by Amanda Hawthorn
Rating: PG-13/ maybe R when finished
Pairing: Grissom/Sara Romance Nick/Sara/Warrick friendship Cath/Sara/Lindsey friendship
Category: Angst/eventual Romance
Spoilers: Lady Heathers Box, Crash and Burn, and could be an alternative Play with Fire
Archive: Sara and Grissom and my site http://www.pink-martini.net/amanda/
Disclaimer: CSI belongs to CBS and Alliance-Atlantis Productions. No infringement intended.
Feedback: Love it, but no flames please I'm fragile!!
Author's Note: This is for my huge online family at the Grissom and Sara Yahoo group. Your support and encouragement means the world to me, as do you all. As always for Niff, Phon, Geena, Rosa and Shroedy, my wonderful friends. Also for Dutchie, who never fails to leave her words of encouragement in every review. Thank you...
Huge Thanks to everyone who has reviewed, thanks so much you're all great...
Summary: When tragedy strikes in the lab, Sara's maternal instincts leap into motion.
© Amanda Hawthorn August 2003
Nick looked up wearily when he heard the soft voices of Warrick and Greg joking lightly with each other as they neared his room. His heart ached inside his chest as he waited for their inevitable appearance, unsure whether he was ready for visitors right now.
"Hey bro," Warrick grinned as he came into the room with Lindsey's hand securely wrapped in his. Warrick tried to remain in control of his tumbling fear that fell right down into the deep chasm of his mind when he saw his friend in obvious pain.
"Hey," Nick croaked, his dark eyes falling instantly to the little blonde girl by his friend's side. Immense relief flooded his heart, leaving in its wake a wash of tears that slowly tumbled from his eyes. "Oh thank god."
Greg watched quietly from his place in the doorway, knowing that Nick didn't know comprehend how much the events of the last few hours had rocked the foundations that had kept them all closely tied together. Trying to push his best smile to his face, he called out to Lindsey who still hid partly behind Warrick, holding him close to her like some sort of security blanket.
"Hey Lind's," he said, forcing a smile to his face, "you wanna come and get something to eat with me? I'm sure they'll have some brownies or a sandwich."
The little girl turned to him only to cling on tighter to Warrick's hand, afraid to release the one person other than Sara who she felt totally completely safe and secure with right now.
"Honey, you could do with something to eat," Warrick told her softly as he turned around to sink down on one knee to face her. "I promise I'll come and find you in a few minutes ok?"
Lindsey's eyes started to fill up with tears as she looked from Warrick to Nicky, her bottom lips trembling. Stepping up closer, she wrapped her arms around Warrick's neck, pulling him tighter towards her.
"Promise?" she whispered against his ear.
"I promise," he smiled gently, trying to give her some of the reassurance she so desperately craved.
"Ok," she nodded, unwrapping her arms from around his neck to release him. Stepping back, she heard a sharp gasp slip from Nick's lips and turned towards him with more than a little fear in her eyes.
"Come on Lind's," Greg urged, holding out his hand for her, relieved when she finally reached out for him. Smiling down at her, he guided her away from the tense atmosphere surrounding the occupants inside the small room.
As soon as they were alone, Nick choked back on the breath he had been holding to expel and let it escape from his body. "Sara?"
"Nick," Warrick sighed sadly, his voice cracking as he tried to find some way to tell his friend the news.
"Blood," Nick whispered "Lindsey had blood on her."
"Nick," Warrick started again, only to have his voice die on his lips as Sara's lifeless image found its way into his mind, bringing with it another wave of intense sadness that filled his eyes.
"Oh God, please don't tell me she's gone," Nick whimpered, his own eyes flooding with liquid fear as he watched his friends reaction.
"I don't know," Warrick groaned sadly as he rubbed a tired hand over his eyes to try and banish the tears before they appeared showing his weakness. "She's bad Nick, I don't know if she's... if she'll...."
"Don't say it," Nick whispered ", She's strong, she wouldn't leave us."
"God Nick," he gasped, his face turning to the ceiling in despair as he spoke. "Griss is a mess. He fell apart when I brought her out. She was so... still."
"I can't believe this is happening War," Nick sniffed "she was beating herself up about Eddie Willows and now she's hurt."
"She was amazing Nick," Warrick told him, his voice a mixture of sadness and pride which filled his eyes as he spoke. "She effectively saved Lindsey's life down there. I am so damn proud of her."
