Disclaimer: Not mine.
Author's Note: For those who aren't up on their Latin, the title loosely translates to 'In Memory'.In Memoria
Looking back at her childhood, of all the memories she had, those involving the group standing before her were the most vivid. When she was young, everything about that place where her mother worked had seemed exciting and bright. Maybe it was because her mother told her about all the people they saved, but Lindsey still saw these individuals as the greatest heroes of them all.
She looked away from all the faces to the fresh mound of dirt a few feet away. It would be a long time before anything would grow there, but she knew that someday it might be beautiful. The fact that grass could grow in this hell of a place still amazed her.
Lindsey walked the distance slowly, never taking her eyes off the marble slab that held the names of both her parents. Kneeling beside it, she ran a finger along the dates etched under her mother's name. She should have seen it coming.
A soft weight landed upon her shoulder and she felt the squeeze of fingers as they tried to provide some comfort. She knew immediately who it was, and she was grateful for the contact. "You may not believe it, but I used to remember when you got excited over little things. I remember how much you loved her, but also how you'd never admit it." She stood and turned to look at him. His face seemed so much older than she remembered, but Gil Grissom was still boyishly handsome in his own right. Some things never changed. "What happened?"
He looked down, and Lindsey noticed the sparkling gold band around his finger. She saw the way that Sara, the brunette that her mother had never fully trusted, looked at her, and Lindsey knew exactly how it had gone. He was silent, but spoke volumes at the same time. "Forget I asked."
Grissom released her shoulder, but Lindsey placed one of her small hands on his arm. "Will you at least tell me why?"
He seemed to study her for a moment before speaking, but to Lindsey, that moment was an eternity. Maybe now she'd truly know why she had buried both of her parents by eighteen. "I knew she'd never really love me. In her heart, your mother was always in love with your father, despite all the pain that he caused her in his life."
"And in his death," Lindsey added somberly.
"And in his death," Grissom amended. His face looked hardened, and she was sure that she was the first he had ever shared this information with. Positive that this was a thing that even his wife didn't know.
Still Lindsey wasn't satisfied by these remarks. They didn't tell her anything that she couldn't have figured out on her own had she tried hard enough. "Have brunch with me? We can order an extra plate, like the last supper, only in reverse. Mom would have wanted us all to be together one more time. In her mind, we were a family."
He glanced at Sara before nodding at the unspoken request that she not be included. Grissom went over to speak with her, and Lindsey was not blind to the hostile looks that were sent her way. As if I'm interested in that. Finally, he came back to join her once more. "How did you get here?"
Lindsey motioned toward Greg Sanders, and Grissom seemed to understand. The pair walked over to the spiky-haired man, stopping a few feet in front of him. Grissom leaned toward him and whispered something in his ear to which Greg nodded solemnly, but with fearful eyes all the same. She had a slight idea as to what that could be about.
"I'm just going to have breakfast with Mr. Grissom. I'll have him drop me off at your place, if that's okay."
"It's fine. I'll be there." Greg leaned forward and placed a light kiss on her forehead before turning back to his conversation with Nick.
Grissom took her arm, leading her toward his car, careful to avoid the tombstone that signified the end of a family. "Where do you want to go?"
"Anywhere but here."
He seemed to mull this over for a few minutes before circling to the passenger side and opening the door for her. She wondered vaguely if he ever did that for her mother. "You wanted to order her something, right?" Lindsey nodded and he seemed to smile at some private joke that only he could hear. "I know the perfect place. Catherine always loved it there."
Grissom shut her door without another word, heading over to his own side and sliding in beside her. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Greg waving to them from his position over by the tree. Lindsey leaned across Grissom and waved back before settling herself in and buckling the seat belt. The car started and quietly slid away from the pressing silence of the graveyard.
Once they were on the main road, Grissom started speaking again. She thought that everything seemed lighter now, but it could have just been her mind playing tricks on her. "It's not too far from here actually. Your mother used to love coming here when we had time off. She always ordered pancakes and scrambled eggs. She said that they reminded her of having breakfast with you on the mornings she was around." He glanced at her for a second, but quickly returned his gaze to the road. "She always regretted not being there to get you off to school every morning."
Lindsey sighed, though she knew this conversation would come up eventually. "And I always told her that I understood completely. She was doing important things... helping people. It didn't matter that my aunt sent me off to school sometimes. What really mattered is that I knew Mom loved me and that hers was a job that actually counted."
"Did you ever tell her?"
"All the time." He seemed pleased with this answer and was silent for a while longer, as if thinking everything over in his mind. It was during those moments of silence that Lindsey could feel her mother's presence amongst them, and she thought that somehow, she wasn't truly gone, just hiding somewhere around the next corner.
"You never told me how."
"If I remember correctly, you never really asked."
She tried to smile, but she knew that it came out wrong somehow. "Touché. But I'm asking now."
He pulled into a parking lot and killed the engine, turning his face toward hers. Lindsey knew he was studying her the way that he did the witnesses and suspects that they brought into the lab everyday. He finally seemed satisfied and let his hands fall into his lap, diverting all of his attention to her and her alone. "It was one of those cases that always bothered your mother. Three children were dead already, and it had all the makings of a serial. Your mother, Nick, and I were all working the case, but she was the driving force behind the actions. She found some dirt that, taken out of context, wouldn't have seemed important to anyone else, but in it she managed to find all the answers that we needed about where the suspect was hiding. I'll never truly understand the feminine intuition, but your mother's was a hell of a lot stronger than most." He paused to gather his thoughts, then continued once more. "Nick was securing a warrant with the judge. He was supposed to meet us there, but before he could arrive, your mom and I heard screaming from inside the warehouse. We both had our guns with us, so we went in without police cover. She said that she was going left, and that I should go right so we could cover it all faster. Thinking about it now, I know we shouldn't have split up, but we were so sure we could handle whatever came at us. After all, if he was only killing weak, innocent children, he couldn't be much of a threat to us, right? What we didn't anticipate was that he had an accomplice.
"I took the right, like Catherine said, but somewhere along the line, I got hit from behind and fell. I think she must have heard me drop because a few minutes later, she was at my side with her gun trained on the guy that was standing over me with a steel pipe in his hands. I couldn't breathe. I think I got the wind knocked out of me when I hit the ground, so I had no way to warn her that another one was coming. He tackled her to the ground, and in the fray, her gun went off. The bullet hit her in the chest, and it was like a light went out in her eyes. She managed to get one shot off at the guy who was above me before she passed out. That gave me enough time to grab my own gun, but by then the other suspect was gone.
"Brass and Nick arrived a few minutes later, but it was too late. We got her to the hospital, but she never regained consciousness. She died a few hours later, while you were still in school."
Lindsey wiped a stray tear from her cheek before reaching over to open the car door. "How about that breakfast." They both pulled themselves out of the car, but it seemed that it took him longer than it used to. They both looked at each other, locking eyes over the roof. "I'm buying this time." Grissom looked like he was going to protest, but she held up a hand. "It's too late to show my Mom how much I appreciated her, so at least let me show you."
Grissom wiped his eyes and smiled a little. "It's never too late."
"I wish I could believe you," Lindsey said, but shut her door and went over to join him anyway. Despite what she wanted, she knew her mom was gone.
"I think you will... someday," Grissom said as he took her arm and led her to the restaurant entrance.
And out of the corner of her eye, Lindsey was sure she could see her mother standing there with them. And she was smiling.