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
"Sara?" Catherine questioned with earnest as Sara shot up from her seat.
At the sound of her name Sara stopped. She couldn't just bolt without so much as a "by your leave". Catherine deserved an answer; she couldn't just leave her hanging like that. She turned back towards the couch, careful not to make eye contact with the blonde. What are you doing? You can't just tell her, she's a big girl and she'll work it out for herself. Go now while you can. She turned and started walking away again. I just need to get out of this room. She decided to go out onto the balcony, that way she could leave this oppressive atmosphere but it wouldn't be like she was abandoning Catherine. An arm stopped her as she began to pull the door open.
"Hey," said Catherine, her voice raised, "You don't just get to walk away from this. You answer me right now." She didn't mean to sound harsh but she just knew she couldn't let Sara walk away from her and let this whole thing be forgotten. It was a natural reaction and she had no idea why she was following it, but she had learned to trust her instincts long ago.
Sara pulled her arm from Catherine's grip, "What do you want me to say?" she asked as she pointedly opened the balcony door.
Catherine followed her outside, "The truth. That's all I ask." She was much softer this time. She knew this had to be hard for Sara.
The younger woman gave a heavy sigh as she let her head fall onto her outstretched arms that were resting on the ledge. "Argh," forced Sara through gritted teeth. "Yes."
Though she knew this would be the answer, Catherine was still shell-shocked. Eventually she flopped down on one of the metal chairs. They stayed like that for what seemed like forever.
Sara couldn't tell what was going on in Catherine's head because she couldn't see her. Her neck was starting to feel the burn of being kept in such an uncomfortable position but she wouldn't look up. She just couldn't look at Catherine right now.
She heard metal scrape against stone.
Catherine must have gotten up and left. Sara was upset. She didn't want to leave things like this but if she went after Catherine she wouldn't know what to say. It was probably better this way.
Thinking she was alone Sara raised her head to look out to the pool and people surrounding it. All smiling, all having the time of their lives. Why couldn't she do that? She'd messed things up yet again, but this time it was infinitely worse. This time her mistake couldn't just be brushed aside, something she would never have to analyse again. This affected her work environment. Her work environment was her life. But that was something she would deal with after the aching in her heart stopped. Eternity was foreboding and she didn't have a clue on how to fix this. The tears began to run down her cheeks.
Glass scraped concrete.
She glanced to her left and saw the full glass of scotch, looking almost heavenly as it refracted the sunlight.
"Thank you," said Catherine rolling a cigarette in Sara's direction as she lit her own.
"I thought you'd quit?" Sara said, mimicking Catherine's earlier words. She was clinging to the hope that Catherine would just not bring up her revelation and they could somehow continue on in the dark as they had been. It was the only way she could see them salvaging the fragile friendship they had formed. She knew it wasn't likely though. The admission of strong romantic feelings from one person to another could be devastating to the closest of relationships.
"Special circumstance." Catherine held the lit flame towards Sara who gingerly held the quivering cigarette between her lips. She looked terrible.
And Sara felt as much. She was so washed out and tired. She felt as if she might vomit but knew that she wouldn't. It was like there was something inside that she desperately wanted to get rid of but knew there was nothing she could do. She wasn't in control anymore.
The rush of nicotine into her system made Sara light headed and she sat at the outdoor table. Catherine turned and leaned back on the ledge, deciding not to crowd Sara right now, when what she desperately wanted to do was wipe those tears away and say everything was all right. She knew Sara wouldn't appreciate that at this moment in time.
"Why didn't you tell me? Before now?"
Sara chuckled to herself sadly. "Of course, I could have just saved myself a lot of trouble by walking into work one night and saying, "Hey Cath, what case we got? Oh and by the way, I love you." "
Catherine would have normally bit back at someone so readily willing to dismiss her words, but she saw the sense of it. "You're right, I'm sorry. It was a stupid question. Just seemed fitting." Then she added, "I thought you said you weren't in love?"
"I'm not. It just slipped out. Sorry."
"Don't apologise." Catherine sighed, "So, what do we do now?"
"You're asking me?" said Sara incredulously before downing the rest of her drink.
"You don't really want to talk about this do you?"
"No offence intended but, no."
"None taken, I understand. It's a lot to deal with in such a short time. But we are going to talk about this, and to make sure of that I've left you something on the desk. When you're ready, give it a look. Please."
For the first time in almost twenty minutes Sara looked into Catherine's eyes. "I will."
With that Catherine left.
