A/N: This is the re-write of my fic 'Love Struck'. I was not satisfied with it. At all. Seriously, I thought it was a piece of crap xD
Catherine Willows could read people. She certainly had been around her share of murderers and rapists to be abe to tell who was innocent and who was guilty. And not only could she read suspects, but she could read her coworkers. Her family. She could tell when one of them had had a bad day or really needed someone to talk to, or just to have a shoulder to cry on. It was one of Ms. Willows' many gifts. After all, she was a CSI, she did have to be observant- though their was one member of her family that she could not always read...
Sara Sidle. No one could ever figure out the mystery that was Sara Sidle. A tall brunette dedicated to her work, always in a seemingly fine mood. She was stubborn and she always protested that nothing was wrong with her- but her coworkers could tell something was wrong with her half of the time. Although she was very good at hiding the anguish she felt inside, during some cases she had a tendency to...break. And in break, not in just fall apart. She literally broke down. She shattered into millions of pieces that could only be picked up with time. And those pieces still had not been picked up.
Emotional. Empathetic. Insubordinate. Those were the words Catherine had heard used to describe her coworker on bad days. But Catherine knew there was something more. That...there must have been more to the story than a case simply bugging Sara, or a suspect irritating her. Sara Sidle had insecurities. And Catherine Willows knew.
She knew Sara tried to put up a tough front. She never wanted anyone to see the secret vulnerable side of her. A side that of her that made her feel like a small child crying in a corner. But what Catherine didn't understand was why. Why would she not want anyone to see this side of her? Was she ashamed? Catherine didn't understand- someone could help her if she reached out and spoke up to them.
Or did she not trust the people she was closest to? Catherine had wondered this on more than one occasion. She had observed her coworker's actions, and she had noticed how hard it was for the brunette to trust someone.
There were so many questions that were unanswered. Catherine knew a lot about her coworkers- Warrick had a gambling problem. Nick had been raped as a child and buried alive the year before. Grissom trusted Catherine with the knowledge of his hearing problem.
But where did that leave Sara? What was her story? Everyone had a story, they were like a book waiting to be opened. Except for Sara. It was as though she had four unpenetrable walls around her, walls that she refused to put down. She didn't talk to anyone about her problems, she kept them all bottled up inside. Catherine wondered how she could do that- the woman was quite a few years younger than her, and, being a mother and also knowing from experience, that was certainly not good for the mind. Or body.
Too many times had Catherine seen Sara walk into the lab with dark circles under her eyes and blood-shot eyes. Too many times had she noticed her coworker being underweight. And too many times had she seen her coworker lose it in front of suspects or on certain cases because her walls had been penetrated. In truth, Catherine did not know how anyone could penetrate her walls. Catherine, actually, had tried a few times. If a person like her- someone who made murderers crack- could not get to Sara Sidle, then why would a rapist be able to?
Catherine was always worried. Worried that Sara would crack under the pressure of keeping everything inside. And Catherine didn't even know what that everything was. She knew the least about Sara, actually- the younger woman had never sought out Catherine for help in her personal matters. The only time she had ever asked Catherine for help was when she was maxed-out on overtime for the month and needed someone to convince Grissom to let her back into the field. And Catherine knew why. It was because Sara was so emotionally unstable that she sought comfort in her work. Her work took her away from the bad things she was going through- away from the bad things that were resurfacing in her life. Work made her concentrate on something else. It didn't leave time for her to concentrate on other things such as her own life.
Sara Sidle was a total mystery. To Catherine. To the world.
Catherine had almost asked her about her insecurities a few times...but she was afraid of what her reaction would be. And also, she was afraid that she would penetrate something that shouldn't have been penetrated. That she would say or do something that she never should have done and make things even worse for her coworker than they already were. And Catherine had no idea how bad things were for her coworker. Sara obviously had something happen that made her the way she was. Sara was definetly not like other women Catherine had met.
And lately, Catherine knew something was wrong. Sara was definelty not herself. She was jumpy. Whenever someone said anything to her she jumped and looked at them with big, fear-filled eyes. No one else except Catherine had noticed this, which she found to be sort of strange. And also, Catherine noticed that in the locker room Sara kept getting a lot of calls on her cell phone, and she could tell that they were not pertaining to any cases they were working on. And one other thing that made Catheirne uneasy was the fact that Sara refused to take her jacket off. It could be the hottest day Vegas has seen in twenty years and she would not take her jacket off. Instead, she shook her head and wrapped it around herself tighter.
Now why in the hell would she do that?
Catherine had gone home that night wondering that. During dinner with her daughter, she was still thinking about this. Was she pregnant? No...or at least Catherine didn't think so. She didn't see any signs of pregnancy, and she should know, she was the mother after all. No, it couldn't be pregnancy, it had to be something else. Was she just...cold? No. Catherine ruled that out the second the image of sweat beading down the woman's face entered her brain for the umpteenth time. It was something else. And Catherine was determined to figure out what it was.
That night, after putting Lindsey to bed, Catherine sat up in the living room on the couch with a cup of coffee thinking. It was bugging the hell out of her, probably more so than it should have been. She debated on whether or not she should call Warrick or Nick for someone to talk to, to try and get Sara off of her mind, or if she should call the young woman herself and try to get some answers.
Sitting with a htot mug of coffee in her hands, Catherine took a sip and prepared herself for a long night of staying up thinking. She closed her eyes and let out a deep sigh, leaning her head back against the couch headrest. Still thinking, she could feel herself falling into a light sleep. Maybe she wasn't going to stay up thinking after all...
The sound of something (or someone) pounding on the door woke Catherine up instantly. Her head shot up and she looked around, trying to find the source of the noise. She could hear the pounding again and then hear it grow softer. She had now stood up and confirmed that the sound was coming from the closed and locked front door of her home. She slowly got up and walked over to the front door, mentally cursing that she didn't have a peephole on it. With her hands trembling, she slowly undid the two locks on the door and slid the chain off. She opened the door slowly, getting ready to pounce at whoever or whatever was behind the door if they posed a threat.
The sight Catherine Willows was greeted with was not a threat.
It was a cry for help.
In front of her lay the motionless form of the brunette she was just thinking of. Her eyes were closed, a deep purple surrounding one of them. Her bottom lip was cut and blood was pouring from her nose. Catherine let out a small gasp as she took in the image in front of her. She slowly kneeled down beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder, barely making contact with her skin to make sure she didn't hurt her.
"Sara?" Catherine asked in a quiet voice.
Sara turned to look at her, cracking her eyes open a little, breathing heavily as she slowly opened her mouth. "Cath...please...help me..."