DISCLAIMER: CSI is in no way mine, though I wish it was there would have been no GSR.
WARNING: This story contains mention of self harm and suicide.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Sofrost for the beta.

By Freddie-4884


Part 10

Sara's POV

Waking up with Catherine in my arms has to be the best feeling in the world. I don't think I've ever been this happy to wake up before. Usually when I wake up I'm exhausted and shaking from the nightmares, it seems sleeping with Catherine keeps them at bay. Without opening my eyes I pull her closer and place a kiss on the top of her head. Sighing with contentment I settle in for, hopefully, another couple of hours sleep, even if I don't manage it I'm happy to just lie here. Catherine snuggles deeper into me in response. We relax further into each other, both content to lie for as long as possible, when we hear a small childish giggle followed by a shushing sound.

My whole body tenses and I feel Catherine's do the same. My eyes spring open and I turn to look at Catherine, her eyes are open too and they mirroring what I'm feeling. Terror, sheer terror. Lindsay is home and she caught us in bed. Ok, we're just cuddling but still. Lindsay is home and the first thing she did was look for her mother, and from the shushing sound I can only assume that Nancy followed her up the stairs. So that's Lindsay and Nancy caught us before we had a chance to talk to them and prepare them for our news. I know that Catherine has also come to the same conclusion as I have. She buries her face into my shoulder and mumbles something that sounded a lot like 'busted.' Finally she lifts her head and our eyes meet again since we were awoken by the untimely arrival of Lindsay and Nancy.

"They're home." She whispers urgently. Fear creeping into her voice. "What's the time?"

I raise my arm to look at my watch, forgetting that it's not there and I'm confronted with white gauze bandages. I can't believe I had actually forgotten that I wasn't wearing a watch; instead I was currently sporting the latest fashion in futile suicide attempt chic. Seems strange now, forgetting why I'm lying in Catherine's bed with my arms around her.

"Um, I'm not sure. But I'm guessing it must be late if they're home already." I answer her in a matching whisper. "Either that or they made it home earlier than they expected."

Catherine moves away from me onto her other side to look at the clock on her bedside cabinet. I miss the warmth of her body instantly. She lets out a gasp when she sees the time on the alarm clock on her bedside table.

"What time is your appointment?" She asks, turning to look at me, mild panic in her eyes.

"Four o'clock, I'm sooo looking forward to it." I say, my voice dripping with venom and sarcasm. I really wish I didn't have to go. I don't want to leave today, I want to stay and find out how Lindsay got on at Disney Land.

"It's almost two o'clock; we'd better get up and get moving." She says getting up from the bed and going to her closet. She pulls out a beautiful baby pink satin robe and wraps it tightly around herself. With the sun sneaking through the blinds, casting her in warm sunshine she looks beautiful. "You get ready for your appointment and I'll see to my family." She smiles at me then starts towards the door but suddenly stops and turns back towards the bed. When she reaches the side she leans over and gently kisses me on the lips. "You can slip out the front door if you would rather not deal with them yet, ok? I'll keep them in the front room with the doors closed."

I nod my head and watch her go. Feeling a little sad thinking how my future could be walking out of the door with Catherine.

I get myself showered and ready in half the time it usually takes me. Cleaning my wounds and changing my bandages always takes longer. When I'm clothed I step out of Catherine's bathroom, I notice the smell of coffee lurking about in the air and I see a cup of steaming coffee sitting on her bedside table with a cheese salad sandwich for me. A smile breaks out on my lips, thinking how sweet it was that Catherine took the time out to think of me when her daughter was home. Sitting on the edge of the bed I gently sip the burning liquid and contemplate eating the sandwich. I'm hungry but not as hungry as I usually am when I need to eat something. I've managed to condition my body to go long periods of time without food. Unfortunately I've not managed to condition it to run without coffee. Not wanting to be rude, I eat the sandwich along with drinking the magic coffee elixir.

