Title: Fear

Author: CSIphile/Stepf

Notes: *sniffle* *sob*.tis the end my friends, the last chapter in the epic known as Fear. Thank you for hanging in with me, it's been a long journey, but I hope one that you enjoyed, cause I did. As a bonus, depending on your take, of hanging around this long I will let y'all in on a secret, I am currently writing the sequel to this bad boy, and its turning out longer than the original. Hopefully I'll start posting before the first of the year if all goes well. Look out for it, the title."When it All Comes Crashing Down". If only I could figure out a way to get paid for 47 (so far, between both fics) chapters of this epic, life would be good. (Kidding, only kidding lawyer type people. I make zero dollars on this and never want to..ever. Cause that would be wrong.)

Again, thank you to those who reviewed and even those who didn't but read and enjoyed. Special thanks to my betas who rock hard, yo. Without them I would be the worst writer on planet Earth. You girls are the best.smooches.

Dropping his bag quietly and pulling out the roll of tape he found across the street, Joey listens for any noise that the occupant is awake. Noting that all the lights are off, he assumes that Sara is sleeping and quietly makes his way through the house, finally finding the bedroom. Slowly opening the door, he cringes when the old hinges squeak and Sara rolls over. Freezing momentarily, he waits to see if she notices him; he can't have that yet, he is in control, not her. After standing still for several seconds, Joey finally makes tentative movements toward the bed, pausing slightly with each step to see if she wakens.

Finally Joey stands at the side of the bed, admiring her, but at the same time becoming angry with her; she is in another man's house with no regard for his feelings. He looks at her sleeping form; in her sleep she has , kicked off the covers, leaving him a clear view of her almost naked body. She is more beautiful than he even remembers, despite the bruised body and a cast wrapped around her arm. Seeing the bandage through her white t- shirt, Joey is conflicted, he loves her like no other, and she is meant to be his. But at the same time he feels guilt, remorse for hurting her. Wrestling with his thoughts, he reminds himself what she has done to deserve his anger; she ignored him, had him arrested, and went on vacation with another man. Narrowing his eyes at the brunette, he kneels next to the bed, placing his face even with hers. Reaching out, he carefully touches her bruised face, and speaks quietly.

"I'm sorry, Sara. This has to be done. You can't be with anyone else, and since you don't want to be with me, there's only one solution. You will be no one's, ever." He pauses and takes a deep breath. "I Love you.goodbye."

Carefully he sits on the bed next to her, appreciating her beauty, but knowing what he must do to keep her pure, and forever his. Moving to straddle her body at the waist, he is surprised when she still doesn't wake. He reaches over for a pillow next to her and that's when Sara murmurs something, moving as she does.

She is aware of someone straddling her lightly, whoever it is not quite putting all their weight on her; she can feel them when she tries to roll over. Had it been that long since Grissom left? It didn't seem like it, though the drugs had a made her head fuzzy and confused. Besides, Grissom wouldn't sit on her like that, he knows better. Saying his name, Sara shakes the cobwebs from her head. When she gets no response she says his name again, louder.

"Grissom?" When a hand reaches out and touches her shoulder, she knows instantly that it's not Grissom. The hand is rougher, and too small, defiantly not him. Snapping her eyes open, Sara sees Joey leaning over her. Before she can scream, one hand clamps over her mouth, while the other pushes down on her right shoulder. Somehow he had pinned her arms to her sides, holding them firmly with his knees.

"No, not Grissom, Sara. What do you see in him? I don't understand, he is old enough to be your father, and come on, not all that attractive. Well, no matter, you won't be seeing him anymore." He watches as her eyes become as large as saucers, obviously thinking he had done something to Grissom. "He's fine Sara; it's you I would be more concerned about."

Leaning into her, he places his lips right by her ear, his breath sending a shiver of terror through her body. "I love you Sara, if you had just seen that, and returned my love, none of this would be happening."

Sara struggles against his grip, trying to remember in her fuzzy brain where she had left her gun. She is sure that only one of them is getting out of this alive, she preferred it if it was her. `Think Sara, gun. Where? Where? The living room, Grissom's desk,' she finally recalls. But now her problem is how to get there. He is almost completely sitting on her abdomen now, her arms still trapped at her sides. She is defenseless and terrified. Trying to move her body just above the waist, all she gets is a shooting pain in her chest.

He watches her struggle uselessly against his stronger grip and reaches with the hand holding her shoulder to get the tape he brought. She can't make noise now, which would alert the neighbors.

