Hi everyone :) Here is the first chapter of my very first Silent Witness fanfic, actually my first story ever written in English :) I've probably made some mistakes in English language, but I'm afraid I can't help it (I'm actually Dutch) so please comment on things I can improve and please review my story! Enjoy ;)

Chapter 1.

It had already got very dark outside when Nikki finally decided to call it a day. She shut down her computer and ordered the different case maps properly on her desk so she wouldn't have to go looking for anything the next day. Then she walked out and switched the lights off. Slowly and yawning, she got down the stairs and out of the building.

While she was walking to her car, thinking about all the things she had to do the next day, she suddenly stopped. All around her, there was complete silence, something which always caused her to feel uncomfortable. Lately it always made her feel like she was being watched by someone and this time was no exception. She looked around, trying to see something in the complete darkness, but it only made her feel even less at ease. Suddenly she started running in the direction of her car. She got straight in, locked the doors and grasped the wheel. She looked at her hands, which were shaking and she was breathing heavily. What was happening? Why couldn't she just get to her car in a normal, relaxed way? Why hadn't she been able to just be herself again, since... it happened? She didn't take time to think about that and drove straight home.

That night she had trouble falling asleep, which was actually no exception either these days. She kept tossing and turning and just couldn't manage to calm down...

The following morning, when she had finally arrived at work, she almost fell asleep again at her desk. Just when her eyes had fully closed, the smell of coffee filled her nose.

"Here, it looks like you need it more than I do," said the voice she so loved to hear.

She opened her eyes again and looked into the face of her colleague and best friend, Harry Cunningham.

"Thanks," she mumbled and she smiled at him.

"Soooo, what have we got to do today? Hmm let's have a look... A suspicious death of an elderly woman, a car crash, that old case we still have to finish and..."

He stopped talking, as he noticed she was just staring and clearly not listening.

"Nikki? Were you actually listening to what I was saying?"

She blinked a few times and then looked at him.

"Sorry, what were you saying?"

"Nikki, are you sure you are alright? I'm sure that Leo wouldn't mind if you took a few more days off-"

"I've already told you about ten times now, I feel fine and I don't need any more days off! Oh and don't give me that look," she added when she saw the look he gave her.

Indeed he looked worried, because he was still not convinced she was 'fine' at all, even though she kept telling him that she was.

"Well, why is it then that you still aren't able to fully focus on your work?"

"I am very much able to focus, thank you. I just didn't sleep well last night..."

"Oh, and why was that? You didn't stay at work 'till too late again, did you?"

Her look changed from indignant to slightly guilty.

"Well, actually, I did..." she muttered. "But only to finish a few things so that you wouldn't have so much to do today," she added quickly, when she saw him opening his mouth to tell her it wasn't a wise thing to do.

"Ok, that's what you say. But I think you just feel like you have to keep working to distract yourself from everything that has happened. I think you haven't dealt with it properly and I still think you should take some time off to do that. Even though you keep telling me otherwise."

Suddenly, her expression changed to indignant again, angry even. She gave him a look that would have killed him if looks could and stormed off to Leo's office.

"Leo, do you also think I haven't dealt with things properly?"

Leo, who was just reading a report of some sort and probably hadn't heard anything of Harry and Nikki's discussion, slowly looked up from his desk.

"Well... if you really want to know... I think you haven't. So I suggest you take some more time off and go see a friend of mine who can help you."

"But Leo, there hasn't been anything wrong with my reports or anything, right?"

"No, but-"

"Then why do you want to send me away like I've done something wrong?"

"Nikki, I'm not sending you away, I, we, just want to make sure that you are-"

" 'Alright'? I've already told you two about ten times, I am fine and I don't need any more time off, so could you please stop going on about it?" Nikki didn't have herself under control anymore. She started shaking again and decided to sit down. Tears started rolling down her cheeks.

"Nikki, I didn't mean to.. upset you or anything.. but you have to understand, Harry and I are just worried about you because we care about you..."

"Yes, yes, I know, but I just... I just don't want to sit around at home all day... doing nothing... because that only makes me feel... a-alone... and I don't want to be alone r-right now..." She was trying to take deep breaths, but that didn't really work.

"Yes Nikki, I understand that, of course I do, but dealing with it this way... it won't work for ever... you have to do something, talk to people..." Leo looked at her compassionately.

"Y-yes, I know.. but I-I just... want t-to forget about a-all of it... not t-talk about it a-anymore, with anyone..." Now she really had trouble speaking and Leo really wanted to help her.

"You know what? Why don't you just make an appointment with Dr. Astini, who is a very good friend of mine and a great doctor too? Just one, to see how it goes?"

"O-ok, alright then..."

"Ok, would you like the rest of the day off?" Leo asked hopefully.

All she could do now was nod. Slowly she got out of her chair and walked back to her desk. She got her coat and bag and disappeared through the door.

Harry watched her walking away and then walked up to Leo's office.

"So.." he said. "I hope this will work, otherwise I really don't know what to do anymore."

"Yes, well.. let's give it a chance, won't we?" Leo said, visibly pondering.

"Yes, let's wait and see..." Harry said and he got back to his desk.