DISCLAIMER: CSI is in no way mine, though I wish it was there would have been no GSR.
WARNING: This story contains mention of self harm and suicide.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Sofrost for the beta.

By Freddie-4884


Part 2

Catherine's POV:

Storming into my office I all but throw the folders that I was carrying onto my desk scattering the contents and pushing my cell phone to the edge of the edge. Slumping into my couch I lean my head back and curse Grissom's impeccable timing to go away on his 'creepy-crawley' convention and departmental meetings. I've just spent the last three hours cooped up in a stuffy, over-heated office going over the statistics for the last month and departmental budgets for the coming month. Sitting on the couch I contemplate the various ways I could kill Grissom, hide the body and get away with it. Chuckling to myself I know no matter how pissed I am at him one look at his 'puppy dog' eyes and he'll be forgiven, but luckily I won't be seeing him for another couple of days. So I get to remain pissed off with him.

My phone beeps pitifully from its current position dangling perilously from the edge of my desk, drawing me from my very pleasant day dream of disembowelling Griss. Slowly I get up from the couch and move over to my desk to rescue it from the floor. While I was in the meeting from hell four messages had been left on my voice mail.

The first two messages are from Grissom asking me to contact him as soon as I got out of the meeting to give him an update. To be honest I think that I'm gonna make him wait a little bit longer. If he wanted to know what was said so badly he could have stayed for the meeting and flew out to his bug convention in the morning. Not to mention I'm still pretty pissed at him, so he's very low on my priority list right now due to his little stunt. The third voice mail is from Lindsay letting me know that she misses me and wishes that I was with her, Nancy and Jeremy at Disneyland. I laugh listening to her describe how my sister screamed on the log chute. I can't help think that Lindsay has inherited more than a little bit of my sadistic nature as she gleefully tells me how Jeremy nearly wet his pants in the haunted house. After a few more minutes of alternating between telling me she misses me and how much she misses me and how much fun she's having with Mickey and Co. she blows me kisses down the phone and wishes me a goodnight. I can't help feel a little sad after hearing Lindsay's message but I can always listen to it later. Expecting the fourth message to be from Nancy giving me a more detailed version of their exploits so far I relax into my chair. As the message start I almost fall off my chair in surprise. Although I know the owner of the voice I still never expected to hear it on my voice mail. I usually only receive pages.

"Hi, it's Sara." Like she'd ever have to introduce herself to me. Her voice is like silk caressing my ears. I could listen to her talk about the weather and I would hang on ever word she spoke.

"I'm sorry to do it like this but I want to say goodbye." Goodbye? Surely she's not leaving? The team would be lost without her. I would be lost. The thought of never seeing her again makes my heart plummet. I know that we're not exactly friends but we are getting there, we are trying. It's my fault that we're just getting to know each other away from work. I've known for a long time that I was attracted to her. I knew that I had to keep her away not because she's a woman or a colleague but because she's Sara Sidle and is in love with Grissom.

"I can't live in a world like this any more and be without you." Oh God, she meant to call Grissom and must have called me by mistake. Even though I know that the call is meant for Grissom I can't end the message. Something in her voice is stopping me. I've never heard her sound so sad. I know the job has been getting to her, it's easy to see, like it gets to us all but there is something else. It's been so long since we last spoke and it wasn't about work. She's been pulling away from me and I have no idea how to reach out to her.

"We see so much horror and ugliness day after day and I know that I, personally, go home after each case leaving a little bit of myself behind with each victim. I know that if I had you I'd be able to re-group myself better. But I don't." I wish I could speak to her now. I want to be the one that she turns to when she feels that the walls are starting to close in on her. Because of the rocky start we had, that I created, we don't have the kind of friendship that we could have if I hadn't been so pig-headed and stubborn all the time with her. As I've already said she's been moving away from me and I don't know what to do about it, I just feel so helpless.

A couple of days ago we caught a domestic abuse case and the pain I saw in her eyes caused my heart to break in sympathy for her. All I wanted to do was reach out and hold her close to me. All I ever want to do is protect her and love her. She puts on this front, like she's invincible nothing touches her. One look at her when she thinks no one is looking you see her shoulders stoop as though she has the weight of the world placed firmly on them. The finality in her voice sends shivers of fear down my spine. She sounds like she's lost all hope in the world. Sometimes I could shake Grissom to try and shake some sense into him. It's plain for the world to see how Sara feels about him but he's so bloody blind he can't see it. If only I knew how she was feeling. How negative her view on the world had become, dammit I should have. I'm a trained investigator for God's sake, reading people has always been part of my job. Something I've always been able to do with ease, from a young age. Why couldn't I read her? Why didn't I see how bad things had become for her? Some friend I am, I should have been there for her. Maybe I could have helped her cope so she didn't feel the need to run off.

