ARCHIVE: Anywhere, just let me know so I can brag...hehe.

RATING: R (violence, language and sexual situations)

SPOILERS: S5 (maybe)

DISCLAIMER: All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.

SUMMARY: Oh the shark bites with it's teeth, dear...

NOTES: This is in response to the September Graveshift challenge. It is based on spoilers, assumptions and dreams.


The wind nipped at her rosy cheeks, which displayed a mixture of chill and the cheap blush she had innocently pocketed at the store. Rubbing her hands together, she exhaled hotly in a vain attempt to grant her iced fingertips some relief. Shoving her hands roughly in her pockets, she brought her legs closer together, each limb selfishly drawing strength from the other, through the torn fishnet stockings that encased them.

"Bloody hell..." She muttered, jumping up and down in order to regain circulation lost. "C'mon..." Her eyes scanned the darkened streets, knowing that the sensible ones had remained indoors; the smart customers cuddled up to their wives and the insane ones brave enough to face the cold, were probably already knee deep into someone else's business.

A car pulled up and she instantly recognized the markings on the side of the door. She took a step back and ignored the person in front of her, hoping that suspicion did not awaken.

"Ma'am?" The passenger side window rolled down, allowing his deep voice to attract her attention. "It's not safe out here, alone."

"I'm waiting for a friend...to come pick me up." Stutters, hesitance and the blatant fear in her eyes fuelled her pitiful lie, and she hoped that this stranger wouldn't chance a move.

"Come on in."

The door swung open and she stared at it, wide-eyed. "Please...don't..." She held up her hands in defence, hoping that he would just leave her be.

"I'm not going to hurt you, sweetheart." The man said, and held her gaze, coaxing her with his dark eyes.

She sighed, reluctantly stepping away from the cold, away from her fears and away from good reason. "I didn't do anything wrong, officer." She huffed, crossing her arms atop her chest, perhaps in an action to cover her lack of innocence or merely for the purpose of staying warm.

He glanced to his left, eyeing the woman in the passenger seat. "Look, you just need to stay out of the cold and there have been prowlers on the loose - four women have been murdered so far, as I'm sure you know." The ride grew silent, only interrupted by the shuffling of material or an errant cough. "Where can I drop you off?"

She glanced around at the unfamiliar surroundings and then at the police officer, panic building without logic. She spied an abandoned warehouse and pointed to it, chancing a walk back to familiarity instead of spending more time in the company of a policeman. "Here." The car jerked to a halt and she climbed out, stopping in front of the door.

"You be safe now, y'hear?" He called out, before rolling up the window and cruising away.

She watched the car drive away just as common sense finally returned from its momentary hiatus. "Shit." She walked a few steps, but found no trace of the car's existence. Her emotional side kicked in, and warm tears cooled in the whipped winds as she realized her current situation: stranded, frigid...scared. Wrapping her arms tightly around her body, she tried to concentrate on the noises around her, vigilance attempted in vain realization. The clicking of her heels on the sidewalk created a calming rhythm, and she doted on it to guide her sanity towards reason.

She stopped short, hearing steps fall out of rhythm. Her heart sped up as she briskly walked, ignoring suspicion behind her. Walking turned to running which in turn evolved into a light job, finally ended by a sprint. She chanced a tight turn, stopping short in front of a dead end. She felt the blade near her throat, feeling the intruder's body pressed up against hers from behind.

"Against the wall..." The hoarse whisper spat in her ear, pushing her towards the brick wall that had been given the task of deciding her fate.

The tears dropped and whimpers were let loose, but she wouldn't let him hear her scream...she wouldn't give him that satisfaction.

"Drop yer knickers."

His venomous demand made her shiver, and she bent down, wiggling her body from her last shred of dignity. She was in the habit of controlling them - not of being controlled. She held the power: her body was something they craved, they worshipped...and now it was being ransacked, taken for granted. The blade pressed further into her neck, and she felt blood droplets land on her chest. A stinging pain graced her neck before she collapsed on to her knees; a gurgled cry for help being the last noise she heard...or made.

"I don't understand why I can't go, Grissom."

Gil sighed, sitting heavily in his chair. She had followed him from the break-room to his office, reasons streaming out of her mouth why she would be a better candidate to accompany him than anyone else in the lab. He glanced up, seeing the familiar strawberry-blonde in the doorway, looking at him with a mixture of pity and mockery.

"If Catherine goes - who'll be in charge of the lab?" Sara huffed, folding her arms across her chest. She followed his gaze, turning around in the chair and glaring at the senior CSI.

"Sara, I still haven't decided who's going to accompany me, but you should know by now that we work as a team, and each case exploits the CSI's specialities." Gil tried to reason with the younger CSI, realizing that his attempts were all but lost. She was a great asset to the team, but terribly set in her ways, which often lead to childish responses on her behalf.

Sara stood up abruptly. "Just don't shut me out, Grissom." She turned on her heel and sulked out, leaving both CSIs staring after her.

"Me thinks the lady doth protests to much." Catherine took Sara's place, stretching her legs and resting them on her supervisor's desk.

His eyes snapped to hers, humour twinkling brightly. "Hamlet...I'm impressed." He offered her a rare smile, before opening a folder on his desk. "So, have you reached a decision?"

She nodded, her golden curls following her movement. "Yeah, Nancy agreed to put Lindsey up for a week."

"And Lindsey's okay with this? I know you were hesitant to ask her -"

"- yeah, we talked it out. On a completely unrelated matter, we're going to Disney World next month." Catherine dead panned, shaking her head with a smile. "My daughter: the devil's advocate."

"...wonder where she gets it from?" Gil muttered under his breath, purposely ignoring her silent warning.

"So, will you be breaking the news to the famed protegee or will I have the pleasure of doing so?"

He raised his eyebrow, humour ever present in his eyes. "I'm thinking of letting Nick head the department until we return."

"Ah," she smiled, placing a hand over her heart, "still feeling guilty over the lost promotion?"

"He deserved it, Cath." Gil weighted his decision. "The least I can do is show him that I trust his judgement and his skills as a CSI."

Catherine nodded and checked her watch, motionning to him that it was time to meet with the rest of the team. They walked side by side down the hall, both spying the break-room ahead. "Like sheep being lead to the slaughterhouse..." Catherine commented, casting her supervisor a side-glance.