Captured By The Past

by Liz

Disclaimer: The characters of CSI were created by A. Zuiker, and are the property of CBS and its affiliates. All other characters depicted in these stories are fictional; and there you are.
Nods: thanks again to my two betas, TAE and Sybelle, for keeping me honest to the characters and clear in my direction.
Rating: R for angst and subject matter.
Where this fits: dunno where, it just does. It's my AU.

Part One

Grissom continued to work on the pile of paper that seemed to envelop his desk. He had started working Wednesday night and if he read his pager correctly, it was now Friday morning. Sara was due in court every morning that week, so they were on split shifts, making life even more difficult. He sighed and read on until the phone interrupted his concentration.

"Grissom," he answered.

"Hi, why are you still at work? Did I get my wires crossed? I thought we were having breakfast, here." Sara asked.

Grissom groaned and leaned back in his chair.

"Ah, honey, I'm sorry. We solved it a couple of hours ago and I got lost in the paperwork. Damn!"

"So we'll do dinner, then, no problem. Come home and get some sleep."

"I can't, at least not yet. I have to finish this one stack."

"Take care, sweetheart. You're tired and this case hasn't been easy."

"I'll talk to you later."


"Bye," he said, and hung up the phone.

She was right, it hadn't been easy. A prominent investment banker's wife was murdered; big deal. It was the method that raised everyone's hackles. She had been dismembered and left that way at the scene; not put into neat plastic bags, but laid out in a macabre setup as if she were a loose paper doll. There was a lot of blood and more than one suspect and it took all of Grissom's knowledge to prove it was the banker's boss who did it out of a jealous rage. He had been smart, but Grissom was smarter.

Grissom looked at his desk again and realized that he was getting diminished returns. He looked around his desk and stood to leave when the phone rang again.


"Me too," the voice replied.

"What?" Grissom asked, his hand starting to shake.

"Hi, Junior, it's Dad." The voice continued.

"No, you're dead. You died on 9/11." Grissom replied into the phone, reaching his other hand to his desk for support.

"Still scared of fishing poles?" the voice taunted.

Grissom hung up the phone quickly, feeling the familiar panic attack start. He left his office, hearing the phone ringing from behind the closed door. Standing in the hallway, he thought about going to the roof, but it would be too hot, even at this hour. He needed quiet and cold. Grissom took the stairs down to the morgue and walked into Al's office. It was empty, so Grissom paced for a few minutes as he felt the fear manifest and then he melted into a dark corner and stayed quiet.

Friday 9:15 am

Doc Robbins walked into his office. It had been a long night. The investment banker's wife was a mess and required a lot of work. In addition, he had two gangland shootings. Sitting down at his desk, he pulled his legs up onto the typing tray and leaned back. The chair creaked loudly and then there was another noise. Al looked towards the dark corner, but could only make out a shape.

"Who's there? Who is it?" He asked, concerned.

"Me," Grissom replied softly.

"Jesus, Gil, you wanna give me a heart attack? What are you doing here, anyway?" Al asked, still sitting back in his chair.

Grissom remained quiet, unwilling to share his problems.

"Just take it easy. You're safe, here. Why don't you stretch out on the couch for a minute?" Al asked, standing slowly to walk towards him.

Grissom looked up at him and reached up. Al helped him to his feet with some effort and then to the couch. Grissom stretched out on his stomach and Al put a comforting hand on his shoulder before moving to his desk to start making phone calls.


"It's Al,"

"Hey, Doc, what's up?"

"Well, I guess Grissom had a panic attack. He's down here."

"He's also been on the clock since Wednesday's shift." Brass noted.

"Can you come over here and take him home?"

"Not now. Last night was the full moon, but all the whackos that can't read a calendar have been coming out today. I'm pulling a double myself."

"I'll try to find Sara to take him home."

"She's testifying. You could leave her a voicemail, though."

"Sure, that would work. Thanks." Doc Robbins said, hanging up the phone.

He searched on his desk for his phone list and called Sara.

"Sara, it's Doc. Call me as soon as you can. It's about Gil. It's about 9:45 or so. Thanks," Al said, hanging up the phone.

Sighing Doc Robbins walked back to his charges, leaving the desk light on.

10:30 am

"Doc, have you seen Grissom? His car is still here and someone thought he was headed in your direction." Catherine said, breezing into the morgue.

"Yeah, Catherine, he's sacked out on my couch. Something I sorely wish I could do right now." Doc answered, not looking up at her.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I got called in early. Thanks," Catherine said, heading off to his office.

She opened the door softly and looked at the empty couch. Taking a cursory look around the room, she did not see Grissom and walked quickly back to the morgue.

"Doc, he's not there," she complained.

"Catherine, he's a grown man. He was there when I came out to work, around 9:30 or so. Maybe Sara picked him up?" Doc suggested.

"I'll keep looking. Thanks, Doc," Catherine said, leaving quickly.

Doc shook his head and returned his concentration to the body laid out before him, hoping the day shift would show up soon.

12:00 pm

Doc washed his hands and walked into his office. He turned the lights on and stood studying his furniture. Grissom wasn't on the couch, but when Al had left the office earlier that morning, furniture wasn't clustered into a corner, either. He walked quietly to the corner and peered down, seeing Grissom curled up, surrounded by chairs and other furniture. He turned the light out and walked out of his office to the hallway, only to bump into Sara.

"Doc, sorry, I just got your voicemail. They dismissed us early. I was close by so I decided to see you in person. Where's Gil? His car is still here." Sara said, still wound up from court.

"He had a panic attack and is now curled up in a corner of my office." Doc replied softly.

Sara's mind took the information in and processed it.

"Doc, can you give me a few moments alone with him?"

"Sure, I'll be out here in case you need an extra set of hands," Doc said, settling onto a stool.

"Thanks," Sara said, walking into Doc's office.

She turned on the lights and walked to the corner full of furniture. Slowly, she started to remove it to view Grissom. He slept through the small noises she made, but she couldn't help but notice that he was holding a letter opener tightly in his hands. Taking a step back, she took a chance.

"Grissom?" she called loudly.

Grissom opened his eyes and sat up in attack mode, until he saw Sara. His eyes spoke volumes as his arms dropped limply at his sides; the letter opener making a clatter when it hit the floor. She walked up to him, slowly, and knelt in front of him. Running her right hand through his curls, her left hand traced his jaw. He leaned forward, allowing his head to rest on her shoulder. Slowly he put his hands on her shoulders, too.

"Let's go home, okay?" she suggested softly.

He pulled back and looked at her. Grissom was exhausted both mentally and physically. He needed her to take charge. Nodding his head, he slowly got to his feet and felt the security of her arm around him as she managed to guide him out of the morgue, past Doc, and upstairs to her car without running into another staff member. He sat in the passenger seat, his head back, eyes closed. Sara got into the driver's seat and reached across to strap him in. That done, she started the engine and drove home

He wasn't asleep, that much was sure. Sara pulled into his driveway and when she stopped the car, he got out. He walked up the stairs and pulled his keys from his trouser pocket, unlocking the door. Grissom headed in and deposited his personal effects in the tray on the table by the front door. He continued to the kitchen and took out a bottle of water. Passing it over his forehead, he opened it and consumed the contents. Sara walked into the townhouse and locked the door behind her. She, too, placed her pockets' contents in the tray before walking further into the townhouse. Grissom walked by her, unseeing, and headed up the circular stairs to the master bedroom. She wasn't tired, but he needed her and, therefore, followed him.

Grissom walked into the bedroom and then straight to the bathroom. He took his face cloth and put it under the cold water before washing his face. Taking a few extra moments, he walked back into the bedroom and then into his closet. He stripped to his shorts and walked back into his darkened bedroom. Pulling back the bedspread, he got into bed, rolling to his left side.

Sara walked upstairs and stood in the doorway, watching him. When he seemed to be comfortable in bed, she walked to the closet and stripped to her underwear. She walked into the bedroom and opened a drawer; spying a Cubs t-shirt, she slipped it on, shut the drawer, and got into bed. Slowly, she backed into Grissom, who naturally felt for her and spooned against her back.

2:00 pm

Grissom woke up from a nightmare; his father was home, drunk, threatening him and his mother. He was exhausted and struggled from the bed, wiping still fresh tears. Walking downstairs, he stood in the living room, tired, fragile, and trying to figure out what to do. The phone rang and he answered it before the second ring, hoping it didn't wake Sara.


"Junior, it's Dad. I need to see you. I'm in trouble and need your help." The voice said.

"No, no, you're dead," Grissom whispered, feeling the beginnings of a migraine charge into his brain.

"No, Junior, I am very much alive. I'm staying at the Wynn. Please meet me tonight, eight o'clock sharp at the lobby bar."

"No, I can't. You're not..." Grissom uttered.

"Please, son, you're the only one who can help me." The voice said.

Grissom's headache increased exponentially. He hung up the phone and walked to the fridge. Taking his migraine medicine and a bottle of water, Grissom fought his headache and another panic attack. He tapped out a pill and drank it down with the water before picking up the phone again. He hit speed dial twenty and listened to the ring on the other end.

"This is Roger, leave a message," the voice said.

"Roger, it's Moss. I need you to check the information on my father as soon as you can. I'm at home. Please," Grissom said before hanging up.

He walked upstairs on autopilot, his instinct taking over. Grissom walked into his closet, shut the door and curled up under his clothes, hidden from sight; succumbing to the medicine, fatigue and pain.

3:00 pm

The phone rang, waking Sara from a deep sleep.


"Sara, it's Roger,"

"Hi, Roger, how are you?"

"I'm returning Moss's call. He seemed pretty upset."

"Yeah, he had a panic attack at work. He was on quadruple-plus and I have been on day shift, reporting to court the last five days."

"No, Sara, he said it had something to do with his father. Please tell him my sources are solid."

"I will,"

"He's not in your sight, is he?"

"No, Roger, I don't know where he is right now," Sara admitted, sitting up.

"Have him call me when he wakes up or when you find him, please," Roger implored.

"I will," Sara confirmed, hanging up the phone.

She stretched and then went in search of her lover. The master bathroom was clear, so she walked downstairs. On the kitchen counter was a half full bottle of water and his migraine meds. Sara put the medicine back in the fridge. She walked into the lab room but was only greeted with the hisses from the cockroaches. The guest room was empty, as was the first floor bathroom. Sara headed to the front door and confirmed it was still chained from the inside, and Grissom's keys were in the tray. Sighing, she stood for a moment before smiling. Sara took the stairs as fast as she dared and pulled open the closet door. She looked hard for several minutes before seeing the pink of a finger under some clothes in the corner. Walking up to him, Sara pulled off a sweater and saw he was asleep, and curled almost in a ball. She reached for him, running her hands through his hair. He didn't move. She sighed again and looked at her watch. Grissom had the night off and would probably sleep for the next four hours anyway, after taking his migraine meds. Looking at him, burrowed in his clothes, she felt that he was safe. She decided to take her book and read by the pool; a truly decadent thing. Walking back into the bedroom, she slipped off her t-shirt and underwear, placing them on a chair. She took her bathing suit out of the drawer and put it on. Finally, she wrote Grissom a note and put it by the bathroom basin. She took a towel, her book, and a tube of sunscreen and padded downstairs to grab a water bottle, her phone, sunglasses, and house keys before leaving the townhouse.

The pool area was empty, so she had her pick of lounge chairs. Sara moved one of the chairs into the full sun and then got settled.

6:00 pm

Grissom woke up, needing to use the bathroom. He was still in pain and three hours of sleep didn't really make up for almost forty eight hours of consciousness even without his migraine. Slowly, he got to his feet and walked into the bathroom. He used the toilet and washed his hands. There was a note, but he couldn't focus. His headache was increasing as he walked back into the bedroom and suddenly blacked out, sinking onto the grey carpet.

7:00 pm

Sara had spent a wonderful afternoon, alternating between lying in the sun and swimming laps. She felt refreshed and rejuvenated. The sun was dipping, though, and she felt a chill. Gathering her belongings, she headed home. Just as she was inserting her key into the front door lock, her cell phone rang.


"Sara, it's Sofia. I'm sorry to be calling on short notice but my Mom just called, my Dad was in a bad car accident. I need to fly to Seattle tonight." The voice said.

"So you need me to work your shift?" Sara asked.

"Yeah, I tried calling Grissom, but I didn't get an answer."

"He's sleeping. He pulled a triple." Sara explained, annoyed that Sofia didn't know that.

"Wow, oh, he let me go when the shift ended. I didn't know he stayed at the lab." Sofia said, honestly.

"Of course, I'll take your shift, Sofia. Call Grissom or me when you get to Seattle and tell us how things are. We may need to get someone from days or swing to cover for you. At this point, I'm due in court all next week as well." Sara explained.

"Oh, right, I forgot about that." Sofia said.

"Alaska Airlines flight 348 for Seattle is ready to board," Sara heard over the phone.

"Thanks, Sara. Gotta go," Sofia said, hanging up the phone.

"Bitch!" Sara exclaimed as she shut her phone and continued to unlock the front door.

The house was quiet when Sara entered. She dropped her keys and phone in the clay dish and noticed Grissom's phone. Curious, she picked it up and looked at the screen; no missed calls, no voicemails. She put the phone back down, shaking her head, and moved to the kitchen to throw out her water bottle in the recycle bin. Setting her sunglasses on the kitchen counter, she headed upstairs. She walked into the bedroom and stopped for a moment when she saw Grissom face down on the carpet. Sara dropped her book, towel, and sunscreen, and ran to his side. She felt for his pulse and found it strong and steady. Grissom generally sleepwalked during a migraine, but this was different. She went to the closet and pulled a cotton blanket from one of the shelves and covered his back and legs. Fighting the urge to cry, she picked up her belongings from the doorway and started putting them away.

Next, she walked into the closet and tried to organize the mess Grissom had made. Starting to hum, Sara lost herself in the process.

8:00 pm

Sara finally emerged from the closet. Grissom was still asleep, not having moved a muscle. She realized that she was still in her bikini, so she pulled out some clothes for work, stepped over a sleeping Grissom, and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She started the shower and stripped. Stepping into the shower stall, her breath caught as the hot water hit her skin. She turned down the hot and up the cold, before soaping up. Humming again, she took a long shower.

Sara turned off the water, toweled dry, dressed, and walked out into the bedroom. Grissom was in the exact position he was in when she walked into the bathroom. Looking at her watch, she realized he needed to get up and she needed to make dinner.

"Grissom? Griss? Time to get up."

Grissom groaned and rolled onto his back, opening his eyes to look at the ceiling.

"Grissom, Sofia had a family emergency, we need all hands on deck. I know you weren't scheduled, but can you come to work?" Sara asked, crouching next to him.

"Yeah, I can work," Grissom said, biting back the pain from his headache.

Carefully, he got to his feet, using the bureau for support.

"I'm going down to make dinner. Is there anything you want? I'll put it in a container and you can eat it later." Sara asked.

"Coffee and plain pasta would probably be the only thing I could keep down." He grimaced.

"Take a shower, sweetheart. I'll see you when you come down," she said, kissing him on the cheek.

He smiled and walked slowly into the bathroom, dropped his shorts and started the shower. Stepping in, he focused on the warm water.

9:00 pm

Dressed in his classic loose fitting trousers and shirt, Grissom headed downstairs. He still had a headache, but it wasn't a migraine and seemed to be manageable. He walked into the kitchen and came up behind Sara as she was dishing her pasta. Slipping his arms around her, he kissed her neck.

"I love you," he said softly, his breath tickling her.

"I love you, too." She said, leaning into him.

He let her go and pulled a bottle of water from the fridge. Sipping it slowly, he watched her quickly consume her dinner.

"A little hungry?" he asked with a smile.

"Yeah, I forgot lunch. We were released from court early and then I picked you up from work." Sara said, barely looking at him.

Grissom's face darkened as he remembered the phone calls.

"Oh, Griss, I'm sorry. Roger returned your call. He said 'it was solid'. He said you'd know what that meant. He wants you to call him." Sara said, finishing her pasta primavera.

Grissom walked into the living room and started to pace. Sara took her dirty plate to the kitchen and put his plain pasta into a container. She poured the brewed coffee into a thermos and then wrote a note, taping it to the container.

Drink after 10 pm.

"Ready to rock?" she asked, putting the Tupperware container and thermos in a canvas bag.

"Yeah, let's go," Grissom said, walking to the door to get his office trappings.

Attaching their various electronics and weaponry, grabbing their house and car keys, they were off. Grissom settled into Sara's car, strapping himself in. She put on the CD he had burned for her the previous month. He called it "Songs for Sara" but she knew he liked the songs as well. As 'Comfortably Numb', interpreted by Dar Williams, played through the sound system, she stole a glance at him. His eyes were closed, but the muscles in his jaw were jumping and the veins in his neck were visible. She would bet that he still had a headache. Something was bothering him, but she had learned to give him some space to work things out before offering to help.

Pulling into the parking lot, she parked next to his Denali.

"Hey, sweetheart, we're here," she said softly.

He opened his eyes and sighed before unbuckling his shoulder strap and exiting the vehicle. He crossed around the front of the car and embraced her.

"Thank you," he said before kissing her deeply.

They broke apart and he took the bag from her hand with his dinner and coffee, settling the other hand on her lower back. They walked in together and split up at the receptionist's desk.

"Grissom, I'm sorry, I was unaware that you were on the schedule, tonight," Steven said.

"That's all right, Steven. Sofia had a family emergency."

"Let me call in a man from day shift. No need to go iron man." Steven remarked.

"No, I guess not," Grissom said, waving a handful of messages as he walked to his office.

He walked in, seeing his office keys on his desk, and quickly put them in his pocket. Turning on his computer, he walked to his fridge and opened the door. 99% of it was filled with experiments. He put his pasta in and shut the door. The thermos, he placed on his desk before sitting down. Logging in, he groaned as the popup said he had 250 messages. Ignoring his computer for a minute, Grissom started to spread out his phone messages: Brass, Doc, Mom, Dr. Wu and a stack from Senior. The phone rang, and Grissom stared at it for several moments before picking it up.

"Grissom," he said softly.

"It's Andy,"

Grissom relaxed and sat back in his chair.

"Hi, Andy,"

"Brass called me. Are you okay?" he asked.

"I don't know. It seems my father is alive. He called me twice and left about thirty messages at the lab; wanted me to meet him. Said he needed my help," Grissom said, almost laughing at the ludicrousness of it all.

"What? Did you see him?"

"No, I had a migraine. Today hasn't been my best day." Grissom replied, softly.

"How many shifts did you work?"

"I started Wednesday night and ended this morning." Grissom said, honestly.

"Why are you at work?"

"Sofia called in a family emergency and yesterday was a full moon. We'll be swamped."

"I can't fault your logic, Grissom, but you have to take it easy. Your father, being alive, well we know you still have issues. Geez, look, you have my numbers. Before you throw your fist into something or someone, call me, okay?" Andy asked, slightly flustered by this revelation.

"I'll do my best," Grissom responded.


"Night," Grissom said, hanging up the phone.

He went through the messages again and tossed those from Andy. His computer beeped and he looked at the screen. He found tonight's assignments and printed them. Checking his watch, he poured his mug full of coffee from the thermos. The exterior of the mug had earthworms painted on it and the handle was a fully realized annelid. Reaching over, he pulled the assignments from the printer, stood up, grabbed his coffee, and went to the break room. Grissom walked in and found Greg, Sara, and a man he didn't know.

"Dr. Grissom, I'm Brian Randolph, CSI Level 2, from days," The young blonde started.

"Relax, Brian, I'm not going to eat your young." Grissom said with a small smile.

He sat at the head of the table and sipped his coffee while reading the assignments. He paled slightly at one of them.

"Greg, you and Brian have two cases tonight. First case is a trick roll at the Rio. Second is a missing person at the Wynn. Call me, please if you have any problems or questions. Sara, you and I have a db." Grissom said, sipping his coffee again.

The younger men left the room and Sara stood and walked up to him.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, sure," Grissom said, smiling at her.

"I'll meet you at your car in five minutes." Sara said.

Grissom nodded and walked back to his office. Cracking his neck, he looked through all of the messages except those from 'Senior' and saved the ones he really needed to answer. Looking at his watch, he left his office and met Sara at his car. She put her kit in the back and got in beside him. Starting the car, he hit <select> on the CD player and Vince Gill's voice played through the speakers. They drove in silence, listening to the music. The Strip disappeared behind them as they entered the warehouse district. It was quiet and dark; at least until they saw the worklights and police beacons in the distance.

Arriving at the scene, Grissom got out of the car first and grabbed his kit. Brass stood, anxious at seeing Grissom.

"Uhm, I didn't know you were on tonight."

"Sofia had a family emergency." Grissom explained.

"Okay," Brass said as Sara joined them, "John Doe, approximate age, seventy, double tapped to the head.

Grissom set his kit down and walked to the body. Seeing the face, he dropped to his knees, the sound causing David, Sara, and Brass to turn their heads to the crime scene. With a shaking hand, Grissom reached into his vest and gloved.

"Gil?" Brass asked.

Grissom raised his hand in the air for absolute silence. Sara walked over to him and crouched at his side, gloving as well. He reached for the victim's right hand and turned it over.

"No fingerprints," he whispered, seeing the still fresh void in the pads of all of the fingers.

"His suit is silk," Sara remarked, feeling the cloth through her gloves.

"Yes, Hong Kong, probably. Maybe Shanghai," Grissom replied, staring now at the victim's trousers.

"No ID on the vic," Brass offered softly.

Grissom reached for the victim's left arm and pulled back the sleeve.

"They took his watch," Grissom said quietly, seeing the tan line.

They remained in silence, watching Grissom as he gently went through all of the pockets. Finally the pain in his knees was too much. He stood and then leaned over, his hands on his thighs, fighting the vertigo, the headache, and the pain.


"Yes, Griss,"

"I need you to work the scene."

"Of course, but what will you be doing?"

"I'll accompany the body to the morgue. There's nothing else I can do here." He said, pulling off his gloves before standing slowly and walking back to pick up his kit.

"What does that mean?" Sara asked towards his retreating back.

"That means that my hunch was right. The vic looked vaguely familiar and I wasn't sure why. He was Grissom's father and Gil can't do any more work here without compromising the case. He can, however, be a dutiful son and identify his father's body for the coroner and inform his mother."

"Roger said his father died at the Twin Towers," Sara said softly, the pain in her chest for Grissom starting to build, as she stood up.

"He's my next call. Go ahead and process. I'll get you back to the lab." Brass said, giving her a quick hug.

Sara took one last look at Grissom getting into his car and then forced herself to concentrate on the job at hand.

11:00 pm

Grissom had his cellos playing in an effort to keep control. He arrived at the lab and walked to his office. Pouring the rest of Sara's coffee into his mug, he headed down to the morgue.

"Hey, Gil,"

"Hi, Albert," Grissom said, putting on a gown, gloves and sterile tape on his coffee mug.

"This one special?"

"Yeah, I think so." Grissom said, mysteriously.

David brought the body in and then left the room. Grissom helped Doc take the clothes off the victim. He took care in touching the body. Finally, Doc started his exam.

"August 5th, 2005, John Doe number 121"

"No," Grissom said firmly, shaking his head.

"Excuse me?" he asked, looking across the table at him.

"His name was Gilbert Aaron Grissom. He was born February 4, 1931 in Cincinnati and he was my father." Grissom said in tones so soft that Doc had to strain to hear him.

"Gil, you shouldn't be here," Al started, his glasses dropping to his chest.

"I have to be," Grissom said, staring at the naked body in front of him.

"Very well, against my better judgment. The deceased is identified as Gilbert Aaron Grissom age seventy four. The c.o.d. is multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Judging by the size of the hole and the lack of an exit wound, I would guess it was a .22."

"Ligature marks on the wrists and ankles," Grissom noted, examining the extremities.

"Yes, and he was kneecapped." Doc said, looking at the pulverized patellas. "Grissom, forgive me, but you haven't seen your father in almost forty years, how do you know it's him?"

Grissom reached to his father's right forearm and turned it, exposing the underside and a brutal scar.

"My mother was making pancakes. He thought she was cooking them too much and came after her. I pushed him into the stove."

"What did he do to you?"

Grissom pointed to the scar on his left eyebrow.

"Coffeepot; I saw double for days." Grissom replied, looking at Doc.

"I think you're done here." Doc said, walking towards him.

Grissom smiled and took one last look at his father before leaving the morgue. He pulled off his scrubs and deposited them into the open bag. He took the tape off of his coffee mug and headed upstairs. Reaching his office, he called Brass.



"How are you?"

"Tired, anxious; sort of lost, I guess. I wanted you to know my father called me several times. He said he was in trouble and that he needed my help."

"Did you go to see him?"

"I couldn't. I had a migraine," Grissom said, the sadness in his voice palpable.

"I'm sorry, Gil. I called Roger. He is calling his sources to find out who screwed up,"

"My father was in witness protection," Grissom offered.

"Shit, are you sure?"

"Call it an extremely educated guess," Grissom replied.

Grissom's cell phone began to ring. He looked at the screen.

"I have to go. Greg is calling."

"Take care,"

"And you," Grissom said, hanging up the land line.


"I need you at the Wynn. Come to room 417." Greg commanded, his voice more nervous than usual.

Grissom drove quickly, arriving within fifteen minutes. He flashed his badge and took the elevator to the fourth floor. He moved to the room and walked in. When he smelled it, he knew. This was his father's hotel room. The aftershave confirmed it.

"What do you have, Greg?" Grissom asked, careful not to touch anything.

"This," Greg said, escorting him to a laptop on the desk in the corner.

The computer was on, the email screen was open, the 'to' line was Junior. The email was ggrissom@csilv.gov.

"Yeah, Greg, the missing person was my father." Grissom said sadly. "The db that Sara and I had was my father as well."

"Jesus, boss," Greg whispered.

"Greg, I need you and Brian to be extra vigilant on this. The Feds are involved in a big way. Obviously I cannot help you process. Take lots of photos and don't forget the bathroom. Always evidence in a bathroom." Grissom remarked.

"Thanks, I will."

"I'm going back to the lab now. Call Sara, if you need anything, okay?" Grissom asked.

"Right, gotcha," Greg affirmed.

Grissom walked out of the room and headed for his car.

Saturday 1:30 am

Grissom returned to the lab and headed for the break room to pour himself a cup of coffee. He walked down the hall to his office and shut the door behind him. As he walked around the edge of his desk, he turned on his CD player, and the sounds of the cello filled his office. He sat down and looked at the remaining phone messages on his desk. It was the pile from 'Senior'. And just then, he couldn't stop the tears. He put his face in his hands, elbows on the desk and wept for his father. He wept for the man who filled his nightmares, who hurt his mother, who hurt him. Grissom couldn't defend it and he couldn't define it; he chose to cry for the father who even in death tormented his life.

When he felt as though he had no more tears to shed, Grissom stood up and headed for the locker room, thankful that it was the middle of the night, and the hallways were quiet. He started the cold water in a sink and covered the drain with paper towels. When it was three-quarters full, he turned off the water and dunked his head in. He held it there, blowing bubbles, reveling in the cold of the water. Finally, when his air was gone, he stood, ignoring the water running off his hair and face onto his shirt. He pulled the paper towels from the drain and threw them out. Wiping his face, he walked out of the locker room and into the hall. Heading for his office, he felt immense fatigue. He walked into his office and again shut the door. Grissom turned off the lights, except the one that illuminated his desk. He walked to his couch and lay down, rolling onto his left side, facing the back of the couch.

3:00 am

Sara walked up to Grissom's office. Not getting a response, she opened the door anyway. He was asleep on the couch, dreaming. She reached for him, touching his shoulder and he calmed immediately. Yawning, herself, she sat the floor, leaned against the couch and soon fell asleep.

4:00 am

Grissom sat up after a nightmare and was surprised that Sara was in his office. Reaching into his desk drawer, he removed a note card with a butterfly embossed on it, with matching envelope.

Sara, Need some private time. I'll find you tomorrow. Love you, GG 

He made sure he had his keys, wallet, and phone, and headed out. As he walked down the hall, he heard his name called.

"Yeah, Greg, what's up?" Grissom asked, slightly distracted.

"I wanted to show you something." Greg said, softly, handing him a piece of paper in a Ziploc bag.

It was a photograph from 1961 with Grissom and his parents. Everyone was smiling.

"Where did you get this?" Grissom asked softly.

"It was inserted into the mirror in his hotel room."

"Thanks, uhm, I have to go." Grissom said, handing Greg back the photo. "I'm on cell. Sara's napping in my office. Grab her in a half an hour and share your evidence. If you have questions and can't find me, talk to Brass. Remember, he used to head this unit."

"Take care, Griss," Greg offered.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Grissom replied before walking back into the hallway towards his car.

Grissom reached his car and opened it electronically. He started the engine and shifted his CD player to 7. The LCD screen said 'Rage', and the music reflected it. He drove a familiar route and pulled into the lot. He grabbed a bag from the back seat and headed in.

"Hey, Griss, aren't you supposed to be at work?" Hank called from the front desk.

"Gotta work some things out here," Grissom muttered before heading to the locker room.

He changed into a muscle tee, pair of shorts, and tennis shoes. He reached back into his bag for his gloves and headed out onto the floor.

"Hey, Griss," Tommy called.

"Hi, Tommy, could you lace me up?" Grissom asked.

"Sure, look, if you want to spar, later, Jimmy Slattery's guy got busted for weapons. Just let me know." Tommy said, lacing Grissom's right glove.

"Slattery, hunh? Do I know him?"

"Yeah, the blonde in the pale blue trunks."

Grissom looked over Tommy's shoulder and saw the twenty something man working out on a speed bag.

"Will I have fun or will I get the crap beat out of me?" Grissom asked, intrigued.

"I wouldn't have said anything if it wasn't going to be a challenge. Warm up and I'll talk to him." Tommy said, finishing the left glove.

Grissom nodded and headed off to a speed bag to get his timing down. He started his mantra and soon was lost in the rhythm of the sound of boxing. The sweat rolled down him, saturating his clothing. He was warmed up enough to go after the body bag. Walking to an idle bag, he started again, working up to a rhythm.

"Are you Grissom?" a voice interrupted him.

"Yeah, you Slattery?" he said, stopping to look at him.

"Yeah, Tommy says you might want to spar a bit."

"Sounds like fun. Let me get suited up. See you in five." Grissom said before heading back to the locker room.

He took out his mouth guard from its case and inserted it. Walking back onto the floor, he went to Tommy, who had his head guard and his kidney belt. It had been more than a month since Grissom had sparred, and he needed to get used to the additional weight of the safety equipment. Tommy stood in Grissom's corner, watching for the tell tale signs of when he lost control. Tommy knew Grissom had a temper, but the leather bags couldn't fight back.

Slattery came in slowly and they started their match. Grissom tagged Slattery in the chest a couple of times and danced away when Slattery came too close.

They had been going at it for almost ten minutes when Slattery tagged Grissom hard. Grissom shook his head and took a different stance.

"Go after him, Grissom. You can take him." Tommy urged.

Grissom carefully followed Slattery's moves, echoing them. Out of the blue, Grissom hit him square, twice. There was no warning and Slattery went down hard.

"Jesus, Grissom, I didn't want you to knock him out." Tommy cried as he climbed into the ring to look at the other fighter.

Blood poured out of Slattery's nose onto the mat. Grissom paced in the opposite corner, still aggressive, still agitated.

"That's it," Tommy said, walking up to him.

"I'm sorry," Grissom said, looking at the floor.

"No, it's my fault. I knew what you were capable of; I'd just never seen it that fast." Tommy said, pulling Grissom's gloves off for him.

"I'm sorry, Tommy," Grissom repeated.

"Grissom, you didn't do anything wrong. Go take a shower and head home. Chalk this up to experience." Tommy advised.

Grissom took his gloves and walked into the locker room. He removed all the rest of his protection, carefully putting his mouth guard back into the custom container. Stripping off his clothes, he headed into the shower. He passed a mirror and saw the bruises faintly on his chest. Standing under the stream of hot water, Grissom tried to lose himself and not let his mind wander.

He dressed quickly and looked at his watch, five-thirty. * Just in time*, he thought as he packed his gym bag and headed for his car.

"Hey, Grissom?" a voice called.

Grissom turned and saw Jimmy Slattery with a piece of tape over the top of his nose.

"You're good. Anytime you want to spar, have Tommy hook it up."

Grissom nodded and unlocked his car. He threw his bag on the passenger seat and got in. Starting the engine, he reset the CD to Cellos in the Mist, pulled his shoulder harness on and drove to find more solace.

"Sara? I have some Blue Hawaiian for you, but you have to come to Trace," Greg teased.

Sara opened her eyes and groaned. Sleeping on the floor had been a bad idea.

"Where's Grissom?" she asked, standing, before reaching for the note that she saw on the floor next to her.

"Gone for the night. I need you to look at the evidence that Brian and I collected."

"What the trick roll?" she said, reading Grissom's note.

"No, Mr. Grissom's hotel suite." Greg said, holding the door to Grissom's office open for her.

6:00 am

Grissom pulled into the parking lot. Shutting off the engine, he got out of the car and locked it electronically. He walked toward the utility building.

"Dr. Grissom! This is unusual. What can I do for you?" Benny, the grounds-keeper for Palm Mortuary, asked from his chair at his desk.

"Benny, I need to crash until the office is open. Then I need to make arrangements for my father." Grissom said his voice barely audible.

"Oh, man, I'm sorry. I left it just like you wanted. The office opens at nine. I'll come back for you. You just sleep and leave everything to me." Benny said, standing.

Grissom nodded. He took his electronics from his pockets and put them on Benny's work table. He slipped his holster from his waist, careful with the gun, and set it on the counter. His glasses came next and then he lay down in a nest of packing blankets. Benny turned the lights off, except the work lamp at the table. Grabbing his coffee, he left the grieving scientist alone.

8:30 am

"Excuse me, are you Benny Martinez?" a tired looking man in shirtsleeves asked him.

"Yeah, who are you?"

"My name is Jim Brass. I happen to be a cop, but I'm here trying to find my friend, Gil Grissom. Is he here, somewhere? He mentioned that he comes here to work things out, sometimes."

"Oh, yeah, get in. I'll drive you to my building." Benny said, walking back to his Gator.

"Thanks," Brass said, climbing in.

They drove to the other side of the cemetery to a non-descript building.

"He's just inside on the left. He wanted me to wake him at nine for him to take care of the details for his Dad's burial." Benny stated, leaving the Gator running.

"I'll do that for you. Does he know where the office is?"

"Yeah, help yourself to coffee," Benny said.

"Thanks, Benny."

"Uhm, you're welcome," Benny said, slipping the Gator back into gear and driving back to work.

Brass walked into the warehouse and pulled out his flashlight. Grissom was wrapped in packing blankets, safely asleep. Walking to the work table, Brass followed his nose and poured himself a cup of coffee. Grissom's cell phone was on the table by his wallet, lab keys, car keys, gun, and glasses. He turned off his flashlight and slipped it into its holster next to his gun. Sitting on a stool, Brass sipped his coffee, lost in the silence, watching his friend sleep.

9:00 am

"Grissom, coffee, wake up," Brass said loudly from six feet away.

Grissom woke up quickly. He looked at his surroundings and frowned at Brass.

"Relax, will you? This is what I do. Besides, I thought you might need a pal."

Grissom sat against the wall and accepted his glasses and then a mug of coffee from Brass.

"What do you know?" Brass asked.

"I know that he was killed gangland style. He was in trouble." Grissom said, sipping his coffee.

"Why did you go to the morgue? Al was pretty upset having to do the prelim with you in the room."

"Someone acid etched his fingerprints off. I needed to be sure, for me." Grissom said, as the tears started to fall down his face.

"Easy," Jim said, walking over to sit next to Grissom on the floor.

"He ran out on my mom and me when I was a kid. I wrote him off. I didn't know if he was alive or dead and I couldn't have cared less. Then Roger said definitively he had died at the Twin Towers on 9/11 and it was over. My father reached me at the lab. I have thirty messages from him after I left."

"The panic attack?" Brass asked.

"Doc called you? Yeah, then my father called me at home, wanting me to meet him."

"Which triggered your migraine," Brass said.

"Yeah, Jesus, Jim, I'd been up for forty-eight hours. I was a mess in anyone's book," Grissom said, wiping the tears from his eyes.

"Drink some more coffee. We need to organize your father's burial and then get you home." Brass instructed.

Grissom nodded, sipping his coffee. After a few minutes, he struggled to his feet with Brass stabilizing him.

"You go to Slim's?" Jim asked, seeing a bruise on his cheek.

"Yeah, I sparred with a twenty year old." Grissom said, putting his electronics back on and slipping his keys into his pockets, and his gun to his waistband.

He turned off his phone, causing Brass to raise his eyebrows.

"He tagged you," Brass pointed out, changing the subject.

Reaching his hand to his cheek, Grissom smiled.

"I dropped him; K.O.," he noted.

"Wow!" Brass remarked as they headed to the door. "Benny says you know the way to the office."

"Yeah, we can walk. Did you park in the lot?"


"That's where the office is." Grissom said, squinting as he walked into the warm early morning air.

10:00 am

"I think that will be the last piece of information we need from you, Dr. Grissom. I am sorry for your loss but I think you'll find that here at Palm Mortuary we will take care of your father."

"Yes, I'm sure. Roger McAllister recommended you." Grissom said, putting the receipt for the plot and headstone into his wallet.

"Yes, Martha. That was very sad. His son is here as well. Unfortunately, he didn't have the resources to buy three plots together. His son is in the B and his wife is in..."

"S." Grissom finished for her.

"Thanks very much," Brass said, guiding Grissom out.

Grissom headed off, walking quickly through the gravestones with Brass in pursuit. Suddenly, Grissom stopped and dropped to his knees, the grass more forgiving that the concrete from the previous night. Brass crouched next to him and slid an arm over his shoulders.

"Do you know how long I've been coming to this cemetery?"


"Since I moved here, almost fifteen years." Grissom said, stifling a sob.

Brass pulled him close and they both cried for the son of their friend. Suddenly, Jim's phone rang. He rubbed his eyes and tried to pull himself together until he read the screen.

"Hi, Kiddo,"

"Is he with you? I won't worry, I just need to know."

"Yeah, he's with me. We're on our way home." He said, wiping his eyes with his sleeve.

"Thanks, Jim. I'll wait for you."

"Bye, Sara,"

"Bye, Jim."

Jim closed his phone, slipped it back in its holster and stood up.

"Come on, you're needed at home," Jim said, and extended his hand to his friend.

Grissom looked up and reached up his hand. Jim pulled him to his feet easily, sliding his arm over Grissom's shoulders as they walked to their cars. Grissom reached into his pocket for his keys.

"Are you okay to drive?"

"Yeah, I'm on autopilot from here, anyway. Thanks for coming out, Jim," Grissom said, standing in the opening of his door.

"Get some sleep. I'll see you later." Jim said, smiling.

Grissom nodded in acknowledgement and slid into the driver's seat. He shut the door and started the engine, turning the volume up. Fifteen minutes later, he turned into his driveway.

Turning the key in the door, Grissom walked into his townhouse. The sound of cellos echoed softly and caused him to smile. He placed his bag at the bottom of the stairs, and took off his electronics and keys, putting them in the clay dish. Walking into the living room, Sara stood up, dressed in his Chicago Bears jersey and little else. She stood, waiting for him to come to her, noting the fatigue on his face and in the way he moved. He walked to her quickly, enveloping her in his arms.

"I love you, Sara,"

"I love you, too, Gil," she said, as tears that she swore she was not going to shed started to course down her face.

He pulled back, hearing the hitch in her voice and wiped away her tears with his thumbs.

"No tears, okay, please?"

"I can't guarantee, but I'll try,"

Grissom pulled her close again. He stepped back and looked at her.

"I'm sorry; I have to go to bed."

"Me too, let's go."

He picked up his bag and they walked up the circular staircase, Grissom in the lead, his left hand trailing behind, holding on tightly to Sara's hand. As they entered the master bedroom, Grissom released her hand, dropped his bag by the closet and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. Sara got into bed and pulled back the sheets from his side. Grissom walked in from the bathroom, his hair damp, his shirt wet, and went to the closet. He took off his clothes to his shorts and walked back to the bed. Sara slowly rolled onto her left side. Grissom got into bed and turned out the light. He rolled onto his left side and moved to spoon against her back. Pulling her to him tightly, he took a shaky breath and tried to sleep.

12:00 pm

The phone rang and a groggy Grissom reached to answer it.


"Gil, it's Rory. I've got an office full of Feds. How soon can you get here?"

"What?" Grissom said, his voice sounding shrill.

Sara woke up, sitting upright in the bed next to him, watching him react to the phone call.

"I need you here to answer questions about your father."

Grissom started to shake and dropped the phone, and then got out of the bed.


"Sara? It's Sheriff Atwater. The FBI is here and needs to talk to him."

"Not today, Sheriff. He pulled a quadruple, as well as working this last shift to cover for Sofia and then found his father dead. Tomorrow at the earliest." Sara said, taking charge.

"Oh, I see. I was unaware of all of that. All right, Sara, tomorrow at nine a.m. in my office."

"Yes, Sheriff, I'll make sure he's there." Sara said.

"Thanks, uhm, good bye,"

"Good bye," Sara said, reaching over to hang up the phone.

Grissom sat on the end of the bed and then slid to the floor. He leaned his head back as the tears started again. Sara got out of bed and sat next to him, crying as well.

"Please, hold me," Grissom whispered through the agony he was feeling.

Sara reached around him, pulling his head to her chest, feeling his body tremble as he sobbed. Finally, he started to calm and repositioned himself on the floor so his head was in her lap and his arms were still tightly around her. Sara ran her hands through his hair, rubbing circles on his back, and felt him relax even more.

2:00 pm

Sara eased her way out of Grissom's hold to answer nature's call, pulling a blanket from the closet and covering his shoulders to his feet, first. She walked downstairs and suddenly saw the flashing light on the antiquated answering machine. The LCD read forty five. Groaning, she sat at the kitchen bar and reached for the pen and pad. Pressing <play> she started to listen to the messages. Ten were from Grissom's father. Sara figured Grissom was asleep and she was in the shower during that time period. There were fifteen hang-ups from 9:30 pm to 9:35 pm. The next phone call was at 3:00 am from Brass. Then Rory, Doc, Andy, Brass again, Sara, five hang-ups, Doc, Brass, Andy, Sara, and five more hang-ups. Sara wrote a note, ' do not erase', and put it on the machine. She then wrote a note about the 9:00 am meeting with Rory on Sunday. Her stomach growled as she headed into the kitchen to fix some lunch. Mindful that Grissom was still asleep, she turned the stereo on, playing Cellos in the Mist. Soon she was lost in the haunting music as she made herself an omelet. She stood in the kitchen and ate it slowly.

Finishing her meal, Sara looked again inside the fridge and figured now was as good a time as any to go shopping. She made a quick list, and then left a note for Grissom, before grabbing her keys and walking out of the townhouse.

