Title: Homesick

Rating: M

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, or anything relating to it.

A/N: I'd like this story to improve as it goes. Tell me what I am doing wrong, and I will be grateful.

As he drove to the latest crime scene, Gil Grissom felt great.

It had been a good day, a really good day. He had tried a challenging new recipe after shift the night before, and it had turned out perfectly. He had gone into the office in the early afternoon, and actually completed his paperwork, so he could go into the field without guilt. He had convinced a new lab tech to donate blood for a new experiment, and he had received an invitation to a new entomological conference.

He was sure his roaches would win this time.

Sara was back on duty tonight, too, after a couple of nights off. That, he decided, was definitely a mixed blessing. He sighed.

Things had always been complicated between them, but lately he'd been more confused than ever. She'd opened up to him after her suspension, and he'd been stunned by the primal need to protect that had surged through him as she talked. Sara had never needed his protection.

Or maybe she always had, and had never had it. Either way, she wouldn't take kindly to his starting now.

After all, everything she had confessed to him that day was, to her, old news. It just didn't feel that way to him.

She'd referred to their attraction lightly, in passing. As a symptom of a larger problem. She'd done it twice. It had crushed him, and terrified him.

Sara had the right to move on. He'd given her no reason to wait. She had the right to be happy. He wanted her to be happy. I just wanted her to be happy with me, is all.

Her words that night, and earlier in his office, had frightened him. Just as she was finally opening her heart to him, trusting him with her problems, she was closing the door to a relationship. I'm too late.

Well, he'd decided it wouldn't be too late. He wouldn't let it be.

He'd be there for her, re-build their friendship, and test the waters. If there was any hope at all of having a relationship with her, he was ready to try. Or he thought he was ready. Maybe.

And then I screwed it up. Again.

Quite what he'd done wrong, he wasn't sure. Catherine could no doubt explain it to him, but she was heading up her own shift now, and things were different between them. She wasn't likely to invade his personal life to help him patch things up with Sara.

Sara had snapped out of her funk, whatever the cause, and he was cheered. She smiled as she worked, and she worked hard and well. He even thought they were beginning to get their old rhythm back.

He'd found himself looking forward to work more than ever, longing to see her quick smile as her mind made connections and she raced to impress him.

And then he saw her, out with that guy. That jerk. That kid.

The "kid" was at least Sara's age, he told himself. She should be with someone her own age. It's better this way.

So why did he look too young for her?

Well, he wanted Sara to be happy. She had the right to be happy. This guy made her happier than he'd seen her in years, from what he'd seen that night. He'd never heard her laugh like that, ever. So he was happy for her.

He hadn't called her in on her night off. He had left her alone, to be happy without him.

I am happy for her, he told himself as he pulled up to the scene. I am.