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Sara Sidle grappled to open the door while holding on to the day's mail and the Thai takeout she picked up for dinner. Setting her keys down in the bowl on top of the small bookcase, she paused for a moment to look at an all too familiar picture – her husband. Crap, she muttered to herself. When was she going to stop thinking of Grissom in that term? Probably never she answered her subconscious. She really wanted to though. He had hurt her. He seemed so callous during that life changing conversation. He gave her little room to protest, to reply and fight like she had trained herself to do all her life.

Yet she of all people knew that life did not always have a happy ending. Life was messy. Relationships were messy. Catching ones dreams was like the tide rolling in and out. Sometimes you could ride that wave and sometimes you would wipeout. Nothing was certain. Nothing it would seem was meant to last forever.

Oh how embarrassing it was when everyone found out about her failure. Yes she deemed it her own. What good would it do to try to lay blame at his feet? It would not provide any solace. For in the end, the choice to extend her stay in Vegas, to buy the house, to move her mother closer was Sara's decision. Not that she hadn't consulted Grissom or sought his approval. She knew that his research meant so much to him so how could she ask him to stop?

Sure he had left everything to follow her – to be with her. How could she ever deny how momentous that was not only for their relationship but for Grissom himself. He had jumped off a metaphorical cliff for her by putting her before everything else. No one had ever done that for her. No one.

Sara loved the life that they were building together. She had conquered so many ghosts after leaving Vegas. She came to terms with the abuse of her childhood, her mother's role in it and her father's death. She no longer felt like the walls were closing in on her or that death was stalking her. She was in France with the man she adored waiting to do groundbreaking research. She had it all. She should have been happy. Yet …

There was something gnawing at her. Something she really hadn't faced. Growing older and feeling more secure within herself made Sara realize that avoidance was not the answer. She had run from her problems, or to put it more succinctly, she left them in Vegas blaming the city for all her ills. Her heart knew that wasn't the case and she desperately wanted to prove that to her mind once and for all.

They had been back to the states after their wedding to visit both mothers. Sara had suggested that they stop at the lab while they were in Vegas but Grissom did not see any reason for it. His taking the plunge had apparently meant not looking back – at all. Sara had tried to broach the subject once they were back in France of her wanting to possibly go back by herself in the near future, but she couldn't seem to fit it in the conversation. Wow Pinella did not like that call did he oh and by the way I would like to go back to Vegas for a couple of weeks. Yeah there never seemed to be the right moment.

Ecklie's phone call was a Godsend for her. Oh she knew he was really calling for Grissom but she couldn't help suggesting herself as a temporary pinch hitter for the team. She had to admit she was a bit shocked that Ecklie was so receptive to the idea since they hadn't really gotten along that famously. It was just the right segue that she needed to talk to Grissom and to his credit, he was supportive.

What was supposed to be a short term gig turned into a full time position. Grissom could hear it in Sara's voice and see it written on her face when he came to visit how fulfilled she seemed to be back with Nick, Greg and the rest of the team. While he wanted her with him, he always simply wanted her to be happy.

And they were happy for quite a while. It didn't make sense to family and friends, but to Grissom and Sara their relationship transcended what was considered the norm. It worked for them so let the critics be damned.

Sara was so sure and confident in their commitment that she started to re-establish roots in Vegas. She had found the house on the internet but waited for Grissom so that they could do a walk through together. It was the perfect blend of light and space and they both fell in love with it instantly. He pretty much left the decorating to her but she had to hire someone to do it for her. She was back to the maddening hours of a CSI and it helped to ease the loneliness she felt when Grissom was off on his own adventure.

She couldn't pinpoint the exact moment when things started to change. A missed phone call here, a forgotten special day there. They had promised each other that they would make their relationship the top priority. There was even a discussion, howbeit brief one, of possibly adopting a child. Then the walls started to shake and Sara knew nothing good ever came from that.

Moving her thoughts back to the present for a moment, Sara got up from the chair near the picture of Grissom she had been staring at. The Thai food was room temperature so she went into the kitchen to warm it up a bit. Putting everything into a bowl, she returned to the living room and sat back on the couch. She wasn't sure this trip down memory lane would make her feel any better, but she was also well aware that ignoring her feelings didn't help things either.

She knew something was definitely up with Grissom about the time that her old flame Doug came to Vegas on a case. He reminded her of a different time in her life. Sara was by no means cavalier about sex but she was not a prude either. Doug was someone who engaged her mind, made her laugh, was handsome. They spend a lot of time together during that investigation, and from a friendship sprang a more intimate relationship. No regrets when it ended – at least on Sara's part. But she couldn't deny that seeing him again made her feel desirable. He always did.

Commitment and her great love for Grissom kept her from doing anything that she would most surely regret with Doug. Still the nagging feeling of walls crumbing were all around her. She avoided Grissom's phone call for as long as she could. But she knew – before he even said it.

With the divorce papers spread out on the coffee table, Sara stopped eating and put her bowl down. Their last face to face conversation came to mind. He had called about a month after her birthday, after the horror she went through with Basderic, to pick up the remainder of his things. She gave him the option of forwarding them to him but he elected to come and pick them up. She thought it funny that he had rung the doorbell since it was his house still – sort of. She gave him a quick smile and watched as he carried in two boxes and a duffle bag. He has asked her if he could go into the bedroom and she thought that strange. Nodding her head, he gave no reply and turned. She followed him not knowing why.

"You look tired Sara," Grissom said while putting his clothing in the duffle bag. Sara folded her arms and leaned against the doorway. "Work getting to you?"

"You'd like that wouldn't you?"

"No I would not." He moved into the master bathroom and gave a quick perusal but found nothing of his. "I need to look in the study," he said returning to the bedroom. "You're blocking my way." Sara didn't budge. He said her name much in the same way he always did when she said or did something that he found to be somewhat illogical.

"Aggravating isn't it? To want to do something, get somewhere but something is preventing you." Sara replied with very little emotion.

"Do you think that is what I am doing to you?"

"You are denying me the one person I have wanted for most of my life." Emotion was starting to creep into Sara's words.

"Sara please let me pass. We both know that this is for the best." They looked in each other's eyes but Sara could not read what he was thinking. How odd that seemed to her since she used to be able to. She bowed her head and moved away from the door and walked down the hall. Grissom followed and stopped at the case that kept his rare books. He went to fetch them and put them into one of the boxes but stopped as he heard something drop into the other box. It was small making hardly a sound but he could feel it.

"You should take that with you. I don't know why I wore it. Silly how I thought that made us still as one." Sara looked away. "But I see you've stopped wearing yours."

"It was a mistake coming here. I'm sorry." He picked up the boxes and his bag and started for the door.

"What about your precious books Gil?" Grissom did not reply as he closed the door behind him. He walked to his car as a small tear fell down his cheek.

TBC

Author's Note: After the 300th episode and the ending with Sara's name under Grissom's, I felt the need to read down my take on things. I know some will not agree with everything I write and that's cool. Not sure how many chapters this will be but I felt I had more to say. Please leave a review. Thanks…