Title: A Matter of Trust (1/?)

Category: AU, Sara/Grissom, WIP, angst, friendship, UST, possible romance

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, except Tom Dupont. I'm not making anything out of this; it is just for enjoyment.

A Matter of Trust (1/?)

"News just in that Tom Dupont has been released from prison, having got out early for good behaviour after having served a large part of his sentence..."

Sara sat in the break room staring at the TV screen.

'This can't be happening' she thought, over and over again. The image of his face came up on the screen, and Sara looked away almost instantly, burying her face in her hands to try and hide herself from his face. Suddenly the news report stopped, the TV silent, causing Sara to look up. Grissom stood with his back to the TV facing Sara, having just turned it off. His eyes showed concern, and he instantly knew what she was thinking.

'He can't... he can't...we can't let him...' her voice trailed off as silent tears began to run down her cheeks. She tried to hide them from him by swiftly wiping her cheeks, but the tears did not go without his noticing. He started to move towards her, about to comfort her, when Warrick strolled into the room, followed by Catherine.

'Hey Gris, what cases you got for us tonight then?' Warrick said.

Sara, who was sitting with her back to the door shot Grissom a look, pleading him not to say anything as she quickly wiped the tears away. A look of understanding flashed through his eyes, and he turned to go and sit at the table as Warrick and Catherine both sat down opposite Grissom. Sara came and joined them a few seconds later having had enough time to tidy herself up, and sat down next to Grissom.

'Where's Nick?' Grissom asked, looking around the table, noting one person missing.

'Oh, he had to run to the, ahem, 'ladies'', Warrick quipped.

A moment later, Nick ran into the room, mumbling some apology as Catherine giggled at Warrick's remark. Nick looked puzzled, while Warrick sat, trying to keep a straight face. Sara remained silent, as though not noticing what had been going on around her. Warrick looked at her, concerned.

'You alright Sara? You're not usually this quiet...', he began.

Sara, looking up, as if awakening from a daydream, nodded, faintly smiling, as she didn't trust her voice enough to formulate a believable response.

Grissom, wanting to take the attention off Sara, began giving out the cases.

"Catherine, Nick, you've got the 419 in the casino car park." He said, handing Catherine the slip originally intended for Sara and Nick.

"Sara, Warrick, you're with me."

Sara looked up, relieved to be working with Grissom, somehow she felt safer around him. He gave her a reassuring smile – the exchange not going unnoticed to the rest of the room. Nick was about to comment, but, on feeling Catherine's foot make contact with his chin thought it best to remain quiet.

As the group got up from the table to go to their respective cases, Catherine stopped Grissom, pulling him aside, and asked:

'Is Sara ok? She looks kinda out of it tonight'.

Grissom was not sure how to answer, knowing that he could not break Sara's confidence, but unwilling to lie to Catherine either.

'She'll be fine' he said, simply, and walked off to Sara and Warrick, who were waiting for him a little further down the hall, leaving Catherine standing there with a worried look on her face.

As Nick came up behind Catherine, Sara turned around and flashed them a faint smile, before walking off with Warrick and a protective-looking Grissom.

'Something's up with her' Nick commented, a frown creasing his brow.

'Yeah, I know, I just wanna know what it is,' came Catherine's reply as they started off for their crime scene.

xxx

Sara worked efficiently, but quietly through the crime scene. The only thing missing was her usual enthusiasm for the work at hand. Grissom, while doing his own job, had been keeping a watchful eye on her. To anyone who did not know her, she looked like a normal CSI, going through a crime scene collecting evidence. But he did know her, better than anyone else, he thought, and he knew something was wrong. And he knew what that something was.

Warrick had also been watching Sara as she worked, but less obviously than Grissom. He knew something was up, but unlike Grissom, didn't have a clue as to what it was. He also noticed Grissom carefully watching Sara, as if she was about to fall and break like a precious vase, and he wanting to be close enough to be able to catch it when it did. Warrick wasn't stupid, he knew something was going on, he knew Grissom knew what was wrong with Sara, but he also realised that he was not going to find out until they decided they wanted to share. For now it was their secret.

It occurred to him that they often knew things between themselves that he, Nick and Catherine weren't let in on. As he thought back to the numerous cases he had worked with both Grissom and Sara, they always seemed to 'get' each other knowing what the other was thinking before anyone else did. He liked to think that he knew Grissom fairly well, although in reality, no one really knew Grissom, not even Sara. But she sure knew more about him than the rest of them. Hell, Sara knew more about Grissom than Catherine did.

Warrick wasn't sure why that thought shocked him. He narrowed it down to the fact that he had always considered Grissom and Catherine as the heads of the unit, not just Grissom, and considered himself, Nick, and Sara as the younger, newer versions. He also knew that Grissom and Catherine had known each other a long time, and were very fond of each other. Their relationship went no further than that though, no matter what rumours some people wanted to start up.

However, as he thought about it, when Grissom had announced that Sara was going to come and investigate the death of Holly Gribbs, he had referred to her as an old friend. Someone he trusted. This meant that he must have known Sara for a considerable amount of time. Possibly even longer than he had known Catherine. It was obvious that Grissom and Sara had a connection. What he didn't know was how deep it went.

Watching her now, this was not the Sara he knew and liked. Something was wrong. Very wrong. And he hoped that, if she was not willing to share her problems with the rest of them, that Grissom would be able to help her through them, and soon. He missed the real Sara.

xxx

Nick drove the SUV to the crime scene in silence, until he could no longer stand it. He felt he needed to talk about what had happened back at the lab.

"Cath?"

"Yeah", she answered cautiously, turning her attention to Nick from what was out of the window, knowing what the topic of conversation was going to be.

"Is it just me, or does Grissom know what's going on with Sara?"

"I don't know for sure, but he sure seems to."

'Do you think we'll ever find out what it is?' he asked, knowing full well that Grissom and Sara were the two most private people on the unit, so having the two of them, of all people, sharing the same secret gave them almost no hope as to finding out what it was. Unless of course either of them wanted to tell him, which he thought was highly unlikely.

Catherine just backed up his own thoughts, by replying:

'Only if they want us to', before turning to once again look out of the window.

xxx

Sara's mind was racing. While trying to do her job efficiently, all she could think about were the problems with the justice system. Listing the faults in her mind as a diversion, she found herself getting angrier and more emotional as the minutes passed. She hated to admit it, but she was scared, and the only person who understood her fear was Grissom.

Every now and then she would look up from her work, and their eyes would meet for a brief second, before she turned away again, not wanting him to have to see the pain in her eyes.

She noticed Warrick watching her aswell. He knew something was up, she could tell by the suspicious way that he was watching Grissom and herself. She was only fueling his suspicions by continuously looking up at Grissom every once in a while, but at that moment she didn't care. She needed the reassurance that she found in his eyes.

With Grissom around, she felt safer. And right now, she really wanted, and needed, to feel safe.

xxx

'Concentrate on collecting the evidence, concentrate on collecting the evidence' Grissom kept telling himself. For once, he could not concentrate at a crime scene. He kept glancing over at her, as if to check that she was still there.

"Well where would she go, you idiot?" his rational side questioned. "Besides, either you or Warrick would have noticed."

He had asked her a few times since they had left the lab if she was alright, but she had blown him off every time, saying she was fine, that there was nothing to worry about.

'She looks a nervous wreck' he thought to himself. He could see the emotions crossing her face one after the other, her eyes going from thoughtful to angered to pained.

'I want to help you, Sara. I really do. Why won't you let me in?'

xxx