Title: Perfect Match.

Author: Corbeau's Alcove.

Email: persistance_is_futile@hotmail.com


"Come on mom, hurry!" Demanded Lindsay as she ran from the front door to what Sara assumed was the laundry. She smiled when she saw Catherine being forcefully encouraged to follow her.

Sara realised that simply being in her own house gave Catherine a sense of relaxation even with having to contend with Lindsay. Sara felt a little out of place, she was uncomfortable around new situations at the best of times. Hell, she didn't even find herself completely at home when she opened the door of her flat. Now to be in the house of her lover with a child to boot; Sara felt like fleeing.

"Sara?" Catherine had approached Sara without the latter noticing. When she spoke that one word, Catherine could see Sara was lost in thought.

"Thinking about the case?" Catherine inquired. She had hoped that Sara wasn't regretting coming inside. It was a big step for her to make and Catherine appreciated it. However, she didn't feel that she should make a big deal of it and thank her. She wanted it to feel natural, like she had been at Catherine's a thousand times. Only she knew it wasn't that simple. Sara wasn't just a co-worker visiting after a hard shift. She was entering into the home of the woman she'd had sex with twice in one day who happened to be her co-worker. Not the ideal time to load Sara down with platitudes.

Sara knew her silence was going to worry Catherine but when she tried to formulate a response she found her mouth did not want to open. Could she let Catherine know that she didn't feel like she belonged in the middle of this domestic scene, that Sara didn't know the first thing about children? That she was out of her depth because she wanted Catherine so much it tore her apart to realise this relationship could go nowhere?

"Sara, speak to me," Catherine pleaded. She hated the sound of her voice, it sounded too much like Lindsay when she wanted something that was being denied to her. She reached out to grasp Sara's hand only to pull back when Sara refused the contact.

"Sara Sidle, what is going on?" Catherine demanded in her best 'mother' tone.

Lindsay had appeared at that stage and made a clicking sound in the back of her throat, "Oh no Sara, you're in trouble."

Sara felt like she was drowning. She wished Catherine could read her mind. She wanted nothing more than to be with Catherine but in all the time she had fantasized about her Lindsay was not part of the grand plans. That wasn't to say Lindsay was an unwelcome part of Catherine's life. She had never really thought of the consequences of embarking upon a relationship with a woman who had a child. A child whose father had recently perished and couldn't find closure because she had not done enough on the case.

She felt four pairs on eyes on her, all distinctly belonging to a member of the Willows family. She knew she had to say something.

"I'm just a little tired."

She could tell be Catherine's face and posture that she wasn't buying it and knew she wouldn't accept that. Sure enough she was right when she heard Catherine tell Lindsay to pack for her sleepover.

Once Lindsay had retreated to her room Catherine spun around, her temper on the verge of spilling out. "Okay Sara, what is going on? I want the truth."

"I told you Cath, I'm tired. Someone wore me out with some strenuous exercise," Sara joked, hoping levity would slice through the building tension.

"Bull. You've been acting increasingly distant since the drive here. In fact, there have been times today where you've completely clammed up. I need to know what is bothering you."

"Catherine, I'm not an easy person to solve in one conversation. I have enough insecurity to fill five Yankee Stadium's. You can't know all of me at once, there's a natural progression in a relationship where you learn bits and pieces before getting to the core."

"I don't need relationship advice from you Sara. I think I've had more successful attempts at it thank you."

"Is this going to be about your past as a dancer Catherine because I think we all know you shook your booty to music, you don't need to remind me." Sara said, frustrated. This conversation was not going where she had first intended.

"Oh so now you're going to have a go at my less than illustrious past? I've lived my life differently to you but that's not a crime. I'd rather be where I am then still stuck at home because I couldn't afford to leave. I have a wonderful daughter out of it and that is something I won't trade for anybody or anything."

Sara stood up from the couch that had moved over to, "oh and I have nothing to show for my life, is that what you're saying Catherine? That I'm nothing more to you than a project? You want to mould me into you? I'm sorry but I'm not up for that. I deserve better than to be pitied and indulged. Oh poor Sara she had a crush on her older more experienced co-worker, I'm going to do my good deed for the day and have some sex with her?"

Catherine knew she shouldn't raise her voice when Lindsay was at home. She had gone through that when Eddie was alive, he was able to push her buttons so easily and she had a fiery temper to match. Seeing her mom in another shouting match would probably bring up the memories of Eddie and she wanted to protect her daughter from that.

"Sara, I really though we'd have something that was worth more than a quick fling. I'm starting to see why you were so blind to Hank's betrayal. You don't invest in relationships and I'm sorry, but if this is going to be how it is every day then I want no part of it."

Lindsay had heard the argument and decided to run out to see what the commotion was. She saw Sara pacing the room and her mother sitting on the lounge and knew her mother was teetering on an explosion, so she decided to interrupt.

"Mom, can we have something to eat before I go?"

Catherine's face changed as soon as she heard Lindsay's voice.

"Sure baby cakes, what you would like?"

"I think we should go have pancakes!" Lindsay exclaimed.

Sara was about to try and sneak out but felt a hand tug on her sleeve. She looked down to see Lindsay smiling expectantly at her. "Sara can drive."

"Ah Linds honey, Sara may not want to come, I'm sure she has things to do at home." Catherine said, pulling Lindsay away from Sara.

"Oh, Sara can you come too? Mom can have someone to talk to while I play in the jungle gym there. It's really cool."

Sara didn't know why she said yes but she found herself being handed the keys by Lindsay. She tried to make eye contact with Catherine but found she was deliberately avoiding her. This trip was going to be fun, she thought sarcastically.

Lindsay didn't stop talking all the way to Penny's Pancake Kingdom to which both women were pleased about. As she bounded out of the car, Lindsay told her mom that she was glad Sara was coming. Sara heard the declaration and looked at Catherine to see her reaction. Her stomach fell when Catherine still refused to make eye contact with her. Was she serious about ending this? If only she could have simply been satisfied with the fact that Catherine wanted her.

"Catherine, wait." Sara said, grabbing Catherine as she walked past her.

"Sara I don't want to fight in front of Lindsay but as far as I'm concerned we're over. If you won't tell me what's going on in your mind how can I be sure this is what you want. Maybe you should stick with your fantasies, that way everything can turn out how you like it and you won't ever have to reveal anything." Catherine said, tearing her arm away from Sara's touch.

Sara felt tears drop down her cheeks. She felt her heart breaking with Catherine's retreat and wanted nothing more than to crawl up into a small ball and close herself off from the world. The woman who had come to mean more to her than her own existence had been in her grasp and she had let it slip away.

She stood in the car park for what seemed a lifetime. It all felt too much like a sad love film minus the symbolic rain. She wiped her eyes and made her way into the pancake place determine to win Catherine back.

When she got inside she saw Catherine and Lindsay laughing and throwing paper airplanes across the table. Sara knew then and there that she wanted to be a part of it. The happy family, the feeling of security that came with it. She only wished it came with a detailed reference book, she'd always been good with cold hard facts.

"Hey Sara, we ordered you a Coca-Cola." Lindsay said laughing as Catherine's misdirected shot landed at Sara's feet.

Sara bent down to pick it up and smiled at Lindsay.

"Thanks Lindsay, that was thoughtful of you." Sara said putting the plane on the table. She considered sitting next to Catherine but decided against it. Instead she sat with Lindsay.

"It wasn't my idea Sara, mom said we should get you a drink. I picked it though. Coke is my favourite." Lindsay said sliding over to sit closer to Sara.

Sara stared at Catherine's face hoping to gauge her mood. She was still avoiding eye contact but there was no steam billowing from her ears like there was before.

"Well thank you both. So, Lindsay what should I order?" Sara asked. She hoped that by interacting with Lindsay she would begin to feel more comfortable and she could allay her fear and doubt to Catherine after they had eaten.

Lindsay linked arms with a surprised Sara and read off her menu.

"I think you should get the apple cinnamon stack. Mom gets that and always says it's really good."

Sara smiled at Lindsay before replying.

"Well if you're mom says they are good I'm sure she's right. I'll get that. Catherine, are you going to get it too?" Sara asked.

"I'm not hungry, I think I'll just get some coffee." Catherine replied.

Lindsay poked Sara in the ribs before requesting she make her mom eat something. Sara wasn't sure how she should proceed but was saved by Catherine's reply.

"Linds I'm not hungry, I'll eat when we go home. If I get hungry when the food is here I'll take some of yours," Catherine said laughing.

"No mom, you can't eat mine but you can share with Sara if you want."

Sara smiled and couldn't help but tease Catherine. "You'd have to arm wrestle me for it and you have no chance of beating me."

Lindsay giggled and held out her hand. "Sara can you arm wrestle me?"

Catherine couldn't help but smile despite the situation. She may have called their relationship off but she couldn't deny the attraction she felt for Sara. To have her joking and showing that beautiful smile just reminded Catherine of how much she cared for her.

Sara and Lindsay kept themselves busy arm wrestling until the food came. Sara saw the stack of pancakes in front of her and realised just how hungry she was. 'Having sex will do that to you,' she mused, 'and if I'm hungry I'm sure Catherine is too.'

Sara cut one pancake up and placed a generous portion on her fork. She waved it in Catherine's face taunting her. She could see Catherine was hungry and dared her to take the piece off her fork. Catherine relented and allowed Sara to feed her. She shifted in her chair when she saw Sara place the fork in her own mouth immediately licking the bit of cinnamon that remained.

Sara didn't want to tease Catherine as a ploy so she would change her mind about them, so she began to eat the stack on her own, chatting to Lindsay and occasionally looking over to Catherine. She wasn't sure what would happen once Lindsay grew tired of this place. She was sure Catherine wouldn't invite her back to her home.

"Lindsay, how is school?" Sara asked, smiling as Catherine attacked her daughters food.

"It's really cool. We had a new teacher for a few weeks, Miss Vale, who loves science. I told her my mom works with science and she wanted to meet her. She asked mom out on a date."

Sara wondered if she should stop drinking and eating because she had almost choked again. She looked to Catherine who was blushing.

"Lindsay, we don't need to tell Sara this." Catherine warned but Lindsay wasn't paying attention. She had a story to tell and she wasn't going to let a grown up, even if it was her mother, spoil it.

"Yeah, she said that mom was really smart and that she'd love to take her to dinner and discuss mom's work. Mom said no. I thought it was because Miss Vale was my substitute teacher and she didn't want people to make fun of me."

Sara nodded and peered at Catherine who was signaling for the cheque.

