I need your help. Suggestions regarding as to what comm, if any, to put this in is needed. I have no idea why I wanna post this seeing as how I don't even bother with this show anymore... *iz confoozled* Also, it's like 11 chapters long. Ya heard me right, E-L-E-V-E-N chapters.
So, my fellow/former CSI watchers, anything?
Title: The One
Summary: Set some time after 'Rick got hitched... I forget what season... five? maybe?... it was recent. I'm a CSI shipper slut. So that means it's SARA fic. YAY!
Disclaimer: So not mine. As is evidenced by what we see on-screen.
Nervously she waited. Not knowing what she was going to say frightened her beyond belief. Why she felt the need to say anything at all scared her even more. It was hard to believe. Warrick, married. It hit her like a ton of bricks. She stood frozen for what seemed like an eternity in the fingerprint lab after Jacqui had given her the news. How quickly she recovered, she didn’t know. She just hoped it was enough so Jacqui wouldn’t suss her out.
Sara and Warrick had been over for close to two years now. Granted they had been off and on, but for such a long time it never really phased her that they’d never gotten back together. She had let herself drift from him, distancing herself, withdrawing into her own world. After being betrayed by Melissa, Hank and even Grissom, to a certain degree, she had learned to keep her guard up. That meant unfortunately she was alone. As easy as it was being with Warrick she still felt alone. Now she knew it was her own doing. He always wanted to know more about her childhood, her family, how she became a criminalist.
She would give him general details: hippie parents, one older brother, from whom she had learned to tinker around on cars and her free-lovin’ flower power childhood, from which she rebelled. She’d let him know the schools she’d attended, how she’d always been a book worm, not much unlike himself. Being the inquisitive science geek she was it was sort of a natural progression into criminalistics. She told him how she got into a prestigious Ivy League school. Of course she left out the parts of abuse, hospital visits, waking up in strange places, the fact that her mother killed her father. The little details were always left out.
He on the other hand had been like an open book compared to her. She knew about Grams, even meeting her a few times. She knew how Matt Phelps had been so important in shaping who he was today, his sense of justice, fairness, being connected to people, deep connections. That was something she never experienced. She always felt like a stranger in her own family. One thing she reveled in, that they had in common, was their shared geekiness, looking at him now you would’ve never believed it. But she’d seen proof. His high school picture was anything but flattering. He was a gangly teenager with clothes two sizes too big, thick coke bottle glasses, and bucked teeth. It amazed her, the things they had in common, before and after their lives had met.
They were born into worlds in which they were outsiders. Looked down upon for their differences, they each rose above the adversity to become the successful adults they were today. Well, she wouldn’t call herself a success, but at least she was able to bring some peace of mind to the victim’s family. Peace of mind was something Sara always needed but never found, except when she was with Warrick. He made her feel safe. She didn’t have to put on airs around him or feel the need to defend herself all the time. He put her at ease. When they had been together, they had been chaotic, to say the least, yet she had been happy.
“Yeah, happy,” she snorted to herself.
She replayed their entire relationship repeatedly in her head. They had fought but he never mistreated her or raised a hand to her. Most of the time it had been arguments over her lack of connection. They would break up. He would always tell her she needed to open up to him; she had no reason to be afraid. They’d get back together. Not having an understanding of self made it impossible to reveal anything to him. Not understanding that psyche made for frustration on his part. They’d break up again. She’d go out with Hank. She broke up with Hank, ran back to Warrick for some comfort. Warrick felt he had to compete with Grissom for her attention. She would tell him he had nothing to worry about. He wasn’t so sure, she would never tell him how she felt. They decided to call it quits.
Work was a different matter. Personal stuff always took a backseat when they were on the job. Again, she felt at ease with him. She chalked it all up to his charming personality, never believing once that she deserved just what he had given her, love and respect. That all belonged to, or more correctly was for, someone else. Now she was starting to realise what she had lost.
Her train of thought was interrupted when he walked in the room.
“Hey girl,” he shot at her with such a casual tone. It stabbed her more than she realised.
“Uh, hey” she simply said, caught unawares by his sudden presence.
“Man, tough shift tonight. How ‘bout you?” he asked genuinely.
“Um, it was okay, I guess,” was her attempt to sound normal.
“Okay huh?” he scoffed. He knew there was a “but” coming soon, so he took the initiative and cut her off, “What’s wrong?”
