DISCLAIMER: Mine! Mine! They're all mine! Aaaaand then I woke up. CBS, Jerry Bruckheimer blah blah blah. You know the deal.
SPOILERS: It's set early on in season 5 I reckon, before the gang got separated, not that it matters all that much. I knicked a few lines from "Buffy", credit to Joss and all his people.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: To my C.S.I partner in crime Mike, and to Yolanda, what a holiday!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Pure Intent
There was a soft knock at her door. Sara glanced toward it, then away again.
"Grissom, I'm gonna have to go. I'll see you when we get back."
"Okay, tell Catherine I say hi. Have a good time you two."
Letting out a sigh she placed the receiver back in its cradle. This was one of those times she wished she had a cradle to hide in. Only one person knocked on her door here. Which was one more than did at home. She quelled the maudlin thoughts before they managed to take hold. She was going to feel bad enough after this as it was, either for lying or telling the truth and she didn't need any more fuel for the fire.
She smoothed back her hair and forced a tugging motion on the corners of her mouth, which could be construed as a smile, in a society of blind people. It was all she had the heart for right now. She opened the door to the person she'd expected.
"Catherine. Hi. What's up?"
Catherine gave her a concerned smile and said, "Funny, that's what I was gonna ask you." At the silence and Sara's confused look she added, "Is there something wrong? Did I do something? You kinda freaked out back there."
Sara gave a little, "I guess I did. It was nothing important. A combination of stupid things really." Catherine said nothing hoping to goad Sara into offering more information to avoid silence. "I don't do so well in this kind of heat, and then I remembered we hadn't informed Grissom of how we where getting on "
"This kind of heat? You live in Vegas!"
"More oppressive here though don't you think?" Sara tried lamely.
"Sara," Catherine said softly, not wanted her words to be taken harshly, "If you don't want to tell me you don't have to, but if you think I might be able to help then I'd like to."
Sara thought for a moment, then stepped aside, "You better come in."
Sara took her time shutting the door so as to avoid having to acknowledge her guest. She had to figure out what the hell she was going to say. She couldn't tell her the truth, for so many reasons, but she would be grateful for the opportunity to talk about it, she'd just have to omit certain truths.
"Please, sit." Sara patted the space beside her on the couch.
Sara gathered her thoughts into as much order as she could. "Catherine, have you ever do you ever feel alone?" she chuckled, "That's ridiculous, why would you?"
"Why do you say that?"
"Come on, I mean you're so " Sara gestured towards the blonde with outstretched hands as if that explained it all. Catherine just raised her eyebrows. "Well, you're beautiful, witty, intelligent, you always know the right thing to say. People love you."
"No they don't. I just don't give them any other choice but to talk to me. And in answer to your question, yes. I know what it's like to feel alone." At Sara's surprised expression she said, "I can be surrounded by people and feel completely alone. That's not what companionship is about. Is that what this is about?"
"I guess." Sara's eyes fell.
Catherine placed a hand on her back. "Tell me sweetness." Sara, not accustomed to terms of endearment, especially from this woman, took pause for thought. "Your in love," Catherine stated flatly.
"No I'm not," Sara blurted out as her head shot up. Catherine gave her a knowing look. "I'm not I have feelings for someone. Someone so not right for me it's unbelievable." She sighed.
"Go on," Catherine encouraged.
"I've had these feelings for a while now, and I've dealt with them, no big deal. But lately, I don't know. Maybe the feelings have been getting stronger, hmphf, can't picture that though, it's not like they have been nurtured. Maybe it's me, getting lonely. It's becoming longer and longer since I had a good relationship."
"And you think you would have a good relationship with this person?"
"Not at all. It would probably be a nightmare most of the time. We're so different, opposite ends of the coin."
"Opposite's attract so they say."
"Not this opposite. There's just some obstacles between us that can't be overcome."
"Have you tried?"
"Yes. No. I've tried to create a strong friendship, but every time it looks like I might be getting somewhere it gets shot down in flames one way or another."
"Maybe your not meant to be friends. There's are huge difference between being friends and being lovers."
"I know. But that's not the only thing. They're just so out of reach. I have nothing they could possibly need."
"What if it's not about what they need, but more about what they want? Maybe they want you."
