DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Through the Dark
In The Light
"Good morning. I'm looking for Sara Sidle."
Carefully getting up from the couch Sara walked over to the door. Catherine just stood there, a questioning look on her face staring at the person standing outside.
"I'm Sara Sidle," the brunette said as she extended her hand.
"Nice to meet you. My name is Jack Muller, and I am a DA at the San Francisco PD," he said as he shook her hand, and showed her his ID.
"Come in," Sara said, her mind already spinning thoughts going years back, to a time she had tried so hard to forget but now it all came floating to the surface again.
Catherine immediately noticed how Sara retreated in her shell, building up the walls again that had been crumbling down the past few days. She placed her hand on the younger woman's shoulders, to let her know she'd be there for her even if she now needed some space.
"I'll leave you two to talk," Catherine said as she grabbed her coat, but before she could walk off a hand grabbed her arm. Looking back over her shoulder, she saw Sara's eyes looking at her hopefully eyes filled with sadness, and need for comfort.
"No please stay," Sara said, gently tugging at the older woman's hand. Now they were together, Sara knew she had to share things with Catherine good things, and bad and today would be another step in their relationship.
A meek smile came onto Catherine's lips. She was in awe over the fact that Sara was letting her into all of her personal life, even the parts that the brunette had been trying hard to hide for years.
The strawberry blonde walked along with Sara over to the couch, and sat down, placing her hand on Sara's lower back as the brunette shifted a bit forward and focused on the DA who took a seat in the chair opposite them.
"I am here on behalf of the case the people versus Laura Sidle, your mother."
Sara nodded, against better judgment hoping this all would soon be over.
"She's up for parole, due to good behavior," Muller continued as he opened his briefcase, "But, I hope you understand we want to prevent this from happening. I read in the case file you testified years ago?"
"Yes I did," Sara answered. She was glad when she felt Catherine's hand entwine their fingers.
"Well, even though attorneys are excluded from the Parole Board hearing itself, we want to provide the Board with all the information we can get."
"I understand," Sara started, "But what does this have to do with me? I mean, you know I already testified."
Catherine listened to it all, astonished by what she heard. She knew a few bits and pieces of Sara's past but most of it was still a big mystery to her. Even though she was curious to know more about her lover, this was not the way she wanted to find out about it.
"You know that victims have the right to speak with the parole board also, right?"
Receiving another nod from the lanky brunette he continued, "I came here to make arrangements with you, to come to San Francisco. To make an appointment so you can speak with the parole board, that is, if you want to."
"I'm sorry, I need to think about this before I I'm sorry I need some time," Sara said, feeling Catherine's eyes on her while she kept staring at the coffee table standing in front of her.
"I understand," Muller said as he stood to leave "Give me a call once you've made a decision."
After giving Sara his card, and shaking both of the women's hands he was lead out the apartment by Catherine while Sara sat motionless on the couch.
"Are you ok?" the strawberry blonde asked, immediately regretting the stupid question as she noticed the distressed look on Sara's face.
"No, I'm not," was the honest response the brunette gave as she looked up into Catherine's piercing blue eyes. "But," she continued as she opened her arms inviting the older woman into them, "I'm really glad I've got you now."
Complying quickly, Catherine crawled into the strong arms of the brunette, wrapping her arms around the taller woman's waist careful not to hurt the still tender body of Sara.
The comfort of feeling Catherine's body against hers made Sara relax.
After a few minutes the strawberry blonde broke the silence that had filled the air between them. She knew she shouldn't push the younger woman, but she wanted her to know she wouldn't go anywhere. She would be there for her.
'For better or worse' were the next few words that popped into her mind. A small smile crept onto her face as she realized she hoped to someday hear those words in another context.
"Wanna talk about it?"
"It's a long story," the brunette sighed.
"That's alright, we've got enough time," Catherine said as she started a circling motion across Sara's back. "If you don't want to talk about it that's ok, but know that I won't run. Tell me when you're ready to tell."
Sara pulled back a little, looking into the older woman's eyes once more before closing the distance between their lips, thanking the strawberry blonde without words. She was glad Catherine understood she needed some time. However, she already dreaded the moment she would tell Catherine.
As their kiss ended Catherine noticed the tired look on the younger woman's face. All the things that had happened this morning had worn her out, mentally as well as physically.
