Hope you all like it please review.
If it feels familiar it's because this is a reworked version of a one-shot I'd previously posted. I had the idea to extend it into a full story but I wanted to change it a bit to fit better, so bear with me this is going somewhere... I promise!
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
In The Darkest Light
The dimly lit bar was almost empty acting as a refuge for those who had nowhere else to go on a Wednesday afternoon. Bon Jovi played over the speakers; every so often the drunk would burst into song causing the almost sober to follow suit, because I was just too tempting to belt out "Living on a Prayer". The CSIs sat at the table being consumed by darkness and empty glasses.
"I can't believe the sorts of trouble kids get themselves into these days...it scares me to think about the things Lindsey gets up to when I'm not around." Catherine referenced the case they had worked that day- a fourteen year old had died in attempt to cover up what had been one stupid mistake on his friend's part.
"Well...think about the sorts of trouble we got ourselves into, isn't it just the same?" Sara asked in a melancholic way peeling a corner of the label on her beer bottle using her thumb nail, she kept her eyes focused on the task in hand not wanting to see the glances the team were throwing her way. Catherine looked around the table but everyone shrugged not knowing what to say or how to explain the new found desolation that had seemed to take over the brunette's mood.
"Kids these days just have way too much access...guns...booze...What sort of trouble did you get yourself into Sara?" Nick piped up unable to believe that his workaholic and, mostly, sensible friend would have made the sorts of mistakes they saw every day.
"Oh...the worst kind..." Sara smirked taking a swing from her beer.
"Do tell." Catherine probed but Sara just glanced up with a conflicted expression unable to figure out whether it was a good idea to share the skeletons in her closet.
"Okay...I'll go first..."Catherine announced; picking up her mojito she finished what was left in the glass."I'd sneak into the worst clubs in town...there was always a guy at the bar who would slip me and my friends drinks in exchange of...favours..." Catherine smiled sly looking up from her lashes at the group.
"Ohh..." Nick laughed "...whenever I was caught a little worse for wear I would just remind the cops that my dad was the DA...worked until one night I crashed my dad's car..." The group chuckled at the thought.
"Greg, how about you?" Catherine asked guessing that the guy who had previously been the DNA tech with crazy hair and a questionable list of interests ranging from latex to psychics, she had the feeling that he'd probably gotten up to all sorts of trouble in his teenage years. But to her surprise he simply shrugged his shoulders.
"I didn't really get into that much trouble...kept my head down...to be honest." He responded quietly.
"Langston?" Nick asked their newest team member.
"Oh...just harmless geek fun." The older man said with a smile and twinkling eye.
"Come on Sara...it's your turn..." Catherine egged her on, but Sara still just politely smiled at the group hoping that they would understand that there were parts of her life she wished to keep private. They eventually gave up, recognising that Sara had never been particularly open about her past, or her life in San Francisco.
"Well...I better head home...got a teenager to check up on..." Catherine smiled fishing her handbag out from under the table. After Catherine had left the others bought a few more rounds but soon enough the alcohol settled in their blood stream as a permanent feature causing Nick and Langston to shared a cab and head home.
"Then there were two..." Greg chuckled, his voice husky and low causing a shiver to swim down Sara's spine. She turned to him and smiled, it had been strange being back in Vegas after so long but spending time with Greg it felt as if she had never left. They had a rapport that she hadn't seemed to match with anyone else.
"You know...the only reason I didn't get into trouble when I was a kid is because my mother kept tabs on where I was almost all hours of the day..." Greg shrugged.
"She loves you Greg, she just wanted you to be safe." Sara said softly.
"Yeah...you're right...but sometimes...I just wanted to be a kid...Do the things other kids did." Greg shrugged again thinking about his childhood. He thought of how hard it had been to tell his mother when he moved to work in the field. The speech she had given him about the dangers "out there" and how she couldn't lose him still floated through his mind every so often.
"...I used to drink...a lot..." Sara spoke, not looking Greg in the eye. "I just wanted to get out...I couldn't wait to be older...so I could get away from the foster homes, the strangers pretending to be my parents...then one night...I woke up, there I was next to this guy...fifteen years old...I had no idea who he was...how I'd gotten there...that was the day I realised that it needed to stop..." Sara shrugged picking up her drink, she still hadn't looked Greg in the eye; the feelings of disgust and fear were all too fresh in her memory.
"Hey..." Greg took her hand in his own "you got out of that place...and look at you now...no would ever know that was you..."
"And I sobered up...sorted myself...and the next thing I know I'm in my thirties with nothing but my job to keep me company..." Sara gave a humourless chuckle, a bittersweet smile spreading across her face. She still hadn't met Greg's eye.
"Sara...Are you and Grissom okay?" Greg asked, his voice clearing telling her that he was unsure of himself. She glanced up at him, her dark eyes had clouded over and it was almost as if she didn't know where she was, but it only lasted a few seconds and she looked back down at her hands; she had been fidgeting with her wedding ring the whole time pulling it off and then putting it back on.
"I'm not going to lie to you Greg...things have been better..." Sara thought of her last conversation with her husband; she had pleaded him to move back to Vegas but he had refused, things were settling down in Paris, he was gaining recognition as a dynamic lecturer his classes were slowly but surely filling up. Noticing her glazed over look Greg squeezed her hand tightly.
"You know...I never thought I'd like being back in Vegas..." She smiled warmly at him. After they had finished their drinks they sat awkwardly for a moment neither one of them knowing what to say next.
"Well...we should head home...it's getting late...or early...still not used to nights..." Sara laughed; a laugh that Greg could tell was genuine.
"Let me walk you home." He offered, reminding Sara of the gentleman that he had always been. She nodded in response and began gathering her things together.
They walked together in the mid day heat both of them noting how bizarre it was to be drunk in the middle of the day when other people were settling into the sobriety of normal working hours. Having reached Sara's apartment Greg turned to face her.
"Look...Sara, if you ever want to talk...about anything...then don't hesitate to call...it doesn't matter when...just pick up the phone...I'm always going to be on the other side." He spoke slowly hoping that his speech wasn't too slurred and that Sara wasn't too drunk.
"Thank you Greg." She squeezed his hand tighter in her own grip and smiled at him; thinking that perhaps being back in Vegas wasn't that bad after all.