Disclaimer: I do not own the characters, premises of or anything to do with the television show, CSI. I make no financial gain from the production of this twisted tale. All recognizable material is the property of the creators and the television networks who hold the contract rights there of. All "original" characters are fictional and any similarities to existing or deceased (or other fictional) persons is completely coincidental and no harm or offence is intended.

Rated T for Teen: Violence

Warning: Implied femeslash ahead. If this somehow upsets or offends you, I highly suggest finding something else to entertain yourself with.

Warning: Character Death

Author's Note: Stephen King says that his best ideas come from dreams or nightmares. That is where I ripped this little fic from, right from my nightmares. No, I mean literally, from my nightmares.

There are elements of both: Catherine/Sara (of the unrequited type) and Sara/Sofia (Of the tragic variety) in this story.

It is, surprise surprise, chock full of angst and tragedy. What, you were expecting, fluff? You must be new.

I would love to hear some feedback on this...because I always love to get reviews, it's like seeing messages on your answering machine, it makes you feel big and important. What...You've not noticed I have issues? You're definitly new...and I am in a Grade A Mood.

Nightmares

A CSI Ficlet

By RebelByrdie

Her hair was shorter, but it was Sara. There was no doubt about it. There was that same gap between her teeth and that same determined look in her brown eyes. The uniforms were roaming around the scene, trying to stay out of the way, but making a nuisance of themselves anyway. Nick and Greg are bending down over the curb, examining something, and Sara had her clipboard out, sketching the layout of the scene. Time was playing against them, the city wanted the Strip open again and forget that there had been a double homicide right in the middle of it. Nothing should stop the flow of dollars into casinos. Someone, Warrick maybe, called over to Sara and she turned her head, sending her hair swishing around her face. She called out an answer to the question and then she looked around, getting a feel for the scene before trying to copy it down to scale on the paper before her.

Then there was a pop. It could have been anything, really, but the sound was too familiar to be mistaken for anything else. Sara stopped dead in the middle of her stride and jerked back for a moment. She didn't move and for just a second, it looked like she was confused. Confused, but otherwise fine. Then she stumbled back. Red seeped out, clashing against the white of her shirt and the black of her Forensics department vest. There were shouts and, from seemingly nowhere, uniforms were supporting her and gently laying her on the black top. Somebody screamed Sara's name.

She bolted up in bed, her colleague's name still on her lips. Sweat poured down her and she kicked off the sheet that had been covering her. It was the sixth day in a row that she'd had that same nightmare. It was the sixth day in a row that she'd felt like her soul had been none too gently ripped out of her body. It was the sixth day in a row she'd dreamed about Sara dying.

She got out of bed and looked in the mirror. The signs of fatigue on her face were big, bold and neon bright. She had to go in again tonight. They would work cases as they always did. Sara would go out in the field and she would spend all shift worrying that her nightmares would come to life.

She dragged her fingers through her hair and blew out a sigh. She had to get ready for another night of torture. For a long shift where the object of her fantasies and obsessions was right there at her fingertips. Sara Sidle was right there and she couldn't touch her. She didn't get to run her fingers through dark silky hair or across smooth sun kissed skin. Catherine Willows could look, but she would never get to touch.

0000000

She went to the break room, and heard her before she saw her. There was Sara, crushed between Nick and Greg on the couch. A crumpled Forensics Journal was on the floor.

"C'mon, Sunshine, a weekend away will do you some good. Just me and you on the sandy beaches with Greg as our monkey-butler. There'll be fu-fu drinks with little umbrellas in them." Not to be outdone, Greg started in too. "C'mon, you, me and two surf-boards. I can give you pointers. C'mon, we'll show Mr. Cowboy how it's done." Sara grinned and rolled her eyes, "First off, Greggo, unless I want to spend all my time kissing the sand, I won't need pointers from you. As good as it sounds, I can't." There was a small explosion of sound from the two men. Sara wriggled out from between them and stood. "I switched weekends with Warrick and besides even if I hadn't, what makes you think I'd want to spend a weekend with two teenage jerks who just want to see me in a bikini." Greg pretended to pout and Nick's face lit up, "You have a bikini? What color is it?" Sara smirked, "Sorry, that information is classified."

Catherine was assaulted with the vision of Sara in a small bikini that covered next to nothing. It was black, of course. Those thoughts sent a bolt of lust through her. It was time to end this particular conversation.

She cleared her throat to make her presence known and then she fixed an acidy smirk on her face, "If the swimsuit competition portion of this evening is over, can we get to work, please?" Greg looked up and grinned, "Hey, Cat, we were just trying to convince Sara to escape the lab for a little bit. You know, sun and fun for a weekend." Catherine rolled her eyes, "Unless there's going to be a dead body on that beach, I doubt Sara will be there." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Sara scowl. The other woman opened her mouth, as if to say something, but then clamped it shut and balled her fists together. She stormed out of the room.

Her exit left Catherine feeling both elated and destroyed. Nick and Greg gave her a look, but neither said anything. The slamming of a door echoed down the corridor. Catherine let out a hiss, it was going to be a long, long night.

About twenty minutes later, Grissom made his entrance and gave them their assignments. He handed her a slip. "A d.b. over at a bodega on Seventeenth, Detective Curtis was already here, so Sara went with her." Catherine took the offered slip and forced a smile. She could have happily throttled Gilbert Grissom right then.