Finally I'm ready, but not really willing, to go. I need to call a cab to come and take me to the clinic and I need to call soon if I'm to make it in time to my appointment. Gathering up my coffee mug and plate I head down the stairs to deposit them in the kitchen before leaving. Sneaking past the living room without being noticed, I smile lightly when I hear Lindsay and her cousin filing Catherine in their high jinks. I hesitate, wondering if I should let Catherine know that I am heading out and I'd be back in a couple of hours. I really want to see Catherine before I leave but I'm not ready to face her family, especially Lindsay. Unfortunately the decision is taken out of my hands when I hear Catherine's mumbled warning to Lindsay.

"I know mum, you've told me, like, twenty times already." I hear Lindsay's voice come closer and clearer, I realise that she's coming towards the door. "Sara is going to be staying with us for a while because of an accident or something, and I've not to annoy her." Lindsay continues, doing a very good, but dangerous imitation of her mother's voice. Panic wells up inside of me, judging by the closeness of her voice she is just the other side of the door. I look around wildly trying to figure out the best way to avoid Lindsay. I love the kid, but I'm just not ready to see her right now. Not when I have to go for a head fuck. I see the door open, as if in slow motion, and the whole living room is revealed to me. Catherine and her sister are sitting on the sofa. Jeremy, Lindsay's cousin, is sitting in one of the chairs trying hard to play his Nintendo DS with one arm in a cast. Lindsay herself is standing in the doorway, with her back to me, still talking to her mum and aunt.

"And, anyway mum, it's not as if I'm a little kid anymore, I can hold an adult conversation. Plus, Sara's cool, she told me if I ever wanted to talk to her she would be right there. I'd just like to let her know that the offer is also there for her." And with that, Lindsay turned around, coming face to face with me for the first time in a few weeks. "Sara, hi. How are you?" She asks in surprise, not expecting me to be standing on the other side of the door. She doesn't hesitate to launch herself into my arms for a cuddle. I'm late to react. Nothing new there, physical closeness is something that I usually shy away from. Finally my brain kicks into gear and I return her cuddle. She steps away from me and checks me over.

Confronted with Lindsay, the one person who stands in between me and happiness, I feel trapped. I know what I want to say but this isn't really the time for it, is it?

"Hey, Lindsay." I say uncertainly. "How was the holiday?"

"It was great, until Jeremy decided to act smart and break his arm." She says, throwing her cousin a dirty look over her shoulder.

"Hey, it wasn't as if I wanted to break my arm, you know Linds." He shoots back, looking wounded.

She turns back to me shaking her head and mouthing 'boys' to me. I try not to laugh as the boy in question was still looking at me. I'm grateful to her for providing me with some light relief.

"Mum says that you're going to be staying here with us for a while?"

I nod my head. My fear making itself known to me as my stomach twists up in knots and my heart accelerates again.

"Well, that's cool. I have a project that I need to complete before going back to school. You could help me, only if you don't mind though? Mum's completely useless when it comes to that sort of stuff. Are you sure that you're ok, Sara?"

I know that she's only talking about me staying for the next couple of weeks, but hearing Lindsay talk about the future makes me shrink back further into the wall. Staring at her I feel my brain kick into gear and my mouth start to open. All of a sudden I hear myself and what I hear coming out of my mouth isn't what I should be telling the girl.

"I'm in love with your mum and I'd like to be with her but only if you're ok with it. It won't change the times that we hang out, because I like spending time with you too. I love you both so much that it hurts sometimes."

I hear Nancy gasp, Catherine mutter an 'oh, no', and Jeremy laughing, obviously loving the sight of an adult that seems terrified of his cousin. Only Lindsay was still, she never moved. Not to speak or even to blink, I couldn't even see her chest move as she breathed. She opened her mouth a few times, slightly resembling a fish out of water. If it wasn't for the fact that my happiness rested on her next words the whole situation would be very funny. I search her eyes hoping to find some spark that she'll consent to the whole situation but they have glazed over. I'm not taking this as a good sign. I can tell Catherine thinks the same thing because she has left the couch and is kneeling in between Lindsay and me. All of her attention focused on Lindsay.

