DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
How I Met Your Mother
Sara leaned forward and held a spoonful of carrots out to the frowning child. "Come on sweetie, open wide," she pleaded. The blonde-haired child pursed her lips tighter and stared at the spoon, refusing to eat. Sara held the spoon and mimicked the movements of a train. "Here comes the train. Choo, choo choo, choo."
"What the " Sarah turned and stared at the redheaded girl standing by the kitchen door.
"Whaa, whaa whaaaaaa."
Sarah turned back to child in the high chair who was now crying with mashed carrots on her face. The frustrated woman closed her eyes and sighed. "Did you have to slam the door?"
"Sorry about that," the teenager mumbled an apology.
"Whaaaaaa " The blonde-haired child cried louder.
"It's okay sweetie it's okay shh. I'll get you cleaned up." Sara grabbed a wet washcloth from the kitchen counter and started wiping the orange mush off the child's face. She glanced over at the brooding teenager. "What's wrong?"
"Uh huh. You always slam the door when nothing is wrong?" Her question was met with silence. Sara wiped off the last of the carrots. "There you go sweetie all cleaned up."
"She's doing some last minute shopping. I don't know why she waited until Christmas Eve. I need to check on the food, see if you can get Katie to eat the rest of her carrots." Sarah walked over to the stove and stirred the contents in one of the pots. "Are you going to tell me why you're mad?"
"It's not important." The teenager held out a spoonful of carrots to the baby. "Open up. Here comes the plane." The baby smiled and ate the carrots.
"How did you do that?" Sara asked surprised. "I couldn't get her to eat."
"I have the touch," the teenager replied grinning, "and you're probably making her nervous she knows you can't cook. When's mom coming home?"
"Very funny. She'll be home in about an hour." Sara continued stirring the food. "You know, you can talk to me if you want."
"It's nothing it's just Bobby Johnson is such a jerk. He flirts with me all the time. I thought he liked me so I asked him to the school dance, but he said no. I feel so stupid."
Sara was not sure what to say. Catherine was much better when it came to talking about relationships. "Did you know that I turned your mother down the first time she asked me out?"
"Mom never told me that." The teenager fed the baby another spoonful of carrots. "Was she mad?"
"I think she was more embarrassed than mad." Sarah smiled remembering Catherine's reaction when she turned her down.
"If you blew her off, how did you end up together?"
Sara laughed. "Your mother can be very persuasive when she wants to be. The Willow's charm you have it too."
"No I don't. Bobby turned me down." The teenager frowned and took the baby out of the high chair.
"You are definitely your mother's daughter. I think Bobby Johnson will realize he made a big mistake."
"Is that what happened with you and mom you realized you made a mistake?"
"Something like that." Sara smiled. "It's a long story. If you watch Katie while I cook, I'll tell you the story of how your mother and I ended up together."
Sarah stood in the doorway, watching the dark-haired man examine the evidence on the table. She knew not to sneak up on him, so she announced her presence. "How's it coming?"
Nick Stokes turned around and smiled at his colleague. "Hey Sara. I'm still trying to piece it together."
She walked up to the table and stood by him. "Need any help."
"Sure. I'm separating the glass into different piles depending on the color and density."
Sara looked over the broken pieces of glass, getting an understanding of his method. "Got it."
They worked quietly for a few minutes before Sara spoke up. "You doing okay?"
"I'm good." Nick glanced at Sara then back down at the table. A month earlier, he had been kidnapped and buried alive for 48 hours. The CSI team found him seconds before his air supply ran out. Nick was back at work, but he was still suffering the emotional after effects of his ordeal.
"If you ever need to talk " Sara left the statement hanging in the air.
"I'm fine." Nick continued sorting the evidence.
Sara knew firsthand how destructive it was to avoid dealing with painful events. She had recently confided in her boss, Gil Grissom, about her own childhood trauma. Sara knew if she wanted to help Nick, she would need to open up to him about her past. "When I was growing up my father would beat my mother and me. Sometimes he would lock me in the closet. I still hate dark, closed-in spaces. It's gotten better, but it never goes away. I have trouble with certain crime scenes. Sometimes I'm okay sometimes they bring up old memories."
