DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of CBS, Jerry Bruckheimer etc.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Catherine walked into her bedroom, smiling at the sight of Sara and Lindsey curled up together, asleep. Sara was laying on her left side, her hand draped protectively around Lindsey, who was laying on her back her hand clasped into Sara's other hand, which was resting under the younger blonde's head.
Not wanting to wake either of the girls in her life, Catherine slipped into bed on the opposite side of Lindsey, quickly nestling with the rest of her family as she sought to escape the horrors of her job.
She had only been in bed for fifteen minutes when the phone began to ring, causing Catherine's eyes to instantly open, while Sara and Lindsey groggily fought sleep to re-enter the conscious world.
"Cath, it's Grissom. I know you just got home, stop thinking of ways to harm me. Is Sara there, by chance?"
Catherine stretched, rubbing her eyes tiredly, "Yes, but she's sick. You can't have her."
"I'm fine." Sara mumbled, "give me the phone."
Catherine put her finger to her lips to silence the brunette, "Call one of the guys. Warrick ducked out early, call him in."
"I actually need all hands on. The only reason I was excusing you is because of Lindsey, if you want Sara to stay home, I'll need you at the sheriff's house. There's been a triple homicide."
Catherine was instantly awake, "The sheriff?"
"Their housekeeper showed up for their weekly appointment and found the entire family shot to death. Ecklie's ordering all shifts to work the case." Grissom relayed the conversation he had just had with Ecklie, "If you could get a sitter, I could actually use both of you."
Sara and Lindsey both sprang into action as they listened to the conversation developing between Catherine and Grissom. Sara quietly got out of bed, grabbing a pair of black jeans from the closet and tiredly slipping them on, silently gasping as she realized the button was becoming a bit snug.
Lindsey, on the other hand, dramatically flopped onto her pillow, "Mom!" She whined, "I never get to see you anymore. You can't go to work! Please, Mom, tell him no!"
"Lindsey, sweetie, your Mom can't tell Grissom no. He's our boss, he'd fire us for telling him no. Think of it this way, the sooner we go, the sooner we'll get home. I promise, when we get back, we'll take you out for a special dinner, anywhere you want to go."
"Anywhere?" Lindsey asked, her whines quieted as she began to think of restaurants they hadn't been to in awhile, "What if you aren't done by the time it's dinner time?"
Sara smiled as she buttoned up an army green shirt, "Then we'll have to take an extra-long break to come and spend time with our favorite 12 year old."
"Okay, I guess you two can go to work." Lindsey agreed, satisfied with the compromise, "But are you sure you feel okay? You were still sick last night."
Sara nodded, digging for a pair of socks, "I'm fine, I feel 100 percent better." She looked over at Catherine, who was still arguing quietly with Grissom, "Cath, baby, I'm going to head on out there. You and Lindsey stay home together and enjoy some quality time, okay?"
"Who's going to watch out for you?" Catherine asked, covering the phone with her hand.
Sara rolled her eyes, "I'm a fully functional adult, I think I can handle it."
Sara turned onto the street the sheriff lived on, and wasn't surprised that she had to park nearly half a block away because of the sheer number of police units, media crews, and onlookers present. Stifling a yawn, she grabbed her kit and pushed her sunglasses to the top of her head, shivering despite the warmth of her Lab-Issue jacket. She felt a lot better than she had for the last few days, partially due to the fact that she seemed to feel worse in the evening, and it was definitely still very early in the morning.
"You look exhausted, girl, what did you do on your night off?" Warrick asked, meeting up with Sara halfway down the street, "Had a rough time sleeping?"
Sara smiled softly, "No, I slept...after I had a 6 hour movie marathon with Lindsey."
"Ah, that explains it." Warrick said with a knowing smile, "Grissom give you any details on the scene?"
Sara rubbed her hands together, trying to keep them warm. While Vegas was known for it's warm desert climate, they occasionally got a few really chilly days in the winter. Today the high was only in the upper 40s, and right now it was just above freezing. "Only that the sheriff's family was shot and killed."
