You hesitate for a moment before opening the door. This is the last thing you need to do before you meet Sara; the last one on your list.
You've had what must qualify as the longest talk ever between mother and daughter with Lindsey, and you finally feel that the two of you can, and will, talk to each other again, rather than just arguing as you've been doing a lot since Eddie's death.
You've done something bold and unexpected with your hair. For the last week it has had pink streaks in it to go totally pink might not be considered very professional by the powers that be, and you wouldn't want to lose the supervisor position when you've only just got it. The streaks seemed to shock people enough. Mission accomplished. Although, perhaps one of next year's resolutions could be to go totally pink and see what response that got?
You've eaten sushi.
You've eaten a chocolate covered grasshopper Grissom doesn't know, though, unless he stock counts them. If he knew, he'd probably try to get you to do it again. And, really, you'd rather not. Next year's resolution DO NOT eat any chocolate covered grasshoppers!
You haven't, however, given up chocolate, for several reasons:
a) you realised it clashed with the previous resolution
b) you only remembered about this list two weeks ago, and giving up chocolate for two weeks wouldn't really be fulfilling that resolution anyway
c) it is perhaps the craziest resolution you ever made why on Earth would you give up chocolate?!
Reason `a' makes it okay for you to have not done it. It would be impossible for you to fulfil all the resolutions on your list for this reason. And reason `c' makes it okay that you chose to fulfil the grasshopper one instead.
Now, there's only one resolution left. You're quite glad that your list only had six items on it. Sara's list apparently had fifteen! Needless to say, she's been quite busy for the last two weeks. But it was entertaining when she came to work wearing a bright pink jacket with yellow flowers stitched onto it. You must remember to find out exactly what that resolution was.
So, you're standing outside Grissom's office door, seconds away from fulfilling your last resolution. If you'd remembered about the list earlier, you could have worked on this, and you wouldn't have to be here now, but you didn't, and now this is the only part of the resolution that it is actually possible to accomplish in under half an hour.
As you've just reminded yourself, you only have half an hour, so you take a deep breath, take the door handle, and push the office door open. Then you quickly close it again, deep breath lost to rapid breathing, in time with the heart beat pounding in your chest.
You're trying to calm down when Sara steps out of the office. "Cath?"
"Hey!" you respond, seriously hoping that you are looking calmer than you feel.
"What you just "
"None of my business, Sara. I was just looking for you actually. Are you ready to compare lists?" You are still smiling a very false smile, and you can tell from the way Sara's eyes are narrowed that she is aware of its artificiality. Thankfully she doesn't mention it.
"Sure… Break room?"
You nod and follow her along the corridor, desperately formulating a plan to get out of there, so you don't have to hear what that was about.
Sitting down at the table, you wait whilst Sara gets herself a drink and then sits opposite you, placing her list on the table.
"Have you got your list?"
"I forgot it. But I remember what was on it," you lie. You cannot let her see what your sixth resolution was.
"All six of them?"
Damn it! Why did you have to tell her how many there were?!
"Yeah," you smile, desperately trying to think of a plausible sixth one to replace that one. "I have been trying to fulfil them for two weeks. My memory's not that bad," you joke.
Sara laughs. "Okay… Do you want to go first?"
You shake your head. Her fifteen resolutions should give you enough time to come up with something either to get you out of there, or to save you from having to admit what number six was. "You go."
Sara nods. "Right. Well, I managed to do everything on my list except for three things, because it's not really possible to do them properly in two weeks, and I'd forgotten about them until you mentioned new year's resolutions."
She had to remind you that this entire mess was your fault. If you hadn't have brought up the subject two weeks ago, then the two of you would never have revealed that you had both made lists at the beginning of the year, you wouldn't have made the agreement to accomplish as many resolutions as possible before midnight on new year's eve, and you wouldn't be sitting here now, with very unwanted images flashing through your mind.
"Those three were: give up coffee, learn to ballroom dance and do something different with my hair every day. I have been doing the latter for the last two weeks, since I dug this list out, but two weeks doesn't really count as fulfilling the whole resolution.
You nod, understanding that reasoning, as it was the same as your reason `b' for not giving up chocolate.
"So," Sara continues, "The twelve that I did manage to accomplish were: drive a Ferrari sounds silly, but it was something I'd wanted to do for years; take better care of my fingernails; beat Nick at a computer game of his choice; beat Warrick at a computer game of his choice; beat Greg at a computer game of his choice. Wasn't gonna attempt beating Archie the guy's a computer whiz kid."
