DISCLAIMER: All the characters of CSI belong to CBS, Jerry Bruckheimer and Alliance Atlantis. I just borrowed the lovely Sara Sidle and Catherine Willows for a bit. I hope I didn't break anything! I am not making any money out of this, I just wanted to see it they would ever get together
I certainly hope so!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first attempt at a fanfic, so please be kind. Let me know how I did and if I should continue. Also, I'd like to thank Em for betaing this for me. Thanks for all your help and encouragement!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
And It Was
By Miss Widget
Sara turned off the ignition and sat back, hands resting on the steering wheel. As she stared at the dark green door of the house she was parked in front of, her thoughts went back to the phone call she had received less than half an hour ago - a call she couldn't believe she had received.
'Catherine called me. Catherine never calls me, not after work. Not unless it's work-related and I'm being called back in, and even then it would usually be Grissom calling.'
Sara had long since resigned herself to the fact that Catherine didn't like her. They worked well together; there was no denying that fact. The solve rate was highest on the cases that they were partnered on. But no matter how hard Sara tried; Catherine just didn't seem to like her. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that she was first brought in to investigate one of Catherine's friends. While Sara and Warrick had worked out their differences, each understanding the other's position and their feelings, Catherine still seemed to hold it against her, even 4 years later. That and the fact that she couldn't find the murder weapon that would have given Catherine and Lindsay the closure they needed on Eddie's death. Catherine had had plenty to say about that after Sara was forced to close the case due to lack of evidence. As a result, Sara had become more reserved, more withdrawn. She worked harder, drove herself to the breaking point and quite often beyond, trying to prove to herself and to Catherine that she was a competent CSI, and to make sure that everything possible was done on every single case to find the criminals. That everything was done to bring peace of mind to the victims, the ones who needed and deserved it the most.
'Catherine sounded so lost and hesitant over the phone, not at all like the Catherine I know, all fire and brazen confidence.' Sara couldn't believe it when Catherine asked if she could come over, that Catherine needed her help. She had been so shocked that she couldn't answer at first.
'My heart nearly broke when she started apologising for bothering me, her voice so small and sad. I couldn't get my words out quick enough, telling her that I'd be there as soon as possible.' Sara certainly hadn't wasted any time getting over to Catherine's house, grabbing her jacket, gun and keys on the run.
'Now now I just have to get myself out of my car and knock on her door.'
Sara's heart felt heavy and she had this horrible feeling in her stomach. On the drive over, she had listed all the things that could possibly be wrong that would hurt Catherine so badly that she would resort to calling Sara. The only thing she could think of was that something had happened to Lindsay, the light in Catherine's life. She knew that Lindsay was Catherine's touchstone, the bright spot that made all the terrible things that they saw people do to each other every single night bearable. They all had things that helped them cope. Grissom had his bugs and his roller coaster rides, Warrick went to the neighbourhood where he grew up and joined in with the guys playing basketball at the rec centre, Nick played his guitar and Catherine, Catherine spent time with Lindsay, letting her innocence push away the darkness that constantly struggled for a finger hold in her soul.
'Me, I think of Catherine. The curve of her lips, the mischievous twinkle in her eye when she's about to pull a fast one on one of the guys. Or the sway of her hips as she walks to the locker room after shift is over. Or the way she cradles her coffee cup in her slender fingers, as if it is the most precious thing in the world. Or well, the list is endless. Catherine is my bright spot. She is my heart and soul.'
Sara had been attracted to Catherine from the first moment she had seen her, when she had asked for Catherine Willows and the beautiful blonde had said that Catherine Willows was out in the field. And her attraction had grown the longer she knew her. At first Sara had thought it was just a harmless crush, and seeing as how Catherine hated her guts, it was obviously not going to be reciprocated. Her feelings for Catherine had deepened the more Sara learned about her, spent time working with her.
'I now know that I love her, that this is the greatest love of my life. And I am resigned to the fact that my feelings will never be returned. So I try to be there for her, help her where and when I can and try to be her friend. Some of this must have gotten through to her, otherwise why the phone call? And if something has happened to Lindsay, then Catherine is going to need all the help she can get. I'll do whatever she needs me to do. I just need to get out of my car and knock on her door.'
All these thoughts flashed though Sara's mind as she took a deep breath and made her way out of her car and up the walkway. She raised her hand to knock on the door and was startled when the door opened seconds after she had finished knocking. The sight in front of her made her freeze in shock. There stood Catherine, dressed in sweats, hair dishevelled, with the beginning of a bruise forming on her cheekbone.
'That's going to be really painful tomorrow, and it looks like she's going to have a black eye as well.' Sara thought, bitter experience being her guide. At Catherine's gesture for her to step inside, Sara forced her body to move, making her way into the lounge. Behind her she could hear Catherine locking the door and padding softly towards her.
"Um, would you like something to drink, or " Catherine's voice petered out as Sara stepped towards her and flinched violently when Sara raised her hand towards her bruised cheekbone. Sara immediately stopped and backed away, recognising the signs of someone who has recently been hit.