"But she's no longer my teacher and I told mom it would be okay."

"Lindsay honey she wasn't asking me on a date. She just wanted to have dinner with a friend." Catherine said.

"But mom, you told me she was a lesbian." Lindsay replied.

"Just because she's a lesbian doesn't mean she wanted to go out with me, Linds, we talked about this."

Lindsay leant into Sara and whispered, "Miss Vale said mom was way smart and mom told her that there was a woman who she worked with that was smarter than she'd ever be."

Sara blushed and reached for her drink. She wanted to drill Lindsay for more information but knew she was already on thin ice with Catherine. Instead she looked over to her and asked, "who is the woman smarter that you Cath?"

Catherine mumbled her reply.

Sara smiled.

"Sorry Cath, I didn't hear you."

Catherine looked at Sara, granting her eye contact since their fight and said, "you Sara. I was talking about you." Catherine leant across the table to touch Sara's hand before continuing. "It's always been you."

Sara began to cry once more only this time she wasn't sad. She felt the emotion in Catherine's voice and the warmth in the gentle hand holding her own. She didn't want to push it so she took a deep breath and spoke right from her heart. "It's always been you too Cat."

Lindsay coughed to catch their attention. They both broke apart and looked to Lindsay.

"Can we go now, I've got a sleepover to go to."

Catherine laughed at the absurdity of the past day. She paid the waitress and kissed her daughter's head before heading out to the car. Lindsay grabbed Sara's hand and the two of them walked to the car laughing about Miss Vale. Catherine watched the scene unfold and wiped away a single tear that fell. She had been harsh to call things off with Sara. She knew being with Sara wouldn't be a Hallmark film. Sara Sidle was a complex individual and she wasn't going to give up on her despite this early bump in the road.

She had been searching for the missing part of her life, she'd been looking for it like it was another one of her cases. Watching Sara tickle Lindsay, Catherine knew, this was perfection. This was home.


The drive back to Catherine's house was a long trip, or at least Sara was beginning to think. Had Catherine changed her position on their relationship? Her declaration earlier had felt sincere and the fact that she had made it in front of her daughter excited Sara. Perhaps this meant she was serious. 'If only I could ask her now,' Sara mused. Having Lindsay talking a mile a minute was saving both women from an uncomfortable silence but it was it was making Sara incredibly antsy.

Catherine was similarly playing over the roller coaster of emotions she'd already experienced in this very new relationship. She knew she was falling for Sara but wasn't a teenager who could afford to have a relationship based solely on sex any longer. She needed a deeper connection. She needed equality of thought and conversation and Sara wasn't forthcoming when it came to what she was thinking.

In her anger she had finished it and she wasn't sure what possessed her to reach out only an hour after doing so but she felt it was true. Once Lindsay left she knew it would be time to lay all the cards out on the table. She shook herself out of her reverie to hear the tail end of the story Lindsay was telling.

"And then Tracey tried to hit Jason but she slipped over and hit her head. There was blood everywhere and the paramedics had to come. When she came back to school she had a scar on her head."

Sara smiled as Lindsay finished her story. She marveled at how excited she was when recounting a story. When she was Lindsay's age she had difficulty talking with strangers even if her parents knew them. She admired the way Catherine had brought her daughter up. She was polite and friendly and could talk forever.

Catherine turned into the driveway and laughed as she saw Lindsay run to the door. "Linds you know you can't get inside until I do."

"I know mom. You should let me have a key."

"Good try baby, but no."

Lindsay smiled, realizing that no matter how many times she tried to convince her mother it would be a good idea her mother always disagreed.

Sara had said nothing to Catherine since the pancake place and was finding it hard to now say her name. She followed both Lindsay and Catherine to the front door and finally spoke, "Catherine, can I wait here until my cab comes?"

"No Sara, you have to stay and see my room," Lindsay said brushing past her mom and grabbing Sara's hand. "But we have to hurry because Angie will be here in about ten minutes."

Sara had seen Lindsay do the same to Catherine the first time she had come here and thought Catherine was being dramatic but she realized now, in the same position, that Lindsay was quite strong. She followed her but turned to Catherine before she entered the room, "Catherine can you call a cab for me?"

Catherine nodded and smiled slightly as Sara disappeared into Lindsay room.

"Sara, this is my favorite picture, come look." Lindsay held out a frame decorated with sea shells and small multi colored fish. Inside it was a picture of Catherine laughing at what looked to be a beach. In the background Eddie was about to pour water on her. She had long curly red hair that went past her shoulders, was wearing a white shirt on that was wet and showing a black and white stripped bikini top. Her eyes sparkled as she laughed, something Sara felt she could watch for ever and never tire of.

"I love that picture, mom and dad look so happy. I know that they stopped loving each other but mom said that this time was happy for them because she was pregnant with me."

Sara traced Catherine's smile with her finger. She was jealous that Eddie had given her such joy. Obviously Catherine had been involved with other people. As had she. To think that Eddie had been able to give her Lindsay made her heart ache. She couldn't compete with that and she was worried that now Catherine had been able to think about it, Sara didn't make the cut.

"Sara, are you okay?" Lindsay asked.

Sara looked up at Lindsay who looked concerned. She then looked back down to the frame and realized she had been crying. Before she could respond she felt herself being hugged by Lindsay.

"I'm okay squirt. I think work is getting to me today. I must need more sleep." Sara said patting Lindsay on the back.

Lindsay took the photo and wiped it before replacing it on the shelf. "I'll tell mom, maybe she can drive you home."

"No it's okay. Don't worry your mother. Plus I can't go yet, I haven't seen the rest of your room." Sara said, hoping her subject change would distract Lindsay. She was glad when Lindsay smiled and began to tell Sara the story behind her favorite stuffed animal.

Catherine interrupted the story of the fifth photo on Lindsay's shelf to tell her daughter that Angie was at the door. Sara laughed as Lindsay kissed her mother quickly and was shocked when Lindsay repeated the same action with her. With that Lindsay was gone yelling bye as she slammed the door.

Catherine knew she needed to speak up. She took a deep breath and looked at Sara. Sara was fidgeting nervously but maintained eye contact. Sara was hoping Catherine was going to ask her to stay but wasn't optimistic so she stood up and made her way to the lounge room.

"Is the cab coming soon?" Sara asked, amazed that her voice was working.

Catherine had followed Sara and now stood in the kitchen, the bench separating them.

"Sara, I didn't call a cab." Catherine admitted.

Sara was puzzled. Surely she had spoken aloud when requesting she call for one. Perhaps Catherine was willing to drive her home.

"Well I need to get some sleep and I'm not one for endurance power walks so can I please use your phone?"

"Sara, I didn't call them because I want us to talk." Catherine said, walking over to the table and pulling out a chair. She motioned for Sara to join her.

Sara stood where she was. She wasn't ready for another argument.

"Please Sara."

Sara saw Catherine's posture slumped over the table. She had seen her deflated at work and it mirrored Catherine's current form. Her face bore the signs of frustration and fatigue and Sara wanted to hug her. Instead she sat down and waited for Catherine to speak.

"About today. I know we jumped into something very quickly. Perhaps that wasn't a great idea. I don't blame you for keeping things to yourself but I do wish you would open up with me."

"Catherine, I'm not as personable as you. I can't be. Besides, you've ended this so I don't think I need to open myself up to you."

Catherine ran her hand through her hair before replying.

"I was angry Sara. I was frustrated. I don't like having to wonder what you're thinking. I want you to tell me. That's how I'll want this relationship to work between us. I want to get to know you Sara. I want to know your aspirations, your fears, and your past. If you can't give that to me and everyday will be a struggle to break off a piece of you then I will walk away. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, I'm not young anymore and can't find the strength to always be the one giving."

Sara stood up and walked to the kitchen needing to distance herself from the woman in front of her. However, Catherine wasn't willing to have Sara shut herself off just yet.

Sara turned to Catherine.

"It sounds too much like an ultimatum Catherine and I don't respond well to that. You have to have the power in every situation. I can't let you have it here. I have things inside me that can't just come out because you will it. Plus, you called it off and then told me that it's always been me. How can you have it both ways and expect me to pour my heart out?"

"I know I called it off and it was simply a by-product of my anger. I was telling the truth when I said you were the one Sara. I see great potential in you and I together. I just ask that you let me in."

Sara rubbed her forehead and moved closer to Catherine.

"I want to let you in but the adjustment to having you simply a dream to being a realistic possibility terrifies me. It makes me guarded towards you. It may be irrational and frustrating but it's instinct. Hell, even this now is more than I usually say."

Catherine laughed replying, "what did you usually say in a relationship then Sara, name, rank, and serial number?"

Sara smiled despite the situation. "No comment."

Catherine smiled and reached out for Sara. Sara couldn't resist and wrapped Catherine up in a forceful hug. She held on tightly for fear of Catherine simply vanishing.

"Catherine, I worry you'll leave me. I worry I'm not good enough for you. It goes through my mind more times than I care to admit. I can't stop thinking about it. Even though we've shared this intense time together and I know that you want me I can't stop it."

Catherine broke away from the hug so she could look into Sara's eyes. "Sara, honey I don't know how to allay that fear and I'm certainly not one to make a promise about a relationship; look at my own marriage. If you're looking at me for that then I have to tell you that this won't work. If you're willing to take it day at a time then I think we'll work."

Sara smiled and kissed Catherine lightly on the lips.

"Cath, I want you. I need you. If you'll let me take it slow then I promise to you that I'll come out of my shell and let you in. I'm already making progress and while you may not be able to see it I can assure you that you are bringing it out. You're crawled under my skin and into my heart."

Catherine found the last line brought her to tears. If this was Sara opening up to her then she was going to enjoy being a part of her life. Such a simple declaration made with no pomp or ceremony, simply the truth of the moment.

"Cath, don't cry baby," Sara said wiping the tears that were falling. Catherine reached up to grasp her hand and pulled her back in for another hug.

"Sara when you let yourself open up, you speak with such emotion. It's beautiful," Catherine said kissing Sara and allowing Sara's tongue to enter her mouth for a sensual massage. When they broke apart Catherine brushed her hand down Sara's cheek before speaking. "You're beautiful."

Sara blushed but didn't refute Catherine's claim. She patted herself on the back for the progression made there. She didn't second guess the compliment and while it made her uncomfortable to be praised by such a Goddess she saw that Catherine believed it.

Catherine let her hands travel slowly to Sara's buttocks and smiled when Sara flexed her cheeks under her touch. She yelped when Catherine's hand moved quickly up her back and undid her bra. She marveled in the speed Catherine possessed.