You laugh, actually starting to relax a little as you get lost in Sara's list. "You didn't challenge Hodges either?" you tease.
"Didn't want to offer to spend unnecessary time with him, he might get the wrong idea! And I didn't challenge Grissom, because I don't think he plays computer games."
She mentioned Grissom, so now you're tense again, and you're reminded that you are no closer to finding another believable resolution.
"Where was I up to… Oh, yes. I did a sky dive, I did something totally unexpected -"
"The pink jacket?" you ask.
She nods. "I went ice-skating, I met up with my brother who I haven't seen for four years, I started reading books that have absolutely nothing to do with my job…"
She pauses and looks at you nervously.
Frowning, you ask: "What's wrong?"
"Well, the next two, I don't think you're going to like them, but I did write this like a year ago, and I did consider re-writing the list to take them off it, but I'd already told you there were fifteen, and in the spirit of honesty I thought it best to stick with the original list."
Great! So now she's making you feel guilty. If she's going to be honest, then you will be. So, you'll just have to hope that your plan B comes to fruition and the fire alarm goes off.
"That's very honourable," you say, and perhaps a hint of bitterness comes through.
"So, please don't take this the wrong way… my fourteenth resolution was `stop seeing Cath as a rival for Grissom's affection, and see her as a friend instead'."
Your eyebrows flick up a little in surprise, as your eyes widen.
"I never hated you," she adds quickly. "I was just very jealous of you. I mean it's obvious that you are way more than a friend to Grissom, and I wanted that. It just took me some time to realise that I wasn't going to get it, and that you were a nice person, and I should stop the pettiness, and be friends with you."
You're in a state of stunned silence. This is a lot of things that you never thought you would hear Sara say, although you had noticed that, over the last year, she had been more friendly and open towards you. You had just thought that she was `keeping her enemies closer'.
She is looking at you expectantly, she obviously wants you to comment.
"Erm… I'm not … Grissom and I are just friends. If you and he…"
"Cath, he doesn't want me."
"Didn't look that way before." You've said it before you could stop yourself.
"So that did bother you?"
"Cath, I can tell when people are lying. What you saw was part of my fifteenth resolution I did warn you that you wouldn't like it."
"Honestly, Sara, what happens between you and Grissom is none of my business."
"When people start a sentence with `honestly' then they are rarely being honest… There is nothing going on between me and Grissom "
"I saw you kissing!" You've really got to get control over your speech faculties, and keep this anger in.
"I kissed him, he didn't kiss me back. He looked pretty horrified after you walked in. He wanted to follow you, but I said I would sort it out."
You open your mouth to speak, but she politely raises her hand to stop you.
"My last resolution was to either kiss Grissom, or to get over him."
You're pretty sure your heart has stopped beating. It is not possible that she could have the exact same, word-for-word, resolution as you. Is it?
You smile sadly, realising it is possible, and she got there first. "And you decided there wasn't enough time to get over him, so kissing him was the only way to fulfil the resolution," you say quietly, more stating your conclusion than asking if that was hers.
Sara frowns. "No… That was one of the resolutions I had been working on all year. I kissed him, to make sure I was over him… And I am!… What made you say… that?"
You take a deep breath and let your eyes meet hers. Might as well return her honesty.
"My resolutions for 2004 were sort things out with Lindsey, do something bold and unexpected with my hair, eat sushi, eat a chocolate covered grasshopper, give up chocolate which I didn't manage to do, because it would obviously nullify the previous resolution, and…" You pause for a second, preparing yourself for the admission that will follow, the closest you have ever come to admitting to anyone that you have feelings for Grissom. "… Kiss Grissom, or get over him… I didn't accomplish that one either."
Sara's hand moves to cover her open-with-shock mouth, as she comes to a realisation. "That's why you were at Grissom's office… Oh, God, Cath, I'm so sorry."
You shrug. "It's not your fault… It's probably a sign that I should work on the other part of that resolution instead." You try a small smile, but it's not very convincing. "Goes to show that you shouldn't leave things to the last minute."
Sara's eyes light up, and she quickly looks at her watch. You frown as you watch this, you can practically see the light bulb above her head, it's so obvious she has an idea.
