DISCLAIMER: Don't sue! I'm not the boss of the show. Jerry and the head honchos at CBS lay claim to that. I'll have all the players back before night time and will give them bus fare if they need it.
SPOILERS: Some spoilers for the show. I took Sara's DUI and made my own story around that. I even gave Sara her own office - of sorts anyway.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Pain to Kill
By Corbeau's Alcove



"There may be a time that Sara could stay over Linds but we'll talk about that when it happens." Catherine manages to finally get out.

"So she's not staying tonight?" Lindsay presses.

Oh dear is there a hole I can hide in?

Catherine looks to me and I think I have to answer this one. Her face is unreadable which is different because she's been allowing me to see how she feels. I take this to mean that she's nervous about the answer. How can she not know my answer is yes?

I know that I'm over the worst but I'd hate to hit some kind of low while I'm in Catherine's house.

"Mom?" Lindsay says obviously awaiting an answer.

I take Catherine's hand in mine and she focuses on the road.

"I'd love to stay Linds but I'd need to ask your mother first." I say smiling.

Lindsay is clapping her hands together laughing.

"Silly, you don't have to ask."

I run my fingers across Catherine's knuckles and smile when she inhales a deep breath.

"Catherine, may I stay at your house tonight? I'll bring my own toothbrush." I say teasing.

Catherine stops the car and I have to look up to notice that we're at the diner I gave her directions to before.

Lindsay is giggling in the backseat but I try to block her out and just stare at Catherine.

"I'd love for you to stay Sara." Catherine whispers.

"Yay!" An excited Lindsay says climbing on the back of my seat and almost choking me.

"Okay, let's go eat." Catherine says smiling.

We had to rush through our meal because Lindsay was perilously close to being late. I had wanted to spend more time with Lindsay. Her enthusiasm was catching and it almost felt cathartic to laugh and act a little younger than I actually was. I can see why Catherine seems to take the stress of work better than most of us. She has this little wonder to come home to.

"Boy Sara, you have her so wound up she'll be a terror for her teacher," Catherine says laughing as we wave farewell to Lindsay.

"She started it," I say pouting.

Catherine leans across the car and grabs my lip in her mouth. I moan and lean back so I'm resting on the window. Her tongue licks the inside of my lip but doesn't enter any further. I try to keep her head where I want it but she pulls back smiling.

"Couldn't resist." She says.

I say nothing just simply pull the front of Catherine's jacket towards me. She's caught off balance and subsequently falls onto me. I'm ready this time and I kiss her forcefully. I can feel her smiling against my lips as I slide my hands under her shirt.

My tongue enters her mouth and we engage in our usual battle for supremacy. I win but only because Catherine seems to be distracted by my hands running up her back.

Hey, I never said I'd play fair.

Catherine shifts her leg so it's in between mine. I ache to move closer to it and apply a little pressure but we're startled by the sound of a car horn behind us.

Catherine drops her head onto my chest laughing. I can feel the vibrations through my entire body.

I'm going to kill whoever it is behind us.

"Cath, you should get up," I say stroking her back.

She mumbles something into my shirt but I can't understand it. I'm about to ask her what she said when she lifts her head. I lock eyes with her and see a desire burning that I know it mirrored in mine.

"God Sara," she grumbles when she sees my big eyes staring back at her.

"You are so beautiful Catherine." I whisper, tracing her face with my fingers.

She blushes and reluctantly sits back up in the drivers seat.

"Alright!" She yells to the driver behind us who has been laying on the horn for a while now.

"Probably a good thing he's so annoying," I say laughing.

"Why?" Catherine asks.

I run my hand up Catherine's thigh and smile.

"I told you, I can't keep my hands off you."

I could feel Catherine's thigh quiver as I touched her and smiled. I may just be ready to go further with this wonderful lady. I know my body has been reacting to her for sometime now but in my head I'd have a problem with actually allowing myself to think about it too much.

I know she'll be gentle and caring, I've seen that in everything else she's done. It's a scary prospect to finally bare my soul along with my clothes but as I wipe a few strands of hair out of Catherine's face and feel her smile as I do it, I know that this lady is the one that I'd gladly give my entire heart to.



"What are you thinking about?" Catherine's gentle voice shakes me out my musings.

"You." I say smiling.

Catherine smiles at my response.


My hand is still on her thigh so I squeeze it as I reply.

"Yes. All good thoughts."

Catherine blushes.

"I'm always thinking about you so it only seems fair really."

I smile as she moves my hand away from the top of her thigh.

"Do you now? That could be distracting."

"Just like your hand on my thigh." Catherine replies.

"Oh, you didn't like that? Sorry." I joke.

"Mmm, I'm just concerned about our safety. If you had continued we very likely would have been involved in an accident."

"Can't have that," I laugh.

"No, I'm very road safety conscious." Catherine says trying to be serious.

I smile and place my hand in hers.

"That's a commendable thing Catherine."

She smiles and tightened her hand in mine.

"Thank you."

The rest of our trip is filled with gentle teasing and a very high concentration of flirting. As we pull into her driveway I feel that I'll spontaneously combust if I don't kiss this woman.

She must have had the same idea because she unbuckles her seatbelt and pounces on me. She's attacking my neck, nipping and sucking and driving me completely insane.

"Catherine, house." I manage to finally get out.

She laughs into my neck and her hands come to rest on my thighs.

I have to pull her head away to get her attention.

"Sorry." She says smiling.

"I'm not complaining darlin, I just want a better surface to reciprocate." I say running my hand down her face.

She undoes my seatbelt and climbs off me.

"Darlin?" She says smiling as she opens the drivers door.

"Sexy?" I ask.

"I like them both." She growls.

I can't get out of the car fast enough.

The front door is open by the time I follow her. My heart is beating so loud I'm worried it'll wake people up across the other side of the world. My palms are very sweaty. I know that this moment has been coming for a while now but the nerves are going to kill me if I can't control them.

"Would you like a drink?" Catherine asks, her voice a little shaky.

"Yes please," I say. I'm glad she's feeling it too otherwise I may just make a complete and utter fool of myself.

"I'll put the kettle on, if you can just watch it while I go to the bathroom." Catherine says, kissing my cheek as she walks past.

I lean against the bench trying to slow my breathing but I'm not having much luck. The kettle boils and I decide to make our drinks. After searching a few cupboards I finally find the cups and coffee. I'm pouring the second cup when suddenly I'm hit with an almighty pain in my head. I drop the kettle and it splashes hot water over the bench and my arm.

"What happened?" A frantic Catherine asks, appearing around the corner.

I can't answer the pain is so bad. My hands start to shake and I fall to the floor.