Nick stared at Sara for a moment. They had worked together for 5 years and he never knew about her childhood. She never talked about her personal life. "I know what you mean," he said softly.
Sara swallowed hard, trying to keep her emotions down. "It's not always easy getting over the past. I just want you to know I'm here if you ever want to talk or anything."
Nick wiped the unshed tears from his eyes and pulled Sara into a hug. "Thanks," he whispered.
"Nick do you have the Oh." Catherine walked into the lab and saw Sara and Nick hugging.
Sara stepped back and looked down at the table.
"Hi, Catherine." Nick wiped his nose.
"I'm sorry did I interrupt something?" She looked between Sara and Nick.
"No." Nick shook his head.
Catherine walked over to the table. "Any luck with the glass?"
"Not yet, Sara's been helping me "
"I can see that." Catherine interrupted Nick before he could finish his statement.
Sara stared at Catherine, then looked back at Nick. "You seem to have it under control. I'm going to check with Greg on the lab results." She turned and walked out of the lab.
"Was it something I said?" Catherine commented sarcastically.
Nick shook his head and looked down at evidence on the table.
"What?" Catherine asked innocently.
"You know exactly what you did Catherine the disapproving tone in your voice. Cut Sara some slack."
"Why should I? Sara never cuts me any slack." Catherine replied annoyed.
Nick turned to his colleague. "What's your problem, Catherine?"
"What are you talking about?"
"Warrick gets married and you give him the cold shoulder. I'm friendly with Sara and you snub her." Nick could not keep the irritation out of his voice.
"You and Sara looked very cozy when I walked in."
Nick knew what Catherine was implying. "You shouldn't jump to conclusions. Sara and I were talking it got a little emotional."
"Her emotions are all over the place these days." Sara had confronted Catherine about a spousal abuse case in the hallway. Conrad Ecklie, the department head, overheard the conversation and suspended Sara for a week for insubordination. Grissom was able to intervene on Sara's behalf and kept her from being fired.
"Get off it Catherine you don't know anything about Sara. Why do you dislike her so much?" Nick demanded.
"I don't dislike Sara." Catherine stared at Nick.
"Right. I need to get back to work, Catherine. I can handle the evidence on my own." Nick looked down at the table and picked up a piece of glass.
Catherine could tell she was being dismissed. "Let me know if you find anything." She walked out of the lab.
Catherine sat in her office thinking about Nick's comments concerning her attitude towards Sara. From the first moment Sara came to Las Vega, Catherine treated her like and outsider. Grissom had contacted Sara to investigate the murder of a rookie CSI agent. Catherine reluctantly agreed to work with her on the case and they found the killer. Sara was a first rate CSI and this created an unspoken competition between the two women. They had trouble getting along from the beginning,
They bonded briefly when Catherine reached out to Sara after Sara's boyfriend cheated on her. The two women started to from a friendship, but this was cut short when Catherine's ex-husband, Eddie, was murdered. Sara was assigned the case, but she was not able to make an arrest due to lack of evidence. They became further estranged when the night shift team split up and Catherine became a supervisor.
Even though the team was now working together since Nick's kidnapping, Catherine and Sara's friendship was still strained. Catherine needed an unbiased opinion on the situation. She decided to talk to the only person in the lab who could help her sort everything out.
Catherine stood at Grissom's door and hesitated a moment before walking in. "You got a minute?"
"Come in." He waved her in the office. "What's up?"
"Do you think I'm a bitch?" Catherine sat down in the chair opposite Grissom.
"Where did that come from?" Grissom asked surprised.
"Warrick's mad at me, Nick is mad at me, and Sara's mad at me. The only one's left are you and Greg. Of course I haven't talked to Greg lately, so he could be mad at me too I don't know."
"Well, if it's any consolation, I'm not mad at you." Grissom smiled.
Catherine looked at her watch. "There are still 3 hours left till the end of shift give me time."
"What seems to be the problem?"
"Me it seems." Catherine sighed.
"Why don't you start from the beginning?" Grissom leaned back in his chair waiting for Catherine to answer.
