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.
Spoiler Warning: As a missing scene ficlet, this story has MAJOR spoilers for Episodes 07x01 and 07x02 Built to Kill Parts I and II. If you've yet to see said episodes and do not wish to be spoiled, please stop reading.
Rated T for Teen: Strong content and a bit of off-color language.
Author's Note: This episode could have been another Crash and Burn, but they showed so very little interaction between Sara and Catherine. This is the scene that never was.
What She Didn't Say
A Missing Scene from
Built to Kill Part II
Of all the CSIs in all the city, she had called Sara. It had been the logical choice, Sara was the only other woman on the night shift and Catherine didn't know any of the day shift CSIs that well. The final choice had been between Gil and Sara. Sara's second x-gene had won out in the end. That was what Catherine told herself, at least.
Sara hadn't asked any questions or made any excuses, she had just done her job - quickly, efficiently and discreetly - just as Catherine had known she would. For that she was grateful. Even now, sitting in the locker room, gathering her things to go pick up Lindsey from dance rehearsal, she was grateful for Sara's tactful handling of the case.
Sara's shadow fell across her and Catherine looked up. Light from the hallway spilled around her slender form, casting a halo around her features. "Catherine." There was something in her voice, was it pity? Catherine stiffened, she didn't want Sara Sidle's pity. "What?" Her voice cut through the room like a dull razor, burning and oozing infection. It was the bitchy sneer that she often fell into using with the younger woman. At first, she thought that Sara would leave.
"Don't." Catherine turned her upper body around on the bench to face the other woman, gearing up for a fight. "Don't what?" Her muscles tensed and her eyes narrowed, ready for anything. "Don't act like this. It won't make this go away." Sara didn't specify what 'this' was, but it was obvious. Catherine ran her hands through her limp hair. "Save the speech, Sara. You don't know what I'm feeling, you've got no idea what I'm going through. I'm not a victim for you to handle."
There was a moment of silence, the only sound was Sara's sharp inhalation of breath. Catherine thought that she would leave, was sure of it.
"Empty, hollowed out; you feel like he reached inside of you and ripped something out. There's a razor fine line of fear tainting all of your movements. Every time you turn around, any time you're in a crowd, you wonder. Even now, when you're safe, there's this nagging feeling that keeps you tense. There's this mix inside of you, emotions and feelings that spill together and churn in the pit of your stomach. Anger, at him for what he did and at yourself for letting it happen. Shame, like it's all your fault. You're a CSI you should have seen the signs, you should have done something. Mostly, though, you feel dirty, violated, like you'll never be clean again."
Sara's arms were clasped around her, and if Catherine didn't know any better, she would have sworn the other woman was trembling. Though they were cast in shadow, she could tell that Sara's dark eyes were wide, dark and unfocused.
"Even after we catch the fucker that did this to you, and we will, I swear we will." Sara shook her head, "You'll remember; the pain will still be there. You'll always have this little void in you where the memory eats at you." She sighed, "You don't have to remember the actual act, your mind and subconscious will fill in the gaps for you. You'll wake up, scared to death, and have to reassure yourself that you're at home, in your own bed, alone. There will be nightmares, replaying those first horrible moments when you woke up and realized what had happened. There will be vivid nightmares where your mind conjures up what might have happened to you. It'll be just like a memory coming to the surface every time, only you won't know if it's right or not."
Sara sighed, "From now on, every single time you catch a rape case, it will come back to you. The sickening memories, embarrassment, the feeling of filth on your skin. You'll want, no you'll need to close that case and the case after that. Every time you throw another rapist behind bars, you'll get a tiny bit of satisfaction in knowing that he's off the street. Every time you hear a victim's story, you'll feel nauseous. Sometimes it will fade away for a while, and you'll think you've gotten over it. Then one night it will hit you again." Sara stepped into the room and began to open her locker, but she kept speaking as her hands moved.
"You'll be uncomfortable around men for a while. Hell you'll be uncomfortable, period. You can try to forget it, Cat, drown it with alcohol, burn it away with the drugs, prescription or otherwise, of your choice, bury it under work, but it's still there, festering under the surface."
She turned to face her. Sara's face was stoic, almost frighteningly placid and blank. "Even after the case closes, when the perp is in jail, he can still win. Don't let him." She handed Catherine a worn business card, that she'd had in her locker. "Call Rachel, her number's on the back, she'll understand." With that, Sara closed her locker, slid the lock in place, and walked away.
Dazed, that's what Catherine was shocked into complacency. She looked over the faded and bent card in her hands. It had obviously seen a few hard miles. Her fingers ran over the simple words on front. The Women's Rape Crisis Center of America. She flipped it around and on the back there were four numbers, an extension, scrawled down.
Something, it could have been sobs, crawled up the back of her throat. One thought ran rampant through her mind. How the hell did Sara know? What had just happened? She ran her hands through her hair again and again, and held her head in her hands, massaging her temples. What the hell had just happened? Sara Sidle had cut to the very heart of matters, had cut into Catherine's heart, with her words. Her knowledge, her wisdom could have only been hard-won through…
The realization, horrible and sickening, came to her slowly, like a dingy fog rolling in. It all came to what Sara hadn't said. What she, herself, hadn't said.
Catherine knew that she had to go get Lindsey. She had a million things to do and no time to do them in, yet she sat there for a moment more, utterly lost. Her fingers ran over and over the card and her mind ran Sara's words in a loop.
The truth of the matter was in what they didn't say.
Sara had been raped and pending Hodge's spermicide results, it looked like she hadn't.