Standing up from the couch she reached out her hand, waiting for the brunette to grab it not saying a word. She knew the brunette was still healing, and her body needed to rest. She hoped she could get her to sleep for some hours.
Sara complied wordlessly, taking the offered hands and entwining their fingers. Leaning into one another they walked over to the bedroom.
Standing in front of the bed, Sara spoke up "I'd rather not be alone right now. Would you please come and lie down with me?"
Reaching up, Catherine cupped the taller woman's chin, "I'm not going anywhere. Not now, not ever. Now, come on let's get some rest."
Catherine was the first to crawl into the bed. As she scooted over, Sara soon followed, and spooned the shorter woman her arm draped over Catherine's stomach.
Sara leaned closer to the strawberry blonde's ear, and whispered, "I love you."
The flow of air caused a shiver to run through Catherine's spine. It was the second time that Sara had declared her feelings, and it made her feel like a love-struck teenager again. Before she stated her love for the brunette, she turned around.
She thought of what she would reply, an 'I love you too' was too sappy and would not do.
So, as she was now facing Sara, she started tracing the brunette's lips with her thumb, "My heart belongs to you."
As she saw the twinkling in those hazel eyes in front of her, she claimed the soft lips of Sara in a searing kiss. Tracing the brunette's bottom lip with her tongue, she asked for entrance which was granted almost immediately.
As their tongues started a dance of domination, Sara let out a moan the vibration firing up Catherine's libido. Even though they had only shared some kisses and touches because of Sara's physical health, the strawberry blonde knew that the taller woman was in need of more body contact.
However, she knew she didn't want their first time to be this way she didn't want it to be out of comfort, but out of love. Comfort she would give, but not just as a quick fuck. So, before things could get out of hand Catherine slowed their kisses.
Coming up for air and seeing the look on the older woman, Sara understood Catherine's intention, and wordlessly agreed.
Pulling the strawberry blonde closer to her body Sara let her settle onto her shoulder. One last kiss was shared before both of their breaths evened out, a sign that they were asleep.
After a few hours Sara was the first to wake up. Turning around in the safe embrace of her lover she noticed the concerned look on Catherine's face. The brunette could feel a knot forming in her stomach as she realized she was the one who caused that look on her lovers face Catherine had been through enough the last few weeks and now this.
Despite the fact Catherine had said she would be there for her, Sara wasn't ready to fill her in on all the facts she had tried so hard to forget for years. But at the same time she felt like betraying Catherine's trust by not letting her in on all that had passed.
Catherine awoke, sensing Sara's internal turmoil. Pulling the taller woman closer to her own body, Catherine placed a soft kiss on the brunette's cheek.
"Penny for your thoughts," she said as she reached for Sara's hand and entwined their fingers an action they had shared quite often the last few days, molding their hands together, strengthening the bond that was already there.
"I just well " Sara tried, but she couldn't. Tears started to fill her eyes as she felt frustrated because she wasn't able to talk to her lover.
One look in the brunette's hazel eyes was enough for the strawberry blonde to know what was bothering Sara.
"Shhh. It's ok my love, take your time. Tell me once you're ready," Catherine said before claiming Sara's lips in a fierce kiss trying to chase all the bad thoughts away.
As the kiss ended Sara let out a sigh. She was so glad Catherine understood, and any feeling of betrayal started to dissolve after feeling the older woman's lips on hers.
"Thank you, Catherine. I don't know what I did to deserve you," the brunette stated.
"Well, I do. You saved my life," Catherine said, locking eyes with Sara.
The younger woman raised an eyebrow at hearing that statement.
"You did," Catherine continued. "You saved my daughter, hence, my life. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here because I want to. I'm here because I love you and I want you to be a part of my life, of Lindsey's life."
Catherine reached up to wipe away a tear that had found its way across Sara's cheek. The brunette closed her eyes and leaned in to the soft touch of the older woman's hand.
Seeing how Sara longed for her touch, Catherine once again was surprised by the change in the taller woman's behavior. Months ago she never would have thought Sara could be craving for such contact with her physically, but also emotionally. Before the strawberry blonde spoke up again she gave a little tug on Sara's chin.
"Sara, please look at me."
She needed to see the hazel eyes of her lover the dark eyes that spoke to her without uttering one syllable- to know if her words reached their goal, to know if Sara shared the same feeling.
