DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters; they belong to Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This starts with a pre-existing relationship. If you want me to write out what happens in the investigation because it seems really unfinished; let me know. This is my first submission, and I've got more coming. Feedback is always great!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Myck's Nyx
The last print lifted and the last fiber collected, Catherine shut her kit and looked over at the brunette inside the open elevator. She smiled at the tune Sara was humming; it was from an album they had been listening to the day before.
"I'm all done, babe. There were about forty prints outside the elevator and on the doors. A couple fibers, probably nothing probative- I did find some red liquid, negative for blood. How about you?" Catherine leaned into the elevator, not wanting to contaminate the crime scene.
"Got just as many prints and fibers- same thing on the red substance, something like syrup or something. Did you find any velvet?"
"Yeah, blue like a hotel curtain?"
"Maybe what the killer used to transport the body."
"I'll radio the officer, get him to check for rooms with missing curtains." Catherine winked at her co-worker, "Back in a sec, hot lips."
Sara smirked to herself as she packed up her kit.
A minute later, Catherine returned, "Can I step in here or are you still working?"
"No, I'm done. Did you seriously call me 'hot lips'?"
The blonde smiled wickedly, "Don't like it?"
"I didn't say that " Sara chewed her lip, "But at work, Cath?"
Catherine let her gaze rake over her lover. In a long-sleeved black top and her tightest jeans, she looked damn sexy. Her regulation vest was open enough for a sliver of skin to reveal itself between her top and her pants. Yum.
"That's not all we could do at work." The blonde carefully swaggered in.
"Cath " Sara warned.
The older woman pouted as she stepped forward and into Sara's personal space; she tugged on her shirt hem and looked becomingly into the brown eyes above hers, "You really want to say no?" she whispered.
The air went heavy in the room. "Cath " Sara shuddered at the feel of the other woman's breath on her lips, "We can't umm " She floundered, searching for any reason to keep her lover at bay, "The umm the doors are open, the lobby is right outside, anybody- Grissom even, could see us."
Catherine stepped back and sighed, "You're right."
Sara thought she was in the clear, but then those blue eyes flashed suspiciously and Catherine moved to reactivate the electronics on the lift and smiled in satisfaction when the doors closed, swiftly encasing herself and Sara from the outside world. The strawberry blonde turned and raised her eyebrows expressively.
"Any more excuses, hot lips?"
Sara smiled, "I'm all out," she raised her arms out in surrender.
Catherine grinned triumphantly and practically leapt into the dark-haired woman's arms, immediately latching onto her neck.
Caution thrown to the wind, lips met greedily as a denim-clad leg was thrust between two longer ones and two pairs of hands entangled into chocolate and golden hair. Sara grazed Catherine's lips with her teeth and the groan she elicited was enough to make her melt. Pushing harder, she gained entrance to the smaller woman's mouth, softly but forcefully moving her tongue in to taste the woman in her arms.
For her part, Catherine was amazingly aroused. If she was honest with herself, she had been aroused since they had arrived at work and she had had to watch Sara swagger around all night in those jeans. Moving her hands down, she seductively brushed her fingertips against Sara's jaw, her neck, her clavicle, her breastbone. She smirked proudly when Sara arched under touch. But when she pulled her hand back to tease the brunette she was pleasantly surprised; apparently Sara had other plans.
Sara growled in protest when Catherine removed her hands. This woman, this gorgeous, sexy woman had manipulated her into making-out in a crime scene and now she was taunting her? No way. Sara was not about to dance to Catherine's tune. Removing her hands from the shorter woman's hair, she aggressively took hold over her ass, easily hoisting her off the ground.
Catherine grinned. She couldn't always tell what would trigger Sara's dominant side, but was more than happy to hang on for the ride when it surfaced. When she was lifted up, she grunted her approval and crossed her legs behind the taller woman's back. A moment later she grunted again as Sara shifted their positions and pushed the blonde against the wall. Sara grabbed her hands and insistently shoved them up under her shirt.
"Don't fuck with me, Cat." She growled in explanation.
Catherine licked her lips when she felt Sara's hips thrust into her center. Willingly, she gently scratched her way up to Sara breasts, easily unhooking the front-facing clasp.
"Wouldn't dream of it, babe." Sara bit down on Catherine's neck as a fingernail brushed quickly over her nipple, "Is that what you needed, baby?" Catherine asked in a throaty voice before her lips were smashed in a searing kiss.
