CSIFO November 2012 Fan Fiction Challenge - (csiforeveronline dot wetpaint dot com)

Drabble Challenge by Got Tea? Word Limit: 1,500 (came in at 1469) Prompts: An explosion of some kind; A piece of rope or string; A glass bottle; A grasshopper

Setting: Season 6ish, though a little AU in that GSR is established and known in the lab :)

Disclaimer: None of the characters or the concept of CSI are mine, I'm just playing with them a little.


Sara Sidle had her nose buried in a file as she trudged dejectedly through the maze of halls that made up the crime lab. The report she was reading proved that the only epithelials found on the rope of their John Doe came from the victim himself. So whoever hung him, first made him tie his own noose, she thought grimly, hoping that Grissom had figured something out about the cryptic note that had been stapled to the vic's chest.

The quiet was suddenly shattered by the sound of breaking glass that echoed out of the night supervisor's office. It was rapidly followed by a groan of pain and some very uncharacteristic cursing from the normally stoic man. Before Sara could close the distance to the open doorway, an explosion of sound seemed to propel a terrified looking Greg out of the room.

"SANDERS!"

Barely avoiding the stunned brunette, the crazy-haired former lab-tech bolted down the hall.

Shaking herself out of her stupor, Sara quickly strode into Grissom's office, only to freeze once more at the sight before her. The typically neat and tidy supervisor was sprawled on the floor, a disheveled mess. He was surrounded and covered with the remains of one of his many glass terrariums. Dirt smudged his pale face, wood chips decorated his broad chest, and glass shards glittered amongst his graying curls. For a moment she thought she saw something move among the detritus, but that thought fled when she noticed a trickle of blood trailing down his forehead.

"Gil!" Hurrying to his side, she vaguely noted that he was still mumbling profanities under his breath as he maneuvered himself into a sitting position. "Take it easy, let me help you up," Sara urged, grabbing his free arm as he braced himself against the desk to lever himself upright. He swayed slightly once he was standing, so she steadied him and led him to a chair, trying to get him to sit down.

Grissom started to shake his head, but quickly thought better of the maneuver, his hands tightening on the chair back and Sara's arm. "Honey, thank you, but, no . . . I need to get cleaned up," he ground out as graciously as he could through his grimace of pain.

"Not yet, Griss," she objected, moving with him as he took a step toward the door. "You should have Doc check you first, and get all the glass out of your hair before you shower." When he showed no signs of stopping, she fell into step beside him, one hand on his arm, while the other rested against his back, ready to brace him if he faltered.

A smile twitched at the corners of his mouth at her protectiveness. "That's all well and good, but that particular terrarium was the one housing my feed crickets," the entomologist explained, his shoulders twitching slightly. Seeing she didn't understand, he sighed and mock-whispered, "I'm 'infested', Sara." A soft chuckle burst forth as he saw her eyes widen in understanding and then dart about his torso, looking for 'hitchhikers'. "So while I understand, I'd really like to get out of these clothes." Catching the sudden sparkle in her eye, and her pursed-lip smile, he grumbled, "You have a one-track mind, Ms. Sidle, and we're at work."

Her grin turned sheepish even as a light blush colored her cheeks. "All right, let's get you to the locker room and out of that shirt before I call Doc to check you out," Sara murmured, keeping close to his side as she could still feel him sway a little every few steps. "So you want to tell me how you managed to drop your cricket habitat on your head?" she asked softly as they approached the locker room door.

"I didn't!" Grissom protested, his eyes flashing angrily for a moment. Before he could say anything more, they were interrupted by the sound of someone running up behind them.

"Grissom! There you are!" Greg panted, skidding to a stop and hollering over his shoulder, "Over here, Doc!"

The familiar cadence of Al Robbin's distinctive gait could be heard coming down the hall from the elevator, and soon the avuncular coroner came into view. Behind him was his faithful aide, Dave Phillips, carrying a battered doctor's bag as well as a first aid kit.

"Heard you needed my services, Gil?" Doc said merrily, eyeing his glowering patient with good humor. "You weren't kidding, Greg," he commented to the young man who was eyeing his supervisor with a mixture of concern and wariness that was making Sara fight the giggles.

The laser-like glare that Grissom was directing at the former lab rat made her bite her lips, however, and gently tug the injured man into the locker room and over to the nearest bench. Nimble fingers unbuttoned and removed his shirt, and she quickly brushed away several crickets that were clinging to his undershirt. "Did any make it further south?" she whispered in his ear as she plucked one off his belt.

Grissom muttered a quick "No" without meeting her teasing gaze. She'd have far too much fun searching, he thought, a blush creeping up his neck. And I'm not in any condition to enjoy it.

While Sara had been busy divesting him of crickets, Doc and Super-Dave had set up their gear. "Hold this, Greg," the coroner requested, handing a silver basin to the nervous young man. "David, when you're ready?"

The shy assistant coroner nodded and turned on the portable light, aiming it at Grissom's head.

Robbin's adjusted his glasses and began plucking shards from the entomologist's curls. The room was silent as he worked, the only sound the soft 'clink' as he dropped glass into the pan Greg held. "I don't see anything that's going to need stitches, but I am going to have to glue these cuts to keep them from becoming infected while they heal." Pulling the last piece of glass free, the coroner traded the tweezers for antiseptic. "How did this happen, anyway, Gil?" he asked as he began cleaning away the blood and dirt from Grissom's scalp.

Sharp blue eyes darted toward Greg, who cringed, clutching the tray of broken glass. "I was getting a book from the bottom shelf when the whole unit suddenly shook and the terrarium landed on me." A soft hiss escaped the entomologist's lips as the doctor worked on the deepest cut. "The next thing I knew, Greg is staring at me from around the bookcase and then bolting from my office, heading off to fetch you, I presume. You'll have to ask him how all this actually happened," the supervisor growled.

Quailing under the spotlight of four pairs of eyes, the young CSI gulped before carefully setting down the tray and reaching into his jacket pocket. "I was trying to find the jar that Griss keeps his chocolate covered grasshoppers in," he admitted sheepishly, brandishing a glass bottle full of Grissom's favorite snack. "I had a serious need for a chocolate fix a couple of weeks ago . . . and the vending machine was out of order . . . andIgothookedon'em!" He blurted the last part out as one word, flushing at the incredulous looks on Doc's and David's faces, while Grissom and Sara looked amused.

"I told you someone else was eating them," Griss murmured to the brunette, causing her to chuckle.

"I've been trying to refill the jar for days now, but someone was always in the office or nearby. Today was the first chance I had had to get in and out unnoticed – I thought." Greg shook his head, avoiding all their smiles now. "Anyway, Grissom moved the jar to the top of those shelves, and I really had to stretch to reach it – then Griss came in and I froze, hoping he wouldn't hear me, and that he would just come in for a moment and leave, but then I slipped and my knee hit the terrarium, and . . ." He shrugged and hung his head. "I'm sorry, Griss, I never meant to get you hurt."

"'Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly seventy-three percent of all accidents involving falling objects,'" the entomologist intoned solemnly, knowing the quote would catch his CSI's attention. Once Greg was looking at him, he smiled and added, "Dave Barry." Carefully rising to his feet, he laid a gentle hand on the younger man's shoulder. "I'll be fine, Greg, a bit banged up, but fine. But next time you take some of my snacks, leave a note? It's a little safer." After seeing him shyly grin and nod, Grissom turned to Sara and asked plaintively, "Now can I get cleaned up?"

With a laugh, she grabbed his arm and led him toward the showers, the three men behind her chuckling as they cleaned up and headed back to work.