"Who did this to you," Sara whispered, her voice nearly breaking with anguish. "Who hurt you like this, Catherine? Lindsay! Is Lindsay okay?"
Catherine's shoulders slumped as she let out a shuddering sigh and made her way to the couch and settled in, hugging her knees to her chest. Sara tossed her jacket and keys on the chair in the corner and unclipped her holster, putting her gun on top of the wall unit. Once she was sure her gun was out of possible reach of Lindsay, she gingerly settled down at the other end of the couch, trying to catch Catherine's eye. She realised that Catherine had yet to look her in the eye, which was most unusual for her.
"Lindsay's fine, Sara. She's at my sister's house. It was John, my very recent ex-boyfriend. We disagreed about breaking it off and this was his answer."
Sara let out a slow breath. She was doing her best to hold down her fury at this John character that had dared raise his hand to HER Catherine. The last thing Catherine needed was more anger. Once she knew that she had her anger under control, she started questioning Catherine.
"I gather he didn't take kindly to being dumped?"
Catherine barked a harsh laugh. "You could say that. He found out about my past as a dancer and let's just say that it gave him ideas. Ideas I was none to eager to entertain. He didn't like that one bit and told me that I shouldn't be so high and mighty, considering where I come from. That I should be happy that a guy like him was interested in me, that he was better than I deserved."
A tear slowly trickled down Catherine's cheek, quickly followed by another one. Sara's heart clenched to hear the sad, weary tone to Catherine's voice, and to hear the utter dejection. She slowly reached out to Catherine, and cradled her bruised cheek. She wiped the tears with her thumb before gently lifting her face so that she could look into her eyes. The utter defeat and self-hatred in Catherine's eyes took her breath away.
"Oh, Catherine, you deserve so much more than that! You deserve everything your heart desires! If you were mine, I'd be your everything. I would never deliberately hurt you. I would do all in my power to make you happy. That is what you deserve from the one you love, the one who loves you. You are too precious to m everyone who knows you. You shouldn't let one blind idiot beat you down, steal you confidence!"
At Sara's gentle touch and her passionate declaration, Catherine's iron control over her emotions broke and she started sobbing uncontrollably. This was why she had called Sara. Sara was always there for her, even though Catherine had been an absolute bitch towards her. Catherine had always known that Sara cared for her. Sara may be reserved, but Catherine was a past master at reading body language. As a dancer, she had made her money by reading body language, knowing who to dance for and how to tease them. So she was well aware that Sara cared for her. And this scared Catherine. In her experience, people always wanted something in return. She just couldn't figure out why Sara cared for her and what exactly Sara wanted from her. This was the reason why they were barely even friends. This was also why Catherine had made sure to bury any attraction she may have felt for the brunette, burying any feelings deep, so that she would never be in a position to be hurt ever again. With Sara's words, something deeply hidden in Catherine's heart broke loose and slowly bubbled to the surface.
As Catherine started sobbing, Sara scooted closer and pulled her into her arms. She gently started rocking, rubbing Catherine's back soothingly and crooning gentle nonsense into her ear. Catherine responded by snuggling her head into Sara's neck and clutching at her top, her tears quickly dampening Sara's neck and the material of her collar. After 10 minutes of this, Catherine's sobs had subsided to the odd sniffle and shuddering breath. Sara took a chance and slowly eased back until her back made contact with the armrest of the couch. Catherine didn't resist and Sara ended up with her one leg bent and resting against the back of the couch and the other stretched along the length of the couch. Catherine was still snuggled into Sara's neck, her back against Sara's bent leg, the rest of her practically curled up in Sara's lap.
Sara gently stroked her hand through the soft, blonde hair, brushing it away from the tear-streaked face. Catherine's breathing had slowed, as had her tears. Sara softly wiped the remaining tears with the same hand, her other hand never having stopped the soothing movements on Catherine's back.
Catherine gave one last, shuddering sigh and slowly took note of her surroundings. She was nestled in Sara's arms, Sara's hands slowly stroking her hair and back. Her head was resting in the crook of Sara's neck; she could feel the pulse of Sara's lifeblood against her forehead, along with the heat of her skin. The faint scent of vanilla teased her, mixing with the smell of damp cotton, salty tears and what she could only identify as the very essence of Sara. She felt safe, and protected, being held here in the circle of Sara's arms.
The two of them stayed that way for quite a while, each taking comfort from the other. Catherine revelling in the unconditional support she could feel from Sara, the promise of safety. Sara just soaking in the feel of Catherine in her arms, the soft press of Catherine's body against hers, the gentle puffs of her breath washing against Sara's chest, the smell of her jasmine scented shower gel teasing her sense of smell.
Sara tightened her arms briefly around the body in her arms before letting Catherine ease slightly away from her. Catherine's head slowly came up and her sad, bright blue, bloodshot eyes met warm brown eyes, shadowed with concern.
"Feeling a bit better?" Sara asked softly, her knuckles gently brushing against Catherine's uninjured cheek. Catherine nodded her head, head turning slightly into the soft stroke of Sara's hand.
