A/N: Written for everyone who thought it was ridiculous that there wasn't any Greg/Sara scene in Sara's last episode 'Goodbye and Good Luck'. Especially dedicated to my Sandle friends at TalkCSI and FanficAddiction, for the inspiration she's always given me with her amazing Sandle stories. This story was possibly the hardest I've ever done; it took me ages to get it the way I wanted it to be. I hope I'm not letting you guys down. Lyrics are by Chris Daughtry. Greg and Sara by CBS. With love, Eva

It's Not Over

GREG


Barely catching his breath, Greg was running down the street. Raindrops had started falling from the sky and he felt them run down from his cheeks to his t-shirt, soaking him completely within a few seconds. It was as if the weather knew exactly how he felt at the moment, but didn't want to make it easier for him to do what he was doing. What was destiny trying to tell him? Did the wet streets that nearly made him slip and fall mean that he had to give up, stand still and let her go? Or did the wind that blew into his back and supported him in his running mean that he had to move even faster? That he should do everything in his power to stop her?

His body seemed to have agreed with the latter. Never had he run this fast for so long in his whole life. His lungs were screaming for air desperately, but his legs just kept on moving. Get there, he told himself. You cannot leave things like this.

SARA

Her apartment seemed so much bigger to her, when it was this empty. Paint was blistering off the walls, the curtains had been drawn off their rails and dust was lying on the floor. Further there was nothing; nothing that would make somebody remember somebody had been living here.

Or wait. Was there? Her eyes caught sight of something lying on the kitchen floor. Her shoes resounding through the empty apartment, Sara walked towards it and knelt down to pick it up. It was a photo, taken three years ago, of her and Greg. They both held glasses of champagne in their hands and their arms were wrapped around each other. She looked into the camera smiling brightly, while Greg had his head turned towards her, grinning.

She had always loved that photo. It used to hang above her bed and every time she'd wake up, she'd look at it and feel happy and strong, as if nothing that would happen that day could break her down. It used to be the most loving photo she possessed; now it was the most depressing.

While she stared at Greg's happy face looking at the she in the photo, a wave of guilt went through her stomach. Greg. She had not told him anything. She had not been able to find the courage to tell him about her decision. Pathetic little her hadn't been brave enough to take a decision, stick with it and honestly tell the people she cared about. If she left just like that, what would he think? He'd be disappointed in her. Maybe he'd even think he didn't mean a thing to her, since she could just up and bail without telling him about it and without explaining. But he did. Oh God, he did. He meant more to her than anything and she couldn't even tell him that. She was afraid of being hurt, of being rejected, or thrown away, although in the back of her head she knew Greg better than that and knew that he would never do that.

Then what was she afraid of actually? Maybe it was everything together. This confusion; all of the thoughts wandering through her mind aimlessly, unanswered or solved. This mess in her head scared her. And that was why she was leaving. Her mind needed cleaning.

She turned the photo around. In Greg's scribbles a short note was written. Thanks for being a kickass mentor. I hope that after all the things you learnt me I'm gonna be able to do it on my own (not very sure on that one but apparently I passed, so we'll see :)).

Once again, Sara used to love those words. Now they had gotten an unintended, ironical meaning to her: from now on he'd have to do it on his own, no matter what, and he didn't even know. She knew he could, though. He was a great CSI, no matter how often he had been mocked or teased with it. Half of the time he was way better at controlling his emotions than she was. Hell, if that weren't true, he'd be leaving. He'd be the pathetic person that she was, sitting on the kitchen floor of his empty apartment about to leave everyone that cared for him.

Sara turned around and reached out for her handbag waiting for her near the door. She pulled a pen out of it and quickly scrabbled a short message underneath Greg's. Then she placed the photo upon the kitchen sink, leaving it there for... she had no idea. She didn't even know why she had written it, but frankly she didn't even care. The small possibility that Greg would read it somewhere, someday was enough for her.