"Oh baby," Catherine says immediately gathering me up in a hug.

Of all the times for another attack to hit. Are the fates conspiring against me just for fun?

"Sorry," I say softly into her woolen sweater. She changed while I was making the coffee. The wool is so smooth I bury my head further into her shoulder.

"It's okay baby. It's okay." Catherine says rubbing her hand up and down my back.

The shakes subside but the pain in my head is still there. Catherine must have some kind of telepathy because she breaks away from our embrace and reaches up to get some painkillers.

"Do you want some water?" She asks even though she's already pouring a glass.

I take both the tablets and water.

Catherine comes back to sit next to me. I curl into her side and her arm wraps around me.

"Did you burn yourself?" Catherine whispers.

Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that. Funny, it didn't even hurt.

"I think it got my arm." I say.

"Which arm?" Catherine asks moving away to inspect them.

"Ah, I can't remember." I say embarrassed.

Catherine kneels next to me and takes both arms. It's pretty obvious which one it is. It's the one with the long red mark.

She touches it and I wince.


My arm is stinging now. I try to stand so I can run it under the water but I'm extremely wobbly. The kitchen is blurry. I find I'm standing but as I look to my right I see that it's only because Catherine has taken the brunt of my weight.

"I've got an icepack. Can you stand?" Catherine says brushing my hair out of my face.

I nod, not sure if I can.

She is reluctant to let me go but finally does. I feel like a baby foal in it's first few minutes of being birthed. My legs are like jelly and if it wasn't for the sink I would have fallen.

"Here baby, put this on the burn." Catherine says handing me an icepack wrapped in a towel.

It's cold and feels good on my arm. The tingling feeling is still there but with the cold icepack it starts to go numb.

Catherine places her hand over mine and I just look at the two hands holding the pack.

"Thank you." I whisper.

Catherine's other hand circles my waist and I fall into her welcomed embrace.

"Sshh baby, it's okay." Catherine says.

That's enough for the floodgates to open. I think it was partly due to the pure love in her voice and partly because of the pain but whatever the reason I stood in her hug for a long time and she just held me whispering, letting me know it was okay.

And I knew that she was right. As long as I had her it was okay.

In her arms, I was okay.



"Come with me," Catherine whispers in my ear.

"Where?" I ask, quite happy to be in her arms.

"I'm putting a bath on for you."

"I'm okay Cath, really." I say unconvincingly.

She just smiles and leads me to her bathroom.

"I'll get a pair of Nancy's old sweats out for you." Catherine says letting go of my hand.

I feel cold once she leaves me.

"You can be the first person to use my new Egyptian towels too." She says smiling upon her return.

"Save them, I can just use the one already in the bathroom," I say.

"Nonsense, this is your towel now." Catherine says handing it to me.

My towel. I like the sound of that. Like she is anticipating me being in her house again and using her shower.

I think my smile made her suspicious because she's smiling at me.

"Thank you," I say blushing.

I sit on her bed as she gets the bath ready. Funny, the last time she made me a bath I was running an incredibly high fever. Will this alcoholism follow me for the rest of my life? For the life I want with Catherine?

I had wanted her to join me but wondered if that was too forward. I'm not sure where to go from the kissing. Well no, that's not true. I know what comes after a fair bit of making out but I'm not sure if Catherine thinks we're ready. I remember her saying she wanted us to wait until I had recovered. Well that's not looking like it'll be soon. Not after my little scene a few hours ago.

"Sara sweetie? Are you okay?" A rap at the door startles me. I must have dozed off. The relaxing smell of the bath and my general weariness obviously caught up with me.

"Ah yeah, I'll be out soon." I say.

Thank goodness Catherine woke me otherwise I'd be a prune.

When I finally get out, my ribs still a little sore, I find Catherine sitting on her bed.

"Hey, how you feeling?" She asks, patting the mattress next to her.

"Much better. Thank you for that."

"I told you Sara, I don't mind."

"I know but still, thanks." I say smiling.

"Things were getting quite heated before." Catherine says looking at her knees. Sometimes she has a knack for stating the obvious.

"Yes they were."

"I really think we should wait."

"Until one of us explodes?" I joke.

Catherine looks up and I see desire and confusion in her eyes.

"I want to make love Sara, trust me on that. I just want it to be perfect."

I take her hand and smile.

"It will be perfect. It'll be with you." I say in all seriousness.

This statement makes her blush. I love that I can make this strong and self assured woman blush like this. We've become sappy women, but I kinda like it.

"I want you to feel comfortable, I'm not sure how to act." Catherine confesses.

"How to act?"

"Sara I can be quite, how do you put it? Passionate I think is a good word for it. I'm concerned for you, I don't want you to have bad memories of our first time."

"Believe me Catherine, even just the fact that for sometime now I've fantasized about touching you is different for me. I viewed sex as something I didn't need. That kind of connection wasn't ever going to happen for me after my attack. The few times I had sex I felt nothing. For days after it I could only replay my attack. It was like I was regressing to that moment once more."

"See, that's what I'm worried about." Catherine says.

"It wasn't about the type of sex Catherine. It was what I perceived as my mental weakness, my own inner turmoil. I don't feel that with you. I feel safe and loved. I feel that fire of passion. I feel it whenever I see you. When you smile at me, when you kiss me. When you hold me."

Catherine wiped a few tears away as I spoke.

"I want to take that next step Catherine because you are part of me now. Not a second goes by where I don't feel you in my heart."

"You know Sara, talk like that will crumble my resolve." Catherine says.

"Really? I have more." I joke.

She laughs and I feel like the tension has been broken. In this sudden clarity I see that Catherine may be right. After all, I never know when my latest attack will hit and I agree with her, I want it to be perfect. She deserves that.

"Come on, let's go sit on the couch and make out." I joke.

Catherine's voice is husky when she responds with, "okay."

She talked about her resolve crumbling, well that voice is not helping mine.

As we're walking to the couch I make my mind up. I'm going to resume my previous attempt to seduce her. To 'court her' as the old frontier saying would go. I smile as my mind clicks into overdrive. More flowers, more notes. A romantic breakfast for her when she gets home from work.

"What are you smiling about now?" Catherine asks as I pull her in for a hug.

I don't answer, my tongue has found something better to do. Like kiss her with all that sexual frustration that is building up inside me. When we part I can see her trying to regain her breath.

"Sorry." I say but I'm anything but apologetic for that kiss.

"Oh my God," Catherine says.

"Not yet but soon you'll think I am, Catherine Willows. You'll be screaming that out in pure unadulterated passion. Soon, very soon." I growl as I sit on the couch.

