DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
SPOILERS: Leaving Las Vegas through to Law of Gravity.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Very Good, the Definitely Not Bad,
and the Ugly for Some

By Debbie


The Very Good

With one last look of regret, Gil turned on his heel and left Sara alone in the locker room.

She sighed, 'I'll miss you' had been his last words to her, and the lost look on his face told her all she needed to know.

Suddenly, the room felt cold and lonely. She slumped down on the seat and stared into space.

"Hey Sara, you okay in here?"

Unsure how many minutes had passed her by, deep in thought, she was surprised to hear Nick's voice. She looked up to lock eyes with her colleague happy to hear his next words; she needed a diversion and a diversion she was going to get.

"So, he's gone? Well, Catherine asked me to let you know she'd be back as soon as possible, and that she'll meet you in her office regarding the problem. Does that make sense?"

Sara nodded her acknowledgment and allowed a smile to crease her face. Suddenly, the room felt warm and friendly.

She walked down the corridor towards Catherine's office, a swing in her step, and a whistle on her lips. Wendy looked out of her lab and shouted across, "Hey Sara, be careful with that whistling you'll have folks thinking you're happy."

Sara smiled, she was happy.

Turning into Catherine's office she saw the room was empty and sat down to await her 'supervisor's' arrival.

She'd hardly had time to lift the forensics magazine off Catherine's couch when the woman herself entered the room.

Sara looked up and grinned.


Catherine glanced behind her to see that the corridor was empty and closed the door behind her. She crossed the room to meet the now standing Sara face to face. Leaning forward she stared hard into the younger woman's eyes and then brushed her thumb gently over her lower lip before saying quietly, "Hey, yourself."

Pulling her chair from behind her desk, Catherine pushed Sara down into the seat and leaned back against her desk. She made sure that the side of her knee rested gently against Sara's own.

"So, Wendy tells me you were whistling. Anybody would think you were glad to see the back of Gil."

Sara's grin wasn't as ebullient as Catherine had expected.

"Oh Cat, he hasn't got the damn message yet. I said, 'I'll see you when you get back,' and he said, 'I'll miss you' with such a sappy look on his face I know he thinks we're still together and all. I swear blind I've told him it's over, I promise, the minute I knew we had a chance he was out the door. Honest."

Catherine reached forward and grasped Sara's hand, "Hey, hey, shush, I know you've told him, but you know Gil as well as I do, he wouldn't notice an emotional message if it was painted in foot high letters in front of him. We'll think of something."

Sara smiled, if Cath said they'd think of something, she was pretty sure that in the next four weeks they would indeed come up with the answer. In all the years Sara and Catherine had had a hate-hate relationship, solving puzzles had always been their main commonality.

"Now, get out of my office and do some work, woman, you'll have Ecklie on my back asking why Sidle's not pulling her weight. I'll see you later, yes?"

Sara squeezed the hand grasping her own and nodded her head in understanding and acceptance.

How things changed.

Six years of dancing around the unspoken passion that sizzled between them as anger, versus six hours of being holed up at a gruesome crime scene with nothing to do but talk, and the result so far, six days of dating and romancing in their own special way.

Somewhere along the way there'd been the six seconds it took for Sara to decide that Gil was out the door, and the six minutes it took to actually put into words what she'd known in those seconds, that the GrissomSidle romance was history.

As she glanced back to have one last look at Catherine, Sara already knew the difference between her relationships with the two colleagues.

The Gil Sara relationship had never been about romance it had been all about a deep, deep friendship. A friendship she hoped not to lose when Gil finally saw the light. The Catherine Sara relationship was still not about romance, it was all about the give and the take, and yet in the few days she'd been with Catherine she'd already given and taken more love, and yes, more romance, than in all her years with Gil.

In all honesty, Sara wanted more

'If I have something to say to you, Catherine, I'm gonna say it in private.'

Catherine smiled as she remembered Sara's words of the week before, and she certainly had. As soon as Sara entered Catherine's front door after shift ended she'd lain into Catherine about her lack of trust, and how, if they were going to make this work, they had to have the same degree of trust in their working life as they were forging in their private life.

