Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of premises of the television show CSI. If I did, I wouldn't be working myself to death in coffee shop... Back to the point…All recognizable characters and or icons belong solely to the creators. There was no financial gain made with this writing endeavor, so please don't sue me I'm a poor college student who's behind (seriously behind) on her rent!

Warning: Femeslash ahead! This ficlet deals with a relationship between two adults of the same sex. It also deals with prickly jealousy issues… This ficlet also contains a major character death. This is not usually my kind of fic to write...but I'm trying to branch out and explore the big wide fanfiction world...

Rated T for Teen

Author's Note: I don't know why I wrote this ficlet. It's been bouncing around, half formed in my head for a while. I have a lot of stories in the works right now and add in finals (those of you who have been or are currently in college understand how much fun that is…and for those of you who don't…take 1 part self-inflicted insomnia, 1 part information overload and 1 part Tax Day Stress times 50 and you've got a mild idea of how much fun I'm having) Anyway, back to the ficlet. It's from Catherine's POV, sort of. It deals with seeing a romance from the outside looking in and the jealousy that can cause…


A CSI Ficlet

By RebelByrdie

No one could exactly remember when Sara had stopped smiling. She had become a fixture in the lab, a dedicated warrior who chased her quest with an insatiable taste for justice. She walked the razor thin line between dedication and obsession with an expert's skill. To anyone who truly watched her, and there were those who did, each night her chocolate brown eyes became dimmer and the lines of exhaustion and fatigue cut deeper into her face. No one could remember when her smiles had become plastic, only that they had. They realized one day, far down the line that her gritted teeth and upturned lips were only a façade. No one could exactly pinpoint when she'd stopped smiling, but they knew to the minute when she'd started again.

Las Vegas had hit a slow-crime week. Some watched the sky, as if anticipating a disaster. They saw the relative peace of the constantly bustling city as only the calm before a chaotic storm. Other, slightly less cynical, people enjoyed the slight breather. They relished the change of pace. Catherine Willows was a self-proclaimed member of the later party.

The blonde CSI arrived at the Lab, smiled at the receptionist, and headed towards the break room. If there was entertainment to be found at the Lab, it would be there. Sure enough, she could smell Greg's coffee and hear the guys laughing. She looked in. Nick, Warrick and Greg were all there. The absence of Grissom was no surprise and the absence of Sara was a bit of a relief. She and Sidle had never really gotten along…plus it was slightly saccharine and sickening to see Greg fawn over the brunette. What caught Catherine's eye though was the vase of flowers sitting on the desk. She looked from one guy to the other. "Okay…who brought the daisies?" The three men were thoughtful and occasionally kind, but daisies were definitely not their usual style. Pizza and video games, sure. Sports stuff, why not. Music, when they could agree on a style, okay, but flowers? No. They all looked at her. "Well someone's obviously smug, but all women get that way when their new man sends them flowers."

Catherine's eyebrows arched delicately. There was no new man, not yet at least. The intense little demon that drove all of Catherine's curiosities reared its head and she bent in and plucked the card from the den of daisies. "Card…and you guys call yourselves CSIs." Catherine's jaw dropped when she read the name that was carefully printed on the envelope. "These are for Sara!"

The woman in question stood at the door. "What are for Sara?" Catherine whirled around, slightly embarrassed, as if she were a toddler with her hand in the cookie-jar. "Flowers, Sara." She handed the broody brunette the vase of daisies. "Very sweet." And the card says." She ripped it from the envelope. If this was Grissom finally scraping together his bravery, she wanted to see it.

It was not telling, though, it was a simple message,

"Thank you for a lovely afternoon."

She looked from the card to Sara and back again. "Sweet." The look on Sara's face topped it all though. It was a look Catherine had never associated with the younger CSI. The woman's dark brown eyes were distant and her face was brightened by a full and true smile. It hit Catherine then, how much younger Sara looked when she smiled. The weight of the world was, for the moment, off the other woman's shoulders, she positively glowed.

As quickly as it had come, it was gone when Gil Grissom entered the room. The mystery of Sara's new guy was put on hold, because there was a 419 in Henderson that demanded Catherine's attention. The flowers and the mystery sender though, were by no means forgotten by anyone.

It continued. Almost every week like clockwork, a new vase of flowers would arrive for Sara and thought she remained silent, her smile told much more then words could ever convey. Dahlias, chrysanthemums, sunflowers, lilacs, irises, tulips, daffodils…each new bouquet brought a new light to Sara's eyes, a new bounce to her step.

When a huge collection of red roses came, Catherine was beyond interested, she had to find out who was charming Sara.

"Come on, it's not Valentines Day. What gives?" Sara had yet to arrive, so once again, she snatched the card.

"One bloom for every year you've brought beauty to the world."

It was over the top, just plain old diabetes-inducing saccharinely sweet. Sara melted at the sight of them. The funny thing was though, no one else, not even Grissom or Greg had remembered it had been Sara's birthday that night.

Everything was not, however, all roses. There were sometimes when the storm clouds that they were so used to seeing returning to the brunette's eyes. There was trouble in Sara's new paradise. The trouble, however always seemed to resolve itself. The clouds would recede to reveal a new and brighter spark in Sara's expressive eyes.

When she asked for a week off, everyone was shocked, to say the least. Even Grissom, the lab expert on all things Sara, was a little shocked at the turn of events. When she returned deliciously tanned and blissfully happy, Catherine could hardly stand to be in the same room with her. A happy Sara Sidle wasn't supposed to happen. Being wooed into a gooey bliss was Catherine's area of expertise, damn it. Though, she had to admit, being in love suited Sara.

It was a change, one that the CSIs were trying to deal with. Sara no longer pulled doubles and triples religiously, she had been disappearing for lunch and she actually starting using her days off. Catherine wasn't quite sure why, but it annoyed her. Without Sara going full-throttle on every case and pulling more hours then anyone else…well every one else's work load had significantly increased. The guys were cheerful about, they badgered Sara to introduce them, so they could make sure he was good enough for her. Catherine had to sneer…no one had done that for her.

Then one day, it all came crashing down around them. It had just been a suspicious circs. Nothing bad was supposed to happen. They hadn't known…there was no way they could have. The pipe bomb had been on the abandoned car. Catherine had turned her back for just a minute. Then when Sara opened the Chevy Impala's door, there had been a boom. Such a loud sound and a bright ball of fire. There hadn't even been time to scream.

The scene played out before Catherine, in front of all of the Graveyard shift in vivid Technicolor and in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. They got to the hospital waiting room to find that they were not the first or only people there. There, pale and shaking in the arms of Capitan Jim Brass, was Detective Sofia Curtis. Her usually smooth alto was broken and raspy, but Catherine could make out the words. "I can't lose her."

They watched as the doctor came out, his scrubs covered in blood, his face ashen pale. All of Vegas knew to the second, to the heart-beat, when Sofia Curtis stopped smiling.