DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to the brilliant mrswoman for working her magic and beta'ing this fic for me. You worked overtime on this to help me finish and I am very grateful to you for your insights and encouragement.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To wk.piper[at]hotmail.com

A Helping Hand
By Wend


They had been bickering constantly over the last two weeks, each argument getting more and more heated until, tonight; Grissom had called them into his office and told them that until they worked out their differences they were going to be partnered up. Raising his hand at the immediate protests from both women he had said 'it's not a discussion ladies, from tonight you are joined at the hip until this is resolved!'

In the house where her and Sara were working, the unmistakable thud of a body hitting a wall, followed by a yelp, and the sound of a body landing on the floor followed by the sickening snap of bone assaulted Catherine's ears as she ran up the stairs with her sidearm drawn.

"Sara!!" Catherine shouted.

Sara had taken the upper floor as Catherine did a walk through on the ground level. The scene was a mess; it looked like the husband had brutally beaten his wife and two children with a baseball bat and fled. The neighbours had given statements that he had previously beaten his wife and that he would regularly bully her and his children, none of them had come to the families rescue, and finally, tragedy had struck.

Brass and two uniformed officers scrambled to catch up with Catherine as she stormed the stairs. She knew what she would find and prayed that Sara was still alive. She knew intimately the sounds of someone being beaten as her married life was littered with such scenes.

Rounding a corner she took in the horrific, terrifying sight of a 6'3" man about to swing a baseball bat at Sara's unconscious body.

"Freeze! Put the bat down! Stop now or I'll shoot!" Catherine shouted. Her arms out stretched but slightly bent at the elbows, her weapon cradled firmly in her hands. Eyes locked on to the unstable man as he now turned towards her, she took in the wild look in his eyes and knew that he was high, and that she had seconds to try to reach him before he lost it completely endangering Sara's and her life.

"BITCH! LIE AND CHEAT ON ME WOULD YA!" the man screamed, turning back to swing the bat at Sara lying on the ground. Catherine fired two shots, one to his right shoulder and the other to his left hip; his body crumpling beside the young CSI, the bat now useless on the floor as he dropped it on the way down.

Catherine ran to Sara's side, falling to her knees she kept her weapon trained on the fallen man as Brass and the officers finally arrived to further subdue the husband.

"Sara, Sara, can you hear me, honey. Oh God, please Sa-ra…" Catherine whispered brokenly to the young woman, her hands now cradling Sara's head as she desperately tried to get a response. After checking Sara's throat for a pulse, she glanced down at Sara's arm bent in an unnatural position clearly showing a break in the bones of her right forearm.

In the background Catherine vaguely heard Brass urgently request a medic and then tell his men to take the 'scum' to get checked out and not let him out of their sight.

"Catherine, Catherine, let her go; come on, let the medic's take care of her." Brass' voice was low in her ear as his comforting arms guided Catherine away from Sara's side, tightening when she struggled slightly. Pulling her into his arms he carefully took her weapon and handed it off to a nearby officer and told her to bag it for the officer-involved-shooting enquiry.

With Catherine shaking in his arms he kept a close eye on the two medics who were hovering over Sara. Watching as they carefully checked her over, stabilising her head and arm before loading her gently on to a gurney and strapping her on for transport.

As they started to wheel Sara from the room Catherine broke through her shock and immediately followed. She muttered to Brass that she was going to the hospital with Sara and that Grissom could send someone else over to process the scene.

The ride to the hospital was a blur, as was the following hours waiting to find out how Sara's condition. Catherine menaced and growled at the staff until a senior doctor finally allowed her to sit in Sara's room. Catherine stood at the door and gasped as she took in the pale complexion of the young CSI as she laid on the semi-reclined bed, her arm in a cast and a drip feeding into the other. Catherine slowly made her way to the left side of Sara's bed and gently grasped her hand being careful of the needle feeding her fluids and medication.

"Oh, Sara, please wake up." Catherine's voice was loud in the silent room. She drew up a chair; leaning forward, she rested her head on the bed and closed her eyes, never letting go of Sara's hand. For another couple of hours the two women slept, one medicated and the other through stressful exhaustion.

"Catherine." The deep voice startled Catherine out of her light sleep. Raising her head she looked over and saw Warrick and Nick hovering in the doorway. Beckoning them in she sat up straight and watched their approach, Warrick moving to her side and leaning down to give her a hug. Nick stood silently on the other side of the bed, tears shimmering in his eyes as he looked down upon the bruised face of the woman he had come to love as a sister.

"What happened, Cath?" he asked. His hands closing into tight fists, his jaw clenching as anger built up in his chest wanting to explode over who had hurt his friend.

"They told us that the place had been cleared, they said that they had checked." Catherine shook as she started to tell them what she knew.

"Son of a…" Warrick started as he realised that the two women had been in danger because the officers had not done their job and Sara had been hurt.

"I've suspended them and brought charges up for negligence," Brass said as he walked into the room. The three CSI's started as he continued, "And the scum bag is down the hall with four of my meanest officers on watch." An evil grin broke his face as he recalled that one of them had 'accidentally' bumped the perps head on the roof of the patrol car; the 'bump' breaking his nose when they'd 'helped' him into the back of the car which transported him to the hospital forgoing the need for an ambulance. Sara had a lot of friends on the force and they were now lining up to have five minutes alone with the guy who beat her.

