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Take a moment and look up...
There were advantages and disadvantages to speaking Farsi, thought Mac distractedly as she reviewed her sparse lodgings for the night, grateful for the thick comforter and roaring fire. The major disadvantage was that she often ended up in hot climates and with sand in unfortunate places; the advantage however, was that she'd managed to skip her last couple of rounds of cold weather duty...She'd not been too bothered, thinking living through D.C. winters had probably helped keep up her immunity a little....how careless that assumption had been.
Alaska, in November, was fucking freezing: there really was no other way to describe it.
Sighing to herself, Mac's eye was caught by a glossy leaflet sitting on the bedside table - it was a tourist brochure, announcing the one winter attraction that would attract a cold Marine Colonel's attention - a hot tub...with a glass roof? Intrigued, Mac sat down on the bed and considered the leaflet...certain her ever present sea bag contained a sensible one piece swim suit, after all, she was a Marine.
Grissom's ability to remember that she was the lab expert on blood spatter was amazingly selective. When there was an important international conference in Hawaii, he always forgot; when there was an 'interesting' blood spatter pattern in a case that the local law enforcement were not qualified to handle, he always remembered...why did Grissom only know people in the most inhospitable of climates?
Sure, Catherine Willows had once lived in Montana, grew up there in fact, and as a result was used to the concept of 'cold', but the many years she'd lived and worked in Las Vegas had conditioned her body to redefine cold...and it didn't involve sub zero temperatures being the daily 'maximum'...
Unpacking her bag, Catherine surveyed her surroundings, thankful that the motel owners prided themselves on warm and spotless accommodation. It was hard enough to sleep in a hotel room when you'd processed as many as Catherine had....but it was easier if it, superficially at least, didn't look, or smell like a dive. Now, if only this town had a hot tub....
Settling back into the warm bubbling water, Mac felt her neck and shoulders relax for the first time since she'd arrived at Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks, Alaska. As Army bases went, it seemed fairly standard, not that she was as familiar with Army bases as she was Marine or Navy, but due to a paperwork crisis, she was billeted to the town, rather than the base. Given how many Marines she'd just upset this afternoon by delaying their departure (they were visiting for cold weather training at the base) back to warmer climes owing to her investigation (like she was glad to be sent to Alaska to investigate them?), staying off base was probably no bad thing....
Shifting her position slightly, so that a particularly enthusiastic bubbling jet of warm water was directed straight at a particularly tense part of her back, Mac felt the tension in her body dissipate enough that her head naturally dropped back to rest on the lip of the tub....revealing why a glass roof was so important....
Streaking across the inky black sky were sheets of colours, their intensity surprising Mac as her startled brain finally recognised what she was seeing - the Northern Lights. Settling more comfortably into her hot water massage, Mac was content to let her mind drift as her eyes marvelled at the greatest light show she'd ever seen...
With half an eye on where she was putting her feet, and most of her attention on the sky above her, Catherine Willows carefully stepped into the hot tub, automatically noticing the brunette sitting on the far side, seemingly transfixed by the light show above. When she'd first started out for the hot tub, Catherine, used to the neon intensity of the Strip, had dismissed the streaks of green and pink that shot across the sky, automatically assuming them to be the product of another over priced light show at one of the hotels.... but then she remembered....this wasn't Vegas. Stopping suddenly, she had stood, open mouthed, transfixed at the show the heavens were putting on...the Aurora Borealis...she'd not thought of them for years, only reminded of them when she'd processed a kid's bedroom once, which was covered in posters of the phenomenon. Her gawping had soon stopped though...the wind soon reminded her that she wasn't in Vegas, even if the scenery had confused her for a moment.
Mac's attention was distracted from the sky when she heard the heart-felt sigh of contentment as a blonde sank into the water, her eyes never wavering from the show above them. Curious, Mac had studied the woman, noting the weariness in the face, the chapped lips and the long blonde hair, only for her assessment to be interrupted by the woman,
"You're either incredibly stupid or obedient to be here..." Most women know when they're being watched; all strippers know when they're being watched; all CSIs know when they're being watched...Catherine didn't need to move her head to know that the attractive brunette, hair pinned tidily up on the top of her head, was watching her.
"Obedient..." volunteered Mac simply, not in the least bit offended or embarrassed about being caught.
"But you didn't argue...doesn't that make you stupid too?" reasoned Catherine, letting her body float a little in the warm water, content to anchor herself in place with the back of her head and her fingertips.
"I'm a Marine...so I'm just obedient..." reasoned Mac, resuming her own sky gazing, content to let the blonde reply in her own time.
"Ah, I'm just stupid..."
"My boss sent me up here...from Vegas..." explained Catherine, not sure what it was about the softly spoken Marine that was encouraging these revelations, but too warm and spacey to be bothered to worry much.
"Isn't that obedient?" queried Mac, turning her head to look at her conversation partner.
"If I made a habit of doing what he said, yes..." admitted Catherine honestly, remembering all the times she'd ignored "Grissom the Boss" when he'd told her to do something and instead only listened to "Gil the friend", interpreting his instructions as advice.
"You often say no to your boss?" asked Mac, reminding herself that not every work place was like the military. You could say no and live....most of the time.
"Sometimes...which is why I'm stupid...who'd come to Alaska in November?" asked Catherine, dragging her eyes away from the sky and locking her gaze with surprisingly rich green ones.
"I did think that..." agreed Mac, trying not to analyse her situation with anything approaching rationalness.
"Did?" Catherine sensed a shift in her companion's mood, away from whimsy to thoughtfulness...
"Then I looked up and it didn't matter any more..." admitted Mac, before tearing her gaze from the blonde's and once more looking at the sky....Aurora Borealis...Alaska in November...fantastic.
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