I ask him if he's working on a case. He seems to confirm it. But I'm not stupid. So, I lean over his computer to see what he's really doing, and he changes the page. He thinks I didn't notice. But I did. I didn't see what he changed it from though, but I can guess. He doesn't look so scared when he reads about bugs - normally his eyes are bright and full of wonder. I know what's frightening him. It frightens me too. But more so because he won't let me help him. He's always been distant from the team, but he always let me in. I understand why he's shutting me out, but I don't want him to go through this alone.*****
I continue reading about the condition, about the operation. It's information I've read hundreds of times before. I know it by heart, but I think I'm hoping it will have changed. That some miracle cure has been developed and I won't have to worry. I know I'm being ridiculous, but I am my job, and my job requires my hearing, so without that, I am nothing.
I can't take it anymore so I switch back to my cover story and I read about the beetles. But I'm not taking it in. My head feels as if I can't take in any more information. I feel the throbbing begin, so I turn off my computer and the room lights and drop to my sofa, head in my hands. And I sit in the dark. Alone.*****
I head to my car, mind on Grissom. As always. Lately I'm thinking about him all the time. Lately, I have doubts, and I have looked back. I doubt my subconscious decision not to tell him how I feel. I never actually decided not to, I just didn't. And I know that if I told him now he would think I was saying it out of pity.
I reach the door and start to look for my keys, but I stop. I love him. How can I let him suffer in silence, alone?*****
I jump as the door opens. I see her form against the bright light from the corridor. The light hurts my eyes so I look away. Or maybe I look away because I don't want her to read anything in my tears - because I know she would.
"Migraine?" she asks, softly, closing the door to once again bathe the room in darkness.
I make a sound as an affirmative response. I don't want to speak. My voice won't support a concealing sentence.
I can sense that she is looking at me. She stands still and doesn't say a word. She probably doesn't want to make my headache any worse. I know the longer she is here, the more likely I am to say something I would regret, so I take a deep breath and try to sound normal. I think I succeeded.
"Sara wanted me to speak to you about her 'grounding'. Seems to think I can influence you. Don't know why." It's dark. I can't see her. But I know she's smiling. I know exactly how she looks right now. And, though I had thought it physically impossible for me to do this at the moment, it makes me smile.
"We'll talk tomorrow," she continues. "Feel better."
I say goodbye and listen to her leave. I don't hear the door close. I curse my ears and my condition, then realise she's still here when she speaks again.*****
As I walk back to his office I realise that the lights are out. But I know he'll still be in there. I open the door. I thought I had done it slowly, but I hear him gasp as it takes him by surprise. I get a brief glimpse of his face, light reflecting off tears on his cheeks. My heart breaks for him and I long to hold him. But I know he wouldn't believe my reason.
"Migraine?" I ask, but I know it is more than that.
He doesn't speak, but responds affirmatively. I have a pretence prepared. I am ready to use my earlier conversation with Sara as an excuse for my return, but I don't want to cause him any more worry. I think my silence makes him uncomfortable though.
"Did you forget something?" he asks, almost managing to conceal the trembling in his voice.
I make my excuse. I don't want him to feel like I'm pressuring him. I make a small joke about my influence over him, and I can't see it, but I'm sure it made him smile. That's enough for now. I start to leave, but wonder if maybe it's not enough. Maybe he needs to know he's not alone.
I turn back to him before closing the door.
"You know where I am," I say, affectionately, hoping he smiles again.*****
"You know where I am," she says, affectionately. And I smile again. And I know I'm not alone.