A/N: This idea intrigued me very much when it came to me. I was listening to the ten o'clock news on TV one night and this interested me- a girl at a middle school told the police she was almost raped because she was going to have a quick rendezvous with her boyfriend in the bathroom and she was embarrassed. The thought of someone underage manipulating older people with the full knowledge of what they were doing interested me. I threw in the GSR because since Grissom has been gone I've been desperately craving it! In this story their relationship is already established. Enjoy!
Most teenage girls had the basics of adolescent survival on their minds- look pretty, smile (the adults love that), and never make eye-contact with the bitch that stole your boyfriend. But Hannah Williams was different. She had everything figured out- from relationships to divorce, to what the guys liked to what the men liked, she knew exactly what she was doing. She never knew being so bad could feel so good.
She was 13-years-old and had a good life. Her parents were still together and they made enough money to live well. Hannah had anything she could ever hope for and more, which begged the question how did she end up in the police station interrogation room? She wanted excitement, that was why.
Sara Sidle had come into work that morning with the intention of nailing little Hannah's rapist to the ground. But she soon discovered that Hannah wasn't necessarily the victim. She never thought the rapist would be the one who had been victimized. It turned out Hannah had made a hobby of manipulating older men, by older even 18 or 19, she herself still being so young. She would trick the unsuspecting men, wait until they were drunk and then have consensual intercourse, later reporting it to the police as rape. The tricky part was that since she was still underage, it was still technically statutory rape.
Sara had interviewed all the men with Brass and was surprised to find they had absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the nights Hannah said they supposedly had raped her. At first Sara thought they were lying- they always did, but then the results from the SART exam at the hospital came back and confirmed they were telling the truth. They showed no signs of rape. Sex, but not rape.
So now Sara was a little more than pissed. She had been tricked this way before and she had vowed she wouldn't be gullible and fall for the same fake sob story again. But there was that one part of her deep down that always sympathized with the girls that she interviewed. She knew how they felt and she knew they were scared, and she felt so proud of them for stepping up and saying something about it that she didn't stop to think they were lying to her.
Hannah Williams was an excellent manipulator and a great actress at that. She had the entire package: tears, puffy eyes, red cheeks, runny nose, hitched voice- anyone would have thought she was telling the truth. Who wouldn't believe a little girl who said she had been raped?
But the evidence spoke for itself, and now Sara was back in the interrogation room sitting across from Hannah herself.
"Hi Sara," Hannah greeted her softly, almost pitifully. Sara had to remind herself that she was a liar, not a victim.
"Good job," Sara simply replied.
Hannah looked dumbfounded. "What?"
"This was a nice little plan you had, before we trashed it," Sara told her with the coldest, most venomous hint to her tone. "You're a great manipulator."
"Sara, what are you talking about?" Hannah frowned, her face crinkling as she did so. "I don't know what you're talking about, those men raped me."
"I don't think so, Hannah," Sara told her, opening a file- her ever-so trusty file that never lied OR used her- and sliding a photograph in front of herself on the table. "These are the results from your SART exam."
"Why are you showing me these?" Hannah whispered, looking up at Sara with tear-stained eyes. "I don't want to see them! Why are you making me do this again?"
Sara tensed up, repeating the same message in her mind: Don't believe her, she's lying. No matter how real it looks, she's lying to you. "Cut it out, Hannah," Sara finally practically snapped at the girl. "I know you're lying. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. And you're not going to fool me twice."
That seemed to shut her up.
"These test results show that there was evidence of sex but not rape," Sara told her.
"I'm underage, it's statutory rape," Hannah immediately, robotically replied.
"You see, that's where things get interesting," Sara said, taking the paper back. "You manipulated those men, just like you manipulated me into believing you. You got them drunk until they couldn't even tie their shoes anymore and then you had sex with them, didn't you?"
Hannah was silent before speaking. "They liked it."
"I'm sure they did," Sara said, "And then you went to the police and reported it as rape. Smart girl." Hannah shot her a small devilish smile. "But what I don't understand is how you could let people use your body like that. You only get one chance in this life, Hannah," Sara told her, her tone growing a bit softer, "Don't play the odds like that, Hannah."
Hannah straightened up in her chair, seeming to grow about two or three inches as she did so, leaning forward on the table toward Sara. "Look, cut the crap." It seemed now she was a totally different person. "Don't baby me here."
"Okay," Sara simply said. Now they were getting somewhere.
"Look, I hit puberty in fifth grade," Hannah said, "Started experimenting with Tampax and Always. Found my parent's stash of Trojans between the mattresses. I know how this works."
"That may be Hannah, but you're still only a child," Sara told her.
"I'm not a child! I'm 13! I'm not a little girl anymore!" Hannah protested, "I don't want to be babied."
