Las Vegas, Nevada
Sara sat in her car, watching as the scene was processed. It was all so senseless, another death, another senseless crime that could have been prevented. Wiping another tear from her cheek she sighed heavily. They’d been so close to finding justice for Suzanna, before the young girl had simply frozen. Not that Sara could blame the teenager. The sad thing was, she couldn’t identify them, and now she was dead. And no matter how much Grissom or anyone else might say they couldn’t make assumptions, she already knew who was responsible for Suzanna’s death. The same people responsible for her rape…
Sighing heavily Sara quickly wiped at her eyes as Jim walked over to her car. Rolling the window down she gave a half smile when he looked at her.
“Hey Cookie, how you doing?” he asked softly.
“I’m good, I think I’m going to head home and get some rest, get some actual sleep. Can you let Grissom know?” she asked, avoiding any conversation as long as possible.
“No problem, you get a good night’s sleep,” he nodded, reaching out to place his hand on her arm briefly. “See you tomorrow Sara.”
“See you tomorrow,” she countered with a nod before rolling up her window and watching him walk back towards the scene. He stopped next to Grissom, and she watched as Grissom looked up at him, before turning her attention to the car and road, and starting the engine. She knew he’d look over at her, but she didn’t want to actually look in his eyes again, even from this distance.
She didn’t remember the majority of the trip home, before she knew it, it seemed, she was walking up the stairs to her apartment. She just dropped things along the way as she headed directly to her shower, turning the water on full blast and practically all hot, with just a hint of cold to keep it from scalding her skin. Turning once under the spray, she stopped and leaned her hands against the wall, just above the taps, and let her head fall forward.
She wasn’t sure how much time had passed once more, but eventually the muscles in her back and neck had been forced into relaxation by the spray. Flipping off the water she finally lifted her head, reaching up to squeeze some of the water out of her hair that hung around her head. She said screw it, and left her hair in haphazard curls and crimps from the towel around her head, and headed towards her bed, praying she wouldn’t have any dreams. Only to have the phone ring.
“Hello?” she asked with resignation, sure that it was someone from work calling her in.
“Oh my God,” Sara spoke in shock.
“Not quite,” came the response, a slight chuckle coloring the voice of the man on the other end.
“Sir…” she began quickly, trying to wrap her mind around what was happening. “How did you find me?”
“That was quite the event,” he conceded. “Finally someone found the name Sara Sidle in your records,” he continued before sighing heavily. “Gina, Sara, whichever name you prefer…I’m sorry for calling at such an early hour for you, but I need your help.”
“With what, Sir?” Sara asked concerned.
“Zoey’s been kidnapped, I want you here.”
Sara’s mind stopped for a moment then started again, thousand of thoughts running through her mind. “How long?” she asked after a few moments of silence.
“And you think I can help?” Sara asked skeptically.
“She trusted you in a way she hasn’t trusted anyone since. And from what I understand, you’re one hell of an investigator. And you were one hell of an agent, Gina. This isn’t the first time this has happened, we both know that…”
“Yes sir,” Sara agreed as her mind flashed back to the events of three-years-earlier when Zoey had been kidnapped the first time, that time she’d followed the events via the news. Later causing quite the conversations with her co-workers when the first anniversary of the event came around….
Monday May 7th,
Las Vegas, Nevada
“I honestly doubt any of
us have forgotten what happened one-year-ago today,” Nick sighed when he saw
what Greg was watching on the news.
“You got to admit, it was an interesting thing that happened last year. The 25th Amendment has only been invoked one other time in our history…It was big. And the fact that he did it because his daughter had been kidnapped…” Greg trailed off with a shrug.
“Yeah, and look what happened when he did. I’m not saying it was right or wrong, but Walken went bomb crazy while he had the power,” Nick countered shaking his head.
“I thought Texans were Republican,” Greg glanced over at him.
“Not all of us. And I’m Independent if you must know,” Nick shot back before reaching up to turn the sound down on the TV.
“Ah, I see,” Greg nodded. “Democratic myself.”
