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.

I did, however, mention a couple of others in passing. May those to whom they belong forgive me. (evil grin)

This is in response to an improv challenge at the Unbound forums; the first and last lines were given, and the word limit is 1,000.

Spoilers: general fourth season


"It was an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini..." Nick started singing when Sara entered the break room. She rolled her eyes and whapped him lightly on the head with the folder she held.

"Practice on your own time, Stokes. Geez, this competition has everybody thinking they can sing."

"That's the beauty of karaoke--you don't have to be able to sing." Nick grinned up at her. "So...what are you singing?"

Sara collapsed into a chair, scoffing. "Nothing. There's no way I'm getting up in front of a crowd of half-drunk criminalists and cops. I don't care what the prize is."

"A two-week paid vacation in the Bahamas," Nick retorted dreamily. "C'mon, Sara, two weeks on the could stretch out in the sand and drink Mai Tais."

"Sunburned and bored out of my mind." Sara opened the folder and began reading.

"Okay, then." Nick grabbed the folder, evading her snatch for it. "What's your ideal vacation?"

She eyed him, gauging the distance between herself and the folder. "Guess."

Warrick strolled in, and Nick reached over his own head and handed Warrick the folder in a easy move. Warrick took it smoothly as he headed for the coffee machine. "A forensics seminar," Nick said.

"Nope." Sara settled back, folding her arms and apparently biding her time. "You in the Labor Day karaoke contest, Warrick?"

He poured himself coffee. "Oh yeah. The rest of you can bow out now. I'm planning on Christmas on the beach."

Nick chuckled at Warrick's cheerful arrogance, and Sara raised a brow. "Really? Who are you taking along?"

Nick hooted, and Warrick smirked. "Wouldn't you like to know." He set down his cup and made a show of opening the folder, only to have Catherine neatly remove it as she breezed in.

"Shove over," she commanded, nudging him, and he slid aside. "No work allowed, shift hasn't started yet." She stuck the folder under her arm as she reached for the coffee pot.

"You're entering the karaoke contest, aren't you, Catherine?" Warrick picked up his coffee and took a sip. Catherine gave him a blank look.

"What karaoke contest?"

"The LVPD is sponsoring a contest at this year's Labor Day picnic," Sara explained dryly. "How'd you miss the flyers?"

"More to the point, how did you miss Greg practicing?" Grissom asked from the doorway, and Catherine snorted.

"And this is different from his normal behavior how?"

Grissom tilted his head, agreeing, and moved to sit. "For some reason the Sheriff has decided to replace the traditional softball game with karaoke. One may hope that the entries will be bad enough that he'll reinstate the game next year."

"Amen," Catherine said fervently, taking the chair next to him. "I've never actually heard a good karaoke performance. No, that's not quite true," she corrected herself. "Last time I was in Chicago I saw some guy do an amazing version of 'Kissing a Fool.' You should have seen him, Sara," and Catherine looked across the table, her grin feminine and a bit naughty. "He was gorgeous. Big, dark, exotic, stunning mouth...and a voice to die for."

"Yeah?" Sara grinned. "And?"

Catherine sighed. "He was singing to this tall woman at the bar. Totally absorbed."

"His loss," Nick teased. He saw Sara's gaze fix on the folder, now on the table, and began to reach for it, but Grissom leaned over and slid it towards himself. Warrick snickered at Nick's missed grab, and sat.

"If we could get to business..." Grissom suggested, and they settled down, though Sara kept an eye on the folder. "Catherine, update us on the Campbell case, please."

Halfway through Catherine's report, Nick saw Sara reaching slowly for her folder, which Grissom had put next to those he'd brought in with him, but just as her hand neared it, Grissom picked it up and stacked it with the others without so much as glancing in her direction. Nick suppressed a chortle at her frustration.

"All right," Grissom said, as Catherine finished. "Go ahead and pick up where you left off with that; get Greg to help you. Warrick, O'Reilly wants you at the Kingdom; he says he needs your expertise. Nick, Sara, nothing for you yet; I suggest you get caught up on any paperwork you have pending. Things will probably pick up later."

They all stood, and Grissom shuffled through his folders, handing Sara one without comment. She took it, her lips curling in a small, smug grin, and strode out. Nick followed her down the hall and into the supply room, where she began hunting through the latex glove shelf. "Why do they never stock enough in my size?" she demanded as Nick leaned against the door frame.

"You never did tell me what your ideal vacation was, Sidle," he said, folding his arms and deciding that his high chance of getting the folder away from her in such tight quarters was outweighed by the mess they would make as she fought him for it.

"It involves a house in Oakland, a hammock, and a plum tree, and that's all I'm going to tell you," she replied, standing on tiptoes to reach a box at the back of the shelf.

"Sounds...quiet," he offered, and Sara grinned again.

"That's the point. Here." She tossed him two boxes of gloves. "Would you do me a favor and put those with my kit? I still need more print powder."

"Sure." Nick backed out of the doorway and turned to go back the way he'd come. He got about five yards before footsteps sounded behind him, but he was too late in turning; all he saw was Sara looking around before closing the door smartly, and Nick heard the click of the lock as she threw it from the inside. Puzzled, Nick went the other way, towards Ballistics.

"Hey, Bobby," he said, seeing the weapons expert standing near the lab window. "Did you see who just passed by?"

"Sure did." Bobby told him, and Nick's jaw dropped.