"Baby, are you ok?" She asks gently, cupping her face. "Lindsay, Baby, look at me, please." She pleads but Lindsay's eyes firmly fixed on mine. I've never been good with kids and, as much as I love her, Lindsay is no exception. It's thanks to her that we have the relationship that we have. Her childish innocence perforated my heart and I couldn't help love her as I fell in love with her mum.

I can feel the panic well up inside me and I have to get away. I can't bear to hear her say that she's not ok with me dating Catherine. I just couldn't bear to hear it; it would break my heart too much. A horn blast from outside interrupts Lindsay's silent inquisition and I spare a quick glance at my watch and curse the fact that I'm not wearing one. I know I must be running late by now. Gently touching Catherine's shoulder I catch her attention.

"Cath, I'm really sorry, but I have to go. I have that appointment to keep."

"Oh, yeah. I had forgotten all about that. That's fine Sara, we'll see you later." She says looking up at me, her hand covering mine. I'm torn, I want to bend down and kiss her. But a quick look at Lindsay makes me stop. Her eyes are glued to our hands on Catherine's shoulder and she has a strange look on her face. I really can't tell if she's happy or not that I'm touching her mum in such an innocent way. She didn't seem to mind walking in on us cuddling, she thought it was funny. At least her laughing indicated that she thought it was funny. I couldn't even begin to imagine what she would look like if she walked in on us making love. Another blast from the horn breaks me from my thoughts.

"I'm so sorry."

With another gently squeeze on Catherine's shoulder I bolt out of the front door and into the cab. After giving the driver the address I lean back and think about the last couple of hours. First Cath and I are caught cuddling and then I blurt out, to a child, her child, that I'm in love with Cath and I want to date her. What the hell was I thinking? I wasn't. That's the problem. I was faced with the child that I love, granted she's the one who holds my future happiness in her little hands, and I spill out my feelings. To make matters worse, I don't think Lindsay was too happy about the idea of me and her mum dating. The cab finally pulls up outside the clinic. Suddenly I have a new worry. I have to go in there and talk about why I attempted suicide this time. After paying the driver I take a deep breath and head into the imposing building.

Inside Dr. Windsor's office, I report to the receptionist.

"Hi, I'm Sara Sidle. I'm here to see Dr. Windsor."

"Hi, Miss Sidle, the doctor is running a little bit late." She tells me, turning her attention to her computer briefly before looking back at me. "If you wouldn't mind taking a seat." She gestures to a small waiting area, that I had missed on the way in, with a nod of her head. Smiling my thanks I move over to the overstuffed sofa and sit down.

I wonder how late 'a little bit late' is, as I lean my head back against the wall and close my eyes. Images of Lindsay's face after I let my mouth run away from me flash behind my eye lids. How could I have been so stupid? My arms drape across my stomach, as though I'm lightly holding myself, and I wish they were Catherine's arms. I know it's unbelievably selfish but I wish she was here with me, facing yet another psychiatrist I don't really feel like I have the mental strength I need to get me through this session. I know exactly what's coming, questions. 'Why did you try to kill myself?' 'How were you feeling at the time?' 'How are you feeling now?' 'Why did you try to kill yourself in the past?' 'How did you feel then?' 'Why were the past attempts different from this attempt?' 'Do you think that it's right that you have feelings for a female colleague?' 'A female colleague who has a child at that?' Before I have a chance to look at each question in depth and prepare my answers, I hear a door open and hushed voices conversing. I try to go back into my own thoughts, but a voice interrupts.

"Miss Sidle?" The receptionist calls me. "Dr. Windsor can see you now." She says giving me a reassuring smile when I make eye contact with her. Steeling myself, I rise and pass the receptionist. I pause at the door and take a deep breath, wondering what lies beyond. It's either going to be a clinical office, all white walls, diplomas and no personality or an office full of photos and soft calming colours on the walls. I've never been in a psychiatrist's office that has an equal balance between the professional and personal. For some reason they can't get the healthy balance. I feel the receptionists' eyes on me as I linger at the door, hesitantly I raise my eyes to meet hers and she nods encouragingly towards the door.

Bracing myself and knock on the door of the good Dr. Windsor. I hear a faint 'come in' issued from the other side. Opening the door I step in full of false confidence hoping against hope that the doctor doesn't notice.

