Categories > TV > CSI

Moving On

by SSidle 0 Reviews

Catherine lends some help and gets some in return.

Category: CSI - Rating: PG - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Characters: Catherine Willows, Gil Grissom, Nick Stokes, Sara Sidle, Warrick Brown - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2006/07/17 - Updated: 2006/07/17 - 3401 words - Complete

I couldn't take watching it anymore! Over the past few months everyone had changed, and not for the better. Nick hadn't been around; he was still in therapy over his kidnapping. Warrick had been short tempered and sulky, he still blamed himself for what had happened to Nick. Greg was still... well, Greg, but he was much more subdued. Sara and Grissom hadn't spoken in somewhere around two months. They apparently had had this huge blowout argument in his office after shift one day, which ended in Sara running from the room bawling and smacking into me, not even realizing it. She hasn't spoken to anyone since; other than the victims (the live ones) and whoever was being interrogated, and only when she had to. The fun just radiated off this group!

I'd been doing what I could to help; I mean everything that had happend had affected me too, but I knew that someone has to hold it together so that everyone else had someone stable to lean on, but nothing I did seemed to be working to improve the mood. I visited Nick when I could, I invited Warrick over for breakfast with me and Lindsey (they get along so well), and I tried to laugh at all of Greg's half-hearted jokes. I took Sara out for drinks (she only spoke once she was severely drunk) and, knowing Grissom, I gave him as much space as possible.

Luckily, no one's problems seemed to have affected their work. In fact, things had been done in record time, without the goofing off, jokes, talking, etc. It worried me a bit that they were at the point where Ecklie liked their personality changes. Though I wasn't surprised, they had all turned into robots. Something (or someone) had to break soon!

Sara had called in sick that day, I may not have been her supervisor, but her presence had been pretty noticeable. The anger, hurt and frustration that had surrounded her in an almost tangible cloud had been so thick you could have choked on it.

Shift had just started and I had told everyone that I wasn't feeling well, so I left. I really didn't feel well, I was worried that something had happened to Sara. She hadn't seemed ill at the end of the last shift. When I got to her door, I noticed that she hadn't gotten her paper, which clued me in that something was definitely wrong. Sara always read her paper as soon as she got it, after she threw out the crossword (her own form of rebellion). I knocked, but she didn't answer the door. I remembered where she kept her spare key and I let myself in. I could hear slightly muffled music and I found her in her room, curled in a fetal position on her bed. As I stood in the doorway, a new song began and I could hear Sara softly and tearfully start singing the words. My heart broke for her when I realized what the song was. It was Brandy's "Have You Ever." I knew that the words must have hit way close to home for her.

Have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry/have you ever needed something so bad you can't sleep at night/have you ever tried to find the words but they don't come out right/have you ever/ have you ever/have you ever been in love/been in love so bad/you'd do anything to make them understand/have you ever had someone steal your heart away/you'd give anything to make them feel the same/have you ever searched for words to get you in their heart/but you don't know what to say/and you don't know where to start/have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry/have you ever needed something so bad you can't sleep at night/have you ever tried to find the words but they don't come out right/have you ever/have you ever/have you ever found the one you've dreamed of all your life/you'd do just about anything to look into their eyes/have you finally found the one you've given your heart to/only to find that one won't give their heart to you/have you ever closed your eyes and dreamed that they were there/and all you can do is wait for the day that they will care/have you ever loved somebody so much it makes you cry/have you ever needed something so bad you can't sleep at night/have you ever tried to find the words but they don't come out right/have you ever/have you ever...

Once the song ended, the tape stopped, and all I could hear were Sara's quiet sobs. I felt for her, I knew what it was like to feel rejected and broken. I walked over to her and put a hand on her shoulder. She jumped a mile; she hadn't known I was there. Her eyes were puffy and her face was red and blotchy. When she saw that it was me, she tried to dry her face, but the still silently streaming tears prevented her from doing so effectively. I asked her if she wanted to talk. She hesitated a moment, then nodded. She got up and led the way to the living room. She gestured toward a chair as she sat down. The irony of the seating arrangement was lost on me at the time (it was the way Sara and Grissom had sat as she told him about her past). Sara sighed deeply and asked me what it was that I wanted to know. I told her I wanted to know everything she was willing to tell me.

"I'll have to start at the beginning." She said.

"That's a very good place to start" I quipped, but she didn't catch the joke.

"OK. Growing up, I thought my family was the same as any other. I figured that the weekly trips to the emergency room, explosive fights and all were normal for everyone. I didn't realize that it wasn't the norm until, one night, the fight got really bad and ended in my mother stabbing my father to death. After that I was put into foster homes. None of them were any better than it had been with my parents. I decided not to go down the self-pitying route, and instead I focused my energies on my schoolwork. Thanks to my grades, I got a full scholarship and was accepted to Harvard. For once, I made friends, went to parties, the works. But I still worked hard.