"Cat, are you sure we should do this now?" Sara asked moaning regardless and Catherine's hands covered her breasts.

Catherine stopped her movements grinning. "I'll stop then." She laughed when Sara pulled her top off. "I take that as a no?"

"Shut up and kiss me woman," Sara ordered. She pressed her now naked torso against Catherine's top. The friction was not helping Sara's need to see Catherine naked. She decided that she'd simply play with Catherine's breasts under her shirt. Remembering the front clasp, Sara undid Catherine's bra and pinched her nipples.

Catherine moaned into Sara's mouth as Sara continued to roll her nipples with her fingers. Her own hands dropped from Sara's breasts and tugged at her top. She needed to be naked with Sara. She wanted to feel breast against breast.

"Sara, honey. Wait."

Sara pulled back to see Catherine's lips swollen and her chest rising and falling dramatically. "What is it baby?"

"Don't worry, I just want this to continue in the bed. I want you to be comfortable when you're writhing under my touch. I want smell you on my sheets, to wake up with you," Catherine was silenced by Sara's demanding mouth. She thrust her tongue in only to be denied by Catherine's own tongue. She sucked on it until she felt Catherine relent.

"Show me the bedroom Cat, I need to see you naked."


Catherine had heard men order her into their bedrooms but when Sara asked to be shown to her bed she trembled with desire that was tenfold to any previous sexual encounter. Her eyes came to rest upon Sara's nipples. They were erect. Catherine licked her index finger and traced Sara's areoles. Sara shuddered and just as she contemplated taking Catherine on the table, she felt herself being pulled by the hand into what she assumed was Catherine's bedroom.

"Sara, I need you," Catherine said as she pushed Sara up against the doorframe. Sara was unprepared for such an action and hit her head against the wood with a thud. Catherine stopped her assault. "Shit, Sara, you okay?"

Sara responded by grabbing Catherine and reversing their positions. She pushed Catherine up so she was straddling her thighs. She smiled smugly when Catherine moaned and pushed Sara's head to her breasts.

Sara didn't have far to reach Catherine's breasts, they were positioned just under her chin. With every movement Sara could feel their breasts connect, Catherine's nipples every so often touching her own and sending shots of passion through them both.

"Sara, the bed." Catherine hissed in between kisses. Sara ignored her, content on their current position. She enjoyed the weight of Catherine's body being supported by her own body. She especially enjoyed the feel of Catherine's thighs squeezing into her whenever Sara found a particularly soft spot.

"Sara," Catherine repeated. This time however the voice Catherine was sure was her own sounded ragged.

Sara knew that this time they made love she wanted it to be special. She released Catherine and followed her to the bed. Catherine sat on the edge pulling Sara by the belt strap. Sara allowed Catherine to undo her pants and slid them off. She now stood in front of her naked, her breath haggard. Catherine unconsciously licked her lips before kissing Sara's belly button. She then kissed the top of Sara's curls and smiled when she felt Sara thrust her hips in response.

"Catherine, strip." Sara commanded. She needed to see this glorious woman naked.

She sat on the bed, unsure how to sit. She thought about crossing her legs but found that would grant Catherine too much knowledge as to just how wet she was. Instead she sat on the edge of the bed, feet on the floor awaiting the show.

Catherine was amazed at how she enjoyed Sara dominating their sexual encounters. Dancing was a thing of the past for her but it was never far away from her mind. She hated it when men would want her to dance for them when they were dating. The looks on their faces, the bulge in their pants, it disgusted her. Dancing, performing for Sara was nothing like that. She wanted to excite her partner. She wanted to please her partner just as she did when they were in the locker room. She couldn't refuse Sara.

Sara worried she had gone to far when she saw Catherine hesitate. The first time she had discovered Catherine's exotic past she was immediately intrigued. Of course she wanted to feel the sexual energy and see Catherine's flesh but she had also wanted to feel a connection with that woman. As time went on Sara still remembered but knew she couldn't have it. Catherine had simply been an object of unattainable affection for her. Now that she had debunked that theory she wanted to see her woman dance and know it was for her alone.

"Cat, if you don't want to do it."

Catherine was shaken out of her trip down memory lane by Sara's voice. She realised she had been still for sometime now and it could be misconstrued as hesitation. She knew her actions would speak for themselves so ever so slowly she began to sway.

Her hips were hypnotic and Sara was afraid she was actually drooling. As Catherine touched her own breasts, Sara was afraid she'd soak Catherine's bed sheets. Catherine smiled and began a slow sensual dance towards Sara. She stopped just in front of her and undid her pants. She didn't pull them down but opened them slightly, slipping her hands into her underpants. Sara gasped as Catherine touched herself.

"Sara, touch yourself for me," Catherine whispered.

Sara wanted to but she wasn't sure if she could. She recalled the bathroom incident today when Catherine had entered her own sex but Catherine was more adventurous. Could she touch herself while Catherine danced in front of her? She had done it at home on numerous occasions, thinking about this very moment, but that was different.

"Cat, I'm not sure if I can," Sara admitted.

Catherine wasn't going to push Sara into performing the task she had requested. She knew Sara was easily embarrassed but she was caught up in her arousal. She simply nodded and pulled her pants down, taking her underwear with it. She stood completely naked in front of Sara and continued to dance.

Sara wasn't sure where to watch; Catherine's eyes which were burning their way into her soul, her breasts that were swaying in perfect motion with her hips, or the patch of neatly trimmed curls.

"Catherine you are so beautiful," Sara admitted.

She moaned when Catherine dipped two fingers into her own sex. She pulled them out almost as quickly and Sara could see the juices glistening. She gasped as Catherine licked them and followed Catherine's eyes to where they were locked on Sara's dark curls. Sara smiled and, licking two fingers, trailed them down her body pinching the erect nipples and moaning at the sensation. Catherine mimicked her and soon both women had entered their own wet cores.

Sara watched Catherine as she knelt on the floor and inserted two fingers. She longed to kiss her but also needed to touch herself. She was dripping and more than ready. She parted her legs and swirled her clit. Catherine had stopped her ministrations and simply watched, mouth agape, as Sara played with her clit. Sara threw her head back and began panting as she entered herself with one finger thrusting a few times before entering the second. She only went to the second knuckle, finding she was feeling uncomfortable. She usually stimulated her own clit and entered her core with a vibrator. She seldom entered with fingers preferring that to happen when with a lover. However, with Catherine she felt like she could do anything without being judged. She looked over to Catherine who was still kneeling and smiled as Catherine stared at Sara's centre.

"Sara, stop. I want to help you release." Catherine said finally finding her voice. She crawled over to Sara and pushed her onto the bed. Sara giggled as Catherine straddled her and began to rub her centre on her stomach. She could feel the wetness and needed to touch it. When she moved her hands closer Catherine batted them away saying, "No honey, you first."

Sara wasn't going to complain. She was on fire and in desperate need of release. She wanted to feel Catherine inside her. Catherine kissed Sara passionately, her tongue not allowing Sara to dominate. She pulled away kissing Sara's nipples quickly and smiling when Sara moaned in frustration. It was quickly forgotten when Catherine's tongue entered Sara's centre.

"Oh my God Cath," Sara yelled as Catherine curled her tongue inside her. She felt the thrusting and responded, moving her hips to the rhythm. Catherine's nose tickled Sara's curls and her hands reached up to flick Sara's nipples. Catherine played with Sara's nipples like she was flicking a piece of lint off a jacket, making quick strokes across them. Sara wasn't sure if she could concentrate on both sensations and soon felt as though she was intoxicated. Everything became a blur. She began to mumble words of encouragement, of love, but Catherine couldn't decipher it.

As she moved her hands away from Sara's breasts she looked up to see Sara open her eyes and stare. She had stopped touching Sara and simply hovered about her. "Sara, I love the way you taste."

"Cat don't stop, I need you." Sara pleaded. She was becoming frustrated so she grabbed Catherine's head and kissed her roughly. Catherine moaned and her hands began to travel down Sara's body. They continued kissing as Catherine entered Sara with one finger. She in turn gasped when she felt Sara rub her palms on her nipples. She arched her back into Sara and thrust with the same motion. Soon both women set a pace and rocked with each other.

"My God Sara, you are so warm and so wet." Catherine said as she thrust hard into Sara. Sara broke her mouth away from Catherine and yelled in release. Catherine circled Sara's clit as she came down for her orgasm but stopped when Sara flipped Catherine onto her back.

"Hon, I hadn't finished," Catherine complained.

Sara laughed and kissed Catherine's neck. "I don't want to be unconscious my love. Besides, I know you're in need of some release right here," Sara pressed her index finger in to the first knuckle. It was a very slight penetration and Catherine tried moving down the bed so Sara could enter her further. She pressed Sara down onto her body biting on Sara's neck. Sara hissed and returned the favour.

"Marking my territory," Sara said as she sucked on Catherine's pulse in her neck. She moved down and bit on her left nipple, her finger still not moving. Catherine tried to push Sara's finger in further with her hand but Sara was not going to be persuaded. She bit down on Catherine's right nipple, licking and then sucking on it.

Catherine was moaning Sara's name and moving her hips in time with the chants. Sara pushed one finger in, twisting it sideways. Catherine yelled and Sara claimed her mouth with a searing kiss.

As she was kissing her, Sara flicked Catherine's clit, enjoying Catherine's response to her action. She continued to thrust her finger, adding a second as she felt Catherine closing in on her release. She looked up to Catherine's eyes and they stared at each other until Catherine tensed, yelled and blew out a long breath. Sara then kissed Catherine's nipples gently and wrapped her body around the woman who she knew she loved. Catherine patted Sara's hair until they both fell asleep.


Sara could hear a blasting noise ringing through her head. She thought for one moment that it was Mariah Carey singing into her ear until she realised it was indeed the shrill alert of an alarm clock. She was lying on her back so she realised, in her sleepy stupor, that she'd have to roll over to turn it off. She rolled to her right hitting what she thought was the alarm. When her hand landed she was somewhat puzzled at the texture. It was soft and she knew her alarm clock was hard and cold.

"Sara honey, last time I checked my breast did not emit sound," Catherine said rolling to face her. "Well not directly at least," Catherine said with a smile

Sara shook her head, momentarily confused. It always took a shower and coffee to wake her up completely. Although, seeing Catherine naked could very well be another way to do it. She smiled as she cast her appreciative eye over the woman in the bed with her. Catherine was rubbing her eyes, her hair slightly flat on one side from the impact of resting on it. She looked beautiful even when she was just waking up.

