Title: Maps

Disclaimer: Yeah, ok, I obviously don't own CSI.

Ok, this is just a little random idea I came up with one day. It's kind of based on a song I love… but it's definitely not a songfic.

Oh, and big kudos to the first person who can guess what song inspired this fic in the first place…

Review, pretty please!

(But no nasty ones please, 'cause I'm actually quite proud of this.)


In one way or another, Sara Sidle's entire life was defined by maps.

There were maps everywhere; maps she had used, maps she wanted to use, places she had been and places she wanted to go. There were maps scrawled on her old school books, maps pinned up on her childhood bedroom walls. There were maps detailing the entire of her college campus, scattered with notes and shortcuts and extra landmarks. There were maps from road trips and maps to crime scenes and maps to every place she had ever been.

There were physical maps marked all over her body, residual scarring from tales of her father's angry hands and her brother's clumsy, playful ones, maps from medical procedures, from falling from trees, scratches at the beach and so many, too, too many foster homes to handle.

More importantly, there were the maps that were permanently inked into the depths of her mind.

Memorized maps of her way around her childhood town, a place so small and so incredibly familiar to her she knew she could never ever get lost no matter how long she had been away.

Maps of the way to the prison that held her mother, the person who she needed most in the world as a child but could hardly ever reach.

Maps of the exact location and description of every single grave surrounding her father's in the cemetery, the graves which she would stare at endlessly as a teenager on her forced visits to his final resting place, refusing to look at her fathers tombstone because she really couldn't figure out if she wanted to cry or spit on his grave.

Maps of the route to her brother's tiny apartment, a route which changed as her foster homes did, and, too soon and too tragic for Sara to bear, maps of the track marks running up and down her big brother's arms.

It was when Sara was twenty years old (and eleven months, so close to twenty-one, really, she was,) that a new set of maps started, traced over and over by her longing fingers and permanently etched so deep into her heart that nothing and no-one could ever erase them. There were hundreds of them, written over and over again so that her heart ached with every line.

They were the maps of Gil Grissom.

They were the maps of the man she loved.

The first time she saw him she mapped him out along the inside margin of her notes, his height and the way he stood and his wonderful face and how far exactly he was standing from her seat in the lecture theatre.

She had stayed and they had talked and she had mapped out the route they took to the coffee place across campus and the wonderful, intricate patterns he traced through his coffee while speaking of science and sunshine and the desert.

By the end of the week she was running her fingers across maps of Nevada, measuring the exact distance between herself and Las Vegas.

She almost cried as she mapped out the trajectory of the plane he was on when he left her for the very first time.

She would talk to him on the phone every week and try to measure the distance of the phone lines from San Fran to Vegas, so she would know how far away he really was when his voice spoke in her ear. They would talk for hours before he would say that he had to go, that his students or his team or his bosses needed him and she would keep her voice light and pleasant and say goodbye to him although it took every ounce of her strength not to scream for him to wait, they don't need you as much as I do, Grissom, they don't love you like I love you…

She would then spend hours feeling so sorry for herself that she was sure she was in physical pain over him, then, of course, hours after that chastising herself for being so weak, so pathetic, so needy, so…. Oh, she was in way over her head…

Then he called her to Vegas and a new set of maps began, memorizing a whole new city and an entire new lab, measuring the distance from her work station to his office, creating so many different maps committing every detail of his wonderful eyes to memory, and mapping out the distance between their bodies when he stood that little bit too close to her like he often did. (So, so close that she could hardly breathe, let alone concentrate on work…)

She tried to draw them all out once, all the different maps in her brain that were the most important. She drew them all out in different colours on a single huge white canvas, tracing road maps and blueprints and her own scars and her father's hands and Grissom's deep blue eyes and everything important that she had ever seen and done.

What she got was nothing more than a jumbled mess of countless lines and measurements and diagrams that were barely recognizable even to her, barely even recognizable as the twisted mess of her life.

But none of it mattered because that was the day that Grissom finally surrendered to her, knocking on her apartment door and entering shyly before turning to face her, he in his nice work clothes and her in paint-smattered tracksuit pants and a singlet that used to be white. None of it mattered because he caught sight of her canvas full of maps and the apprehensive look on her face, and had run his fingers over it and smiled that he understood.

None of it mattered because that was the day that Sara finally discovered what it felt like not to need maps to imagine him, what it felt like to really have him. He showed her how it felt to have his lips on hers, to have him pressed against her, what it felt like to have him map out her entire body in the quiet calm of her cluttered bedroom.

What it felt like to have him whisper that he loved her and feel his breath brush across her lips and mingle with her own.

None of it mattered, none of it mattered at all, because that day they lay there side by side for hours on Sara's bed, she committing the beating of their entwined hearts to memory, as Grissom softly stole his fingers up and down her body, gently, sweetly, tracing maps across her skin.


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