A/N : Okay there !!
I wrote, and finished, this story in French a year ago. I tried many times to translate it, but my English skills aren't exactly good enough for having something good as a result :-p
So, yes, I wrote the story, but the awesome translation is from Danie, aka LSI. She's really doing ALL the hard job here, I'm just posting. I think I could never thank you enough for this, I'm so, so grateful!!
Pairing : GSR
Raiting : T
Disclaimer : 'CSI' and all its characters belong to Anthony Zuiker, CBS and Alliance Atlantis. No copyright infringement is intended.
Spoilers : Up to the end of Season 5 (the GSR wasn't canon when I wrote this fic )
SUMMARY : When a new serial killer comes to Vegas, Sara has no choice but to go back to her past… GSR, WIP
The first thing he felt when he woke up was a warm weight on his chest and a heavier weight in the area of his shoulder. He opened his eyes, feeling a little lost, not immediately recognizing his room. Which is to be expected since I'm not in my room. He turned his gaze to the woman lying next to him, her head pillowed on his shoulder and her hand resting on his chest. Memories of the past hours past returned, filling him with a strange, uncomfortable sensation. He had fallen prey to his impulses once again. It was supposed to be a simple dinner, he told himself, already regretting his actions. A simple dinner, some wine, and an enticing companion, and it had culminated in…well, this: Gil in a bed that wasn't his, having spent a rather energetic night. Not the first of such nights in the past two months.
The first time it happened, it was because he'd had too much to drink. So had she, for that matter. It was soon after Nick's kidnapping and they had found a tremendous release of tension in sex. But they'd quickly agreed that it meant nothing. It wasn't serious. And the next four times hadn't meant anything either.
He exhaled heavily and delicately removed her hand from his chest. He slipped from the bed, slowly and carefully so he wouldn't wake her, picked up his clothes and went to the bathroom for a shower and the hot sprays that would help him clear his head. As he was buttoning up his shirt a little later, an arm slipped around him from behind, startling him.
"Sofia! I thought you were still sleeping."
"The bed is much too cold without you in it."
He continued buttoning his shirt as an uneasy sensation swept through him. "About last night, I was, uh…"
She gave him a small smile and released him. "I know," she said softly. "It doesn't mean anything, certainly not marriage and half a dozen kids. We already talked about this."
Gil nodded, concentrating now on tying his shoelaces. "I have to go. I have to work in twelve hours and need to rest—"
She winked suggestively. "You've earned it."
He forced himself to return her smile despite a single-minded need be out of her apartment. She wasn't responsible for his discomfort. He was. What he was doing with her was opportunistic—nothing to be proud of.
She walked him to the door and planted a quick kiss on his lips. "I'll see you later?"
He nodded, said, "Bye," and rushed out, and didn't begin to relax until he was in his car on his way home.
Why the hell did I do this again? No, he had to be honest with himself. He had known what to expect when he accepted her dinner invitation, just as he'd known what he was doing two months before when he had invited her back to his place.
He wouldn't have initiated this relationship if she'd still been working for him, but it was no longer the case. Ecklie had reinstated his team and transferred Sofia back to days. The only reason they managed to see each other was because of their complementary work schedules. His nights off always preceded her days off, which meant that he hadn't rested much, and he needed to be rested for his shift tonight… Still, he had to admit that his night had been pleasant, but—
He didn't love her. And that bothered him.
He hated that he could be the sort of man who slept with one woman while fantasizing about another. The thought made his heart squeeze. He hardly dared consider what she'd think if she knew what he was doing with Sofia.
When she saw the look in her father's eyes that night, she knew that she was about to suffer his discipline.
She shouldn't have spent the afternoon with James and Patrick. She was aware of how vehemently her father opposed her association with these boys.
"Only bad girls run around with boys, and you, you can't be a bad girl. Do you hear?"
But how could she resist? James had dropped by after lunch, arriving in a frenzy, as usual, on his blue bicycle. 'Hey, Lya! Come on. Pat found a new place for our game!' She should have said no, told him that she had to help her mother clean the apartment, but she never could say 'no' to their game. Without thinking she had shouted to her mother that she was going out and straddled her own rusty bicycle to follow Jamy.
And, oh, she'd had so much fun! She always had fun with them. They were an inseparable trio: Lya, Pat, and Jamy. She had no idea how she'd ended up with Lya as a nickname since it didn't remotely resemble her real name, but she loved it as much as she loved the two boys who had given it to her.
