What if? What if Catherine wasn't alone, if she had someone that loves her…after an argument with that someone she headed to the bar to try and forget about it…what if Sara Sidle was that someone?
Spoilers: Season 5: Weeping Willows
Author: Spoken-voice
Rating: T
Pairings: C/S(you have been warned)

"No way, you were never married. Oh, let me guess. You were young? He seemed more mature than he really was, he swept you off your feet, and, uh, he let you fall?" I'm sitting here listening to this guy, he's lent over the bar and turned to me looking into my eyes – he's a player, I know he is. He's after one thing! For some reason I play along, I don't know why – maybe I just wanted to pretend I wasn't me for a few hours, that I wasn't the Catherine Willows that I was, that life wasn't so complex.

"Bruised, but not broken" I smile his way, what the hell was I doing. I brought my glass to my lips happy to have the alcohol killing away my feelings.

It's then that the bartender shows up – she looked at the two off us, "Get you another one?" She asked. I consider it, I really do – but then remember that I shouldn't be here. Not with this guy hitting on me, not with this glass in hand and not in this state of mind. I should be at home.

"No I'm good thanks" I explain, with a smile. The bar tender just nods and turns leaving the two of us. Just as I was about to offer my fare well to the guy to my left I felt something – his fingers fun gently up my bare arm – this caused me to stop, I was lost. What was I doing here? This isn't me.

"So are you divorced?" His question broke into my silence, into my thinking.

I turn to look at him, my mind screaming to pull my arm free but my body not reacting. I somewhat nod my head, it's true I am divorced – my mind was screaming at me 'but your in a relationship' I didn't say it though – and I don't know why, instead I ask – "You?"

"Yeah, she seemed more mature than she really was; swept me off my feet." He explained, moving his fingers more seductively over my arm. I wanted to pull away, I really did – what was I do. I had Sara, I love Sara. What am I playing at? I think on some level I want to hurt her. After the argument today, I want her to know what it's like to feel that pain. I'm hurting the only person who gives a damn about me, I hate myself. I laugh at his seemingly charming smile – I know what he wants, I can see it in his eyes – he's after a good time.

"Kids?" he asks me,

I nod in response, "Yeah, I have a daughter" 'a daughter I should be spending time with right now' my mind tells me, I don't need to be told though – I know. My only intention here tonight was to get a drink and kill my pain inside, I hadn't wanted to do this. I didn't want to pick up some guy.

"If she's got her mother's looks, you're in trouble." He is moving closer to me, I think I'm the one that's in trouble. Why can't I pull away from him, what is it with this guy. Why am I just sitting here and letting him touch me, in a way only Sara should. Let him talk in a tone that only Sara should speak to me. He leans into me further and whispers into my ear – a low seductive tone – I offer a laugh, mostly laughing at myself – what the hell was I playing at?

I lean back, and he moves a little away, "If I don't get home soon, I will be in trouble." I bring the glass to my lips again and down the last of my drink. "Thanks" I hold the empty glass to him, "I really need this" and I had, I need the drink – and in some way I needed the conversation to realize that I was losing it, my mind. I had so much and here I was throwing it away.

"If you're blowing me off, no worries" he takes a pen and begins to right his number on a match book – here it is, yet another chance for me to tell him – no, to tell him I can't do this because I have a Girlfriend! Tell him – go on. I couldn't, right now all I was feeling were the pains her words caused and like a child I wanted revenge. This was my revenge. "…but if not give me a call" He cut into my thoughts yet again. I'd never call him; I knew that – it wasn't going to get any further than this. I took the book and put it in my bag, offering him a smile I turned to leave. He stopped my though "Wait a second let me walk you to your car"

I should have refused, told him I'd be fine. I know that now –
I should never have let it get this far –
I should never have come here after work.

I don't know why I've let it get here, I have the woman I love – I have something I've wanted for ever – and now here I am throwing it away. I'm kissing him, his tongue is in my mouth, and he's invading something that I should never have allowed him to have. I was Sara's. I'm telling myself this, but I'm still stood here making out with this guy. A guy who's name isn't too clear, whose hand's are around my waist.