"I feel like an outsider in this lab. Warrick gets married and I find out by accident. Nick turns to Sara for help, instead of me. And Sara well, she and I haven't always gotten along, but lately all we do is fight and everyone, but Ecklie, wants to take her side."
"This has been a difficult year for all of us. The team split up, you became a supervisor Nick's kidnapping. It's only natural that the dynamics are changing." Grissom looked at Catherine. "We all deal with these changes in our own way. Can I ask you a personal question?"
"Are you involved with anyone?"
"Are you are saying I need to go out and find a boyfriend please Gil, I'm surprised you would even acknowledge the need for relationships." Catherine was obviously aggravated by Grissom's question.
Grissom looked at her and remained silent.
"Well it's official everyone is mad at me except Greg. Maybe I can find him and get a perfect score." Catherine got up to leave.
"Catherine when was the last time you went out and had fun?"
"You seem to be wound pretty tight." Grissom looked at her. "Maybe you should take some time off and relax."
"That's priceless coming from you."
"Catherine you walked into my office and asked my opinion. I'm giving it to you. Take tomorrow off and spend some time with Lindsey."
Catherine sat on the bench in front of her locker. Maybe Grissom was right. Maybe she needed to take a day off. She should probably find Sara and apologize to her for being rude earlier.
"You okay Catherine?"
"What?" Catherine looked up and saw Sara.
"You were sitting there staring. Everything okay?" Sara pulled her jacket out of her locker.
"Yeah just tired. I'm glad shift's over." Catherine sighed.
"Me too. See ya tomorrow." Sara closed her locker and started walking towards the door.
"Sara , " Catherine thought about asking the younger woman to join her for breakfast.
"Yes." Sara looked at her.
"I'll see you tomorrow. Get some rest."
Sara nodded and walked out of the locker room. She got in her car and was about to start the engine when she heard a knock at her window. "You scared me."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." Catherine replied.
"Did you need something?" Sara asked.
Catherine hesitated. "I I'm sorry I was a bitch earlier today."
"No different from any other day, Catherine." Sara replied without thinking.
"I guess I deserve that." Catherine sighed.
Sara looked at the older woman and realized she was serious about her apology. "What's wrong Catherine?"
"I haven't been a very pleasant person to be around lately. Grissom told me to take tomorrow off and spend some time with Lindsey."
"That's not a bad idea."
"Maybe I'll just get drunk." Catherine laughed.
"That's not a bad idea either." Sara agreed.
"Maybe I just need to get fucked too much tension built up." Catherine caught the surprised look on Sara's face. "Did I just say that out loud?"
"Yes." Sara grinned. She had never seen Catherine blush before.
"How long has it been for you Sara?"
"Sex how long has it been?" Catherine asked.
"Catherine, I " Sara stammered over her words.
"Sara, we've worked together for 5 years. Why aren't we friends? We should be should be able to talk about girl stuff."
"Catherine that's a personal question. Have you asked Warrick, Nick or Grissom when there last time was?" Sara replied sarcastically.
"I don't have too. Warrick just got married, Grissom has no life Nick, I'm not sure. Hang on." Catherine pulled out her phone. "Nick, I'm outside talking to Sara and I have a personal question for you. When was the last time you had sex? We are trying to figure out if any of us have a life. Uh huh yeah uh huh. Really, you think so I okay, thanks Nick."
"What did he say?" Sara could not believe Catherine had just asked Nick about his sex like, but she was curious about his answer.
"He said if we have to ask him about his sex life, then we definitely have no life."
Sara laughed. "Was that all he said?"
"And he thinks we are both sexually frustrated and we should just do each other it might help us get along better." Catherine blurted out quickly.
"Nick said that?" Sara asked surprised.
Catherine stared at Sara. "Yes maybe we should test it."
"Sara, I uh, did I say that out loud?" Catherine knew she was getting in dangerous territory.
"Are you asking me to have sex with you?" Sara asked, not sure if Catherine was joking.
Catherine nodded her head shyly.
"Yes." Catherine whispered.
"You don't even like me "
"I like you, Sara. That's the problem."
"Oh." Sara stared at the older woman.
Catherine could understand Sara's confusion and she decided it was time to be honest with her. "I've been attracted to you for a long time. I didn't know what to do with my feelings for you so I pushed you away. I do like you, Sara."