And, in the interest of trust, Sara really ought to admit that she'd received a gift from Gil that same day. On showing Catherine the cocoon, they had both decided it was some sort of butterfly chrysalis that would undoubtedly hatch on his return and help him to declare his undying love. At that point, Sara had insisted on keeping it in Gil's office, if that was his intention, she didn't want the feelings to leave his office.

She'd also announced, quite forcibly, that on his return, the two of then should meet with him to explain why it was that Sara had made her decision to dump Grissom.

Eventually, Catherine had agreed. She never wanted to see that look from Sara directed her way within the working confines again, how would people believe they were in a relationship that worked if their working relationship was built on harsh glares like that one. Telling Gil was the starting point in making this relationship public.

As well as getting her to agree with talking to Gil, it was Sara's insistence that made Catherine offer her private apologies to every single one of the CSI staff involved in the whole reverse forensics debacle. As far as she was concerned the issue was over. There was trust between all of her team and she wouldn't betray it again.

That said she was on the verge of throttling Nick for his continued insistence on drilling her for information about Grissom's girlfriend.

After her light-hearted remark on the day that Gil had gone on his sabbatical, Nick had taken it that she knew this to be fact, and was constantly pressing her for details. Today, he'd dared to ask if Sara was finally Gil's girlfriend because he'd noticed how fulfilled Sara had been the past couple of weeks.

Catherine was jealous and, without her pledge of trust and honesty, she would have enlightened Nick as to whom exactly was Sara's new beau, and why exactly she looked like the cat that had gotten the cream. But, they had to make the decision to tell the team together, and certainly Gil had to know before anyone else.

She looked up as quiet footsteps came down the corridor. Even before the change in their relationship Cath always recognized Sara's footsteps; for the majority of their working life Catherine swore that she and Sara only ever interacted in the damn corridors, either arguing or debating cases.

Sure enough, a mop of long brown hair looked round the door, and a gap-toothed smile appeared as she realized Catherine was looking direct at her.

"May I have a word with you, Cath, in private."

"Sure Sara, come in, close the door behind you."

As soon as Sara was in the room, Catherine's professional tone changed to a softer tone.

"What's wrong?"

Sara didn't say anything, just passed a sheet of hand-written prose across the table. Catherine immediately recognized the hand-writing as Gils, and lifted her eyebrows in question.

"It arrived this morning; just read it."

Catherine did and Sara could see the anger rising as a red blush sweeping up the redhead's neck. She could just make out some of Catherine's mutterings.

"Shakespeare… Sonnet 47… just who the hell does he think… even though we're far apart I can still see you vividly… I'll miss you… "

On finishing the sheet of prose Catherine took a moment before glancing up at Sara with an angry glare.

"Just who the fuck does he think he is? I thought you'd told him it was all over?"

"I did, Cath. It's all in his head. Six years I wanted to hear these sorts of things from him, and now, now I've told him it's over, it just makes me sick. I want to tell him Cath, tell him everything. And then, I want to tell the team, so even he will know we're serious about this. Yes?"

"Are you sure? Once we tell everyone, there's no going back. This will be it," Catherine indicated between the two of them, "Is it what you want, really?"

Sara looked at the older woman, suddenly unsure it was what Catherine wanted, but she knew she had to say the words; she had to trust in Catherine. "Yes. It's what I want?"

Catherine nodded her head.

Gil Grissom walked into CSI headquarters, it had been four long weeks but he'd finally accepted his feelings for Sara, today would be the day he came clean and told the whole world just how much he cared for her. She'd been decidedly frosty before he'd left for Massachusetts but he'd come to the conclusion that was because he refused to acknowledge their relationship to his staff. If he crossed that bridge he was convinced everything would be alright.

Sara was like him. She had waited all these years, content to just be friends in the eyes of the world. At last she could have all she wanted. He was ready.

After checking the mail on his desk he decided it was better to find Sara first. As he walked out of his office he spotted her walking away.