I turn to see Catherine holding herself up on the chair at the table and I smile innocently.

"So are you going to sit next to me and make out or should I go home?"

The look she gives me is priceless. I've never seen her eyes so dark. It makes me feel like my plan is swinging into motion very nicely.



We spent the better part of the day just being next to each other. I can't remember who suggested it but we decided to refrain from the make out session on her couch. With our conspiring wills to take it further stronger than our will to resist it was the better decision.

I managed to get through the day with minimal side effects from my drying out. There were periods where my tremors were quite bad but it was amazing how differently I coped with them in Catherine's arms. She knew when to be there for me and I laughed at myself for ever thinking having her help me would be a weakness.

I guess you can't appreciate the good until you hit the bottom.

I was enthralled by Catherine's storytelling. I now knew all about her childhood friends and how they made her feel. I sensed some disappointment at drifting away from them. I wondered what that felt like, to be so happy with who you knew even after the faces faded. Her memories were still sharp, like a photo that retained the image.

Of course my memories were of a darker nature. The bad dream that was my life was an impossible thing to shake.

"Hey, where'd you just go?" Catherine asks whispering in my ear.

"I was just thinking about my past in comparison to yours."

"We're here together now, that's all that matters."

I turn to face her.

"No, it's not. If you're going to be with me then you have to accept that I didn't grow up a happy woman. I don't think I even had a childhood. My foster mom and dad were reckless in a way. I was always the sensible one. As daddy would say, 'she's the General in this Army.'

"General?" She asks confused.

"Yeah, I made a lot of decisions for the family. When we had to move it was me who put the plan into motion. When my brother got in trouble it was me who had to take our family money and bail him out. Things were just too laid back."

"But you need that part of you life Sara. You need that darkness with your birth mother and father too. We all need it."

"I guess that's why I'm so fucked up now."

"Baby, you're not fucked up." Catherine says holding my hands in hers.

"I see Lindsay and I see a little of me in there. She's had to grow up faster than many children because of Eddie's death. I know you have Lindsay living in a normal atmosphere and that's commendable. You let her be a child. I was never allowed."

"Would you like some of Lindsay's crayons?" Catherine jokes.

I smile.

"Thanks but I think it's deeper than that."

"Yeah it is and I don't want to make light of it. I just don't see the good that can come of wondering what could have happened in this instance."

"If I wasn't such a recluse I wouldn't have been raped!" I yell.

I can see my sudden outburst has startled her. She moves away slightly.

"Cath, I'm sorry."

"No, it's okay Sara. Just my own issues."

I know what she's referring to. That time in her office and the other in my house.

"I've got a lot of anger Cath."

"I know. Perhaps that wound didn't heal as well as I thought." She admits.

"Can we talk about it now?" I ask, scared she'll actually want to discuss it in length.

"What can I say that I haven't already said?" Catherine asks sadly.

"I'm not sure." I admit sadly.

"Neither am I."

The pain on her face is unbearable.

"Maybe I should go." I say.

"Don't run away Sara. Please." Catherine begs softly.

"If there is no solution I'm not sure if it is running away."

"Please don't leave."

I see the begging in her eyes when she looks up.

"Okay." I say sitting back down.

She places her hand on my arm and we sit there silently.

I must have nodded off because when I look up Catherine has changed and is smiling at me.

"You're so cute when you sleep." She says handing me a cup of coffee.

"Cute? Puppy dogs are cute. Small babies are, most of the time, cute." I joke taking a sip of the coffee.

"Well when you're drooling like a dog and or infant cute is what you are."

I wipe my cheek blushing.

"Sorry. Hey, how'd you know I was about to wake up? The coffee's hot."

"It was my coffee."

"Oh. Sorry."

Catherine smiles wider.

"That's okay baby. I only wish you had been sleeping in my bed so I could have curled into your positively delectable body."

The coffee I was drinking was unceremoniously deposited on my pants after that.

"Oh shit, sorry babe." Catherine says wiping my pants.

"It's okay. But now I'll have to take these pants off," I say smiling.

"Would you like some help?"

"Oh would you? What a hostess." I say standing up.

Catherine runs her finger along the waistband and I grab her hand.

"Sorry. Can you try to be less damn sexy?" Catherine says kissing our joined hands.

"I want to say something Catherine and it may sound really silly." I say pulling her down to straddle the coffee stained pants.

"You can tell me anything Sara." Catherine says seriously.

"I need a shower."

Catherine frowns.

"That's it?"

"Well the coffee is sticky." I say smiling.

"How is that silly?"

"It's the next part that, in case you haven't noticed, I'm stalling with."

Catherine moves off my thighs and sits next to me cross legged.


"Catherine Willows, will you shower with me?"



Catherine's eyes were the widest I've ever seen in response to my question. I would have laughed only I was so wrapped up in my nerves in preparation for her answer.

"Shower? With you?" Catherine finally manages to get out.

That makes me smile but my nerves are still there.


"We'll be naked." Catherine says.

"Unless there is some kind of kooky Willows tradition where you wash both your clothes and body at the same time then yes, we'd be naked."

Catherine gets up off the couch like she's been burnt.

"You'll see me ... I'll see you ..."

I'm starting to think perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to suggest this.

"Forget it Cat, I was doing it more for me anyway."

That seems to get her attention and she stops pacing and kneels near me.

"For you?"


Catherine smiles and I think she looks a little cocky as she says, "you want to see my body?"

Do I want to see it? I want to do more than see it. I want to map it out with the pads of my fingers until I know everything about her body. I want to bite, lick and suck parts that will leave marks. I want it all. All of her.

"Yes," I croak out.

"This isn't really taking it slow," Catherine says smiling.

I take a deep breath and prepare myself for the explanation and hope she doesn't laugh too hard.

"I want to take this step. No sex, just you and I getting comfortable with baring it all."

"I'd be very comfortable seeing you naked," Catherine says in an extremely husky voice.

I have to smile at that.

"This bit will also sound really stupid but hey I've made a fool of myself so many times what's one more?"

"I'm listening."

"Being naked in front of someone is quite possibly the biggest step I can make. Whenever I had sex after my attack I always had a top on, or a bra. I was never fully naked. To be naked in front of you, to show you all of me is something I want to do. It'll help me. If you don't mind I would like to do it now, not because I'm afraid I'll wimp out another time but because in my heart and in my head it feels like the right time."

"Sara you have to know that I'd do anything for you." Catherine says kissing my hands.

"I don't want to take advantage of that declaration. I want complete and utter honesty. I need to give myself one hundred percent. You are worth that and more so if you don't mind being in the shower with an alcoholic with severe issues I would be honored if I could take this next step with you."

