Plot Bunny



Grissom turned the page, fascinated by the text, and was so engrossed that he didn’t hear the soft creak of Doc Robbins
rubber-tipped cane as he limped into Grissom’s office. Robbins cleared his throat warningly, and Grissom looked up over the top of the book at his guest. He did an odd thing.

He blushed.

Robbins took in the whole of the scene, from the hint of color on Grissom’s face to the paperback in his friend’s hands. The cover was fairly eye-catching, with a typeface font he dimly recognized from decades ago, but it was the famous profile bunny logo that jumped out at him, an icon every American male recognized. His mouth twitched.

How to Pick up Women by the Playboy Advisors? Gil Grissom, what would your mother say?” he rolled out, eyes twinkling. Grissom carefully shut the book and set it down on his desk, striving for casual dignity.

“She’s not here at the moment, but I think she’d probably be as amused as you are.”

“That’s saying something—“ Robbins replied, not elaborating precisely what, to Grissom’s discomfort. He felt compelled to speak up again, trying not to sound defensive.

“It’s evidence.”

“Evidence?” Robbins looked at him over the top of his glasses, incredulous. “You’re kidding, right?”

Grissom shifted a little, trying not to look uncomfortable. “Found along with the list of phone numbers in the Brilco case.”

“Gil, that was a cut and dried Meth lab bust,” Robbins pointed out, definitely smirking this time. “For all you know the perpetrators were tearing out pages from your manual there to keep the sterno cooker going.”

Guiltily Grissom checked the back of the book but all the pages were still intact; he shook his head and the sight of Robbins now opening grinning at him brought out his petulance full force.

“Come on-- there had to be a reason it was at the scene, Al.”

“Of course. One of the chefs d’Meth was interested in scoring a few babes. But some good’s come out of it I’d say—“

“How’s that?” Grissom rumbled. Robbins dropped a report on the desk and turned to go, laughing over his shoulder.

“Keep reading and you might find a few better pick up lines than 
Want to see my blatteria in full race mode?”

***   ***   ***

The rest of the night passed uneventfully except for two minor incidents that Grissom chalked up to an influx of general high spirits passing through the lab. The first was that Lindsay had brought in a cage full of baby lop eared rabbits as she waited for her mother to finished the last of a few reports. The tenderhearted younger Ms. Willows insisted they needed shade and air conditioning, and of course there were the hit of the break room. Even Sara consented to hold one; the sight of her gently cradling a tiny bunny whose quivering nose just peeked over the crook of her elbow oddly moved Grissom. He watched from the doorway as Lindsay explained the complex details of family.

“Tonks and Sirius had babies, so that’s Bella and Stan and Snape Jr. and Minerva. I’ve already got homes for all of them but Bella, but mom says I can keep her if I get her spayed.”

“Smart—“ Nick agreed, lightly scratching behind the ears of the lop in his arms, a brown and white one. Sara’s was nearly all white; with a coral nose and she stroked it gently. Grissom admired the span of her fingers against the velvety fur. Lindsay handed him a lop through his protests.

“I’m not good with . . . bunnies,” he murmured, his light, practiced touch contrary to his words. Nick snorted.

“Not how Doc Robbins tells it—“ came the teasing undertone. Grissom shot him a sharp frown, only to catch a smirk back. Lindsay stroked the little floppy-eared head resting on Grissom’s forearm.

“Yeah, you’re doing great, Grissom. Picking her up just fine—“ Sara added with a look of complete innocence. Grissom made a mental note to send Al a plastic pony head through interdepartment mail.

 He ignored Sara and lightly rubbed a fingertip down the tiny head; the lop in his arms relaxed and Lindsay grinned up at him.

Bella likes you. Do you want to keep her?”

“Oh, um, Lindsay—“ Grissom began, trying to figure out how best to wriggle out of the trap he hadn’t seen. Nick smothered a laugh.

“Sorry Linds—Grissom’s a specialist. He only likes a certain KIND of bunny—“

Grissom upped the pony head count to two while he shot a glare at Nick. Sara was hiding her splutters. Lindsay rolled her eyes in the “old-people-make-some-really-WEIRD-jokes” fashion and set about refilling the water dish from the main cage. Grissom leaned closer to Nick.

“The next decomp’s got your name plastered all over it, Stokes.”

But even that didn’t wipe away the sunny grin of the younger man. Carefully Nick set his bunny back in the cage and shrugged.

