DISCLAIMER: The characters along with all rights, fame and fortune belong to
Bruckheimer and CBS. I don't own them and gain nothing except the pleasure
of their company in my imagination.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Leaving Las Vegas
"I asked for a leave of absence today. Six months, maybe a year."
They were sitting on the park bench, watching Lindsey as she played happily on the swing. Sara could not look Catherine in the face as she spoke. Which was just as well, because Catherine would be hard-pressed to explain the mortified expression on her face.
"What did Grissom say?"
Sara snorted bitterly. "He told me, and I quote, the Lab needs me."
After a pause, she continued. "I applied to the FBI and they are setting up an interview for me in their Las Vegas field office later this week. I was thinking of heading east. Back to Boston. Maybe New York."
Catherine's chest grew tighter with every word. She was actually serious about this. But this could not be happening. Catherine needed Sara to stay. It's true what they say about not missing something until you lose it.
She had to do something about this now or regret it forever.
"Sara, I have to drop Lindsey off at my sister's place. Then I'll come back and we will talk about this."
Catherine tried to make her voice as firm as possible but the words came out more as a plea than an order as she had intended. Fortunately, Sara just nodded in assent.
"Coffee. Black with one sugar."
Sara smiled and accepted the mug gratefully. Catherine sipped from her own, wincing a little when the liquid burnt her tongue. They sat on the sofa facing the TV, which was off but provided something for the both of them to stare at. The silence grew more uncomfortable by the minute. Sara shifted in her seat and turned to face Catherine the exact moment Catherine decided to do the same thing.
Seemed like great minds think alike. Sara nodded her head for Catherine to go first.
"Sara, why are you here?"
The look on Sara's face was one of hurt and mild embarrassment.
"I'm sorry if I'm imposing... I just thought..."
"What? You thought what?"
Sara racked her brains to find the suitable words.
"I know we've not been close but I consider you a friend. I wanted you to hear it from me, not Grissom."
When Catherine gave no reply, Sara stood up and gathered her jacket from the chair. The situation was getting too awkward for her.
"I should go. I've taken up enough of your time "
"Sara, are you leaving because of Gil?"
Catherine's question stopped Sara in her tracks. It had to be that same old damn issue again.
"No. This is not about Gil. It's not about the hamburger. It's about me. For once I'm thinking about me. Is that alright??"
Sara's outburst caught Catherine off guard.
Sara realized that she was ranting and Catherine probably had no idea what she was talking about.
"You know what, I really have to go. And I'm sorry."
Catherine's voice was barely a whisper.
"Don't go Sara."
"I have to. It's getting late and I have a lot to do before work."
That was not exactly true. She didn't have anything to do except go home and stare at her walls till it was time to go to work again.
"Don't leave Vegas."
Sara sighed resignedly. She was getting tired of this. She just realized that her life was defined by her work and for once, being appreciated and needed for that left her with an empty feeling.
"Catherine, life at CSI will still go on without me. The Lab doesn't need me."
"I need you."
Catherine's voice was so soft that Sara couldn't be sure that she spoke at all.
Chestnut eyes locked onto crystal blue ones at the same instant.
There have been many times in her life Sara heard those three words spoken to her. Never have they held so many possibilities as they did now. She was afraid to interpret them the way she really wanted to.
Catherine rose from the sofa and took a step towards the brunette. She had one chance to win and two to lose. Considering her feelings right now, they seemed like pretty good odds. For Sara, she would take a one in a million chance. Sara did not move even as Catherine invaded her personal space. That was a good sign.
"What do you need me for, Catherine?"
Was Sara teasing her or was that a genuine question? There was only one way to find out.
Catherine slid her palms up Sara's arms till they rested on her shoulders. Their eyes were still locked together; both women powerless to break the connection. Before Sara could move, Catherine leaned forward and pressed her lips against Sara's own soft ones. All intention of an innocent kiss was lost the moment she tasted Sara. As her restraint crumbled, her mouth hungrily devoured Sara, her hands moved on their own accord, slipping unabashedly beneath the fabric of Sara's shirt and tracing out the contours of her torso and chest.
By the time she broke the kiss, both women were panting. Catherine leaned in towards Sara again, this time with more certainty. She couldn't get enough. Only this time, she felt Sara's hand on her chest, stopping her.
"Catherine, this isn't right."
Catherine wondered whether it was possible for the ground to open and swallow her up that very instant. She felt heat rise in her face as she jerked her hands from under Sara's shirt as if it was on fire.
"I I'm sorry I don't know what came over me "
Sara used her forefinger to tilt Catherine's chin so that she gazed towards her again.
"What I meant was, wouldn't we be more comfortable continuing this in your bed?"
Catherine almost laughed out in relief as she took Sara's hand and led her towards the bedroom.
"So I assume you won't be taking your leave after all?"
"You're pretty confident of yourself after just one day " Sara couldn't help but tease the blond goddess sprawled under her.
"Don't tease "
"I intend to go ahead with that " Catherine's face turned pale. " if I could take you with me." Her face relaxed.
"But since you can't , I guess you'll have to stay."
"I wouldn't mind staying right here forever."
Sara couldn't get enough of touching and feeling and tasting the flesh beneath hers.
"We do have to get to work soon, you know."
"Do we have to?"
Sara practically whined.
"Yes we have to missy. You have to go see Grissom and tear up that application."
Sara sighed and rolled off Catherine. She definitely wasn't looking forward to the groveling she'd probably have to do.
"He's going to wonder why I changed my mind. I don't think he's ready to know about us and besides, I'm not thrilled about letting him get off the hook so easily. I am serious about him learning to respect me. "
Catherine continued to trace patterns on Sara's stomach as she pondered her lover's quandary. An idea began to grow in her mind.
"Leave it to me."
Sara eyed her warily.
"What are you going to do?"
Catherine smiled deviously and winked at Sara.
"Never mind what I'm going to do. If all goes as planned, you'll be able to take back your application graciously, with Gil's apology and maybe even some flowers to boot. Trust me."
"I always have."
Sara pulled Catherine tightly against her, relishing the feel of skin against skin. She should have left Las Vegas a long time ago.
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