2:30 pm

Grissom woke up, lying on the carpet in his bedroom. He got up slowly, feeling tired and off balance. Walking into the closet, he dropped his shorts and put on his running shorts, a t-shirt with Leonardo DaVinci's sketch of man, and his Adidas. He had no idea if he was going to run, but these were comfortable clothes in the heat. He headed downstairs to the silence of the townhouse. He smelled a faint odor of egg and walked into the kitchen to see Sara's dirty dishes. He then saw the note on the answering machine; do not erase. Curious, he pressed <play> and listened. When he heard his father's voice, he started to pace, trying to evade it, still not turning the machine off. The door shut during the fourth message as Grissom fled from his house, his father's voice, and his memories.

3:00 pm

Sara walked in to the eerie sound of voices speaking in the living room. She realized quickly that it was the answering machine. Setting her bags of groceries on the counter, she stopped the machine and then started to worry.

"Grissom?" she called, as she started to search the house.

Ten minutes later she was positive he wasn't in the townhouse. She walked to the front door and saw all of Grissom's personal belongings; keys, wallet, cell phone. Picking up the phone in the kitchen, she called Jim, trying to keep her emotions under check.


"He's gone," she blurted out.

"What? What do you mean?"

"I went to the store about forty-five minutes ago. He woke up and listened to the messages on the machine. He doesn't have his keys, phone or wallet. Jim, I am so scared. I don't know where he is, but I know he isn't able to handle this on his own. Please help me, help him," Sara pled into the phone.

"Okay, Sara, it'll be okay. I know some places that he goes to. You need to stay home, though, so you can let him in. I'll call Andy and Catherine."

"Tell Al, too, and Dr. Wu," Sara said as the tears started again.

"Don't worry, sweetheart, we'll find him." Jim replied while holding onto his emotions, only because he was at his desk and the door to his office was open.

"Please Jim, I need him."

"Me, too, Cookie. Stay close to the phone." Jim said.

"I will, bye,"

"Bye," Brass said, setting his cell phone down.

He picked up his land line and dialed quickly.


"Andy, it's Jim,"


"Yeah, he heard his father's voice on his answering machine and walked out of the townhouse. Anything you can do to help, I'm swamped right now."

"First of all, what do we know?"

"He left his wallet, keys, and phone. He literally ran out of the house sometime between 2:00 and 3:00."

"That helps, okay, I'll call Slim's, Dr. Wu, and Benny." Andy Hays said, settling upright in the chair at his desk.

"I'm going to call Catherine,"

"Call Roger and Al Robbins." Andy instructed.

"Right, I will,"

"We'll find him,"

"Talk to you soon," Brass said.

"Right, bye,"


Brass touched the bar on the phone and dialed Catherine's cell phone.


"Catherine, it's Jim. Can you talk?"

"Hang on, I'm at a scene. Nicky, I need to take this. I'll be over here."

"Kay," Brass heard Nick reply.

"Brass what's up?"

"Grissom identified his estranged father at a scene yesterday. It's really thrown him. He ran out of the house today, no wallet, keys, or phone. Just keep your eyes out."

"Damn, you bet I will. Call over to Lady Heather. I know they talk, sometimes."

"Still? Well, okay. Keep me in the loop." Brass said.

"I will," Catherine said, closing her phone.

Brass closed his eyes for a moment as he hung up the phone. He picked up his jacket, and headed to his car; sometimes driving focused him. He got into his car and drove, letting his mind wander as to where Grissom was.

7:00 pm

Brass had been to all of Grissom's hangouts, no one had seen him since earlier that day. There was no word from his friends or Sara. Frustrated, Brass went somewhere where he felt comfort. Parking his car on the street, he walked the steep stairs. Opening the door, the smell hit him first and it relaxed him. Then the sound filtered down and he smiled. Walking forward, he sat down, and listened to the music. The ceremony started and by rote, from some buried memory, asleep for months, Brass began to repeat the words that were being said. He lost himself in the comfort of the rhythm and the litany.

"Jimmy?" a voice called.

Brass looked up to the tall man in clerical robes standing before him, realizing that the service was over.

"Hi, Tim," Brass replied tiredly.

"That's all I get, hi Tim?" The man with a shock of red hair asked, a soft smile on his face.

"Man, I'm sorry, it's just..." Brass lost his thought.

Father Tim sat next to him studying the face of his childhood friend. It seemed a lifetime away when they were boys in Bayonne.

"What's happened?" Tim asked softly.

"My friend found his estranged father shot gangland style yesterday. He freaked and ran out of the house after hearing him on his answering machine. I've been looking for him since 3 or so and I just don't know where else to look."

"Do I know this friend?"

"You never met him but I've told you about him. My friend, Gil Grissom,"

"Oh, Jimmy, I'm sorry. Do you have a photo? Maybe I could show it to the parishioners?" Father Tim asked.

Brass opened his wallet and pulled a photo of Grissom at bat for the lab against Ecklie's baseball team. His hat was backwards, grey curls easily falling through the gap, and a huge smile on his face.

"Oh," Tim said, standing quickly.

"What do you mean, 'oh', Tim?" Brass asked, standing as well.

"Come with me," Tim said, handing the photo back before quickly walking off in the direction of the confessionals.

He opened a door and Jim saw Grissom, curled up, and still dressed in his running clothes, sleeping. Brass dropped to his knees and softly touched Grissom's hair as if touching him would confirm that he was real.

"I found him a little before the four o'clock service, pacing in the narthex. We talked a little, he really needs someone to talk to, Jimmy." Tim said softly.

"I know; I need to call a professional." Jim agreed.

He stepped out of the confessional and dialed a number.


"I found Grissom. He's at St. Agnes, on Whitney, asleep. What do you want to do?"

"Wait for me, please, and then we'll take him home, together." Andy replied.

"Okay, I'm going to call Sara,"

"Fine, I'll be there in twenty minutes," Andy replied.

"Great, thanks,"


"Bye," Brass said, looking at Tim.

"He'll be here in twenty minutes," Brass said, before speed-dialing a well-known number.


"Hi, pumpkin, I found him, he's fine." Brass said, while sitting on a pew as his own reserves started to crumble.

"Thanks, Jim." Sara said, trying to be strong.

"We'll be home in under an hour." Brass said.

"Okay, bye,"

"Bye," Brass said, shutting his phone.

Tim and Brass watched Grissom sleep, silent guards, waiting for Andy to arrive. Ten minutes later, Andy trotted up the side aisle and then stopped suddenly, seeing the frown from Father Tim.

"I'm sorry, Father,"

"Andy Hays, this is Father Tim Cassidy, my childhood best friend and my priest." Jim explained.

"Father, I'm sorry,"

"Relax; it's just unusual for someone with a gun and handcuffs visible to be running through my church. I'll have to write a blurb in the weekly newsletter." Father Tim half-joked.

"How is he?" Andy asked.

"He's conflicted. I gather his father beat him, but he loves him implicitly and it's tearing him up." Father Tim said.

Andy was silent, looking at Grissom.

"Did he talk to you?"

"Yes, very openly,"

"Then you need to wake him, and then we'll take him home. He needs you, Father, much more than he needs me," Andy explained.

Andy and Brass walked away from the entrance to the confessional. Father Tim raised his eyebrows and then crouched near Grissom.

"Grissom? Wake up? I have to close the sanctuary." Father Tim said.

Grissom stirred slowly and then sat up, examining his surroundings. He stood slowly and walked out into the sanctuary.

"You're not that good," Grissom growled, trying to figure out why Brass was there.

"No, you're right. I'm here because this is my church and I needed some support, tonight. Tim wondered why I was upset. I explained and he asked to see your photo. Here we are."

"Wait, you're that Father Tim?"

"Gil," Brass warned.

"Yes, why?"

Grissom looked at Brass and smiled. "Jim talks about you, sometimes."


"Grissom, we need to get you home," Andy said softly.

Grissom turned his gaze to Andy and his eyes filled with emotion. He straightened and walked to the door.

"Godspeed, Dr. Grissom," Tim called softly.

Grissom pushed the panic bar and went out into the parking lot, pacing. He looked for something familiar, his Denali, Sara, but saw nothing. Jim walked out into the parking lot and electronically opened his car. He opened the passenger door and stood silently by it. Grissom looked at him and walked quickly to the passenger door, settling easily. Andy walked to his car and followed Brass when he pulled out of the lot. Half an hour later, they pulled up to Grissom's town house. He got out of Jim's car and started to walk up the stairs quickly.

"Grissom, wait," Andy called.

Grissom stood on the landing, shifting his weight. Andy took the stairs two at a time and was quickly at his side.

"Look, you're upset. I think I need to prescribe something."

"I can't, Doc. I have to appear before the Feds at 9am tomorrow morning. Hell, I'll be lucky if I'm there at all, anyway." Grissom said darkly.

"What are you talking about?" Brass asked, walking up the stairs below them.

"Rory called and has demanded I appear to talk to the Feds." Grissom said sarcastically.

"Shit, okay, I understand. I'll be there with you, don't worry." Brass said.

Grissom rang the doorbell and said, "I'm not worried, Jim, I'm just really angry."

Sara opened the door and saw Grissom. She hugged him and mouthed 'thanks' to Jim and Andy before guiding Grissom into the townhouse and shutting the door behind them. He walked out of her embrace and stood in the living room. He seemed suddenly edgy and distracted.

"Grissom, please don't do this. Don't shut me out. I want to help you." Sara said, walking up to him.

He turned away, his hands clenching and unclenching at his side. He ran his hand through his hair and rubbed his beard.

"I have to work tonight. Can I make you something to eat before you go to bed? You need to be at the Sheriff's office at nine tomorrow morning." Sara said, trying a different tactic.

The phone rang and Grissom walked over to pick it up, hesitating slightly when he saw the note 'do not erase'.


"Dr. Grissom, this is Marcus Sheehan of the F.B.I.. I'm calling just to reconfirm that you will be at Sheriff Atwater's office tomorrow morning at nine. We need to talk to you." A deep voice said.

"What do you want from me?" Grissom asked, barely containing his mounting anger.

"It will be explained to you tomorrow. Good bye," Agent Sheehan replied and then hung up.

Grissom slammed the receiver back onto the cradle, causing Sara to take a step back.

"You can't let your father rule your life again, Grissom. He was a bad man. He didn't love you." Sara said, now angry at the situation.

Grissom turned quickly to look at her.

"Maybe he didn't, Sara, but I loved him. He was my father in good times and in bad. Unconditional love between parents and offspring is biological. I just don't understand..." Grissom started, his anger continuing to build.

"What don't you understand?"

The phone rang again and Grissom walked over and picked it up.


"This is Agent Sheehan,"

"What?" he asked impatiently.

"Bring a lawyer tomorrow," he said and hung up.

Grissom stood with the dead phone in his hand and started to shake.

"What do they want from me?" Grissom screamed as he slammed the phone receiver onto the marble counter top.

The plastic phone broke up on impact but Grissom continued to pound. Sara at first took a step back but then her anger returned again.

"They want you to explain him. They want you to tell them what's going on. They want you to open up." Sara said, her hands on her hips.

"It's none of their business. I just want to be left alone. I don't want to be judged." Grissom said, the remnants of the phone lying at his feet.

"Jesus, Gil, a man was killed; your father, and they're investigating it" Sara said, raising her voice.

"No, they're investigating me, now. I haven't seen my father in almost forty years. I know nothing about him. I just want to be left alone. They're judging me through him." Grissom said, starting to pace.

"Please, let me help you,"

"No," Grissom said, softly.

"Please, don't shut me out. Let me help you."

"No, leave me alone," Grissom shouted and stormed off to the lab room.

"Fine, to hell with you," Sara said, fuming.

She picked up her keys, electronics and bag and left the townhouse, slamming the door for effect.

Grissom stood inside the lab room, listening to his cockroaches and then hearing the door slam. His shoulders slumped as his emotions raged. He walked to his drawing board and turned on the CD player. Allison Krauss's haunting solo efforts in 'Stay' started to play. He pulled out his sketchbook and picked up his pencil.

10:00 pm

Sara walked into the break room to hand out assignments. Greg and Brian were quietly talking about something but stopped when they saw Sara.

"What?" she asked as she sat down at the table.

"Judy told Steven that an FBI agent was in this morning and spoke to Ecklie. He took copies of all of our findings so far." Greg said.

Sara groaned inwardly and returned her focus to the assignments.

"So, no Grissom tonight?" Brian asked.

"No, he's taking a personal day. Okay, we're all heading to the zoo. Seems one of the employees found a body."

"Cool, I hope it's in the reptile house," Greg remarked, standing quickly.

"Meet you in the parking lot." Sara said.

"Right," Greg replied, walking to the locker room with Brian to get their vests.

Sara walked into the cool night air to be alone but was disturbed by her phone.



"Hi, Jim,"

"How is he?"

Sara was silent on the phone, trying to formulate her response.


"He had two phone calls that upset him. We had a fight. I left him. Jim, I just can't do it. He doesn't want my help. He wants to be left alone." Sara replied into the phone softly.

"Oh, Cookie, I'm sorry. Look, I've rearranged my schedule so I can be with him tomorrow. I'll call over now and check on him."

"I don't think the phone works."

"Ah, okay, I'll drive over and see him,"

"Thanks, Jim," Sara said, her voice trembling.

"It's gonna work out," Jim said, trying to convince himself as well.

"I hope so. I have to go. I'll talk to you later." Sara said, seeing Greg and Brian exit the lab.

"Okay, have a safe night," Brass said.



Brass left his office and headed for his car, almost making it before his phone rang again.


"It's Roger, I'm at the airport. Can you pick me up?"

"Well, of course." Brass said, getting into his car. "What are you doing in Vegas?"

"I found out a lot about Grissom Senior, and the FBI investigation. I understand that there is a meeting at Sheriff Atwater's office tomorrow. Moss needs counsel, so I dusted off my degree, and here I am." Roger explained.

"I'm on my way. Be outside in the middle lane."

"I'll see you soon.

Twenty five minutes later, Brass pulled into McCarran and slowly rolled through, looking for Roger. Spotting him he blinked his headlights. Roger waved and quickly walked up to the car. He opened the back door and threw in a thick briefcase and a small bag. Shutting the back door, he opened the passenger door and slid in. He attached his shoulder harness and Jim pulled away from the curb. They drove in silence until Brass pulled up to Grissom's townhouse.

"What's happened?" Roger asked with concern

Brass put the car into park and settled back, giving Roger a prcis of the last two days.

"Tonight, he and Sara had a fight, and she left him. I don't think it's permanent, but she is at a loss. He's shutting her out again."

"Well, it's ten-forty five. I think we have some venting to do before this meeting tomorrow." Roger said, mysteriously, as he left the Taurus.

Brass shut off the engine and got out of the car. Roger picked up his briefcase and bag and looked around him. He looked down the road. Brass followed his gaze and saw the black Buick Century. They headed up the stairs as Brass searched for his keys. He opened the townhouse door and they walked in. Roger shut and locked the door behind him and then walked through the living room to the kitchen, setting his briefcase on the floor in the midst of the phone debris. Brass followed the faint strains of music to the lab room. He opened the door and found Grissom, head resting softly on his crossed arms over his drawing board. Tapping his foot on the floor, Brass stood five feet away and watched Grissom as he woke.

"What's wrong? Why are you here?" Grissom said, aggressively.

"Come to the living room, we're gonna tie one on," Brass said.

Frowning, Grissom stood and walked out of the lab room. Brass looked at the table and saw a sealed envelope with Sara's name on it. Beside it were four pencil sketches; Grissom Senior at the morgue, Sara angry, Father Tim, and a self-portrait. He heard voices in the living room and so Brass left the lab room.

"Roger, I can hardly say that I am surprised by your appearance." Grissom said, standing in the dining area, a fair distance away from him.

"Moss, the more I investigated, the more intrigued I became. The more intrigued I became, the more worried I was about you. So I packed up my research, took Noble to Annie's, and headed down here." Roger explained.

Brass walked through the debris field to the kitchen.

"What, Gil, you weren't happy with your long distance provider?" he deadpanned as he opened the fridge.

"I don't know what they want from me. I just want to be left alone. They keep judging me." Grissom said, turning on the stereo.

The music played. It was a combination album that Sara had made for him. She had chosen the songs with the hopes that they would relax him.

"Who?" Roger asked.

"Everyone," Grissom whispered as he sank into a chair, resting his head on the back cushion.

Roger leaned down, slid the doors opened, and pulled the bottles of Maker's Mark and Jameson's onto the counter. Jim put an ice cube in each glass while Roger poured liberally. Taking a sip of his whiskey, Jim removed the cheese from the fridge and found crackers as well. Setting up a cheese plate he walked to the living room and sat down. Roger walked the drinks over and sat as well.

"Moss, you don't look so good. When was the last time you ate?" Roger asked, cutting the cheese into small chunks.

Grissom opened his eyes and sat up slightly. He reached for his drink and took a sip. Letting the liquid sit in his mouth before swallowing, he watched as Brass took his jacket, gun, cuffs and badge off.

"I can't remember." Grissom said, honestly.

"Here, eat some cheese," Roger suggested, handing him a chunk on the end of the knife.


They sat silently, listening to the music, sipping their drinks. Grissom quietly ate two more pieces of cheese, rubbing his temple, lost in thought. Suddenly, he got up, setting his glass on the coffee table before disappearing into the lab room. He turned on his computer and looked at his watch. He mother might be up, but she wouldn't be on the computer. He couldn't talk to her tonight, but he needed her. Writing would have to do. Finally his computer found the internet and he logged on. He wrote for fifteen minutes before pressing <send>. Shutting down his computer, he walked into the living room. A large portion of the cheese was missing and all of the drinks were fresh. Someone had cleaned up the phone mess. He headed to the kitchen bar.

"Jim, there's something you should listen to. Come get me when you're through." Grissom said, hitting the 'play' button before picking up his drink and escaping back to the lab room.

Roger walked into the lab room and wasn't surprised to see Grissom drawing. Music that was unfamiliar to Roger was playing softly from a portable stereo. He walked up behind Grissom.

"Hi," Grissom said, continuing to draw his pen and ink sketch.

"Hi, we're ready for you,"

"Almost done," Grissom replied, not looking up.

Roger stood at his side and watched him finish a sketch of the altar of a church. The use of hatch and crosshatch made it look very old. Grissom reached down into a drawer and removed a manila envelope. He took the drawing from the pad, making sure it was dry, before placing it in the envelope. He turned it over and addressed it before sealing it. Turning off the CD player, he picked up his glass and he followed Roger out into the living room.

"Give this to Tim, the next time you see him, okay?" Grissom asked, handing the envelope to Brass.


Grissom headed to the kitchen and filled his glass with Maker's Mark, topping it off with a half-inch of water. As he walked back into the living room, he noted that his answering machine was gone. Sighing, he sat down on the sofa. Roger had brought his briefcase to the coffee table. Opening it he took out four thick file folders. One Grissom recognized from his stay at Elko. Taking a large mouthful of his drink, Grissom nodded and Roger began.

"First of all, your parents never legally divorced. Your father just left you and your mother. This will become important later. Your father was an importer, primarily with China but also Vietnam and Thailand. He traded in guns and drugs; living all over the world. He was a very powerful man. In January 2001, he made a mistake and crossed Christopher Kang. Kang controlled most of the opium and heroin in China. The Chinese government had been trying to get Kang just as the U.S. government had been trying to get your father. When your father realized that Kang had put out a hit on him, he gave himself up to the embassy in Shanghai. He gave the government the information to take down Kang in return for immunity and..."

"He went into the witness protection program in the U.S." Grissom finished for him.

"Yes, exactly. He was supposed to be at F.B.I. headquarters at the Twin Towers on September 11, at 9:00 am. We know now, he missed his appointment."

"His fingers," Grissom said, softly.

"What?" Roger asked.

"His fingerprints were acid etched off."

"Yes, he didn't trust the F.B.I. to protect his identity, so he hired someone from his past to erase his fingerprints."

Grissom got up, needing to walk. His limp was pronounced as he sipped his drink.

"When the government thought he had died, there was a call to arms about the money."

"What money?" Brass asked.

"In 2001, it was seven point two million dollars; all clean and legit. Of course, the government knew how he earned that money and they wanted it. It's been held up internally with the lawyers."

"Why wasn't I notified?"

"Well, being in the witness protection program, the paper trail is convoluted at best. From what I understand, they didn't want you involved until they could tell you one way or the other about the money. Oh, and at the time, the will, such as it was, wasn't legit. That changed yesterday. There was a detailed legal will found in his hotel room by a ...Greg Sanders." Roger said, reading from his notes.

Grissom smiled briefly.

"What do the Feds want with me?" Grissom asked, his voice betraying his emotions.

"They want the money. They want to know what your father had been doing for the last four years. You're his son, they figure you spoke." Roger replied, slipping his folders back into his briefcase.

Grissom continued to pace and suddenly bolted to the bathroom.

"I'll go," Jim said, walking quickly to the bathroom.

Grissom was on his knees, retching. When he was finished, he rocked back onto his heels. Jim was frightened by the sight of blood around Grissom's mouth and in the toilet bowl. Reaching for a washcloth, Jim put it in the sink and soaked it with cold water. First he put in on Grissom's neck and then he wiped his face. He was shaking and very pale. Jim reached over and flushed the toilet before helping him to his feet. He filled a glass with cold water and handed it to Grissom who swished the liquid in his mouth and spat it out into the sink. Jim glanced at his watch; one thirty.

"Gil, let's get you upstairs. You need a shower and some sleep." Jim said, walking behind him.

Roger looked at Grissom when he passed through into the living room. He looked wiped out. Grissom climbed the stairs and Brass followed him. Flipping the light on in the bedroom, he walked into the bathroom, stripped, and stepped into the shower to wash away the grime of the day. Brass pulled out a t-shirt and a fresh pair of shorts and placed them on the bathroom countertop, returning to the bedroom to wait for his friend. The shower stopped and a few minutes later, Grissom walked into the bedroom. He got into bed and rolled onto his left side. Brass went to the bed and crouched, placing his hand on Grissom's shoulder.

"Just sleep, don't think," he advised.

Getting no response, Brass stood and walked to the door, turning out the light, but keeping the door open. He headed down the circular stairs to the floating sounds of the cello, and a sleeping Roger.

"Roger, you take the guestroom. We need to leave here by 8:30 to get to the Sheriff's office by 9:00 am." Brass said.

Roger's eyes opened and he groaned softly, sitting up.

"He okay?" Roger asked, gesturing towards the staircase.

"I think he has an ulcer. This is what Andy warned us could happen. He's been so unhappy since that first case. He's also been under a lot of stress at the lab, probably drinking more, and God knows what medical history he inherited from his father. I just wish he hadn't pushed Sara away. Let's see what tomorrow brings. Good night," Brass said, refreshing his drink.

"Good night," Roger said, standing to retrieve his duffle before heading to the guest room.

Brass removed his shoes and stretched out on the couch. He finished his drink and was asleep almost immediately.

Sunday 7:00 am

Grissom awoke with a pain in his abdomen. The pain was unfamiliar. He was tired, sore, and emotionally fragile. He curled up in a ball, but the pain was still there. He got out of bed and picked up the phone. Dialing Sara's number, he started to hum.

Sara's phone rang and she looked at the screen, <Grissom, home>. She didn't answer it and returned to her microscope.

Sara's phone went to voice mail.

"Sara, it's me. I'm sorry. I need you. It hurts. I didn't mean to drive you away. Please come back. Please, help me." Grissom pled into the phone before hanging up.

He went into the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. There was a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. Grissom opened it and took a chug. Almost immediately, he felt better. Looking at his watch, he realized he needed to get dressed, soon. He walked into his closet and slipped on a pair of khakis. He pulled off the t-shirt Brass had given him, and put on a polo shirt, and a pair of loafers and headed downstairs.

Brass was still asleep on the sofa and Roger was nowhere in sight. Grissom continued to the kitchen and started to make a pot of coffee. While the coffee maker went through its routine, he went into the lab room and turned on his computer. He looked at his drawing board but he didn't feel like sketching. A familiar beep drew his attention and he sat at the computer screen. His mother was online and had read his email. She began a conversation.

Good morning, 

Morning, Mom,

I'm sorry,

Why? It's finally over now. Or at least most of it is.

No, I'm sorry that I never told you. I knew he was alive.
He would send me postcards occasionally, from around the
world. He wasn't bothering us; he didn't want anything,
so I let it go.
Why didn't you tell me?
Because I knew it would upset you.

Grissom hesitated, rereading the screen.

Mom, I have to go. I have a meeting at nine. I'll try to talk to you tonight if 
you're online. Alright, take care, please. I love you. I'm sorry, Gil. I love 
you too. Bye. Good bye.  

Grissom turned off his computer and wiped his eyes. He picked up his note to Sara and walked out into the living room and saw Brass at the breakfast bar, sipping coffee.

"Hi," he said, quietly, setting the envelope down near his keys.

"Hi, how are you feeling today?" Brass asked, keeping his voice low as well.

"Tired, emotionally and physically," Grissom admitted while pouring himself his own cup of coffee.

He opened the fridge and dropped in two ice cubes as well as a small amount of milk.

"How's your stomach?" Brass asked.

"Fine," Grissom lied, leaning against the counter, sipping the coffee.

"Morning," Roger said as he entered the living room, heading straight for the coffee.

"Morning, Roger," Brass greeted.

"Morning, Nuncle,"

"Morning, Moss," Roger replied, pouring a cup of coffee.

"Would anyone like some breakfast?" Grissom asked.

"None for me, thanks," Jim answered.

"Me neither, too many butterflies," Roger replied, smiling.

Grissom nodded, continuing to sip his coffee. He felt his temperature rise; his anxiousness toward the meeting coupled with the slight pain in his abdomen was really testing him today. He went into the bathroom and closed the door. Filling the sink with cold water, he dunked his head in, holding his breath for as long as he could. He raised his head up and blindly reached for a towel. Drying his head and face, he walked back into the living room.

"Ready to go?" Brass asked, seeing his pale complexion, wanting to ask him more.

"Almost," Grissom said, reaching into the fridge for his migraine medication. "We need to swing by Sara's house on the way."

"Okay," Brass replied.

He slipped the small bottle into his trouser pocket and headed to the door to pick up his phone, sunglasses, envelope, and keys. Roger had his briefcase firmly in hand, dressed in a sport coat and tie. Brass wore his clothes from yesterday, carrying Grissom's answering machine and the envelope for Tim. The three men headed to Brass's Taurus, which was parked in the guest parking area of Grissom's condominium townhouse designed complex. Brass noticed the black car at the end of the block and mentally set himself for whatever was going to happen. Roger sat in the backseat, while Grissom rode shotgun. The difficulty with which he got comfortable in the car and slipped on his shoulder harness did not go unnoticed.

Brass pulled up at Sara's apartment building, still watching the black car in the rearview mirror and Grissom got out slowly. He looked at his watch, and figured that Sara would still be at work. He opened the front door and walked in, letting the door close behind him. He went directly to her bedroom and placed the envelope on top of her pillow. He straightened up and was hit again by a sharp pain in his stomach. Groaning softly, he walked into the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. He removed the bottle of Pepto-Bismol and took a mouthful. Relief was almost instantaneous. He put the bottle back in the cabinet and closed the door. Walking quickly, he left her apartment and headed for the car.

They arrived at police headquarters with ten minutes to spare. The receptionist informed them the meeting was to take place in Interrogation Room 4. Grissom's apprehension grew. They walked into the room, which was empty except for the table and 6 chairs. Someone had put a pitcher of water and a stack of paper cups in the center of the table. Roger walked to the other side and opened his briefcase, pulling out a legal pad. He sat down, facing the door. Brass watched Grissom, who had started to pace.

"Easy, Gil, this is very much a poker game. Don't let them see your hand." Brass warned.

Grissom stopped and poured himself a glass of water, his hand shaking slightly. He sat next to Roger, who put a comforting hand on his knee and squeezed. Grissom smiled grimly and closed his eyes, practicing a relaxation technique.

The door opened quickly and three men walked in. Grissom's eyes shot open and he was very still. Slowly, Roger and Grissom stood.

"Agent Marcus Sheehan, Agent Paul Sortos, Agent Scott Taylor," the taller man said.

"Roger McAllister, Dr. Grissom's counsel. This is Dr. Grissom," Roger intoned.

"I'm Captain Jim Brass," he said, placing his badge on his coat pocket.

"I was unaware of your invitation." Agent Sheehan said coldly.

"I'm investigating Mr. Grissom's death," Brass replied, walking to stand in a corner where he could watch the scene play out.

"Fine, you may observe but not participate. This is an FBI investigation." Agent Sheehan said, sitting opposite Grissom.

Grissom and Roger sat down, as did the other two FBI agents. Roger reached into his briefcase and pulled out a 5" x 7" unruled white pad and a pencil, sliding it in front of Grissom. Immediately, Grissom picked up the pencil, placing his hands in his lap, out of sight, where he could fidget.

"Mr. Grissom," Agent Sheehan started.

"Dr. Grissom. His father was Mr. Grissom," Roger corrected.

"Excuse me, Dr. Grissom, when was the last time you saw your father?"

"July 22, 1964," Grissom replied, his voice even.

"How can you be so sure?"

"He beat me with a baseball bat. Check the hospital records. I was there for two weeks."

"You mean to tell me that you haven't seen him since?"

"Asked and answered. Move on," Roger interrupted.

Agent Sheehan shot a glance at Roger and then back to Grissom whose face was beginning to pale. The perspiration started to appear at his hairline, and on his upper lip through his moustache. He shifted in his chair, setting his elbows on the table, leaning over slightly. With a small smile, Agent Sheehan started again.

"Did you receive any type of communication from your father?"

"He called me this past Thursday." Grissom answered, reaching his left hand down to his side, clenching and unclenching his fist.

"What did he say?"

"He said he needed my help. He said that I was the only one who could help him."

"We have evidence that he's been speaking to you weekly for the last four years."

Grissom looked up from the table quickly.

"You're evidence is wrong," he said, his voice barely audible.

"Here are the lab phone records," Agent Sheehan said, handing over a thick package of paper.

Roger looked at it closely.

"There's no evidence to prove that my client answered these calls. He works outside of the lab most of the time. There's no log as to when Dr. Grissom is in the field or when he is in the lab." Roger replied, sitting back in his chair.

"Not, yet, but my investigation is just starting. I'll know everything very soon," Agent Sheehan said.

As Roger started a rant on the merits of threatening his client, Brass watched Grissom's body language and realized that something was wrong.

"Gil? You okay?" Jim asked, walking towards him.

Grissom stood quickly, his right hand holding his stomach.

"I have to get out of here." Grissom murmured.

"Dr. Grissom, we are not done here," Agent Sheehan said, standing as well.

"I have to get out of here," Grissom repeated, walking to the door.

Agent Taylor stood and put a hand on Grissom's shoulder to stop him. Grissom wheeled and punched him with his left hand before turning back to the door. He reached for the handle and then collapsed onto the floor. Andy, who had been observing in the adjoining room behind the two way glass, ran into the room. Brass had pulled Grissom from blocking the door, gently turning him on his back. Roger was at his side on his knees, just running his fingers over Grissom's forehead.

"He's really burning up," Roger said.

Andy quickly pulled up Grissom's shirt and started to thump his fingers onto his hand, which he placed on Grissom's abdomen.

"Call 911," Andy said, continuing to check Grissom out.

Jim called 911 as Paul Taylor began to return to consciousness. His nose was broken, and blood poured down onto his white shirt.

9:30 am

Sara walked into her apartment, tired and lonely. She started to put her phone on the table by the door when she remembered Grissom's phone call earlier that morning. She saw that he did leave a voicemail and listened to it. Her eyes filled with tears as she hit '9' to save the message. Punching speed dial '1', she dialed Grissom. His phone went straight to voice mail.

"Hey, it's me. It's nine thirty. I'm going to sleep. Please call me." Sara said, succeeding in not crying on the phone.

She set her phone in its charger and headed into the bedroom. Stripping off her clothes, she got into the shower and turned on the hot water. Twenty minutes later, Sara slipped on a tank-top and underwear, walking to her bed to pull back the covers. In the darkness of her bedroom, she felt an envelope. Tracing her fingers over one side she felt the embossed butterfly. Reaching for the bedside lamp, she turned it on, opening the envelope and began to read.

 Dear Sara, I am so sorry that I yelled at you. I 
don't know what to do. I loved my father, but he hadn't been in my life for forty 
years. You are my life, now. I can't lose you. Please forgive me. I love you. 
I always need you. Gil  

Tears were streaming down Sara's face in earnest, now. With a shaking hand, she reached for the phone. Dialing Grissom's cell phone, again it went to voicemail. Sara hung up before leaving a message and dialed again.

"Hi, this is Jim Brass, L.V.P.D. Leave your name, number, and time you called. I will call you back." Brass's voice intoned.

"Jim, it's Sara. Where's Grissom? I'm at home. Call me on my landline," Sara said, hanging up.

She picked up the letter again, before slipping her long legs under the sheets. Turning off the light, she rolled onto her side and fell asleep.

10:30 am

"Are you with Dr. Grissom?" A doctor, whose nametag read, Paul Evans M.D., asked.

"Yes, doctor. How is he?" Jim asked, standing quickly with Roger and Andy at his side.

"He'll be fine. He's got a pretty good ulcer; he's dehydrated and run down. I've got him on a couple of IVs to stabilize him. I want him to spend the night here to monitor his reaction to the ulcer medicine." Dr. Evans said.

"Can we see him?" Roger asked.

"Yes, but I want him quiet. Understand? His ulcer is caused by bacteria, but if you upset him, it will aggravate it. You are not to excite him. He just needs peace and quiet." Dr. Evans said sternly.

"Roger, why don't you go see him. I need to speak to the doctor about our Washington friends." Jim suggested.

Roger nodded and headed off towards Grissom's room.

"Dr. Evans, I'm Andy Hays, department psychologist." Andy said, handing him his card.

"Paul Evans, good to meet you. What does Dr. Grissom do that involves the police?"

"He's a forensics analyst, and a world-renowned entomologist." Jim explained.


"He's under a great deal of stress at the lab. They're shorthanded, and unfortunately, Las Vegas keeps the lab very busy. What really got to him was the fact that his father was found murdered two days ago." Andy elaborated.

"Lord, well, that would account for some of his condition. But that ulcer is well-developed. He's been in pain for some time now."

"To top it off, the F.B.I. is investigating his father. That's where we were when he collapsed; with the F.B.I. at police headquarters.

"Wait, it was Dr. Grissom that hit the agent in the E.R.? I didn't put it together. I noticed the bruising on Dr. Grissom's left hand. He did quite a number on that guy's nose. Came close to killing him, actually. Chipped a piece of bone, but they were able to reduce the subdural hematoma. He's up in ICU." Dr. Evans remarked.

"Oh, boy," Jim said, shaking his head.

"You're gonna have some fancy explaining to do," Andy said.

"Yeah, thanks, Doc," Jim said, reaching to shake his hand.

"You're welcome," Dr. Evans replied.



Dr. Evans walked down the hall towards the elevators.

"Let's get coffee from the nurse's station and then go see him," Jim suggested.

"Good idea,"

Roger walked in and saw Grissom hooked up to two different bags of clear liquid. His ID bracelet had several rings of different colours and a red box warning about his migraines. Pulling up a chair, Roger sat down, leaning in to touch Grissom's shoulder. Grissom opened his eyes and looked around.

"Morning, don't move around too much. You're hooked up a couple of different ways." Roger advised.

"What happened? The last thing I remember, you were shouting," Grissom asked.

"I got into an argument with that jerk, Sheehan. You stood up and announced that you had to go. Agent Taylor tried to stop you. You decked him."

Suddenly Grissom winced.

"Moss?" Roger asked, worried.

"Do you see a morphine drip pump? My stomach really hurts."

Roger looked down to Grissom's right hand and put the plastic device in it. Grissom pumped it once and then again; seeking some relief.

"You have an ulcer and you're exhausted. They're keeping you until tomorrow." Roger said softly.

The door opened and Brass walked in with Andy on his heels.

"Hey, Gil, feeling better?"

"A little, thanks. I'm just tired and my stomach hurts." Grissom said, fighting to keep his eyes open.

"Just rest, buddy. Dr. Evans has prescribed peace and quiet; limited visitors. We'll come to get you tomorrow. "Jim said, watching as Grissom fell asleep.

"He just pumped himself full of morphine, so he's really out," Roger said, standing slowly.

"I need to get back to the office." Andy said.

"Me, too. Roger, where are you off to?" Brass asked.

"Well, if you don't mind, I'd like to see your file on Grissom Senior's murder. Maybe something will click." Roger replied, looking once more at Grissom.

"Fine, let's go," Jim said, leaving the room.

When the three men walked out into the heat of the day, they turned their electronics back on. Jim's was the first to cycle through; four missed calls. Andy groaned as he read his screen and pressed buttons to listen to his voice mail. Roger got into the back seat as Jim and Andy sat in the front with their phones, the air conditioning blasting, before leaving the parking lot.

"Shit," Jim swore, as he speed dialed a number.

"Hullo?" a sleepy voice answered.

"Sara, it's Jim,"

"Where is he?"

"He collapsed at the meeting. He's at Desert Palm for observation and a little free R & R. He's exhausted and he has an ulcer." Jim said, quickly.

"Oh my God. Okay, okay, I'm on my way," Sara said, fully awake.

"Take your time, Kiddo. He was sleeping pretty soundly when we left. He has a strict visitor list; you, me, Roger and Andy. It's important, Sara, not to excite him." Jim advised.

"I'm on my way," Sara repeated.

"See you later,"

"Take care, Jim,"



"How is she?" Roger asked.

"He writes a good letter. She's definitely not mad at him any more," Jim said, driving to the station.

11:30 am

Sara walked into the hospital and showed her ID.

"Gilbert Grissom?"

"Your name?"

"Sara Sidle,"

"Okay, Ms. Sidle. Here is your Visitor's Pass. Please check in with the nurse on the floor. I only know that he's up on six." The receptionist explained.

"Thanks," Sara said, clipping her hospital ID onto her blouse.

She headed for the elevators but saw something in the gift store; a Beanie Baby bright red fuzzy spider. She smiled, went in and bought it. Taking the elevator to the sixth floor, she approached the nurse's station.

"Gilbert Grissom?" Sara asked, handing the nurse her ID.

"Yes, Ms. Sidle, room 626. He needs to remain calm. His ulcer is very painful and it can get aggravated by stress." The nurse instructed, handing her back her pass.

"I'll be careful," Sara said, clipping it back to her blouse.

"As a matter of fact, it's time for his medicine. Let's go see him together."

Sara smiled and followed the nurse. Just as they approached his room, they heard a noise from within. They both rushed in to see Grissom, slumped on the floor, the IVs lying unattached on the floor leaking. Sara reached to the nurse to hold her back before walking up to Grissom herself. She crouched in front of him, noting that he was shaking.


Grissom opened his eyes and looked at her for several minutes before recognizing her. He reached out his arms to her and started to cry as she pulled him into a tight hug.

"I'll get Dr. Evans," the nurse said before leaving the room.

"I'm so sorry," Grissom whispered between his tears.

"I forgive you, Gil. Just relax, just breathe, everything's all right, now." Sara said, soothingly.

A few minutes later, Dr. Evans walked in and stopped, seeing Grissom on the floor.

"Well, this might be taking the peace and quiet idea a little far," he quipped, walking to his patient. "I'm Paul Evans, your doctor. You, I presume are Dr. Grissom and Sara Sidle?"

"Yes," Sara answered for them both.

Grissom had stopped crying, but he was holding onto Sara for dear life.

"Dr. Grissom?" Dr. Evans started.

"He doesn't like hospitals or doctors as a rule. Call him Grissom, it's familiar to him." Sara advised.

"Grissom, how are you? I need to know how you're feeling." Dr. Evans said, crouching near him.

Grissom opened his eyes and looked at him. The look was inescapable.

"Let's get you into bed so we can take care of the pain. Nurse, would you bring a second set of IVs? Did you give him his ulcer meds?" Dr Evans said, kneeling to help Sara muscle Grissom back into bed.

"No, I was about to when we found him on the floor." The nurse explained.

Just as Grissom got settled back into bed, a strong shiver of pain rattled him. He moved, trying to evade it.

"Okay, Grissom, swallow this; it should help." Dr. Evans said, forcing a pill between his lips.

Grissom swallowed it dry, the sweat rolling down his face.

"Sara, can you give us the room for a moment? We need to clean him up and get him settled. Then you can come back in." Dr. Evans asked.

"Griss, I'll be in the hallway. I'm right here. I'm not leaving." Sara said loudly.

Grissom smiled briefly, breathing against the pain. Sara kissed his forehead and left the two men alone.

"Grissom, stay with me. What happened? I've met the Three Musketeers; Roger, Jim and Andy. You need to tell me what's going on." Dr. Evans said.

"Dr. Evans," Grissom started.

"Call me, Paul; one syllable." Dr. Evans recommended.

"Paul, I do not sleep well. Generally I sleep three hours at a time and wake up; occasionally with violent nightmares. When I have a migraine, I sleepwalk. Although I didn't have a migraine, I just needed to get out of bed. I suspect that is how I ended up on the floor." Grissom admitted.

"Is the ulcer medication helping?"

"Yes, the pain does seem to be easing."

"When did you first feel the pain?"

"Maybe six weeks ago I felt some discomfort. But it wasn't until yesterday that I felt pain."

"Okay, I'm going to talk to you and I need you to just listen and relax. If you fall asleep, that's okay, too. Don't worry, just relax." Paul directed.

Grissom sighed, still restless against the pain. Paul began to tell stories of his childhood in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan while he cleaned the IV sites and started new ones. By the time he was finished, Grissom was asleep. He reached around and started to secure Grissom's arms, chest and legs. Finally, he walked out into the hallway to find Sara.

"How is he?"

"Complicated, I gather he doesn't sleep well." Paul asked, leaning against the wall.

"When he's tired, working on a rough case, or stressed, he barely sleeps." Sara admitted, looking at him.

"I've restrained him. He'll be fine, but I'll understand if you want to stay." Paul said.

"Thanks, it's funny but he relaxes when he feels a calming hand. I have to be at work at 10 pm, but I'll stay until then, if I may." Sara said.

"I'll make sure you can. When you see the Musketeers, have Jim call me, would you?" Paul asked.

"Sure," Sara said, giggling in spite of herself, before walking into Grissom's room.

1:00 pm

He looked pale surrounded by the white sheets. Sara pulled up a chair to be by his side, setting the red spider on the table in his eyesight. He breathed softly, his hands at his side, his face relaxed. She reached for his hand and held it. After a half an hour, she was asleep, her head back on the chair, her hand almost touching Grissom's, her legs up on the bed next to him.

2:00 pm

"Brass," he answered tersely.

"Whoa, relax, sailor," Catherine chided.

"Catherine, sorry, what's up?"

"I have some information on the phone logs you asked about earlier. I'd rather not do this on the phone. Can you meet me at the diner?"

"Uhm, sure. I'm on my way, and I'm bringing a friend."

"Good, so am I," Catherine said, smiling.

"See you soon,"

"Bye." Catherine said, hanging up the phone.

She looked over to Warrick and Nick, smiling.

"Let's get everything together about Grissom Senior's case. You have the phone records?"

"You bet, "Nick said.

"You'll call Sara and Greg?"

"Yeah, I'm on it. Six hours is plenty of sleep," Warrick said, reaching into his pocket for his cell phone.

"What?" a groggy voice asked.

"Greg, it's Warrick. We need you, at the Diner, right away, man. It's about Grissom's dad."

