DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters; all rights go to
those who do. I am just using them
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is the first story of my Hidden Truth Trilogy. I promise that I will continue to write my Unrequited Love Series. I am just taking a break. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
WARNING: This contains a little Sara obsessed with Grissom, but it is all about Sara and Catherine. So don't be discouraged as you read. I would never have them end up with anyone else but each other!
It was a day like so many others. I woke up around three thirty in the afternoon; only to catch a quick run, get caught up on my things to do, and return home, to head for work at six forty five. As if I didn't put in enough hours, Grissom decided to re-work our schedules to solve a mysterious case involving a young woman.
Her name was Ashley Exstedios, she was a twenty-eight year old CDS computer technician found dead a week ago. It never seemed to take us very long to solve a case, but with this one the tables were turned. There were no substantial leads that just jumped out at us. No finger prints to uncover, no DNA to examine, no personal life to intrude upon, and not a whole hell of a lot of witnesses to talk to. The one thing we did have to go on was a bundle of letters found under the victim's bed. They were not your usual required reading material; but rather, love letters written by a secret admirer.
We were having problems fitting the pieces of the puzzle together and making them stick. As far as we knew, Ashley Exstedios was an extremely intelligent loaner, with no close friends or acquaintances, and a non-existent love life. And worse of all, we couldn't come up with one reason why anyone would want to hurt this girl.
She lived for her work, was always early to the job and late leaving. She had worked for the same company since she received her intern at Vegas Community College eight years ago; yet everyone we talked to came up with the same adjectives to describe her. She was quiet, kept to herself, thoughtful, and hardworking. How could you work with someone day in and day out for nearly eight years and not know anything about them?
Of course, who was I to talk? I have worked with the same people for three years and they only know what I deem necessary for them to know; well, all except for Catherine. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was just a job and not take it too personal. I often found that last part difficult, and with this case it was especially hard. Ashley reminded me a lot of myself.
But in my defense, I am getting better. I had finally made friends with my only female co-worker and now felt I truly had someone to confide in. Catherine and I sort of bonded after Hank and I broke up. It was nice to have someone to discuss the girly part of life with. Granted, I wasn't the most feminine in the world, but I am still a woman. I had Nicky and Warwick to keep me on my toes, Greg to keep me in good spirits, and then Grissom to release the science nerd in me. But Catherine was different. She was someone to express my deepest fears to, someone to confess my crush on Gil to, and the best part was she didn't judge me. Over the last few weeks we have done everything from laughing, crying, and even a little venting. It was great to finally understand the older woman I thought had hated me all this time.
Shit, shit, and double shit! Just my luck it's seven thirty-five and I have run right smack dab in the middle of a traffic jam. Griss is going to kill me.
As soon as I hit 35th Street it is speed all the way. I finally make it to work fifteen minutes late. I exit my car, shoving my research in my brief case as I walk into the building. I am not looking where I am going and suddenly I feel a stiff hand on my left shoulder.
"Nice of you to finally joins us, and only twenty minutes late."
I don't need to look around to recognize that condescending voice echoing off my ears. It's Grissom and as pleasant as usual. I make a quick attempt to apologize but he is obviously in no mood.
"Look I'm sorry I took 86th here and wouldn't you know a six car pile up right as I am coming on. You're lucky I made it here this early."
That was a weak attempt at a joke, but like I said before he isn't in the mood. He seems to be in shock that I am even trying to put this on him. He goes straight for where he knows it will hurt me, my work.
"No, you're lucky that we didn't start without you."
"Start what with out me?"
"Wrapping up our case! We found Ashley Exstedios killer this morning. One of her neighbors remembered the landlord often hanging around Ashley's apartment; and what do you know, she also remembered him asking her out a few times. He just confessed to Brass. He couldn't take her rejection any more and became enraged, beating her to death. Case over and done with, now we can move on! You on the other hand have evidence detail. I want you to help Catherine bag and record the files for court. It all needs to be turned in before midnight and then we will be able to go home. So get a move on."
