This is my first piece of CSI Fan fiction, I'd like to dedicate it to someone who writes an awful lot of CSI fan-fic and whose writing inspired me to give it a go, so – even if you never read it, Michmak, this one's for you.

Please read and review and let me know if it's [1] any good and [2] worth continuing.

BTW: Usual disclaimers etc. PG13. I don't have a beta, so all errors are my own sigh

23/10/11: I am currently on a brief break from my other fics, so have decided to come back and revise this Fic – the early chapters anyway. By revise I mean 'pay attention to grammar/ spelling/ syntax. What normally happens is that I get an idea adn run with the idea and don't pay attention to anything else ... this Fic got away on me and turned into a 126k monster. The later chapters got far more complex and I started paying attention to my 'craft' – the first 6-8 chapters however ...*shudder*: so this is my attempt to tidy a few things up.

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.

(As You Like It: Act II, Scene VII).

The night shift had finished hours ago, but Greg was still there; hunched over the latest collection of samples, fragments - and some blue 'thing' that Catherine had given him on her way out the door. Resembling nothing so much as the like the mutant child of silly-putty and a tarantula, the substance had defiantly defeated the lab tech's best efforts at identification; in fact, Greg could have sworn it was watching him.

Way ... way too much caffeine, he thought.

The previous night shift had been ... and Greg mentally groped for an appropriate analogy, different. There had been nothing particularly grotesque or even malevolent in the events of the evening but the situations the CSI's were called to investigate were uniformly bizarre.

Nick and Sarah had been at the Metro Rise Parking Building, investigating a car that had backed itself off the twelfth floor and landed on a charter bus - which minutes earlier had been filled with nuns. There had been no driver in the car, and no sign of impact or applied force on either the car's bumper on indeed on the floor of the parking building from whence it had come. (No one had wanted to suggest that the car had jumped

Warwick and Catherine spent the better part of the evening at an industrial chemist's lab which, to all intents and purposes, had dissolved leaving little more than a brightly coloured, and highly toxic puddle; it was, incidentally, where the glowering blue thing currently residing on Greg's desk had come from.

Grissom had come in late that evening - as he had been delivering a lecture up at the University; something about: Exoskeletal Biodiversity and Habitat Diversification or, as Nick succinctly put it: When Bugs Go House-Hunting. Grissom seemed in an ebullient mood that evening, which did little to dampen the surreal bite in the air.

Jim Brass was heard muttering something about the bloody full moon as he hurriedly left to investigate reports about a bodies being found in the local cemetery.

And Greg sat and stared at the blue mystery …

... Which stared back.

Things would have been far easier if the Mass Spectrometer hadn't committed suicide earlier in the evening; it's final, pained gasp emitted in the plume of magical blue smoke that wafted towards the ceiling as a defiant, yet poetic, elegy to American manufacturing.

As was often the case, a lack of external distraction turned Greg's thoughts inwards. Far from the exuberant, somewhat manic, personality his colleagues had come to associate with him, Greg had a serious side that was rarely seen. In addition to his degree in chemistry, Greg also held a degree in musical composition and it amused him at times to think that he probably knew more about the (omnipresent) classical music, which poured forth from Grissom's office, than Grissom himself. It was only through the intervention of fate that he had ended up as a forensic chemist. He had finished both degrees and was planning to undertake post-graduate study at one of the better conservatories on the West coast when his mentor, a remarkable old woman named Violet, had been savagely murdered in a home invasion. With Violet's death a part of Greg died too and the young man turned to science for he could no longer find joy in music.

In a way, his work with the police became almost a redemptive crusade, an attempted to assuage the guilt he felt at not being there for Violet when she needed him most.

It was that loss and the decision to turn his back on his passion that was now effectively undermining Greg's relationship with the CSI's.

Clichéd it may have been, but when you aren't happy with yourself others will not exactly relish in the opportunity to share your company; hell, Greg didn't even want to spend time with himself. Greg had come to the realisation that the lack of music in his life was ensuring that he was little more than a shadow and that his unorthodox behaviour was little more than a substitute for the passion he denied himself.

If he was being completely honest with himself, Greg wished that there were someone amongst the others that he could talk to. He immediately ruled Nick out, not because he particularly disliked Nick, but because Nick's 'good ole boy' attitude made him cringe. For some reason, he thought wryly, the idea of having a heart-to-heart talk and yet not being able to look the other person in the eye didn't really appeal.

Sara was ruled out for reasons diametrically opposed to those that excluded Nick. Her propensity to pick everything to pieces in search of a logical explanation was the last thing Greg needed at this point in time. He wanted understanding, not an automated Myers-Briggs breakdown of potential, future actions based on a forensic typology of his character. Similar reasons ruled out Catherine. Despite her predilection for regarding the young lab-tech with a combination of amused condescension and respectful scepticism, Greg recognised that she was one sharp lady, and he really didn't want her crawling around in his psyche.

That left Warwick and Grissom.

Warwick, to Greg, was – to mangle the quote - a conundrum inside a paradox. At times, if Warwick had been any more laid back he would have been presumed dead; at other times it was as if a righteous fire had been lit under his butt. That was the problem, you never knew what reaction you were going to get. Admittedly, while Greg didn't want a 'yes-man' [or woman] to talk to, he did want a sympathetic audience. Warwick, being a talented pianist, could at least understand the importance of music, but whether he could see Greg in that light was something Greg wasn't prepared to chance. It was entirely possible, Greg thought, that he was doing his colleagues an injustice, but in his own mind he had suffered one too many 'crazy Greg' looks to feel secure in opening himself to potential ridicule.

So, by a process of completely subjective elimination, it was Grissom.

At the best of times Greg's relationship with Grissom was rocky. Greg felt that Grissom regarded him as little more than a semi-useful appliance, one that was extremely useful, but also needed to be closely watched for signs of potential implosion. Greg misunderstood and underestimated his boss. Grissom cared little for Greg's deviations from the norm, all that mattered to Grissom was getting the job done and done right. The truth of the matter was that Grissom regarded his lab tech's abilities as exceptional; he just had concerns over Greg's ability to concentrate closely on an assigned task when moments before he had been pogo-ing around the room with a latex glove on your head.

Of course that was the problem, Greg couldn't concentrate and he now understood why, his heart simply wasn't in it.

The next evening, Greg came in early.

He hadn't slept well.

He had spent the 'night' alternately pacing up and down the halls of his apartment complex arguing with the walls and tossing and turning in his bed over the decision he had – eventually - come to.

Sighing deeply, he approached Grissom's office, the ever-present classical music echoing down the hall preceding him to his destination.

Poking his head around the door he tapped quietly on the frame, "Grissom, can I have a word?"

Gil Grissom barely acknowledged the young lab tech's presence. "What is it Greg? I'm busy".

Greg almost gave up and ran at that point, but instead, he steadied himself and replied tightly; "Sorry Grissom, this is important"

With a quiet grunt of dissatisfaction, Grissom put down his pen, removed his glasses and regarded Greg with an air of resignation. "Alright, I'm listening".

"Do you mind turning down the Mahler? Much as I like the Symphony of the Thousand, I don't wish to compete with it".

Grissom automatically turned to his stereo to reduce the volume, before the content of what Greg said registered, "You know who Mahler is?"

"You seem surprised Grissom, am I not supposed to know?"

"No, not at all. I just hadn't thought that …well …."

"And that's the part of the problem Grissom, and that's why I came in early this evening; I have something to tell you. I'm resigning.