Howdy everyone, thanks for your kind reviews. Here's the new chap.
Ps: Thank you Immi for helping me sorting my ideas
Ellie, ah là là... ta perspicacité te perdra très chère... mais je n'en dirai pas plus. Pour le Graal, il faudra patienter, le site a un problème pour le moment mais normalement ce sera réglé la semaine prochaine (parole de la webmaster)
I stir, opening my eyes slowly. I'm slightly disoriented at first but then realize that I've fallen asleep against Emily.
"Hey sleepyhead," she kisses my forehead.
I sigh tiredly. "Hey, I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was that tired."
This is the first evening I get to spend with Emily in two weeks, we were both swamped at work and I wanted to spend the little time I had with Lindsey. She came to pick me up at work twice but save for those rides home and two breakfasts we didn't really have any time for one another.
I don't think I mind those little breaks in our relationship, I like that we both have our own things, I like that we're not attached by the hips. Don't get me wrong I love spending time with her, but I like having a little space as well, and more importantly I like that she's not demanding on that level.
She came to my place and cooked for me, then she wanted to watch a movie. I think I fell asleep halfway through it, not that it was bad but I was sleep deprived, even if I'm used to it, I do need to recharge my batteries every now and then.
"It's alright," she smiles softly at me and delivers a tender kiss on my lips. "Do you want some warm milk?"
"Sure, why not."
She stands and goes to the kitchen, I use a minute or two to wake up a bit before joining her. I sit on the other side of the island and prop my left hand to rest my head on it. I observe Emily moving around my kitchen quietly. I can feel myself grinning, glad that she's at ease and finds everything almost instantly. We're building intimacy, slowly but surely.
She decided to make hot cocoa instead of plain milk and she asks me if I have a specific envy regarding our next date. We wonder about the movies in theatre or concerts of people we like. The conversation is quiet but entertaining, one thing I've noticed is that Emily is able to make me laugh easily. It's not just because we're still in the 'honeymoon' phase of our relationship, she's genuinely funny and witty.
I yawn so she takes our mugs and start cleaning up the kitchen. I realize that she's about to leave and I don't like the idea because I'm having a good time. I walk behind her and circle her waist with my arms.
"I don't want you to go," I kiss her shoulder. "Stay the night?"
We haven't spent a night together, not at my house anyway. I slept at her place a couple of times but that's about it. We have yet to be intimate, I'm the one setting the pace and if I don't mind flirting with her heavily I was not ready to give more. I think that I really need things to go slow and to build something before taking that step for a change.
She turns around in my arms, smiling. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, I really don't want you to go, plus you make a comfy pillow."
She chuckles and kisses me. "With pleasure then."
I take her hand and guide us further into the house so we can prepare for the night.
I enter the locker room for the second time of the evening, looking for Warrick. I don't see anyone but just before leaving I hear a whimper. I turn around trying to find the source of it.
"Calm down… calm down…" in spite of the tremolo and low tone I recognise Sara's voice. "Breathe for fuck sake…"
I stay next to the door feeling conflicted about what to do. A part of me wants to go and see if she's alright, but another doesn't want to get involved, first because I've decided to stay away and then because I know Sara enough to know that me stepping in might lead to a fight.
There's another whimper, it sounds like she's crying. "Get it together come on… it's okay…" she breathes in and out loudly and slowly. "Fuck…" she sniffs. "It's okay… I'm okay…"
I turn away and just leave the locker room, leaving her to her turmoil. Every step leading me away from the locker room makes me feel nauseous, but then I shut down the incoming feeling of guilt, refusing to berate myself for walking away.
We're not friends and I've set the limits, so that's that.
…Right, because friendship and being a descent human being have to mesh.
"Fuck," I curse under my breath. "That was a crappy move Willows."
"Catherine, you have a case, take Nick and Sara with you," Grissom informs me, handing me a pink slip of paper.
Great. Either I consider that the universe is giving me a second chance or this is instant karma, in any case it promises to be one long shift.
I find Nick first and tell him to wait by the car, then I look for Sara and find her in the break room, alone. "I have a suspicious circ, you're with me," I declare.
"Okay," she simply replies before walking to the door.
