DISCLAIMER: Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS and various others own CSI, not me. I just played in their sandpit for a while.
SERIES/SEQUEL: Final part of 'The Nina Simone Suite', following Little Visions of You, Mia-Anderings, Let It Be Me, The Human Touch and Little Girl Blue.
SPOILERS: Set during the Season 5 Episode: Nesting Dolls.
SOUNDTRACK: Nina Simone "The Desperate Ones" (from the Album "And Piano" by Nina Simone. Words and music by Jacques Brel, Jouannest, Eric Blau, Mort Shuman.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
DEDICATED: For the one I love as always.

Death is Just a Name
By Celievamp

Warrick came out of the CSI building just in time to see Sara and Mia exit from Sara's car. Sara went to the back of her car to get something from her kit and Mia followed her, playfully putting her arms around the smaller woman and kissing the back of her neck. Warrick smiled at the almost shy blush he could see steal across Sara's cheeks, the sweet slow smile that teased her lips even as she frowned. He read her lips easily. "Mia! Someone might see us!"

Mia looked directly at him for a moment. "Let them," she said, leaning to kiss her lover again. Sara half turned to meet her lips, her hand stealing up to brush through Mia's thick dark hair.

They kissed again and now Warrick turned away, suddenly feeling too much the voyeur. It was good to see Sara in a healthy relationship. He had a lot of time for Mia as well. Since his off-the-cuff comment about the music of Nina Simone he had heard her distinctive voice and music several times emanating from the DNA lab. The girl definitely had taste.

He caught up with them again later in the morning outside the locker room. Developments to the case they were working on meant that, largely thanks to Sara's hard work and expertise, they had a face to their Jane Doe, if not yet a name. With a soft touch to her arm, Mia left her lover to go to her domain, the DNA lab where the latest samples from the mysterious mass grave awaited her attention.

"So how long have you been carpooling with Mia?" Warrick asked.

"It's convenient for us to come in together when our shift patterns match," Sara said. "And when they don't we try to meet for breakfast. It's… nice, civilised, you know."

Nick came up in time to hear the last part of their conversation. "What's civilised?" he asked.

"Sara and Mia meet to eat breakfast most mornings," Warrick said. "So do you eat at your place… her place?" He raised an eyebrow, challenging her.

"Mostly we eat at a little diner just off Maitland. They do a great range of vegetarian and organic foods," Sara said.

"I thought Mia didn't eat out… germs," Nick frowned.

"She does when she's with me," Sara smiled.

"Maybe the company's the key," Warrick murmured.

"You did a great job on that mould by the way," Nick said. "The face should be good enough to get an ID."

"Hope so. Fingerprints are out and we're still waiting on the DNA," Warrick said. "Mia's still running it but all the samples were pretty degraded."

"I'm heading out to look at ER records. Someone wired her jaw back together," Sara said. "Hopefully there'll be a photo in the records I can match to our face."

"Not a job I fancy," Warrick grimaced. "Good luck with that."

She flashed him a quick smile but it didn't reach her eyes. This was really bothering her. More than usual even for this type of case.

Work with someone long enough and you usually find out what makes them tick, what drives them, inspires them, terrifies them. In Sara's case it was the same answer for all – cases involving women abused or murdered by their partners, cases involving injury to children by a parent or other family member. He remembered her words. "Ten to one, it's domestic abuse. Beat up, then shut up." Always conscientious and hard working on these cases she would drive herself well beyond tolerance levels. Usually she had to be ordered to go home, to eat, to sleep. None of them knew why. Something in her past that she never talked about. Warrick could feel it in his bones that it was going to be the same this time. He caught the same look on Nick's face as they watched Sara walk away down the corridor, then glanced across the way towards the DNA lab. Just maybe they had an ace up their sleeve this time in safeguarding their friend from her demons.

"Do you think Sara's told her anything?" Nick asked softly.

"We'll never know from either of them if they've come to care for each other as much as I think they have," Warrick said. "But a heads-up that Sara's gonna be hurting wouldn't come amiss." Nick nodded. Warrick headed towards the lab.

"Mia… Sara's gone to check medical records, see if she can't put a name to the face she reconstructed," Warrick said. "It could be a long job…"

Mia froze, just for a moment and he could see it in her eyes. She knew. She knew what haunted Sara Sidle. She knew what drove her. Five years of working together and she had told him less than nothing about herself, her past. Five months with this woman and Sara had told her her deepest darkest secrets. This must be the real deal. Warrick only hoped that Mia understood just how privileged she was.

"My shift finishes at three, but there's enough to do to warrant a little overtime. I'll stay around until she gets back," Mia said. "Make sure she's okay."

"Good idea," Warrick said. Hopefully Sara would see Mia first when she got back and get a chance to decompress a little rather than someone like Ecklie or (he hated to admit it) Catherine. If he saw her he would certainly do his best to steer her in the DNA lab's direction. "If you guys want to go out for a drink later…"

"You'll have to take a raincheck for tonight I think, but we'll take you up on that sometime soon, I promise." Mia's solemn face brightened with a smile. "Thank you, Warrick."

He knew that it was for more than the offer of a drink. And he couldn't help but feel that Sara Sidle was a damn lucky woman.

Desperate Ones
   (from the Album "And Piano" by Nina Simone. Words and music by Jacques Brel, Jouannest, Eric Blau, Mort Shuman

They hold each others hands
They walk without a sound
Down forgotten streets
Their shadows kiss the ground
Their footsteps
sing a song
That's ended before it's begun
They walk without a sound
The desperate ones

Just like the tiptoe moth
That dance before the flame
They burn their hearts so much
That death is just a name
And if love calls again
So foolishly they run, they run, they run
They run, they run, they run, they run
They run without a sound
The desperate ones

I know the road they're on
I've walked their crooked mile
A hundred times or more
I drank their cup of bile
They watch their dreams go down
Behind the setting sun
Yeh, yeh, yeh, they walk without a sound
The desperate ones

Let he who threw the stone at them
Stand up and take a bow
He knows the verb "to love"
But he'll never, never, never know how
On the bridge of nevermore
They disappear one by one
Disappear without a sound
The desperate ones

And underneath the bridge
The water's sweet and deep
This is their journey's end
The land of endless sleep
They cry to us for help
We think it's all in fun,
They cry, they cry, they cry, they cry
Without a sound
They disappear without a sound
They walk without a sound without a sound
Disappear without a sound
Cry without a sound
Yai, yaj, yaj, yaj, yaj, yaj, yaj
The desperate ones

The End

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