Disclaimer: I own nothing
Catherine decided to head into work half an hour early tonight in the hopes of finding the notebook's owner before the start of shift so she wouldn't have it hanging over her head all night while she worked.
After dropping her things off in her office she headed to the break room for a cup of coffee.
"Evenin' Cath," Warrick greeted as Catherine walked in. Nick, who was sitting across from him at the table reading a newspaper, offered her a quick wave.
Catherine smiled as she poured herself a cup of coffee before joining them at the table, setting the notebook next to her mug. "Hey boys, how's it going?"
"Not bad," Nick replied then spied the composition book. "Whatcha got there? Trying to write a book or something?"
The blonde chuckled. "No, nothing like that, actually I was hoping maybe one of you guys could help me." She held up the book and offered it to them. Nick took it. "Does this look familiar to either of you? I found it in the locker room a few nights ago and I'm pretty sure it's someone's diary or something based on what's written in there."
Nick automatically set the book down as if it had just suddenly spontaneously combusted. "You read someone's journal?"
Warrick let out long even whistle before pushing the notebook back to her with one finger. "Dang Catherine, why'd you do that? That ain't cool."
Catherine looked taken aback. "It's not like I knew before I opened the damn thing that it was a journal!" She scoffed. "God, thanks for not freaking out on me right away you guys."
"Sorry," Nick muttered apologetically and quickly got up to busy himself at the counter.
Warrick sighed and squeezed Catherine's hand reassuringly from across the table. "We didn't mean it like that. Look, we can help you find whoever this thing belongs to ok? We'll ask around."
Catherine looked from Warrick, to Nick, then back again. "You realize you just volunteered Nick to help without even asking, right?"
"It's no biggie, Nicky will do whatever I tell him to if he ever wants to get that copy of the new Grand Theft Auto game I'm offerin him."
The Texan tossed a crumbled up paper towel at the other man's head before snickering. "Man, it'd be easier for me to just go out and buy my own copy than jump through half the hoops you got me goin through."
"Whatever," Warrick punched him on the arm lightly as he stood up. He turned back to Catherine. "Don't worry bout it Cath, we got it covered."
"Thanks guys." Catherine smiled as she watched them walk out while half-heartedly arguing with each other.
The blonde sat sipping her coffee for the next 15 minutes. She waved politely to some of the CSI's she worked with back when she was Swing-Shift supervisor as they passed by at the end of their shift. It was almost 10 minutes before the night shift was set to begin when Sara walked in.
"Hey Sara," Catherine decided to play nice despite their last falling-out.
"Hey," Sara smiled politely. It looked like she had the same idea as Catherine. Some days it was just easier to pretend to be nice than to get emotional and earn yourself a nice migraine at the end of the day.
"Oh Sara, before I forget, do you know who this belongs to?" She held up the notebook and as Sara's brown eyes connected with it she immediately looked happier than she had the past few days.
Catherine paused. "Your-journal?" She stood in disbelief as the brunette crossed the room in 3 strides and all but ripped the notebook out of her hands.
Sara flipped through all the pages as if to bring back whatever memories it harbored for her. "Where'd you find it?!" She questioned after a moment.
"Uh, in the locker room last week. I opened it to see—"
"You what?! You opened it?!" The brunette's eyes nearly could have popped out of their sockets at hearing this.
"I had to! I mean, I didn't have to! I just thought that there was a name or something inside. I'm sorry."
"You had no right to do that Catherine! No right! This is low, even for you."
Catherine's mouth fell open in disbelief and her hands went to her hips because if they didn't go somewhere they might have ended up wrapped around Sara's neck in a second.
"Whoa, I was trying to help. If anything you have no right to be biting my head off! I could've just left the damn thing lying on the ground to get thrown away. Or worse; be read by Hodges! And judging by what I read the garbage option would've been safer!"
Sara looked hurt. She clutched the notebook to her as if her life depended on it.