“That’s okay—it will give you time to catch up on your reading. Just let me and Warrick know when you’re done. We’ll want to watch you in action, Tiger.”

Grissom fought his blush, glaring openly at Nick, horribly aware of Sara grinning as she bent to cuddle the lop in her arms. With a wave, Nick sauntered out, and Lindsay set the water dish down. Grissom turned his attention to the little ball of fur in his arms and grimaced.

“I think Bella just . . . wet on me—“ he announced in a pained voice.

***   ***   ***

“This was the location of the first phone number. Talk about depressing—and kinky,” Vartan muttered. He and Grissom stood in the little playroom where posters of Care Bears and SpongeBob looked down at them. Bins of toys and games overflowed, spilling over onto the stained carpet. Vartan picked up a naked Barbie, studying her half-scalped head with a moue of pain.

“A daycare. Distribution racket?” Grissom wondered as he pulled on latex gloves. Vartan gave a slow nod, setting the doll down again.

“Most likely—pick up the kids and a little something extra for the drive home—sheesh. Brass is getting the scene blocked off, and my guess is that he’ll want the phones done first.”

“Makes sense,” Grissom agreed. Vartan walked out while he quietly unpacked his kit and pulled out the dusting powder, getting ready to coat the wall phone. As he shifted, he bumped a shelf; a few toys toppled over including a Teddy Ruxpin, who immediately broke into song:

Lit-tle Bunny Foo-Foo, Hop-ping through the Fo-rest, Catchin’ all the field mice and bopp’n em on de head—

Grimacing, Grissom picked up the smiling bear and looked it over for an off switch. It didn’t seem to have one; he listened to the Good Fairy make her first Goon threat before realizing he could pop the tape out from the stuffed animal’s tummy. He made a face at the toy.

“Don’t get me started—“ he muttered, setting the now-voiceless plushie back up on the shelf.

***   ***   ***

The dusting took longer than he’d anticipated, and the entire time, odd snatches of the children’s song kept bouncing in his head. Grissom rubbed his eyes wearily as he signed the evidence in.

Grissom paused in the doorway of the layout room.  Sara was apparently going over the evidence from the daycare bust, because most of what was spread out in front of her was toys and paraphernalia for care of the young.  However, she wasn’t paying attention to it at the moment; instead, she was paging slowly through a tiny book hardly larger than her hand, and the gentle little smile on her face had Grissom strangely enthralled.
 
It wasn’t until she closed it that he came back to himself and cleared his throat.  Sara glanced up quickly, looking almost guilty, but Grissom wasn’t about to call her on taking a few minutes out to read a children’s book.  “What do you have?” he asked, pretending he hadn’t been staring. 

“Nothing yet, but I’ve only got through about half this stuff,” Sara replied, waving at the neat rows of objects.  She picked up a much-gnawed teething ring as Grissom pulled two gloves from the dispenser box and put them on so he could examine the small book. 

“No meth recipes, though there are some crayon scribbles on page ten,” Sara said drolly.  Grissom ignored her ostentatiously as he examined the book.
 
It brought back memories.  He had owned a copy of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” when he was small, and he could recall his mother’s voice as she read the story to him, her cadence and words still clear at that point.  He already knew how to read at age five, but it was a ritual between the two of them, to curl up together in the big armchair and read a story before bed. 

“A moral fable,” he commented, examining the picture that had always bothered him as a child--that of Peter nibbling on carrots, even though carrots were mentioned nowhere in the text. 

“Peter gets what he deserves, for being such a naughty bunny?” Sara replied, and for some reason the innocent words in her husky voice almost made him shiver.
 
“Yes.  He escapes Mr. McGregor, but still ends up with a stomachache.” 

Sara chuckled.  “I kind of admired him, myself.  Peter’s a rebel.”  She set down the teething ring and reached for a Matchbox truck.  “Not too bright, though.”
 
“No, but a lot of Potter’s characters weren’t,” Grissom noted.  “In fact, they seem to be either very clever, or quite foolish.  Not a lot of ordinary creatures.”
 
Sara arched a brow.  “And rabbits dressing up in coats and shopping for currant buns is ordinary?”
 
Grissom shrugged and set down the book.  “In her world, it is.”
 
“True.”  Sara idly spun one wheel of the little truck.  “You know, my brother’s name is Peter.”
 
“Oh?”  He peeled off the gloves, intrigued.
 
“Yeah--when I was little they used to call me Mopsy.”  She wrinkled her nose.  “I hated it.”
 