Then she turned around, grabbed her bag from the floor and left the apartment. She stepped into the elevator, watching the doors close, while at the same moment she heard the elevator next to hers arrive at this floor.

GREG

Still panting, Greg stormed out of the elevator. He halted abruptly when he saw the door to Sara's apartment stood half-open. Was he too late? Not wanting to allow that thought into his head just yet, he walked on, pushing the door open.

"Sara?"

There was no response. He took a few careful steps into apartment. Even though there appeared to be none, he still felt like an intruder. But the need of talking to her won and he stepped into the living-room.

Or, what used to be the living-room. All of the excitement that he had been feeling just a minute ago sank to his shoes. He hadn't felt any exhaustion during his long run from the lab to here, but now it was as if even the few steps into the apartment were too much effort for his body.

He was too late. She was already gone.

Aimlessly, he began walking through the empty apartment. He realized that he had never really seen Sara's place that well. He had been there a few times, when she had invited him over after they had closed a case. Those were rare moments; Sara was not really a person that would easily invite somebody to come home with her, and Greg considered himself lucky to have been one of these people that she had invited.

All of a sudden, he noticed something lying on the kitchen sink. His feet seemed to be drawn towards it automatically and he took it up. At first he didn't believe it when he saw his own hand writing. When he turned the paper around and saw the photo of him and Sara, it all came back to him: of course, his graduation! But there was something else. Underneath his note, there was something written in Sara's neat, curly letters. I am sure that you can.

SARA

She shoved the last suitcase into the trunk of her car. That was the last of it. There was absolutely nothing left to do before her departure. Then why did she feel like she couldn't yet leave? Was there something she'd forgotten? That she hadn't done yet?

Sure there was. But she did not want to think of that. The guilt found its way back to her stomach, and she tried hard to ignore it. She was about to slam the door of the trunk shut, when she heard someone call her name. At first she thought she had just imagined it, because he had been on her mind all the time. She closed her eyes for a second.

When she opened them again, he was standing in front of her.

"Sara!" he panted.

They stood there facing each other for a split second. Then Sara dropped her glance. "What are you doing here, Greg?" she mumbled.

He sighed. "What do you think, Sara?"

Oh, she hated it when he looked at her like that. Those brown eyes, slightly hurt, and yet so full of love; they seemed to pin the guilt right into her. She didn't want to be this cold to the one person that made her feel warm inside. She didn't want to push him away just when she needed him so badly. And she didn't want him to look at her that way; it only increased everything.

"Sara, what's going on? Why are you doing this?"

Just when she thought it couldn't get worse. His words echoed through her mind, until she couldn't take it anymore. She viciously slammed the trunk shut, as if she could get all the questions and guilty feelings off of her by just slamming the door hard enough.

She walked past Greg without looking at him, towards the driver's seat.

"Sara!" he shouted. "Sara, wait!"

"Don't do this, Greg. Just... Just leave me alone. Please."

She opened the door and got into the car. Quickly, she reached in her pocket for her car keys, but suddenly she heard the door open on the other side of the car.

"I just want an explanation, Sara!"

She sighed, cursed under her breath for not finding her keys, and then saw them in the ignition already. She turned them, as the engine began to roar. Just when she wanted to hit the accelerator with her foot, Greg jumped into the passenger seat, pulling the door shut.

"Greg, damnit! What are you doing?" she shouted, angrily.

He ignored her question. "Just drive."

"Get out of my car!"

He just sat there, looking back at her. He didn't move; didn't make any intention to follow up her order.

"Greg, get out. I mean it."

She couldn't stand this. He was too damn stubborn; and so was she. They sat there glaring at each other, not wanting to be the one to give in to the other's wishes. His eyes locked into hers and dared to stare back. He didn't turn away and neither did she. After what seemed hours, Sara cursed again and pushed the accelerator. The car swung forward and they were driving. None of them knew were to, none of them said anything. The radio jumped on. The familiar guitar riffles of one of her favourite songs sounded up loudly through the car. She had always loved the lyrics, but it wasn't until now that she realized how much it described their current situation. Her and Greg's.

