Title: On My Own

Spoilers: Minimal

Archiving: Sure, just let me know

Notes: This is my first songfic, so bear with me. It just popped into my head at a completely random time. Not listening to the song or anything. So yeah, I'm insane, but we knew that. The song is "On My Own" from Les Miserables. I don't own it or the production (dear god, I'd be rich if I did), nor do I own any of the characters of CSI (I'd be rich if I owned them too) or the show itself (even richer). Please give feedback if you like or dislike this story, because I really don't know how I do with this whole songfic deal.

On My Own

And now I'm all alone again
Nowhere to turn, no one to go to
Without a home without a friend
Without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near
I can make believe he's here

The song is running through my head as I walk slowly through the park. If I could sing, I think I'd make a good Eponine. I can certainly empathize with her situation. She's in love with a man who's blind to her. He treats her as a friend. Gently, kindly, but with no deeper feeling.

Gee, that sounds familiar. Actually, Grissom usually doesn't even treat me kindly. "Brusque" would be the word I'd use. But he's certainly blind to me. God, I've been panting after him for close to ten years. From Harvard to California to Vegas. Nothing to show for it, either.

It's still dark out, thankfully. I don't want to see anyone right now. This is my time. My time to reflect on how stupid I am and how stupid he is. Or the other way around. I don't even know anymore. All I know is that I come out here and suddenly everything I've kept bottled up during the day comes to the surface and I can think about it.

Sometimes I walk alone at night
When everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and I'm happy
With the company I'm keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head

It used to be that I could just imagine us together. I'd picture it, picture him kissing me, holding me, and I'd get a jolt of happiness. It would warm up my entire day. That was when I was still in denial about how he feels about me. I still fantasize about it. During the night, like Eponine's saying. Maybe she should have been a CSI. But I'm getting off the topic. What was I saying?

Right, thinking about him during the night. And the day, really, since day is night for me. Nowadays he visits me most during the day. I fall asleep hours after arriving home from work, fighting my drooping eyes, and he wakes me up almost immediately when he invades my dreams.

I'll tell you this: I'd rather have nightmares. At least with nightmares you can wake up and sigh, thinking how reality isn't like that horrible vision in your dream. But waking up from a dream in which you're incredibly happy, well, let's just say that's a downer. Imagine waking up thinking, "Grissom just told me he loves me," and then having to face the nasty reality that those are just the wishes of your fevered mind.

I'd rather have nightmares.

On my own
Pretending he's beside me
All alone
I walk with him till morning

Sometimes it just gets too heavy for me and I have to sit. What I really want to do at those times is to curl up into a little ball and pull my big, soft comforter over my head. But you know, they frown on that when you're working at a crime scene. Wouldn't you know, they don't approve of bringing a blankie to work?

I do like to pretend sometimes. Alone in my apartment, of course. Man, I can't believe I'm telling you this! But I do. You know, wandering around the place imagining him in my bed, on my couch, making dinner in my shoe-box-sized kitchen. But like the dreams, it just makes life worse to come back to reality.

Without him
I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes
And he has found me

For some reason, being under that blanket – it's huge, light blue, and covered with clouds – makes me feel better. It's not that I particularly like being in bed. I don't, for the reasons I just told you. But maybe the blanket reminds me of being in someone's arms. His arms. You know, warm and soft. Maybe the sound of the fabric rubbing against itself sounds like a whisper.

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and forever

When I get in those moods, there's no stopping me. "He'll say yes this time, I know it." He never does, but for some reason I just keep tearing myself up trying. It just seems so obvious to me. Me and Grissom. Sara and Grissom. The words go together. We go together. Workaholics with frighteningly high IQs who don't have a damn clue how to operate in the real world that exists outside our lab.

And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

That's what it comes down to, really. I still think that somehow, some way, he'll realize what I feel. And maybe what he feels. And then we'll be together. Only in the dreams, though. Sometimes I feel like they're closer to hallucinations than to dreams. I wake up muttering things like, "I love you," and "After all these years." I sound like a soap opera, I swear! No soap opera was ever this depressing, though.