“I don’t blame you,” Grissom said, amused, as he threw away the gloves.
 
“Did you have a nickname when you were a kid?” Sara asked, and when he looked back she had a distinctly puckish expression.
 
He kept back the smile.  “I did.”
 
Grissom got as far as the door before she asked.  “And you’re not going to tell me what it is, are you?”
 
He looked back, feeling smug.  “Nope.”  At her exasperated glare, he laughed.  “It could have been worse, Sara.  They could have called you Cotton-tail.”
 
He escaped before she could find something to throw at him.


***   ***   ***



Grissom rubbed his eyes wearily.  It had been a long week; he’d pulled two doubles working on a triple murder, and while he still had stacks of paperwork to get through, he decided that he’d actually go home at the end of shift, instead of staying late.  The paperwork would just put him to sleep at his desk, anyway.
 
He passed Greg on the way out of the building; his rookie CSI was apparently flirting with Hortense at Reception as she took over for Judy.  The three of them were laughing as he walked past, apparently talking about some band he’d never heard of, and it abruptly made Grissom feel old.  He trudged past without speaking, intent on getting home to his sanctum and feeding himself before he was too tired to stay awake.  



He couldn’t find what he was looking for.  He searched among leafy walls of lettuce, passed by tall stalks of corn, hunted through tangles of bean runners, but there was no parsley anywhere.
 
Grissom stood up straight, trying to see over the huge cabbages to figure out where he was in the garden.  The paths twisted and turned, and never seemed to stay the same; even the tool-shed appeared to move every so often.  But there was the wall, a little distance off, and Grissom made his way towards it with the vague idea of using it as a starting point for a more methodical search.  He loped along, ignoring Catherine as she alighted on a raspberry cane to twitter and scold.
 
It took him a while to reach it--he was distracted by a pair of toads wandering along in waistcoats, discussing baseball--but when he did it was much higher than himself, made of sandy blocks whose mortar was pitted with age.  And up on top of it sat Sara, her arms dangling over the edge and her nose twitching.
 
//You’re going to get in trouble,// she taunted him, and he was annoyed, because the garden was off-limits entirely, wall included; she was breaking the rules too.
 
//So are you,// he said.  //Can you see the parsley from up there?//
 
Instead of answering, she leapt gracefully off, landing in a patch of some plant he couldn’t identify.  Grissom hurried after her, hoping she was leading him to his quarry.  Her tail flirted ahead of him as they raced along the sandy paths, but he lost her around the third corner, next to the cucumber frames, where the path turned cold underfoot. 

Puzzled and alarmed, he stopped, trying to figure out where she’d gone from the stone-flagged dead end, when something dropped over him.  It was a net, sticky and entangling, and Grissom fought it desperately, but only managed to squirm over onto his back.  Looking up, he saw the gardener standing over him, impossibly tall, but cool and lovely even in overalls and a broad-brimmed hat.

//Still trying to hide, Mr. Grissom?//  Heather asked, and he cringed as she bent and gathered the net up, lifting him to dangle in the air.
 
A flurry of barking made her look dismayed, and Grissom saw through the net a small terrier wearing a brass collar racing up the path.  It was as frightening as Heather, but the dog immediately bit her on the ankle, growling.  She shrieked and dropped the net, and Grissom braced for the impact with the path—
 
He opened his eyes with an effort.  His own living room seemed almost unfamiliar for a moment, and then the bubble of the dream popped and it began to fade.  Grissom sat up from his uncomfortable scrunch on the couch, feeling the ache of stiff muscles and trying to figure out why his subconscious was trying to turn a dominatrix into a gardener. 

Wearily he lumbered to his bedroom and stripped down to his boxers, not bothering with pajamas. With a last, ritualistic glance around the room, his gaze settling for a moment on the photo of Sara on the bookcase, Grissom climbed into bed and curled up, dropping to sleep again quickly.

It started out fairly typically, soft-edged images flowing past as he worked his way through a crowded warehouse of some kind.  There was a little skinny salesman at his elbow, encouraging him to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and Grissom agreed to it eventually, feeling vaguely anxious that his heart’s desire would turn out to be a truckload of cookies or something equally difficult.  They found themselves on the loading dock, and indeed there was an eighteen-wheeler backed up to the building.  The salesman faded away, and Grissom, still anxious, yanked the pull on the truck’s door.
 
