Title: Returning Home
Author: Elizabeth Kelly
Rating: PG-13 (T)
Disclaimer: CSI, its plot and characters, belong to CBS Worldwide Inc., and Alliance Atlantis Productions.
Summary: GSR – How do you forget the past, when the past come back to haunt you?
A/N: Post Bloodlines
Sara raced down the corridor to the only place she knew that she could be alone. Entering Grissom's office, she closed the door behind her. Leaning against the door Sara tried to take deep breaths and slow down her racing heart. When it came to Laura Sidle, Sara never knew what to think. She hated her for taking away her father, she admired her for standing up for herself. She felt ashamed, hurt, relieved and frustrated all at the same time. The woman in the foyer looked vaguely like the mother she remembered. Definitely older and greyer, 20 years behind bars had taken its toll on the woman who before that night had been famous for her home-made chocolate cupcakes. Sara closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on her breathing, but she was finding it difficult. She suddenly felt claustrophobic, unable to catch her breath, she stumbled her way over to one of the chairs in front of Grissom's desk. Her chest began to hurt with the effort of breathing, her heart beat erratic in her chest.
There was a soft knock on the door and Sara tried to answer but found herself unable to speak. Grissom entered the room and saw Sara slumped over in the chair and almost immediately knew what was going on. Hurrying to her side, he took her hands in his and made her look up at him.
"Come on Sara, breathe, breathe for me. Come on. Breathe." Grissom encouraged her. Matching his breathing to hers he tried to calm her down. "Come on, honey. Do you have any of your medication?" Sara nodded and managed to say 'locker'. "Ok, hold on, keep trying to breathe." Racing out of his office. Grissom ran into Nick.
"Nick, can you go to Sara's locker. There should be a bottle of pills in there, can you bring them to my office please, and hurry."
"Sure," Nick replied racing off in the direction of the locker room. Grissom went back into his office to try and calm his anxious wife.
Still in the throws of a panic attack, Sara was looking worse for wear.
"Has it been awhile?" he asked her. Kneeling down in front of her. Sara nodded, trying to match his breathing. He gently rubbed her back soothingly.
"Keep breathing, I need you to keep breathing. It's all alright. Everything will be alright. I promise, you everything will be ok." Nick ran into the room clutching the orange bottle of pills.
"Grissom, I got 'em," Nick said, breathing heavily from his run, handing the bottle to Grissom. His eyes falling on Sara.
"Hey Sar, you alright?"
"She'll be fine. Come on Sara, open up." Sara opened her mouth and Grissom placed a pill into her mouth, and she accepted the bottle of water that Nick passed her. Swallowing the pill. They waited for it to take effect. The pain in Sara's chest was becoming unbearable. The air not coming in any easier. Grissom started rubbing her back again, as Nick looked on uncertain of what was going on, and not knowing what to do.
Suddenly, the pain eased and the air became easier to breathe. Grissom wiped away her tears of frustration that had fallen down her cheeks.
"You alright?" Sara nodded.
"Thank you," she whispered huskily.
"You sure you're ok, Sar?" Nick asked uncertainly.
"It was just an anxiety attack, it's been a while since I've had one. I'm ok now," Sara explained. NIck accepted the explanation and nodded at Grissom before he turned to leave.
"Thanks, Nick," Grissom said gratefully, standing up and closing the door behind Nick.
"That was a pretty bad one."
"I haven't had one like that since the her trial."
"You really ok?" he asked. Sara shrugged.
"Yeah… No… I'm not sure," she replied honestly. Grissom sat down in the chair next to her, and took her hand in his.
"You want to go home? Pick Maddie up and take her somewhere?" he asked. Sara looked like she was about to argue, but he stopped her. "I just think you might need to get your mind off of things for a little while." Sara glanced down at their hands.
"You're probably right," she replied with a small smile.
"I know," he replied in a voice so sincere that Sara had to laugh. "When you're ready, I'm here. Talk to me."
Sara looked into her husband's eyes, and saw the loyalty and love in his eyes, and she fell for him all over again.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"For giving me the space that I need to deal with this."
"Sara, I know you have demons from your past that you haven't fully dealt with yet. It's going to be hard, and it's going to take time, but we will get through this together as a family. Ok?" he asked. Sara nodded, and Grissom pulled her in for a hug. They would get through this, Sara thought, they had to.
Several hours later, Grissom heard Sara and Maddie entered their home making a racquet and laughing hysterically, a sound that seemed like heaven to Grissom's ears. Turning down the heat of the stove, he made his way into the living room just in time to see his girls stagger into the room laden down with shopping bags.
"What did you do, buy the mall?" Grissom asked and signed at the same time.
"Gil!" Sara exclaimed, nudging Maddie and pointing towards the kitchen entrance.
"Daddy!" Maddie yelled, dropping her bags on the floor and racing over to give Grissom a hug.
"What are you doing home, I didn't think we would see you to tomorrow." Sara said, placing her load down on the sofa.