"What? Oh, okay, I'm there, I mean, I'm on my way." Greg said, hanging up the phone to get dressed.

"Greg's on his way," Warrick announced, as he dialed Sara.

"You've reached CSI Sidle. Leave your name, number, and time you called. I'll get back to you."

"Sara, it's Warrick, a little after two. Meet us at the Diner. We're going over Grissom's case. Later." Warrick said, hanging up the phone.

"Voicemail," he said, looking at Catherine.

They gathered up their research and put it in a duffle, realizing they were breaking most of the rules of the lab by removing the files. Catherine's cell phone started to ring, the ID said, Albert Robbins.

"Hi, Doc,"

"Catherine, may I come to your impromptu meeting?"

"Sure, how did you hear of it? No, let me guess, David..."

"Yeah, the town crier. Anyway, I'll be up in a minute and meet you over there."

"Nah, Doc, come in my car." Catherine insisted.

"Sounds good,"

"No, don't touch me," Grissom murmured softly, trying to evade the restraints.

Sara slept on, hearing nothing.

"Keep your hands off of her," he said, his voice low and threatening.

Sara started to wake up, unsure of where she was.

"Don't touch her," Grissom said loudly, his face flushed, breathing rapidly.

"Easy, Griss, easy," Sara said, sitting upright and touching his face.

He calmed to her hand and settled again.

2:30 pm

They sat at the large table in the back, generally reserved for children's birthday parties. The floor was sticky, the lights were bright, and somehow it fit. The waitress brought coffee for all as they looked at each other.

"I'm," Catherine began.

"Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, Warrick Brown, Greg Sanders, and Doc Robbins, I believe. A pleasure to meet you. Moss is indeed an amazing artist." The man with the grey beard said, looking at each of them as he went around the table.

"Moss?" Catherine asked.

"Grissom, I call him Moss, and he calls me Nuncle,"

"From Lear," Greg remarked.

"Yes, I'm Roger McAllister. I'm a retired criminal lawyer and a friend of Jim's."

"Wait, you're Roger from Elko." Catherine said.


"Gil told me about you. I'm glad to have you aboard."


"What do you have for us?" Jim asked.

"I was waiting for Sara," Catherine explained.

"She's at the hospital with Gil. He has an ulcer and collapsed during the FBI interrogation this morning. He should be out early tomorrow," Jim supplied.

"Wow, uh, okay. Nick, why don't you start?" Catherine said, taking a shaky sip of her coffee.

Warrick reached over and squeezed her hand and held it while Nick spoke.

"You said that the FBI had phone records from the lab. We obtained a copy from them and then cross referenced the account numbers. For accounting purposes, we all have codes to make outgoing phone calls. I cross-referenced the phone calls from Grissom Senior and found only one employee constantly in the building." Nick said, taking a sip of his cooling coffee.

"Tell me," Jim said, his face dark.

Before Nick could answer, a tall man with thinning grey hair and a thick beard walked up to the table.

"Perfect timing," Doc Robbins said, getting to his feet to embrace the other man.

"If you had called me half an hour later I wouldn't have been able to get a seat on the jet." The man replied, returning the embrace.

"Lady and gentlemen, may I introduce my brother, Seb Robbins."

"Seb?" Greg asked.

"Short for Sebastian," the man explained.

"In order, Catherine Willows, Warrick Brown, Nick Stokes, Greg Sanders, Roger McAllister, and Captain Jim Brass," Doc introduced.

"Hi, A.J. called me this morning and told me about the FBI investigation and, well, it rang some bells." Seb said, sitting down next to Jim.

"A.J.?" Greg asked.

"Albert James, Sally started calling me Al when we met in medical school, and it stuck," Doc said, sitting down next to his brother.

"Seb, what kind of bells? I did some research, too, but it was into Grissom Senior and his original problems with the government." Roger asked.

Seb looked around the table, noting the fatigue and emotion on each face.

"There is no investigation into Dr. Grissom or Mr. Grissom, for that matter, involving the F.B.I." Seb said, clearly.

"What?" Jim asked, sitting upright in his chair.

"I'm a supervisor from the FBI, based in DC. I sent an agent to the hospital to keep an eye out. I have no idea who those men were you spoke to this morning." Seb replied.

"Or the men that Ecklie gave copies of our investigation to, yesterday." Greg remarked.

A cell phone rang, and Seb reached to his waist, revealing his gun safely in its holster.

"Robbins, shit, okay, okay, look, the CSI team and police are on their way. Put out a full alert for Dr. Grissom. Don't touch anything. What? A brunette?" Seb said, into the phone, looking to the faces at the table.

"That must be Sara, she works with us, and lives with Grissom," Nick offered.

"Keep an eye on her, Donner. She's special. I'll see you in half an hour. Bye," Seb said, closing his phone.

"Two men, pretending to be a doctor and a nurse, have removed Dr. Grissom from the hospital." Seb said, flatly.

"Nick, head to the hospital and check the video logs. Warrick, you and I are on the room," Catherine said, taking charge.

"What about me?" Greg asked.

"Bring Seb, Doc, and Jim up to speed," Catherine said, plunking down some cash on the table as she followed the others out of the diner.

Greg took the file and started to read, concentrating entirely on the information in front of him.

"I need to make a quick call." Jim said, stepping away from the table.

"Mike? It's Jim Brass. Put out an APB on one Gilbert Aaron Grissom, Jr.; yeah the same Grissom, five foot eleven, one hundred seventy pounds, grey hair, blue eyes, grey beard, and slight limp in his left leg. Take a couple of uniforms and assist the CSIs at Desert Palm. That's where he was kidnapped from. Oh, and Mike? We're working with the FBI on this. Thanks," Jim said, closing his phone, sitting back down at the table.

"Okay, where were we?" Roger asked.

"Nick cross-referenced the phone logs the fake FBI guys said proved that Grissom spoke to his father. In fact, there were several calls made to Senior from the lab. The account number attached to the calls belongs to..." Greg said, pausing for suspense.

"Sofia Curtis," he announced.

"Shit," Jim remarked, running his hand over his face.

"Who is Sofia? Moss never mentioned her." Roger asked, looking at Jim.

"Opportunist who thought that flirting with the boss would get her somewhere," Doc offered.

"With Moss?? No way, it's Sara and that's it." Roger said, adding a touch of milk to his coffee.

"Yes, she figured that out, but not without embarrassment. If I was to guess, I'd say this was all a weak attempt to embarrass Gil." Doc remarked.

"Great," Jim said softly. "So are you telling me that she took the calls from Senior?"

"I don't know that. I do know that she called him, however," Greg replied.

Seb quietly took out a file from his briefcase and thumbed through it, rubbing his beard reflectively.

"Can you show me the will?" Roger asked, changing directions.

"Sure, sir," Greg said, reaching into the file for the photocopy of the will.

Roger took it and sat back in his chair. As he read the document, he rubbed his hand through his beard, a motion that the CSIs recognized immediately as similar to Grissom's.

"Please, don't let him know that you've read this." Roger said quietly before handing it to Brass.

Jim read it quickly. In a nutshell, he left his wife two million dollars and his son, the balance of the estate.

Greg realized what Roger was saying. Grissom was as private as they come. Hell, they hadn't even known his father was alive.

Jim continued to read and then stopped, his hand shaking.

"Is this legit?"

"It appears so, but I would run it through Catherine's lab before confirming this." Roger said.

"Do you have an agent with Mrs. Grissom? If they got to him, they might try to get to her." Jim asked.

"Yes, I had someone from the LA office go to see her. Dr. Grissom spoke to her this morning and apparently, she had been receiving correspondence from her husband for many years. She just chose not to tell her son." Seb replied.

"What else do you have?" Jim asked.

"The bullets came from a Smith and Wesson 22. They're in Trace right now. The imprint to his knees was a ball peen hammer. No match, yet." Greg said softly.

"We need that damn FBI file." Jim said, looking at Seb.

Seb reached into his briefcase and pulled out a thick folder, putting back the thin one he had just been reading.

"I can't let you copy it, but I can let you read this." Seb said.

Jim opened the folder and quickly started to read.

"He was in the Witness Protection Program," Greg said.

"Moss said to watch out for you," Roger remarked, looking at the young man with the spiked hair.

"Yes, Grissom Senior was in the Witness Protection Program until Sept. 11, 2001. He was to meet with his handlers at 9:00 am in New York at their offices in the Twin Towers. We now know he didn't make the appointment. For the last four years, he was thought to be dead." Seb said.

"Whoa, so Grissom thought his old man was dead and he was alive?" Greg asked.

"It's worse than that. Grissom Senior was abusive. He left the house after beating Gil almost to death. That was in 1964. Roger told that he had learned his father had died on 9/11. His father called him at the lab and Grissom received the call." Jim explained.

"Which explains his panic attack," Doc said softly.

"Oh, man, that's really rough," Greg said, running his hand through his hair.

"Yeah, for the last several months, Grissom has been dealing with the memories of his childhood. In addition, he has an ulcer from the crap that Rory and Ecklie are dumping on him." Jim added.

"Yeah, we've all noticed how depressed and introverted he's become since that plane crash case. What can we do now, sir?" Greg asked.

"Watch your backs, especially with Sofia and Ecklie. They have an agenda, now. Grissom's going to need your support, but you know he's a private person, so small things are best." Jim said, handing the file back to Seb.

"Jim, can you give me a moment?" Seb asked.

"Sure; fellas, I'll meet you outside."

Greg, Doc and Roger nodded as they stood to disperse.

"What is it, Seb?" Jim asked, leaning on the back of the chair.

"Sofia Curtis has a record," Seb said, reaching back into his briefcase and handing Jim the file.

"What? That's impossible. They're not allowed to work for the PD, if they have a record." Jim said, reading.

"When Sofia was a minor, she was arrested for possession with intent to sell heroin in Miami. Guess who was in Miami at the same time?" Seb asked.

"You're kidding, Senior?" Jim asked, still flipping through the file.

"None other," Seb replied.

"Well, I guess we need to keep an eye on her. I don't have any reason to pick her up and I don't want to tip our hand." Jim said.

"No, exactly. I'm going to go check in with the office and then my hotel. Here's my card," Seb said, taking the file from Jim while handing him a business card.

"Great, here's my card," Jim said, fishing into his pocket.

"Uhm, I have dossiers on all of you, James McHenry Brass of Bayonne, New Jersey." Seb said with a chuckle.

"Man, I think I'm in trouble," Jim said, standing up to walk outside.

1:30 pm

Sara was standing over Grissom, her hips squared as she put her hands on his face to calm him. It had been over an hour. He hadn't woken himself up, but she was afraid to leave him.

2:00 pm

Sara had fallen back into a light sleep in the chair when the door opened and two men walked in.

"Excuse me miss, we need to give Dr. Grissom his medicine and poke and prod him a bit." The tall doctor said.

"What? Oh, yeah, okay, I'll go get some coffee." Sara said, standing slowly.

She grabbed her purse and headed out of Grissom's room to the cafeteria. When she entered the large service area she noted a sign that said cell phones were allowed and so she reached to her belt and flipped on her phone. As she walked to the coffee dispenser, her phone beeped, indicating that there was a voice mail. She dialed the number and entered her code.

"Sara, it's Warrick, a little after two. Meet us at the Diner. We're going over Grissom's case. Later." The voice said.

Looking at her watch, she realized she had missed them. She poured herself a large coffee and added a touch of milk before heading to the cashier. Paying, she took a tentative sip and then walked towards the elevators to get back up to the sixth floor.

She entered Grissom's room and dropped her coffee on the floor and started to cry. Grissom's bed was empty, the IVs were hanging from their stirrups and dripping onto the floor, the closet door was open and its contents were gone, and there was blood on the floor. At that moment, a well-dressed man walked quickly into the room. He pulled out his phone and made a call.

"He's gone. We're too late. There's just a woman in tears here now." The man said into the phone, looking around the room and casting his stare on the thin brunette in tears.

"I won't let her out of my sight. Bye." He hung up the phone and turned to the woman who was rapidly falling apart.

"Miss, I'm Special Agent Donner, of the FBI," he said, flashing his badge and ID, and holding it for her to view. "We need to go into the hallway and secure the room. The police and CSIs are on their way."

Putting his arm around her shoulders, he carefully guided her around the spilt coffee and into the hallway. Ten minutes later, two uniformed officers arrived and right behind them, Catherine, Warrick, and Nick.

Sara pushed away from Agent Donner and fell into Nick's arms as Warrick and Catherine encircled them both. Agent Donner spoke to the uniforms and assigned one to watch the room and the other to watch Sara.

"Honey, I'm so sorry," Nick said softly as he held her close.

"We'll find him. Don't worry. We'll find him." Warrick said, standing with his hand on her shoulder.

"Sara, let us tackle the room so Mia and Greg can get a jump, and then we'll talk to you, okay?" Catherine asked.

Sara nodded and then felt the strong arms of Agent Donner ease her into a chair. Nick went in search of the hospital supervisor. Agent Donner signaled Sara's man to go with Nick.

"I'm Nick Stokes, with the Crime Lab; I need to see your surveillance tapes." He said, his voice low and serious.

"Yes, of course, let me call Mr. Adams, head of security, one moment." Leslie Roberts replied, picking up the phone.

"He'll be here shortly. He's in the basement." She explained.

"I've got blood," Warrick announced from his hands and knees on the floor.

"Me, too. I'm thinking Grissom didn't go quietly, no matter how he felt." Catherine replied.

There was a knock on the door and Catherine answered it.

"I'm Paul Evans, Dr. Grissom's physician. I believe I might have some information for you." He said, wiping his fatigued eyes.

"Warrick, I'm in the hallway," Catherine said.

Warrick waved his hand and continued to process.

Agent Donner observed Dr. Evans with Catherine.

"You know Grissom was brought in with an FBI agent. He's in ICU. Grissom hit him and almost killed him." Dr. Evans said.

"Doctor, I'm Agent Donner, a real FBI agent. The man in ICU is an imposter. Would you post a hospital guard until my boss sends someone?" he asked, handing him his ID for inspection.

"No, let me call the musketeers, they brought Grissom in, they can handle it." Paul said, reaching for a business card and the desk phone.


"It's Paul Evans at the hospital. I wanted to remind you that FBI man is here, unguarded, in ICU."

"Shit, thanks, Paul, I'll call my guy. Everything else all right?" Jim asked.

"Sure, except for the fact that a VIP patient was forcibly removed from my hospital, everything is nifty." Paul replied.

"Right, I'm five minutes out,"

"See you soon."

Jim ended the conversation and quickly dialed another number.

"Mike, it's Jim, send another uniform to ICU. Ask for Dr. Paul Evans. No visitors." Brass demanded.

"Yes, sir," Mike replied.

Jim hung up his phone, returning his concentration to driving his car.

"Hey," Catherine called as she walked back into the room, reaching into her vest for a new pair of gloves.

"Hey, I've found about twenty different fingerprints so far." Warrick said, carefully dusting the table near the bed.

"How far have you gotten?" Catherine said, walking up behind him with her kit.

"Just this table," Warrick said, turning to look at her.

"Oookay, I think I'm going to start at the door and work forwards." Catherine said, heading to the door.

"Chicken," Warrick teased with a grin.

"Not in your lifetime!" she quipped over her shoulder.

Catherine walked out into the hallway and started to process the door. Sara sat with her head in her hands, Agent Donner stood against the wall, affording him a clear view up and down the hallway.

"Kiddo, I'm so sorry," Jim said, as he practically trotted down the corridor with Roger and Greg in tow.

Jim embraced her, feeling the small shudders through her body as she started to cry again.

"Greg, great, head into the room and give Warrick a hand. Share his kit." Catherine said.

"No, Catherine, this is a day-shift case now." A voice from behind her announced.

"Ecklie, you can't be serious." Catherine said, finishing her print before standing.

"Conrad, this isn't a CSI case or a police case, it is an FBI case." Jim said, over Sara's shoulder.

"I know, I spoke to them yesterday," Ecklie said, smugly.

"Mr. Ecklie, I'm Agent Kevin Donner, FBI, Washington office. The men you spoke to, the man Dr. Grissom hit this morning who is in ICU, these men are imposters. It is a federal crime to impersonate an FBI agent. These CSIs are acting under the specific direction of FBI Supervisor Sebastian Robbins. It is an FBI case." Donner said, approaching him.

"We'll see what the Sheriff says." Ecklie said in a threatening voice.

"Yes, I believe that you and the Sheriff will have a lot to say to Supervisor Robbins." Donner replied.

Ecklie stood still for a moment and then left. Greg walked into Grissom's room and started to process. Jim held Sara tightly, speaking softly into her ear. Catherine resumed lifting the prints off the door. Agent Donner took his protective position.

5:00 pm

Warrick stood, stretching his back, and looked around him. Greg was finishing the bathroom and Catherine was fingerprinting the medical staff who had worked on Grissom.

"Cath, I've got it. Took a while but we have a clear image of two men wheeling Grissom out in a wheelchair." Nick said, grinning in the doorway.

"Great, we have about fifty different fingerprints and blood," Warrick replied.

"Hey, guys?" Greg called, walking out from the bathroom with a syringe.

"Where was that?" Catherine asked.

"They tried to flush it down the toilet, without success."

"Nicely done, Greg. Let's get this stuff to the lab." Catherine said, gathering her kit and walking into the hallway.

"All done?" the uniformed officer asked.

"Yes, but this is still a crime scene. You know the drill." Catherine said.

"Yes, ma'am," The young officer replied.

"Where did the Agent go?"

"He left with the brunette,"

Catherine nodded her head and headed out to her Denali.


"Hi, it's Catherine. We have a video tape of Grissom leaving the hospital. Can you meet us at the lab?"

"I'm on my way,"

"The FBI is guarding Sara?"

"Yes, and Mrs. Grissom,"

"I understand," Catherine replied.

"See you soon," Jim said.

"Right, bye," Catherine said, hanging up her phone.

Grissom awoke slowly. He was lying face down on a cool, filthy, concrete floor in a metal roofed building. It was very hot and very dark. His hands were tied with a plastic cable tie behind his back. His ulcer was raging, he had a headache, and without warning he vomited. Rolling over on his side, he gasped, tasting the coppery blood in his mouth. His heart raced as he tried to control his breathing and relax, but the pain in his stomach was too much and he passed out.

The door to the room holding Grissom opened and the man known as Agent Sheehan walked in. He grimaced when he smelled the vomit as he approached Grissom. He nudged him with his foot and got no response. Crouching behind him, he felt for a pulse, faint but there. He stood up and left the room, closing the door behind him.

5:30 pm

"Nick, show me what you got," Jim said, sitting next to him in the AV Lab.

"Okay, here it is," Nick said, hitting the <play> button.

Jim watched as the men known to him as Agent Sheehan and Agent Sortos pushed Grissom out of the hospital and into the parking lot. They stopped at a grey van, opened the door, and put Grissom in the back. No one stopped them. They even took the time to walk the wheelchair back to the hospital door before driving away.

"In addition to the photos of the slime balls, can you get a photo of the license plate of the van?" Jim asked.

Nick handed him three photographs with a tight smile.

"Thanks, will you run this through CODIS and I'll have my boys run the plates?" Jim asked.

"Let's go take a look and see if we have a hit." Nick said, walking out of the lab.

They walked in as the computer froze on a photo. Agent Marcus Sheehan was Troy Phipps. Nick printed out the sheet and waited for the next name. He didn't wait long as the computer froze on Agent Paul Sortos, or Brian Kasgar. Jim opened his phone, pulling Seb's business card from his pocket and dialed.


"It's Jim Brass. I have an identity from surveillance photos of the two from the hospital."

"Okay, shoot,"

"Troy Phipps, that's with three 'p's," Jim joked. "And Brian Kasgar with a 'k'. The vehicle was a late model light grey mini van. Nevada license Adam William Charlie 844."

"Got it, thanks. We'll look on our databases, now. What did the CSI crew find?"

"I just got here, myself, so I'm not sure. I will tell you that you need to interview Sheriff Rory Atwater and Conrad Ecklie, who made first contact with these guys."

"Yeah, Donner called about them. He's at Grissom's house with Roger and Sara. She really fell apart," Seb said quietly.

"I'll call Andy and see if he can go see her," Jim said.

"Who's Andy?" Seb asked.

"Andy Hays, department psychologist. He's been working with Grissom for the last couple of months." Jim said, dropping his voice.

"Keep me up to date on what you find out from Catherine and her team. I'll get every spare guy on the street trying to track these guys. We'll find him, soon." Seb tried to reassure him.

"I hope so," Jim said, wiping his tired face with his hand.

"Talk to you in a bit," Seb said.

"Yeah, talk to you soon," Jim said, closing his phone.

"Let's go see how Greg's doing with the blood samples." Jim said, walking with Nick out of the AV Lab.

"Greggo, what do you know?" Nick asked.

"I know that one blood sample is from Grissom. The other I'm running through the database. As to the prints, well we have Sara, Grissom, Dr. Evans, Nurse Adams, and twenty six more to throw to the data base. The chemical in the syringe was a narcotic, not factory made."

"What do you mean?" Nick asked.

"He means one of these guys is a chemist. Damn," Jim said, pulling his phone out again.

"Hello," Roger answered.

"Hey, it's me. Is Sara awake?" Jim asked.

"Yeah, go easy," Roger warned.

"I will. Make some espresso and blend her up a coffee chocolate milk shake, would you, while I talk to her?" Jim recommended.

"Sure, Sara, sweetheart? It's Jim," Roger said, handing her the phone and heading for the kitchen.

"Hello?" a fragile voice asked.

"Hi, Kiddo. Would you know how to make a narcotic?" Jim asked.


"You are a science nerd, right? I mean, you could go into a lab and make something, right?"

"Yeah, I guess," Sara stated.

"Fine, we need you at the lab. We found the syringe that they used to drug Grissom. Greg has identified it as a homemade narcotic, or at least not a registered one."

"I'm on my way."

"Okay, can I speak to Roger again?"

"Sure, Roger?" Sara said, handing him the phone.


"Hi, can you hook up with Seb? His number is 702-385-1281 ext. 40."

"Sure, tonight or tomorrow?" Roger asked.

"Tonight, please," Jim replied.

"Okay, will do. See you later. I guess I'm spending the night here. I don't have keys to your place."

"Oh, man, I'm sorry. Are you okay? Do I need to shoot over and pick you up or anything?"

"No, I have my briefcase and my duffel is here and that's all I need." Roger answered.

"Okay, then I'll talk to you later." Jim said.


"Night," Jim said, closing his phone.

"Sara's on her way in. She'll handle the syringe." Jim said.

"Great, let's go find Catherine and Warrick," Nick suggested.

They walked into the break room and Jim loosened his tie and sat on the couch, rocking his head back and closing his eyes. Catherine looked at Nick, who started to pour two cups of coffee. He turned to look at her, raising his eyebrows. He sat at the table sipping his coffee, letting Jim collect himself. Nick smiled pointed to his coffee.

"Yeah, Greg donated it to the cause." Warrick said.

"Yeah, cause we need it!" Catherine deadpanned.

The three friends sat in silence, sipping coffee. Five minutes later, Greg walked in, looking very tired.

"I think I might have made a breakthrough," He said, sitting at the table.

"Is the bullet from Phipps' gun?" Jim said, his eyes still closed.

"How do you do that?" Greg asked, amazed.

Jim opened his eyes and stood slowly. He walked to the table and sat down. Nick pushed the other cup of coffee towards him. He took a sip and groaned slightly.

"Years of experience, kid," Jim answered.

"So, the bullet matches?" Catherine asked.

"Well, we don't have his gun, but what I can say that is that that's the murder weapon."

"Very good. Anyone have anything else?"

"No, except to say that I'm toast and I've got to get some sleep." Catherine remarked.

"I might need a narcotic," Sara said, walking into the break room.

"Want some fresh coffee?" Greg asked, not hearing her remark.

"No, Roger fixed me up with a high octane coffee chocolate shake," Sara said, sipping from a go-cup.

Jim chuckled, keeping his focus on his own coffee.

"Why did I know it was you?" Sara asked, sitting next to him.

Jim held his hands up in defense before collapsing in tired giggles.

"Greg, talk to me about the narcotic and then I'll get to work," Sara said, all business.

"It's not from a recognized lab," Greg said carefully.

"I figure, since Grissom Senior was a drug dealer, he had a chemist in his stable. This guy may or may not be the man." Jim remarked.

The team was silent, thinking of Grissom and his strict code of honour.

"I need to get to work," Sara said, standing.

"We need to stand down. We're about to pull triples. I forgot to ask, where is Sofia?" Catherine asked.

"Her father had a car accident. She called from the airport at the last possible moment two days ago and I haven't heard from her. I instructed her to call me or Grissom, but so far, no response." Sara said,

Jim nodded, sipping his coffee again.

"I'm out of here." Warrick said, standing wearily.

"Me too," confirmed Nick.

"It's you and me, kid," Greg Bogarted.

Sara smiled in spite of the situation and walked out of the break room to start to work on the analysis.

10:00 pm

Phipps walked into the cooling room where Grissom lay. He hadn't moved in the last five hours.

"I told you, you gave him too much," he said looking from Grissom to Kasgar, standing beside him.

"He's going to be here at midnight. We'll come back in an hour and if the good doctor's not awake, we'll wake him up the old fashioned way." Kasgar said, lighting a cigarette.

"As long as you have a plan, I'm satisfied." Phipps replied.

"I have a plan, I always have a plan," Kasgar said, following him out of the room.

11:15 pm

Grissom rolled onto his back, assessing the damage. His headache was still there, as was his ulcer, but somehow he felt stronger. He also felt desperate. Thanking Sara exponentially for teaching him basic yoga to improve his mobility, he gently maneuvered one leg at a time to bring his almost numb hands in front of him, feeling a sharp pain in his left shoulder as he did. In the darkness, he saw nothing, but the pain was extraordinary. He couldn't really isolate it, just pain in his chest and shoulder. Lying on the floor, he felt a breeze. Clumsily, he crawled to the source of the air. Reaching his hands blindly, he felt a gap between the corrugated metal wall and the floor. It wasn't enough for him to escape. Standing, he crouched and felt for the bottom edge of the wall. Standing quickly, he pulled the wall back, like a sardine can, almost two feet. His shoulder screamed and a new pain in his chest blossomed, yet, before him was his escape route. At the same time, he had cut his hands, feeling the slickness of blood streaming through his fingers. He reached forward and decided it was big enough, and started to make his way through the opening. Reaching the cool outside, he slowly stood, rocking on the soles of his bare feet. He had no idea where he was. It was very quiet, but in the distance, he saw the lights of the Strip and he headed for them, clutching to every shadow, as he walked.

11:45 pm

Phipps flipped on the light and observed the empty room.

"Kasgar, where in your plan did you have him escape?"

Kasgar ran into the room and then over to the wall.

"He's hurt, hurt more than what I did. I'll track him." He remarked, looking at the blood.

"This isn't Hemingway's Africa, for God's sake. You have fifteen minutes and I am not going to defend you." Phipps said, his hands on his hips.

"Who cares about you?" Kasgar remarked, pulling his automatic and shooting the other man at point blank range, twice.

The taller man fell backwards, dead on impact. Kasgar holstered his weapon and went outside, tracking Grissom.

Monday 12:00 am

Grissom was close to the lights when the intense pain returned. He had a headache, his vision was blurred, his shoulder ached, and he had pain from his ulcer. He continued to walk for another two blocks, humming to keep himself focused, growling against the pain until he had to seek support from a light pole, and leaned heavily against it.

"Are you Gilbert Grissom?" a man with a flashlight said, moments later.

Grissom looked at him through the pain, tried to speak and gave up, his throat raw. Instead he signed with his almost useless fingers.

"This is Officer Prendergast. I believe I have located Gilbert Grissom. I need verification. Does he sign?" the young man said into his walkie talkie, watching the shell of a man in front of him.

"Wait one," the officer in charge replied.

Prendergast stood watching Grissom.

"This is Captain Jim Brass, hold the walkie to his ear," the voice instructed.

"Go ahead," the young officer replied, holding the phone up to Grissom's ear.

"Gil, go with this young man. Give him the thumbs up sign that you trust him." Jim instructed.

Gil looked at the officer and gave him the thumbs up before collapsing to the ground.

"This is Officer Prendergast; I need an ambulance at my location, now."

Jim hung up his phone and called Paul Evans.


"Paul, it's Jim Brass, we found him. Ambulance is on the way,"

"Thank God, I'll head for the hospital now. Get Sara and the rest of your musketeers." Paul instructed.

"You bet," Jim said, hanging up his phone.


"He's on his way to the hospital and you are formally requested to join him." Jim said dramatically.

"Bye," was all Sara could manage as she closed her phone and hugged Greg, before running out to her car.


"Roger, he's surfaced. Get to the hospital," Jim instructed.

"Huh? I'll take a cab, I'm on my way," Roger said, trying to awake from a deep sleep.


"Seb, it's Brass, we've located him. He's on his way to the hospital."

"I'll meet you there," Seb replied, hanging up the phone.

The ambulance arrived and found Grissom lying on his side, his hands almost blue from lack of circulation, covered in blood from the cuts during his escape, his right eye closed and blackened, and his chest covered in dried blood. After telemetry to the hospital, they stabilized him, and injected him with lidocane. Waiting two minutes for the medicine to take affect, they tried to cut the cable tie on his hands, but their surgical scissors were unable to cut through the wire embedded in the tie. The EMT walked quickly to the ambulance and retrieved the set of Felco C7 cutters and clipped the cable tie, smiling with satisfaction as Grissom's hands began to pink up. Grissom started to move against the pain so they strapped him on the gurney before transport.

The ambulance arrived at the hospital and Paul Evans had his handpicked staff with him. They had been briefed and went to work quickly. Taking blood, they administered his ulcer medication x 2 to see if they could still treat it orally. His black eye was a done deal, swollen shut. Since he had been walking barefoot, Grissom's feet were covered in open cuts. A nurse cleaned and bandaged them, gently. Paul directed a nurse to give Grissom a large injection of antibiotics before he hooked him up with more IVs to try to rehydrate him and get his blood sugar up. Finally, they rolled him into a room. Checking on the restraints, Paul went out to deal with the crowd.

"Black eye, damage to both hands, ulcer, headache or migraine, minor lacerations to the bottom of his feet and possibly a couple of broken ribs." Paul said briefly.

"Doctor, these fellas could come back. I'm posting an agent at his door. I'll need the list of personnel that you approve." Seb said.


"Can I go in?" Sara asked softly.

"Any time," Paul remarked.

Sara walked into Grissom's room and tried to hold her tears in check. She walked to his side and kissed his cheek. He struggled to consciousness.

"I love you," he rumbled with some effort, opening his eye to look at her.

"Ditto," she said, holding his hand, stroking it gently with her thumb.

"It hurts, Sara. God, it hurts," Grissom whispered, clenching fistfuls of the sheet in both hands.

"What hurts, Gris?"

"Everything, just everything," Grissom revealed.

Sara reached over to his face to calm him but he continued to be restless, struggling against pain. Perspiration started to appear in his hairline and his face became grey.

"Get Paul, Sara, please," Grissom said, through clenched teeth, closing his eye.

Sara backed out of the room and rushed into the hallway. Paul was just walking away, his back to her, the team could see the fear on her face.

"Paul, Grissom needs you, now!" Sara called, her hands clenched together.

Paul turned and ran back to Grissom's room. Sara turned to Roger, who took her into his arms, holding her tightly.

Paul pushed open the door and walked quickly to the bed and pressed the 'call' button on the wall.

"Grissom, I'm here. What's going on?" Paul asked, slipping his stethoscope on to listen to Grissom's chest.

"Pain, everything hurts," Grissom said, opening his eyes to look at Paul.

The door opened and the nurse came in.

"Sally, read me the chart. How much lidocane did the paramedics give Grissom?"

"Thirty milligrams, it says here." The nurse said, frowning.

"What hurts, Grissom? Be specific,"

"Hurts to breathe, left shoulder, headache, stomach," Grissom listed, breathing hard now, trying to catch his breath, and fight off the pain.

"Alert the O.R. Get the portable x-ray machine in here. We need to take films of his chest, stomach and left shoulder." Paul instructed while putting the oxygen tube under Grissom's nose.

Reaching over, he turned on the air and then looked back at Grissom. Sally picked up the phone to order the films and reserve the O.R. before heading out into the hallway.

"Dr. Grissom's having some trouble breathing. We've got him on oxygen and we're going to take some films. Dr. Evans may have to operate." She said to the group standing outside Grissom's door.

"I have his power of attorney. I'll sign his surgical papers." Sara said, pulling the documents out of her purse, while wiping her tears.

"May I go and see him?" Roger asked.

"Let me check with the doctor," Sally replied, stepping back into the room.

"Grissom, just breathe slowly, nice and easy," Paul said, putting a hand on Grissom's right shoulder to reassure him.

Grissom's breathing was erratic. He was in pain and he was scared.

"Dr. Evans, the older gentleman with the beard would like to come in,"

"Roger, yes get Roger, now," Paul said, not turning his eyes from Grissom.

Sally opened the door and Roger walked in. Sara walked up to her to take care of the paperwork.

"Talk to him, Roger. Get him to slow down. I can't give him any more pain medication right now. I need to know what I'm dealing with, first." Paul said, into his ear.

Roger looked at Grissom's grey wet face and reached over to run his hand through his wet curls.

"I'm here, Moss. Nuncle is here. You're safe, just relax into the pain." He said soothingly.

Grissom looked over at him, his eyes moist. He reached up his left hand and Roger held it, mindful of the IVs. Grissom held on hard, staring at Roger, who stared back. Roger lowered his voice, whispering to Grissom, focusing all of his energies on him.

Paul heard the door open and the X-ray machine and technician came in. As he got set up, Paul walked around the bed and spoke to Roger.

"This is going to hurt him, I'm afraid. I need to slip the plates under him for every shot. We'll start with the shoulder."

Roger nodded as he continued to speak to Grissom, who was almost asleep. Finally Grissom let go, his hand slack in Roger's, his breathing even. Roger stepped away from the bed as another piece of equipment came in.

"What's that for?"

"It's a sonogram machine so we can take a look at his ulcer." Paul said, rolling Grissom gently to put the plate under his shoulder. "We need to step out of the room while he's shooting."

Paul and Roger walked outside to the hallway and listened to the sound of the machine. Hearing a beep, Paul headed back in to switch films. Grissom was still asleep, but Roger put a hand on him anyway. He helped Paul set the film under Grissom's back and left the room with him. Hearing the beep again they walked back in. The X-ray technician was packing up as the sonogram technician was getting ready. Gently, Paul pulled the sheet to Grissom's hips, exposing the bruising on his ribs. The technician spread KY jelly over Grissom's abdomen and ran the probe slowly, his eyes glued to the monitor. Roger watched Grissom sleep, while Paul looked at the monitor.

"There is it, Paul. Looks like you have no choice." The technician remarked looking at the colour screen in front of him.

"I've never seen an ulcer go sour this fast." Paul commented.

"It didn't, not on its own. See this bruising? He was hit, kicked, probably, and that impact furthered the damage."


"I'll print these up and bring them down to you?"

"Yeah, Simon's on, so I'll assist."

"Right," the technician said, packing up his equipment.

Paul took a tissue and wiped up the petroleum jelly from Grissom's belly before pulling the sheet up to his neck.

"Roger, you and the other musketeers should go home. We have to prep him for surgery. He'll be awake around nine or so this morning." Paul said, softly.

Roger nodded and walked out into the hallway. The group had gone to sit down in the waiting area at the other end of the building. Roger walked up to them and stopped.

"They're prepping him for surgery. He was hit in the stomach, which caused further damage to the tissue involved in the ulcer. They took X-rays of his shoulder and his ribs. Once they're developed, I guess Paul will figure out the next step on that front. Grissom will be back in his room around nine this morning. Paul recommends we all go to our respective homes."

The team looked at each other just as Seb walked up.

"Jim, I just got a call from your office. They canvassed the area and found a blood trail from Grissom's feet and hands. They traced it to a small building in the warehouse district. Phipps was there, double tapped." He said with a tight smile.

"Kasgar is still on the loose, then," Jim mused.

"I have to go get some sleep." Catherine said, standing up.

Warrick and Nick stood as well and walked up to Sara.

"I guess I better check in with my office," Jim said, looking at her.

"You guys go ahead. I'm gonna stay here," she said with a brave smile, accepting the hugs from the team.

"Me, too," Roger said, stifling a yawn.

"Sara, I'm Seb Robbins, A.J., uhm, and Doc Robbins' brother." Seb said, extending his hand.

"You're Agent Donner's Supervisor," Sara said, taking his hand.

"Yes, and he will stay with you and Grissom until this whole thing is resolved." Seb confirmed.

"Thank you," she said, feeling Roger's arm around her shoulder.

"Call me when he gets out of surgery. I don't know if I'm going home, at this point, so use the cell." Jim said.

"I will," Roger confirmed.

"Night," Jim said, following the team to the elevator.

Seb walked up to Agent Donner and whispered some instructions in his ear before he headed down the hallway.

Monday 6:00 am

Paul walked down the hallway, dressed in clean surgical scrubs. Roger was asleep; Sara was curled up beside him, her head in his lap. Paul cleared his throat and they both woke up.

"How is he?" Sara asked, wiping her eyes and sitting up slowly.

"He came through the surgery fine. I reset his dislocated shoulder that I missed before during the prelim exam and taped his ribs. Simon repaired the damage from the ulcer. He's sleeping, now; should be up in a couple of hours." Paul said, annoyed with himself for such an easy mistake.

"Thank you," Roger said, now fully awake.

"You're most welcome." Paul said, forcing a smile before turning to walk down the hallway.

"Well, do you want to go home and shower now that we know he's all right?" Roger asked, feeling sticky in his day old clothes.

"Yes, definitely," Sara said, standing.

Roger stood as well and they walked together out to her Denali. She got in behind the wheel and handed him her cell phone.

"Would you call Jim and Catherine? They'll call everyone else." Sara explained.

"Sure," Roger said, carefully going through the steps on her cell phone to call Jim.


"It's Roger, on Sara's phone. He came through the surgery. We're heading home for a shower and a nap. He's supposed to be up in a couple of hours." Roger remarked.


"Would you call the Robbins brothers?"

"Sure, of course. Talk to you later." Brass said.

"Most definitely,"

Roger hung up the phone and then repeated his search for a phone number. Finding the right one, he pressed send.


"Catherine, it's Roger."

"Yes, Roger, how's Gil?"

"He came through the surgery fine. Sara and I are headed home for a shower and a nap. Gil should be up in a few hours, the doctor said." Roger explained.

"Great news, I'll try to stop by later." She remarked.

"Okay, well good bye," Roger replied.


Sara pulled into the driveway at Grissom's townhouse and parked next to his Denali. They walked upstairs and she unlocked the door. As they walked into the town house, her cell phone rang.


"Ms. Sidle, this is Seb Robbins,"

"Yes, Agent Robbins,"

"You left the hospital without Agent Donner. Where are you?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't think. We're at home, at Grissom's townhouse."

"Who's we?"

"Roger McAllister and I." she answered. "What's wrong?"

"Lock the door. Don't answer the phone or door until you see Agent Donner." He warned.

"Uh, all right," Sara replied, and then her phone was dead, the call disconnected.

"What's wrong, Sara?"

"I'm not sure. I'm in the dog house, though, because I left Agent Donner at the hospital. Don't answer the phone or the door until Agent Donner is here, okay?"

"Sure, why don't you take the first shower? I have to email Annie to see how Noble is doing." Roger said.

"Sounds good," Sara said, walking to the front door to double lock it.

She headed up the stairs and Roger headed to the lab room. He walked in and paused, listening to the hisses from Grissom's cockroaches. Turning the light on, he headed to the computer and turned it on, as well. A few minutes later, he heard the beep and knew he was connected.

Morning, Gil

What are you doing home so early?

Mrs. Grissom was online and in a talkative mood.

Hi, I'm Roger McAllister, a friend of Gil's. There's been some trouble....

Roger explained the last forty-eight hours, ending in hoping that he would see her in Las Vegas today, if she could break away from work.

Roger, I will be there on the next available plane. I will be with my new companion, Agent Thibodeau.

I look forward to meeting you. Sara and I will be at the hospital after ten.

Thank you again, Roger.

You're most welcome, Mrs. Grissom.



Roger said goodbye and then sent a quick email to Annie giving her a rough idea of his schedule. He then terminated the program and turned off the computer. He heard a buzz at the door and left the lab room. Walking across the living room, the buzzing at the door became more insistent.

"Hold your horses," Roger roared.

The silence was immediate. Roger looked through the spy hole and saw Agent Donner with his ID. Roger unlocked the door and stood aside to let Agent Donner in.

"I'm very sorry," Roger said, locking the door behind him.

"I'm not sure you understand how serious this is. I stepped into the men's room. The uniform was not supposed to let you out of his sight. When I returned you had gone and I was informed that the fake FBI agent in ICU had expired from an overdose. His uniformed officer went to get a cup of coffee." Agent Donner said, pacing in the living room.

"So there's only one left," Roger remarked.


"Only one what left?" Sara asked, walking down the stairs.

"One bad guy," Roger elaborated. "If you'll excuse me, I need a shower."

Agent Donner stopped pacing to nod and then resumed. Sara picked up the remote and the CD player started playing Cellos in the Mist. Agent Donner slowed his pacing, finally sitting at the breakfast bar.

"I'm making breakfast. Can I get you anything?" Sara asked.

"Coffee and toast would be more than fine, thank you," Agent Donner said as his phone rang.

"Donner, yes I'm here, they're fine, a mix-up in communications. Oh, okay, I haven't seen Tibbs in six months, that will be great. I'll call you if we move. Right, bye," Agent Donner said before hanging up.

"I'm sorry, are you in trouble?" she asked, while grinding coffee.

"No, but as I said to Mr. McAllister, it's a lot more serious than you understand."

"Ah," she replied, while getting the eggs, milk and cheese from the fridge.

Roger emerged from the guest room just as Sara was finished with making breakfast.

"Scrambled eggs with cheese, a favourite," Roger teased, sitting next to Agent Donner at the breakfast bar.

"No breakfast for you," she teased back, pouring him a mug of coffee.

"Thanks," Roger replied.

The toast popped in the toaster and Sara plated the two pieces and handed it to Agent Donner.

"Thank you," he said, sipping his coffee.

"Butter, jam?" she suggested.

"Uhm, peanut butter?" he asked.

Roger chuckled.

Sara walked to the cabinet and pulled out a jar of Crunchy Jif and set it next to him.


"No problem," Sara said, plating up eggs for her and Roger.

Setting the bowls in front of her place in the kitchen and Roger's at the breakfast bar, she saw the look in Agent Donner's eyes. Smiling, she dished up another bowl of eggs and set it in front of him.

"I haven't eaten this well in quite some time. Thank you," he said, softly.

"You're welcome."

"The plan is to finish breakfast and head back to the hospital. Gil should be out from under his anesthetic by then." Roger explained.

"Sounds good," Agent Donner said, in between mouthfuls.

Sometime during the quiet familiar breakfast, Sara and Roger realized that they weren't going to get naps and mentally set themselves up for a long day. She put the dishes in the dishwasher while Agent Donner checked in with his office. They finished about the same time. Pouring the rest of the coffee into a thermos, Roger cracked his neck.

