Disclaimer: I don’t own either CSI or BtVS and I am making no monetary gain from this story.
Spoilers: Post season seven for Buffy. No real spoilers for CSI. Probably sometime in the third or fourth season.
This is a stand alone story and is not connected to any of my other stories. It is intended as a one-shot.
“Sara, we really can’t afford to lose you,” Grissom said.
“Look it’s not personal,” Sara Sidle answered. “It’s just that this offer is too good to pass up.”
“Teaching science at an all girls school in Cleveland is a good opportunity?”
“It’s not just Cleveland,” Sara said. “I’ll be traveling all over the world tutoring young women.”
Grissom studied the woman in front of him. She had been acting strange the last few months. He remembered it started about the time that town in California, Sunnydale he recalled, collapsed. A couple of weeks later Grissom started seeing Sara in the company a three or four young women. And a couple of people who kept visiting from Cleveland, the man with the eye patch and the brunette.
She had been awfully distracted at her job. She missed a couple of shifts. Sara Sidle actually started taking vacation time.
A couple of times she had come in bandaged and bruised. When he pressed for an explanation about her injuries she just said she was taking some advanced martial arts classes.
He had doubted that up until a month ago.
A suspect had tried to bolt while being question in his home. The man was six two and a former hand to hand combat instructor in the military. He had laid out both Nick and Greg and then he ran into Sara. The doctor’s report said he had a broken leg, a busted arm, a fractured jaw and a concussion. The couple of bruises Sara had either healed up in a couple of days or she had an expert doing her makeup.
And then she handed in her notice at the end of her shift today. Although it probably shouldn’t have, it caught everyone off guard.
“Look, if it’s something I did …”
Sara cut him off. “I said it’s not personal. This is just something I have to do.”
“My mind is made up,” Sara cut him off again. “I need to clean out my locker.” She got up in a hurry and left his office.
A few minutes later Sara exited the building and walked up to her car. She saw Faith leaning against it.
“I expected you over an hour ago,” Faith said.
“Sorry,” Sara replied. “Everybody tried to talk me out of leaving and Grissom kept me in his office for almost an hour.”
Faith studied the woman for a second. “You don’t have to do this you know. You’ve been handling the part timer thing pretty good. And it helps to have a contact in law enforcement.”
“I know,” Sara sighed. “But it’s not like you don’t need me there. Willow calls all the time with questions about forensic techniques. And you guys really need help in processing the evidence from demon attacks. A can do more good teaching you how to look at a crime scene and deal with evidence and the police than I can part time here.”
“I’m not arguing with you,” Faith said. “We need the help. I just don’t want to leave your life for the wrong reasons.”
Sara turned to look back at the building. “You don’t get it. Those people live to solve puzzles. And I’m starting to become a puzzle to them. Give them enough time and they’ll put it all together. Better I leave now than drag them all into the middle of the supernatural.”
“Is that all?”
“I don’t fit in anymore,” Sara said. “I can’t do this and know all the things I know. I can’t watch Brass go out and make the arrests. I need to be in the field. Being on the sidelines makes me too tense. I could have killed that guy last month. You and Buffy always say we have choices. I choose to embrace what I am.”
Faith nodded. “Let’s get back to your place. Our flight’s booked for this afternoon and Willow wants to go over the stuff you need for your classes.”
Sara turned to give the lab one more look. She was going to miss this place. But she needed to move on. She changed the day she became a Slayer. She tried putting off accepting that change. But she couldn’t anymore. They needed her there more than she was needed here.
And she could be her real self there. She wouldn’t have to hide what she was.
Gil Grissom watched Sara get into her car with one of the women he had seen her with occasionally. The two drove off.
He knew something had changed in Sara. He didn’t know what it was. But something changed all those months ago. She hadn’t really seemed herself anymore. She seemed torn. He didn’t know by what. But she had lost her focus.
It hurt to see her go. But he saw something in her eyes when she told him she was leaving that he hadn’t seen in a long time.
He saw certainty. She had made a decision and seemed to have found herself after months of struggling.
Silently he wished her the best in whatever life she had chosen.