DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of these characters. Sorry for treading on any toes I do it only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I wanted to try something different and this is the result; a story written in the first person. If I tell you who, it will spoil the surprise <g>
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Cheer's Darlin'
By Debbie

Lyrics: "What am I? Here's To You And Your Lover (taken from Cheer's Darlin')"

Forty plus years of age and I've only ever been in love twice: once with my son-of-a-bitch ex-husband and once with this gorgeous creature sitting opposite of me. Sara Sidle, the gorgeous brunette with ebony 'to die for' eyes CSI that I have worked with for the last five years of my life.

Yet, what am I to her other than the woman she bares her soul to more often than not? The friend who is there when she needs to talk through her latest relationship failure. Until recently Sara Sidle went through dates like I went through new outfits.

Looking back over the last five years, I cringe. When she first arrived here to investigate one of our own, I hated her; hated her but noticed her. How could I not? She just had this presence about her. Then, gradually, I realised that her self-controlled persona was just a front for the real Sara Sidle, a woman who was constantly on the look-out for affirmation. That was when I decided to be-friend her. It took a while and we had a rocky path but after Sara had her first disastrous relationship in Vegas, with some Paramedic guy, she began to come over to my way of thinking.

From that moment on we began to meet at least once a week and my desire for her beauty and her love escalated exponentially. And yet all Sara wanted me for was as her confidante, her older, wiser friend, her Mother Confessor.

Why me? Let's just say I've never really found out. Maybe she saw some sort of kindred spirit; after all I'd not long been out of a nasty abusive relationship with my ex.

My ex, until now, the love of my life. The man who gave me a beautiful daughter had dumped me for so many younger models I had given up the ghost and spread my wings. Only to fall for one of those younger models myself. Then, to make matters worse, my ex had managed to get himself killed leaving me surprisingly bereft and my child heartbreakingly fatherless at the age of seven.

Sara, God bless her, was amazing. Supporting both me and my girl at a time when all she really needed was to be supported herself. From that turning point our friendship grew. Sara began to confide in me and I began to dread her admissions. Alone in her own world, I watched as she spiralled out of control, drifting from one aimless relationship to another and down into the depths of a few too many drinks. Oh she was by no means a drunk but she did over-indulge a little. All I could do was listen and be there at the end of each dalliance.

There was the gorgeous curly haired Hispanic, taller than Sara, and with matching ebony eyes. Or so Sara told me, I never met her dates, just heard blow-by-blow accounts of her attraction, capture and loss, over and over again. So, this tall dark eyed beauty, for some reason I got it into my head she was dating Warrick Brown. Boy was I jealous of him, pushing his work to the end of any of my work lists. Then she let it slip, dark eyes was a "her". Not Warrick, not the one, gone.

On and on it went, each time a new suitor came on the scene, I got the impression it was one of our team; Nick, Greg, Archie, I even thought it was Jim Brass at one point. Each time, I realised eventually she was seeing women. So, I finally asked her outright was she lesbian and she succinctly answered yes. It seemed Gil Grissom had been the last male to take her fancy and he had blown his chance years ago. Hank Peddigrew had been her last male partner and she now insisted she knew where her future lay: in the arms of a woman.

So, I had a chance? I joked that Sara was working her way through CSI look-alikes to finally find her one true love, meaning me, of course. No! Sara knew what she wanted and it certainly wasn't me, she had her sights set on the woman of her dreams.

And that brings me to now, for the first time ever Sara wants me to meet her new girlfriend. Something tells me this one is serious and from the nervous glances Sara keeps throwing towards the lobby I think she knows it too.

Last week, on our regular night out, she'd mentioned the 'L' word. Sara Sidle was falling in love and she liked it. I had to agree she looked good on it too. Gone were the dark rings around her eyes and the lack lustre skin, replaced by shiny expressive windows and a glowing healthy complexion. She no longer worked all the hours of a day and occasionally, God forbid, she took her leave days off to spend time with her new woman. Yes, I had to agree, Sara Sidle was in love.

By all accounts, the woman of her dreams was older, blonde, beautiful, very available and more than interested. They were inseparable and together and that hurt. If she'd wanted older all these years, where had I gone wrong?

Suddenly, she jumps up, and rushes for the lobby. I watch her greet the blonde with a powerful hug and their lips meet in an obviously sweet, tender, unhurried kiss. The body language screams "togetherness" and my heart drops, Sara's love is returned ten-fold. My stomach churns as Sara turns towards me and points out our booth, I know in the next few seconds that all my hopes are going to be dashed, I just know.

I look up and there she is, walking towards me with her blonde blue eyed lover. The blonde smiles and nods her head in recognition as she greets me, "Hey Lady, long time no see."

Hugging me, she holds on tight to my Sara. Catherine Willows has finally got what she has wanted for 5 long years: Sara Sidle.

Me, Jacqui Franco, I have to watch from afar and be the friend I have always been to these two wonderful ladies.

The End

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