"Wow," Agent Donner exclaimed.

"You should both go to Grissom's acupuncturist." Sara remarked, walking to the door to get her office trappings.

"Who does he see?" Agent Donner asked.

"Dr. Wu," Sara replied.

Agent Donner smiled while tightening his tie.

"What's that smile for?"

"I've been going to Dr. Wu since I was stationed here." Agent Donner replied.

"Small world," Roger remarked.

"You have no idea," Agent Donner said.

They organized themselves and Agent Donner led the way out of the townhouse, standing by Sara's car until they were out of the house and standing by him.

"I'll be right behind you," he said, waiting for them to get into their car.

She nodded and they got into the Denali. Starting the engine, she hit play, listening to Songs for Sara before putting the car into gear.

"Did I miss something, Roger? He's is a lot more gung-ho than earlier." Sara remarked, backing out of the driveway.

"The fake FBI agent in ICU was murdered at the same time we left him at the hospital. I suspect there was a little tongue lashing." Roger mentioned.

"Oh, yeah, I would think so," she replied, paying a great deal of attention to the black town car following them.

Ten minutes later, they arrived at the hospital, parked, and walked as a group into the building. Flashing IDs, security issued them visitor's passes and the trio proceeded up to the 6th floor. The uniform at Grissom's room was now an FBI agent. He nodded to Agent Donner as they passed and walked in.

Grissom was asleep, pale on the white sheets, with various machines making occasional beeps. Unconsciously, Roger reached for Sara and held on tightly, reliving his hospital experiences with Jeremy. They walked out of the room.

"Hi, I'm Nancy, the day nurse. Dr. Grissom is sleeping comfortably. Dr. Evans explained to me that he had been exhausted before the trauma, and he hadn't taken that into consideration when he spoke to you earlier. Dr. Grissom is out of the anesthetic, but he is sleeping and will wake up when he wakes up."

"I noticed he wasn't restrained," Sara remarked.

"Yes, Dr. Evans feels that if you and Mr. McAllister are near Dr. Grissom, then there is no need for restraints. We put two chairs in the room for you."

"Oh, well, I guess we should go back in," Roger remarked, leading the way into the room.

Sara smiled and followed him back into Grissom's room. They settled and watched him sleep, losing track of time. Once an hour, they would take turns and walk out into the hallway, the cafeteria, or even outside to check phone messages.

Monday 1:00 pm

Roger was slowly pacing in the hallway, trying to bleed off some nervous energy, when he noticed a striking woman walking down the hallway towards him with a handsome man in a dark suit. She was beautiful, her grey hair perfectly coiffed, and dressed in an expensive suit. He knew her immediately from the sketches Grissom had drawn at Elko. She hadn't changed in forty years.

"Mrs. Grissom, I'm your son's friend, Roger. I'm so pleased to meet you, albeit here," Roger effused.

The woman stopped for a moment, paling slightly, before replying.

"Roger, please call me Helen. Gil has written so much about you. I am so pleased to finally meet you." She said, speaking in a quiet fashion, her eyes studying his face.

The man with her signed something and she signed back. He walked to the wall opposite and chatted audibly with Agent Donner.

"Your agent?"

"Yes. How is Gil?"

"Still asleep. Let's go see him," Roger said, before turning to the room.

They walked in and found Sara looking out the window. Sara turned and smiled, recognizing Helen's face. Mrs. Grissom stood and opened her arms as Sara walked over quickly to be enveloped in her embrace. Both women cried openly. Sara pulled back and signed.

<I didn't know you were coming.>

<Roger IM'd me this morning. How is he?>

<Sleeping, according to the doctors. He could wake up at any time.>

<I'm going to the cafeteria to get a fresh coffee. Can get anything> Roger signed getting Helen's visual attention.

"No, thank you, Roger. I'm fine." Helen replied, smiling.

<He's teaching me, I'm not very good, > Roger signed.

"You're doing fine," Helen said, touching his arm.

"I'm going to go with you, Roger." Sara said, turning to look at Helen.

<I'm going to take a break with Roger. I'm so glad you're here,> Sara signed.

"Me too," Helen said and signed simultaneously.

They left the room and Helen looked at her son for the first time in six months. He had aged, to be sure. The lines around his eyes were deeper and the grey in his hair and beard was a bit more pronounced. She sat next to him and reached for his hand.

Grissom had been struggling. He woke for a moment after the surgery, but was very disoriented and thankfully fell back under the influence of the anesthetic. Now he needed to wake up.

He opened his eyes and looked around. Then he saw her. Tears started to roll down his face. He tried to sign to her but the IVs in his arms made it difficult.

"Hi, Mom," he managed verbally.

"Hello, sweetheart. How are you feeling?" she said, feeling the tears start down her face, as well.

"Fine, I'm fine," he said, reaching slowly to wipe the tears from her face. "Please don't cry,"

<You are not fine. You're in a hospital. You were kidnapped and now we're both under guard by the FBI. This is not fine.> she shouted in sign, standing to see him better.

"Mom, please," Grissom said, getting agitated because she was upset.

<How dare he do this to us? Why couldn't he leave you alone?> she continued.

Grissom's blood pressure rose as he thought of his father and their life together. The machines started to beep faster and slightly louder. Suddenly the door burst open and Dr. Evans walked in.

"Grissom, it's okay. Just relax. You'll have to leave." Paul said, not looking at her as he pushed her aside.

"NO!" Grissom shouted with his raw vocal cords, reaching up to grab Paul by his lapels, easily pulling out the IVs.

Surprised by Grissom's sudden move, Paul put his hands over his but couldn't break his grasp.

"You will NOT speak to my mother in that manner." Grissom said, his knuckles white, the sweat streaming down his face, his eyes dark blue.

"Gilbert Grissom, release that man," Helen spoke and signed, getting his attention.

Grissom looked at her, the pain obvious on his face as he released Paul.

Helen reached to Paul's shoulder and turned him to face her.

"I am deaf and my son has always been my protector. He is my knight."

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Grissom. I need you to be his protector now. Please calm him." Paul said, his face filled with concern, putting his stethoscope in his ears and listening to Grissom's lungs, before resetting the IVs.

"Gil," she said, turning his face to see her. "Remember when you were little and you were scared? Well there's nothing and no one to be scared of now. I want you to sleep. Would you do that for me?" Helen asked, her hand on his head, gently running her fingers through his soft hair.

Tears escaped Grissom's eyes as he tried to slow his breathing down. It took almost ten minutes, but he finally fell asleep, relaxing into the smell of her perfume; a smell of safety. She took a handkerchief from her purse and wiped the tears and perspiration from his face. Paul made sure Grissom's IVs were firmly in place and turned to her.

"I am Paul Evans, your son's doctor." He said, getting her attention.

"I am Helen Grissom. How is he, really?" she asked.

"He has a couple of broken ribs, a black eye, cuts on his feet and some injuries to his hands. The most serious thing he has to contend with is an ulcer. Has anyone in your family had ulcers?"

"My brother, Jack, had them when he was flying bombers in WWII. He would lie to his flight surgeon just to be able to fly. I had an ulcer when Gil was a small boy, right before my husband left." She said with a tight smile.

"I'm trying to get a better picture of him. Grissom is a very private man. The scars on his back and knee, for instance."

"My husband was not a tolerant man, Dr. Evans. He had a temper and used physical force quite often. Gil protected me when things got out of hand. The scars on his back are from a fishing pole. His knee, and the way he walks; that happened the last time I saw my husband. Gil told me later that Gilbert was shouting at me. I couldn't hear him, of course. He came after me and Gil came after him with his birthday present, a Louisville slugger. He hit Gilbert once. I've never seen so much blood. Gilbert fell to the carpet and Gil dropped the bat to look after me. Gilbert woke up and beat Gil. When he left, finally, Gil was unconscious in the kitchen and the neighbours had called the police. The police were called often by the neighbours, but, there were never any actual reports. Gilbert wouldn't hear of it. He was a terrific salesman. He could make you believe anything."

"What did he do to your son?"

"He fractured his left leg in multiple places and bruised his right leg badly. Gil spent two weeks in the hospital and my husband left us flat broke with bill collectors at the door. I had a job at a local gallery, nothing spectacular, but a good job. One of our artists was a New Yorker named Paul Jenkins. Paul took a liking to me and one thing led to another. He is an Abstract Expressionist who was very popular in the sixties and seventies. I opened my own gallery and now have a posse of artists around the world who show with me. And I owe it all to Paul and, in an odd way, Gilbert."

"Did Mr. Grissom hurt you often?"

"Yes, but Gil never knew,"

"I'm not sure about that," Dr. Evans said as the door opened.

"Everything okay?" Sara asked and signed.

"He woke up and was confused by Dr. Evans." Helen said tactfully.

"No, he protected you, as he has done all of his life. He saw Paul as a threat to you. I'm so glad you're here, Helen. Gil's been so unhappy and no one can shake him out of it." Sara said, standing at the foot of the bed.

"Let's get him well and home, first, then I'll work on his mood." Helen remarked.

"If he continues to rest, we'll take the catheter out this afternoon and try to get him on some light solids. He should be able to go home tomorrow, but not back to work until next week." Paul said.

"That sounds great," Sara said.

"I'd like to go to the hotel, if you don't mind, and sort through my things. I left quickly, this morning. I'll be back in the early evening." Helen said, pausing to kiss Grissom.

"We'll be here. I might have to work tonight. It depends on staff." Sara said.

"I understand," Helen said, before she left the room.

"Heading out?" Roger asked, getting her attention as she left the room.

"Yes, I'm going to check in to the hotel, do some business, and return after dinner."

"Where are you staying?"

"I'm staying at a hotel called The Hotel; leave it to the FBI to think of an original name. It's right around the corner from headquarters. They've actually set the whole thing up. So Tibbs and I will be there."

"Okay, Agent Donner is watching Sara and Gil so we'll be here."


"Good night,"

Helen walked up to Agent Thibodeau and signed something before walking down the hallway with him in pursuit. Agent Donner walked up to Roger.

"And I thought you folks were a handful. She is definitely Dr. Grissom's mother." He said, grinning.

Grissom slept in-between sessions with Paul and the nurses checking his status. He was quiet and calm. Sara and Roger took turns sitting with him in the room, but it was tedious and tiring.

At five o'clock, Paul came in to remove his catheter. Sara and Roger stepped into the hall and were surprised not to see Agent Donner.

"Where's Agent Donner?" Sara asked the agent at the door.

"He had to run over to headquarters for a quick meeting. Please don't leave my eyesight." The agent replied seriously.

"No, sir," Roger replied.

Paul removed Grissom's catheter, pleased that he was still sleeping, as it was an uncomfortable procedure at the best of times. He checked the stitches from the endoscopic surgery on the ulcer. The cuts on his hands and feet had stayed closed, and there were no signs of infection.

"Grissom? Grissom? I need you to wake up." Paul said, softly.

Grissom opened his left eye and repositioned his head so he could see Paul easily.

"How are you feeling?" Paul asked, placing his hand gently on Grissom's shoulder.

"Better, still hurts," Grissom said, his voice ragged.

"What hurts?" Paul asked.

"Shoulder, ribs, stomach, hands, feet, the usual." Grissom said, with a small smile.

"Look, I want to release you tomorrow, but you need to be on solids. Do you have any appetite?"

"No, not at all,"

Paul looked at him and then pulled back the sheets to re-examine his shoulder, ribs and feet. Everything appeared to be healing. He removed the IVs and walked back to Grissom.

"Okay, let's go," Paul said, standing in front of him.

"Go where?" the puzzled Grissom asked.

"The solarium at the end of the hall. We need to get you into shorts and then a gown. Don't want you to catch cold." Paul said, walking to the closet.

He removed a pair of hospital underwear and a gown. Suspiciously, Grissom watched, trying to understand what was happening. Very gently, Paul helped him swing his legs over the side of the bed and then into his stretch fabric shorts. Helping him stand, Paul put Grissom's arms through the gown and tied it while Grissom held on to his shoulders with one arm. He helped him into slippers. Grissom was perspiring slightly and he started to pant against the pain. Paul slid his arm under his good shoulder and they walked into the hallway. Sara and Roger turned, surprised to see him up and about.

"Would you walk him to the solarium, rest a half an hour, and then get him back to bed? Maybe you'll have an appetite by then." Paul asked.

"Maybe," Grissom said as Roger and Sara stood to each side of him.

They slowly started to walk down the corridor with the FBI agent in slow pursuit. Grissom stopped several times to catch his breath and to blink back some of the pain. They reached the solarium without incident and sat Grissom gently in a chair by the window.

"Okay, Moss?" Roger asked, crouching next to him.

"Yeah, Nuncle, it just hurts and I guess there's nothing that can be done, right now." Grissom said, his eyes closed, trying to relax.

Sara squeezed his good shoulder in sympathy. She excused herself and called the lab.

"CSI lab, Steven speaking,"

"Steven, it's Sara. Am I on the schedule tonight, or has Sofia surfaced?"

"Oh, Sara, I'm glad you called. No, Sofia has not called in. I scheduled Brian to join you and Greg tonight. How's Grissom?"

"He'll be back to the lab next Monday with any luck, according to the doctor's assessment."

"I'll relay that to the Sheriff and Ecklie."

"Thanks, Steven. For your ears only, Grissom will get released from the hospital tomorrow."

"Gotcha, I'll see you later, then," Steven said.

"Yes, see you later, bye,"


Sara hung up the phone and returned to Grissom and Roger. Grissom was sitting very relaxed in his chair, eyes closed, his hands clasped on his chest. He looked asleep.

"I have to work tonight. If you can handle him, I need to run home and take a nap, eat, and get ready for work."

"Sure, we'll be fine," Roger said, looking at Grissom's glistening face

"Griss, sweetheart, I've got to go. I'll see you tomorrow," Sara said, slightly louder, leaning over to kiss him.

"Have fun, don't find any bugs, okay? I don't think I could handle that, today." Grissom said, opening his eyes to her kiss.

"I'll do my best. Get some sleep, will you?" Sara said, smiling.

"Yeah, I think I'd like to go back to bed, Roger." Grissom said, turning his gaze to him.

Slowly, they got Grissom to his feet and they headed off to the room. Agent Donner walked down the hallway to meet them.

"Agent Donner, I need to go home and change for work." Sara said.

"Of course, Agent Brennan, here, will stay with you. There have been some changes and I need to stay with Dr. Grissom. Roger, you and I have some things to discuss, as well." Agent Donner said.

"Fellas, I really need to lie down." Grissom said, walking slowly to his room.

"Sorry, Moss. Night Sara," Roger said, catching up to him easily.

"Night Roger, night sweetheart," Sara said, walking away with Agent Brennan.

6:00 pm

Grissom's gown was saturated with perspiration and he started to shake slightly by the time he got to the room. Nurse Adams walked into the room and frowned while helping him into bed. She took out a disposable thermometer and put it under Grissom's tongue while he tried to settle. Agent Donner and Roger stood by the window, out of the way while the nurse worked. She removed the thermometer and pressed the call button. Another nurse appeared.

"Get Dr. Evans, please, Nancy," she said, tersely. "Gentlemen, you'll need to leave."

"No," Grissom said softly, his eyes closed.

"Dr. Grissom, please. You have a temperature, you're in pain. You need your rest."

"I need them here, please," Grissom implored, his breathing becoming more ragged.

Roger walked over to him just as Paul came into the room.

"What's up?" Paul said, pulling his stethoscope from around his neck.

"He has a temperature of 101 and he's in pain." Nurse Adams replied.

"Is that true, Grissom? Let's take a look." Paul said, looking at Roger and nodding.

Roger ran his hand through Grissom's hair, feeling the wet from the perspiration. Paul started his exam while Roger talked to Grissom, trying to calm him down. Agent Donner watched from his position by the window. Paul reached to the electric controller and raised the bed, tilting it so Grissom's chest was elevated. Slowly Grissom calmed, his breathing easing. Paul leaned over and whispered in Nurse Adams ear, watching Grissom slip into deep sleep. She returned with a hypodermic needle. He double-checked the dosage and injected Grissom. Handing her the spent needle, he turned to Roger.

"Slight infection, and he's still exhausted. I want him to try to eat something before he leaves tomorrow. I'm off duty in an hour, but I'll try to stop by to see you."


"No problem," Paul said, turning to nod at Agent Donner before leaving the room.

Agent Donner moved a chair closer to the window and sat down. Roger pulled up the other one opposite him and sat down as well.

"Seb asked me to bring you up to speed. Phipps was shot by the same gun that killed Mr. Grissom. So we're thinking that Kasgar is the shooter and the chemist. The CSI lab is studying the narcotic which killed the man in ICU this morning. Preliminary results indicate it was the same stuff that Dr. Grissom had in his blood stream; just a slightly higher dose."

"Who are Kasgar and Phipps to begin with? They weren't the masterminds of this. Who hired them? How does this tie in with Mr. Grissom?"

"I'm not positive, but Seb is thinking that Mr. Grissom got greedy. He cheated death at the Twin Towers and was a free operative. He had a ton of money socked away and he just started his business right back up; although his methods of secrecy were ingenious; somehow, Kang found him."

"I thought the Chinese government had Kang," Roger asked, wiping the fatigue from his eyes, trying to track this conversation.

"They did, he died in prison shortly after he was arrested."

"So who was after Mr. Grissom?"

"His son, also Christopher, also a junior,"

Roger's mind was now operating on different levels tying together loose ends.

"So you're thinking that Kang Jr. hired Phipps and Kasgar?"

"Yes, and it was about money, but now it's about revenge."

"Ecklie and the Sheriff?"

"Innocent in this mess, as far as we can tell."

"What about Sofia Curtis?"

"I'm not at liberty to discuss her at this time, Roger,"

Roger nodded and got up to pace.

7:00 pm

Roger stopped and looked at Grissom, whose face was twitching, caught in a dream. The door to the room opened and Helen Grissom walked in, dressed in a comfortable knit pant suit. Agent Donner nodded to her and left the room.

"How is he?" she asked, noticing the absence of tubes.

"He has a fever from an infection, but Dr. Evans doesn't seem to be too concerned about it. Moss is still tired and hasn't eaten solid food since his migraine on Friday. They want him to eat something before they release him from the hospital tomorrow."

"I see," she said, standing by her son, switching her gaze to his face.

Taking a chance, Roger changed the conversation, reaching to her shoulder to get her attention.

"He draws beautifully, you know? I've never seen a photograph of you, but I've seen recent sketches of his childhood and they're really amazing." He said, sitting in the chair by the window.

"It's the one good thing he got from his father. Gilbert would draw all of the time. When he left, there were hundreds of notebooks in his car." She said, absently.

Roger turned his glance out the window to the darkening sky.

"Why do you call him, Moss?" Helen asked, walking to sit opposite him.

"Yes, I am slightly dyslexic with names. Grissom was too long and he was at such odds when he came up to stay at Jim's cabin in Elko. One minute, he was talking about light and shadow and the next, he was boxing until he had no more strength left. I told him he was his own opposite. Mossirg was too long and too complicated so he became Moss. He called me, Nuncle,"

"From Lear; what the Fool calls Lear on the moor. It was one of his favourite plays when he was in high school." Helen remarked.

"Mine too," Roger replied.

They sat in relative silence, listening to the air-conditioning. Grissom's dream state became active, as he started to toss and turn. Roger walked to his side and watched for a moment until he started to speak. He looked at Helen, who walked quickly to his side.

"What are you doing to her? Leave her alone. Get away from her!" Grissom said, his voice growing in intensity.

Helen paled, reading his lips. Unconsciously, she reached for Roger's arm and held it tightly.

"The pancakes are fine, Dad." He screamed, before Roger could get his hands to his face to calm him.

Grissom sat up in bed, awakened by his nightmare but not entirely alert. He turned to look at his mother, who touched the scar above his left eyebrow. He was breathing heavily and favouring his right side. Slowly she pulled his shoulders to her and they held each other tightly.

Immediately, Grissom calmed, but not before Nurse Adams came into the room.

"Is everything all right?" she asked of Roger, who was heading toward the door.

"He had a nightmare. He'll be fine," Roger said, ushering her out of the room and leaving Helen alone with her son.

Grissom calmed from the nightmare, but his emotions were riding high and when he felt his mother start to cry, he couldn't hold back. They cried at the memory of a husband and father. They cried at the memory of a violent man.

Helen felt him relax and eased him back onto the sheets. He turned onto his side, away from her, his emotions not yet in check. He was hurt, exhausted, and just needed an escape. Helen sat on the edge of the bed and started to hum a song from her childhood; a song her mother used to sing to her and that she used to hum to her son. He reached over his right shoulder for her hand and held it tightly until he finally fell asleep.

Helen went out into the hallway. Roger turned back to Helen and slowly took her in his arms to reassure her. She hugged him back as they drew strength from each other. Relaxing, she stepped out of his embrace.

"I need some tea, Roger. Would you escort me to the cafeteria?" Helen asked.

"I would love to," Roger said, looking to get Agent Thibodeau's attention.

Agent Donner's focus was glued to Grissom's door and saw the look.

"You're up," Donner said.

Agent Thibodeau smiled and walked up to Helen.

<Off again?> he signed.

<Just to the cafeteria,>

<Lead on,>

Helen looked at Roger and they walked together to the elevator, leading Agent Thibodeau by several feet. Agent Donner watched them until the doors slid shut.

"Excuse me, Agent Donner, there's a woman who is trying to see Dr. Grissom, but she's not on the list; a Ms. Willows?" a nurse asked.

"Damn, of course, let her up. Thank you, I forgot to update the list since his surgery." Agent Donner said, walking quickly to the bank of elevators.

He turned partially, in order to see Grissom's door as well as the occupants of the elevator. Catherine was out of cab in one and a half strides and almost to the nurse's station before he caught up with her.

"Catherine, Catherine," he called.

She spun on her heel to look at him, venom on her face.

"I apologize; I didn't have a chance to update the list." He said, his hands in the air, surrendering.

She looked at him for a moment and then smiled.

"I accept your apology. How is he?" she asked, her arms crossed over her chest.

"He came through the surgery, fine. The Doc has removed all the IVs. He's in pain, but they don't want to give him anything until he eats something solid. He's sleeping right now. Go ahead, his mother and Roger are having a well-deserved cup of tea in the cafeteria." Agent Donner said, gesturing towards the room.

Catherine smiled again and walked in. Grissom was still asleep on his side. Setting her purse next to the red Beanie spider, she leaned over and kissed his damp forehead, running her fingers through his hair. He moaned softly and settled deeper under the sheets. She sighed, picked up her purse and sat in one of the chairs by the window. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a paperback and started to read.

8:00 pm

The nurse came in to take Grissom's temperature and shook her head slightly while making a note on his chart. She left the room and returned a few minutes later with a needle and administered a clear liquid. Smiling to herself, she left the room. Ten minutes later, Grissom woke up and went into the bathroom. Helen and Roger walked in and paused, their faces absolutely white when they saw the empty bed.

"He's in the bathroom," Catherine commented, standing up.

Roger turned to Helen and signed. <Loo>. She smiled and then noticed Catherine.

"Hello, Catherine. How are you?"

"I'm fine, Mrs. Grissom. Just fine." she said, standing and walking to her.

"Catherine, after ten years, please call me, Helen."

"Helen, I'm just fine, thanks," Catherine said with an easy smile.

The door to the bathroom opened and Grissom walked out, squinting against the fluorescents. He looked at the three people in front of him and smiled an exhausted smile. His mother was the first person he hugged. She brushed the tears from her eyes as he stepped back and then hugged Catherine mindful of his ribs.

"Thanks, Cath," he whispered in her ear.

She tightening her arms around his shoulders harder, finally releasing him when he relaxed his hold on her shoulders. Grissom looked at Roger.

"Nuncle, I need you,"

"I'm here, Moss," Roger said, walking up to him and embracing him easily.

"Nuncle, I am so tired," Grissom said softly into his ear.

"Sleep, Moss. You're safe. Just sleep," Roger said, helping him back into bed.

"I'm safe," Grissom repeated in a mantra as he got comfortable and then fell asleep.

Catherine looked at her friend and his support team.

"I need to get home to Lindsey," she said, picking up her purse.

"I want to stay a little longer; make sure he's really down for the night." Roger said, without taking his gaze away from Grissom.

Tuesday 2:00 am

The room was quiet and dark when he awoke. The blinds were open and the bright lights of the Strip were visible in the distance. He got out of bed, feeling the dull pain from the cuts on the soles of his feet. He slipped on the slippers and realized that he was only dressed in the hospital underwear and walked to the closet. Feeling for a gown, he instead found a bathrobe and put it on. Seeing the light around the door frame from the corridor, he walked to it and opened the door. Squinting, he stepped into the hallway.

"Dr. Grissom," Agent Donner acknowledged.

"I think you can be a bit more familiar at this point. Call me, Grissom," he instructed softly, his throat still sore.

"I'm Kevin, Grissom. Up to stretch your legs?"

"Something like that. When did my mother leave?" Grissom asked starting to walk slowly down the hallway, Kevin at his side.

"She and Mr. McAllister left around ten last night. You were sleeping pretty soundly and the nurse felt your fever was coming down."

Grissom remained silent as he walked down the quiet corridor. The sounds from the different rooms were calming and at the same time unnerving. The smells of disinfectant and bodily fluids were almost overwhelming. By the time he reached the solarium, Grissom was unsettled.

"Hey, you okay?" Kevin asked, watching the sweat roll down the grey face of his charge.

"I don't know, just let me sit down for a minute," Grissom said, heading for a chair.

Kevin helped him into the chair, noting the care he took and the way he held the right side of his chest. Grissom leaned his head back against the chair and closed his eyes.

"Kevin, would you turn the lights down, please?"

"Sure, let me find the switch," Kevin said, scanning the walls.

He found four switches and turned them off. The only light in the solarium was from the moon and the general light given off by the city. Grissom sat quietly while Kevin took up a secure position.

"Where's Dr. Grissom?" the man asked, quite upset.

"What do you mean?" the nurse queried back.

"Where is he, and where is his agent?" the man asked, his voice getting louder.

A low whistle emitted from the end of the corridor and a flashlight waved a bright blue beam.

"Thanks," he said to the weary nurse, heading to the end of the hall.

"What's up?" Brass asked, looking into the darkened solarium.

"I think he just wanted out." Kevin replied softly.

"Hey, man, you nearly gave me a coronary. What are you doing out here in the middle of the night?" Jim asked, crouching by Grissom's chair.

Grissom opened his eyes and sat up, reaching for Jim. They held each other, Jim feeling Grissom's rapid heart beat and the sweat dripping down his face.

"Gil, what's up? You're okay. It's just night time." Jim said, soothingly.

"Please, I need to breathe fresh air. I'm not asking you to spring me. It's just; I need fresh air, please, Jim." Grissom pled softly.

"Okay, let me find out the quickest way out. Just hang on, you hear me?'

"I can do that," Grissom said, falling back to the chair.

"Agent Donner," Brass started.


"Kevin, I'm Jim Brass, LVPD. He's on the verge of a panic attack. Where can he go for fresh air? The roof, or the main door. Which is closest?"

"The roof; give me a minute to clear it." Kevin said, stepping away with his walkie talkie.

A few minutes later, Kevin walked up to him with his thumb up. Jim smiled and crouched next to Grissom again.

"Okay, let's go to the roof." Jim said.

Grissom opened his eyes and slowly got to his feet. Kevin led the way to the elevator. It was unlocked to the roof by security electronically at the control center and so up they went. The door opened and Grissom almost ran out just to breathe fresh air, standing on the concrete path. He stood, leaning over slightly, the pain in his ribs twinging. Jim walked up to him, touching his shoulder. Kevin stood a respectful, yet practical, distance away, watching both men. Grissom shoved his right hand, feeling the scabs stretch, into the pocket of his bathrobe and started to pace. Jim walked to Kevin's side and lit a cigarette, watching Grissom.

"Is this a normal thing for him?"

"Yeah, I guess. The last six months have been rough. I found out that he was a battered child; we had some cases at the lab that really threw him. Then he was involved in a clean shoot; an ambush at a scene. He was so calm, it was unnerving. Two days ago his father surfaced after forty years and the cycle began again; he was the battered child protecting his battered mother. He's a strong, quiet, private man, but these waves of emotion blindside him and he gets panic attacks."

"What's going on now?" Kevin asked, watching Grissom pace and running an occasional hand through his hair.

"This is just how he thinks, sometimes." Jim said, taking a drag on his cigarette.

5:00 am

The nurses had tried twice to get them to move back into the building, without success. Grissom had been pacing for almost three hours and now was starting to stagger.

"Hey, Gil, let's get you to bed, okay? I think you can sleep, now." Jim asked.

"No, please, not yet. I've almost got it." Grissom said, stopping to look at him.

"You don't look so good." Jim commented, noting the grey face, the sweat, and the tremors which spread through his body.

"Kevin, do you have any candy on you?" Jim asked softly.

"Yeah, hang on," Kevin replied, reaching into his pocket for a Flyer candy bar.

"Thanks," Jim said, taking it from him.

"Gil, please eat this. You need the sugar," Jim said, handing him the confection.

Grissom took the candy bar and noted the gold plane on the outside of the wrapper. He opened it and started to eat it, feeling the intense rush of the sugar hit him quickly. He stood, consuming the bar and then didn't move as he felt his body react to the first solid food in several days. Jim walked up to him and put his arm around his shoulders, directing him back to the elevator. Grissom went willingly, feeling the consuming fatigue around him. The three men took the elevator to the sixth floor and walked Grissom back to his room. He was almost asleep when they got him into bed and minutes later, he was sleeping deeply. The nurse came in to take his vitals and smiled when she saw his temperature was normal. She injected him again with a clear liquid, marked the chart, and left the room. Jim walked back into the corridor.

"You leaving?" Kevin asked.

"Yeah, I can't even tell you what shift I'm on or not on. I just need to sleep. Keep an ear out, would you? He gets lost sometimes and just needs a human hand on him to come back."

"I saw that earlier; really scared his Mom." Kevin commented.

"But Roger was here, right?"

"Yeah, Roger was in control," Kevin responded.

"I figure you'll get Mrs. Grissom back at 8:00 am and Sara right behind her."

"Well, he did eat something, so he should be released, right?"

"I dunno, I'm not the doctor. See you tomorrow." Brass said, waving a weary hand.

8:00 am

Grissom woke from a dream that was unsettling; not exactly a nightmare, but he needed to be on his feet to think it through. He stood slowly and put on the bathrobe that was lying across the foot of the bed. He opened the door and walked out into the corridor.

"Hi, Grissom, what's up?" Kevin asked.

"Roof, please, Kevin," Grissom asked, starting to walk in that direction.

"Wait, Grissom," Kevin said, pulling his phone from his waist to get security to unlock the elevator.

He caught up to Grissom at the elevators and spoke into the walkie microphone at his right cuff.

"Bugman on the move to the roof,"

"Roger that, Dancer on her way to hospital, Artist still at hotel," Seb's voice replied.

"Roger that, Donner out," Kevin said.

The elevator door slid open and they walked in. Kevin pressed 'Roof' and the cab moved. The door opened and they walked out onto the rooftop, bright with sunshine. Momentarily disoriented, they stood waiting for their eyes to adjust. They waited a moment too long. A man stepped out from behind the elevator housing. Kasgar smiled and shot at Kevin, dropping him before he could get his gun out. Grissom stood stock still, Kevin lying at his feet.

"Dr. Grissom, you left me way too early. Pick him up," Kasgar ordered.

Grissom leaned over, and as gently as he could, without causing himself too much pain, he lifted Kevin. Kasgar motioned to a spot around the elevator housing in the shade and Grissom set him down gently. At that exact moment, he felt the needle enter his arm. He heard a loud noise; a deafening noise from above him. He heard Kasgar shouting to someone and then he heard silence. Grissom reached into Kevin's shoulder holster and pulled his service revolver. Turning, Grissom shot Kasgar pointblank in the chest. He fell to the graveled roof, dead. As the world was fading from Grissom's sight, he stood on shaky legs and shot at the helicopter, feeling the buffeting of the rotor wash as it was trying to land, ten feet off the roof. Grissom collapsed as the helicopter took off.

8:30 am

"Dancer is entering the building," Agent Brennan called on his walkie talkie.

The silence was unnerving. Sara and Agent Brennan got off the elevator on the sixth floor and walked to Grissom's room. It was orderly, but empty.

"This is Brennan, Dancer is at room. Where is Bugman?"

There was no response to his call, so Brennan repeated it. Nervous, he took charge.

"This is Brennan; we have a maggot, repeat a maggot at my location. Please check in."

"Artist, safe and sound," Thibodeau replied.

"Control, safe and sound," Seb replied.

"Need back up, now," Agent Brennan said, turning to Sara.

"There's trouble. I need you to stay here and do not move. Do you understand me?"

Sara nodded and stood behind the nurse's desk, feeling her Glock against her ribs, she set her bag down beside her.

Agent Brennan took the elevator to the roof; his gun out. He followed strict procedure until he saw the bodies. He felt the pulses as he took out his cell phone. Kevin was alive, but barely. The other man had a center mass. He was dead after the first bullet. Grissom was very still with a gun in his hand. He pulled his cell phone from his waist and punched in a number.

Sara heard her phone and cursed that she had forgotten to put it to turn it off in the hospital.


"Sara, it's Sean, I need two trauma units to the roof, now. Get Dr. Evans." He instructed.

"Got it," she replied, shutting her phone.

"There's a medical emergency on the roof. We need two trauma units and Dr. Evans." She said to the nurse.

"I don't know what you're talking about. I've had no reports of-"

"Do it, now!" Sara screamed, unknowingly reaching for her weapon.

The nurse picked up the phone and called it in. Sara walked to the other end of the nurses station, reached over the counter, and pulled up the phone. Dialing 9 she obtained a dial tone and called Brass.


"Please, Jim, come to the hospital. There's been trouble. Call Seb," Sara said, her fatigue manifesting.

"All right, Cookie, I'll be right there," Brass said, hanging up with her and calling Seb.


"It's Brass, what's happened?"

"I don't know. I'm waiting on word. I think I have one man down as well as one civilian, but I don't know who. I also got an FAA report on an unauthorized chopper trying to land on the roof of the hospital. We're tracing it now." Seb replied, his voice showing his fatigue and frustration.

"Okay, man, I'm headed to the hospital," Brass replied as he got into his Taurus.

"I'm right behind you," Seb replied.

Sean Brennan holstered his gun and tried to stop the flow of blood from Kevin's chest. He tried not to get emotional. He tried to stay calm, but it was difficult. The elevator door opened with the ADA 'ping' and he pulled his gun, taking a defensive stance.

"Stand down, Agent. I am Paul Evans, you called for me and my team," Paul said, his hands in the air.

Sean holstered his gun again and stepped away, loosening his tie. Paul went first to Agent Donner and performed a triage-style exam on him.

"Okay, GSW and pneumothorax, get him straight down to the OR. His blood type is on his ID. Go, go!" he shouted, walking to the phone on the wall of the elevator housing.

"This is Evans; I have a pneumothorax coming to you. Gunshot to the chest," Paul said, hanging up the phone.

He looked at the next body and saw he was dead from multiple gunshots in a tight circle to his chest. More surprised, he saw that Grissom was holding the gun. Gently he rolled him onto his back. Quickly he looked for any injury; none presented, he listened to his heart. It was beating very slowly. Taking a guess, he smelled Grissom's breath, and it smelled the same way it did when he came in from his kidnapping.

"Call Sara," Paul instructed Sean.

Sean speed dialed Sara and handed the phone to Paul.


"Did you come up with a narcotic cocktail from all of this crap?" Paul asked, his emotions riding high.

"Miss, there are no cell phones allowed on the patient floors," the nurse said loudly.

"Yeah, I did, basically it's a poor man's methadone. It's dimethyl plus an amino plus diphenyl plus a heptene. Why?" Sara said, glaring at her.

"I think Grissom got what the guy in ICU got; a double dose of the narcotic. Okay I know how to treat this. We'll be down soon." Paul said, handing the phone back to Sean before instructing his team to get Grissom onto the gurney.

They rolled Grissom into the elevator and then down to six. Rolling him down the corridor, Sara ran to his side, only to be gently pushed back by Paul.

"I need him first, Sara." He said, walking by the gurney.

Jim walked out of the elevator, his step uncertain, until he saw Sara at the nurses' station.

"Oh, Kiddo, how is he?" he asked, carefully enclosing her with his arms.

"I don't know, Jim. Paul asked about the narcotic balance. He thinks Grissom was given an overdose. Agent Donner, I think was shot. I heard Sean talk to someone over the walkie talkie. Jim, hold me, I'm so scared." Sara pulled him closer into an embrace.

"Okay, I'm here. You're okay, sweetheart. Let me check in," he said, pulling back for a moment.

He walked into Grissom's room and stood as the blood drained from his face at the life saving measures they were undertaking. He walked out into the hallway.

"They're working on him," he said, guiding her to the waiting room.

The elevator door slid open and a very angry Seb Robbins stalked onto the floor with four agents on his tail.

"Elevator, fire exit, Grissom times 2," he said, more angry than he could articulate.

Jim walked up to him and embraced him, the way men do just to say 'hey I'm here for you buddy,'. Seb nodded and then looked for his men. He found Brennan and got the shaky rundown.

"Are you going to be here for a while?" he asked Jim.

"Yeah, whatever you need, Seb," Jim replied.

"Okay, I have to check on something; two men on Grissom, one on the elevator and the nearest fire exit. Sara and Helen still have their own agents. Okay?"

"Yeah, I'm on it, I won't move." Jim said, more than slightly unnerved.

Paul stripped Grissom to his shorts and found the puncture wound on his left tricep. He did a chemical analysis, put him on oxygen and then on medicines to counteract the drugs in his body. Grissom had been drugged, but in conjunction with the other hits his body had taken recently, he was in rough shape.

An hour later, a nurse came up to Paul. He walked out of Grissom's room and walked down the hall. He looked at Jim, his face pale.

"Agent Donner's injuries were too much, we were too late. He's gone." He said softy.

Jim nodded and hugged him for support as Sara lowered her face to her hands and cried. The elevator door slid open and Agent Thibodeau walked out with Helen two steps behind. Jim left Paul and walked up to the agent to give him the bad news about Kevin. He straightened his shoulders and turned to sign to Helen. She grasped his arm tightly and then signed back. Paul left them and went to Sara.

"Look, he's going to be asleep at least until four this afternoon. Why don't you get some sleep?" he said.

"Can I see him, please? Then I'll go home and sleep."


Sara picked up her large purse and walked in, standing just inside the doorway. There seemed to be more machines connected; some softly beeping, others whirring, as she listened. He looked smaller, paler, than she could have imagined. She walked to his side, kissing his cheek.

"Please don't leave me alone," she whispered as she held his hand.

For a moment, she thought she saw him move to awaken, but then he was still. She pulled a pair of sweats, shorts, a t-shirt, and his Adidas from her bag and set them in the closet. She kissed him again and left the room.

"I'll stay; after all, I didn't work all night," Roger said to her.

"Thanks. I'll stop by when I wake up," Sara said, hugging him.

<I'll be back. I have to sleep.> she signed to Helen.

<I understand. I have to work from the hotel. Big show next week.> Helen signed.

Sara hugged her, found Agent Brennan, and left for home.

"I'm going back to the hotel to work." Helen said to Roger.

"I'll see you later," Roger said, turning to walk towards the room.

Helen put her hand on his shoulder. He turned and leaned forward to receive the kiss she was offering.

"Thank you for caring about my son."

"He's a good boy," Roger replied softly.

"The resemblance is uncanny, you know. You could have been Gilbert's brother."

"That's what throws your son, sometimes,"

Helen nodded and then turned to search for Agent Thibodeau.

Roger walked into Grissom's room. He turned off all of the lights, pulled down the shades, and sat in a chair by the window.

4:00 pm

Grissom awoke. Moments later, the door opened from the hallway and a nurse walked in. She turned on the lights over the bed and Grissom winced from the brightness.

"Are you all right, Dr. Grissom?"

"I need to use the toilet,"

"Okay, let me take the telemetry leads off." She said, leaning over to start turning off machines. A few minutes later, he was able to climb out of bed and enter the bathroom. The nurse left the room after straightening his bed. It was quiet in the room. Almost ten minutes later, Grissom reappeared. He stood in the doorway, looking at the figure in the chair.

"Are you okay?" Roger asked.

"I need to sit down," Grissom said, reaching for the bathrobe, realizing that he was cold, just dressed in the almost transparent hospital shorts.

He slipped on the robe, not cinching it, and went to the chair opposite Roger. Holding his side, he gently lowered himself. Roger watched him closely.

"I'll be right back," Roger said, standing to walk out into the hallway.

Grissom shut his eyes and rested his head in his right hand. Roger walked into the hallway and looked around. Jim was talking on a land line at the nurse's station and Seb was talking to an agent at the elevator. Roger waved to him and he walked up quickly.

"Grissom's awake, if you want to talk to him."

Seb nodded and walked into the room with Roger close behind. Seb went to the chair and sat down, looking at Grissom. Roger leaned against the bed.

"Grissom, I'm Seb Robbins, FBI."

Grissom raised his head and opened his eyes slowly. He gave him a tired smile.

"You're Al's brother from Washington. I've heard a great deal about you."

"Same here, look I need to know what happened on the roof this morning." He said quietly.

"I woke up from a dream and needed to work some things out. So Kevin and I headed up to the roof. The door opened, we took a couple of steps and then stopped. It was almost blindingly bright. From behind the elevator housing, a man walked out and shot Kevin. He ordered me to pick Kevin up and put him in the shade. As I knelt with Kevin, the man injected me with something. I heard a loud noise and the rotors of a helicopter. The man walked away from me, shouting into his phone. I pulled Kevin's gun from its holster and shot the man. Then I shot the helicopter." Grissom reported, his voice void of emotion.

"You shot the helicopter? What did it look like?"

"It was a black Bell 206B helicopter. There was a red dragon painted near the tail rotor."

Seb looked at him with tired amusement.

"I'm paid to observe. Plus, I don't sleep much, so I watch the Discovery and History channels on television." Grissom elaborated.

"Do you know if you hit it?"

"I hit the port door, the skids, and the undercarriage."

"Kevin's gun was empty. You pumped four rounds into your attacker and shot everything else at the chopper." Seb remarked.

Grissom closed his eyes and leaned forward, putting his face in his hands.

"I'll let you get your sleep." Seb said, standing.

Roger walked him out into the hallway. Seb turned around to face him.

"That was a brave thing he did."

"Pure instinct and reaction," Roger remarked, slipping his hands into his trouser pockets.

"Remarkable," Seb said, before walking away to call in Grissom's information.

"How is he?" Paul asked, adjusting his stethoscope, holding Grissom's chart in his hand.

"He's sitting in the chair by the window. Physically he's tired and mentally he's depressed." Roger commented.

"Give me a minute," Paul said, entering the room.

Roger nodded and went to join Jim.

Grissom sat quietly in the semi-darkness of the room. He heard the door shut and the footsteps as the person walked to the chair opposite him. He heard the vinyl give when the person sat down.

"How are you feeling, Grissom?"

Grissom opened his eyes and held his head straight up. He looked at Paul, his eyes dark blue.

