May 13, 2009

Casa Caliente

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 7:15 pm by vrtrakowski

Five years ago (yesterday) we didn’t know what was about to hit us.

GSR fans were deep in the end of Season Four with all its pain and amazement; the relationship that had been mostly subtext the first three seasons was suddenly, indubitably real, and with some really astounding episodes we were left reeling, hurting along with Sara, balancing our hopes on one simple clasp of hands.

I was still relatively new to the fandom; I’d only started watching the past summer, Season Three reruns, and while I liked the idea of GSR I wasn’t convinced that it went both ways until I saw Invisible Evidence (not yet having caught Play With Fire). I’d written a little, mostly Unbound challenge fics, and I’d gorged on the wonderful fic available–Burked and Mossley and both together, Gibby, the ineffable Laura Katherine, LSI, Wintertime, Anansay and many others. Unlike my previous fandoms, there was a wealth of great stories available, with more popping up all the time.

And there was this new writer, newer than I, who not only wrote smut with a masterful touch (pun most definitely intended) but who created stories full of love and angst and laughter and moments of pure, aching joy. She not only got the characters, she looked deep into them and brought out shades and tints we never saw on screen, without making them anything other than what they were.

Most of her pieces for CSI had been short, at that point; memorable fantasies, including one of my all-time favorite short fics, case files laced with flirting and fun, the beginnings of a new look at Grissom.

And then she hit us with Casa Caliente.

Under and Beneath were lead-ins, the latter a story so scorching that it left a trail of exclamation points all over YTDAW’s Questioned Documents section. Cincoflex took the premise and ran, kicking off a series that is still a high-water mark for long GSR fics, taking us deep inside the evolution of a relationship. From wary lovers giving in to the attraction between them, through learning and rebellion and the beginning of trust–and some terrific sex–we watched as Sara and Grissom figured out how to manage that most difficult and rewarding of human creations. Sara had to learn to give in; Grissom had to learn to compromise; they both had to decide that the rewards were worth the risks and work.

And they did. They evolved from clandestine weekend meetings to sharing space, and finally to an open declaration of cohabitation. They met each other’s families, weathered illness and injury and road trips, and acquired a kitten. They figured out that they were stronger together than apart–and that they could be safely weak in one another’s presence.

We watched as they made 10867 Caliente Way habitable, took baths in the huge tub, made the space their own. We ached with Grissom when he was stung by a wasp and with Sara when she had her surgery. We shared their delight at Christmas and the fun of softball, and we learned new uses for hammocks and tree houses. *grin* We dreamed and laughed and loved with them. I remember, early on when LSI so graciously hosted Cinco’s fics, changing the URL of the latest chapter in hopes that the new one was up and just not announced yet.

All things come to an end, and Cinco eventually drew Casa Caliente to a close, leaving not just Sara and Grissom but all the others we knew and liked with their destinies fulfilled. Eleven stories (plus extras), chapter after chapter of fascination and smut and, most of all, love.

Long before Grissom and Sara got their happy ending on screen, they had it in Casa.

Happy anniversary.

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