A Hard Case for Gil by vicki [ - ]
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Category: CSI - Ship Ahoy! > Gil/other female
Characters: Gil Grissom, Original Character
Rating: PG
Genres: Angst, Character Study, Drama, Romance
Warnings: None

Summary: Set in 1990, this story explores a relationship Gil had that has shaped the way he behaves in the present.

Author's Note- This is my first fanfic. I wanted to create a story to explain why Gil is so dedicated to his job and kind of shy romantically. Also I wanted to see Gil fall in love at some point in his life. This story is set in 1990, very early in his career as a CSI.

July, 1990
He walked around to the other side of the car and opened the passenger door. She stepped out and they headed for the doorstep. "I'm so glad we got together, Gil," she said gently when they reached the porch. "It was nice catching up with you."
"Maybe you would like to do it again sometime?" Gil inquired.
"Absolutely, you have my number."
"Well goodnight Trisha," he said softly. He took her hand and lightly kissed it. She always had remembered him a gentleman. She lightly drew her hand away and opened the door, while he turned to walk to his car.

Once inside the car, Gil reflected on all his memories of Trisha. It was during his sophomore year of college that he had noticed her in his anatomy class. Eventually they began sitting with each other, talking about the lectures and the labs, and studying together. Gil found himself caring deeply for Trisha, longing to spend time with her. The two developed a great friendship but never anything more. This was something Gil had always regretted, especially when the time came for the two to go their separate ways. Trisha, who had always dreamed of becoming a doctor, decided to travel to the East coast for medical school, while Gil remained in California, becoming a coroner. They wrote occasionally but the communication slowly ended between the two.

Even though it was years later when Gil spotted her in the coffee shop, he knew immediately it was her. Her dark wavy hair and shy smile hadn't changed. Having little time for women in his life, he struggled to think of what he might say to her. Fortunately, she noticed him in the line while walking away with her coffee, and quickly walked toward him.
"Gil Grissom? Is that you?"
"Certainly is, how long has it been, Trish?"
"Too long! What brings you to Vegas?"
It was now Gil's turn in line, he ordered a black coffee and turned back to Trisha. "I'm heading up the crime lab now."
"Well that sounds like something you'd be doing."
"And how about you, why are you in town?" he said, moving out of line with coffee in hand.
"I actually just moved here about a month ago, I work at the hospital now." She glanced at her watch, "I am sort of running late, can we meet for dinner?"
"That'll work, I'm off tonight."
Trisha fished through her purse and pulled out a business card, scribbled something on the back, and handed it to Gil. "Here's my number, give me a call tonight," she said, smiling brightly.
Gil took the card, and Trisha hurried out the door, waving a friendly goodbye.

Gil left Trisha's that night feeling euphoric. Dinner with Trisha had been fantastic; the two never ran out of things to say. Gil knew his fond feelings for her were returning. Pulling into the lot and entering his building, he began to wonder about the possibility of having another chance with the only woman he ever felt deeply for.

September, 1990
Grissom sat at his desk, reading through a pile of profiles for possible new CSIs to staff the lab. He sorted them slowly, choosing those who were suited to become part of his new team. Noticing the exchange of tired faces for fresher ones walking past his office, Grissom checked the clock. The night shift was over, and the day shift was reporting. He tidied up his office, grabbed his belongings, and turned out the light.

Grissom sat in his car and reclined the seat all the way back. His routine was different now that he was dating Trisha. He would take a quick nap in the lot for a little while and then pick her up so they could have lunch together. It had only been two months but they were settling into a comfortable relationship. Gil was grateful he had called her that second time, because since that second dinner they had seen each other every day.

After his nap, Gil started the engine and headed to pick up Trish. He pulled into the large parking garage and after locking up headed for the medical center. Once inside, he approached the receptionist and she smiled, "Dr. Leeds will be down in a moment."
Most of the people in Trisha's department recognized Gil. Her colleagues had noticed a change in her demeanor since this mystery man had been taking her to lunch each day. It was the first time she found herself indulging in something outside of work.

The familiar ding of the elevator caught Gil's attention, and when the doors slid open his eyes met hers. They exchanged wide smiles. She held up her index finger, the usual give-me-one-second sign, and he nodded. He watched her as she spoke to the receptionist. Lately he would find himself captivated by the simple things she did. When she was finished instructing the receptionist, they headed to lunch.

In the restaurant, Gil pulled out her chair and asked "How has your day been going?"
"Soooo long, I can't believe it's only lunch time," she replied wearily, "I've already seen two cardiac arrests this morning. Anyway, how was your shift?"
"Pretty rough. We've been working on a tough case, looks similar to one they had on the day shift last month." It wasn't like Gil to share information about his cases with someone outside the lab, but then he never really had had someone to share it with.

The waiter walked over and poured two glasses of water. "Ready to order?" he inquired.
"Gil you go first," Trish asked. He nodded and placed his order.
"And for the Mrs.?" Trish and Gil exchanged glances. She ordered her usual sandwich and the waiter left for the kitchen. The remainder of the meal was filled with laughter and conversation. It was easy to see how the waiter had made his assumption. When Gil dropped Trisha back at the hospital, they kissed and she whispered "see you tonight" in his ear.

