Most of the characters and situations in this story belong to Alliance Atlantis, CBS, Anthony Zuicker and other entities, and I do not have permission to borrow them. No infringement is intended in any way, and this story is not for profit. Any errors are mine, all mine, no you can't have any.

Feedback is most appreciated, feel free to post; if you want a personal response you can e-mail me.

Spoilers: none

Okay, this is something like a songfic, I suppose. Bonus points if you can figure out which song it is! Yes, there are a couple of really obscure hints, and no, I didn't misplace the apostrophe on the name of the restaurant (perish the thought!). But that joke is so obscure as to be nearly impenetrable.

Otherwise, this is just a vignette. Basically, I wrote it just because, like "Three Small Spheres and Four", it turned up in my head and wouldn't go away.

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"It's almost midnight," he said, grinning, and she had already noticed that every time she smiled he smiled back, as though he couldn't help it.

"So? I don't have any classes until one tomorrow." She finished the coffee in her cup, wondering briefly how many times it had been refilled since they'd sat down.

He raised a brow at her, but the grin ruined the adult look he was trying to assume. "Well...my next lecture's not until noon."

"There you go." She toasted him with the empty mug.

"So...it's a lovely night..." he went on, and she waited, puzzled. This was an abrupt change from the highly scientific discussion that he'd interrupted with a glance at his watch. "What do you say we get some sandwiches to go and take them back to the quad?"

She glanced out the window. Daniels' Diner was lit up inside and out, but she could just make out the moon sailing high above the parking lot, and she knew the outside air was warm and sweet with spring. "Sounds like a plan."

A passing siren pulled Sara out of memory, and she shifted on her stool, weary to her bones. Normally after a double shift she would go straight home in search of sleep, but when she'd emerged from the lab into the chill of a wet gray morning, her stomach had decided to hold her backbone ransom for food...and here she was.

She looked up from the remains of her pancakes as the thin man behind the counter approached, and pushed her cup forward a little. He began to pour, but halfway through he looked over her shoulder and smiled. He set the pot down, but as Sara opened her mouth he hastened down the counter to the end so that he could greet the elderly woman who was closing her umbrella at the door. They kissed each other's cheeks and began talking in rapid French, and Sara shrugged, picked up the pot, and finished filling her cup herself.

The scent of rain that had come in with the woman dissipated quickly amid odors of toast and frying meat. The air was a bit stuffy, but it was warm, and Sara appreciated warmth a great deal. Somehow the dry desert cold bit into her worse than San Francisco's clammy fogs.

She popped open a tiny carton of half-and-half and doctored her coffee, watching it turn from ebony brown to a milder color, and took a sip, then reached for the newspaper she'd brought in with her. She skipped past the headlines, the latest global atrocities and the Hollywood death of someone whose name she didn't even recognize, and found the horoscope, which she read just to laugh at. "Keep a low profile and don't push the wrong buttons. Indiscretions could be revealed. Put off new projects for a few days." Sure thing. I'll just tell Grissom I can't take on any new cases until next week.

Sara turned a page, hunting for the comics, and felt the subtle scalp-crinkle that told her someone was watching her. Looking up at the mirror behind the counter, she saw a woman she didn't recognize staring in through the window at her, and frowned. Tall, about forty...nobody I know.

Then she realized that the woman was actually looking at her reflection in the window, apparently oblivious to the rain dripping off the awning and onto her head. Sara glanced down again as the woman raised her skirt hem a few inches to mess with her nylons. Find a restroom, lady!

She yawned. Her stomach was full and she was getting sleepy, but she really didn't want to go back outside just yet. Sometimes I get so tired of the rain. It wasn't as common here in the desert as it was in other places she'd lived, but rain was rarely a CSI's friend, and right now it just felt depressing. And she knew by its steady fall that it would be there all day. Well, it's day shift's problem now.

Sara sighed tiredly and took another swallow of coffee. A faint deep chiming rose over the hum of conversation and rattle of cutlery, and Vegas' ever-present slot machines. Church bells...it must be nine o'clock. Hey, if I get back to the car in time, maybe I can catch KKEZ's Train lineup. She grinned, folded the paper, and emptied her cup. Maybe they'll play "When I Look to the Sky."

For an instant, as she handed the cashier her check, a laughing argument over a bill years paid drifted through her head. Grissom won that one...but only because I let him.

A faint smile touched her mouth, fading as she bent to pick up her umbrella. Time to go.

She headed out into the rain.

End.