"My only question now is why did you do this?" Sara asked her. "You could've done anything else. You could've just enjoyed your childhood like a normal teenager, go out to the movies with your friends on the weekends, chase some cute guy around. Instead you chose this, and now you're really in trouble."
Hannah didn't seem the least bit interested or worried for that matter as she played with a loose thread on her t-shirt. "How is your sex life, Ms. Sidle?" she asked out of the blue.
Sara was completely thrown off-guard. Actually, everyone was. The cop in the corner of the room blinked for the first time in what seemed like forever and behind the one-way glass Grissom felt like he had just been punched in the gut.
When Sara didn't respond, Hannah continued, "I'm taking that as an indication that you haven't had sex in a while," she said, an evil grin creeping around the corners of her mouth, "How long has it been? Three months? Four months? Five months? Six months?" Hannah asked, incredulous. "Wow. How old are you? 30-something? You're a small woman for your age. You're tall but you don't have much on you, you know that? Men like baggage, it's a fact."
"Hannah," Sara started, shaking her head, "I feel really sorry for you if this is the way you've grown up."
"Oh?" Hannah asked, tilting her head in curiosity. "How so?"
"Thinking that you have to impress people with your looks and your body," Sara said, "I feel really sorry for you if that's the way you've lived your life. It sort of makes me understand why you chose to do something this stupid. I don't know of anyone who would willingly sell their body like that other than a hooker."
"Were you raped, Ms. Sidle?" Hannah then asked. The room grew silent, Hannah saw that Sara's eyes darkened and widened a bit with astonishment. Through the two-way glass Grissom was getting a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. The silence confirmed Hannah's suspicion. "How old were you?" she asked the older woman.
"17," Sara said before she could stop herself. Why was she answering her question, she wondered? This wasn't something that was supposed to get out. Ever.
"Did you know him?" Hannah asked, eyeing Sara closely. "Were you friends?"
"He was a teacher," Sara said, "But this isn't about me." She was playing the mind game and Sara wasn't going to bite.
"How did it happen?" Hannah asked, raising an eyebrow as she leaned back in her chair almost as if she was getting comfortable.
Sara opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Turning around, she looked at the one-way mirror in the room. She knew Grissom was behind the glass. She couldn't see him, but she could feel his eyes staring at hers. And they were.
Turning back to face Hannah, Sara continued. "It was the day before a seminar a famous entomologist was hosting at my college campus, he had been traveling around to conduct them."
"And…" Hannah prompted with her hands.
Sara was starting to get irritated at the girl. She took the subject of rape so lightly, and that angered Sara. Her personal experience was terrifying and she could still remember every little detail- what time the clock said on the wall as she rolled her head to the side pinned underneath his weight, what type of bird was outside on the tree branch staring at them through the window, the brand of chewing tobacco he kept spitting out when he was getting ready for her. It was just like the criminals she dealt with everyday, the remorseless scum of the earth. "And I was heading back to my dorm room at night," she said, "I had been in the library studying for a test later that week."
Behind the glass, Grissom's entire face had softened. Oh Sara… he just wanted to take her into his arms and never let go of her, but he couldn't. He didn't want to hear what she had to say but at the same time he was silently pleading for her to continue. He doubted she had ever gotten the chance to talk about it and now… it wasn't the best setting or time but she was talking and she needed to get it out.
Hannah remained silent, staring at Sara as she waited for her to continue.
"And… I was walking down the hallway past the classrooms, they always locked the doors up at about 6 pm every night," Sara recollected. She could remember the sterile smell in the hallways- she knew the janitor and he was meticulous in cleaning the floors and windows with a cleaner that smelt like Windex mixed with a heavy portion of death.
"I didn't even know anyone was in there. Sometimes the teachers would let some of the students into the classrooms to study and other things but you had to ask to get the key first. Anyways…" Sara grew silent for a few moments before hesitantly continuing. She had to remind herself she was in the police station, in the interrogation room with a 13 year old girl that was pushing every last one of her buttons. Why was she continuing, she thought? She could stop, but… she didn't. Her lips kept moving as she tried to stop herself from talking and keep her emotions in check at the same time. "The door to his classroom opened, and he asked me if I could help him with something real quick. He said that I forgot to put something on one of my assignments… and, Sara Sidle, being the perfectionist she is, couldn't afford to let that happen so she agreed."
Grissom was keeping his eyes trained on Sara, concern and hurt and pain and sadness etched on his face.
"You do realize that happens all the time, right?" Hannah's voice broke the silence in the room, ripping the record of tension and pain in the room.
"What?" Sara barely found her voice to respond.
"What happened to you, it happens all the time," Hannah repeated, staring at her fingernails like Sara had always seen Catherine do. "You hear about it in the news all the time. I'm sick of hearing about it, actually," she mused, "It gets boring. Everyone looking for pity when it happens all the time, it's just like a little kid who whines about getting called some stupid name for being gay. It happens all the time. People just need to stop whining and move on."
