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 5

Catherine's POV

Watching from the doorway I can see her lying on her back with the sheet pooled at the bottom of the bed. Her brow crinkles slightly and her lips form a slight pout. At any other time this would be adorable but right now it hurts. It hurts to see her like this, confused and hurting. Especially when I feel like there's nothing I can actually do for her. This is something that she needs to work through and I can do is stand by.

I'm not surprised that even in her sleep she remains troubled. Sighing quietly to myself I briefly wonder if I should go in and cover her back up. She moves onto her side slightly and brings her arm up to drape across her stomach. I'm jolted out of my musings by the glaring stark contrast of the bleach white bandage around her wrist and the black vest top she chose to wear to bed. Shaking my head at the uselessness I feel in this situation, I gently pull the door to a silent close and head back to my own room. Satisfied that even if she wakes up while I sleep she'll have managed to get a couple of hours sleep.

As I turn in for the night, going through my nightly ritual of showering and moisturizing, my thoughts turn to the beautiful, troubled young woman asleep in my spare bedroom. As much as it might pain me, I want to know why she felt suicide was the only option left open to her. What happened to make her want to leave us, leave me. Settling onto my bed and drawing my duvet tight around me, I make a silent vow to her. I must make it my number one priority to become the friend I should have been since the beginning. As the familiar heaviness of sleep sweeps over me, my last conscious thought is how close I had come to losing her for good. I realise that I love her just too damn much to let that happen.

A feral, screaming howl rips me from my restless sleep. Dreams of Sara slipping further and further away from me until eventually all there is, is an empty space where she once stood, have been tormenting me for most of the night. Sitting bolt upright in bed, my covers pooling around my waist. I shiver slightly as the cool air in the room makes contact with my heated skin. I briefly wonder if I'm subconsciously trying to shake off the remnants of my dreams.

Another inhuman scream rips through my house and I strain my ears to try and locate the source of it. A shiver of fear trickles down my spine as I realise that it came from inside the house. A scientist I may be but I'm also a human being with a very vivid imagination and a soft spot for horror movies. I can't help envision a huge snarling werewolf making its way up the staircase with saliva and blood dripping from its elongated snout.

As another blood curdling scream echoes through my house, I leap from my bed and stand by the side poised to run and try to barrel over anything that may come through my bedroom door. Reality comes crashing down on me. There is no werewolf. There is no monstrous beast. It's only me and my troubled young colleague, Sara. Forgetting my own strength, I throw open my bedroom door, causing the wall to rattle in my room with the force of the impact. I practically run down the short hall way to the guest room and Sara. I just manage to stop myself from bursting through the door and possibly scaring her even more. After knocking gently on the door I push it open.

Entering the room I freeze at the sight before me. In the near dark of the room I see Sara lying in the centre of the bed with the covers completely disguarded to the floor. Her arms and legs stretched out towards each bed post as though she had been tied to them. Her back is raised off the mattress, her stomach arched towards the ceiling. She slumps against the bed and shakes her head from side to side, muttering furiously under her breath. Suddenly her whole body goes rigid and an enormous animalistic howl rips from her slender frame.

Shocked into action, I cross the room and kneel on the bed beside her, just as her body arches off the bed again. I'm completely lost about what to do I place my hand on her arm and softly call to her. This time when her body returns to the bed, she relaxes completely. Her arms come down to rest at her side and her legs go into a limper, natural position. It appears that whatever nightmare she was trapped in has released her. She shivers slightly. I'm not sure if it's just from echoes of her nightmare or if it's from being cold, but I reach for the covers she kicked off earlier and pull them back over her shivering body. Tucking the covers around her slight frame seems to wake her slightly. She rolls onto her side, straight into a protective foetal position. I reach out to smooth some hair back from her face to behind her ear. I feel like I've lost control of my body as my fingers trace the shell like contours of her ear and stroke down her strong jaw.

Her eyes snap open suddenly; I try to pull my hand back, hoping to not get caught touching her up. When her hand darts out from underneath the covers and grabs my wrist with the frightening accuracy of a cobra strike. I watch in fascination as her eyes flash card her emotions to me. Fear, worry, defiance and finally relief when she recognises me. I try to remove my wrist from her grip but she keeps a firm hold on me. Unable to take the heavy silence and longer, I tell her,

"You were having a nightmare and I came to check up on you." She doesn't even blink when I tell her, just continues to stare at me. I begin to wonder if she actually heard a single word I said. I cover the hand on my wrist and lightly stroke the back of it. "Well, you seem to be ok now, so I'll let you get back to sleep. I'm going to try and get a few more hours myself."

She finally shows some signs that she heard me. She nods slightly and let's go of my wrist. She watches me wearily as I get off the bed.

"Well, goodnight then." I say to her as I instinctively smooth down the bed covers around her. As I place a light kiss on her forehead it dawns on me that she hasn't spoken a single word since she woke up. Smoothing hair from her face again, I half hope that she might just bid me a goodnight. Instead she just nods her head. Turning to leave the room, Sara grabs my wrist again. I turn and try to not snap at her, too tired and my patience already wearing thin. Before I could even open my mouth she beat me to it.

