DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I’m done speculating Sara’s fate. The addition of a new character certainly doesn’t help the ‘Save Sara’ cause, so here’s what 15 voters wanted to see if Sara dies. It would’ve been my choice as well. Special thanks to mrswoman who took time away from her holiday to beta this one.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Last Gasp Effort
By Ann


The red, white, and blue flashing lights cast an eerie glow across the dark desert sky as car after car sped towards the deathtrap which held Sara captive. The investigator lay near death under the wreckage, her breathing slow and extremely shallow. The sound of approaching vehicles was just enough to force Sara to try to open her eyes, but they stubbornly remained closed; the effort was just too much for her.

Sofia jumped from the lead car and raced towards Sara, immediately grabbing for the investigator's wrist to check for a pulse. The detective held her breath until finally she detected a single beat.

"Where are the damn EMTs? She's still alive!" Sofia looked up to find a stunned Grissom looking down at them. "There's barely a pulse," she whispered with a slight catch in her words.

Grissom slowly went to one knee, reaching out a shaky hand to stroke Sara's hair. Sofia briefly closed her eyes and shook her head, wondering if she'd followed her desires and pursued Sara when she came back to Vegas, this horrible nightmare might've been avoided. The detective quickly stood, heading to see what was taking the EMTs so long. She passed a fast moving Catherine along the way.

"Sara! Hey, hang in there, okay? We're here now." Catherine took her place on the other side of Sara and grabbed her hand, looking down at the only woman who'd ever given her a run for her money. Their fights at the lab were legendary, and Catherine had loved every minute of it. Sara just couldn't die.

Sara felt herself slipping away; she could barely feel the touch on her head and hand. Reaching to her deepest reserves, she slowly opened her eyes. She needed to see her friends one last time.

A blurry-looking Greg stood by the nearest squad car, shifting from foot to foot and wiping away the occasional tear. Sara wanted so badly to tell him how proud she was of him, but she knew she couldn't afford to waste any extra energy until she'd seen everyone.

Nick and Warrick were arguing with a few officers and pointing towards the car. Sara could only guess that they had their own ideas as to how the car should be removed. It was so very typical of her friends that Sara really wished she could chuckle.

Focusing past the two men, Sara spotted Sofia, waving the ambulance through the police vehicles. The detective was doing everything in her power to hurry the men along, but Sara knew it wouldn't matter. She only had a few breaths left.

Shifting her eyes upwards, Sara peered through swollen lids at Grissom. He seemed to be concentrating on the movement of his hand as he continued to stroke her hair. Sara wished she could tell him that she'd enjoyed their time together, but she couldn't. Mostly because it was a physical impossibility, but also because then she'd have to tell him that she'd wanted to go back to being friends. Blackness crept into the corner of her eyes, and Sara took the last moment to say a silent good-bye to Catherine.

Catherine Willows had been a thorn in her side ever since she first came to Vegas, but there was something about their volatile relationship that meant more to Sara than any relationship, friendship or otherwise, that she'd ever had. She raised her eyes to the other woman, only to find Catherine's eyes closed.

Sara could hear the sound of running feet approaching, and she began to shut her eyes for the final time, but Catherine's words kept them open.

"Get that bitch out of here!"

Following Catherine's gaze, Sara focused on a young woman standing a few feet away. There was something familiar to Sara about the woman, and the handcuffs she wore instantly jogged her memory. It was the woman who'd put her under the car; it was the woman who would become her killer.

The next minute passed in slow motion. Catherine released Sara's hand and moved to stand so that the EMTs would have room to work just as Sara's world literally passed before her eyes in a matter of seconds, her last visions involving every one of her team members, including Sofia and Brass. The woman had taken her family away from her.

With strength she didn't know she possessed, Sara grabbed Catherine's gun and aimed towards her abductor. The woman was smirking at her; she knew Sara was as good as dead. Sara hesitated for just a moment, weighing the consequences of her actions, but she knew that Catherine would understand. She'd be damned if she was going gentle into that good night.

Taking her last breath, Sara pulled the trigger.

The End

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