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...
Summary: When tragedy strikes in the lab, Sara's maternal instincts leap into motion.
© Amanda Hawthorn August 2003
Warrick offered Catherine a small smile when they returned from Sara's room, his eyes awash with questions. Coming closer, Lindsey slipped her small hand into his; smiling up at him.
"How's Sara?" he asked softly, his words causing Catherine's heart to once more ache inside her chest.
"She's still asleep," she sighed as she stepped up closer towards him seeking the comfort from him that she so desperately sought. The last few hours had been an experience she wished none of them would ever have to suffer again. Moving in closer to him, he slipped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her into his warmth.
"You and Lindsey are coming home with me tonight," he whispered, waiting for the inevitable reaction that was usual for her stubbornness. It never came.
"I... I think that might be a good idea," she sighed sadly "I don't want to risk Lindsey again, not for anything."
Warrick's hands slid around her tighter, pulling both Lindsey and Catherine into his circle, his silent vow to protect them smothering anything else in his heart right now.
"Is Sara gonna be okay?" Greg asked quietly from his place on one of the white, plastic chairs. "I mean is she... bad?"
Turning around to face him, Catherine's heart melted with concern for the young lab tech. "Oh Greg, I'm so sorry that no one told you." Leaving Warrick's arms briefly, she came over to sit down beside him. Reaching out to take his hand, she offered him a small smile. "She lost a lot of blood, and for a minute there we really thought we were going to lose her."
"So she's all right? She's going to recover fully isn't she?"
"In time I hope so," she smiled. Squeezing his hand, she let his fingers slip from hers. "You should go home and get some sleep Greg. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be one hell of a day."
"Yeah. Cavallo wants everyone in as usual. Can you believe him?" Greg groaned miserably as he looked down into his hands "I mean how can any of us act like nothing happened when two people are seriously hurt? God knows how many others were injured."
Catherine turned her eyes to Warrick, seeking an explanation but withdrew it when she saw the look in his eyes. Conceding defeat, she turned back to Greg and offered him a small smile. "You're injured Greg."
His fingers automatically reached up to feel the plaster on her forehead. "Yeah, but mine was only a scratch. Nick and Sara..."
"Are going to be fine," she told him reassuringly, cutting off his words before he could speak of something that was, for the time being entirely out of their hands.
Lindsey yawned tiredly beside Warrick. He smiled down at her and picked her up into his arms ", How about we get this little one home?"
"Yeah," Catherine nodded, smiling wearily as she turned back towards Greg briefly. "Are you gonna be okay?"
"I... yeah, I think so."
"We'll see you tomorrow?" She asked quietly as she stood again.
"Yeah," he nodded, his eyes glancing over towards Lindsey whose eyes had closed, her battle between sleep and awareness finally taking its toll on her small body. "You'll need someone to watch Lindsey for you."
"I can come and sit with her for a while. I can't go back there right now, and I don't think she should either." Standing up he came closer towards her, "That's if you want me to?"
"Yes," she smiled, reaching out to pull him into a quick embrace "I would like that, and I think Lindsey would too. You do know that having bought her chocolate cookies has made you a friend for life, right?"
"Yeah," he chuckled as he pulled away from her embrace to take a step back. "I kinda figured that out. Now go home and I'll come by Warrick's tomorrow to sit with her."
"Okay," she smiled "but what about you?"
"I'm gonna hang around here for a while and see if Grissom needs a ride home."
"Oh that's sweet Greg, but I'm afraid he won't be going anywhere for a while. He's kind of made himself a permanent fixture by her bedside." Reaching out to him again, she rubbed his shoulder. "Come on, get some rest."
Nodding silently, he gazed one last wistful gaze down the empty corridor before following them out towards the exit.
Darkness closed around Nick's body as he tried to find a more comfortable position to sleep in. Every time he moved, a searing hot pain rampaged throughout his body, forcing him to lie back into his pillow until the wave had passed, leaving him fighting to breathe.
Thinking back to the conversation he'd had with his doctor earlier, he tried to make some sense of what had happened to him. His leg hurt like hell, caused apparently from shards of metal from the explosion. His doctor had tried to explain the injuries to him in the best way possible without causing him any further distress. The metal from the explosion had flown across the room to wrap around his body, lodging its way deep into his right leg, ripping through his skin to embed itself into his leg muscle. His surgery to remove it had been extensive as they tried to repair the damage that had ripped through his muscle fibers. He had been told he was lucky. He could have lost the use of his entire leg if they hadn't operated on him in time. If the operations had taken place slightly later, amputation would have been the only solution to saving his life.
Glancing down towards his bandaged leg, he found his mind drifting back to the smoke and clouds of dust that billowed around him in the darkness. Everything had happened so fast that there was no way anyone of them would have been able to prepare themselves for the intrusion into their lives.
Shifting slightly, he instantly regretted the minor movement. Another wave of pain washed throughout his lower body, bringing a deep gut-wrenching gasp from deep down inside of him. Clenching his teeth, he fought with his voice in a bid to stop himself from crying out in agony.
Tears stung his eyes, forcing a well of emotion to fall upon his cheeks. His isolation here played heavily upon his battered heart, as he looked around the dimmed room in sudden desperation. He was alone in the dark and no one would come to help erase his memories this time.
Closing his eyes, he fought to banish the distorted images from his mind as he relived every minute detail of his terror over and over again. If only he could pick up his phone and call Sara's number like he always did when his night terrors came to claim him. She would talk him down and calm his senses. Her voice would wash over his soul to lull him back to sleep, taking the images away with her.
"Sara," he gasped, his voice cracking into a sob as his tears won the torrid battle that raged inside his heart. His inner sobs clawed him down into the darkness, surrounding his mind as he slowly sank into a disturbing dreamless sleep.
Some time later, Grissom slowly opened his eyes. For a moment he thought he had dreamt all of the chaos around him and began to slowly berate himself for his stupidity. But as he crossed the delicate balance between consciousness and sleep, he realized this was no dream.
His back ached from his bent over position and he tried to move himself backwards to sit up, but his head wouldn't move. For a moment he tried to discover the restriction, eager to ease the dull ache starting to form down his spine. Sitting up slowly, he reached out for Sara's hand, suddenly realizing that the pressure on his head were her fingers threaded through his hair.
His heart thudded loudly inside his chest as he lifted his hand to find hers. In this one precious moment he managed to smile for the first time since this whole nightmare had begun. She must have reached for him some time during the night, eager to accept his comfort, and that thought brought him more happiness in one second that he had felt in a whole lifetime.
Sliding his hand delicately up her bare arm, he found her fingers entwined in his hair, her touch igniting his heart. Wrapping his fingers around hers gently, he caressed her soft skin before guiding her hand down to his lips.
Sitting up slowly, he winced at the pain inside his spine only to push it away when he looked over towards her heavenly face. With sudden clarity he realized in that single moment why he loved her so much only to find her eyes on him, open and wide.
"Sara," he gasped tearfully, his movements causing her to draw in a deep agonized breath as a wave of pain soared through her body. He looked on in horror as his emotions broke free to roll down his cheeks. "Oh honey, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
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