Sara was aware of the risk she was taking by being with them, but she didn't care. With them, everything seemed simpler, more joyful. And they never commented on her bruises or her scratches. Only once had Pat lost his cool. It was the morning she had come to school with a black eye and a swollen wrist. Her wrist was so swollen that she feared it was once again broken. Her friend's face had darkened with an angry flush and he'd told her, "Your father deserves to die, Lya. He's nothing but scum." She had averted her eyes, humiliated, and asked that he never talk about it again.
Pat and Jamy were the best friends Sara had ever had, and she preferred their company to the company of other girls who were all 'bimbos' as Pat aptly called them. All they did at recess was make fun of Sara. They would call her 'blueface' because of her frequent contusions. In truth, their remarks didn't bother her. She was only eight years old, but already very mature. But she did know how to have fun and when she played the game with Pat and Jamy, she always had fun.
Oh, the game wasn't that original; it was simply a game of 'cop and robber', but to them, it was special. She especially enjoyed playing cop while her friends played criminals. It was very exciting, the make-believe high-speed chases, or discovering a crime scene. That was what they'd been playing that afternoon in the abandoned basement Pat had discovered when his basketball fell in a window well.
A very dusty Sara arrived home late for dinner. The somber atmosphere in the kitchen had immediately snuffed the joy from her, replacing it with hair-raising fear. Her father was leaning back against the refrigerator, his arms folded over his belly, waiting for her. His jaw was clenched, and when she looked into his eyes, she knew that this time would be very bad. She searched her mother's gaze. She was sitting, or rather slouching, in one of the kitchen chairs, and strangely, she appeared calm tonight. Her bottom lip was bleeding though and her right arm sported an ugly red mark, as though it had been violently grasped, which was likely the case.
Her mother's eyes didn't reassure her. They were empty, slightly glazed. She always trusted her mother more than her father, even if her punishments were occasionally brutal as well. But she was never as violent as her father. She would sometimes try to protect Sara by taking some of the beatings intended for her. Beatings were normal at her house. Sara wouldn't even try to avoid them. After all, parents always did what was best for their kids.
But tonight, her mother wouldn't take some of Sara's punishments. She was certain of it.
Swallowing hard, she looked at her father again.
"Where were you?" His tone was icy, full of tension.
"I was playing…outside," she answered in a small voice.
He slowly unfolded his arms. "You were with those boys again."
"Daddy…I…you know I…" She couldn't speak a full sentence to save herself. She watched as he made fists and instinctively took a step back.
"Sara, I warned you." His voice was louder, and she could hear the rage underneath his words.
He came at her like a raging bull; Sara turned and fled in the direction of the bathroom where she could lock herself in for a while at least. But he was faster and she felt his steel grip on her shoulder. He turned her abruptly and gave her a resounding slap, the kind that hurt the most. She felt her head fling back, and her body followed, hurling toward the wall. Just in time she put out her hands to avoid another head-on collision. But before she could pick herself up, she found herself in her father's angry grip again, his fist slamming into her abdomen, winding her. He kept her pinned to the wall as her small body slumped, gasping for breath.
"You disappoint me, Sara. You've become a bad girl and bad girls don't deserve better than this."
Beep, beep, beep, beep—
Sara's hand slammed down on the alarm clock. Damn clock; couldn't it have gone off a little earlier? She sat up in bed and dried the tears and sweat from her cheeks with a trembling hand. She hated these dreams; there was no worst way to start the day—or night in her case. As hard as she tried to bury these memories, they would always resurface in her dreams around the anniversary of her father's death or when she worked domestic abuse cases.
As she left the bed to start getting ready for work, she thought about the afternoon she revealed her secret to Grissom. She didn't regret telling him. Quite the opposite, in fact. Finally telling someone had been a relief of sorts. She'd never discussed her tumultuous past or the circumstances surrounding her father's death with anyone and over time, it had begun to consume her.
Grissom stopped ignoring her after that which had made her feel better as well. For two years—except for the time she was brought in to the station for driving under the influence—Grissom had mostly avoided her. Sara had tried to reason with herself, bury her feelings, but it was no use. She was in love with him, and she'd rather have him as a friend than not at all.
Once showered, dressed, and feeling human again, she drove to the lab. After Nick's horrific experience, Ecklie had agreed to reinstate their team. To Sara's surprise, Catherine had not rebelled against the decision which had inadvertently stripped her of her supervisory role. She had explained that while she'd found the experience beneficial, she preferred not being in a position of ultimate authority—especially when the shit hit the fan.
Nick had spent several days in the hospital, and had been in therapy ever since. He was still troubled, but overall he seemed to be doing much better. He hadn't lost his smile or his sense of humor, and Sara was happy to have him back. She enjoyed working with him and Warrick. Even during the most horrific cases, she could always count on them for a laugh.