The brunette turned back towards him, a look of shock on her face; if he didn't know otherwise Gil would have said she grimaced.

"Hey! You're back?"

The question in her voice was flat rather than excited.


As Gil moved towards Sara, she backed away, her eyes darting side to side as if looking for a way out. She started to mutter something about being to a scene, raising her arm upwards as if to ward Grissom off.

He finished her stuttered words, "… a garbage dump?" and moved towards her again; he didn't care how she smelled he just wanted to touch her.

Once again Sara backed off.

"It's so obvious, isn't it? You, um… " she couldn't think what to say, "… you look good."

Seeing Gil's eyes light up at her words, Sara groaned inwardly at the slip; she really hadn't wanted to give him any hope.

"Did you put the cocoon in my office?"

"Cool, dry, not a lot of light, it seemed like the right place for it."

Sara smiled wryly as Gil continued to enthuse, "I think you're going to be surprised when it hatches."

She began to move away from Gil, her desperation to get away obvious to most as she muttered, "I'm going to go clean up now."

Again, Gil tried to follow but this time she just turned her back and left. He called out. "I'll see you later?"

Sara sighed. "Yeah, you will."

Rushing towards the locker room she knew it was time to come clean about the changes in her relationships.

As Gil's return lingered on and he'd still not managed to connect with Sara he began to think about her uncommon reaction to his return. How it appeared that she was avoiding him, and how she couldn't be avoiding him because he knew they were meant to be together.

Within hours he'd been called to Catherine's side at a crime scene and been stunned to find her heartbroken over the death of Mike Keppler, the guy who'd replaced him for four short weeks. Struggling to understand her anguish and how to cope he called Warrick to come give comfort.

As soon as he'd left Catherine to await Warrick, he searched the halls of CSI to find Sara, his need to talk with her increased tenfold. Cath's anguish at Mike's death had made him realize time was too short to waste; he had to tell Sara now.

Turning the corner towards Catherine's office he expected to hear Warrick's deep voice, instead he heard the gentle murmurings of two women offering comfort to each other. Recognizing Sara's voice, he smiled. At last he could talk with her.

Suddenly, he stopped, just in time to see Sara brush her lips against Catherine's cheek as she whispered something in the smaller woman's ear, something that made Catherine reach up lovingly to pull Sara's head down into a deep, tender kiss.

Turning on his heel, he entered his own office, to see out of the corner of his eye, the butterfly chrysalis all withered and dead.

Then he knew. The time had gone.

He was too late.


The Definitely Not Bad

With one last look of regret, Gil turned on his heel and left Sara alone in the locker room.

She sighed, 'I'll miss you' had been his last words to her, and the lost look on his face told her all she needed to know.

Suddenly, the room felt cold and lonely. She slumped down on the seat and stared into space.

"Hey Sara, you okay in here?"

Sara looked up to see the figure of Sofia Curtis silhouetted in the doorway. She was leaning against the door frame with one hand, the other resting on her hip, the elbow jutting out all angular and defined.

The CSI stared, if she didn't know the other woman better, she would have thought she was standing ready to draw her gun against an intruder. Sara ignored the thought running through her subconscious and, for once in her life, ignored the evidence in front of her that the vision was one of raw power and just hot.

"Oh, hey Sofia, I'm fine. I was just thinking about the shift ahead."

Sofia came and took the seat next to Sara. "No you weren't. I just saw Grissom walking away from here. What did he say to you to make you so thoughtful?"

"Nothing. Just goodbye. He's gone to Massachusetts, you know, for four weeks."

"Yeah, I heard that. What do you feel about it? You're going to miss him, I guess."

Sara glanced at Sofia, surprised at her questions. "Yeah, he's a good boss. The team will miss him but Catherine will do fine. We might not always get on but she'll be good; she'll…"

"Oh come on, Sara, you've been dating the guy for months. What do you think about him upping and going for four weeks?"

The brunette remained silent. As far as she knew, she and Gil had been more than discreet. Sofia filled in the silence; she was determined to get Sara talking. She'd seen how subdued Sara had become since hooking up with her mentor; as far as she was concerned Sara could do better than Gil and she knew just the person.