"I don't know what to say." Sara was speechless.
Catherine leaned against the car door and looked at her. "Say yes."
"I'm sorry, Catherine I have to go." Sara started her car, then looked over at the older woman. "I'll see you tomorrow."
Catherine stepped away from the car. She realized she had just made a huge mistake. She could only stare as she watched Sara drive away. Catherine let the situation get out of hand and propositioned Sara.
"Goodnight, Catherine." Nick passed her on the way to his car.
"I just told Sara I wanted to have sex with her." Catherine replied flatly as she continued to stare in the direction of Sara's car.
"What?" Nick stopped and turned to the older woman.
"Oh my God, oh my God I can't believe I just did that." Catherine started pacing.
"You really asked Sara to have sex with you?" Nick asked in disbelief.
"Yes!" She was almost hysterical. "It's your fault."
"What? Catherine I was just kidding I didn't expect you to really ask her."
"I know I know. I was joking with her about what you said and I don't know what happened. I just blurted it out. Oh my God." Catherine covered her face with her hands.
"Catherine Cat it's okay. Maybe Sara thinks you were joking." Nick could see she was upset and tried to reassure her.
"No she knows I was serious." Catherine sighed.
"What did she say?"
"She said she was sorry and she had to go."
"Ouch." Nick frowned.
"I'll never be able to face her. What am I going to do?"
"Move out-of-state." Nick smiled.
Catherine stared at him. "It's not funny, Nick."
"I know I know." Nick held up his hands. "I'm sorry. I just I would have loved to have seen Sara's face."
"Nick!" Catherine had his attention. "What should I do?"
Nick thought for a moment then answered. "Pretend it never happened."
"Wait for Sara to bring it up. Chances are she doesn't know what to say either."
"What if she does?"
"That depends do you like her?" Nick asked seriously.
"I yes." Catherine replied quietly.
"I knew it. There is way too much tension between the two of you." Nick grinned. "I think Sara is attracted to you too."
"I don't think so, she just drove away."
"Maybe you should try asking her out on a date instead of asking her for sex. You might get a better response. You haven't exactly made it easy for her to get close to you."
Catherine shook her head. "I don't know, maybe I should just forget this ever happened."
Nick reached out and touched Catherine's arm. "I'm not sure if it's a physical attraction or an intellectual attraction, but Sara likes you. She just has a hard time getting close people. If you like Sara, then give her a chance to get to know what a wonderful, caring person you can be."
"Thanks, Nick. I'll think about it."
Sarah sat in the break room drinking coffee, waiting for shift to start. It had been three days since she had seen Catherine. She was expected back today and Sara was nervous about running into her. Sara fidgeted at the table as she looked around the room. Nick, Warrick, and Greg were talking about the previous night's football game.
"Hey guys." Catherine walked in the room and over to the coffee pot.
"Hey Cat, how was your time off?" Warrick asked.
Catherine poured a cup of coffee. "Good. I spent some time with Lindsey and caught up on things. Anything exciting happen while I was gone?"
Nick spoke up. "Nah just the usual DBs, robberies and car jackings."
Catherine sat down next to him and smiled towards Sara. The younger CSI nodded and looked away.
"Listen up every one." Grissom walked in the room. "Looks like we have a busy night tonight."
"Nick and Warrick an accident of the highway. Catherine and Sara a DB on the strip. Greg you're with me. Everyone check in later." Grissom handed everyone their assignments.
Catherine walked over to Sara. "I guess it's you and me tonight." She hoped the shaking in her voice did not give away how nervous she was.
Sara nodded. "I'll meet you outside. I need to stop by the rest room." Sara stood in front of the restroom mirror, trying to keep from hyperventilating. She took a couple of deep breaths and splashed water on her face. "You can do this Sara. Get a grip."
"You ready?" Catherine smiled at Sara as she got in the passenger side of the SUV.
"Yeah." Sara replied then sat quietly staring out the window.
They rode in silence for a while. There was a noticeable tension in the air. Catherine drove, trying to find a way to lighten the mood. "Lindsey said to tell you hi."
"What?" Sara was pulled out of her daydream.
