DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters. I do this only for my sanity.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for my friend and beta reader darandkerry who asked me to write a Cath/Sofia story wherein they took their origami discussion from 'Big Shots - S07E19' a little further.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

It's a Skill
By Debbie


Catherine searched the bag of their victim as Sofia looked on. She pulled out something that appeared to be shaped like a flower and showed it to her police colleague.

Sofia muttered, "Gold Square Bar, gold wad of tissue in her purse -- figured it was worth checking out. It looks like a bar napkin."

"Yeah, that's been shaped, rolled and twisted. Las Vegas origami. Pretty corny." Catherine showed Sofia the phone number and name scribbled inside the 'flower-head'.

Sofia smiled shyly. "Probably work on me."

They both chuckled as Catherine teased. "That bad, huh?"

"Oh yeah." Sofia's reply was more than wry.

Later that day, after chasing down the guy who'd fashioned his own version of Origami, the two women had migrated to a local coffee shop to wind down.

"So, Sofia, it's been a pretty dry time romance-wise, huh?"

Catherine watched Sofia's face with interest. It'd been a pretty dry time for Catherine, too, just lately, and a much longer dry period since she'd been attracted to a woman, but this woman, sitting opposite her, intrigued her so much, she was willing to quench her thirst if the chance came about.

"Yeah, what with the hassle of moving away to get my shield, and then trying to make my way in the bullpen, I haven't had much time for dating."

She watched Catherine watching her, wondering what the fire in her blue eyes signified.

Sofia continued with her explanation. "Dating, huh? I so hate that whole business. I'm in my 30's, you know, surely I could just get down to the dirty deed every once in a while."

Catherine laughed out loud. "With that attitude, you'll never get a break. No, you've got to go out there and romance somebody. Like that Carey bloke did earlier; you've got to take a chance."

"So, you're saying I should give a handmade work of art to whoever catches my eye?"

"Yeah, it's worth a try. You'd have as much chance of being successful as it appears you are by not making origami flowers."

Catherine touched Sofia's hand, breaking her obvious deep thought. "Don't think about it, just do it. Somebody would be lucky to catch you."

Sofia smiled at Catherine's words of encouragement. Too busy planning her first assault to hear Catherine's whispered extra words of just who should receive Sofia's chase.

After an enjoyable night of putting the world to rights, the two women failed to cross paths again until, on Sofia's first venture into CSI headquarters in over a week, she placed a sculptured rose on Wendy's desk.

Catherine smiled to herself, today was the day she would receive her surprise. It'd been over a week since her coffee break with Sofia, and she knew, via the grapevine called Brass, that the detective was back on duty after a few days leave. Sofia would surely have perfected her origami rose by now.

She turned the corner into her office, saw the empty desk, and sighed.

Sofia checked her watch. It was just gone 10pm, and the lab before her was empty. She could see an array of clothing ready for patch testing and knew that Sara would soon be arriving to begin her arduous tasks. She took a quick glance around, and then walked across the room to place a small paper lily on the evidence table.

Her first foray into the Origami grab-a-date plan had been a total failure. A pleasant failure, but a failure nevertheless; Wendy had had the decency to call the number on the rose and had offered to take Sofia for coffee. But, over coffee, she'd quickly explained the reason she'd moved to Vegas was because her lover was already firmly entrenched in the city.

So, rebuffed gently, Sofia had bought a book, learned how to fashion a simple lily from paper and was trying again.

Three hours later, Catherine knocked on Grissom's open door, anxious to talk through the findings of her present case.

"Hey Gil, may I have a few minutes of your time? I need to run some evidence by you."

Gil looked up from what he was doing and, as he did so, Catherine saw what looked suspiciously like an origami flower being twiddled in his hands.

Taking the seat opposite him, she jumped in with her important questions.

"What's that you're caressing?"

"Um, I'm not caressing anything," he held it out to show Catherine, "I'm trying to ascertain who might have left paper art lying around."

Catherine's mind raced with the obvious possibility floating around in her brain.

"May I?"

Gil nodded and handed the lily over. Catherine opened it and recognized the handwriting immediately. Her eyes blazed with an anger she didn't recognize, and she jumped from her seat, throwing the lily back on the desk.

"Excuse me, Gil; I need to speak with someone."

"I thought you wanted to talk?" Gil watched Catherine storm out of his room, as usual oblivious to why.

Catherine popped her head around the restroom door, seeing Sofia deep in conversation with Nick and Warrick. She called out, "Sofia, can I have a word, please? My office."

Three heads spun around at Catherine's tone, and Nick teased. "What have you done now, Detective Curtis?"

They all laughed as Sofia dutifully followed Catherine back to her office. Walking into the room, she heard Catherine's question almost before she'd crossed the threshold.

"Gil Grissom? Please tell me you've not asked him out on a date?"


"Gil has a paper lily in his hot little hands, containing your phone-number."

Sofia looked on stupefied.

"Cath, I thought you knew… I left the lily on Sara's desk."

Despite the answer being Sara, Catherine allowed a smile to filter through; at least something was right.

"Well, you'd better choose the right woman next time, then."

Catherine stormed into her office and found it empty. Suddenly, it came to her. She picked up the phone and called the front entrance, obviously a parcel had been left in the safe hands of Judy Tremont.

She slammed the phone down after a short conversation and sighed in frustration.

"Sofia, would you like to go out for a coffee?"

Catherine grinned as the detective readily agreed. Today, she was going to get to the bottom of Sofia's origami grab-a-date quest.

"So, tell me, how's the paper bending going?"