Sara gets her chance when he foolishly lets go of her one shoulder and as he leans over, giving her enough room to wiggle her right arm out of its holding place. Swiftly bringing up her arm, she makes hard contact with his ribs with the heavy cast. He pulls back surprised, removing his hand from her mouth. Unfortunately all she can get out is a small scream, and it's unlikely the neighbors even heard her. Sara grabs another chance as he recovers and punches him hard in the solar plexus, which is enough to make him tilt to one side, giving her the opportunity to pull herself out from under him. Every motion causes pain to shoot though her chest, but Sara ignores the throbbing, her survival instinct taking over. Balancing on the edge of the bed, Sara just gets her feet out from under him as he recovers enough to grab at her, causing her to lose her tentative hold on balance, and fall back onto the floor, causing some serious pain in her broken arm, which takes the brunt of the fall.

Recovering quickly, she scrambles backwards on her hands and feet, not unlike a crab. Sara is almost to the open bedroom door when he gets off the bed and comes after her with frightening speed. She gets off the floor quickly and turns, starting to run into the living room when she feels a hand on her back, shoving her down onto the hardwood floor. Still not turning around, Sara manages to get on her hands and knees, scrambling toward Grissom's desk and her only means of protection. She gets halfway there when a boot comes down on her back, pinning her to the floor, a cry of agony emanating from her vocal cords.

"Dammit, Sara. Stop fighting me. This would be so much easier on both of us." Slowly lifting his boot, he grabs her upper arm, pulling her across the floor. Sara struggling as best she can against his stronger grip. Sitting her up against the wall farthest from her destination he kneels in front of her, to her left side, and looks in her eyes. So beautiful, even when angry, this is how he will remember her. Removing his eyes from her face, he glances down at her slim form, a small spot of blood starting to form on her shirt over the bandage. Distracted by the dark red spot that increases in size as he watches, he nearly misses the fist she swings at his face. Catching in at the last second, he makes a clucking noise and looks in her eyes. "Now, now Sara. How many times do you think you can do that without me catching on? Huh? I saw that one coming."

Sara sees rage, anger and love in his eyes, a contradiction she doesn't understand. She pushes her back into the wall, trying to get as far away as she can as his calloused hand makes contact with her inner thigh. Joey smiles when he finally touches her, her skin so smooth, just what he expected. Running his hand up her bare leg, stopping at the edge of her underwear, Sara is frozen into place, all her training and instinct pushed into the back of her mind with the sudden terror of potentially being raped. Shuddering, Sara tries to scream; only a small squeak can be heard.

Suddenly his hand snaps up, grabbing her around the throat and squeezing hard, his other hand holding onto her cast so she can't hit him again. She can feel the last breath exit her body in a rush, she know she has maybe two or three minutes before the oxygen in her lungs is depleted, causing her suffocate, the dream from so long ago coming back to her. Utter terror flows through her, and bringing up her free arm, she scratches at his hand, feeling the skin come off under her nails. `Well at least this way there will be no doubt who killed me,' she thinks.

Trying desperately to get air into her screaming lungs, Sara digs her short nails into his skin, drawing blood. When that fails to work, she grabs at his hair, pulling out several strands, anything to cause him the kind of pain she is in. The sensation in her lungs is nothing short of excruciating, and she can now feel blood slowly trickling down her stomach, probably from pulled stitches. Joey just continues to stare at her, a sadistic grin permanently etched on his face. As her peripheral vision starts to get blurry, Sara makes one last ditch attempt to escape. Using what little energy she has left, she pulls up one knee, bringing it as hard as she can into Joeys groin area. While not making contact, it's enough to push him off balance, and he lets go of her throat and arm. Sara takes in a much needed breath, and again brings her cast-covered arm around, this time making full on contact with his head. Joey cries out, and falls the rest of the way, hitting the floor with a loud thump. Sara scrambles up onto her feet, running full speed at the desk, coming to a sliding stop in front of it. Pulling open the desk drawer, she grabs her gun and swings around, surprised when Joey is no longer in the position he was when she got up. Moving slowly into the kitchen, holding the gun in her left hand and breathing hard, she finds him bent over, looking for a knife in the rack.

When she removes the safety, the noise causes him to turn to her, a look of astonishment on his face. He is the scared one now.

"Sara, I love you. Don't you see? This was all done in love."

