Chapter Eleven: A Simple Thanks

Greg sat down with a heavy sigh, his head dropping down as he brought his hands up, running them through his hair, still wet from the shower he had taken before coming in. If he had known that he would be leaving again so quickly, he wouldn't have bothered.

Crossing his arms atop his knees, Greg stared at the ground, his mind bombarded with thoughts. Did he just do what he thought he did? Did he just take the blame for everything? His mind worked over the last few moments as he nodded in conformation to himself.

He tried to think over exactly why he had done so, tried to reason with himself in an attempt find a motive for his actions. Sure, he liked Sara, he liked her a lot, but did that alone prompt him to take the fall? Twenty one days was a long time; even so Greg considered himself lucky that Ecklie didn't fire him on the spot. It wouldn't surprise Greg if he was reconsidering it right now.

He rubbed his arms slowly, embracing himself tightly as he coughed a few times, the pain still evident in his chest and ribs. Pursing his lips together firmly he lifted his head, staring at the locker in front of him. With another sigh, he reached up, opening it.

The door swung open slowly, as Greg stared for a minute at the contents inside. He looked up quickly as someone paused in the doorway to find Grissom watching him. As soon as he made eye contact with him, the older man motioned to him.

"Come see me in my office," Grissom told him, already turning to leave.

"Griss," Greg stood up quickly, one hand still resting on the door. "I was just leaving, honest. I know I should have been out of here earlier…I got a bit distracted, I'm sorry," he apologized easily. The last thing he needed now was another lecture. Not only that, he was afraid of exactly what Grissom would tell him. Ecklie wouldn't fire him directly, it wasn't his way. He would send someone else to do it for him; that was what Greg was afraid of.

"Greg," Grissom cut him off, nodding to him still, "my office."

Greg bit his lip as Grissom left, waiting behind for a moment. There wasn't anyway he could avoid it. Cursing himself inwardly, Greg turned back to his locker. He should have been out of here nearly thirty minutes ago; there wasn't any reason for him to stick around. He shook his head, closing the door after realizing there was nothing inside he really needed.

After a moment of consideration, Greg decided that it would be best if he took the quickest route to Grissom's office. He couldn't stop it, so it would be better to get it over with. He ignored the few people that looked his way, somehow knowing what was on their minds, and instead kept his head held high even though the gnawing feeling was still in the pit, and growing stronger by the second.

Grissom's door was open, making the choice of whether to knock or not easy for him. He stopped right inside the door there, not saying anything as he watched Grissom search through his files. It took him a moment to realize that Greg was standing there, but when he did, he waved him in, telling him to close the door on his way.

Greg did as he was instructed, still not liking any of it as he sat down, his eyes level with the top of his boss' desk. Grissom let out a sigh as he closed the filing cabinet, looking back up at him. "You know Greg; it isn't our responsibility to cover for other team members when they make a mistake."

Greg's eyes snapped up, focusing on him. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said quickly. Perhaps a little too quickly.

Grissom raised his hand, stopping him from saying anything else. "Sara's told me everything."

Greg bit his bottom lip as he raised an eyebrow. "Everything?"

Grissom nodded, "About the car, the cliff, the river…the cave."

Greg grimaced, frowning after a moment. "What makes you believe her word over mine?"

Grissom shook his head, laughing a little. "Honestly? Because I expect something like this out of her, not you."

Greg gave him a small shrug, grimacing at the same time. He really had to stop doing that. Instead he looked down, his fingers running the length of the arm rest as the silence stretched on.

"So…" Greg broke the silence looking back up. "What happens now?"

"I've talked with Ecklie," Grissom started off, stopping when Greg shook his head.

"You move fast," he commented, becoming quiet in order to let him finish.

"Your suspension has been knocked down to one week, for lying. It was the shortest I could get it."

"I can't complain," Greg confessed. "I thought for sure Ecklie was going to have me fired. A week is nothing."

"You won't get fired," Grissom reassured him.

Greg nodded slowly, feeling a little better now. "What about Sara?"

"Don't worry about her. Go home, rest up. It's too early for you to be back here anyways."

Greg nodded, pushing himself to his feet. He found himself back in the locker room again, although he wasn't sure why. Sitting for a moment he thought things over again. With his suspension now cut down to a single week, things didn't seem as bad. But how hard had Sara gotten it? How long was she gone for, three weeks like it had been for him? Longer even? Or was she gone for good?

"Thinking?"

Greg glanced up, his face passive as he watched her from the doorway. After a few seconds, he nodded. "Yeah actually."

Sara walked in slowly, her small purse clutched in her hands in front of her. She sat down on the end of the bench a good several inches away from him. "You're not mad are you?"

Greg raised an eyebrow, turning towards her. "Why would I be?"