"Ah, Miss Sidle, so pleased to meet you. I'm Dr. Elizabeth Windsor." She says coming from behind her desk to shake my hand.

"Hi, um, can you just call me Sara?" I say taking her hand. I'm surprised by how firm her grip is. Maybe subconsciously she's trying to let me know who is in charge here.

"No problem." She says with a smile. "Only if you call me Elizabeth." She adds with a smile. Letting go of Elizabeth's hand I sit in the chair in front of her desk. As she looks at a file in front of her, I guess correctly that it's my file; I take a look around her office. It seems that Elizabeth has gone for the photographs and calming colours decor. I'm examining the photographs on the furthest away wall when I feel her watching me. Not really wanting to dance to her tune, I take my time to finish looking at the rest of her office before my eyes meet hers.

"Well, it seems that your supervisor, Gil Grissom, wanted you to come and see me after you tried to kill yourself?" A shrink that doesn't beat about the bush with the facts, nothing new there. I guess it means I get out of here quicker and back to work. I nod to confirm what she already seems to know. "He also stated that these sessions are to be chalked down as voluntary. That way if anyone asks, although I am covered by doctor-patient confidentiality, I can say that you came to see me willingly and not as a referral." She says smiling.

I'm momentarily taken aback by this. I hadn't known that Gris would ask for these sessions to be recorded as a voluntary. I'm glad he's done that, it would have prayed on my mind that someone could have found out that I had tried to top myself.

"That's fine." I tell her, carefully schooling my face so she can't tell what's going on my head. I don't care what happens in this session, I just don't want her inside my head.

"Ok." She sighs. "Would you like to talk about what brought you here today?"

"You already know, I tried to kill myself and failed." I tell her, looking her straight in the eye. I get a sense of gratification as a flash of frustration flashed through her eyes. Finally she smiles at me.

"Ok, so what was the main.......factor for you trying to kill yourself this time?" She says carefully.

I take my time answering her. What should I tell her? That I tried to kill myself because I was at a scene where a young girl had managed to succeed where I had failed in the past? Or that I was at such a low point because I'm in love with a woman who I thought didn't even like me, let alone have the same feelings as me?

"If it's still too much to talk about just now we can discuss something else perhaps?"

"Like what?" I ask her not too happy about where this could lead.

"Like work? Or what you do to relax? That sort of thing. Or anything else that you can think of. I'm open to any topic of conversation." She says smiling.

I rack my brains thinking of something that we could talk about that would keep the conversation away from me.

"What made you become a psychiatrist?" I ask her. The look on her face shows that she wasn't expecting me to ask that question. Finally she smiles.

"Well, I became a psychiatrist in order to help people. I found out when I was an intern that the blood and gore wasn't really for me." She says smiling with a distant look in her eyes. "But I really wanted to help people and my mentor at the time suggested psychiatry for me. The more I read up on the field the more I was drawn to it. So I applied to the psyche department for my rotation special and as they say the rest is history." She smiles expanding her arms to show off her office. I smile along with her. I know that sometimes the blood and gore can get a bit much, especially when the victim can vocalise their pain.

"What about you, Sara? Why did you become a CSI?" I'm surprised by her question. Although I really shouldn't be. It's usually the first question people ask when they find out what I do for a living. I don't think that my standard answer of, 'I want help people,' is going to cut it here though.

"Well, I've always been interested in science, even as a kid. So when I was in university, I was at a loss at what to do. I took Gris' lecture at University and he sparked something inside of me. He had this passion for his field and when he spoke he made it sound so interesting. Don't get me wrong, he was there talking about entomology in the field of crime solving. It was the crime solving that caught my attention. He also touched on the different aspects of forensic science and I had to find out more. So I kind of cornered him at the end of the seminar and pumped him for answers to my questions. He was very accommodating and offered to send me some literature about entering forensic investigation. Needless to say he kept his word and was always happy to answer my questions, whenever they arose." I tell her laughing as I remembered poor Grissom the first time we met. I had cornered the poor man and asked every question I could think of.

