Disclaimer: I do not own CSI.

AN: Geez, I can barely remember the last time I wrote something. Sorry about that. Unpleasant health issues and other such problems interfered greatly. This is not a sequel to Episodic Tribulations, by the way.


Catherine probably doesn't want me to ask if she's alright. Or why she's here instead of with her daughter or Warrick. And she definitely wants me to stop staring at the blood on her shirt.

Unfortunately for her, our interaction is rarely dependant on what she wants.

…Or what I want. For instance, right now I really want to grab my kit, drag her into my apartment, and order her to stay as still as she possibly can while I collect any and all evidence left on her clothes from whatever fun the blood came from.

Instead, I keep staring at the blood on her shirt. With any luck it will annoy her enough that she'll give me some idea of why she's standing outside my apartment. With blood on her.

Why the hell is there blood on her?

"Are you just going to stand there staring at me all day or are you going to let me in?"

Great. That told me nothing I don't already know. She's upset. I move aside and let her enter my apartment, closing the door behind her. She paces around my couch for at least a minute before I force her to acknowledge my existence one more time.

"Can I get you anything?" It may sound pathetic, but it's not the worst thing I could've asked. Now that she's inside I don't want her to realize she's made a mistake and should've gone to someone else.

Catherine stops pacing and for a moment it's her turn to stare before she shakes her head and starts up again. Okay, so not the worst question, but definitely somewhere on the list.

I shift my weight awkwardly from foot to foot before slipping into the chair a foot away from her pacing circuit. I watch as she makes her rounds, thinking of all the horrible reasons she has for showing up at my apartment covered in blood.

Without the blood I'd worry that she's here to ask me why I had nothing to do with the case I was the first to know anything about. …God, I really hope she's not here to interrogate me about that.

Greg and Grissom would've been able to handle Izzy Delancy's murder without me. I could've helped Nick and Warrick find Lindsey.

…Yeah. Right after convincing Grissom that just because I keep Eddie's file in my desk doesn't mean I'll see any case involving Linds and Catherine as a chance to make up for not gift-wrapping Eddie's murderer for them.

I have no idea how Grissom managed to figure out I still feel like I failed them. Last I checked, my emotionally stunted boss was supposed to be emotionally stunted.

Catherine finally stops pacing and collapses on the edge of the couch closest to me. She looks exhausted. She should be at home, asleep. Close to her daughter and far away from anything even remotely related to work.

"Catherine, what are you doing here?" I try to ask her gently, but I can't help the slight exasperation that slips into my voice. "I mean, shouldn't you be with Lindsey? Or Warrick?"

I stop paying any attention to the blood for the first time tonight when her bloodshot eyes meet mine furiously.

"Damn it, Sara. I called you for a reason."