DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Girls' Night Out
By Ann


"Whose bright idea was it to meet at a strip club?" Sara asked her lover, seemingly unhappy with the location; however, her actions belied her words as she desperately tried to keep her eyes trained on the blonde's baby blues instead of the pole dancer's amazing display of flexibility.

Grinning at the brunette's poor attempt to stay focused on the conversation, Sofia replied, "Actually, it was Wendy's. I think she wanted to see first hand what Catherine used to do for a living. I'd imagine Catherine will be the only one truly upset with our meeting place."

Sara opened her mouth to protest that she, too, had a problem with the strip club, but instead, the brunette went slack-jawed when the very agile dancer slid her leg straight up the pole while moving into a back bend. The amount of cleavage being displayed was enough to cause the investigator to plop down into the nearest chair, no longer caring if her lover caught her ogling the well-endowed performer.

Before Sofia could tease the brunette, a good-humored Wendy joined the pair, interrupting the blonde from responding to Sara's reaction. The doe-eyed DNA specialist greeted the two women and immediately noticed the CSI's lack of attention. Turning, she followed the investigator's gaze and instantly zoomed in on the cause of her distraction.

"Whoa. Would you look at that?" Wendy blurted, taking the seat next to Sara and watching in rapt fascination as the dancer smiled saucily at the two spellbound women.

Feeling like the odd man out, Sofia quickly took a seat on the other side of her lover and turned her focus on the stage, deciding she may as well enjoy a little eye candy, too. The three women were so engrossed in the tantalizing pole dance that none of them noticed the new arrival.

Stepping next to the table, Catherine cringed when she recognized the familiar routine being performed rather spectacularly by the slender dancer. She just hoped Wendy didn't get any bright ideas and expect her to put on a private show as it had been way too many years since the redhead had performed anything remotely resembling the display being put on by the young, pert dancer.

The age difference Catherine often worried about made its way front and center as she watched her lover watch the dancer. Feelings of doubts crept into the investigator, and she began to wonder what Wendy could possibly see in her, especially since there were so many younger, available women that the brunette could date. Once again, Catherine cursed herself for agreeing to meet her lover and friends at a place where they'd be surrounded by the constant reminder of how much she'd aged since her dancing days.

Lost in her thoughts, the redhead almost missed Wendy's enthusiastic greeting, "Hey, Catherine. Come join us."

Standing the young woman pulled out a chair for her lover as Sara and Sofia extended their greetings. Only Sara seemed to notice Catherine's discomfort, and she made a mental note to talk to the redhead if she didn't snap out of her preoccupation soon.

At the sultry dance's conclusion, Sofia volunteered to buy the first round of drinks, and Wendy offered her assistance in carrying the glasses back to the table. Sara and Catherine each gave their order, and their two lovers smiled and turned towards the bar.

The minute they were out of earshot, Sara asked, "Hey, Cath. You look out of sorts. What gives?"

"Huh? Oh, nothing really," the redhead answered, turning her attention to the new dancer as the beat of the song changed to a more salsa tempo, and the investigator visibly grimaced when she noted an even younger, more beautiful dancer take the stage.

"Nothing, my eye," Sara began, suddenly noticing her friend's expression as she watched the semi-clad dancer move around the stage. "Oh… I see what's eating you."

Blue eyes swung to meet dark ones, and Catherine protested, "Sara, I said nothing is wrong, so just drop it."

Maintaining eye contact, Sara replied softly, "You're worried that Wendy is going to see all these beautiful women and not want you anymore. Right?"

"Aren't you worried that Sofia will decide she wants to try a younger model?" Catherine argued, almost as if she were trying to pick a fight with her colleague.

Smiling sadly, Sara offered, "Catherine, that's a constant fear of mine, but if I allow myself to give the thought any credibility, then I've already lost her. I'm not willing to give her up without a fight. Neither should you as far as Wendy's concerned."