As the three men slowly filed out of the room to talk in the hallway, Catherine sank back down into the chair and absently allowed her thumb to stroke Sara's soft skin. She had always loved Sara's hands, they were strong and yet feminine. Catherine loved to watch Sara handle the most butch tools in the lab's garage as she broke down the vehicles brought in for evidence. She also loved it when Sara was using the most delicate of the lab's analysis equipment; her touch light and deft as she worked the evidence into giving up its story.

Closing her eyes once more she drifted back into a light doze. Her sleep only disturbed when she felt Sara's hand tighten around hers slightly. Catherine's eyes slowly moved from the hand clasped in hers up to Sara's face. She held her breath as with a slight moan Sara's eyelids began to open, her body tensing as if to rise. Catherine flew from the chair and with her free hand gently placed her hand on Sara's shoulder to hold her down on the pillows.

"Easy Sara, you're safe now, just let yourself wake up and we'll sort everything out," Catherine said, her voice rough with sleep.

"Wha…Where did he come from? What did he hit me with? I feel like I've been run over. Where's the damn Doctor, when can I go home? I need to get out of here." Sara's mind caught up quickly as the questions flew from her lips. She tried to reach across to remove the drip and discovered her immobile arm, the cast running from halfway down her biceps to her hand.

"Hold it right there, Missy, you just settle down and I'll answer each of your questions," Catherine said firmly. Her tone brooked no argument. Watching as Sara tested her new-found disability, she waited until Sara's eyes met hers. Seeing anguish in her eyes Catherine's fingers tightened around Sara's fractionally as she tried to comfort the young woman.

"Sara, the husband had not left the scene, the uniforms missed him. He may have been hiding in the kids' room and he attacked you with the murder weapon. It was a baseball bat and I think he must be on drugs because, when I got to you, he was screaming about you cheating on him, he was psychotic. He was standing over you about to swing the bat again; I had to do something.

"How did you talk him round? Was Brass there? Were you in danger, Cat? The pet name slipped easily from Sara's lips as she interrupted. Her body stilled and she blurted out, "I heard a voice while I was doing my walk through, he said something about a tasty blonde. I remember now, he was looking down at you from the hallway before he saw me, he was so fast. I couldn't do anything; I tried to call out but he grabbed me with one hand and threw me against the wall. Damn he was strong; I didn't even have time to reach for my weapon." Sara whispered to herself as the memories came flashing through her mind.

"I shot him… twice," Catherine said. "I tried to talk him away from you but he was going to take another swing with that damned bat. I don't even remember pulling the trigger. I don't remember anything but seeing you on the floor and him standing over you. I couldn't let…I couldn't let him hurt you anymore." Tears streaming down Catherine's face attested to the shock now coming out. Her slender frame shaking as Sara slipped her hand from Catherine's and carefully held her arm out welcoming the older woman into the shelter of her body. Catherine bent over and buried her head in Sara's neck, taking comfort from the gentle kisses placed on her forehead, the strong arm around her shoulders, and the steady pulse beneath her lips.

"What do you think you're doing!" A sharp tone sounded from the door. "Get up now, you can't do that sort of thing in here!"

Both women on the bed looked over and saw a hard faced nurse bustle over to the bed, trying to shoo Catherine from her safe harbour.

"Back off, Nurse Ratchet!" Sara barked her eyes flashing in warning. The intensity of the young woman's stare halted the nurse in her tracks.

"Well, I never!" The Nurse placed a hand to her chest, her face indignant.

"That's obvious," Sara said caustically; loving the feel of Catherine resting against her.

Catherine chuckled at the comic look on the Nurse's face and Sara's comments. Standing back up Catherine wiped the tears from her face.

"Ma'am, you have something to say, you'd better say it now because you have the wrong attitude to be working with people in the 21st century and when I'm finished with you, you will be lucky to be wiping up puke in the ER until you retire." With every word Catherine's voice gained strength and volume; her body rigid with anger as she walked round the bed to stalk the old hag.

"Now, you can't talk to me that way. I'll have you thrown from the hospital." The Nurse said backing up as Catherine approached.

"What's going on here?" A new voice called from the door. The tone deep and commanding, everyone in the room froze. A tall dark haired, blue eyed woman wearing a lab coat, stethoscope and holding a chart entered the room.

"Well?" One perfectly shaped brow raised as she waited for an answer.

"Doctor Lewis, they were laying in bed together doing unnatural things when I came in to check the patient." Nurse Ratchet said, her arm raised with a finger pointing in accusation at Catherine and Sara.

Taking one look at the other women, the Doctor ordered the Nurse from the room. Shutting the door she made her way to Sara's bedside.

"Hi, I'm Doctor Cameron Lewis, I'm sorry you had to deal with Nurse Briggs I'll make sure she's reassigned to another patient. Now Miss Sidle I'd like to check you over, if that's ok?"

"Sure and then I can leave right? I mean, I feel fine and I want to get as far away from that homophobic asshole as possible. I mean Catherine and I are not even together in any sense of the word apart from work. I mean we are great at work, no team can beat us." Sara trailed off blushing.

