Title: Sweet Redemption

Disclaimer: I do not own CSI! As much as I wish I did, I do not, so please don't sue! I do not own any of the characters represented in this story, for I am only a lowly viewer of the show who happens to write fanfiction.

Notes: This first chapter is hot off the press! Enjoy!

She came in quietly. Everyone else was talking away and sipping their coffee waiting for Grissom to come in and give them their assignments- not her. She just walked in and sat down. She was dressed a little nicer than usual- black dress pants and a nice brown blouse with black high-heeled shoes. Everyone stared at her as she entered and she ignored the stares.

"Sara?" Nick asked the silent brunette as she sat down. She didn't look up at him; she had now pulled out a book from her bag and had unfolded the page where she had left off.

"Sara?" he asked again, his tone growing louder. She finally looked up.

"Nick?" she replied, changing her glances from her book to the male Texan sitting on another couch across from her.

"You look nice today," he said smiling.

"Thanks."

"Why'd you dress up? You going to court today?"

"You could say that."

Everyone fell silent. Grissom never mentioned Sara going to court that day, and as fast as news traveled around the lab grapevine, they were all surprised they hadn't heard about it.

"When?" Warrick asked, breaking the silence.

"Few hours," she replied turning back to her book.

"Which case?" Catherine asked curiously.

"A case I closed a while back," she replied. "I re-opened it and found some new evidence to convict a rapist." It was a damn good lie- it fooled everyone in the room; they didn't doubt her word for a second.

Just as Nick was about to say something, their supervisor strutted through the hallway and made his way into the break room. "Catherine, Warrick- 419 out at the Tangiers; Nicky, you're coming with me, we've got a 406 outside of Henderson," he handed them all their files. Warrick and Catherine left, heading for the locker room. "I'll meet you at the car, Gris," Nick said walking out. Sara was left in the room with her boss staring at her.

"You look nice today."

"Huh?" she looked up from her book, just then noticing his gaze. "Um…thanks," she replied turning back to her book. He walked over to her and sat down next to her, placing a hand over the book to get her attention.

"Where're you going today?" Grissom asked.

"Somewhere."

"You requested the day off; you never do that. Where're you going?"

"That is none of your concern."

"I suppose it isn't, but then again, I'm just curious."

"Worry about yourself, Grissom. I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself." And with that, Sara Sidle verbally dismissed her boss and he left her alone in the break room with her book.

Sara sighed as she watched her boss leave the building. She folded another end in her book as she closed it and put it back in her bag. Today was a big day- it was going to be the first time she had seen her mother since the trial in 1984. She wondered what her mother was like now- was she like all the other jailbirds or was she different?

Sara remembered the happy memories she had- her laughing and playing with her mother and father as a small child and coming home with aced quizzes and tests and being praised. She smiled at the thought, but her smile suddenly changed to a saddened frown.

Yelling- yelling was heard all the time. She saw herself peeking out from the sides of her door in her room, clenching a small stuffed animal in her hands. Her mother was yelling and screaming at her father- Sara wondered what it was he had done to set her off this time. Sara turned away when her father started yelling. This had become a daily routine.

Sara would wake up and enjoy the peaceful minutes in the mornings while her father and mother wouldn't be fighting. They were actually quite pleasant towards each other- her mother would fix him breakfast and a cup of hot coffee and before he would leave he would kiss her and embrace her in a bear hug. Sara wondered why the evenings were different.

Sara would then go to school, where she would indulge herself in some literature in her spare time other than participate in extra-curricular activities. She freaked out a lot of kids- they didn't understand her ways of thinking. She always came to school with a healthy lunch- no junk food. Then, at their recess time, she would find a nice place in the shade—preferably under a large tree and sit and read. No wonder she was so pale-skinned- she hardly went out in the sun.

After hours of reading and writing, Sara Sidle then walked herself home, usually clenching a new book she had found at the library on her way home in her arms. She would stop at the doorway to her house- did she really want to go in, face the yelling and fighting between her parents? She always decided to go in. She still loved her parents, even if they seemed to hate each other some of the time.

Sara would then walk through the house, calling out a casual "I'm home" and then was greeted by her mother. Her mother was always wearing an apron and had something on her face- that day it was flour. Her mother hugged her tightly, getting flour on the sleeves of Sara's purple t-shirt. Sara then headed into her room and started on the rest of her homework.

6:30- that was when the trouble began. Her alarm would start beeping- she set it so she would always know when to be ready for the fighting. She could hear keys dangling around from inside her room, even with the door closed. She slowly made her way to the doorway of her room and cracked the door open. She heard the front door open and her father step through the walkway.

Sara didn't know how it happened, but it seemed that everyday her mother had something else to yell at her father for. This time it was bills.

"You didn't tell me you quit your job!" she exclaimed from the kitchen. Her father stopped where he was.

"Now, Laura, listen-"

"Save it," she said walking out of the kitchen. Sara gulped, getting ready for the big blowout.

"We have a child, Jim! A child! We're supposed to be taking care of her! You quit your job- how are we supposed to feed our baby if we have no money to put food on the table, huh?"

Her father was silent. Sara could see his hand and fingers balling into a fist.

"Now, Laura- you listen to me!" he started. "I quit that job with good reason!"

"What was that, Jim? I'm waiting!"

"I accepted another job somewhere else- it pays more and we get free insurance with it."

"Oh, and what- you're just now telling me this?" her mother angrily screamed. "You got fired, didn't you?"

"What if I did? You don't work- you don't know the challenges of going day after day, being suffocated in a tight space surrounded with people who despise you! All you do is clean and cook and bitch about our damn daughter! And you know what? You're turning her into you! Look at how stubborn she is- she won't ever amount to anything other than the piece of crap you've turned into! Crap! That's what this family is! I should've never married you or had a child!"

The door slammed. Both parents turned to see Sara standing in the hallway outside her door.

"Sara, I'm sorry, I didn't mean—"

"Is that what you think, dad? I'm just your damn kid?"

"Sara, honey—"

"I'm sorry I cause you so much trouble! Maybe you'd both be better off if I were dead, huh? I wish I was never born- then maybe you two would get along better!" she screamed.

"Sara, please—"

"Save it, dad!" she yelled and threw her door open and slammed it behind her. Inside her room she had fallen to the floor sobbing, her face hidden in her arms. She looked up to see her reflection in the mirror- her hazel eyes were now red and watery and her brown hair was sticking to her face where the tears had fallen. She stared at her reflection for a long moment- she hated herself. She detested her every being. All of the fighting was her fault. If she hadn't been alive maybe none of it would've happened.

She found herself buried in the blankets of her bed. She just cried- there was nothing else she could do. Her father had never said something like that to her- he had always been so cool and nonchalant around her. But on this day, her father was acting different. He was a completely different person than Sara Marie Sidle used to know. He wasn't a father anymore- he had turned into some monster. A monster she refused to love anymore.