Catherine stood up and for a second, even though I knew her answer after looking into her eyes, I was worried. It was all put to rest when she pulled me to my feet and placed a sweet kiss on my lips.

"It's I who would be honored Sara."

We may have sounded like a cheesy film or some kind of romance novel but it was what was said behind the words that meant the most. The gentle kiss; Catherine's soothing smile. Her understanding even though I knew at times she wasn't always really certain what was going on. These things made the difference.

My heart was pounding fast, so fast I was worried that it was it's normal setting now. Well, everytime I was around Catherine anyway.

"Do you want me to turn my back while you get undressed?" Catherine asks.

I start to cry right then and there. I know, it's really silly and I shouldn't be shocked that this woman knew me so well but sometimes I think I forget just how much she means to me.

"Oh baby, if this is too much there is no shame in that." Catherine says taking me in her arms.

"I'm sorry for crying. Again." I say sniffing and smiling when Catherine hands me a piece of toilet paper.

"We've both cried some tears sweetie, there is nothing wrong with that."

I pull her into my arms. I need more contact with her. Perhaps some of her strength and belief in me can track its way through her body and into mine.

"Should I go?" Catherine asks.

I look down and wipe my eyes. I see nothing but comfort in her beautiful eyes.

"No, I want you to stay."

I need you to stay.

Catherine nods and simply turns her back. I run my hand down her back in a show of thanks.

She reaches over and turns on the taps so we're not waiting for it to warm up. I get in after testing the water. Catherine is undressing and while I want to watch it I afford her the same courtesy she extended me.

Besides, I'm about to see it anyway, I hear her getting in the shower.

"Sara," Catherine says softly.

I turn and wrap my arms around her immediately. Her skin feels so different in the shower. It's slippery but still so soft.

She breaks away from the embrace and traces my face with her fingers. I swallow nervously as she trails a finger down my neck. She stops and kisses the hollow point there.

I pull her hair out of her face. It's not too wet, my body is blocking most of the showerheads spray. This is my chance to look at her. All of her.

Taking a small step back I put my hands on her upper arm and slowly trace her face and chest with my eyes. She is utterly remarkable. I smile slightly as she moves so she's now standing under the majority of the water. She must have been getting cold.

Although I'm hoping that her erect nipples are because of me.

All thought is erased when I see the sight of her with water cascading upon her body. I start at the top of her head and slowly follow the water drops. Some hit her breasts and stop while others continue downwards.

Which is where my eyes are going.

Her stomach. Oh her stomach is so beautiful. I remember how soft it was. There was muscle under that skin. I remember that ticklish spot under her breast. I take a deep breath before I take in the sight of her pubic area.

I always found it to be a silly place for hair on the body and at times only thought of is in terms of work; for evidence. But seeing Catherine's pubic area was anything but that. It was beautiful. I wanted to reach out and touch it but knew that it would only start something I wasn't sure I could complete just yet.

My eyes betrayed my mind and wouldn't leave that area at once. I finally managed to go past it and see two beautiful thighs and legs waiting for my appraisal.

"You're so incredibly beautiful." I whisper, realising Catherine may think I'd simply invited her in for a cheap peek. "Thank you."

Catherine tilted my chin up and captured my lips in a passionate kiss. I was pressed against the wall as Catherine's hands touched my breasts. My moan was pretty loud even though I was a captive in Catherine's mouth. Her fingers rolled my nipples around and I felt my legs buckle. Thank goodness she was holding me up somehow.

She broke away smiling and running her hands down my side.

"Don't look at me like that and not expect me to get a little worked up." She says removing her hands from my body.

I stay leaning against the wall because I'm just not sure if I can move. This gives Catherine a chance to look at me. She looks beautiful, her hair flattened by the water and sticking to her face.

"You're a work of art Sara." Catherine whispers before kissing my shoulder and pulling me into a hug.

We stay like that for a minute or two and I enjoy the feeling of her body pressed against mine without the barrier of clothing. This may not have been such a good idea, my libido is getting higher and higher.

"Sara, I have something to say too." Catherine says turning the shower down.

"What is it?" I ask worried. I'm really concerned when she seems to take an age to tell me.

"I'm in love with you." She says so softly I almost miss it over the water.

She turns the shower off and refuses to turn around to face me.

"Turn around Catherine. It's okay." I say rubbing her back.

She turns but she doesn't look up.

"I told you I admired your honesty. This instance is no different."

"It sounds cheap with you in my shower naked and still trying to detox." Catherine says angrily. I've never seen someone get so mad at expressing these kinds of emotions.

I forcefully pull her head up she I can attempt to look into her eyes.

"No it's not Catherine. I know you. You don't need such a declaration to bed someone and I don't think you're doing it here. I know you speak from your heart and if your heart is telling you that I'm worthy of such a thing then I am in no position to make you take it back."

"I shouldn't have, this isn't the right time." Catherine says getting out of the shower.

She hands me my towel and I wrap it around my body.

"Catherine, baby look at me. Please."

She looks up but her gaze is anything but confident.

I stand so close to her that I can see her shivering.

"I can't say what I feel most of the time for fear of rejection or ridicule. You coming to me and saying this makes it easier to bare my soul on the line. Give me time

Catherine and you'll be hearing a declaration from me too."

"You're not mad?" She asks nervously. Funny, she looks quite small right now.

"Oh no baby. I'm not mad."

Quite the opposite. I think my heart is exploding. My God Catherine Willows I love you too. Soon I'll tell you.



Catherine was very shy after her wonderful declaration and while I wanted to show her it was okay she layed her emotions out like that I had to admit a blushing Catherine Willows was something I really enjoyed seeing.

Every little touch while we were getting dressed made her blush or apologise and it took all my willpower not to hug her. I understood that she needed to be like this for a while. It's a huge step to let the other person know you loved them and with our unpredictable relationship I can see why she'd be worried that I hate her declaration.

I only wish I could formulate those three little word together and tell her I felt the same. I know it's in my heart but getting it to my mouth wasn't as easy as I thought it would have been. I knew that she was the one. Without any doubt.

Then why was I incapable of telling her?

"Are you hungry?" Catherine asks me, making me put that kind of serious thinking aside for a moment.

"A little." I say smiling at her, hoping I was non verbally letting her know she shouldn't worry about her statement.

"I can cook something if you like. I need to pick up Linds later too." Catherine says shaking her head as if she forgot she had to get her daughter.

"Whatever you want to eat is fine Cath, just nothing too exotic." I say fearing that my stomach wouldn't handle it.