“I, uh... I heard something about you,” she stated matter of factly. “You got married. I didn’t know that.”
Warrick knew he should’ve told her first, there just hadn’t been any time to; it happened so quickly, he wasn’t even sure he knew about it.
“Yeah,” he grimaced, “I meant to tell you, I just... things got busy.” Sensing the awkwardness now between them he moved to sit beside her on the bench, “I’m sorry.”
“So, who is she?” She tried to keep her tone neutral. It was an innocent enough question. “Do I know her?”
“Tina.” He was a little surprised she wanted to know. He regarded her with a quizzical look. He felt a little uncomfortable, though unsure why.
“What?” It was like they never skipped a beat. “I wanna know. That’s what friends are for.” Oh well, so much for neutral, Sara thought.
Right, friends he thought to himself. “Well, we met a long time ago. She’s from my old neighbourhood. She moved away in the eight grade and I didn’t see her for years. Until one day outta the blue she stopped by Grams’ when we were having supper one night. She moved back home to take care of her mom.”
“So, she was a childhood sweetheart?”
“Nah, we were just friends. She was the only one in school who didn’t make fun of me.” He paused to make sure it was okay to proceed. Sara seemed alright with this, she did ask and to tell the truth he was a little curious of her reaction. “We hit it off right away, like she never left. It was cool.”
He laughed at that. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
She was amazed at his grace, at the calmness surrounding him. She envied that.
“Nothing,” she scoffed, hoping to recover that Freudian slip. “It’s just, you have a way with people, and you make them comfortable.”
“Well, I had practice.” He smiled at her hoping to alleviate some of the tension.
“That you did.” She returned his smile, regret showed now.
“I’m really sorry I didn’t tell you,” he began to explain.
“Hey, don’t be. I was just... a little taken by it, that’s all. I’m happy for you really.” She forced herself to look at him with all the sincerity she could muster. “Really.”
“Thank you, that means a lot to me,” he said.
“I didn’t even know you were seeing somebody. You sure can keep a secret Mr. Brown,” she said in an attempt to be casual, bumping him playfully.
“I kept us a secret didn’t I?”
She winced. “Yes, yes you did and I appreciate that, but I thought... I thought...” She could feel the potential for rambling make itself present. “I thought we were still friends and you getting married is a big deal, you tell friends stuff like that, you know. I guess I was a little hurt that I had to hear it from Jacqui.”
The pitch in his voice was serious, “I told you I was sorry. What you don’t believe me?” It was a little defensive, but it was Sara he was talking to, she wouldn’t be hurt by it.
“I do... I do... it’s just... Look, I just wanted to congratulate you so, congratulations.” She stood to leave.
Warrick grabbed her wrist with a gentle touch to stop her from going. After all this time he still had an effect on her. Closing her eyes seemed a viable option to confrontation, plus it held her back from crying.
“Don’t do that to me,” he pleaded. “You know I hate it when you do that.” He was standing now facing her. “Sara, talk to me. I’m right here.”
She was in trouble now. She opened her eyes.
“I can’t Warrick, how?” He dropped her hand. “H-how can I talk to you now? About what? What would I possibly tell you that you don’t already know? How badly I screwed us up? I know Warrick, I know it was me. You don’t have to pacify me because you feel guilty for not being there for me. You were. You were.” She stated with affirmation. “I didn’t... I... I couldn’t let you in. But the thing is,” she couldn’t believe what she was about to tell him.
“You and me... that was the... happiest, I have ever been, ever.” She was screwed and she knew it. Not telling him about the way she felt, not telling him about her family, or Grissom. Damn her timing. She always gave too little of herself when it mattered and too much when it didn’t.
“Now you tell me.” His head was reeling, and his composure betrayed his turmoil. “How am I supposed to take that Sara?”
“I dunno...” she meant it. Time to stop spilling her guts, she knew where they were. “Bye.” With that she took her leave. He could do nothing to stop her.
“Damn!” He punched his locker, hard.
“So, did you win Ali?” It was Archie.
“Not by a long shot, not by a long shot.” He took his bag out of his locker and slung it over his shoulder. “I’ll see ya, man.”
“Yeah, later. Oh, and Warrick.” At the threshold of the door Warrick turned. “Congratulations, I just heard about you gettin’ hitched.”
“Thanks.” Uncertain if Archie had overheard anything he tried to keep up appearances by feigning a smile. “Later.”