"Sara, are you going to turn the alarm off or just deafen us?" Catherine joked as she kissed Sara's forehead reaching over to switch the alarm onto its silent mode.

Sara was about to respond to that comment when she realised her mouth could be used for better things. Like licking Catherine's breast. Catherine moaned in what Sara assumed was agreement of this idea.

"Oh good morning Miss Sidle!" Catherine exclaimed. She moved away from Sara's mouth and reached over to grab her robe.

"Get back here," Sara ordered. She felt it was a less than impressive order considering her voice sounded scratchy. Catherine laughed and shook her finger at her.

"No, we have to get up and go to work Sara. What would Gil say if you were late?" Catherine joked as she threw a white button-down shirt in Sara's direction.

Sara was amazed that she didn't even want to go to work. It had always been her reason to bound - okay stumble - out of bed. She caught the shirt and wondered briefly if it belonged to Eddie or one of Catherine's other male lovers. She wanted desperately to ask but knew it would probably be a set back in their discussion they had earlier.

Catherine noticed the hesitancy in Sara's movements. She came to sit by Sara on the bed, "Sara I would love to see you walk around naked but that wouldn't be terribly productive so please put this on. You can shower first, I'll make us something to eat."

Sara smiled meekly and did as Catherine asked. She rolled up the sleeves and gave Catherine a peck on the cheek.

"Can I borrow a towel and some sweatpants or something?" Sara asked. It was starting to eat her up inside that this shirt could have possibly been on a man who had shared this very bed with Catherine. Was this ritual something Catherine did with all the people she bedded?

"Sara honey, what is it?"

Sara tried to think about what she could say. She started to think of an excuse but realised that was how she always acted when she was in a difficult situation. 'This is different Sara, tell her what's eating at you. Honesty.'

Sara took a deep breath and replied, "I'm a little uncomfortable wearing this shirt."

Catherine frowned.

"Is it because it's too big? I'd give you something of mine but I'm not sure it'll fit. Our body shapes are a little different."

"No, that isn't it. Did someone else use to wear this Catherine?" Sara asked.

"Ah, now I get it. You think it belonged to Eddie or someone? Well it did actually." Catherine replied. Sara held her breath, dreading the answer. "It belongs to my sister. I was painting her house for her and had good clothes on. I didn't really want to get them blotted with dashes of pink and navy blue so she gave this to me. I kept it because I like the feel of it on me but seeing you in it I know that this shirt is now yours. You look so incredibly sexy." Catherine said, smiling as she ran her finger down the shirt.

Sara shivered at Catherine's actions. She was glad she had asked now. "Painting hey? Then why is it not dirty?" Sara asked, gasping as Catherine began to undo the buttons.

"I was called into the police station to pick up Eddie after he hit some bloke at a strip club." Catherine said.

"Oh." Was all Sara could say. She knew Catherine had stayed in contact with him after they separated. It was only natural considering they were linked through Lindsay. However, she hadn't realised that Catherine was still a contact for him if he got into trouble. Surely one of Eddie's friends could have been present at the police station. "Cath, can I ask you something?"

Catherine put her hands into the shirt and ran them up and down Sara's side.

"Sure thing hon."

"Were you and Eddie, ah were you and Eddie still sexually active even after you kicked him out?" Sara wondered what had possessed her to ask the question and regretted it when Catherine pulled her hands out of Sara's shirt and moved slightly away form her.

"I'm guessing you don't mean sexually active in the broad sense. As for my answer, I'm not sure that has anything to do with you Sara."

"Cat, I want to know about your life. I'm not trying to pry but I do think I deserve to know." Sara responded.

"Eddie and I were over way before it became a legal fact. He stopped having sex with me and started having sex with nearly every other woman with a pulse. Of course he'd come over drunk and lay the moves on thick and fast and yes there was one time we fell into bed together after a particularly bad case. I regretted it before, during and after."

Sara saw Catherine was looking anywhere but at her. Was it that she was embarrassed about her mistake or that she had to tell her current lover she had sex with a man who had died with no appropriate, according to Catherine, resolution to the case?

"Cat, baby, I had to ask. I'm not sure why but I did. He's a part of your life. He'll always be here between us. The case and its outcome and because Lindsay is his daughter. I can't ask you to shut off that part of your life. I'm jealous of those who have passed before me simply because I want you for myself. I'm especially jealous of Eddie because you saw fit to marry him and conceive a wonderful child out of it."

Catherine looked up as Sara was admitting her jealously. She wondered if Sara felt that her connection to Eddie would be a barrier that was too hard to overcome. She knew it was harder Sara knowing about Eddie because she had taken on the case and its consequences. She knew nothing of Sara's love life and she found she could pretend Sara never loved anyone, had never screamed in ecstasy for anyone else or opened her mind and soul for another.

"Sara you are right about the lasting connection but it in no way diminishes the need I have for you. Eddie is simply a part of who I was. Lindsay is a gift I would never give up or regret. To do that would be to shut off what brings me joy and happiness. You know in our job that people so often mistreat their loved ones. So I messed up the whole marriage thing and I hate that failure but it shows me that I'm not afraid to get back up and try to open myself up to another."

Sara smiled and kissed Catherine's hand. They sat in silence, collecting their thoughts until Catherine stood with a shot.

"Shit Sara, we've gotta start getting ready. You start before me and if we sit around here you'll be late!"

Sara looked over to the clock and was alarmed at the time that had passed. She knew she'd never make it home in time to get herself ready.

"I'm going to have to wear the same outfit to work and change there." Sara said getting up and hunting out her clothes. She turned to Catherine, "hey Cat, how did you know when I started work?"

Catherine blushed when replying, "I started to take note of that a while back, and obviously it was my mind telling me I had more than a passing interest in your movements. If only I had realised earlier." Catherine opened her closet doors and sighed in relief when she saw she had some clean clothes in there. "Anyway enough of that, come see if there is something in here you can wear."

Sara smiled at the confession and Catherine's suggestion.

"I would baby but as you so rightly pointed out, we don't exactly had the same body type. Your clothes would probably be a little short in the arm and torso area."

"Well I know Greg wouldn't mind seeing a little more of your flesh. Let's not forget those glorious legs of yours either." Catherine joked.

Sara grinned as she picked up her clothes.


Catherine smiled, "I'd love to join you but fear the consequences."

"Funny, and highly suggestive but I meant can you direct me to the shower?"

Catherine handed Sara a towel and pointed to the bathroom down the hall. As she was leaving Catherine patted Sara on her naked behind, acting innocent when Sara turned around.

Sara showered and dressed in a matter of minutes. She had mastered the ability to minimise the time to get ready out of necessity whilst working. She wasn't terribly happy about entering work with the same outfit on because even though she knew Grissom hadn't seen her last shift and Nick wouldn't notice anyway, she knew Greg would and certainly comment on it. She often wondered if his behaviour bordered on obsession for he certainly knew about her in detail.

She left the bathroom, following the smell of coffee. She grimaced when she walked after having to forgo wearing her underpants. They were not in the best shape for her to wear them again, they had a very distinct smell to them.

"Howdy John Wayne," Catherine commented as she saw Sara walking like she had just stepped off a horse.

"Oh you're funny after you've woken up," Sara replied sarcastically, smiling her thanks as Catherine handed her a cup of coffee.

"That's not true, I'm funny all the time. You just haven't noticed before." Catherine said kissing Sara and tasting the coffee in her mouth.

"I've noticed you for a very long time Catherine. You just hadn't joked like that with me."

Catherine stopped pouring her own coffee and looked at Sara. She noticed the sad expression that clouded her face but saw it disappear just as fast.

"Sara, I never really knew how to approach you in that way. You always seemed as though you were a member of the team but always on the outside when it came to personal interaction. I know there was a surface interaction but you never seemed to offer up any personal information."

"I was afraid of opening up because then I'd see your disappointment at how pathetic my life is. I wanted to open up about Hank and my emotions when we went for that drink but I found that I couldn't. I didn't know how to tell you I had found him attractive but didn't feel the way I did when I looked at you. That I didn't see him in my future plans because all I could think about was you. If I had opened up like that I would have never been able to work with you again."

Catherine embraced Sara, kissing her all over her face.

"My dear sweet Sara. I wish I had told you about my suspicions regarding Hank but there wasn't that level of communication between us. That was partly my fault and it began as soon as you came to Las Vegas. It was a terrible start to a working relationship. You should have called me on it but you remained professional. I hated that, I wanted a confrontation so as time went on and you became an integral part of our family I kidded myself into thinking I could act as if that never happened. I never reached out to you until that day with Hank because of guilt. How terrible is that? I wanted to spend that time with you there is no doubting that but I ignored that part of my mind and thought about how this invitation could make you see I'm not that bitch you must have thought I was."

Sara sucked on Catherine's lip and traced her tongue across it. She took her time, wanting to express in actions what they had started discussing with words. Catherine moaned as Sara kissed her gently. It was a slow kiss, Sara gradually mapping out Catherine's mouth. Catherine's tongue traced the bottom of Sara's tongue, feeling her teeth and enjoying the texture. Sara slid her arms around Catherine's waist and pulled her closer as if she was trying to swallow her whole. Catherine ran her fingers through Sara's wet hair and began massaging her scalp.

When they broke apart they held hands whilst trying to catch their breath. They knew they had to be going. Sara tipped her now cold coffee into the sink and kissed Catherine's neck. She picked up the keys and threw them to Catherine who deftly caught them one handed.

"I'll drop you off at work and then I'll go see Lindsay." Catherine said as she locked up the house.

"I hope Greg is too busy trying to impress Grissom to notice I'm in the same clothes," Sara mumbled. She wasn't ready for Greg's teasing because she knew she'd not be able to stop the blush that would rise to her cheeks.

Catherine started the car and reversed out of the driveway. As she was turning she grabbed Sara's hand and placed the now clasped hands on her lap. They stayed like that until reaching work, not talking, simply enjoying the moment they had alone.

Catherine parked just out of view of the car park and killed the engine. She kissed Sara, her tongue darting out to lick her upper lip. Just as they were becoming increasingly excited they pulled apart realising they had to set boundaries for work.

"We can't afford a repeat of last shift, we've got to solve this murder." Catherine said.

"I agree. Just don't look so damn sexy and we can definitely do that," Sara replied as she leant in Catherine's hand which was tracing the outline of her face.

"Oh this is going to be impossible Sara if you continue to be oblivious to just how incredibly sexy you are. I told you before, you are beautiful. Plus, the knowledge that you currently have no underwear on excites me so much I may have to soon follow suit." Catherine said as she undid Sara's pants to see pubic hair on display.

