DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the characters, sorry for treading on any toes, I do it only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is holiday fic number 5 and arose out of a lovely vision I had, a young couple standing looking out to sea, arms around each other, hands in each other's back pocket, oblivious to the world around.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

In My Pocket
By Debbie

Buzzzzzzz, Buzzzzzzz, Buzzzzzzz

The incessant buzzing noise was driving Sara Sidle crazy. Rousing her from a deep slumber it had taken minutes to penetrate the fog of a so-called jet lag. Returning from an enforced but enjoyable vacation, taken in the not too sunny climes of the UK, Sara was trying to catch up on some much needed sleep before her scheduled return to work.

Cursing the intrusion of her rest, Sara stabbed her intercom system and growled, "Hello?"

Immediately jumping upright in both embarrassment and shock as she recognized the soft voice of her visitor, she heard an apologetic sounding Catherine Willows, "Sara? Hey, it's me. Catherine. Can I come up? I need to talk with you."

Grimacing at the unwelcome intrusion of her private space but knowing there was no polite way of refusing Catherine entry she buzzed her door open and ground out, "Number 13."

Crammed in between the releasing of her door catch and the soft knock on her apartment doorway, were a few moments of quiet reflection. Sara remembered the solitary existence that had caused her enforced vacation and made an instant, internal decision to welcome Catherine in, whatever their past differences, the time was right to try and change things.

Sara was surprised when Catherine admitted that she knew of Sara's DUI rap of six weeks previous, and no it wasn't Grissom that had told her; didn't Sara know that Gil Grissom would never betray her. It was Jim Brass that had told Catherine, still worried, despite Sara's denial, that she might succumb to the draw of the alcohol.

The brunette's surprise was compounded when Catherine proceeded to pass no judgement on her drinking but had instead told Sara, in great detail, of her own struggle against drug dependence many years before.

Her tongue loosened by Catherine's obvious trust in her integrity, Sara had mirrored the trust by telling Catherine the truth of her drinking to excess. She admitted that it was just barely manageable but that the vacation had helped her clear her head of the demons that had taken hold; a total loss of self-confidence triggered by Grissom's professional and personal rejection of her.

Again there had been no judgement on Catherine's part other than to offer her own parallels once again. It appeared Chris Bezich had dumped, pleasantly and amicably by all accounts, Catherine for a younger version.

Mutual ego inflating statements resulted in the two women rolling around the floor in real laughter. The first time ever the ladies had been comfortable and happy enough in each other's company to let go.

When Catherine left, after three hours of friendly conversation and numerous pots of green tea, Sara Sidle and Catherine Willows had put most of their differences to bed and were on the road to being the friend that they had realized they both needed.

Six months later Sara Sidle leaned against the barriers in the bleachers of the stadium where Lindsey Willows had weekly soccer practice pondering the easy friendship that had blossomed between herself and Catherine.

After that morning of mutual discovery the two women had become good, close friends. Their eight year age difference fell away with their discovered shared interests: work, of course, but also, opera, motor racing, theatre, art and surprisingly, Lindsey. Sara had surprised herself by embracing the childish friendship of Cath's daughter whole-heartedly. So much that she now had a regular, once-a-week Lindsey date. Nothing but nothing, not even work, not even Catherine, got in the way of Lindsey and Sara's soccer practice and soda date.

Deep in thought Sara failed to notice the blonde woman come to stand close by her side in accepted companionship.

Startled by the body leaning into her side, Sara recognized the scent of Catherine and smiled to herself, glancing to her left to see Catherine's smiling face. The tall brunette greeted her friend with a soft, "Hey you. Thought you were working?"

Catherine chuckled. "I was, but there's nothing happening and Gil offered to let me out for good behavior. So, thought I'd come see what you two get up to without me. That ok?"

Before Sara could nod in acceptance she was distracted by a loud shout. Turning back to the pitch she was just in time to see Lindsey scoring a perfectly volleyed goal. Whooping with encouragement she failed to see the coach turn and look her way with an obvious look of adoration on her face.

Catherine didn't miss the look. Winking at the besotted coach she smiled smugly and reached over to Sara.

Still oblivious to her surroundings the first Sara knew was the shiver that ran up the length of her spine as long, nimble fingers slipped inside her back pocket and squeezed gently but firmly on her ass cheek in an instantly recognizable gesture, even to the socially naive Sara, that said, 'you're mine'.

Whipping around her gaze was captured by the expression in the crystal blue pools of her friend's eyes. Articulate, confident Sara Sidle could only manage the one word question, "Catherine?"

The End

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