Elizabeth had moved forward in her chair and rested her head in her hands, with her elbows propping her up on the desk.

"Sara, I don't mean to pry." I actually snorted when she said that and she had the good grace to look slightly embarrassed when she realised what she had said. It was ridiculous; a psychiatrist that didn't want to pry wouldn't be a very good psychiatrist. "Ok, I do, but I would rather that you were honest with me and not have me bring things up, ok?"

"Ok, so what is it that you don't want to 'pry' into?" I ask laughing.

"Well, you know that I have your file? I have access to everything about you. Like you were in foster care from a young age and why you were in foster care." She says taking a breath before continuing. "Do you think that, maybe, what happened with you and your parents might have played a part in you becoming a part of law enforcement?"

I take a moment to compose myself; they usually wait until the second or third session before bringing out the parent card with me. I can feel the anger building inside at the thought of meeting this woman for the first time and she has the gall to ask such a personal question. Unfortunately I can't control my anger and I feel it break loose.

"Look, you want to know why I tried to kill myself, yes?" I question. "I was sick of it. I was sick of going into work day after day, pretending that everything is ok, that I'm not hurting and dealing with the mess that the scum of the earth leave behind them. I'm sick of having to deal with grieving relatives and the living victims. I'm sick of looking into the eyes of a woman who has been raped or a child that's been abused by someone they should be able to trust. I was sick of going into work every day and seeing the woman that I love, the one woman who can make it all go away, hate me. I mean, I thought she really, fucking hated me. I was constantly fighting against her all the time. I was sick of having to go home at the end of another shitty day to my apartment and cutting or drinking myself into oblivion. I was sick of waking up each time, although to be honest, the waking up is a lot better than my nightmares. Having to constantly relive the abuse and degradation and having it thrust into my face each day at work didn't help much either." I say. I'm now standing with my fists clenched and my knuckles pressed hard against the top of Elizabeth's desk.

"When I saw that girl, when I saw Mackenzie, I knew that it was my time. I knew that I could end it all. After all I had nothing to lose. I thought the woman I love hated me and I was starting to hate my job. I had nothing to live for. I left the scene, I left Mackenzie and went home and tried to kill myself, not before I called Catherine to let her know that I was in love with her. I never expected her to feel the same. When I called her I kept hoping that she would see it was me calling and direct me to voice mail and I think that's what she did. I left my message and I told her how I feel, I told her practically everything. She heard the message and came to me. She saved me and to top it all off she loves me too. Now though, my happiness lies in the hands of a child, Catherine's child, Lindsay." I finish, all the fight leaving me, I slump back into my chair.

Elizabeth just looks at me; I can't tell what she's thinking. As she continues to stare at me I feel myself shrink further into my chair, ashamed of my outburst.

"What do you mean your happiness lies in Lindsay's hands?" She asks me softly.

"Catherine wants to speak to Lindsay first and find out how she would feel about her dating me." I say with a sigh and a shrug of my shoulders. "Lindsay and I are quite close, I was assigned to investigate her fathers' death and after that we spent time chatting whenever she felt like she couldn't speak to her mum or anyone else."

"What do you think she'll say?"


"Lindsay, what do you think she will say about you and Catherine dating? Do you think she will be happy?"

"I don't know." I quietly admit. "I really hope she will. I'd love to be there helping her grow up, and I know I could do it if I hadn't told her that I was in love with her mum."

"Wait a minute, you told a child that you are in love with her mother?" She asks me. When I nod yes she lets out a low whistle. "What happened after you told her?"

"She went into a kind of shock. She kept staring at me, though and then.....then I ran out." I tell her hiding behind my hands. I can still hear Jeremy's giggling and I can still see Lindsay's dark eyes boring into mine.

"You ran out?" Elizabeth asks slowly. To ashamed to look at her I nod into my hand. "Oh, Sara." She say, the tone of her voice surprising me, it's not disapproving or reproachful. Forcing my head up to look her in the eye, I don't see pity or anger there, just understanding and sympathy.

"I know I screwed up. Even if she Lindsay was alright about me dating her mum, she won't be now. She'll not want anything to do with me now."