"Sara! You will stay here and not try to bully your way out," Catherine snapped, taking Sara's hand once more.

Sara looked up at Catherine sharply and saw that she was in full Mom mode and knew that she would not win this argument. Grumbling she settled back against the pillows and watched as the tall Doctor approached.

Doctor Lewis connected Sara up to the heart monitor by the bed and turned to Sara, cupping her chin, she checked Sara's pupils with her penlight and asked a few simple questions, age, what year it was, and who's the current President.

In the meantime, Catherine was processing the interaction before her and thinking of what Sara had said about them not being together. She felt sad that this was true because she had been thinking, since seeing that man standing over Sara's crumpled body, that she wanted…no, needed Sara in her life. She knew that she had been pushing the younger woman away out of fear. She feared the intensity of feelings that she had suppressed for the young woman. Unconsciously, she started to stroke Sara's wrist, only to freeze when a loud fast beeping broke through her thoughts.

"Not together, huh?" Cameron chuckled as Sara blushed and Catherine smiled slow and sexy at the young woman on the bed. Sara gulped, her eyes widening as the heart monitor gave her away again.

"Get this damn thing off me," Sara growled, unable to disconnect the monitor herself as Catherine tightened her grip on Sara's good hand.

Taking pity on the young woman Cameron disconnected the heart monitor and, after marking the results of her examination on Sara's chart, she looked at the two waiting women.

"Ok, here's the deal, Sara. You took quite a beating; your right arm was broken and we had to reset the bone and cast almost your whole arm to stabilise it. The left side of your ribs are badly bruised, you have a mild concussion, and multiple bruises all over. Basically, you are a mess. Now, I'd like to keep you in for another couple of days." Raising her hand as Sara's mouth opened to protest. "Can it, Sidle, I know from your admission form that you live alone." At this her piercing blue eyes flicked to Catherine. "And the only way I'd let you out of here is under strict supervision of someone who could handle you."

Squeezing Sara's hand when she felt the young woman about to blast the Doctor, Catherine halted her protests once more as she threw in her suggestion.

"I can handle her, and she'll be staying with me until she's better," Catherine stated.

"Hey, I can take care of myself," came the indignant retort from the beaten woman.

Ignoring Sara's protests the Doctor beckoned Catherine out into the hallway to give her a quick rundown on what Sara's meds and needs would be in the next few days. All of a sudden her face just stilled, and she mumbled, "Oh, my Goddess."

"Huh?" Catherine looked up and then followed the Doctors eyes to land on Detective Sofia Curtis strutting towards them, dark aviator glasses on and tooth pick in place. The glint from the gold badge on her belt was drawing attention to the weapon on her hip.

"What I wouldn't give to have her on my examining table for an hour or so." Cameron murmured to herself watching as the fit blonde woman grabbed her attention, her gaydar beeping madly.

"Sofia. What are you doing here?" Catherine said while shooting a glance at the now silent Doctor.

"I heard about Sara and thought I'd come see how she's doing? Nice take down by the way. My sources in IAD told me that they're going to shut the OIS file as justified." Sofia took her sunglasses off and her eyes locked curiously on the silent Doctor.

Catherine looked between the two women, the attraction between them electrifying the air. Smirking, she nudged Sofia slightly to break her stare, happy that her friend was showing interest in the Doctor. Catherine knew that Sofia's ex-girlfriend had done a number on her fragile heart; maybe things were looking up.

"Thanks, Sofia, Doctor Lewis was just telling me what I need to know about Sara's aftercare when I get her home."

"Really? She can go home today? I heard she was in a bad way." Sofia asked, concerned for her friend.

Clearing her throat, Cameron said, "Yes, I'm releasing her today. She's completely lucid, I found no internal haemorrhaging and I think Catherine here is more than a match for her if she over does things."

"What about Lindsey, Cath? How are you going to handle the pair of them?" Sofia checked.

"Lindsey is away with my Mother for the next month so it shouldn't be a problem." Seeing the young Detective stretch and grimace slightly Catherine asked, "How's the back, Sofe? Still hurting? Cameron, can you have a look? Sofia hurt her back chasing a perp down a few days ago and robocop here won't get it treated." She smiles inwardly as she thought to kill two birds with one stone by getting them alone together.

"Sure, I have as little time before I have to complete my rounds, Detective. Why don't I have a look and see if there's anything I can do to help?" Cameron gently grasped the young woman's arm before she could form a protest and guided her to a nearby treatment room. Catherine looked on as Sofia was taken in hand by the commanding Doctor; she smirked and headed back into Sara's room to tell her of the potential budding new romance.

"Uh, Catherine…I umm, ok." Sofia gave in to the gentle hand grasping her arm and pulling her into an exam room.

"You don't need to do this. I mean it's not that bad." Sofia backed up as Cameron shut the door and approached the nervous Detective. As the bed hit the tender spot on Sofia's back the young Detective had to bite back a yelp.

Taking a chance that Sofia wouldn't mind if she played a little of a flirtatious game, the doctor stopped directly in front of the now trapped woman and raised her hand; she traced the collar of Sofia's shirt down to the first fastened button. "Are you going to take this off or am I?"

