DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Knock 'n' Roll
"But Grissom, you promised!" Catherine stood in Grissom's office, hands on her hips and frustration written all over her face.
"I asked you about it a month ago" She stated, her anger clearly detectable in her voice.
"I know" Grissom said "But I can't help it Nick came down with a bad case of the stomach flu"
"What about Sara?" Catherine pleaded.
"Can't ask her. It's the first time in 4 years she accepted a day off without an argument, so I'm not going to ask her"
"Well then I will" Catherine said while walking out off Grissom's office giving him no time to respond.
"Catherine, wait!" he started to her retreating form, but Catherine didn't stop. Sighing heavily he sat back in his chair.
Catherine walked through the halls of the CSI HQ -still looking really angry cause of all that had happened in Grissom's office just minutes before. Not only had he told her he and Brass would go to the Kenner residence to execute their warrant (while she was lead-CSI on this case and therefore wanted to be there during the search of the garage), but also and this was the thing that really ticked her off- told her she had to work extra hours on the day she specifically told Grissom she wanted off to spend some quality time with Lindsey.
Her mind still filled with thoughts about how to make it clear to Grissom that he better not pull this kind of trick on her again, she didn't notice Warrick coming her way.
"Hey Catherine, what's the rush?"
She jumped from surprise. "Jeez Warrick, you scared the hell out of me"
"Sorry Cath, didn't mean to. Who got you this worked up?" He asked clearly noticing who frustrated she was.
"Not now Warrick, where's Sara?" She asked scanning the halls impatiently.
"So she caused this huh? What has she done this time?" He added sarcastically.
"No it's not Sara. It's Grissom FYI. Anyhow, have you seen Sara?"
"Grissom? He must've messed up big time. I haven't seen you this worked up since "
"Well that's great Warrick, now, do you know where Sara is?" She interrupted, sending him an angry glare.
"Whoa, don't take it out on me! And as for Sara, I saw her in the break-room about fifteen minutes ago. Said she had to go to the garage to check something on the SUV from the Kenner's."
"Thanks Warrick" Catherine said while heading off in the direction of the CSI-garage. Before turning the corner she turned back hesitantly, and looked over at Warrick. Her mind finally registered how she had treated her best friend just now and shame washed over her. "Sorry about that. It's just Grissom wants me to work on Wednesday while I specifically asked him to give me that day off so I could spend it with Lindsey. We already made plans for the whole day" She said, the anger in her voice replaced by guilt.
"It's ok, just cool down a bit, and don't take it out on Sara like you did with me." He took a few steps in her direction and placed a hand on her shoulder. With a twinkling in his eyes he added "just ask her *nicely* She probably won't mind. You know she wouldn't mind working for you, right?" A smirk spread over his face and he gave a little squeeze in her shoulder. Then he turned and headed for one of the labs.
"Yeah thanks Warrick" Catherine's anger was now totally gone. She didn't miss the look Warrick had sent her. "What's up with that?" she thought.
"No problemo" Warrick said before he completely vanished in the lab.
Entering the garage, Catherine had to smile. In front of her was the big SUV that had been involved in a hit-and-run. Shattered on the floor around the car were al kinds of power tools, and mid-under the SUV two legs clad in blue coveralls could be seen. A hand came reaching out from underneath the car, and searched the floor probably for some kind of tool.
Catherine took a few steps towards the SUV, picked up the tool that was just inches out of Sara's reach. Kneeling down next to the car she put the tool in the still searching hand.
"Looking for this?" she asked, startling Sara, and causing her to hit her head against the bottom of the car.
"Ouch, Fuck" Sara hissed
"O my Sara, sorry, I didn't mean to " shock written all over Catherine's face. Catherine mentally kicked her own butt: 'This is not the way to persuade her into working for you, Willows.'
Sara crawled away from the car. "You scared the shit out of me" she said as she tried to stand up only to kneel down again quickly, because of the dizziness that took over her whole body.
"I'm sorry" Catherine walked over to Sara and kneeled in front of her.
"Let me look" She pulled Sara's hand away from the spot on her forehead she was rubbing.
"Well, this will leave a bump, but you'll live" Catherine said, her mother-mode kicking in.
"Yeah, well, you know how hard-headed I am" Sara smirked.
"What are you doing here anyway? I thought you and Grissom were going to meet up with Brass at the Kenner's to search the garage?" She asked the dizziness finally wearing off just to be replaced by a firm headache.
"Well we were going to, but apparently all of a sudden Grissom wants to be lead-CSI on this case. But then he even managed to piss me off even more" Catherine sighed.
"Big time" she added quickly, seeing a little smirk appearing on Sara's face.
"Grissom? oh wait, let me guess. He scheduled you as replacement for Nick, am I right?"
"Yeah how did you know?" Catherine asked very surprised.
"Well you'd only be this angry at him if he forgot about you spending time with Lindsey" Sara stated seriously.