"It's a pretty gruesome scene, we'll be there awhile. Nick's already inside, Greg's in charge of the perimeter. Day shift has 5 people onboard. Two are with Greg, two are searching to see if the suspect dropped the gun nearby, and one is inside with Grissom. You and I are working the daughter's room. Hope you're ready for a long day..."
They walked into Hayley, their youngest victim's, bedroom, and Sara gasped at the sight. The room had been decorated in a typical teenage fashion, movie and music posters pinned to the wall, pictures of friends and schoolmates taped to the mirror over her dresser. The room was in disarray, although it was anyone's guess to whether or not it had been that way prior to the attack. Hayley laid across the bed, three obvious gunshot wounds, along with a slashed throat. Blood soaked the sheets beneath her, spatter covering the walls and floor. Her light blue eyes were open, a terrified expression on her pale, still face. Shuddering, Sara knew that face would join the others that haunted her while she tried to sleep.
She looked at the window, which was partially open, "Suspect may have entered through her window."
"I'll see if there are any prints. Get whatever you can off of the body, David will be here soon to pick her up." Warrick replied, pulling out a canister of powder and dipping his brush into it.
"I've got casings." Sara said softly, picking up the casing with her forceps, "Looks like a 38."
Warrick glanced out of the window as he saw something glistening in the morning sun, "Knife in the garden outside." He called out to Greg, who was only a few feet away, motioning for the newest CSI to bring them the weapon.
"It's such a shame when a child's life is taken. They are so innocent, it just doesn't seem fair."
"It isn't fair." Warrick replied, "It's not fair when anyone dies, but it hurts to see a child laying there, their life stolen."
Sara nodded solemnly, gently retrieving a few fibers from the 13 year old's lips, "I've got red fibers, looks like they came from a towel, I'll send them to trace when we get back to the lab."
"Do you think it's possible that he suffocated her before slashing her throat and shooting her?" Warrick asked, looking up from the windowsill, where he was lifting several prints he found, "Looking for the killer's prints is a lost cause, there has to be at least two dozen prints here."
"The window is a teenager's method of choice when sneaking out at night." Sara pointed out, "check for blood on both the inside and outside, maybe he left through it?"
They worked quietly for the next couple of hours, silently processing every inch of the room, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together. They had made a considerable amount of progress when Sara stood from her squatting position, her mind growing fuzzy and her stomach queasy, yet hungry.
"I need some fresh air." She said softly, "Would you mind if I stepped outside for a few minutes?"
Warrick's eyes met Sara's, and his brow wrinkled in concern, "You okay? You look pretty pale."
"I just need a few minutes to refresh my mind." Sara replied with a silent yawn. "I haven't eaten since dinner last night, and it's nearly 2:00."
Warrick looked down at his watch, nodding thoughtfully, "Why don't you take a break and go pick us up some sandwiches? My treat."
"Sounds like a good idea." Sara agreed, despite her churning stomach. Time away from the scene sounded marvelous, and she was certain that another minute in the blood soaked room would cause her to be ill. Plucking a twenty from Warrick's outstretched hand, she gave him a relieved smile and rushed out of the house.
She pulled into the parking lot of the nearest sandwich shop, the smell of freshly baked bread sending her directly to the bathroom. She emerged 5 minutes later, regretting that she had told Warrick she'd pick him up lunch. The slight feeling of hunger she had been experiencing was now a memory, the thought of putting anything into her body making her want to gag. She hastily ordered his meal, not trusting her body enough to order anything for herself.
When she pulled back into the sheriff's neighborhood, she was met with Warrick and Grissom, who were standing in the front yard, talking in a hushed whisper about what they had found so far. Warrick spotted Sara and waved her over, "Hey Sara, I finished with Hayley's bedroom, and as soon as we can get all of the evidence rounded up, the two of us will take it back to the lab."
Sara opened her mouth to respond when everything went back, sending her falling into Warrick's arms, unconscious.
Warrick laid her gently on the ground, looking up at Grissom with a shocked expression. He looked back down at the brunette in his arms and said gently, "Sara, wake up, it's okay, wake up."
Grissom knelt down beside Warrick, gently brushing his hand across her forehead, "Sara, honey, open your eyes. Sara, can you hear me?" He looked up at Warrick, "We need to call for a medic."
Within just seconds, Nick and Greg had joined them in the front yard, along with two of the day shift's CSI's. Nick pulled out his cell phone, "I'll call dispatch for an EMT."
Warrick held up his hand, "Wait, she's coming around."
Sara's eyes briefly fluttered open, but she quickly shut them with a moan as the sun shone directly into her eyes. Over a few seconds, she became increasingly aware of the action taking place around her. Warrick and Grissom were calling her name, and someone was peeling off her jacket, letting the cold air hit her skin. At the mention of paramedics, she managed to crack open her eyes once more, raising her hand to her eyes to block out the sun.
"What happened?" Sara asked, trying to sit, but being forced back to the ground by Grissom, in what could possibly be the most physical contact he had ever had with her.
Warrick handed her a bottle of water that Nick had retrieved, and she took a small sip, pushing it away as her stomach began to protest. Helping her raise her head a bit, Warrick replied, "You passed out. I'm going to take you to the hospital, okay?"
Sara shook her head, "No, I'm fine."
"Fine people don't pass out." Grissom reminded her with a stern gaze, "You look very pale. You need to see a doctor."
Sara took her jacket back from Warrick as she began to shiver, and ran her fingers through her hair, trying to clear her head, "I don't need to see a doctor. I've been sick for a few days and I've been neglecting myself. I haven't eaten in awhile, I'm still tired from being so sick, I'm going to be okay, really."
"If you won't see a doctor, the least you can do is let Warrick or I take you home." Grissom replied, slowly pulling her to her feet, "You okay?"
Sara slowly released herself from Grissom's grasp, nodding, "I'm okay." Seeing his disbelieving face, she said more forcefully, "Really, I'm okay. I can drive myself home."
"I don't think so." Warrick and Grissom said at the same time, "That's just an accident waiting to happen." Grissom added, glancing at his watch. "Here's what we're going to do; Warrick, you take the evidence back to the lab. Nick, finish processing the room we were working on, and I'll drive Sara home. "
Before Sara could argue, he had led her to his vehicle, opening the passenger side door for her, "Sit down, you're shaking."
He started the car and silently began the drive back to Catherine and Sara's house. After a few minutes, he asked softly, "How far along are you?"
"Excuse me?" Sara asked, her eyes widening as she subconsciously brought her hand to her abdomen.
Grissom glanced at Sara, then down at her hand, and smirked, "Are you going to deny it?"
"No, I'm not denying anything. How did you know?" Sara asked, her eyes wide as she eyed her supervisor suspiciously.
Grissom shrugged, "You've taken 7 sick days in the last two months, which is more than you've totaled since you've been here. You are having trouble concentrating, you're always looking exhausted, you've been vomiting during every shift you've worked for the last week or two, and you passed out at a crime scene. What am I supposed to think?"
"You've noticed all of that?" Sara asked, "Is it that obvious?"
Grissom shook his head, "Actually, no, I just put the pieces together since we've left. Want to know the main reason I knew?" He waited for her to nod before he continued, "The fetus was moving while you were unconscious. I was unzipping your jacket and I felt fetal movement. I don't think anyone else noticed, but this is definitely something you should have spoken to me about sooner."
"I just found out, last night. I'm estimating 4 and a half months, at the latest, 5. You felt it moving? I've never felt it move." Sara said softly, her hand still resting over her stomach, "I didn't know I should be able to feel it moving yet."
Grissom glanced over at Sara, concerned, "Have you spoken to Catherine about this?"