"Lindsey said hi." Catherine repeated herself.
"Oh how is she doing?"
"Much better since I went back to my old shift. I get to spend more time with her." Catherine replied, glad she had brought up Lindsey as a way to break the tension.
"That's good. Tell her I said hi."
"I'm thinking of having a party for Warrick and Robin. No one really knows her and I thought it might be a good way for everyone to get to meet his new wife. Nothing fancy, just a few people from work. I'll let you know when it is if you want to come." Catherine added quickly.
"Sure. Let me know if I need to bring anything." Sara turned to Catherine and smiled.
"Okay thanks." Catherine was beginning to feel much better about the whole situation. The rest of the shift went smoothly. Neither woman brought up the incident in the parking lot. Catherine pretended it never happened and if her admission bothered Sara, the younger woman never showed it.
The rest of the week went well, and the two women actually got along. Catherine did not snap at Sara as much, realizing she was more to blame for their previous arguments than Sara was. Catherine knew one of the reasons they did not get along previously was because she pushed Sara away.
Sara entered the lab where Catherine was working. "Are you busy?"
"Nothing that can't wait. What's up?" Catherine leaned back in her chair.
Sara stood by the door and hesitated.
"Sara is something wrong?"
"No. Nothing is wrong. I just need to talk to you about uh "
Catherine was dreading the conversation. "I was wondering when you were going to bring up what happened in the parking lot, so before you start I just want to say I'm sorry. I was out of line. We were joking and I let it get out of hand. Warrick got married and I was feeling lonely and anyway, thank you for not letting what I said interfere in our working relationship. I know I must have made you feel uncomfortable by getting personal, but you have been very professional about the whole thing." Catherine stopped talking and waited for Sara to respond.
"Actually, that's not want I wanted to talk about."
"Oh." Catherine replied softly. "What did you want to talk about?"
"I I need to apologize to you." Sara was obviously nervous.
"For what?" Catherine asked surprised.
"The argument in the hallway when I got suspended. Ecklie told me I had to apologize to you "
Catherine interrupted her. "Sara, if you are apologizing because Ecklie told you too don't bother."
"That's not what Catherine, just let me finish." Sara's tone was angrier than she meant. "Please."
"Okay." Catherine nodded.
"Ecklie told me I had to apologize to you for 'not treating my supervisor with respect.' I told him I wasn't going to apologize to you." Sara saw Catherine flinch at her statement.
"We'll technically I'm not a supervisor anymore. So I guess you're off the hook." Catherine replied sarcastically.
"I still have to live in my own skin." Sara took a deep breath then continued. "Catherine, I think you and I will always butt heads we are both headstrong and passionate about our work. We are both control freaks and we are both leaders, rather than followers."
"True." Catherine laughed.
"I I want you to understand something about me. I have a problem with domestic violence because I grew up in that type of situation. Some cases just get under my skin," Sara added softly.
Catherine knew it must have been difficult not only for Sara to apologize to her, but to also share such personal information with her. "I'm glad you told me I'll keep that in mind. If you need some breathing space on a case, just let me know."
"Okay." Sara nodded. "I'm sorry about having a personal argument in the hallway, where everyone could hear."
"You mean you should have yelled at me in the privacy of my office."
Sara was getting ready to defend herself when she saw Catherine grinning. "Yes I should have yelled at you in private." Sara smiled.
Catherine laughed. "I'm glad we got that settled."
"Well I'll let you get back to your work." Sara walked to the door.
"Sara thank you. I know you took a chance coming in here."
"Catherine I apologized to you because I wanted to make things right between us. Not because of Ecklie."
"And since you brought it up the incident in the parking lot "
"When I propositioned you." Catherine blushed.
"Yes where you offered to take me to bed and fuck my brains out." Sara smiled
Catherine stared at Sara, surprised by her choice of words. "That's not exactly what I said."
"That's what I heard. Anyway, don't worry about it. I'm flattered you thought about it, even if you were motivated by loneliness." Sara left the office before Catherine could respond.
"But it wasn't about loneliness, Sara." Catherine spoke to the empty room.