Catherine continued to trace roughly over Sara's breasts, working her lover into a frenzy. At this point, she was willing to do just about anything as long as it kept the brunette thrusting her hips into her and creating that wonderful heat between her legs.
But right at that moment there was a loud beeping at her thigh; her cell phone going off. Her hands still in the other woman's shirt, she thumped her head against the wall behind her.
"Shit." They groaned in unison.
Neither woman moved more than they had to. Sara maintained her hold on Catherine as she removed one hand and brought the cell phone at her waist to her ear, "Willows."
As close as she was to Catherine, Sara winced when she heard their supervisor's voice on the other side, "Catherine? Grissom. Where are you? You said you'd be back at the parking garage ten minutes ago."
"Uhh, yeah. Sorry," Catherine dropped her head resignedly to Sara's shoulder, "I'm on my way."
"Good. And bring Sara along if she's done with the elevator."
"Gotcha." Catherine snapped her phone shut. "Ah!" she yelled, frustrated.
"You're telling me."
"Are you done with the elevator?"
"No." Sara said, pouting. "But I guess we don't have much of a choice."
Catherine shook her head.
Sighing, Catherine uncrossed her legs so that Sara could let her down. Then she straightened her hair and make-up in the mirror while Sara fixed her shirt. She laughed as she picked up her kit and moved to open the elevator door.
"We were making out with our guns on! That is so a safety hazard."
"We would have had them off soon enough if it wasn't for Grissom." Sara grumbled sullenly.
"Ah, poor baby," Catherine tapped her lover's ass playfully, "Come on, there's only" she looked at her watch, "three hours left of shift. I'll buy you breakfast."
"Nah, this one's on me, babe."
The women kissed softly and squeezed hands before turning to face the elevator doors, "You ready?" Sara asked quietly.
"Let's go, Sidle."
The rest of shift was uneventful, though breakfast the next morning was everything but. Instead of eggs and pancakes, the worked up women opted for a trip to Sara's apartment.
Hours later, Catherine showered and left to pick Lindsey up from school. Sara enjoyed a few more hours sleep and then also showered and dressed before heading into the lab
They met up in the break room two hours into shift, their fingers brushing when Catherine handed Sara a cup of coffee, "Get any more sleep?"
Sara nodded, "A little, you?"
Catherine shook her head, "Lindsey wanted to go out for dinner. She actually wanted to invite you, but I told her I thought you needed a little shut eye."
"Well, thanks for thinking of me," the brunette smiled, "but for the record? Next time, count me in."
"Yeah? Okay, thanks." Knowing that Sara wanted to be involved in Lindsey's life made Catherine's heart soar in a way that told her that this had stopped being about casual sex a long time ago.
"No problem." Sara was excited that Catherine seemed open to the idea of them spending time with Lindsey together. If Catherine trusted her to be in her daughter's life, then maybe this was developing into something concrete, something real.
They were talking quietly when Nick came into the break room waving a file folder, "Hey, you guys coming or what?"
"Archie's page? The missing persons turned DB we pulled at the Bellagio last night? He wants to review the footage from the video camera in the elevator. Says he has news."
Sara went pink as Catherine went pale, "What?!" They yelled.
Nick was understandably confused at their reaction, "Yeah, he and Grissom went over the tape at the start of shift, we were all out on other cases you guys didn't get the page?"
"No, we did." Catherine covered, "We'll meet you there in a sec, okay, Nicky?"
Nick nodded, looking from one female co-worker to the other, "Sure, yeah, alright. See ya'll in a second." And he left.
Catherine turned to Sara. "My office- now."
Sara nodded and silently followed the older woman out of the break room, down the hall, and into her office.
Catherine shut the door behind them, bringing her hand to her head, "Okay "
"Okay, umm shit?" Sara said waving her arms in the air.
Catherine sat down on her small couch and put her head between her legs, "Okay, okay, let's just think about this rationally. Shall we?"
"Rationally? Catherine! How could we possibly forget about the camera? We're about to get fired!"
"We don't know that."
"We got caught, Catherine; on video tape. Making out at a crime scene!"
"Maybe not. I mean, what are the chances we weren't caught on tape?"
