A/N: I don't own CSI or the characters. I also don't own anything written or performed by Blue October. If you get a chance, listen to their CD called Foiled. I highly recommend it. Please read and review.
She found him sitting on the uncomfortable, blue seats outside the gate of United flight 1554. The row of chairs backed up to the typical expanse of the airport windows. Grissom's body was half-turned so he could capably peer into the world outside the glass. His facial expression was both wistful and unfocused. Nothing specific seemed to hold his gaze.
Thankful her credentials allowed her access to the gate without a boarding pass, Sara made her way toward Grissom. Not speaking, she sat on the empty chair beside him, intertwining his hand in hers and resting her head upon his shoulder. They sat in silence for more than a half-hour and through two boarding calls. Sensing final boarding was imminent, Grissom stood, not breaking his hand hold with Sara. She stood as well forcefully biting into her bottom lip in hope her tears would remain at bay. A rouge drop slid down her right cheek. Grissom gently brushed it from her face. His own eyes were watery. Reaching into her jacket pocket, Sara retrieved a neatly wrapped package, handing it to Grissom. He looked at her quizzically, but before he could question, the cackle of the intercom sounded in the background. Sara managed a half-hearted smile and squeezed his hand as if to signal a silent goodbye. She took a step backward. Instead of breaking her grasp, Grissom stepped to follow her retreat. Sara squeezed his hand again and let go. She turned and walked away, leaving Grissom to stare after her.
Twenty minutes later, Sara was in her car driving to the lab. Given the two had barely spoken since Grissom revealed he accepted an offer to teach a four-week entomology seminar in the Northeast, Sara was conflicted about seeing him off from the airport. It was difficult, but she remained until the plane was in flight. Once she was reasonably sure he was aboard, she returned to the windows, crying as space was created between the plane's landing gear and the solid surface of the runway.
It was 11:35. Her shift began in just over twenty minutes. The drive would absorb much of this time. Stopping at a red light, Sara reflected upon Grissom's departure. He told her of the upcoming trip seven days ago, only one day before her colleagues were informed. Detecting her surprise and disappointment, Grissom attempted to say all of the right things.
"I need a break from work, not you."
"Our relationship is strong enough to survive a brief respite."
"I wish the offer had come from somewhere closer to Vegas."
His words, however sensible, fell flat. Unable to verbalize her emotions, Sara avoided both her feelings and Grissom. The two exchanged few words in the days before today and slept separately at their respective residences.
Last night, as she and Greg were analyzing evidence collected from a scene, Sara listened intently to the music he chose for the evening. It was tame by his standards, but Sara welcomed the diversion from conversation. She found herself enraptured by the lyrics of one particular song. Its present-day relevance was so profound, it was as if someone had crawled into her head and organized all of the disconnected thoughts bouncing around the inside of her brain. Borrowing the CD from Greg, Sara had listened to nothing else during the past 24 hours. The light now green, Sara continued her journey toward the lab, reaching over to turn the volume up on track 12. She wondered if he was listening as well.