But the most positive outcome of reinstating their team was that she no longer had to work with Sofia. Thank God! It wasn't that Sofia had ever done anything to earn Sara's animosity; still she had never been able to accept her. She didn't like to think it was only because she was a woman, although Sara had to admit that she finally understood how Catherine had felt when she had suddenly descended on them a few years back, stripping Catherine of her status as the only woman on the team. With Sofia, it was more than that. She was on the prowl and had made it clear where her interests lay. It still made Sara's blood boil, so she pushed the thought away as she walked into the break room where Nick, Warrick, and Greg were already slouched in their seats.
"Sara… Tell them it's true," said Greg in lieu of a greeting.
She smiled. "And hello to you too, Greg. I had a very pleasant day. Thank you for asking."
Warrick huffed, adding, "Doesn't look good for you, buddy."
Sara threw him a puzzled look. "What now, Greggo?"
"Uh,…" started Greg, a flush working itself into his cheeks. "It's only, uh…well—"
Nick chuckled as he came to his rescue. "As you probably know, Sara, given your interest in such things, the annual LVPD charity ball is in three weeks." He gave Greg a good natured slap on his back. "Rookie here was telling us that you were going with him this year."
Sara looked at him, partly exasperated, partly amused. "I'm sorry to crush your dreams, Greg, but as I've said every year for the last, oh, five years, 'no'." She headed for the coffeepot, adding, "I already told you I didn't care for these dressed-up affairs." She poured herself a cup of coffee, smiling at the razzing Greg was now getting from the guys.
"Go ahead, laugh," she heard him say. "You probably don't have dates either."
"Well, I do," Warrick replied. "Catherine made me promise to go with her. Seems she's had it with buying a new dress every year only to get dumped the night before the ball. She decided to entrust herself to me this year."
That little nugget of information earned Warrick some boisterous heckles.
"Nothing surprises me anymore," Greg remarked after a moment. "If Grissom could finally do something about his love life, I can believe anything."
Sara, whose back was still to the room, felt the blood run cold in her veins.
"What do mean Grissom did something about his love life?" she heard Nick ask. Yes, very good question.
"What? You didn't know?" Warrick returned.
Sara's fingers tensed around her coffee mug. What? What? Know what?
"He and Sofia crossed that line a couple of months ago. Of course, it's supposed to be a secret, and the rumor is that it's nothing serious, but you know when someone says—"
That was the sound of Sara's cup hitting the counter with too much force.
Silence filled the room as the guys remembered Sara's presence and probably realized their mistake. Catherine chose that moment to enter the room.
"Whoa! Is it me or could you cut the tension in here?"
Sara gripped the edge of the counter, her eyes slammed shut as she tried to regain her composure and keep the moisture out of her eyes. Calm down. Calm down, she kept telling herself, Greg and Warrick were probably just pulling our leg. But as much as she wanted to, she couldn't make herself believe it. His words continued to echo in her head… "They crossed that line two months ago."
"Sara…you okay?" Catherine asked from behind her, and she merely nodded, fearing that if she opened her mouth to speak she'd either vomit, scream or worse, break down in sobs.
She felt rather than saw Grissom come into the room at that moment, and was suddenly filled with rage. After five years of working with him, all he'd managed to do was hold her hand once or twice, yet he'd jumped the blonde after a mere six months!
"Hey, everybody," Grissom said in a lighthearted tone. "I hope you're all well rested because we have a big night ahead of us."
He was in a good mood, Sara thought. Did you have a pleasant day off, Grissom? came the sarcastic voice in her head. Oh, God. Turn around, Sara. Turn around before he starts asking questions.
She finally made herself face the room, though she kept her eyes downcast.
"Warrick and Greg, you get an armed robbery in an upscale clothing store," Grissom continued. "One of the clerks and a customer were killed." He handed them the assignment slip. "Catherine and Nick, you get a missing person. The guy's wife is very upset. Sara, you're with me. Murder in a downtown apartment."
A dizzying buzz filled Sara's skull. Why did he have to choose her as a partner? It wasn't as if they were short-staffed now. Her eyes rose briefly to meet his somewhat incredulous gaze, and then abruptly fell. "Okay," she said coldly before breezing past him and out of the room.
Grissom frowned as he watched Sara leave. Turning to the others, he focused on Catherine. She raised her arms in a manner that made it clear she was also in the dark where Sara was concerned. The others were on their feet, gathering papers and files, doggedly avoiding his gaze. What have they done, now?
Grissom sighed and left to join Sara in the hallway. "We're taking my car," was all he said.
