No Girl Of Mine
Disclaimer: Don't own anything.
Pressing the key into the engine, Sara Sidle took off down the deserted road that led back to the crime lab. Deep inside, she knew she didn't want to go back to work even though she had a few hours left on the clock. Minutes before the exit to the crime lab appeared on the highway, Sara took a different direction and found herself driving down a colorless street in a colorless neighborhood, in a suburb of what was supposed to be the most colorful city.
Yet, at that particular moment, the brunette behind the wheel of the Denali felt nothing and found nothing about Las Vegas colorful. The image that blurred her vision was of a blonde girl lying dead in her driveway, the blood oozing from her head onto the pavement, just inches away from some of the groceries she purchased. Sara found it ironic that she was able to observe such a scene with as much composure as she had, and then ten minutes later break down in her car.
What she really needed was a friend and not knowing where to find one, Sara continued to drive aimlessly, listening to an oldies station that wasn't grating on her nerves. After a couple blocks in no apparent direction she was surprised to find herself parked in front of a familiar, ranch styled abode that she frequented almost daily.
Although it was pouring outside and close to midnight Sara ignored the rising anxiety in the pit of her stomach and got out of her car. She didn't waste any time jogging to the porch to escape the rain, and then ran her fingers through her damp hair, wondering just how much of a mess would be staring back at her in the mirror.
Another thing alarmed her as she considered her appearance: why was she being so self-conscious? For god's sake if it was anyone, Nick would understand. He somehow always did, and this would be no exception. Almost self assuredly, Sara reached her hand up to ring the doorbell but a split second before she could go through with the motion the door opened.
She gasped involuntarily; a moment of instinctive fear ran through her like a jolt of electricity and for the first time that night, she realized it wasn't the safest thing to drive through foreign neighborhoods alone at night, even if she was an armed cop. There was a murdered girl in a neighboring section of a suburb, and here she was, so consumed with someone else's grief she was risking her health.
"Sara?" The question cut through the thick reverie Sara was caught up in.
She looked at Nick for a second before letting go of her beating heart and dropping her hands, in a gesture of hopelessness, at her sides. She must've been a sight for sore eyes, with soaking hair and runny make up.
"Sara, are you alright?" The Texan drawl ripped through her emotionally drained body and reminded her that she was in the company of someone who was clueless as to why she looked worse for wear.
"Can I come in?" She managed to say, and Nick gave her a worried glance but stepped aside, but Sara was very hesitant, looking him in the eye, she added, "Unless you were going somewhere."
She made an attempt to walk back onto the porch, as if rethinking his company for the night, but quickly making the decision to follow through with this instinct that he should be the one to share her grief with.
Nick was pensive for a moment, and she was sure this was the first time Nick Stokes was baffled by a woman and was unable to read her perfectly. A small smile of pride spread over Sara's sullen features despite herself.
"All I really need is milk but I'm sure whiskers can live another night on condensed milk." Nick said and took off his jacket, hanging it besides the door. Sara did a double take at the mention of a cat.
"Nick, either I'm delusional or you are, because you don't have a cat." Sara said as a matter of factly and Nick couldn't help but smile.
Jerking his head to the side, he clarified that it was the neighbor's cat and the CSIs shared a good laugh, it almost seemed like the good times again, but then Sara remembered that somewhere not far from here, a girl stopped breathing a few hours ago and there was a life that Sara couldn't save. The familiar sense of dread overpowered her again and Nick noticed this with much perceptiveness.
The pieces suddenly fit and a look of companionable depression fell over the Texan's face as well. He unconsciously reached out and pulled Sara into a profound bear hug, refusing to believe what they both knew to be true; one more than the other.
"She looked very pale." Sara said quietly and then proceeded to stifle her tears by biting very hard on her lip. Nick blocked out whatever she was saying, and opened his eyes, looking into the face of the empathetic orange feline resting in the middle of the carpet.
"Try not to think about it babe, it could only get worse." He whispered softly, and ran his fingers through her damp hair. Realizing how soaked she was entirely; he pulled back and cupped her cheek, which was rosy from the tears, but was still very, very cold.
Sara let out a bitter laugh and shivered, "I've been driving aimlessly for two hours, it doesn't get worse than that." She shrugged and Nick noticed it was probably due to discomfort. The clothes she was wearing, were sticking to her like a second, unpleasant skin.
He stepped toward the hall closet without saying anything and handed her a towel, "Here go take a shower, and when you come downstairs, come with an empty stomach, I'm gonna whip up some of my famous chili."
Sara expelled a heavy breath, "Nick it's nearly midnight right now, and I'm not really-…"
"Hungry?" He asked knowingly, and Sara nodded.
" Don't worry, no girl of mine has ever turned down my chili." Nick said, pointing affectionately to himself.
Sara shook her head in mock frustration, her mood lightened up considerably, "Yeah, because it's the only decent thing you can cook."
Nick rolled his eyes and walked into the kitchen, "Don't be jealous Sidle." He called over his shoulder, "Not everyone can make the perfect piece of toast either." He added teasingly.
Sara considered throwing the towel at him, but then decided she'd put it to better use. She stood rooted in her place for a moment, watching as Nick opened the fridge and took out the necessary ingredients for his chili.
She stole a glance at Whiskers, who hadn't moved, and gave him an affectionate scratch between his ears. The cat immediately warmed up to her and the observant CSI was completely oblivious to the fact that someone was staring affectionately at her…