Title: The Life & Times of Sara Sidle

Rating: T

Summary: (You all know by now)

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters!

A/N: Thank you again to all who have read and reviewed this story. This is going to be the last installment of 'The Life & Times of Sara Sidle' before I start a new story going into Vegas years. The reason I'm doing this is so the events in Sara's early life and adult life (in Vegas) are more organized (and so the story isn't 50+ chapters ;)). From the bottom of my heart I thank all of you as L&T is a very special story to me. It's a big accomplishment to me to finish this installment. Enjoy guys!

Las Vegas was known as the town that could bring out the darker side of people, the devil within, the… malicious intent hidden deep within our souls. Sara now knew that saying to be true. Vegas was turning out to be quite a task, from adapting herself to her new surroundings to shrugging off the remarks of her new coworkers. The crimes she had dealt with back in San Francisco were nothing compared to the crimes she dealt with in Vegas.

Shortly after the Holly Gribbs investigation Sara had made amends with Catherine and Warrick and they quickly became friends. Nick had let down his walls and accepted her into the group and Greg was still falling all over himself to impress her. They were different than most people she knew, but she liked that. Finally, people were starting to accept Sara Sidle for who she was.

Grissom was keeping an eye on her from time to time to make sure she was okay and didn't get lost in Vegas. Catherine had invited her to dinner quite a few nights followed by Nick and Warrick taking her out for drinks after shift. They were all great people and Sara had to admit they were bringing out the best in her. Every time she smiled, every time she laughed, every time she cried, they were there to acknowledge it. They were there to laugh with her, to smile with her, to help her back on her feet when she fell.

And within herself Sara was so proud that she was able to accomplish this all. She was able to open herself up to these people and be accepted into the group. She knew the first time she came to Vegas they all thought she was just new meat, that woman Grissom had brought in from California. Now she was a member of the team. Sara liked to think she was a part of something… something important to everyone.

There were still the days she went home and cried, there were still those days she opened the six-pack in her fridge she had promised herself she wouldn't touch but bought out of spite. But when she went home to her empty apartment at night and curled up between her blankets in her bed, she didn't feel so alone. The emptiness wasn't there anymore. And she thought… perhaps it was because she knew all she had to do was pick up the phone and call Catherine or Nick and ask them if they wanted to do something. They always agreed. And that reassurance itself made her feel warm.

She also felt as though she had crossed the line between being an interrupted girl that came from a broken family to becoming a well-respected professional of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Bureau. She was the only one in her family to make something of herself. The only one. For a while her mother had been working at a bank at a teller, but that never went anywhere. Laura Sidle had quit her job to 'spend more time with her children' and Sara knew exactly how that went.

Sara, even as a child, was afraid of becoming her mother. She was young but mature enough to know what was going on in her home, and whenever her mother had picked up that brown bottle in the kitchen she had made a promise to herself to never become that way. She was going to make something of herself and she was going to live a life outside the liquor store. Her father wasn't any better, there weren't any words needed to describe the way he was.

She wasn't an alcoholic. She wasn't a murderer. She wasn't crazy.

She had been abused. She had been beaten. She had been raped.

But she was a survivor, and among that all that was what was the most important of all.

"Hey girl, how are you doing?" Warrick's voice brought her back to her senses as she blinked a few times and realized she was sitting in the locker room at the lab. "You doin' okay?"

She couldn't help the smile that made its way onto her face. He was concerned. "Yeah, just thinking," She told him, "What's up?"

"I had that bastard's ass, you know that?" he asked her, putting his jacket away in his locker. "I hate lawyers. Defense attorneys, trial lawyers, judges—"

"Oh, give it a rest, Warrick," Nick said, appearing through the doorway. "Let it go, man," he told him, opening up his own locker.

"I had his ass, Nick!" Warrick said in protest, "And that… that lawyer… Crocker? He claims the arrest Brass made was in violation of the suspect's constitutional rights."

"What?" Sara blinked, "The arrest was made outside, right?"

"Yeah!" Warrick said, eyes wide, "And now we've got to deal with the DA."

"You'll get him," Catherine said, walking into the locker room, "You always do."

"But—" Warrick was about to protest when Catherine but in.

"You guys want to go get some drinks?" she asked, "Lindsey's at my mothers', I'm sure they're having a blast," everyone could sense the hint of sarcasm in her voice, "I'm buying."

"I'm in," Nick said, closing his locker. "I could use one."

"You know I'm in," Warrick said, "After hearing that lawyer talk all day it's giving me a headache."

They all turned and looked at Sara. "Sara? You coming?" Catherine asked.

Sara just smiled brightly, nodding her head as she closed her locker, getting to her feet. "I'm in."

The End