"None! I mean, it's possible that the camera wasn't rolling when the power was cut so I could process, but as soon as you tripped it to close the doors " Sara paced as much as she could in the cramped office.
"Maybe Grissom had already had the video tape collected? Or maybe they only looked at the part relevant to the time of the murder."
Sara shook her head, "No, Nick took over processing after we headed back to the lab. If Griss had wanted it collected before that he would have sent you or I to get it. And, Cath, it's Archie- since when does he not check out every possible piece of evidence?"
"Okay, so, there's a pretty good chance we were caught."
"We're going to get fired."
Sara turned her nerves and agitation on Catherine, "How can you be so fucking calm?"
"Well, think about it. Aside from being on the clock, we didn't do anything wrong. We wrapped the scene before we started, so the evidence wasn't contaminated; I have seniority, but I'm not your supervisor. Sara, we didn't break any rules that we can get more than a slap on the wrist for."
"I'm not sure Grissom or Ecklie are going to see it that way. I doubt they'll understand."
Catherine stood, and took Sara's hand, "Then we'll make them understand, babe. We're good criminalists and we're good people. We'll just have to make them see that this was a one time incident and that our relationship is genuine and is not something that's going to affect out careers or interfere with our judgment ever again. We'll tell them it was mistake but that we're committed to this job and we're committed to this relationship."
Sara inhaled sharply and squeezed Catherine's hand.
"What is it, babe?"
"Are we what?"
"Committed to this relationship? We haven't really talked about it. We've been doing this casual dating thing for a few months, but "
"I know." The blonde looked down, gathering her courage, "Sara, I would really like to try and make a go of it, of you and me- if you want, that is."
Catherine gave Sara a guarded look. 'Really?' wasn't exactly a huge vote of confidence.
Sara saw her expression and took her hand in both of hers, "No, Cath. I want this too, I I really care about you I just .trust issues, you know?"
Catherine smiled, relief flooding through her, "I know, babe." She wrapped her arms around Sara and felt like she was floating a few inches higher when Sara returned the embrace.
When they came apart, Sara mumbled awkwardly, "So now what?"
"Now we face the music, babe."
Catherine squeezed her lover's hand, "Ready?"
"Yeah, no wait." Sara pulled Catherine to her, looking in her eyes.
"Sara? What is it, babe?"
Sara touched Catherine's face, "You are so beautiful," she whispered.
Blue eyes studied brown ones, "Sara, you're scaring me."
"No, I just mean before we go out there. I had a weird revelation."
"Catherine, I would choose you over this job. Whatever happens, I thought you should know. Catherine, I love you."
Catherine's heart stopped as those words rang through it, reverberated, and echoed back. "Oh my, God."
"I'm sorry if that scares you. But I only just realized and I thought you deserved to know before we went out there. I love you." Sara began to get nervous when Catherine didn't say anything more. "Cat, it's okay if you can't say it back, I-"
"I love you, too." Catherine spurted.
"I- wait, you what?"
"I love you, Sara."
"Oh my God."
Sara kissed Catherine fiercely, "We can do this."
Catherine smiled lightly and took her love's hand, "Of course we can. No big deal."
With a last squeeze of their joined hands, the two women headed off to the A/V lab.
Entering Archie's lab, they weren't touching in any way, but they were standing so close that the hairs on their arms were straining towards each other. When they walked in and heads turned toward them, only Nick seemed to be still in the dark. Archie gave them a guilty smile and Grissom furrowed his brow in something between worry and disapproval. Sara saw his look and crossed her arms in front of her defensively. Catherine tried to remain cool.
"Okay, you said you found some evidence on the tape? Relevant to our case?"
Archie snickered at this last bit but remained professional, "Yeah, take a look at this."
He fast forwarded the tape, "Now, at 7:15 am, this man checks in with a large black duffle bag."
"The hotel manager identified him as a Graham Forbs." Nick interjected.
"Right, now here's the first thing. Nick said that this guy rented a room on the fourth floor, but check this out; this guy rides the elevator for ten full minutes."
"Where does he get off?" Sara asked, momentarily distracted from her current predicament by her interest in the case.
Catherine smiled; she had always admired Sara's dedication, and now it was something she loved about her.
"Hard to tell. He rides the elevator up fourteen stories and then down at least six, after that, someone is always standing in front of the button panel. My best guess is somewhere around the ninth floor. Okay, here's the next strange thing. He gets off here and then the next time we see him, he's getting on from the fourth floor, he rides it to the lobby, apparently buys something at the gift shop and then returns to the fourth floor."
