hello, remember me? i didn't think so. but for anyone who might care, i FINALLY got around to finishing this thing. i have an excuse, do you want to hear it? i moved! and i know it doesn't take 5 months to get settled in, buuut it was that mixed in with new job, new college classes, and lots of writer's block. so can you forgive me? i hope so! and i just wanted to thank all of you who have read and reviewed in the past, it means a lot. and a special thanks to gracie, for being such a lovely thing, and ally, who you can all thank for kicking my ass into gear. all the love and gsr in the world: solomynne. ps my new laptop has no microsoft word so please forgive any mistakes!

Disclaimer: no. no they are not. mine, that is.

We begin to stop, merely to begin again. – Maya Angelou.

The echoes of Sullivan Wescott's laughter reverberated, wild and desperate, through the glass hallways of CSI, ringing in the ears of the three exhausted investigators seated in the vacated interrogation room. Men like the senator never seemed to be able to go quietly, it was always a "my lawyer," this and an "I'll sue you all," that. Sullivan was no different, shooting empty threats between renewed bouts of maniacal giggles.

After what seemed like an eternity, the last embers of his ceaseless ramblings faded as he was escorted from the building. Sara, Grissom, and Joslyn sat in a subdued silence, each digesting the events of the last hour. Grissom looked up at the two women's faces and saw the mixture of emotions battling for dominance there. The anger, the fear, but most of all the relief, were all clearly visible playing across their broken features.

"It's over," Sara said softly to her hands, sounding more like she was trying to convince herself of the fact than anything. Joslyn nodded her head vaguely in agreement, propping her chin in her hand. Grissom looked from one to the other, fighting the urge to drop a reassuring kiss on top of Joslyn's head, and the even stronger urge to pull Sara from her chair into his lap and wrap his arms around her. Before he had a chance to give in to himself, Brass walked into the room and plopped himself unceremoniously into the seat beside Sara.

"Well girls, although I myself would never use your…tactics of getting a confession out of someone, I have to say it couldn't have worked better." Sara and Joslyn gave each other a flickering smile. "The guy will either go straight to jail, or straight to the loony bin, but either way he's out of our hair. And the FBI is going to be investigating the Hands of Mercy Corporation on suspicion of drug trafficking, so there's that taken care of. Oh and one last thing, it appears Marjorie Pierce left a little another little something out of her last statement."

Grissom sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose, "Now what?"

"It would appear that she was "Mr. X."

"What?!" said both Sara and Joslyn at once.

"Do you mean to tell me that I let myself get freaked out by a fifty-something year old string bean?" hollered Joslyn.

Grissom put a hand on hers, "You had no way of knowing that it was her, Joslyn, there's no need to be embarrassed. We were all scared of what X might do, and regardless of how old she is, she still made death threats against you both."

"Embarrassed? Who's embarrassed? I'm pissed off," said Sara, kicking herself for not noticing the now obvious feminine scrawl the death threat was written with.

"Well Marjorie says she had no intention of hurting either of you, in fact she was trying to scare you into staying away from the case so you wouldn't be hurt," clarified Brass.

"Well either way, it's over now," said Grissom with an air of finality.

Greg popped his head into the doorway, "Hey ladies, thanks for the show. I've actually been hoping to improve my interrogation skills, perhaps one or both of you would care to-"

"-Greg," interrupted Grissom, "is there anything we can help you with?" Greg, looking slightly dejected, told them that everyone was going to Frank's for a celebratory breakfast. "We'll meet you there," answered Grissom, turning back to the others. "Unless you're too tired?"

"No, I'd love to go," answered Sara, who was seconded by Joslyn. They all got up to leave, Grissom and Brass heading to the parking lot. Sara was right behind them until she felt a hand on her wrist, turning to see Joslyn looking up at her. The expression on her young partner's face was enough to make her stop in her tracks. "What's wrong?"

Joslyn bit her lip; "I just wanted to say sorry for catching you off-guard like that. If I made you uncomfortable, it really wasn't intentional. I just wanted to get the Senator so badly, and … that was the only thing I could think of that would make him angry enough."

Sara smiled, "Joslyn, you don't have to apologize, I thought it was brilliant. And it's not like I've never kissed another woman before, everyone experiments."

