DISCLAIMER: Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS and various others own CSI, not me. I just played in their sandpit for a while.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Freaks are always good box office."
Stacy Vollmer hadn't been a freak. But she hadn't been perfect either. Sara knew the type all too well. They had haunted her high school days. She tried so hard not to see a little of herself in Hannah West. A twelve year old girl on the stand confessing to the murder for which her brother was on trial. A twelve year old prodigy.
Sara hadn't been a prodigy, but she had been at the top end of the scale. Her personality, her background, the scandal of her family, her mother's imprisonment in a mental facility had all conspired to make her the freak, the perennial odd one out. Twelve was a hideous age to be. Sometimes she wondered how she ever survived it. In the black times she wondered if she did.
"If you think about it too much it will eat you alive," a familiar voice made her start.
Sara wondered how long she had been sitting there. The shadows had grown appreciably longer. Sofia sat beside her on the bench, handed her a Styrofoam cup of steaming coffee. Sara sipped at it gratefully. Her stomach rumbled sharply, wanting more substantial sustenance and Sara did not suppress the smile as Sofia solemnly handed her a cream cheese bagel.
"She didn't do it she told me," Sara said. "She knows that if she does get convicted they'll go easy on her easier than they would have on Marlon. She's planning to write a book about it all in about ten years time. I doubt if we'll appear in a very good light."
"You might I think of all of us you came closest to figuring her out," Sofia said. "The rest of us were just game pieces. That kid is scary-smart right enough," Sofia shuddered. "We did the best we could, Sara. Sometimes we just have to face the fact that the evidence on its own isn't going to be enough." She yawned. "I'm heading out. Brass told me he doesn't want to see me for two days at least. What about you?"
"The same. Grissom and Greg are picking up the slack apparently. I think Nick's already gone home. It got to him as well."
"The real tragedy is I don't think her brother appreciates what she did for him," Sara said. "I think he just saw it as Hannah showing off again, Hannah making him feel small and stupid."
"One day he'll realize just how lucky he was. I think cases with kids that commit murder always do affect those who have to investigate them," Sofia said. "Thankfully they're still rare."
Sara nodded. "We prefer to think of childhood as a time of innocence. Even when your suspect is only a child in years. In brains and ability "
"Her mother called her an `indigo child'. Apparently she's the next stage in human evolution."
"I don't know if I believe that yeah, Hannah's smart but that seems unreal."
"And it gives you such hope for the future," Sofia groaned. "I mean, this new breed that was supposed to have such compassion, such intuition either coldbloodedly committed murder or aided and abetted her brother in the commission of the crime and/or impeding our investigation of it."
"Everyone tells her that she's super-smart, a new type of human her parents, her teachers," Sara said. "She's in the same class as people four-five years her senior. That's got to affect you no matter how level-headed you are. High School can be nightmare enough without that." She glanced across at Sofia. "You're not another one for whom High School was the best time of your life are you?" Sofia just smiled. Sara sighed, turned her mind back to her original theme. "To be told, to be shown day in day out that you are superior it's got to mess with you "
"I'll take your everyday run-of-the-mill human every day present company excepted of course." Sofia quirked a smile.
Sara frowned, sipped her coffee to hide her confusion and embarrassment. "I'm not "
"Don't sell yourself short you keep doing that," Sofia said sharply, then looked away. "Jeez, I'm sorry. That came out all kinds of wrong."
Sara found herself fascinated with the faint blush that suffused Sofia's cheeks. "It's okay. It's a long standing defense mechanism," she said. "I was never in Hannah's league but I was always at the top academically. Like her, I threw off the curve, especially in science and other subjects I was really interested in. The trouble was I wasn't an all-rounder I just sucked at everything else. Sports people " She waited until Sofia met her eyes again. "You knew straight away, even without what the evidence was telling us that Marlon was guilty. You saw it in his eyes. I can't read people like that "
"You're way better at it than your boss " Sofia said. "He's just about blind though occasionally he sees what he wants to see."
Sara knew she had been equally guilty of that. "He thought that you'd been sleeping with Ecklie." She could understand why it irritated Sofia so much: similar rumours that periodically surfaced about her and Grissom were equally mortifying.
"And therefore I'd sleep with him " Sofia shuddered delicately. "No thank you so not my type."
Sara needed to know. "So who or what is your type?" she asked softly.
Sofia leaned closer, her expression enigmatic. "That, Miss Sidle, is a conversation for another time and place." For a long moment they just stared at each other. Shocked, Sara was sure that Sofia was going to kiss her. Slightly more shocking was the revelation that she wanted Sofia to kiss her very badly indeed. Still, they did not touch. The moment passed but was not forgotten by either of them.
Sara remembered where they were. The very public corridor in LAPD HQ was definitely not the place to be having a conversation that could get very personal. "So when would be good for you?" she asked.
Return to C.S.I. Fiction
Return to Main Page