A/N: I write this for mine friend Sabriel; her love of Greg/Sara has sort of grown on me ā€¦

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Most people saw Greg for what he presented to them ā€“ an exuberance that often buoyed the moods of those around him whether they liked it or not. His personality often served to diffuse tense situations, and though most his coworkers wouldn't admit it, the way he was constantly upbeat brought a kind of pleasantness to the work atmosphere that was rarely found in this line of work. For his part, Greg continued on through life behaving as was natural for him, and for a time all was good.

Sometimes the heart wanders, making you realize life is not as full as you think it is. For many long years Greg had been attracted to one Sara Sidle; after she'd made it perfectly clear that she wasn't interested he'd accepted with an easy grace, and continued to be content with quiet admiration. And as time progressed he found that there was more to Sara than her looks and biting wit; she was deeply compassionate and undeniably brilliant, and he was surprised to learn that he much preferred their burgeoning friendship to any type of romantic ties he'd once upon a time hoped for. When he was promoted and permitted finally to leave the lab, she'd gone out of her way to make those first few painfully awkward weeks as easy as she could, and for that he as extremely grateful. He'd never voiced it, of course, but he could tell by the warmth of her smile that she knew.

And so the days went on, becoming weeks, becoming months, and for the most part, Greg was happy.

The separation came one day, and the team he knew so well was split asunder. The event heralded further bad things, for not long after Greg was striding down the hall on his way back from Trace and happened upon Sara and Catherine in a catfight supreme. He listened avidly, as did many other passers-by, and knew that all Catherine's accusations had some basis in truth. When all was said and done that day, Sara had quit her job and headquarters was in an uproar over the dispute.

Greg worried about Sara, even tried approaching Grissom about her, but his concerns were brushed aside. He wasn't entirely certain what his boss felt anymore for Sara; once it had seemed her affection was being returned. The next day Greg overheard Grissom and Katherine talking, heard Grissom say Sara would be okay, and had to wonder if that was the truth. He got his answer when Sara returned to work three days later; he found her after hours alone in the locker room, staring expressionlessly at the floor with her knees pulled tight to her chest.

He'd sat down beside her then, unwilling to intrude on her self imposed exile but sensing she needed a support. She didn't look at him, didn't speak to him, and so for a long while they simply sat side by side in silence. And when she began to speak in a voice thick with controlled, violent emotion he listened carefully as the events of her early life unfolded before them both in horrific detail. By the time she'd finished she had shed no tears, but as she glanced at him briefly the shattered look in her eyes told him she was suffering horribly within. Staring at her, replaying all she'd said over and over in his mind he wondered how Grissom could so easily dismiss this ā€“Sara had told Greg that Grissom now knew everything- and act as though Sara would be okay simply because it was the most appropriate thing for her to do.

Somewhere along his grim reverie he'd said her name softly, and she brought her head around to look at him. And unthinking he did what was instinct to him in that moment; he leaned forward and wrapper her slender frame in his embrace. As she collapsed against him, as her breath left her in a sigh both weary and anguished, Greg let himself feel what he'd felt all those years ago, and realized that his attraction for her had never really left. It had grown somehow, and when she told him, her voice muffled against his chest, that she needed this he nodded voicelessly and became what she wanted him to be ā€“ a source of comfort, an anchor to which she could tie herself to weather all the turmoil that threatened to consume her.

And he realized then, holding her tight, that it was enough just to be there for her when nobody else was.

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