I can't do this – this really isn't me. I push him off me, "I…I can't do this" I tell him, yet again I refuse to tell him of my love, of my girl – I should have, I know I should – I just couldn't do it. I turned on him and pulled open the door to my Tahoe, guilt washing over me. What had I done? The next thing I knew was the car door been slammed shut, he had his hand against it stopping me from pulling it open.

"What the hell is your problem?" He growled, his attitude had changed now – and I had to admit though I wouldn't show it I was a little scared of what he would do. He'd gone from the charming player to this guy, who looked about ready to go for me.

"Go to hell" I growl, I pull on the door … he still had a hold on it though. I won't give up. Then he let go and the door pulled open hitting me in the face. The metal hit me hard, and I groaned – light headed I was able to stay standing – just. The pain burned through me.

He leaned close to me; "You're not worth it" he growled back and then took off. I got into the drives seat of my Denali making sure to lock the doors and I did in fact let tears fall – not for the guy, not for the pain but for Sara, what have I done? I decided here, in this moment that Sara was to never find out about this.

I just had to make it up to her, I love her…

"Mom, Mom. Grissom just called. I've got to go in. I'm backing up grave." I explain to my mother who lay on the sofa, she opens her eyes sleepily.

"What?" She sniffs, "Vodka, with an Altoid chaser." She says as a matter-of-fact.

I roll my eyes, my heads hurting and I'm not sure if it's from the drink, the crying or the god damn car door I smashed into the side of my face – "I brushed my teeth"

She notices the side of my face, the moon light flooding through the window must have highlighted it. "What happen? You walk into a door?" she asks me. Now I regret waking her, why didn't I just leave a note?

"Hey, listen, Lindsey's got a dentist appointment before school. I wrote all the information down in the kitchen." I successfully change the subject.


"Okay thank you" I feel guilty, guilty that I'm forcing my own daughter on my mother – guilty I'm not the one here when my daughter wakes up and guilty that I will never be as good of a mother as mine was. I stand – and here it is…me going out to face the world.

This is it, when we pull up to the bar I was at only hours before, this is it – the place I betrayed someone who I love. As I look up at the red sign I feel my heart drop. What the fuck have I done – really? The officer I'm riding with thankfully doesn't notice my change in character. Thank god because I don't fancy talking about it. I don't want anyone to know that I was here, I don't want anyone to know that I basically killed Sara with my actions. I don't want her to know because I don't want to lose her. Because of a moments stupidity, because of my own messed up way of making her pay.

I'd shown up to the scene Gil had called me to only for it to lead me here, to this god damn place. I pull my car up and head out of the car, only to feel the eyes of Sara on me. She was walking towards me from her own Tahoe. I silently turn; we'd had an argument so it isn't unusual for us to have a tense greeting this time though I can't even bring myself to lock eyes with my Girl. Sure, we had an argument but, normally I don't try and avoid her – I usually fight it out. This time though, I can look at her! I can't! She can tell something is wrong with me –

"Cath" She sounds panicked, and for a moment I thought she knew – that some how she'd looked into my eyes and see the whole incident. I took a sharp breath and held it. Then I notice where she'd looking – "What the hell happened?" She asked, she was worried about me. I didn't deserve her concern, I didn't. She reaches out and I feel her hand brush against my skin – across the bruised cheekbone.

Now I really do hate myself. I turn, and look at the woman, pulling away a little. She probably thinks I'm still mad at her – "Nothing…got into a fight with the door. Its fine" I shot. What right did I have to verbally attack her; I'm the one who has messed up.

"Talking about fights, we need to talk…"

Sit, I really don't want to do this right now. I shook my head

"Fine, Grissom is heading this…" She informs. I nod my head and silently leave. I have to sort the case out, and then I'll sort my own life out after.

Though, I had sworn to never let her find out - she did! She found out about it all. Seems that the whole team would by the end of the night. He was a suspect in the case.

"I was deposing a witness. Left the office late. I stopped at the Peppermill for a burger, Medium rare, no onions. Got to the Highball around 11:00. And met this redhead, bought her a drink and ..."