Glancing over to make sure her lover was still occupied at the bar, Catherine confessed, "I can't help it, Sara. I've been so happy lately that I keep expecting the bottom to fall out. I almost died when Wendy suggested coming to a strip club for our weekly night out with you guys. I've been dreading this night when my old world meets my new one."

"Oh, c'mon, Catherine. These girls aren't any competition for you. Wendy loves you. She doesn't want anyone younger or older; she just wants you," Sara explained, pleased when the redhead seemed to be contemplating her words.

"I'm being silly, aren't I?" Catherine asked after a few moments of thoughtful consideration.

"Yes, you are. Now, what do you say we enjoy tonight? You can critique the dancing, and the rest of us will offer commentary on the question of the evening. Are they real or are they enhanced?"

Catherine burst out in laughter just as Sofia and Wendy returned to the table. Handing her lover her drink, Wendy asked, "What did we miss?"

Smiling broadly, Catherine replied, "We were just discussing art."

Taking the seat next to the redhead, Wendy smiled and gestured to the stage, immediately asking different questions about the current dancer. With the other women focused elsewhere, Sofia took the opportunity to whisper in her lover's ear, "Art?"

Sara took a sip of her drink and smiled, saying softly, "First, we talked about the art of love, and then we moved on to the difference between authentic versus fake copies."

Glancing back to the stage, Sofia grinned and replied, "Well, those certainly aren't real."

Overhearing the comment, Catherine and Wendy chuckled as they focused on the subjects in question before offering their opinion on the dancer's anatomy. Listening to her lover's commentary of how she'd take real over enhancements any day, Catherine decided Sara was right. She needed to take her relationship with Wendy at face value and not go looking for trouble.

The rest of the evening was filled with laughter and creative comments, and soon, Catherine relaxed against her lover, no longer worried about losing her to another woman.

Seeing her friend's change of attitude, Sara winked and shared a knowing smile with her lover, deciding things couldn't get any better than this; however, her view didn't seem to be shared by Wendy as the young brunette suddenly asked, "How much do one of those poles cost?"

Laughing, Sofia replied, "More than a pair of handcuffs, that's for sure."

"Oh, really. And what do handcuffs have to do with anything?" Catherine asked teasingly.

"Assuming Wendy was thinking about having a pole put in her bedroom to enhance your sex life, I was just suggesting you two consider investing in a pair of handcuffs or two. You're not so limited with their usage," Sofia answered matter-of-factly.

"Sofia! Don't be telling our secrets," Sara protested, and then added cheekily, "Well, not all of them anyway."

The foursome burst out in laughter and continued their playful banter over another few rounds of drink as they entered into a naming game of 101 uses of handcuffs. They'd just gotten to number 50 when a chorus of cheers sounded in the strip club, and four heads turned towards the darkened stage.

A spotlight shown on a decorated pole, and a hush fell over the room. The soft refrains of the music grew in intensity as a tall, blonde woman, dressed in leather from head to toe, stepped into the bright light. A second woman meekly followed the first, and she took her place beside the pole, never raising her head.

The first dancer moved around the other in a slow, seductive dance, and the ringside table of friends watched in fascination as a pair of shiny handcuffs suddenly appeared in the tall woman's grasp.

Keeping her eyes glued to the stage, Sofia leaned forward and whispered, "Hey, Catherine, you never did say. How much do one of those poles cost anyway?"

Two other sets of ears as well as several pair from the nearby table tuned in to the question and eagerly awaited the redhead's response; each listener already having a dollar figure in mind for which they'd be willing to part with.

Catching a glint from the stage, Sofia looked back at the performers and raised her brow as the tall woman fastened the shorter one's wrist to the pole. Uses number 51, 52, and 53 immediately came to mind, and the detective vowed right then and there to get a pole of her very own; cost be damned.

Across the table, Wendy had come to the same conclusion as she came up with a few new uses of her own. Pulling her lover near, she nuzzled the redhead's ear and softly whispered her ideas.

Catherine smiled and nodded her head in agreement, realizing that maybe it hadn't been such a terrible idea to come to the strip joint for their girls' night out after all.

The End

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