AN: Good day everybody. I've been writing on this for a while, starting when my dog of 17 years died and I couldn't sleep (smacking of Sara's insomnia). I wrote it for myself to deal with my loss and my own sleepless nights. I didn't intend to publish it, but was bullied upon threat of death by my Beta, AlyssC01 . Who knows where I live. The main topic to be revealed lies very close to my heart. This is the first writing that I have done ever, so I beg patience as English is also not my first language. This is dedicated to my all time favorite characters and I truly hope that I do not do them a disservice. And, I'm a full blown GSR fan. ;)

The time line of this story isn't true to canon. Sofia is already a CSI and sometimes works with the team. The whole team is still together and the relationship between Sara and Grissom is at stale mate. This is set after Season 4. Time line and canon purists, please don't hate me.

So, without further a due – please read on. I will post once a week on Wednesdays.

Thank you

Lady L Shardlake

PS I own nothing. Please don't sue me.

Chapter 1

One prepared oneself as much as possible for this job, but every once in a while a case slipped through the defenses and came nestling in your mind like an itch you can't reach. For Sara Sidle those were usually the cases dealing with spousal abuse. Most of the time she could maintain the professional distance required to do the job and only break down once she reached her apartment. The case she was working on had all the hallmarks of what she had come to think of as her problem cases. It was a case where the woman had apparently been beaten to death. Sara had processed the apartment, but really there wasn't much of a mystery as to what took place there. The body was approximately two days old. The coroners had already removed the body, but the smell of blood and decomposing flesh still hung thick in the air, seeming to permeate everything around it. The blood drops from the cast-off told a clear tale, but it was the bloody handprint on the door that really clamped like an iron fist over her heart. The victim had tried to get away, but was wrenched back into the room.

Back at the lab, Sara was just starting work in the lay-out room when Catherine came bustling in.

"Have you seen Warrick?" She barked without so much as a hello.

"No, sorry, I've just got here."

The members of your team really become as close as family. You do the same work and struggle through difficult cases together. It was hard to describe to an outsider. It was a camaraderie you could only get from spending hours on your hands and knees in the sun looking for evidence, or processing the blood spattered clothes of the victims. Not even the cops got as close to the victims as the CSI's did. The coroner would do the autopsy, but then move on to the next case. It was the CSI who emerged him or herself in the life of the victim, and more often than not, the life of the killer as well. You worked with the scum of the earth day in and day out, and the rest of the population you only met on the worst days of their lives. Nick and Warrick were like two older brothers to Sara and Greg a really good friend. One of the few she had. Catherine and Sara had butted heads many times, but she respected the senior CSI, even though she felt that Catherine did not really respect her in the same way.

And then there was Grissom.

To say that things were complicated between the two of them was probably the understatement of the century. Sara was beginning to realize that there was probably never going to be anything more between them than friendship and lately it seemed even that was slipping away. He was actively avoiding her, and appeared very taken with the new CSI on the team, Sofia Curtis. What made it worse though was the fact that she understood.

She was a mess.

Grissom deserved someone better, and really Sara knew she had never been able to compete with the Catherines and the Sofias of the world. That was one of the reasons she worked so hard in college. Meeting Grissom she had been sure that she had found a man who was different, but it seemed she was once again mistaken. She did not regret telling him some of her past that night in her apartment, what she does regret was him seeing her in such a vulnerable state. She hated being a damsel in distress, perceived as not being able to take care of herself.

Catherine and Warrick had been working on a difficult case for the past couple of shifts and Catherine was in a foul mood. Sara made a mental note not to get in her way much during the shift.

Greg was helping out in the DNA lab, as one of the technicians was sick and Sara walked over to him.

"Have you got anything for me yet Greg?"

"Aaaah. My psychic power is becoming more potent. I merely have to think of you and you are summoned to my presence".

Sara smiled. It seemed that these days Greg was the only person on the planet that could make her smile. She was saved from answering by the beeping of the printer as it spat out results.

Picking the paper up Greg hugged it to his chest. "Right, what are these worth to you?" he said giving her a lewd grin.

"Give it here," Sara answered as she snatched the paper out of Greg's hands. "You should know by now that I don't enter negotiations over lab-reports."

"Well, over what will you engage in negotiations? Something like coffee?" Greg shot back with a grin, but Sara was too absorbed with the results. The epithelial tissue she collected from under the victim's nails had a y-chromosome and had seven alleles in the somatic chromosomes in common with the victim. Indicating a close male blood-relative. What's more the DNA was a match to a suspect already in the system. Harold Green. The suspect Catherine was chasing. Harold Green had apparently beaten his sister to death.

Great, just freaking great. Sara thought to herself as she went in search of Grissom. He wasn't in his office, and neither was Catherine nor Warrick anywhere to be found. Returning to the lay-out room she continued sorting through evidence. She had asked Greg to compare a sample from her victim to the available samples in Catherine and Warrick's open case as clearly, the two cases were connected.

She had collected bags of rubbish from the apartment. There was a lot of garbage and it took time sorting through irrelevant detritus to find potential evidence. Sara was totally engrossed in what she was doing and jumped when someone slammed a piece of paper down onto the table next to her.

"What the hell Sara? Not enough work of your own so you have to stick your nose into my cases?" Catherine was livid. Sara tried to slow her heart rate and speak calmly.

"No, my murder victim had skin tissue from your suspect under her nails. I couldn't find you or Warrick, so I asked Greg to cross-reverence it with the other samples in your case to look for more connections to mine".

Sara was rather proud of herself for staying so calm, it wasn't one of her strengths.

"Without bothering to tell me?"

The anger seemed to come of Catherine in waves, and Sara could feel her own temper rising to match it. Wasn't she listening?

"You were not around so I had thought to save you some time."

They were starting to draw attention but Sara didn't care. What made her even angrier was that she had just found a connection between the two cases, increasing their chances of catching the perpetrator, and Catherine was more interested in starting a territorial dispute. Just as Catherine opened her mouth to retort, Grissom stuck his head in the door.

"What's going on?" He asked

The animosity between the two women was palatable. Sara had her hands folded over her chest and was bristling with righteous indignation, and Catherine exhumed waves of with unbridled fury.

"I found a connection between my case and Catherine's," Sara answered him, not taking her eyes off Catherine.

"The Harold Green case?" He asked, raising an eyebrow

"The very one." Catherine answered in icy tones.

Sighing Sara filled them both in on her case and everything she had done so far. Grissom listened intently to her, his face almost unreadable.

"Does this influence the time-line of your case?" Grissom asked turning to Catherine

"Yes, considerably." She replied. Sara could see she was calming down.

Grissom sighed, almost as if he is regretting it. "Then I think Sara, Catherine should probably take over the case as the two cases are really one"

Sara could feel the heat rising from her chest, and the blood pounding in her ears. She could not believe what she was hearing.

"I can do this Grissom," she almost pleaded, and hating herself for the edge of desperation in her voice. She always had trouble keeping her emotions in check around him.

"That's not the issue here Sara. I need you and Nick to handle another case," he said holding a yellow slip of paper containing the case info out to her, finally meeting her eyes. Sara grabbed the slip and hurried out of the room without another word or a backwards glance.