I love him
But when the night is over
He is gone
The river's just a river
Without him
The world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere
The streets are full of strangers

God, I'm so in love with Gil Grissom. Eponine's talking to me again in this verse. When the night is over – when shift is over – he's just . . . gone. Even if he's still physically in the lab, he's gone from me. Not that he's ever really with me at all, like I said, but he somehow manages to retreat even further. As though any hint of speech outside of the confines of cases will embarrass him.

When I'm in my hopeful moods, everything shines. You know how you can look at the most frightening things, like broken glass from a crime scene, and somehow see the beauty in it? The symmetry, maybe? That's what it's like when I have an "I'm Gonna Ask" day. And then he says no, or ignores me, or just looks confused, and the shine's gone.

Maybe the streets are full of strangers, Eponine. I wouldn't know. When I'm walking, I'm never experiencing the other people on the streets. I'm experiencing Grissom, though, and god knows he's a stranger to me more and more lately. I wonder if I've done something to make him hate me so much, or whether he just got tired of this silly girl chasing him? Yep, that's me, a thirty-two year-old little girl. Only when it comes to him.

I love him
But every day I'm learning
All my life
I've only been pretending

So many years of pretending. Honestly, Sara, what were you thinking? The whole time I was in California and he was in Vegas I was so sure that all we needed was to be thrown together again and we'd ignite.

It's just . . . so depressing. "Depressing" is too happy a word for it, I sometimes even think. You know, you say, "Gee I'm depressed" and people go, "Oh, go have some chocolate," and you just want to hit them. What the hell would they know about it? They haven't been getting back up only to be knocked down again for half their life. Okay, a third of their life, but still. I'm walking wounded.

I feel like I've been living in a bubble of my own making. I just keep coming back to "What were you thinking?" What was I thinking all those times I went to his office after shift, so sure that this time would be different? What was I thinking that time that I tried to kiss him? God, he nearly pushed me through the next wall, he shoved so hard to get away from me. What was I thinking, dating Hank under the completely insane delusion that it would make Grissom jealous? All I got was a nasty blow to the ego and one dirty look from Grissom that may not have had anything to do with it.

Without me
His world would go on turning
A world that's full of happiness
That I have never known

I thought I was happy for a while. When I first came here, he was so nice. So like the old Grissom. "Sara, what do you think?" "Come here, Sara, I need help with an experiment." Catherine even told me that once he made a joke about loving his job after I asked him to tape me up to replicate a crime.

Then he changed. I don't know exactly when it started, but I looked up one day and Grissom wasn't my friend anymore. He's certainly not my friend now. I just don't get it. One day he's sending me a plant (not the most romantic gesture, but a giant leap for Grissom) and the next he's doing everything he can to get me assigned away from him every night.

If I left today, I don't know if he'd even notice. He's probably say something like, "Where's Sara?" and one of the team would tell him I left and he'd say, "Oh. Just like her to not give notice, isn't it?" Probably the same thing if I died!

Not that I want to die. I certainly don't. I love living. The problem is that right now I just don't enjoy life. It's kind of like the distinction between "love" and "in love" you hear so much about from divorced people.

Can't I just fast-forward ten years or so? One way or the other this whole Grissom thing would be settled. Maybe we'd be married (hah!). Maybe I'd be back in Boston finishing my masters. Hell, maybe I'd be back with mom and dad running the B&B. I don't care where he goes in this fast-forward fantasy. The key is that wherever he is, my feelings for him are dead.

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own.

That's what it keeps coming down to, though. I do love him, and no matter how hard I try, I can't stop. But if I were to dare act like it in front of him . . . damn, all hell would break loose. He'd probably drop dead trying to run away from me.

But I love him so much. How do you stop loving someone who doesn't love you back? Eponine gets around that problem in Les Mis. She dies ferrying a letter from him to the girl that rat bastard threw her over for. I'm sorry, but I could just never do that. The dying part or the letter-ferrying part. God, if Grissom gets a girlfriend, or gets married . . .? Maybe that would be better. Then I'd know that he was completely out of my reach, and maybe then I could start to move on.

So that's why I'm here tonight, walking. I think there are a few tears running down my face, but I don't really care. After all, I'm alone out here. On my own.