"Okay, I'll go see what I have." She says leaving the bathroom.

Wow, she left pretty quickly.

The phone is ringing when I finally leave the bathroom. I decided to let Catherine have some more time on her own before joining her.

"Can you get that?" She yells from the kitchen not realising I was near her.

"Willows residence." I say sounding like her secretary.

"Ah, I'm after Catherine Willows." The female voice says confused.

"May I ask who is calling?" I say as I walk over to Catherine who is frowning at me.

"It's Mrs. Dunn. I'm the Principal at Lindsay's school."

"Is she okay?" I ask worried.

Catherine's look is also one of concern. I place my hand on her arm and give her the phone.

"This is Catherine, what is wrong?"

I can't hear the principal but from Catherine's end it seems that Lindsay got into a fight and has been suspended for three days. Suspended? Punishment at schools is getting more severe these days. I guess students have more at their disposal to sort out fights than they did before. Guns, knives, homemade bombs. This world often shocks me with its advancements. The wrong kind.

Catherine hangs up and sighs. I do the only thing I can think of and hug her.

"She punched her classmate. She had to get stitches." Catherine says in disbelief.

"Has she been in fights before?" I ask.

Catherine moves away from me.

"Are you saying she's a bully?" She asks angrily. I let her vent, knowing she's really just concerned about Lindsay and the other girl.

"No darling, I was just wondering if this was something that happened before. Suspension seems like an extreme punishment." Not that I'm a teacher or a parent. Who knows, that may be standard policy these days.

Catherine runs her hands through her hair.

"I'm sorry Sara."

I smile and pull her back into my arms.

"That's okay."

Catherine looks around as if trying to find something.

"I have to go get her, do you want to stay here?"

"I'll come with you if you want." I say unsure.

This seems to make her happy because she smiles widely and kisses me gently.

"Suspended. What will I do now?" Catherine mutters as she turns off the stove.

I say nothing, just grab her keys and wait at the door until she's ready.

"I can't believe this." Catherine says shaking her head as she talks about the incident with Mrs. Dunn.

"I wish it was untrue Miss Willows but she did do this in front of numerous witnesses." Mrs. Dunn's power suit hugged at her waist and I childishly wonder if she's been eating too many sweets at lunch time.

I stand at the back of the office not sure if I should even be there. I think Mrs. Dunn also got that impression when she sent me a glare that would have had me confessing to anything when I was a small child. Catherine had caught it and simply introduced me as her partner.

I saw the hesitance in the woman's eyes but she said nothing. I decided to just try and blend into the background.

"Suspension is a little harsh." Catherine says, echoing my thoughts.

"This is her seventh fight since the death of her father, Mrs. Willows. While we are sympathetic to the fact that she lost her father we do have rules in place for every child here."

Oh, that was insensitive. It was obviously some kind of reaction to Eddie's death and the schools solution was to send her away for three days? I didn't like how she placed the emphasis on the 'Mrs.' in that sentence.

"Are you saying I'm not raising my daughter well enough?" Catherine asks calmly. Too calmly. Watch out Mrs. Dunn, she's getting mad.

"I only comment on what happens here."

Good answer. Neither saying yes or no to Catherine's answer.

"Can we take Lindsay now?" I ask.

Both women look at me. I think they had forgotten I was there.

"I wish to talk to her mother a while longer. If Mrs. Willows gives her permission for Lindsay to go with you then you can take her."

If she gives me permission?

"Cath?" I ask.

Catherine throws me her keys smiling when I catch them in one hand.

"I'll be out soon baby." She says.

I saw Mrs. Dunn flinch at Catherine's little term of endearment. Good.

"Mrs. Dunn, it was nice to meet you." I say.

"And you." She says in return.


As I'm closing the door I hear Mrs. Dunn tell Catherine that next time it would be better to leave her girlfriend out in the hallway.

Like I'm her pet or a small child. Unbelievable.

If I didn't have to get Lindsay I would have stayed to hear Catherine's reply.

Lindsay was very relieved that I had collected her and not her mother.

"Is mom mad?" She asks as we go back to sit outside the office.

"Yeah. Seven fights Linds?"

"They started them." She says defensively.

"All seven of them?" I ask.

"Yes. They all say things like my dad was a sleaze. My dad deserved to die. My dad should have killed me in the water. Things like that."

Ouch. This poor child has had to live through the death of Eddie and then while going through her grieving process she had nasty children taunting her.

"That is hard to hear Linds but I don't think fighting them is the solution." I say softly.

"What would you know?" Lindsay says. "You weren't here."

"I'm not pretending I know what it's like for you personally, Linds, I'm just saying look at how many fights you've been in. Has the taunting stopped?"

Lindsay shakes her head in the negative.

"So fighting hasn't made them stop. You can't ignore it I know. I'm not telling you that. Just go to your mom with this. Go to your teachers."

"I don't want to tell mom. She was already sad after daddy died. If I tell my teachers they just tell me to ignore it and play somewhere else."

I know first hand how hard it is to resist your natural impulse whatever it may be.

"Oh Linds, look maybe in the next three days you and your mom can come up with something. Be honest with her. She loves you."

Lindsay drops her head in my lap and starts crying. This freaks me out a little but I simply pat her hair and wait for Catherine.

Catherine came out of the office about twenty minutes later. I could see that she had been involved in a heated discussion and smiled as she saw her daughter asleep on my lap.

"Thank you for getting her." Catherine whispers.

"That's fine Cath."

"Three days suspension." Catherine says shaking her head.

"It'll be okay Cath."

I gently pick Lindsay up and she stirs.


Catherine kisses her forehead.

"I'm here honey."

"Mom I'm sorry." Lindsay says crying.

"It's okay Linds, we'll talk about it later okay?"

This seems to be enough for Lindsay who smiles weakly. I put her down and she grabs for her mother's hand.

Catherine smiles down to her daughter and the three of us make our way to the car.

Lindsay fell asleep again on the trip home. I suppose the emotional toll was settling in.

"Did she say much while I was debating my personal life with that woman?" Catherine asks.

"A little yeah." Is all I say.


"I told her to talk to you." I say.

"But you won't tell me what the two of you discussed?" Catherine asks.

"I'm not sure I should Catherine. I think she deserves to tell you herself." I say nervously.

Catherine nods and grabs my hand.

"Okay." She says.

We're silent for a moment and then I speak up.

"So what did she say about your immoral life?" I say laughing.

"Just that this could further upset a fragile child like Lindsay, and that I shouldn't pursue a frivolous fling with someone until Lindsay was better."

"She what?" I say astonished.

"Yeah, I was a little bemused."