"Did you even know? Catherine tells me she knew nothing about his sabbatical until earlier this evening. I bet…"

"Oh, I knew alright."

Sofia's words made Sara angry, how dare people think she and Gil didn't talk, but as soon as she jumped in with anger, she realized she hadn't really known what he was going to do, and her words softened to resignation.

"Not sure I agree with it, but I knew. Do you know what he's just said? I'll tell you… no wait, join me after shift and I'll tell you."

The detective grinned. She'd entered the locker-room intent on getting Sara out for a coffee and here she had her plan already enacted.

"So, tell me, how did you know about me and Gil?"

Because I notice every thing about you, because I watch you like a hawk, because I've been watching for a way to get you away from him were the words that tumbled around Sofia's thoughts, but she knew they weren't the words Sara needed to hear. Instead she made light of her methods.

"I'm a detective, Sara, how'd you think I know?"

Seeing Sara smile, she added ruefully, "Um, yeah, you're right, I asked Catherine."

Sofia groaned inwardly at Sara's look of horror, realizing immediately that that might have been the wrong thing to say. "Relax Sara, Catherine wouldn't tell anyone if she did know; surely you know that's true."

The brunette nodded; she did trust Catherine, she trusted all her colleagues, so why wouldn't Gil allow her to admit publicly to their relationship?

"I saw you and him walking home one night, you were holding hands, I put two and two together and made five." Sofia smiled. "I was right though."

Sara smiled with her.

And that was where it all started, in a coffee shop just off the Boulevard, the four weeks it took Sara to realize that maybe Gil wasn't all she wanted in her life, and for Sofia to make a play for the woman she desired.

Four weeks in which Sofia introduced Sara to the pleasures of late nights just talking about nothing, watching crappy movies together, and daring to enjoy them. Four weeks in which Sofia planted the seed that maybe she was interested in taking things further than friends. And the four weeks in which Sofia made sure Sara was the center of her universe.

Four weeks in which Sara realized there were more interesting things in this world than crime scene forensics and science. Four weeks in which Sara noticed something growing inside her that didn't include Gil as a lover. And the four weeks that Sara realized she could be everything she wanted to be for one person and, in return, everything that one person needed.

Even Catherine noticed the change in Sara's attitude. Where once Sara would have pulled Catherine to pieces over her deceiving of the team at Mike Keppler's behest, this time she had just taken Catherine for coffee and calmly told the older CSI that she was in the wrong and that if she, Sara, was to trust Catherine as she did at this point in time it had better not happen again.

Sofia had laughed at Sara's recounting of the tale but had smiled at the change, knowing she had a part in that calm.

The defining moment for both women came halfway through Gil's absence; on the day Sara received a gift from both of her potential suitors.

Gil's gift was a ball of fluff on a stick. Sara deduced it was a chrysalis, and probably from some extremely beautiful butterfly, but as for the intricacies of its being she couldn't care less. She didn't have the time to research zoology to find the life-cycle of a Lycaeides Melissa, or to read the sheet of carefully written prose that had arrived later the same week, she was too busy enjoying Sofia's gift, the full series of the Birds of Prey comic run. Not surprisingly, Oracle, Huntress, and a certain Black Canary seemed to hold more excitement than a cocooned butterfly.

Days after receiving both gifts, Sara put her finger on the difference. Sofia's gift was meant to be shared with another, with Sofia. Sofia's gift was meant to be light and enjoyable. Gil's gift was meant to be hers and hers alone. Gil's gift was meant to be deep and thoughtful. Sara realized she had enough of deep and thoughtful at work, at home she was relishing the chance to be happy and carefree.

On the day before Grissom's return Sofia broached the topic she had been aiming towards since his departure.

"Sara, could you turn off the TV I have something to say to you."

From her vantage point on the sofa, Sara could see that Sofia's shoulders had tensed up at her words. She rose from her seat and switched off the movie they were enjoying. Sitting back down she looked towards Sofia with a bemused look on her face.

"Go on; I'm all ears."