"Neither did I, but we have a suspect in for questioning, we think it's the guy. Catherine's doing the interview, Brass wouldn't let me near him. Besides, it will be at least another couple of hours before we can do anything, we are still waiting for the warrant. So I thought that I would come home and see how my favourite girls were doing," Grissom explained, signing the last part for Maddie's benefit.
"Mom and I went shopping," Maddie said with a huge grin on her face.
"I can see that, tell me what you bought," Grissom spoke and signed. As Maddie launched into a explanation of what she bought, why she bought it and what she didn't buy but thought about, Sara watched them for a few moments and then the smell of something burning, caught her attention. Quietly she slipped away into the kitchen, and quickly located the source. Opening the oven door, she removed the burnt pieces of garlic bread and put them in the bin. Deciding against making more, she stirred the spaghetti sauce in the saucepan as she listened to Maddie's delighted giggles. Sara smiled to herself, this is what our life should have been like, she found herself thinking sadly.
She was so deep in thought that she didn't hear Grissom come up behind her and she jumped as he placed his arms around her waist.
"Sorry," Grissom mumbled into her shoulder.
"It's alright, you just scared me that's all." Sara continued to stir the sauce. "I hope it was ok," Sara asked.
"Taking Maddie shopping, buying all that stuff, I just thought – " Grissom gently turned Sara around in his arms so that she was facing him.
"Sara, its fine anything you want you can have," Sara looked up into his eyes.
"Anything?" she asked an evil glint in her eyes.
"Within reason," Grissom replied with a chuckle. Sara pouted and then laughed.
"Thank you for making dinner."
"It was absolutely no problem. Why don't you go sit down and relax and I will serve up dinner."
"Sounds good, I'll go get our girl." Sara stood on her tip toes and gave Grissom a soft kiss on the lips, before going off to search for Maddie.
"Sara, buttercup, dinner is ready!" Laura Sidle called from the small dining room in the family wing of the bed and breakfast. A six-year-old Sara came racing down the stairs carrying her favourite book.
"Whatcha got there?"
"The Welwteen Wabbit," a toothless Sara replied, clutching her book tightly to her chest.
"Well you need to put it aside so that it doesn't get dirty."
"Otay." Sara placed the book down on the cabinet in the corner, just as the door to the room opened with a bang. Steven Sidle stormed into the room, a furious look on his face.
"Steven, baby, are you alright?"
"They fired me!" Steven yelled, throwing his bag down onto the ground, and Sara began to back into a corner.
"Steven, you're scaring Sara," Laura scolded carrying a casserole dish to the table.
"They FIRED me Laura. I no longer have a job!" Steven began to pace around the room.
"It's ok, you'll get another job." Steven grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the cabinet and took a seat at the table he began to pour himself a drink.
"After everything I have done for them!" Steven continued to yell. "They think they have the right to fire me!"
"Steven, please!" Laura said, dishing the casserole out onto the plates. Steven poured himself another drink, downing it as fast as he did the first one. He continued to yell, getting angrier and angrier, as Laura begged him to quieten down.
Sara curled herself up into a ball in the corner, her hands over her ears. Watching through wide eyes as her father became drunker and drunker, meaner and meaner. She watched as he threw the now cold casserole against the wall and hitting her mother, in the stomach, the arm and back. Sara watched as he began to sway on his feet, the empty bottle of whiskey falling from his grasp, shattering on the floor. She shielded herself from the debris as flying shards of glass embedded themselves in her arms, her legs protected by the jeans that she wore, and her face hidden by her arms. She heard a loud thump and looked up to see her father lying on the floor not far from where the bottle had fallen. She looked over at her mother who was in a similar position to Sara, as tears streamed down her face.
The pain in her arms, from where the pieces of glass had lodged themselves, began to set in as the adrenaline began to lose its effect. She watched with fascination as the little red drops slowly made their way down her arm, dripping onto the floor. She didn't remember her mother picking her up. She didn't remember the looks on the faces of the guests as they left the B&B, she didn't remember the ride to the hospital, or even getting the stiches. She only remembered watching the blood trail down her arm, and knowing that it was her father that had made it happen. She only remembered it as the beginning of her life in hell.
Sara ran her hands down her arms, trying to keep the chills away. The weather in Vegas was warm, but she only felt cold. Glancing down at her arms, she could still see the faint marks, now stretched and slightly distorted, but still visible. Only one of many reminders of a time she wished she could forget. Her mother's sudden reappearance in her life had thrown things off balance for a while. Maddie did not know about Laura Sidle, as far as she knew the Charlton's were her mother's parents. Sara had never wanted the two to meet. As far as she was concerned, Laura Sidle was from another life. A life that was completely different to the one she had now. Sighing softly, she rubbed her arms again, and jumped slightly when a sweater was draped across her shoulders.
"You looked cold," Grissom explained with a sheepish look on his face.
"Thank you," Sara said accepting the sweater, putting it on.
"It's a beautiful night," Grissom said leaning over the railing that ran along their back porch, so that he could look up at the sky.
"Yeah it is," Sara agreed. "Did she get to bed ok?"
"She was so excited about her field trip this morning. She was telling me all about the bugs she saw," Grissom replied with a chuckle.
"I know she managed to freak out one of the shop assistants this afternoon."
