A/N: I know it has been forever since I updated this story. I am sorry for that. I have a short update here for you and I will continue to work on more as I can. I hope you have not forgotten about this story. I have been thinking a lot about it lately.
The drive out to the cemetery took longer than they thought. Sara sat silently and stared out the window. She knew she had to do this to put her past behind her. It did not make it any easier to do. Her childhood was foremost in her thoughts. She tried to think of the good times. They hadn't all been bad.
Grissom sneaked a glance at her every so often. He knew she was thinking and he gave her the time to do that. They were doing this for her. He would play it by her rules.
Sara sighed and Grissom took it as a cue, "Penny for your thoughts?"
"I was just trying to keep focused on the good times from when I was a kid."
"I can remember picnics and a few birthday parties, but mostly what I remember is the fighting. I don't want that to be what I remember from my childhood."
"Sara, I know you don't."
He took her hand and held it the rest of the trip. She remained quiet.
They pulled up to the Tamales Bay Cemetery and parked the car. They went to the directory to find where he was buried. Sara found his name and wrote down the plot number and the directions to find it.
"Do you want to walk or drive?"
"Do you want to drive over to the grave or walk?"
"Oh, drive. It's in the back in the Potter's field. I guess there was no money for anyone to bury him so the county had to do it. I…I didn't know that."
It saddened Sara that most likely nobody came to his funeral. Social Services had not let her come. She was too traumatized by what she had witnessed. It was only years later as an adult that she realized she needed the closure a funeral brings.
They found the grave that was marked with a simple headstone that only had her father's name on it.
"Sara, I'll wait in the car for you. You need some time to say your goodbyes."
Grissom kissed her and headed back to the car. He watched her as she sat there for a long time. At first she said nothing, letting the thought formulate.
She came back to the car when she was done.
Grissom didn't push her for an explanation.
"Thank you for bringing me here. I needed to do that."
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"No, not yet."
He nodded and started the car. They left the cemetery in silence.
The drive back was just a quiet as the drive there. Sara stared out the window. She kept running over and over things in her hear. This was usually a Grissom trait. She smiled at that thought and let out a sort of half chuckle.
Grissom looked at her, "What?"
"I was just thinking that you have rubbed off on me. Thinking like this is usually something you do."
He smiled, "I was thinking the same thing."
"How does this not drive you nuts? When you do this I just want to pop you in the back of the head like Gibbs on NCIS."
He gave her a raised eyebrow stare, "I understand you need to think. Like you said, this is what I do."
"It still drives me nuts when you do it."
"I know, Dear."
They pulled into the parking lot of their hotel. Sara knew what else was bothering her. Soon Grissom would have to go back to Vegas and she would be here alone again.
He turned to look at her.
"I…what do you want to do for dinner?"
"Whatever you would like, Sara. Do you want to call your mother and see if she wants to join us?"
"No. I want it to just be us. I know you have to leave soon and I want to get as much time with you as I can."
"Okay…is that what is bothering you?"
"Part of it. I just have a lot to process right now. You leaving is part of that. I know you have to go back, but there is part of me that wants you to stay. We could run away. We could take a trip."
"I can't right now Sara, you know that. I would love to go somewhere with you. We can plan a trip soon."
She just nodded. He did not speak of the fact that her leaving had left them one person short or that with the budget cuts there was a hiring freeze and the county would not hire a replacement for her. She knew she had left Grissom and her friends with a huge load. He never said anything about it, but she knew.
He did not want to add to her stress by telling her that there was no way he could get more time off for a while. There was just not enough CSI's to get all the work done. Doubles had become the norm. He had tried to take most of them, but it was beginning to take its toll. Sleep was something he needed a great deal more of than he was getting when he was home. Between worrying about Sara and having to work 60 or 70 hours a week, he was tired and it was beginning to show. His hair was a bit grayer. There were bags under his eyes.
He had slept while he was here, but it was not making up for the lack of sleep at home. He knew he was not taking care of himself, but he felt he did not have a choice. He also knew that if he worked all the time it gave him less time to think and worry. It was easier to work than to go home alone.
They only had two more days together before he had to head back to Las Vegas. Neither of them wanted to think about that. 48 hours seemed longer than two days. He would be back, he knew that, but he didn't want to leave and she didn't want to be alone. She had made so much progress in the past month, but she was not ready to go back to Las Vegas or her job. She still had ghosts to deal with.
They spent the remaining two days together doing whatever they wanted. Much of it was spent in bed. They had spent more time with Laura and Grissom could see that Sara and her mother were rebuilding their relationship. There was a long way to go, but it was progress. He felt better about leaving her. She was getting better.