I was blown away, what could I say?
It all seemed to make sense

You're taking away, everything
And I can't deal with that

He had come here for an explanation; to find out why she was bailing him. Could she blame him? She wouldn't have taken no for an answer if it had been the other way around. She would have wanted to know why too.

She owed it to him.

"You remember what I told you, that time in the locker room?"

Greg seemed surprised to hear her start talking out of the blue. He nodded.

"I guess I've come to realize that..." She sighed. "That I'm sick of it all."

"Of what?"

Sara stared with her eyes focused upon the road. "Of this. The misery and pain we see every day. I just feel like it's taken too much away of me... I cannot seem to find the healthy balance."

Silence. "You know?" she added, nervously.

"Yeah, I know," Greg said, giving her a convincing smile.

I try to see the good in life

But good things in life are hard to find

We'll blow it away, blow it away

Can we make this something good?

"And yeah, maybe I have to learn how to focus on the good things in life more. But when I see how little girls are sexually assaulted, or beaten... I cannot let those things go, you know? I cannot solve the case, and move on. It stays with me."

He gave her a little time, in case she'd want to continue talking, then he said softly: "But we're trying to make things good, aren't we? We try to find justice for the victims."

"I know that. But usually we're too late. And at those times, crazy as it may seem, I start blaming myself. If we had gotten there earlier..." Her voice broke away.

"I know what you mean."

Now she turned her face towards Greg, surprised. His eyes looked back at her, understanding and seemingly consoled her, telling her she wasn't crazy. That she hadn't gone mad in the past years. It meant more to her than she could ever explain to him. And then she realized something. Something she should've realized long ago.

He was saving her. He was the one that had made her stay in Las Vegas this long. If it wasn't for him, she probably would've freaked and run away long ago.

Well, I'll try to do it right this time around

It's not over

Try to do it right this time around
It's not over

But there's a part of me
That's dead and in the ground

This love is killing me

But you're the only one

It's not over

"But Sara, will you please listen to me? Pull over. I have something to tell you and if you still want to leave after that I promise I will drive you to the airport, the train station or the border myself."

Sara's lips curled into a small smile. She glanced over at his pleading eyes, then gave in and parked the car on the side of the road. "Okay. Shoot."

He paused for a second, then said: "I never told you this, but you are really the reason I became a CSI."

She looked at him, confusion in her eyes. "What are you talking about?"

"You were someone I looked up to and admired. You were so tough, so strong and self-confidant. You dared to say everything to everyone... I wanted to be like that too."

He turned his face away from her, looking out the front window. Sara sat still, not believing the words he had just spoken. He admired her? She was self-confidant and strong? If it wasn't about herself, she wouldn't laughed. Personally, she couldn't think of anyone less self-confidant and strong than she was.


Taken all you could take
And I could not wait
We're wasting too much time
Being strong, holding on
Can't let it bring us down

"And then you even became my mentor," Greg continued, still not looking at her. "You supported me and always had my back... I know it sounds really cheesy, but I wouldn't have pulled through without you."

Sara could no longer stand it. Why was he doing this do her? She had never seen herself as a mentor. She was barely keeping herself together, let alone help others to do so. What in the world had given Greg this idea of her being the strong, the confidant and reliable one?

"Of course you would have! Greg, I-I... I seriously don't know what you are thinking and what pulled you through forensic science school, but it certainly wasn't me."

He now faced her, his eyebrows raised. "It wasn't?"

"No."

"How can you be so sure?"

"Because I..." Sara held up her hands in desperation for words. "I... I'm not whoever you think I am. I'm not strong, far from it, and I'm not self-confidant and tough--"

"Yes, you are."