"But how did he get from the ninth floor to the fourth?"
"And we're sure he didn't use the other elevator?"
Archie nodded, "I went through that tape and there is no sign of him."
"The guy was using the stairs."
Grissom shook his head, "No, there was construction going on in the stairwells of the sixth and seventh floors all last week. We also checked the service elevators, which you have to have a card key to activate, but those are also clear."
"So how was this guy moving around?" Nick asked, "Was he scaling the walls like Spiderman or something?"
Archie shook his head, "I don't know. But I think that however he did it, he must have killed our vic then and left his body in the room. Because then in the morning, we see this."
Everyone watched the screen as a rather tall blonde housekeeper pushed a cart into the elevator.
"Damn, that chick is built like a tank." Nick commented.
"I don't think it's a chick. I think that this is our guy, Graham Forbs. I ran the height and it's the same, I also took the liberty of enlarging the stills. On the bottom of the cart you can see a black duffle bag, and in the trash bag; we may only have black and white, but " Archie zoomed in on the image.
"Velvet hotel curtain. This is how he transported the body in plain sight."
"Yeah, but he messed up. A month ago, the housekeeping staff got all new uniforms; lavender and white instead of the old white and dark green. Forbs' uniform? Matches the old uniforms exactly."
Sara turned to Catherine, "So how does a guy get a hold of an old uniform?"
"Girlfriend, maybe? Or a former employee who didn't hear about the new dress code?" Catherine bounced ideas off the brunette.
"Let's call it out. Forbs checks in, he rides the elevator for ten minutes "
"Gets off at the ninth floor "
"Kills our vic and leaves the body."
"Or takes him on his magical trip from floor nine to floor four."
"Right, he mysteriously gets to his own room. Then he goes downstairs, buys something at the store, goes back upstairs. Does whatever in his room "
"And then plays transvestite and transports the body from the fourth floor to the parking garage where he unceremoniously dumps him and disappears. Where's the uniform? The curtain? Neither were found with the body."
Grissom turned to Nick, "Nick, go back to the hotel. Find out if there is anyway to get between floors that we don't know about; vents, construction shafts; if this guy had a uniform then maybe he knew the building. And check to see what he bought at the store."
Nick saluted with the papers in his hand, "You got it, boss."
As Nick exited the lab, Catherine and Sara felt the room tense with apprehension.
Grissom looked at them, his expression puzzled. As if he couldn't find a way to explain the predicament before him, "Ladies "
Catherine stood up tall. This man was one of her oldest friends and she respected him, but he did not intimidate her, "Gil?" Her tone was defensive.
Grissom saw Archie's expectant face and said, "Why don't we move this to my office, shall we?"
The two women nodded gravely. When Archie stood up to follow them, Grissom shot him a stern look.
In Gil's office, the two women sat down side by side in the chairs facing Grissom's desk. The older man sighed and sat down heavily in his chair. He was silent for awhile. For so long in fact that is began to irk Catherine.
"Gil-" she began.
But she was interrupted, "So, this evening, I got a call from Archie. He said he'd found something interesting on the elevator tape that he thought I should see. I told him I thought it would be better to pass this on to Catherine since she is running primary on the case. But he insisted that I come down to the lab anyway. So, I did, expecting to be filled in on the case."
"Gil-" Catherine began again before she was once again cut off.
"Imagine my surprise, when he doesn't show me film from the time of the crime but from the time when you," he looked at Sara, "were meant to be processing the scene."
"Gil-" Catherine tried a third time.
"At first I thought that Catherine was helping you wrap up, but it became very clear very quickly, that that was not the case." He bit the inside of his cheek and looked at the space between the two women rather than into the eyes of either one. "Would either of you like to tell me what was going on in there?"
Nervous, Catherine had to stifle a giggle. Her mouth twisted in her attempt to hide the smile, "What do you think, Gil?"
"I think I deserver an explanation, Catherine. And I think you don't have the right to take a defensive tone with me right now. How long has this been going on?"
Sara spoke up, "Almost three months."
"Three months?!" Grissom exclaimed, incredulously, "How have you managed to hide this from me for three months?"
"In plain sight, Gil. It's not as if people would believe us if we told them, anyway."
