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Disclaimer: CSI belongs to CBS. The story belongs to me. I am not making any money from this.

This story was originally written in July of 2008, but was edited 10/31/2017.

Nick Stokes yawned as he entered the crime lab alongside Sara Sidle who he had worked with on a 419. He was glad to be back in the lab and finished with the case except for paper work. Their perp had confessed after seeing the evidence they had found which closed the case. With any luck he would be able to go home an hour or two early if their supervisor, Gil Grissom, didn't have any other cases he needed help with.

"It's awfully quiet in here," Sara observed as they walked through the corridors.

"Maybe that's a good thing," Nick told her with a shrug of his shoulders.

Suddenly Hodges walked out of the Trace lab glaring at them. "I blame you," he said simply looking back and forth between the two of them.

"What are you rambling about now, Hodges?" Nick questioned with a glance toward Sara who only shrugged her own shoulders in response.

"You two were the ones who encouraged him to leave the lab and become a CSI. You two were the ones who made him feel better after a rough case that might have brought him back to the lab. I blame you for this," Hodges stated as if it was the most logical concept in the world.

"Hodges, are you talking about Greg," Sara questioned. "Let me guess he solved a case all by himself and you are now jealous and blaming us?"

"No, I blame you for his death," Hodges said.

"What are you talking about?" Nick demanded. He did not want to deal with Hodges warped sense of humor, he was too tired.

"His 406; it turns out the perp was still at the scene. Archie and I were in the break room when it came on the news. They announced that a Crime Scene Investigator was killed and a police officer was injured. Archie was the one who realized who was killed. He said that it was Greg's scene, he said Greg told him about it because he was excited that it was his first solo scene since his beating."

"No," Sara said and rushed to the A/V lab to find Archie. Nick assumed she went to the Audio/video tech so he could tell her if Hodges was lying or not.

"Hodges, how could you say that, that is not funny," Nick said becoming angry and clenching his hands into fists.

"I wish I was joking. Despite Sanders short comings, he did have a habit of making the lab more fun, especially after a hard night. Yet another reason he should never  have been encouraged to leave the lab," Hodges said and walked back into the Trace lab as Bobby Dawson stepped out of the Ballistics lab.

"Bobby," Nick said. He could see sadness in Bobby's face as the man approached him. "Tell me Hodges was lying, tell me that Greg is fine," he pleaded knowing that he sounded pathetic.

"I don't know for certain what happened, Nick. All I know is that when they announced that a CSI had been killed at a house on Cape Stable Lane. Archie dropped his coffee cup, fell to his knees, and started saying no over and over. I paged Grissom to contact me, but I haven't heard from him yet," Bobby explained.

Nick felt his stomach twist into knots, there was still a chance that it wasn't Greg, but if not Greg then who? Grissom and Catherine had a 419 in a casino on the strip and Warrick had a 419 in Henderson. Greg was the only one who had not had a 419. This couldn't be happening. Greg was his friend, and he had already been through so much. How could he have survived the beating, made it through the trial only to be killed on a simple Break and Entry case a few months later?

"Nick," Bobby spoke loudly to get his attention. "Maybe you should try calling Grissom or Catherine yourself? Maybe he'll get back to you sooner than me. After all I don't have any of his evidence, so there's no reason for him to call me immediately until he gets a minute."

"Yeah," Nick nodded. He was already numbly reaching into his pocket for his phone when another phone began to ring. It was Bobby's cell phone. Bobby looked up at him before taking the device out of his lab coat pocket.

"It... its Grissom," Bobby said looking at the caller ID. He took a deep breath before flipping the phone open and responding, "Dawson." Bobby shifted his weight nervously. "Yes sir, Archie saw it, said it was Sanders’ scene. No, they... they said the CSI was killed and the police officer was injured, I saw it myself when it was repeated. I see," Bobby nodded. "Yes, Nick and Sara are both here. I will do that, I understand. Thank you."

"Was that Grissom," Sara asked after the ballistics tech closed his phone and ended the call. She and Archie stood in the doorway of the A/V lab. It was obvious that Sara had been crying. Archie looked pale and looked like he was fighting to hold back his own tears.

"Yes," Bobby nodded.

"Is it true," Hodges asked from the entrance of the Trace lab.

Nick watched as Bobby closed his eyes before shaking his head. A single tear slid down the man's cheek and Nick felt like he would be sick. But then he watched a smile grace the man's face as well and allowed a sliver of hope to raise out of the ashes of despair that gripped his heart like a vice.

"The... the TV station made a mistake. The police officer was killed and Greg was injured. Greg is at the hospital now. Grissom is there with him, but they need to get back to their scene. Nick, he wants you and Sara to go to the hospital to pick Greg up and take him to his apartment. Grissom will wait at the hospital with him until you arrive." Bobby said looking Nick in the eye.

"He's alright," Archie's weak sounding voice interrupted the silence that had filled the hallway as Bobby's words finally began to register.

"Yes," Bobby nodded with a grin as he turned to look at Archie and Sara. "He's alive, and probably already itching to get out of the hospital," Bobby assured him.

Nick watched as Sara smiled and wrapped Archie in a relieved hug before realizing that she needed to get to the hospital to see Greg. He knew how she felt; he needed to see Greg with his own eyes to make sure that he really was alive.


Chapter End Notes:

This is the shortest story that I have written yet. :) I thought about adding more to the story like what really happened to Greg, but I think the story works well on its own. I may one day write a separate story telling Greg's version of what really happened, I'm not sure about that yet though.

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