And there he goes again, without even so much as a second thought; he takes off to lose himself in his next case. He is so blind. How could he not see me? Am I not beautiful enough, intelligent enough? He acts like I am the invisible man.
"And good morning to you, Asshole!"
In the lab, Catherine is frantically trying to finish the last of her documentation. I can tell she has been here for a while. Her hair is messed up and falling out of her bun, she is still wearing the same shirt she had on yesterday, and the black circles under her eyes are crying out for sleep. Great, another cheerful person this morning.
Much to my surprise she is actually happy to see me. She gives me an energetic wave, bright smile, and motions for me to come in and sit down next to her.
"Didn't think you were going to show. What kept you?"
"Traffic jam; don't want to talk about it. The important thing is I'm here and ready for action!"
Catherine can't help but let out a slight chuckle at my enthusiasm. I could tell she didn't feel the same. I watched her for a second as she recorded the evidence first on the bag, and then matched them up with the file. She was so precise. It was refreshing to see someone who took pride in her work. In fact, I was so lost in her thoroughness that I didn't even notice she stopped.
She was confusingly staring at me with those electric blue eyes; trying to find a hint as to why I seemed so out of it. She kindly took me by the hand and encouraged me to open up.
"Sara, is everything okay? I know this case got to you; maybe you should just take off and let me finish up. I can handle it, really! I will just give you a call later and we can talk."
She was now lifting my chin so that our eyes met. It was all a deliberate scheme, to let me know she was genuinely worried. It was times like these and things like this that made wonder why Catherine was alone. She constantly puts on this act for everyone, always trying to be the tuff guy; but she didn't fool me. I know she dedicates a lot of time to work and Lindsey, but somewhere inside there had to be those feelings of loneliness. She was too good of a person to be alone. Hell, if I was a guy or even gay, I would definitely go for her. She is funny, intelligent, a hell of a mother, and a wonderful woman.
Again she takes notice of the way I am looking at her, and voices another concern.
"Sara, talk to me, I'm worried."
"Cat, are you ever scared you'll never be in love again?"
I knew I had struck a nerve with that last line, because in the whole time I've known her, not once have I ever seen her eyes get so wide. Her attention was now fully on me. She was giving the question a lot of sincere thought. Then she swiveled to where she completely faced me and spoke up.
"Have you gone loopy? What kind of question was that?" Great a question with a question; so not what I needed right now.
"You first, answer me!"
"Okay, then no."
"No, that's it No? No, you won't answer the question or no, you're not scared? Come on Cat, help me out."
"No, I'm not worried about finding the perfect person; because I've already found them."
Wait a minute, was I hallucinating, or had Catherine just told me, what I think she just told me? Did she have a secret romance?
"Catherine Willows, have you been holding out on me? How long have you known about this and didn't bother telling your best friend?"
A devious smile has just consumed her face. She can tell I was a little upset that she hadn't told, and it's making her night. She begins to blush at the thought of her crush and I can tell she's really got it bad.
"Sara, it's really not something I care to discuss in the work place."
"Oh, no you don't! You can't just tell a person what you just told me, and expect them to just say ohm... well, okay let's get back to work. Oh, no! Spill it! You're going to tell them right? It's oh so obvious you are like madly in love with them."
"You really think I should tell them?"
"Hell, yeah! I mean it's the only way you're ever going to know if they feel the same way, right. Go for it, what do you have to loose?"
Maybe that wasn't exactly what should have been said, because I seem to have made the situation worse. As quickly as she had gone from tired to excited, she has gone right back to sad and confused. What was she so worried about? People have crushes every day, it doesn't mean the end of the world.
"Cat, you okay?"
"So, are you going to tell them?"
"And why not?"
"Again, I must ask that you be a tad bit more specific. If you don't mind?"
"That's just it Sara, I do mind. The reason I haven't told them, is because I work with them. They just so happen to be a really good friend of mine and I don't want to loose them. Not over something like this. Plus, I know for a fact they have no attraction to me what so ever."
"Well, you know what they say about best friends, they make the best lovers. Cat, you owe it to yourself to find out for sure. You deserve to be happy more than anyone here; and I swear on my life that you are going to tell them, even if I have to drag you by your hair. You don't know how they feel. Maybe, they are really good at hiding their feelings."