A dark brow raised in question as Sofia felt a blush as the Doctor's deep rich voice washed over her; her body reacting in some very obvious ways. Her nipples hardened as the doctor played with the button on her shirt and she felt her core tighten at the thought of Cameron stripping her.

Seeing Sofia's hands grip the bed either side of her Cameron smiled sexily at the Detective but stopped herself short of actually going any further; no matter how much she wanted this, she had to maintain a modicum of professional behaviour Mind, that didn't mean she couldn't ask the questions. Taking a deep breath Cameron asked, "So, Detective, are you seeing anyone special?"

"Na…no," Sofia stuttered. She locked eyes with the doctor as she slowly and teasingly spread her shirt open, gently guiding it down over her shoulders.

Sofia smirked as she watched Cameron's eyes take in the firm, muscled stomach and up to the lacy bra cupping Sofia's breasts, the thin fabric doing nothing to hide her erect nipples or the blush colouring Sofia's face and spreading down to her chest.

"You know I usually get taken out to dinner before a woman gets me to strip," Sofia said trying to lighten the situation.

"My shift is nearly over, you can wait for me," (Thought the situation called for a command rather than a question *g*) Cameron said as she turned Sofia around and gently manipulated her back, being careful of the dark mass of bruises. "So, are you going to tell me how this happened?"

Tracing the edge of Sofia's bra, she asked, "May I take this off, it will help me." Seeing the detective's small nod of acceptance, Cameron's fingers undid the clasp and then gently pushed the straps over Sofia's shoulders.

Feeling her bra open and the fabric slip away Sofia gulped audibly. Cameron's soft fingertips now swept softly over the tender flesh of the young Detectives bruised back. Moving in closer she tested mobility and alignment pressing her thumbs either side of Sofia's spine. "Well, are you going to explain how your back got in this mess, Detective?" The low tones were said scant inches from Sofia's ear as Cameron had moved in close; the heat from her body now affecting the young woman, her body tremors exposing her reactions to the Doctor.

"Uh, well, as Catherine said, there was a chase, he ran, I ran faster. He resisted and I ended up sandwiched between him and a car. The car ended up a little dented and he pissed me off, anyway he's now in a cell and I'm on the mend. I hope!" Sofia spoke through gritted teeth as the Doctor's touch alternated between pain and pleasure. " So, Doc, will I live?"

"Yes, but you do need to rest, Detective. I'll write you a script for some mild painkillers. Take two every four hours if you need them. Oh, and Sofia…" the Doctor said, now standing very close, her hands gripping the young woman's hips, "until your bruising subsides try to avoid being on your back and… um, well, you know, you'll need to be on top." There was a teasing tone in the doctor's voice.

Sofia gasped as a vision of the Doctor below her in bed flashed through her mind. Shifting slightly to move out of the Doctor's grasp Sofia picked up her shirt and slipped the soft cotton over her shoulders; then, looking into Cameron's piercing blue eyes, she said, "I wouldn't have it any other way." Smirking, Sofia picked up her bra and the prescription; she tucked them into her pocket. Walking to the door, she turned, "I'll be here until Sara is discharged." With that Sofia opened the door and disappeared from sight.

Cameron smiled and nodded, her mind now racing and she was looking forward to the end of her shift. Things were looking good. Now she had a patient to discharge into the care of her own sexy blonde.

Sofia stood in the doorway to Sara's room and took in the quiet murmuring between the two occupants, her eyes tracking every shy glance and gentle touch. Clearing her throat, she entered, as two pairs of eyes swung in her direction.

"Hey, Sidle, I was told you were skiving while on duty?" Sofia jested with a wink to Catherine showing that she was joking with the injured CSI.

"Screw you, Curtis, why don't you go play with the traffic again. Maybe this time when you bounce on a car it'll knock some sense into your head!" Sara shot back with a smirk.

"How you really doing, kiddo? You had us all worried for a second there. Good job Annie Oakly was there to back you up!" the Detective said. "So I hear you're breaking out and going on the lam with Catherine."

"Umm, well I'm trying to convince Catherine that all I really need is for her to get me out of here then I can go back to my own apartment and look after myself. I've done it before and I can do it again," sthe stubborn young woman.

"No way, Sara, you are coming home with me and that's final!" Catherine growled.

"Uh!" was all that Sara managed to say before the Doctor strode into the room.

"Ok, Miss Sidle. We are ready to release you into the capable hands of your partner and I do stress that I'll be calling your Supervisor to ensure you don't sneak back to work too early. In fact, Mr Grissom…that's his name, isn't it? He has kindly left his number and, rest assured Miss Sidle, I WILL be using it!" Cameron said while writing on Sara's chart.

"Oh, and Detective… don't be late," Cameron purred in Sofia's ear as she passed the blonde on the way out.

With a shiver Sofia nodded once and blushed as heat shot down her body from where Cameron's breath washed over her ear and neck, down to her core.

"Ok, Detective, dish the dirt. What's going on with my Doctor? Jeez Sofia, you don't waste time do you girl!" Sara teased.