Catherine couldn't say a thing, being so surprised at how accurate Sara has been about the situation. Silence settled between them for a minute, both women thinking about the things just said. Then, after a few minutes, Sara turned and faced Catherine.
"I'll do it." She said, seriousness still in her voice.
"Do what?" Catherine's brain seemed to black-out momentarily, her eyes locked with the dark-brown eyes facing her. What she saw there made her feel tingly inside. When she realized what it was, and connecting this with the look Warrick had given her, made it all clear. She started wondering if he knew how she really felt about Sara.
A few weeks ago it had started. Every time she had to work with Sara she felt this tingly feeling in the pit of her stomach. At first she had ignored it, but after a few days Catherine had found it very hard to be close to Sara. She tried to act normal around Sara -not really knowing what to do with herself- which resulted in even more arguments with her than she had had in all those years they had worked together.
Catherine noticed she had been staring at Sara, and she tried to look away. But those eyes in front of her held her captive.
"I'll work those hours" Sara stated apparently not noticing Catherine's brain-failure "It's not like I had a full schedule otherwise." She added, sadness lingering underneath.
"You're willing to do that for me?" Catherine asked, still not really coping the fact that Sara had offered her help that easily. "Even after what I did to your head?"
"Sure, why not. I'll probably be able to figure out some way how you can make it up to me" Sara said. "This included" she pointed to the now clearly visible bump. When she realized how flirty that had sounded she suddenly shifted her gaze to the SUV in front of them.
Sara had noticed the tension between the two of them over the last few weeks, but she guessed it had something to do with a case involving the death of an eight-year-old girl. (Catherine had been so emotional during the interrogation of one of the suspects Sara had ordered her to step outside, and hand the case over completely to her. Grissom had backed her up and had put Catherine on another case. She had been very angry at her at first, but afterwards when she had had some time to think about it all- she had thanked Sara for what she had done.)
Although, this time the tension seemed different.
Since Sara had her eyes fixed on the SUV she didn't see it coming: Suddenly she felt two arms wrap around her in a strong embrace. The muttered "Thank you" almost didn't register in her brain as she was lost in the touch of Catherine. But not wanting to make a complete fool out of herself she pulled herself together and told Catherine it wasn't a problem at all.
Catherine's mind was occupied with the thought that their body's fitted perfectly. When she realized she was still embracing Sara she quickly let go and scrambled onto her feet giving one last look at Sara before leaving, adding another "Thank you" and heading for Grissom's office again.
Sara still seated on the floor of the garage- followed Catherine till she was out of sight. She felt her stomach was still making flip-flops and a warmth started to spread through her whole body. Could it be that after all this time Catherine wanted the same from her as she had wanted from Catherine -practically since the first time they met?
Catherine had given her a hard time from the start and they had had lots of arguments about cases, but working together got the best out of both of them and she had enjoyed those times. Teamed-up they were the best CSI's Las Vegas had. She didn't want to ruin their already tense (but successful) work-relationship, so she had tried to forget about her feelings and never acted on them, but they were still there even after all those years.
Shaking her still sore head she said to herself "I better not get my hopes up, it's probably my head that's tricking me" still a bit taken aback at what just happened.
While she got up, and walked over to the SUV again Greg entered the garage.
"Hey Sara" Greg said "I've got some DNA-results you might be interested in, wanna trade?"
"The only trade I am willing to make with you is my boot up your ass if you don't give me that ASAP!" she said, her back still facing him.
"Well, that's a tempting offer, but I think I'll pass" he answered trying to sound as serious as possible. But he failed miserably and his laughter filled the room soon joined by Sara's laughter.
Both still laughing Sara turned round to face him, and all of a sudden his laughter stopped and shock was written all over his face.
"What happened to you?" he asked pointing towards her forehead.
"Catherine " Sara started, but before she could finish Greg interrupted
"She did this to you? She hit you?" he asked shock written all over his face.
"NO Greg! If you would let me finish. I hit my head on the bottom of the car" she answered.
"Why would you think Catherine hit me?" she asked him already knowing the answer she would get, but trying to defend Catherine.
"Well," Greg started suddenly finding his sneakers very interesting, "It's not like you're best friends"
"Ghee Greg, thanks. Good to know 'we' are on different terms."
"Just so you know Catherine startled me while I was working underneath the car. Then I hit my head. There was no fighting involved."
Greg didn't know what to say so he quickly handed Sara the paper with the DNA-results and walked away.
While Sara looked at the results she called after Greg: "Try to keep the office-gossip to a minimum. Remember how Nick made you pay for it last time?" Greg nodded slightly.
"Just know I will make it ten times worse" And with that said she turned back to the car and Greg looking like a dog with his tail between his legs- went back to his lab.
She new he wouldn't dare to talk to anybody about it knowing the consequences that would follow from the previous time when the gossip could be traced back to start at him. It had been about Nick and his new girlfriend. Sara hadn't heard the whole story she just didn't bother listening to hallway blabbering, but the part where Nick found out Sander's was the main source of it all and the way how Nick made him pay was Sara's favorite.