"I'm sore, tired, a little anxious, and a little cold. Paul, I want to go home. Please. I need to be at my home." He said, his voice barely above a whisper.

Paul looked at him and read the chart.

"Have you eaten anything?"

"Last night, Kevin gave me a candy bar."

"And you kept it down?" Paul asked.


"Okay, I want to check you out, give you your prescription for Prilosec and Amoxycillin for your ulcer, and then send you on your merry way. Come over here to the light." Paul said, standing.

Grissom stood slowly and walked to the bed. He sat down on the edge while Paul poked, prodded and listened. Finally, he took a step back.

"Grissom, who is going to take you home?"

"Roger, he's staying in the guest room."

"Okay, I'm going to go get him." Paul said, walking into the hallway.

"Roger, can you come in, please?" he asked.

Roger left the conversation he was having with Jim and walked in.

"I am releasing Grissom, but there are some strict instructions for you. What he needs is peace and quiet. I'll give you the prescription for his ulcer meds and a work sheet on his modified diet. Although his ulcer is technically caused by bacteria, it can get further aggravated by stomach acids. Check the closet, I think Sara brought clothes for him today. I'll get the paperwork and meet you at the nurse's station." Paul said, leaving the two men alone.

Jim saw Paul walk out of the room and followed him.

"How is he?"

"I'm releasing him. He needs complete rest and then a follow-up with his own physician as well as Andy. I'm hoping that the familiar surroundings will help him. He's rightfully upset about the shooting and he says he's sore and tired." Paul said, writing notes in the chart.

"I'll tell Seb. I'm sure you'll be happy to see the FBI go."

"Well, it will be quieter." Paul said, pulling out his prescription pad.

Jim walked down the hallway to Seb, who was talking to the agents guarding Grissom.

"Paul's letting him go."

"Okay, Lenny and Scott, we're handling this high level. Secure the townhouse and then one man inside one man outside. Okay?" Seb said.

"Yes, sir," they responded.

"I'm heading back to the office. I'll talk to you at some point, I'm sure," Jim said, before walking to the elevator.

Roger helped Grissom get dressed, seeing the bruising and bandages for the first time. He looked fragile, somehow. Grissom sat in the chair by the window and looked out onto the city. A nurse brought in a wheelchair and left the room. Grissom sat in the wheelchair, allowing Roger to adjust the foot pads. Taking one last look around, Roger wheeled Grissom into the bright hallway. Grissom hissed against the pain his eyes felt before he was able to shade them with his hand.

"Dr. Grissom? I am Lenny Spradlin and this is Scott Hayfield. We will be your agents." The red headed man said.

"Call me, Grissom, okay? Let's go, Roger." Grissom said, his head still down.

Lenny walked ahead to the elevator while Scott took a position behind.

"Bugman is on the move," Lenny said.

"Artist is at the hotel," Tibbs reported.

"Dancer is at the townhouse," Brennan reported.

"Control is at the hospital," Seb reported.

"Bugman is en route to the town house."

Paul turned to Roger and handed him the paperwork. Grissom signed the release form and handed the clipboard back to Paul.

"Take care, Grissom," Paul said, softly.

"Thanks, Paul,"

Roger pushed him to the elevator and all four men got in. As they landed on the ground floor, Scott walked ahead to bring the SUV to the door. A few minutes later, he pulled up and got out of the car. Walking up to Grissom, he handed him a baseball cap with the FBI emblem on it. Grissom put it on low over his eyes.

"Thanks, Scott,"

"No problem, Grissom. Let's get you out of here," he said, setting the locks on the wheelchair before pulling him to his feet.

Grissom walked to the SUV and got into the back seat with Roger next to him. The agents sat up front. Roger reached over and helped Grissom with his harness as Scott slowly pulled out of the parking lot. Grissom lay his head back onto the headrest, his eyes closed.

5:30 pm

Half an hour later, they pulled up to the town house. Grissom unlocked his harness while Roger opened the car door. Getting out car, Grissom walked slowly up the stairs. Lenny ran ahead while Scott stayed with the car. Grissom rang the door bell, as Sara had taken his personal effects from the hospital the previous evening for safekeeping.

Sara looked through the security hole and opened the door. He looked awful. Opening the door, she extended a hand to his and pulled him gently into the town house. Lenny quickly did a sweep, saw Sean Brennan on alert and then stood in a corner of the living room opposite him, being invisible. Roger walked into the town house, shutting and locking the door behind him. He walked to the breakfast bar and set down the paperwork before walking into the kitchen.

Sara gently embraced Grissom, but knew something was wrong. She broke away from him and walked to the kitchen.

"Grissom, what have you eaten today?" she said, pulling the Sansert and a bottle of water from the fridge.

"Nothing," he said, taking off the ball cap as he walked to the breakfast bar and sat down.

"Can you eat anything, or is it too far along?"

"Let's try one of those Nutriments." He said, rubbing his temples.

Roger pulled the cork from the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and filled an old-fashioned glass 3/4 full. He took a large sip and leaned back against the counter, looking at the scenario. Sara pulled a Nutriment from the door of the fridge and shook it hard before opening it. She set it on the counter and gently touched his hand. He opened his eyes and took hold of the can slowly. He brought it to his mouth and started to drink the banana cream liquid. Finishing it, he set the can back on the counter and massaged his temples. The only sound was the compressor of the refrigerator cycling and a faint hum from the air conditioning. Roger sipped his wine, Lenny and Sean observed, while Sara watched for the telltale signs. Five minutes later, he dropped his hand to the counter and curled the fingers into a fist. She shook out one pill and opened his hand, putting the pill on his palm. He put the medicine into his mouth and swallowed it dry. She opened the bottle of water and handed it to him. He drank two sips and put it down. Firmly, she put his hand around the bottle. He looked at her, his eyes dark and full of pain.

"You have to drink all of it," she said, her voice soft and gentle.

He put the bottle to his lips and closed his eyes, finishing the entire bottle. Setting the bottle back on the counter, he stood slowly and started to walk upstairs. Sara followed him closely. Roger turned on the stereo, letting the cellos float over him. Grissom got to the bedroom and stood still. He smelled her shampoo and then his migraine hit him full force. He staggered to the bed and sat down heavily. Sara put her hands on his shoulders to steady him before helping him undress. Quickly, she stripped him to his shorts and helped him into bed. He looked at the ceiling, his hands clenched, full of sheets. Gently, she rolled him onto his left side and began to rub his back. Soon he relaxed and was asleep. Sara stood and walked downstairs, leaving the bedroom door open.

"Hi, I'm Sara, Grissom's partner," She said, thrusting her hand toward the red headed FBI agent.

"I'm Lenny, Scott is outside," he said, blushing slightly.

"Okay, Sean, Lenny, I need to give you a quick primer on migraines. Grissom hasn't eaten much and just took his medication. He will wake up in 3-4 hours disoriented. He might shout and he might come downstairs. He might collapse onto the floor. Unless it looks as though he will injure himself, let him be. He can't see well on this medication. He will be fully cognizant in ten hours." Sara said, trying to be strong.


"I understand,"

"I have to be at work at 10 pm. Roger has had one experience with a migraine. Lenny, he may need your help." Sara said softly.

"Whatever Grissom needs, I will provide," Lenny said, very seriously.

Sara looked at him and then looked at Roger, who was cooking. The clock said six and she was hungry.

"What's for dinner?" she asked.

"Vegetable crepes, if that's okay with you. The act of making them calms me."

"They were wonderful, but I need to go up with him. Remember, no food for Grissom until at least 8am tomorrow." Sara warned.

"Right, I remember," he said, thinking of Grissom spewing over the porch railing after insisting that he was hungry when he was in Elko.

Sara turned and walked up the circular staircase. Yawning briefly, she got into bed in front of Grissom. Backing up to him, she felt his hands find her in his sleep and relaxed. Earlier, she had reminded Sean that she needed to leave at 9pm to get to work on time. Sighing, she finally fell asleep.

9:30 pm

Grissom woke up in an empty bed. He pulled on a t-shirt and walked to the bathroom. After washing his hands, he walked to the staircase. Lenny looked up at him. Roger was asleep in the chair closest to the stereo. Grissom walked down and headed into the kitchen. He pulled a bottle of water and then drank it. Setting it on the counter, he walked back to the sofa and stretched out on his stomach. Ten minutes later he was asleep. Lenny walked up to him and spread the wool blanket over him.

10:30 pm

Roger woke up and looked around him. Lenny was sipping coffee at the dining room table and Grissom was asleep on the sofa.

"When did he come down?" he asked softly.

"About an hour ago. Got himself a bottle of water and then stretched out." Lenny remarked.

"I'm going to sleep. Call me if he wakes up." Roger said, still murky from his nap.

"Okay, no problem,"

"Brass," he answered.

"It's Seb,"

"Hey man, what's up?"

"Can I come by your office, say nine or so, tomorrow?"

"Yeah, sure, I may be out on my sofa, but sure."

"Thanks, Sheriff Atwater will be there as well."

"Ah, okay, see you tomorrow."

"Right, night then,"

"Night," Brass said, hanging up his phone.

Wednesday 2:00 am

Grissom woke up with a start, the nightmare still clinging to him, as was his shirt. His headache was gone, but he was nauseous. He sat up and ran his hand through his wet hair. Lenny looked at him silently. Grissom stood quickly and started to pace. After ten minutes, he went upstairs. Five minutes later he came down in shorts, a dry t-shirt, and running shoes, carrying a small bag.

"Uhm, I have to go to the gym," Grissom said, fidgeting.

"Not a problem. Roger wants to know where you are. Just hang on for a minute." Lenny said, walking to the guest bedroom.

Roger woke when the door opened.

"We're going to the gym,"

"Thanks, I'll stay here,"

"Okay," Lenny said, closing the door and walking out.

"He's going to stay here. Are you ready to go?"


"Bugman on the move to the gym," Lenny said into his Nextel.

"Copy that," Seb's voice came through.

Grissom picked up his bag and keys and followed Lenny out of the townhouse. Scott had the car at the base of the stairs, waiting for driving directions. They got in and Grissom told him in a quiet, flat voice. Both Lenny and Scott had read Grissom's file and knew he was a formidable opponent in the ring.

Fifteen minutes later, they arrived.

"Hey, Griss. What, you have an entourage, now?" Hank called from the desk.

"Yeah, if Slattery challenges me and I lose, they take him," Grissom teased softly, using his reserve energy, now.

The three men walked back to the locker room. Grissom calmly put his gear in a locker. He pulled out his gloves and walked out onto the floor.

"Hey, Griss,"

"Hey, Tommy,"

"You okay?" He asked in concern, seeing the black eye and the way he was slighting favouring his right side.

"Yeah, I'm fine,"

"Okay, only the bag, tonight, you hear me?" Tommy said, lacing his gloves.

"Yeah, Tommy, I hear you," Grissom said.

"Okay kid, go get 'em,"

Grissom grinned and started his workout. Lenny stood in the corner and watched. Sure, he was securing his protectee, but he was also fascinated that the scientist was a boxer.

Grissom worked on the speed bag, trying to get his rhythm down. Forty five minutes later, he switched to the body bag and continued. His shirt was soaked, wetting the waistband of his shorts. His damp hair stuck to his forehead.

"Griss, Griss, ya gotta go home. You're spent, kid, hit the shower," Tommy said, looking at him.

"Okay, Tommy," Grissom said, offering his gloves up.

Tommy removed his gloves and Grissom went to the locker room to put them in his bag. Grissom started to feel shaky and reached out to steady himself. Lenny took his hand gently and they walked to the car where Scott was ready. Lenny got into the back seat next to Grissom.

"Home, please,"

"No shower?" Lenny asked.

"Too tired," Grissom replied, his eyes closed.

"Bugman, heading home,"

They drove quickly and arrived at the town house in fifteen minutes. Grissom walked up the stairs and let himself in. He continued to walk up the stairs to the bedroom and shut the door. The fatigue he felt was incalculable as he fell onto the bed in a deep sleep.

6:15 am

Grissom awoke from a dream. He was frightened and disoriented. Getting up from the bed, he walked out onto the landing and looked down to see Lenny looking up at him. Turning around, he went back into his bedroom and then to the bathroom. He used it and yawned. Walking out, he remembered his nightmare and walked into the closet; pulling clothing off the shelf, he buried himself; hiding.

8:30 am

Sara walked into the townhouse, exhausted. Sean stayed downstairs as she walked up the circular staircase to the bedroom. The bed was empty, but she wasn't surprised. She walked into the bathroom and then to the closet. He lay in the middle of the closet, not half as well masked as he had been before. Reaching down, she ran her hand through his curls. He moaned slightly.

"Griss? Gil? You need to get up and take a shower." she said, crouching by him.

He opened his eyes slowly and reached towards her. Standing slowly, he walked to her and together they walked into the bathroom. He carefully kicked off his shoes and took off his clothes. Stepping into the shower, he turned on the water. The heat radiated across his shoulders and he groaned slightly. Sara opened the door and walked in, standing under the other shower head. She turned to face him, really seeing him for the first time since it all started. The cuts on his hands were red and angry, his chest was bruised, and she saw the incision stitches from his surgery. She looked up at his face and saw that look that scared her; the lost, frightened, haunted, exhausted look. Slowly, she reached to him and embraced him tightly, he returned the hug, but he was gentle, as if not trusting himself. She let him go and handed him the soap. He washed quickly and left the shower. Toweling off, he padded into the bedroom, slipped on a fresh pair of shorts and crawled into bed, lying on his right side. Sara finished her shower, toweled off and walked into the bedroom. She picked up his clothes and put them in the hamper in the closet. She looked at the pile of clothes that Grissom had slept in and decided she couldn't deal with it at that moment. She put on a pair of underwear and one of Grissom's t-shirts and climbed into bed. Reaching, she turned out the lamp and lay on her back for a moment. Just as she was about to roll to spoon against Grissom, he rolled to her. Snuggling his head on her shoulder, he reached across her and anchored his right hand under her left arm. Her right arm crossed his broad back, resting on his right side. Her left arm held onto his right. He took a slow breath and squeezed her before slipping into sleep. Sara held him, listening to him breathe, smelling him, just being with him before falling asleep, herself.

9:00 am

Seb pulled into the parking lot at the police station and parked his car. Feeling much older than his forty-seven years, he got out of the car, locked it electronically and headed in for his meeting. He attached his ID to his jacket pocket and walked to reception.

"FBI Supervisor Robbins to see Captain Brass,"

"Yes, Supervisor, second door on the left."

"Thanks," Seb said, walking down the hallway.

He knocked on the door and was greeted with a grunt. Grinning, he walked in. Jim's office was sparse; a desk, a computer, a table lamp and three chairs. Jim was sitting at his desk and then looked up.

"Hi, coffee behind you," Jim said, returning his eyes to the folder in front of him.

Seb turned and saw a very old coffee maker and four identical mugs with the LVPD logo on them. He took one and filled it almost to the brim before returning to sit in the far right chair. He sipped his coffee and listened to the hum of the air-conditioning.

"Where is that guy?" Jim said, picking up his phone. "Find the Sheriff, would you please? Thanks."

He hung up the phone with a little more force than he wanted to and blushed slightly. Ten minutes later, Sheriff Atwater walked into Jim's office. His tie was loose; there was grease on his hands, face and knees of his trousers.

"What happened to you?" Jim asked.

"Flat tire," Rory scowled, pouring himself a cup of coffee.

He sat down, took a breath and a sip of coffee and then shifted his glance to Seb.

"We're here to discuss Sofia Curtis." Seb started.

"Yes, she's on leave. Her father was in a car crash in Seattle." Rory said, smugly.

"Her father was shot in a hotel in Las Vegas," Seb said, softly.

"Oh, man. You've gotta be kidding me," Jim said, sitting forward in his chair.

"I wish to God I was. We traced her movements after Sara received the phone call. She did go to Seattle and then took the next plane back to Vegas. We went to her apartment." Seb said, pulling out a piece of paper from his briefcase.

Jim looked at the sketch. It was Grissom as a young boy. The style was very similar. Jim sighed heavily.

"This is a copy from a notebook we found." Seb remarked.

"I don't get it," Rory said, taking a big sip of his coffee.

"We did a DNA test and Sofia is Gilbert Grissom's daughter. We don't know who the mother was. We have evidence that they were close; speaking once a week. We also believe she set up her father for Christopher Kang." Seb revealed.

"So, is she after Grissom, now?" Jim asked.

"Yes, we think she's the one who planned the rooftop kidnapping,"

"Kang doesn't think she knows where the money is? She was speaking to Mr. Grissom regularly," Jim asked again.

"Apparently, he trusts her."

"He's the only one," Jim remarked before standing to pour himself more coffee.

Rory was quiet; after all, he knew Ecklie was dating Sofia. But he didn't think that Conrad had any idea about this.

"So what's the next move?" Jim asked.

"We continue to monitor her. Hopefully catch her or Kang in something. I'm not convinced that they've given up on Grissom." Seb said, thoughtfully.

"What do I do?" Rory asked, at a loss.

"Sheriff, you have spoken to FBI impersonators about sensitive issues. Your subordinate is sleeping with the enemy. I suggest you do exactly as I tell you." Seb remarked.

Rory nodded and listened to the specific instructions.

10:00 am

Grissom woke again from a nightmare, sitting up quickly and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He stood and walked slowly to the bureau and pulled out a faded sweatshirt. Pulling it over his head, wincing as he stretched the tight skin from his injuries on his chest, he walked downstairs. He stopped at the bottom and stared at Lenny, sitting at the dining room table. He turned his gaze to the man sleeping on the sofa, his gun in its holster resting on the coffee table. Roger walked into the living room, stopped in the doorway, watching Grissom, recognizing the look.

"Morning, Moss, can you eat anything, yet?" he asked, continuing to the kitchen.

Grissom turned and looked at Roger, finally walking to the breakfast bar.

"Coffee, if it wouldn't be too much trouble." He said softly, his voice rough.

"That's fresh, the coffee in the pot," Lenny said, from the dining room.

Grissom visibly flinched at the sound of the other man's voice.

"For right now, coffee is off limits. Peppermint tea, decaf, is on your diet." Roger said, setting a mug of water in the microwave

It pinged two minutes later and he removed the mug. Placing the tea bag in the water, he stirred it before setting it in front of Grissom. He tried to pick it up, but his hands were shaking too much.

"Easy, Moss," Roger said, steadying him, carefully setting his hands around Grissom's as he guided the mug to is lips.

Grissom took a sip and swallowed, feeling the heat all the way down his throat. He set the mug on the counter and stood up. Picking up the mug, he disappeared into the lab room and shut the door.

11:30 am

Sara woke up in an empty bed. She pulled on a pair of sweatpants and walked downstairs. Roger looked up from the sofa. Sean and Lenny were playing cards at the dining room table.

"Hi," Roger said, looking up from his book.

"Hi, where is he?"

"Lab room, last time I looked. He's unsettled. I called Andy; he should be here soon."

Sara looked at him and then the agents and walked into the lab room. He wasn't there. She walked back into the hallway and then into the guest room. Grissom was sitting on the bed, a photo in his hand and as Sara approached, he started to tear it up. She ran to him, putting her hands over his.

"No, Gil, you don't want to do this," she said softly.

He looked at the four pieces of the photo of his father and started to cry. She reached for him, pulling him close, holding him tightly, and feeling his sobs of utter despair. She felt an energy build up in him, his muscles tensed, his breathing quickened and he stood, breaking her hold. This was the Grissom she knew who was violent. He needed to strike out, to run, to box, to shoot. But he was here at the townhouse without a release. He walked into the living room and stopped, looking at the three men. Only Roger saw the violence in his eyes.

"Guys, don't move a muscle." Roger warned quietly.

The agents remained motionless as Grissom started to pace. Roger walked to the breakfast bar when Grissom's back was turned. He poured Maker's into a glass and held it out for him. Grissom took it, not breaking his stride. He drank the whole thing and walked into the kitchen over the tile floor. It felt cool under his sensitive bare feet. He fingered the glass and Roger started to get nervous.

"Put the glass down, Moss," Roger directed.

Sara walked to the doorway of the living room and watched.

Grissom looked at Roger, then at the void where the telephone and answering machine used to sit. He placed the glass slowly on the counter, his back to the room. Reaching his left arm behind him, he opened his hand. Sara walked forward and grasped it. He turned and folded her into him. She embraced him and then pulled away and walked to the staircase, leading him behind her. They walked into the bedroom. He continued into the room and she shut the door behind him. She walked up to him, trying to gauge his feelings. Suddenly he turned and started to pace again, muttering under his breath. She moved to the chair and sat to watch him. He pushed his hand through his hair and then paled. Walking swiftly to the bathroom, he managed to vomit into the bowl. Sara followed him with a wet wash cloth. The door to the bedroom opened and Andy walked in. He followed the noise to the bathroom in time to see Grissom rise from his knees.

"I spoke to Paul. Have you been taking your ulcer meds? Following your diet?" Andy asked, looking at Grissom's pale face, but getting no response.

He pulled a Prilosec and an Amoxicillin from prescription envelopes in his jacket pocket. Filling a glass with water, he handed it and the medicine to Grissom, who socked back both. Andy escorted Grissom back to the bedroom. He helped him pull off his sweatshirt and get settled in bed. Andy filled the syringe and injected Grissom.

"He should sleep for at least six hours." Andy advised softly.

"Okay, thanks," Sara replied, pulling up the sheets to Grissom's neck as he rolled over on his left side.

"Have him call when he wakes up, okay?" Andy asked.

"You bet, Andy," Sara answered, standing by Grissom's side.

Andy looked at Grissom again and then turned to leave the room. Sara waited until he left, before pulling off her sweat shirt and sweat pants. Dressed in her underwear and a tank top, she crawled into bed behind Grissom, gently folding her arms around his sleeping form.

6:00 pm

Grissom woke up and slowly stretched. He was alone, but felt a calm that wasn't present before. He used the bathroom, washed his hands, and then slipped on a sweater and a pair of sweats. Walking down the stairs, he noted that he could only see Sara, curled up in the comfy chair by the stereo.

"Hi," she said, looking up at him.

"Hi, where is everybody?" Grissom replied, turning on the stereo and flipping to a blues CD by Eric Clapton.

"Roger is having dinner with your mother. The boys are outside. They felt we needed some time alone."

Grissom nodded thoughtfully. He walked back to the sofa and sat down, putting his feet up on the coffee table.

"How are you feeling? Ready to eat anything?" she asked, standing.

"Yeah, I guess." He said, leaning his head back on the sofa.

Sara walked over to him and sat down gently, careful not to bounce on the sofa. She reached for his hand and kissed it. He took a breath and hesitated as if unsure whether he should speak.

"You know, he spoke to me," Grissom said, looking to the ceiling, feeling her hand on his.


"Kevin, when I set him down. He said, 'kill them or you're as good as dead'. Then he passed out."

"I'm so sorry, Griss," she said, sliding her arm around his shoulders.

He blinked and tears streamed back to his ears. She reached her right hand to his face and turned it to her. She kissed his cheek gently.

"We'll get through this. One day at a time. Okay? Now, how about some plain pasta?" Sara said, trying to cheer him up.

"Okay," Grissom said, sitting up slightly with her help and wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.

"Great, oh and would you read your paperwork from Paul, please? I think you have to take your medication, soon." She said, heading to the kitchen.

"Where is it?" He asked, standing.

"On the breakfast bar, near the new phone,"

Grissom walked over to the breakfast bar and stood still for a moment, looking at the new phone and his old answering machine. Suddenly, the phone rang, startling the two of them. He picked up the phone and hit the blue button.


"Hey man, how are you feeling?" Jim asked.

"Tired and sore, what's up with you?"

"Nothing much, just chasing bad guys. Are you up for some company?"

"Sure, I'd like that. Just you though, okay? I'm not sure I can handle a lot of activity."

"No problem. I can't either. I just need to talk and unwind."

"I think I still have a full bottle of Jameson's in reserve for you. I'll see you when you get here. Oh, you may want to tell Seb you're coming over. It's like Fort Knox here." Grissom said.

"Good point, thanks, I'll do that. See you later."



Grissom hit the red button and set the phone back in its cradle. He picked up the sheet and started to read.

"Is Jim coming over?" Sara asked, adding the pasta to the boiling water.

"Yeah, he sounded a little edgy. I think he just wants a safe place to have a drink, talk, and sleep."

"He gets the sofa, Griss. Please, I want you to get some more sleep. Paul was very specific that you are to be quiet and resting until Monday."

"I know, I will," Grissom said, trying hard to stifle a yawn.

"Andy wants you to call him as soon as you can."

"Okay, let me try to eat something, first,"

She smiled, leaning against the kitchen counter and examining his face. He had missed his last two haircuts and his curls were definitely present, especially when he hadn't showered and used his 'man mousse' as she called it. His beard needed a trim and his eyes were bloodshot, with dark circles below them. The timer rang and she drained the pasta. Putting a small amount of butter on his bowl of pasta, she grabbed a fork and set it in front of him.

"Thanks, may I have a bottle of water, please?" he said, opening the pill bottles and tapping his allocation onto the countertop.

Sara opened the fridge and pulled a bottle of water out for him. She grabbed her bowl and began to add some leftover Chinese vegetables. Finally, she walked to the breakfast bar and sat with him, handing him his water. He opened it and tossed the pills into his mouth, chasing them with the water. Slowly, he began to eat the rotelli, one corkscrew at a time. Sara finished in her normal record time. Grissom had eaten half and then stopped. He massaged his temples with his fingertips.

"Not another migraine?" Sara asked softly.

"No, I don't think so, but my head hurts nonetheless. I need to lie down." Grissom stood slowly and was momentarily dizzy.

Sara reached out to steady him and guided him to the sofa. He lay down and immediately curled up in a position that Sara had only seen when he was coming out of a migraine. It was seven o'clock. She did the dishes, saved his pasta and put it in the fridge before heading up the stairs to change the sheets and clean up the mess he made in the closet. She finished at eight thirty and took a long hot shower.

9:15 pm

Sara walked down the stairs and was not surprised to see he hadn't moved an inch. She took the wool blanket and draped it over him before she picked up her office trappings and headed out to work.

"Dancer on the move to the lab," Sean intoned.

"Bugman at the townhouse,"

"Artist at the Hotel,"

10:30 pm

The door opened as Jim let himself in, waving to Lenny, who had moved inside when Sara and Sean had left. He shut the door behind him, leaving it unlocked as the agents had reminded him to. He took off his jacket and draped it over the back of one of the dining room chairs. He slipped off his gun, holster, and handcuffs, setting them on the dining room table. He walked to the counter and leaned over to pull the Jameson's from the liquor cabinet. Setting the bottle on the breakfast bar, Jim retrieved a glass from the kitchen cabinet and dropped in two ice cubes. He poured a more than liberal amount into the glass and topped it with a splash of water. Walking back to the living room, he smiled, realizing that Grissom was awake.

"Hi," he said, slumping into the comfortable chair opposite him.

"Hi," Grissom said, still under the blanket, slowly sitting up.

Jim kicked off his loafers and put both feet on the coffee table. He unbuttoned his top two shirt buttons and pulled his loosened tie off. He took a long sip of his cocktail under Grissom's scrutiny.

"Spill it, you'll feel better," Grissom suggested softly.

"I'm not sure," Jim said, switching his position.

"Are you hungry? I can make you something."

"Gil, this is me. You don't have to entertain me. It's just, well, it's been a tough couple of days. I think you know, even though I don't say it much, but you're my best friend. Right now, I just need to be with you, okay?" Jim said, his breathing ragged.

"Yeah, no problem. I missed you, too." Grissom said, as he lay back under his blanket and fell asleep.

Thursday 3:30 am

The phone rang and Grissom picked it up after the first ring, having been awake for three hours.


"It's Seb. I need you and Jim, now. Drive northeast towards Moappa on 93, we'll intercept you. Bring my boys." Seb said.

"On our way," Grissom said, hanging up without saying goodbye.

"Jim? Jim? We need to meet Seb. Let me get dressed. You're driving. I have to get my kit, though." Grissom said, nudging his friend.

"Where're we going?" Jim asked sitting more upright and alert.

Lenny stood and pulled himself together.

"Towards Moappa. Brush your teeth, there's a new tooth brush in the bathroom. You smell like a distillery." Grissom said with a small smile.

Jim headed to the bathroom as Grissom headed upstairs to change. Five minutes later, he was downstairs, gathering his electronics. He opened the fridge and pulled out six bottles of water and put them in a small Igloo case. He added his migraine meds and his ulcer pills. As an afterthought, he grabbed his Cellos In the Mist CD.

"Ready?" Jim asked, putting on his holster, gun, and cuffs.

"Yeah, let's roll,"

Jim turned to him and grinned as they walked out to pick up Scott. Grissom pulled his kit from his car and set in near his feet in Jim's car. Lenny sat in the back seat with Grissom as Scott drove chase. Grissom handed the CD to Jim who put it in the player, and sat back in his seat, listening to the music. Thirty minutes later, they saw the flashing lights of their escorts. Twenty minutes after that, they were at the scene. Grissom had his game face on, but he wasn't totally focused until he saw Sara taking photos of the crime scene. He carried his kit, Jim at one side, Seb at the other, and approached the body. The mud from the nearby creek covered most of it. It was a female, there were bugs present, and her face was not. She was nude without any overt identifying marks.

Grissom stalked the body and got his mojo working, tuning out everything around him. Seb stood apart, watching, fascinated. Grissom intellectually processed the scene and then got to work. He noticed the markers that Sara had laid out for the evidence that she had already photographed. Sara stepped up to him and brought her kit. She had a half cup of coffee and a container with beef jerky ready to pick up his tiny rock and rollers. She smiled, remembering how he had named all of the beetles in a case previously; taking great care with the Fab Four. Quietly, he processed the scene and then he stopped. There was something about the body that disturbed him. He sat back on his heels and stared.

David arrived and pronounced the victim.

"I'd say twenty four hours, but there's not a lot to go on, here." He said.

"Thanks, David. The beetles will get us a more accurate timing." Grissom said in a soft monotone voice.

He lay the body bag on the ground and was just about to move the body with his assistant when Grissom stopped him. He knew. Jim walked over and stood next to Seb as Grissom turned the body gently. Sara took photos as Grissom wiped the drying mud from the nape of her neck, revealing a tattoo. It was a butterfly and on its wings were the initials, GG. Carefully, Grissom lowered the body back to the ground. He picked up his kit and headed to the car. Sara finished bagging the evidence and meticulously packed up her kit, following him at a distance to Jim's car. Grissom placed his kit on the hood and placed his hands on either side of it. He started to hyperventilate, leaning over to avoid passing out.

"I'm sorry," Jim said softly, standing next to him.

"Is this what you couldn't tell me?" Grissom said, wheezing.


"He couldn't tell you that we ran a DNA test on her toothbrush and discovered that she was your half sister." Seb said.

"The tattoo," Grissom whispered, his breathing quieting.

"Was the symbol of your father's new company; the one he started after 9/11." Seb replied.

"She said she got it for me. She said she loved me. She showed it to me when I took her out to dinner. That's when I told her that I was in love with someone else."

"Griss, we need to get to the lab to process," Sara said, walking up to the three men, unaware that she was interrupting anything.

"Uhm, okay, just let me get my cooler and my kit," Grissom said, trying to regain some composure before reaching into Jim's car.

He straightened, picked up his kit, and followed Sara to her car. Putting his kit in the back, he opened up the igloo and took out his ulcer meds and a bottle of water. Tapping out the pills into his hand, he took a mouthful of water, and drank them down. Sara started the car and waited for him to pack up his cooler. He closed the hatch and walked to the passenger side. Getting in, he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning awkwardly, he faced Jim.

"Here's your cellos. Take it easy," he warned.

Grissom tried to smile but he couldn't. Pulling the door shut, he put the CD in the player, adjusted his shoulder harness, and slightly reclined his seat as Sara drove to the lab. Lenny and Scott drove chase, as did Sean.

4:45 am

He opened his eyes when they pulled into the parking lot. He raised his seat, undid his harness, and got out. Walking to the back, he pulled his kit and cooler from the car. They walked into the building and went straight to an open lab. Sean followed silently with Lenny, who stood outside the lab door while Scott stayed with the car. Wordlessly, Grissom started with his bugs as Sara set up the cork board for him to pin his samples to. When he had everything set up, he turned to her.

"Can you watch for a little bit? I have to go talk to Doc,"


He pulled off his gloves and walked up to her, hugging her intensely.

"It was Sofia. Apparently she was my half-sister." He said softly into her ear.

She pulled him to her tighter.

"I'm so sorry, Gil." She whispered back, her emotions now in turmoil.

They held each other for several minutes, until he felt he could walk down the hallway without tears. He broke away from her and headed out of the lab. Lenny followed discretely. Grissom walked down the stairs and heard a noise in Al's office. He vectored towards it and walked in. Al was sitting on his stool, his right prosthetic leg on his workbench.

"Hi," Al said, leaning over with an electric screwdriver in his hand.

"Hi, uhm, did David bring in my db?" Grissom asked softly, distracted by the mechanics of the leg.

"Yeah, but until I can fix this, I can't stand." Al said, frustrated.

Grissom walked up to him and took a look. He saw the problem and five minutes later, Doc had reattached his leg and stood.

"Thanks, Gil. Let's go take a look." He said, heading for the door.

Grissom reached out his hand and stopped him. Al turned and looked at his friend. The pain on his face was inescapable.

"What's happened?"

"It's Sofia," Grissom replied.

"Jesus," Al said, dropping his glasses to his chest and rubbing his eyes.

"I need to know cause of death. I...I can't be with you on this. I'm doing a regression upstairs. I'll let you know." Grissom said, not able to meet his look.

"What aren't you telling me?" Al said, putting his glasses back on and peering over them at him.

"Seb did a DNA analysis. She's my half-sister." Grissom said.

"Aw, shit, Gil. I'll take care of her. Is Sara upstairs?" Al asked, setting his hands on Grissom's shoulders.

Grissom nodded.

"Okay, if she's monitoring your regression, why don't you go up to your office and stretch out on the sofa. You don't look so good."

"Yeah, I think I'm getting another migraine, my head's killing me." Grissom said, walking out of the office and heading upstairs, his boy in tow.

Doc picked up the phone and called Steven.

"CSI, Steven speaking,"

"Steven, it's Doc Robbins. What lab is Sara working in?"

"Sara and Grissom are in Lab 4. Would you like me to transfer the call?"

"Please," Doc said, shifting his weight.


"Hi, Gil was just down here. I'm sorry about Sofia, Sara."

"Thanks, Doc." She replied automatically.

"You may need to hold down the fort a little longer. He looks like crap and admitted that he may be getting a migraine. He's headed to the office."

"Okay, thanks, I'll go check on him." Sara said, picking up his igloo and walking out of the lab to Grissom's office.

Doc Robbins hung up the phone and headed towards the autopsy room. He gowned and walked in, surprised to see a man looking at Sofia's body.

"Hi, brother,"

"Hi, A.J., what a mess," Seb remarked.

"Yeah, Grissom told me. Are you sitting in on this?"

"If you don't mind. Sara and Grissom are doing a test on some bugs found at the scene and Jim is finishing up at the scene."

"For the record, Sara is tracking the linear regression. Grissom is probably passed out from a migraine in his office."

"Just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?" Seb commented bitterly.

Doc looked at his brother and then started his exam.

"Female victim, approximate age, thirty-one. Extensive damage to the facial tissue. Gunshot wounds to the right occipital bone, exiting out the nose."

"Double tapped?" Seb asked.

"Yes, but the caliber is bigger than that which killed Mr. Grissom." Doc answered before resuming his exam.

"Continuing, no identifying marks or scars on the shoulders. Navel ring, appendectomy scar, help me roll her onto her stomach,"

"Wait, A.J., what's that?" Seb said, looking at what was in her mouth.

Doc took a pair of tweezers and probed the mouth tissue until he saw what Seb had glimpsed. He withdrew a printed silk scarf. He held it up to exam it. It was black, with a red dragon in the center. Doc shifted his glance to the extremities and saw no sign of restraints.

"I'm reserving judgment, but I may be changing cause of death. It may have been suffocation, not gunshot wounds that killed her."

"The scarf may be enough to tie it to Kang. That's his company emblem." Seb said, pulling off his gown.

"You done, here?" Doc asked, looking over his glasses.

"Yeah, I need to check with Sara, and tell her about the scarf so she can assign someone to fume it, if it's possible."

"Okay, well, changing gears, we're looking forward to having you to the house for dinner, little brother."

"Soon, A.J., as soon as this case wraps, I'm going to come and camp out in your guest room for a week," Seb smiled.

"Excellent, good hunting,"

"Thanks," Seb said, walking out of the autopsy room and heading for the stairs.

As Sara turned the corner with Sean in her wake, she saw Grissom unlocking his door. She walked quickly and easily caught up with him before he could shut the door. He continued into his office and sat down heavily on the sofa, leaning his head back on the cushions. She set the igloo on the table and opened it. He had put in his mild strength migraine medication and she hoped it would suffice. She took a pill out and set it in his hand. He swallowed it dry and closed his eyes. Suddenly, he was out, his mouth slack. She untied his shoes and carefully repositioned him into a reclined position on his side. She turned on his desk lamp and turned off the fluorescents and then sat at his desk. There was a stack of messages in his in box. Sighing, she took them and started to sort them into piles. She stopped when she saw the first message from the cemetery, confirming Mr. Grissom's interment for Thursday at 3pm. Setting that aside, she continued. Suddenly, her phone rang.


"It's Roger, where are you?"

"I'm at work. Can you head over and stay with Grissom?"

"What's wrong? Where is he?"

"Passed out in his office from a migraine. I can't leave him alone and I have a time-sensitive test I have to monitor."

"I'm on my way as soon as I call a cab,"

"Thanks," Sara said, hanging up her phone absently.

She stood up and walked to Grissom's side. Leaning over, she kissed him, feeling his hot skin on her lips. She straightened and walked out of the office.

"He's sleeping off a migraine. Roger is on his way to stay with him. Would you wait for him inside?" She asked Lenny.

"All right," he replied, stepping into the office.

Sara and Sean walked back to Lab 4. As they neared its door, Seb walked around the corner.

"Hi, boss," Sean said, in a casual tone.

"Hi, Sean, Sara. We found a silk scarf shoved down Sofia's throat. It has Kang's logo on it. I left it with A.J. Can you assign someone to check it for prints?" Seb asked.

"Sure, I think Greg is available, although I'm not sure what we can find, the viscosity and such." Sara said, reaching for her phone.


"Hi, Greg, are you in the building?"

"Yeah, I'm in the break room. What's up?"

"Can you go see Doc and pick up a silk scarf? I need anything you can get off of it." Sara said, trying to distance herself.

"Sure, Sara, no problem. Have you seen Ecklie?"

"No, I haven't, thanks, Greg," she said, suddenly thinking.

"You're welcome, bye."

"Bye," she replied, closing her phone.

"Did you guys track down Ecklie?" Sara asked, walking back to the table, and gloving up.

"He's disappeared. We've had a man on his apartment since this whole thing began."

5:45 am

Roger walked into the lab building and straight to reception.

"Hi, I'm Roger McAllister,"

"Yes, Mr. McAllister, Sara told me to expect you. Grissom's in his office. Please wear this ID badge. His office is down the hallway to the end take a right and he's at the end. There should be an FBI agent floating around there."

"Yes, that would be Lenny, thanks," Roger said, slipping his ID badge and lanyard over his head.

He headed down the hallway and in short order walked into Grissom's office. Lenny waved to him and left the room. Grissom was asleep on the sofa, his Igloo on the floor by his shoes. The light was on at his desk, so Roger walked around and sat down. He looked at the stacks of messages and started to sort them. He too came across the phone message from the cemetery, reconfirming the time of interment. Looking beyond the computer monitor to Grissom's darkened sleeping form; he knew that he needed to reschedule this. He set that message aside and plowed through the rest until he came to a message from two days ago.

 Tuesday 9:02am Christopher Kang Bellagio Hotel 
Suite 2550 

Roger dug into his jacket pocket and found the slip of paper with Seb's number on it. Picking up the phone, he dialed.


"Hi, it's Roger McAllister."

"You're up kind of early,"

"Yeah, Sara's doing some experiment and Grissom is sleeping off another migraine."

"Where are you?"

"At his office, at the lab," Roger replied. "Look, I was organizing his messages and I came across one from Christopher Kang dated Tuesday. He's staying at the Bellagio, suite 2550."

"Thanks, we actually found that out when we dumped Sofia's phone records."

"Okay, just wanted to make sure you knew that." Roger said, slightly hurt.

"Thanks, again, Roger, really. I'm sorry, I need to get some sleep."

"Yeah, me too, night,"


Roger put the phone in its cradle and finished sorting the messages. He put his legs up on the desk and carefully lay back in the chair.

10:00 am

Grissom's pager went off, waking both him and Roger. Roger picked up the pager and looked at it.

"Sheriff Atwater wants you to go to the break room." Roger said, softly.

Grissom sat up slowly and put his feet on the floor. He reached for his shoes and felt the sharp stab of pain in his temples. Gritting his teeth, he growled and picked up his shoes. Suddenly, he felt a strong pair of hands help put his feet into his loafers.

"Okay, let's get you up," Roger said, helping him to his feet.

"Right desk drawer, dark glasses, please," Grissom managed.

"Okay, just don't move." Roger said, reaching over the desk to retrieve the glasses.

Handing them to Grissom, who put them on immediately, they left his office. Walking slowly to the break room, Roger was on his right, while Lenny trailed them. When they walked into the break room, Grissom stopped. The room was filled with the entire graveyard shift staff except Sara. They stood when Grissom walked into the room. He looked at their faces and then at Rory, who was at the head of the table. Grissom leaned against the door frame and waited.

"Now that we're all here, I wanted to officially inform you that one of our CSIs was found murdered late last night. Sofia Curtis was positively identified. There is a possibility that she might have been murdered by the same man who killed Mr. Grissom. That's all." Rory said.

Grissom straightened and walked toward Lab 4, leaving the rest of the group sitting in stunned silence. He walked in with Roger and found Sara, carefully taking notes.

"Hi," he said, softly.

"Hi," she said, looking at him.

"How's the regression going?" he said, trying to stay focused.

"Just finished," she said, standing. "Tuesday six pm,"

" Good job," Grissom said, adjusting his glasses.

"I had Greg process a silk scarf found with Sofia. He found fagara, a type of pepper only available in China."

Grissom stood silently, shifting his weight from leg to leg.

"Can you give me a half an hour to clean up?" Sara said, standing in front of him, trying to read his feelings through his dark glasses.

"Would you mind if I helped?" Grissom asked.

"No, of course not,"

"I need to make a phone call. I'll be in your office when you're ready to leave." Roger said, leaving the lab.

"Thanks, Roger," Sara said, before turning back to the evidence spread out on the corkboard.

Grissom reached into a box on the wall shelf and pulled out a pair of latex gloves and put them on. He carefully gathered up the different samples of bugs and the cork board that represented the time line. Sara called down to Doc Robbins to give him the regression findings.

"Thanks, Sara. I'll call Seb. How's Grissom?"

"He's here with me cleaning up, then we're heading home."

"Okay, sounds good. Bye,"

"Bye," Sara said, hanging up.

