Hello all! I hope you enjoy my fic, it's going to be Cath/Sara in the future, once I get them to that point. If you don't like that pairing, then please don't read! Let me know what you think by leaving a reply on the way out.
Sara leaned against the hood of the black Tahoe, her head resting on the warm metal, momentarily stopping her shivering body. Her head was throbbing painfully, her eyes watering and swollen from the 39 hours she had been working her case.
She had finally stopped long enough to take a real break, and instead of eating a bag of chips from the vending machine, she decided some fresh air would clear her mind and help her focus once she started working once more.
It was amazing, most full time employees put this amount of hours in at the office over a period of five days, yet she had yet to go home since arriving for shift on Monday. Here it was, Wednesday, and she had completed a full week's worth of work. At least, she reasoned with herself, The overtime will be worth it, and this creep will be behind bars.
Sara shut her eyes tightly, trying to summon up any energy she could find, she was so close to cracking the case that she could feel the victory, she just had a few loose ends to tie up. If she could last another three hours, she could make it.
A hand on her shoulder caused her to shriek, spinning around quickly to come face to face with Catherine, who wore an equally surprised expression, "I didn't mean to scare you, I was just coming to check on you, you've been out here for nearly half an hour."
"Really?" Sara questioned, surprised that time had passed so quickly, "I didn't realize what time it was, I should get back to work."
Catherine motioned towards Brass, who had just walked out of the building, "We've got another lead, we overlooked an important suspect. We're going to follow Brass to the mother's second estate, we may be able to figure out where he hid the other bodies, and if there are any more we weren't aware of."
Sara sleepily stood, walking to the other side of the Tahoe and sitting in the passenger's seat, stifling a yawn. Her headache was getting worse, and as time passed, she was worried it was turning into a migraine.
Catherine turned the radio on quietly, tapping her fingers against the steering wheel in beat with the music, every once and awhile glancing over in Sara's direction. It wasn't often that they worked on cases together, and when they did, it usually turned in to an entire shift of thinly veiled insults being dropped into seeminly normal conversation.
"Need an aspirin? You look like you've got an awful headache." Catherine commented, motioning to her glovebox, "I've got a whole bottle."
Sara shook her head, "I'm just tired. I'll pass."
"You look sort of green. Don't puke in my Denali."
"I don't plan on it." Sara snapped, rubbing her temples tiredly, "Just shut up, okay?"
Catherine rolled her eyes, "Well excuse me for living."
"You're excused." Sara retorted, motioning towards the flashing lights, "We're here."
"You check the perimeter, I'll get the interior." Catherine smirked, enjoying her seniorty on this case. It wasn't that she disliked Sara, or that she enjoyed fighting with her, it just seemed like they were always in a power struggle, and she wasn't one to give up without a fight.
Sara rolled her eyes, "Yippee, the perimeter."
"Suck it up, one day you won't be the low one on the totem pole and you'll be lead." Catherine said, rolling her eyes in response, "If you need any help--"
"If you value your life, you won't finish that comment." Sara hissed, plastering a smile on her face as they got close enough for Brass to hear them, "Anybody home?"
Brass shook his head, "No one here, but the house has been cleared for you guys to do your thing. Take your time, maybe someone will show up."
Catherine started walking towards the house, guilt creeping into her gut. She just couldn't help herself when it came to making jabs at Sara, mostly because either Sara's blood started boiling when she did it, and if she wasn't angry, she normally dished it right back.
They had a rough start, and things never really got better. She had given Sara an attitude her first day on the job, although at the time she thought Sara was a threat. Every case they worked together, they seemed to argue. Things only got worse when Eddie died and Sara ran the investigation, unable to prove the suspects murdered him, although it was public knowledge that their suspects were guilty as sin. She had extended a hand to Sara after her breakup with Hank, mostly because she had been familiar with the cheating boyfriend situation and wanted to cheer the younger CSI up, as a coworker, not as a close friend. She had often taken Nick or Warrick out for drinks after a serious relationship ended, so it wasn't as if doing it with Sara was special. Needless to say, their friendship had always been more-or-less strained.
She quickly scanned the small house, trying to determine where the evidence she was looking for would be. The house was ransacked as it was, making it hard to determine where anything should be, and the hopes of finding anything quickly had just flown out the window. As much as she hated to do it, she'd have to ask Sara for help once she finished the perimeter.
Sighing, she walked to the back door, intending on telling Sara to come inside once she was done and trying to find the best way to phrase it so she wouldn't sound like she actually needed the help. She hated to ask for help from anyone, she always strived to prove she was as good at investigating as the rest of her team, sometimes better than the rest. Having the history she had, it was important to her to prove she wasn't just some clueless ex-dancing bimbo off the street.
