Greg hated court days, and everyone knew it. It wasn't the having to sit in front of a roomful of strangers, or the being grilled by a hostile prosecutor on the minutiae of a case; it was the clothes. A suit and tie was not natural attire for the former wild child, and it showed. Tucking an unruly lock of hair behind his ear, Greg groaned as he recalled how Sara had caught him in the locker room preparing for his first ever court appearance, the prelim for the Sherlock case; remembered what she'd said. 'Mr Straightedge!' How could he forget? The name had stuck. Now even Judy on reception called it after him every time he set out for court.
He sighed, and cocked his head to one side, straightening his collar in front of the locker room mirror. His hair was getting pretty long now. Just as well, he thought, as he pulled a few curls forward; between the shirt collar and the haircut, he just about succeeded in disguising the hickeys that were yellowing on the sides of his neck.
'All ready to go, Mr Straightedge?'
Greg's eyes darted toward the corridor to see Sara leaning casually against the doorframe.
He turned back to the mirror, and decided to start over on his tie. 'Pretty much, no thanks to you.'
'Oh?' Sara ambled towards him, and settled behind his shoulder, looking at their reflections in the mirror. 'And what's that supposed to mean?'
He glanced around the room and towards the door, to make sure there were no eavesdroppers. 'Just that you're the one that maimed me in the first place, and now I have to stand here like a dick trying to cover up the evidence. Unlike you, I can't take the easy way out with the all-day scarf routine,' he teased, reaching back to pull the strip of knit from around her throat.
'Oh no, Greggo, hands off the scarf,' she warned, wrapping her hands around his wrists. He twisted in her grip as they fought, but as usual, he lost when she grazed her teeth against his nape.
'Hey, that's cheating and you know it.'
'But you love it,' she countered, threading her fingers through his.
'Maybe... usually,' he conceded, 'but I'm meant to be in court in an hour and I'm hardly going to look like a convincing professional if I've got a bit fat teenager hickey on my neck.'
'It's at the back; no one'll notice with the hair.'
'What?' he cried, twisting out of her embrace for a moment and craning his neck to check. 'Are you serious?'
'No.' She laughed, wrapping her arms around his waist and pressing a chaste kiss to his cheek. 'You're bruise-free... apart from the leftovers, of course.'
'Thank God for that,' he sighed, straightening his tie a final time. Satisfied, he pushed his locker door to before returning his attentions to Sara. 'Anyway, what brings you here?'
'Just wanted to wish you luck. Which judge have you got?'
'Uh... Correll, I think.' He started to amble away from his own locker and towards the back of the room, and Sara followed. 'Hey, um...' he lowered his voice and glanced at the door yet again, before sinking down on a bench. 'What's with the, er... you know, touchy-feely? I thought you'd made your feelings on that pretty clear.'
'Well,' began Sara, dropping to the bench beside him, 'I guess I got carried away. I'm sorry.'
'No, no... I mean, I don't mind that bit at all, it's just... you know, a bit confusing with the mixed messages. You want to keep us under wraps at work, and then you start molesting me in the locker room?'
'No, I know, I'm sorry.' Sara covered Greg's hand discreetly with her own. 'You pissed with me?'
'What? No... not really.' He glanced at his watch. 'Look, can we do this later? I mean, I've got to get going... don't want to put the costume to waste.'
Sara smiled; he'd injected some light-heartedness back into the moment. They could let it slide... for now. 'We don't have to; I love it when you dress up,' she murmured archly. 'You'll find me when you're done?'
'Oh yeah...' he began, when they both turned at the click of heels that announced Catherine's arrival.
'Slacking off, you two?' she chided jokingly as she retrieved a tube of hand cream from her locker.
'No... no; I'm just off to court, as you can probably see,' stuttered Greg, gesturing at his get-up.
'I was just giving him the talk, you know? Eye-contact, yadda yadda,' provided Sara.
'Tell me about it,' sighed Catherine. 'I still find myself doing it to Nick and Warrick, and they've been here... how many years?' She shook her head. 'Maybe when you start going gray she'll lay off you, Greggo.'
'Maybe... anyway, I'd better be going; you know what the traffic's like this time.'
'Yeah. Good luck. Oh, and Sara – pow-wow in the break room, order of Grissom.'
'Right,' said Sara, rising from the bench. 'Good luck, Mr Straightedge,' she called after Greg as he made to leave.
'Sara, you of all people should know I'm anything but,' he replied with a wink, before sweeping out of the locker room.
'Don't we know it?' joked Catherine, oblivious to the subtext. 'Anyway, come on, co-worker; don't want to keep the boss waiting.'
'Certainly not,' murmured Sara, stepping quickly toward the exit. The night was definitely still young.
Summary: Wearing a suit and tie for court is boring, uncomfortable and perkfree. Or is it?