"What?" you ask, warily.
"You've still got ten minutes."
Your eyes widen when you realise what she means. "Oh no," you shake your head.
"Oh, come on! We agreed, we would fulfil as many resolutions as possible "
"And I did that!"
"And I did more than you!"
"You had a longer list!"
"But, proportionally, I achieved eighty percent of mine, you're only on sixty-six point six recurring percent. Do this and you'll be in the lead."
"It's not a competition, Sara."
"Isn't it?" she grins.
"You're not talking about the agreement anymore, are you?"
She just smiles. "Cath, don't start 2005 the same way you started 2004 with a list of regrets from the previous year… He's in his office, probably worrying about what's gonna happen next time you see him. Put his mind at rest."
"Sara, I "
"You are one of the bravest, boldest people I have ever met. Don't play the shy, nervous schoolgirl with me… Listen to an outside observer he feels the same way about you. Trust me. It's something I've spent years pretending I couldn't see."
She's right. You are braver than this. All you have to do is kiss him. If he doesn't reciprocate, then you can just make up some excuse for why you did it. And you can spend next year working on getting over him.
Sara must see the confidence wash over you, because a smile of pride spreads across her face.
You stand up, straighten your clothes and head for the door, and you're sure you heard her shriek with excitement as you turned your back. You stop at the door, and turn around.
"Thanks," you say with a smile. "And I'm glad you achieved resolution fourteen."
She smiles back, then taps on the face of her watch. Subtle. You laugh and head for Grissom's office. You don't make it very far before you meet Grissom coming the other way.
You both stop. He looks nervous… or rather terrified.
"Cath, I "
Your lips are on his before he can say another word. You kiss him softly, but thoroughly, and then you step backwards. His eyes are closed, then when he opens them his brow furrows.
"What " he stutters.
"Deja-vu?" you smile.
"Are you and Sara playing some sort of game?"
You shake your head. "Simply fulfilling some resolutions… There are four minutes of 2004 left. You can do anything that's realistically achievable. How do you want to spend that time?"
He simply stands looking at you. His eyes are holding yours, and the slight crease in his forehead tells you he is thinking, that he is assessing and analysing.
Seconds pass and you are still standing here.
"Tick tock, Grissom," you say nervously, the feeling of his lips against yours flooding through your system, your longing for it to happen again screaming at you from every inch of your body.
"I can do anything?" he asks, a somewhat mischievous twinkle in his eyes.
"Yeah," you reply, uncertainly, "But you'd better hurry up."
He takes your hand and drags you to his office, closing the door behind you. He stands in front of you and looks into your eyes.
"What I really would like to do…"
Your head tilts towards him, letting him know you are listening and that he should carry on.
"… Is watch you eat a chocolate covered grasshopper this time."
Oh my word! He does stock count them!
You raise an eyebrow. "That's how you want to spend the last few minutes of 2004?"
He nods, innocently. "Why, what did you have in mind?"
His small smirk does not go unnoticed and you slap him playfully across the chest as you realise he was joking.
He smiles fully and leans towards you. "Of course that's not what I want to do," he whispers. "I have a resolution of my own to fulfil."
And he captures your lips with his as his arms move around your body and he pulls you towards him. It starts off gentle, relishing the feeling of being this close, learning each others movements, then his tongue asks for entry beyond your lips, and you allow it, taking the opportunity to taste and explore for yourself.
Minutes later, you break for air, and he softly brushes the hair away from your face, as he smiles lovingly at you.
"So," you begin, but don't know where you intended for it to go.
"So?" he asks.
Quickly thinking of something you say: "What resolution does that fulfil then?"
"Kiss Catherine, or get over her."
Your eyes widen in disbelief.
"But even a year wouldn't be enough time to get over you. Especially seeing as I don't want to," he grins.
Then he kisses you again.
"And that fulfils my 2005 resolution," he states.
"Start as I mean to go on."
You laugh and then kiss him once more.
"Happy new year, Gil!"
"Oh I'm sure it will be!… Now how about that grasshopper?"
You smile. "I'm afraid I can't. It would go against my new year's resolution."
"Cath, face it, you're never going to manage to give up chocolate."
"No, but I'm sure I could manage `do not eat any chocolate covered grasshoppers'."
"We'll see," he smirks, then he takes you in his arms again. "Happy new year, Catherine."