DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for the first International Day of Femslash.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
"Sara, I don't think I can do this anymore" Catherine's voice was low; quiet.
Sara nodded, sliding over away from Catherine and turning her back to her blonde lover, sitting on the edge of the bed as she contemplated what had been; what Catherine had just ended. "Ok," she answered, feeling she should say something.
"Ok, that's it? Ok?" Catherine asked incredulously, sitting up and pulling the sheet up with her to cover herself.
"Yeah, what else did you want me to say?" Sara asked, still refusing to look at Catherine. For a moment Sara lost control, and she started sliding down into her head. She remembered this scene, over and over. With each different lover she had had there had always been a parting of ways; this was theirs.
"Fuck, I don't know." Catherine sighed, bringing Sara back to the present. "Something, anything don't you even want to know why?"
Sara shrugged, "Does it matter?" the question was rhetorical, it didn't require an answer.
"I'd like to fucking think so," Catherine muttered, her voice a growl more than anything else.
"Why?" Sara was confused, she made the mistake of glancing over her shoulder to look at Catherine and immediately she felt the stab of pain. She wouldn't admit it, but if you could read Sara's heart you would know she was in love with this woman. Truly head over heels in love. That was probably the reason she said what she did, more to remind herself of the fact than to remind Catherine, "We were just fucking Cath, it didn't mean anything. It was just casual sex. I was expecting this months ago, truthfully."
Catherine sighed, frustrated, over the past few weeks she had been watching Sara, trying to see if she could read something in the brunette's body language to tell her that Sara felt as strongly about her as she did about her. Eventually she had given up, deciding that tonight would be the last night of this benefits scheme they had going, one way or another. "Months huh? Why?" she studied Sara carefully, "You were seriously expecting me to drop you when you've given me some of the best orgasms of my life? In fact, I think you hold the record for the best that time in the cabin " she smiled wickedly as she straddled the younger woman, brushing her thumbs lightly over Sara's breasts, hoping to extract some sort of reaction.
Sara raised her eyebrows, "Really?" she allowed herself a small smile for that victory, "Well, isn't that what you're doing now? Dropping me?" her shoulders were hunched over, her eyes dark and sad. Catherine felt her heart squeeze painfully as she wished she could take all the young woman's burdens away.
"Not at all," she whispered. "I said I couldn't do this anymore. That doesn't mean I don't want you." Catherine winced as she saw Sara's confusion grow. Again she found herself wondering how this amazing woman could have the self confidence of a gnat. "What I'm trying to say, Sara, is I think I'm in love with you."
Sara frowned, Catherine's statement doing nothing to ease the growing headache. How? How could this be possible; that the most beautiful woman in the entire world loved her? This had to be some sort of time-space-continuum paradox.
"Damn it Sara, look at me," Catherine growled, vowing to herself that if she ever learned who had reduced Sara to this she would flay them alive. "I love you, ok? You are the most beautiful, kind, caring, wonderful woman I have ever met. You make me laugh so hard I cry, you make me smile when I need it the most, you are always there for me whatever I need and I. Want. You."
Sara glanced down, watching her hand playing with the sheets for a moment, "I love you Cath," she whispered. She felt Catherine's finger caress her face before she tipped her chin up. Sara found her breath taken away as she saw the radiant smile on Catherine's lips.
"See, that's what I mean," Catherine whispered leaning in and pressing her lips up against Sara's lightly. "I told you I loved you, and instead of saying 'me too' you just said the same thing straight back. It wasn't an inclusive, it was unconditional."
Sara nodded, but she was still confused. She probably owed Catherine some sort of explanation. Regardless of whether she actually owed it to the blonde, she knew she owed it to herself. This relationship couldn't go anywhere if there were secrets between them, and Sara so desperately wanted it to go somewhere. She opened her mouth to try and explain, but she found that her entire body had seized up in fear; once Catherine knew, she would run, and then Sara would be alone.
"Baby, it's ok, you don't have to," Catherine whispered, feeling her lover start to shake beneath her.
"No, I do," Sara growled. "I just it's so hard for me to believe that someone like you could love someone like me."
Catherine chuckled lightly, though she felt anything but inside. Truthfully she wanted to murder someone. "You know, I can't recall how many times I've thought the same thing. That's probably why it took me so long to tell you."
Sara swallowed the lump in her throat, and forced herself to continue. "I guess I guess I'm not really used to the whole the whole love thing. No one's ever said that to me before." She whispered.
"Well, I am going to tell you every day," Catherine declared adamantly, "At least five times, I promise."
Sara smiled, her fingers stroking over Catherine's thigh as her heart lifted, making her feel giddy, light, and free for the first time in her life. "Ok." She nodded, happily. "But there's some things you should know about me first, before you start promising things." She paused, glancing down again and trailing her fingers all the way along Catherine's leg and then back up again. "My father was abusive to both me and my mother. In turn my mother abused me. They got drunk, and high, and then there was the beatings, and the screaming then, one night, my mother killed my father. She stabbed him to death with a kitchen knife. I remember little bits from that night mostly the blood and the woman who took me away to the foster home." The words just kept spilling out, and Sara couldn't have stopped them if she tried. "I guess that's why I'm a bit messed up," she shrugged, just waiting until Catherine pushed her away and set about gather her clothes, telling Sara she never wanted to see her again, and she certainly didn't want her near her daughter.
But it never came. Catherine stayed right where she was, just waiting for Sara to meet her gaze. When the brunette finally did lift her eyes she saw the unshed tears glistening in the blue pools.
Suddenly Sara's lips were engaged in a hot, searing kiss. All her doubts melted away in the face of this passionate declaration of love. They'd come back, but for now she was safe, and loved.
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