DISCLAIMER – Not mine. Belong to Anthony Zuiker, et al, CBS and Alliance Atlantis.

A/N - Based on Linkin Park's "From the Inside".


From the Inside

Sara was exhausted, both physically and emotionally as she climbed into her Denali. Another case involving a battered wife, kids being sent to foster homes until the mother had her life under control, and their abusive father could be convicted.

It bought up her own past once again and she was sure everyone in the lab and Police Department for that matter knew of her appalling family secret and the disastrous childhood that had ensued.

To add to the stress of the case, she'd heard that Grissom had asked Sophie to dinner. Which bought up the two additional stresses, and strangely they were also linked. Her "what the hell relationship" relationship with Grissom, whom she'd poured her heart out to more than once, and each time she'd trusted her heart with him, he'd betrayed her. If not directly then indirectly.

Then of course there was Sophie. The blond cloud that had come across her already stormy life. The way Grissom acted toward and around her, had on occasion made her physically ill.

So as she drove home with the sun just beginning to rise, thoughts weighed heavy on her already troubled mind. There had been so many times when she'd been determined not to let Grissom and his eclectic attitude toward her. One day he was holding her hand as she broke down trusting him with her past.

Then she hears that he's asked out the "blond" and her mind reeled when she thought back to his flat "no" the one time she'd asked him to dinner.

The tune on her radio suddenly caught her attention. She'd heard it before, but had never equated it with her life. As the song continued it was as though she were suddenly hearing it for the first time.

"I don't know who to trust, no surprise…All I ever think about is this all the tiring and time between and how trying to put my trust in you just takes so much out of me."

As she drove and the song came to an end, it seemed that everyone but her knew what the churning in her mind was about. The rest of the morning's play-list, talkback and jingles passed her by as her mind contemplated the song the rest of the way home.

Six years ago, she would have gone out with the few friends she'd managed to make in San Francisco. Now, as she pulled into her parking space, she knew the following hours until the next shift began would be spent isolated in her lonely apartment. Even if her friendship with Nick and Warrick had grown past the "out for an occasional drink" stage, they were working the swing shift, and she knew how precious sleep was. (Mainly because she got so little herself).

Other than the one time during the Strip Strangler case, when they'd all trooped into Grissom's apartment to rally around him, she'd never been to any of the homes of the people she worked with, not even Greg who apparently had had everyone to his apartment at some stage.

One particular line from the Linkin Park song kept spinning through her mind. "Tension is building inside steadily…Everyone feels so far away from me, heavy thoughts forcing their way out of me."

She bought her computer to life and logged onto the net. She knew the group was "Linkin Park" and found the song "From the Inside". As she finished downloading the track, she turned on her receiver and let the song loop.

Lying back on her sofa, she was able to compare everything in the song to some point or event in her life.

"I don't know who to trust, no surprise." Definitely Grissom. How many times had she trusted him, and how many times had he carelessly crushed that trust?

"Everyone feels so far away from me." Well, that was pretty much what her life in Las Vegas had become. Her few friends were physically far away, and the people she worked with now were emotionally far away.

"Heavy thoughts sift through the dust…and the lies." She honestly couldn't remember the last time her mind had not been clouded. With her emotions and feelings toward Grissom, with her desire to further her career, which after Nick had been given the promotion, could not see happening in Vegas any time soon. On top of all that the stagnant complication her life had become here.

"Trying not to break but I'm tired of this deceit." Technically, she'd already "broken". The DUI that Grissom had saved her from. The insubordination incident with Catherine and Ecklie. Again Grissom to the rescue. But had he really? Maybe being fired wouldn't have been so bad, then at least she would have been forced to move on and as hard as that would have been, it couldn't be worse than the life she was currently living.

"Every time I try to make myself get back up on my feet." All the times she'd tried to change her life. Getting out, dating Hank. Again Grissom had always been at the back of her mind. That and his obvious displeasure when he'd called her back to work on her day off, after admonishing her for not getting out enough.

"All I ever think about is this…All the tiring and time between… And how trying to put my trust in you…Just takes so much out of me." Well, really that was the summation of every single feeling she'd had since he'd distanced himself from her. A blow made even worse after she'd heard the "confession" he'd made to Dr Lurie.

"Take everything from the inside… And throw it all away…Cause I swear for the last time…I won't trust myself with you." Sitting up a little, she thought, 'That's it! I have to leave. If I want to stay sane, I have no choice. He'll still have a hold over me. Probably always will, but I can't do this anymore.' She almost sighed in relief as she resolved herself to the decision.

No going back to anywhere familiar. Maybe she'd go to D.C. or even apply at the FBI. Their forensics lab was legendary. She would no longer waste her life, her self-worth, her sanity and her talent where it was neither wanted, needed or appreciated.

The simple letter she put on Grissom's desk at the end of the following shift simply said, "I resign," and her signature. She'd packed all she needed and had booked a flight to D.C. for an hour after her shift ended.

It was time to start living.


Next Chapter based on the song Always on My Mind