"Wait," I step in front of her. There's a distance between us, we are largely respecting each other's personal space. There's a long pause, during which I'm trying to think about what to say. I don't want to say that I walked in on her in the locker room and I don't want her to think that things have somehow changed. "Are you alright?" I think I can't be more neutral than that.
She frowns slightly, taken aback by my question. "Yes."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes," her voice is firmer than the first time.
"Are you… okay to go on the field?"
"Is there a problem?" there's not animosity in her voice but I know that she's irritated at my line of questioning.
"No," I clear my throat. "Look if you don't feel good you can stay here."
She stares at me a few seconds and sighs. "I've just told you that I was alright, now if you don't want me in your team tonight, I don't have a problem whatsoever to be assigned with someone else."
"That's not…" I stop myself and decide to drop the subject. "Nevermind, forget I asked. Let's go."
I turn around and head out. I don't want to fight with her, I've managed not to ever since she came back and I intend to keep things that way. I've put my anger and everything involving her aside, of course turning away from the problem doesn't solve it, but it works for me just fine so I'm not going to stray from that path.
At least now I don't have to feel guilty anymore about walking out on her earlier.
"Hey Cath, is Sara with you?" Nick asks.
Our case is looking like a B&E, somewhere along the way the intruder found himself dead in the hall. The owner said that he was in his study room when he heard loud noises, the intruder was already dead when he found him though.
I've been focusing on finding how our intruder got in and what he did, Nick was out following the traces and interrogating people, Sara was on the ground level where the body was.
"Nope. I haven't seen her ever since we split."
"That's weird," he states with a frown.
"What is it?"
"I haven't seen her downstairs. And the officer at the entrance assured me that he hasn't seen her go."
I bag the evidence I was holding, put it safely in my kit then grab my phone. I place the call and wait for an answer. It rings five times before putting me through the voicemail. "I got her voicemail," I inform Nick.
"Call again," he orders gently.
I push the call back button, Nick frowns and walks back into the corridor, after a few seconds he motions for me to come closer with his hand.
It's hard to distinguish but the sound of a cell phone ringing is muffled somewhere downstairs. I hang up and call again as Nick and I get down trying to find the origin of the sound.
Once we reach the ground floor we orient ourselves as much as possible, then halfway into the living room we see light grey footprints next to which are evidence markers. The foot prints come from somewhere, I guess Sara was trying to find their origins.
I can feel adrenaline rushing through my veins the closer we're getting to the sound. At best it's nothing, Sara lost her cell phone and is working somewhere too caught up in her world to notice anything else, or something is truly wrong and unless she has suddenly turned deaf I can't think of a good reason why she wouldn't answer her phone.
We're facing a closed door, instinctively Nick unfastens his gun from his belt holster, I do the same, putting my phone back in my pocket.
"Sar?" Nick calls, but we don't get any reply.
Nick and I put ourselves on each side of the door frame, Nick pulls his gun out and takes off the safety, I mimic him inwardly praying that we won't have to fire. I nod slowly to Nick, silently counting to three, then I turn the knob of the door and push it open.
We enter in what appears to be a library, Nick goes in first and moves to the side of a bookcase pointing his weapon ahead of him. He slowly breathes out and makes a move from his head to tell me to join him. We're facing another door, the only signs that Sara was here are the evidence markers on the floor, the footprints seem darker than in the living room.
Once again I countdown to three before opening the door; Nick steps in quietly. "Sara," he mutters. He puts his gun back into its case and rushes in. Sara is lying down, unconscious. "Call an ambulance."
I approach, watching Nick checking for a pulse. When I radio in a request for an ambulance, I hear him calling her name while he's slapping her cheek gently to wake her up.
I'm trying to contain my anger, I'm pissed at Sara. After being checked by the paramedic she has a light concussion, apparently she hit something when she passed out.
Yes, she passed out.
I was expecting her to tell us that someone surprised her, but nope, she was studying the footprints, felt lightheaded and passed out.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she wasn't attacked but I'm mad at her, because I asked her if she was alright, she said she was, yet she passed out at a scene no less.