"These past four weeks have been a pleasure, getting to know you, getting to be friends." Sofia reached across to touch Sara's hand. "But I think you've realized I don't only want to be friends."

Sara nodded; she did know.

"I think you can do so much better for yourself, Sara. And yeah, that means I also think I would be the better one. But, even if you want nothing more to do with me, I still want you to think long and hard about Gil."

Sofia got up off the floor, nuzzled Sara's cheek, and grabbed her gun and jacket off the coffee table.

At Sara's raised eyebrows she said, "I've said my piece, now I'll leave you and Gil to work out your life." As she reached the door she looked back and threw Sara a hook, "You know where to find me."

Sara's thoughts raged backwards and forwards through the following day and on into shift. Being sent out to a dumpster, searching for missing body parts, didn't help make her thoughts any clearer.

After six hours at work, the time of Gil's return drawing ever closer, she still had come to no concrete decisions. She needed to speak with the detective, needed to get her thoughts clear before she did something there would be no turning back from.

Deep in thought, worrying about seeing Sofia before Gil, her thoughts were interrupted.


Gil was already here. It was too late.

"Hey! You're back?"


Gil moved towards Sara and she backed away, she needed to come to some order before reconnecting with the man. "I, ah, I've been out at a…" she raised her arm upwards as if to ward Grissom off.

"… a garbage dump?"

"It's so obvious, isn't it? You, um… " Sara couldn't think what to say, constantly backing away from the oncoming Grissom, "… you look good."

"Did you put the cocoon in my office?"

"Cool, dry, not a lot of light, it seemed like the right place for it."

Sara smiled and Gil's eyes lit up as he enthused, "I think you're going to be surprised when it hatches."

As he continued to follow Sara down the corridor, his desperation to speak with her stunning in its unusualness. He'd never been keen to advertise their friendship, never mind the relationship. Why now?

"I'm going to go clean up now," she muttered as she turned her back on the man.

"I'll see you later?"

With a sudden clarity Sara knew why, he'd lost her. When the cocoon hatched, it would be Gil with the surprise; she would be elsewhere. In fact, she needed to be elsewhere right now. She glanced at her watch and knew exactly where Sofia would be.

"Yeah, you will."

The brunette rushed off, there was no way she was going to be too late.


The Ugly For Some

With one last look of regret, Gil turned on his heel and left Sara alone in the locker room.

She sighed, 'I'll miss you' had been his last words to her, and the lost look on his face told her all she needed to know.

Suddenly, the room felt cold and lonely. She slumped down on the seat and stared into space.

"Hey Sara, you okay in here?"

Sara looked up to see the relaxed figure of Catherine leaning against the wall.

"Was that Gil I just saw leaving? Did he tell you he was off for four weeks?"

"Yeah." Sara couldn't hide the flatness she felt at Gil's disappearance. From the moment he'd said he had to go she'd struggled to understand why. Their relationship, at least their attempt at a romantic relationship, had only recently become true, and here he was willing to forgo four weeks of their new life together for some excursion to talk about bugs.

She saw that Catherine was still watching her, as only Catherine could, with that look of intrigue that said she was just beginning to work out all there was to know. Sara hated it, and looked away.

"So, you're all alone now?" Catherine asked and saw Sara's bemused look with more interest. "What? You didn't think I knew about you and Gil."

Catherine saw the reaction from Sara and knew she was right. "Gil told me before you finally got together, that he was going to take a chance. Don't worry, I haven't told anyone else; that's for you and Gil."

"I wouldn't mind if we told the world but, you know Gil."

The blonde smiled. "Yeah, I do. So, if you're on your own, do you want to join me and Sofia for breakfast. We're going to try that small bar on the East Side, you never know we might be awake enough to have a dance."

Sara grinned for what seemed like the first time in weeks, and nodded. "Yeah, I think I'd like that. Thanks."

Watching the two blonde women on the dance floor, Sara managed a wry laugh. How could she, the wonderful CSI that she was, have not noticed this before? The two women were very subtle but throughout breakfast the small glances and discreet touches of lovers were obvious to be seen; Sara pondered whether she was, as always, the last to know, or whether this time she'd cottoned on early because of this close proximity.