Grissom came to stand behind her and ran his hands down her arms. She involuntarily shivered.
"Are you feeling alright?" Grissom asked concernedly. Sara shrugged, and he turned her in his arms. "Sara?"
"I'm not ready to deal with all of this. I wasn't prepared." Grissom studied her face.
"I know," he said, pulling her in for a hug.
"I don't know what I feel for her. I hate her and love her at the same time. She took away my father, who I loved, and the drunk that I hated. I didn't know how to feel then and I don't know now."
"No one is expecting you to know how you feel, probably least of all your mother. She just wants to see you to talk to you."
"What? Did you talk to her?" Sara asked pulling away from him, her voice tinged with anger.
"Only for a moment after you left." Sara looked at him incredulously.
"So you're doing things for her now?"
"Come on Sara, don't be like that. She was just concerned about you. She just wanted to see you." Sara turned and began to walk inside.
"Well I don't want to see her!"
"Why not?" Grissom asked, stopping her on the threshold.
"Because I can't forgive her for what she did!" Sara fumed.
"I don't believe that she has asked for your forgiveness." Sara turned to face him. "She just wants to see you. That's all. I can be with you the whole time if you if you want. You don't have to go through this alone." The lines on Sara's face softened.
"Why do you so desperately want me to see her?" she asked, her voice shakey.
"Because you have unresolved issues with her, and you need to work them out. It's time to move on Sara." Her shoulders sagged as she contemplated her options.
"What are we going to tell Maddie?" she said eventually.
"What ever you want. Though, I feel that the sooner she knows, the better it will be."
"I'm not ready for her to know just yet," she said taking a step towards him.
"Ok, then we won't for the time being," Grissom wrapped his arms around her, and she stiffened.
"You promise that you will be there?"
"Always," he promised her, placing a kiss on her head, and she relaxed in his arms.
Paul Quince bit into the jelly-filled donut that had been fresh several hours ago, but had already started to go stale. Grimacing slightly he sipped his cold coffee and cursed, not for the first time, his lousy job. This isn't where he wanted to be. A disgraced FBI agent and recently divorced forty-two year old man, sitting in a car outside a brothel in the slums of Las Vegas watching for signs of a murderer recently released from jail.
The ringing of his cell phone brought him out of his self-loathing.
"Quince," he answered his voice gruff.
"Mr Paul Quince?" a timid female voice asked him.
"Yeah, who's this?"
"My name is Laura Sidle, I was asked to call you when I arrived in Las Vegas."
"Sidle, weren't you supposed to get here this morning?"
"Yes I was, but I went to visit my daughter and then I had to find a place to stay."
"You're not staying with your daughter?" he asked, wiping off the gloop of jelly that had fallen onto his leather jacker.
"She…" Laura paused. "She has her own family and she didn't have any room," she lied.
"Didn't want to see you, eh?" Paul asked, feeling sorry for the woman. He had read her file, she seemed harmless, a battered wife who had killed her husband in the heat of the moment, something that nowadays she probably wouldn't have gone to jail for. Not with the Battered Woman Syndrome defence. She had stayed out of trouble in jail and so she had been allowed to go free.
"Uh, yeah, I… uh… she had a tough time when I went away."
"Yeah, they always do," Paul replied as he spied his target leaving the brothel.
"Listen Ms Sidle, I have to go. Are you settled for the night?"
"Yes, sir," she replied. Paul turned the key in the ignition and began to follow the station wagon that the man had gotten into.
"Good ok, if you need anything you can call me. If you get into trouble, call me. You need to meet up with me once a fortnight. I will call you and let you know when. Ok?"
"Ok, I'll talk to you later." Paul hung up the phone, keeping an eye on the station wagon that was two cars ahead. The set of lights ahead turned yellow and Paul began to slow down. The station wagon, however, sped up racing through the intersection. Paul cursed as the car in front of him came to a stop at the red light.
"Shit," Paul cursed, banging his fist on the steering wheel. He picked up his cell phone, and pressed 3 on speed dial. "Frank? Yeah it's Paul. I've been better. I lost the guy at a set of lights. There's too many cars to try and find his. My target? Yeah it's Isaacs, Graham Isaacs."
A/N: Ok, so hands up if you are mad at me? I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to update. There are a number of reasons why I haven't updated in a while. Firstly my life has been crazy hectic this semester at uni/college. I haven't had time to do anything, let alone write. Second of all, I am currently integrating this story with another story I had been writing about Sara's mother coming back into her life and I have had some problems with continuity, but I am gradually sorting them all out. Lastly, I confess that I lost a lot of motivation for this story for a while. I really do love this story and I want to be able to write quality chapters, so I didn't want to write just for the sake of getting the chapters out there. Does that make sense? Thank you to all those that have faithfully hung in there I am grateful for your support. Hopefully, the next chapter won't take so long. Catch you all later, and until then, happy reading.
A/N2: Ok slight change was made, i accidently uploaded the wrong version. For those of you who can't be bothered reading it again, basically Graham Isaacs was in jail for murder not paedophilia. Sorry for any inconvenience.