The medics prepare to leave after patching Sara up, she has a bruised bump on her forehead complemented by a cut. They don't think she needs to go to the hospital just to take it easy and alert someone should she feel persistent dizziness or anything unusual.
"I am pissed right now," I declare with an even voice. She's sitting on the passenger seat of our car, Nick is leaning against the car next to her and I'm standing in front of her, trying not to pace. "I asked you if you were alright and you said you were. That was a hell of a bad judgement call, that was unprofessional," my tone is sharp, but my voice is poised.
"I don't know what happened…" she mutters with a wince when she moves the ice pack she's holding against her head. "I was fine."
"Yeah, that's why you passed out."
"You gave us a hell of a scare too," Nick berates her a bit.
"You know, I could put a blame on your personal file for taking inconsiderate risks, because when you go on the field while knowing that you're not fine it's a proof of carelessness. What if something went wrong? If the perp had been there? What if… damn it you know better than that and…"
She suddenly starts to giggle. "There's nothing funny, Sara," I reprimand her which only serves to makes her giggle more. "Stop that, you made a rookie mistakes and…"
She makes frowns with a pout, making a funny face. "I can make an angry face too," she speaks with a weird voice.
"Are you taking the piss at me right now?"
She laughs not looking at me. "My hand is cold," her attention switches suddenly.
I'm about to explode when something hits me. "I think she's high," Nick voices my thought.
"Did they give her something?"
"I'm not high, I'm Sara," Sara guffaws at her own joke.
"Nope," Nick frowns.
"Did she take anything?"
"No, come on this is Sara she wouldn't take anything that could impair her."
Nick has a point, Sara would rather come sick than take anything during the shift. "Well she's high Nicky."
"You think she could have inhaled something?"
"I didn't smell anything odd in the room," I sigh and pass a hand in my hair. "Oh this night is just…" I'm at loss for words so much the situation is unreal.
"Let's get her back to the lab, the owner of the house…" I snap my fingers not finding the name I'm looking for.
"Zack Jamison, he's at the lab for interrogation."
"Well, we need to find out if he's cooking stuff in his house, and our DB might go from thief to client of his."
Nick pushes Sara in the car, then he gets back in the house to get our kits, I for myself place a call to make sure they don't let our suspect go.
My attention is brought back to Sara when red and blue lights start flashing form the top of our car. Sara's inside the car touching everything.
"Brilliant," I mutter. I walk to the car, I try to open the door but it turns out to be locked. My first reflex is to feel my pockets for the keys but I quickly remember that Nick was the one to drive. I tap gently on the window to get Sara's attention. "Open the door Sara."
Sara looks at me smiles and knocks on the window in return like it was a game before playing with the radio, she turns it on and off in rhythm with the music, her laughter lets me know that she's enjoying this greatly.
"What's going on?" Nick asks when he comes back with our kits.
"Sara locked herself in and…" I don't need to finish my sentences because Sara puts her face against the window making a piggy nose then blowing against the glass to complete her funny face.
Nick laughs lightly at Sara's antics, I can't help joining in when Sara makes another funny face against the glass, I must admit that seeing Sara regressing so fast has something endearing. "Just give me the keys Nicky."
I hold my hand up but several seconds tick by without anything happening. I look at Nick with a questioning frown. "Nick?"
"I don't have the keys," he states.
"Nick, tell me you didn't lose them again."
"Then where are they?" he purses his lips and motions the car with his chin. I look and see Sara making the keys turning around her finger using the ring of the keychain, her tongue is sticking out as if she was in deep concentration. "You gave her the keys? She's high and you gave her the keys? What is wrong with you?!"
"I gave them five minutes after we got here, she wanted gums and I didn't have any left on me, I gave her the keys so she could take some from the glove box, I didn't know she'd be high as a kite by the time we had to use the car again," he defends himself.
I close my eyes, and pinch the bridge of my nose, taking a deep breath to calm myself. "Now it's clear, this is Karma," I mumble.
This night is going to be a challenge.
After twenty minutes of negotiations we managed to have Sara's attention long enough for her to open the car. We put the blue and red lights on so Sara would be quiet in the car it worked for ten minutes but then lucky us she was enjoying the street lights enough not to fidget too much.
