Title: Bedside Vigil

Sara/Grissom, angst, au, pg

Summary: Grissom keeps vigil at Sara's bedside.

Author's Note: To Devanie, Marita and Amber for being my wonderful betas.

xxx

She looks so pale.

I know her pigmentation isn't naturally dark, but she was never ghostly pale. At least I never noticed. Did I miss it? No, I couldn't have. Maybe it's the lighting. That's it; it's the lighting in this place. You'd think that for the comfort of the people that have to stay here they could do better than these horrible strip lights. Not exactly warm looking, are they? And if you want to sleep, they still leave that annoyingly bright overhead lamp on. What's the point in that? Who can sleep when they feel like they're entering the twilight zone? I know I couldn't. I don't know how she does it; surely the light would have woken her by now. No, she's just exhausted, she'll wake up soon, and grumble on about the hideous lights, and I'll tell her that that was exactly what I was thinking, and then we'll laugh about it over the disgusting tea they serve here.

I stand to turn off the overhead strip lights, and feel much better, less as though we're being watched once they are switched off. I then lean across her small frame lying on the bed as I turn the swivel light upwards, casting its rays to the ceiling, making her look less as if she's under a spotlight for some scientific experiment. Sara, the conductor of a scientific experiment? Most certainly. Sara, the subject of a scientific experiment? I think not.

Her room is one of the lucky ones to have windows out onto the outside world. The moon is casting a peaceful glow over the city, the sun having gone down hours ago. And yet I'm still here. I haven't slept in, I can't even remember how long, but I know I won't until she wakes. Funny, isn't it? She'll wake up, and then I'll sleep. I can't sleep at the same time, like normal people, because this isn't a normal situation. I need to know that she's alright, awake, alive, before I can tend to my needs. I turn back to her, switching off the lamp, and allowing the only light in the room to enter through the windows as a result of the glowing moon, as I gently take her hand in mine.

Did her fingers just move? I stare at her small hand in mine for what seems like forever, waiting for some sign that she is still in there. What am I saying, of course she is still in there, this is Sara we're talking about. She doesn't go down without a fight, that's for sure. But who can compete with a metal poker? Superhuman strength is something she just doesn't have.

Her hand feels cold, even though I know there is blood pumping through it, keeping it warm. Without even realising it, I start rubbing her small hand between my two larger ones, in a fruitless attempt to give it some heat. But once I notice what I'm doing, I scold myself, as the rational part of my brain points out that her hand isn't dangerously cold, just still, and that she's still here, with me.

*"Is she?"* A voice inside of me asks. Fear creeps into my heart, as I desperately turn my attention to the monitors around her, checking that the constant beep is still evading the silence of the still room, and that the green line is still bopping up and down to the relentless rhythm. I sigh audibly, once again scolding myself for being so irrational.

Rarely ever do I feel hatred, but it is one of the emotions coursing through me at this very moment. Hatred toward the bastard that did this to her, who put her into a comatose sleep from which she cannot laugh, cannot sing, cannot joke around with Nick and Warrick, or have private 'girl talks' with Catherine.

Cannot play her part in our silent game.

Did her eyelids just flutter? *"Stop it, Gil!"* I need to get out of this room, but I just can't bring myself to leave her. She's so still. This isn't Sara. Sara is energetic and full of life, you can never keep her still; she doesn't even sleep for more than four hours at a time. This is wrong, very wrong. She shouldn't be here, especially not like this.

My cell phone's ringing. I answer it quickly, for a moment believing that she is just asleep, that she needs her rest, and that the ringing will wake her. It is only once I have answered that I realise that she's not just asleep, that she needs to be woken up. Would the ringing have helped? Probably not, but it doesn't help to ease my slight anger towards myself.

"Gil?" I can hear Catherine's voice. I forgot there was someone on the phone.

"Sorry, Cath, what did you say?"

She sighs, before repeating herself. "We got him, Gil, we got him." Relief floods over me as I once again look up at Sara, hoping that in some way she heard the news Catherine had just given me.

"Thanks. And well done, Catherine." I hang up.

"We got him, Sara." I take hold of her hand once more, convincing myself that it feels slightly warmer than it had done minutes earlier. Was that a good sign? The relieved feeling doesn't last long, though, before panic sets in. She wasn't waiting for that confirmation before she left; was she? I've heard of that happening. She knows that the person who did this to her will face his comeuppance, is that all she needed? It can't be. She's so young, with so much more to experience in life before she leaves this earth. Has she done all she wanted to do? Caught enough criminals to fulfil her need? No. I know Sara, and even if she convicted every single criminal on this earth, it wouldn't be enough.

I want to talk to her, tell her what's going through my mind, tell her how much she's scaring me, but I don't know how. I've never been good with people. Even though she's still, and I know she can't interrupt me with witty remarks or confusing comments, I still find it hard. Is it because I fear she could hear me through her wall of slumber? Just because she's asleep, it doesn't mean that she can't hear me. And she is just asleep. She'll wake up soon, and I'll be here. And even if it's not soon, then I'll still be here.

As I sit here in the shadows, my fingers absently running over her knuckles, I realise that, if she needs me to, I'll wait forever.

~Fin~

'The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.'

-Robert Frost, 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening'