DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters. Sorry for treading on any toes I do it only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I have a very small story arc in my head relating in some way to the episode arc C-C-Changes through Nesting Dolls and beyond.
SERIES: This is part one of the 'Three Little Words' series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

All I Need
By Debbie

Catherine Willows was sitting in her office, alone and conflicted, just looking at her new surroundings. On the one hand she was happy to finally have the chance to lead her own CSI team, and more than pleased to be able to spend more quality time with Lindsey. On the other hand, she was experiencing extreme loneliness, and for someone as personable as Catherine Willows that was hard to swallow.

Her new role meant that she had lost the camaraderie she had always enjoyed with the guys. Warrick and Nick were wonderful to work with, but having to supervise them, made friendships slightly more difficult. They still enjoyed the jokes and the laughs that made their work bearable, but the after work laughs felt "wrong".

The experienced CSI grimaced as she checked her notes on today's crime scene. At first glance a simple enough burglary case, single woman's apartment broken into, lingerie drawer trashed and underwear spread across the floor, the perp obviously looking for jewelry in the place he assumed woman hid these things. How wrong could the perp have been, the young woman had all her jewelry stored in a sturdy wooden box in plain sight, not touched.

Catherine chuckled at the stupid behavior of criminals only to immediately sigh. This criminal had ruined this young woman's life without really meaning to. The investigator thought back to her assessment of the scene and her resulting discussion with Greg Sanders.

On arriving at work to hear Cath's team had pulled this "simple" burglary, Gil Grissom had asked Catherine if Greg could do the investigation in preparation for his final CSI assessment. Having a soft spot for the boy-like trainee CSI she had readily agreed. Asking him to precede her to by a few minutes she had allowed him to be the lead investigator, only to arrive at the scene to see him berating the distraught young victim.

Stepping in quickly, she found that Melanie, the victim, had cleaned up the crime scene, throwing all her underwear in the trash can, and virtually bleaching her chest of drawers. Greg was dismayed and showing it. Catherine had quickly taken him to one side and explained as best she could the reaction of the young woman. She'd explained that Melanie obviously felt violated, even abused by the wanton disregard for her private belongings, before asking him to find as much evidence as he could in the remainder of the scene, while she tried to console Melanie.

Later, back at the lab, Greg had been discussing the case with Nick and Warrick. They had seen the same behavior before but really failed to understand it. The fact that Catherine had made an impassioned speech about how a woman can feel violated without anything remotely physical happening had fallen on deaf ears, all the guys feeling she had been acting like a silly woman messing with the evidence as she had. Catherine had been angry with her colleagues, angry that they could still feel like that after some of the horrors they had seen perpetrated against young single women like Melanie. So angry that she had retreated to her quiet sanctuary before being drawn into a heated discussion that might have gotten out of hand.

Now, she had calmed her mind a little she was pondering her own reaction, given her past profession should she in fact sympathize as much as she did with the victim, or should she be more hardened as the guys seemed to be. Her thoughts drifting she suddenly wished she had a female colleague to talk through her ramblings. She jumped up and began to scour the labs.

Where the hell was Sara Sidle when she wanted her?

Ever since the break up of the graveyard shift, Catherine had had very little contact with her younger female colleague. Recently she had noticed times when her brain had automatically thought to pull Sara on board, when a car needed dismantling, when a female suspect needed female handling, when Hodges in trace went AWOL. All these times Catherine had needed Sara, and all these times, because of Ecklie's reorganization, Sara had been unavailable.

Tonight she had even realized that she missed the feisty bantering with the strong brunette, the bantering that sometimes grew into full scale arguing. She missed the way she could spark off Sara and vice versa to get wonderful results. She missed the quieter times when Sara's deep intellect pushed the buttons in Catherine's mind and the debates that followed solved even the most difficult of cases. She even missed the occasional social times they had managed over the years. Basically, and she surprised herself by admitting it, Catherine Willows missed working with Sara Sidle, her nemesis but also her equal in so many ways.

Tonight it had suddenly hit her; Catherine Willows needed Sara Sidle. Just like she'd sarcastically said all those moons ago before their first major case together, the train crash that turned out to be a murder case, Sara was all she needed.

The End

Sequel You're Mine Tonight

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