew the correct reply.

If there was one.

"I... thought it was. Two people who like each other go out to dinner. I don't have a dictionary on me, but I think I have the definition of 'date' correct in my head."

She said nothing, continuing to bore into his skull with her eyes, as if she was trying to dig his thoughts from his brain. Grissom finally met her eyes.

"Was I wrong?"

His tone was even, but his heart was pounding.

Sara moved until she stood in front of him, never breaking eye contact. She reached up and touched his cheek gently, rubbing her thumb over his zygomatic arch.

"It's just that when you asked me, you just called it 'dinner.'"

Grissom gave her a half-smile.

"That, and I was a little surprised to find out that after you gave me that lecture on why I couldn't show up with you at the crime scene because it would start rumors and innuendo... you go and say something that is sure to start rumors and innuendo."

Her hand was still on his cheek, caressing gently. He found himself unable to break from her gaze.

"I know. It just... slipped out. I was just... happy."

Once again, he sounded surprised. It saddened her.

Has he really gone so long without being truly happy that the fact that he is astonishes him?

"I'm glad you were happy," she said softly as she leaned into him.

Their lips met, but neither one made any attempt to move, as if they had both forgotten how to kiss. After an awkward moment, she moved her lower lip slowly, caressing his. Her other hand rose to his face as he tentatively put his hands on her waist. Their mouths moved against each other, each one relishing the experience of kissing a lover for the first time. She pulled back first, wiping her lipstick from his mouth.

"It's not your color," she said as she tried to get her breathing back to a normal rhythm.

Grissom smiled back at her, kissing her thumb as she rubbed it over his lips.