Disclaimer: Follow the evidence…they're not mine.
A/N: First fic. So feel free to bring the reviews, even bad ones. This is what happens when you don't watch Nesting Dolls until a week after it aired.
In which Greg gets suspended too
Greg Sanders was not happy with the way things were going at work. Sure he was out of the lab but he no longer got to be the one to break all the cases and he went home smelling more often now. But that wasn't his biggest problem. As he saw it, his biggest problem was that nobody would tell him anything anymore. He didn't trust Sophia. Sara was on suspension. He hadn't seen hide nor hair of Warrick and Nick for almost a week. Grissom never talked anyways. And Catherine, who could usually be counted on for all the hot gossip, was blatantly ignoring him.
I wonder if it's because of what I said to her about how somebody should fight for Sara. I really wish somebody would just tell me what's going on with that. Hmmm, I'm an investigator now, time to start acting like it and follow the evidence to the bottom of all this.
Since it was a slow night Greg headed off to start up his own little investigation.
Two hours later Greg thought he had it all figured out. But since day shift was next in and not swing, he went home to decide how to get his suspect to confess.
"Catherine, can I talk to you for a few minutes?"
The blonde looked up from the stack of paperwork she was closing out her shift with and realized that he'd finally trapped her. She'd been waiting for this since their conversation in the hallway last week. Reading the look on Greg's face she knew this wasn't going to be pretty so she sighed and said:
"Fine, close the door, have a seat. What's on your mind Greg?"
"Well, Cath, it's about this case. See a woman, attractive, brunette, thirtyish, workaholic, has been missing from her office for about a week after a fight with a supervisor and the manager. It seems that although noone has anything bad to say about her only one of her colleagues is really concerned about her whereabouts. So I'm now interviewing the supervisor, since the manager's an ass and nobody wants to talk to him, as a follow up to watching partial footage of the altercation. So, what made you feel the need to make an example of this particular employee at this particular time, Supervisor Willows?"
Greg took a certain satisfaction from watching Catherine flinch as he shoveled sarcasm into that last phrase. He was glad he'd gotten through his little speech without breaking down and accusing her of being as totally out of line as Sara had been. He also thought it was rather clever of him to have framed it like he was presenting a case, trying to snap Catherine out of her personal involvement and back into being a CSI.
"Not that its any of your business Greg, but we all know Sara gets a little over involved in molestation and domestic abuse cases. She gets overly emotional and crosses the line. Last week was just one time to many. When I told her to calm down and back off she got personal. Ecklie saw and pulled her aside. I have no idea what happened after that. I had a case to work. Grissom's already said he's not going to fire Sara so go back to your lab and butt out."
Catherine's level headed response was what Greg wanted, but she hadn't told him anything he hadn't already figured out and he was sure there was a lot more to the story. He had the timeline, now he wanted the motive. He wanted to understand Catherine's behavior. He thought he had a guess about Sara's, after all they already knew she'd been in the foster care system. It was time to step it up a notch.
"No, Mrs. Willows I will not 'butt out'. First it is my business, Sara's my teammate and my mentor. Secondly, this is destroying my little work family even worse than Ecklie splitting the shift. Nick and Warrick are avoiding me and Grissom, probably because they don't want to be forced to choose sides. Grissom's not doing well, most people don't after one of their oldest friends stabs them in the back. And this time Sara's not even around to try to cheer everyone up or to give them a project to work on."
Greg was on a role now, saying all the things he'd let build up for the past week. His agitation brought him to his feet and he started pacing Catherine's office, getting louder and more irate as he went.
"I watched the footage of your interview. What Sara did in there was a lot more professional than some of the stunts you guys have pulled over the years. How do I know? I've watched every interview you guys have done over the past four years trying to learn how you all have such a high success rate. I've seen Nick come close to beating a witness. Grissom basically spilled his heart out to one. You've ogled and flirted with countless men, you encourage them to love you so that they'll talk. This time Sara used a different technique. She pissed the suspect off to see what he'd say when he snapped. It's something Brass does a lot. You're the one who made it personal after the suspect left. I hear Sara had one hell of a comeback for you and you were damn luck Ecklie interrupted when he did or you'd have been left gapping down the hallway with no response."