The backyard was empty, so she started to walk around the house, wondering what Sara must have found to delay her so badly. The perimeter on a case such as this was a cake walk compared to the task going on inside.
She rounded the corner, sighing as she realized Sara wasn't there. It wasn't until she tripped over something that she realized she should have been looking for a body instead of a flashlight, because as she fell over Sara's kit, she came face to face with an unconscious Sara lying on the ground.
She jumped to her feet, rushing to the front of the house, "We need a medic!"
She was joined remarkably fast by Brass as they ran back to Sara, both flashlights turned on as they tried to assess any injuries Sara had.
"What happened?" Brass asked, shining his flashlight down at the brunette, "Did you see anything?"
Catherine shook her head, moving Sara's clothing to make sure she hadn't been stabbed or shot, "I came to tell her I needed her inside once she was done, I didn't see her in the back, so I came down this side. I tripped over her kit and found her like this. She hasn't been attacked, at least I don't see anything to suggest it. What the hell is going on?"
"Help me roll her onto her side." Brass suggested, carefully lifting Sara's shoulder off the ground, "The back of her head's bleeding."
"She probably it it on the window ledge." Catherine replied, pointing her flashlight to a bloody brick, "She could have lost her balance, it could have been an accident. I mean, the house was cleared, right?"
Brass nodded, motioning over his shoulder as the air filled with sirens, "Ambulance is coming. get her stuff together and I'll bring it back to the lab."
"I'll call Grissom and have him send Warrick and Nick to finish up here, I'll ride with her." Catherine said as she began gathering Sara's belongings and shoving them messily into her kit, "They should be just about done with their B&E by now."
As the ambluance pulled up, Brass ran to the front to show them where to come. Less than 5 minutes later, Sara was loaded up and on her way to the hospital.
"I'm fine, I don't need you to walk me to my apartment." Sara insisted tiredly as she unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the door of Catherine's Denali, "I'm sorry I scared you earlier, but I'm fine."
Catherine's eyes narrowed, "Fine people don't pass out for no reason. Tell me what the doctor said or I'll walk you up and tuck you in to your bed. It's not up for discussion, we may not get along, but I am concerned for your well being."
"I, uh," Sara said, her face paling a bit, "I just want to go to my apartment. I'll talk to you about it later."
Catherine shook her head, "I'll walk you up, you don't look so good."
"Whatever, as long as we go, now." Sara insisted, her hands trembling as her face continued to slowly pale.
With more energy than she had felt all night, Sara climbed the stairs to her apartment and let herself in, knowing Catherine was a few steps behind her and finding it hard to really care at the moment. As soon as she entered the apartment, she bolted for the bathroom, making an effort to close the door behind her but only suceeding in getting it shut halfway before falling to her knees and beginning to retch.
Several moments later, she emerged from the bathroom, only to find Catherine standing against the wall, a glass of water in her hand, "I thought you would like a glass of water...you should go lie down. You've got a concussion."
"Migraine.." Sara murmured, taking the water and tiredly walking to her bedroom, the simple movement causing her head to throb even more, "Lack of sleep, food, overabundance of stress...that's why I passed out, an awful migraine. Doctor gave me a shot, he said it would take a few hours. 18 stitches to the cut on the back of my head and a moderate concussion. I'll be fine."
Catherine took the now empty glass from Sara, leading her towards her bed, "I'll draw the curtains so it will be a little darker," she said quietly, "And I'll wake you up every few hours, you're supposed to do that with a concussion. Did he give you anything for pain?"
"I have a prescription, I just need to get it filled." Sara mumbled tiredly, the remainder of her energy fading fast as she laid down against her pillow, pulling the covers up to her chin, "I'll do it later. You don't have to stay, I can set my alarm."
Catherine rolled her eyes, "I'll go take care of your prescription, and I'll come back to sit with you. The alarm will only make your migraine worse, and the point of having someone wake you is to make sure you're able to be aroused. It won't do any good for you to set your alarm if you won't notice it going off."
"What about Lindsey?" Sara mumbled, already beginning to drift off.
Catherine sighed, "I'll have my sister drop her off here instead of the house, and they can pick up some movies for Lindsey to watch, she's a quiet kid, you won't even know she's here."
"Whatever." Sara murmured, already half asleep, "Whatever you want."
Checking her watch, she left Sara's room and went into the living room to call her sister. Seeing the prescription sheet on the counter, she decided it was probably a better idea to call her sister while on her way to the pharmacy, that way the extra couple of minutes it would take to call would be done while accomplishing something else. Besides, she wanted to be back as soon as possible in case Sara needed something.
