Author's note: This is a response to the Elemental Challenge over at YTDAW. I hope you all enjoy it!

Spoilers: Butterflied

Disclaimer: Not mine, unfortunately!

It was pouring. So much rain, and all on a night when tears streamed down her face. It was like the sky could read her mind, and was crying along with her.

She drove down the isolated dirt road, mud splashing up around her wet tires. The wipers worked furiously against the torrent of rain that splashed against the windshield. Sara knew she should pull over, or turn around, but she had to keep going. At least until she found a hotel, or something.

She was running away. Sara didn't openly admit it to herself, but she was. She was running from everything. The pain, the job, the loneliness, the rejection, but most of all, she was running from him. He had meant everything to her, but with one word had managed to crush her. She had managed this long, barely, and it wasn't until recently that she realized she just couldn't take anymore.

She wiped at a few stray tears as she remembered the words he had said as he sat in the interrogation room, voicing a confession of his own. Two words had haunted her ever since they had slipped out of his mouth, night and day bringing her down more and more.

"I couldn't...," his voice echoed for the millionth time inside her head.

Fresh tears fell down her face. She didn't bother with them. She was through. Sara was ready to find a place where she could hide and slowly forget Las Vegas... and Gil Grissom.

Her eyes focused on a light in the distance. Its neon lights blinked on and off, but the smaller sign below it read 'vacancy' in curvy pink letters. She sighed as she stepped on the gas and made her way towards the motel.

Sara pulled into the parking lot, which was nothing more then a patch of mud in front of a worn, dreary building. It was one story, its walls a faded white. Only one other car sat in the lot, and Sara's guess was it probably belonged to whoever sat in the front office, where she could see a dim light shining through the dusty windows.

Sara jumped out of her car and ran to the office. Rain fell around her as she made her way to the building. She pulled open the door, and went in.

A small greasy man sat behind the desk, his head buried in the latest issue of Playboy. He chuckled softly before looking up. The magazine was out of sight as soon as he met Sara's eyes. His chubby cheeks turned a deep shade of red as he pushed back his bangs with one hand and pushed himself up with the other. He smiled.

"It has some entertaining anecdotes," he explained hurriedly.

Sara just smiled and nodded her head.

"Well, ummm, how may I help you?" he asked.

Sara patted down her wet hair and walked further into the office, up to the desk. She set her hands on its chipping surface.

"Can I get a room, please?"

The man nodded, and turned around. He took a key from its cubby and handed it to Sara. She raised an eyebrow as she stared down at the key card, then looked around the unkempt office.

"Yeah, I changed the locks during a boom in business. Thought I'd finally get to fix this dump up. It figures we'd lose business right afterwards."

He shrugged and sat back down. Sara nodded as she walked out of the office. She ran down the saturated walkway to Room 10. Quickly, she slid the key into the slot and waited for the green light to blink. Nothing happened. She tried again. Still, nothing. Sara groaned and tried different ways before giving up and turning back towards the office.

She started walking, the rain no longer bothering her. Lightning flickered brightly in the distance, and thunder rolled lethargically across the sky. Suddenly, Sara felt as if she wasn't alone.

She was right.

"Excuse me, miss?"

Sara jumped and spun around. Her pager flew off her belt loop and smashed against the wall, shattering in half and landing in a puddle at the base of the wall. She dropped to the ground to gather her broken pager as she stared up at the stranger.

His hair hung down in his face, hanging in dripping strands. His dark clothes clung to his body, like demons clinging to his soul. Slowly, he lifted a hand and brushed away drops of rain from his face. Lightning flashed again and caught something that caught the light on his face.

"I'm sorry; I didn't mean to scare you."

"It's, uh... it's ok. It happens," Sara said as she stood up, shoving the pieces of her pager into her pocket. She met his eyes, well eye. As she looked at his face she realized that an obviously glass eyeball sat in his left socket. It had a magnetic pull, she couldn't help but stare.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

The man leaned a little closer, and the glass eye seemed to glow, despite the lack of light around them. He grinned.

"No, but I can help you. I saw a man, he misses you terribly. He's made a mistake, and he's looking for you now. You need to see him, you need each other."

"Grissom? He's here?" asked Sara, looking around.

"Not here, in Vegas. I could feel his pain. It radiates just as strong as yours."

Sara huffed, and nodded. She looked to her car and saw the LVMPD parking tag hanging from her rearview mirror. She laughed and turned back to the man.

But the man was gone.

Sara looked around. No one was in sight. She hadn't heard a door close. Sara shrugged her shoulders and with one more look around, continued towards the office.

She pushed open the door and walked up to the desk. The man looked up and smiled again.

"Back so soon?" he asked cheerfully.

"Uh, my key doesn't work," said Sara, handing him the key.

The man took the key and studied, then shook his head.

"Damn teenagers," he mumbled, "Last week we had a group of teens in that room. Didn't pay, must of thought it would be funny to demagnetize the key too. Let me get you a different key."

Sara stood still for a moment, then shook her head.

"No, I think I'm gonna head back home," she said quietly.

"What, you regret picking this dump?" the man said jokingly.

"No. I don't have any regrets. Doubts about what I've done, but no regrets."

The man stared at her, but Sara kept talking, more to herself then him.

"After all, running away may not have been my best idea, but... I learned that I have unfinished business. I have a second chance. For him, and for me. I... I need to get back to Vegas."

Sara nodded once, then headed for the door. Her hand touched the handle, but she stopped and turned around.

"Sir, do you know who the man who is staying here is? I'd like to thank him."

The man shook his head, "Sorry lady, you're the only one here. And trust me, I'd know if there was anyone else."

Sara's jaw dropped. She shook her head and walked out the door to her car. As soon as she was in, though, she pushed it to the back of her mind. There would be time to think about it later. Now, though, she had to get back to Las Vegas... and Grissom. She had to make things right. No more running away. She just hoped it wasn't too late for her second chance.