"Cat, what are you doing?" Sara asked as she made a feeble attempt to do her pants back up.

"Having fun," was all Catherine said as she lifted Sara's pants up a little so she could comfortably run her finger down to Sara's opening. Of course it was made easier by Sara's unconscious moves. She had spread her legs and bucked her hips as Catherine's finger moved further down.

"Cath, please stop. I don't want a lovely wet patch on my pants and I don't want to shower again."

Catherine felt her own body respond and knew she had started something she shouldn't have. She pulled her hand out of Sara's pants and undid her own, pulling them down to pool at her boots.

Sara watched in amazement as Catherine locked the doors and wound her window up all the way. She had no idea what Catherine was intending on doing but was dying to know.

Sara didn't have to wait long to find out as she felt Catherine straddle her. She knew they were about to have sex in the car so she too pushed her pants down as Catherine massaged her breasts through the shirt.

"Sara, we need to be quick," Catherine said as she grabbed Sara's right hand and placed it on her wet sex. Sara gasped as she felt the Catherine's juices wet her hand. She wondered how Catherine could have been so wet until she felt Catherine reach between their bodies to touch Sara's sex. They were both very wet and ready for intrusion.

With alarming ease Catherine penetrated Sara and thrust into her, pulling out all the way and re-entering once more. It didn't take much for Sara to reach her climax. Their mouths met in a heated dance and Sara pulled Catherine's hand away from her sex. Anymore stimulation and Sara was convinced she'd call in sick so she could make love to Catherine all day. She decided to take her mind of that idea by gently pushing Catherine against the dashboard. She smiled as Catherine's extended her stance and thrust her hips up.

Sara wiggled two fingers at Catherine and then entered her wet core. She didn't move her fingers, simply stilling them inside feeling the warmth of Catherine's sex. She felt the muscle wall quiver as she started to penetrate further, pulling and pushing with great ferocity. As she felt Catherine was about to release she bend her head down and captured the juices as they split. It was a hard maneuver but Sara thought the kink in her neck would be more than worth it as she tasted Catherine.

Catherine wasn't prepared for Sara's mouth and flayed her arms out in surprise. One hit the window loudly while the other almost ripped the rearview vision mirror off as she grabbed at it.

"Oh my God Sara, you are amazing." Catherine said as she sat back on Sara's lap trying to ignore the delightful feeling of her pubic hair against Sara's.

"I may need a massage later, my neck hurts after that," Sara laughed.

"You'll get one my sweet, and a very special reward. Later." Catherine said kissing her and realising she quite liked the fact that she could taste the results of their lovemaking in Sara's mouth. She got off Sara's lap reluctantly and pulled her pants back up. She turned and saw Sara was doing the same.

"Not exactly the more glamorous of locations but I did certainly enjoy the experience." Catherine said smiling as Sara blushed. Sara looked at the clock in the car and realised she had twenty minutes before she started work.

"What is it Sara?" Catherine asked, smoothing out Sara's top.

"I was just thinking that I need another shower now." Sara replied. They looked at each other and simultaneously started laughing.


Sara had showered and changed by the time Catherine started her shift. She smiled when she saw Catherine approach, realising she too had changed. Instead of the black pants and red top she had been wearing she had switched to a navy blue pair of pants with a white tank top covered by a thick white cotton shirt. She looked amazing Sara had to admit but then when didn't she?

Catherine winked at Sara as she sat down looking over to Grissom before Sara could return the gesture.

"So, we didn't solve the murder of Lauren Maines last night? Catherine, we had two suspects if this report is anything to go by, and a fair bit of DNA evidence connecting the woman Bobbie Messina. Issues?" Grissom asked.

Catherine sighed. She had wanted to show herself and Grissom she was capable of leading the team. Sure, it would take time to convict the correct person but this only gave Gil the satisfaction of knowing this was his show. Of course he'd never admit to such arrogance but she knew it was in him.

"I have to say Gil, I like Bobbie for it. Brass is bringing her back in and we'll try again. This Martin Mercer is violent and has been known to like a little bit of kinky sex but I just don't feel it was him," Catherine replied.

"We listen to the evidence Catherine," Grissom replied.

"Grissom, I agree with Catherine. Bobbie looks to be the one." Sara said smiling as Catherine silently thanked her.

"What did we get off the rope?" Grissom asked.

"Gris, I brushed off a bit of skin from on the ends where it looks to have been pulled to strangle Lauren. Greg has them and said that if Sara would go out on a date with him he'd do them first this morning," Nick said smiling at Sara.

"Tell Greg if he doesn't do then it's his job," Grissom replied. He tolerated Greg's comments because neither woman complained officially and though he wouldn't admit it to him, Greg was good at his job but he had the tendency to grate him the wrong way.

Catherine couldn't help but tease Sara knowing that it was now an okay thing to do.

"I don't know Gil, maybe if Sara promised to marry him we'd always get our cases solved in record time. He'd push everything else aside to help his beloved."

Nick and Warrick tried to contain their laughter behind their hands but were unsuccessful. Sara simply glared at them until they turned away. She knew that she'd have to get Catherine back for that one.

"Have we finished because we have some cases to solve. Warrick, I want you on a B&E. Nick can join you shortly after he finished typing up his report. Nick, try keeping the grammatical errors to a minimum." Grissom said as he handed Warrick the address.

"Sure thing Gris. Catch you later Nick," Warrick said as he rose from his chair and poured his coffee down the sink.

"Catherine, Brass told me about your incident in the interrogation room yesterday. Can you handle it today with Bobbie?" Grissom asked as he flicked though the detailed history. He had to be sure Catherine was going to be okay with that fact that this woman had essentially assaulted her.

Catherine made sure she looked over to Sara while replying, "I'll be fine Gil. She was trying to be the top rooster of the pen. I can take her."

Sara wanted to protest but knew that Catherine wouldn't approve of having her decision questioned in front of Grissom. Catherine was an independent woman but still relied on the opinion of her boss.

"Okay Catherine, but any trouble and you're out of there. Sara, go see if Greg has indeed decided to do our case first."

With that Grissom was gone leaving the two ladies alone.

"You don't want me to go in there," Catherine said.

"I trust you, I just don't trust her. I want you to be safe." Sara replied moving over to sit next to Catherine and placing a hand on her thigh.

"I promise it will be fine. I'll wear a muzzle to prevent her kissing me," Catherine said smiling.

"Be serious Cat," Sara pleaded.

"Serious? Okay. I couldn't imagine kissing anyone else. You are the one for me. If I never kiss anyone else ever again I'd be safe knowing that I had you kissing me, making love to me."

Sara squeezed Catherine's leg smiling.

"I want to kiss you right now," she admitted.

"I'll hold you to that after work," Catherine said placing her hand on Sara's under the table. "But now we have to work."

"Damn you for being responsible," Sara laughed.

"If I wasn't then Greg would be yelling mud wrestling through the window because I want to throw you on the table and ravish you." Catherine admitted, jumping slightly as Sara's hand came to rest on her crotch.

"Not mud, it gets in places that I'd much rather have my hands and my mouth," Sara whispered as she cupped her hand and smiled when Catherine pushed her chair in further.

"Sara we're at work. In plain view." Catherine warned.

"Okay. I'm off to see Greg." With that Sara rose from her seat but not before running her hand down Catherine's thigh and feeling the flesh under her quiver.

"Sara Sidle you are a tease," Catherine said to Sara's retreating figure.

Catherine took a few deep breaths before leaving the room. Truth be told, if she had tired to get up right after Sara's little performance she was sure she'd have fallen down. She needed to clear her lust filled mind and focus on the murder investigation. It had sounded so easy before the shift and then they had sex in the car. She found the time with Lindsay, while short, provided her with some clarity. However, as soon as she was alone with Sara she had forgotten that work now needed to come first. Of course, Sara was not innocent in this exercise.

She made her way to the interrogation room determined to stay away from Sara unless there were other people around. She could get through the shift, she knew she could.

"Hey, Catherine," Brass said as he saw Catherine turning the corner.

Catherine smiled as she walked over.

"Jim, is she here?"

"Yep, and she's very eager to see her 'spitfire' as she's affectionately calling you." Brass smiled. He knew better than to rib Catherine about the previous encounter with Bobbie. It had been fun at the time and a little hot but Catherine was his colleague and he respected her. He'd hate to ruin it with crude lesbian jokes. That, he thought, could be left for Greg.

Catherine rolled her eyes and smiled.

"Great, why can't I get an admirer who isn't looking at a murder charge?"

Brass laughed with her, "nature of the job I suppose?"

"Yeah. Okay, let's go in." Catherine opened the door and entered.

"Spitfire, how goes things?" Bobbie drawled as she watched Catherine sit at the table as she had done previously.

"Miss Messina. We have a few things to clear up from our last talk," Catherine said not making eye contact with Bobbie.

"Would you like to kiss me again?" Bobbie joked.

Catherine tried to ignore the baiting and continued, "You said you had sex with Miss Maines. You have no alibi for the evening. Can you tell us why, when we found Lauren, she had her undergarments on?"

Bobbie shrugged.

"I don't know, she was getting dressed maybe?"

"Did you stay around after your sexual encounters?" Jim asked.

"Look buddy, we weren't close. We didn't even like each other but we loved the sex. It was always great. I had sex with her that night okay? I opened the window for a smoke and then left. End of story."

Catherine was about to respond when she heard a slight tapping at the door. She turned to see Sara waving a manila folder.

"If you'll excuse me," Catherine said. She left the room and pulled Sara out of Bobbie's eye line. "Have you got good news Sara?" Catherine asked hopeful.

"Greg said he came in early to do the tests so I promised him a drink after work. Here are the results," Sara said grinning.

Catherine looked through Greg's findings. It looked like they had caught their killer.

"Excellent work Sara, thank Greg for me too." Catherine touched Sara's upper arm feeling the need to connect with her in anyway possible.

"I'll be watching in the observation room," Sara said. She wanted to support Catherine but knew she wouldn't want her in the interrogation room with her. The closest she could get was peering at her through the two-way mirror.

"Okay, just don't come storming in if she comes near me. I want to play on her advances." Catherine said, worried that Sara wouldn't take the admission well.

"Just be careful," was all Sara said.

Catherine nodded and went back into the room to face Bobbie.

"Miss Messina, you said you were not partied to any kinky sexual games is that correct?" Catherine asked. Brass looked at her and Catherine handed over Greg's findings to him.