"I don't want you to get the wrong impression, I'm not a manic depressive or anything," Catherine smiled and rubbed her hand slowly up and down Sara's back. "I know there are people out there who would want to go out with me. But any attempt at a relationship I try if the other person doesn't screw it up then I do, because I know in the back of my mind that they're not the one that I want."
"People don't want what's right in front of them. People want their dream, what they can't have. The more unattainable, the more attractive."
"Funny," Sara said amused, "for someone who scoffed at my reading selection, your knowledge of Buffy is astounding."
"Yeah," Catherine nodded her head towards the books on the table, "Linds watches that too."
"What if that's all true though? What if the only reason I'm so into them is because I can't have them. Like a fantasy. If something happened between us I don't think I could handle having to break it off because I'd changed my mind."
"Well, for someone who appears to have been struggling with this for a while you've already moved from thinking it will never happen to thinking of what will happen afterwards if it does."
"It passes the time."
"You know, it seems to me that your just looking for excuses not to do it. Maybe its fear of rejection, I don't know, but let me tell you this, life is too short to worry about some guy and if he's going to laugh at you or turn you down. Sometimes you just have to jump and hope that you get caught. And at the end of the day it doesn't have to be by that person. Your friends can catch you. Like me."
Sara's smile almost lit up the room. She leaned over and hugged Catherine. When she settled back in her seat Catherine said, "You should give him a shot. He's a good man, maybe not the most personable but still. He may not feel the same way about you, but if I was gonna be turned down, I'd rather it be by Grissom than anyone else."
Sara had been expecting that. She had intended to lie at this point but Catherine had been so supportive, and so willing to offer her help when Sara needed it that she couldn't bring herself to feed fabrications to this wonderful woman now.
"Catherine, this person that I'm talking about it's not Grissom."
"Sara, it's okay, I know you have feelings for him. I have for a while. You don't have to be embarrassed."
"No, Catherine I'm not embarrassed, it really isn't him."
Catherine looked doubtful for a second before recognising the truth behind Sara's eyes. "Well, who is it then?"
"I'd rather not say," Sara's eyes diverted to the floor.
"Okay, I won't push. But I have to say I'm intrigued. I'm a sucker for a good puzzle." She grinned and poked Sara in the side, "Am I aloud to guess?"
Sara was scared shitless in case Catherine ever found out who the object of her desires was but she couldn't help herself. She couldn't deny that face. If this wasn't a self-destructive idea she didn't know what was! "Oh, you can try," a challenging tone to her voice.
Sara knew this was a dangerous game. The best way to keep your feelings for someone a secret was not to tell anyone at all, but the jovial way Catherine was reacting filled Sara with a playfulness she hadn't experienced before. She felt like a little girl in the schoolyard, joking around about a crush with her best friend. It was a welcome break from her current mentality.
"Fabulous! So how do we do this? Like, twenty questions?" Catherine asked.
"I suppose that would do, only you get ten questions, not twenty."
Catherine pouted, "Not fair!"
"Afraid you might not get it?" Sara was getting into the swing of things now. With her rule of only ten questions Catherine had no chance.
There was a predatory look in Catherine's eyes as she said, " One. Do I know them?"
"Yes. There would be no point to this if you didn't."
"True. Two. Have I known them long?"
"Longer than me."
"Three. Do I like them?"
"I'd say so."
"Four. Do we work with them?"
Sara felt a twinge of regret at agreeing to all of this now. Why couldn't she have asked more general questions like what they looked like? Just like Catherine, she though, straight for the heart. " Yes."
"Five. Are they younger than you?"
"Okay," said Catherine blowing into her cupped hands and rubbing them together, deciding how she should play this. "Six. Are they a graveyard shift C.S.I, like, not a lab tech or anything?"
"Hmmm, seven. Are they a strong jawed, good ol' Texas born gentleman?"
"Eight. A stylish coloured guy with amazing eyes?"
"Jeez," Catherine said rubbing her eyes. Who the hell is it? Who could it be? She'd gone through everyone. Unless it was one of the temps they'd had in the past. But she hadn't known any of them very well, not that she could remember. With a laugh she asked, "It is a guy right?! Ha!"
Sara felt the colour drain from her whole body. She had to stop now. But how could she? She had condoned this. She'd been equally responsibility for building it up this far. How could she quit now? "No."
"Ah it was only a joke question, doesn't count " Catherine's sentence died off as she eventually heard what Sara had said. Oh my God. "Sara " she took her next breath as if it were her last before asking her final question, " is it me?"
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