"And I hope you want us to become a part of your life as well."
"You already are. I can't even imagine a life without you in it. Both of you." Sara let her gaze drop, avoiding the blue pools in front of her as she spoke up again. "I'm sorry, Catherine, but I'm not ready to tell "
But before Sara could continue Catherine silenced her by kissing the brunette's lips once again. "Please, Sara, don't ever apologize for that. I already told you, and I'll tell you once more, take your time. Tell me when you feel you're up to it."
Getting out of bed she held her hand out for Sara to take.
"Now, come on, let's shower and get dressed. Linds'll be done for today in about an hour, and I think she'll be delighted to see us both standing there to pick her up."
Seeing the look of love directed at her, Sara let her mind rest, all thoughts about what had happened all those years ago along with the feeling of betrayal- had fled her mind.
Gratefully taking the offered hand, the brunette got out of bed and let her lover guide her towards the bathroom. Catherine opened the shower cabin and let Sara enter first. Turing on the water, both women let the stream cascade down their bodies.
As Sara tried to reach for the shampoo, pain shot through her side her hands frantically grabbing at the offended spot. This reminded her once again that her body wasn't back at full strength yet, and she hated this feeling of being so vulnerable.
"Here, let me do that," Catherine said as she reached for the bottle and started to lather Sara's hair. She knew Sara was having a hard time her body still recuperating, and not allowing her to be the independent woman she had always been.
Massaging the brunette's skull earned her more than a few groans of appreciation. It seemed that the action of Catherine's hands completely dispelled the previous feeling that had filled Sara's body, and replaced it by a much more comfortable tingling inside.
After Sara's hair was done, the rest of her tall body was next. Catherine didn't leave a single inch of skin untouched not in a lust filled way, but only in a loving and caring way.
As the two women entered the bedroom again, they had only twenty minutes left to get to Lindsey's school. So, after quickly pulling on some clothes they headed out.
The drive over to Lindsey's school was done in silence a comfortable silence though. Sara was watching out of the passenger's window, her hand resting on Catherine's thigh circling motions caressing the strawberry blonde.
Sara's mind was finally at peace even if it was just for a few hours- and she was looking forward to seeing the younger Willows woman again. The thoughts that now filled her head were of Catherine and Lindsey thoughts of the love she felt for both of them.
"Honey, we're here," Catherine said as she placed her own hand on top of Sara's, stilling her caress, and entwining their fingers.
This action caused Sara to turn round and lock eyes with the beautiful woman sitting next to her. A sincere smile graced her face as she felt Catherine squeeze her hand. Leaning forward she quickly closed the distance between their lips and kissed the older woman.
The kiss was both fierce and soft at the same time, and Sara was once again amazed at the feeling that stirred up inside her as her lips touched the luscious ones of her lover.
Leaving the strawberry blonde breathless, Sara started to open the car door. "Come on, Lindsey'll be here any minute. She'll be so glad to see you."
Catherine reached for Sara's shoulder, turning the brunette round to face her. "Us. She'll be glad to see us well, considering the hero-worshipping she's still got going," Catherine smirked, "my guess is she'll be glad to see you, and totally forget about me."
A little smile formed on Sara's face as she gave Catherine's words some consideration.
School doors opening and children running out shook both of the women out of their thoughts, and they quickly left the car.
True to Catherine's words, the little Willows woman soon spotted Sara and completely forgot about her mother.
"SARA!" Lindsey screamed as she ran towards the brunette, and lunged herself at the tall woman.
The brunette took a few steps into Lindsey's direction while Catherine stayed behind giving her the chance to look at her child and lover interacting.
As Sara noticed what Lindsey's intentions were jumping into her arms- she braced herself for the impact. Her body still not completely recovered made frolics like these pretty painful, but this time prepared for the little girl Sara opened her arms and gave the little blonde a big hug fighting the stinging pain in her ribs.
"Hey Lindsey. How was your day?" Sara asked as she put her back on the ground.
"It was ok I guess. I missed you though." She said as she took the tall woman's hand.
"You didn't miss your mom?" Sara queried as they started walking towards Catherine.
Sending Sara a look that can only be described as 'Duh' Lindsey looked up into Sara's eyes. "Of course I missed her too, but I missed you most" Lindsey answered as she tugged the brunette's arms.