"Cath, can you....stay.....please?" Her voice is low and raspy from sleep and the screaming. Looking in her eyes I see the naked fear and need in them.

Without another word from either of us I slip into the bed forcing her to move over. She releases her hold on her but keeps a close eye on me as if to make sure I don't bolt from the room. Once I'm settled I look at her expectantly, waiting for her to lie down too. I tilt my head to the side to get a better look at her. Her face shows that she is battling with something. Silently I watch as she battles it out with whatever demons are attacking her now. I finally understand what might be troubling her; I notice a look in eye that's similar to one that Lindsay gets when she's unsure how to ask for something. I open my arms to her, hoping that's what she was too scared to ask me, inviting her to lie in my arms. Something I had secretly been hoping would happen someday. With a slight smile she lowers her body next to mine with a hairs breath of distance between us. She rests her head on my shoulder and slides an arm across my waist, pulling me flush against her.

We both settle into the strange new position quickly. I wrap my arms around her and run my fingers through her ebony hair. I can feel her breath ghost across the opening of my pyjama top teasing the heated flesh beneath. The hand that Sara had on my stomach has my top in a tight hold as though she's still worried that I'll run away from her. I place my hand over hers to try and show her that I'm not going anywhere.

Soon her grip on my top lessens and she moves her hand to intertwine our fingers. I can't help think how perfect our fingers fit together as they rest atop my stomach. I realise, gladly, that Sara has fallen asleep again. Her body has relaxed into me more but her hold on my hand hasn't eased any. I stop running my fingers through her hair and wrap my arm around her shoulders, holding her to me tighter. She responds by burying her head further into my shoulder and slightly nuzzling my neck. I felt my breath hitch when she did that but I realised it was a subconscious movement as she was still asleep. I can feel myself growing heavy as I drift off to join her in slumber. I can only hope she will sleep better now.

Waking up I feel a warm body pressed against my back and an arm wrapped around my waist. After a few moments of panic I remember the events of last night that lead to me waking up with Sara's warm body tightly pressed against mine, in the spare room with her arm holding me close and her breath rhythmically fluttering on the back of my neck. I raise my head to get a better look at the clock on the bedside table and I see that it's just after five in the morning. Since there is no where that we have to be I decide to go back to sleep.

I carefully roll onto my back where I can study Sara's face. Thankfully she looks peaceful. Sara senses the shift in my position and tries to pull me closer to her. I take her hand in mine and place our joined hands over my heart. In the quiet of the morning light I can admit last night had me terrified. The way she was screaming and her reluctance to talk to me had me worried that she might be experiencing a set bad. I don't think I would have been able to sleep if I had gone back to my own room. I raise our joined hands and place a kiss on the palm of her hand. I return our hands to rest of my stomach. I'm so lost in my own thoughts that I didn't realise that I was crying or that Sara was awake till she asked why I was crying.

"Hey, Cath? What's wrong?" She asked removing her hand from my stomach to wipe my face. I turn my head to look at her. The frown line is back again and I feel guilty about putting it there. I hesitate before I answer her. I'm not sure how she would take it if I tell her how much last night scared me or if I should try to fob her off with some excuse. Looking in her eyes I know that with Sara, honesty is the best policy.

Taking a deep breath I tell her, "Yeah, I'm fine. It's just last night it had me a little scared, that's all. I was worried that it might set you back." She doesn't answer right away, just continues to look at me. She rises up on her elbow a slightly hovers over me.

"I'm sorry. I should have warned you that I sometimes have nightmares." She says with her eyes down cast, avoiding mine. Suddenly her head snaps up. "I didn't hurt you did I?" She asks with panic in her voice. Her hand is on my chin gently moving my head from side to side.

"Sara, Sara, stop you never hurt me. Honestly." I watched as relief flooded her face. "Look it's after five and we don't have anything to do. Do you fancy just having a long lie and we can figure out what to do with our day later on?" I ask her, secretly hoping that she'll go with the idea.

"Sure, that sounds like a plan."

"Great." Suddenly I'm nervous. Selfishly I want to stay here in the bed with the warmth of her body next to mine but I know I should go back to my own bed. I reluctantly move to get out of the bed but Sara stops me.

"Cath, can you please stay again." She asks in a hesitant voice. "It's just that I slept better last night with you here than I have done in a long time. If it makes you uncomfortable that's cool." She rushes on to explain. I honestly didn't expect her to want me her with her. She has always been a private person, always guarded her own privacy.

Although secretly I was pleased, I tried to play it down. I didn't want to scare her. "If you're sure, then I'll stay." Lying back down I turn on my side and slowly drift off to sleep. At the point of sleep I felt Sara shift and her arm slip around my waist pulling me close to her again. I really can't help the small smile as with each breath of hot air breathed against the back of my neck, I feel a blanket of safety and contentment steal over me.

The last thought that came into my head as I fell further into sleep, is to help Sara anyway possible.

Part 6

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