A/N: The first chapter of a new story! Enjoy!
How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?
Barbara Russell placed a plate of her husband's favorite foods on the table. "You should have brought her home. Sara's a nice person—a good person—no one seriously thought she killed someone, did they?" She asked as she sat across from D.B.
Shaking his head as he tucked into a bowl of warm fruit compote, he said, "No one thought she killed anyone—but it was hard for her. Then when she mentioned her husband—I don't know, Barb—I don't know what to think about that." He circled his hand, "you know how women get—she's emotional but—but doesn't want to be."
His wife pointed her fork in his direction and asked, "Did you leave her alone?" Her voice rose with concern.
"No, no, Nick and Greg assured me they were taking care of her." D.B. said; pausing before he added, "She's angry, I think. At herself, at her husband—there's a lot of stress—he hasn't been home in months and she moved her mother to Vegas several months ago—I didn't know that." Thoughtfully, he ate several bites of food; his wife kept her eyes on him. "Okay, what if I ask her tomorrow—we'll take her out to eat."
"No," Barbara said, "bring her here. It'll be much quieter and maybe she'll feel like talking."
D.B. smiled. "If you can get Sara Sidle talking about her personal life, you're better than the rest of us."
"Did she say any more about her husband?"
Eyebrows lifting, D.B. said, "Not really—not after saying he was no longer her husband—she did not want to call him." He hesitated, "but before all of this, I got the feeling she was angry—or upset. She was avoiding answering her phone several times. He hasn't been home in a while—missed her birthday." Grinning he asked, "Have you ever said I wasn't your husband?"
His wife snorted a laugh. "I think every wife has had that thought—I've probably said it as a prediction if you didn't show up for something or if you did something!"
"Well, I offered her time off but she refused. Said she wanted to get back to work."
"Poor girl," Barbara said, "maybe having her mother close will help."
Again, D.B. shook his head, "No, I don't think her mother is the helping kind."
Early in the next shift, D.B. managed to find Sara alone and quietly extended an invitation. "Barbara is cooking. She was more than a little upset that I didn't bring you home with me after all that happened."
Sara managed a slight smile as she said, "Like a stray puppy you see on the street."
He was prepared. "She's always been into stray puppies, and teenagers," he chuckled. "And now she's into CSIs that leave fingerprints in a murder victim's room. Say you'll come—better idea—let me pick you up at your house and we'll get you back home. Barb looks for a reason to make and drink a mojito." He heard a quiet laugh. "And she makes a very mean oatmeal—topped off with Baileys."
"As in Bailey's Irish Cream?"
"Yep." He thought he had her ready to accept the invitation. "You'll never eat it any other way." He reached over and touched her shoulder. "I'll pick you up."
Sara wanted to say "no" but thought it would only postpone the invitation. And she had spent too much time in her own company lately.
"Okay, thanks. I'll be there, but you don't have to pick me up."
"I insist," her supervisor said.
Ten hours later, D.B. followed as Sara drove to her house. She called for him to come inside. "I refuse to wear my work clothes," she explained as she opened the front door.
"Are you okay, Sara? With your house, I mean." He asked as she reset the alarm at the door.
Hesitating for a few seconds, she said, "Yes, I am. I—I—this is my home. I'm not going to be afraid in my home." She looked up at him and smiled. "The good guys have to win. You understand—you didn't leave after what happened to your granddaughter."
He chuckled. "No, we didn't." He remained in the living room while Sara changed; she was quick and caught him as he returned one of her photographs to its place.
"I like your—your style," he said. His hand indicated the photo, "Happier times?" he asked.
Sara picked up the framed picture of her and Grissom. "This was a good day—a beautiful day. My mom was with us—having a good day."
He pointed to another photograph. "I like this one."
Sara picked up the picture. "This was the day he arrived in Costa Rica." She sighed and ran her thumb across the glass before replacing it.
D.B. took her elbow. "Let's go. I know Barbara is waiting. With food!"
There was food; Sara was certain Barbara had been working for hours on the assortment already on the table when they arrived. Immediately, she was given a tall frosted glass and the aroma of fresh lime hit her nose.
Barbara smiled, "We'll add rum on the third one—or maybe the second one! It's so good to see you, Sara!" The two women briefly hugged each other. Barbara turned to her husband, hugged him, and promised to take care of Sara while he changed clothes.
To Sara, she said, "Muffins are hot and the frittata is in the oven—three more minutes. I have a few more things in the refrigerator."
Sara glanced back at the table. "Who else will be here?"
Barbara laughed, "Only the three of us. Leftovers will go to our son and his friends—they would eat chair legs if warmed up!"
Sara was handed a small jar of homemade jam and a bowl of whipped butter. Barbara managed to balance bowls of honey, walnuts, salsa, yogurt, and a bottle of ketchup while closing the refrigerator. "D.B. likes to eat a big meal when he gets home—I don't think he eats enough!"
