Fact of Life

By: Emmithar

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: Still don't own CSI, no matter how much I wish I did

Summary: There was a manual on everything except for life, and all that was important in it. If there was such a thing in existence, then you wouldn't have to worry about making the right choices. Yet that way, you would never learn from your mistakes. Greg/Sara fluff.

A/N: Yes, another story. I have to let off some creativity since I'm stuck on my other stories. Hopefully this will get me going again, and sorry for the delay on all my other stories.

Fact of Life

It was so simple, so simply annoying. She watched him work from one corner, of her eye that was. Did he know she was watching? Did he know what she was thinking? Did he even care?

Sara sighed, lowering her head for a moment to the book she was trying to read. It really wasn't even a book, but a manual. After nearly an hour of trying to work on the vehicle with little success Sara had turned to the booklet. Greg insisted they didn't a book to tell them how to piece a car back together.

Greg insisted it was instinct, any guy knew how to put a car together, it was in their blood. The same concept of knowing where to go, and never having to stop for directions. She smiled at the comment; sometimes it was cute how naive he was. That was meant in the best way possible.

Sara lifted her eyes from the page, staring just over the top of the book, watching as he moved around the disassembled vehicle slowly, scratching his head. Muffling a laugh she shook her head. He had no idea what he was doing, but there would be no way he would as for help.

When she figured things out, she would go show him, doing her best to keep a straight face as he followed her; his breath on the back of her neck as he climbed under the car with her, admitting that he knew that was what had to be done. She would laugh, roll her eyes in disbelief, and he would continue to insist that he knew all along, that he was only waiting for her to catch up. Some things never changed, that was how she liked it.

And yet, it was the same thing she despised. The more they worked together, the more she was drawn to him. It was hard to explain, there were times that Greg annoyed her beyond belief, but it was for these reasons that she also loved him. Yes, love was such a funny word.

Actual love, that was, not the kind of love you say to your parents at the days end, or even the love you feel for your friends. The wanting to keep the safe, to keep them protected in your love and warmth. No, it wasn't that kind of love, that kind of love was easy to find, easy to handle. This, this was a completely different story.

To love and to be loved; to know that there is someone out there that is honest and open. It was a scary thought, taking the first step. Rejection was painful; Sara had learned that the hard way. Yet she was afraid of more than rejection. What if, by some small chance, that Greg accepted her offer?

Small as it may seem, it would be a big step. Start out slow, build a strong foundation. It was easier said than done. Still, that wasn't what she was afraid of. Rejection she could handle, she had done so before, she could do again. What she couldn't do was lose Greg. Lose him as a friend; he was too dear to her heart for that to happen.

It was an imbalanced feeling. Watching him now she wanted nothing more than to be closer to him. To learn his greatest joys, and deepest fears. To listen to his soft breaths as he slept next to her, to hold him at the end of a long day. At the same time, the thought of never hearing his jokes or his witty comebacks ever again scared her.

Was it all worth it? Could she risk something as great as this for something that could be greater? Sara rubbed her eyes tiredly as she continued reading the manual. Funnily enough, it contained nothing about putting a car back together.

That was how life was; you could find a manual on everything in life except for life itself. There weren't any written rules on how it all happened. Everyone was trying to find their own place in this world; everyone was free to make their own mistakes. Hadn't she made enough of her own already?

Her thoughts were diverted as a loud bang caused her to jump. She glanced up quickly to see Greg stumble away from the body of the car, one of the jacks below the front end had given out. Dropping the book on the floor she made her way swiftly to where Greg was bent over, clutching his hand.

His eyes were closed and his teeth clenched, muttering slight curses through his lip. He pulled from Sara's touch, brushing her off lightly. "I'm okay," he muttered, shaking his one hand lightly before clutching it again.

"Let me see," Sara insisted, placing a hand on his back as she leaned over.

Greg shook his head, walking a few more steps before stopping again. "No, just leave it alone," he warned lightly, "It hurts."

"Of course it hurts," she reassured him, "you just had a car fall on it, what do you expect? Let me see your hand."

When Greg shook his head again Sara let out a sigh, frowning. "Fine then, at least sit down."

She had a firm grasp on his arm, leading him to the wall. Greg followed with little choice, allowing her to set him against the wall where he cradled his arm in his lap, his breathing still hitched as he leaned his head against the wall.

Sara reached over gently, picking up his bruised hand, surprised at how quickly he pulled away. "Don't," he shook his head, his eyes open enough so that he could see her.

"Greg, I need to make sure it isn't broken or anything," she told him sternly.

"It's not broken," he breathed, his eyes still on her.

"And you know this because?" Sara wondered, frowning up at him.

"Because if I did break it I would have passed out," he stated firmly, grimacing as he did so. His voice lowered a notch as he turned away from her. "I…my threshold for pain is rather low," he told her. "I've never been able to handle pain very well."

"Most people don't," Sara responded, taking the moment of distraction to take a closer look at his hand. It was already swelling, and clear bruised. Still, she needed a better look to be certain.

