A/N: I did struggle with this a bit and then I was reading 'Dearest Gil' (again) and I cried (again) and my faith in GSR was restored. then this here outpouring of emotion happened - I hope you all like it! as always reviews are loved :)
It had been an incredibly long day and I was tired to the very root of my soul as I trudged to my apartment surrounded by drunks and theatre goers. How I missed the darkness and fireflies in the jungle.
All I wanted was to collapse into bed, to rest my weary bones and let my dreams take over. My cell phone had other ideas, almost the second I closed the door I was assaulted by the metallic chime. Sara had been very insistent I carried it. Her arguments had been steadfast and unwavering, as they often were.
"Grissom?" I answered curtly, wondering briefly why I still used my surname as opposed to hello.
"You sound tired" her voice sounded into the receiver instantly bringing a smile to my face.
It always made me nostalgic to hear her voice, I could picture her curled up on the sofa at home, with a book nestled on her lap as she spoke. In moments like this I realized how much I missed her, I missed her smile, the sound of her voice in the morning when it was still gravelly and rested the touch of her skin. I missed it all.
"I am. It's been a long day…" I sigh, leaning back on my armchair and stretching my legs out ahead of me. "How's your day been?"
"I'm just getting started, an hour till I have to go to work" it makes me feel strangely sad that our lives have become so separate. At least in Peru we shared similar sleep patterns, now I was heading to bed just as she was waking up. "I miss you…" she added in a quiet voice, somehow sensing my melancholy.
"I know, I miss you too" I reply, she doesn't know how painfully true that is.
The silence between us reminds me of all the times we shared silent conversations in the lab, it was a lot easier to convey hidden meaning with eye contact.
"So, have you checked your email yet?" she asked, clearing her throat nervously.
"No. I was going to wait till morning" I yawn, detecting a hint of disappointment in her breathing "why?"
I'm not generally a suspicious man but I know when my wife is up to something. I could almost feel her smiling through the phone.
"I… may… have sent you a little riddle…" she teased, the words playfully rolling off her tongue.
"A riddle?" I sigh "I'm not sure I'm conscious enough to be riddling right now"
"Trust me. You'll like this one. I better go get my shower…."
"Goodnight" I almost whisper, my heart aching for her even more "Sara…"
"I love you. I'll be home soon." I'm not sure who I am reassuring more.
"I know. I love you too. I'll call you in the morning"
When she hung up I sat in the chair for long time thinking about her. I pictured her doing those day to day things I was so familiar with. The little things I missed more than anything. The way the steam in the shower would escape through the door and fill the house with her glorious fresh scent, the way she would wrap her towel around her frame to find clothes that she didn't have to iron. The way her feet padded quietly though the thick carpets as she moved around the bedroom, daintily placing one of her necklaces around her neck. I could picture every move she would make as though it were happening right in front of me but it didn't make the separation any easier. If anything it made it a lot worse.
With a sigh I moved across to my laptop perched on the desk by the window. She seemed to be very keen for me to read my emails. I was curious as to why.
'A mile from end to end, yet as close to as a friend.
A precious commodity, freely given. Seen on the dead and on the living.
Found on the rich, poor, short and tall,
but shared among children most of all. What is it?'
I stare at the email in bewilderment. That's what she made me stay out of bed for; this riddle is what was so important? The attachment blinked in the corner and I clicked on it, still trying to fathom what was so important to her that she couldn't wait for tomorrow.
There we were, smiling and happy in front of the famous golden gate bridge. I would give anything to go back to that time, to have it all over again. I would do so many things differently; I would take so many more chances.
Now I was at a loss, the photograph was a nice gesture and a beautiful memory but it couldn't be what she was so interested in me seeing. There had to be more to it. My eyes scanned the title of the photograph 'follow the riddle'
She was giving me a headache. I kneaded the bridge of my nose and cast my eyes over the riddle again. It wasn't a tricky one, the answer was easy to find; a smile. In that instant I had an epiphany and pulled up the photograph again, clicking on her smile pulled up a hidden message and I considered myself victorious.
It has been a while since I reminded you how much you mean to me. There may be miles between us but you are still in my heart every single day, you still course through my bloodstream, your memory still makes me smile. I long to feel your arms around me, to taste your lips and look into your eyes and every single moment we are apart aches in my soul. I once thought that being so dependent on another person was something to be ashamed of, that showing that level of vulnerability was bound to end in heartache but I trust you with every fiber of my being and I know that we were meant to be together. I just wanted you to know that even although we are not side by side I am always with you; I am always thinking of you, I always love you.
Now it became clear why she was so restless about it. She had bared her soul in her hidden message and the words were beautiful. I felt a lump in my throat as I thought of her composing this, on her own in our quiet little townhouse. I wondered if the ticking clock in the study offered her comfort or reminded her of the passage of time, I wondered if the flames flickering in the living room fire still enchanted her on the cold nights.
Before I composed my reply I felt compelled to check one thing, I suddenly felt like I owed her my presence. It didn't matter how many times we said goodbye it still hurt just as much, it didn't matter how many time I justified the 7 hour flight as opposed to the 16 hour flight or argued that the 3 hour time difference didn't matter. I missed her as much as she missed me and in that moment it seemed ridiculous for us to put so much space between us.
I had been offered a teaching position at UNLV a month ago. The email had been read and stashed in a folder for me to look at later and then all but forgotten. I don't know why I had forgotten about it, my heart had turned somersaults as I pictured her reaction to the news. My lack of response may seem to the university that I was considering turning it down, the truth was life had gotten in the way. Finals week had come and gone, I had spent a glorious vacation in the arms of my wife. The last thing on my mind was starting a new job; I was yet to make a decision about my future in New York. I didn't fit in here, I was happiest watching bugs and counting stars, the number of skyscrapers in this ton and I was surprised I couldn't reach out and touch them yet.
I decided not to email her back at all. Simply sent her a text message to remind her I loved her and was always thinking of her as I pulled out my copy of the velveteen rabbit and got to work on a special message of my own. This would be more complicated but I couldn't wait to hear her reaction to what it had to say.