Since she now acts like a five year old I put Nicky on baby-sitting duty, for my part I'm marching to the interrogation room expecting quick answers from Jamison and with Sara's behaviour I'm very short tempered so he better not mess around.
I enter the interrogation room without so much as a knock, Jamison is sitting at the table, slumped on the chair, he seems relieved to see me. I nod at the officer in the room and sit in front of Jamison.
"Miss Willows, they wouldn't let me go and I have already told your people everything."
"You told them about the meth you're cooking?" I choose the blunt approach.
"What?" he looks at me with big eyes of surprise. "I…I… I don't cook drugs!"
I ignore his protest and keep my line of questioning. "I have a team still at your house as we speak, it's just a matter of time before they find something. Now you have a choice to make, either you tell me what's going on and where to look, in that case I'll make sure to stress your cooperation in my report and you might get some clemency from a judge; or we find it on our own and you're in deep trouble."
"I don't cook anything I swear!"
"Zack, don't mess around with me right now because I really don't have any patience. I want you to explain to me how one of my investigators is currently high as a kite after spending time and passing out in one of the rooms of your house?" I ask sharply. "I can put my hand on the fire about the fact that she doesn't use anything and that her current state is due to something wrong happening in your house."
"I don't…" he protests but I go on, cutting him off.
"And you better believe that if anything wrong happened to her that will add on top of the drug charges!"
"I swear I'm not…"
"I'm starting to think that you were probably high yourself and that the intruder was one of your clients, that it was a deal gone wrong."
"I don't know what you're taking about!" he shouts. "I've told you, I don't…"
He stops in mid sentence and frowns, I can see the wheels turning in his head at a frantic speed. "The rocket…" he mutters. "Shit."
"What is it?" I prompt.
"Can you describe the room in which your agent was?"
"I looked like a lightly furnished library, few bookshelves, a couch, white boards against two walls."
Zack winces. "Okay, uh… I don't cook drugs that is the truth, I swear," he rubs his forehead. "Here's the thing, I work as a neuroscientist, right. I'm conducting a study, a very serious study on substances that enhance brain performances."
"Get to the point."
"I'm serving as my own test subject. I created this substance, right, based on my researches it's a specific blend and I'm changing it according to my results and all. I use it through inhalation, I made this system of electric burner so that the product is turned into fumes that I inhale, that way it takes longer to set in my system and I have enough time to make observations."
"This sounds a lot like a lie to me," I'm more than sceptical.
"No, no, I can prove it.! There are tones of notebooks in my study and DVDs of my different trials. You'll see that I'm not lying and this is a serious thing!"
"It still fails to explain how one of my teammate came to inhale it," I point.
"I was about to make a trial tonight, so I plugged the rocket only I heard the noise and that's when I found the body in my house, then I called you guys and I completely forgot about the rest. But it's not illegal, I'm not selling anything and again this is serious, it's just that instead of paying someone to try the substance on or testing on animals I test it on myself."
"What's a rocket?" I hang onto one detail.
"That's the name I gave to the solution," he grins.
"Hey! One of my people inhaled your stuff, there's nothing to smile about," I reprimand him immediately. "Tell me about that product of yours and its effects."
"They'll be high at first, well kind of, they'll be acting like a hyperactive child more like. You know I actually use glow in the dark paint to keep my attention in the room during the first moments of the substance taking effect. " he smiles proudly.
"Do you, by any chance, put glow in the dark paint on the soles of your feet?"
"Yeah, how do you know?" he frowns
"Your footprints led us to the room," I inform him. Of course glow in the dark pain looks like regular spots once dry, but it was probably still glowing a bit when Sara started her inspection. "That's it? You regress to a childish behaviour? How does that qualify as brain enhancing?" I get back on track.
"After a while the brain starts firing up like crazy," he beams.
"Yeah, enhanced memory, quick thinking, slight sensory overload, and ability to process a lot of information at the same time."
"Headaches, slight nausea, and blurry memories, nothing bad considering that it's experimental," he shrugs.
"That sounds suspiciously innocent," I frown.
"I know right?" Zack chortles proudly "Now, I just need to avoid the high and…"
"Zack," I interrupt his amazed rant. "She passed out inhaling your crap."