"I can't carry on watching you date men who don't appreciate how truly wonderful you are." 'Date men'? Suddenly I'm thinking that maybe she never meant to call Grissom after all. By the sounds of things she meant to call a woman, either that of a gay guy. The emotion in her voice sounds that, who ever she thinks she's calling, she has very strong emotions for. I try to not get my hopes up though. If it is a woman that she thinks she's calling, she could just be hurting over a friend's bad luck with men. I know that I commiserate with my friends when they find out that the guy that they've been dating turns out to be a scum bag. It doesn't mean that Sara dates women. Does it?

"Who don't realise the magic that lies behind one of your smile, or who won't see that you are more than just a body. You have one of the most analytical minds that I have had the pleasure of witnessing." She sounds like she's talking to someone she wants to be closer to. I can't help wish that she was talking to me. I hate that she sees me as a rival, someone to compete for Grissom's attention. That's my fault though. After we closed Holly's case I should have cut her a break. I did try but my attraction to her kept growing and I felt that I had to keep her at arms length. Something kept pushing me to be a bitch towards her. Well not 'something' I know exactly what it was. I was falling in love with her and I didn't want to. By the time we called a truce to our continuous feud and made tentative steps towards a friendship I was head over heels in love with her. Huh, I'm that desperate that I'll take anything, even a friendship, just to have a valid excuse to be near her.

"I'm sorry. I love you. I think I have always loved you. From the first moment I walked into the AV lab. Goodbye, my Catherine." Whoa, hold the phone. She's talking about me. Smiling I recall our first meeting. She stood in the doorway, with the lights shining from the hallway silhouetting her. Making her look like an avenging angel. She asked if I knew where she could find a Catherine Willows, and I admit I was momentarily stunned by her beauty that it took me a few seconds to answer her back. But when I did it unfortunately set the rocky course for us. I love that she thinks of me as 'her' Catherine. For years I've secretly thought of her as 'my' Sara. I've even come close to letting it slip out at work. More than once when I was chatting to Nancy about work I did refer to Sara as mine.

As Sara's last words penetrate my brain the impact of them hits me. I dial her number and after a few unsuccessful attempts to reach her I make up my mind and barge into Grissom's office to get Sara's address. I figure that the blatant disregard of privacy is worth a suspension, no Sara is, if I can convince her to stay. Going back to my office I grab my car keys and go in search of Ecklie. As I run out of my office I bump into Greg knocking his paper flying.

"Whoa, Cath. Where's the fire?" He laughs bending down to pick up his scattered paperwork. Bending to help him I say, "Sorry Greg, I've not really got time to explain. Can you let Ecklie know that I've had to check out early. I've got a personal matter to take care of. I'll call him later to explain properly."

Handing him the last of the papers he smile, "Sure, no problem Cath. Just take care okay. Call me if you need anything."

"Cheers Greggo." Ruffling him hair and giving him a kiss on the cheek I head out to the garage. Thank God for small mercies, running into Greg saved me precious time searching for the asshole that is Conrad Ecklie.

Climbing into my Denali I slam the door and rush they keys into the ignition and peal out of the garage heading into the Las Vegas traffic. Reaching the first set of lights I can't take the thoughts of Sara running around in my head along with the suffocating silence inside the car. I turn on the radio to try and drown my thoughts of Sara. Driving and thinking of Sara is not advised. The current radio station has nothing but candy pop music. I press the automatic tuner button and hope that it tunes into a decent radio station. After a few seconds it selects a station. I reach out to change the channel when the lyrics of the song catch my ear.

"I wonder where you are tonight,

No answer on the telephone."

That's true. I have no idea where Sara is. I'm just hoping that she's still at home. I've been trying her home number as well as her cell phone. I'm really starting to worry that I've missed her.

"Till now I've always got by on my own,

I never really cared until I met you.

And now it chills me to the bone."

This song could have been written for me. After Eddie, I never thought that I'd feel anything but lust for another person. Then in came Sara. One emotion or an other she's turned me into a hormonal teenager. One minute I want to lay her out on a table and ravish her, the next I just want to slap her, then she makes me want to wrap my arms around her and protect her from the world.