"During my senior year, I met Grissom. I was immediately attracted to him. I'd dated and I'd been attracted to other men, but none of that compared to the pull I felt for Gris. He tried to make it clear that something could never happen between us. I wasn't happy about it, but I figured that it would be no big deal, that I'd just move on. After graduation, I went to work in San Francisco. It was all good until, one day, I got a call from Grissom asking me to come to work for him in Vegas. I didn't hesitate to say yes.

"When I got here, I realized that I definitely still had feelings for him. I knew it wasn't a good idea to harbor feelings for my boss, but I couldn't, can't, help it. It just is. I wanted, needed, a distraction. Enter Hank Pedigrew. I actually thought that I had gotten over Grissom, and had moved on to Hank. But, once the truth came out, I knew that I hadn't gotten over him at all. Over time, I've tried to distract myself, ask him out, make him jealous, anything I could think of. Nothing worked. Then I told him about my past, I hadn't meant to, it just happened. I laid myself bare before him; I'd never felt more vulnerable than I had then. By the time I came back to work, it seemed like he'd forgotten what I'd told him or he didn't care. He acted like I'd cheerily told him about the weather. I decided to pretend that he had never come over, that I'd never told him everything. But all the old wounds had been opened up, and I was having to deal with the pain all over again.

"I was getting through one day at a time. Then that horrible thing happened to Nick. I lost it. I couldn't deal with the fact that I'd almost lost a member of my family, again. You guys are like the loving family I never had. I didn't want to, couldn't deal alone like I had back then. I needed someone to be there for me. I knew you guys were all there, but I wanted you to focus on Nick, he was the one who really needed you. I wanted Grissom to be that person. I went to talk to him. He made the same, lame arguments he always has. This time, I argued back. Finally he gave in, he told me that, yes, he had feelings for me, had for a long time. But there still couldn't be anything between us. That he couldn't give me what I needed, that I wouldn't be happy with him. I argued that how would he know, he'd never given us a chance, and that he'd never gotten close enough to me to find out what I really want and need.

"He said fine, okay, great. He came over to me and kissed me, hard, angrily. It was a horrible thing to do. He hadn't meant it, he'd just done it to shut me up and end the argument! I was devastated! I've been such a wreck lately, trying to deal with so much; I haven't been strong enough to connect with anyone, even at work, by talking to them. I've been afraid that any conversation I have is going to explode into a fight. That's the way it used to be when I was growing up. I couldn't handle being around anyone. When I got home after the last shift, I broke. I thought I was having a nervous breakdown, and I think maybe I kind of was. I just can't take it all anymore!"

As she'd spoken, she'd silently been crying. I'd had no idea that Sara was carrying that much of a burden. All I wanted to do was help her, help ease the load she carried on her shoulders. It was going on four in the morning and I didn't have to be back to work; I got an idea. Sara tentatively asked me about my past. I then spent the next two hours telling her about my mom, Eddie, my past coke addiction, my life as a dancer, Sam Braun, everything. Then we spent some time joking (albeit darkly) about how we had both dealt with hell in our lives.

At seven, Sara told me that I should probably go so that I could see Lindsey off to school. I told her to come with me. When we got to my house, Lindsey was up and waiting for me. She was ecstatic to find out that I was going to call her off from school so that the three of us could go to the mall. Off to the side, I told Lindsey that Sara was very upset and that she needed some definite cheering up and that I needed her help in doing so. She whole-heartedly agreed. She wanted to see Sara happy as much as I did.

We spent the day shopping. We tried on hideous clothes and modeled them for each other for laughs, Lindsey told the jokes that she had heard at school, and for added therapy, we went into every shoe store we saw. Sara helped herself by buying four pairs of shoes, a few skirts, a dress, a couple pairs of pants, a purse, some sweaters, and a partridge in a pear tree (well, not really, but she might as well have).

When we dropped her off at her place, we made sure she was okay, and she promised that she'd come to work. As Lindsey and I drove home, she asked what had made Sara so sad. I told her a little bit about Sara's childhood and how the thing that happened to Nick made her remember it all again. Lindsey decided that we should make it a regular thing for the three of us to get together every so often. I agreed, it would definitely help Sara, or even the two of us if we needed some girl-time therapy. I told her that I'd talk to Sara about it.