"Uh, well, I…Umm… I'm waiting for Cameron to finish shift and we're going out. I don't know how it happened. I mean we went into the room, she checked me out and pow… I have a date." The young Detective said, scratching her head.

Chuckling at the bemused young woman Sara turned back to Catherine, "Really Cath, I will be ok. Just get me out of here and I'll go back to my apartment."

"No way, Sara, you're stuck with me for at least until you're allowed back to work," Catherine said.

"What about, Linds; what will she say when I move in?" said Sara, grasping for a way out of the situation.

"Sara, Lindsey left with my Mother and Sam for a month vacation. So you can't use her as an excuse. Just swallow your pride and do as you're told for once." Catherine smirked as she delivered the winning shot.

After a nurse had removed Sara's drip and delivered the prescription for her medication, which Sofia went to fill, Catherine moved to gather Sara's clothes, placing them across the foot of the bed. She then closed the door and said, "Ok it's time to get you out of bed."

Brown eyes widened as Sara realised Catherine intended to help her dress herself.

"Umm, Catherine you don't need to do this." Sara moved the sheets back and swung her legs over the edge; stopping for a few seconds to enable the room to stop moving.

"Whoa, there Sara, take a minute will ya. Let me help. Just hold your cast steady, ok." With that Catherine wrapped her arms around a startled Sara, her hands untying the hospital gown and releasing the clips to her sling.

Sliding the gown down to Sara's waist she took in the firm shoulders and lightly tanned skin of the younger CSI. Swallowing down her attraction to the young woman Catherine reached for Sara's tank top. Sliding the fabric up Sara's right arm over the cast, she then lifted it over Sara's head and helped Sara's left arm through the vest. Smoothing the soft cotton down over Sara's body she moved in close again and reattached the clips to the sling, her fingers following the strap up Sara's chest to her throat, round her neck and down her shoulder blade.

Sara gasped at the light touch of the older woman, her body betraying her as she felt her nipples harden and her skin break out into goose bumps. Breaking the tension Catherine moved back and took Sara's socks from the bed. She sat in the chair by the bed; easing Sara's right foot on to her thigh she gathered up the material and eased it onto the young woman's foot, before repeating with the left. She then moved to the last item on the bed, Sara's jeans. Lifting them, Catherine placed Sara's legs through the denim and helped Sara stand, stepping in close as she slid the jeans up her hips and over her ass. Hearing a jingle she realised the pockets had not been emptied, she pulled the waistband together in front and slid the button home; reaching down for the zipper tab she heard Sara groan.

Lifting her head Catherine looked directly into Sara's eyes as her hand tucked the denim panel into the opening of the jeans and she slowly raised the zipper, licking her lips as she saw the young woman's eyes give her away as desire flared in the brown depths and darken.

Shuddering hard Sara started to lean down, intent on taking Catherine's lips in a passionate kiss, stopping only when she felt a hand on her chest.

"Uh, I thought… I mean, I'm sorry," Sara croaked as her head snapped back, realising Catherine had stopped her from kissing her. Thinking the older woman was spurning her advance Sara closed her eyes, as she felt humiliated her face flushing red.

"No, Sara, I know what you are thinking and you are wrong. I just think we should talk first. Yes, I'd like to take our relationship further but in a place where we will not be disturbed. Until then I think a little on deposit won't hurt." Catherine's hand cupped the back of Sara's neck as she rose up and placed a gentle kiss on her soft lips. Pulling back she said, "Ready to get out of here?"

"Oh, yeah." Sara smiled, licking her lips. Slipping her feet into her boots Sara moved as if to walk to the door a hand on her arm halting her.

"Just one more thing before we go. I want your keys. You are not going to need them so I want them," Catherine said as her hand slid slowly into Sara's front pocket searching and playing against the young woman's sensitive thigh before capturing the keys. Withdrawing her hand with the keys safely in her palm she winked and dropped them in her own pocket.

"Hey!" Sara groaned. Her protest was cut short as a Nurse knocked on the door and entered with a wheelchair.

Taking one look at the wheelchair Sara raised her hand and said, "Oh no! No way am I getting in that. I'd rather have my arm chopped off than get in that!"

"Stop being childish, Sara, you want out of here don't you?" Catherine purred in her ear. Her hand gently caressing the small of the young woman's back, she smiled as she felt the rigid muscles relax.

Grumbling under her breath Sara made her way over to the Nurse and sat in the wheelchair pouting. Taking one look at Sara's face Catherine let out a giggle and stepped behind the chair, pushing the disgruntled woman out into the hallway.

"Hey, Cath, I have the meds and I take it that grumpy is ready to go?" Sofia said as she walked up.

"Oh, yeah, we both want out of here," Catherine said, guiding the chair towards the lifts.

Spotting a familiar face Catherine murmured to the women that she had something to take care of and that she would meet them outside; she relinquished the handles on the wheelchair to Sofia before turning back and hunting down her target. Striding back down the hall she turned into one of the supply closets. Closing the door behind her she stalked her prey. Deep in the closet a woman muttered to herself about sexual deviants and how they should all be put down; unknowing the nurse turned to find Catherine in her face. She let out a yelp and jumped back bumping into a rack behind her.