"Um, I've learned a whole new skill, though I'm probably going to give it up as a bad job. There's been absolutely no takers."

Catherine screamed internally. "Just how many women have you tried your art on?"

Sofia dropped her head in embarrassment as she answered. "Ten."

"Ten women, and no takers; damn, Sofia, what's this world coming to, I'd be jumping at the chance. Now, tell me who the ten were, and I'll see what I can do." There, she'd done it; slipped in such a massive clue that, surely, Sofia couldn't miss that Catherine was interested.

After Sofia had reeled off her list of names, Catherine immediately saw a pattern. "Why all the brunettes?"

Sofia laughed and answered in a flash. "Hello, blonde/blue eyes here. So, my perfect match is brunette/brown."

"Who the hell told you that?" Catherine was astonished.

"Um, my best friend, and she's been happily married for 15 years now."

"D'uh and it's working for you. . . . not. I think you'd better go down the blonde route next time, don't you."

Catherine smiled; she'd managed to slip another prompt into the equation. Now it was just a matter of waiting.

Catherine sat down at her desk, checking in the drawers to make sure something hadn't been hidden away to maintain propriety. Finding nothing, she made the reasoned decision to take matters into her own hands.

She switched on her computer and sighed in exasperation.

Sofia Curtis tiredly walked towards her desk in the LVPD bullpen; it'd been one of those nights. She'd spent the hours pounding the streets of Henderson on a door to door search for someone who'd witnessed a street mugging, and her feet were throbbing and her head aching.

She certainly didn't need the snickers she could hear from her male colleagues. She looked at Jim Brass who was standing by her desk with a big grin on his face.


He picked up a small object from her desk and handed it over with a deep bow. "Me thinks Detective Curtis has an admirer somewhere."

Sofia blushed and grabbed the perfectly folded Fivefold Rose from his hands. Sitting down at her desk, she turned it over and over, caressing its beautiful formation. During her recent exploits at paper folding, she'd spotted something very much like this on the web, attributed to a John Szinger; Sofia had found it too complex to even attempt. Who could have put this on her desk?

As if reading her mind, Vega called out, "There's usually a number hidden inside the stem of those things."

As the other men teased Vega as to how he knew that fact, Sofia took the opportunity to search out the piece of paper hidden inside the stem tube. She opened it carefully to see 444-5674 Red. The handwriting was in a style she didn't particularly recognize, and the telephone number was a mystery.

Taking her leave of the too interested office, she found a quiet place to call the number. She was intrigued.

Interrupting her thoughts, a young female voice answered the telephone. "Willows' residence, who's calling?"

Sofia managed to stutter out just two sounds, "Um, Lindsay?"


"Oh, is your mother home?"

The girl didn't bother to answer just turned away from the phone and hollered for her mom.

"Catherine speaking."

"Catherine? It's Sofia."

Catherine's laughter was beautiful in her ear. "So, you are easy, Curtis?"


"Is a redhead good enough?" Catherine's question was as sincere as she could make it over a telephone line, and the disappointment she felt as Sofia cut the call without another word was huge.

Catherine looked up from her desk to see Sofia smiling. She stood and crossed the room to stand toe to toe with the detective. Sofia pushed her back into the room, pulled the door to with a crash, and did something she'd only recently told Cath she'd never do in the workplace; she kissed someone senseless.

Sofia whispered her acceptance in Catherine's ear, and she sighed in relief.

The large black Denali was parked up in the garage of the cookie-cutter housing development.

Catherine had lived there for around twenty years and had yet to participate in what she'd planned for tonight.

She walked back into her living room and locked eyes with Sofia. Red and blonde had certainly been a viable option, and things were on the up. Smiling, Catherine held out her hand, asking Sofia to join her.

Sofia stood and joined Catherine, initiating a slow, unhurried kiss, it was their first weekend off together, and they intended to get to know each other better.

"You know how we've been enjoying a series of firsts…first date, first kiss, first shared day with Lindsay, first colleague let in on our secret," Catherine punctuated each first with a gentle kiss on the lips, "… well, I thought we might share another tonight." This time her kiss was more obvious in intent.

"Uh, Cath, we've already done that one, I think?"

"You think?"

Sofia grinned. "I know. It was wonderful."

"Well, this will be even better, I promise you."

With that, Catherine dragged Sofia out through the utility room and down the steps into her garage. She opened the back door of the Denali and offered her hand to give Sofia a leg up.

Jumping in without the aid offered her, Sofia turned round to pull Catherine in behind her. The two women tumbled into the spacious rear storage area with a loud thud.

Sofia was surprised to find she'd landed on a pile of cushions, and the car stereo was already playing some soothing classical piece she'd heard a few times before in Catherine's presence.

She held Catherine tight and asked her question.

"What's happening here?"

Catherine pushed Sofia down onto the pillows and straddled her hips. "I think it's pretty obvious, don't you? What did you say the other night? You've never been fucked in the back of a Denali."

"I didn't say that, did I?"

"Yeah, you did, with that dirty mouth of yours."

"I must have been drinking then." Sofia pouted.

"No, not drinking; drunk maybe, but not drinking."

"What? That just doesn't make sense."

Catherine laughed. "Shush now. This is one first I'm going to fucking enjoy."

The further sounds of shared laughter and enjoyment almost, almost, drowned out the sounds of the music.

Catherine walked into her office and saw her desk covered with a most beautiful array of winter flowers. She crossed the room and saw, prominent in the centre of the display an exact replica of the five-fold rose she'd placed on Sofia's desk six months previous.

She caressed her lips, still tingling from her lover's anniversary goodbye, and sighed in contentment.

The End

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