A/N – This is dedicated to my friends themoemer and blondecharmedone on IMDB. They requested a story about a butterfly returning to the cocoon. I hope this works for you.

Disclaimer – I don't own CBS or Paramount. Close enough?


Butterfly Home

He stared at it. When Catherine walked in, prepared to give him her reports, he still stared, not even bothering to stir at the invasion of his domain.

"What kind is that?" Catherine asked quietly, moving up behind him. "It's pretty."

"Nymphalis antiopa," he murmured. "A Mourning Cloak."

"How did it get in?" she whispered.

Smiling, he looked over her shoulder and responded low, "I have no idea, and could care less," thinking, It's in my office, sitting on her branch. He'd been mesmerized by the sight of the brown butterfly with color-tipped wings since he had walked into his office ten minutes earlier, prepared to throw himself into his case. The sight of the creature had ensnared him, drawing him like a moth to flame, until he found himself staring. Again.

Moving back to his desk, she laid the folder in his box and heaved out a tired breath and, "I'd love to say I'm heading home when shift ends in a couple hours, but we're so backed up I need to get caught up with the guys and go over the evidence in the Trent case. They're having trouble establishing the timeline." She stopped speaking when she realized he wasn't paying attention.

When Grissom's phone buzzed, he picked it up, "Grissom." For several minutes, he listened, and responded, "We'll be there in thirty minutes." When the call was finished, he sighed, and said, "I need Greg. Our case just took a twist. Vega just found the husband – he's human soup."

Heading out of his office, Grissom turned back to take one last look at the beautiful brown creature. Shutting the door to his office, he hoped people would, for the first time, not just walk in when he was gone. He really hoped she would stay.

Walking toward the garage, he paged Greg, and thought of the cocoon. The empty shell still showed trails of dye from the excess coloring squeezed off by the butterfly that had hatched long ago. While he knew the creature would most likely be gone when he returned, it made him feel… happy… to see it there, even for a short time. A true boyish grin on his face, he ducked his head, hiding his expression in the case folder, then let it fall and become more sober. He and Greg had a scene to process.


It feels strange, she thought, walking through the front doors of the LVPD crime lab. When Judy smiled at her, then gave a shocked double-take, Sara smiled in returned, and promptly ignored the receptionist's untypical gawking. Stopping momentarily, she softly asked, "Have you seen Grissom?"

Looking slightly stunned, Judy gave her a true smile, and said, "Welcome back, Sara. I think Mr. Grissom is at a crime scene."

Frowning, Sara responded, "Oh," and took a resigned breath. It would mean spending any number of hours in his office, waiting.

However, that was not meant to happen. Having barely passed Hodges' lab, she felt all eyes suddenly turn toward her, and Nick come bounding down the hall. I forgot how fast the grapevine can be, she thought, and ruefully chuckled.

"Sara, welcome back, sweetheart," he smiled at her and pulled her into a hug.

Laughing, she laid her chin on his shoulder, and sighed, "Thanks, Nicky." Pulling back, she looked at him. "I'm here for him," she nodded toward Grissom's office, and continued, "but he's at a crime scene."

Leading her toward the layout room, the eyes from every lab in the place faded from and fell off her back. Having Nick's arm around her shoulder in that same buddy-buddy fashion made her comfortable, and for a moment it felt like yesterday they'd walked and talked about a case or going out for a drink or… about life.

She made her way into the layout room, and right into the arms of Warrick, who gave her a quick squeeze, held her away, and looked over her, up and down. "Looking good, Sara," he said, smiling. "Welcome back."

It took several minutes of repeated rounds of hugs before Catherine made it into the building, slightly flushed from rushing. She didn't have to be told where to find her guys… or Sara. The laughter pointed her right to them.

Standing in the doorway, she looked over Sara and grinned, "You're looking good. You got a tan while you were gone." At the brunette's smirk, she added, "Since you're here, give them a hand. They're stuck, and I have to meet Brass in…" looking at her watch, she frowned, "five minutes ago." Sighing, she departed.

"So, boys… what do you have?" Sara asked.

Together, three heads bent over the layout table, Sara helped them arrange the evidence from the scene to match the timeline, sometimes shifting a few things here and there. Before long, the rhythm was established, and they moved swiftly and efficiently. When Catherine returned, with Brass in tow, they stopped for a break. The three of them had made considerable headway.

"How are you doing, Sara?" Brass asked, lightly hugging her. "Are you okay?"

At her misty nod, she hugged him tighter, the moment capturing her. "It's good to be back, Jim."