Leaning in close Catherine's face hardened and her eyes bored into the Nurse's. "You over stepped the mark today, bitch, and you are not going to get away with it. I know the director of the hospital and I will be calling her as soon as I get home. You have fucked with the wrong woman; if you think you are going to get away with your attitude anymore then you are wrong. That woman in the bed has put her life on the line time and time again to put criminals away so that people like you can belittle her and our relationship…I don't think so. You walked your homophobic ass in there and jumped to conclusions." Catherine leaned in to the terrified nurse's space and whispered, "Let me tell you something, dumb-ass. You know what I'm going to do later, I'm going to kiss that brave woman senseless and we are going to have hot monkey sex until the early hours of the morning and then, maybe after a short nap, I may do it all over again." She smirked. "Depending on my mood afterwards will depend on if you still have a job; so, I guess you'd better hope that she makes love like an angel and then you can thank her for putting me in a forgiving mood." With that parting shot Catherine spun on her heel and strode out of the closet and left the nurse speechless and cowering.

As Catherine walked back to the lift Cameron fell into step beside her wearing civvies.

"I wanted to say thank you, Catherine. Thanks for giving me the chance to talk to Sofia."

"You work fast, Doc. Can I give you a little advice; don't let Sofia think too much or she'll think of reasons not to let herself enjoy what you two could have. Keep at her until she gives in. Why don't you get Sofia to bring you over later, maybe we can have a little fun with our women, what do you say?" Catherine said mischievously.

As the lift doors opened the women saw the blonde and brunette talking quietly outside the entrance doors. Both women wearing dark glasses, jeans and boots.

"Mmm, we have great taste, don't we," Cameron purred.

"Yeah, that we do; now let's go get 'em," Catherine growled.

Walking out to the young women Catherine slid her arm around Sara's waist. "Couldn't wait to get out of the chair, huh?" Catherine said nodding her head towards the abandoned wheelchair just inside the entrance doors.

"I said I could've walked. But no one believed me," growled the young CSI.

Cameron smiled as she mirrored Catherine's stance beside Sofia and wrapped an arm around Sofia. Her other hand playing with the collar and buttons to her shirt.

"Sofia, Catherine has invited us over later. I said yes, is that ok with you?" Cameron lowered her voice and her breath teased along Sofia's throat as she moved closer.

"Yeah, Sofia, apparently Cameron is a keen poker player and we thought maybe you and Sara would be up for a little strip poker?" Catherine asked wiggling her eyebrows, chuckling at Sofia's gasp and Sara's blush.

"Umm, Cat, I don't think I'll be playing much while on pain pills." Sara mumbled her face flushed as her mind filled with the images of Catherine slowly removing her clothes in a heated game of strip poker. Of course the only people present in Sara's mind were her and the older woman.

"Don't worry, honey, I'm sure we can think of something else to play until you get better." Catherine's hand softly landed on Sara's stomach, moving in slow gentle circles; she enjoyed the gasp that escaped Sara's lips as her little finger dipped under her waistband of her pants.

Looking at Catherine's antics the Doctor chuckled softly before stating, "Don't worry, Sara, I'm sure Catherine was just kidding about the strip part of the game."

"Na-uh, Cam, I've seen this body in the showers at work and want to see it in the privacy of my home." Catherine purred as she pressed closer to the young woman's tensing body, clearly enjoying teasing the young CSI and hearing the low groans coming from Sara's throat.

Sofia wasn't fairing much better as the mischievous Doctor flicked open the top button on Sofia's shirt again allowing her fingertips reek havoc on Sofia's libido. She tried to move back away from the gorgeous Doctor as Cameron was trying to break Sofia's composure. It seemed that the evil Doctor had become an octopus while Sofia was not looking; Cameron countered every move Sofia made and ended up with ever more access to the Detective's firm body.

Catherine looked on amused that Sofia's legendary composure was failing under the onslaught of the persistent Doctor.

"Cameron, please!" Sofia whined as she noticed that they had a group of onlookers. She glared at the group of young men who was waiting outside the hospital doors smoking and obviously making lewd comments to each other in Mexican as they stared hard at the four attractive women.

Cameron glanced over her shoulder, saw what Sofia was looking at, and immediately turned back and buried her head in Sofia's shoulder hiding her reddening face. "Oops!" she muttered. One of the young men obviously high on bravado grabbed his crotch and yelled over an offer to take care of the Doctor.

Sara and Catherine chuckled at Cameron's embarrassment and watched with amusement as Sofia angled the gold shield on her belt so the young men saw she was law enforcement. They smirked as the group of men snapped to attention and turned away quickly finishing their cigarettes before returning to the hospital dragging the rude young man with them.

Growling low as she stared the last man down, Sofia's arm tightened possessively around Cameron's waist until they disappeared from sight.

"Can we leave now? Sofia whimpered in Cameron's ear as she laid her head on the Doctors shoulder, Cameron chuckled softly and nodded.

"Ok, Ladies, I'm going to take Sara home and put her to bed for a nap until you guys arrive."

"Are you sure, Cath, I mean you guys have been through a lot last night and we could take a rain check," Sofia said as she watched Sara sway slightly as the meds kicked in.