Joslyn sighed with relief, "Well I'm so glad you're not offended."

"Offended? Please, if the worst thing you can think of to make me angry is kissing me, I think this will be a great friendship," she laughed and put an arm around Joslyn's shoulders as they headed for the parking lot.

"And where'd you learn to kiss like that anyway?"


Sara couldn't remember ever having a more satisfying breakfast. The eggs (organic and free range, it was the only way she ate them) and hash browns she'd

ordered at Frank's were exactly what she needed after the day she'd had. Leaning back in her chair, warm and full, she looked around the table at her co-

workers. Nick and Joslyn were laughing about something, Nick's eyes crinkling in that adorable way, and Joslyn's deep throaty laughter filling the restaurant

as she threw her head back in mirth. Sara smiled at them, and glanced over at Warrick and Catherine, who were picking off of each other's plates; deep in

conversation about a case Catherine was working. The sound of Grissom's voice pulled her attention away from them, and she looked to see Grissom using Greg's

french fries to demonstrate a theory he'd heard at a seminar.

Grissom noticed her watching and caught her eye, raising his eyebrows in a "are you okay?" gesture. She nodded at him and smiled warmly, and satisfied, he

resumed his teachings.

And for once she was okay, she really was. She was safe and happy, all the people she loved surrounded her, and she had just thrown a ruthless murderer in

jail. She felt pretty damn good. And the fact that Grissom had finally admitted his feelings for her definitely didn't hurt. No, she didn't mind that at all.

The exhaustion of the past little while starting to take its toll on her, Sara stifled a yawn with drooping eyes. Grissom watched this with fondness, and

then took his cue in his new role as...boyfriend? It sounded so juvenile. Lover? Soon perhaps. Devotee? It would have to do. So, with a quick nod toward the waitress, their cheques were placed on the table, and the familiar, "no, no, I'LL pay" banter began. Warrick, after a long

and valiant battle, payed for himself and Catherine, and the two of them left. They were quickly followed by Nick, Greg, and Joslyn, the latter of which gave

Sara a knowing wink and a pat on the head. Sara and Grissom sat alone at the table, and the atmosphere was...slightly awkward.
"Well," Grissom began, fidgeting with his glasses, "why don't i take you home." It wasn't a question.
Sara, feeling a little disappointed, rose with a wordless nod and began to head for the door. Wasn't he going to give her his answer about what he really

thought of her? Wasn't he going to keep his promise? The fear that he might pull a Grissom and try to duck out of all of this like nothing had happened

between them washed over her. It was only when he placed a warm, steady hand on the small of her back that a faint glimmer of hope rose in her heart. She

felt his breath hot on her ear as he whispered: "Would you be opposed to a little company this evening"
Her heart melted as she turned to him, smiling and replied: "Oh no, i'd rather not have anyone over, if it's all the same"
The light in his eyes went out, until she quickly finished with: "You see, I'll be wanting you all to myself."


Sara attacked him before they'd even gotten out of the car. He'd been unbuckling his seatbelt when she, with a wonderful display of agility and grace, slid

herself into his lap and kissed him hard. Though surprised, it took him no time at all to recover, as he ran his hands up the smooth thighs that were

straddling him. She laughed and rocked gently in his lap, making her way down his jawline and neck in sweet, slow nips and kisses. Grissom, in heaven though

he was, knew that this isn't how either of them wanted it to be, and with all of the willpower he had, he managed to lift her head and speak to her lovely,

lust-filled eyes.
She nodded quickly, her lips red and full, and slid off of him with that same graceful ease. They - somehow - made it out to her apartment without

consummating their relationship, and Sara sluggishly fumbled with her keys; half drunk with desire and exhaustion. Grissom gently took the keys from her hand

and moved her aside, opening the door for her. She gave him a playful glare as she led him inside by the hand and closed the door.
She drove the lock home and turned slowly to face him, her skin pale in the dark of the apartment. "Now where were we?" She spoke in a husky whisper, her

brown eyes glittering. He stepped forward and lifted her up, surprising her with his strength. She gasped and smiled, wrapping her legs around him as she