“What are you two talking about?” Catherine asked as she and Warrick came in.
“The Anniversary of the kidnapping of Zoey Bartlet, and the President invoking the 25th Amendment last year. I think it was a good thing, Nick’s mentioning what Walken did while he was in office.”
“It were me, I’d have signed that letter,” Catherine shrugged. “But at the same time, she never should have gotten taken in the first place. He shouldn’t have assassinated that Shariff guy.”
“Well, he did it for a reason.” Warrick countered as he poured a cup of coffee before walking over to the couch.
“Reason my ass. Regardless of why, he should have known there would be retribution,” Catherine shot back. “He’s the one who put his family in danger by doing that, and the rest of the nation while he was at it. They could have attacked someone other than his daughter; they could have bombed something or anything. Besides bombing that theater, which was bad enough.”
“I don’t know what I would have done, but regardless, it sucks that our people were injured, and others, because of this. And it really sucks that the girl was kidnapped.”
Sara entered the room as the debate went on, having quietly made her way to the coffee pot while Warrick spoke.
“Still say things weren’t done the best way,” Nick shrugged. “There had to have been another way…”
“Oh really? What would you have done?” Sara demanded as she turned to look at him and the others, stopping their conversation. “What would you have done? Put yourself in his shoes, his daughter had been taken, ransom could have been anything. He was in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.”
“They could have had more protection on the family members,” Catherine suggested with a shrug.
“Secret Service does all they can. And a woman was killed trying to protect Zoey. They aren’t to blame for this,” Sara snapped as she glanced over at Catherine. “They do their job; they put their lives on the line every day for this nation so we don’t have another incident like what happened with Kennedy and others. But they can’t just expect people to not go out, no matter how much they’d like for the person they’re watching to just remain at home.”
“What’s going on in here?” Grissom asked from the doorway, stopping further conversation.
“Nothing,” Sara replied after a moment. “I’ll be working on paperwork for the Gorilla case.”
Sara sighed heavily as she glanced around her bedroom, considering the implications of what he was asking. She’d have to leave things here; leave Vegas as soon as possible…and there was no telling how long it would take to find Zoey…If she said yes, she’d have to leave immediately, there wouldn’t be time to try and get a leave of absence approved. But at the same time, this was Zoey, and this was the President…two people, among many, she’d failed years earlier when she’d not noticed the man in the crowd until it was almost too late…
“Alright Sir, I’ll be on a plane as soon as I can arrange a ticket.”
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll have things put in motion here, there will be a ticket waiting for you at the airport. You have a cell phone number we can reach you at?”
“Yeah…seven-oh-two, four-one-three, one-eight-two-five,” Sara rattled off. “Can you give me two hours to make arrangements here?”
“Of course. Thank you Gina…or would you prefer Sara?”
Sara paused a moment before nodding, a visual agreement with her mental one. “Gina’s fine, in fact…I’d prefer if no one knew about my life as Sara Sidle, Sir, other than you and those who need to know.”
“Certainly. See you soon, Gina.”
“Yes Sir, goodbye Mr. President.”
Hanging up the phone Sara glanced around her apartment once more before sighing. “Well, you’ve gone and done it Sidle, better get used to it.” Convincing her tired body to get up, she created a mental list of things to be done, and started on them. An hour later she had cleaned out her fridge, she’d packed a small bag of clothes and had typed up her resignation. At six, she’d gone and woken her manager, making arrangements for her apartment to be paid for. Once she landed, she could call and make the arrangements for her phone and cable to be turned off temporarily. Fifteen after she was at the Lab dropping off her letter and a package bearing her badge, gun, and pager to be given to Grissom, fortunately he was in the Morgue and it would be long enough for her to get out of the lab before he found out what she had done.
Taking one last glance at the building she had called a second home for the last three years, she climbed into the cab, her own car having been left at her apartment, and began the trip to the airport. Once there, she quickly made her way to U.S. Airlines, where her ticket was waiting, and within an hour she was on a plane, making her way to the East Coast.