"What did you say to that?"

"That it wasn't a fling. That I loved you and Lindsay loves you too." She stops and smiles, "I considered being really graphic about our shower, but thought better of it."

Hearing Catherine say that really melted my heart. It made me think that this time I was going to get the good stuff in life and not have to drink my cares away. That with Catherine I wouldn't see a rape case and fall apart completely. That's not to say I wouldn't be affected but I would have her knowing that I wasn't coping. I'd have her to say the right thing when I needed it.

I knew she'd always be there and that made me feel pretty important for once in my life.

"Cath, pull over." I say quickly.

Catherine turns to say something but she must have seen the look and swerved into the street near us ignoring the blaring horns.

I open the door quickly and just make it to the gutter where I throw up. Catherine's out of the car and is holding my hair back and rubbing my back.

"Sorry." I say wiping my mouth with the tissue Catherine hands me.

"Sshh baby it's okay."

Will this ever end?

"Sorry. Sorry. Sorry," I say over and over again.

"Had I known my love made you this sick ..." Catherine says.

I know she's smiling as she says it but it still makes me upset.

I pray I'm over the vomiting and I stand slowly.

"Your love is the only thing that makes this bearable." I say.

Not the most romantic thing to say but she doesn't seem to care.

"I love you." She says hugging me.

She's brave. I smell and I could vomit again any second but she still moves in closer.



I had a few more goes of vomiting before I could give Catherine the thumbs up to drive home. I felt pretty bad having to do this while Lindsay was sleeping in the car. Add to that Catherine wanted to head into work early and work on Tracy's case. I think I remember something about Brass finding a possible lead on the brother's whereabouts.

"I'm sorry." I say as I suck on a mint Catherine found in the car.

"I can buy more." Catherine says.

"No, I mean ..." I stop when I see her smile.

"That's okay too babe. You can't help it, it's your body's response."

"Still, I'm sorry." I say quite embarrassed.

"Hey, really babe it is okay."

"Okay." I say not sure what else to say.

"Sara, this is normal when you're trying to rid your body of all those toxins. You went through it before so you know that it can just happen at any given time. There is no clock to it."

"This time is different. Before I just did it and went on with life. I don't really remember specifics because I had no one to help me. This time it feels worse because I have to prove that I can do it. That I can be someone you can count on. That I can be someone I can count on."

"Don't put pressure on yourself, take as long as you need to get to the place you want to be." Catherine says smiling at me.

Lindsay woke up five minutes before we got back to Catherine's. She was so quiet that I almost thought she was still asleep.

"Linds, hey." I say smiling.

"Mom I'm sorry for getting suspended." She says, her voice still a little groggy.

"I know those people are making fun of you but throwing things at them is not how I raised you to behave." Catherine says.

"Okay." Lindsay says dropping her head.

"I'm angry Linds but we'll talk about it later okay?" Catherine says.

We're all out of the car now, Lindsay is standing near me. I'm not sure what kind of protection I can give her.

"I know mom. I just get really mad."

"Go have a bath and set the table for dinner." Catherine says effectively ending the conversation for now.

"Dinner?" I ask.

"It's early but she'll be grounded tonight so I want her fed and dressed for her sitter."

I smile, I love seeing Catherine in mother mode.

"What?" She asks after catching me smiling at her.

"I just like seeing the domestic side to you." I say.

"Well hopefully you'll get to see it quite often," she says hugging me.

I hope so too.

"You should see me in an apron." Catherine says grinning.

"Just an apron?" I tease.

"If that's what you want babe." She says almost knocking me off my feet with her husky voice.

"Hey Cath, I have a suggestion and feel free to say no. I won't get offended. It's just that, well it's just that I think it might be easier on you." I say all muddled.

"What babe?"

"I can look after Lindsay tonight if you don't want to call the sitter."

Catherine looks at me with emotions I'm not sure how to read, flickering in her eyes.

"I understand if you don't feel comfortable with that idea." I say nervously. I think this was a bad idea.

"No, oh no it's not that baby. I just don't know what to say to that generous offer."

"It's nothing," I say shrugging my shoulders.

"I disagree. This is a totally unselfish act. I know you're in pain yet you think of me before all of that? Sara, I'm totally speechless."

"Is that a good thing?" I say smiling.

"It's a very good thing. I want to take you up on your offer but only if you think it'll be okay for you."

"I'll be fine. Trust me." I say.

Catherine kisses my collarbone.

"I do Sara."

I believe her when she says it. To be left in charge of her daughter while I'm still a little unsure on my health is a big step for her to make. I hope I can do well and make her feel like she has made the right decision.

If only I knew what the hell I needed to do to look after a child for more than ten minutes.



I sat on the couch while Catherine headed to the kitchen to make dinner. I told her I wasn't ready to eat but she gave me that look I could only class as a 'mothers glare' and told me I could have a few slices of toast. I smiled and nodded.

My main issue was trying to remember when exactly I lost my mind. Why did I think looking after Lindsay was the best way to show Catherine I was worthy of her? I couldn't have started with someone less painful? Like pulling out my kidneys for her. Yep, less painful.

I couldn't even control myself and now I was left in charge of two people?

No, I can do this. If Catherine didn't have to think twice about it then she must think I'm ready. I'll have to trust her belief in me. This is serious, I'm not simply looking after goldfish.

"Sara? Earth to the sexiest woman in this house."

Catherine was standing in front of me with a plate of toast and a huge smile on her face.

"Where were you just then?" Catherine asked coming to sit next to me.

"Nowhere." I lied.

"Ah huh." Catherine said placing her hand on my thigh.

"It's nothing." I say shaking my head.

"Worried about tonight?"

See, psychic. Again.

"No, not at all," I say in a voice anything but convincing.

"I won't be angry if you are Sara." Catherine says softly.

"I'll be fine tonight. Lindsay is really nice."

"I don't think you're worried about Lindsay." She says moving away from me to cross her legs.

I say nothing.

"I think you are worried about your own demons."

Still I say nothing, knowing she's right.

"Sara if you don't think that this is the best time to do this then that it fine. Honestly. Just the offer was enough for me to know you're serious about us. Don't think you have to prove yourself this way."

"I can do this Catherine."

"I'm sure you can baby which is why I said yes. Just don't use Lindsay as some kind of test run."

"Test run?" I say softly.

Catherine shifts uncomfortably.

"This is not a test run Catherine. I wouldn't use your daughter as some kind of tool in Greg's lab. I offered because I was willing to do it. I offered because it would help you out." I say angrily.

"You're obviously having second thoughts about it Sara." Catherine points out.