"Well, I missed you too." Sara ruffled Lindsey's hair before continuing. "Now, go to your mom. She missed you as well."
Catherine, who had watched it all, was glad to see how easily Lindsey and Sara were getting along. She realized that, even though Lindsey would never have her father around, Sara would be the best person to play a big part in her daughter's life.
This time it was Catherine's turn to be engulfed by the little blonde tornado.
"Hey sweety," Catherine said before kissing her girl on her forehead.
"Mom, Jenny invited me for a sleepover. Can I go? Can I can I?" she asked, while tugging at her mother's arm, and displaying her sweetest look.
Sara who was walking towards the Willows women- noticed how Lindsey worked her charm on her mother, and knew she'd get what she wanted. Just like her mother Sara thought, a smile coming onto her face.
As her eyes locked with those sparkling blue pools of her lover, the smile transformed into a full-blown gap-toothed grin. Reaching Catherine and Lindsey, Sara overheard an "I'll think about it", and realized Lindsey had reached her goal.
"Let's go home," Catherine said, and only after the words had left her mouth she realized what she had just said she had called Sara's place their 'home'.
Sara noticed the change in Catherine's eyes, and before the blonde would become more distressed she walked over, took her hand, and entwined their fingers.
"Home it is," she said before closing the gap between her and Catherine, giving her a chaste kiss.
Half an hour later the three women reached Sara's place, now baptized as 'home'.
Since Catherine had to go to work that evening they decided Lindsey could go to the sleepover after being given certain ground-rules by her mother.
"Don't worry mom. I'll be fine. I promise I'll get enough sleep and stay out of trouble." Lindsey sighed, getting a bit bored by her mother's extensive list of 'do's & don't s'.
After dinner, while Lindsey was packing her stuff, Sara and Catherine were seated on the living room couch, talking things through for the rest of the evening to come.
"So, no matter what, call, ok?" Catherine said, her hands absentmindedly stroking through Sara's dark hair fingers massaging the nape of the brunette's neck. "Even if the only thing you need is to hear my voice."
"Hmm," Sara purred, enjoying the strawberry blonde's caresses. "I will."
Lifting her head from Catherine's shoulder, Sara locked eyes with the older woman, and inched closer. But instead of kissing Catherine's lips, Sara took a detour along the strawberry blonde's entire jaw placing butterfly kisses all the way- before finally planting her lips on Catherine's.
Slightly suckling on the older woman's lower lip, Sara searched for entrance to the sweetness known to her as Catherine. Soon after, tongues were dueling, touching, exploring but the sound of footsteps kept them from getting too involved.
"I'm ready," Lindsey said as she placed her bag at the door and grabbed her coat.
Catherine and Sara were still enjoying the closeness of each other's body the remnants of the feel of their lips still lingering in their minds- and didn't immediately respond to the little blonde's words.
"Tick tock, let's go mom, or else you'll be late for work."
"And here I thought I was the parent," Catherine laughed before giving Sara one last peck on her lips, and leaving the couch.
"Have fun Lindsey," Sara said as she walked over to her.
"Thanks Sara, and don't worry. I'll be back before you know." The little girl beamed at her guardian angel.
"That's good to know," Sara smiled before she placed a kiss on Lindsey's forehead.
Lindsey grabbed her bag and headed for the door while Catherine quickly grabbed Sara's hand and pulled it to her lips placing a soft kiss on the brunette's long fingers.
"Call me anytime you need me," Catherine reminded Sara who merely nodded mesmerized by the strawberry blonde beauty standing in front of her.
Once again Lindsey reminded her mother it was time to go, so Catherine let go of her lover and headed out.
While closing the door, the strawberry blonde mouthed 'I love you' leaving Sara standing in the hall, smiling brightly.
But that smile was soon gone as she reached for the card in her back pocket and grabbed the phone from its cradle.
"Mister Muller? This is Sara Sidle."
Light reflecting from a metal object.
Fast vertical movements.
Pounding into flesh.
The smell of iron filling the air.
Silence, deafening silence.
It seemed as if time stood still.
A woman, completely covered with blood, still pounding the knife into the body on the ground.
There lay a body on the ground, motionless in a large pile of blood. Strawberry blonde hair splayed around, matted with blood.
Suddenly the woman stopped the movement of the knife, and looked up haunted, dark brown eyes filled with terror...
