All her life, people had been telling Sara Sidle that she had a daddy complex. When she was ten her mother had given her a Valium-laced smile and told her she would have one for the rest of her life. She had overheard the school counsellor telling her principle so when she was fifteen. Her first love had sneered it at her when he dumped her at nineteen. She had never had a psychiatrist that hadn't told her so, and God knows, she had had a lot of them. And now a complete and total stranger was informing her so in the middle of an interrogation.
"You're a woman in law enforcement." Richard Schofield, a therapist arrested for raping dozens of his young clients and claiming it was all therapy for their daddy complexes, had said, leaning closer to her across the metal table. "Of course you have a daddy complex." Beside her, Grissom had tensed visibly, leaning closer to her whilst trying to pretend he wasn't.
"So what did he do?" Schofield had leered, leaning closer still, "Did he beat you, rape you or leave you?"
Grissom began clenching and unclenching his fists. Sara rolled her eyes and continued questioning him about his crimes, desperately wishing that the answer to his question wasn't all three. Wishing that she didn't still feel his fists on her face, his hands up her skirt, his blood on her hands.
She contemplated the situation on her way home from work in the dark solitude of her car. So she had a daddy complex. So what? Out of all the problems Sara had, she figured that was the one she was most entitled to. He was her father, one of the single most defining factors to a person's identity, and he had terrorized her, day-in, day-out, for the first thirteen years of her life.
He had made Sara the perfectionist that she was; her childhood spent trying so hard to never do a single thing wrong, terrified she spark the screaming and fighting and beatings that more often than not landed someone in hospital.
When she had hit puberty at the age of eleven he had smugly taken it upon himself to 'make her a real woman', shoving her face-down on her Snoopy bedspread and forcing himself between her legs so hard that she had passed out with the pain.
It had taken Sara's mother three years to figure out why her husband looked at their daughter the way he did; why he went into her room late at night and why Sara limped out of her bedroom in the morning carrying bundles of blood-stained sheets on the nights that he did.
And when she did realise, she had waited until he disappeared into Sara's bedroom for the third time that week, and she had followed him into the innocent, pale-pink walled room and stabbed him to death with a steak knife while Sara lay frozen and wide-eyed beneath him.
So yes, Sara Sidle had wound up with a Big Fat Daddy Complex. But, as Sara rationalised, pulling into the driveway to Grissom's townhouse, what did it really matter? Granted, it did affect every single relationship she had ever been in, would ever be in. But did it mean that she would be any less happy with the man she had chosen? In reality, there was no escaping the fact that her instant attraction to Grissom was directly and inescapably linked to her daddy complex. He was her teacher, her mentor, her boss. He was fifteen whole years her senior. It was hopelessly obvious that her daddy complex had influenced her there. But did that mean that she loved Grissom any less? Any less than a normal person would? Any less than she would love someone who didn't fit her daddy complex at all?
As she made her way silently through the house they shared, into the bedroom where he lay sleeping, she knew that she could never be happier than she was with him.
As she stripped off her work clothes and lay down next to him, resting her head on his soft, warm, not-quite-what-it-used-to-be, grey-haired chest, she knew that she could never love another living being as much as she loved him. It was just physically impossible.
And when he stirred and blinked sleepily down at her, twining his arms around her waist and sighing in content, she surmised that if this was what came of having a daddy complex, then she didn't care that she had one in the slightest.
In fact, she was damn near proud.