Sara did come in that night, looking better than I'd seen her in a long, long time. Everyone was shocked to find out that she was speaking again. Nick was back, and mine and Sara's good moods seemed to make him feel better. In fact, everyone's mood was improved because of ours. Sara pointed that out later, swing shift was overloaded and I'd asked for her help. We worked together well that night. We went to eat at different times; we didn't want to wait for the results on our evidence any longer than was necessary. I didn't know where Sara had gone during her break, but at the end of shift it was clear that it hadn't been to eat. She had left right away so she wasn't there when I went to my locker. Inside I found a card and a narrow, silver-colored box. I opened the card and read what had been written. It made me cry. It said:

"Catherine,

I want to thank you for all your help. You have no idea what it means to me. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you. I love you very much. You're the sister you know I've never had. You've done so much for me. I know we've been through our bad times, but we're always back eventually. I love you for exactly who you are. I don't care if you're in a relationship or not. I care that you take time to listen. That's why I love you, and that's why some guy (Warrick?) is going to love you some day (not like Eddie). Don't roll your eyes like that.

Love,

Sara"

I opened the box and found a silver, heart-shaped locket that, on the inside, had a picture of Lindsey and on the other side a single word was engraved. It said "Love". I put it on and it made me cry as much as the card had.

I had one more thing to do before I left. I went to Grissom's office and found him at his desk, doing some paperwork. I walked up to him and just stood there until he finally looked up and asked me if there was something he could help me with. I told him that there was, and I handed him a cassette tape and told him to listen to this, and then apologize to her. Before he could say anything, I left. The tape I'd given him was a single of the "Have You Ever" song Sara had been so affected by. I hoped that once he listened to it, he'd realize how Sara was really feeling.

That day I seriously considered Sara's reference to Warrick in her letter. Sure I had feelings for him, but I hadn't told her that. I wondered if it was that obvious. I decided to find out if my feelings were reciprocated. I called Warrick and asked if he would like to have dinner with me before shift. He said that he would love to.

Warrick called as I was about to leave and told me that he'd pick me up in a few minutes. I wasn't sure what to make of it. When he pulled into the driveway, he only had time to get out before I came out. He opened the door for me and I got into the Denali. Neither of us knew it then, but our friendship was about to change forever.

We got to the restaurant, and he got out first to open my door for me again. It was getting weirder by the moment. Inside, we were both a bit angry that we couldn't have alcohol before work. I didn't know about him, but it would have calmed my nerves a bit. I had decided to throw caution to the wind and show him how I really felt. For years, I had avoided seriously flirting with him, afraid that I would destroy our friendship. Earlier, I decided that that wasn't what I wanted and I was going to wear my heart on my sleeve and let him decide what he wanted to do about it. After we talked for a while, I realized that he was doing the same. I looked up at him and smiled, he got the hint. We left quickly. We barely made to the car. He and I spent the time we had before we had to go to work getting to know each other better.

We walked in last, together. The others knew what had happened in an instant. I looked over at Sara and she got up and came over to me. Her bright smile lit up the room. She hugged me and thanked me. My brain was still a bit foggy, so I had to ask her what for. She reminded me of what I had said and given to Grissom. I told her that she was welcome, but that she didn't have to thank me, that was what sisters were for whether or not they're blood. That made her smile even more, then she noticed that I was wearing the locket. I told her I loved it and thanked her. She and I walked out of the room for a minute so that she could tell me what had happened with her and Gris.

Apparently he had listened to the tape in his office, not wanting to wait until he got home. He hadn't known who I had meant when I told him to apologize to "her", but when he heard the song he knew exactly who. He'd gone to her apartment to apologize, and mean it. She had let him in, but had told him that if he started an argument, she was going to make him leave.

He told her that he was so very sorry, that he hadn't known that she had felt that strongly, that he really did care about her and that he hadn't meant to hurt her like he had. She asked him what it had been that had made him change his mind, and he told her what I had done, and what the song on the tape had been. They had spent a long time talking everything over, and he had decided to give a relationship a try. Then she asked me what it had been that had gotten me to admit to Warrick how I felt. I told her that it was what she had written in the card. She started laughing and said that that was what she had been hoping it would do. I asked her if it'd been that obvious and she told me that it was but it was okay now that we were together. That night the fun practically did radiate off of the group of us. We joked, laughed and had as much of a good time as one can have when dealing with murder and still being professional. Everyone was nearly back to normal and Ecklie definitely didn't enjoy it. But, he did start to consider putting us back together, considering we were actually getting along again, not to mention the fact that Sara was in such a good mood that she didn't say a word to him the whole time and didn't argue with anyone else. A few days later, the graveyard shift was reunited, and I didn't even mind the pay cut; the team was back together and everything was back to normal. Or about as normal as it got with this lot.
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