Disclaimer: None of the characters or the concept of CSI are mine, I'm just playing with them a little.

Having failed to get the boys to give her any post mortem on the pranks Sara had pulled on them, and fearing that pushing any harder would backfire on her, Catherine had dropped the subject for now. Conversation had wandered a bit until the boys started telling crash and burn tales – hysterical disasters from their pasts.

First, Nick regaled them with the time he tried stealing home only to rip his pants as he slid in ... on the day he had gone commando! His disgruntlement over being called out only added to the laughter his story garnered.

Next, Warrick told them of a high end table stakes game he'd gotten in on, where one of the players tried to bet the girl, Kitty, he'd had sitting with him as his good luck charm. The dark-skinned man shuddered as he told them how the aging cougar had eyed him like a slab of prime rib. "First damn time I ever threw a hand," he muttered to the hoots of his friends.

Then Brass recounted taking his daughter, Ellie, out for a night at the movies where the Disney film he thought they were going to watch turned out to be a porn flick.

Finally, Greg was holding court, spinning the tale about his most epic science faire failure. "So I wanted a really big eruption and decided to add Shooting Stars fireworks to the mix. I lit the fuse, waited, and then BOOM! paper maché was all over my mother's pristine kitchen as the whole thing went up in smoke!"

Laughter erupted in the room.

Sanders grinned triumphantly. "Mom was seeing red when she saw the mess I had made with my science project. I tried to argue that if she hadn't sheltered me so much, I would have known better than to use fireworks in my volcano as a propellant. But the coup de grace was when she found out my father had give the rockets to me."

More laughter sounded around the table.

Seeing Grissom and Sara returning, Catherine smiled and raised her glass. "'Bout time you two returned from exile! Took you forever, and you missed some of the best stories."

"Mea culpa, Cath," Gil replied, setting the trays around within easy reach of his team. "You should know by now I don't rush into things, but when I do decide, I am all in." With a gentle smile, he helped Sara retake her seat, before reclaiming his own.


AN: This story my be disqualified as I have way more than 20 titles, but no more than 20 per chapter, or because I did it as three chapters ... mea culpa :) But this was the story the muse wanted, so enjoy!