A/N: Wow, thanks for all the reviews guys! Here is the final chapter!
Slowly he regained consciousness to the world around him. He heard the faint sound of sirens coming from… somewhere, he couldn't be sure where. Slowly he willed his body to move but it just wouldn't budge. He was too beaten to do much of anything now. Cracking one eye open as far as it would allow him to he looked around the area to inspect his surroundings.
He saw some flashing lights on top of a vehicle which he deducted was an ambulance. He heard some people arguing and protesting with what sounded like Sofia, and cops were circling around the area with crime-scene tape. Where was Sara, he wondered?
Rolling his eyes to the side Greg saw her laying limp on the ground next to him. He wasn't sure if she was awake yet or not. Her hair was now matted down with dirt and blood and her CSI vest was torn. Over the white stitching surrounding her name there was a smear of red that stopped just at the collar. "Sara," he hoarsely whispered.
After a few moments she began to respond. He could see her eyes flutter open and then close a few times as he tried to get adjusted to the morning sunlight. She took a few deep raspy breaths as she licked her dry lips, tasting blood on her tongue. She looked around a bit disoriented at first before she determined where the voice was coming from. "Greg," she responded. The simple reply wasn't much but it was an indication that they were both still alive, and they both desperately needed that.
Greg looked Sara over in the sunlight now and he saw blood on her face. His breathing seemed to become more rapid now as he examined the extent of what those people were able to do to her. She had a bloody cut on her forehead and her lip was purple, her arms were scraped up and Greg balled his fist in anger. How could someone mark her face? How could someone mark her arms, her… perfectly-tanned, freckle-dusted, sun-kissed arms?
"What a night, huh," Sara managed to get out. Oh, don't talk, he wanted to tell her, don't try and talk… He didn't know how badly she was hurt but however bad it was it was too bad. She shouldn't be lying on the ground next to him now, he thought. This was his fault, all because he couldn't take the hint when she had refused to go to dinner with him all those times. It was his fault he had the stubbornness of a 13-year-old. He wondered how she could still manage to be sarcastic.
"Yeah," he mumbled back instead. "I'm really sorry, Sara," he whispered.
Sara was puzzled. Had Greg been lying there all this time playing the blame game with himself? Because she had been doing the exact same thing. She was the senior and she was the one with experience. She was Greg's mentor… and she had let him down. In all sense of the word. She remembered Greg being so excited when he found out he had passed his final proficiency test to get into the field and now he was here, lying on the cold Vegas pavement bloody and bruised.
"It's not your fault, Greg," Sara whispered back. Oh, if only she had a brain, she thought…
"I was the one who hit them with my car," Greg mumbled in attempt to direct the fault back at him. He knew she was blaming herself but none of it was her fault. It was all Greg Sanders' fault, Mr. I-Have-A-Huge-Puppy-Dog-Crush-On-Sara-Sidle.
"But I tried to shoot at them with my gun," Sara mumbled back. She thought she was doing a good job at being a mentor, and she had failed at that. She had failed Greg, and she had failed herself. "And I failed at that too," she sadly whispered under her breath. She silently hoped Greg didn't hear her, and if she did… if she dared start crying she'd blame it on PMS.
"You're not a failure," Greg mumbled, trying to open his eyes again. "You're… the only reason I ever got into the field." She was his role model and she hadn't realized it. She was the reason he wanted to be in the field. "You're the best CSI we've got and I… I just wanted to make myself something."
"Greg…" Sara whispered.
"You know Papa Olaf used to say that… in life there are some relationships that are and aren't worth the risk," Greg continued, "Of course he said that with a bottle of scotch in one hand and a bong in the other, but…" this earned him a small laugh from Sara, "He once said that not one woman is worth the skin on your back, but all women are worth your life."
"Kind of like 'one woman is too many and all women are not enough'?" Sara asked, a small smile creeping at the corners of her mouth.
But Greg didn't find this humorous. Greg had grown silent, just looking over at Sara. Her face was dirty and bloody and bruised. Her clothes were torn and bloodstained; her eyes were… they were heavenly…
"You're worth it, Sara," Greg finally whispered.
It took Sara a minute to realize what he was saying. "…What…?" she whispered back.
"You're worth it, Sara," Greg repeated, feeling his voice start to hitch in his throat. No, no, no, no, this couldn't be happening, he thought, he was the tough guy. He was the big strong guy who didn't puke at his first autopsy. Sara had said she hand and… oh dreams of Sara…
"Greg…" Sara whispered. She could tell he was trying to be strong. But a part of her didn't want to admit to herself that Greg was saying all this. She wasn't anything special; she wasn't worth the tears or the heartache. "Greg, I'm not worth it," she whispered, "I'm not worth you telling me all this. I come from a broken family, my relationships have all been loads of crap, just me lying to myself to be happy…" she whispered, "And on top of that I'm the most gullible person you'll ever meet. My prom date raped me in the backseat of his car." She finished with a tone almost nothing above a whisper.
The area grew silent except for the sound of young beat cops running around trying to restrain the curious group of bystanders clawing to get through the crime-scene tape barrier. There was the sound of some sirens from police cars, there was the sound of the wind rustling…
…and then there was the sound of movement. Sara watched as the silent tears she had willed wouldn't fall began to descend down her cheeks, blurring her vision as a figure began to come into her line of vision. She couldn't tell who it was at first but after blinking a few times she recognized them immediately. "Greg," she whispered, "Greg, stop it, you're going to hurt yourself."
Greg had pushed himself up using the remaining strength he had left, suddenly found somewhere deep from within himself. He didn't know what it was, except that he had never felt anything quite like it before. His hands were practically shaking as he managed to pull himself to his knees. He felt moisture running down his face and realized his tears were falling.
"Greg, please," Sara choked. Oh god, he was hurting himself because of her and—
"I would never, ever hurt you, Sara," Greg whispered, reaching down and grabbing her hands in his. "I might not be the model boyfriend, or… have the best sense of style," he added, "But I would never dream of hurting you, Sara," he whispered. "I promise you that."
It was love, then he realized it. That strange feeling was love. That wave of nausea in his stomach was love, that tingling sensation in his arms and legs was love. His heart was pounding because he loved her.
"Greg," Sara let out another cry, the tears once again flooding her eyes, "Greg, I don't want you to make a mistake, you don't have to—"
"If you're a mistake," Greg whispered, "Then you're the most beautiful, intelligent, sweetest mistake I've ever seen in my entire life. You're my favorite mistake."
Sara let out the sob she had been holding in the entire time as she pushed herself forward off the ground into Greg's arms, linking her own around his neck as tight as her bruised body would allow her to. Greg moved his arms to try and hold her. "I love you Sara, and I always have," he whispered to her.
"I love you too," Sara whispered.
And then both their bodies gave out. Simultaneously they both fell back to the pavement, falling back into unconsciousness. But in the black void of nothingness there was a warmness that they both immediately found, a comfort there somewhere.
It was love.