"Ah, I get it, you leave the room after being summoned by that sexy co-worker of yours, come in here with a file and expect me to admit something?" Bobbie laughed, placing her feet on the table.

"Get them off the table," Brass warned.

"Leave it copper, I've seen better butch done by my patrons," Bobbie grinned but did as she was ordered.

"We just got DNA back from the rope. Appears you haven't been telling us the truth Miss Messina," Catherine said, getting up and sitting on the table closer to Bobbie.

From behind the window Sara fumed. Catherine was getting too close to this woman for her liking.

"The truth? Like you would have told the truth about your reactions to my kiss yesterday? I felt you want to respond, the need inside you. Let's play a little game of truth and dare and then we'll see what the truth is my little spitfire," Bobbie said, moving her chair closer to Catherine's legs.

"Miss Messina, if you don't move away from me I'll ask Detective Brass to place you in restraints." Catherine warned.

Bobbie held her hands up, "Woah spitfire, you are one feisty little bitch aren't you?"

Sara balled her fists at her side. She was glad she wasn't wearing her gun. A possible murderer hitting on your soul mate was justifiable homicide right?

"Miss Messina, we have the fiber from your overalls collected from the window sill. Ash on the rocks below indicating a smoker had been in Lauren's room. The matchbook had a stick torn from it which, under tests, has proven to be from your book. Now we find that your DNA is present on the rope used to strangle Lauren. I'd say that last piece of evidence seals the case. The others could have possible been explained thanks to your admission that you carried on a sexual relationship with the victim. Now that we have this proof that you touched the rope and it's common knowledge of your acrimonious working relationship, well I think I've just found our killer," Brass said, throwing the file on the table in front of Bobbie.

"Well it wasn't me so you go with that and we'll see how far it goes. It's probably been planted anyway," Bobbie said shrugging at Brass' statement.

"Why would we feel the need to plant evidence Miss Messina?" Catherine asked.

"Oh, I don't know, maybe that other sexy lady didn't want me pissing on her territory if you know what I mean. She knew she couldn't compete with me so she had to get me out of the way." Bobbie said smiling.

Sara was ready to storm into the interrogation room but she knew it would mean more to Catherine if she stayed where she was.

Catherine smiled and leant across the table.

"Honey, she satisfies me with a simple look and I'd find it hard to be satisfied by you or anyone else even if you were to bed me for an entire month," she hissed. Brass strained to hear the conversation and knew from Bobbie's demeanor that Catherine had ruffled her feathers.

Catherine sat back down, glancing up at the mirror hoping Sara wasn't angry. She knew that if Sara was behind there she was itching to confront Bobbie.

"Brass, take her to central booking," Catherine said smiling as Bobbie was handcuffed.

"Spitfire, we will meet once more I promise you and you'll see how a real woman makes you feel," Bobbie said over her shoulder.

"That'll be hard from prison," Brass responded pushing her out and away from the interrogation room.

Catherine sat down at the table collecting her thoughts. She was a little disappointed that Bobbie hadn't confessed. It wasn't needed of course but it would have made her feel better for Lauren. It was always drummed into her that she shouldn't take the cases personally but it was hard to be detached when you had to delve into a persons life. At least the DNA evidence was present. She made a mental note to thank Greg, she would have hated spending the day waiting for that vital piece of data.

Catherine was so lost in thought that she hadn't heard Sara come up behind her.

"What did you say to her?" Sara asked.

"When?" Catherine replied.

"You leant across the table and said something. What was it?"

Catherine ran her hand through her hair, smiling when Sara brushed a stray strand behind her ear. "I just told her you were the only one who could satisfy me."

Sara smiled when she noticed Catherine blushed at that statement. She felt good to know that she wasn't the only one who could get flustered.

"No wonder she looked pissed off," Sara smiled.

"It's the truth," Catherine simply replied.

"Come with me," Sara ordered.

"Sara, we have to work." Catherine protested. She noticed as she was saying it her body seemed to ignore her voice as it was obediently following Sara to her office.

Once they both got inside, Sara pulled all the blinds and pushed Catherine up against the wall.

Catherine grabbed Sara's face with both hands and kissed her passionately. Sara wrapped one arm around Catherine's head and the other cupped her breast.

Catherine moaned and allowed Sara to squeeze her left breast. She tried her best to keep the noise at a minimum. Sara let the hand that was previously in Catherine's hair drop to Catherine's right breast. Both hands massaged simultaneously and Catherine moaned once more into Sara's mouth.

Sara had to break away from the kiss to catch her breath. Catherine was plundering her mouth with such intensity. She looked down to her hands playing with Catherine's breasts and smiled. Catherine dropped her head to rest on Sara's shoulder, her breathing just as erratic.

"Honey, we have to stop." Catherine said, stilling Sara's hands.

"No," Sara replied biting Catherine's earlobe.

"Oh my God. Sara, Sara. We have to stop."

"I need you Cat. I need you." Sara said. She looked into Catherine's eyes and undid her white shirt. She slipped her hands under the tank top and pinched Catherine's nipples. She was surprised when Catherine reversed their positions.

"Sara, we can't," Catherine said pulling Sara's hands out and doing up her top. She wasn't sure if she should applaud her sensibility or kick herself for denying what she knew she wanted.

Sara sighed. She knew Catherine was right but hated it.

"I need to touch you all the time Cath, how can we focus on work?"

Catherine smiled, kissing Sara chastely on the lips.

"Think about Gil busting us," she replied smiling.

"My hormones tell me it's worth it," Sara admitted.

"Oh baby, I'm desperate for you too but we made a deal." Catherine said.

"You would think after all the shifts where I've fantasized about this kind of clandestine encounter I could control myself but I'm connected to you. I feel incomplete if I can't see you or be with you."

Catherine kissed Sara gently hoping it would convey the emotion she felt when Sara opened herself up like that.

"I can't believe this has only been happening for one day. I'm feeling more for you than I did for my husband during most of our married life. As the days go by I fear you'll swallow my heart up completely." Catherine admitted.

"Cath, you need to leave before I show you just how much I loved hearing you say that," Sara said, opening the door to her office.

Catherine smiled, "I'll remind you when your shift finishes."

Sara shivered at the timbre of Catherine's voice. She was about to close the door when she heard Catherine whisper, "you still owe me that first date."


Sara spent another ten minutes in her office trying to remember how to breathe. She had lived a lifetime of emotions in a little under twenty-four hours and she wasn't sure if this sensation was good for her health.

She wished she had stopped Catherine in the car before work. If they had parted with a simple 'goodbye' she could have walked around the place without any problem. 'You're kidding yourself Sara. Since you first kissed her your body has been on fire.'

It wasn't just a sexual connection, she knew she had told herself that before but she needed to remind herself because at the moment her body was so in tune with the environment she felt like she was living in Melrose Place. The need to touch Catherine was speeding up her heart rate and she wasn't even in the room.

'I also love to watch her working. Love to hear her voice.' Sara wondered if she should call Catherine just to hear the voice she was captivated with. 'No, that's borderline stalking.'

Seeing Catherine with Lindsay and the love that showed up without hesitation or fear of rejection was amazing to Sara. When she had been growing up she hadn't doubted the actions of her parents. They provided for her but it seemed more like a job to them. She didn't often see her father's face light up when she had figured out another scientific fact or won the class award for the best science project. Her mother had told her it was a great achievement and then it wasn't spoken of again. Witnessing Catherine and Lindsay, Sara knew she had missed out on the tenderness of unconditional love.

Making love to Catherine was amazing. Their bodies responded to each other and Sara had never felt so sated after a sexual encounter like she did when she was with Catherine. Sara smiled when she realised this room was where it all started just one little shift ago. The kiss was amazing and unexpected. Not unwelcome of course.

She wondered, had Catherine been with other women before? They had talked briefly but Sara had never asked her. She felt like she should know everything about Catherine but realised she didn't know much at all. Perhaps on their date they could talk about their interests and so forth.

Sara smiled when she realised she actually wanted to talk about herself to another person. A first for everything. Making love in the car was certainly a first. Hopefully not the last time though.

"Work Sara, work," she repeated like a mantra until she felt she had everything under control. She put her hand on the door handle ready to face the busy hallway when she felt the door thud into her.

"Shit," she cursed as the wood connected with her shoulder.

"Oh Sara, I'm sorry. Did I hurt you?" Nick placed a hand on Sara's shoulder rubbing it slightly.

"It's okay Nick, no damage done. It was more shock than anything."

"I came to let you know Gris wants us on that B&E with Warrick. Cath said she could spare you."

Sara wondered if Catherine had sent her on the case because she thought it was easier to be away from each other. She smiled at Nick who was putting his well worn cap on.

"Less paperwork for me Nick so I'm not going to complain."

Nick smiled and nodded, "Yeah I know what you mean. Grissom made me type my report out four times."

Sara laughed as she imagined Nick looking like a forlorn student while his teacher circled his mistakes with red pen. At times Nick tried too hard to impress Grissom Sara thought. It was nice to be complimented on a good job but there had to be a line drawn somewhere.

"Alright Nick, I'll meet you in the car park. I just need to thank Catherine for rescuing me from the report."

"I'm driving Sara," Nick said jogging to the doors before Sara could refuse.

Sara found Catherine talking to Greg in his lab. He was smiling so she assumed Catherine was thanking him for the quick work done on the DNA test. She stood leaning against the corner of the wall closest to the lab; observing their interaction.

Greg was rubbing the side of his hair, a trait he often displayed when he was embarrassed by the adulation he often thrived on hearing. His eyes were averted from Catherine's and he looked almost sheepish as Catherine placed a hand on his shoulder, giving it a friendly squeeze.

Sara marveled at the way Catherine made everyone feel at ease. Okay so it hadn't always like that between the two of them but Sara saw it in the others. She was the undisputed glue who kept them all together. Grissom was too isolated to be the real team builder. He had a wonderful mind and grasp of evidence but Catherine added the personal touch. Sara would have gone as far as saying she was the mother hen but the feelings she had for Catherine were anything other than motherly.

As Sara went off on the tangent Greg noticed her standing leant up against the window across from the lab. He waved at her and smiled when Sara smiled back at his gesture. Maybe he had made progress with her this morning.

"Hey Catherine, do you think Sara's attractive?" Greg asked.

Catherine almost blurted out 'hell yeah' but realised that would blow their secret so she simply asked Greg why he was asking.

"I think Sara's so incredible but she doesn't like me enough I don't think. She has it for an older sophisticated type. Grissom." Greg said.

