Sorry this took so long. Lots of things are going on so...hopefully you'll stick with me and of course, enjoy this chapter. :D

After the grueling week the brunette spent in bed, it felt great to be going someplace, especially school. She was pumped and ready for the day so naturally, she already had everything figured out.

"Sara, where's my purse," Catherine asked as she fixed herself toast.

"On the end table by the stairs," she nonchalantly answered as he grabbed orange juice from the fridge.

Catherine bounced out of the kitchen and headed toward the end table. Halfway there, she saw her purse and smiled.

"Thanks, honey," she said when she re-entered the kitchen. She went directly toward her girlfriend and kissed her.

"I enjoy the kisses that express your gratitude, but we still haven't talked about-"

"I know and we will. After school."

"Cat, you've been playing hooky from the club all week. Don't you have to go to work?"

"Yeah, but that'll be after we talk."

Catherine attempted to slip away, but Sara wouldn't let it go.

You have cheer after school."

"Uh huh. We'll talk after that."

"But you've got homework. You've always got homework. So do I."

"Right, but that won't take all night, will it?"

"Catherine," Sara warningly called after her.

"What," she innocently asked as she grabbed her backpack of the floor.

"We have to talk," Sara insisted.

"And we will."


"Whenever we get to it. Now let's go. We don't want to late, do we?"

Sara sighed and tolled her eyes. She grabbed the water bottle she managed to fill with orange juice during their discussion and swiped her own backpack off the floor.


The gang sat together under the tree, the first time in a long time, and smiled in each other's company. Sara remained silent though as she plunged her mind into a book. Catherine took the patch of grass next to her and studied Sara's relaxed features. She knitted her brows and noted that even though her partner appeared at ease, she still sat rigid, as if to say she wanted to protect herself. Her guard rose over time, but Catherine couldn't remember when it started or why it didn't stop.

Before she could even bother to ask, a young, brown haired, blue eyed man with a visitor's pass sauntered toward the group with a smile.

"Sara," he merrily called.

The brunette looked up and met his gaze. She cracked a wide smile, dropped her book and ran over to him.


They embraced each other in a firm, friendly hug, which caused jealousy to surge through Catherine. The college sophomore before her had his arms wrapped around Sara, who of course enjoyed it, and that was a huge no-no in the redhead's eyes.

He just wants Jesse's girl, Catherine thought. In this case, I'm stuck being Jesse and he might actually get to her.

"What are you doing here," she laughed as she pulled away from him.

"I thought I'd check on you. I sent you a new Forensics Journal that I got my hands on recently and you didn't send anything back. I got worried."

"Aw, that's so sweet," she laughed a little. "Well, uh, the reason I didn't send a thank you note this time was because...I didn't get the journal."

"What? Maybe I should talk to some-"

"No, no, no, I didn't get it because I've been living with Catherine," she hitched her thumb over her shoulder in the direction of the group.

"What happened to your place?"

"There's so much to tell you," she slowly spoke with a hint of laughter at his expense of unawareness.

He raised a curious brow and Sara laughed.

"How long are you sticking around," she asked.

"On campus, until lunch is over. In town, for the weekend."

"We should hang out then."

"That's what I hoped for," he smiled.

Sara smiled before she briefly looked down at the grass. When she looked into his eyes again, she started to talk about the gang.

"Well, you know Catherine. And I'm pretty sure you know Nick and Warrick...thanks to her of course. But...I don't think you've met Greg. He's a freshman."

"No, I don't believe I have," he smiled. They walked under the tree and Grissom and Greg got acquainted.

"You got a baseball game coming up," Grissom asked after several minutes of conversation.

"I wouldn't know, man," Nick laughed.

"I think they have some Red Robin thing this weekend," Warrick mentioned. "Nick isn't exactly 'in the know'."

Laughter rang out between all of them except for Nick.

"Right, yeah, pick on Nick day. That's today. Got it," Nick sarcastically stated.

"Relax, Nicky," Catherine said through her disappating laughter.

"Sorry, you guys keep changing the day on me," he went on with his sarcasm. "Last week it was a Thursday."

Grissom smiled.

The bell rang and the six of them frowned.

"Great. Time to go to Geography," Greg groaned.