"I hate you so much right now Catherine." Sara muttered through gritted teeth. She was trying to hold back from just completely losing it and lashing out at the other woman.
'How much had she read?' The thought rang in her head like a gunshot.
"Good!" Catherine shouted. "New material for your diary!"
"Go to hell,"
Just as Catherine opened her mouth to retort a familiar voice interrupted.
"Catherine! Sara! My office NOW!"
Both women turned slowly to find Grissom standing in the doorway with about half the lab watching their little display through the glass, including Nick and Warrick, who ran off in opposite directions the second the women turned around.
'Great,' Catherine cursed under her breath as she reluctantly followed Gil into his office, Sara right behind them.
"Well?" Grissom asked simply once they were all seated.
"Well what?" Catherine spat.
"What is it this time ladies? You aren't assigned a case together tonight, so it can't possibly be that. No promotions to squabble over. So what in God's name has you two practically at each other's throats for the whole lab to see?!"
Catherine shot Sara a death glare, indicating that she could answer.
"Catherine read my journal." Sara instantly regretted how childish the declaration had sounded. She bit the inside of her cheek and tried again. "I mean, I have a journal, I lost it a few days ago, and apparently Ms. Willows found it and decided to do a little light reading." The brunette tightened her already white-knuckled grip on the notebook in her lap.
Gil turned calmly to the blonde. "Is that true Catherine?"
"No, Gil, what happened was that I simply opened the notebook to see if the owner had written their name in it." She gazed at Sara from the corner of her eye. "Like any normal person would..."
Sara tried to protest but Gil held up a hand.
"I understand that, but did you read anything other than the cover page?"
"…Yes…" Catherine felt a pang of guilt brought on by his simple question, and if Grissom could make you feel guilty about something, you knew you had royally screwed up.
Gil took off his glasses, rubbed the bridge of his nose, and sighed.
"Ladies, I don't know what to do with you." He sounded like a torn father. "I can't have you two fighting every other week over minor indiscretions—"
"Just a minute Sara, I'm not saying your private musings are insignificant. I'm just saying that you two need to grow up and work your problems out like adults."
Catherine crossed her arms defiantly and was tempted to stick her tongue out at Sara to add to the effect but she reasoned that would've been beyond stupid.
"Sara," Grissom eyed her seriously first. "This isn't Junior High, and you certainly don't need to be bringing your diary into work with you. It's just unprofessional. I would normally say, do what you wish with that sort of thing but it's obvious you can't keep track of these things. Catherine was just using common sense to try to help and you use that as an excuse to fight. That will not be tolerated in this department."
"So what does that mean?" Sara muttered, already expecting the worst.
"It means, you have a lot of personal days Sara and I suggest you take a few to cool off. As for you Catherine, go home tonight but I want you back here first thing tomorrow night. Both of you understand?"
Despite her stubbornness Catherine protested. "Gil, it's really not necessary for you to suspend Sara. She had every right to be angry."
Both Sara and Grissom eyed Catherine as if she had a bomb strapped to her. This was completely out of character for her after one of her and Sara's infamous fights.
"That's very noble Catherine, but I've made my decision. Maybe the two of you should spend some of your off-time talking out your differences." With that said Gil got up and simply walked out towards the break room to hand out assignments to the rest of the team.
The two sat in silence for a moment before Catherine spoke up. "Look Sara, I'm really sorry. It was an honest mistake…"
"Save it Catherine," The brunette spat before storming out of the room and headed towards the parking lot.
Catherine rolled her eyes as she watched Sara leave before she started towards her office. She understood where the other woman's anger was coming from, but she couldn't help but feel as if she was overreacting a little too much.
'It's just some poems and…'
The blonde came to a dead halt in the middle of the hallway. Confused lab techs dodged her to avoid slamming into her, but Catherine didn't care. It suddenly became all too clear as to why Sara was so furious. She thought back to the very last entry she had read. She almost didn't believe it.
'…Sara has a crush on another woman…'
Next chapter will start off in Sara's POV…