He was too pre-occupied in his thoughts he didn't see Catherine wince when he told her his opinion on Sara's love life.

"Grissom? No Greg, they are just colleagues." Catherine said wanting to stop this conversation.

"Sure thing Catherine," Greg said winking at her.

Catherine wasn't sure how to respond without seeming too angry. She turned to leave and saw Sara standing at the same spot that Greg had seen her. She wondered how long she had been there and whether or not she was pissed at her for sending her on the B&E case.

"Greg, I've got to see Sara about the case. Thanks again for the quick work this morning," and with that Catherine was gone.

Greg watched Catherine and Sara interact with each other and wondered when the two of them had become so close. They seemed to be engaging in a friendly conversation, a change from the polite exchanges he'd often seen them in. He smiled, thinking wicked thoughts about the two of them together. "Mmm, never going to happen but a boy can dream," Greg said to himself aloud as he spun his chair around to look at the microscope.

Catherine led Sara to the coffee room telling her about Greg's theory. Sara hated the rumour and knew she had never done anything to discourage such talk. She had to admit she did find Grissom an interesting person and that was what had attracted her to some of her previous partners. She knew she had a definite hero worship thing going on before she came to work in Las Vegas but the time went on and she worked out that she was looking in Grissom what she had missed in her father. A shrinks bread and butter theory but it was the truth. Considering she had always wanted Catherine from the moment she had seen, her she knew it was her that she longed to be with.

"Cat, does it worry you that everyone thinks I'm lusting after the boss?"

"Yes a little. I want people to know you have no interest in anyone but me."

Sara smiled, "I could send out a memo."

"Nah, tell Greg, it'll be faster."

Both women laughed and reached for their pagers simultaneously.

"It's mine Cat, Nick's in the car waiting for me. He was more patient than I thought he would be though. I just came to say you don't have to separate us, I can keep my hormones under check."

"Come, I'll walk you to the car park and we can talk about this."

Sara smiled and for a moment made a move to hold Catherine's hand. It had seemed like the natural thing to do. She was glad she stopped herself because Grissom and Brass were heading their way.

"Ladies. Sara, aren't you supposed to be out with Nick and Warrick?" Grissom asked.

Sara knew the talk with Catherine would have to wait.

"Yeah Grissom, I'm on my way now. I just had to clear something up with Catherine. I'll see you later."

Sara brushed her hand against Catherine's as she walked past. She willed herself to keep walking away and not look back.

Catherine shivered at the gentle touch and watched Sara take long elegant strides to the car park. She smiled slightly when she saw Sara look back at her.

"Catherine, you cold?" Brass asked, "I hope you're not still sick."

"Sick?" Grissom asked.

Catherine sighed. She didn't want Grissom making an issue over the supposed illness.

"I'm okay Jim. Thanks." She saw Grissom stick his neck out slightly, a sign he was trying to study the situation. "Honest Gil, I'm okay."

"Okay but if you start feeling ill you go home. We can't afford to have the team infected."

"Thanks for your concern Gil," Catherine said sarcastically.

Grissom nodded and spoke, "so report, how's it coming? Brass tells me you've found DNA evidence on the rope matching Bobbie Messina. Good work."

"It was Greg who put a rush on the results, you should thank him. I know he'd love to hear it from you." Catherine suggested.

"Catherine, I'm not about praising individuals. Greg is a member of the team."

Catherine sighed and put up her hand, "okay Gil. Anyway if you'll both excuse me I'm going to get the report done."

Jim watched as Catherine walked away and Grissom turned to him, "too bad we didn't get a confession. How was she in the room?"

"Hey Grissom, she was great. What's with the question?"

"This case is pretty high profile, the powers that be want to quash any hate crime talk."

Jim frowned, "hate crime? Because Lauren was a lesbian? She was killed by another lesbian."

"No confession makes the DA's office edgy. What with Catherine blowing up the lab, well she's being watched."

Jim shook his head in disbelief, "I was in the room with her, and she was great. Even when Bobbie baited her she was professional. She's one damn fine CSI Gil, I've worked with her in that capacity."

"I know she's good but we need to make sure this case gets a conviction." Grissom said.

"I thought every case deserved a conviction," Brass said as he walked off.


Catherine loved the silence. She didn't get it often. Of course there was noise around her but she found the buzz of activity soothing. It was better than having Nick and Greg argue over music or Warrick asking her about Lindsay. That kind of activity sometimes got too much, all in the same room buzzing about like little bees.

Catherine realised in her account of a typical day she had neglected to mention Sara's movements. She always saw Sara sitting at the table, reading a magazine of some sort of shifting through a file. She would interact at times but more often than not she was a silent participant.

As Catherine was relishing the serenity of the coffee room her phone beeped at her. She wasn't used to getting a text message on her cell phone. She certainly wasn't like the young adults she saw texting away. It was a recent phenomenon she surmised because she hadn't noticed it much until Lindsay had asked if she could text her friend Annabelle because her Daddy bought her a phone.

She opened the received message and smiled when she read it.

'Wish you were here with me, Nick and Warrick are driving me crazy, S.'

Catherine wondered what she should write in reply. She didn't want to distract Sara from her job but she had started it. She wrote a message and deleted it several times before settling for, 'I'm not going to wear underwear under my dress tonight.' She knew it was mean but wanted to tease her. She hadn't had this much fun with a partner for a long time. When she was young and sex meant nothing but getting some and moving on she had enjoyed foreplay and sexual innuendo. She grew out of that when she danced and Eddie's idea of foreplay was to tell her to put Lindsay to bed early because he wanted sex. Subtle and terribly romantic.

But with Sara, Catherine wanted to have fun. She wanted to make Sara so sexually frustrated that she'd take her on the floor or wherever they happened to be standing at the time. She wanted to please Sara in bed, make sure all her needs were catered for. She wanted to be sappy and talk for hours about nothing; about everything. It always made her sick to hear about people so in love. Catherine realised she could give her heart to Sara in an instant. That scared her.

She was shaken out of her pondering when her phone beeped once more. She laughed aloud when she read Sara's reply, 'Bitch.'

Grissom had entered the room and sat down at the table, facing her. He cleared his throat and waited until Catherine put her phone away.

"Catherine, about the Lauren Maines case."

"Yeah, we got the killer Gil. God bless technology."

"I have to let you know something. There are eyes on your performance. Very critical eyes. You may be called in to explain why you didn't get a confession and why you let Bobbie Messina go the night before."

"First thing, this isn't some perfect world where the killer comes in and confesses. Second, I'm not the cop, I didn't let her go. Brass did and that was his prerogative. We had evidence yes but not on the things that mattered the most. Greg was very busy."

Grissom took his glasses off and began to clean them effusively.

"Catherine I'm just telling you what I was told today. I've been told to partner you up on all cases. No solo's."

Catherine was fuming. She had always been a good CSI. She'd made mistakes but they all had. Warrick was a gambler yet he was allowed to walk into a casino and work on a case. She hated the idea she needed a babysitter.

"Gil, I'm not having someone hold my hand or peer over my shoulder. I don't want to walk into a crime scene and wonder if I should do this or should do that. That's going to play an adverse role in my work, I'll look as inept as they think I am."

"Catherine this isn't a negotiation. You've already taken a suspension with the lab incident ..."

Catherine cut Grissom off, "Am I ever going to live that lab accident down? Has everyone forgotten that Warrick was standing next to me the entire time? He could have spoken up, noticed the area. I got the blame."

"Catherine, it's not about placing blame."

"Gil, I'm not placing blame. I'm mad. I resent this order."

"I know Catherine but we don't have to discuss it outside this conversation. I'll just pair you up at all times. I hand out the assignments so no one can question it."

Catherine was touched by Grissom's offer. She knew he wasn't happy with the order either but politics often ruled over the job. Funding was important and the Day Shift got a lot of it and gloated at every chance.

"Fine, Gil. I still get to be primary though right?"

"Yes but you have to report all findings to me."

Catherine got out of her chair and ran her hand through her hair. She was getting angry and it wouldn't help the situation. Grissom was always so calm and rationale, it would be like talking to a brick wall.

"I'm going for a walk."

Grissom watched Catherine tear out of the room. He hated it when he had to play the big boss, he hoped Catherine knew this order wasn't an indication of how he felt. He wished he was better at conveying his emotions to his team.

Catherine kicked the locker, making a slight dent and scuffing her boot.

"Shit!" She exclaimed as she realised the damage. She wanted to scream, cry and punch something.

Her work was being discussed in secret. She was being judged by people who weren't working horrendous hours, who didn't have to see the faces of the victim and the family.

Catherine's phone beeped and she ignored it. She wanted to tell Sara, to make her come back from the scene and hug her. Her phone beeped again and still she ignored it. When the phone started to ring and she saw the number belonged to Sara she relented and answered it.

"Cat? I sent you two messages. Everything okay? I was sure the second one would make you say something." Sara said laughing.

"I was in a meeting," Catherine lied.

"Well lucky you didn't read them then," Sara said still laughing.

"Listen Sara, can I talk to you later? I've got a few things to get done."

Sara paused before replying, "Is everything okay?"

Catherine felt tears rolling down her face. She tried to keep her voice from wavering.

"Yep, just busy. I'll chat later. Bye."

Sara moved the phone from her ear, puzzled at the way Catherine ended the call. She wanted to call her back but thought that if Catherine was so busy she'd only think it was a distraction. She wrote another message instead saying, 'I hope all is okay. I'm missing you like crazy and can't wait to be near you, S xox.'

Catherine tried to resist the temptation to read the now three messages. However, she found that just having that contact with Sara would calm her down. The first two were highly sexual, the first reminding Catherine of the incident in the car and the second Sara told her she would make Catherine scream her name in complete ecstasy before they even made it on their date.

It was the third message that made Catherine cry once more. That Sara had been astute enough to know she was not acting like usual and to then write the second part that was devoid of sexual teasing, just a simple statement of need made Catherine weep. She read it once more and slumped to the ground hugging her phone and crying.

"Hey Sara, you working or would you prefer to stand near the car and practice your valet moves?" Nick said as he exited the three bedroom home.

"Nick, you think you and Warrick could take this from here and I could go back to the office, take these evidence bags to Greg?"

Nick frowned. Sara was a workaholic, that was no secret, but she usually enjoyed canvassing a scene and certainly didn't ask to see Greg before time.

"Sure thing Sara, just go tell Warrick."

Sara found Warrick kneeling in the yard with the casting kit by his side. He was laying the metal frame over a shoe print when he looked up to see Sara.

