Miles by Gabby Castillo

Author's note: Hey all! Long time, no write. For now, "Threads of Time" is on hiatus. I'm kinda stalled there for the moment. But this popped into my head tonight and I just have to flow with it. I really hope you like it!

Disclaimer: Not mine, but they're on my Christmas list!

Dedication: This chapter goes out to my friend Ashley! Heal soon, chica!

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She was standing on a dock in the dark and she was alone. Alone, except for the thrashing sounds under the dock, and the screaming. But she stood still, letting the ocean breeze tug at her hair, watching the dim moon gleam high in the dark California sky, and listening to her name being carried on the breeze. Being screamed in the breeze.

Then she always woke up.

Sweat glistening against her pale skin and a thin tank top stuck to it as well, Sara would sit up in her bed and rub at her eyes, glancing briefly at the clock on her nightstand before letting out a low groan and tossing her legs over the edge of her bed. The dream had become her internal alarm clock, even if it was a few hours earlier than she would have liked. But it still signaled the beginning of her day, and she would make her way around the apartment, tossing open her opaque curtains to let the light of Nevada's setting sun into the quite space. Sara told herself it was just to get her up, but in the back of her mind she knew it was to fight back the chill that settled in the pit of her stomach. Because she always woke up with the scream in her head, and the voice was always a familiar one.

It was always her mother's.

Today was no different, and she made her way around the apartment, following her now daily routine, throwing open the curtains, memorizing the sound of her bare feet padding across the thick carpet below. Sara stopped at the last window and stretched slowly, pulling back the curtain when her muscles relaxed. Except for today she stood looking out the window, instead of moving away from it to start a pot of coffee.

Stretched before her was an unusually beautiful view of Vegas before dark, the sun casting shadows against weathered buildings and glistening giants. Only a few neon lights had been turned on, but they were dulled by the intensity of the sun. Cars rushed by on the street below her, unaware that she watched silently from above. Somewhere in the distance a police siren went off and Sara cringed, thinking that later tonight she could be investigating that crime scene, processing that victim, laying out what happened for a weeping family who just could not grasp her answers.

For a moment she wondered if anyone she knew was walking around that city, unable to sleep or running some errands before work. Maybe Catherine had taken Lindsey shopping, or maybe Warrick had taken Tina to dinner. It was plausible that Nick was buying groceries right now, or Greg was getting his hair cut. Sara smiled and admitted to herself that the only thing Greg had cut recently was his paycheck when he took the CSI I position at the lab, and his hair would stay happy and gelled on his head for awhile longer. It was possible, though, that Grissom was out doing whatever it was Grissom did when he wasn't looking at bugs and working a case. Probably wandering around the city, wasting time before he went to the lab an hour or two early.

Then she remember her mother's scream from her nightmare, and wondered if maybe her mother wasn't out there somewhere, looking up at the dimming Las Vegas sky and thinking about her at that moment. She hadn't talked to her mother since the day she…

Sara turned from the window and went to the kitchen, starting a pot of coffee before moving to the bathroom. She turned the water on as hot as she could stand and stripped quickly. She stepped under the scalding water and flinched as the hot spray hit her back and dripped down her skin.

A voice in her head told her it was time to pick up the phone, call her mother and let the healing begin. If she thought about it, it was the voice of her PEAP counselor. After all, he had recommended making that call in their third session together, but even until their very last session Sara had refused. Now, though, it didn't seem like such a bad option.

Years had passed, and the pain was deep. But she was trying to let the wounds heal. Sara had told Grissom everything, and even now, as she thought about it, the ache in her heart started to lessen at the thought that she wasn't the only one carrying the burden anymore. Grissom had held her hand and let her cry until the tears just wouldn't come anymore, and she tried to imagine what it would feel like to hear her mother's voice as they talked it out, and to feel a little more of the pain fade into the background.

Her shower done, she turned off the water and stepped out, wrapping her cotton robe around her slender figure and a towel around her head. She stepped out into the kitchen and grabbed a cup of coffee before heading back into her room. She rummaged through her closet, finding a blue shirt and black dress pants to throw on before heading into work. She sipped on the coffee after each article of clothing went on, and as she blow-dried her hair. She finished in the bathroom and slipped her shoes on at the door. She would only be a few hours early today, plenty of time to finish the report on the homicide she had had last night.

She grabbed her keys and headed out the door, quickly making her way down the stairs to her car in the parking lot below. It wasn't until she was about to get in that she noticed the white envelope that had been placed underneath her windshield wiper. Picking it up carefully, she looked around for anyone who might have put it there, but the lot was empty, and she turned her attention back to the envelope. Opening it gingerly with cautious fingers she carefully slid the lined paper out from the paper folds, and unfolded it as if it were a piece of evidence. Her eyes read it over once, twice, and only then did a gasp escape from her lips. Her mother's scream went through her head again, and when she read the note for a third time, she hopped into her car, the words on the note replacing the scream as the echo in her head.

Your mother is dying, and before she goes, you need to find her.

TBC