Turning to help Grissom, she realized that he had cleaned up everything and was staring out the window back into the hallway. She walked up behind him and touched his shoulder. He flinched in surprise and then calmed.

"Come on, I just need to drop this off at Evidence and then we'll go." Sara said softly.

She walked to the table and picked up the cardboard box containing their test results and walked out of the lab towards Evidence. Grissom followed with Lenny now at his side, Sean following the group, noting that Grissom was looking paler and more exhausted as each moment passed. Sara logged in the evidence, signed the report, and slid her arm around Grissom's waist. They walked back to his office.

"I'll meet you at home. Uhm, I'm gonna have Scott drive me." Grissom said, turning to walk to the parking lot.

"Okay, we'll be right behind you,"

Grissom walked down the hallway with Lenny at his side. Lenny called Scott to have him bring the car up to the employee entrance. Moments later, they were off.

Sara walked into Grissom's office while Sean stood outside and found Roger packing up the igloo.

"Hi, where's Grissom?" he asked, opening an envelope and filling it with phone messages.

"He went ahead with the boys."

"Okay, I have his pager, phone, the Igloo and his important phone messages." Roger remarked.

"Great, I'll meet you out back. I have to get my purse and coat from my locker." Sara said.


Sara walked out into the hallway towards the locker room with Sean in tow. Roger set the door lock, gathered up Grissom's belongings, turned out the light, and pulled the door shut behind him. He walked to the employee entrance at the same time Sara was driving up in her car and got in.. Sean pulled up behind her in his company car.

Twenty minutes later, they arrived at Grissom's townhouse. Locking the car, they walked side by side up the short staircase and walked in through the open door to find Lenny on the phone speaking in terse short phrases, while Grissom stared at calligraphy painted in flowing script on the wall above the sofa. He shook his head slowly and turned for the staircase.

"Grissom, can you read it? Do you know what it says?" Lenny called, his phone still to his ear.

"Yes, it's running script. It says, Bou fuk," he said, over his shoulder.

"Which means?"

"Revenge," he said, starting up the stairs.

"Grissom, wait, don't go up there. I haven't cleared it." Lenny called, handing his phone to Sean as he charged up the circular stairs.

Grissom opened the door to the bedroom. The room had been ransacked. The photos had been pulled from their frames and cut into shreds. The Jenkins painting, a gift from his mother, lay damaged on the floor. In its place was more running script. Their clothes were strewn everywhere and the furniture was all overturned. He backed out of the room quickly, turning into Lenny and pushing him against the railing.

"I have to go, I have to go, now." Grissom said, his voice low and edgy.

"Yeah, Grissom, you do. You, Scott and I are heading to The Hotel. Sean? Stay with Sara and Roger. Sara, you have ten minutes to pack up what you need." Lenny said, walking slowly down the circular staircase, feeling Grissom's hand pushing on his shoulder.

They reached the bottom of the stairs and Grissom headed to the door. Lenny caught up with him, stopping him for the moment. Sean handed his phone back to him.

"Roger, put his meds in the Igloo with the doctor's directions, please. I'll take that with us." Lenny requested, physically blocking the door

"Please," Grissom said softly, his hands clenching and unclenching.

"Hang on, Grissom," Lenny replied just as softly, as Grissom pushed against him to leave the townhouse.

Sara walked up to him and put her hand on his cheek, seeing the fear and anxiety in his eyes. He put his hands on her face, drawing her into a kiss. Taking the Igloo from Roger, Lenny escorted Grissom down to the waiting car. Lenny got Grissom settled in the back seat and then ran around the car to sit next to him. As Scott put the car in gear, Lenny pulled his phone out and dialed Seb.


"It's Lenny, there was more in the bedroom. Grissom is with Scott and me. We're heading to The Hotel. Sean is following with Sara and Roger. Can you alert Tibbs that we're coming? Grissom needs some R & R."

"No problem. I'm calling Jim and sending Tyler and his team to work with Catherine and her team. Between Quantico and Vegas, the top two Crime Labs in the country, we should know everything."

"Right, thanks,"


"Bye," Lenny said, shutting his phone.

11:15 am

He looked at Grissom. He had shifted and was sitting upright and forward, his head in his hands. Lenny looked to see where they were. Scott slowed for a red light and Grissom unbuckled his harness, opened the door, and walked out into the traffic and then the crowd.

"Shit, I'm on him, I'm on him," Lenny said, jumping out of the car to follow Grissom.

Scott pulled his phone out as he maneuvered the car to the right hand lane, using the walkie talkie feature of his Nextel phone.


"Bugman is on the move, on foot. Lenny is with him,"

"Okay, it's okay. He gets panic attacks. I should have known this would happen. I'll call Sean and Tibbs. Call Lenny; tell him to be loose, but cautious. This may go on for a couple of hours until he tires." Seb remarked.

"Roger, that," Scott replied.

"Robbins out,"

"Hayfield out," he said before pressing the code for Lenny.

"Spradlin," he answered his breath in spurts.

"Boss says stick with him; be loose but cautious. This may last for several hours."

"Terrific, we're heading north, passing the Nugget."

"I'm on my way. Are you walking or running?"

"We were walking and now we are running."

"I'll be there as soon as I can,"

"Thanks, we may have to switch, if he keeps up this pace. I'm not the runner, you are!" Lenny joked.

"Hayfield out,"

"Spradlin, out,"

1:34 pm

Grissom slowed finally and stopped. They were somewhere in sight of Route 147, northeast of the city. Scott stood next to him, also leaning over, their breathing filling their ears with sound. Lenny pulled up alongside and put the car in park.

"Hey, Grissom? Let's go see Sara, okay?" he suggested.

Grissom turned to look at him and silently got into the car. Scott sat next to him, casually draping his arm over Grissom's shoulder in an effort to control him. Grissom seemed to welcome the human contact as he looked out the window. Lenny called ahead to find out what suite Sara was in. It took them almost forty five minutes to get to The Hotel. Scott and Grissom walked into the lobby with Lenny five steps behind. The three men looked disheveled, not the normal hotel crowd, and when the elevator came, they had the car to themselves. They were silent, looking ahead in the car until it stopped on the fourth floor. Lenny took the lead, heading out and turning to the left. At the end of the hallway, Lenny stopped and knocked on the door of suite 424. Sean opened the door and Grissom walked in. Lenny put the Igloo on the nearest table and followed Sean out of the suite.

Grissom was physically exhausted, but still mentally revved up. He walked into the bathroom and stripped. Stepping into the small bath/shower combo, he remembered how much he liked his shower at home. He soaped and rinsed, completing his task in less than fifteen minutes. He turned off the water, toweled off and walked into the bedroom. Sara was asleep. On the bureau was a stack of shorts and t-shirts. He pulled one from each, got dressed and slipped into bed quietly. Grissom reached for her gently and then relaxed, smelling her shampoo, and her.

5:00 pm

The elevator opened and Jim walked onto the floor. Immediately, he saw a person lying on the floor midway down the hall. He pulled his weapon and ran towards the figure. Looking at the man he rolled him to his back and started to awaken him.

"Scott? It's Jim Brass, what happened?"

He sat up against the wall, his head in his left hand.

"He went crazy," Scott said matter-of-factly.

"Tell me what happened."

"I heard breaking glass and went into the room. He was trashing the place. He saw me, and attacked me."

"Where is everyone?"

"Sara and her crew went to the townhouse about an hour ago, to clean up. Seb called Lenny for a meeting." Scott said, softly.

Jim reached for his phone and speed dialed Seb.


"Jim Brass, we have trouble. Grissom freaked. He decked Scott and left the hotel. Do you have Kang's hotel room monitored?"


"He should be there, soon," Jim said, running to the elevator.


"Yeah, I'm on my way,"

"No, we just found Conrad Ecklie. He checked himself into a psychiatric facility the day Grissom was kidnapped from the hospital."

"Seb," Brass inquired again.

"I'm right behind you, I just have to get your guy Hayes to follow up on Ecklie."

Grissom's taxi arrived at the Bellagio and he got out as if in a dream. He just wanted the whole mess to be over. He walked into the lobby and then to the elevator. He waited patiently and walked into the first car. Pressing 25, he leaned against the back wall. Moments later, the fast elevator arrived and he walked out. The floor was empty as he made his way to Kang's suite. He pressed the button and took a step back. The door opened slowly and an Asian man motioned for him to enter.

"Dr. Grissom, you are a surprise." a tall man in a silk suit, said, from his position behind a computer screen.

"Peregrinus," Grissom replied softly, as he entered the room.

"You feel you are a pilgrim? How interesting!" The man replied, shutting off the computer to stand and greet his guest.

"Death means the attainment of heaven; victory means the enjoyment of earth. Therefore, rise up...resolved to fight!" Grissom replied.

"Having made yourself alike in pain and pleasure, profit and loss, victory and defeat, engage in this great battle and you will be freed from sin." Kang responded.

"Bhagavad-Gita, you are commended," Grissom remarked.

"What, that I am a scholar of eastern philosophy, hardly. I think you, Dr. Grissom, are more interesting." Kang replied.

"What do you want from me?"

"I would have thought you'd figured that out. If not the money then your life," Kang said, softly.

Grissom smiled, hell, he had to. He was exhausted and this man was threatening him. He walked away and turned to face his accuser; now almost fifteen feet distant. He stood, square on his feet, to address his opponent.

"I don't know where the money is." his voice was clear and firm.

"We'll see." Kang replied before speaking rapidly in Mandarin to his bodyguard.

The man grabbed Grissom, holding his arms behind him as Kang walked to an ornate box. He opened it and removed a vial and a hypodermic needle. He withdrew an amount of the amber liquid and sealed the vial again. He walked up to Grissom who stood still in defiance. Kang unbuttoned Grissom's shirt, revealing the surgical scar and the discoloring from his healing bruises. Slipping the shirt off his shoulders, Kang injected Grissom with the liquid. The guard released him; Grissom's shirt fell to the floor. His face flushed as he started to breathe faster.

"Dr. Grissom, where is the money?" Kang asked.

Grissom tried to stand still and upright but the drug was taking effect and altering what he knew was reality. With all of the energy and focus he replied. All sound was amplified almost to the point of pain.

"When my father became an informant, the government seized the money." he said in a quiet voice.

"I know that," Kang spat, charging Grissom. "In 2001, he stole the money. It's been four years, where's the money?" He said, encircling Grissom's throat with his hands, pushing him against the wall.

"Enough!" Grissom shouted with the last of his energy, pushing against his aggressor, a headache looming from the volume of his own voice.

"LVPD, open up the door," Brass shouted from the hallway, after hearing Grissom inside.

Kang looked at the door for a moment and then to his guard, speaking to him again in Mandarin. The guard went into the bedroom. Then all hell broke loose. The door opened and Jim quickly walked in, his gun drawn.

"Christopher Kang, you are under arrest for the murders of Gilbert Grissom and Sofia Curtis." he announced.

Kang released his hold on Grissom, pulled a gun, shooting Jim twice. It was fast, and the drug was manipulating time and sound; Grissom did nothing. There was one loud noise and then all he heard was silence. His body was still between the police and Kang as a shield. Grissom suddenly felt his mojo engage as he lunged for the gun. Kang was caught off guard and soon they were on the floor, the weapon between them. The bodyguard ran in from the bedroom, shooting, and was immediately shot by the police officer at the door. Seb cautiously walked into the room just as another gun went off. The two men on the floor stopped moving. He walked by Jim's still body and knelt on the carpet. He rolled one man off the other. Kang had a bullet wound center chest. Grissom was covered in blood, lying on his back, unconscious. He felt for a pulse and for several seconds couldn't feel it, as it was so weak. He turned and got to his feet.

"Did you call an ambulance?" he yelled at the officer at the door.

"Yes, yes sir," the man stammered in reply.

Lenny walked in and looked at the scene, shaking his head. Out of the corner of his eye he saw movement and drew his gun before comprehending what he was seeing. Jim was alive. He replaced his gun and ran to the stricken man. He ripped open Jim's white shirt and saw the two bullets lodged in the Kevlar vest. One was center but one was very close to the top of the vest. He had hit his head on a mahogany table as he had fallen and there was a lot of blood.

"Take it easy, Jim. Just stay down. Don't move." Lenny advised. "Get another ambulance!"

"How's Gil?" he asked, his eyes closed tightly.

"Alive, but barely. I found another needle." Seb said, crouching next to his colleague.

11:00 pm

Grissom awoke from a violent nightmare, kept in check by the tight restraints. It didn't keep him from screaming Jim's name at the top of his lungs. Paul ran into the darkened room to calm his patient. He had forbidden visitors in ICU for Grissom.

"Ok, Grissom, you're okay," his voice sounding muffled to Grissom.

"Let me die, I don't care. I killed Jim," Grissom shouted, his voice ragged, his eyes searching.

"No, no, you aren't going to die and neither is Jim, at least not today. He had his vest on, Grissom. Do you understand what I am saying? Relax, nice and easy," Paul elaborated, his face above Grissom's, his hand on his chest, feeling his rapid heartbeat.

"I have to see him, please." Grissom pled, still speaking loudly.

"Okay, but only on my terms, understood? If I tell you enough, it's enough." He replied, his voice barely above a whisper.

"I understand, whatever you want, Paul," Grissom said loudly, the sweat now visible in his hairline.

"Relax for a minute, I need to snag a wheelchair," Paul said, his hand on Grissom's shoulder.

"Okay," he replied, closing his eyes and falling asleep.

11:15 pm

"Grissom, let's go, man," Paul cajoled, loudly.

Grissom opened his eyes and saw five people surrounding his bed to control the different IVs he had running.

"Listen to me. We need to get you into the wheelchair. But there are steps. We'll go slowly," Paul said carefully.

Twenty minutes later, a tired, sweaty Grissom was on his way from his bed in ICU to Jim's bed not more than twenty five feet away. As Jim had a concussion, Paul felt he couldn't be moved to Grissom. They swung by the nurse's station and Paul saw what he assumed was the entire CSI staff. He held his hand up to stop them as they started to rise from their various positions and rolled Grissom into Jim's room.

Jim's head was bandaged and there was blood seeping through. His neck was in a collar and overall he was very pale. The sheet was set at his waist and the dark blue bruises from the bullets were readily apparent. Paul wheeled Grissom as close as he could and engaged the locks. Grissom looked at his friend and the tears started. Paul touched Jim's arm. He awoke and looked around him, seeing Grissom.

"You're alive!" Jim uttered.

"Ditto," Grissom replied loudly.


"Those muttonheads used the same stuff that Sara identified." Paul remarked.

"Yeah, muttonheads. Why are you speaking so loudly? "Jim asked, in a tired voice.

Grissom looked at Paul, bewildered.

"He still has the drugs in his system. He'll be fine tomorrow." Paul explained to both men.

Jim smiled at Grissom whose face was unreadable.

"I felt the shots pass by me and assumed you were dead, I mean at that distance." Grissom remarked.

"Seb loaned me a new prototype vest. Hell, I'll probably have to pay for the damn thing now."

"Kang thought I had a lot of money. If that's true, I'll pay for it."

"Gil, never trust a crook," Jim warned, grinning.

"Right, I'll remember," Grissom said, slowly falling asleep from the pain relievers and the events of the previous days.

Jim smiled and closed his eyes, joining his friend in sleep.

Friday 8:00 am

Sara walked onto the floor. Paul had forbidden all visitors and then she had her shift. She was a wreck. Scott stood outside the door, the bruises quite visible. Sara touched his cheek before she walked in.

Grissom looked frail, but somehow better to her. He was still restrained, but his head could move, and the IVs were gone. His head was turned away from the windows. Sara walked to them, dropped the shades and made the room darker. Grissom settled, his face more neutral. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. His body responded.


"I'm here," she replied, turning to hold his hand.

"Ah, God, I have so many things I want to say to you." Grissom said, his emotions running high.

"I love you, Gil Grissom," she whispered, kissing him again.

"Please, hold me,"

Sara leaned her body to him and held him as well as the restraints would let her. She felt him shake with emotion.

"No, I won't ever leave you," Grissom said softly in her ear before falling asleep again.

6:00 pm

He woke again to see her sitting in the chair by his bed. He tried to reach her, but the restraints were too tight. He tried hard, the alarms pinging as his blood pressure hit the upper limit. Sara woke up just before the nurse came in.

"Hey, I'm here, you're okay. Just relax." she soothed, watching him slowly fall back to sleep.

Saturday 1:10 am

Grissom woke up and needed to move. He struggled against the restraints, again alerting the nurses.

"Yes, Dr. Grissom?"

"Please, I need to stand,"

"I'm sorry, Dr. Evans was very clear..."

"I don't care, I need to get out of here," he yelled.

The door opened and Andy walked in.

"Jesus, Gil, I heard you at the elevator. Let's get these restraints off." He said, starting to remove them.

"Excuse me, who are you?"

"I'm Andy Hayes, police department psychiatrist, I'm on the list." he said before looking at Grissom, "Okay, where do you want to go?"

Grissom was silent, standing slowly, walking out to the hall with Andy at his side. He headed to the elevator and paused.

"You sure?" Andy asked.

Grissom nodded, standing in a t-shirt and scrub pants. Andy reached for a wall phone and cleared the elevator. They went up to the roof and Grissom took one step before freezing. He stood there, remembering both instances. Andy stood and watched him. Grissom started to shake and Andy took him by the shoulders, directing him back into the waiting elevator. Andy held onto him tightly, speaking to him in a calm voice, until they reached the sixth floor. Slowly, they walked back to Grissom's room and he crawled into bed.

Saturday 8:00 pm

Helen, Tibbs, and Roger walked into Grissom's room. They paused, seeing the empty bed.

"He's taking a walk," a nurse said, walking by them to change his sheets.

The group walked back into the hallway and looked for him. Turning a corner, they saw Grissom in his hospital bathrobe, slowly making his way back to them. He looked up and smiled, continuing his trek. Five minutes later, he reached his room. His mother and Roger both hugged him before helping him into bed.

"Thanks, Paul says I can get out tomorrow,"

"Really?" Roger asked.

"Yeah, but there are some rules," Grissom said, falling asleep.

Sunday 1:00 pm

Sara stood in the kitchen, following Roger's careful directions for the h'ors d'ouevres while Grissom fed his friends in the Lab Room. He had been released from the hospital that morning, promising to be quiet, and not return to work for a week. The doorbell rang and Sara answered it. The crew arrived with Jim walking cautiously. His arm was in a sling and it still hurt to breathe. The bell rang again and Catherine opened the door. The Robbins Brothers arrived, taking immediate charge. The bell rang once more, and Catherine ushered in Rory, finally deciding to leave the door slightly ajar. Sara walked into the Lab Room. Grissom had his headphones on and was hunched over the drawing board. She tapped her foot on the floor and he turned to look at her.

"You're on," Sara said, waiting for him.

He removed his headphones, stopped the CD, and closed his sketchbook, and then headed for the living room.

"Hey, Griss," Nick greeted him as he walked out the door of the Lab Room.

"Hey, Pancho," Grissom replied, the communiqu not lost on the younger man.

Nick responded with his megawatt smile. Grissom stood, chatting with Nick for a moment before excusing himself and walking to the breakfast bar. He took a breath and started.

"Uhm, excuse me. I wanted to thank you for coming. I think, uhm, we think, that the last two weeks have really tested the lab and I wanted to thank you for your support as well as give you a chance to..." Grissom stopped, at a loss as Ecklie walked in.

He stood in the quiet apartment for a minute before Grissom went to him He knew that he had been released from the psychiatric hospital the day before, but he didn't think he's come to the gathering.

"Conrad, I'm so sorry." He said, embracing the other man.

Ecklie was thrown off guard. but his emotions took control as he held on to Grissom tightly. As he quieted, Grissom withdrew.

"She never told me, I swear it," Ecklie whispered to him.

Jim walked up to Grissom. His broken ribs were evident in his movement.

"Man, I need a moment," He looked at Ecklie, who nodded.

"Sure," Grissom replied, walking down the hallway to the guest room.

He turned and faced his best friend. He looked into his eyes and saw the look he never saw as a child. Grissom reached his right hand gently behind Jim's head and drew him towards him.

"I'm so sorry," Jim whispered.

"It's not your fault. None of it," Grissom replied.

"I want to talk about it," Jim started.

"Me too, but not with them, here. You and I, alone, but until that time, I love you as the brother my mother didn't produce." Grissom said, embracing Jim gently.

The two men stood, crying openly, until there was a knock on the door.

"Guys, we need you in the living room." Sara said, softly.

The two friends pulled apart, pulled themselves together, and walked slowly back into the living room. They saw the group together, the lab, the Robbins' Brothers, and the Sheriff.

"I just wanted to say, I'm sorry for your loss. I also wanted to say that you are the most intense investigator I have ever met, and I thank God, every day that you're on my team in Vegas." Rory said, in a quiet voice.

"Thank you," Grissom replied, feeling the effects of the excitement and his fatigue.

The others cheered loudly.

"Okay, gang, the event will continue at Nick's house." Catherine said loudly.

"Why at my house?"

"You're the bachelor!" Warrick said with a smile.

They gathered up the spare booze and food and within thirty minutes the townhouse was silent. Grissom walked into the lab room. He opened the sketch book and looked at the last fifteen images.

"I thought Roger would stop by," Jim commented.

"He took Helen to dinner and a show. They felt it was a 'work' party," Sara said, cleaning up the kitchen.

She watched Grissom walk quickly to the hallway and then heard a door close and the sound of him vomiting. Sighing, she continued to organize.

"I've gotta go," Jim said, uncomfortable now.

"You are not going without saying goodbye to him," Sara instructed firmly.

A few moments later, Grissom walked out of the bathroom, a strong Listerine odor coming from him.

"Hey, man, I gotta go." Jim said, looking at him.

Grissom walked up and embraced him carefully.

"You saved my life," Grissom said, his voice cracking with emotion.


"You distracted them, I am alive because of you," he insisted.

Jim took a breath and decided not to argue.

"You know," Jim said, his own voice filled with tears.

"I know, and I am grateful every day," Grissom replied.

Jim walked to the door, kissing Sara before leaving them alone. She turned to look at Grissom. He was staring at the wall where the stereo was located. She walked up behind him, her hands reaching around him for support.

"Please, Griss, let's go to bed," she asked.

"Ok," he said, walking back to the staircase.

He was tired, physically and mentally. He walked up the circular stairs into the bedroom. Padding to the closet, he dropped his shirt, trousers and shorts. His socks and shoes followed, somehow. He walked by habit to the shower and turned it on. Feeling the hot water, he closed his eyes and tried to shake off the heavy feeling he had. He heard a faint noise but continued to revel in the hot water surrounding him. The glass door opened and Sara entered the shower. He wiped his eyes and watched her stand under her own shower head. She pushed her hair back, letting the water hit against her shoulders. Opening her eyes, she saw him. Sara went to him, pushing him against the marble wall of the shower, feeling his body against hers as she kissed him deeply. He was slow to respond and she pushed further, needing him now. Gently, he pushed her away.

"Sara, yield to me," Grissom said, his voice soft and gentle.

She took a step back under her jet of water and waited, her hands to her sides, feeling the cool marble behind her. Grissom looked at her, his eyelashes wet as his shower coursed over his shoulder. Slowly, without breaking her gaze, he moved to her. His right hand found her hip, his left hand found her breast, his mouth, hers. He kissed her, and in that kiss revealed his emotional soul.

Finally pulling back to enthrall her again, he looked at her. She moaned under his powerful stare and tried to move. He held her tightly and kissed her again with more power and passion. He started then, a slow rhythm of touches, caresses and kisses. He had no schedule, no time limit, it was almost musical, her moans, his movements and the underlying sound of the shower.

He reached for her, pushing her against the marble, changing the rhythm, somewhat. Her breath caught for a second and then started.

"God, yes, Gil," she muttered into his ear.

He picked her up, her legs around his hips, her hands floating over his back, her mouth on his. He waited, listening to her breathing and his body responding. Suddenly, he filled her, pushing her against the corner of the shower, the water cascading over his right side. He kissed her passionately and she responded. He ramped it up and she followed, nipping his neck, tugging at his beard. He growled, which inspired her more.

"Come on," she said, her voice low and urgent.

He stopped thinking and simply did, feeling, in a hypersensitive way, every part of his body and how it seemed to touch her; what it did to her. He knew he couldn't hold on. He tried with every last ounce of energy, but then he came and she did, too. It was so crushing, so emotional, and so powerful, he felt his legs start to give, until she squeezed with some muscles he had never felt. He groaned gratefully and stood fast.

"I love you," She said over the rush of the shower.

"I love you, too," he said, kissing her deeply.

Gently he disengaged and returned her feet to the floor of the shower. Finishing a quick wash of each other, she reached up and turned off the water. They stepped out of the shower and toweled off. Walking into the bedroom, Grissom stopped, looking at the empty space above the bed where the Jenkins used to hang. His mother insisted it be sent to her shop to be restored. Sara slipped her hand in his and escorted him to the bureau and pulled out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. He put on the shorts and resisted the shirt, insisting instead that she wear it. She smiled at him and followed him to bed. He got into bed, exhausted, and waited for her. She turned off the light and got into bed. Rolling on her side, she felt him spoon against her.

Monday 9:00 am

He had been awake for an hour, alone, listening to the occasional high note from the music Sara was playing downstairs. The smell of food finally drew him out of bed. He put on his bathrobe and padded down the circular stairs. She turned at the last minute to see him walking towards her. She took the eggs off the heat and walked to him, meeting him in the doorway to the kitchen.

"Morning," she said, embracing him and accepting a good morning kiss.

"Morning," he said, his voice a little hoarse.

"Are you coming down with something? Your voice sounds rough,"

"I don't think I've had a chance for it to properly heal." he said, looking beyond her to the eggs.

"Right, have a seat; let me get you a bowl of eggs. Would you like the peppermint tea or water?"

"Water, I guess," Grissom said, sitting at the breakfast bar.

He looked at the answering machine and noticed that there were four messages.

"Did you listen to this?" he asked curiously.

"No, I didn't have a chance." Sara said, putting a mug of water into the microwave.

He hit <play> and sat back on the stool.

"Moss, this is a reminder that your father's interment will be at eleven on Monday. " Roger's voice stated flatly.

<Sunday 10 am> the computer voice said.

"Hey, Man, we gotta get away. I gotta talk to you. Call me, I just couldn't handle it." Jim's voice came through, filled with emotion.

<Monday 12:22am> the computer voice said.

"Grissom, this is Tibbs, your mother recommends a suit and tie at the memorial today."

<Monday 7:35 am> the computer voice said.

"Grissom, it's ....it's Conrad. Sofia's burial will be directly following your father's."

<Monday 8:00 am> the computer voice said.

He shut his eyes to the whole thing, setting his face in his hands. The microwave pinged and she put a peppermint tea bag into the water. He had said water, but she knew him. Setting the bowl in front of him, she added salsa to hers before pouring herself a cup of coffee and sitting beside him.

He looked at his food and slowly started to eat his eggs. Sara reached for the remote and changed the CD to Cellos. Grissom took the remote and switched it to the CD he made for her. He forwarded to track two and they started to hear the cellos of Phillip Glass's Facades. He took a deep breath and then released it before resuming his breakfast. He sipped the tea and the water before finishing his meal.

"I have to go get ready." Grissom said, kissing her on the cheek.

"Okay, I love you," Sara said, the concern evident in her voice.

"I love you, too."

He walked up the stairs and went into the bathroom. He turned on the lights and stood in front of the sink. Reaching into a drawer, he removed his beard shears and trimmed it, taking great care. Next he wetted his face and shaved the errant hairs; the effect was very clear. He walked into the closet and chose a black suit, white shirt, and a tie that Sara had given him made from sari fabric. It changed colours as the light hit the silk.

Sara walked in as he tightened his tie. He turned to face her and she took a breath. She knew he was handsome, but the ordeal he had been through had made his face thinner, his eyes brighter, more alive. She kissed him quickly as she walked into the closet and pulled out a skirt suit. Twenty minutes later, her hair was back, off her face, she was in heels, and wearing a grey linen suit with a lemon yellow blouse.

She walked down the stairs to see Grissom pacing in the living room. He stopped and looked at her. When she got to the bottom of the stairs, he reached for her, giving her a deep kiss.

They pulled apart, grabbed their personal stuff and headed for the Denali. Grissom had taken Songs for Sara and continued it in the CD player. He drove with no emotion and got to the cemetery twenty minutes later. They walked into the office and found out they would be in the Taylor chapel. They walked in together and heard the most God-awful music. Grissom stopped and walked back out to the office.

"Is the music on a CD?"

"Yes, it is,"

"All right, I need to change it. Let me get the one I want," he said walking back to the Denali.

A few minutes later, he walked back in with Songs for Sara.

"Please play this, it's two hours long." Grissom said, now pacing in front of the clerk.

"Yes, sir, one minute," she said, trying to reach the man with the keys.

Five minutes later, Skip arrived and took out the house CD, putting the custom CD in. Facades poured through the room and Grissom was able to reengage and walk into the chapel. He paced, waiting until he was told to walk to the gravesite.

10:55 am

"Grissom, we should head over, now," Father Tim said.

Grissom merely nodded, reaching his hand out for Sara as they walked out of the chapel on their way to the service. When they reached the small hill, he noticed that Roger and Helen were already there. In addition, there was a young woman standing patiently to the side. Father Tim started the service and the woman provided simultaneous ASL of the service.

Grissom and his mother stood together with Sara and Roger beside them. At the end of the service, Father Tim walked up to Helen and took her hands, offering her some solace before he walked away. Grissom moved to his father's gravesite and stood looking at the fresh earth. Again, he sank to his knees, his emotions overwhelming him. Helen walked to her son's side and put a hand on his shoulder. He reached up and grabbed it, trying to control himself. After almost twenty minutes, he started to stand, the dirt clumps falling silently from his trouser knees to the grass.

Grissom turned to follow Father Tim as he walked to Sofia's gravesite. Sara caught up and walked by Grissom's side. He saw the large group of people and took a breath.

"Relax, sweetheart," she whispered, softly grabbing his hand.

He squeezed it tightly, his dark glasses hiding some of his emotions. Helen and Roger walked behind them as they approached the grave. There were twenty folding chairs set up and a small tent. Conrad sat front and center, his head bowed, all alone. Grissom walked up and sat on his left. Helen sat on his right, Roger next to her. Father Tim stood and waited for the group to settle. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a group of men with dark suits, standing in the distance. One looked like Jim Brass. He paused, took a breath, and started with the second service.

Sniffles were heard in the group, which numbered almost forty. At the end of the service, Conrad stood and placed a rose on the casket and walked away. Catherine walked forward to Gil as he stood and embraced him. He tried to pull away, but she held him fast.

"I'm here for you. Stay strong," she said into his ear before pulling away herself, into Warrick's waiting arms.

Nick walked up and hugged Grissom hard, choking back his own tears before stepping back, and wiping his eyes.

Greg walked up next, unsure of what to do. He embraced Sara, as if embarassed to embrace Grissom.

"Thanks, Greg." She said softly.

Helen and Roger remained seated, to give Grissom some time. Instead he simply walked away, alone. Andy watched him, as did Sara, but it was Jim who followed.

Grissom sat on a bench in the shade of a tree. He loosened his tie and undid his cuffs under his jacket. He felt a pain in his side and reached for it. At the same time he felt another presence. He looked up and saw the raw eyes of Jim Brass. His friend sat down next to him, facing the opposite direction. Brass reached up and put a hand on Grissom's shoulder. He turned and looked at his best friend. Jim took Grissom's left hand and placed something heavy and metallic in it. Grissom looked down, read the inscription and started to weep. Jim embraced him tightly, feeling the son's loss of his father. Sara, Roger and Helen watched from afar, as did the rest of CSI. Helen held out a hand to Sara and they headed back to the chapel together, with the group following.

Jim and Grissom quieted, pulling away from their embrace; pulling themselves together. Grissom removed his watch and slipped it in his pocket. He put his fathers' Rolex, feeling its weight, on his wrist. They headed for the chapel, walking quietly, listening to the general quiet of the cemetery. As they reached the building and its adjacent reception area, they heard the din of the people within. Grissom stopped; Jim turned and looked at him.

"I can't do this. I can't go in there and ..." Grissom said, his voice low and hoarse.

"All right, let me find Sara and your mother. I'll be right back." Jim said, squeezing his shoulder before entering the reception hall.

He looked for Sara and Helen and found them easily.

"Gil needs to talk to you both, please,"

Sara reached for Helen's hand and followed her out of the building. Grissom was pacing as the door opened, breaking his concentration.

<Mom, I'm sorry, I can't go inside and chat.> he signed.

<I understand. Where will you go?>

<I have to go the gym, I think,>

<Take care. I love you. Roger invited us for dinner tonight at your house. I'll see you then.> she signed, kissing him on the cheek.

<Thanks, Mom,> he responded.

"Be careful," Sara said, hugging him tightly.

He hugged back and then pulled away to kiss her deeply. He handed her his car keys and walked away.

"You're driving," he said as he walked up to Jim.

"What? Okay, where to?"

"First to the townhouse to change and pick up my bag and then to the gym."

Jim unlocked the doors and then followed directions. Thirty five minute later, Grissom was boxing. Jim sat on a bench and watched.

"Keep your left up, kid," Tommy instructed.

Grissom grunted and resumed his concentration on the speed bag.

"S'that him?" a loud voice asked.

"Yes, that's Grissom," Hank replied.

"You broke my boy's nose," the voice called out.

Jim watched motionless, his ribs and collar bone keeping him stationary. Grissom moved to the body bag. Tommy stood behind it; fielding the hits.

"Yo, I'm talkin' to you," the man yelled again.

Grissom continued to ignore him, concentrating on his technique. The man walked up to Grissom and spun him around.

"Wass your problem, man? You deaf?" the man asked loudly.

Grissom pushed him, hard, and the man tripped, falling to the floor. As he came back, Tommy took control.

"In the ring, gentlemen," Tommy reminded, walking between the two men.

Grissom walked towards the locker room to get his mouth guard.

"Where ya goin', man? The ring is this way." The man said, pointedly.

Grissom hesitated for a moment and looked at Jim who nodded and headed quickly to the locker room to get the mouth guard. Grissom walked over to Tommy, who had his protective gear.

"What you doin' now?" The other man said, agitated.

"He gets head gear and groin belt or he ain't goin' in the ring with you, Anthony." Tommy yelled.

"Gonna take this white boy to town," Anthony replied, under his breath.

Grissom stepped into the ring and Tommy pulled him back for a moment.

"This is Jimmy Slattery's boy who was in for weapons. Be careful. He'll fight dirty. You're better, but you fight fair, he will not."

Grissom grunted and took the mouth guard from a winded Jim, turning to face his opponent. He never saw the fist but he felt the blow miss hit across his head. Dancing away, he shook his head, and got down to business.

"Come on, kid. Pay attention, you can do this." Tommy advised.

The other noise in the gym dwindled as the fighters gathered around the ring to see the loudmouth against the 'doc' as they called him.

"C'mon, Doc, you can take this turkey," a man called.

Grissom went in and contacted with a right. Anthony fell against the ropes but kept his footing. Grissom danced back, giving him room. Anthony charged him and belted him on the kidneys, right at the belt level. With a growl, Grissom pushed him away, still moving. Anthony swung at Grissom a few times but didn't come in contact and became very angry. He charged Grissom against the ropes and hit him repeatedly, most of the blows were blocked, but a few got through.

"Enough!" Grissom roared and pushed him away, following with his fists.

He hit Anthony until he fell, motionless on the mat. Then Grissom quietly walked to his corner and paced.

"You done good, kid. You're gonna feel it tomorrow, but you done good. I'm proud of ya," Tommy said, unlacing his gloves.

Jim looked at Grissom, trying to equate this fighter with the complex scientist he knew. Quietly, he followed Grissom into the locker room and watched him methodically put his equipment away. Finally Grissom looked at him, and smiled.

Jim smiled in return and they drove back to the town house. They walked up the stairs together in silence. Grissom turned to him outside the door.

"You're welcome to come back for dinner. I figure around seven. By the way, what time is it?"

"Three-thirty, nah, you know, I'm good. Uhm, but call me, would you?" Jim said in a soft voice.

Grissom reached for him and hugged him hard. He released him, but kept a hand behind his head.

"If I get permission, and if you're not working, we'll connect tomorrow night while Sara's at work."

"Sounds good. Hey, Gil, uhm, you're a pretty amazing guy. I just thought you'd like to know."

"Thanks, Jim. We'll talk tomorrow." Grissom said, slightly embarrassed.

"Right," Jim replied as the door opened.

"Hi, Jim, thanks for bringing him home," Sara said, looking at Grissom for new bruises.

"You're welcome, see you later," he said, before turning to walk back down the stairs.

"Bye," Sara said, ushering Grissom into the town house.

He walked in, slightly unsure. Dropping his boxing bag at the bottom of the circular stairs, he walked to the kitchen. He paused, thinking for a moment.

"What do you want?" Sara asked.

"I want a bourbon; I'm not supposed to drink. I'm trying to remember when I took my medicine last." He said, sitting at the breakfast bar.

"Uhm we left at 10:15 or so. That would be approximately when you took your last rounds of meds." Sara said, walking into the kitchen.

"Okay, so I need a set of meds." Grissom said, thickly.

"Yes," Sara said, placing them on the breakfast bar with a glass of water.

Grissom socked back the pills with the water and sat quietly.

"Are you hungry? Your mother and Roger will be here around seven. You could have some vegetables or couscous and still have a little appetite when they arrive."

Grissom said nothing; instead he walked to the stereo and put on a blues CD that he had burned, setting it on <shuffle tracks>. The music was dark and haunting; just what he needed. He sat in the nearest chair, his head back, his eyes closed.

Sara looked at him and shook her head. She decided to return to what she was doing before he arrived; laundry. She walked in and out of the apartment to the garage where the washer and dryer were located for the next two hours and he hadn't moved from that spot.

"Griss, it's 5:30, you need to shower and take a nap. They'll be here in an hour and a half." Sara suggested as she walked past him to the guest room.

Fifteen minutes later, she walked back into the living room and he was still there.

"Griss, what's happened?" she asked, crouching next to him.

"Brass and I went to the gym. I told you that I boxed last week? That man's usual boxing opponent was at the gym today looking for me. He challenged me and we boxed."

"How did he challenge you?"

"He asked me questions. I ignored him, until he asked me if I was deaf." Grissom said softly. "Still, I kept my cool until he started to fight dirty. I hit him until he fell onto the deck; I was just so angry, and then the anger was gone. Now, I'm tired and almost numb."

"Please take a shower and try to take a nap. Roger will be here any minute because he's cooking here. Your mother will be here at seven." Sara implored.

He looked at her, and smiled before slowly getting to his feet. She reached to his face and kissed him gently. He walked to the stairs, picked up his bag and headed upstairs. He stripped off his clothes in the closet, reminding himself that he needed to rescue his watch from his gym bag. He headed into the shower and turned the water on warm. Stepping in, he groaned from the pain the water inflicted on his bruised back. As he became comfortable, he turned the heat up until it was his normal temperature. He washed the sweat from his workout and finished his shower. He opened his bag and picked up the Rolex, he paused, noticing that it was six o'clock and he did have time for a power nap. Slipping on a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt, he lay down on top of the comforter and fell asleep.

The doorbell rang shortly after six and Roger walked in with two bags full of dinner ingredients.

"Hi, how are you?" he asked, kissing her on the cheek after putting the groceries down.

"Fine, a little tired, but fine. How about you?"

"I'm alright, Helen's working through it, but she's still sad about her husband as well as the surprise of Sofia." He said, pulling things from the bag.

"Grissom's the same way. He got back from the gym around three thirty and sat in the chair listening to music for two hours before I was able to get him to go up and take a shower."

"He looked tired at the service today," Roger remarked, pulling out the risotto pan.

"What is on the menu for tonight?" Sara asked, her interest piqued.

"To start, a carrot ginger bisque, which I bought at Whole Foods. To follow, a vegetable risotto which I will start when all are here. I do have to saut the vegetables first."

"Would you like a glass of wine?"

"Please, also, I need to review Grissom's instructions from Paul. I'd like to include some wine in the risotto but not if it's going to aggravate anything."

"Uhm, sure, here they are and here is your wine." Sara said, starting to set the table.

Roger looked at the paperwork and sighed. It had been one week exactly since Grissom's ulcer surgery and he needed to continue the medication at least through Wednesday and then, perhaps longer, depending on what his doctor said. He put the sheet down on the breakfast bar and started to prep the vegetables. Sara turned the stereo on, and Aretha Franklin's voice soon came out of the speakers. She sat and chatted with Roger as he worked until she noticed it was six forty five. Sara walked up the stairs to awaken Grissom. Standing in the bedroom doorway she smiled. He was sleeping comfortably on his left side. No dreaming, no terrors, just the nice quiet sleep that he needed.

"Sweetheart, time to get dressed. Your Mom will be here soon." Sara said, sitting on the edge of the bed and running her hand through his hair.

Grissom opened his eyes and smiled. He reached for her hand and kissed it.

"Come on, really, she'll be here any minute." Sara said gently.

Grissom got out of bed and walked to the closet. He chose a pair of khakis and a soft v-neck sweater. Slipping off his sweatshirt, he put on the sweater, pushing the sleeves up a bit. He pulled on the pants and a pair of loafers. Sara watched, smiling as he stood in front of the mirror and ran his fingers through his hair. He reached for her and they left the room together. As they got to the bottom of the stairs, the doorbell rang. Grissom left Sara to answer the door.

"Hello, dear," his mother said, accepting a kiss as she walked in.

Grissom locked the door behind her and took her raincoat, hanging it up in the closet.

"Hi, Mom," he replied, his voice still rough, but unnoticed by her.

She looked at him, noticing the bruise that crept from his hairline. Uncharacteristically, she reached for him, pulling him into a strong hug. He responded, hoping his hold on his emotions would stay. Roger dropped a spoon to the floor with a loud noise which caused Grissom to pull away from his mother.

<A noise from the kitchen.> he explained.

"Sorry, just a spoon," Roger called, starting to heat the soup.

<A spoon,> Grissom elaborated.

Helen smiled and walked further into the living room. Sara greeted her with a hug.

"Would you like a glass of wine?" Sara asked, looking at the older woman.

"Yes, please." Helen replied, walking into the kitchen to give Roger a kiss.

Grissom leaned over and brought out the Maker's Mark bottle. He poured about an inch into his glass before walking to the kitchen to fill it with water. Roger raised his eyebrows but said nothing as he left the kitchen. Grissom sat at the breakfast bar, trying to stay awake. Roger looked at him and decided not to make a big deal out of the bourbon. Sara looked at Grissom as well, while sipping her glass of wine.

"I have to leave tomorrow. Come sit by me, Gil, I need to talk to you," Helen said, from her position on the sofa in the living room.

Grissom stood up, picked up his bourbon, and walked to the chair nearest his mother.

<I love you.> she signed.

<I love you, too, Mom,>

<Do you love, Sara?>

<Yes, I do,>

<Gil, this has been hard for me and harder for you. My husband is dead; your father, but you should be happy that there is nothing more he can do to hurt us. You should feel omnipotent. Perhaps, we will learn more about your father's past and about Sofia. But I can go on, knowing that I don't have to look over my shoulder.>

Grissom looked down to the floor as she paused, seeing nothing, reflecting on her words. She reached for his hands and guided his eyes to her hands.