Casting her mind back over crime-scenes shared with both women, she was pretty certain this was the first time the evidence had been before her. It seemed the two women trusted her enough to be natural now they were out of the workplace.

Still entranced by their subtle display she considered herself and Gil and whether they too would give the impression of being lovers in their personal time. In her heart of heart, she doubted that were true. It didn't help that they spent no time with their colleagues out of work time; shared breakfasts often falling by the wayside these days as everybody had a life of their own.

Sara Sidle, the loner, decided there and then to instigate a return to team breakfasts. In fact she'd ask Catherine to arrange something on Gil's return; she wanted to make their relationship public, whatever Gil's thoughts.

"Penny for them, Sara?" Sofia's quiet voice cut through the brunette's reverie.

"Oh," the CSI indicated between her two colleagues, "I was just wondering how long you two had been, um, together; I'm right, aren't I?"

The other two women smiled, though it was Catherine that answered. "We've been seeing each other since that incident with Officer Bell's death. I went to comfort Jim and he insisted Sofia was in more need."

"And I was. Catherine helped, tremendously. And afterwards, well here we are, so you get the idea."

Sara nodded. "Well, you can trust me, I won't tell a soul, not even Gil." She saw the glance that passed between Catherine and Sofia and realized that Catherine had been telling the truth, she really hadn't told anyone else, not even her lover.

"Yes, Sofia, Gil and I are together too. When Brass was shot it seemed silly to let things pass us by; it seems you two know all about that sort of reaction."

Sofia watched as Catherine sat down next to Sara and the two CSI's started to chat about Lindsay and her progress at school. Comparing the two colleagues, she realized she'd never have guessed that Sara and Gil were dating, whereas she knew that Catherine, and her by definition, were so demonstrative that only the truly blind would miss out on their connection. Although she hadn't said anything, she'd have to assure Sara that it wasn't a problem anyone knowing; it wasn't a secret. If anyone saw, they saw, and that was all that mattered.

For the next couple of weeks Catherine and Sofia kept Sara company whenever they could. Sara was surprised at their concern, but surprisingly enjoyed the companionship more than she cared to admit.

She'd asked Catherine why the sudden change in the older woman's acceptance of her and Catherine had just said, life was too short to bear grudges and if Sara and Gil were happy then she was too. She didn't ask for elaboration of Catherine's words, she just accepted the change.

Even when Cath made the major mistake of not trusting her team with Keppler's reverse forensics idea, Sara just understood it for the mistake it was. Later, talking in private with Catherine and seeing how distraught the other woman was at the effect Keppler was having on her relationship with Sofia, she just accepted Catherine's apology and got on with being the friend she had become, comforting Catherine rather than lambasting her.

A knock on the door had startled both women from their earnest apology session and Catherine had cheered immediately at the armful of roses being pressed into her hands by an embarrassed Greg.

"These came for you, Cath. Fifteen coral tea roses."

The two women both looked at Greg askance. He sighed and said, "What? I know about the roses, my Gran loved them. So who've you been upsetting this time, Cath?"

Catherine glared and Sara waited for the explosion. It never came as Catherine just stared at the note with her flowers.

"Come on Catherine, out with it; 15 tea roses is an apology, and coral, well coral means desire." As always Greg was like a terrier, never knowing when to stop his irritating questions.

Sara jumped up and pushed him out of the room. Turning back to Catherine, she grinned. "Sofia?"

"Yeah. She drives me up the wall sometimes, and you know what I'm like, but I tell you the making up is spectacular."

Sara blushed and Catherine laughed.

"It almost makes the breaking up worthwhile, almost."

That night Sara couldn't help but compare the roses with her gift from Grissom, a cocoon. Each had their hidden meaning, and each was given with love; the difference, Sofia would follow up her roses with her person, Gil would be home in another two weeks.

She glanced towards the telephone.