"That has never happened before… of course I only have myself as a comparison and…" he once again trails off as if realizing something.
"How long did you say she was in the room?"
"I don't know, why?"
"I only experiment five minutes every time, well I pushed to ten minutes… so I only know the effects for those parameters, and you know… changed parameters means new results," he explains. "But I've been experimenting for a while now so I think I've built a resistance which can easily explain her passing out, her organism not being used to…" he purses his lips clearly having a 'oh crap' moment of realisation.
"I… I…" he stammers.
"You what?" I press.
"I didn't get a chance to set the timer," he has a contrived smile.
I process his words and I feel ice forming in the pit of my stomach as a detail hits me. "We were apart for about fifty minutes," I state out loud.
"You said you had someone at my house right now?"
I take my phone immediately and place a call to Warrick. "What are we looking for?"
"The burner it's a white device on the floor next to the couch, if it smells like apple or candy that's it. There's a glass tank attached to it, see there's still something left in."
I relay the information to Warrick and wait for an answer. It seems like I'm listening to silence for hours before Warrick speaks again. "It's empty."
"Rick, bag it, call you back," I hang up. "Uh oh?" I repeat Zack's last statement.
Zack has a nervous smile but doesn't say anything. I lose all patience. "Zack!" I slam my hand on the table. My sudden gesture startles him. "One of my people is high with god knows what in their bloodstream, anything happens to her you will be held responsible, this is a guarantee, so speak!"
"There was over 90 minutes worth of solution in the tank," he talks with an unsteady voice. "It was about 30 minutes between me finding the body and you showing up," he marks a pause and thinks. "How long do you think she took before finding the room?"
"We were apart for fifty minutes, supposing she saw your glowing footprints… that's probably ten to fifteen minutes to take pictures and mark her way to your experimenting room," I reason.
"That's more or less forty five minutes of inhalation… oh boy," he passes a hand over his face. "I call the whole thing a rocket because first it gets you high and then it fuels your brain," he licks his lips nervously. "Five to ten minutes of inhalation and you're on the moon. Forty five minutes? She's most likely in another galaxy."
I tighten my jaw not to say anything inappropriate but I know that careless, utterly stupid and irresponsible are just some of the words I have in mind right now.
"You better hope for your own sake that she gets through that… 'rocket haze' of yours unarmed, because otherwise you are in a shitload of trouble," I punctuate the last words of my warning before standing up.
"I don't suppose I could observe her for my…" my death glare freezes him. "Right, I didn't ask… she should be okay really, she'll have a hell of a headache but she should be okay. Make sure to hydrate her regularly," he says nervously.
I push my chair back and stand up. "I'm going to check on my partner, and we're going to put you in holding until I find what to do with you."
"Oh come on!" he protests but I don't pay attention and leave the room wanting to check on Sara.
I found Sara where I left her with Nick in one break room. I'm about to ask Nick how Sara is doing but I'm distracted by Sara herself.
"Is she trying to do what I'm thinking?" I frown.
"Yeah, she's been at it for five minutes, one finger at a time," Nick replies not sparing a glance in my direction Sara is apparently trying to put her fist in her mouth. "Do we know what she inhaled?"
"A rocket," I snort with despise. "Some solution supposed to enhance brain performance."
I get into detail about my interrogation of Jamison. "What an idiot," Nick shakes his head. "I mean, that he experiments on himself is one thing but he's trying something without any supervision and that's stupid. How can he be sure of everyone's reaction to his solution? What if Sara hadn't been the one exposed to it? What if it had been a kid or an elderly? This is carelessness."
Our attention is on Sara who's making weird sounds of jubilation now that her whole fist is in her mouth. I close my eyes with a grin in spite of the current situation. I'd never thought I'd see the day Sara turns into a toddler. It's a good thing that she most likely won't remember a thing because I don't think there is a hole deep enough for her to crawl into to hide from embarrassment.
"We lost her…" I repeat for the fifth time. "We lost her! How could that possibly happen?"
We're running around the lab to find Sara. We turned out back for a total of twenty seconds and she was gone, vanished! We're always two steps behind her, every lab tech tells us the same story, they saw her, she was touching everything and a bit 'off' or 'funny' but every time we get there she's already somewhere else.