"I'm not!" Sara was shouting now. He had to understand that he was completely wrong; he obviously had an entirely different image of her than who she really was.

"Yes, you are, Sara, you are! Why don't you see it yourself? Why don't you see what kind of beautiful person you are?!" He too had risen his voice now.

Sara bit her lip and dropped her glance. Her throat was aching. "Stop it," she whispered.

"No, I won't. I want you to see it yourself. I want you to not be so damn stubborn and understand that you are the smartest and strongest person I know," he continued.

From under her eyelashes, Sara stole a glance at him. He was looking at her, determined and almost vicious. Evidently he was being serious. Did he really mean all that? Was she so strong and smart as he kept on telling her?

"I'm not strong," she said.

"Damnit, Sara! Why do you keep on doing this? If you aren't strong, then how did you survive the explosion in the lab? How did you come out alive from the mental institution? How did you—" He hesitated for a moment, then continued: "How did you survive the abduction and the night and day you spent in the desert?"

"SHUT UP!"

She had raised her head up to him again and her eyes flashed anger and despair. She couldn't believe that he had actually said that.

He looked back at her; he seemed a little shocked by her outburst, but his expression didn't show any sign of regret for having mentioned all the things she had gone through. There was a silence in the car for a while. Eventually, Greg said softly: "Then there was the time that I was attacked by these guys, last year. I was cold, miserable and in a lot of pain, and all of a sudden you were sitting next to me. You held my hand and made me feel safe again. You saved me."

Sara stayed silent. She reminisced the fear she had felt when she had heard Greg had been attacked and the relief when she found out he was okay. But she had never really thought of the fact that she had sat next to him, holding his hand and rubbing his hair. She had never thought of it as important or worth remembering. But apparently Greg had. He had experienced it as a big part of his recovery after the assault. She had saved him, he had said.

With confusion she remembered the thoughts she had had only a few minutes ago. That he was saving her.

"I guess I never... I never realized it meant that much to you," she mumbled.

"That's why I wanted to tell you. I just wanted you to know how important you are," he said, without embarrassment. "Especially to me," he added, whispering.

My life with you means everything
So I won't give up that easily

I'll blow it away, blow it away

Can we make this something good?

So to her Greg was the strong one who kept her sane; to him she was the role model whom he looked up to and admired. He was saving her with his crazy humour and little moments he had; she was saving him when he was scared or lost.

They were saving each other.

Let's start over

Try to do it right this time around

It's not over
But there's a part of me
That's dead and in the ground
This love is killing me

But you're the only one
It's not over

"So what was all this? An attempt to make me feel good about myself?" she asked.

"I just wanted you to see that you are way stronger than you think yourself. I guess I was hoping you'd change your mind about leaving if you knew..."

Sara turned her face away from him again and didn't respond. Greg however didn't give up.

"Because even though you're tired now and you feel like you can't deal with all of this, you can. Just like you could deal with all the other stuff you've already dealt with."

His words echoed through her mind. They seemed to take an awful lot of time to find their way to her brain and to understanding. But she realized that what he said was true. There wasn't much use in running away. Especially now that she knew what she did. That he was the one that was saving her. Why would she run away from him? Why would she look for safety somewhere else when it was sitting right in front of her?

Can't let this get away
Let it out, let it out

Don't get caught up in yourself

Let it out

"You're right. You're totally right, of course you are, but..."

"Confidence, Sara Sidle."

He smiled at her, she looked back not-understanding.

"Confidence. You have it, you just don't know it yet. You have the courage to turn around your car right now and drive back to Vegas. You just have to trust me."

Let's start over
Try to do it right this time around

She looked at him, amazed. He stared back with his loving and concerned brown eyes and then she saw it. She saw that she was strong enough to do this. She saw that it was cowardly and stupid of her to run away. She saw the courage she had always thought she lacked.

This love is killing me
But you're the only one

She heard the last guitar chord from the song fading, as their lips met.

It's not over