Title: Forever

Author: Stepf

Disclaimers: I don't own them. And honestly at this point I don't know if I would want to. Just.don't sue me.

Notes/Thanks: This is my lame attempt at RfM damage control. It made me feel a little better after writing, perhaps it will for you after you read it. If anything really can. Thanks to Adina who read this bad boy and told me it made her feel worlds better, hope it does the same for you.

'FUCK, I didn't just..FUCK,' I think, and quickly spin away. I can still feel the burn of embarrassment on my face; I can feel them staring at my back. Especially him. What the hell was I thinking? Fishing my flashlight out of my pocket, I walk to the closet. Anything to get away; anything to avoid him.

'Fuck.' That is possibly the stupidest thing I have ever done. In life. Ever. The only possible way I could have made that worse is if we were caught making out in the lab. It just sorta came out, I didn't mean it. Well maybe I did. Did I? Shit, I don't even know. I said it, it sounded convincing enough to my ears. 'Dammit, Sidle. You just called Hank 'baby' in front of colleagues. Could you BE anymore unprofessional?' SHIT. I'm shaking. Why? So I called Hank baby? So what? Shit happens. 'Why are you so embarrassed, then?' my conscious mind taunts me. 'Because I meant it.and I don't want to.' I respond back silently.

Taking a deep breath I look in the closet, my mind spinning. I called him baby, for the first time. Ever. The weird part? It came out so naturally, so easily. Like I am meant to call this man baby. But that can't be. He's.Hank. He's dependable, he's fun, he talks to me about things beside death and causes of death and.bugs. Isn't that what people call their.'oh god no'.boyfriends? Baby or honey or sweetie? It seemed so natural, even if it isn't. Even if the only reason I am with him is because.never mind. NO.not never mind. The only reason I am with him is because the one person I want has got his head so far up his ass he cant see what's in front of him. Granted he does on occasion, but it's like a broken water faucet. He runs hot and cold at varying times and you never know what time he's which. How long am I supposed to wait? Forever? No, Sara Sidle waits forever for no man. Soul-mate or not.

'SHIT.' This is like some horrific nightmare, I have become what I was accused of being: a woman who gets attached to men on her cases, a woman unable to control her emotions. Did it ever occur to them that maybe I am that woman because that's all I know. That I never really understood how relationships are supposed to work? That being socially awkward in your teens doesn't really make for a well-adjusted adult. Of course that does not excuse my saying that at work. To a colleague of sorts. To someone who almost got you in trouble once. Well no.technically he didn't get you in trouble. You got yourself in trouble when you touched Grissom.

'Shit this IS a habit of yours Sara.' Oh God, oh God, I do. I attached myself to Hank because he was there, he understood my life, he actively pursued me instead of the other way around. Instead of it being like it is with Grissom, where I put in ninety percent of the effort and then every once in a while he throws something out there. That's no way to lead a life, to have a life. Waiting for someone, its not fair to me. The sad truth though is that I would have waited a millennia for Gris, and I still will.

I can't look at them still. I can hear rustling. Warrick is taking pictures; if there is any light at the end of this tunnel it's that Warrick is here. Not Catherine or Nick who would rip me to pieces over this, not Grissom who would probably give me that disappointed look. Hank is now packing up his kit, moving. He's coming this way. Shit. Apologize, that's the right response.

"I'm taking off.baby."

God, his tone; he's confused. Though honestly not as confused as I am. Apologize, now.

"I'm sorry." And you know.I am, truly sorry, for not only saying that and embarrassing us both- though really he doesn't look embarrassed- but also for giving Hank the wrong impression. I said it, I used a pet name, and maybe I even meant it. But if I'm not even sure, it's unfair to him. He is a good guy, he is good to me, but I know it will never last, it can't. I am meant for someone else. I know that, hell, maybe even Hank knows that. But we go on, pretending that the gigantic elephant between us that is Gil Grissom isn't there, that our dates mean more than they do, that maybe someday I will forget him. But I won't. Ever.

You know what else I am sorry about? For not telling Grissom straight up how I feel. Not just about him, but about what I think of his behavior lately. We do this dance.we talk in circles. Using a language only we can read between the lines of. Instead of just acting like an adult and telling him that I have loved him since the beginning of time I do a dance. And not a pretty one. Instead I swallow my pride and do what I figure any other woman would do. I move on. Without talking to him, without finding out what his true feelings are. Because we both know that if I ever asked him flat out he would answer me honestly. And that scares us both. Admitting what we feel is one step closer to heartache if relationship doesn't work.

Hank is safe. I like him, don't get me wrong, I just don't love him to the point of dropping my life and moving to another state. Hank doesn't come with a history; he doesn't know me to the core, to my soul. Hank is what I always wanted to be: normal, accepted, the same as everyone else. He is my connection to the so called normal world where people go on dates instead of pretending they don't feel things. He does all the things that a boyfriend should do, and in return I do what a girlfriend should do, even if I'd rather it be someone else. 'Next time watch your damn mouth though, Jesus. You're smarter than this Sara.' He knows the Sara that I try to be around him, the one that knows how a relationship is supposed to work. What the hell do I know about relationships? The only ones I have ever had have been short-lived at best. Hank has always been there, in the background, a fallback option. And so I.fell back. Without even giving Grissom the option of catching me.

'God you're stupid Sara. You didn't really even try. You have no one to blame but yourself. With one small word you brought Hank closer than you wanted and pushed Grissom farther away, even if he doesn't know it.' I don't even know how to get out of this, if there is a way. I want out, I want a way to tell Grissom without looking stupid now, without looking like a liar. And I'm not. We weren't dating during the Tom Haviland scandal. But Catherine, I didn't lie to her.he's not my boyfriend exactly. We go out, we keep each other company. It's a matter of semantics. Besides it's none of Catherine's business what he is. 'Shit, this is a fine mess. One you are trapped like a rat in.'

So I sigh loudly, and try not to cry. Ever.