Even thinking about it now made her laugh again. Nick had made him wear the ugliest country-western outfit of the world at work for two weeks, and made him listen to the worst country songs over and over again. (Greg had told Sara just days before it all happened how much he hated country, and when Nick told Sara Greg had been the start of the rumors about him and his girlfriend she was glad to share this information with him.)
"He sure learned his lesson" She said to herself
"Ok Sara, focus" She looked at the DNA-results and then some pieces of the puzzle fell together. A lot of evidence was found last shift the case seemed almost solved- but Sara had the feeling something was off. Her mind ran back over the things that had been discovered since last shift.
It was only yesterday that the team had started on this case. Alice Kenner was a suspect in a hit-and-run case where and old lady was hit by an SUV. Several witnesses had seen a silver- metallic SUV and one of them could even remember a part of the number plate. All evidence had let her and Catherine to 6 SUV's in Las Vegas that matched the description and the part of the number plate.
Brass had found out 2 of those SUV's were owned by a small service company and had been nowhere near the accident site. 2 others were rental-cars that had been in the company's garage during the accident. That left them two SUV's to find.
After some computer-searching Brass had found both owners and their cars. The first place they visited was of a Mr. Brandz, fifty years of age, clothed in an expensive suit and dark rimmed glasses framed his round face. He was a real estate agent and his office had done great business last months.
"Mr Brandz, I'm Captain Jim Brass, I'm with the Las Vegas PD." He flashed his badge and then pointed over his shoulder towards the two women standing behind him. "These are Catherine Willows and Sara Sidle, they're with the crime lab. We would like to ask you some questions"
The man stepped aside and let the three of them enter. After closing the door he led them to the living room. He sat down in a large armchair near the large window at the backside of the room. Catherine took place on the couch opposite the chair and Sara and Brass both stood behind her.
"Mr Brandz, where were you two nights ago between eight and ten pm?" Sara asked impatiently, wanting to know if they were on the right track. Was he the bastard that had fled after hitting an old lady with his car, leaving her to die? She knew she shouldn't let her emotions interfere with the job, but she couldn't help it.
"What? Why is that any of your business?" He started
"Got something to hide, Mr Brandz? Brass asked
"I was in my office if you must know, working on a last-minute sale. Big costumer, big money. It was worth the overtime."
Catherine could feel Sara's hand grab the back cushion of the couch in a death-grip, and threw a look over her shoulder and saw Sara's impatience build up and before it would escalate in something worse she took over.
"Mr Brandz, we're investigating a hit-and-run. There were several eyewitnesses that saw an SUV that matches yours. You could help yourself by letting us have a look at your car." Catherine said.
"Don't you need a warrant for that?" Brandz asked.
"Only if you are not willing to cooperate. But if you're as innocent as you say you are, why not help us out now. Saves a lot of time." Brass told him.
"Knock yourself out" he said while throwing the keys on the coffee table in the middle of the room. "It's at the back. Be careful with my baby"
"Don't worry we'll treat her with all the respect she deserves." Sara said as she took a step towards the table and picked up the keys, giving the man a fake smile and walking out of the room.
"Oh, Mr Brandz?" Catherine asked as she stood up from the couch "who has access to your car?"
"It's my car, and I'm the only one that drives in it" he said. He seemed to get more and more frustrated from all the questions asked.
While Brass stayed with Mr Brandz, Catherine went over to the Tahoe where Sara stood at the back to collect their kits.
"Sara? Are you ok?" Catherine asked. Sara had stood at the back of the Tahoe without opening the back nor taking out their kits.
Opening the back of the Tahoe Catherine looked over at Sara who still didn't answer.
"Sara?" she tried one more time.
"huh sorry I was thinking about something. What did you say?" she said, feeling a little embarrassed being caught off guard.
"Were you thinking about the case? Did you see something inside?" Catherine asked interested in Sara's thoughts.
Sara's face flushed a little. She averted her eyes hoping Catherine wouldn't notice. She couldn't tell her the truth. She couldn't tell her it was *her* she had been thinking about or rather the fact that the two of them had to work on that SUV together. Working with her in such a confined space she would have to use all her strength to focus on the job at hand.
Feeling Catherine's eyes still on her and realizing she hadn't answered yet- she remembered the question asked.
"That man works on my nerves. Don't tell Grissom I said this, but I've got the feeling something's wrong. I'm not sure what it is, but he's hiding something" she said.
"Stop the presses. Sara Sidle listening to her guts in stead of the evidence?" Catherine kidded, but then continued in a more serious tone "That's so not like you. Are you sure?"
"No, that's why it's called a hunch" Sara answered sarcastically.
Taking out the two kits and offering one to Sara, Catherine said "Well, let's go check that SUV and we'll know soon enough what he's hiding."
With a big sigh Sara took her kit out of Catherine's hands and headed of towards the back of the house where the car was parked.
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