simultaneously tore her shirt over her head and tossed it away. He kissed her, first gently, and then deeper, harder. She stopped and pulled away, looking down at him with her tousled, curly hair.
"what? Is something wrong"
"Aren't you going to tell me"
He just looked at her with a blank stare. She sighed and rolled her eyes, "You said you were going to tell me how you really felt about me. Once and for all"
He looked up at her solemnly. "I did say that, didn't i." She nodded slowly.
Still holding her, he carried her to the kitchen and placed her gently on the countertop. She kept her legs wrapped around him, wanting - needing - to be

close to him, to touch him; but also needing to hear the words she'd been waiting for for seven years. He reached up and pushed a tendril of her hair behind

her ears, and said softly, so she could barely hear him at first, "I think you're the most amazing woman i've ever met. You're brilliant, strong,

compassionate, honest, and honest to god, the most beautiful woman i have ever seen up close. Or anywhere else, for that matter. I've always admired you for

your determination, (he kissed her) for you drive, (and another) for your fire, (and again) for everything that is you, because i love you, and no one else

can ever even come close to being able to compare." He let out a breath. "That's what i think of you, really"
She sat, stunned, for a moment or two as all of that washed over her. She certainly hadn't been expecting that, not that she was complaining. Her eyes welled

up with tears as the reality of it sunk in: Grissom loved her. He LOVED her. And the only conceivable response she could think to utter was:
"I love you too"
He kissed her face and swept her off the counter, slinging her over her shoulder as she laughed uncontrollably, and tossing her onto the bed. She looked up at him, and he admired her beautiful face for the millionth time since he'd met her. He drank in the sight of her looking up at him, her flat belly smooth and delicious, wild curls splayed on the bed.
"I love you," she whispered, and pulled her onto him.
He smiled, and they told each other just exactly what they thought of one another for the rest of the night.


The sun was setting on the strip, and Sara and Joslyn sat in silence on Sara's deck, enjoying each other's company. Grissom and Greg could be heard inside

the apartment, the familiar sounds of food being prepared filtered through the deck screen. Catherine, Nick, and Warrick would be arriving within the next

half hour, they'd all planned a get together to enjoy some well deserved relaxation time.
Sara looked at Joslyn, the pink glow of the setting sun illuminating her face and brilliant green eyes, dancing off her golden hair. Joslyn was staring at

the sunset, seeing and not seeing. Sara watched her for a moment, confused at the sadness and disappointment she saw; and then she realized.
"You're leaving, aren't you"
Joslyn's eyes closed at the hurt and shock in Sara's voice. She couldn't bear to look into those bottomless brown eyes, she was too afraid of what she might

see there. Anger, sorrow, pain. But she had to look. She tore her gaze from the sky and locked eyes with her former supervisor.
"I don't know yet," she responded softly. She refused to look at Sara, lest she see something in those bottomless brown eyes she didn't want to see. "My

apprentice program is over. I passed."Sara looked at her in disbelief. Was this really happening? Was she really on the verge of losing one of the only

friends she ever had? "I'm scheduled to be transferred back to Yale." Her voice was cracking with emotion. She rested her face against the cool bars of Sara's balcony, letting two

secret tears slip form under her closed lids and slide silently down her face, plummeting from her chin to the streets below.
"Jos," Sara scooted beside up beside her and rested her head on Jos's. She had been planning on saying something selfless, like "Do whatever you feel is

right," or, "I just want what's best for you," but what slipped out of her mouth was the selfish, pleading thought that had been running through her mind

throughout the whole conversation.
"Joslyn, please stay"
Joslyn looked up at her with what looked like a hint of relief in her eyes and said, "i already applied for my final year of courses at UNLV but i won't know

if there's enough spaces until next week"
Sara's smile stretched a mile wide, because she knew for a fact tht one word from Grissom would land her a permanent place in any forensics class she could

ever want to take. Joslyn was staying, and Grissom was hers, and life was starting to make just a little more sense. Grissom and Greg both looked

up from their dicing and sautee-ing to share a look over the sound of two roaring cackles bouncing off the walls. One a deep, pleasing belly laugh, and the

other a rich, high pitched cackle.
Their laughter lasted a long time, long after they got tears in their eyes and cramps in their guts. It was the laughter of two people who had no idea what

was to come, only that whatever it was, they would face it together.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXxx sorry again for the wait! ps GSR is canon, squeeeeeeeeeeeee!