The truck’s contents spilled out immediately, milling around him alert and curious--more Saras than he could count, all dressed in that distinctive Playboy bunny outfit.  He stood immobile as they spread bright-eyed out onto the loading dock, making comments to one another or no one in her husky voice.  Grissom’s dream-throat swelled with longing; he wanted to gather them all into his arms at once, though whether to kiss her or protect them he wasn’t sure.  As he looked from one to the next, worried that they were going to get lost, he realized that their outfits were changing--one was wearing a court suit, another a heavy parka, a third a CSI jacket and watchcap, and at least one was wearing a bikini.
 
But every time he reached for a Sara she would change course, veering off without seeming to notice his grab, and he couldn’t move from his spot to chase any of them, he could only worry.

***   ***   ***

Pastels flooded his mind, soft buttery yellows and powdery blues, gentle pinks, a chalky green underfoot. Grissom felt an odd floating sensation, and experimentally pushed off of the ground, soaring a bit in a move he recognized as a . . . skip.

Interesting. A little exhilarating as well.

The mild euphoria continued as he moved on, sensing the trees around him, all hazy and undefined as he bounced along, his sense of power growing with each rise into the air. It felt marvelously good to drift up and down---and a startled face caught his eye as he landed. It was Greg Sanders . . . sort of. The little face upturned staring at him bore the unmistakeable smirk of Greg; that vaguely judgmental glance that SO often delineated their age difference and left him exasperated.

It annoyed Grissom, and before he could stop himself he reached out with one closed fist and brought it down on the top of tiny Greg’s head. Not hard, but enough of a rap to wipe the smug expression away, replacing it with a look of astonishment. The hollow knocking sound reminded Grissom of coconuts conking, and a new sense of smugness flooded HIM.

//Grissom, ya big Foo-Foo! Whad you do THAT for?// TinyGreg squeaked, one paw rubbing his head. Grissom noted that his hair still looked like a cornfield that a tornado passed through; blondish tufts leaning this way and that. He was about to speak up when a sense of something behind him made him turn.

Ohhhh---the flood of joy/wonder/confusion flushed through him strongly, leaving him blinking, The hazy image of Sara drifted over him and he pushed, leaving TinyGreg behind as he soared up, up, trying to reach Sara in the sky with diamonds . . .

She drifted, long legs peeking out tantalizingly from a glittering cloud of iridescent bubbles clustered along her lean torso in a parody of a dress, offering him peeks of pearly skin and sexy muscle. She carried what appeared to be a wand, but on the end instead of a star was a bejeweled logo, vaguely familiar: A Playboy Bunny.

Grissom felt himself flush. Sara laughed throatily.

//Gil Grissom what would your mother say?//

//yeah!// came TinyGreg’s voice from below. Grissom looked down and realized he was drifting high now, that his paws were waving—paws? He looked into the cluster of bubbles making up Sara’s dress and saw his reflection in them: a stocky grey rabbit with long white whiskers and a black nose, ears pricked. He turned his head to get a better look at himself, slightly alarmed at this development.

//So as your PEAP counselor I have to tell you that you don’t have a hopping problem, you have a field mouse problem,// Sara informed him, reaching one hand out and cupping his fuzzy bunny face. Grissom wriggled his nose, trying to speak and realizing he couldn’t. Sara scratched under his chin and it felt wonderful.

Grissom suspected it would feel good even if he weren’t a floating rabbit.

//And in all fairness to Greg, I have to warn you that, um, further mouse bopping is pretty much a bad thing here. So you need to lay off, okay?//

Grissom stretched his chin out further, sighing a little with pleasure, only half-listening to her warning. Suddenly Sara stopped and floated away; Grissom felt himself slowly drifting back down to the forest. His paws settled once again on the ground and a sense of loss panged within him. He bounded off, not going nearly as high, annoyed now that she was gone . . .

//Yo Grissom! I can see your cotton-tail!!!// came the squeaky singsong taunt. He pricked up his ears, irritated. TinyGreg was moonwalking, minute paws in the air, brown eyes twinkling.

Any court in the land would see it as aggravated provocation, Grissom decided. He swatted a paw hard on the little head and this time a little ‘boink’ sound echoed up, vaguely cartoonish. TinyGreg gave a squeak.

//Oh hey! De-café for you from now on, Boss man!//

Grissom didn’t care as SaraGoodFairy glided up again. This time she looked slightly annoyed.

//Um, I thought we went over this?// she murmured, the fingers of her free hand once again stroking, this time his furry cheek. BunnyGrissom closed his eyes, better to concentrate on the magic touch of  SaraGoodFairy’s fingers. She spoke softly, but he didn’t quite catch her words. Something about goose.