Sara's eyes fluttered open three hours later. She had fallen asleep shortly after Catherine had gone. She rubbed the last vestiges of unconsciousness away as she went back into her hotel room and shut the door. She walked over to the wardrobe to change for bed but stopped short at the sight of a white envelope on the desk under the mirror. Catherine.
Warily, as if she thought the inoffensive object would explode in her face, she went to pick it up. Sitting on the end of the bed she gently tugged open the seal where the hotel emblem was shown. She must have written it before when she poured the drinks. Sara read the words carefully.
I had the feeling that we wouldn't get anything resolved today, and if you're reading this, I was right. It's something I feel we both need time to think about. I don't know what this means for us yet. It was so unexpected, so sudden but I guess you know that better than me. If I carry on writing I'll just start to ramble so I'm just going to get to the point. I want to meet you tomorrow. I want to spend the day with you. Like a date maybe, if you want to? I thought you could decide what we did in the morning and I could plan the evening. Or the other way around if you prefer. I can't promise you anything and you should understand that before this goes any further, but I really want to spend tomorrow with you.
Tell me what you think,
Sara couldn't believe what she had just read. By the sixth time she put the paper down and let the words sink in. She especially concentrated on "I can't promise you anything." It was all she could do to retain any sort of coherent, rational thought.
"What do I do now?"
As Catherine walked out of the bathroom drying herself off and heading to bed, she noticed something. She picked up the envelope on the floor by the door like the one she'd left for Sara and smiled. But then she started to worry. What if it was bad news? What if she should have been more sensitive and given Sara more time? What if she'd over stepped the mark? What if she'd flown over the mark whilst singing "La cucaracha" waving castanets?! Well, you won't know until you read it will you? she thought as she shook the mental image from her head.
Taking a deep breath Catherine read Sara's words.
It's a date. I'll take the morning. Meet you at 9am in the café on the beach.
Catherine let out her breath as she collapsed back onto the bed.
It was 8.45am. Sara had been sat in the café since it opened stocking up on caffeine. She'd been awake all night. She couldn't believe this was happening and she wouldn't until Catherine walked in through that door.
At 8.45am Catherine left her room, anticipation filling every fibre. She had had to desperately fight the impulse to go down to the café when it opened just to see if Sara was there, but she had prevailed. She didn't want to appear too well she didn't quite know what, but she didn't want to appear it. I wonder if Sara slept any better than I did?
When Catherine entered the café she spotted Sara immediately sat with a cup of coffee and a glass of juice staring off into space.
"I assume that's for me?" Catherine announced her presence.
"Oh, yeah, here," said Sara as she got to her feet and pulled the chair out for Catherine. She sat back in her seat and sent a shy smile Catherine's way. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"
"Oh yeah, for three whole non-consecutive minutes. You?"
"Not at all." Sara gave a small laugh. "You still want to do this?"
Catherine stared oddly at Sara for a moment before reaching over the table and taking the brunette's hand in her own. "Yes, I do."
They remained like that until the waiter brought their breakfasts.
It was early afternoon when the two women began walking down the beach. They had enjoyed a very active morning, tried their hands at water skiing, parasailing and a ride on the banana boat which soon became a competition of who could knock the other one off the most times. Catherine had won. Only because Sara had let her, that was her excuse and she was sticking to it.
When they began walking they where an arms length apart, neither wanting to crowd the other or seem too keen. However as the conversation grew more lively and flirtatious the closer they began to move, their arms brushing past each other, but neither brave enough yet to make solid contact. That was until Sara, on the spare of the moment swayed her hips, bumping into Catherine causing her to stumble into the water. Catherine with an incredulous look scooped some of the salt water into her hands and threw it over at Sara.
Panic overtook her as Sara dropped to her knees and cried out as she clawed at her eyes.
"Sara!" Catherine shouted as she stood over her, pushing back on her shoulders trying to get her to look up. Eventually the brunette did, and much to Catherine's surprise those brown eyes where not bloodshot or watering as she thought they would be. Instead they where glinting in the sunlight. O-oh, Catherine thought to herself deciding there was an urgent need to back away. She did not manage it before Sara shot up from her prone position on the ground, grabbing the blonde by the waist and hauling her unceremoniously over her shoulder.
"Arghhhhh! Sara, put me down. Now!"
"What, I can't hear you. Are you talking to me?" asked Sara whilst spinning around as if Catherine's head would stay in the same place as she scanned for it. "Huh guess not, oh well. Wait for three days to tell me where the air conditioning is will you? Try to tickle me to death?! Payback's a bitch!" She ran out into the water.
