A/N: I've had this idea in my head for a while, and since it felt like I hadn't written anything in ages, I decided I'd finally write it. It's just a little Cath/Sara friendship piece :D I got the idea from reading one of the CSI: novels where Sara hurts her shoulder test-firing a shotgun. This is basically my interpretation of that. I hope you guys enjoy it!
She walked, didn't run, to the source of the voice. If there was one thing Catherine Willows knew about her younger coworker, it was that she didn't ever want anyone to think of her as a damsel in distress.
The loud bang worried her, but she figured Sara was just test-firing the suspect's shotgun they had found earlier that day at his house and bagged as evidence. She had told Sara several times to wait for Bobby to come into work until they test-fired it, but Sara, stubborn as she was, was not in the mood to wait.
So Catherine strolled casually into the Ballistics lab, a warm cup of coffee in her hands. She tried not to plaster a giant look of "I told you so" on her face until she was sure Sara was unharmed. "How's it going in here?"
"Just fine," Sara grumbled, nursing her right shoulder with her left hand. "The suspect's shotgun just slipped one off my shoulder."
"Ouch," Catherine agreed, wincing right along with her. She had test-fired dozens, probably hundreds of guns through the years but had never attempted to fire a shotgun. She was always a little skeptical about whether or not she could handle it. "You okay?"
Catherine tried not to roll her eyes. Sara Sidle, the master of single-word communication.
"Alright, if you're sure," Catherine took a sip of coffee. "It looks like it hurts. Maybe you should have Doc Robbins take a look at it."
"Yeah. So anyway, I found this strange mystery substance jammed in the barrel before I test-fired it. I took a swab for trace and sent it over to Hodges. I told him to page me with the results, so it should be just a matter of time now."
"Good," Catherine nodded her approval, before raising a suspicious eyebrow when she noticed Sara was still rubbing her shoulder. "Sara..." she started.
"For God's sake, Cath, yes, I'm fine," Sara rolled her eyes. "I already feel stupid enough, so can we please not talk about this anymore?"
"I guess so..."
"For the record, this wasn't entirely my fault. This thing is in no condition for anyone to be firing anything from it, and that nasty recoil proves this." She was pointing her index finger menacingly at the shotgun, as if it were a guilty suspect she was about to crack.
"Oh?" Catherine raised a curious eyebrow. "Do tell." And then it was off to drag Sara to Doc Robbins for a check-up. Sara always forgot that Catherine was as stubborn as she was.
"Okay, check it out," Sara waved her over. Catherine hovered behind her to watch. "Now, when I hold the shotgun like this," she held the gun so that the butt was pressed against her midsection, "the recoil should hit me in the gut. But the butt hit me in the shoulder, and it's only going to do that if something causes it to bounce upwards."
Catherine raised an eyebrow. Sara knew more about guns than she ever gave her credit for. "You sure you didn't just hold it completely wrong?" she teased with a cheeky little grin.
Sara was not amused. Rather than answer Catherine, she set the shotgun back on the table in the lab, making sure it was unloaded and the safety was on. "I'm not sure what it could be," she mused. "We'll have to have Bobby take a look at it. He knows more about it than I do."
Catherine's eyes widened. "I can't believe this. That's what I've been telling you! I told you to wait for Bobby, and what do you do?" she walked away and began to pace, mumbling to herself more than Sara now. Finally, she grabbed a hold of Sara's arms and dragged her down the hallway of the lab.
"What are you doing?" Sara barked, wincing as she tugged on her arm. "That hurts, you know!"
"That's why I'm taking you to Doc Robbins!" Catherine ignored the rest of the lab as she dragged Sara toward the morgue. "You need to get checked up! If you won't listen to me, then I'm just going to have to drag you."
Catherine was relieved to see that Doc Robbins wasn't currently in the middle of an autopsy, but rather, sitting in his computer chair reading over files. Shoving open the double-doors of the morgue, she dragged a protesting Sara in behind her. "Hey, Doc? You think you can take a quick look at Sara's shoulder? She did something very stupid and needs it checked out."