"Ah, the good old days," Grissom chuckled.

Sara stood and held out her hand for Catherine. Catherine smiled at the nicety of Sara's offer and took her hand. Sara pulled her girlfriend to her feet. She then turned her attention to Grissom and smiled.

"We'll catch you later."

He shared her smile and nodded.

"Of course."

When the gang split, Sara and Catherine headed to Physics together, but they didn't seem together. Though they walked side by side, the tense air further separated them as they emotionally drifted from each other.

"Sara, what's going on?"

"What do you mean?"

"You seem cold with me...but then Grissom shows up and you suddenly grow a heart. The second he disappears and it's only us, you get distant again."

"It's not like that and you know it," she attempted to defend herself.

"Oh really? Because that's what it looked like to me."

"Fine, okay, I like having him around. Is that a crime?"

Catherine puffed out a sigh.

"No, but when you treat me like the bad guy, it hurts. If our relationship lasts while I'm in college, I have to know that you're not going to add to the stress of my studies."

"Add to your stress?!" Sara hastily threw herself further away from Catherine. "Maybe this 'relationship' shouldn't last at all!"

"Sara, that's not-"

"No, I don't want to hear it! Tonight, I'm sleeping on the couch."

Sara rushed to class without Catherine and took a deep breath when she collapsed into seat.

Catherine stopped dead in her tracks after Sara fled. It crushed her heart to cry, but she knew if she did, she might not stop.

She swallowed her pain and took a deep breath before she pushed on toward class.


At the end of the day, Sara willed herself into Catherine's car. She wouldn't, couldn't, go back to her old family, but at that point she couldn't stand her new one. Catherine didn't want to talk about their post graduation plan and that was the most important thing to Sara. It determined whether life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were more than famous words in history.

She loved Catherine more than she loved science and science used to be the only thing that kept her whole and sane. But Catherine avoided the future, their future, and it made Sara question whether or not the redhead meant the three, life altering words "I love you" whenever she uttered them.

In the car, Catherine sighed and hesitated to start the car. She turned to Sara while the keys rested in the ignition.

"Do you want to talk about it now?"

"It's a major conversation, Catherine! We can't talk about in the car. It's going to take time and planning. I can't believe you just suggested that!"

"Sorry, I thought the issue was me not wanting to talk," Catherine snapped back a bit.

"It is, but you can't make this better by rushing this talk we need to have! Listen, I don't want to argue. Let's get home and I'll wait until you're truly ready to talk."

The tension built between them and Catherine finally turned over the engine.

Catherine slammed the door shut as Sara headed up the stairs. Beyond frustration, Catherine blew her hair out of her face.

Sam walked out of the kitchen with Lily in tow.

"Mugs, what's going on? Why did you slam the door?"

"I hate my life," she simply stated and huffed off to her room.

"What was that about,"Sam turned and asked Lily.

"Oh, Sam, it's a woman thing," she calmly said as she patted the front of his shoulder and maneuvered around her boyfriend.

She followed Catherine's lead and briskly made her way up to the room. She softly knocked on the closed door with her knuckles.

"Girls, can I come in?"

"Yeah", "Sure," they simultaneously answered.

Lily cautiously opened the door and stepped inside. Sara and her daughter sounded bitter.

"Hey, is everything all right with the two of you?"

No reply.

Sara only popped open one of her textbooks and flipped to find what she needed to work on for the night. Catherine pulled out her ponytail holders from cheerleading practice and freed her hair. She sat in front of the vanity and straightened her locks with her fingers.

"Something's going on and it's clearly bothering you two. I'm sure whatever it is, you can talk it out."

Sara scoffed.

"Not when talking is the problem."

"Oh, come off it, Sara! We can talk about it now if you want," Catherine yelled after she whipped around to look at Sara with fiery eyes.

"Oh," Lily blankly said. "I see. This is about communication."

Sara broke out of her shell and blurted the situation.

"She doesn't want to talk about what happens after she graduates."

"Well, that's big."

"I never said I didn't want to talk about it. I said I had other things to do."

"That's the same as saying it doesn't matter what happens!"

"Oh, Catherine. Nothing should be more important than discussing your future together."