Greg and Grissom were exhausted.

"I want a long hot shower," Greg muttered from the passenger seat of the Denali. "Actually, I take that back. I want two showers."

Opening his eyes, he peered over at his boss and said, "You might really want to turn your phone back on, Grissom. I know Ecklie was calling every ten minutes, but even he needs you to answer at least once in awhile."

"Thank you for the advice, Greg. When you become a CSI supervisor, I'll take your orders into consideration," Grissom retorted, rolling down the window. When Greg went to turn on his own phone, Grissom ordered, "Leave yours off, too."

Rolling down his own window, Greg muttered, "It's pretty sad when he's calling your subordinate's cell phone to try and get a hold of you." Scowling at his boss, he added, "I still can't believe you made me turn mine off, too." Breathing in, Greg got a good whiff of just how bad the two of them smelled and asked, "Do you have any lemons? I'm out."

"Yes, Greg. I should have some you can use," Grissom tiredly replied.

Pulling into the parking lot, the two exited the vehicle, picking up the large sheets of plastic off the seats as they exited. When Grissom had realized they'd gotten hit with decomp, he'd made Greg drape the objects over anything they would sit on in the vehicle. He really had no desire to drive around in a company car that smelled of decomp until the smell wore off. Walking around, they bundled the thin tarps into a bag, and Grissom handed it to Greg to toss into the bio-hazard bin.

I hate this jumpsuit, Grissom said, tugging at the blue collar. When he ran his hand down the side of the jumpsuit, he felt something sticky, and realized he'd just landed his hand into slimy bits of human remains. Twisting up his nose in disgust, he forged on, determinedly. However, he then looked at his boots.

"Damn it," he muttered, and had Greg looking sideways.

Seeing the direction of his boss's gaze, Greg looked down and saw the smattering of human soup on the toe of one of Grissom's boots.

Determinedly, Grissom made his way through the 'back entrance' of the LVPD crime lab, carrying an evidence bag in his hand. He addressed Hodges, who flew up the hall upon seeing his boss, with a "Not now," and kept marching forward, aiming for an open layout room.

His mind was rattling off so many profanities he would never utter, Grissom didn't even notice the stares he was receiving. He may have never noticed, had Greg not stopped, making Grissom bump into him.

"Greg," he warned, scowling at his young CSI. Sighing, he continued, "The lemons are in my office," and started to step around him, finally looking up.

He wasn't sure how long they stood there, staring at one another. He knows he heard Greg say something about finding the lemons himself. He thinks he may have vaguely heard someone laugh.

All he could see was her soft smile, and the way her hair curled.

Moving forward a step, she quietly and tentatively said, "Hey," and watched it register on his face. When his eyes opened just a hint wider and the blue stormed deep enough to draw her in, she smiled wider. Eventually standing just a foot away, she lightly breathed out, "Baby, I think you need a shower." When he turned his head slightly, she chuckled, "Of course, Greg may have just taken all your lemons."

Racing toward the locker room and shower, he turned and warned, "Don't move." Backing his way down the hall, he added, "Give me five minutes," then grimaced, "You better make it ten."

Laughing, she said, "Make it fifteen. You smell like decomp."

The last thing she heard before he disappeared around the corner was, "Yes, dear."


He lasted twelve minutes, according to the watch he kept looking at as he peeled open lemon after lemon he'd stolen back from Greg, and used to wash down. That was all he could take. Taking a good whiff of himself to make sure he'd wiped the scent away, he dressed in thirty seconds.

Emerging from the locker room, he was still buttoning his shirt, wearing no shoes, and swore roundly. Making his way back, he got the offending objects and socks on, and practically ran to his office, and stopped dead halfway there to see her laughing at him.

"Hey," he said, and winced, as it was about the most intelligent thing he could come up with for the woman of his dreams at that moment.

Walking slowly toward him, she did the one thing she'd dreamed of since the day she left.

It felt so easy… so familiar. She didn't pause. She didn't hesitate. She simply kissed him, sinking into the heat, letting her hand run into his curly hair, while the other balanced her tilted senses on his shoulder. He responded, pulling her to him, wrapping an arm around her waist, and closing his eyes. When he let himself begin to explore, and drew them into something more frantic, he felt someone gasp, but couldn't tell if it was himself or her.

Eventually he pulled back just enough to nuzzle her ear, running one hand into her hair, and the other around her waist, leaving no space between them. Eyes still closed, he whispered, "Welcome home, butterfly."


A/N – Okay… I hope everyone liked it.