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.
After I left Sara's room I started to mentally kick myself with every step I took. It was stupid to tell her I felt the same without cautioning her that I need to speak to Lindsay first. I try to discuss every life changing decision I make with her. Since her dad died, I've tried to include her in almost every aspect of my life. Especially when it's going to affect her in such a big way. I know that she will be fine about me dating a woman. We've already had that discussion. As young as my little girl is she's very mature for her age. She understood the different kinds of love and as long as it's between two consenting adults it's, almost always, never wrong. My worry with Lindsay is how she would react to me dating Sara.
In the kitchen I start the coffee maker and move to stand at the back door, overlooking the yard, while the coffee granules percolate. I know I said I'd make breakfast but all the energy seemed to have left me. The short journey from upstairs, away from Sara, to the kitchen has left me wracked with doubt. Would Lindsay be able to accept the woman who failed to catch her father's killer as her mother's girlfriend? I know that she likes Sara. She asks about her all the time and, in Lindsay's words, she's 'cool' and 'awesome.' I think Lindsay likes Sara as much as she likes the boys, her 'uncles'. But would that be enough? Unfortunately I can't answer the questions running through my head, only Lindsay can do that and I want to wait until she comes home before asking her. I would rather talk to her face to face about this rather than over the phone. In the meantime I run the risk of losing Sara.
I don't know if she'll accept my explanation or if she'll see it as a rejection of her and her love. I have no idea whether she'll be able to put her feelings on hold and maybe, possibly bury them forever if Lindsay doesn't want her in our lives. I have very little worries about Sara interacting with Lindsay. I know that she'll be fine. I've seen her. I love how she talks to Lindsay, how she responds to her. I've seen them both together on the few occasions when Lindsay has been at the lab. I know that Sara claims to be no good with kids but they gravitate to her. She has a gentleness and compassion with them. She doesn't make them feel belittled, stupid or wrong just because they have been the victim of a crime. She answers their questions with honesty and doesn't try to palm them off with easy answers to their most difficult questions. She talks to them as if they were adults.
I have no idea how long I've stood at the back door but as if my thought had the power to conjure her up, Sara enters the kitchen. She softly walks over to me and wraps her arms around my waist and rests her chin on my shoulder to look over the back yard with me. I don't know how long we stood like that and selfishly I don't really care. I relish the feel of her arms around me and the heat radiating from her.
"Aren't you supposed to be making breakfast?" She whispers into my ear. Feeling the lump that's already in my throat tighten, as she holds me closer to her I nod my head. Gently she forces me to turn around and look her in the eye.
"What's wrong? You meant what you said, didn't you? You weren't messing with me, just to get me to stay, were you?" She asks with fear in her voice.
"God, no, Sara, never. I meant everything I said." I tell her as sincerely as I can.
"I'd love to lie to you and say that there's no 'but.' But there is. It's Lindsay. I need to speak to her. I need to find out if she's ok with me dating you." I feel her stiffen and watch sadly as she pulls away.
"And if she isn't ok with us dating? What happens then? Where does that leave us?" She asks looking into my eyes.
"Honestly?" She nods her head, looking serious and scared. "I have no idea." I take her hand and lead her into the front room and pull her down onto the sofa with me. "Sara, you aren't just any woman, you have to understand that. To me, you are the most amazing woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. But to Lindsay, you are the woman who investigated the father's murder."
"What you mean is I'm the woman who failed to bring her father's murderer to justice?" She fires at me hotly, trying to pull away from me and stand up.
"No Sara, she knows that you did everything that you could given the circumstances. It wasn't the best crime scene that we've ever had. She knows that, we both do. You did better than could be expected. But I could still choke Grissom for giving you the case. I didn't want you to investigate it; I wanted you to be the one who comforted us. I wanted you by my side telling us that it was all going to be ok." Unable to keep my emotions away any longer, I turn from her and bury my head in my hands and cry. Everything that has happened over the last few days comes out. The uncertainty at hearing Sara's phone call, panicking when I found her in the bath tub. The worry I felt waiting at the hospital and relief when I was finally told that she was ok and being able to see her, touch her, for myself. Throughout the past couple of days, the only thought that has been constant in my mind, is how much I love her. And now I might lose her because Lindsay might not be able to accept us dating.
I feel Sara's arm go across my shoulder and I waste no time burying my head between her neck and shoulder. The force that I, unintentionally, used forced her back against the arm of the sofa. Refusing to let go of Sara, my body follows hers until I'm practically lying on top of her. I briefly thought that I must look like a blubbering mess, but as quickly as the thought came into my head it left. At this point I'm more concerned about losing Sara than how I look, especially when she's finally within my reach after all these years.
I have no idea how long I cried or how long I had been lying in Sara's arm but I must have drifted off to sleep. When I awoke later I was on the sofa alone, covered with the throw from the back of the sofa.
"Sara?" I called for her as I sat up. Wiping the sleep from my tear swollen eyes. I listen intently to the sounds of my house, desperately hoping to hear some sound of movement from within. Hearing nothing I get up to investigate.
After checking all of the downstairs I carefully go upstairs. I check Lindsay's room, my room and my bathroom. When I check Sara's room I notice that her stuff is still in her room. I'm relieved and worried that her stuff is still here, but she's not. At least I've not found her. Yet. After I leave Sara's room, I turn towards the bathroom. I knock gently on the door and call her name, praying to God that she's either on the toilet or having a nice relaxing bath. When I don't get an answer I slowly push the door open. I've no idea when, but I've closed my eyes. When I hear the door hit the wall. I take a couple of deep breaths to steady myself, and then I open my eyes.
The whole of the bathroom is open to me. Taking all of it in the, all the breath in my lungs rapidly leaves my body. Suddenly I feel very light headed. I take a couple of steps towards the tub at the other end of the room before everything goes black and I have the vague sensation of falling.
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