"No." Sara admitted quietly, a frown on her face.
Grissom let his hand cover her shaking one, "You need to, before she figures it out on her own."
The spent the last 15 minutes of the car ride in silence, Grissom mentally making a list of things Sara could and couldn't do while pregnant in the field and in the lab, while Sara began to contemplate ways to break this news to Catherine. Every scenario she was able to imagine, however, had Catherine hurt, angry, or upset. As they pulled into the driveway, she wiped away a tear that she didn't even know had fallen. This was going to be one of the hardest conversations of her life.
She opened the car door, not too surprised when Grissom walked around to her side of the car and took her by the arm, making sure she was steady enough to make it to the front door. She opened her mouth to argue with him and tell him to just go ahead and leave, but she knew it wouldn't make a difference anyway. Before they even reached the door, Catherine had opened it with a shocked expression on her face.
"What's going on? Why is Grissom bringing you home?" Catherine asked, instantly at Sara's side, "Did something happen? Are you okay?" She took a step back, checking out her girlfriend for any signs of injury.
Sara shook her head silently, glancing down at her feet. Before she had formulated the right words to make it sound like it wasn't a big deal, Grissom had beat her to it, "Sara fainted at the crime scene, I brought her home to make sure she got here okay."
"You fainted?" Catherine asked, tilting Sara's head so their eyes met. Upon Sara's nod, Catherine sighed, "I told you that you should have stayed home. Come inside and sit down, you look awful."
Sara glanced at Grissom, who glanced down at his watch, "I should go. Hope you feel better, Sara. Take the night off...both of you."
Grissom turned to leave as Catherine led Sara inside of their home, fussing over the brunette in a way that only a mother could.
"Baby, I told you it wasn't a good idea to go to work today." Catherine said softly, stroking Sara's cheek, "Are you okay? Do you need anything? It's time to go see a doctor."
Sara closed her eyes, running her hands through her hair as she leaned forward, taking a deep breath, "Cath, I don't need to see a doctor."
"That's nonsense, you can't convince me that you're okay, you've been sick too long for it just to be a virus or something, you could have something seriously wrong with you!" Catherine protested, "You're going to see a doctor, even if I have to drag you there kicking and screaming."
Sara stood, pausing as she was overcome by weakness, trying to clear her head, "No! You don't understand." She sank back onto the couch, pulling away as Catherine touched her shoulder, "Yes, I don't deny that there's something wrong with me, but it's not anything that your family doctor can fix." She took a deep breath, knowing she had to admit the truth to Catherine before it became too glaringly obvious.
She ran her fingers through her hair again, looking for the right words to say, tears filling her eyes as she met Catherine's worried gaze. The idea of Catherine's reaction sent chills down her spine as she found her stomach starting to churn. She shuddered, willing her stomach to stay semi-settled until this revelation was complete, but as soon as the words, "I'm pregnant." flowed from her mouth, the urgent need to be sick flooded her body, sending her into the bathroom, barely having time to slam the door behind her.
She wasn't too surprised to find Catherine still sitting in the living room, shocked, when she returned a few moments later. Sara sat down across from Catherine, crossing her arms nervously, "I...I'm sorry."
"How long?" Catherine asked, looking up with sad eyes, filled with unshed tears, "How far along are you? How long have you known?"
Sara's lip trembled as she fought to keep her own tears at bay, watching Catherine struggle with this new bit of news, "I don't know exactly how far along I am...I'm estimating between 4 and a half and 5 months. I just found out last night, I swear, I had no idea."
"I..." Catherine began, trying to find words to express how she was feeling, "I....I need to be alone right now, I need to think about this."
Sara looked away, her expression unreadable as she stood, a slight tremble in her posture, "Go. Just go. I'll be here with Lindsey when you're ready to talk."
Without a second glance in Sara's direction, Catherine stood and walked towards the front door, feeling as though she was in a complete fog. Sara? Pregnant? Her Sara? Where do they go from here?
To Be Continued
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