Even Grissom now wanted to slap Hannah in the face, 13 years old or not. Who raised this kid?
"I'm 13 years old and I've figured this out," Hannah said, "You're older than me. Just face it."
Grissom didn't want Sara being exposed to this anymore. This girl was attacking her now and that was the last thing she needed. Opening the door to the interrogation room, he asked the officer in the room, "Officer, can you escort her out of here?" he motioned to Hannah and shot the girl a glare.
"Come on," the officer told her, reaching over and gently but firmly grabbing Hannah's arm, leading her out of her chair. Before she left, however, she turned and looked over at Sara. "I was wrong," she told her. "23 years. At least, 23 years since you've last been laid." With that she left.
When the room was empty except for Sara and Grissom, he looked down at her with worried eyes. She hadn't said anything for a few minutes and it was starting to frighten him. Clearing his throat to try and get her attention, he quietly knelt down beside her so as not to scare her. He knew she probably wasn't in the best place right now mentally. "Sara?" he asked her, "Honey?"
And as if Grissom had pulled the trigger Sara immediately let out a sob she had been holding back for about thirty minutes now. Turning around she blindly threw herself into Grissom's arms, crying against his chest. "I swear Grissom, I was going to tell you," she whispered.
Was that what all this was about? Grissom thought, tenderly wrapping his arms around her shoulders. "Sara, I'm not mad at you," he whispered to her, "I'm concerned, honey. I didn't know that you had to deal with all of that." What cut him to the core especially was the fact that it happened right before the seminar he held at Harvard, and he had had no idea anything was wrong that day. "And Hannah was just a brat," Grissom thought, trying to restrain himself from using any other term, "She didn't know what she was talking about. You're not whining about anything, Sara," he whispered, "And it wasn't your fault."
That just seemed to make Sara cry even more as they sat together on the floor in the interrogation room. Finally, when she started tiring herself out enough to form a complete sentence again, she spoke. "After it happened I just went back to my dorm room and took a shower... kind of ironic, huh?" she asked. "I was trying to become a CSI and I washed away all the evidence of a crime."
"It's understandable, sweetheart," Grissom whispered, "What happened then?"
"I cried myself to sleep," Sara whispered, "And… then the next morning I went to your seminar."
"I'm sorry that I didn't notice anything was wrong," Grissom mumbled. "I can be blind sometimes," he mused, "Although… it did take me six years to see the light, didn't it?" he asked her, gently brushing his thumb against her cheek.
Sara was wondering why she was being so open, but she continued. "I threw the clothes in one of the dumpsters behind the school," she told him, "And… I guess you could tell I was running low in the wardrobe department. I went to class that day dressed like a hobo," she offered a weak laugh.
Grissom remembered the outfit- she had been wearing a rather tattered and worn-looking pair of jeans that were a little too big for her but looked comfortable. She was also wearing a t-shirt from Walter's Auto Repair if he remembered correctly. She had the most fascinating collection of vintage t-shirts.
And then he remembered something he hadn't paid much attention to that day- she insisted on wearing some wrist guards throughout the entire lesson, even after the seminar was finished and he and Sara had gotten to talking. He had asked her about them and she said she was wearing them for tennis later and he didn't think anything strange of it even though he knew Sara didn't look like the athletic type.
Then Jeffrey, his faithful tarantula had bit her and when he was cleaning the bite he stumbled upon some rather nasty-looking bruises on her arms and around her wrists that were creeping out from under her wrist guards. He didn't ask her about them, it wasn't his business anyway and he figured she must've gotten hurt playing tennis. Even though he knew she didn't play tennis.
He had just been too intoxicated with her at the moment to stop and think.
"I saw bruises," Grissom whispered, looking down at Sara with pained eyes, "Oh Sara," he whispered, squeezing her body a little tighter, "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay," Sara whispered. She didn't know why, but she wasn't crying anymore and she didn't feel like crying again. The warmth from his body was comforting her and soothing every ache in her entire body, mental and physical. "Can we just go home now?" she asked him, looking up at him, hopeful.
"Of course," he told her, scooping her up into his arms before catching himself. "Sorry," he said, putting her back down on her feet. "I suppose I can't carry you out of here myself, can I?"
"Unfortunately no," Sara told him, shooting him a teasing smile, "That would be a little awkward for everyone."
"Alright, then, Ms. Sidle," Grissom said, opening the door to the room for her, "After you."
"Why thank you," Sara told him with a smile, walking out the door and waiting for him to follow.
"I have to say," Grissom said, appearing at her side as they headed down the hallway. "This relationship-thing is a lot easier than I expected it to be."
"Yeah, you're pretty good at it," Sara grinned.
"I had some practice while I was coming to my senses," Grissom said. "A few years."
"23 to be exact."