"I donwanna go t'bed," Sara slurred blinking slowly as she became more confused. Catherine shushed the young woman and gently slipped her arms about her before rubbing soothing circles on her back smiling as Sara began to stretch and purr at the caresses.

"Sure you do, Sara, we'll get you home and then out of these clothes and into a nice soft bed." Catherine's voice had a sing song quality which seemed to appease Sara. Nuzzling her heavy head into the crook of Catherine's neck Sara sighed happily as her body gave into the soft petting. "You smell so good, and feel so soft. Do you feel this good all over?" Sara asked innocently as her lips played over the soft skin on Catherine's throat. Catherine's eyes closed at the torture as she felt Sara's tongue take a slow lick of her pulse. Shuddering she cleared her throat and eased the amorous young woman away from her neck.

"Actually Cath, I forgot to tell you Brass took your kits and evidence kits back to the lab so I'm your driver," Sofia stated. "Umm, can I take you anywhere Cam?" Sofia asked blushing shyly.

"Where do you live, Catherine?" Cam asked.

"Uh?" Catherine was having a hard time concentrating on anything as Sara had started to rub her body gently against her while whispering breathily in her ear. "Will you get int'bed with me, Cat? Will you be my Cat? Can I pet you, I wanna stroke you, I bet I can make you purr, you can use your claws and tongue on me I'd like that, I bet you're silky all over."

Sofia and Cameron stepped back from the two women to give Catherine some space and Sofia explained where Catherine lived, they made their way to the Tahoe before driving it back were Catherine and Sara were waiting, Catherine doing her best to keep Sara occupied away from her seemingly new hobby of trying to get Catherine out of her clothes.

As it happened, Cameron's house was just two streets from Catherine's so they decided to all go to help put Sara to bed before Cameron ran home to shower and change.

As Sara all but passed out in a sound sleep as soon as they had her stripped down and into Catherine's soft bed, Catherine and Sofia waited in her kitchen drinking coffee until the young Doctor returned.

"So, what do you think Sofia? I think Cameron's exactly what you need."

"I don't know, Cath, I've been burned pretty badly and I don't want to mislead Cameron into thinking that I have anything more than sex to offer her." Sofia mumbled into her coffee.

"Bullshit, Sofia, just because Ellie played at commitment and fed you a line of crap doesn't mean Cameron is going to do the same thing. She's not the same as Ellie, Sofe." Catherine reached over to grip Sofia's hand as it laid on the tabletop.

Sofia looked over to Catherine, a sad expression on her face. "I gave her everything, Cath, I really thought we were the real deal you know. I just can't give everything again; we'll just have some fun and I won't get in so deep this time."

Catherine could hear the deep-seated hurt in Sofia's voice and her heart broke a little for the young woman who had been duped by her ex-girlfriend who, in Catherine's opinion, had used the Detective for 4 years before moving on to a younger woman without so much as a backward glance. She knew how much it had hurt her and cost her not to fight for their relationship. Sofia had once told Catherine that to have a relationship her partner would have to commit to her fully, if they wanted someone else then there would be nothing to fight for.

"It's time to move on, Sofia, it's been nearly five months and I happen to know Jim and the team are worried about you burying yourself in work and never going out," Catherine said gently, her eyes pleading with the blonde to give the Doctor a chance.

"I'm not saying you have to schedule the U-Haul for next weekend but I do wish you would just keep yourself open a little to the possibility of something a bit deeper than a one night stand, ok?"

Hearing a tap-tap on the front door Catherine released Sofia's hand and left her to contemplate her parting comment as she went to let the beautiful brunette into her home.

"Hey, Cam, you were fast. Did you run?" She hugged the Doctor before guiding her into the kitchen. "Coffee?" she asked.

"Hey, you could say I was motivated. I'd love some." Taking a chair beside the silent Detective Cameron's eyes shot a query to Catherine.

"You ok, Sofia?" she asked softly.

"Huh? Oh yeah, sorry I was just thinking." Sofia fumbled with her coffee as she tried to pull herself out of her self-imposed funk, angry at herself for letting Ellie invade her thoughts and angry at Ellie for leaving her feeling vulnerable and like damaged goods.

"Oh, ok, so how's the patient? Any more attempts at escape?" Chuckling at the memory of Sara making one last attempt at getting Catherine to take her home to look after herself. All it had taken was a deep passionate kiss from the sexy blonde and Sara had melted into the bed, contented as a well fed panther, dark and dangerous but happy to lay surrounded by Catherine's scent.

"No, she's out like a light. I will go check on her though." Catherine walked out of the kitchen and left the two women to talk.

Sofia turned to Cameron as Catherine disappeared down the hall, "I'm sorry I'm not good company right now; maybe we can go out another time?"

"Huh? What's happened, Sofia? You were ok when I left an hour ago. I know I haven't put my size 7 shoe in my mouth as I usually do so it's got to be something else. I have a great pair of ears if you want to talk? I mean, I know they're not big but they are fantastic for listening." Cameron placed a gentle hand on Sofia's arm and began a soothing stroke from her wrist to elbow.

Sofia took a deep breath and a massive leap of faith and told Cameron of her past, the time spent building a relationship and loving a woman who in the end threw everything back in Sofia's face hurting her deeply and causing her to have no faith in relationships.

