DISCLAIMER – Not mine. Belong to Anthony Zuiker, et al, CBS and Alliance Atlantis.
A/N - This story is a sequel to From the Inside. So it'll make more sense if you read that first.
Grissom finally returned to his office at 11.30. He'd pulled a double going over a triple homicide, going over the crime scene getting every bit of evidence possible. Opening the door, he saw a piece of paper on the desk. It had the official LVPD/CSI letterhead and save for three lines, was blank.
His heart froze in his chest. Almost instinctively he knew what it was. He had to force himself to walk the two yards to his desk. With a trembling hand he picked up the paper.
To Dr Gil Grissom,
As of the above date, I resign.
Sara Sidle CSI 3
No explanations, no apologies. She was simply gone. He saw the document sized envelope next. He opened it and upended it onto his desk. It had contained her badge, cell phone, lab ID and the keys to her locker. He picked up the ID. The young woman smiling out at him looked so happy and confident.
Thinking back, he wasn't able to come up with a single time in the past two years when she'd looked that content. The last time he'd seen her was the previous night when he'd handed her her assignment, before leaving for his triple homicide.
An old song came to mind. Elvis Presley's "You Were Always On My Mind". And she was. Now as he looked at the note in his hands, the words of the song were all the more meaningful. "Maybe I didn't treat you…Quite as good as I should have…Maybe I didn't love you…Quite as often as I could have…Little things I should have said and done…I just never took the time".
Taking her keys from his desk, he hurried to the locker room. His hands were still shaking as he unlocked and opened the door to her locker. All her personal effects were gone. The only things left were her flack-jacket, bulletproof vest and overalls.
Fishing out his cell, he punched her speed dial number. He let the connection ring out before pushing the End button on the cell.
He took out his keys, and rushed from the building, paperwork all but forgotten.
Driving like a madman, he pushed his Denali to the limit getting to her apartment, though he knew deep down that she wouldn't be there.
Pulling up to the complex, he saw a moving van out the front. Racing to her apartment he saw two burly men man-handling a sofa through the door. A little breathless he asked, "Where is all this stuff being taken?"
"Local Red Cross."
Suspiciously he asked, "All of it?"
The other guy nodded, "Yeah, I guess she got married and decided she didn't want none of her stuff no more."
Nodding absentmindedly Grissom walked slowly back to his truck. Sitting behind the wheel he thought, 'Not married. Leaving everything behind, to start again. Away from him.'
Driving back to the lab, he thought back on the many things he could have done differently. The top of his list was at least admitting to her face that ye, he did have romantic feelings toward her. Yes, he was afraid, but he'd work on it, THEY'D work on it together. Pulling up at the lab, he knew he needed to inform Ecklie of what had happened. Damn, he really couldn't stand that guy.
With resolute steps he made his way through the corridors to the supervisors office. Unsurprisingly Catherine was there having a very animated conversation with the little worm.
Knocking politely he entered at the curt nod. Catherine rose to leave. "No stay, you need to hear this too."
Surprise flashed across her face as she re-took her seat.
'No use beating around the bush," he thought, so he simply stated. "We need to find a replacement for Sara Sidle. As of this morning, she has resigned her position at this lab."
Having said what he needed to, Grissom walked from the room and back to his office.
Catherine and Ecklie sat in stunned silence. After a short while, a smile spread across Ecklie's face. "Well, that ended up being much easier than I thought."
Catherine looked sharply at him. "What do you mean?"
The smile grew wider and somewhat shark like. "Firstly, I had already contacted a level 2CSI from Colorado, when I suspended her for insubordination. I had hoped that Grissom would have done the right thing and fired her, but he didn't. The guy I contacted is still interested, so I'll be letting him know that he can move to Vegas, and start ASAP."
Still staring, her disbelief growing she asked, "You knew?"
"Sure," he said now almost laughing. "I had to okay her résumé, plus which there have been quite a few calls from labs across the country, asking about her."
"Why didn't you say anything?" her ire was beginning to rise. It wasn't as though she and Sara were best buddies, but she did respect her as a fellow CSI.
"It's not like you've lost a friend Catherine."
"No, but the number 2 lab in the country, which, incidentally has been dropping, and with Sara – who happens to have one of the highest solve rates – gone, the labs reputation will drop even further. If Gil leaves – and he probably will – because of this, the ranking, and reputation will be in free-fall. For such a politically savvy guy, you sure screwed the pooch on this one. I doubt that Sheriff Atwater will be too impressed with your reasoning."
The smile fell from his face as the implications of what he'd done hit him. Catherine left Ecklie to stew on his decision.
Paging Warrick and Nick to meet her in the break-room, she met them on the way there, and they entered together. Warrick looked at Nick and they both looked at Catherine. "Before you hear it from any rumour mill, as of this morning, Sara's no longer working a the lab."
Both men were dumbfounded. It was almost a full five minutes before Nick spoke. "You're kidding right?"
Catherine shook her head. "Not kidding. Ecklie's already employed her replacement."
Warrick was the first to voice the other consideration. "How's Grissom taking it?"
"He seemed fine when he announced it."
Nick snorted, "Yeah, right. I highly doubt that he's really okay with it."
"I don't know man," Warrick said. "Have you seen him with Sophia lately? He looks pretty into her. He even asked her out for dinner."
Listening to the speculations the guy's were throwing around, Catherine thought she had a pretty good idea why Sara had left. Her leaving would have a negative impact on the lab, aside from the obvious connection to Grissom, most of the lab thought highly of her.
Grissom was in his darkened office; the shock of Sara's resignation had bought on a migraine of unusually intense proportions. He didn't dare drive home, knowing that the sunlight and noise of traffic would worsen the pain in his head to the point where he'd collapse from the pain.
There was a light knock at his door. "Come."
"Hey Gil, was just bringing you the case update on…" Finally seeing the agonised look on his face, she asked, "Are you okay?"
Almost moaning he said, "Not really. Migraine."
Backing out slowly the blonde said, "Oh, then I'll leave you. Hope you feel better soon."
Barely able to get the words out, Grissom stopped her. "No, could you please drive me home."