Her attitude troubled him. She hadn't behaved that way with him in a very long time and he wondered what could have set her off this time, but he knew better than to ask. They drove to the crime scene in a tension filled silence, which persisted as they rode the elevator to the third floor apartment. Gil was relieved to see Brass.
"What have we got, Jim?"
"Jessica Lown, thirty-four years' old. Single, no kids. Her neighbor across the hall called it in. I'm on my way to talk to her. Your victim is in the bedroom."
Gil entered the apartment with Sara. The two officers guarding the scene led them to the bedroom.
"Did you touch anything?" Gil asked.
One of the officers shook his head. "No sir. Everything is as we found it."
He and Sara entered the room. "Hmm… how charming," Sara observed.
The young woman was lying supine in the middle of the bed. Her wrists were tied to a bed post. It was immediately apparent that she had been mutilated. Her eye sockets were bloody; so was the sheet covering her body.
They approached the bed, each taking a side. Sara began taking pictures of the body from different angles.
"First blush… The concentration of blood on the sheet suggests she was wounded in the abdominal area. Her ears were severed and…" she approached the headboard and shot a close-up of the woman's bound hands, "…the tip of her fingers. All, except the right index."
Grissom leaned over the body, frowning. "He removed her eyes." He shook his head. "We're dealing with another maniac."
"Hi. Sorry I'm late." David approached the victim and immediately went to work. "Based on rigor mortis, she's been dead at least twenty-four hours," he told them as Grissom and Sara moved around the room, continuing their investigation in silence.
They lifted some prints, but otherwise didn't have much to go on. The killer had been meticulous; they found no hair or footprints, no evidence—other than the body, of course—that anyone else had been in the room.
Gil returned to the bed and carefully slipped the sheet down over the woman's body to reveal two bloody wounds on her abdomen, probably caused by a knife or other sharp object. He continued to slip the sheet down the body until—
"Sara. I think I found the murder weapon."
A kitchen knife. The killer had placed it next to the victim's body on the mattress. Sara rushed over and snapped a couple of pictures, allowing Grissom to lift the knife and dust it for prints, but it was clean.
They eventually left the bedroom to process the rest of the apartment, but there too, they came up empty. They stepped out to find Brass who'd just completed his interviews with the victim's closest neighbors.
"The woman who called it in is Mrs. Kiggle," Brass told them. "Old lady; Jessica would come by late every afternoon to take her out for a walk. When she didn't show tonight, Mrs. Kiggle went to see what was keeping her. She knocked, got no answer, so she used her key to let herself in and well, found the body. She's in choc."
"We'll need her prints."
Sara looked at Brass. "Did you find out anything from the other neighbors? Anyone hear strange noises?..."
Brass shook his head. "Negative. They're all members of the senior's club and the hard of hearing committee. They must have all been sleeping without their hearing aids because no one heard anything."
Sighing, Sara went to find Mrs. Kiggle to get her fingerprints.
Back at the lab, they spread out the little evidence they'd collected and examined each piece closely.
"I hate it when killers are too careful," Sara said after a while. "We don't have much to go on."
"And that's when I find it interesting. It forces us to be doubly alert in order to get to the truth. It makes the job more…thrilling."
He lifted his eyes to her and smiled, and while she held his gaze, her dark and cold mask didn't crack. His smile died a slow, painful death. Perhaps he shouldn't have chosen Sara to work with today instead of Warrick or Nick. But he hadn't been able to resist, and he strongly suspected it was because of this guilt eating at him. He was well aware that what he was doing with Sofia wasn't fair, not to him, nor to Sara—
He stiffened as a hint of suspicion, a sickening suspicion, entered his mind. Is it possible that Sara knows?
His phone rang and he quickly answered. After hanging up he said to Sara, "Doc is ready for us."
They left together for the morgue, but as they neared the reception desk, Sara stopped, stone cold. Gil's gaze followed hers. She was gawking at a tall, fair-haired man he would have guessed to be around her age, and as the man turned his head in their direction and he saw Sara, a slow smile spread across his lips.
"Hey, Lya, you don't mess around," he shot teasingly. "You always end up working in the best labs."
Stunned, Gil looked at Sara. To his dismay she was beaming at the man.
"Jamy…" She spoke his name softly, reverently almost, and before Gil could process what was happening, she had hastily thrown herself into the man's arms.
"Hi, baby. I missed you, too."
A/N : There's ten more chapters to go from here. I would REALLY love to know your thoughts about it :)
If you liked it and want more, please don't hesitate to thanks LSI !! She's the one sending me the translated chapters! ;-)