A Return to Faith. A Return to Avalon.

Chapter 6

Saturday April 22nd, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada
Timber Rose Drive
O’Brian and Phillips Residence
10:45 a.m.

That Sunday everyone save Elizabeth had gone out for the day, Betsy claiming a migraine. So the six had spent the day out, going to the movies and seeing Antonio Bandaras’ latest, Take the Lead, then heading to the stables to see Tristan and Isolde, Billy and Sara’s horses given to them, as was done for each Priestess and Druid, when they passed their test. Tristan was a Clydesdale–Thoroughbred mix, bay with a black mane and tail, the familiar white muzzle and feathering on the legs of its Clydesdale heritage. Isolde was a Thoroughbred as well, known as Bay-Grey, she had long since turned completely white in color, her black mane, tail, and the black markings on her lower legs, muzzle and tips of her ears looking more like steel grey than black.

Elizabeth as well had been given a horse the day she and Sara passed and received their Priestess marks, the mark of the Goddess. Epona was a Cleveland Bay, with a black mane and tail, and black markings almost identical to those Isolde had, though Epona truly looked black. She, like Billy and Sara, never competed with their ‘babies’. They left that to Juli, the three were gifts from the Goddess, for their use to travel around Avalon when there on the Island, and to provide a link to Avalon wherever they were. Each horse having been born on the Island...

After they made the arrangements so when they found a stable in Vegas Isolde and Tristan would be shipped to Vegas, they headed back to the house with supplies for dinner. Initially none of them thought anything of not seeing Elizabeth anywhere, figuring she was sleeping off her migraine. After dinner was made though, Sara headed up and knocked on her door, getting no answer she had opened it and found all of her stuff gone. A quick e-mail check had confirmed she had headed back to Seattle; she needed a bit of time to herself. They didn’t push, they knew better.

Two days later, Jasmine, Juli and Rebecca had gone to the airport, making their way back to their homes as well. And by the following week, Billy and Sara had found a place in Vegas, and already signed the paperwork. They had found a four bedroom in Country Rose Estates, enough room for Elaine to have her own room, it had been decided it would be best if Elaine was living with them so she could train Sara around her schedule in regards to the babies, both while pregnant and after the babies were born. And they found a stable, not twenty minutes from the house. They had movers come in and pack up many things from the house, just some things they would want with them, before closing up the Victorian in Cambridge until the next person went to use it for a vacation…or they went back for Billy’s funeral, though none of them were ready to deal with that thought.

They had been in Vegas just two days, the first day spent buying furniture for the house, and the movers had arrived the day before and had unpacked everything, save for boxes that Sara intended to open herself. And so that morning she had gotten up and started unpacking the Knick-Knacks…Billy’s collection of memorabilia from Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia had their own room down in the basement, though she did adore their basement, they were sort of on a hill so the back of the basement opened to the backyard, the first floor had a large deck in back.

“I remember that,” Billy smiled when he saw what Sara was unwrapping.

“You should,” she teased as she carefully set the medal on the stand they had made years before. Reaching up she gently traced the familiar writing.

X X V
OLYMPIADA
BARCELONA
1 9 9 2


Saturday July 25th, 1992
Spain
Barcelona, Catalonia
Estadi Olímpic de Montijuic Stadium

“I still can’t believe we’re here…dat they’re here,” Rebecca sighed, sitting back so she was even with Sara and Jasmine.

“You and me both,” Sara smiled. “They deserve it though…”

“Wish we were down there too,” Jasmine smiled.

Since they had all started college…well, the fall semester of their first year, they had each participated in at least one sport for the school. Rebecca played softball and Jasmine diving. Juli and Billy both ran track, Billy doing hurdles, Juli just straight running. Billy also did archery, which he had dragged both Sara and Elizabeth into a love of; the two also did fencing together. Though of the two, Sara was the better fencer, Elizabeth the better archer.

Which led to the here and now, after almost six years at Harvard, Juli, Billy, and Elizabeth had all been offered spots on the U.S. Olympic team, Billy for the 400m and 110m Hurdles; Juli for the 100m, 200m, and 400m races, and Elizabeth competing in Archery. And of course the other three were not letting them come all the way to Spain without them.

“Maybe next time we’ll get to go,” Sara shrugged. “I’m just thrilled for them.”

“You said it, Girlfriend,” Rebecca smiled. “Oh! Here come the Americans. There they are!” she continued with a grin as they spotted the three who were waving little Harvard flags so they could spot them.

“This is going to be the best week,” Jasmine predicted with a sigh of contentment.

“Hear hear,” Sara agreed.


