DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of CBS, Jerry Bruckheimer etc. I own no characters except Jude.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Jen

Part One


Catherine's angry words could be heard as she exited the house, making her way to where her brunette counterpart stood, her elbows resting on the hood of her SUV, supporting her head.

"What the hell is going on? Have you lost every last shred of professionalism?"

Catherine paused, taking calming breaths as Sara pushed away from the Denali, unsteadily walking towards the trunk, where she pulled out a duffel bag. She wasn't sure why she was so angry, it really wasn't that big deal that Sara had fled the crime scene, pale and sick, and it wasn't as if any evidence had been compromised. Hell, if it had been any of the guys, she probably would have been worried. But it wasn't one of the guys, it was Sara, and she had always held Sara to higher standards.

Sara pulled a bottle of water from the bag, taking a swig and rinsing out her mouth before taking a smaller sip and holding the cool water to her forehead. She was fighting hard to control her tears, the sting of Catherine's words not helping much. She turned her back to the blonde, leaning against her vehicle as she tried to block out the images she had just witnessed. It was too late, though, they'd be embedded in her mind forever, right alongside every other heart-wrenching bloodbath she had been a part of. With shaking hands, she took another small sip of water, hoping to soothe her reeling stomach.

"Will you be able to pull yourself togther enough to work the case, or do I need to get someone else in here?" Catherine's words came out a lot harsher than she had intended, and she felt a stab of pain in her heart as the other woman's posture crumbled slightly.

"That depends. If I say I can work the case, will you let me?" Sara asked with a shaky voice.

Catherine rolled her eyes, "If you say you can work it, and you can refrain from puking once we get inside, then I really don't care if you work our John Doe or not."

"What if I tell you that I can identify him. Would you still let me work it?" Sara asked, her voice strained, "Or will you send me back to the lab to wallow in self pity?"

Catherine's eyes narrowed, "Depends. Can you ID him?" She watched as Sara bit her lip, then asked in an exasperated tone, "What the hell is going on Sara? Tell me, now."

"His name is Jude. Jude Sidle." Sara said, choking back a sob as she resumed her position on the Denali hood, her head cradled in her elbows. "He's my older brother." her muffled voice added to Catherine's silence. "Forget it, I'll just call Greg and switch nights off with him."

Catherine found herself unable to speak as Sara unsteadily walked around to the driver's side door, throwing it open and collapsing on the seat, tears starting to flow as she reached for her cell phone. Deciding that any words she'd find to speak to the brunette would probably make her feel worse, Catherine walked back towards the house, pulling her own cell out.

"Grissom, it's Catherine. We've got a problem with the burglary/murder case."

Catherine stood outside of Sara's apartment, knocking for the sixth time. All of her questions over the younger CSI's past had been answered over the course of the last 7 hours, leaving Catherine with the overwhelming desire to try and patch up the shaky relationship she had with Sara.

Jude Sidle had not been a saint in his lifetime, yet Catherine was unable to not feel sorry for him. He had been born to addict parents, Laura Sidle favoring alcohol, while Matthew Sidle favored alcohol, weed, and, in the years leading up to his death, acid. Medical records for Jude Sidle included many trips to the emergency room for broken bones, both minor and major, several treatments for concussions, and right after his 15th birthday, admission for a punctured lung, caused by a broken rib and a severe beating. Child Services had been called only after this offense. A preliminary evaluation was done on the Sidle family, but after interviewing the children and neighbors, they had decided to let the children remain in the home until further evaluations had been conducted.

They never had the chance to do a follow-up. Two weeks later, after a particularly aggressive fight, Laura Sidle had murdered her husband in front of both children. She had claimed insanity, while Jude finally revealed details of their abusive family situation. The report showed that Sara had refused to speak to the officers or social workers, and once she finally did open up to a counselor, she disputed every statement Jude made, maintaining that her family had been perfectly functional and average, despite her medical records showing a long history of physical and sexual abuse. Laura utilized the insanity plea and the children were placed in foster care. Jude had been transferred from home to home, many times being reassigned due to fighting or stealing from his foster parents. At the age of 16, the system lost track of him and his records were incomplete for two years, until his first arrest at the age of 18 for domestic assault. Charges were dropped, and he relocated from California to Laughlin, NV. For the next 10 years, larceny and public disorderly charges tainted his record. Since age 28, however, there had been no record of criminal activity. A bit of digging showed that he had been admitted to a drug rehab program and spent several years there, before deciding to go to college. He had currently been a senior in Business Administration, just a few months away from graduating with honors.

His recent transformation was impressive, and Catherine was led to question why he had been shot trying to rob a Laughlin home that morning. More digging revealed that Laura Sidle's most recent appeal had been settled as 'time served' which meant that she was now roaming the streets. Phone records showed that she had made contact with him several times. Catherine had assumed she was threatening him in some way, since as a teenager he had told the police she had abused him, as well as Sara, just as frequently as their father had. The only way to even begin to validate that was to go to the other Sidle child and try to get some information out of her.

Catherine had felt sick reading Jude's report, picturing what had happened to he and Sara as children, realizing why Sara behaved and reacted the way she did during some cases. She had been tempted to research Sara as well, but had refrained, unsure if her heart could take any more sadness today.

She knocked on the door again, kicking it as silence penetrated the building. A few seconds later, the door opened to reveal a pale, worn Sara with glazed, red-rimmed eyes. "What are you doing here?"

"I have some questions about Jude." Catherine replied, "And your mother."

Sara's face paled further, and before Catherine had time to react, the brunette's eyes fluttered and she stumbled forward, unconscious.

Part 2

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