D.B. appeared before the two women had bowls on the table. In a flurry of activity, Sara's glass was filled again; she shook her head at the suggestion of rum. Muffins were placed on the table. The frittata was pulled out of the oven; oatmeal was poured into bowls and a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream appeared on the table. D.B. asked if Sara wanted coffee—she declined—and he indicated a chair that placed her between him and his wife.
Sara almost gasped at the bowls of berries, melon slices, warm apricots, granola, baked apples, sweet potatoes covered with pecans, two kinds of muffins, mushroom caps filled with a savory filling, in addition to bowls of oatmeal and an asparagus frittata.
"Try the Baileys on the oatmeal," D.B. encouraged as he tipped the bottle over a bowl of steaming oatmeal.
Sara nodded and he poured a layer of the cream liqueur over the oatmeal. Quickly, all three filled plates, and managed to keep conversation flowing in an easy dialogue of ingredients, recipes, cooking and food shopping while they ate and passed platters and bowls to each other. By the time Sara pushed away from the table, Barbara topped off drinks, and D.B. complained about the amount of food left on the table.
"Those boys will decide this is the best place in town to eat, Barb! Not like they don't have the cafeteria!"
Barbara laughed. "This way I know what they are eating. I feel responsible—needed!"
Her phone rang and she stepped away from the table.
D.B. explained. "That's our daughter—Katie is having a difficult time—can't sleep or bad dreams."
Sara leaned forward, placing her elbows on the table. "I can understand. Make some good memories with her. Make her mind so busy with good experiences that she forgets the bad one." When D.B. lifted his eyes to meet hers, she continued, "Several years ago—I'm sure you've read my file—I was kidnapped by this—this person—Natalie. She took me into the desert and meant for me to die. I thought I would die but I didn't.
"For months, I tried to get over it. Grissom tried to help—nothing worked until I went away. Far away—I got on a research ship and worked so hard that when night came, I did not dream of the past. I went to Costa Rica and kept working." She smiled. "Take Katie to Disney World or Disneyland and make fun memories—so she dreams of castles and princesses."
D.B. grinned. "Yeah—yeah. That's a good idea—Barb—she's been after me for months. She would like that as much as Katie." He twirled fingers around his glass. "Does it still work—for you?"
"Yeah, yes, it does. I can dream of hammerhead sharks and whales and monkeys—sometimes I wake up and think I'm still there."
"That's good—that's good." He kept his eyes on his glass as he asked, "Do you want to go back?"
Softly, Sara laughed. "Are you asking if I'm planning a long vacation?"
"No, no," he chuckled. "I'm wondering about your husband. I don't mean to pry, Sara, but I feel as responsible for you as Barbara does about our son's friends. I don't want you to work all the time—I want you to make some happy memories." He looked up as his wife joined them. "Hey, how is everyone?"
Barbara shook her head. "Bad night for Katie."
"Sara has a good idea—let's go to Disney World, take Katie, make some new memories—happy memories to crowd out the bad ones. What do you say?" When Barbara's mouth fell open, D.B. continued, "Give me a few weeks—spring break is coming up or maybe in June. We'll have enough time to plan. Do you think she'll be okay until then?"
Barbara's finger touched the edge of her eye. "You'll go too—take a real vacation? I think Katie will be thrilled! I would be thrilled! We may have all the kids with us!" She touched Sara's hand, "Thank you—and I wanted to help you, Sara! We've talked about taking a vacation, but D.B. would never agree to go. I don't know how you did it, but thank you!"
"You did help—best food I've eaten in a while—especially the oatmeal!" Sara assured her.
D.B. drove Sara home with a bag of muffins and a pan of stuffed mushroom caps. As he slowed to a stop in her driveway, Sara said, "Thank you for the meal and these," she lifted the two items she had in her lap. "Barbara is a great cook."
"She is a good cook. And thank you for convincing me to take a vacation." D.B. took a deep breath. "Sara—if you need anything—not just a meal, but someone to talk to—someone to listen." He reached across the center console and patted her arm. "Not just about this Basderic thing." He sighed. "I don't know Grissom as well as the others, but I do believe you love him." He saw her chin tremble and patted her arm again.
Several minutes passed before Sara said, "I'll be fine."
"I don't believe that for a second, Sara. Promise me, you will talk to someone."
Her fingers moved across her brow. "I said I didn't want to sleep alone. All I really wanted was for him to come home for a while."
A/N: Because we need a little encouragement about GSR, and we are not getting it from CSI-We are posting the first chapter today. Due to a trip, the next chapter will posted in two weeks! How do you mend a broken heart? With food? What else? We've got several ideas for more chapters.