"What," Catherine nearly screamed as she snapped around to look at her mother. "How do you know about us, a-about our relationship?"

"Sam told me," Lily somewhat regretfully replied.

Catherine scoffed and threw her hand in the air.

"Of course he did. He violated my trust! I can't believe I thought he'd keep his mouth shut!"

"Don't blame him, Catherine. At least he's open with me! Are you being completely open with Sara?"

"You know what? I'm not gonna sit her and listen to this psychobabble! I actually have places to be and better things to do."

She threw her hair ties down on the vanity and violently pushed off the stool she sat in before she snatched her work bag and stormed out of the room.

Sara frowned and curled into her defensive position, knees to chest. Lily looked her over and furrowed her brow in an attempt to understand the brunette and her actions.


The music blasted over the ambient clinks and clatter of mugs and glasses. Catherine prepared herself backstage for her show. When she first plopped into her chair at her station, she wanted to dance for all the men in the crowd in spite of Sara, but as she slowly applied her lipstick, she looked at herself with morose malice.

She reached out with her lipstick and pressed it against the mirror. She slid the make up across the reflective surface until she completely spelled "Pathetic". She stared into the mirror with the word a bit out of focus and saw it written across her face. She took a deep breath and relaxed her eyes shut. But all too quickly, the relaxed sensation ended and someone pulled her by the hair into the darkness of the dressing room.

She tried to scream, but a masculine hand covered her mouth as the two of them slipped further and further away from reality. She fought her way down to the ground after suffering a harsh blow to the back of the head and a second to the face. The dark figure, unrecognizable, stood over her and stared at her while she pressed a trembling hand against her cheek.

"So you're the reason Sara left us," he grimly asked.

Catherine's breathing quickened and she thought to crawl away, but he saw right through that.

"You even think of running and I'll slit your throat where you lay before dragging your bloody corpse back to your house for your mom and your precious Sara to see."

"Who are you," she tried to hold back tears.

"That's for Sara to know and you to not care to know."

He brought a closed fist in a downward left hook and snapped her head to her right. She collapsed onto the cold, concrete floor and fell into a state of unconsciousness.


Sara occupied the couch as intended thinking Catherine would be home soon. Her shift was supposed to end a little over an hour before and the brunette started to worry. That worry gave her an excuse to tell herself that's why she waited up to see her girlfriend walk through the door. Truthfully, she waited because she couldn't sleep without the knowledge Catherine didn't have any scrapes, cuts, or bruises. She cared about Catherine in a way she never thought people could care and their fight tore her up inside. In her mind, the fight only served as more proof that no matter how much you love a person, the world's dynamics are too screwed up for anything to be sentimental and endearing.

The phone rang and startled Sara. She tossed the covers aside and stood to answer the phone before it woke up Catherine's parents. The phone stopped ringing the second she reached her hand out to pick it up. She heard a muffled voice answer upstairs and recognized the person as Lily.

She sighed. She couldn't even manage to keep Catherine's mom from waking up at two in the morning.

She trudged back toward the couch, but before she could even sit, she heard a thud. She listened to her fair share of thuds from all the physical fights in that God forsaken shack of a house she used to reside in, so she knew knew the phone had fallen to the floor.

"Sam! Sam," Lily cried.

A shiver spiraled down Sara's spine. To hear Lily sound as panicked as she did, scared Sara pale. She inched away from the couch and toward the end of the staircase. She looked up at the door to Lily's room and waited for one or both of them to appear.

As predicted, Sam flew out of the room with a concern stricken face. Lily followed him out with tears in her eyes and clung onto his arm.

Once Sam reached the stairs, his eyes locked with Sara's and sighed in a way only Sam Braun would. She immediately understood the news involved Catherine.

"Where is she," Sara asked.

"Hospital," he boldly answered. Though his features remained rigid, his soft, fatherly side showed straight through to Sara. He couldn't hide behind his mobster armor when it came to family matters.

Sara nearly broke down and cried when he spoke the evil word.

Sam continued on and headed down the stairs with Lily behind him one hundred percent.

"Let's go. There's no time to fall apart now," he said as he draped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her out to the car.

Thanks for reading. Hope you liked it. I'm thinking of writing a sequel, but I need to figure some things out before I can officially decide. :)