The time came for him to leave. He had put it off as long as he could. They stood in the parking lot of the hotel.
"Call me when you get back to Vegas."
"Do you have everything you need?"
Except you. He thought, but he didn't dare say it. He wanted to make this as easy as possible for her.
"Yes. I will be back in two weeks for the weekend."
"It's time to head for the airport."
He nodded a quick nod. It was too difficult to speak the words.
He was flying home and leaving her car here with her.
"You don't have to park and come in. Just drop me of at the curb. It will save time." And my heart.
She didn't argue. She thought it would be easier as well.
She kissed him goodbye and watched him disappear into the terminal.
It was not the first time she had taken him to the airport; it would not be the last. Parting was always hard.
He would be home in two hours. Well, he would be back in Vegas. His home was wherever Sara was.
He sat in silence on the plane even when the person next to him tried to engage him in conversation. He pulled out a book and pretended to read as a way of getting people to leave him alone.
He arrived on time, but there was nobody to meet him.
He called Sara as promised. She made him promise to get some sleep before he headed into the lab for the night.
He took a cab to the townhouse and slept until it was time to go to work.
He walked into the lab and let himself ease back into work. The paperwork had piled up over the week he was gone. It was not like him to be gone over the holidays. Catherine had agreed to cover the lab while he was gone.
He told the team that Sara was getting better and that she sent her love and apologized for the way she left. It had been especially hard on Greg. For weeks he would hardly speak to Grissom.
The weeks went by and he was back on an airplane to see her again. Their weekend visits began to take a toll on Grissom. He was tired.
He developed a cough. He insisted it was nothing, but the team and especially Catherine was worried. Grissom sounded and looked awful.
Sara knew he had a cough. He didn't come that weekend because he didn't want to get her sick. She was disappointed but she understood. She told him to get some rest.
What started as just a cold turned into pneumonia. He didn't want to tell her at first, but when he was written off work for two weeks and was forbidden to fly he had no choice but to tell her how bad it had gotten.
He had nearly collapsed at a crime scene and Catherine had made him go to the doctor.
By the time he went he was very sick and Grissom just didn't get sick. The doctor nearly put him in the hospital. He promised to rest if he didn't have to go into the hospital. He kept to his word.
He also called Sara to tell her what was going on.
"Hi, Gil." She answered
"Hi." He sounded awful.
"What's wrong you sound horrible."
"I went to the doctor and he said I have pneumonia. I can't fly for at least a month and I am off work for at least two weeks. If I don't he's going to put me in the hospital."
"I'm coming there."
She said it before she realized what she said. It would be hard, but if he needed her she would come.
"Are you sure you're ready for that?"
"You need someone to take care of you and I want to do it."
"No, Gil. I'm coming. I will be on the next flight out there. You will not come to the airport to pick me up. Stay in bed. I'm okay with this really. You need me for a change."
"I've always needed you, Sara."
She smiled, "You know what I mean."
If truth be told he was happy she was coming. It did mean it was a positive step in her recovery.
"I love you, Sara."
"I love you, too. Now let me pack. I will be there soon."
The thought of going back to Vegas made Sara a bit nervous. She had to do this though. Grissom needed her. He had been there all those months for her. Going back and forth and not resting had most likely contributed to his getting sick. She had to go. It was also one more demon from the past she had to face. Natalie could do nothing to her now. She was behind bars. The trial had been over for months. Natalie had been found guilty but insane and had been sent to an institution. She still had a nagging fear of returning to Vegas.
As the plane landed, she looked out over the lights of the city she once called home. I hadn't changed that much in the few months she had been gone. Things in Vegas were always changing, but it looked pretty much the same has it had in November. She only had a carry-on bag and was quickly off the plane and in a cab. It felt funny to be on the streets of this city again. It was familiar yet odd. She knew these streets, but in some way it was like she was seeing them for the first time.
The cab pulled up in front of the townhouse. She looked up knowing that Grissom was in there waiting for her. She was excited to see him and Hank. It had been a long time since she had seen Hank. Would he remember her?
She paid the cabby and stepped out of the cab.
She entered the walkway and punched the code in the box to open the gate to let her in. Thank heavens it hadn't changed. She didn't want to disturb Grissom if she didn't have to.
She still had her key. It had been the one key she had kept when she left. She had not wanted to close the door on home. She wanted the option to come back if she wanted to.
A/N: Please let me know what you think and if you want me to continue or not. If you are still interested I will make an effort to finish this one.