Greg finally paused to take a deep breath before launching into his next segment. This one he'd prepared, the last one had just kind of spilled out. Before he started speaking again he looked at Catherine to see how she was taking this. Her face was turning red, but Greg wasn't sure whether it was anger or embarrassment so he decided to continue.
"I'm not sure what you have against Sara. She's a good investigator and she can teach too. She's always been there for us. She's a little emotionally messed up but who here isn't. You have to have some sort of issues in your past to be this fully dedicated to catching creeps. Still I'm not sure why you think she should be the example. After all she's never slept with a suspect, compromised an investigation by matching her DNA to a sample, or blown up the lab, and she's not even your CSI. Or is that why there's a problem? Now that you're the supervisor you can't stand that there's someone out there who'll call you on your mistakes and not be cowed by your attitude. That doesn't make sense Catherine. Even Grissom's not perfect."
Greg had one more thing he needed to get off his chest. He still couldn't figure out what had caused Catherine's turn about with Ecklie. Grissom wasn't the only one who'd seen the two of them sitting close together amiably going over a case.
"What I still don't get is why you're siding with Ecklie on this. You've been friends with Grissom forever. You're the one who's protected him from Ecklie time after time; you've been a mother figure to his father figure, well maybe more the hot aunt, but I digress. I know you've tried to get Grissom to act to resolve his feeling for Sara one way or the other. Is that what this is some sick twisted attempt to force some bonding between the two of them? Cause that would just be wrong and it doesn't seem your style. So what is it? Are you jealous of Sara? Pissed off because Grissom is willing to fight for her when he didn't fight for you?"
The flash of anger that came into Catherine's eyes at the jealousy comment was enough to clue Greg into the fact that he'd struck a nerve. The flinch that accompanied his final question let him know he'd crossed the line into actually hurting her. He was almost too upset to care, but this was Catherine, and she'd always been nice to him even when she teased him about his hair, so he stopped and waited. When her response came it wasn't what he'd been expecting, not that he'd really known how she'd react.
"Greg, you are very lucky you no longer work in the lab. Because if I see you again for the next few days you will be extremely sorry. I am no longer in the mood to tolerate your twisted sense of humor or this pathetic attempt to be a white knight for Sara. We all know you adore her. You're almost more stuck on her than she is on Grissom, but guess what it's never going to happen. So why don't you take off the rose colored glasses, put your head back on straight, and go protect the only person worth protecting, yourself. Get out of my office NOW!"
She'd gotten up from the chair behind her desk during the speech. For a moment she'd considered physically getting in Greg's space, but contented herself with stalking to her door and yanking it open with her last sentence. Greg stood up and moved to face her in the open doorway. His anger was mostly gone, leaving behind a strong sense of disappointment. He'd really thought of Catherine as a friend and supporter for all of them. It bothered him to find out what her bottom line was.
"Fine, I'm going. But yelling at me isn't going to calm your conscience. You're still the Judas of the night shift. You're upset because Grissom didn't fight to keep you when Ecklie split the shift, and now he's risking his job to keep Sara? News flash Catherine, he risked just as much for you. You wanted to be a supervisor and he supported that. Grissom gave up his team! He gave up three out of maybe six of the people he trusts implicitly and took on me and Sofia so that you could get what you wanted. And how are you thanking him now? You're cuddled up with Ecklie, the slime of Las Vegas, the leader of the kiss-ass-cover-your-ass brigade! So fine, you go look out for yourself, because none of us are going to watch your back anymore!"
And with that Greg stormed out of the doorway and turned towards the break room right into Ecklie.
"Mr. Sanders," oozed the night shift's least favorite person.
"Ecklie, shove it. Get your nose out of our business, stop dicking us around and go kiss the Sheriff's ass."
Greg cut him off, side stepped around him and continued towards the break room.
"Sanders, you are suspended, one week, without pay. I mean it!"
Ecklie's reply echoed down the corridor. Greg didn't even acknowledge the man; he just kept walking, adding 'go see Grissom' to his list of things to do. Right below make fresh coffee and above call Sara.