Title: Commiseration

Grissom/Sara, Catherine, angst, character death, pg-13

Category: G/S angst, vignette, S/C friendship, character death

Author's Note: Thank you to Devanie, Marita and Amber for beta-ing this!


A knock at the door, so soft it would have been easy to miss. Then it came again, a little louder. It could no longer be passed over as the branches of the tree outside tapping against the window.

Sara rose lazily from her cosy position on the couch, placing the forensic textbook she was reading on the coffee table, and went to look through the peephole. She almost took a step back she was so startled. There, standing outside the door to her apartment, was none other than Catherine herself.

As she slowly unlocked the bolts and undid the chain on her door, she wondered what Catherine could possibly need to visit her at home for, and the thought occurred to her that Catherine had never in fact been to her apartment.

"Catherine." She greeted warmly, though more than a little confused, as she opened the door.

"Sara, hi." Her voice was thick, and, as Sara looked at her more closely, she could see that she had been crying. Worry immediately took over.

"What's wrong, Catherine?" She asked, her voice wavering. It was a strange enough occurrence that Catherine cried, let alone ran to Sara when she did. In fact it had never happened before, and probably would never happen again.

Catherine slowly walked over to Sara's couch, her movements precise, formal, detached. This however changed as she reached the couch, and she kicked off her shoes, tucking her legs underneath her body as she sat down. She was pale, her eyes red from crying, and traces of black mascara were visible on her cheeks. Sara was worried, if not about Catherine's manner, then definitely about the fact that she had mascara on her face. This was Catherine she was talking about after all.

"Catherine, please, just tell me what's wrong." Sara begged as she perched on the edge of the couch arm. "It's Grissom, isn't it?" She asked, dreading the answer, but knew what it would be. Call it a feeling. She'd felt a shiver run down her spine about an hour ago, and had had the strongest feeling to call Grissom, to check that he was alright. She had brushed it off though, feeling silly, and knew that he would just laugh at her if he ever found out the real reason for her call. Oh how she wished she had called him then. He could have laughed at her for eternity, but at least she would have spoken to him. Probably.

Catherine looked up at her, shocked, before nodding in the affirmative silently.

"What?" Sara choked out, her voice layered with emotion. The world was spinning, she couldn't think straight. Something had happened to Grissom. Something bad.

"Catherine, what?" She pressed more forcefully.

Finally Catherine rewarded her with an answer. "He...he was shot...at a crime scene. He didn't make it Sara, he didn't make it." By now she was hugging herself, rocking back and forth. Sara slid down from the arm of the couch to the seat, inching closer and closer to Catherine, before reaching out and wrapping her arms around the smaller woman, offering what little comfort she felt she could give. She felt Catherine's warm tears soak her shirt, but Catherine's stayed dry. Sara did not cry.

"Thanks. Thanks for coming over, for letting me know in person. Just, thanks for being here. I really appreciate it, Catherine." Sara blurted out as she walked her to the door.

Catherine smiled a sad smile, and leaned forward and hugged Sara. They stayed in their embrace for a while, comforting each other in the only way they knew how. As they finally broke apart, tears were streaming down Catherine's cheeks again, her eyes red and puffy, and her deamenor like that of a small child that had just lost a parent. Sara, however, was calm, composed, and remarkably, still not crying. They shared another sad look, before Catherine squeezed Sara's upper arm comfortingly before opening the door, and sliding through it, shutting it soundlessly behind her.

Sara re-bolted the door and re-attached the chain, before finally leaning against the door, knowing that her knees could no longer support her. She could sense Catherine still standing on the other side of the door, probably checking for sounds that Sara was alright, was coping as well as could be expected. Obviously satisfied with what she heard, Catherine moved away from the door and down the concrete steps to the parking lot. Sara sighed in relief.

And only once she was sure that Catherine had left, did she allow herself to cry.