"You don't know how long I have waited.

To touch your lips and hold you tight."

The thought of touching her lips sends tingles of desire to the pit of my stomach, which starts pools of arousal shooting straight to my core. As the song ends I realise that I'm in front of Sara's apartment block. Leaving my car I enter the apartment block and take the stairs to her floor. Once I'm outside her apartment I hammer on the door. I know that she's home. I saw her SUV outside, plus I can hear music coming from behind the door. Pressing my ear against the door I can hear it better, she is definitely in there. I knock on the door hard enough to leave a dent.

"Sara, open up. I know that you're in there. Please, I only want to talk to you. I......I got your message, Sara. Please open up." Leaning my head against the door I can only hear music. Frustrated I punch the door. Taking out my cell I try both of Sara's numbers again. Unfortunately I still have no luck getting her. I decide to wait here a while longer. I slide down the wall across from Sara's apartment and get comfortable anticipating a long wait.

Startled by footsteps coming up the hall, I look up. A young woman stands a few doors down eyeing me suspiciously. When I stand up she asks, "Can I help you? Are you looking for Miss Sidle?"

"Maybe you can, yes. I'm looking for Sara. My name's Catherine Willows. I work with Sara at the Crime Lab, I need to talk to her about an important case but I can't get a hold of her. I know that she's home but I don't think she can hear me with her music blaring. Do you know if the caretaker has spare keys for the apartments here?" I ask after flashing the neighbour my badge.

"Oh, um, well if you give me a moment, Sara gave me a spare key to her apartment a while ago. You know in case of an emergency and she's not here. Give me a moment to get it for you"

"Thanks, that would be great." I say watching her duck inside to retrieve the key. The neighbour returns quickly and hands me the key. "Thanks, I'll return these to you on my way out." I say with a smile. Going back to Sara's apartment I open the door and call for her. Stepping inside, gingerly, I look for her in the lounge and the kitchen. There are two doors facing me, both are closed and from behind one I can hear blaring music. I move towards it, thinking it must be her bedroom. Knocking on the door loudly I wait for a reply, my heart beat is matching the heavy pounding of the music behind the door. Hearing no reply I slowly open the door. Stepping into the room I can see that it is her bedroom, but she's not here. Which leaves me with door number two. Gut instinct and elimination tells my that this is the bathroom.

Moving towards the door I hear a dull, heavy thump coming from inside the room. Fear floods me as I barge past the door, straight into the bathroom. It takes me a few moments to completely register the sight before me. Laying in a tub full of red water is my Sara. Looking closely I can see where the red has come from. I grab my cell and call for an ambulance, letting them know that we have an officer down, knowing that they'd get here a little bit quicker. I move to the edge of the tub and wrap Sara's wrists in two towels to try and stem the loss of blood. Doing all I can for her, I place my hand on her cheek, it's cold under my touch. I move my face close to hers, I can't help ask her,

"Oh, my beautiful Sara. Why?"

"Because I don't have you." She replies. Breaking my heart in two. I can't help the tears that break free from my eyes and splash into the water beside her. Sara's eyes glide close, I lower my face towards hers and place a kiss on her lips.

From behind me I hear someone enter the bathroom, before I know it . I move aside and let the EMT's start working on Sara. Watching them lift her lifeless body from the tub and onto a stretcher, I notice how blue her lips truly were. Thinking the worst I bury my head in my hands and cry bitter sobs. The EMT's hook her up to a heart monitor and I'm stunned to see that she has a heart beat, it's very faint but it's there. I notice that Sara also has saline drips attached to both arms. I don't let my hope get too high just in case it's in vain and she's doesn't actually make it. I walk with Sara and the EMT's to the ambulance, I ask what hospital they are taking her to. I tell them that I'll follow behind in my car. I really need the time to recover form the shock.

Once the ambulance doors are closed and locked I get into my Denali and pull out behind the ambulance. Driving to the hospital the last few lines of the song that I was listening to on the way over to Sara's plays in my head.

"But the secret is still my own,

and my love for you is still unknown."

I can only hope and pray that it doesn't really end that way. I won't be able to survive now I know that she feels the same about me as I do her. I'm in love with Sara Sidle and she's in love with me. I couldn't live my life without her in it. I just couldn't live that way.


Part 3

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