//. . . So are we clear?//

BunnyGrissom half-heartedly wriggled his nose, feeling his ears twitch when she withdrew. SaraGoodFairy used her wand to lift his chin.

//You KNOW if you weren’t so cute you’d be in so much trouble, right?//

BunnyGrissom tried to look even more so, but wasn’t sure how; vaguely he recalled reading a book on how to appeal to Saras, and it even HAD a bunny on it . . . then she darted up and away, bubbles barely keeping up with her, and BunnyGrissom watched with a GREAT deal of interest at that point, his little pink tongue poking out as he got up on his hind legs for a better view.

//Silly Rabbit!// TinyGreg pointed out with a knowing squeak, //Licks are for squid! Calamari in fact, along with a beer.//

It was too much, and Grissom lashed out with a back leg, sending TinyGreg flying into the air, sailing end over end in a little white lab mouse sphere that instantly turned into a baseball, soaring up, up and away into the forest like a home run.

//ManareYOUgonnagetittttt!// Came TinyGreg’s last breathless taunt.

BunnyGrissom hopped in a quick, nervous circle, suddenly apprehensive. The sudden swoop of bubbles and bothered brunette startled him; he ran. Swiftly, hopping and moving faster than he had in YEARS, BunnyGrissom darted through the forest, torn between fear and desire, sensing this was all he’d ever done his entire life: run from the thing he wanted most.

Finally he approached a wall, brick and solid, looking remarkably like the back of the Lab; in a panic BunnyGrissom darted here and there, trying to find an opening, a hiding place, anything to keep him from the sweet wraith swooping behind him. With his big ears he caught her words . . .

//Grissom! You know by the time you figure it out, you really could be too late--//

Grissom awoke with a spasm, his heart thudding loudly in his chest. For a moment he lay curled in his sheets, willing himself to take stock of the situation. Just dreams, he reminded himself. Patchwork jumbles of images and memories; the lint trap of human consciousness. He slowly stretched out, making an effort to unclench his biceps, to loosen his cramped thighs. The fierce gold of the setting sun tried to leak through the bedroom blinds, and his bedside clock showed six thirty seven PM. Grissom closed his eyes again trying hard to recall his dreams, but it was difficult; they were fading fast, like drying dew in the morning.

All that came to mind persistently were . . . rabbits.

No, not rabbits.

Bunnies.

Grissom shook his head as he stepped into the shower, marveling at his own capacity to create a mosaic of images and infuse them with underlying erotic motifs. Fertility, reputation, innocence and tactility.

Bunnies.


By the time he’d gotten to work and was walking down the hall, the last vestiges of fanciful dreams were firmly dismissed. Grissom carried his mail and magazines in on hand, his coffee in the other as he headed for the break room. The Western Entomology Quarterly held a promising article on Cicada cycles, and he looked forward to a thoughtful half-hour with it. Grissom strode in, sipping his coffee, unprepared for the sight that met his startled glance.

Sara lounged across one of the tables, her trim form draped in the casual pose of nonchalance, her perky bottom in tempting display through snug grey slacks. And while her rear assets were enough to catch Grissom’s attention on a regular, privately-letching basis, today they took a backseat to her headgear.

Sara wore tall, fuzzy white . . . bunny ears. They sat on the top of her head, held in place by the white plastic headband, looking both furry and strangely attractive. They had pink silk lining to simulate the insides of the ear, and synthetic white fur on the outside. Grissom held his mouthful of coffee, staring as Sara shifted her gaze up from the calculator in her hands and scowled.

“I lost a bet with Greg and it’s Ecklie’s night off, so anytime I’m in the building I HAVE to wear these stupid ears.” She announced moodily. Grissom swallowed, feeling the burn down his throat. Déjà vu and desire welled up in him and suddenly the entire perspective of the room changed as he stared at her. Sara made a moue.

“On the bright side, I’m pretty sure I’ve broken the code.” She announced brightly. “A possible link between the lab and the Daycare. Wanna see?”

“Yes.” Grissom agreed. Sara crooked a finger at him as she brushed past towards the door.

“Hop this way then—“

They stepped into Trace 2, and Grissom saw that the battered copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit sat on the light table along with the Playboy paperback and the phone pad from the Daycare. Sara donned latex gloves, looking sweetly incongruous with her bunny ears.