<Now, as your mother, I am sending you to bed. You look exhausted. Roger will leave you some food, all right?> she signed.

Grissom looked at his mother and reached over to kiss her, hugging her closely, as he blinked back his tears. He pulled back slightly and she wiped his cheeks.

Sara and Roger stood silently in the kitchen, trying to give them some privacy. Grissom stood slowly and walked up to them.

"It appears that I'm being sent to bed without my supper." He smiled. "Seriously, I have to go to bed. Will you be here tomorrow, Roger?"

"Yes, I'm leaving around noon." He replied.

"Okay, how about brunch? Wake me up around ten if you don't see me up already."

"Will do, sleep well." Roger said, hugging him.

Grissom headed upstairs with Sara following him. He stripped to his shorts and put on a t-shirt, feeling slightly chilled. Sara bit her lip when she saw the bruises now evident on his chest and back.

"Would you like some Aleve?"

"Yeah, but it's against the rules. I don't think I can have aspirin." he said settling into bed.

Grissom opened his eyes and sat up. He reached and took off the heavy Rolex and handed it to her before settling again back onto the sheets.

"I love you, Sara." His eyes were clear as he looked at her.

"I love you, too, and I'll see you later. I do have to work tonight."

"Wake me up before you go, please?" he asked, trying to stay awake.

"We'll see, now go to sleep, sweetheart." She said as he rolled onto his side.

She pulled the sheets up to his shoulders and stood up, carrying the Rolex to the bureau. She turned it over, looking at it for the first time, assuming it belonged to Senior.

To: my son, Gilbert Aaron Grissom Jr.
From: His old man
I did love you, even if I couldn't always Show it.

Sara wiped her eyes for a moment and then placed the Rolex gently next to the photographs.

Carefully walking down the stairs, she heard Helen and Roger engaged in a lively discussion about Celine Dion, whom they'd seen the night before.

"She's too thin," Helen insisted.

"She has curves," Roger said, starting the risotto.

"Sure in her hair," Helen teased.

"How is he?" Roger asked, noting Sara had returned.

"Truly exhausted and a little battered from his boxing match." Sara replied, accepting her refreshed glass of wine from Roger.

"The next time you two can take a four-day weekend, please come to my house on the water. It's relaxing and very quiet. Good for a rest." Helen remarked.

"And you are always welcome up at the cabin, with or without Jim," Roger said, over his shoulder.

"Thanks to the both of you. Roger. can I help with the soup?" Sara asked.

"Thanks, it should be hot enough. Just ladle it into the three bowls. There'll be enough for Moss, if it's not too spicy." Roger commented.

They had a nice quiet dinner, ignoring the activities of the past week. Instead they talked about Helen's upcoming show.

"Well, perhaps I should go to California, first, see the show, pick up the Jenkins, deliver it here and then head home." Roger suggested quietly.

"I'd love that, Roger," Helen said, reaching her hand out to his forearm for a squeeze.

Sara excused herself to go upstairs and try to catch a nap before work. Grissom was dead to the world. She stripped down to a tank top and underwear and got under the covers, smelling him, and sharing the warmth that he had created in the short time he had been asleep.

At nine-fifteen, she woke up from her internal clock, feeling refreshed. She picked up her clothes and Grissom's, putting them in the hamper, before getting dressed for work. She walked down the stairs and noticed Roger wasn't in the living room.

Staying with Helen at the suite. See Moss tomorrow at ten for brunch. Roger 

Sara smiled, picked up her electronics and her gun, checked for anything else, grabbed her purse and headed out the door.

She pulled into the lab and after dropping off her purse in her locker, she went to the break room in search of some coffee. Her phone rang.


"Hi, Cookie,"

"Hi, Jim," she still found it endearing that he called her these sweet names. No one else on the team could get away with it.

"How is he?"

"Helen sent him to bed a little after seven. He should be up in an hour. What's going on?"

"I just need to talk to him. I've got the night off; still here at home. It's nothing heavy, it's just..."

"Okay, try to get him to eat something. Remember, bland is better. Oh, and Jim, not too much booze, okay? And don't let him smoke." Sara said, sternly.

"Gotcha, have a safe night out there. The Sheriff will be there most of the night, and David is covering in the morgue. Seb and Al are having a family moment." Jim said, as he headed to his car.

"Thanks for the heads up. I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Night, and thanks,"


"Bye," Jim said, slipping his phone into his jacket pocket.

He was wearing his most comfortable clothes; an old pair of jeans, a worn pair of driving shoes, a thin blue t-shirt that said BAYONNE on it, and his favourite tweed jacket. He got into his car and lit a cigarette, remembering Sara's threat not to let Grissom smoke. Thirty minutes later, he pulled into the guest parking area of Grissom's townhouse and let himself in. He took off his holster, gun, phone, and jacket. Slipping off his shoes, he scrunched his toes in Grissom's carpet, before heading to the liquor cabinet and pulling out the bottles of Maker's Mark and Jameson's. He poured himself a whiskey, topped it with tap water, and parked himself in front of the television on the sofa, the volume low. Half an hour later, he heard Grissom rummaging around upstairs and then saw him appear at the top of the staircase.

"Hi," Jim remarked softly.

"Hi," Grissom said, slowly walking down the stairs.

"I need to get some things off my chest," Jim said, sipping his whisky.

"Okay, just give me a minute to make a drink."

"Oh, and just so you know the rules: no smoking, please eat some plain food, and try not to drink everything."

"Roger or Sara?"


Grissom smiled, but continued to make a drink. He then went into the kitchen and took out the day old pasta. Putting it in the microwave, he heated it up and waited. Four minutes later, the microwave pinged and Grissom took out hot pasta. He picked up his drink and joined Jim in the living room.

"I'm all yours," he said with a smile, sitting in a comfortable chair, facing Jim.

"Please, don't interrupt. I've been working on this for a while. I take full responsibility for your kidnapping. My guy on the door didn't do his job. As a matter of fact, LVPD did a piss poor job on this whole case. Secondly, I apologize for jumping the gun at Kang's suite. I heard you shout and I thought you were making a move. Lastly, I apologize for Sofia. There was always something about her but I just chalked it up the fact that I didn't like her, much." Jim said, pausing to sip his whiskey.

Grissom ate his pasta, thoughtfully. He sipped his bourbon and then walked into the lab room. Jim rocked his head back onto the sofa, feeling miserable. Grissom reappeared with his sketchbook and placed it in Jim's lap.

"Last twelve or so sketches," Grissom remarked.

Jim opened the book and thumbed to the back. He then thumbed forward until he came to a clean page. He looked through, seeing Senior, Doc, Seb, Jim, Sara, Grissom, Sofia, Helen, Kevin, and Sara again, in tears, Paul, Kang, and Jim on the floor. He put the book on the coffee table and took a large hit of his whiskey.

"Ecklie committed himself. He had a breakdown the day you were kidnapped. Andy figures that Sofia admitted her plan and the fact that she never loved him and he couldn't handle it."

Grissom sipped his bourbon, rubbing his beard, deep in thought.

"I can relate," he said, softly.

"How are you?" Jim asked, leaning forward, over his knees.

"Tired, sore, but as my mother pointed out, happier. I feel a certain lightness in my life. Now, if I could just not feel so damn tired all the time, I'd be a happy camper."

Grissom looked over to his friend and saw a deep sadness on his face.

"Damnit, Jim, I'm sorry. I forgive you. I never blamed you for any of it; not for a second." Grissom said, leaning forward and reaching for his hands.

"Ouch, uhm, thanks, I needed that," Jim said, feeling the pain in his chest.

"Who had my Dad's watch?" Grissom asked, out of the blue.

"Kasgar killed your father, but Kang's security guard was wearing it at the suite."

"I see,"

Jim settled back on the sofa, nursing his whiskey, as Grissom sat opposite in the chair. They sipped their drinks and told funny stories; finally falling asleep.

Tuesday 8:00 am

Sara unlocked the door and walked into the townhouse. She put her electronics in the clay dish along with her gun and walked into the living room. She frowned, seeing Grissom sprawled in a chair, his head at an impossible angle. Jim was lying on his stomach, stretched out on the sofa, breathing softly. Yawning, she reached over and touched Grissom's shoulder. He stirred slightly. She kept at him and finally he opened his eyes. Sara walked in front of him and helped him to his feet. He looked at Jim and then followed her up the stairs to the bedroom.

She shut the door behind them as he started to pull off his clothes. She waited, taking the phone messages out of her pocket.



"I have some phone messages for you."

"Okay, put them on the bureau, I'll return them when I wake up." He said, looking at her, the fatigue evident on his face.

She looked at the stack and put them on the bureau before walking into the bathroom. Something about her actions intrigued him and he went to the bureau and thumbed through the messages. There were a number he expected; Seb, Dr. Wu, Andy, and Rory. He set those aside and then started on the rest. There were four messages from a Tim Thorpe. The phone number was a mobile, nothing else. He set those aside and kept looking. The next three messages were from Larry Evans; again just a number, no note. Setting those aside, he looked at the last message; it said simply, Sam with a number. He pulled on a shirt, took the note, and headed down to the lab room.

He picked up his sketchbook as he passed Jim and closed the doors before turning on the lights. Grissom sat at his drafting table and dialed the number.

"Speak," the voice said.

"It's Grissom,"

"Oh, hang on," there was noise in the background, and then silence.

Grissom looked at the wireless phone to make sure he was still connected.

"You still there?" the voice asked.


"Good, look, I need to see you alone. It's about your old man. I have something for you that he gave to me for safekeeping." Sam Braun said.

Grissom took a deep breath before answering.

"Sam, this has been a pretty rough week. Can we cut to the chase?"

"Grissom, this is personal, not business. Please meet me here at The Rampart as soon as you can. I don't think you should bring Captain Brass."

"All right, Sam. I'll see you in thirty minutes."

"Good, my guy will be at the main entrance. He'll escort you up."

"Fine," Grissom said.

"Good bye," Sam said.

"Bye," Grissom said, hitting the button to turn off the phone.

He thought briefly about his next move and then walked upstairs. Sara was changing out of work clothes and into a nightgown. He stood for a moment, watching her, before pulling off his shirt, passing her to walk into the closet. He pulled down a pair of khakis and a dark oxford shirt and started to get dressed.

"Hey, what's up? Where you going?"

"I need to go see someone about my Dad. I should be back in a couple of hours."

"Grissom, you need to meet Roger for brunch here at ten. Don't forget." Sara said, knowing not too press to hard.

"Thanks, I'll be here." he said, kissing her quickly on the cheek.

He gathered up Seb's message, slipped on the Rolex, and headed downstairs. Glancing at Jim, who was still asleep, he took his phone, wallet and keys before heading out to his car. He opened the door electronically and got in, turning on the engine and then the radio. He shuffled through the CDs until he came to Peter Gabriel, and settled a little deeper into the leather seat. He set the phone in hands free mode and called Seb.


"It's Grissom,"

"Oh, hey, thanks for calling back. How are you?"

"Tired, better," Grissom said, hedging as he backed the car out of its parking spot.

"Look, I'll get right to it. I've heard some stuff. The Dept of Treasury is looking for the money, as is the D.E.A."

"Uhm, do you know Larry Evans or Tim Thorpe?"

"No, who are they?"

"I don't know. They've called the lab several times looking for me."

"I'll look into it. Where are you now?"

"I'm meeting an old friend."

"Oh, well, have a nice time."

"Thanks, I'm sure we will." Grissom said, concentrating on the traffic, which was heavier, now.


"Bye," Grissom said, pushing the button to disconnect the phone.

He drove another fifteen minutes, before pulling into The Rampart's parking area. He decided not to valet and parked in the lot, arriving at the front door five minutes later. A tall blonde man watched him intently as he crossed the parking area to get to the front door.

"Dr. Grissom?" the blonde man asked.


"Please follow me. Mr. Braun is expecting you."

Grissom followed the man to a secluded elevator. He pulled out a key card and the door swung open. With another wave of the key card, the elevator started to rise. A few minutes later, they were on the fifty-second floor. The door opened and the blonde man motioned for Grissom to leave the car. He was unsure, and then he saw Sam Braun walk towards him. He stepped out of the elevator cab.

"Thanks, Lou,"

"Any time, Mr. Braun,"

Sam reached out his hand and Grissom shook it, feeling a little off center. He motioned for Grissom to sit in a leather chair.

"Would you like to join me in some peppermint tea?" Sam asked.


Sam motioned to a young man in a dark suit and tea was brought out immediately.

"You have joined an unfortunate club, Grissom; ulcer patients."

"My uncle and my mother had them. It's genetic,"

"Bullshit, but if that's what you want to believe, I'm not going to argue." Sam said with a tired smile.

They sat in relative silence.

"You ready?" Sam asked.

Grissom nodded, sipping his tea.

"I knew your father. His business and mine were different, but his clients came to my casinos and so we became uneasy colleagues. When you came to Las Vegas, he would ask about you. He admitted to me he was an awful father and a worse husband. I told him if that was the case, that I would not, under any circumstances, tell you of our relationship.

I, too, thought he had died on 9/11, until I started getting weird emails from him about six months ago. Kang had found out he was alive and then your father was in trouble. He wanted me to help him launder some money. The amount of cash was too much for the time frame he had. Instead, I had him bank it. He told me he wanted the bulk to go to you and some to your mother. As he became older, and lonely, he realized what he had done to you and her. He wanted to fix it, but it was too late. The only thing he could do was give you the results of his adventures; all legit and clean." Sam said, standing to walk to a wall covered in paintings.

He pulled at a painting of a dark landscape and it swung on invisible hinges, revealing a large wall safe. Quickly, he opened it and removed a small box and a book. He closed the safe, replaced the painting and walked back to Grissom. He put the two items on the table. Opening the small box he revealed a beautiful ring; platinum, diamonds, and sapphires.

"He told me he bought this in 1970 for you to give to your wife when you got married. I'm not sure I believed him at the time, but I do now."

Grissom reached for it, noting the faded velvet covering the box. The ring was spectacular. Sam turned the book around so it faced Grissom. His name was on the outside. Slowly, Grissom opened the notebook. Immediately he shut it and stood up, pacing. Sam stood up with him.

"You okay, kid? It's just his sketchbook. In the back are the routing codes for the banks and the safe deposit keys. You can look at it at your house, if you want, I mean, it's yours." Sam said.

Grissom took a deep breath, held it and then let it out. He turned and looked at Sam.

"Sam, it's been a tough time for me. If I could take the notebook home..." Grissom started.

"It's yours, Grissom. He wanted you to have it. Put the ring in your pocket. Give it to that cute brunette I see you with. I'm around if you want to talk about your old man." Sam said as Grissom slowly picked up the two treasures.

"I bought that watch for him in Shanghai," Sam said nostalgically, noting the Rolex peeking out from Grissom's sleeve.

Grissom stopped and looked at him, shaking his head.

"It truly is a small world. Thanks for this, Sam. I'll call you soon. I need to meet a friend for brunch."

"No problem, Grissom. I just wanted you to know that he did love you, but business came first." Sam said, honestly.

"Yeah," Grissom replied, heading out the door.

9:30 am

He didn't remember how he got down to his car, nor did he remember the drive home. He walked up the stairs and entered the townhouse. Jim was awake, sipping coffee with Roger at the dining room table.

"The prodigal son returns!" Jim said, teasing, realizing at the last minute that Grissom was upset.

"Shut up! God damn it, am I always going to be reminded that I'm his son?" Grissom said so violently, he started to shake, as he paced back and forth in the living room.

"I'm sorry, Gil" Jim said, standing slowly.

"What's happened, Moss? Who upset you?" Roger asked, standing as well.

"You'll love this. Guess who was a friend of my father? Sam Braun." Grissom said, setting the box and notebook on the breakfast bar before reaching for the Maker's Mark.

"Oh, no, that's not possible." Jim said, his voice soft.

"Who is Sam Braun?" Roger asked.

"Catherine's biological father, a suspected murderer and casino owner," Jim elaborated.

Grissom leaned against the breakfast bar and took large gulps of Maker's straight, to calm down.

"That notebook looks like yours. Your mother said your father sketched, also. Is that his?" Roger asked, opening the cover and slowly flipping through the pages.

Grissom nodded, not looking at him or the notebook.

"What's in the box?" Jim asked.

"A sapphire, diamond engagement ring that he allegedly bought for me when I was fourteen," Grissom said, his voice low.

Jim walked up to him, noticing the colour draining from his face.

"Okay, man, let's get you sitting down, okay? Nice and easy," Jim said, helping him to the sofa.

They sat together for twenty minutes in silence. Grissom calmed somewhat and then he would remember something that would set him off and he would start to hyperventilate. Finally he seemed calm.


"Yes, Moss," Roger said, closing the notebook.

"In the back of the notebook are the routing codes for the money. Can you quietly check around? There have been people calling the lab, Seb is looking into it. He thinks they're all scam artists." Grissom said slowly, his energy waning.

"Sure, why don't you take a nap before lunch?" Roger said, walking up to him.

Grissom lay down on his side. Jim sat in the chair nearest him, pulling the cotton blanket over Grissom's shaking frame.

"Just relax, will you? We're here, Sara's upstairs, your Mom is at the hotel. All is right with world." Jim said, trying to get him to smile.

The look that Grissom gave him was unsettling and unsettled until Roger put his hand on Grissom's back.

"Sleep, Moss. No cheesy scrambled eggs until you nap."

10:15 am

Grissom relaxed to his touch and fell asleep quickly. Jim stood up and walked to the notebook, flipping to the back pages, looking at the bank routing codes.

"Hey, Roger," he called softly.

Roger looked at the list of banks and knew he was out of his league.

"Maybe Seb can help on this?" Jim asked.

Suddenly Grissom's phone went off. He rolled over and answered it, unaware of anyone else in the room.

"Grissom," he said, standing up slowly and walking into the lab room.

"It's Seb. The people that called you, Evans and Thorpe, I think? They are not government employees. My advice, Grissom, get a lawyer, an accountant, and don't talk to anyone you don't know."

"I have an accountant and a lawyer; all right, I'll get to work on this. Thanks, Seb,"

"You're welcome."



Sara walked down the stairs, awakened by Grissom's earlier outburst. Jim sat near the sofa. Roger sat at the breakfast bar, thumbing through the notebook.

"What's happened?" she asked.

"Grissom found out that Sam Braun was an acquaintance of his father. Also, I guess the will is out there because people are calling the lab." Jim replied.

"Well, that lays it out pretty clear. Where is he?" she asked.

"The lab room; he's still upset," Roger remarked softly.

Sara nodded before walking into the lab room. Grissom was sitting on his stool at the drafting board, his right hand holding his head. The music from the CD player was soft and comforting.

"Hi," she said, standing ten feet behind him.

Grissom turned to face her, his face was pale and he looked tired.

"Hi," he replied.

"I think Roger needs to make his plane and Jim needs to go home and sleep, but they both want to talk to you before they go." Sara suggested.

Grissom stood slowly and walked to her, feeling her strength as she embraced him. They walked out together and saw their friends.

"Moss, I have to get going to the airport. I don't have the contacts for the banking information. You need to work with Jim and Seb on that. I've been out of the game too long." Roger said, standing, slightly embarrassed.

Grissom walked to him silently and embraced him tightly. They both pulled out of the embrace and looked at each other.

"Your Dad's sketchbook is filled with sketches of you and notes; it's more of a diary, really. He hurt you, but somehow, he loved you, too." Roger said softly.

Grissom looked at the floor, unable to comment at all.

"Gil, I gotta go, too, and I'll drop Roger at the airport. Make a copy of the back page of the notebook, fax it to me at home, and I'll follow up with it at the office tomorrow, okay?" Jim said, walking up to his friend.

Grissom opened his arms and embraced his friend tightly. After several minutes, they parted.

Roger and Jim hugged Sara and then they headed out of the townhouse.

Sara looked at Grissom. He looked lost, in the living room.

"It's a little after twelve, and I'm still tired. I'm going to take a nap. Want to join me?" She elaborated.

He looked at her, still looking lost and defensive, before replying.

"All right," he said, going to the stairs.

She reached around his neck and kissed him softly. He reached for her and returned the kiss two-fold before heading up the stairs to go to sleep. Entering the bedroom, they stripped to underwear and got under the sheets, gently embracing. Within moments, Sara was asleep. Grissom was restless, finally falling asleep after almost an hour.

5:00 pm

Sara woke up and stretched. Grissom remained motionless and asleep. She felt him, his warmth, and his heartbeat, and relaxed, somewhat. Delicately, she got out of bed, slipped on a pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and headed downstairs. She grabbed an apple from the kitchen and turned on the television.

7:30 pm

Sara's stomach rumbled loudly, so she went to the kitchen to start to think about dinner. Fifteen minutes later, she had chopped her vegetables and the water was on the boil for her pasta.

Grissom sat on the edge of the bed, his head in his left hand, trying to decide what to do. He sat for ten minutes and then got dressed in khakis, grey sweater, and loafers. He made the bed and walked downstairs to find Sara cooking her dinner.


"Hi," he said, giving her a quick kiss.

"Can I make you anything?"

"Yes, I mean, no. I think I need some meat. I'll wait till you're done." Grissom said, sitting on a stool at the breakfast bar.

"Peppermint tea?"

"Coffee, please," Grissom asserted firmly.

Sara started to argue but, after looking at him, she stopped. She poured him a cup of coffee and dosed it with milk. He took it from her quietly and sipped it. Suddenly, he was struck by the silence in the room. He reached for the remote and turned on the stereo, only to be greeted with static. Frowning, he walked to the stereo and reset it for CD, not tuner. Then he chose Cellos in the Mist and pressed play. He walked back to the stool as Sara finished making her dinner.

"Kitchen's yours," she said softly, sitting next to him.

He stood and bent slightly to kiss her neck, before picking up his coffee and walking into the kitchen. Opening the fridge, and then the freezer, he quickly saw what he wanted; ground sirloin burger and some new potatoes. He started the broiler, and half an hour later, he was voraciously consuming his dinner.

"Griss, I've got to head out for work. I'll see you in the morning," she said, standing next to him.

He offered his cheek, rather than his beef-ridden mouth, and continued to eat his dinner. Sara gathered her stuff and left the townhouse. He finished his dinner and took his coffee to the sofa. Turning off the CD player, he turned on the TV and caught up on the news before watching the Discovery Channel.

10:00 pm

Grissom woke from a deep sleep, feeling energized but restless. He picked up the phone and dialed Andy.


"It's Grissom,"

"You ready to talk?"

"Yeah, uhm, what are you doing/"

"Me? I'm about to go to sleep,"


"I can meet you, just tell me where?'

"Your office,"

"Okay, Gil, my office in thirty minutes,"

"I'll be there," Grissom said, turning off the TV.



10:45 pm

Grissom pulled the Denali into the parking lot at the police station, pulled out his ID and affixed it to the bottom of the V of his v-neck sweater. He walked into the building and waved at the receptionist as he headed to Andy's office. He tried the door, but it was still locked. Anxious, he started to pace. A few minutes later, Andy arrived, noting Grissom's demeanor. He unlocked the door and walked in, Grissom on his heels. Andy only turned on his desk lamp, his CD player, and his coffee maker, before sitting down. Grissom continued to pace.

"Ok, what did you want to talk about?"

Grissom stopped and looked at him. He sat down, his hands clenching and unclenching as he wrestled with his thoughts.

"Let me start, okay? Kevin died in your arms, but more that that, he died because of you. In your anger, you killed Kasgar."

"Kevin told me to. I had no choice; kill or be killed." Grissom whispered.

"Sofia was murdered because of her connection with both Kang and your father."

"She propositioned me. He didn't tell her we were related."

"Lastly, Kang shot your best friend and poisoned you. Then you avenge Jim and kill Kang in the process."

"It could have gone the other way..."

"Gil, you avenged two men; you didn't kill anyone in cold blood." Andy said, looking at him carefully. "How do you feel? Forget the psychobabble, how do you feel? Are you ready for work?"

Grissom looked at him. Taking a deep breath he began.

"I don't know, I'm just now able to sleep through most of the night. I'm still on my ulcer meds. I haven't had a migraine in a couple of days. I still get anxious and lost, sometimes."

"Let me let you in on a secret, we all do. I'll tell you what, check in with your physician today and we'll get you back to work as soon as possible. Okay?"


"Was there something else you needed to talk about?"

"What? Uhm, no, I guess not," Grissom said, yawning.

"Go home and get some sleep, Gil," Andy said, chuckling.

"Yeah, okay," Grissom said, standing to leave the office.

"Night, Gil,"

"Night, Andy,"

11:30 pm

Grissom left Andy's office and walked into the hallway. He walked by Jim's office, remembering that he was still on medical leave until the weekend. He continued out to his car and decided to go to the lab to check his messages. He got into the Denali and drove the short distance. Grissom walked into the side entrance, the direct route to his office. Turning on the desk lamp, he noticed someone had organized his messages. There were five more from Thorpe and Evans. He sat down heavily and looked at the messages. The rest of the stack appeared to be job related. He looked at his watch and picked up the phone.


"Can you spare a half hour?"

"Sure, I'm working but it's no problem. Same drill, I'll have my guy meet you out front."

"Fine," Grissom said, hanging up the phone.

Almost immediately, the intercom buzzed.

"Grissom," he answered.

"Oh, Grissom, it's Steven. Sorry, your phone was lit and I didn't think you were here."

"I'm not. I just came to check on my messages."

"Okay, well then, I'll leave you to it,"

"Night, Steven, thanks."

"You're welcome, Grissom,"

He hung up the phone and grabbed one each of the unknown messages, before heading out of his office.

Wednesday 12:20 am

Grissom pulled into The Rampart, released his car to the valet, and followed Lou to Sam's office. As he walked in, Sam was finishing a conversation.

"I don't give a damn. You watch him. Call me when it happens again. I'll show that twerp what happens when you steal from me." Sam said, slamming down the phone.

He looked at Grissom and raised his hand in apology at his behaviour.

"Hair of the dog? It's been a long day for me." Sam asked.

"Bourbon would be great," Grissom said, walking towards the older man.

Sam turned to the cabinet behind him and revealed a full wet bar. He poured Grissom his bourbon over a few rocks and himself a scotch, neat.

"To fathers," Sam toasted.

"And their children," Grissom added, softly.

They raised their glasses and took liberal sips before Sam motioned for Grissom to sit on the leather sofa.

"What can I do for you?" Sam asked, sitting at the opposite end, his arm stretched along the back of the sofa.

"Do you know Tim Thorpe or Larry Evans?"

"Sure, I recommended them to your father. Thorpe is a hot-shot real estate attorney. Evans is a very good accountant. Why do you ask?"

"They've been calling the lab but only leaving cell numbers. I had no point of reference." Grissom said, taking a sip of bourbon.

Sam reached to the phone and hit a speed dial number.

"Come to The Rampart, now." He said before disconnecting the call.

He hit another button and made a call.

"The Rampart, thirty minutes."

Hanging up the phone, he turned to Grissom. Seeing the surprise in his eyes, he chuckled.

"Look, I owed your old man. Summoning his boys at one in the morning goes with the territory. This is Vegas, after all."

Grissom nodded thoughtfully and waited for the men to arrive. During that period, Sam took eight phone calls and left the office twice. Grissom refilled his bourbon and paced slowly.

1:45 am

There was a short knock on the door before it swung open. A tall slim man in a sports coat walked in first with a stocky blonde on his heels.

"Mr. Braun, what can I, uhm, we, do for you?"

"Tim Thorpe, this is Dr. Gil Grissom." Sam said, enjoying watching the attorney squirm.

"Dr. Grissom, I'm so pleased to meet you. This is my colleague, Larry Evans, C.P.A."

"Dr. Grissom," Larry said, extending his hand.

Grissom shook the men's hands and stood warily.

"Look, I have some real work to attend to. Stay here as long as you like," Sam said, heading to the door.

"Thanks, Sam," Grissom said, reaching to shake his hand.

"You're welcome, Grissom. Watch the sauce!" he warned, before leaving his office.

Grissom turned to the other men and took a deep breath.

"Tell me what you know about my father,"

8:00 am

Sara walked into the townhouse and realized that Grissom wasn't there. It had been a long night and all she wanted to do was to take a hot shower. She checked her cell phone and the answering machine, but there were no messages. Walking into the lab room, she pulled out an envelope and matching card from desk drawer. She sat at the breakfast bar, and wrote Grissom a note.

It's a little after eight and you're not here. I love you unconditionally.
It was a tough shift, so I'm heading for bed, but I also have tonight
off. Are you free for dinner?

Love, Sara

She put the card in the envelope and addressed it before putting it next to her keys in the ceramic dish by the front door. She rechecked that she had locked the door and then headed upstairs to shower and sleep.

10:00 am

His cell phone rang as he left the parking lot of The Rampart.


"Gil, it's Catherine. We have a 419 with bugs at the Rio. Can you meet me at the function rooms by the pool?"

"Yeah, I'll be there in ten"

He disconnected the call and dialed another number.

"Dr. Siegel's office,"

"Hi, it's Gil Grissom. I need to make an appointment for a work physical."

"All right, when do you want to come in?"

"Tomorrow at nine?"

"That's fine. We'll see you then Dr. Grissom."

"Thanks, bye."

Grissom drove into the Rio's driveway, picked up his kit, and walked to the function rooms. As soon as he walked into the room, he knew why he was there. The air was stifling, the victim dead, the police officer, wishing he could be. Quickly, Grissom started his examination of the scene. He took samples of the blowflies at their different stages, took photos, and documented everything. Taking his evidence, he drove back to the lab and started to process.

12:15 pm

Grissom concentrated on documenting every aspect of the case. He ignored his fatigue until he solved it. Solid proof on the vinyl flooring conventioneer. He called Doc.


"It's Gil, approximate time of death 11am yesterday."

"Terrific, thanks, go home."

"You're welcome,"

He cleaned up his work area, processed the evidence, and completed his paperwork, before climbing in the Denali to try to go home to sleep. As he entered his driveway, he noted the time was 1:30 pm. Grissom got out of the car and walked up to his townhouse. Grissom let himself in, dropped his keys in the dish, and heard a new noise. He looked down and saw Sara's note. Opening the envelope, he read the note, standing in the foyer. He smiled and looked at his watch. He walked into the living room and saw another note, leaning up against his bottle of Maker's Mark.
 Hi, it's one and you're still not home. I'm 
going for a swim. 
Xxoo Sara

Grissom slipped his shoes off, picked them up, and walked upstairs, slowly. He entered the closet and changed into his swim trunks and a short sleeved button-down shirt, unbuttoned. He headed back downstairs, switched his clear glasses for his sunglasses, put his keys in his pocket, and walked out to join Sara.

It wasn't too hot, although the sun was still high in the sky. Sara had been in and out of the pool once, but was now lying under an umbrella, trying to escape sunburn. She felt the sun go behind a cloud and frowned, knowing that there weren't any clouds in the sky today. She opened her eyes and smiled.

"So, you're finally home,"

"More or less," he replied, leaning down to kiss her.

"Pull up a chair," she said, shifting to make room for him.

He took a nearby deckchair and pushed it into the shade of the umbrella. Grissom took off his shirt, keys, and glasses, and walked to the deep end of the pool. His bruises had mostly faded, but he didn't look one hundred percent to her. Easily, he dove into the pool and continued under water until he reached the far end. He turned and then started a slow Australian crawl towards her. He reached the end of the pool, swam for the ladder, and got out; his hair, badly in need of a cut, was now a mass of wet ringlets. He realized that he didn't bring a towel, and instead of lying on the slatted wood deck chair, he stretched out on the concrete deck, his chest burning slightly from the heat. Sara noted the time and went back to her journal.

Twenty minutes later, Grissom was asleep and his suit looked dry. She stood up and walked to him, crouched by his side, and touched his shoulder.

"Sweetheart, even you will burn if you don't put something on or get out of the sun," she gently scolded.

He groaned, shifting his arms slightly. She ran her fingers through his hair until he finally woke up.

"Don't want to move," he pouted.

"Then don't complain when you're a lobster in a few hours. It's almost two, why don't you nap under the umbrella for a while? When you wake up we can go in and organize for dinner and a movie." She suggested.

"Okay," he agreed, getting to his knees and then his feet.

He followed her and sat on his deck chair, after putting on his glasses and spreading his shirt onto the back of the chair. Grissom reached for her hand, squeezed it, and fell back asleep. Sara smiled and finished her article, amused at the two of them sitting by the pool. No one at the lab would have believed it, and yet that was what was so wonderful about their relationship; it existed outside the lab.

She maneuvered the umbrella to keep him in the shade as he snored softly, before taking a nap, herself.

5:15 pm

Sara packed up and looked over at Grissom. His mouth was slightly open, his eyes hidden behind his dark glasses, his features relaxed.

"Griss? Let's go inside and think about dinner." She said, sitting on the edge of her deck chair and looking at him.

He sat up and faced her. Pushing his glasses up so they rested on the top of his head, he gently pulled her to him for a kiss.

"Now, I'm ready," he declared softly.

She grinned and then stood up. He stood as well, taking his shirt from the back of the deck chair and slipping it over his shoulders. He followed her back to the townhouse. She unlocked the door and they both shivered for a moment when they walked in.

"I'm going to take a shower," she announced, heading upstairs.

Grissom saw the blinking light and the number 6 on the answering machine.

"I'll be up in a minute. Need to check the messages."

Sara nodded and walked upstairs. When she entered the bedroom, Grissom hit <play> and sat at the breakfast bar.

"This is Tim Thorpe. It's four fifteen and I've emailed you the information we spoke about. Please call at your convenience. I have attached all of my contact information to the email."

<Wednesday 4:15 pm> the computer voice said.

"This is Larry Evans. It's four-thirty. I've emailed you the current account and upon your review, need to meet with you to discuss your plans. All information is on the email."

<Wednesday 4:30 pm> the computer voice said.

"Hi, hell, if I'd known you were going to be in my office for seven hours, Grissom, I wouldn't have offered it. Seriously, I trust that everything went all right? Call me, we haven't had that talk and uh, well, I think I need it if you don't."

Grissom smiled at Sam's message and continued to listen.

<Wednesday 4:35 pm> the computer voice said.

"Grissom, it's Seb. I need to see you tomorrow, Thursday, in the morning. I'm heading back to Washington at the end of the week and just need to review my report with you. It's four forty-five."

<Wednesday 4:45 pm>the computer voice said.

"Hey, it's me. Sorry for disappearing on you. I jumped on the plane with Roger up to the cabin. I'll be back on Saturday. Still stiff and sore, but you know I love it here. Take care,"

<Wednesday 5:00 pm> the computer voice said.

"Gil, it's Rory. Please call me."

<End of messages> the computer voice said.

Grissom carefully reset the machine without erasing any messages and headed upstairs. As he walked into the bedroom, he heard the shower and Sara singing faintly. He walked into the closet and dropped his trunks and shirt. He carefully removed his watch and felt his clothes for his house keys, setting them on the bureau. He went into the bathroom, put his glasses on the counter and opened the shower door. The water was hot and Sara was enjoying having the entire shower to herself.

"Lots of messages?" she asked, her eyes closed to the soap.

"Six," he replied stepping under one of the shower heads.

Groaning softly, he felt the hot water on his shoulders and back. He reached for the soap and continued to shower, as did Sara on the other side of the massive shower stall. Brushing the water out of his eyes, he looked at her. His voice caught with emotion as he tried to speak. She opened her eyes and looked at him, seeing the abject desire in his face.

"Hey, you okay?"

"Yeah, I was just thinking of your note. It was unequivocal."

"Oh, the part about the pool? I did think I was clear there...." She teased.

"No, the other note. I have been so lost for so long," he said, reaching for her, encircling her back. "I needed you to remind me our love was unconditional; without judges or judgment. I couldn't have asked for anything more." He said softly, kissing her on the lips.

She returned the kiss and then turned off the water. Reaching for one of the bath sheets, she started to dry him. It wasn't erotic as much as filled with pure love. When she was done, he reciprocated. They dressed in t-shirts and flannel lounge pants before heading downstairs to the living room to discuss dinner and the movie.

"I forgot to ask, were any of those messages important?" Sara asked, looking at him from the kitchen.

"I need to answer them and do about an hour's worth of work on the computer. How are we situated, food-wise?"

"Truthfully, I'm not hungry at all. Why don't we decide on dinner, I'll get started, and you can finish when you're done with work."

"Okay, sounds good." Grissom said, sitting at the breakfast bar.

He reached for the pad by the machine and quickly made notes on who left messages before erasing the machine. Sara opened the fridge and made small noises as she looked at its contents. She turned to look at him, waiting for him to be finished. He looked up and saw that she was waiting for him.

"Oh, I'm sorry. What are the choices?" he said, focusing on her.

"We have some left over vegetable crepes from Roger, the soup from last night, pasta, some vegetables for a stir-fry...that's about it unless we go shopping or order in." She finished.

"Would you mind if we did order in? I've been up since ten last night, except for napping by the pool. I think once I eat, I'm going to be fairly catatonic." He said, smiling at her.

"No problem from me. Are you eating meat or will you allow me to order for you?" Sara asked, grinning in return.

"Please order for me; anything but the scallion pancakes, they get cold too fast. I have money in my wallet or in the GO jar." Grissom said, motioning with his head to a small jar next to the cookbooks in the kitchen that had Speed Racer on the outside and a cartoon balloon of him saying 'Go'; a gift from Nick.

"That sounds easy enough to me." Sara said, reaching for the menu folder.

Grissom walked by her and grabbed a large rocks glass. He reached across her and took the Maker's Mark bottle, poured a liberal amount into his glass, and topped it off with water. He walked to the dining room table and picked up his father's notebook and the small box, before disappearing into the lab room. Sara looked at her watch, six o'clock, and thought about when to order the food.

Grissom walked into the lab room and was greeted with the hisses of his cockroaches. He flipped on the lights and smiled as he walked to the drawing board. He set the sketchbook and box down, turning to flip on the computer and let it do its thing. He looked at the feeding chart and realized that Sara fed them two days ago, so they were ready, today. He fed them and then noted it on the chart. The computer 'pinged' and he walked back to sit in front of it. He reached over and turned on the printer before accessing his email. He was linked to the lab mail as well, so as the email was downloaded, he turned on his CD player and listened to Dar Williams. Ten minutes later, his computer chimed and he sat back, sipping his bourbon, and reading his email.

The first email was Tim Thorpe's, regarding Grissom senior's real estate holdings. Grissom read the opening sheet of the four page document and then printed it. He scrolled down to Larry Evans' email and did the same. He saved both emails on his hard drive and then read everything else. Thirty minutes later, a popup in the lower right hand corner indicated his mother was on line.

Are you there? 
Hi, Mom, how are you? 
frantic mess. The show is tomorrow. I thought Roger was coming down to help, but 
he felt that Jim needed him more. I beg to disagree. I sent the Jenkins back to 
you. I sent it to the Lab because there's someone there all the time. I hope that 
was all right. Oh my, I'm sorry, how are you? 
fine. I'm finding out a lot about Dad and when I can articulate it, I'll let you 
know. You may get a call from Tim Thorpe or Larry Evans. They are the attorney 
and accountant for the estate. They're legit, I met them last night. Mom, I have 
to cut this short, as I have to check the other fifty emails before Sara tells 
me dinner is ready. 
I understand. Please, Gil, 
please, take great care of yourself and Sara. She is A perfect match. I wasn't 
sure until this last visit. I love you, dear, never doubt that. 
Thanks, Mom, I love you, too. I'm still on medical leave, 
technically, although I worked today for Catherine. I'll talk to you tomorrow 
night, after the show. 
Good night. 
Good night, sweetheart. 

Grissom switched his attention back to the emails and answered those he could. Finally, he picked up the phone.


"Hey, it's Grissom,"

"Are you calling for me or A.J.?"

"You, Seb, I'm returning your call."

"Thanks, can we meet tomorrow?"

"Sure, after lunch okay? I have my physical at nine."

"Two o'clock at the FBI office?"

"I'll be there," Grissom said, writing it down on his pad.

"Great, thanks,"

"You're welcome, night,"

"Good night,"

Grissom hung up the phone and sipped his bourbon. He redialed and waited for the connection.


"It's Grissom,"

"Oh, hi, thanks, I need to talk to you about all of this. Do you have time tomorrow?"

"Yes, in the late morning. I need to get my medical taken care of so I can come back to work."

"I heard you were back to work."

"Just a few hours; a bug regression."

"Okay, well, can you meet me at eleven?"

"Sure," Grissom said, writing it down on his pad.


"You're welcome, good bye."

"Good bye,"

Grissom hung up the phone and looked at his watch, seven o'clock. He dialed a new number and sipped his bourbon.


"You leave a helluva message,"

"Grissom, well I didn't think you were going to move into my office!"

"Neither did I, but there were forty years for me to catch up with,"

"Fair enough, I was serious, though, when I told you that I wanted to talk to you about your father. I've made enough mistakes with Catherine. I want to set you straight on some things."

"I can't see you tonight, Sam."

"The brunette, well, I can't blame you."

"Yes, Sara, and the fact that I've slept a total of six hours in the last twenty four, but not consecutively." Grissom said, defensively.

"I'm sorry, tomorrow night is fine. I work every night from six to six and then later as I need."

"Great, I don't think I'm working tomorrow, so I'll come and see you after Sara goes to work."

"Okay, Grissom, call before you come by."

"Thanks, Sam,"

"You bet, good night,"

"Good night."

Grissom hung up the phone and then turned off his computer. He walked to the drawing board and sat on his stool. Taking a gulp of his bourbon, he opened his father's sketchbook and took a trip down memory lane.

Sara walked into the Lab Room and saw Grissom leaning over a notebook on his desk. The music played softly in the background as she approached him. She stood behind him, looking at the sketches. They were all of Grissom with notes written on the margins. He didn't know she was there, so she softly tapped his chair until he realized her presence.

"Hi, sweetheart," he said, leaning back in the chair.

"Hi, you okay?" she asked as she slid her hands onto his shoulders, massaging them gently.

"I'm not sure. It's a little rough. This is my father's sketchbook of me. I guess my mother sent him photos, or he had someone do some research. Uhm..."

He looked at the black box and drew a deep breath.

"Sara, my father bought this for me when I was fourteen."

"After he left you?"

"Yes, and I want you to have it." Grissom finished, handing her the box.

Gently, she opened it, her eyes widening at the beauty of the ring. She looked at him and then back to the ring as if it couldn't be real. Sara took it out of the box and slipped it on her right ring finger; it was slightly large, but it didn't matter. She reached for his shoulder and turned him on the stool so he faced her.

"Gil, this is unequivocal." She remarked softly.

"I love you, Sara,"

"I love you, too," she said, leaning into him to kiss him deeply.

6:50 pm

The doorbell rang faintly in the background.

"Uhm, dinner?" he said, pulling away from her kisses.

"Right...I'll meet you in the kitchen." She said, beaming at her new ring as she left the room.

Grissom smiled and returned his concentration to the sketchbook. He looked through the last ten pages, read the text, and felt conflicted. Finally, he shut the book and headed to the living room, carrying his empty bourbon glass. He walked to the breakfast bar and freshened his drink as Sara plated their Chinese food.

"Can I help?"

"Only to find a movie you want to watch." Sara said.