"I did not! I was test-firing the suspect's shotgun--"
"Which you didn't know how to fire..."
"--and the recoil hit my shoulder! I didn't do anything wrong."
Doc Robbins set his files down, gazing at Catherine and Sara in amusement. The two women went together like oil and water, but they always had the most hilarious arguments, and when it all came down to it, they were there for each other. Even if they wouldn't admit it. "I agree with Catherine, Sara," he told her. "I think I'd better take a look. Go ahead and take a seat on that table, and I'll grab my supplies."
Sara muttered something that sounded suspiciously like "No fair" and walked over to the metal slab to sit down. She couldn't help but shudder at the thought of what the slab was normally used for.
"You should take your top off so he can get a better look at it," Catherine informed her.
"Uh... no," Sara's mouth formed a perfect 'o' shape.
"Sara," Catherine was beginning to get frustrated. "Take your shirt off. I know you have a tank top on underneath it."
Sara glared at Catherine, making a mental note to stop changing in the locker room while she was in there, and she tugged her t-shirt up over her head.
Catherine grimaced the second the skin was exposed. Almost her entire shoulder was surrounded by angry red, blue and purple bruises. It was going to be a miracle if something wasn't broken or dislocated.
"Alright Sara, let's see what the damage is," Doc Robbins slid on his glasses and looked the area over with a magnifying glass. Occasionally he would lightly mash on the skin, which elicited a wince from both Sara and Catherine, and ask if it hurt. Sara would stubbornly say it didn't, until Catherine got so fed up with her she decided to take things into her own hands.
Catherine pinched one of the angry purple bruises on Sara's shoulder hard-- not hard enough to cause any further damage, but definitely hard enough for Sara to notice.
"OUCH!" Sara yelped, and Catherine yanked her hand away. "What the hell was that for!"
"Hmm," Doc Robbins adjusted his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Not exactly the method I had in mind, but effective, nonetheless."
"You're welcome," Catherine cheerfully told Sara.
"What do you mean you're welcome?" Sara angrily replied. "That hurt like hell!"
"Because now Doc Robbins can help you feel better," Catherine simply replied. "If you're just going to sit there and lie about it, you're going to continue to be in pain. Now be quiet and let him help."
"Whatever," Sara muttered.
"Okay, Sara," Doc Robbins started. "I believe you've dislocated it, so it's going to have to be snapped back into place. I can do it here, or I can send you to the hospital under Catherine's direct supervision."
When given those two options, Sara knew she didn't have a choice. They'd have to sedate her before she went to the hospital. "Fine," Sara mumbled. "You can just do it here. Doc, if I didn't know any better, I'd swear you're working in cahoots with Catherine."
Doc Robbins chuckled as he glanced over at Catherine. "I'm just trying to help, Sara. Alright, this is going to be painful, but it should only last for a second. Catherine, do you want to hold her still so I can snap the joint back in place?"
"Sure," Catherine placed both hands on either side of Sara's waist so she couldn't escape or move and hurt herself further.
Sara felt a little sick from anticipating the pain she knew was about to come. "Just do it," she mumbled.
"One, two, three." Doc Robbins snapped the joint back in place, and Sara hissed in pain, letting out a sharp breath of air through her nostrils once it was over. Catherine was highly impressed at how well Sara took it. "I'll just bandage the area, and you'll need to take some aspirin. It's going to be sore for about a week or two, so just take it easy."
"Don't worry, Al," Catherine spoke for Sara. "I'll let Gil know."
Sara let Doc Robbins bandage her shoulder without any complaints, and even let Catherine help her back to the lab. She was about to head back to Ballistics, but Catherine tugged her past it toward the parking lot. "What are you doing?"
"Taking you home," Catherine replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "You're not working with your shoulder like that. I'll stay with you until I have to come back. You like Chinese?"
Sara groaned and complained the entire way to her apartment, but when Catherine wasn't looking, she allowed a smile to creep its way onto her face.