"I want to be honest with you, Cameron, I don't know what you are looking for or expecting but I can only offer friendship and sex. If that's not what you want then I think we should call it quits right now because I can't go through the lies and deceit again." Her blue eyes locked on Cameron's clear and honest.

Cameron blew out a breath at the statement, "Wow, she really did a number on you, didn't she? Well I do appreciate your candour and, to be honest, I'm attracted to you but, seeing as we only met a few hours ago, at the moment I'd just like to get to know you, if that's ok? If in the future we want more then I guess we'll have another conversation and see where we are at that time but for now why don't we take it slow and easy, ok? No pressure."

Sofia nodded and slowly entwined their fingers, "Thank you for listening. How about some more coffee? I get the feeling Catherine is going to be a little while checking on our patient." Her eyes regained some of their twinkle as the heavy conversation had relieved a massive weight from her shoulders.

Catherine pushed the door to her bedroom open and silently padded to the side of the bed her eyes fixed on the gentle rise and fall of Sara's chest as the brunette slept. Sitting on the side of the bed Catherine allowed her hand to brush back a lock of Sara's hair and draw the back of her fingers down her cheek, twisting to let her fingertips flow down her chest and over her stomach tracing the well-defined abs.

"Oh, Sara, you have been holding out on me and, now I have you, I'm not letting you go," she whispered.

"Not been holding out on you, Cat." A sleepy voice broke through Catherine's musing.

"Hey, sleepyhead, I think you have been holding out on me." Her hand now flat on Sara's stomach enjoyed the play of the muscles under her palm as the young woman adjusted herself onto her back and against the pillows to see Catherine better.

"Huh? Why?" Sara said trying to ignore the feel of Catherine's hand burning through the vest top she had worn to bed.

"Well, this sexy four pack you have going on under here is a something I haven't seen and, trust me, I saw you in the showers at the lab about six months ago. So, with that in mind, you must have been doing some serious working out to develop it in that time; so what brought it on, huh?" Catherine's fingers itched to get under the soft cotton to feel the satin skin beneath.

Sara's eyes widened at Catherine's question and knew that even if she told Catherine the truth she would never be able to look at the blonde in the same way again. She grabbed a spare pillow with her uninjured hand and placed it over her flaming red face wondering if by shear embarrassment she could suffocate herself to get out of answering. Wait a minute, her brain skidded to a halt and backed up…Sexy four pack? Catherine said that right? And her hand was on Sara's stomach, in fact that hand was moving down and under her shirt!

Sara flung the pillow off to the side and slammed her eyes closed as her stomach crunched tight at the feel of Catherine's nails scraping over her skin; she let out a squeak with the explosion of air escaping her lungs. Her nipples hardened to diamond points and her clit twitched so hard she thought one more move and she'd come without even getting Catherine naked. Sara groaned at the thought of Catherine stripping for her, slowly exposing her beautiful toned body for Sara's enjoyment. "Goddess," she groaned through gritted teeth as she tried in vain to hold back her bodies surrender to Catherine's touch.

Grinning evilly at the writhing body, under her control, on her bed, Catherine stepped up her torture and leaned down and whispered, "I'd love to lick chocolate sauce and whipped cream off your abs, Sara; they are so fucking sexy. You'd let me do that right? I mean how would you like to feel my tongue and teeth licking and nibbling you all over? All you have to do is tell me why you are working out so much." Catherine breathed hotly into the helpless young woman's ear just before she flicked her tongue over a convenient lobe.

"You, you're the reason. I can't sleep because I dream of you, so I try to wear myself out by working out," Sara whispered, blushing as her body readied itself to melt into the mattress at the images Catherine invoked in her mind.

Catherine sat back and looked into Sara's face; seeing honesty there, her heart gave a jump. "That has got to be the most flattering thing I have ever heard."

"I find that hard to believe." Sara blushed harder as she spoke.

Catherine smiled sweetly and moved Sara's arm out to the side before laying down with her head on Sara's firm shoulder, her body tucking into her lean form with her hand still caressing Sara's abs. "Thank you, Sara, for making me feel special."

Sara curled her arm around Catherine's shoulders and gathered her in closer, turning her head to place a soft baby kiss on her blonde hair inwardly cursing her broken arm and damaged ribs. She'd finally got into Catherine's bed and was unable to do anything about it other than hold the petite blonde as she relaxed into her embrace.

"So, what happens now?" Sara asked tiredly, keeping her voice low as her hand traced up and down Catherine's back soothing her.

"Honestly, I don't know. I do know I don't want to go back to the way we were before. I admit it was kinda hot when we were fighting but I can do without the negative feelings. We've been through enough of that for a lifetime." Catherine mumbled into Sara's shoulder.

"Agreed, how about we take it one day at a time see where we end up." Sara's eyes were closing as her body responded to the even breathing of her bed mate as Catherine fell asleep snuggled up to her human pillow.

Tomorrow was another day for the four professional women but it was a tomorrow holding the promise of more to come. All it had taken for hope to surface was the helping hand of a bitter, twisted, man who hated women. Such were the contradictions of their worlds.

The End

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