"Because it must have taken a lot of courage for you to stand up like that, and not only that, Ecklie now knows that you're capable of lying," Sara rambled off, growing quiet towards the end.

"Forget Ecklie," Greg told her, laughing softly. "How are you doing?"

She shrugged, dropping her purse down on the bench next to her. "As good as I can I gather. What about you?"

"I'm only gone for a week now."

Sara nodded, "I heard," she smiled as he looked up. "I have my sources, you're still a newbie."

"Thanks," Greg rolled his eyes, "How long are you gone?"

"Two," she admitted without hesitation.

"How come you only got two? I mean, Ecklie wanted to give me three at first, or does that come along with being a newbie too?"

Sara laughed, "Believe me Greg, Ecklie wanted to give me four weeks, but Grissom talked him down to only two."

Greg nodded, starting to stand, "Well, I…we should probably be out of here."

Sara caught his arm, pulling him back down. "I never really thanked you for what you did," Sara told him.

Greg shook her off, "You don't have to," he started, only to be cut off as Sara leaned in, capturing his lips in her own.

The kiss lasted but a second, and when Sara pulled back, Greg blushed, grinning as he did so. "Well, on the second thought, you can thank me all you want."

Sara gave him a small smile, patting him on the shoulder as she stood, grabbing her purse on the way. "I'll see you in a few weeks," she told him, walking out the door.

Greg watched her leave, a smirk on his face. He was slightly disappointed that he was suspended for only a week. That meant he would have to wait another whole week until Sara got back. That also meant he would end up with Grissom or Sophia, and knowing Grissom, he would probably be working with Sophia.

He frowned at that thought; maybe he could take some vacation time until she got back. With that thought, Greg let out a sigh, waiting for a second longer before leaving the room. If he hurried, he might be able to catch Sara in the parking lot before she left.

The End


Wheee! Another story finished, I may do a sequel for this, still thinking about it. I have a few ideas I could play with.

A major thanks to all my wonderful reviewers, and thanks for sticking with me through the story. I enjoy reading all your comments!

Puddleduck:

Ecklie is…Ecklie. There is no other way to describe him, although you did a very good job of doing so. Twenty one days is a long time, yes, Greg may go crazy being gone that long.

witchbsword:

Lol! Go right ahead! I don't mind, Ecklie's not on my favorite list anyways.

Mellaithwen:

Wow…stay away from Mellaithwen when she's venting, right? -Shields Greg and Sara and…wait, Ecklie can defend himself. –shields Greg and Sara from rants-

wdbydoglvr:

I'm glad you like all my stories so far! This is last chapter here for this story, like I said, I may post a sequel. I'll wait and see.

CSIchick

I'm a greg/sara shipper too, I have to admit I wasn't at first, but I grew used to the idea, and now I can't stand seeing them not together. :D

Sillie

Wouldn't it be nice to have a guy like Greg around? 100 pure gentleman, huh?

Ashley's Ace:

Thanks for all your comments!

Unlikely-to-bear-it:

Your name always makes me think of Unbearable for some reason. Lol. We all hate Ecklie…don't we?

LuvinNickyStokes:

Don't we all? My boss is somewhat like Greg, so it's pretty cool working with her. We get along really well and give each other a load of crap every day, lol, so totally not like Ecklie. Which I am thankful for of course.

Dee

Yes, Greg is a wonderful, loving person. Thanks for your comments!

Jenny70529:

I love reading your comments, they're always…so fun to read!

You honestly have (err, had) a boss like Ecklie? My boss is nearly opposite of him, more like a Greg, just opposite gender.

My job is really physically demanding most of the time. Had hardly anything today, but it was a bit of a down side, I got some chemical solution in my eye and nearly drowned trying to wash it out. We don't wear hand or eye protection anymore, haven't for a long time, we don't even have hand/eye protection anymore, and they took out our eye wash station, so we had to become creative. We used an empty coffee pot, filled it with cold water while I leaned over the sink backwards, and flushed it out really well. Downside of that was I ended up looking like a drowned rat the rest of the day.

I live in Washington, so it doesn't get to hot all the time, it gets pretty bad in the summers sometimes, we just have to put up with it. It's an old lab, I swear, I don't know what's holding it together half the time.

Your job sounds stressful, but at least you get a change of location, different scenery, all that jazz stuff. But it's a job none the less, right?

Daisyangel

My next story, if I do decide to post it, may turn out as a Greg/Sara. I had to have Greg do something, and I felt that was the best.

witchazel:

Sara probably would go crazy, although Greg might as well too, 21 days is a long, long time. Thanks for all your comments!

lins:

And so it ends…for now! Love reading your comments, thanks for sticking with me all the way!