"You never know Sara, you might be lucky. Kids are very resilient, she'll come round."

"When? When will she come round? A day? A week? A month? A year? When?" I ask feeling myself getting upset again. I stop and take a calming breath. "I told Catherine that I could just be friends if Lindsay isn't happy about us. You know, do the whole going to breakfast with the guys, working in harmony, that sort of thing. But I don't think I'll be able to. Do you know how I woke up today?" I ask her, not really expecting an answer I continue. "I woke up in Catherine's bed, in her arms. I've never felt so safe, so loved. Nothing can touch me when she's near, you know? Like I can fully relax and nothing can get me. There are no nightmares and no demons. Just Catherine and me. Do you think that's part of what love is? Feeling that safe? That contented?" This time I am looking for an answer. Elizabeth pushed a box of tissues towards me and I'm surprised by the movement until I feel a tear drop fall from my chin and slash on my clasped hands. Once I have wiped my face dry and blow my nose I look expectedly at her.

"Honestly, Sara, I can't say for sure. There are many different definitions of love. Some people feel a physical pain when their loved one is away from them for too long. Others experience what you do, the sense of tranquillity. I think that it's different for each person, I think you just have to look at what your heart is telling you."

"Right now it's telling me that love is just a human condition. It's a chemical reaction in the brain that is prompting me to mate with someone who is sending out and receiving matching pheromones that my body is putting out and receiving from them."

"That's an unusual way to think about love. Why did you come to that conclusion?" She asks, tilting her head to the side.

"It makes sense. If you think back to Neanderthal man, he wasn't driven by feelings but instincts. It's only modern man that is driven by love as much as hate. No other species acts the way humans do. Also if I start to think like this way now, I can save myself a lot of heart ache when I get home and Lindsay has decided that she wants nothing more to do with me."

"Home? Is that your apartment or Catherine's home?"

"Huh?" Very eloquent.

"You just said that you could save yourself a lot of heart ache when you get home. Is your apartment home or do you class Catherine's house as home?" She patiently replies.

"Oh. Well, my apartment is just a place I go to when I'm made to leave work and I need to rest. I've always felt that wherever Catherine, that's home, even when we were fighting." I admit with a small chuckle.

"Why is that?"

Great now we're getting to it. I deliberately take my time in answering her, I've already said too much and she's too far in my head already. I'm torn between telling her the truth or telling her a load of bull, just to keep her off my back. Staring off into space, I let images of Cath run through my mind. Cath sitting in the break room trying to relax while she was waiting on results for her case. Cath leaning over a lay out table, trying to solve a puzzle that was bothering her. Cath confidently striding through the glass maze.

"Sara, why do you feel like that?" Elizabeth's voice breaks into my thoughts.

"Because I've fallen in love with her. Even sitting here now I wish she was with me. She makes everything better, she makes life worth living."

"And what if Lindsay isn't happy with the two of you dating? What then?" I hate that she's asking the question, it's not like I haven't asked myself it before but then I could always ignore the answer, I don't have a choice this time.

"If Lindsay isn't happy with me dating Catherine, then I'll try to be friends. I do need her in my life, I need both of them and if friendship is the only way to have them, then that's what I'll take." I say trying to convince both of us that friendship would be enough.

"Sara, have you thought about what would happen if Lindsay didn't want you in her life after all of this? What if you could only see Catherine at work and never see Lindsay again, what would you do then?" I'm shocked at the thought; I hadn't even contemplated that scenario. Thinking about it now really scares me. What would I do if I couldn't see Lindsay or Catherine again? Carefully schooling my features I look at Elizabeth, the last thing I want is for her to say that I've become dependent on another person for my happiness. I know it seems like I have but it's not really true. Being with Catherine would help make me happy, it wouldn't guarantee instant happiness.

"If that happened, then I would deal with it. I would grieve for the relationship and friendship I have lost and I would move on."

"Do you honestly think that you would be able to do that? Do you really think that you could do that?" She asks sceptically.

