Disclaimer: CSI isn't mine, it might be one day – but not right now.

Summary: Grissom, Sara, Brass and Nick investigate a series of murders – and the case becomes personal, eventually affecting the whole night shift.

A/N: Later in this story we'll get more of the details of the case our CSI's are working, which some of you who have seen the movie Emmett's Mark may recognise (those who haven't seen it – you should, its really good!).  The movie didn't really focus on the case but I thought it was a good idea so I ran with it. I want to thank Ash and Amorith for being my awesome beta readers!

Chapter 1

Sara sighed loudly, though how loudly it actually was, was unknown to her because of the headphones she wore and the loud, repetitive beat that blared even more loudly into her mind. It was a good distraction – keeping the bad thoughts away as she tried desperately to focus on the computer screen in front of her. Unconsciously, she began to mumble the words to the tune under her breath – raising the amused eyebrows of her two co-workers who sat at other workstations behind her.

Nick grinned and cast a quick glance over to Grissom, whose lips grew tight in the struggle not to giggle.  "She doesn't even know she does it – it helps her focus," Nick felt the need to explain to Grissom, who merely raised his right eyebrow higher than the other and nodded – he already knew why she did it.

Suddenly the quiet mumbling stopped as she let out a quick sigh of frustration. She searched the pile of folders surrounding her but apparently couldn't find what she was looking for.  Nick grinned at her again, but looked quickly down at the report he was writing – not wanting her to catch him.  Grissom's head was also tilted down, but his eyes were still focussed on the frustrated brunette – the smile still tugging at his lips.  It wasn't that it was funny that she was frustrated – it was just that she was so oblivious as to how loud she was being in the otherwise silent room – how oblivious she was to the fact she was being watched.

She jerked her head towards him then, and he quickly looked back at his own work in front of him – but she wasn't looking at him, he realised, when he sneaked another look at her.  She'd spotted the pile of folders on the table behind her and was just moving over to them when the cord of her headphones snapped tight – unable to be pulled any further away from the computer they were plugged into. She was jerked back into her seat, an earphone escaping her ear – an embarrassed grin immediately emerging on her face.

That was it. A bubble of laugher escaped him from inside; sudden and loud, but quickly under control almost as soon as it had happened.  She snapped her head towards him, her grin spread into an open-mouthed smile as she raised her eyebrow at him.

Nick also lifted his head at the sudden outburst from Grissom; a bewildered expression crossed his own features as he looked between his two colleagues.  "Alright," he said, "what did I miss?" He turned towards Grissom who looked back at Sara.

"Nothing!" she said to Nick, though she was glaring at Grissom. 

In reaction to the glare she sent him, Grissom raised his hands in defence, "I didn't say anything! Nor will I, if I value my life!"

"Value your life!" Sara pointed a finger at him and then smiled sweetly.

Nick scrunched his eyebrows together, "What?"

"Don't worry Nicky," Sara grinned at him and started rifling through the pile of folders behind her.

Nick looked back at Grissom, who had also gone back to his work. He shook his head, too tired to even begin to try and guess what he had missed.  It was late – Cath and Warrick were the only two working a scene. The three of them were all on call – finishing off their paperwork. He sighed and rubbed his eyes.  This is torture, he thought.  He stood up dramatically, causing Grissom and Sara to glance over at him.

"I'm going to see what Greg's up to," he announced to them and practically ran out of the room.

Sara glanced back at Grissom, meeting his gaze. She grinned at him before turning back to the computer and trying to concentrate on the word document in front of her. The words swam in front of her – she closed her eyes quickly and rolled her neck from side to side, once again oblivious to the crystal blue eye's watching her from behind.

"Okay," she sighed, more to herself than Grissom, "I think I'm finally done… just need to print it off, get your signature and file… Hey Gris?" she turned around and met his gaze once again.  He lifted an eyebrow at her. "Where's the printer?"

Grissom's eyebrow's came together in a frown and then straightened out as he found the right memory, "Oh! It broke down. Actually I need someone to install the new one…"

"Someone?" she asked, inwardly groaning at the inevitable task before her.

"Yeah… you don't have to Sara, I can get someone else to do it later."

She rolled her eyes, "Yes, but I want my report finished noooow" she whined.

He smiled a little smile, "Well I guess you'll just have to install it then – because I can't, I'm not great with that stuff."

"What stuff? Technology? Surely you jest!" she said sarcastically and grinned at him, "where's the new one?"

"My office – doors unlocked, help yourself," he watched her leave the room, passing Brass with a bright 'hey!' just outside the door, before walking down the hall.  He shifted his attention towards Brass as the detective made his way into the room.

"Got one with your name written all over it Gil!" he said happily, motioning Grissom to follow him out into the hall.

His interest piqued, Grissom obediently followed Brass down the hall while the detective explained to him what the case was. 

Soon they reached Grissom's office, finding Sara snooping around the various cupboards.  As she turned towards them, she pulled the box with the new printer out of the cupboard and sat it on the desk.  She raised her eyebrows expectantly, almost excitably, "We got one?"

"Yep! Lets go," he said, a hint of amusement underlying his voice.

"Should I grab Nick?"

"No, he and Greg can hold down the fort until we get back," he answered, knowing how annoyed Nick was going to be at himself for leaving the lab to visit Greg.

"Oookay," Sara said, grinning a little at his slightly sadistic nature, "I'll drive!"


There were many emotions that usually ran through her body when she arrived at a crime scene, and sometimes they were different. Two emotions, however, were always the same – always there. Rage and sadness. She breathed in deeply and closed her eyes as she slowly exhaled – mentally readying herself for the emotional detachment that she would have to endure for however long this case proved to last.  Turning off the car, she unbuckled and, grabbing her field kit as she went, exited the vehicle and began the small hike off the road and into the desert.  The park the body had been found in was protected, and hence no vehicles that weren't absolutely necessary were to stay on the side of the road. She strode along beside Grissom, heading for the small array of people gathered a small distance away.

"So, Brass said bugs eh?" she asked him, but only for the simple point of making conversation.

Grissom nodded, "Yep," he sighed, every so often looking up from his feet and towards their destination.

Sara rolled her eyes at the lack of vocabulary Grissom seemed to have these days and looked up at the stars.  She was about to comment on how clear the night sky was when she felt her foot catch on something – unbalancing her and causing her to lurch forward. She flung her arms out to steady herself as Grissom reached out instinctively to grab her, hauling her back upright by her arm and waist. 

"Whoa!" Sara grunted quietly as they came to an abrupt stop.  She grinned at him, "Thanks!"

Grissom looked at her incredulously, "Are you okay Sara?"

"Of course!" She said, missing the underlying concern in his voice.

"No, I don't mean… I mean – this is the second time tonight that you've…"

"What? Made an ass of myself?" She laughed, and began walking towards their crime scene again, pulling lightly on his sleeve to urge him into motion again. "Maybe it's an omen that I should have stayed in bed!"