A/N: Well, I'm admittedly sorry to see this end. Thank you to everyone who reviewed, and if you haven't, this will be the last chapter, so please give me some feedback.
She got back to the hotel and threw herself down on the bed, feeling the strain more than ever. Despite her best effort she didn't sleep, and after several hours of flipping around like a fish out of water she was forced to wonder if the case was giving her insomnia. Somewhere in her she knew that she hadn't slept well in months, but this case was causing it to surface more than ever. Maybe it was the guilt, she thought as she lay there, trying desperately to succumb to her exhaustion, and maybe it was the fear that came with wondering who was going to be next. When she finally slept she dreamed that Jen was the next victim. She woke up a mere hour after when she finally drifted off and called Jen frantically, who answered and calmly explained that she was fine. It was twelve-thirty. She was safe for another day.
That was enough to let her sleep. She, mercifully, was allowed to sleep without dreams, and she was finally ready to go after the killer. She was going to fight tooth and nail until she caught him. He had killed his last person, she was ready to guarantee that.
She walked out of the hotel room, entered the elevator, and saw no more. She woke up in a room so dark that she couldn't tell the difference between having her eyes open and closed. She was laying on a thin matress, in- if the moisture level was any indication- a basement. She tried to get up only to find that her hands and feet were bound. She looked around for an escape but she was blind for all intents and purposes, so she just lay there, awaiting the storm that she was sure was going to happen. The killer had apparently made good on his promises, and she was now going to have to stare death in the face, hopefully surviving.
She had just enough time to promise herself that she would fight back when the door open and light streamed in, hurting her eyes, but the killer stood in the doorway until her sight returned. Leaning against the door frame was a figure dressed all in black from head to toe. The person walked into the room and stood next to the mattress. Slowly they reached up and removed the ski mask, revealing her identity to Sara, who looked up, and into the dark, cold eyes of her sister.
"So you recognize me after all these years? We're a lot alike in some ways Sara. Our lives both revolve around the law. Yes you enforce it and I break then test it, but still, we both live our lives around it. Also, we share the same DNA."
Sara blinked, shocked, remembering that fact. "That's what you meant when you said you couldn't believe how much I'd missed. You didn't plant my DNA to incriminate me, you just made a crucial error, but since you weren't in the system it didn't matter."
"You're getting closer Sara. I did in fact plant the DNA to incriminate you, but not yours, mine. And yes, I did realize that since I wasn't in the system, and you-being a federal officer- were, it would make your life difficult. What I didn't count on was the fact that since your boss was so completely infatuated with you, he still let you work the case. I also didn't anticipate that you'd be so reckless with other people's lives, which is another similarity between the two of us."
Sara rolled her eyes as if to laugh it off but in truth she was almost shaking from anger. "I do care Margaret," saying each word in a slow, controlled voice, "but some times you have to risk the lives of a few in order to save the lives of the many."
"Is that how you keep your conscience clear? Not that I care or anything, since I don't have one anymore. I just find this interesting, as I consider you another option I could've taken, but didn't."
"My conscience is none of your concern. Besides, it's my turn to ask some questions here. How the hell do you think you're going to get away with this? You just kidnapped a federal agent!"
"I have my ways. You are very far away from LA right now. And besides, you were out cold for a day, thanks to the wonder of drugs. We are currently in the basement of an abandoned apartment on the outskirts of San Diego. No one is looking for you here, and even your so called friends in LA won't start searching for at least 24 hours longer. Even then they won't find me. Don't worry though, you might make it back alive if they agree to pay the ransom that will get me out of the country. I was all set up to kill you until I looked into your eyes and realized that you looked too much like me for me to blow away."
"Probably a good idea," Sara retorted, gaining back some of her confidence as she got more and more adjusted to her surroundings and began to get her bearings, knowing just what to say around the familiar face, "I've heard that cocaine can give you hallucinations," she mentioned, seeing the needle marks in her sister's arm, "you might shoot yourself by accident."
Margaret looked shocked and angry at Sara's forwardness, and stormed out of the room, slamming and locking the basement door behind her, screaming "The worst is yet to come Sara. You wait and see."
