Disclaimer: You know the drill, I don't own these characters, and I certainly don't profit from them; I just want to have fun trying to figure out what happened in between episodes. Hint, Hint, powers that be, give us more!!!!!

Chapter One: Sara woke up

The waiting room of the Desert Palms' Emergency Department was a veritable cross section of the population of Las Vegas in various stages of misery. Some injuries or ailments were rather obvious, some more occult, some bore the weight of worry about a loved one's outcome, and still there were others in whom it was impossible to know what they were suffering from by simple observation. One thing they all shared, a dearth of smiles. Whether they were clutching a bucket waiting for the next round of emesis or they were holding a bloody rag over a seeping wound; they were thrown together to wait until they were the sickest, most pitiful one there before they would be seen. The triage system was hardly first come, first serve, and on a busy night such as this one, could mean extremely long wait times.

Gil Grissom was unceremoniously ejected from Sara's side to wallow with the others in this sorrow filled room. His loved one wasn't waiting out the triage system; she had just bumped over everyone else in the place, right to the top of the list you don't want to be first on. The minute the gurney was unloaded from the med-evac chopper, ED personnel surrounded Sara and whisked her away to crash room number two where they were set up to conduct a full blown resuscitation. Crash Room, yikes, not a good sounding place to be headed for. Grissom tried to nonchalantly follow, but was quickly asked to wait in the waiting room. He tried to pull official business out of his hat, "I've got to collect her clothes and make sure you don't inadvertently lose evidence from her body."

"Nice try, CSI, but you act like we've never had an assault victim in our ED."

As he was prevented from entering further into the room by a large man dressed in white he could hear Sara asking them to let him stay. No longer able to stay away, he tried to move the male nurse aside in a desperate attempt to return to her side. Just then he felt the strong grip of an even larger man, a hospital security guard no less, on his upper arm as he was led out of the crash room and escorted straight to the den of misery, the waiting room. Desperately pleading his case, his protestations were falling on deaf ears, "Right this way, sir, I don't make the rules."

Grissom surveyed the room and the unfortunate people gathered there. Under normal circumstances he would have been mesmerized with all that was there to observe, but he was now wracked with exhaustion and worry so he was merely scanning the room for a seat. While several people were standing, he spotted an empty seat between a boy in a baseball uniform holding his wrist and a tourist with a black eye and bloody nose. He plopped down between them, oblivious to that whole personal space thing.

Not a minute later, an elderly woman was helped out of the triage area by what appeared to be her daughter. The woman was frail and tentative, but it was hard to see exactly why she was there. Grissom looked around the room. There were no available seats, but surely, someone would offer her their seat. She stood awkwardly in the center of the room; minutes passed. He could only roll his eyes as he rose and signaled to the woman to come claim his seat.

Grissom felt immense relief seeing Sara awaken, but worried none the less given her grave situation and his distance from her. Waiting for word on her condition was pure torture, and given his exhaustion, lack of sleep, and now lack of a place to even sit, he was stir crazy. Wandering outside the hospital he realized he owed the team a call.

Nick stayed out in the field to process the site where Sara was found, and more importantly the site she was trapped. Greg flew back in with the Search and Rescue helicopter he had been riding on. Warrick had stayed back in the lab looking for clues in Natalie's things, and Catherine drove back after Sara was med-evaced out.

"Willows," Catherine answered her phone automatically.

"She woke up!"

"Gil?!"

"Yeah! She woke up on the helicopter, but in the cramped space and with all the noise, we couldn't speak. Then after we landed, we've been separated. I haven't been able to speak to her or get any kind of update on her condition."

"Hey, that's what they do. But, she woke up, she'll be fine!" She paused and lowered her voice for emphasis, "She made it."

Grissom silently nodded on his end. After a deep breath, "Cath, I need someone to pick up some things for us, are you up to it?"

"You know I am. Let me go home and clean up and then I'll swing by there and get your keys."

"That'd be great, and Catherine?"

"Yes?"

"Can you call the team for me, tell 'em she's awake?"

"I'm only too happy to do that."

They said their goodbyes and hung up. Gil was relieved to have contact with someone after he'd been distanced by the ED staff. He wandered back into the waiting room; not seeing any open seats he decided to plop down on the floor near the doors. Less chance on missing out on an update, he reasoned. Not caring a bit on appearances, Grissom sat sprawled near the door on the floor, filthy, smelly, unshaven, with his head resting back on the wall, and his eyes shut with gentle snores exiting his mouth.

Meanwhile, in crash room number two, Sara was trying to be patient with all the poking, prodding, and endless questions. She was surrounded by a flurry of activity, and the recipient of a lot of unwelcome, impersonal attention. What she craved most was a warm bath and a clean bed spooned up to Grissom. Once the initial assessment was completed things began to wind down a bit. Some doctor, she didn't quite catch anyone's name really, tried to explain her findings, but Sara had trouble following it all.

"Who's with you?"