I've always known the lab to be big but today I'm starting to appreciate how many rooms there are: way too many.
"She's six feet tall… we lost a six feet tall women who's high, damn it!" I curse before grabbing my head in frustration.
Of course it had to be Sara, the only person to probably know every corner of the lab. I'm more concerned by the fact that she's high, because she could ruin evidence, have an accident or some kind of bad reaction to that blasted solution, or do something harmful; there are firearms and dangerous products in the building for goodness sake!
"Cath, Cath, Cath!" Nick interrupts our run in the corridor. I look at him expectantly. He points something on the floor to me. "Golden fingerprint powder."
Yes! Sara and I are the only one to have that powder, she got me some for my birthday last year and I know for a fact that she got herself a small stash.
I don't try to imagine what she's been doing with it in her state, but at least now she's leaving a trail. We start following the powder, it leads us to her office and there's a pile of powder on her desk, there are two opened bottles, half the content of which is on the floor. Sara is going to be so pissed when she realises that she wasted them.
I briefly wonder how many she had before cursing under my breath. "That's where the trail starts," I growl.
We took the trail in the wrong sense, falling further behind from Sara than we were. Nick and I rush on the other direction.
My phone rings and I pick up without looking at the caller. "Willows."
"I think she's on the roof, get there quick!" Warrick warns me.
I hang up and start running, this is not good at all. I'm starting to pray whatever force may be so that she doesn't decide to defy gravity.
Nick and I rush on the roof and effectively Sara is there, staggering since she's not paying attention to her steps. She's making awestruck sounds and can't seem to focus her attention on anything.
"Sara?" I call her gently. "Sara?"
She eventually registers the sound of my voice. "Hey friend…" she waves her hand at me with a wide smile, her face and hands are covered with golden powder. "It's so shiny…" she suddenly focus on her hand "I got magic powder," she beams proudly, her face is covered with golden power, so are her hands and her clothes, there's even some in her hair.
"That's nice," I reply. "I have some too, do you want to see?"
"Yeah," she talks with a childish slur.
"It's inside, come I'll show you," I hold my hand out.
"I'm shiny…" she looks away. "Oh look, fireflies…" she starts walking dangerously close to the edge.
"Sara!" I call with urgency getting her attention back. "Nick," I call him softly, I don't elaborate but he gets my point and tries to approach Sara as slowly as possible while I'm distracting her. "I have magic powder and… loads of magic stuff," I address Sara again, talking a bit louder than I need to just to make sure to keep her attention.
I lose her a for a moment because she's looking at her tongue, looking at it then making a funny face and working her mouth as if she had a bitter taste in it. I notice that her tongue is glowing, I think she tried to eat her power first… like any curious kid would.
She notices Nick moving toward her and takes a step back, getting closer to the edge, barely two steps away from a five stories fall.
"I… I… I have a lot of magic things to show you," I quickly get her attention back but she's still looking at Nick and taking another step back. Nick immediately stops his progression. "Sara! Look at me, look at me," I wait a second and she's back with me again. "That's it, do you want to see the magic things? Yeah?"
She's looking at me, then at Nick, then at me again. "I have… glow sticks! They're shiny," I talk with a joyful voice which contrasts with the dread holding my guts. "We can make you magic bracelets, do you want that?"
"Shiny," she repeats.
"Yeah, exactly, come with me we'll play with shiny magic things," I coax.
"Yeah," she beams again and takes a step in my direction.
Just as I'm breathing in relief there the sound of a car coming, the sirens beep loudly attracting Sara's attention immediately. "Ooh, flashy!" she walks toward the lights without thinking.
Falling off the roof.
"Sara!" Nick shouts, there are also screams coming from below.
I'm so shocked that my voice is stuck in my throat.
My brain refuses to process the gravity of what's happening…
This is a dream, this is a dream…
Please let me wake up…
I look at Nick, barely breathing, neither of us is willing to go to the edge and look.
