Title: Maelstrom (1/1)
Author: Kylie Leadbitter
Summary: CSI/X-Men(Movieverse). In a battle for her sanity, she fears she may be
Spoilers: X-Men 2, CSI some allusions to season 4.
Author's Notes: A pretty formatted version can be found at
Wasn't too sure wether to post this or not... But here goes...
She wonders now how Greg knew. Knew that she was suddenly not in the world, but
trapped in her own head, becoming lost in a maelstrom of images and cries. She
is grateful that he knew, and became her anchor to the world outside her own
head. But she wonders.
It started years ago - in her teens. Dreams. Nightmares. Images accompanied by a
backbeat; audio filled with pain and terror. They hadn't been frequent and she
had learned to suppress the uneasiness that filled her for days, to banish the
memories of bodies and lives broken, bleeding and utterly destroyed.
They'd become more frequent once she had begun studying to be a C.S.I, and by
the time she had actually begun working, she could guarantee a nightmare a week.
Often connected to a case - but not always.
When she had told Grissom - during the Kaye Shelton case - that she could hear
Kaye's screams, she had been telling the truth. Even during the day the
nightmare had echoed, reverberating through her mind. That had been one of the
worst of the nightmares in her experience.
Until a few months ago.
Sprawled out on her kitchen floor, clutching her head in agony. She had been so
certain that her head would explode. But it hadn't. News reports and
Presidential addresses gave no explanation, but ever since... Her world had
Every time she closed her eyes, the nightmares claimed her before sleep did.
Voices crying out in pain, in terror and in frustration. Images of bodies
mutilated, bleeding and broken. Behind the images a beat that seemed to chant
'Help, Help, Help'. Me, us, her, him - that constantly shifted, but the effect
was always the same; she would bolt upright, breathing heavily, her heart
pounding, sweat slicking her body, making her feel clammy, causing the sheets to
She was fighting a battle within herself, and terrified that she was losing. No
matter how much her body demanded she sleep, she fought it, no longer wanting to
close her eyes. Not at home and not at work. She had learned that location was
no refuge, having fallen asleep on the couch in the common room last week; she
had awoken not ten minutes later choking on screams.
She knew for a fact that Catherine had noted the dark circles under her eyes.
Had been waiting for the questions, waiting for the order to take some time off
- get some sleep. But it hadn't come. There was an added distance between them
now. So unless her work was affected, Catherine and Grissom both would hold
their peace and swallow their concerns.
And then she had no choice.
The nightmares had never come while she was conscious - during the last few
months that fact was the only thing that had kept her sane. As long as she was
awake the nightmares would not find her.
She had been placing a piece of evidence under the fume hood in trace when
things suddenly started to go black. It had only taken a few moments for the
images to begin. This time was different. Stronger. More overwhelming. She could
feel herself shaking, vaguely heard something glass shatter. Muffled voices. All
background to the screaming in her head. She may have been screaming herself -
she didn't know.
How long it continued, she didn't know. Only knew that it seemed an eternity,
and would continue for an eternity, and she was lost and suddenly there was
"Sara? Sara, I need you to concentrate on my voice, ok? Sara?" A soothing tone
saying that it was all right, and that she was safe - a lie she knew - but she
grabbed on to his meaningless words and soothing tone until the screaming
stopped and the images faded. Slowly the darkness receded and she became
conscious to the world once more, only to find herself shaking violently, tears
pouring down her face, and Greg holding her hands and looking at her, concerned.
A short time later she found herself on a plane; destination New York.
An old - mutant - friend had suggested a school that may be able to help her
control the nightmares. Greg had agreed, even offered to keep her company on the
She had the vague feeling that Greg had appointed himself her younger brother,
but couldn't bring herself to feel anything other than comforted. Not after he
had been so kind, shielded her from the curious gaze of her co-workers who had
witnessed her little meltdown.
After - it hadn't been difficult to take some leave, lord knew she had enough of
it accrued - she felt uncomfortable at the idea of not working. Even more so at
the reality of it.
She was surprised to see a young woman holding a sign with her name on it as she
enters La Guardia.
"Sara?" The other woman has blue hair and she found herself wondering if it's
her natural colour. "Sara Sidle?" Was it the dark circles under her eyes and the
haunted look she was certain was on her face that gave her away? Was there
something about her that shouted 'mutant'? She nodded and the young woman
smiled. "I'm Melissa. Greg called to tell me you were on your way." She found
herself frowning, "You know Greg?"
"Big brother." Melissa shrugged and reached for a bag. Well that explained how
"So..." She wasn't sure what she's going to say. Not even sure what she wanted
"C'mon. Logan's waiting in the car."
She's still not quite sure what to make of the gruff man they found leaning
against the SUV, a cigar clenched between his teeth. Instinct told her that
while he may be dangerous - he's no danger to her.
"Hank told us that you weren't too happy with taking time off work. What is it
that you do?" There's something that tells her that he's not used to making
small talk, and it increased her feeling of discomfort. "I'm a CSI in Vegas."
"Science nerd?" He obviously knows enough about her field to know that much - or
maybe he guessed from her association with Hank McCoy - either way the knot in
her stomach eased slightly, as she confirmed his assessment. "Science nerd."
She sleeps now. Not for long, and not yet through the night, but she sleeps. Her
respect for Greg has increased; he's her contact to her own world. Obvious too
how much he loves his sister - never mind that Melissa can see the future, is
better at predicting the weather than the weather bureau. Melissa is his sister,
and that is all that matters. She is cognizant at how fortunate she is, that she
can call him friend. The horror stories of some of the children have of familial
rejection have driven that home to her.
So now she tries to follow his example. Tries to be a friend, let down her guard
She tutors a little, passing on some of what Grissom has taught her, and of what
she has learned personally. That you can't twist the science, the hard facts, to
fit a theory. That persistence, intuition and empathy do have their place within
But mostly she learns. About herself; how to control her gift. About friends;
and the family that has nothing to do with blood.
And when the dreams come she is aware of her limits and also aware of what she
can do to help those she sees, hears.
It's time to go home.