A Wilted Rose

By: Emmithar

Rating: K

Summary: Sequel to 'On the Edge' Greg was sure that he and Sara were becoming closer, but when Sara's life takes a sudden unexpected twist, Greg must learn to handle the disappointment. But when he learns the truth behind the matter, it leaves a scar bigger than anyone could ever imagine. One, that may never heal.

A/N: Not overly dramatic, I had a hard time summarizing the story, there is more to it, as you will see as it unfolds. I have no idea how long this will be, or how often it will be updated, so the plan right now is just to go with me. How does that sound?

Thanks to all my readers who have stuck with me thus far!

Chapter One: A Sudden Turn

Greg glanced from the papers he held in his hand up to the clock on the wall. Only five minutes to go, then she would be late. Shaking his head he turned his attention back down the papers, but hardly found himself concentrating on them. After all, today was the day. Today was the day Sara finally came back to work.

It had been officially two weeks since they were first suspended. Greg was more than ready to welcome her back. Instead of taking a week's vacation as planned, Greg had come back after his weeks suspension, and found himself working with Sophia. Not that that was a surprise, he had expected it, and though he had tried his best to get along with her, things just weren't working all that well.

Not as well as they worked between him and Sara, that was. Greg smiled at the thought of working together again. He had really missed her, and though he was tempted to see her a couple different times over the last few weeks, he had declined. He was nervous, mostly, but he was fairly sure of it now. Sara liked him.

When the thought first occurred, he had banished it, reminding himself that they were just friends. That's all they had ever been; really close friends. They had grown closer over the last year now, and though she hinted at him several times, it was all petty matters, things that not even she would remember saying.

But that night, two weeks ago, the smile she had given him before leaving the room, had caused him to wonder. What if they could be more than just friends? What then, would happen? Sure Greg had thought about it before, but in all those times would rather have died than ask a question of that sort.

He didn't think Sara was that interested, not until that night. Over the span of the two weeks, Greg had come to a decision. He was going to ask her tonight, well not ask, not exactly. He was just going to suggest the idea nonchalantly, and wait for her reaction.

Greg's eyes flicked back up to the clock, sighing when he saw that only one minute had passed since he had last checked. It was in that moment though that Sara walked in to the room, pulling on her lab coat.

"Sorry I'm late Greg," she apologized, grabbing a pair of gloves to pull on. "What did I miss?"

"Miss?" Greg asked, stuttering lightly as he watched her. "Miss what?"

Sara stopped in mid-process of pulling her gloves on, watching him for a moment before smiling awkwardly, her teeth showing a bit. "Are you okay?" she asked, doing her best not laugh at his expression.

Greg nodded quickly, looking away slightly embarrassed. "Yeah, I uh…I'm doing great. How about you?"

Sara laughed, shaking her head as she pulled her gloves on. "I'm doing good, I had a nice night."

"Oh?" Greg asked, raising an eyebrow. Talking now was easier, and he was a bit mad at himself for losing it for a moment. "How so?"

"Nothing," Sara gave him a smile, "Nothing big, just a…nice night."

Greg nodded, returning her smile. He gently laid the papers on the table. Keeping his head down he licked his lips, trying to get the courage to ask. "Hey Sara, could I…could I ask you a personal question? I mean, it's not really a personal question, but then again it probably is…"

He trailed off, seeing that she was staring at him again, slightly amused. "Sure, I guess," she laughed. "What's on your mind?"

What's on my mind? Greg laughed shortly; there was a lot on his mind, all of it on what he was about to do.

He drew in a breath, biting his lip. "What exactly did you do?" he blurted out, already cursing himself. He couldn't do it, he couldn't ask. Not yet anyways.

Greg wasn't surprised when Sara burst out laughing, having to sit down in order to regain her composure. "What is with you tonight? Working with Sophia hasn't been that bad, has it?"

Greg shrugged, "I suppose…I mean, yeah…it hasn't been pretty. I'm glad you're back."

It wasn't what he had expected, or wanted, but he was glad it had ended that way. He was too much of a chicken to ask her. Closing his eyes he let out a sigh, reminding himself that he would just have to try again later.

"Besides, I can't tell what I did tonight," Sara told him with a simple shrug, looking over his shoulder at the case file.

"You can't tell me?" Greg asked slowly, turning to look at her.

Sara nodded, without really even seeing him. "Yeah…it would be just too weird."

"Why?" Greg wondered, "oh, I know what it is."

She raised an eyebrow, watching him now. "Oh really?"

Greg nodded firmly, smirking. "You and the others were making plans for my big surprise birthday party."

"Greg," Sara exasperated, rolling her eyes. "You're birthday isn't for four months."

"Well, these things take time, four months is kind of cutting it close, right?"

Sara laughed, punching him lightly in the arm. "Get a life, why would I spend four months planning a surprise party for you then tell you all about it?"

"So it's true then?"

"No," Sara shook her head, "sorry, I'll probably get you another card though," she laughed.

"You're not supposed to tell me," Greg rolled his eyes, laughing along with her.

It became silent for a moment, the two reading through the papers separately. "So," Greg perked up after turning the page. "What did you do tonight that has you in such a good mood?"

"Well…" Sara started out, giving into a sigh. "I suppose I'll have to settle telling you all about it, since Catherine's not around and Sophia's not into girl talk."

"Such a shame," Greg joked, causing her to laugh.

Sara straightened up, waving him off. "Okay…I met this guy," she started, giving him a small smile.

Greg nodded, forcing a smile in return, but taken aback on the inside. "A guy?" Greg asked softly.

Sara nodded, "Actually, I met him a few days back, he gave me a ride home one night."

Greg's eyebrows furrowed. "You let a complete stranger give you a ride home? You know how dangerous that is?"

Sara frowned, her hands already moving to her hips. "I can take care of myself," she stated firmly. "I'm not stupid."

"Sara," Greg started off, but she intervened.

"Don't worry about it, do you want to hear this or not?"

Greg definitely didn't want to hear the rest of it, but he nodded anyways, already feeling downhearted.

"Anyways, he came by and picked me up earlier, took me out to eat at this real nice pasta bar, we had a few drinks, talked a lot. He's a really neat guy, I really like him."

Greg nodded, smiling as he looked down. "He sounds like it," Greg encouraged her, feeling stupid now at his earlier attempt to ask her if she wanted to go on a date. He was glad now that he had chickened out, only able to imagine her shooting him down. This new guy friend of hers had bought her a fancy dinner and some drinks, and Greg hadn't even gotten her a flower. Exactly what had he been thinking?

"I know, I know," Sara laughed softly, "It's not that interesting for you to listen to. But I had to tell someone, and you're about the only guy who would listen."

Greg nodded, not looking at her. "Imagine that," he muttered softly.

"What?" Sara asked, glancing up at him.

"I'm happy for you," Greg forced another smile, "we should really get to work on this, it's going to take a few hours just to read over the case, and Ecklie wants results by Friday."

Sara nodded, already in work mode, "That's going to be pushing it," she mentioned, to which Greg nodded.

"It means less chit chat, and more work." Greg sighed, it would be the only time he would be grateful for not having to think on something else other than work.