Keeping her gun trained on the man who turned her life into a living nightmare, she resists the urge to pull the trigger. Even as angry and scared as she is, Sara can't bring herself to take this man's life when she has the upper hand now. Despite Nick spending the next three weeks in a hospital bed, despite the pain that he has caused both of them, the physical manifestation of which she can now feel coursing through her body, she can't do it. Sara's finger hovers over the trigger, her head a confusing swirl of thoughts and potential actions. `Would killing this man in cold blood really be the answer?' she wonders.

Grissom pulls up to his neighborhood, surprised to find a unit parked on the street before his. The red and blue lights flashing in the night is ominous, and his stomach sinks. Stopping slowly, the worst coming to mind, he sees the officers assigned to protect Sara. Rolling down the window he hollers at one of them.

"Davis! What's going on?"

The officer approaches his window. "Some kid broke out two car windows. Made quite a racket."

Getting a bad feeling, he glances at his house. "Did anyone check on Sara?"

"No, all's been quiet since you left."

Grissom's brain goes into overdrive, his instincts telling him something is very wrong here. Before he can say anything though, two distinct gunshots are heard from the direction of his townhouse.

"You won't shoot me Sara. Besides, how great of a shot can you be with the wrong hand?" Slowly he advances on her, Joey can see the confusion in her face, and figures he still has control.

"Make one more move and I won't hesitate." Her voice is raspy, but he can tell from her tone she is deadly serious.

"Sara, we are meant to be together, you and me. Can't you feel it? The pull between us, like some cosmic force that brought me to that crime scene to see you. It was fate, Sara."

"Fate?" She snorts. "I don't think so. You're crazy, you know that? Certifiable. And now you will spend a good long time locked up."

"Are you denying that you feel something between us?" Again he takes a step forward; Sara keeps the gun trained on him and without thinking makes the passive move of taking a step back. Joey smiles inside; he does still have a bit of control over her, maybe enough

to finish this.

"Yes. All I feel from you is pain." Raising her right hand she indicates her cast and then covers her abdomen with her fingers. "You did this. Why would I want anything to do with you?"

"I'm sorry Sara; I needed to make you see." Taking another small step forward, Joey is almost in arm's reach of her.

"Don't move," she hisses. Every breath is becoming more and more painful, and the throbbing in her broken arm is making her nauseous and dizzy. Sara can feel the slow trickle of blood down her abdomen increase in volume, she wants to look down, but taking her attention off Joey is not an option. Seeing the phone behind him, she instructs Joey to stand against the counter and makes her way around the island, her eyes and gun never leaving his form.

He watches as she moves around the counter, going for the phone and help. He can't allow that and waits for an opportunity. As she reaches the end of the island, he makes his move, she briefly glances away from him to gauge how much farther she has to go and he jumps at the chance.

Sara turns back from looking at the phone and is surprised to find him moving toward her. Without thinking Sara pulls off a shot and then another in quick succession, hitting her target with accuracy.

Grissom quickly accelerates around the corner, with Davis running across the lawns to his townhouse. Coming to a screeching halt in his driveway, he jumps out of the Tahoe, in his haste leaving the door open, and runs to the porch. His nerves make him fumble with the keys; he can't seem to find the one he wants. `Dammit Grissom, hurry your ass up, its Sara.' Finally he gets the right one in the lock and swings open the door, Davis right behind him, both of them with guns drawn. Entering the house with some caution, Grissom figures all the noise he made at the door would have alerted someone to their presence.

"Sara?" He calls out, unable to keep his voice from shaking. Getting no response, and seeing no one, he moves into the living room, dismayed to see small drops of blood on his floor from the far wall to the desk. "Sara?" he calls again and follows the trail into the kitchen.

"Jesus, Sara," he says when he comes around the island. Harrington is laying facedown, a pool of blood starting to form under him; Grissom can just see the edges. Sara is sitting on the floor, her gun lying next to her, gaze fixated on the body on the floor, something resembling relief on her face. As Grissom kneels in front of her and holsters his firearm. Davis walks to Harrington, carefully checking his pulse and nodding at Grissom.

Grissom can hear Davis calling for two ambulances and back up on his radio as he gives Sara a once over. She is having trouble breathing, with her left hand covering her abdomen and the other sitting by her side, the previously white cast now has a sickly pink tint.