"No, that's true enough." Gil turned to Sara, "What do you have say about this?"
"About what? The incident in the elevator? Or Catherine and mine's relationship? I apologize for the elevator, it was out of line and there was no excuse for it. We have never done anything like that before and we certainly never will again."
"And your relationship?" Grissom wanted to know.
Sara shook her head, "I won't excuse that away. It's none of your business."
"You made it my business as soon as you brought it to work with you. How am I supposed to know that this isn't going to break up the team? We are the second best lab in this country and we are the best team in this lab. What if you fight or break up? Will the team survive that? How can I trust two people who have shown themselves to be less than responsible with company time?"
"Because you know us, Gil." Catherine took control of the conversation, "We aren't just two people. You know Sara. You know me. We are trustworthy people, good people. We made a mistake, but that's all. We can't promise we won't ever fight, but you know we're professional. We've been together for three months and it went undetected. That should tell you that we are still focused. And if you watched that tape, then you know that we wrapped that scene before anything happened."
"And if you break up?" Grissom wanted to know.
Sara sat up a little straighter, "We'll cross that bridge if comes, though I'm not sure it ever will." She looked over at Catherine and beamed, "I love her, Gil."
The blonde smiled as well and took Sara's hand in her own; brushing her lips over the brunette's knuckles lightly. "I love you, too, sweetie," she whispered. When she turned back to Grissom, he could see the light in her eyes; a light her knew he had never seen before. "We're in this for the long haul, Gil. We're going to work really hard to stay together." She frowned at his desk, "We're willing to resign and take other jobs elsewhere if you can't accept us, but we were sort of hoping it wouldn't come to that."
Gil Grissom was silent as he watched the two women in his life. Sara was more at ease than he had ever seen her as she held Catherine's hand in her own. And Catherine looked more alive than he had ever seen her. He sighed and shook his head. Well, he had certainly never seen this coming. When he had watched that tape, he felt for sure that when he talked to them they would have done it as a joke. But here they were saying they were in love and going to live happily ever after. What was a guy supposed to do?
"Well, you're going to have to tell the boys. Keeping this a secret will not help anyone. And I'm going to need to take you both off this case. Even though I already had Archie wipe the end of the tape, I think it's best for everyone. And I suppose that after you go public with this and until the commotion dies down, you'll only be able to work with each other in the lab. The last thing we need is for a defense attorney to argue that evidence you two analyzed is faulty because you're in a relationship." Grissom forced a smile, "If you two can live with those conditions, then I guess the only thing left to say is congratulations."
Sara and Catherine looked at him and then at each other. Was it really that easy? "That's it?" Sara asked, disbelieving.
"What else am I supposed to do? If you left, another lab would snatch you up in a heart beat, not to mention that I could never replace either of you, let alone both."
"So you're okay with this?" Catherine had told Sara that he would be, but she hadn't really believed it herself.
"Not yet," he admitted honestly, "but I will be. You're my two favorite ladies and you deserve every chance at happiness. I'm glad that you've found each other and if I had been paying more attention I think I would not be so surprised now. You actually compliment each other very well."
The two women simultaneously leapt up and embraced each other before running around the table and taking their boss into their hug. Grissom swatted them away and brushed off their 'thank you's, telling them to try and be a bit more professional. But they were so happy that they didn't pay him any attention.
Telling the boys went over just as well. They were thoroughly surprised, but they were happy for them. Lindsey was over the moon and Catherine's sister was also supportive.
It surprised the women how easy their relationship developed after that. Sara became a permanent fixture in Lindsey's life, coming to mean more to her than her own father ever had because she was loving and doting, but also responsible and supportive. Catherine learned more and more about the woman she loved, finally peeling her layers back far enough to discover the secrets of the abuse she suffered through her childhood and adolescence.
About six months after the 'Great Elevator Disaster' as it came to be known, Sara moved in with her family and sold her apartment. It was the only logical step forward. Three months later, the younger woman asked her lover for a wedding and they were married. Lindsey was adopted and even came to call Sara her other 'mom'.
The women were truly content with their lives, something neither of them could remember having been before. They still fought, but never like they had before and they always made up. Overtime, they realized that getting caught had been exactly what they had needed to push forward in their relationship and if they hadn't, they might never have admitted their true feelings and found exactly what they had been looking for all their lives.
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