TITLE: Light My Way


E-MAIL: flotterbum@netscape.net


RATING: PG-13 for a little bit of violence.

ARCHIVE: Just ask!

DISCLAIMER: They don't belong to me much as I'd like em to be . yadda yadda.

FEEDBACK: Yes Please!!!

SPOILERS: Lady Heather's Box

SUMMARY/NOTES: Big thanks and hugs to Tara, Clara and Erin for betaing this and encouraging me for more!


Light My Way, Part One

By Saz


Part One

My alarm clock rings out shrilly, waking me from my deep sleep. Sighing, I roll over, slap the snooze button and pull my pillow over my face. A normal person would say that they hate mornings - well, I hate evenings. Essentially this is my morning anyway, and I am *not* a morning person. Perhaps I wouldn't feel that way if I didn't wake up alone every day. I hate waking up to an empty bed and empty house.

At least Lindsey will be home soon.

That thought is enough to put a smile on my face. My sister had picked her up after school and taken her back to her house for dinner to give me a chance to sleep in. She was going to drop Lindsey off later so we can spend some time together before the sitter comes around and I have to go to work.

The alarm goes off again and I turn it off. Kicking the bedding off of me I swing my legs over the bed and stand, feeling suddenly exhilarated. My screwed up work schedule leaves me little time to spend with my daughter, and I look forward to every opportunity that we have to spend together. But I can't give up my work; I love my job too much to give it up.

Besides, that would mean leaving my friends behind, and that's the last thing that I want to do. Then, of course, there's Grissom. I value his friendship too much to leave. He might not feel the same way about me as I do about him, but I'll take him any way that I can get him and if it's just being his friend I can live with that.

Pushing thoughts of my attraction to my boss aside, I quickly dress and pad into the bathroom. After turning on the faucet, I splash some cold water on my face and then begin my daily ritual of cleaning my face and applying my makeup. I think it's better to be dressed and ready for work before she comes home so we can have a little more time to spend together. In my opinion, every minute counts.

The front door clicks open and gently closes a moment later. I can't help but grin. "Lindsey, baby, I'm in the bathroom," I call out to her.

I listen as footsteps shuffle down the hallway towards me, finding it odd that she hasn't bothered to greet me, but she can be like that at times. The footfalls slow and then stop outside the door, and the reflection in the mirror makes me freeze.

Unless my daughter has grown a foot and gained thirty or forty pounds during the day, then it isn't her standing in the doorway.

Slowly, I turn to face the intruder, the lipstick still clutched open but unapplied in my hand and completely forgotten. My eyes take in every detail at once from the ski mask concealing his face, to the hazel eyes peering out at me, the dark, ratty, clothes and the Colt 9mm clutched casually in his hand.

*Oh God, please don't let Lindsey come home now!*

He moves silently, stalking me to block the doorway and my only exit. I don't panic though, there's no point in panicking, but there is no way in hell I am going to let him violate me. He is not going to get me without a fight. I don't want my friends to have to investigate whatever the hell this man has in store for me.

I casually put the lipstick back down on the counter, my demeanour a lot calmer than I'm starting to feel inside. My stomach is churning; my heart is beginning to pound. He's just standing there, staring at me. *Leering* at me.

When he finally does move, it's so quickly that I have no time to react. He forces me back until my back is pressed against the wall, his body firmly pinning me there as his hands roam my body. I can feel the gun digging into my flesh, scratching and bruising.

I was always told that if a man forces himself on you to stay perfectly still, to show no reaction whatsoever to what he is doing to you. In the past I've had my fair share of men trying to force themselves on me, and never once have I allowed myself to just lie there and take what comes.

And I sure as hell I'm not going to now.

Unfortunately for him, he made the mistake of leaving my arms free. I manage to bring my arms up and push him away from me. He staggers back a couple of steps and looks at me with what I can only guess is surprise. He straightens his shoulders and rounds on me again, but I'm not going to give him the chance to subdue me.

I'm feisty and tough, and I'm sure as hell no pushover and I have every intention of showing him exactly that. He steps closer, squaring his shoulders in an attempt to intimidate me. I step forward, too, and kick out with my foot, catching him in the stomach with enough force to drive the air out of his lungs. He clutches his stomach and doubles over; leaving me with the opening I'd been waiting for.

I ball my fist and swing out with every ounce of power that I can muster. My fist connects to his jaw with a satisfying crack, sending him reeling backwards, his hands shooting to his jaw.

It's then that I realize that I've made one fatal mistake: I lost track of the gun.

I watch in what feels like slow motion as the gun falls from his hand. I watch as his eyes widen as he, too, comes to the same realization that I have. However, the last thing I expect as the gun makes its slow spiral to the tiled floor is the resounding boom that fills the bathroom and leaves my ears ringing.

Simultaneously something strikes me in the belly, driving the air out of my lungs with a combination of its force and the sudden knot of burning pain that fills me just below my ribs. My knees wobble unsteadily then collapse under me and I tumble to the ground, banging my head on the side of the bathtub on my way down.

The blow is enough to leave me dazed, but thankfully I manage to remain conscious. Moving is a different story. My stomach feels like its on fire, even breathing sends lances of pain shooting through my body, and I know that if I even tried to move the pain would be enough to make me pass out. For a moment, I can't work out what's happened to me. The blow to the head wasn't even to incapacitate me, and of course it didn't explain the pain in my belly.

