By Jess

Summary: A bittersweet response to the Christmas challenge on CSI-GrissomSara group.

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, because if I did things would be a hell of a lot different.

She gently turned the small gift over and over in her hands. Striped red and green wrapping paper with golf flecks flashed at her, her eyes resting on the label stick in the top right corner.

To Grissom. From Sara.

That was all it said. All she could think of writing.

Sighing, Sara placed the gift on the bench and reached into the locker. Shift was over. All her cases were closed, and as much as she didn't want to go home to her empty apartment, she didn't want to be here either.

Buttoning the last button off her coat, she grabbed her purse and shut the locker. She looked down at Grissom's gift, a twisted smile on her face. She wasn't sure why she had gotten it for him. She saw him every day, but since Ecklie had broken up the team, she rarely 'saw' him. He worked with Sophia. She mentored Greg. He gave her assignments. They passed each other in the hall and at the morgue. Playful banter, a common thirst for knowledge, was gone. Had been for awhile. And now, Nick, Warrick and Catherine were on another shift entirely. Life moved on. Whether she wanted it to or not.

Sara picked up the gift and stroked the label. She had bought him a Christmas gift for the last ten years. Old habits die hard, she mused and opened the locker room door. Immediately, her ears were bombarded with laughter and Jessica Simpson's rendition of Rockin' around the Christmas tree. Looking at the break room, she smiled at the holiday decorations that were strewn about. Catherine had dragged Lindsey to help decorate the room last weekend. Sara's smile widened as she remembered helping Nick and Warrick spray fake snow on the windows. Her smile faltered. God she missed them.

Greg had moved his stereo from the lab into the room and had been forcing Christmas music on the building for the last two days. Looking in, she saw him talking animatedly to Mia. The new label tech was laughing. Greg shook his head causing the bells on his red and green hat to jingle wildly. He began to dance to the song, causing the lab tech to laugh harder.

"Oh, come on, Santa."

Sara followed Sophia's voice to the break rooms table. She watched the woman sit on the edge of it and hand a mug to someone. Fake snow blocked Sara's view of the person Sophia was talking to but the rich, timbre laugh that followed suit informed her of who it was.

Sara ducked her head and walked past the room, silently willing none of the occupants to see her. She stopped briefly at Grissom's office and placed the gift on his table. She looked at the unsigned papers scattered across the desk and smiled.

Moving out of his office, Sara heard him laugh again and flinched at the sound. Sophia was able to make him laugh twice in the last five minutes. How long had it been since she had even been able to make the man smile? Give it up, Sidle, she reprimanded herself. Go home and stop torturing yourself.

She walked quickly past the break room and headed for the exit. She nodded to the dayshift receptionist. "Have a great holiday, Sara," the young woman called.

"Ho, ho, ho," Sara replied and flashed her a smile before walking into the cold December air. A happy holiday indeed.