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Fuel to the Fire

Elevators and Entrapment

Sara slammed her car door stepping out into the dimly lit parking lot under the Las Vegas Crime Lab. The humidity that embraced her as she walked towards the elevator was a reminder of the fact that she could have been sitting comfortably at home. Her pager bleeped in her pocket for the millionth time that afternoon. Grissom. Most likely. Sara thought bitterly as she ignored it.

Today was supposed to be her first day off after two weeks of pulling doubles and the occasional triple. But somehow she had found herself stuck in Vegas traffic in the middle of the day. The AC in her car had been on the blinkers for weeks but it had chosen today (of all days) to give up on her. The journey that should have taken her no longer than a hour took over three and alongside that the heat had almost been unbearable.

"Ah, Sara." A familiar voice brought her back to reality as she stepped into the steel box that could induce claustrophobia in most people. Sara groaned inwardly as she glanced up to see the smug face of the trace tech. She gave him a brief smile before turning away to face the door of the lift.

"So, I guess Grissom's got you pulling another double?" he asked attempting to make small talk.

"Very observant Hodges, well done." Sara said sarcastically throwing a patronising smile with gritted teeth his way. She couldn't work out if it was his company that made her snarky or if she was that irritated with the truth he had just spoken.

"Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed." he muttered loud enough for her to hear.

"No, I haven't been to sleep yet. I'm actually starting to question whether I even remember what my bed looks like." She explained watching the ceiling rather than looking at her co-worker. Knowing that seeing his smug, most likely well rested face would only add to her anger.

"The life of a CSI." Hodges sympathised. "I've got to say, since I've been working grave yard my sleep patterns have become just like my first year at college. But at least then I got to be up all night partying rather than being stuck in a lab." Sara shot him a questioning look with a raised eye brow that made him to feel uneasy.

"I can be a lot of fun I'll have you know Ms Sidle." He said hoping that his mock confidence didn't appear too false.

"I'm sure you can." Sara said in a low, raspy voice, her lips curling into a smirk as she imagined the mildly irritating lab teach drunk. Hodges turned to look at the woman next to him with a frown. There had always been something about Sara that made him nervous; perhaps it was the fact that she had cut him down more times than he could count over the time they had been working together.

"Actually-" at that moment the lift gave a lurch and after a few seconds it came to a halt. The light above them started flickering.

"Call the emergency line." Sara indicated to the phone near him. Hodges nodded gripping the phone tightly in his hand while pushing the button. Sara could hear the phone ringing from where she stood her fingers crossed that someone would answer.

"Hello." A calm voice said from the other side.

"Hi, my name is David Hodges, myself and my colleague Sara Sidle are stuck in the D Block elevator." He explained as clearly as he could. There was the sound of furious typing came from the other end of the conversation.

"It looks like there is an electric fault we'll send someone right away."

"Thank you, please hurry." Hodges responded placing the phone back of the hook and turned to Sara with a helpless expression. His companion groaned leaning her head against the wall her arms crossed across her chest.

"Hodges...you ever have those days were you regret getting out of bed?" She asked in a low voice her eyes focused on the ceiling.

"I thought you haven't been to bed." He responded knowing full well that it would annoy her. Sara shot him a warning look letting him know that smart-ass comments were most certainly not welcome.

"Actually, yes I have." he said with an attempt at an innocent expression.

"Well, I'm having one of those days." A frustrated mutter resounded.

"It could be worse." Hodges said with a grin. "You could be stuck in here with Sanders... or even Bobby!"

"I'd take either over you David Hodges. And what do you have against Bobby?" Sara narrowed her eyes at him.

"That hurt, Sara. I hope you know that. And I have nothing against Bobby, I just find him rather cavalier that's all." Hodges said his hands clasped in front of him, shrugging in his childishly nervous manner.

"That sounds rich coming from you." Sara snorted. She glanced up from her feet to see the clearly hurt expression of her co-worker realising that perhaps she had taken it to a step too far. She had spent many years in San Francisco working with men like David Hodges; those who acted up due to insecurity or those suffering the fear of rejection. Hell, she'd even dated men like him.

"I'm sorry." She said quietly.

"It's okay." He shifted his stand mirroring Sara's; against the wall arms across his chest, his eyes focusing on the floor and ceiling carefully avoiding directly looking at the person in front of him. There was silence between them as neither knew what would be the right thing to say in the situation they had found themselves in.

"And, Greg's a nice guy you just have to get to know him." She said softly feeling guilty for the way that their co-workers had been treating Hodges. He was human after all. Annoying. But human.

"Well...from what I know so far, I don't think we'll be getting on too well." Hodges shrugged again. "To be honest... I haven't really clicked with anyone here... apart from Grissom."

"Really, people here are responding differently to how they did in LA?" Sara asked pursing her lips attempting to suppress a smirk. Hodges responded with silence knowing only too well what she was suggesting.

The elevator lurched again the doors finally opening on the lobby at the lab, a technician stood with an apologetic look.

"Sorry about that." He said as he stepped out of the way to let them out.

"It's fine, have a nice day." Sara said as she stalked off down the hallway ready to get to work.

Hodges stood watching her disappear while he wondered what the strange feeling that had taken hold of his stomach was.