Grissom took his drink and walked to the sofa, turning on the television and scanning through the channels. She brought two plates to the coffee table and sat next to him. He handed her the remote with a sigh. She took it and turned it to Turner Broadcasting.

"Next, It Takes A Thief, the classic Hitchcock film with Grace Kelly and Cary Grant,"

"Perfect," she said, putting down the remote and starting her dinner.

He smiled but said nothing, trying to get his head around the sketches he'd seen. He concentrated on his dinner, her company, his cocktail and the film as it began to start. Finishing his dinner, he kicked off his shoes and put his feet on the coffee table, leaning back into the sofa, balancing his cocktail on his chest. Sara finished her dinner and snuggled up to him as he carefully put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her closer.

"Can you see?"

"Move your feet to the left, yes, perfect. Thanks,"

"I aim to please," he said, as all his worries seem to fade into the background.

9:15 pm

Sara got up to do the dishes during the credits. Good to his word, Grissom fell asleep early into the movie, his head on her shoulder. He was dreaming now, his face turning, speaking occasionally, getting more agitated until he woke himself up.

He woke up quickly, dragging his forearm across his sweaty brow. Sara walked up to him with a cold bottle of water. He took it gratefully and drank the whole thing quickly. Reflexively, he put a hand to his stomach, where his ulcer had been, feeling a twinge.

"You okay?"

"Bad dreams," he said, standing.

She reached out her hand over the coffee table to steady him.

"Easy, is your ulcer acting up?"

"Yeah, I think I've forgotten to take my medicine in the last couple of days."

"Come here to the stool. I'll get your meds." Sara said, helping him.

He sat gingerly on the stool and sighed. Sara handed him his pills and a glass of water. He swallowed the pills and finished the glass of water.

"I need to go back to sleep. Would you make sure that I'm up at eight? I have a nine o'clock with Dr. Siegel, empty stomach."

"Sure, did you have Paul send a copy of the hospital records to him?"

"Yes, this morning,"

Sara walked out from the kitchen and stood next to him. He opened his legs and pulled her close, kissing her intensely. She responded and ran her fingers through his curls before anchoring them on his jaw. She pulled back and looked at him. His eyes were closed.


He opened his eyes and looked at her. The fatigue mixed with some pain was obvious in his eyes. She helped him to his feet and guided him to the circular staircase. He walked up ahead of her, finally arriving at the bedroom. He stopped in the doorway and stared at the blank space above the bed. She put her hands on his shoulders and pushed gently. He took two steps forward into the room and then stopped again, turning around to look at her.

"Please, Gil, you need to sleep," she said, brushing away the tears that were silently sliding down his face.

Sara pulled his t-shirt off and loosened the drawstring on his pants. They slid to the floor. She helped him to bed and then got into bed next to him. He rolled over, holding her lightly as his fatigue-laden emotions came to the surface. She spoke to him softly, trying to calm him. Slowly, he relaxed and then finally fell asleep. Sara reached over and set the alarm for eight and turned off the light.

An hour later, Grissom rolled away from her, pushing the sheets down to his waist. Sara got out of bed, went downstairs, checked the kitchen, turned off the lights and came back upstairs. She stripped to her underwear and got back into bed.

Thursday 2:30 am

Grissom woke up in a start, his breath rapid, his chest heaving. He looked quickly at Sara to see if he had awakened her, but she remained motionless under the covers. He went into the bathroom, shut the door and turned on the lights. He filled the sink with cold water and dunked his head, running the water over the back of his head with his hands; feeling it run past his ears. He dried his face and turned out the lights, dead reckoning to the closet and got dressed. He walked downstairs, picked up his wallet, glasses, cell phone and keys and left the town house.


"Mr. Braun, this is Patrick, we need you at the high stakes poker table as soon as you can."

"Patrick, what's going on?" Sam said, walking to the security monitors in his office, and clicking through to number 54, the high stakes poker table.

He saw what the problem was.

"Okay, I get it. Pour him a bourbon and keep him there. If he tries to leave, follow him and call me. I'm on my way." Sam said, slipping on his coat jacket.

Ten minutes later, Sam approached the high-stakes poker table and saw him. He was dressed in a open collar white oxford shirt, blue blazer, khakis, and loafers. His right hand was fidgeting and he was mumbling. As Sam approached, he could hear what was being said. He was working out the game, albeit quietly, it was still distracting.

"Grissom, hi, I thought you were going to call? Let's go to my office." Sam said, softly.

Grissom looked at him briefly and returned his gaze to the game. Sam spoke to the pit-boss privately and then picked up Grissom's drink.

"Kid? We're going upstairs. Let's go. We're gonna toss back a few and talk about your old man." Sam said, getting Grissom's attention.

Lou walked up and followed the two men back up to Sam's office. The door shut and Lou stood watch outside.

"Grissom, what are you doing here? Or more exactly, what were you doing downstairs?" Sam asked, setting Grissom's drink in front of him as he poured a scotch for himself.

"I remembered why I know how to play poker. My father taught me. I used to play during college to pick up extra money. I haven't played since I graduated. I guess I wanted to see if I still could do it." Grissom said, his voice soft as he sipped his bourbon.

"Let's put it this way, you are forbidden to gamble in my hotels. That's how well you still do it." Sam said, seriously.

"Okay, Sam," Grissom said, rocking his head back onto the sofa.

Sam watched with a small smile as Grissom fell asleep. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed.


"Hey, Mugs, it's me."

"Hi, Sam, what's up?"

"Look, I can't get into the details but would you call Grissom's girlfriend, Sara I think her name is. Tell her he's crashed on my couch at the office. Feel free to give her my private number." Sam said, sitting at his desk, looking at the monitors.

"What, Grissom is with you? Yeah, you will have to tell me the details. Okay, I'll call Sara right now."

"Thanks, Mugs. Am I still seeing you and Lindsey at the ranch this weekend?" Sam asked, now looking at the photo of his granddaughter.

"Actually Sam, I think it depends on Grissom. If he can come back to work, then we're there." Catherine said, honestly.

"I'll work on him then," Sam said with a chuckle.

"Night, Sam,"

"Night, Mugs."

Catherine disconnected her call and speed-dialed Grissom's house.

"Hello?" a sleepy voice answered after four rings.

"Sara, it's Catherine. Grissom is at the Rampart at Sam's office."

"What?" Sara said, turning on the bedside light and seeing she was alone.

"Here is Sam's private number. He's waiting for your call."

"Wait, wait let me get...okay go ahead." Sara said, quickly writing the phone number on the pad on the nightstand.

"Got it?"

"Yes, thanks, Catherine. Talk to you later." Sara said, hanging up.

"Oh you bet you will," Catherine said to the dead phone.

Sam had taken the glass from Grissom's hand and put it on the table. He thought about moving him to a prone position and then decided just to see what would happen.

The phone rang, waking Grissom and startling Sam.


"This is Sara Sidle, Mr. Braun, is Gil there?"

"Yeah, let me put him on with you. Grissom, it's Sara," Sam said, handing him the phone.

Grissom took the phone from Sam, sitting up, his head resting on the meat of his left hand.

"Hi," he said softly.

"Hi, are you okay?" Sara asked, her voice soft as well.

"I'm sorry, I just want things to be the way they were before he came back into my life."

"Gil, are you okay?"

"Yeah, tired and mixed up, maybe, but basically fine."

"Okay, listen to me, please sweetheart. It's late and you have to be up in a few hours. I think you should stay with Sam and sleep there."

Grissom looked at his Rolex and realized she was right.

"Okay, I have appointments all day. I should be home around six."

"Do you have your phone with you?"

Grissom felt at his belt line.


"Okay, give the phone back to Sam. I love you, Gil, please don't forget that."

"I love you Sara. You are my anchor." Grissom said, before handing the phone to Sam.


"Sam, he has a nine o'clock physical to get him reinstated at work. No food or drink after midnight."

"Well it's four and we should forget that rule. I had to give him a bourbon to settle him down."

"Oh, well, remind him when you wake him and he'll tell Steven."

"Got it, got to get the Kid horizontal. I'll have him call you when he wakes up."

"Thanks again, Sam."

"No problem, Sara."

Sam closed his phone and looked at Grissom.

"Let's go, Kid; shoes off, jacket off, glasses off, cell phone off; nap time."

Slowly Grissom complied with the orders. He lay down on the sofa and soon was asleep. Sam walked to the foyer outside his office.

"Lou, if I'm not in, Grissom must be awake at eight-thirty. No food or drink; he's headed for a physical."

"Yes, sir."

Thursday 8:30 am

Lou walked in and found Grissom already awake, looking out the window.

"Dr. Grissom, Mr. Braun wanted me to remind you of your appointment this morning."

"Thanks Lou. Is he around?" Grissom asked, gathering his belongings.

"No, we had a rough night. He's up in his suite, trying to catch some sleep. He wanted me to give this note to you." Lou said, handing him an envelope.

Grissom slipped it into his jacket pocket and left Sam's office. He took the elevator down and walked through the busy casino floor, retrieved his car from valet, and drove to Steven's office.

8:59 am

Grissom walked into Steven's office, checked in with the receptionist, and sat down, trying to relax.

"Dr. Grissom, he's ready for you," a nurse said, from the doorway.

Grissom sighed and got up, following the nurse. He was ushered into an office.

"He'll be right with you."

"Thanks," Grissom said, turning his gaze to the contents of the bookcases.

Five minutes later, his perusal was interrupted.

"Morning, Grissom. Have a seat," Steven Siegel said, sitting behind his desk.

His red hair was smattered with white, but his blue eyes were bright behind the wire rim glasses. His beard was thick and matched the hair on his head. He thumbed through the file that Paul had sent from the hospital. Grissom fidgeted slightly, trying to get comfortable.

"You still taking the medication?"

"I skipped a couple of days," Grissom admitted.

"Okay, let's skip to the easy questions. How do you feel?"

"Fine, tired, but fine," Grissom said evenly.

"How are your migraines?"

"I had a rough time when this all started, between panic attacks and migraines, but I haven't had one in several days."

"When did you eat last?"

"Chinese at around nine last night. I woke up around two-thirty from a dream. I went out and I guess I was agitated. A friend gave me a bourbon and water."

"Did you calm down?"

"Yeah, I fell asleep,"

"Okay, let's see what's what." Steven said, closing the file, before leading him to an exam room.

"Strip and put the gown on opening to the back. Crack the door when you're ready."

Grissom waited for the door to close and did as he was told. He cracked the door and sat on the exam table. Steven walked in and started his basic exam, checking Grissom's eyes, ears, throat, and glands. He pulled out his stethoscope and slipped it down the front of Grissom's gown.

"Deep breath, again, and one more,"

He repositioned the stethoscope on Grissom's back.

"Okay, deep breath, again, again, good, now lie on your back."

Grissom lay back and tried to relax but his breathing started to quicken. Steven placed a hand on his shoulder.

"Easy, Grissom; nothing scary here. Okay? Nice and easy, start reciting the periodic tables," Steven said, familiar with this panic attack as it happened every time Grissom came in.

Grissom shut his eyes and proceeded to recite the periodic tables softly.

"A little louder, please, Grissom. I need to make sure you don't make a mistake." Steven joked as he eased Grissom's gown to his waist.

He checked his ribs, the incision, his hands, feet, and everything in between. Finally he, himself, drew blood.

"Grissom, stand up, face away from me; proctology." Steven said evenly.

Grissom did as he was told, continuing to recite the table.

"Okay, get dressed and come back to the office." Steven said, his voice soft and gentle.

The door closed and Grissom calmed visibly as he dressed quickly. He splashed water on his face before walking into Steven's office.

"Sit down, Grissom," Steven said, closing the door behind him.

"You're fine to go back to work. I called Andy and we're both concerned that you haven't returned to your stress-relieving programs that we set up. So, you are to run, box, or shoot at the range, no less than three times a week. You're still too wound up. Are you and Sara okay?"

"Yeah, we're great," Grissom said, his voice betraying him.

"Grissom, take care of the stress and the other will fade away. Trust me," Steven said, standing.


"You're welcome. I'll call you with the test results."

"Okay," Grissom said, glancing at his watch.

Grissom went to his car and drove to the police station for his eleven o'clock appointment. He pulled into the parking lot and reached into his pocket, pulling out his ID and clipping it to his pocket as he walked into the building. He waved at the receptionist and then knocked on Rory's door before walking in.

"I'm meeting with him now. Shouldn't be an issue. I'll call you." Rory said, hanging up.

"My friends checking up on me?" Grissom asked, sardonically.

"Did you pass the physical?"


"There's been a murder and you have been requested to be the lead CSI."

"Oh?" Grissom asked, his eyebrows arched.

"Yes, if you're ready, we should go,"

"Go where?"

"To the crime scene," Rory said, grimly.

Grissom looked at his watch as he continued to follow Rory out into the desert. He picked up the phone and hit speed dial 81.


"Seb, it's Grissom. I have to cancel. I'm on my way out to a scene."

"I know. I'll see you there."

"Oh, okay," Grissom said, hanging up.

He quickly dialed another number.


"Sweetheart, it's me,"

"Hi, how did your physical go?"

"I passed but I need to start running and boxing more often. Steven says I'm still too wound up. Listen, Sara, something's up. I'm on my way to a scene with Rory. We're heading out into the desert. Seb is coming. too." Grissom said.

"Do you need me?"

"Yes, but I want to know what we're getting into first. Look, we're here. I'll be in touch." Grissom said.

"Be careful,"

"Always," Grissom said, closing his phone.

12:00 pm

Grissom reached into the island of the Denali and pulled out his Cubs cap. He got out of the car, pulling the brim low, and walked to the rear of the vehicle. He opened the door and took off his blazer, carefully folding it. Slipping on his vest, he picked up his kit, shut the door, and headed to the scene.

The first thing that struck him was the large crime scene. It seemed to be almost seventy feet in diameter. The second thing that was out of place, was the absence of LVPD. All the jackets said FBI. Grissom lifted the crime tape and observed the scene again. He didn't see the body, yet. Very slowly, he walked forward. He would take one step and stop. He put his kit down and pulled out his markers, methodically labeling, photographing and indexing as he stared at his theoretical grid pattern. He was in his zone, focused, working the case, by himself, and after forty-five minutes at the scene in the sun, without food or water, his phone rang. He finished processing a footprint and then answered the call.


"Find anything?" Rory asked.

"Lots of things. Let me work. Speaking of which, why am I the only CSI here?"

"Because the FBI requested you."

"Oh, okay, gotta get back to work," Grissom said, hanging up his phone.

He scanned the men looking at him from beyond the tape and a chill crossed his body. He didn't see Seb, but he was comforted somewhat by the fact that he was there. Grissom turned his gaze back to his grid and focused his mojo. He started his pattern again, nearing the center of the circle, when he saw something that caused him to stop. From his kit, he pulled an American flag that Nick had given him for the 4th of July. For some reason, Grissom kept it in his kit. Carefully, Grissom held the flag upside down and slowly turned in a circle so all could see him.

"What the hell does that mean?" Rory Atwater asked, about to call Grissom on the cell phone.

"It's old school cavalry code. The fort is under siege." Seb replied, running to get a bullhorn.

"Attention: this is Superintendent Robbins. Turn off all electronics. I mean all cell phones, BlackBerries, pagers, two-way radios, everything, off. Something's up. Sgt. J.D. Schmidt, get your butt up here. Grissom, we're gonna talk like your Mom. Get out your monocular." Seb instructed.

Grissom replaced the flag and fished around for his monocular, wondering when he mentioned to Seb that it was in his kit.

"Okay, Schmidt, you're on. I want you to sign exactly what I am saying."

"Yes, sir,"

"What have you found? We have a missing agent. The cell phone was traced here. Wait until you see Schmidt with his field glasses up before responding."

Schmidt picked up his field glasses as Grissom shoved his monocular into his vest pocket.

"I found DET cord, foot prints, and I smell a body. I'm downwind; I can't see it. I'd say dead twenty hours." Schmidt translated.

"Can you go forward, straight to the body? Ask him that." Seb instructed.

Schmidt hung his field glasses against his chest and complied.

Grissom crouched for a moment, fighting a dizzy spell.

<Hey, I'm J.D., what's your name? You sign pretty well. You okay?>

<Sorry, long story, no breakfast. My name is Grissom. I want my entire team here, now. I want Jim Brass from LVPD here as soon as he can, and I want to speak to Seb privately.>

"Sir, he wants his team, a Jim Brass, and he wants to speak to you privately."

Seb sighed and gave Grissom the time-out sign, turning his back to him for a moment.

"Sheriff!" Seb yelled.

"Yes, sir,"

"Drive three miles back to Vegas and call in Grissom's CSI team. Explain the no electronics rule. Secondly, get a chopper to pick up Jim Brass, Sara Sidle will know how to get in touch with him. Thirdly, I want my brother here."

"What? Doc Robbins in the field? David is on his way."

"No, I want A.J. here, now," Seb yelled, catching Grissom's attention again for a moment.

"Yes, sir,"


"Yes, sir,"

"Is Grissom watching?"

"Not right now, sir,"

"Get his attention,"

J.D. stuck two fingers into his mouth and let out a piercing whistle. Grissom looked at them and took up the monocular.

"Put your hands in your pockets."

"Yes, sir,"

"Face him. J.D. I am trusting you and Grissom with information no one else has. Please repeat the sentences verbally as I am saying them to you. The missing agent is my son. Please help me. I can't trust anyone else."

Grissom stood and tried to collect himself. He looked at his watch and suddenly had a flashback to Nick's kidnapping. He took a breath and replaced the monocular, continuing forward, forgoing his grid search. Twenty minutes later and over fifteen tags with multiple photos, Grissom reached the victim. To his surprise, the human was alive but there was a pig next to him, very dead.

3:00 pm

"Hi, I'm Grissom, don't move. There are explosives present. Are you Agent Robbins?"

The man blinked.

<Man alive. Smell from dead pig. Where is my team?> He signed to J.D.

<A fire was lit and they are coming.>

<What about bomb squad?>

<Supervisor Robbins says you can handle it.>

Grissom looked to the sidelines for some direction. He looked back to the man, buried to his chin..

"Without vocalizing, mouth your first name."

The young man blushed and mouthed <Efrem,>

"You're kidding? Like the actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr who was in The FBI?"

The young man blinked.

"You must have nickname."

He mouthed, <Zack>.

"Good, okay, Zack. I'm Grissom. I'm a CSI and I'm a friend of your father and uncle. I read lips. Please tell me what happened."

<I was deep undercover and was caught. I came to as they were wiring the C4. I've been here two days.>

Grissom sat back on his heels, pivoting until he faced J.D. He slowly fell to his knees.

<Zack basically okay. Says he's been here two days. Evidence does not support that. Cover blown. C4 present.>

Grissom picked up the monocular and read the response.

<Team is here awaiting instruction.>

<Get Sara to binoculars.>


J.D. handed Sara the binoculars and she read Grissom's description of the scene. She handed the binoculars back to him and replied using sign.

"You're good," J. D. commented.

"He taught me," Sara said, before gathering the troops privately.

"Okay, the vic is a pig. But there is a human, quite alive, booby trapped with C4 who is buried head up and is Seb's son."

In the distance, a helicopter landed and a Denali drove to meet it. Its passenger got into the Denali and drove fast to Sara's position. Jim Brass climbed out of the Denali, looking a bit bewildered.

"What's up?" he asked, his four day growth of beard and flannel shirt betraying where he came from.

"What do you know about C4?" Catherine asked.

"I was a demolition expert in Vietnam. I know more than I could forget."

"You're too young," Nick countered.

"Thanks, Nicky. I came out of the orphanage. No one cared that I was fifteen. What's up?" he asked again, stripping out of his flannel shirt, and into a vest.

Sara finished the prep and Jim hurried to Seb.

"Hey man, we'll get him out. Can Gil see me?"

"Yeah, he's looking right at you." J.D. confirmed.

<Following your footsteps. Need anything?> Jim mouthed.

<Water, baseball cap, and food.> J.D. replied.

Grissom saw Jim's thumbs up as he trotted to the team. Two minutes later, Jim was leading the CSI team out to help Grissom.

A.J. Robbins pulled up and walked to his brother.

"You summoned me?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I thought Zack was dead. Grissom says it's a pig next to him. He's booby trapped, A.J."

"Who's out there with Grissom?"

"His CSI team and Jim Brass."

"You couldn't have a better group of people trying to save Zack," Doc said, putting an arm around his brother.

"Howdy," Jim deadpanned, crouching near his friend.

The rest of the CSI team crouched behind him in a line.

"This is Zack. Zack, this is Jim, and behind him, is my team. We're gonna get you out. Nicky, I want you and Warrick to search a straight path out of here. Clean it, but do it CSI style; photos, evidence the works. Four feet wide, gentlemen; we're gonna have to carry Zack out of here."

"Got it," Warrick replied.

Sara and Catherine moved forward, handing the hat, food and water to Grissom. Carefully, he placed the CSI cap on the young man's head. Then he reached into his kit and removed a sponge. Soaking it with water he gently put it in between Zack's lips.

"Spit it out when you're done sucking the water out." Grissom instructed.

He sat back on his heels and ate a granola bar. Jim carefully searched around the body and the pig.

"Is the pig wired?" Jim asked Zack.

He raised his eyebrows several times to indicate he didn't know.

"Let's assume it is. Catherine, no offense, but I want you at Seb's side. I need a CSI out there." Jim commanded.

Catherine nodded and took her kit back to safety, knowing full well it was because of Lindsey that Jim was sending her down.

"Where's Greg?" Grissom asked out of the blue.

"Vacation for the weekend, Seattle, I think," Sara replied.


"Sara, you and Grissom gently take another look at the pig. We need to remove it first." Jim said.

Grissom and Sara spent half an hour and found no sign of explosives.

"Nicky, did you clear that path?"

"Yeah, Jim, it's good to go,"

"Okay, bring a Stokes litter back to the scene."

Nick gave him an extra look before he and Warrick went beyond the perimeter to get the litter. They brought it back quickly.

"Okay, this is where it gets hinkey." Jim said as they put the litter parallel to the pig carcass.

Very gently they rolled the pig onto the litter. Jim, Warrick, Grissom and Nick carried the pig to the perimeter, leaving Sara with Zack. The guys returned and Zack spit out the sponge.

"Good sign, the pig was there to lure predators." Jim remarked.

Grissom sat to one side, studying the scene.

"Stop, wait, Sara, Nick, Warrick, let's start sifting the sand for evidence of explosives." Grissom said, starting his task.

For two hours, they tested the sand and found nothing. Grissom turned to Brass and said directly into his ear.

"This is bullshit. There's just enough evidence to drag my team and you down here. The boy isn't the target plus he lied about how long he's been buried."

Grissom felt Jim's grip tighten on his arm.

"Well, I always wanted to know what it would be like to be the bait," Jim quipped.

"Break out the shovels," Grissom instructed.

Zack's face paled to white as he saw them prepare to dig him out.

"No, you can't do that. There are pressure switches. I'll die. We'll all die." Zack said loudly.

"You didn't mention that before, Zack." Grissom remarked.

"It's true, please God stop!" he shouted.

The team ignored his pleas and continued to dig him out. When his hands were free, he reached into the sand. Grissom jumped on him, wrestling to get his hands from their target. Grissom reached back with one hand and hit Zack, leaving him unconscious. Jim searched gently for the remote and found it. He slipped it into his vest pocket while they continued to dig out Zack. An hour later, he was freed and in handcuffs. They carried him to the sidelines and prepared to detonate the explosive which were twenty feet away but near enough to take out the entire team.. Grissom set his kit down and sat on it, looking at his watch. Sara sat next to him while Warrick and Nick took the evidence directly to Seb.

"Fire in the hole," a voice yelled over the bullhorn.

Grissom put his hands over his ears, but it didn't help as the ground moved beneath him in addition to the percussive blast. Finally Jim walked up to them, handing Grissom a candy bar.

"His name is Simon Schultz not Efrem Robbins. Efrem was found safe in Henderson ten minutes ago. This has nothing to do with you. Gil, you're not looking really good."

"He's fine. Just tired, right?" Sara said, standing, looking at him more closely.

"Yeah," Grissom said, munching on the Milky Way bar. "Give me five minutes and I'll follow you home."

"Okay," Sara said, walking back to her car with her kit.

"I'm not sure what happened here, today, but I know it's not solved, Gil." Jim said, softly.

"Yeah, I agree. But for today, I think I can go home and sleep. Thanks Jim."

Grissom stood slowly and picked up his kit. He walked to his car, opened the back window, and set his kit inside. He took off his vest and put on his blazer. He put the vest in the car and reached into his coat pocket, remembering Sam's envelope. He opened it and in the glow of the setting sun, he read it.

Please work for Catherine this weekend. She is scheduled to
come out to the ranch with Lindsey. I'd really appreciate it.
A Friend of your Old Man. 

Grissom stood slowly, closed the window and shoved the letter into his pocket. He fussed with his watch and then looked for Catherine, who was on her phone. He walked up to her and smiled.

"Hang on, Sam,"

"The answer is yes and we have to go to the lab."

"Oh, no you don't." Rory's voice came from behind them. "After you log-in the evidence, night shift is off duty. Conrad is having swing cover."

"Thanks, Rory,"

"No, thank you, Grissom. See you tomorrow."

"Right," Grissom said, walking slowly back to his car.

"Grissom? Wait up," Seb called, trotting after him.

Grissom turned and waited for him to catch up. Seb stopped about ten feet away and then slowly walked to him. He noticed the dirt on his clothes, the perspiration through his shirt, visible when the wind blew his jacket open, and the fatigue on his face.

"Thanks for coming," Seb said softly.

"You're welcome,"

"I'm staying up here, now, to finish this. Can we get together, you, Sara, A.J., Sally and myself?"

"Sure, I'm back to work tomorrow night. Regular shift is ten to eight. So maybe an early dinner will work, or lunch, okay?" Grissom asked.

"Whatever you can manage will be fine. Thanks again, Grissom, for everything," Seb said, reaching out his hand.

Grissom shook it before heading to his car.

Sara was leaning against her car, watching him approach.

"Do you want to take a nap before we go? You look really wiped out."

"I'll drive him," Jim said, still wired, walking up beside him.

"Situation solved," Grissom said, climbing into the passenger side of his car and setting his harness.

"Thanks, Jim,"

"No problem, Kiddo," Jim said, getting into Grissom's Denali.

After a few minutes of adjusting the seat and mirrors, and while Grissom fell asleep, Jim followed Sara back to the townhouse.

7:00 pm

"Hey, man, we're home," Jim said, setting the car in park.

Sara opened the door and helped a very tired Grissom out of the car and up the stairs. Jim waved and drove away. Sara opened the door and Grissom laid his electronics in the dish and walked upstairs. She turned off the lights on the first floor and walked up after him. He managed to take off his coat and shoes before falling asleep on the bed.

She washed her face and got ready for bed, shucking off her clothes and slipping on her nightgown.

"Gil? Come on, get out of your clothes," Sara cajoled.

Grissom replied incoherently.

Sara started to unbutton his shirt, when he suddenly woke up, very anxious.

"What are you doing?"

"I was unbuttoning your shirt so you could put on your pajamas."

Grissom took a breath and got up to walk into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. She heard the shower turn on. Sara waited for a moment before she got into bed and turned out the light. Twenty minutes later, Grissom left the bathroom and walked silently to the closet. He put on just pajama bottoms. Very carefully, he got into bed and rolled towards her. He reached his right hand out for her waist. She rolled out of his reach, and he lay there, miserable. He moved closer and placed his hand on her hip, kissing her shoulder.

"I'm sorry, please forgive me. I'm sorry,"

She was silent, the tears streaming down her face, keeping her from replying. He felt her crying and pulled himself against her back.

"Please, don't cry. I'm sorry. I really am." He said, his voice catching as his emotions started to get caught up with hers.

"I know, Gil, I know. It's just been a long couple of weeks. I love you and what upsets you upsets me." She replied, sniffling slightly.

Suddenly, he started to cry as well. He turned away from her, ashamed of his emotions that were so open in front of her. She reached for his shoulder but he didn't calm immediately. Slowly, he gained control.

"My father was a good man," he whispered softly. "He started a chain of battered women's shelters about twenty years ago. In addition, he founded three facilities for children of abusive households to go. All of them are in a perpetual trust."

Sara waited, not knowing how to continue for a minute.

"Let's sleep now, okay?"

"I love you Sara." He said, barely able to keep his eyes open.

"I love you, too." She said, pulling him closer to him.

Friday 2:00 am

Grissom woke from a dream that escaped his conscious memory. Sara had rolled away from him, wrapped in the blanket, and was sleeping soundly. He got out of bed and went into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. Turning on the lights, he filled the sink with cold water and immersed his head. Blowing air through his nostrils, he stayed under the water as long as he could. Finally, he stood up and toweled off. Turning off the lights, he padded to the closet and took out a zip up sweatshirt and running shorts, putting them on.. He reached into the small desk in the corner of the room, and pulled out a card and envelope. Picking up a pen, he sat in the chair closest to the foot of the bed, watching Sara sleep. Setting his pen to the page, he wrote in the semi-darkness.

My love, 
As I sit here and watch you sleep, I again am enthralled by
your beauty. I don't say it enough, but I love you. I love your
intelligence, your smile, your laugh; all of you. I admire your
strength and your emotional honesty. I wish I was more like you.
I want to thank you for 
your unwavering strength and support these last few months. I know now, that I 
most certainly could not have made it
without you. You make me a whole man, a happy man, when I thought
it was impossible.
Love8 Gil

He placed the note in its butterfly embossed envelop and set it on the table beside the bed before going out for a run.. Walking downstairs, he grabbed his keys and left.

4:00 am

Grissom walked into the townhouse and felt alone. He also needed a bottle of water. He headed to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. Downing it quickly, he leaned against the counter in the kitchen. Soon, he felt the immense fatigue set in and he headed up to the bedroom. He stripped to his running shorts and fell asleep on top of the comforter.

6:00 am

Sara woke up and stretched, feeling Grissom asleep next to her on top of the comforter. She sat up to get out of bed and noticed the note. She took it and headed into the bathroom to read it without disturbing Grissom. Walking into the bathroom, she shut the door and then turned on the lights. Sitting on the closed toilet, she started to read. She smiled and then began to cry at his honesty. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she turned off the lights and walked out into the bedroom. She walked to the left side of the bed and kissed his forehead. He didn't move, asleep to the world. Sara put on some sweats and headed downstairs. She made some coffee and ate some yogurt. Feeling a little anxious, she looked at her watch and remembered she needed to go to her house to finish some tasks.

7:00 am

Grissom woke up alone. He was edgy, again. As he sat up, he remembered his night run and realized where he needed to go during the day. Slipping back on his shoes, he pulled on a new shirt and headed downstairs. He grabbed his keys, a LVPD baseball cap, and left the townhouse.

9:00 am

Grissom walked up the stairs to the townhouse feeling energized but exhausted. He walked in, set his keys in the dish, locked the door behind him and listened for Sara. Her keys weren't in the dish, the stereo was off; he was alone. Slowly, he walked upstairs. As he entered the bedroom, he began to take off all of his clothes. He continued to the bathroom and started the shower. Moments later, he got in and reveled in the hot water on his sore and tired muscles. He began to remember his goal for the run. He saw his father's grave at sunrise. Benny was surprised at first and then realized that he was going to see more of him now. Grissom finished with his shower and turned off the water. He dried off and walked to the bureau. Opening drawer after drawer, he found a pair of silk pajamas that his mother had given him. He put on the bottoms and crawled into bed.

12:00 pm

Sara came back into the town house. It was quiet. She noticed his keys in the dish and headed upstairs to check on him. Grissom was asleep under a sheet, the comforter lay on the floor. He was breathing quietly and was still in his movements. She settled into a chair to watch him sleep.

12:15 pm

"Hi," he said, seeing her in the shadows.

She looked at the clock and stretched.

"Hi, how are you feeling after your run?" she replied.

"I went out twice. I feel good, tired, but good," he said softly.

She slowly got out of the chair and crawled into bed. She lay back against the pillows as he moved to kneel by her side. He traced her face slowly with his hand, committing it to memory in the pale light afforded by the blinds. She reached for his face. Slowly, he stretched out next to her and then reached over to her. His hand felt her breast, the nipple already aroused through her t-shirt. He moved, supporting his weight on his left elbow as he kissed her mouth gently. She moaned, just smelling him, feeling him on her. He continued to kiss her as his hand found the bottom of her t-shirt. He pulled it up to her waist and stopped just as he felt her hand search for the top of his pajamas. Grissom rolled away to give her more room. Sara pushed him on his back and straddled his hips. She pulled her t-shirt and bra over her head, letting them fall to the side. Slowly, she lay down on top of his bare chest, feeling his warmth as she began to kiss his mouth. Grissom reached his hands around to her back, feeling her muscles jump from her shoulders to her hips. They kissed passionately, caressing and fondling each other until they were both naked and suddenly looking at each other in the glow from the sun.

"God, you are beautiful. I've missed you so much," he said, his eyes searching her face.

"I've missed you, too." she teased as she took his hand and planted it on her hip.

"Oh, yeah, I guess you have," he said, huskily, thrusting his finger into her.

"I love you, Sara," he said, slowing up his rhythm.

She ground into his hand, kissing him hard, her tongue dancing around his. She reached for him and stroked his erection.

"Slow down," he urged.

"No way, now, Gil, now," she panted.

He rolled over and quickly inserted himself into her. She was on the verge of an orgasm simply from his hand, but he brought her back and then pushed her again to the brink. She pulled at his hair, nipped at him, raked her short nails on his chest, and it just drove him on.

"Sara, I'm coming, oh sweetheart," Grissom said, his voice raw and urgent.

"Harder, come harder," she demanded.

He reached his hands out to hold onto something for purchase, found the top of the bed, and complied. Moments later, they both came to shattering climaxes, drenched in sweat. Holding each other tightly, neither moved until he pulled out and tucked in behind her. He felt her heartbeat and she heard his breathing. Hers didn't slow and she turned to face him before lowering her body on to his. He opened his eyes and smelled their scent on her. He reached down to her buttocks and shifted her up to him, slightly. She put her hands to his face, holding it steady while she kissed him. He ran his hands up and down her back as his passion grew. He ground his hips into hers until she sat up on her knees and lowered herself onto him. She moved her hips in a small circle, watching his face contort in pleasure before pulling at him.

"God, oh, god, Sara,"

She tightened her internal muscles around him and he lost control. Flipping her in one move he started into her, kissing her breasts as he pumped in a fast rhythm. She started to moan, grabbing his shoulders hard.

"Are you okay?" he asked, stopping for a moment.

"Unless you stop, I'm great," she teased.

He continued, trying to follow her lead, climaxing after her. He rolled onto his back, his chest heaving. She rolled over and touched his chest.

"Please, I don't think I can do that again."

"Well, no, not right now. But we don't go back to work until tonight." She said, kissing him before falling asleep.

"Oh, yeah," Grissom noted the clock and, smiling, fell asleep himself.

5:00 pm

"Grissom, your mother wants you to IM her. now." Sara said, standing in the bedroom doorway.

He was lying on his stomach, his hands under his head, dead asleep.

"Gil?" she asked as she walked up to him.

Sara put a hand on his shoulder, used to him waking up immediately at the touch of another person. He didn't move. She panicked slightly, and moved her hand to his carotid; thump thump. She shifted her hand to his head, running her fingers through his hair.

"Mmm," he replied, surfacing.

"Gil, you need to throw some clothes on and talk to your mother. She was expecting you to call last night."

"Oh, damn, I forgot, the opening." Grissom said, sitting up slowly.

"See you downstairs,"

"Thanks," Grissom said, standing to walk to the shower.

He took a quick shower and then put on his work clothes. Brushing his hair back with his fingers, he headed downstairs. Sara was sitting in front of the television watching a documentary. Grissom walked to the kitchen and poured himself a cup of coffee. He continued to the lab room and turned on the computer. While he waited to be connected, he fed the cockroaches and checked them, making notes in his book. He heard the tone, and walked to the computer. Sitting down, he sipped his coffee and then waited.

Where were you? I expected to hear from you last night.

Hi, Mom, how was the show?

It was wonderful. Roger flew in and surprised me.

Sara and I had to work We got home, had dinner and crashed. I'm so sorry I didn't call.

That's all right, dear. I just wanted to make sure you were fine. I've been worried about you. You sound happier.

I am. I've been reinstated to work by both doctors (obviously) and I went running twice today. I'm a little tired but better I think.

Do you have to work tonight?

Yes, both Sara and I are working all weekend.

Take care and give my love to Sara.

I will, Mom. Give my love to Nuncle.

I will, have a safe night at work.

Grissom saw his mother sign out and checked his other email. There wasn't anything earth shattering, so he signed out and turned off his computer. He took his coffee and walked back out to the living room.

"Your Mom okay?"

"Yeah, Roger came down yesterday and helped out. It took some pressure off." He said, sipping his coffee.

"Gil, you okay?" Sara asked, concerned.

"Yeah, sorry, lost in thought for a moment. I really need to eat something. I think dinner was the last time I ate." Grissom said, walking into the kitchen.

"Yes, and I can testify, you really didn't eat a lot." Sara said, following him.

Grissom looked at the fridge, the freezer and the contents of the cabinets. He sighed and turned to face her, not seeing anything that interested him.

"Why don't we go to DiNardo's? We haven't been there in a long time." Sara suggested.

"Perfect, we could leave in twenty minutes, if that's okay with you,"

"Sure, I could be ready." She said, looking at him.

"Great," Grissom replied drawing her in for a hug and quick kiss.

"Okay, well, I'll go take a shower and change." Sara said, leaving him in the kitchen.

Grissom took a sip of his coffee and then walked into the living room. He sat in one of the comfortable chairs and began to read the latest forensics journal.

Sara came downstairs thirty minutes later and found Grissom asleep in his chair, the journal on the floor, having slipped from his fingers. She glanced at her watch and decided to let him sleep until seven-thirty. Sitting down opposite, she picked up the Anita Shreve book that she had started the previous week while waiting for court.

7:15 pm

Grissom was dreaming, his eyes coursing back and forth beneath his eyelids. His body tensed and he started to breath heavily. Sara looked at him, concerned. She put down her book and walked over to him, kneeling by him. Gently, she removed his hand from its death grip on the arm of the chair.

"Gil, wake up," Sara said softly, squeezing his hand.

He tried to pull his hand back, still caught in his dream. She held on and raised her voice.

"Gil, wake up!" Sara said loudly.

He woke up suddenly and leaned forward, breathing heavily, lowering his face to his hands. She reached her hand to his back and gently rubbed it. He stood quickly and walked into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him. He filled the sink with cold water and dunked his head, feeling his temperature drop to normal. Blindly, he reached for a towel and wiped his face. He looked at his face in the mirror, noting the circles under his eyes, and the redness of his eyes. He took one shaky breath, and walked out into the living room. Sara had taken his coffee cup into the kitchen. He went up to her and turned her to face him. He gently embraced her, leaning his head on hers.

"I'm sorry. I can't stop dreaming about the last two weeks." He whispered.

She held him tightly, smelling his shampoo and just him.

"One day at a time, Gil. Okay? If you want to get to work early, we should get going." She said, pulling back to look at him.

Slowly he reached his hands to her face, just staring at her, holding her before leaning in and kissing her passionately.

"I love you, Sara Sidle," he said, hoarsely.

"I love you, Gil Grissom," she replied.

His stomach growled and they smiled as they got their gear together to go to work. As an afterthought, he went to the refrigerator and pulled out his mild migraine medication and stuck it in his pocket. They left the townhouse, and got into her car, driving the short distance to DiNardo's. They parked and walked in, hand in hand, sitting at a corner booth.

"Evening, what can I get you folks?" the waitress asked.

"I'll have a small green salad and the vegetarian lasagna."

"Anything to drink?"

"Water will be fine," Sara replied.

"And you sir?"

"I'll have the veal parmigiana and water, please."

"Spaghetti or linguini with that, sir?"

"Linguini, please," Grissom said, shutting the menu and handing it to her.

Sara watched him as he settled, shifting his legs. She reached for his right hand and held it, looking at him.

"Okay?" she said, her thumb rubbing the back of his hand.

"Yeah, I'm sorry,"

"No need to apologize. You're not in this alone, Gil. Please don't forget that." Sara said, softly.

He couldn't look at her, his emotions running high, and the waitress proved to be a happy interruption.

"Your green salad, miss," she said, placing the plate in front of Sara.

He withdrew his hand and watched her eat in silence. He sipped his water and let his mind wander. She watched him turn more introspective.

"Hey?" she called, getting his attention.


"It's okay, you know, to be sad about your father, but you said you felt a certain lightness and happiness. What happened to that?"

Grissom smiled at her, not knowing how to answer. The waitress removed her salad plate and brought their main courses.

"Gil?" she prodded.

"I don't know, really, I don't, it's just that sometimes, I get...serious."

"I know that, but right now, all is good with the world. Your Mom just had a terrific art show, you are healthy, as is Jim, and the mystery of your father is solved. You need to concentrate on the Entomology convention in Chicago next month."

Grissom looked up to her and smiled slightly. She was right and he knew it; he just didn't feel that way. He started to eat his dinner. Sara watched him as he devoured his dinner in record time. And just at the moment that he finished his meal and set his fork down on his plate, she saw a moment of pure happiness flash on his face. She grinned at him and he grinned in response, relaxing for the first time in many months. He reached across the table for her hand and held it.

"Thank you," he said softly.

Sara just grinned at him as she finished her dinner. They both had coffee, paid the bill, and then headed for her car. As she prepared to insert the key into the lock, Grissom gently turned her to face him. He kissed her deeply.

"I love you, ad infinitum." He said, pulling back to look at her eyes.

She kissed him back; her hands tenderly touching his ears that she knew were so sensitive.

She giggled at his groans and pulled back.

"We need to get to work," Sara stated.

Grissom sighed and walked to the passenger side, getting into the Tahoe. Sara got in and started the engine as they put their harnesses on. Ten minutes later, they were at the lab. Grissom noticed that Jim had brought his Denali back to the lot. They walked in hand in hand.

"Hi, Steven,"

"Hi, Grissom, here are your messages. Good to have you back full time,"

"Thanks," Grissom said, looking at him for a moment before heading to his office.

Sara turned to go to the locker room and deposit her purse before heading to the break room to wait for assignments.

"How is he?" Nick asked as Sara walked in.

"I'll let you make the call,"

Warrick sipped on coffee while Brian sat casually at the table, filling in for Greg. Fifteen minutes later, Grissom walked in.

"Hi, so far it's an easy night. We still have the desert case to finish. Sara and Nick, would you see to the evidence from the Fake Zack? Warrick and Brian, you have another DB at the Rio. Please look at Greg's notes from last week. There might be a pattern. I'm going to stay close to the lab and take care of paperwork. Call me if you have any issues."

"Welcome back, Griss," Nick said softly.

"Yeah, man, welcome back, we missed you." Warrick echoed.

"Thanks, you guys, that means a lot to me," Grissom said, smiling.

"We'd better be going. See you in a few," Sara said, walking up to him and kissing him on the cheek.

He didn't flinch, make a face or move; all Grissom did was smile and blush slightly.

Yeah, he was going to be okay, the other CSIs thought grinning at each other as they left him in the break room.

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