Catherine and Sofia snuggled on the sofa, their spat of the week before long forgotten. Both women had just returned from a night out with Mike Keppler, and were discussing his propensity to talk about crime scenes in the first person.

"It's odd."

Catherine thought she knew what Sofia was talking about. "Yeah, but he says he needs to identify with the killer not the victim."

"Not Mike, Sara."

"Huh, you've lost me there, Hun?"

"Well, how many times have we been with Sara since Grissom's break, and how many times has she mentioned him being in contact?" Sofia elaborated further when she saw Catherine's perplexed face. "Yeah, none. I tell you, it's odd. If we were separated for a day, I'd be calling you to see how you were doing. Hell, if we're apart for more than a day it costs me a fortune in make up presents."

Sofia went quiet. Catherine waited.

"You do know there were rumours about you and Gil and you and Sara when I was on day shift?"

"Yeah?" A proud look crossed Catherine's face and Sofia slapped at her arm.


"Oh c'mon, Sofia, neither of those two had the guts to take me on." She turned her face towards Sofia's interested gaze. "Not like you."

"Hmm, it's odd."

Catherine laughed and rolled over on top of Sofia. "I'll tell you what's odd; the fact you want to talk about Gil and Sara when I'm here…" she kissed Sofia, "… kissing you."

Sofia rolled Catherine off the sofa, breaking her fall with strong arms, and then, looking down at her lover, she whispered, "I'm not talking now."

It was Catherine that finally received a phone-call from Gil. He was coming home early, he needed to see Sara. The long time friend of Gil, and more recent friend of Sara, couldn't stop herself saying that she thought she was the wrong person to be receiving the call. Gil just sighed.

Days later, Sofia just happened to be chatting with Wendy in the DNA lab as Gil spotted Sara for the first time in weeks. She smiled at his exuberance to see her, but grimaced at Sara's clumsy attempts to greet him, rushing off in the opposite direction without even touching the man.

It was a dance of two people lost in their own relationship, afraid to let others in, lest they never found their way out again. Lip-reading one of Gil's words, Sofia could almost feel his description of the cocoon gift.

The detective sighed; if Cath really wanted to help her friends come out, so to speak, as she'd said on the night of Gil's phone-call, it would take a damn sight more than her renowned persuasive skills to help those two.

In the end, it was Sara that allowed Catherine to confirm her relationship in a public place.

Within hours of Gils' return he was emotionally embroiled in a situation he didn't understand. Mike Keppler appeared dirty, Catherine disagreed, and Gil was stuck in the middle. Unable to get any quality time with Sara his first major incident was comforting Catherine as Mike died in front of her.

Not understanding for one moment the extent of Catherine's anguish, he called Sara.

"Sara, Mike Keppler's dead, and Catherine's distraught. I'm bringing her back; can you take care of her while I come back to the scene?"

"Why me, Grissom; I'll catch the scene."

"No, you'll be better at this than me. Just be there."

Sara sighed; as always Grissom was Grissom. She pulled her cell from her pocket, dialed a number and then sat back to await Gil's return.

Sara had never seen Gil offer close contact, past a handshake, to any of his colleagues, so his comforting arm around Catherine's waist was a shock to her eyes; maybe the trip to Massachusetts had done the old Grissom some good.

She walked towards the pair carrying two heavy forensic kits, put them on the floor, and bent to look into Catherine's shocked face. Despite their recent increase in closeness, even Sara knew she was not the one to break through that barrier. She turned to Gil, handed him one of the forensic kits and whispered, "I've called Sofia."

Gil's face showed his confusion. "Why?"

Sara didn't need to answer as Catherine caught sight of her lover entering the building. Pulling away from Gil she rushed into the open arms, to be lead to a nearby sofa to cry.

Gil looked at the two women, catching a few words of Sofia's loving comfort, and turned to Sara, all business. "Come on, we'll take the scene."

Sara spared one final look at her two friends, at the passion they were so openly displaying, and watched Gil as he strode towards the Denali without a backward glance.

She wondered if it was already too late to get Gil to be honest at work; she wondered if it was too late for Gil to be open about their togetherness, period.

The End

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