He stopped, he stopped when he looked and saw me stood there – I hated him. I hated myself. Gil and the officer where going to hear all about that night now, they were going to know that I'd hurt Sara in more ways than one. I knew that on some level when I pulled up at the bar after my scene with Gil that this guy would be some way linked with the investigation – It was a feeling, one that I can't really explain – I just knew. Now here he was, prime suspect and yours truly was the last god damn person to have had contact with him. Here it goes then…

I clear my throat and speak, "Mr. Novak ... I'm Catherine Willows, CSI."

He looked up at me, I didn't want his eyes on me – they made me feel sick. It reminded me of just what I had done tonight. He sneered, a laugh that made me angry – then he looked from me to the two guys sat in front of him then – back to me –

"You want to know what happened next? Ask the redhead." He spat.

Gil and the officer both turned to look at me, I could see anger in Grissom's eyes. I'm not sure if it's because I hadn't told him and it had a big part of the case or that he knew I'd betrayed Sara. Everyone knew about me and Sara, and they knew it was serious.

He stood up; he turned and walked taking my arm and lading me from the interrogation room. He knew that I wouldn't have been able to stay in there, I knew I wouldn't. So we went into the observation room. He hadn't said a word – not one to me. He would though – I would be in his office shortly – I knew that.

When he pushed open the door that's when I felt it, my heart been ripped in half. Sara was stood there, looking at me, looking at me like I'd killed her. She was angry, angry and hurt and totally crushed. Here eyes were black –

I pushed in front of Gil, I wanted to grab hold of her, to pull her away before she hared what was been said. I wanted to make this entire thing stop. "Sar…" I gasped,

She didn't respond just looked away and to the glass looking him sat there, I had to do this. "Don't…please! Please" I begged. I walked over and took hold of her arm only to be pushed backwards. She hated me in that moment, I know she did. She hated everything I was…

"Sara…maybe you shouldn't listen to this" Grissom was the one this time to speak, he wasn't trying to protect me though, he was trying to save her from pain. I wanted her to leave, I wanted her to pretend she hadn't hared but she had…

She gives Gill a look telling him she wasn't going anywhere before looking back at the guy in front of her – the guy I'd allowed to get in between us. I'd been cheated on before, I'd been betrayed and it wasn't a pain I'd ever wanted to cause anyone else.

I walked over, one last attempt – I grabbed hold of her arm and pulled her backwards. "Sara please don't… I'm sorry. Don't do this!" there was nothing I could do or say. Her anger had made her too strong – she pushed me away this time with more force. I stood and as I listened to him speak I watched the reaction of my Girlfriend.

"At a bar that time of night, we're all after the same thing, aren't we? I came onto her. She was into me. I know when a woman is going to give way and believe me, she was there.
"And then what?"
"I walked her out. Put my arm around her waist. She moved in. One minute she's got her tongue down my throat. The next, she puts the brakes. She's a bitch and a tease. She told me to get lost ..."

That was all that Sara need to hear, she turned to me with fire in her eyes. "You fucking bitch" She spat at me, I knew in that moment I couldn't have hurt her more than I had.

"Sara" There were tears rolling down my eyes, I stepped forward, I grabbed her arm wanting her to say something, "Sara I'm so sorry"

Sara in one motion grabbed my arm and pulled me to her, I was forced to look in her eyes, "Tell me it's not true" she had a fierce grip on my upper arm – I wasn't going anywhere I knew that. I looked at her, if I had told her it wasn't – it may have been all that she needed to hear but I couldn't – I couldn't even look at her.

I looked to the floor, "I'm sorry…" I tell her again.

She pushes me backwards and turned, walking towards the door. "Baby…please" I plead with her not to leave, not like this.

She turns and looks at me, I did that to her! Fuck…I messed up.

"You bitch…" She spat,

Grissom put his hand on her shoulder; he didn't want her to go into the interrogation room though I know that's exactly what she wanted. "Take a break" He ordered. Then she walked away.

I wasted no time, I went to go after her…I needed to tell her that I didn't mean to. All I wanted was her…she was everything to me. But as I got to the doorway Grissom stopped me. "Move, I needed to sort this out…" I tell him.

He stops me though, "My office Cath…"