"Thank you," was all that Catherine could manage, her throat still clogged with the remnants of her tears. Sara's gentle smile warmed her as she shook her head and said gently that no thanks was needed, she was glad to be able to help out.
After an endless moment of eye contact, Catherine ducked her head slightly, a gentle blush slowly making its way over her tear stained cheeks. "I must look a mess," she said with a watery chuckle.
"Never. I have never known you to look anything but beautiful," Sara vehemently denied. What she had just admitted registered in her mind at the same time as the surprised gasp left Catherine's lips. Catherine watched in surprise and fascination as Sara's eyes suddenly widened, her shock and dismay evident at what she had inadvertently admitted.
Sara's face and eyes reflected a quick montage of emotions. Shock, dismay, fear, acceptance, resignation, all of these emotions flashed across her countenance in moments. And underlying them all was a current of deep abiding love. Catherine's mind barely grasped all of this before she felt the body she was resting against seem to shrink back, as if in automatic retreat, the hand that had been gently cupping her face jerking back as if burnt. Catherine's own hand quickly came up, catching the retreating hand and drawing it back to where it had been resting, her other hand getting a firmer grip on Sara's top, as if fearing that she would disappear. Blue eyes searched brown, almost drowning in their depths.
For once, Catherine saw no barriers, no protective walls, none of the wariness she was used to seeing in Sara's eyes. For the first time ever, Catherine saw all the way down into Sara's soul. And what she saw there nearly caused her to start weeping all over again.
Unconditional love. For her. No catches, nothing required in return. And threading through it was the most heartbreaking vulnerability she had ever witnessed. Never in all her years had she ever seen anybody this susceptible being wounded down to their very soul. And Catherine's heart skipped a beat as she realised that here, here was the acceptance and love that she had always been searching for.
While all of this was going through Catherine's mind, Sara slowly relaxed. She saw the moment that Catherine realised the depths of her feelings, Catherine's own emotions reflecting so clearly on her expressive face. When joy washed over Catherine's face and love glowed in her eyes, Sara's heart stuttered, and then sped up to a full gallop.
"Sara," whispered Catherine in a husky, awestruck voice, " Sara." Not knowing what to way, but needing to acknowledge what she had seen, Catherine turned her face into Sara's hand, gently nuzzling into it before pressing a soft, heartfelt kiss to the centre of her palm. She then wrapped Sara's fingers around the kiss and pressed the clenched fist to Sara's chest over her heart. Sara could feel her heart slowly swoop at this gesture, the kiss so sweetly placed in her hand. With that one move, Sara knew she was irrevocably Catherine's. Catherine had her heart. No, Catherine was her heart. And Sara didn't want it any other way.
"My heart," Sara's husky voice broke with emotion. "You are my heart. God, Catherine, I love you. I "
"Sh, I know, Sara, I know. I've always known you cared for me. I just never knew how much. Or what you wanted from me. I've always looked at what people wanted to get from me. They always wanted something. I never realised that you didn't want anything; you just wanted to, needed to give. You wanted to give me you." At the last word, Catherine's voice softened to a tone that Sara had never, ever heard before. The corner of her mouth curved up slightly in the shyest smile Catherine had ever seen as Sara nodded her head. "Yes. I just wanted the chance to love you and be able to show you what you mean to me."
Sara slipped the hand that was resting on Catherine's back slowly up to her nape, fingers gently tangling in the soft, fine hair, her eyes flicking between the loving expression in glowing blue eyes and the slightly parted lips that had dominated many a dream. Sara's tongue quickly swiped across her lower lip, her breath quivering out as she softly asked, "Catherine, could I kiss you, please?"
Never in her life had anybody ever asked her for a kiss so sweetly. Catherine's heart turned to mush as a breathtaking smile crossed her face. "Please," was all she could say, her eyes riveted to dilated, chocolate brown eyes. She slowly leaned forward, those gorgeous eyes getting closer and closer until finally soft lips finally touched, gently caressed. Both sets of eyes drifted closed as the intense feeling of soft lips shot through to the core of both. A gentle flick of a tongue on a full bottom lip and access was granted. Tongues slowly and gently caressed and explored new territory, arms tightly wrapping around bodies and relaxing into the most beautiful feeling either had ever experienced. This gentle exploration continued until the need for air became a necessity and lips slowly, reluctantly, separated. With a final nip to Sara's kiss bruised bottom lip, Catherine sighed happily and snuggled down into Sara's arms, which tightened and drew her as close as humanly possible. A goofy smile spread across Sara's face as she realised that she really had her dream wrapped up in her arms. She tucked her nose into Catherine's hair, dropped a kiss on the top of her head and sighed in contentment.
"I love you too, Sara, so much."
As those words settled into Sara's consciousness, the greatest feeling of happiness welled up in her. She knew with a certainty that all was going to be fine in her world. Life may be tough, the job may be heartbreaking, but as long as she had Catherine's love, everything was going to be just fine.
And it was.
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