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Fanfic: CSI - Human Gods

Title: Human Gods
Author: vegawriters
Rating: Teen
Timeframe: Leaving Las Vegas (Season 7)
Pairing: GSR
Disclaimer: I don’t own, don’t claim to own, although I wish I could have a hand in writing them. Seriously. Please don’t sue me. Hire me instead.
Author’s notes: 1) Part of the Sleeps With Butterflies Universe 2) Initially posted to my old geocities site. 3) Original notes: For cluesby4 for the bestkeptprivate Secret Santa Challenge and a thank you to hannahfmuk who has become my unwitting beta.

Summary:It was true, he supposed, that there were no atheists in foxholes.



There’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
~Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)~


Grissom found his peace in the methods of physical evidence, not the trust of faith even though he knew there was, in truth, little difference between science and religion.

A man had killed himself tonight. Grissom had helped to accuse Ernie Dell of murder, but he wasn’t sure if the man was guilty of the crime. As a scientist, he was only supposed to interpret evidence, but more and more he found himself letting his theory form his questions, not the other way around. Now, a man was dead.

He wasn’t Catholic anymore. The reason for being here was borne of ritual, not a belief in the ever-loving forgiveness of Christ coupled with the vengeance of the judgmental God who tested the people of the world by sending his only son to die for their sins. He still wondered what would have happened if people hadn’t believed Mary’s story.

Rationally, he couldn’t have explained what brought him here. To him, a church was no longer a place of worship and Christ had long ago ceased to be his God. Now his higher power was a very human woman who, for reasons beyond his understanding, had consented to a life with him.

Now, in a large home out in an old neighborhood that had been designed long before the monotony of modern suburbia, his Goddess would be home, waiting for him. She would be unpacking the boxes in the kitchen while singing along to the Bare Naked Ladies Christmas album. The tree was already set up, lights twinkling and packages starting to appear under the branches. Before Sara he’d never had a Christmas tree. Every year since she’d come to Vegas, he would go to her, chuckling at the little Charlie Brown tree she’d set up on her coffee table. They would exchange gifts and drink eggnog and rum and contemplate the dichotomy of Western culture and the fascination with the religion of commercialism. He would hold her and kiss her and silently praise God for granting him this Goddess.

He was still amazed that she loved him. For a time the look in her eyes had gone from adoration to regarding him with the same professional glare everyone received, and during that time he understood why the Greeks and Romans had cowered in fear of the all too human gods they worshiped. He had come to understand the power of Christianity and why those who had looked into Christ’s eyes as he died had taken it upon themselves to create a religion based in his name.

A tangible, human God inspired devotion.

Despite his many transgressions, she had forgiven him. He knew better than to test the limit of that graciousness but he needed to get out of this city of false idols. So he had asked, and his Goddess had granted him permission to leave. Even so, he could not help but know there was something she could not say to him and he knew she was again feeling that she was only there to be worshipped when his body needed release.

He glanced up at the man hanging from the cross above him and started to laugh. Gil Grissom had finally found himself at the long-awaited mid-life crisis. The scientist who worshipped the young woman he was in love with, was in a Catholic church, his eyes toward a God he did not believe in. The only thing missing was the red sports car.

It was true, he supposed, that there were no atheists in foxholes.
***


When he walked in the door, she handed him a bottle of water and kissed his cheek with a tenderness that belied her inner fear and worry that the object of her love and worship would leave her alone forever. Maybe this really was the end. Maybe people converted to new religions not because they grew tired with God but God grew tired of them.

He surprised her by slipping his arm around her waist and pulling her against his body, crushing her in a bear hug that left her gasping for breath. It wasn’t that they hadn’t touched recently, quite the opposite, but the last time he had held her like this had been the night Adam Trent had come after her.

The child in her, the little girl who still cowered before her abusive father and her bi-polar mother, screamed selfishly, demanding to know what she had done wrong to make him so unhappy. The adult who had survived foster care, teenage pregnancy, Harvard, Berkeley, abusive boyfriends, and the wall Grissom kept around his entire soul knew better than to blame herself.

Gil had lost his balance and Sara knew that love alone could not bring it back. He needed to be away from the bug-infested corpses of young men and women gunned down before their time. He needed to get out from under the bright lights of the false hopes of Vegas and find peace with himself and his choices. He needed to forgive himself for all his wrongs and rights. The man she loved no longer attended Mass or prayed a nightly rosary, but he was Catholic to a fault and even believed that the things that were good came with a price to be paid back to God.

Suddenly, she started to laugh. It was ironic, angry laughter, something she wanted to keep bottled inside until after Christmas, after he’d stepped onto the plane and left her alone with her self-doubt.

“What is it?”

She pulled away enough to look at him. “There’s this cliché that’s suddenly started to make sense to me.”

“What’s that?”

“If you love something … set it free.” She choked on the final word, tears filling her eyes against her will. She was setting him free. Right here, in the foyer of the home they were still unpacking, she was setting him free. She’d given him permission to go, had even championed it, but had expected to keep his heart tethered to Las Vegas with some pull she suddenly knew she didn’t have. No, here, right now, with the closing fees from the realtor still eating a hole in their brand new joint account and the Christmas tree lights glowing softly against the black-out curtains and the Bare Naked Ladies singing in the background, she was setting him free.

The old saying was wrong. Love wasn’t about being set free. She knew he loved her. He didn’t say those words lightly. They loved and worshipped each other, but love just wasn’t enough and people lost interest in God. Don Henley’s voice echoed in her head, drowning out the silly songs of elves with grander dreams.

She was a walking cliché. In less than five minutes she’d managed to turn her entire life into a combination of trite sayings and bad pop songs.

“Sara …” His voice scratched against her, painful, rough, angry with himself and the world.

“Please come back to me,” she heard herself whispering. “Please. If you can’t…” she took a breath, trying to find her voice again. “Just … please … come home.”

They both knew she meant more than his return from the teaching position.

They both knew that he couldn’t answer her right now.

She’d kill herself if the damned song was right.

“I love you.” The words were whispered, tinged with a pain different than before. “And if I … if I could gather you up and bring you with me where I need to go right now, I would. But I need to do this alone.”

“I know.”

He took a step closer. She reached for him and sighed with relief when his arms again wrapped tightly around her.

After a good five minutes of simply holding each other, she pushed him back and stroked his cheek. “I’m going to bed.”

“I’ll turn off the tree and lock up.”

She stopped at the foot of the stairs when he called after her.

“Sara … wait for me.”

They both knew he didn’t just mean over the course of his sabbatical.

“Gil,” she shook her head, wondering if she made herself dizzy, would she now see the world as he did. “Don’t you get that it’s all I’ve ever really done?”

“This isn’t about you, you know.”

“Yes it is.” She shrugged, resigned to the knowledge that no matter how much they loved each other and how well they knew each other, there were places he would never allow her to reach. It was okay. His mysteries were one of the reasons she worshipped him as much as he worshipped her. “It is about you and me. It’s about you needing to understand where you balance in work and life and love. It’s about the next step you need to take in your life. And that’s okay.” She turned back to the stairs. “I’ll wait up."

“Sara …”

She looked over her shoulder and nodded. “I’ll wait. I love you too.”

Continued in Inside the Cocoon

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
lux_eterna
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
I haven't read a CSI fic in yeaaars! But I'm glad I did. This was great, buddy. Well done, I'm definitely going to sift through your other CSI fics soon.
vegawriters
Jan. 8th, 2011 03:22 am (UTC)
YAY. Thanks. :)
moochiecat2009
Mar. 21st, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Beautifully done. It's an excellent expansion of the backstory for Gil taking off for the short sabbatical.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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