Sara plunged into the air, it's quite a fall and I don't want to see her on the floor. Gravity's a bitch so it can't be good. There's nothing but concrete down there, no obstacle whatsoever, I know that I'll most likely see her bent at an odd angle…
I feel like I have just received a punch in the guts crushing everything inside, the situation is sinking in and tears are burning my eyes already. I bend over about to throw up, trying but failing to breathe.
"Oooh… magic! I'm flying!"
I look at Nick and we both run to the edge.
Somehow Sara's vest was caught on the empty flag holder which is sticking out of the wall at the first floor level. It's like someone was holding Sara from her collar, she's moving her limbs slowly, enjoying her position, not realizing for a second that she almost kissed death.
"I'm flying…" she states again with amazement. "Magic powder… ooh…"
She must have a lucky star because she just defied the laws of probabilities.
"Fucking hell," I breathe out, barely getting a hang on my emotions.
"Talk about a miracle," Nick agrees, he breathes out in relief. I can see tears rolling on his cheeks.
We just went from mourning to relief in a matter of seconds, that's an emotional elevator if I know one. Panic is still there though because Sara has yet to hit the firm ground.
Warrick and Greg who are down there are giving orders trying to find something for a safe landing and sending other people on the first floor see if we can pull her up. People don't have time to do anything though because Sara's jacket suddenly tears up in two and she falls down the last few meters, landing unceremoniously.
Nick and I hurry to get downstairs and get to her, I don't think I was ever that fast in my life apart maybe from the time I had to get Lindsey out of that sinking car.
When we arrive Warrick and Greg are already at Sara's sides forcing her not to move too much, she's looking at them with confusion, not understanding the attention.
"I have a boo-boo…" she holds her right arm.
"We're going to clean it up," Warrick assures her still looking at her frantically to see if he's not missing any wound.
"It stings," she pouts.
She fell off the roof and all she has to show for it are a scratched knee, a deep cut on one of her forearm and a long scrape on her back.
I breathe out in relief for the first time in almost an hour. I look at the guys and we are all still not believing what just happened, I think we all aged ten years during the last few minutes.
Not willing to repeat the same mistake we are taking watch after Sara and never leaving her without surveillance even for a second. She might have been lucky so far but we don't want to tempt fate. We're making sure she's drinking a lot of water we even fed her a bit.
The golden print powder is making her skin glow, and her tongue as well. She has considerably calmed down since the beginning, her focus is not shifting as before, I think that the rocket is finally wearing off, thank goodness for that.
So far she spends several minutes staring into space then she looks at something else. We gave some paper and markers in case she felt like drawing or writing. We tried to talk to her but she doesn't seem interested in talking, at least not to someone else because she's muttering to herself a lot.
Nick takes his turn to watch her while I go and talk to Grissom who has finally come back from his meeting.
After a long conversation with Grissom I go back to see Sara.
"How is she?" I ask Nick when I enter the break room in which we keep Sara.
"Hyperactive," he says motioning Sara who's writing frantically on her last piece of paper then she stands up and uses a marker on a white board, or at least what used to be a white board, it's now covered with equations.
Every single piece of paper we gave her is on the floor, I pick on and see that it's covered with numbers, words, as if she was trying to solve something.
If she was a child earlier, it looks like she has morphed into an adult again. She's writing fast and then looks at paper then she goes back on the board, I try to communicate with her but she's in her world.
I think her brain is firing up, as Zack had put it.
I'm still a bit worried because the drug is still in her bloodstream, but there's something reassuring in the fact that she can now focus her mind onto something coherent. I take that over having her trying to fly and seeing magic everywhere.
Just when I'm about to take my turn for the watch Grissom calls me back to his office.
I had to make a full round of every lab and take a report from anyone who had a contact with Sara to make sure nothing was compromised and assess the eventual damages. There are still hours left to the shift, but I'm already tired, all this excitation has drained me.
"Cath," Warrick intercepts me.
"Aren't you supposed to be watching over Sara?" I immediately ask.
"You left her alone again? Rick, come on!"
"Don't worry about that, she's not going to go anywhere. We have a bigger problem, I think she's having a very bad reaction," he explains.
We run to the break room, I can feel a chill running down my spine when I arrive in the room. There are twice as many pieces of paper on the floor, but Sara has written on the walls, on the floor, on the table and now she's pacing and talking a mile a minute.