She couldn't help it, really, every time she was around someone who needed help the mother inside of her emerged and took control. With Sara, who seldom needed any help whatsoever, it was even more important, because they had been partners tonight. She knew Sara had been feeling ill, she had even brought it up to Sara in the car, but she hadn't done anything to accomodate Sara's apparent illness. She owed it to her friend to help her get well.
She was worried about Sara. They had been working together for four years, and not once had she ever seen Sara sick. The previous year, the entire lab had come down with the flu, and while everyone else was missing work, Sara was working doubles and triples for a week to cover all three shifts, not even coming down with the sniffles. She was able to stay up for days straight, surviving on caffeine alone, and still managed to get things done coherently, and more importantly, accurately. It was really unnerving to see her so weak, tired, and ill.
She pulled into the pharmacy parking lot, dropping off the precription at one counter and walking up and down the aisles while she waited for it to be filled. Seeing several things she should pick up, she decided to get a basket. She picked up some pepto, in case Sara's stomach was still unsteady when she woke up, some ginger ale to serve the same purpose, and a couple of videos that she could watch while she was out of work, since the doctor's paperwork also said a mininum of three days rest at home until her concussion was completely healed. She walked down the magazine aisle, not seeing anything that would be of particular interest to Sara, but did spot three crossword puzzle books she thought Sara would enjoy. Grabbing a chocolate bar for herself, she went to the back of the pharmacy to see if the prescription was ready yet. Maybe staying with Sara today wouldn't be a bad idea, maybe they would be able to actually build their relationship a bit instead of remaining just coworkers.
She walked back into Sara's apartment half an hour later, and creeping into Sara's bedroom, she was pleased to see Sara sleeping in the same position she had left her in. Putting the ginger ale in the refridgerator and the videos and books on the counter, she made herself comfortable on the couch, leaning her head back and letting her eyes droop closed. Her sister would be dropping Lindsey off in three or four hours, a nap wouldn't hurt until then. She pushed the alarm button on her cell phone to wake her in an hour, so she could in turn wake Sara, and almost instantly fell asleep.
An hour later, she found herself standing over Sara's bed, shaking her arm slightly, "Sara? Can you hear me? Sara?"
Sara shifted in her sleep, but did not awaken. Catherine, starting to worry at Sara's lack of response, shook her harder, "Sara!" she hissed, tempted to wake her as she did Lindsey, by pulling off the covers and turning on the lights, "Time to wake up!"
Sara's eyes slowly opened, and she loudly groaned, "What?" she mumbled, shutting her eyes as the light assulted them, "Go away Catherine!"
"No, I won't go away, I have to make sure you're okay." Catherine replied, "There's a list of questions on your discharge papers for me to ask you. What's your full name and date of birth?"
Sara groaned, "You've got to be kidding me, I'm fine Catherine, go away!"
"Being difficult won't get you anywhere with me." Catherine warned, her voice rising slightly, despite her efforts to remain quiet.
Sara opened one eye, "Talk softer, and maybe I'll answer your questions."
"Full name and birthday?" Catherine whispered, being obviously sarcastic with her tone.
"Sara May Sidle, August 15th." Sara murmured, already starting to drift back to sleep. "Now will you go away?"
"What's the year? Who's the president? What do you do for a living?" Catherine read of the list, "What's your phone number?"
Sara forced both eyes open to glare at Catherine, "2004, Bush, CSI, 555-2345. Go away!"
"You're welcome." Catherine replied sweetly, handing Sara a glass of water, "You need plenty of fluids, and I brought you a painkiller, so it would be in your best interest to be nice to me."
Sara pushed the water away, "My head is pounding and the room in spinning. When I look at you, I see three of you, and if I put anything in my body right now, I'll puke on both of us, so please just go away and let me sleep! I'm sorry I'm being a bitch, but I don't feel good and I just want to go back to sleep!"
"Sorry." Catherine replied, "I was just following doctor's orders, I'm just trying to help."
Sara sighed at the hurt tone in Catherine's voice, "I know, I'm sorry I snapped at you, I just need to shut my eyes and get some sleep. I hate being sick."
"I don't know anyone who really gets a kick out of it." Catherine joked, "Get some sleep, I'll check on you in a few hours, but then you'll have to take your medication and drink some juice or something."
"Whatever you want." Sara murmured, her eyes drifting closed as she succombed to sleep once more, leaving Catherine wondering when she started to care so much and why she wanted to just massage all of Sara's tension away.