“Okay, remember the crayon scribbles? I took a good look at them and figured out there were numbers AND letters. The handwriting’s bad, but the shapes were too uniform to be little kid scribbles, so with a little patience, I found this—“

She took a marker and wrote on the light table, her printing neat and even: 116 HTPUW, then another one 122 HTPUWPA. Grissom stared at the notations for a long moment, and Sara flashed a grin at him.

“Think you can figure it out in say . . . the next fifteen seconds?”

“Yes—“ he murmured, mind looking over the letters, but Sara reached over and with casual daring caught his chin, forcing him to turn his gaze away from the table and look at her. Her latex-covered fingers felt cool under his whiskered chin and Grissom was so startled at her gesture he blinked as she dropped her hand.

“Sara?”

“If you CAN’T figure it out in the next fifteen seconds, then YOU have to wear the ears, Grissom.”

He opened is mouth to protest, pausing a second or two before replying. “And if I DO figure it out?”

Sara gave a flirtatious little shrug. “You could make me wear a cottontail too, I guess.”

“Suddenly my life has purpose—“ Grissom teased back, but lightly. He reluctantly turned back to the table and tried to apply logic to the letters and numbers. Because of the repetition, the letters themselves probably referred to the same thing. He tried to remember the address.

“Hacienda Terrace, Pacific University Way—“ Grissom slowly murmured. “And the numbers are apartments maybe? Customer addresses? But the PA doesn’t fit, unless it’s some reference to the meth itself—maybe something about being packed in the afternoon, or prepared in
advance . . .”

Sara was staring at her watch and chuckling; Grissom gave in to a little sigh of annoyance as she softly counted.

“One thousand thirteen, one thousand fourteen, one thousand fifteen. Sorry Griss, you missed out on the most obvious acronym there, which is a real pity, considering you already had the key piece of evidence in your hands yesterday.”

She picked up the paperback and ran a finger over the title; Grissom’s eyes widened.

How To Pick Up Women—or HTPUW. Of course.”

“Orrrr, How To Pick Up Women, Playboy Advisors,” Sara expanded with a smirk. “And the numbers?”

“Page numbers?”

“Correct. On page 116 we have very faintly penciled in the margin, an address. Over on page 122 there’s another address. So my guess is that the two books—Peter Rabbit and How to Pick Up Women—were passed between dealers to arrange the distribution. No phone records to connect people, and if a book got lost, there was nothing particularly suspicious to show the connection.”

Grissom stared, feeling a surge of delight; awe and admiration wash over him. It was a clever scheme, and yet not clever enough to elude sharp-eyed, brilliantly persistent Sara. She dimpled at him for a moment, pleased with herself.

“So—time to be . . . my bunnyboy.”

Carefully she slid the headband with the ears off and held them out. Grissom hesitated a moment, then reached for it, his eyes bright. He looked at the ears, marveling at their construction, their softness. Sara’s gaze followed his, and the dimples bracketing her mouth deepened.

“Grissom—“ her tone implied he was trying to get out of it. His mouth twitched.

“I don’t rescind on bets—“ he loftily told her and with a sigh, Grissom pulled on the headband, wincing a little. The fit was tight but bearable; he glanced at Sara, who had her slender hand over her mouth, eyes wide and delighted.

“Ohhhh—“

“Grey hair on the grey hare?” he commented, peeking quickly at his reflection in the glass wall next to them.  He caught his profile and gave in. Yes he looked ridiculous, but for some reason Sara wasn’t laughing. When he turned to catch her gaze she was smiling again, but with a wide-eyed wonder, and her hand reached out to his chin.

“You are the CUTEST . . . “ she didn’t finish, and Grissom cocked his head. The effect made her bite her lips; sensing an opening into some tender, unexplored place Grissom made an attempt to wriggle his nose and Sara reached out, gently scratching him under his chin.

“So you ARE a bunny,” Sara mused. Grissom let the surge of impulsiveness send him forward. He scooped one hand around Sara’s shoulders and the other behind her knees, sweeping her up and making her squawk, her head nearly hitting the table.

“And I know how to pick up women too—“ he assured her, hoping his joke hadn’t backfired. Sara gulped, clutching his shoulders. She clumsily pulled up and after a second’s hesitation, kissed him, right in front of the evidence. A warm kiss, quick, light and promising. Another one followed and Grissom laughed halfway through it, making Sara looked at him uncertainly.

“What?”

“Ears looking at you, kid.”

Sara laughed against his mouth.


END





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