"Hey. Finished up with the shots of the doorframe and lock?" Warrick asked, resuming his task.

"Yeah, got some prints but we'll have to see if any are useful."

Warrick nodded in agreement, "One of the most frequently used spots, the lock. We could get lucky."

"You'd probably have more luck with that shoe print. Looks pretty fresh." Sara said.

"I agree. This looks like the quietest place to exit the scene, running down this yard and jumping over the fence."

"Listen Warrick, do you think I could leave you here with Nick and head back to the barn? I'd really like to get a jump on those prints."

Warrick laughed, "Sara, ever the busy worker. Sure Sara, but if I have to hear Nick tell his story about the leggy blonde he picked up I won't be held accountable for my actions."

Sara smiled.

"Thanks Warrick. Just thought I'd ask considering you're the boss here today although I did feel like I was asking permission from the teacher to get a hall pass."

Warrick smiled, "I appreciate it Sara. So I'll see you back at the office."

With that Warrick resumed filling the frame with plaster. Sara was thankful they didn't continue with small talk. They were co-workers sure, but friends? The jury was still out on that one.

Sara jumped in the car and plugged her phone in so she could talk on speaker phone. She dialed the number she hoped to soon memorize, Catherine's mobile. The dial tone continued for what seemed an hour. Sara held on the line until hearing the engaged tone. She pressed redial and tried again.


Sara was surprised to hear Catherine's voice so low and almost weary. She wondered if it was the connection or something more.

"Hey babe. I'm coming back early, you free for a rendezvous in the locker room?" Sara joked.

"Coming back?" Catherine asked.

"Yeah Cath, from the scene." Sara frowned at the phone. Catherine seemed very distant.


"Cath, you okay?" Sara asked. She was considering speeding back to the office because she found it hard to figure out Catherine's tone without seeing her body language.

Catherine paused before answering.

"Fine Sara. I'll see you when you get back okay?" With that she hung up.

Sara hoped Catherine hadn't hung up on her for the second time in that shift. There was something wrong, and Sara was concerned. She put her foot on the accelerator in a mad dash to work.

Catherine hung up the phone and looked around. She realised with some surprise, that she was still sitting on the floor in the locker room. How long had she been there? She stood up and covered her face with her hands in an attempt to calm herself. She pulled them away and took a deep breath. If Sara was on her way back she had to fix herself up. That meant looking anything like she did now.

"Toilets Catherine," she said aloud.

She found that once she got in there she was afraid to look in the mirror. Once she summoned the courage she wasn't too shocked to see she looked disastrous. Her mascara had run, leaving her with delightful panda eyes and her eyes were so red she looked like she had cut hundreds of onions. She took a piece of toilet paper and wiped the mascara away. Her eyes still bore the signs of torrential crying. Sara would know something was wrong.

Catherine knew Sara wasn't known for her Driving Miss Daisy speeds so she'd make it back to the office at a breakneck speed. The only way to disguise her red eyes would be to meet her in the car park. That way she could put her sunglasses on. Wearing them inside the office would look too Hollywood superstar.

Catherine blew her nose and tried to straighten up her shirt. She splashed water on her face and closed her eyes for a second to calm herself down. She wasn't ready to face anyone, especially Sara but it had to be done. Catherine went to her locker and took out her sunglasses. She hooked them into her tank top and made her way out of the locker room.

"Hey Cath!" Greg yelled.

Catherine wanted to scream. She hadn't factored into her walk the distractions of the office. She knew she couldn't ignore Greg, he was relentless when he had something to say. She put her glasses on and speed up her pace.


Catherine turned to face him.

"Yes Greg? I'm just on my way out can this wait?"

"I just wanted to say that uh, well I just wanted to say it sucks, you know." Greg shuffled his feet obviously embarrassed.

"No Greg, I don't know. Spill."

"I heard about the problems you're having with the main dudes upstairs," Greg said, sticking his hands in his lab coat.

Catherine considered quitting right then. If Greg knew - and how the hell did that happen - then it would be all over the halls in a matter of minutes.

Greg obviously sensed Catherine's discomfort and spoke, "It's okay Catherine, I won't tell a soul. I swear to you it stays with me."

"Greg, I'm not even going to ask how you knew and other than eavesdropping Lord knows how you did find out. This is my business and mine alone. If you tell anyone I will ..."

"Say no more Catherine. I told you I won't breathe a word of it and I don't go back on my word. I just wanted to offer support."

Catherine was inclined to believe Greg. He was known about the place as the gossip King and sometimes the things he found to share were incredibly private. She knew he had spoken to some of his DNA buddies about the incident with Bobbie Messina but this seemed different.

"Okay Greg, I'm taking you at your word. Don't make me regret it because I assure you it will end up being you who regrets it in the long run."

Greg shook his head in understanding.

"I promise you Catherine. My lips are sealed."

"Good, let's not speak of it again. I appreciate your offer of help and support but I don't need it. This will blow over."

"Just wanted you to know I knew," Greg said.

"Thanks. Anyway, I've got to go." With that Catherine turned before she started to cry again. She wasn't sure what was worse, the fact that the only other person outside of Grissom who knew was Greg or the fact that she was about to lie to Sara.

Sara had entered from the car park to see Greg and Catherine talking in the hall ahead of her. She observed the scene and found it to be an entirely different interaction to the one she'd seen previously. Greg looked like a co-conspirator then shifted to nervousness while Catherine was rigid and on edge. She hoped Greg wasn't stirring up trouble about Bobbie Messina. When she saw Catherine turn her way she was puzzled. Why did Catherine have sunglasses on?

Catherine saw Sara and stopped dead in her tracks. Sara looked like she did when she was trying to process a scene. Catherine knew this conversation wasn't going to be easy.

"Hey Cath, was Greg hassling you?" Sara said walking towards Catherine.

Catherine smiled weakly, "no, he and I were just talking."

"About what?"

Catherine smiled once more and shrugged, "nothing important. I'm going outside for a bit, want to come?"

"Spending some time alone with you? You actually expect me to answer that question?" Sara joked. She became concerned when Catherine didn't reply. "Catherine, what the hell is going on?"

Catherine wondered why she just hadn't gone home. She could have feigned illness, kept Sara away for a day and come to the next shift having cried herself out. A new day would have seen her somewhat rejuvenated. Instead she had sought Sara out.

"I just read the newspaper, saw all the bad news. Guess it got to me today," Catherine replied. She knew that excuse was pretty weak, she just hoped Sara would let it go.

"Cath, there's always bad news. Look at our job." Sara said walking over to Catherine who had found a spot to sit down.

Catherine stiffened when Sara sat and put her arm around her shoulder. Sara noticed and pulled away.

"Okay, have I done something?" Sara asked.

Catherine didn't answer. She was afraid if she spoke it would come out in sobs and she didn't want to think about how fucked up life was for her. Just as she found someone who she could easily start to build a future with somebody decided she couldn't be one hundred percent happy with her life.

When Catherine didn't reply Sara moved away.

"I take that as a yes. Okay Catherine, well if you actually want to speak to me then I'll stay here with you until you're ready. If you simply want to bottle it up as you have accused me of doing then I'll go back inside and do some work."

Catherine knew she should speak but when she finally opened her mouth she found she was saying something completely opposite to what she was thinking.

"Go inside, get your precious work down."

Sara's head was spinning. Three days ago she was simply lusting after Catherine. They had gained back some of that rapport they were slowly building since Hank and lost after Eddie. Then they had embarked on the weirdest two days in relationship history. Now Catherine was shutting down. Sara couldn't handle this latest development.

"Cath, please don't do this."

Catherine was crying. She didn't care anymore. She noticed Sara was crying also and wanted to hug her but she was ashamed. Ashamed of how pathetic she was. Sara was a wonderful CSI and she loved her job. She did it with pride. Catherine was too volatile for Sara. If she stayed with her Sara's performance would lag. If she stayed Sara would see her for the ineffectual worker that she had been branded as.

"I don't want you here Sara." Catherine said unconvincingly.

Sara looked down to where Catherine was sitting.


"Sara, please just go. For your benefit."

Sara was puzzled at the phrasing of that sentence. In past relationships Sara knew that she would take this out and run. She wasn't good at commitment. Being with Catherine was different. She wanted it; no needed it, to be different.

"Catherine Willows, you will tell me what is wrong or I will tell Grissom that you are unfit for work."

Catherine flinched at Sara's threat. She pulled her glasses off and wiped her eyes. She blinked to rid her eyes of those new tears threatening to fall and saw that Sara had knelt down in front of her.

"Cat, please let me help you." Sara took Catherine's hands in her own relieved there was no resistance.

Catherine knew her defenses were no match for the worry and support she saw in Sara's eyes.

"Grissom doesn't think I can do the job Sara."

Sara winced when she realised how her threat may have sounded and was amazed that Catherine had decided to confide in her. She wiped the tears dropping from Catherine's water filled eyes and waited for Catherine to say more.

"The politicians in our circle are pissed we didn't get a confession from Bobbie and are blaming me. Considering my track record I'm an easy target. Now I have to have a babysitter on cases. No singles, I always have to pair up."

Sara was fuming. How dare they blame Catherine for something that was out of her realm as an investigator. She had the DNA evidence but Brass was the cop. The shit should fall on him, not Catherine.

"And Grissom agreed?" Sara asked.

Catherine nodded.

"Even when I'm primary I have to run everything by him first."

"Oh baby, come here," Sara held her arms out hopeful that Catherine would respond.

Catherine threw her body into the comfort of Sara's arms, almost knocking the two of them over. She buried her head into Sara's neck and took reassurance in Sara's encompassing embrace and soothing words.

When Catherine pulled away she sighed when Sara kissed her gently on the mouth. Catherine smiled thanks at the gesture.

"Why didn't you tell me when I called?" Sara asked.

"I didn't want you to know." Catherine replied honestly.

Sara wanted to yell at her, to tell her that she was there for support. However, she saw how fragile Catherine was and decided that conversation could wait. She stood up and extended her hand to Catherine and smiled when Catherine allowed her to pull her up.

"I'm sorry Sara."

Sara kissed Catherine on the forehead.

"Don't worry, you've told me now and I'm going to support you all the way. You've got me so don't be afraid to lean on me."

Catherine was overrun with the warmth and love Sara displayed in her actions. She didn't know how she thought keeping this from Sara would make her feel better, for when she walked towards the office with this woman holding her hand she knew she'd get through this latest hitch in the road.

The End.

Beat It Corbeau's Alcove CSI Main Index