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You Can't Go Home Again

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Summary: Sometimes you don't realize what you had until it's gone. (Set immediately after "For Gedda".)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
CSI > CSI Las VegasgrundyFR1321,333084,80926 Jun 0816 Oct 08Yes

Nothing's The Same

Disclaimer: I do not own these characters. All belongs to Whedon and Zuiker. I'm just playing with their toys.

Sara was mentally willing the plane to fly faster the entire flight. She couldn’t stand the waiting. The not knowing. She needed to be at the crime lab right now.

She hadn’t bothered to pack more than the bare essentials, throwing clothes for a couple days and a few other necessities into a bag. She’d get anything else she needed when she got there.

She had argued when Angel’s friend Willow had told her that someone would meet her at McCarran.

“I lived in Vegas for 8 years. I’m not some little lost tourist. I know my way around. I can get a taxi, seriously.”

Willow had just looked at her and let her petulance roll right off along with her objection.

“No one’s saying you can’t, Sara. It’s just…we’ve been doing this a while. We know what it’s like when someone gets a phone call like this. Most of us have been there. You’re a Slayer now, and we take care of our own. You don’t have to do this alone.”

Sara took a deep breath, reaching for the calm center she’d been taught.

“Ok. I’ll take the ride.”


When the plane finally landed, Sara waited impatiently for the other passengers to hurry up and de-plane. Why was there always someone who forgot something in the overhead bin and had to turn around and block the single aisle when you really, really had better places to be?

Thankfully, she could skip the baggage claim wait. She had only the small messenger bag she’d tossed her clothes and the book she had tried to read on the plane into. The book had been a wasted effort. An hour in the air, she still hadn’t progressed past page seventy-three- the same page she’d been on yesterday morning when she did some before bed reading.

Walking out into the merciless morning sun, she looked around for her ride. She could feel the tickle at the edge of her senses that gave away the presence of another Slayer. Scanning the crowd, she spotted a slightly shorter, dark-haired woman who looked like she’d been chain-smoking while waiting to meet someone. She blinked in surprise. Angel had said a ride, but she hadn’t been expecting this.


“That’s me. You must be Sara.”

At the other woman’s nod, she offered her hand. Sara wasn’t sure if it was to shake or to take her bag, and settled on shaking.

“Car’s this way,” Faith told her as she started walking.

“I thought Slayers didn’t drive,” Sara said.

“Heard the horror stories about B behind the wheel, huh? Don’t worry. That’s just her. Most of the other girls in LA right now probably aren’t old enough to be driving on their own yet. ‘Sides, you drive, don’t you?”

“I haven’t since I left Vegas.”

I haven’t done a lot of things since I left Vegas.

“Welcome back.”

Sara was silent for a few minutes. She held back until they were in Faith’s car.

“Angel said you found him.”

Faith stared off into the distance, looking at something only she could see.

“Yeah.” For all the good it did.

Sara didn’t ask for details. Angel had warned her Faith probably wouldn’t be in a talking mood. Besides, she would find out soon enough from Gil and the others. Probably more than Faith could tell her.

Probably more than I really want to know.

Faith shook herself out of her reverie and glanced over at her passenger, who seemed to be lost in her own thoughts.

“Where do you want me to drop you off?“

“The crime lab. That’s where everyone will be.”

Even Warrick. God, why didn’t I say goodbye to anyone before I left?

Sara didn’t know what else to say. It would have been strange to be back, even under better circumstances. Now, though… She was relieved that Faith let her be while she drove. Silence reigned until Faith pulled into the visitors’ lot. As Sarah opened the door to get out, Faith finally asked the question that had been on her mind the whole time.

“Are you going to go back?”

Sara looked at the younger woman. She knew that chronologically, Faith was nearly a decade younger. But in terms of life lived…Angel had said that Faith’s childhood was even rougher than her own. And Faith had been a Slayer for over ten years. She was one of the few people who might understand.

“I don’t know. I’m not sure I should even try.”

I can’t deal with seeing the worst of both worlds.

Faith just nodded, as if that was the answer she’d expected.

“Here. My number if you want to talk. Or slay. Or whatever.”

Sara took the scrap of paper.


She paused for a second, steeling herself to walk back through those doors again. Now that she was actually here, she was worried about her reception. What if everyone was mad at the way she had left, ducking out without a word to anyone and only a letter to Gil?

“Go on.”

She turned to find Faith watching her.

“They’re waiting for you. Even if they don’t realize it, they are. When shit like this happens… you need the people you care about around. You need them to hold onto. ”

You don’t have to do this alone.

Sara decided she needed to thank Angel- and apologize to Willow- when she talked to them.

The End

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