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A Moment in Time
By Ann


I glanced into the lab to find her deep in thought. She'd been working on this particular case non-stop, determined to get justice for little Susie Johnson. The evidence was laid out in front of her, and judging from her expression, she was still no closer to finding the killer than she was three days ago. Damn Grissom for not pulling her from the case, or better yet, damn him for assigning the case to her in the first place.

Taking a deep breath, I stepped into the room, unnoticed by my lover. She couldn't go on like this anymore. She hadn't been eating or sleeping, and the only time she'd been off the case was the few quick showers she'd taken. One could only exist on coffee for so long, and it was time she had something of substance.

"Sara?" I said softly, not wanting to startle her.

Her dark eyes swung toward mine, and it appeared I was in for quite a battle. She knew why I was here.

"I'm not leaving," she stated stubbornly, even though she was about to fall off the stool she was perched on.

"Just for a few hours. You need to go home and get some sleep. You'll be fresher when you return," I suggested; however, I planned to drag her out of here kicking and screaming if she'd refused.

"Susie certainly didn't get any rest the last few days of her life. I owe it to her to see this through."

Great. She'd referred to the victim by her first name. This was not good; this was not good at all. Maybe I could turn this around to my advantage.

"Sara, Susie needs for you to be at your best. Can you honestly tell me you're as sharp now as you'd be if you got some sleep?"

She opened her mouth to answer, and I lifted my eyebrow in question, effectively stopping the 'yes' that was forming on her lips. Instead, she bowed her head and whispered, "No."

Walking over, I placed my hand on her back and drew light circles. The slight hitch in her breath told me that it wouldn't take much for her to break down, and there was no way I was going to let her lose it here at the lab.

"C'mon, Sara. Let's secure these things and head home," I replied softly, moving my hand up to rub her neck.

She stood and methodically went through the motions of placing the evidence back into the proper boxes, and together, we headed to the evidence room to lock it up.

Sara didn't say a word on the drive to her apartment nor did she protest when I insisted on accompanying her up the stairs. Once inside, I took her hand and led her to the master bedroom.

She removed her shirt and jeans and pulled on a t-shirt before climbing into bed. I kissed her on the forehead and said, "Sleep. I'll be in the other room if you need me."

Standing, I walked toward the door, but I was stopped by her sad voice, "Sofia, would you lie with me for awhile? I just need you to hold me."

Turning, I slipped out of my clothes and climbed into bed next to her, pulling her into my arms. She melted into my embrace and snuggled into my neck, and within minutes, she was sound asleep.

I stared at the ceiling, cursing the many cruelties of the world. Susie Johnson deserved a wonderful childhood as well as a chance to grow into an adult, and as for Sara, oh, my dear Sara deserved the same childhood. She'd deserved two parents who'd love her and be there for her always.

There was nothing I could do for Susie except work beside my lover to bring her killer to justice; however, for Sara, I planned to always be by her side.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow, we'd celebrate her birthday, the birthday she'd forgotten today.

The End

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