"Yeah, I do." I say sighing. "Look, Lindsay and Catherine mean the world to me. Over the years I've fallen in love with them both. I've never been the most maternal person and honestly, kids terrify me but with Lindsay it's different. I want to look after her and protect her. When she hurts herself I want to make the pain go away, when she passes a test I want to be there to celebrate with her and when she brings a boyfriend home for the first time I want to be the one who gives him the 'talk' about looking after our little girl. So I will do anything to keep her safe and happy. I'd do anything to keep them both safe and happy and if that means being nothing more than a co-worker to Catherine, that's what I'll do."

"Ok, if you're sure? When do you find out?" She asks.

"When I go home tonight, I guess." I reply sombrely.

"Right, well, I don't know if you've noticed or not, but time has ran out. I'd like to schedule another appointment for three days time, would that be ok?"

"Yeah, that's fine. I've not really got anything to do until you say I'm fit enough for work. Well, mentally fit at least." I laugh. Thankfully she laughs along with me as she goes through the process of making another appointment.

"Right, I'll see you in three days, ok?" She asks handing me a card with the appointment time and date written in bold print. "Hopefully when I see you next you'll have gotten the answer you wanted from Lindsay." She says smiling, standing up to show me out of the door.

Following her to the door I put the appointment card in the back pocket of my jeans for safe keeping. "Well, I can only hope that she's happy with me dating her mum." I say shaking Elizabeth's hand.

Outside the clinic I wait for the cab I'd just called to come and pick me up. As nice and Dr. Windsor is, I couldn't help feel that this session was a complete waste of both our times. We never really covered the topics I was expecting to have covered. My cell phone vibrates on my hip, indicating that I had a text message, interrupts my thoughts. Flipping it open I see that Catherine had text me half an hour ago. I'm also hesitant to read it, I have a good idea what it'll say and I really don't want to know. Sucking in a deep breath I summon up the remainder of my courage and open the text message.

S, hope everything is going well. Explained everything to Linds.

She's not too happy and she wants to talk to you. She also wants to know if you would help her with her science project. See you

When you get home.

Love, C xxx

I feel myself hyperventilating at the thought of having to go and face Lindsay. She's not happy about the whole think, she doesn't want to see me anymore, and she doesn't want me to see Cath anymore. At the height of my panic, the cab pulls up in front of me. The driver gets out and comes to my side.

"Are you ok?" I hear him ask. Unable to answer him I shake my head. He lightly tugs on my arm, pulling me over to his cab. He opens the door and manoeuvres me so I can sit down on the back seat with my feet on the pavement. I'm faintly aware that he leaves me for a few minutes before he is back at my side with a bottle of water.

"Here Miss, drink this. Slowly, mind." He warns gently. Taking a few sips of the cold water, I can feel it cool me down from the inside out. "There, you feeling a bit better?"

"Yeah, I am thanks." I say, handing him the bottle back.

"Nah, it's alright, you hang on to that. I've got plenty more where that came from." He says smiling. As his face comes into focus more, I return his smile. I'm shocked to see that he is in his early sixties with silver grey hairs and kind blue eyes. "Now then, Miss, where I can take ya?" He asks standing up to do a little bow. Laughing at his antics I tell him where I want to go and sit in the cab properly and buckle myself in for the ride.

On the way to Catherine's, Gabe, the cab driver kept me chuckling with stories of different passengers he has ferried about in Vegas. I was content to just rest back against the upholstery of the back seat and listen to him recount the weird and wonderful people he has met in his lifetime. We stop briefly at an intersection before we pull out. It was the only time that Gabe was quiet, when he was checking the road was clear for us to proceed. As soon as he saw that the cost was clear he set of, and so did his mouth. He had me laughing about a mother and daughter who got into his cab all friendly and laughing but when he dropped them off at their destination they were bitching and back biting. All of a sudden a SUV came out of nowhere and smashed into the side of the cab and sent it across the other side of the road. When the cab had finally stopped moving, there was silence all around us.