Once Catherine felt the buoyancy of the water she found she had the leverage to dive on Sara taking them both crashing down under the foam.
It was now early evening and Sara was waiting at the entrance to the beach. They'd hardly spent any time in the complex all day. Then she spotted her. Catherine was gorgeous any time of the day but at this moment, with the hue of the setting sun bouncing off her skin Sara was speechless. She had no idea what this night would entail, all Catherine had said was to dress comfortably and wear a swimsuit underneath. Catherine had done the same the only difference was that she still looked like a million dollars in her denim cut offs, leaving just enough to the imagination and a white vest top with the black bikini top showing through. Sara took a deep breath, and if only for today, I'm dating her. She smiled brightly as Catherine approached.
"Evening," Catherine murmured as she stepped into Sara's space holding her close, and then backing away to take her hand.
"Hi there." After a moment Sara added, "So, where to?"
"Come with me."
Catherine led the way down the beach. It was so different at night, deserted almost. People at this time where normally going for a meal, putting the kiddies to bed or hitting the bars.
Sara noticed something up ahead. It seemed to be there destination. Either that or Catherine had planned for them to walk all the way home.
"Uh, Cath what's that?"
"That would be a horse Sara."
"Huh, nice. What's it doing here?"
"Well, that one would be yours and this one would be mine," she said stoking the enormous animals neck before graciously climbing on it's back.
"Ummm, would this be a bad time to mention I've never done this before. I'm not even sure I can get on that thing!"
"Course you can, Gregory will help you." the dark skinned man stepped out from behind the horses and tipped his hat towards Sara before offering her his hand. Dubiously she took it sending a wary look at Catherine. She just winked in response. Always knew that face would get me into trouble Sara thought as she pulled herself into the saddle.
"Wow," her full concentration was now on the huge set of shoulders underneath her, trying her best not to fall off. Gregory set off along the sand leading Sara's horse as Catherine rode up beside her.
"Just relax, here take my hand." Carefully Sara did. "That's it, just let your body move with the horse."
Once she had gotten the hang of it Sara was astounded that as an animal lover she had never tried this before. She intertwined her fingers with Catherine's.
Shortly after, they arrived at a long pier with a yacht moored at the end. Catherine dismounted and went around to help Sara down. Then linking her arm she led her down the pier. "This is for us?"
Catherine smiled, "Yep, just for us."
They where welcomed onto the boat by the Captain and shown inside where their table had been laid out for them. Deep red walls and carpet with gold boarders, and the similarly decorated table created a most fitting seductive atmosphere. Candles flickered on the table and from stands on the walls. Soft music played in the background.
Catherine poured the wine before taking her seat opposite Sara. "What do you think?"
"It's amazing. I I guess I never thought you'd go to so much trouble."
"You're worth it." Catherine raised her glass, "To the perfect day."
"The perfect day."
Sara craned her head back into the water and brushed the hair from her face. She leaned back and let the ocean hold her up right. She glanced from the boat, which had set anchor just off shore to the blue sand and palm tree silhouettes over her shoulder. Catherine waded towards her with two more glasses sparkling under the full moon. She gave one to Sara.
"Have you had a good time?"
"It's been wonderful. Embarrassingly so even."
"How so?" queried Catherine.
"Well, this is all so romantic. You've put so much effort into all this, and I," Sara laughed, "I took you water skiing!"
Catherine let her hand stoke down Sara's wet cheek, "And I loved every minute of it." She took Sara's glass from her and let it float in the water. She then held Sara's face with both hands staring at her for the longest time, searching her eyes. She moved her face closer and felt Sara's hitching breath hit her lips.
She barely grazed those lips with her own never letting her gaze move from Sara's eyes. She moved in again, ever so gently, pulling on her top lip. She felt Sara's arms move around her back and let herself be pulled into the strong embrace. Sara's tongue began to run over her mouth and with a moan Catherine opened to her. The kiss was soft, passionate but not urgent. They took their time, both wanting to remember this first taste.
The kiss came to an end. Catherine leaned against Sara as they floated in the water. She rested her head in the crook of Sara's neck, every now and then pressing her lips against the steady, strong pulse as the taller woman caressed her back.
After a while Sara spoke up, "So, what now?"
"I told you," Catherine said looking at her, "Now I've got you, I'm never letting go."
Sara kissed her again.
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