I can't deny her that but I'm angry. Not at her but at me because I know she knows me so well.

"Fine then. I'll let you hand her off to yet another stranger while you go to work. I'll just go home and you can call me when you think I'm suitable enough to be around your daughter."

I get up, knocking the plate of toast onto the floor. I step on half a slice and it squashes into my shoe and the carpet.

"What? You're leaving?" Catherine asks confused.

"Yes." I say firmly.

I don't quite know how I'll be doing that though.

Catherine sighs and reaches for her house phone.

"I guess I'll call you a cab then."

I waited out the front of Catherine's house after she called the cab. I was surprised that she didn't fight me on my leaving and if I'm honest, that hurt a little. It was an irrational thought because I had taken our conversation way out of the realm it was in. Sometimes it felt like I was still drinking.

Headlights to the left of me snapped me out of my musings. I stood closer to the curb so the cab driver could see me. As the car got closer I realised it wasn't my lift home so I moved back a little. Wouldn't do my body any good to get hit by a car.

"Here, come on." The voice I knew so well said from behind me.

I turned to see Catherine holding out her hand.

"It'll be here soon." I say turning my back to her.

"Stop pushing me away Sara." Catherine says coming to stand next to me.

I move away from her a little but she noticed it and I think it hurt her.

Why am I pushing her away? I know I am and yet I can't seem to stop it. It's like I'm hell bent on making things more difficult for myself.

"Catherine please go inside, Lindsay will be wondering where you are."

"She'll also be wondering where you are. What should I tell her?" Catherine asks.

"That I was sick and had to go home." I say shrugging.

"You asked me to trust you. I do. With my whole heart. I love you Sara."

"Don't say that. You can't. I'm a mess. Just when I think I've managed to get my life back to something better I'm reminded that I'm nothing. I'm damaged goods Catherine."

She goes to talk but I steamroll over any attempt.

"I've come to know you Catherine. I've come to know the part you leave away from work, the nurturing part of you that the boys only see the surface of. I've seen you give your heart to me and I can't even begin to describe how much I feel it whenever you look at me. I'm not worth it. I've been a victim of rape and that's not something I'll ever forget. I was naive to think having you would be enough to move on. The fact of the matter is I can never move on. You can't possibly understand."

"I never claimed to." Catherine says softly.

"It'll always be inside Catherine." I say.

"Of course and I'm not saying it is something I can fix. I'm just here for you. For whatever you need."

I shake my head.

"I thought that was enough. It's not."

My cab turns the corner and I look back at Catherine who is visibly upset.

"I'll see you later." I say waving down the cab.

Catherine takes one step towards me but stops when she hears Lindsay calling her name out.

I say nothing, simply get in the cab and give him my address. We drive past her still standing on her lawn looking lost.



What the hell is wrong with me? I took a simple little talk and turned it into yet another fight. This is getting repetitive. We make progress and I just take that and flush it down the toilet.

God I'm a mess.

Right. I need to fix this. Once again.

How do I do that? I was pretty nasty to Catherine while we were standing outside. I saw the pain in her face, read it in her posture. Should I walk away from her? From a future that would have been happy?

Do I deserve that?

Do I deserve her?

Look at what she's done for me. She's managed to still be near me after I was no better than the man who raped me, physically manhandling her and kissing her against her will. Pulling her close only to push her away.

Opening up and letting her know my secrets. Her addiction layed out for me. Caring for me after my mugging. Caring for me while I go through this detox. Her soul bared when she told me she loved me.

God I need her.

Then why do you act like this Sidle?

So much for your grand plans of wooing her.

Shut up mind.

I decide that a good spring clean will keep my mind off wanting a drink and wanting Catherine. I find that my need for a drink is easy to combat which is very different for me. It's Catherine who is harder to forget.

I have to call her. Apologise.

But where do I start and when will it end? I put up those defensive shields all the time and have to knock them back down. Will they ever stay down for her?

I've got a lot of hurt inside me and it's being projected in the wrong way. I've shied away from personal human interactions for so long I don't think I know how to sustain that for a long period of time.

I pick up the phone and dial Catherine's house hoping she hasn't left yet.


"Linds, it's Sara."

"Hey Sara. Are you feeling better?"

"No not really Linds but I will. Thanks for asking."

"Do you want to speak to mom?"

"So she hasn't left yet?" I ask relieved.

"No, she's in the shower. Hey Sara?"


"Do you know what's wrong with mom?"

Oh no.

"What do you mean?"

"She was crying when she came back inside and hasn't grounded me yet. She's just been in her room touching the flowers someone gave her."

This is too much to hear.

"Maybe she's just sick Linds."

"Is she that mad at me?" Lindsay asked concerned.

"Oh I don't think it's that. Grown ups sometimes get sad." I say feebly.

"She's happy when you're here." Lindsay says.

Children. They are so innocent at times.

"Well I'm happy when I'm with her and you." I say honestly.

"Hey mom, Sara's on the phone." Lindsay yells out.

My heart is beating quite fast as I wait for her to take the phone from her daughter.

"I don't want to fight." Catherine says to me. She sounds tired. I know it's because of me.

"I'm sorry." I say. It seems so empty though.

"Yeah, well it doesn't make this round any easier to forget Sara. You can't keep saying sorry and think that we can move on, because I never know when we'll do this again. I can't keep thinking that if I be honest with you it'll lead to another fight."

"I know. I can't tell you either."

"Then were can we go?"

"Give me another chance Catherine." I beg her.

"I keep doing that and I always seem to be punished for it."

I don't like the tone of this conversation, it's like she's given up.

"I know you do and I've put you through so much."

"Too much." Catherine says in a whisper.

"Too much?" I ask.

"I am in love with you Sara. I can't stop that but I can stop this relationship from descending into a dark period of my life. If I can't be myself then there is nowhere for me to go other that out of it."

"No. No. You don't mean that." I say shaking my head.

"I think it was wrong of me to think I could be your salvation when you don't really seem to want it."

"I want it Catherine." I say firmly.

"Not one hundred percent."

"I know you can't change but at the moment neither can I."

"I know baby. I know." Another sigh from Catherine.

"I knew you should have left me alone until I had gotten off this drink." I say angrily.

"Sure, switch off my emotions and just sit back and watch you in pain." Catherine says sarcastically.

"Please Catherine. I need you."

Catherine sounds like she's shaking her head.

"You need an addiction. I can't be that for you."

"No. I need your love. I need your smile and your touch. I need your kisses. I need the way you look at me and comfort me. I need your confidence. I need you to look at me at work and smile as we share our secret love."