She is just sitting there in a wow state. I guess I have gotten a little passionate about this subject. I just don't want her to be sorry she never went for it, like I have been doing with Grissom. She is so wonderful.
Finally, she appears to have gathered her thoughts enough to continue to speak.
"I think I know someone else who also deserves to be happy."
"Really, and who might that be?"
And there it is folks. In plain English. Me! I am not quite sure how to react to that statement. I know she is right, but I have been so wrapped up in her at the moment, that I for once forgot how truly lonely I was.
"Catherine, I appreciate you thinking of me, but really I'm okay. I am more concerned about you."
God, I'm a terrible liar, and unfortunately this was Catherine we were talking about. She knew too much for her own good.
"Sara, I think we need to have a chat."
"Ow, ow, ow are you finally going to tell me who it is?"
She is trying hard to stiffen a giggle, but regains her composer and continues with her serious act.
"Yes, but Sara this is important for you to understand before we continue. I am going to confess something that is very hard for me to admit and I need to know that you aren't going to take off. Also, no interrupting, let me finish before you speak, got it?"
"No problem! I'm all ears! Ready and rearin' to listen. Just call me love doctor..."
"Yeah, sorry continue."
"This person that I've been having feelings for is not a man."
"That's cool! You go girl. You know I have always kind of wondered about that, but I didn't want to say anything. Didn't want to offend you or anything. I..."
"Sara, I said no interrupting!"
As she said that to me, she placed her finger on my lips. A tiny shiver was sent up and down my body. It almost seemed like it was me she was trying to confess her feelings to; but no, it couldn't be. I know better than that. She knows how I feel about Gil. She quickly removes her finger from my mouth when she notices the scared way that I am looking at her.
"I knew it, this was a bad idea. Never mind! Let's just get back to work. We have a lot to do before midnight."
She is frustrated and angry with me, but why. I am listening. I only interrupted her once. What is going on here?
I say with a worry look in my eye.
"I'm sorry. Please talk to me! I promise I won't stop you. Just trust me."
I duck my head to meet her eyes. I can tell she is withholding tears. I feel terrible now. What did I do? I don't even stop to think about what I am doing or where we are, I just react. I quickly stand up and wrap my arms around her slender figure; like I have done a million times before. I rest my head on top of hers and place a slight kiss on the top.
I'm not even aware to how uncomfortable she is with the affection I am showing her, but I am soon enlightened.
"It's you, okay? I am attracted to you Sara."
Did I just hear what I think I just heard? Did she say that she had a crush on me? I adjust my head directly in front of her face. I'm letting my eyes do all the speaking. It's asking her to repeat what she just said.
"Sara, it's you. I'm sorry I didn't mean to do this to you here. I've tried to tell you time and time again, but I just didn't know how to get it out. I don't expect you to share my feelings. And I completely understand if you never want to speak to me again. Just please don't hate me forever."
God she's crying. Oh, no please don't do that. I can't stand when she cries, especially when I'm the one who causes it. I can't help but be drawn to her vulnerability. It's a natural reaction. I move closer to hold her once more, but she is too upset. She backs away from me and heads for the door. Her exit is brief but remains in my mind hours after.
I was left there alone to finish all the work. I just barely make my dead line. I am constantly reliving the moment she told me she likes me over and over in my head. It was flattering to think she saw me that way. She really was a beautiful person, but like I said before, I like Grissom. Why me, never anyone else?
I am about ready to head home, when I see a familiar figure waiting by my car.
"I'm sorry I took off like that in there. I just don't think I can handle it if you never want to speak to me again, but I'll understand."
"Cat, I could never feel that way. Yeah, it is going to be awkward for a while, but not enough to make me stop being your friend. I adore you, you know that!"
"You mean it?"
"Never meant anything else more!"
"Oh, thank God!"
She grabs me and pulls me into a strong hug. I think we're going to be okay, we just need to work some things out. I'm not going to let us drift apart. I need her. I just hope she never forgets that!
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