Saturday April 22nd, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada
Timber Rose Drive
O’Brian and Phillips Residence
10:48 a.m.

Fifteen days later the three were back in the stadium, watching once more as the American athletes entered, and Juli, Billy and Elizabeth got to enjoy their moments of glory. They hadn’t won, but they didn’t care. They had made it; they had competed. And they had the Participation medals that were just as good as Gold, Silver or Bronze to them…of course they would have gladly taken a Gold, Silver, or Bronze…

They had seen others win, the Men’s Dream Team in Basketball, Shannon Miller in Gymnastics and the Women’s team win Bronze in Gymnastics. They once more had their fun going on a shopping spree, and added more pins to their backpack collections from Calgary. It was two weeks they would never forget, two weeks they never wanted to forget…

“Where are you at?” Billy teased softly.

“Just remembering,” Sara shrugged before slipping the protective case over the display. Behind the medal was a picture of the three of them in their Team U.S.A. jackets, holding up their medals with grins to rival any they would have had if they had actually won one of the major medals.

Billy shook his head lightly before turning and setting one of the photo frames from their wedding up on the mantle near his medal. A graduation picture of the six of them sat nearby. “So when are you going to go see the CSIs?” he asked after a moment, reaching over to grab the crystal figurine she dropped in her shock. “You can’t avoid them forever melethril.”

“I can try,” she countered before rolling her eyes. “Yes, yes, I know. I’ll go next week to the lab and see them on my schedule…”

“Good,” he smiled. “You know I’m only pushing you ‘cause you need to deal with things right, cause I love you?”

“I know,” Sara smiled. “Now get your butt back to work unpacking, Mister!” she ordered lightly.

“Yes ma’am,” he grinned before turning back to unwrap the collection of Disney figurines that went in the curio cabinet they had brought from Cambridge.

“Nut,” Sara muttered, grinning as she turned back to unwrap another frame.


Saturday June 10th, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada
CSI Headquarters
Break Room
1:48 a.m.

“Hey, Sara Sidle O’Brian…what are you doing here?” Greg asked with a smile when he walked into the break room and saw Sara on the couch.

“Waiting for the lot of you to take lunch,” she shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep, was craving coffee so decided to come here where I could smell the stuff Days makes and get the craving out of my system.”

“Poor thing, can’t have coffee,” Greg chuckled before popping his head out of the room to yell down the hall. “Get in here for lunch, Sara’s here!”

“Aren’t you just Mr. Announcement Maker today,” Sara smirked before sighing as she turned to sit with her feet up on the other end.

“Ehh, reminds me of the days in the lab,” he shrugged. “So, what are you doing here?”

“Sara! What are you doing here?” Nick asked as he came in, before walking over to where she was to give her a hug.

Before she had a chance to answer, the others, save Grissom, began filing into the room, giving their hellos. She had been surprised when she “surprised” them at work that week after Billy brought up seeing them. She was evil about it quite frankly; she knew that. After Billy had crashed one night, and Elaine was close to dropping, she made her way from the house towards the lab. Judy had been thrilled to see her, and quickly let her in after she signed in as a visitor. She had made her way towards the Break Room, taking a seat and looking through the catalog she had of nursery sets to pass the time until someone, if not all of them, came in for coffee, lunch…anything. It hadn’t taken long for someone to come in, and she nearly laughed when Warrick came in, headed straight for the coffee, and had poured a cup. He turned and was leaning on the counter, taking his first sip of coffee and staring right at her…for a moment he didn’t even seem to register that she was there, then he spit his coffee back in the cup and started to stutter…then she laughed. She had never heard him stutter before…

By the time the next member of night shift had wandered into the room, Warrick was securely placed on the couch next to her, looking at nursery themes and giving his opinion. He had put it...‘paperwork can wait for a few hours…I’m not letting you out of my sight girl’. Next had been Nick, who was walking past the break room when he glanced in the windows, and promptly ran straight into a door Greg had just opened across the hallway. Immediately of course, both men were in the Break Room, Greg bouncing from one foot to the other as Nick got a hug before he got his chance. Hug finished, Greg turned and ran from the room, on the hunt for the others while Nick claimed the spot on Sara’s other side. After a brief glare for taking off without a word, not informing them of her wedding until after the fact…not even giving them the chance to interrogate her husband…he joined Warrick in giving pointers on nursery themes upon learning she was pregnant on top of everything else. Warrick was leaning towards the music notes theme, Nick of course the cowgirl upon learning she was expecting girls.