"It's a curse really," Greg's voice was still quiet as he continued, his gaze straight ahead. "My father was the same way, anything bad at all he would pass out."

"Was?" Sara echoed before she could even stop herself.

"He died," he stated with a small shrug, "a long time ago."

"I'm sorry," she breathed quietly, watching him closely now.

Greg nodded, sitting up some. "So am I," he turned back to her, smiling now. "What do you say we finish this up?"

"Not until you let me see you hand," Sara told him, holding out her own hand.

Greg shook his head, his smile gone now. "I'd rather you not, it hurts enough already."

"I'm not going to do anything to it," she stated with a huff.

"Right, because you're not going to look at it."

She folded her arms across her chest, frowning. "I could always get Nick and Warrick in here to hold you down while I look at it," she warned.

Greg laughed, turning to her. "I'd like to see you try," he prompted.

Sara only glared at him for a moment as he laughed at her. She couldn't help but smile then as she pulled her phone free from her back pocket. "Fine then," she grinned at the look Greg gave her as she began dialing her phone.

She waited for the line to pick up, still smiling at Greg as the voice came over. "Hey Nick," she started, "I need you to come to the garage real quick here…"

She didn't get a chance to finish as Greg snatched the phone from her, snapping it shut. "I can't believe you," he stammered, surprise lined in his voice.

Sara only laughed, reaching for her phone as Greg held it up. "I warned you," she declared, stumbling to her feet to get her phone back. She was startled as Greg pulled the phone back down quickly, causing her to grab his arm instead. His sudden motion threw her off balance, sending her sprawling into his lap. Startled she turned up to him, afraid she had hurt him further, and was relieved to find him laughing.

She let out a sigh, resting her head back against his knee as she watched him laugh for a moment. Obviously he couldn't be hurting too much if he was enjoying himself like this. His laughter died down as he watched her for a moment, shaking his head.

"Look at this," he stated lightly, smiling. "I have Sara Sidle in my lap, and at my mercy."

"You wish," she insisted, surprised and amused by his comment.

"Did I ever tell you I'm a tickling expert?" Greg wondered watching her.

Sara smiled up at him, nearly laughing. "No, I think you skipped over that part. Not that it would matter because I'm not ticklish."

Greg rolled his eyes, "You know, everyone who declares that they are not ticklish are usually the most."

"That may be true in some cases, but it isn't for me," Sara shot back at him.

"Then you wont mind if I do this then, will you?" he wondered, laughing as he reached out at her.

Sara's laugh turned into a squeal as he began tickling her, reaching out with both hands in attempt to stop him. She had little success as he started at her neck, working down to her sides. Rolling off his lap she tried to put some distance between the both of them, surprised at how quickly Greg followed, rolling on top of her in order to pin her down more effectively.

"Okay, stop!" she managed to cry out in between her laughs, trying to push him off. It only seemed to encourage Greg more as he moved back up to her neck, causing her to squirm.

"I thought you weren't ticklish," he laughed, grinning down at her.

"I lied," Sara squealed, grabbing the both of his wrists, somewhat surprised to find that he had stopped.

Greg laughed softly, shaking his head. "And I thought Sara Sidle never lied," he teased.

Sara nodded lightly, still trying to catch her breath. She turned her attention to his hand, grabbing his wrist with both hands as he started to pull away. "Just let me look at it," she told him, sitting up some.

"It's okay," Greg stated as he moved off of her, crossing his legs in front of him. "Really, it doesn't hurt as bad anymore."

Sara nodded, caressing his hand gently, watching as he curled it into a fist.

"See," he prodded, "Nothing's broken."

"And I'm not hurting you, am I?" she wondered lightly.

There was a short pause of silence, the he shook his head. "No…uh, that actually feels kind of nice," he admitted, watching her.

Sara gave him a small smile, her administrations slowing as he leaned in closer to her. Closing her eyes she moved to meet him, at the present time only hearing the beating of her heart as it began to beat faster. She could feel his breath on her, could smell the sweet scent of his aftershave, when the door to the garage opened up.

Quickly, without a word to each other, the two of them pulled away, without a single kiss as Nick walked. He paused in the entranceway to stare at the two, shaking his head. Sara had gone back to rubbing Greg's hand gently as she looked up at him.

"You said you needed some help," Nick offered, glancing at the surroundings.

Sara nodded up at him, "We're having some car trouble," she told him quietly.

"That I can see," Nick muttered lightly, looking up at the broken mess.

"You think you can give us a hand?" Sara wondered.

"Sure thing, let me see what you have," he mumbled, stepping around them and into the center of the room.

Sara looked up at Greg as he pulled his hand away. For a moment they locked eyes, and Greg nodded to her, mouthing 'later' as he stood up. Sara smiled as she watched him make his way over to Nick, closing her eyes in a silent thanks.

Sure, she was afraid, terrified would be more like it. Was Greg being serious, or was he still joking around? Was he just a kid that still hadn't grown up, or was he truly in love with her? Either way it didn't matter, she was willing to give it a try if he was. After all, the only way to learn how life worked was to take chances. If you weren't willing to do that much, she figured, you didn't deserve to know.

The End