"Stop Sara." Catherine says. I hear a strangled sob. Seems I'm always making her cry.

"Please come back to me." I beg. I'm really fucking pathetic.

"Time. I need time." Catherine says softly.

"Okay." I say sighing.

"Bye Sara."

She hangs up before I can say anything else.

I hit my head against the wall.

It doesn't hurt as much as my heart does.

I've cleaned my entire house, washed all my clothes, iron and hung them up and now I'm sitting down watching television. It's funny, I have no need for a drink. I'm depressed, lonely and yet I'm just sitting here with a remote and a glass of lemonade.

And it doesn't bother me at all.

The phone breaks me out of my channel surfing.


"It's Grissom, I was just wondering if I will see you at work tomorrow."

Has a week gone already? First couple of days were filled with long painful stretches and the rest seemed to zoom by.

Because I had Catherine, that's why.

"Yeah, I'll be there." I say.

"Good. The lab needs you back."

"The lab, yeah." I say smiling.

"Okay so I'll let everyone know. Bye Sara."

I hang up smiling. Grissom is an excellent investigator and I don't think anyone would dispute that but boy he could use some lessons in human relations.

I know Catherine's at work and that he'd probably tell her later that I'm coming back. I wonder if she's excited about seeing me.

I must have dozed off during the documentary on the F-14 Hornet because the phone woke me up in the middle of some bloke talking about the mystery of the Inca's.



Lindsay's panicked voice snaps me out of my daze.

"Linds? What is it?"

"I'm at the hospital."

"Are you okay? What? What happened?" I say standing up and getting my car keys. "Fuck," I curse as I run right into the coffee table.

"Just come Sara. Please." The line then went dead.

I speed to the hospital not caring that I'm being a little reckless. Lindsay's voice was thick with panic, I knew that I had to be there no matter what the fine I'd incur if I was stopped.

Running past a few desks, I finally find one marked 'Admin.'

"Hello. I'm trying to find someone brought in with a girl, her name would be Lindsay Willows." I try to slow my voice down so the nurse can understand me.

"Sign this form and we'll get to you." The nurse says not even looking up.

"No, I'm not injured. I'm looking for someone."

"Look around, we are packed. I can't remember every single child in here."

I take out my work identification badge.

"This is official business, I need you to look in your files."

"You're not a cop?"

"No, I'm a crime scene investigator."

"When we have a suspicious death I'll page you." She says grinning at her own joke. Why do I always get Nurse Ratchet?

I slam my hands onto the bench. Now that gets her attention. And the attention of the hospital security guard.

"Listen lady, either you do it or I'll come around there and look myself."

"Sara?" A scared little voice asks near me.

I turn and see Lindsay. And Grissom.

Oh my God.


"Where is she?" I ask Grissom frantically.

"Sara, wait." Grissom says grabbing my arm in what has to be one of the very few times he's touched me.

"Where. Is. She?" I say with clenched teeth.

Lindsay is crying which calms me a little. I bend down to hug her.

"It's okay Linds." I say even though I don't even know where Catherine is and what happened to her.

"She was in a car accident." Grissom says softly.

"At work?" I ask confused.

"She came to work and said she needed some personal time."

"So?" I say prompting him to elaborate.

"I told her to take her break early so she could go and do what she needed to do."

Lindsay is hugging my leg sobbing. I can feel the tears seep through my pants.

"And?" This man can be so annoying at times. Spit it out man.

"She was driving through the intersection and a car involved in a high speed chase clipped the side of her car."

I stop Grissom from continuing.

"Lindsay honey, do you want to go and get a drink and maybe something to eat?" I say softly.

Lindsay looks up at me, her eyes red and her face puffy.

"I'll take her."

I spin around and see a woman holding out her hand to Lindsay.

"Aunt Nancy." Lindsay says throwing her body into her embrace.

"I've just been speaking with her doctor Gil. They said it'll be sometime before we know the extent of her injuries. I'm going to take Linds home and my husband can look after her."

"Hi." I say shyly. It takes a few more seconds to realise if they're talking to her doctor, she's not dead. That's good right? She's not dead. She's still with me.

Nancy surprises me by putting Lindsay down and embracing me. I sink into her hug and try not to cry.

"Thank you for being here." She whispers in me ear.

I nod and break away before I do cry.

"Did Gil tell you what happened?" She asks.

"A little." I say looking at Lindsay.

She understands and gives Lindsay some money.

"Go get a drink honey. I'll just talk to Sara for a minute."

Grissom offers to go with her which I'm thankful for.

"She's pretty beat up Sara." Nancy says dropping her head.

"How bad?" I ask.

"Internal bleeding. Broken arm. The bruising is pretty horrendous Sara."

Nancy lifts her head and I see she's crying. I grab her hand and smile.

"She'll be fine." I say.

"They are taking her up for surgery, they had to wait for permission. I got here as fast as I could."

"She'll be fine." I say again.

I'm lost without her here with me. She'll be fine.

She has to be fine.

Lindsay comes back, a little more color in her cheeks. She climbs into my lap and rests her head on my chest.

"Come on honey, I'll take you home." Nancy says smiling.

"I want to stay with Sara."

"You can come back but you need to get some sleep first." Nancy says.

"It's okay Linds, I'll still be here." I say kissing her head.

I'm not leaving here until Catherine is.

"Okay." Lindsay says climbing off my lap.

She takes Nancy's hand.

"See you later?" Nancy asks even though I think she knows I'm not going anywhere.

I nod and smile at Lindsay with a calm I'm not sure I really have.

Grissom takes up the seat Nancy vacated.

"Why did they call you?" I ask him.

"The cops on the scene knew her so they called Brass." He says.

The cops that may have contributed to her current state? I want to strangle them even though I know they weren't to blame. I just wanted someone to blame.

"Okay." I say nodding.

"Lindsay wanted to call you."

I know Grissom has a question in that statement.

"Yeah, Catherine and I have become good friends. I guess when she took care of me it just seemed natural. I saw Lindsay a bit during that time."

Grissom says nothing but I know he's still not sure why I was called.

"I should go." He says getting up.

"I'm staying."

"I'll process some additional time off. You've got so much of it owing."

I never really took days off before. Probably a good thing considering things recently.

"Any change let me know." He says looking down the corridor.

"I will." I promise.

That seems to be enough for him because he walks away saying nothing else.

"Hey Grissom?" I yell after him.

He turns.

"Where was the accident?" I ask.

"One block from your place." He says looking at me like he knows there is something to that.

I stumble backwards trying to find a chair to sit in.

Me. She was coming to see me. My stupid fears could have killed her.

I think I'm going to be sick.

Part 50

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