"She made things right," Nick nodded tearfully, "she blamed herself for letting Cath down. I guess she's even now."
"Yeah," Warrick sighed, "I guess." His eyes wandered over to his friend's bandaged leg. "So how are you feeling?"
"Me?" Nick sighed, forcing a smile "Tissue damage that's all. I'll be out of here in a few days."
"Good," Warrick nodded ", that's great."
"Listen bro, I'm a little tired, would you mind...?"
"Get some rest," Warrick nodded, answering him before he'd had a chance to finish speaking. "I'll drop by and see you later."
"You'll let me know about Sara?"
"Count on it," he smiled, "later."
Nick watched him retreat from the room. His emotions ran through him like pure molten lava that coated his heart like a pressurized inferno. How could this be happening? Fresh tears began to track their way down his cheeks as he let the sadness embrace him. Sara had to be all right. He needed her she was his best friend.
Catherine stared down at her hands in numbing fear. Her mind replayed every second over and over trying to find some clue as to who would do this to her. Closing her eyes tightly, she focused on the voice she'd heard. Did she recognize him?
"Hey," Brass smiled as he came to sit down beside her. "What's going on? It sounded urgent on the phone."
"Jim," she gasped, turning to him as she grasped at his arm him with shaking hands "it was my fault."
"You're shaking," he told her worriedly as he reached out to her, trying to calm her with his touch. "What's your fault?"
"I had a phone call," she whispered, her voice shaking as she spoke. "I didn't recognize him, but he said he'd seen me on the news and he wanted to know if I liked my gift." Turning towards him, she gasped back a sob, "I think he caused the accident because he told me he'd get me next time."
"What?" he asked incredulously "Did he give any indication, any clue that he knew you personally?"
Catherine closed her eyes as she fought to remember. "I don't know." she told him quietly "No, I don't think so."
"Okay, what did he sound like? Did he have an accent? Did you hear any background noise? Anything at all?"
"I don't know," she growled in frustration, "If I knew don't you think you'd be the first one to know?"
"Yeah, look I'm sorry, I guess we're all a little wired right now." Coming to sit down beside her he took out his cell phone and looked around the empty corridor, "How's Sara?"
Catherine closed her eyes as he spoke only to open them again a second later. She tried not to look at him, averting her eyes from his so he couldn't see the guilty pain that shone so plainly from her depths. "She's pretty bad," her voice caught on a sob, bringing fresh emotions to her eyes. "She's gonna pull through, but she almost... oh god Jim," she gasped as her voice caught inside her throat. Leaning forward she hunched over to rest her elbows on her knees "She almost died to save my child. How can I ever look her in the eyes again knowing that some sick nutcase was trying to hurt me? It should have been me in there, not Sara, not Nicky, but me."
"Look we don't know that yet," he soothed, reaching out a hand to rub her back "for all we know it could be someone playing a sick prank that's all. Let's not overreact until we know for certain, okay?"
Catherine nodded slowly as she moved her head into her hands. "Sara thought I didn't trust her anymore after Eddie's murder. I was so cruel to her. I said some things that I shouldn't have, and now..." Drawing in a shuddering breath, she tried to control the shaking waves that took over her body. "She's paid the price for my ignorance."
"Mommy," Lindsey called out to her as she came running down the corridor towards them. From her seat, Catherine looked up. Seeing her daughter caused a huge beaming smile to emerge onto her lips and she found herself standing up to meet her little girl half way to scoop her high up in her arms.
"We saw Nicky," Lindsey told her, pulling her mother closer towards her as she spoke ", and Greg took me to get chocolate cookies."
"He did?" Catherine beamed, glancing quickly over towards Greg and Warrick, smiling her thanks to both of them.
"Is Sara okay now?" Lindsey asked pulling back slightly to look into Catherine's eyes "Can I see her?"
Warrick saw the pain flash behind Catherine's eyes and stepped closer to tap the little girl on the shoulder, distracting her for a moment. "Honey I think maybe she's still asleep."
"But I won't wake her up," she gasped, turning to her mother again to hold the sides of her face in her small hands "I promise mommy I'll be really quiet."
"I know you will baby, but Sara's really sick right now, maybe later?"
"Warrick?" Lindsey asked, turning her face towards him "You can take me, just for a little while, please?"
