"Dammit Grissom. You didn't care. You've never cared. You've always had your nose shoved down a microscope, oblivious to your surroundings. I can't take it anymore."
"Sara... what are you telling me?" He'd never seen her like this before. It was as if the explosion had rocked her to her core, unearthing thoughts that hadn't dared come to the surface before this incident.
"I love you Grissom."
His world stopped.
It was quiet.
Did his hearing go?
The only sounds he heard were the soft beeping of the heart monitor...
It was going pretty fast.
Of course it was going fast Gil. She's just made the confession of her life.
She loved him.
"Why do you think I came to Vegas? I dropped everything in San Francisco to come here. I left my life behind Griss... to enter a workplace where no one welcomed me except you. Everything I've done since I met you... was to be with you."
'...since I met you...'
My god. Had it been so long since those very words had left his own mouth?
It was a different time then.
A sweet comment like that could be dropped and nothing more would be thought of it.
Never again would it be mentioned.
Until her confession.
It hurt to look at her. He wondered how she managed to survive.
He was glad she did.
But... would she be able to survive the next few minutes?
"I can't do this, Sara," he said sadly.
He saw her breath catch in her throat.
"I can't do this," he repeated, and stood, making a motion to walk out the door.
He felt her hand on his.
He forced himself to look at her.
She wasn't the only one with tears threatening to brim over.
"Griss... Gil... Just tell me this... Have you ever loved me?"
The pause was endless.
The tears were freely running down her face now.
"Because I don't want to ruin your life. Sara, I..."
He had to do it.
He owed it to her.
"I'm going deaf, Sara.
"That's why I couldn't help you.
"That's why you're laying in this hospital bed...
"That's why I can't love you anymore. Not until I fix myself.
There was nothing left to say.
Somehow, he'd managed to find his seat again, and they sat there, quietly contemplating the words that had just been exchanged.
"You can't do it alone."
He looked at her. Her voice was painful to hear...
...it had never been painful to hear her before...
...they had never confessed to each other before...
"I have to, Sara."
"Because if I can't make it through surgery by myself... and it fails... who's going to be there with me when life as I know it is over?"
"Me." He looked up at her eyes, his hope that he understood her correctly met with hope in hers.
"You." It wasn't a question. It was a fact.
She would be there for him when the surgery was over.
She was there for him when he needed her three years ago.
She was even there for him with the small things.
She was there for him with coffee and a blanket.
"Me. Just like you've been here for me."
He wasn't always there for her.
He wasn't there when she needed a person to talk to about Hank.
Catherine was there for that.
He wasn't there for her when she was late.
He'd bitten her head off and handed her a solo assignment.
He wasn't there for her when the lab exploded.
He couldn't help her then.
His head fell, sinking to her bed in an attempt to hide the tears that finally cracked through his stiff composure.
"I almost lost you. I'm so sorry Sara."
Her felt her fingers run through his hair.
"Grissom... I lost you a while ago..."
His head managed to lift itself off the bedspread, his eyes meeting hers.
"...but you've come back to me.
"Welcome back Gil Grissom."
He sighed, and said the only word that came to mind at the moment.