"Sara?" he says again and carefully moves her hand off her stomach, concerned to find her shirt soaked in blood. He can now hear the ambulance in the background as more officers enter the house and speak with Davis. When he again gets no response from her, Grissom looks into her eyes; she is somewhere else, not focused on the here and now, not that he can blame her.

Finally the brunette focuses on him. "I killed him, didn't I? Oh god, I had to, he came after me."

"No Sara, he's alive."

"I probably need to give a statement. I have his DNA under my fingernails and I pulled hair, that's probably in the living room somewhere. Plus you might want to check my back for a footprint." Her voice is firm, reverting into CSI mode, she knows what happens next.

"Not right now, you need to go to the hospital and then Brass can take your statement." He is equally firm with her, knowing the only way she could have a footprint on her back and cringes. She nods, resting her head against the wall.

As the EMS workers enter, Grissom is forced out of the way so they can asses her. After speaking with her for several minutes, the younger of the two workers helps Sara up onto a stretcher rolling her outside to the waiting ambulance and another hospital visit. Grissom watches them walk out, and follows closely behind while calling Brass, not caring what happens to the man lying bleeding on his kitchen floor. It's finally over.

**St John's Hospital, Three Days Later**

"You ready?" A voice asks her from the doorway.

Turing, Sara smiles widely at the figure. "Oh yeah, two hospital visits in under a week is enough for my lifetime."

Grissom enters the room and picks up the bag as she closes it. "Mine too. Mine too." He leans down and kisses her lightly, one finger tracing her jaw line.

"You were very lucky, Sara. Besides fracturing your already broken arm, re- breaking a rib and breaking a new one, and pulling all your stitches you got off easy. Could have been worse."

"Yeah, I know. Believe me, I know. Can we stop and see Nicky? I hear he is out of ICU now." She gives him that Sara smile and he has no choice but to agree with her.

"Sure, but then straight home and rest for you." He guides her out the door and to the elevator bank, pressing down.

"Yes sir." She responds military style and smiles again. Grissom is thrilled to see her almost back to being his Sara again, but he can still see the darkness hiding in her eyes. You just don't shake off something like this in a week, it takes time and patience and someone to lean on. He is determined to be that someone for her.

Entering Nick's room, Sara is relived to see him sitting up and conversing with Warrick. She hasn't seen him since the day she was admitted the second time, the nurses wanted her to stay put, a tough thing for Sara to do with him only one floor under her. She had spoken to him several times, but seeing him in person is what she needs. Walking to his bedside, Sara bends over carefully and hugs him, mindful of both their internal injuries.

"Hey Sar. You are looking much better since I saw you last." He smiles at the woman now holding his hand. She did, some of her face bruises have faded since only three days ago, additionally, he can see more of the Sara he remembers in her eyes and body language.

"Thanks, you too. You'll be out of here in no time at this rate."

"I hope so. I hear you had to get a new cast, so does that mean I have to sign it again?"

"You know it. Might as well do it now so Warrick can finally get his turn."

Finding a marker on the table next to him, Sara hands it to him and doesn't watch as again he writes on her cast. Sara is beginning to wonder what is taking so long when suddenly he yelps.

"Done!" he announces with flourish and caps the pen, handing it to Warrick.

Scrunching her nose, Sara looks at the black markings and laughs. The inscription in Nicks handwriting reads, `Remind me not to get in front of the Sara Sidle Iron Fist, it's near deadly.' Underneath that is a smaller message, `Love you and take care. You deserve some happiness, Nick.'

"Thanks Nick, I'll try to remind you the next time I feel the need to hit someone. And thank you. You do too."

"I'd appreciate that. I think I have enough problems right now. You're welcome, I mean it."

At that Catherine enters the room, surprised to see Grissom and Sara there. "Hey guys. You out of here Sara?"

"Yes, for the LAST time, I am not coming back, ever."

Catherine smiles at her and looks at the cast, laughing outright. "Nice Nicky."


Grissom watches as they start to return to what they were, a small family. Catching Sara's look over Cat's head, he smiles and mouths `Love you,' to her. She responds in kind before being pulled back into the conversation and Warrick takes hold of the pen, determined this time to mark her arm. They were going to be all right, all of them.

**Nov 10th, Eight Weeks Later**

"Joey Harrington you are hereby sentenced to not less than three years and not more than 7 years at the Las Vegas Correctional Psychiatric Center. You will be re-evaluated after three years to determine if further incarceration is needed. Bailiff, escort the prisoner."


Thank you and see you again soon.