"Oh God, I've been shot," I realize suddenly, speaking for the first time since this whole incident began.

I remember then which direction the gun was pointed when it struck the ground and attributed the sound that filled the bathroom the instant it struck to the fact that the safety hadn't been on when he'd dropped it. What kind of a moron carries a gun around with the safety off?

The same moron that's standing silently over me cussing under his breath. For the first time since he appeared at the bathroom door I begin to feel fear. He could do what he wanted to me now, and I'm in too much pain to stop him.

A sob rises in my throat as I slowly move my hands to my stomach, needing to know what sort of damage has been caused. The first thing I feel is the tacky wetness of my own blood underneath my fingertips, then the ragged hole that the bullet tore in my shirt an instant before it entered my body. I can only feel a sting where the bullet entered, but no pain in my back, meaning that the bullet is still lodged somewhere in my body.

It's a small blessing, and I can't help but feel thankful for it. Of course that small blessing does nothing to ease the agony that is encompassing my body at the moment. Something touches my leg and I choke back a sob as I look up at my intruder. But something in his eyes has changed. Obviously his idea of breaking into my house and raping me backfired dramatically; I can only guess that's the thought that has made his eyes so fearful.

"Please, help me," I plead with him, trying to appeal to his better reason. "I have a daughter, please!"

He blinks and swallows, his eyes darting between me and the door, the indecision clear in his eyes. He curses softly and leans down. Briefly I think he is going to touch me, until I hear the gun scratching on the tiles and he straightens again. "Sorry lady," he mutters, tucking the gun into his belt.

"Please!" I plead one last time, but I already know it's too late and the sound of the front door slamming shut confirms that he's gone. A sob rises in my throat and I try to choke it back. I have to get to the phone. I have to get help.

I try to push myself up into a sitting position, but the mere act of putting pressure on my arms - let alone getting into a position that even remotely passes as sitting - is sheer agony. My vision goes fuzzy as the pain shoots through my body, tearing a pathetic scream from my throat.

Gritting my teeth I change tactics and roll myself onto my side. It takes a good five minutes, and by the time I've finally got into the desired position tears are streaming down my face and I am gasping from the effort. I know for certain there's no way I'm going to be able to drag myself down the hall to the phone.

So I have to lie here and wait for someone to find me, and in all likelihood it will be my daughter. As much as I loathe the idea that she will find me in a pool of my own blood on the bathroom floor I have no other choice, I know without a doubt that I can't move, not without passing out from the pain.

I close my eyes and begin to weep as I think of the possible damage that a single bullet has done to my body. I can feel and move my fingers and toes, so my spine is fine. I can breathe easily; none of my ribs feel broken. But that still leaves the possibility that the bullet has hit one of my other organs and generally made a mess of my body.

*Stop thinking Catherine!*

But it's useless. Lying here alone in my bathroom, bleeding, in pain and unable to move I can't help but think negative thoughts; after all I'm only human. What if I died, what would happen to Lindsey? How would she cope with losing me so soon after Eddie?

And then, of course, there are the regrets. Why did I never tell Gil how I felt about him? I've been in love with him for years and yet I've never acted on it, never even attempted to find out whether or not he felt the same way, and why? Because I was scared that he's reject me. So without taking the risk, I've slept in an empty bed every night, fallen asleep wondering if maybe tonight he was sharing his bed with someone else.

If I pull through this I swear I'm going to make some serious changes.

The sound of the front door opening again forces my eyes open. For a fleeting moment I think that it's Grissom, that for some reason he's dropped by to see me. It only takes a moment for me to dismiss it again however. I think I'm becoming delirious. I listen to the sound of footsteps entering and the door closing and my heart begins to pound.


There are no words that could adequately express the relief that I feel at the sound of my daughter's voice. I choke back a sob and draw my knees as high up as I can to my body to try and hide the blood on my shirt from her.

"Lindsey," I yell out, surprised at how weak my voice sounds to my own ears. "I'm in the bathroom baby; I need you to call for help."

It was an attempt to keep her away from the bathroom, but I know the gesture is useless, Lindsey is simply too curious to go and call someone without first knowing what's going on and why I need help. She appears at the doorway, I hear her gasp and in two steps she's on her knees next to me, her eyes wide and frightened.

"Mommy, what's wrong?"

Despite the agony the movement causes I reach out and touch her cheek. "I've been hurt baby," I whisper to her. "I need you to call for some help."

She starts to cry, the big fat tears rolling down her cheeks. "Who do I call?"

"Grissom," I choke out. "Call Uncle Gil."

I don't know why I tell her to call him rather than an ambulance, but she seems to think it's the right idea. Nodding quickly, she stands and runs out of the bathroom.

I let my eyes slide shut and listen as my daughter begins to talk on the phone. At least he'll know what to do - he always seems to know what to do.

Another wave of dizziness rolls over me and I know that I only have a tenuous grip on consciousness. I just have to stay awake until Lindsey gets off the phone, just until I know that help is coming, that Gil is coming.

*Please Gil, hurry.*


End Part One