Sara, though undaunted by Marg's remark, spent several minutes considering the possible meaning of that statement. Well, she thought, I don't want to find out if I can help it. She decided to spend any time where she was left alone searching for a way out. One thing she knew was that Marg was an insane planner, and that a kidnapping that she clearly hadn't thought out completely had to have some holes. She had to have missed a way out. She looked around eying the stairs and wondering if she could break down the door. She quickly realized that iit would make too much noise and that if she were to escape she would have to do so through the one, painted over window.
It was very high on the wall, above Sara's head, and apparently locked. Sara looked around, finding a nail on the ground that would suffice for the lock if she could find a way up to it. She scoured the entire basement, looking for anything that could help her grow the foot and a half she would need for access to the window. She decided that if she lay on the third-to-top stair and shuffled slowly over to the window she'd be able to pick and dismantle the lock, which she did, after multiple attempts that sent her crashing to the cold floor from six feet up. The problem was getting close enough to pull herself out the small window. She decided to push the mattress and the window in case she took any more bad falls.
She once again climbed the stairs, still careful not to make any noise, though she was sure at this point that Margaret was asleep. She got very close to window before crashing down, falling the wrong way on her hand, probably snapping her wrist. She didn't cry out however, knowing this was probably the only time she would get to escape. The next attempt was successful and she slid out the window, glad for once for the cover of night.
She ran as quickly as she could down the deserted road, eventually slowing to a walk when she was far enough away that she could give into her exhaustion. Just as the sun started to rise she began to see San Diego on the horizon, glad that she finally had some indication that she had chosen the right direction to walk. She broke into a sprint once again, knowing Marg would soon be awake and fuming, and fully unwilling to get caught now. She made it into town eventually, huffing and out of breath, and asked for the quickest directions to the police station. A nice man at a coffee shop told her it was mere minutes away, and she took off running again, feeling safe only once she stepped through the double doors. The secretary took one look at her disheveled appearance and sent her in to see the on-duty lieutenant.
The portly-looking gentleman introduced himself as Nick Brownings, and she immediately explained everything that had happened to her in the past 48 hours. She explained that she was FBI and that she needed an escort back to Las Angeles. He said that he and two sergeants would gladly take her back to LA. He took one look at her over sized wrist and offered to make a stop at the hospital along the way, but she declined, knowing that every second mattered. They took a conspicuous car, actually hoping Margaret would follow and thus fall into a trap once they got to LA.
Sara called Shawn on Nick's cell phone, telling him that she was fine and on her way back from San Diego, accompanied by the city's finest. She also said that they were luring her sister, she paused to let him suck air for a moment, to the city and to have everyone ready to trap her.
Soon enough they were back in LA and sure enough, Margaret had been following, unsuspecting of a trap. LAPD's own Chief Harrison made the arrest, and Sara had the pleasure of shoving Marg into the car and watching her be driven over the booking. She did the entire interview, eventually booking her into prison. She stopped by Shawn's office to show him in person that she was in fact alive only to be greeted by a very tight hug. "I'msogladyou'reokSara." He whispered in one breath, not even bothering to pause between words.
"Shawn I'm fine. Really." Then she realized that she wasn't. Her wrist began to flare, reminding her of the break that had occurred nearly 24 hours ago. "Actually, I should go... I'll see you tomorrow."
"Ok... But take a few days off ok? I want you to have some time to get over this. Besides, you deserve a little TLC. Go to a spa or something."
"Sure. I have to get back to my cat."
"Oh don't worry, I checked in on her once a day, made sure her food machine didn't run out and that she wasn't overly traumatized by the experience. She seemed to take a liking to me actually." Sara smiled at her boss' kindness, not currently worried about the motivation behind it. Someday she would have to tell him that he didn't have a chance, but today was a day for celebrations, and for relaxation. She did in fact have to go, so she raced out of there, driving herself one handed to the hospital. They put her in a cast after berating her for waiting as long as she did to come in. She shook them off, saying that she had more important things to do, which she had.
As soon as she could get out of there she did, and she went back to the hotel to a frantic kitty. Sparkles was pacing around the room meowing, as if to berate her for being away for so long. Sara calmed and soothed her, talking to her as if she could understand the cat's unspoken words. Sparkles eventually stopped being mad and started weaving through her legs, tripping her and making her fall over. Sara couldn't blame her though, considering how long it really had been since they had spent some quality time together.
She collected her cat, turned on the TV, started watching CSI-viewing the program in a whole new light- and started on the road to getting her life back to normal.