AUTHOR: Amanda Hawthorn

TITLE: Sacrifice

CATEGORY: Angst/Eventual Romance

ARCHIVE: and my site

FEEDBACK: Love it, but no flames please I'm fragile!!


SPOILERS: Tiny mentions of Homebodies and Invisible Evidence. Loosely set in season 4

SUMMARY: When an opportunity arises, Sara finds herself compelled to embrace it, knowing the sacrifice alone will break her heart.

DISCLAIMER: CSI belongs to CBS and Alliance-Atlantis Productions. No infringement intended.

AUTHORS' NOTES: Thank you to Marlou for excellent beta reader services. Thanks also to Laura Katharine who searched the Internet for me and has made sure I stay in character with each new chapter. Finally, Niff and Phon, who with Marlou and LK have been a tower of strength for me over the past few weeks. You guys are the best.

This fan fiction comes from Phon's music video 'Missing.' She hasn't posted it anywhere yet, but it will be coming very soon.

Missing by Evanescence

Please, please forgive me,
but I won't be home again.
Maybe someday you'll have woke up,
and, barely conscious, you'll say to no one:
"Isn't something missing?"

You won't cry for my absence, I know -
You forgot me long ago.
Am I that unimportant...?
Am I so insignificant...?
Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?

Even though I'd be sacrificed,
you won't try for me, not now.
Though I'd die to know you love me,

I'm all alone.
Isn't someone missing me?

Please, please forgive me,
but I won't be home again.
I know what you do to yourself,
Shudder deep and cry out:
"Isn't something missing?
Isn't someone missing me?"

And if I bleed, I'll bleed,
knowing you don't care.
And if I sleep just to dream of you
and wake without you there,
Isn't something missing?
Isn't something...

Sara took another sip of her coffee, swallowing the burning liquid as it raised her already tired senses. Scanning the list of names that cascaded one by one in a long seemingly endless line, she closed her eyes briefly to keep them from blurring her vision.

Sara's mind fluttered back to Suzanne, the young rape victim who had tragically lost her life only a few months ago. She had been too terrified to identify her attacker and as a result had lived her final hours in dreadful fear. Sara was determined she would find the murderer, presently occupying her new case, who had raped and murdered a young student in her own dorm room. She vowed to find him for Suzanne, as if in some way his capture could help her even though she was gone.

Placing her coffee back onto the table again, she worked the crick out of her neck by moving her head from side to side. She was tired, her muscles ached and her eyes were sore, but she couldn't give up, not when she was so close to finding the suspect.

Turning her attention back to the computer screen again, Sara looked at the growing database of offenders giving each name and photo as much of her attention as the next. Clicking the down button she carried on her vigilance, hoping she would find something, anything to identify him.

Grissom came to a stop outside the open doorway and watched her as she kept her eyes fixed onto the screen. He could see how she would straighten her back to try and release some of the pressure only to return to the same position and start again. Swallowing the lump in his throat, he tried to force himself to say something, anything to let her know she could talk to him, but since her confession a few weeks ago that she over talked around him, she had barely spoken one word to him since.

Everything haunted him; from his refusal of her dinner invitation, to his reproach of her when he was handing out assignments. So many regrets, so many mistakes. He had started to wonder if they would ever be able to straighten out the mess they seemed to be in now.

Sara sat up again, leaning back in her chair. Her neck was burning with stinging defiance to her five-hour vigil. She needed a break, but she knew if she closed her eyes she wouldn't be able to persist. Lifting her hands to her neck, she started to massage the stiffness from her shoulders, hoping that she could erase the aching pain herself. She caught something out of the corner of her eye and turned to see Grissom hovering in the doorway. Her hands dropped from her neck and she sat herself up straighter. Snatching her eyes away from his, she turned back towards the computer screen, tears blurring her vision.

Grissom's heart sank when she avoided his gaze but he couldn't seem to pull himself away from the doorway. Instead, he stepped over the threshold, walking over to her. He saw her stiffen with his approach, her defensive barriers snapping up around her as she eyed him warily.

"Sara," he started, his voice echoing in his ears. "Shift ended an hour ago, why don't you go home?"

"Can't," she muttered, turning her eyes once more back to the screen. "I have to find him."

"Sara," he said again, his voice softening as he pulled up a chair to sit down beside her. "You need to rest."

"Tell that to Suzanne," she snapped, turning her burning eyes to him. "She died because I let her down, because I couldn't help her…It's my fault."

Grissom sat forward, the urge to touch her consuming his senses. Lifting a hand to her arm, he encased her cool flesh with his fingers, burning her with his own body heat. "Sara, it's not your fault."

"Then whose is it Grissom?" she asked anxiously, her eyes shining with unshed tears.

"It's not yours."

Closing her eyes, she sat back in her chair to ease a little of the pain away from her tired muscles. "I see her face every time I close my eyes. I tried to help her but it wasn't enough. I should have done more."

"What more could you have done Sara?" he asked softly. "You talked to her, you took her to the hospital, you stayed with her in the line up. It was you Sara who helped her more than anyone."

"But she still died anyway," she whispered sadly, opening her eyes to catch his for a brief moment before turning back to the screen. Sitting forward, she felt his hand squeeze her arm gently.

"Go home."

"To do what?" she asked irritably. "To sit in an empty apartment? I don't…" her voice died away and she suddenly felt exhausted. Reaching out to the computer, she regarded it carefully as she considered her next words. "Sorry, I keep talking too much around you." Marking her page, she switched off the computer. Pushing her chair back, she stood abruptly, his hand dropping from her arm. "I…I'll go," she muttered, backing away quickly before turning completely to practically burst from the room, leaving Grissom to stare in shock behind her.

Outside, the bright morning sun had started to cut through the clouds. Sara sat inside her Denali and lifted her tired eyes into the sun, anything to stop them stinging. She felt the brightness scorch her eyes, lifting her tiredness long enough for her to recover her senses. Taking a deep breath, she reached down to start the car and left the lab behind her.