"Gabe, are you alright?" I ask, trying to move. As I do a pain shoots through my abdomen stopping me in my tracks. Looking down I see blood seeping out from the left hand side of my stomach. I hold my hand over the wound but the blood continues to pour out through my fingers. "Gabe, Gabe." I finally manage to reach forward to check his neck for a pulse. Thankfully it's still there. I fall back against the seat gasping for breath. The small exertion has left me exhausted. I push against the door trying to get out of the cab. The impact from the SUV had made the door buckle and was pushed inwards. Looking down at the door I see a bit of metal poking out from it. It's then that I realise that's what caused the wound in my stomach. Slowly I manage to pull myself over to the other door but the cab is jammed against wall and I can't out that side. Remembering that I carry one of the wonders of the modern world, I pull out my mobile phone and call the emergency services.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi, I'm CSI Sara Sidle. I've been involved in an RTA. A hire cab versus a SUV. I'm in the cab with the driver, who's unconscious and I have a deep puncture wound to the left hand side of my stomach. I'm trapped in the cab so I don't know how many passengers are in the SUV or the condition of them." I tell the operator, feeling more blood pump out of my wound.

"That's fine CSI Sidle; can you tell me your location?"

"Um, not exactly. I'm approximately five miles west of the Renton Clinic."

"That's ok, CSI Sidle, is the phone that you are using a company issued one?" The operator asks.

"Yes, I'm with the Las Vegas Crime Lab if that helps you at all." I reply feeling weaker by the minute.

"That's great, thanks. A crew should be with you in ten minutes."

"Thanks." An urgent banging on the window takes my attention from the operator. When I turn around to see who it is I drop my phone in shock.

"Grissom?" I can't believe I'm seeing him. I raise a bloody hand to touch the window between us.

"Sara move back, I'm going to break the window." He shouts. I try to do as he asks and I move back a few inches. Covering my head and face with my free arm I hear the window shatter.

"Come on Sara; let's get you out of here."

"Gris, Gabe, he's in the front he's unconscious." I tell him moving towards the window, clutching my side.

"It's ok, I'll get you out and across the road and then I'll get him, alright?"

Carefully Grissom pulls me through the window and helps me to the other side of the road. Once I'm laid out on the pavement he goes back to get Gabe. I close my eyes and try to concentrate on keeping the pain from my side at bay; I only open them when I hear that Grissom returns carrying Gabe's unconscious body. He lies him down and quickly checks him over, when he's satisfied that Gabe is only unconscious, Gris moves to back to me. Looking up at him I can see some small cuts on his face and some bruises forming.

"What happened to you?" I ask him, my words' coming out slurred as the blood loss continues to get worse.

"Oh god, Sara, I'm so sorry." He whispers.

"What for?"

"Sara, I hit you. It's my SUV. I collided with the cab that you were in. I'm so sorry."

"It was an accident, don't worry about it." I tell him closing my eyes. I know what's happening, I'm dying. This is how I felt when I tried to kill myself. I chuckle and it causes me to cough up blood. It's funny how life works. I tried to kill myself because I couldn't live without having Catherine in my life and now that I have the chance of having her I'm going to die. "Gil, can you do me a favour, please?"

"Yeah, Sara, what?"

"As soon as you can, I need you to speak to Cath. I need you to tell her..." another coughing fit stops me. More blood is forced from my lungs and into the air. I feel some of it drop onto my face. My breathing is shallow and ragged. "I need you to tell her that I love her. I want you to tell her that I'm grateful that I had the last couple of days. Tell Lindsay I love her too, and I would have loved to help her with her project. She's an amazing girl; she's going to be an amazing woman. Will you tell them, Gil? Will you make sure that they know I love them?"

"I'll tell them, Sara. But you'll be able to tell them yourself. Once the doctors patch you up, you'll be able to tell them yourself." He says. "Sara, open your eyes. Look at me."

"I'm sorry Gil. I'm just so tired." I tell him feeling the world go dark around me. "I'm just going to go for a little sleep, ok?"

"No, Sara. Listen, the ambulance is coming. Just hold on ok?"

I can hear his voice and I can the sirens but I'm too exhausted to open my eyes. I can feel the cold creep up my legs and though the rest of my body. Selfishly, I wish Catherine was here. She would keep me warm. Knowing she loves me helps warm me up as everything fades from grey to black.

Part 11

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