She had just finished lighting the candlesticks on the table when she heard the knock on the door. There was only one night a week that Gil and Trisha could spend together because of their busy schedules, and each tried hard to make the evening special. Tonight Trisha was cooking dinner for Gil and she hoped that they could discuss possibly switching his shift so that there would be more time for them to spend together. Trisha had decided her feelings for Gil were strong enough that she would also be willing to make changes in her career to help the growth of the relationship; she hoped Gil was feeling the same way. They had wasted so many years apart after college, and dedicated themselves so intensely to their professions, it was time to make up for lost time and allow themselves to enjoy loving each other.

Trisha opened the door.
"Hello beautiful," Gil said as he kissed Trish on the cheek. They headed for the kitchen where Gil uncorked the bottle of wine he had brought. Pouring it into the glasses on the table, he looked at Trisha. "Dinner smells great," he told her. She smiled and thanked him softly. She felt slightly nervous about the conversation she intended to have with him after dinner.

While dining, they talked about all kinds of things. Anytime they were together they found it easy to converse. As the two finished up dinner, Trisha began clearing the table. Gil rose to help. While she was rinsing the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher, Gil stood beside her. "I wish we could have more nights like this one" he said. Feeling as if it were her opportunity, Trisha turned to Gil.
"About that," she said, "I was wondering about your schedule. I think we should make more time for each other, Gil. It's been almost three months and I already feel very close to you. I, I think I want to be with you more than just one night a week and on lunch hours." She pursed her lips, fearful about his response.
Gil found himself thoroughly pleased to be hearing this from Trisha. He too was longing to spend more time with her, but he just didn't know how he could change his schedule at the lab. It would mean possibly jeopardizing his new job if he asked to switch shifts. He thought a bit and then spoke. "I think you're absolutely right, and I would love to have more time to be with you, but I don't know how it's possible right now."
Trisha nodded and left the subject there.

The next morning, Trisha's alarm awoke the two at 6 am. She slid the switch on the alarm and moved to get out of bed. Gil stretched his arm and pulled her back. He kissed her and said, "I've been thinking. I'm going to ask tonight about what kind of shift change might be possible."
She looked at him, trying to contain just how happy she felt. "Are you sure that's what you want?"
"I'm very sure Trisha" he replied convincingly.

It was an unremarkable Monday evening when Gil reported to work. He had been pondering his decision to ask about the day shift. He felt sure that if he was going to make things work with Trisha, he would need to be less concerned with his career. He found that he had more than one love in his life now, and perhaps a more important one.

Once in his office, Gil began the usual procedure of reviewing the case load. The murder from earlier in the week was getting top billing because it appeared to be the second in a possible string of connected strangulations. Gil read the latest information about the evidence that had been collected. He decided to make some progress in the case before asking about any kind of shift change, hoping if he could make a dent in the case he would further prove his value to the lab.

The team had collected a few pieces of evidence from the crime scene, but not much. The body was that of a middle aged woman, found inside her car which was in a large parking garage attached to one of the casinos. The murder weapon appeared to be a piece of rope, which was left wrapped around the woman's neck. The team found no blood, no hairs, and no other substances that seemed helpful. There also appeared to be no fingerprints, it seemed as if the suspect had worn gloves. Such a case, which remained wide open, would be particularly difficult to solve.

Gil spent several hours that night collaborating with the entire shift to find some kind of lead. It was about 2 AM when he decided to take a few of the CSIs with him back to the crime scene and directed the others to comb the car, now in the lab's garage, for anything that seemed like it could be evidence.

Gil drove toward the brightly lit Strip, the car phone between the front seats began to ring. Gil answered it.
"Grissom, looks like we have another strangulation. Looks like a similar crime scene. You better come take a look and bring some people."
"Alright, where's the scene"
"LV Hospital, third level of the garage"
Gil couldn't respond. He hung up the phone and immediately headed for the hospital he had become very familiar with. Looking at the clock, he picked up the phone and called Trisha's number. When there was no answer, his chest began to burn and his muscles began to weaken.

When Gil and his colleagues arrived at the scene, he rushed toward the car. The detective was the first to notice the intensely horrified expression on Gil's face. Grissom, a man of science, had never had such a reaction to any crime scene that the detective was aware of.
"Grissom, what's going on with you?" he asked
Gil struggled intensely to answer the man. He looked up at him, holding back a deep pain, and said "I, I know this woman...a friend from college." He couldn't say more. He didn't know what more to say.

In the weeks after Trisha's murder, Gil worked intensely on the case. He had decided a few days after that he would not remove himself from the case and never explain to his colleagues the truth of the situation. The entire shift, though, was aware of the extra importance that this case had for their supervisor. Gil could only find slight relief from his pain when he was in the lab, dealing with science, with the things he could control.

It was about a month later when a break came in the case. The suspect had attempted his next attack without noticing a security guard patrolling the garage. He was apprehended and admitted to the murder of Trisha and others.

The extreme personal effect of Trisha's murder has remained with Gil throughout the fifteen years that have followed. Before he had been an excellent scientist, but losing someone he loved made him realize the true importance of solving crimes. It is unfortunate though, that this came at the price of what may have been a life shared with Trisha. It is still difficult for Gil to be with another woman, and he has engrossed himself in his work. Nevertheless, Gil has carried on and created a life where he can quietly remember Trisha with every case he is able to solve.