Catherine had planted herself directly in front of Sara, hands on her hips before launching into a rather toned down for Catherine, not exceptionally angry, more teasing, speech about being such a pain in the ass and running off to get married to some dude they knew nothing about and how dare she not invite any of them to her wedding, and why didn’t any of them know that she obviously liked Disney and The Lord of the Rings…and where did she find her wedding dress, it looked like she just stepped out of the movie…better yet where did she find her husband…he wasn’t Viggo Mortensen but damn he was just as good.

Eventually they had gotten Catherine to stop and sit down, and Grissom arrived. They didn’t say much…a hello and a hug…then she was interrogated by everyone, though Grissom didn’t say much, just listened, about Billy, how they knew each other, everything under the sun. Then the interrogation of how much she knew about the pregnancy began. Fortunately no one really pushed for the…when…details. Eventually they started filing out of the room, and Sara found herself alone with Grissom for a minute, he had smiled sadly before nodding and telling her congratulations, that he was happy for her, and finally gave her a real hug.

“You hoo, you alive there?” Greg called, pulling Sara back from her thoughts.

“You’ve been staring at the wall for about ten minutes Sara,” Gil teased with a smile.

“Shut up,” she countered with a chuckle.

“So, what brings you by today?” Warrick asked with a smile.

“I’m the only one awake and I can’t sleep,” she shrugged. “So, have an offer for you guys.”

“Oh?”

“Mmm,” she nodded. “We wanted to invite all of you to breakfast; you can finally meet Billy and Elaine…”

“About time!” Greg grinned.

“And you can bring Lindsey.”

“We’ll be there,” Catherine smiled, “Just give me directions.”

“We’re over in Country Rose Estates.”

“Nice,” Warrick nodded. “Need us to bring anything?”

“You, your wife if Tina’s available,” she countered with a smirk.

“Meant more along the lines of food.”

“Relax, I got it covered.”

“You do?” Greg asked skeptically.

“I’m cooking breakfast,” she shrugged before noticing the looks of disbelief on everyone’s faces, save Grissom’s. “What? I can cook you know.”

“Really…” Greg nodded, still skeptical.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” Sara groaned as she rose. “Look people I know I’m the living embodiment of Feminism to half if not all of the people in this lab but that doesn’t mean I can’t do the simplest things like cook or sew or anything like that. I’ll have you know that I’m actually an excellent cook and textilist. Oh, I give up on you people,” she huffed seeing the looks of disbelief still on their faces. “I am going to head home now and try and get a bit of sleep so I can be completely wide awake to enjoy the expressions on all of your faces when you find out I can indeed cook. Why people never believe anything when you tell them is beyond me, you’d think they’d know not to doubt a woman…” she trailed off as she disappeared around the hall, leaving the five in the break room.

“Okay... I think the hormones have finally kicked in,” Greg mused before Catherine smacked the back of his head. “Hey!”

“Stop picking on her,” Catherine ordered before turning and leaving the break room to go back to work.


Saturday August 19th, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada
Willows Residence
3:26 p.m.

“I can’t believe you managed to get everyone here,” Sara chuckled, looking around at the guests attending her baby shower. Well technically it was the first of three, Jasmine, Juli and Rebecca were planning one when they arrived, hopefully with Elizabeth in tow, no one had heard from her since she left Cambridge, they knew she was alright, she, Elaine and Billy would have heard otherwise from Avalon…but still....

Elaine and the other Preistesses and Maidens that had joined the local clan after Elaine took charge, were planning one of their own. This one though was Catherine’s brainchild…her evil brainchild at that.

“I’m good,” Catherine smiled. She had invited everyone who had once worked with Sara to her house for a party, getting their RSVPs and everything…then with two weeks notice she informed them that it was a baby shower for Sara and there was no getting out of it. Everyone was there from the ladies of course, to every one of the male members of the group. And none of them were able to get out. So, come the morning of the nineteenth, Catherine had a house full of Night Shift employees, and many new memories that she planned to torture a few of the guys with for the rest of their lives. Such as Hodges winning the name that baby food contest. She still didn’t know how he was able to name each and every aspect of the baby food’s contents…she didn’t want to know…

“You’re nuts,” Sara countered, “Why is Greg dressing up Pooh and Eeyore in the onesies he got?”

“Cause he’s Greg?” Catherine suggested. “Got to love those onesies though…how he managed to get a set that say “CSI Level 1 in Training” is beyond me…”

“He’s Greg,” they chorused together before laughing. “Thanks for this though Cath,” Sara smiled.

“You’re welcome,” Catherine gave her a one-armed hug. “Come on, let’s go rescue poor Eeyore and Pooh from Greg.”

“Hear hear,” Sara agreed, letting Catherine take the lead before following after at a slower pace.


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