Disclaimer: CSI and its characters belong to CBS, Anthony Zuiker and Alliance Atlantis. No copyright infringement is intended.

Summary: Saras world is slowly falling apart and Ecklie wants nothing more than to get her out of his lab. Can a trust building seminar with Catherine save her job and her life? CathSaraFriendship

Authors Note: This is my first fanfiction ever. I just got bored today and thought – why not. As you may notice English isn't my first language. So please ignore my mistakes. If you can't do that you could volunteer as my beta ;-)

Chapter 1

"You did what?!" Sara couldn't believe her ears. He couldn't be serious about that. Well, it was Ecklie - of course he was serious about it. But Sara wasn't one to go down without a fight. "And why the hell would you do that? We get along perfectly well. There's no need to waste your precious lab-budget like that!" She was mad. She and Catherine may not be the best friends but since their famous big argument which got Sara suspended lay over a year back and since then they really got along. They still have arguments every now and then, but who hasn't. Her relationship with Ecklie was a completely different matter. Ever since Grissom refused to fire her, the assistant lab director was watching her every step, always waiting und hoping for a mistake so that he could finally get rid of her. Until today he wasn't successful.

"Yeah, sure. You two are the best friends!" came Ecklies sarcastic remark. Right now he wanted nothing more than to provoke her. He tried that a lot lately but unfortunately without success. Sara Sidle knew very well that if she lost her temper with him again her days as a CSI would be over - and Ecklie wanted nothing more than that. He knew that sooner or later she would do something that would damage the reputation of the lab and he couldn't let it get so far. The only problem was that she hardly reacted to him anymore. So when he got that mail a few weeks back he saw his chance and an idea started to form in his mind. If he couldn't get her to blow up without breaking the rules himself, Catherine sure could. They were like fire and ice and just because there weren't any big arguments lately, didn't mean that they got over their differences. Actually Ecklie was sure they didn't.

So his plan was to make Sara do something she really hated -talking about herself -and that with someone she didn't like. And the „Trust Seminar" as it was called in the advertisement was the perfect opportunity. Sara had to spend a whole week together with Catherine in a small hotel where nothing else could be find for miles than trees, a river and a personal psychologist who will try to workout their differences. If she refuses to go, he could fire her for insubordination, and if she will go there with Catherine she will loose her temper sooner or later and he can than fire her for that. It was a perfect plan to finally get rid of „Grissoms pet".

He already made all the arrangements. All that was left now was to tell the two participants that they will leave in 3 days for a little „vacation" to Louisiana. Ecklie figured he would start with Sara so could give her the pleasure to tell Catherine herself. And here they were. And Sara was already pissed. Oh, how much he enjoyed it when his plans worked.

„We are maybe not best friends, but I don't recall that as a part of the job description. We are professional on the job and that's all that matters." Sara knew that she was close to physically attack that little rat in front of her and punch that smug grin of his face. She also knew that that was exactly what he wanted. He wanted to provoke her with this. She somehow managed to avoid him over the last weeks and months. She wasn't in the mood for a fight. Actually she wasn't in the mood for anything. All she felt lately was depressed. And Grissom wasn't helping at all. Considering the fact, that her relationship with Catherine really improved the last year, she sometimes played with the thought to open up to her. Of course not completely but at least a bit. To finally have someone to talk to. Maybe that seminar was a chance after all. What pissed her off about it was that Ecklie just did it to get rid of her. And the worst thing was that he pulled Catherine in the middle of his personal war. And Sara was sure that her blonde coworker would be anything but happy to leave Vegas and her daughter for a week on such short notice. Which would result in Catherine being pissed at her and therefore Ecklies plan is likely to succeed.

Ecklie still sat behind his desk with his smug grin. „Well, you're right. It's not. But there are studies that prove that an improved personal relationship with the people you work with leads to better teamwork and therefore better solve rates. And you know, I just want the best for the lab." Sara had to roll her eyes on that comment. That was typically Ecklie. Always hiding behind his 'best-for-the-lab' excuse. But she new that fighting was pointless. He already made his decision. If she wanted to keep her job she had to make the best of it. So instead of a snappy remark Ecklie just got a sigh and a mumbled whatever. With that Sara turned around, the file the assistant lab director just gave her with all the information about their little trip in hand.

Well, that wasn't the reaction Ecklie expected, but he had one joker left. „One more thing, Sidle. Tell Catherine when you see her. I'm kind of busy right now." Without another word Sara left the office and slammed the door shut behind her. Ecklie just smiled to himself, pleased with his work, and returned to the paperwork that was lying in front of him. Soon all his problems would be solved.

Now Sara was really pissed. Telling Catherine that she had to go to a trust building seminar with her of all people was nothing she was looking forward to it. Especially not since Sara was obvious the reason they had to go there. But she wanted to tell her coworker the truth from the beginning. In the worst case all this could end with Catherine mad as hell and Sara being fired. In that case she could leave Vegas and would never have to face Catherine, Grissom or Ecklie for that matter. She didn't really care right now. Less than thrilled she went looking for her blonde coworker.

After checking all the labs, Sara finally ended in the breakroom, after Wendy told her that Catherine was out in the field. Actually everyone but her was out in the field, due to the fact that she again has maxed out on overtime this month and was now not allowed to do field work. Sara didn't even have paperwork she could do. Stuck in the lab with nothing to do, she grabbed a cup of coffee and headed for the couch, starting to think about was the next week would do to her life…if Catherine wouldn't kill her after hearing about the trip.

After two hours of coffee and thinking about the worst scenarios that could happen, Sara was anything but looking forward to that seminar. She knew how fucked up her life was and after what happened with Grissom she realized once again that people will just be disgusted and turn away from her when they know the truth about her past. It was always like that. So, should she risk the more or less stable relationship she had with Catherine and may loose the last respect the blonde had for her? Sara didn't know. All the thinking just confused her. But she made a decision: If the week won't work out and if Catherine would turn her back on her, too, than she would finally give up. She would leave Vegas. Sara doubted that anyone would miss her anyway. After Grissom broke up with her she distanced herself more and more from her friends. And now there was hardly anything left of her life. That is if you can call working, drinking and sleeping a life.


AN: So, what do you guys think?