Gasping for air, Sara bolted up right. A clammy hand went through her hair as she tried to get her trembling body under control.
This hadn't happened to her in a while.
During her life she had had her share of nightmares, but since she had been with Catherine and Lindsey even in the hospital- those dreams about that dreaded evening all those years ago hadn't bothered her sleep anymore.
But this nightmare had taken an even more painful twist, the images still clearly visible in her mind: She had seen herself, knife in hands, straddling Catherine who was covered with blood chest filled with stab wounds.
Sara felt herself become sick to the stomach and rushed herself to the bathroom, just in time to hug the porcelain throne, and empty the content of her stomach in it.
Minutes later she felt drained not only her stomach, but also her strength. Her body started to shake heavily again. By taking deep breaths the brunette tried to pull herself together. Getting up, she headed for the kitchen, opened the fridge, and grabbed a bottle of beer.
The brunette walked over to the kitchen table, and sat down. Just as she was about to open the beer, she noticed a drawing Lindsey had made, and her hand stilled.
No. She wasn't going to fall back into an old, bad habit. Not with Catherine and Lindsey in her life. So, she walked back to the fridge, and replaced the bottle of beer with one of water. A chill went through her body, and Sara headed to her bedroom to get her robe.
As she walked back into her bedroom, Sara felt her entire body tense up again. To calm herself down, she steered her thoughts to the object of her affection images of a certain strawberry blonde removing the tight feeling that had formed in her chest, replacing it with the feeling of being loved.
Remembering the shower they had shared that morning made her lips turn into a smile of gratitude. Even though the shared shower was the most physical thing they had shared, Sara was glad for Catherine's persistence on taking things slow.
But as soon as my body's completely healed I'll show her how thankful I am for having her in my life, a little smirk came onto her lips as that thought filled her mind.
She was amazed by the effect Catherine had on her. Only minutes ago she had woken up from a very, very bad nightmare, and now by only thinking of her strawberry blonde lover- Sara felt herself relax completely.
Remembering the older woman's words from earlier that evening, Sara reached for her phone on the nightstand.
It was three am, and Catherine still had a few hours of shift left. As she walked into the break room, grabbing her well-deserved cup of coffee, she reached for her cell phone, contemplating on calling Sara.
Just as she was about to punch in the brunette's number the cell phone in her hand started to ring.
As she saw the number on the small screen, she smiled. As if she knew I was thinking about her...heck... when am I not thinking about her?
"God, how I've missed your voice." Sara said sighing
"It's only been a few hours." Catherine chuckled.
"Still I can't wait till the end of shift so I can take you in my arms again." Sara said seriously.
Hearing Sara's voice, the strawberry blonde felt there was something wrong.
"Sara, are you alright?"
After a moment of silence Sara sighed. "I've had this dream."
"Tell me about it."
"I can't. Not over the phone." The brunette answered.
"I'll come home, I'm sure Grissom'll let me get off early." Catherine had already left the break room, heading for the supervisor's office.
"No. There's no need. I just needed to hear your voice, that's all." Sara immediately replied while thinking that what she had just said was so true the strawberry blonde's voice having such a calming effect on her, and that that was all she had needed at the moment.
"Are you sure?" Catherine hesitated.
"Yes. I'll see you in three hours."
Before Catherine could protest to the younger woman's words she heard that Sara had hung up. Letting out a breath she unconsciously had been holding, she took the last few steps to Grissom's office, and knocked on the door.
There was no way she would wait three hours before being able to hold Sara close.
Half an hour after Sara had called Catherine, the brunette was still awake, feeling much more relaxed, but still dreading going to sleep again.
Then she heard someone at the door. Recognizing the sound of footsteps belonging to her lover, she shook her head.
"Stubborn woman." she muttered silently, as Catherine walked into the bedroom.
"I heard that." Catherine said, a small smile on her lips as she walked over to the bed, and sat down.
Opening her arms, Sara invited the strawberry blonde for a much needed hug which she immediately got.
"So," Catherine started after a few minutes of silence just enjoying each other's touch. "Want to tell me about that dream?"
Sara pulled herself closer to her body, and let out a big sigh. Looking up in Catherine's concerned eyes she knew the time had come. The time to let Catherine in on everything her entire life, even the things she had worked so hard on to forget.
"I need to tell you something else first." The brunette said, taking her eyes from Catherine's.
To Be Continued
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