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The drive over to Seventeenth Street was unremarkable. She parked her Denali and ducked under the crime scene tape. The bodega was unremarkable. She would have never even given it a second glance had there not been a dead body lying on the concrete in front of it. Above said body were two familiar figures. The woman who had invaded Catherine's heart, Sara, and the other was the bane of Catherine's existence, Sofia. The detective was standing close to Sara, too damn close. Her hand was resting on Sara's shoulder. Catherine ground her teeth together. Sara wasn't stiffening up and jerking away, she allowed the touch. The same touch she would not have tolerated from Catherine.

Sara was looking through the results on her digital camera and Sofia was looking over her shoulder at them. "Three shots to the chest, in a straight line, this had to have been a drive by." Sofia shrugged, "I should call in the Gang Guys, they'll be able to tell us the who and the why."

Seeing her chance, Catherine smirked and walked over to the other two women. "Can't handle the heat, Curtis?" The taller woman glared at her. "Nice of you to join us, Catherine." She ignored Catherine's earlier comment and began to give her the specifics of the case. Her hand never moved from Sara's shoulder. "Vic's name is Derek Mendoza, he's local, his apartment is just across the street." She shone her light towards a run-down apartment complex. We have a few potential eyewitnesses, but they have the Know-Nothing Disease. Coroner's en route." She stepped away, pacing around the body, careful not to step in the large pool of blood. "There are some fresh tire tracks over here, they're wide, probably from an SUV."

Sara followed Sofia, her maglight on the ground. "We'll have to run it to be sure, but it's probably something big, an Escalade or Hummer, maybe." Catherine scowled at their backs. She was forming an acidy retort when it started.

It was as if someone had ripped her nightmare from her mind. There were three sharp cracks and squealing tires. Uniformed officers rushed around, screaming to each other. Someone tackled her to the ground, keeping her safe against the pavement. She watched the dark events unfold before her, like a twisted play.

Sofia bolted around. "SARA!" She grabbed the brunette and pulled her close, shielding her with her body. They both jerked, as if slapped and they crumpled slowly to the ground, together. When Catherine saw the blossom of blood on Sara's shirt, she let out a strangled cry.

The shooting stopped and Catherine realized that it wasn't her nightmare at all.

Sara rolled Sofia on her back. The blonde detective's crisp blue shirt was turning crimson with her blood. It pumped out of her chest like a grotesque fountain, spreading everywhere. Sara, pale as a ghost, pressed her hands to the fallen woman's chest. "No. Oh Sweet Jesus, No. No!" She bent close, "Don't do this. Don't leave me, Sofia. Please, God, don't die. Don't leave me, Baby."

Catherine watched, in horror, as Sara ran her hands across Sofia's cheek, wiping the foamy trickles of blood away from the detective's blue lips. "Please don't. I love you; please don't give up. Not now, please Baby, fight." Sofia only gasped and gurgled. She was fighting for her life, and losing badly.

Catherine could hear sirens in the distance, but she knew, she knew it was too late.

Sara begged and pleaded, but the blood kept flowing out from the gaping wound in Sofia Curtis's chest.

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The paramedics called it when they got to the scene. They didn't even try to resuscitate her. Catherine cursed them for that; they could have at least made an effort. Instead of loading her up on a gurney for the hospital, they zipped Detective Sofia Curtis up in a body bag.

They had been forced to tear Sara away from her. She sat on the curb now, arms around herself, shuddering. She looked completely shattered and alone. This had not been her nightmare, Catherine mused, it was Sara's. Sara's living nightmare.

She didn't know when it had happened. When had Sofia and Sara become lovers? She wound back through the past few months, looking for the evidence. Subtle touches, little smiles, secret sighs. How had she not noticed? She, a self-proclaimed expert of all things Sara, had missed something. She had missed Sara falling in love with another person. She'd missed her chance.

Catherine wound her way around crime scene tape, uniforms and detectives to where Sara sat. Shadows played over the pale and tear ravaged face, Sara's beautiful face. There was a smear of blood, Sofia's blood, on her right cheek. Catherine sat down beside her. "Hey." Sara didn't respond. Catherine didn't know if it was shock or if Sara just hadn't heard her. She looped her arm around the other woman's trembling shoulders. "It's going to be okay, Sara." Sara's chin quivered and her face fell; all of the walls were gone. Her voice sounded thick and strained as she spoke. More tears fell out of pain-darkened eyes. "It should have been me." Catherine's heart squeezed and she felt a tear of her own slip out. She pulled Sara close to her, putting the woman's face against her shoulder, letting her block out the world.

She finally had the woman she loved in her arms. She could hear and feel the muffled sobs.

Catherine had always thought that she would pay any price, do anything, to have Sara. She'd been wrong. She looked over at the coroner's van, the van that had Sofia's body in it. The price had been far to high.

Sara looked up at her, the sobs had subsided, for the moment, but the tears were still flowing out of her eyes. "Catherine?" Catherine smiled at her and pushed a strand of hair out of her face, "You're going to be okay, Sara. I promise." The price had been too high…and yet, here Sara was, in her arms. Sara was finally in her arms and she was never going to let her go.

Fin

Author's Note: Why yes. Yes, I am a little ray of sunshine.