This is not good.
"Sara?" I call her gently as I approach, she doesn't react to my voice and instead keeps talking to herself. "Sara," I carefully put a hand on her shoulder.
She looks at me and the first thing I notice is how dark her eyes are and how pale she is. "The equation is impossible, it's impossible, see I tried to solve it but it was impossible, Mr Donovan was testing us, see he gave us an impossible equation to see if we would catch the problem but I didn't know, I do know, it's impossible…"
She writes something else on the board, strikes some numbers and then moves about in the room and rummages quickly among the papers. She goes to the wall and writes again. "The equation is the base for all the theorem but it's wrong, so the whole theorem is wrong, this is wrong…" her words become unintelligible.
"She's been like this for the past twenty minutes," Warrick explains. "We tried to stop her but it's like she was in a bubble."
I turn around and see that Nick and Greg are there too. I thought the worse was behind us but if I'm honest she's freaking me out right now.
"Page 87!" she suddenly exclaims. "It was on page 87!" she repeats before reciting something.
I go next to her again. "Sara, you need to calm down," I talk softly.
She looks at me. "Do you know that the march 21st of 1995 was a Tuesday? It was my physics day, and I tried to solved the theorem but I failed because my equations were wrong, or at least I thought they were but I had approach the whole thing backwards, see…" she points the wall. "Fuck I'm hot," she tries to undo the button of her shirt but ends up tearing it up, three buttons pop and fly in the air.
She talks to herself again, this time I grab her face to force her to look at me. I gasp at the feel of her skin, she's literally burning up. She pushes my hands away and I realize that she's shaking badly, she rummages through the papers again. Whatever she's looking for it turns out to be on the board, she moves her hand over her writing, muttering. Suddenly she's hitting her head several times quickly.
She kneels down and starts filling one of the last spot untouched on the board. As she's mumbling her teeth are chattering together, all her attention is on the board. "I went ewwy … I went…" she raises a trembling hand in a vague direction then hits her forehead again. "It's there… damn it… I know it's there…"
She went ewwy? What does that mean?
"She went what? Sara?" I try to get her attention again but in vain. "Sara? Sara? Sweetie, what did you mean?" I turn to the boys hoping that they might know what she meant.
There's a long pause.
"Oh," of course Greg is the first one to get it. "It means she got sick," he explains before starting to move around the room looking for a confirmation. "Did you leave her alone?"
"I did to get Cath," Warrick declares.
"She's burning up," I reveal.
Greg moves a pile of paper and makes a face of disgust. "Yep, it's confirmed, she did vomit."
He frowns suddenly and I pick up immediately on the oddness of the room.
All eyes turn to Sara, she seems frozen in front of the board, her hand is up stopped in mid motion, shaking. She's not talking anymore.
Times stops a few seconds, her breathing is heavy and then silent. Warrick reacts first and rushes behind her just as she's going limp and falls backward.
"Get Doc Robbins here and fast!" I order, getting to Sara's sides as well.
Please, let her be alright, please, let her be alright.
"She scared me to death," Greg's whisper echoes in the hospital room.
"Me too," I admit.
We're both watching over an unconscious Sara. I had questioned Zack to know exactly what was in his solution, of course he didn't have anything to counter the effect, and that kind of things takes time. She has been examine by Doc Robbins who assured us that the best was to wait and see, but that we should take her to the hospital just out of safety.
Greg puts a hand over his eyes and I pretend not to hear the sob that escapes from him. He clears his throat to cover his slip. "I'm going to get coffee, do you want one?" he asks before turning is head away, but I have time to notice a single tear rolling along his cheek.
"Yeah sure," I reply, then focus on Sara to allow him a moment to compose himself again.
I hear the door being opened and closed, for the first time I'm alone with Sara. After a few seconds of hesitation I put my hand over hers, I squeeze her hand then break the contact, not feeling comfortable.
I think after today's shift I'm ready to re-evaluate the situation regarding Sara. She almost died twice today and the both times the thought broke my heart.
I care about her.
I don't know if things will ever be as good as they used to between us, but right now I know without a doubt that I'm ready to make an effort.
I'll try to be good and come back next week.
Thanks for reading.