Sara swallowed, her mouth was so dry she found it difficult to speak, "My boyfriend, Gil Grissom came with me in the helicopter, but he was sent off, I don't know where he is."

"He's most likely in the waiting room; do you want me to fill him in on things?"

"Yes, please do," Sara reached up to touch the doctor's sleeve as she turned to leave, "Can I please see him?" After a pause, more urgently, "Please!?"

"I guess that would be all right, we're in less of a crunch now that you've stabilized."

Sara closed her eyes and laid her head back on the stretcher blowing out a huge sigh of relief.

Gil was asleep when the physician came in the waiting area calling his name. Fortunately, the daughter of the patient to whom he'd given up his seat noticed his name tag. When she heard his name called and saw his eyes closed, she came over to the doctor and gestured back to Grissom. Following a little nudge, he awakened to see the two women looking down at him. A bit flustered, he abruptly attempted to rise to his feet; however, the stiffness in his aching joints revolted resulting in a halting, awkward movement. The other woman smiled knowingly, and returned to wait near her mother.

"Ugh," he uttered with a hand on his lower back until he had stretched out, "Gil Grissom, I'm with Sara Sidle."

"I'm Dr. Green, I've been evaluating Ms. Sidle," came the businesslike reply.

"How is she?" Gil inquired with urgency obvious in his tone.

"She's doing quite well given the ordeal she's endured. While we'll know more once all our tests are back, her vital signs have stabilized, her temperature is down, and all indications are that she has no major injuries outside of a fractured arm. She'll need to be admitted to the hospital, but if all goes as I expect, only for a day or so."

Grissom blew out a sigh of relief as he ran his hand across his face and rubbed his weary eyes. "Thank God, that's wonderful news, thank you, Doctor."

"If you come this way, she'd like to see you."

Grissom's face lit up and he followed the doctor back into the ED like an eager puppy dog. The doctor escorted him to the doorway then disappeared into another room. He paused there, taking in the sight of Sara, out of reach for those frightening hours when she was lost in the desert, fate unknown. Her eyes were closed while a nurse stood nearby writing on a chart, the lonely blip of the EKG monitor being the only sound in the room.

He entered tentatively, when he was by her side the nurse looked up, smiled at him, then set the chart down and walked away. He scooped up her hand in his and her eyes flew open. Her face broke into a wide smile as tears began to form and a few involuntary sobs shook her shoulders. Grissom needed more contact, but was met by a railing on the side of the stretcher, IV's, of which there were now two in her good arm, a splint on her broken arm, and a myriad of monitoring lines, oxygen tubing, and other stuff he had no clue what the purpose was but just that it was in his way. Eventually his efforts sent the monitors into a tizzy and they fired off the most offending alarms until he backed off.

Nervously laughing, "I guess that hug is going to have to wait," and bent over and kissed her cheek under a laceration that had been cleaned and steri-stripped.

"We'll catch up," she stroked his cheek, "I knew you would find me; we'll catch up."

"I have so much to tell you, and there's so much I want to know, but the important thing is the doctor said you should be just fine."

She nodded, and closed her eyes, "I'm not up to too much right now; the medicine they gave me is making me sleepy."

He tenderly kissed her palm, "Just close your eyes, Dear, I'm not going anywhere."

Sara slipped off into a deep sleep. Grissom relished in the familiar sound her breathing made when she was deeply asleep, and was quite content to hold her hand and wait at her side. Sometime later the nurse returned, "There's a woman to see you two, she's quite insistent actually, she says she's a coworker, should I let her come back?"

Grissom smiled, he knew Catherine's claws could come out when she was trying to get somewhere, "Please do, she's come to help us get some things brought up here."

The nurse nodded and rolled her eyes, but returned with an eager Catherine.

Catherine came bounding into the room until she caught sight of Sara sleeping on the stretcher. She smiled and tip toed up next to Grissom, "So she's OK?"

Grissom nodded, "There's a few tests still pending, but they expect her to be just fine," he whispered. "They are definitely putting her in the hospital though," he reached in his pocket and took out his keys, never letting go of Sara's hand. "This opens the front door, Hank's at the sitter."

She took the keys, and studied Sara, "She's sleeping so hard, I don't want to wake her, but I really wanted to let her know how relieved we all are and give her a great big hug."

Grissom shrugged and gestured to all the medical equipment, "Trust me, hugs don't work in here, and she wasn't up to much conversation at all. Believe me; I can't wait to hear all about it."

Catherine nodded then changed the subject while she observed the unprecedented tenderness with which Grissom displayed by Sara's side. "So you're OK with me rooting around your place?" Catherine asked with a twinkle in her eye.

Grissom could only grimace in reply.

She snickered, "And, I take it, I can get Sara's things there as well?"

"Yes, Catherine," somewhat irritated. "There's a weekend bag in the hall closet that should be about the right size for everything."

"This is going to be fun," as she spun around to leave, "Be right back."

Grissom tightened his hold on Sara's hand and looked to the heavens. There would be no secrets from Catherine from now on.

tbc....