DISCLAIMER: Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!

RATING: T – For Teen (for mature subject matter)


SPOILERS: Sort of a Post Ep for TGTB&TD, but really a sequel to Silence, NV

SUMMARY: Grissom is trying desperately to sort through the problems of his relationship with Sara, and quickly learns that Silence isn't their only problem. Sequel to Silence, NV

A/N: I never intended to write any more for this era, but there were so many readers looking for more to this story that I felt compelled to finish it off in a more satisfying way. This is a short start to it, but there will be 3 parts in total (I'm finishing off and polishing up part 2 now), so I hope this will live up to your expectations. I will warn you, however...I'm gonna make them work for it.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: My betas are beyond awesome, but the real credit behind this fic is the readers, and one reader in particular over at YTDAW. I know she doesn't read WIP's, but I can guarantee that she'll be doing a little happy dance when she sees the notice for this one. ;)

REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.

Bitter Springs, NV


As soon as his vision cleared from the last sneeze, Grissom grabbed another tissue from his pocket and continued driving to the scene as he tried to keep the dripping at bay. In one way or another, he had been fighting the same cold ever since his sabbatical. And then, just as now, he was fighting a losing battle…alone.

The meals after their shifts helped, and so did the evening walks with the dog, but more than ever, he found that he missed her, wanted her, needed her more than anything else in his life. However, what he had was only what he deserved; a nasty head cold, a sore back from sleeping on Brass' couch, and an ache in his heart caused by the fear that it may be all he would ever have again.

Before he had a chance to fall too far into his worry and despair, his traveling companion spoke up from the passenger seat of the Denali. "Uh, Grissom?" Greg waited patiently for his acknowledgement and then asked, "Why exactly are we headed to a scene out near Moapa again?"

He drew in a calming breath, hoping it would hide the melancholy in his spirit, and prepared to answer his youngest CSI's question. "Because the scene is on a trail in a state recreation area, and because believe it or not, Overton is within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's jurisdiction."

Greg nodded his head as he went back to staring out at the landscape. "Got it."

Just when he thought the conversation was over, the young man began to fidget in his seat, and Grissom knew there would be more. "But why are we handling a traffic case?" Immediately recognizing the irritation on his face, Greg back pedaled and corrected himself. "Not me. I meant…how come you're taking a traffic fatality call?"

Fortunately, the annoyed look he shot in the direction of the passenger seat was enough to silence any further questions. The problem was that the question was already rolling through his decongestant riddled brain. Why was he taking a traffic call?

He knew the answer to that riddle. In the last few weeks, he had done everything in his power to keep from dwelling on the fact that he and Sara were separated, and he was afraid. Afraid of losing her, afraid of getting too close, afraid that his carefully composed façade would finally break and he would throw caution to the wind, take her into his arms and promise her anything to keep her in his life, right in the middle of the lab, if he spent any time at all in her proximity.

In short, he was taking any call that he could to keep himself out of the lab and away from her during their shifts. A drive out past Moapa was the prefect choice to keep him out all night.

His plan was working perfectly as he and Greg slowly processed the messy accident scene on the Bitter Springs Trail, all the way until dawn. What he had not counted on was the fact that someone else would have to cover the overflow cases while he was out of town, which meant that Sara would have to skip their morning meal together.

As he trudged behind an anxious Bruno, tugging at his leash, Grissom felt the bitter taste of defeat. There was no phone call waiting for him when he returned from Overton, just a sticky note on his computer saying; Out 'til noon, walk the dog, bagels in fridge. It had been so impersonal, so abrupt, and did nothing to soothe his frazzled spirit. While he waited for Bruno to finish his business, he blew his nose and realized that his mood was not entirely based on Sara's absence, and that he should probably see the doctor about his stubborn cold.