"I," he sighed "honey I wish I could..."
"How about I go and ask Gil if he would mind you popping in to see Sara for just a minute?" Catherine smiled, hoping that she could satisfy her daughter for the time being "and then I think we need to go home don't you?"
"Catherine, I don't think that's wise," Jim told her cautiously, breaking his silence as he looked towards her.
"What?" Warrick asked worriedly "Why?"
"I, Jim can fill you in." she told him as she placed her daughter's feet firmly onto the floor "Let's go and see Sara for a few minutes okay?"
"Yep," Lindsey smiled, taking her mothers hand excitedly. Warrick watched them as they moved away, his heart pounding inside his ears as he spoke "What was all that about Brass?"
"Catherine received a phone call a short time ago from some guy claiming to have sent her something. He implied that his gift caused the explosion inside the lab."
"Oh god," Warrick groaned as he fought to control his ragged breaths "there was a package in the break room addressed to Catherine. We didn't think anything of it at the time. Damn, who the hell did this?"
"It came in with the late mail," Greg offered, breaking his silence to speak up. "You really think this guy blew up the lab?"
"I don't know that yet," Jim told him quickly as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. "I'm gonna go down to my guys and tell them what we know so far." He started to walk away, but turned back again briefly "This guy told Catherine he would get her next time. I don't think it's a good idea for her and Lindsey to go home right now."
"No," Warrick nodded "I'll take them both to my place when we leave here."
"Yeah good idea, oh, and Warrick word of warning," he groaned, "Cavallo wants answers and he expects everyone to report to work as usual. He's talking about setting up a temporary lab in part of the PD building. Just so you know, okay?"
"Yeah, thanks Brass," Warrick nodded "the sooner we find out what happened the sooner we can get through this."
"See you later." Jim nodded as he punched in some numbers on his cell, waving a hand behind him in a silent gesture of goodbye.
Sighing heavily, Warrick moved over to one of the chairs and sank down into the seat "This is nuts."
"I know," Greg agreed, "this shouldn't be happening. We should be all working and doing our stuff just like we always do. This is all wrong."
"Yeah," Warrick nodded, his voice wavering as he sank forward to hold his head in his hands "nuts."
Catherine held Lindsey's hand tightly as they cautiously stepped into the doorway of Sara's room. The slow steady rhythmic beat off the heart monitor was the only sound inside the room.
Looking up slowly, Grissom offered her a weak smile, his hand still wrapped around Sara's fingers.
"Hey," she smiled softly as they stepped cautiously into the room, bringing Lindsey closer so she could have a tiny peek at the woman asleep in the bed. "How is she?"
"Same," he sighed, turning his eyes back towards Sara's sleeping face. "I'm staying here with her tonight."
"Okay," she whispered, then turned her attention down towards Lindsey "Why don't we come back tomorrow when Sara's had more time to rest?"
Letting go of her mother's hand, Lindsey walked slowly up to Grissom, stopping beside him. "Can I kiss her goodnight?"
Grissom felt his heart lurch up inside his chest as he slowly met Lindsey's eyes. Smiling gently, he slowly untangled his hand from Sara's to move aside for her to come in a little closer to the bed.
"I think she would like that," he whispered softly as a fresh sheen of tears washed over his eyes. Lifting Lindsey up a little so she could reach Sara's face, he tried to choke back the sob that threatened to escape his lips. His heart raced inside his chest with incredible emotion as he watched little Lindsey brush her small fingers through Sara's hair.
"Night Sara," she whispered softly as she leant down to place a soft kiss on her warm cheek. "Feel better soon okay?"
She lingered close to Sara's ear for a few seconds before Grissom lifted her back down to the ground.
"I'm going to take Lindsey home now Gil," Catherine told him as she took hold of Lindsey's hand again to lead her back towards the doorway "call me if there's any change?"
Sitting back down into the chair beside the bed again, Grissom nodded wordlessly, returning his attention back to the brunette that held his heart and soul in her hands. His fingers snaked out again to wrap around hers, caressing her softness with loving care. He knew by the silence that he was now alone again and found himself moving closer to her prone body laying his head down onto the mattress beside her hand.
Closing his eyes, he felt the tiredness creep over him once again, taking him to a dreamless sleep where nothing but nightmares waited to claim him.
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