Catherine arranged a date for Warrick's post-wedding party and they decided to meet at her house after shift. This gave everyone enough time to get a few hours of sleep and make it back for the night shift. The entire graveyard shift showed up for the party, including Grissom. Catherine made brunch and champagne mimosas. The party was in full swing and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Catherine finally had an opportunity to meet and get to know Warrick's wife and as much as she hated to admit it, she thought Robin was nice. She had a difficult time when Warrick announced his marriage. There had been an attraction between Catherine and Warrick and the older CSI thought they might eventually get together. It was not easy for Catherine to let go of the fantasy and seeing Warrick and his wife together started to get to her. She decided to go outside on the back patio for some air.
"You okay?" Sara looked at Catherine from the doorway.
"Yeah. Just taking a breather."
"Thanks for brunch." Sara sat next to Catherine on the bench. "Everyone seems to be having a good time except you."
"Am I that obvious?" Catherine asked.
"It's obvious to me." Sara replied and looked at her. "Want to talk about it?"
Catherine shrugged her shoulders. "Not much to talk about. I'm happy for Warrick envious. I just get tired of sleeping alone."
"Me too." Sara whispered.
The women looked at each other for a moment.
"I should probably go inside." Catherine stood up and started to walk away.
"Last time you and I got on this subject I made a fool out of myself."
"I regretted driving away." Sara spoke up.
Catherine turned to look at her. "What?"
"I regretted driving away. I wanted to tell you to get in the car and come home with me."
"Why didn't you?"
"I thought all you wanted was sex." Sara hesitated before continuing. "I care about you, Catherine. Honestly I was afraid. One night wouldn't have been enough."
"You were right to turn me down. I probably would have hurt you." Catherine sighed.
"What about now would you hurt me now?' Sara asked softly
"I don't know."
Sara stood up and approached the woman. She reached out and held Catherine's hand. "Did you mean what you said in the parking lot that you were attracted to me."
"Yes. I'm sorry "
"You're sorry you're attracted to me?" Sara asked confused.
"No. I'm not sorry about that." Catherine smiled. "I'm sorry I spent so much time and energy pushing you away. I'm sorry I made it hard for us to be friends."
"Hey Cat what are you and Sara doing out here. The party's inside." Greg walked up to the two women and put his arm around Catherine.
"We're coming back in just some girl talk." Catherine looked over at Sara.
"We need more champagne."
Catherine put her arm around Greg and nodded towards the door. "Come on I'll show you where the stash is. You coming Sara?" Catherine held out her hand to the woman.
"Yeah." She smiled, grasped Catherine's hand, and walked in with her.
"Great party see ya tonight." Nick hugged Catherine then grabbed his coat. "You leaving too, Sara?"
She shook her head. "I'm going to stay and help clean up the mess you guys made."
"What mess?" Greg slurred as he put his arm around Sara.
"Come on Greggo you're with me." Nick grabbed his friend's arm and led him to the door.
"How much did he have to drink?" Catherine laughed at the two men.
"Too much." Nick pushed the young CSI out the door.
Catherine kissed Nick on the cheek. "Drive safe." Nick nodded and followed Greg out the door. Other than Sara, everyone else had already left. "I bet he has a headache tonight."
"At least he has a few hours to sleep it off." Sara laughed. "What can I help you with?"
"I'll probably wait until later to clean."
"Oh okay. I guess I'll go home then." Sara stared at Catherine.
"You don't have to leave. I'm just not in the mood to clean up right now." She walked over to the sofa and plopped down, kicked off her shoes, and propped her feet on the coffee table. "Have a seat."
"Okay." Sara sat in the chair opposite from Catherine.
"Sara come sit by me." Catherine patted the spot next to her.
Sara moved over and sat next to Catherine, their shoulders touching. Catherine reached over, grasped Sara's hand, and pulled it in her lap. She leaned her head on Sara's shoulder. "I'm glad you stayed."
They sat there quietly next to each other, enjoying the warmth.
"Do you remember that day we went out for drinks after you found out Hank had a girlfriend." Catherine spoke up.
"I had a good time with you that day. I thought we had made a start at being friends."
"We had then Eddie was murdered." Catherine turned and looked at Sara. "Eddie may have been a jerk, but he was Lindsey's father. I took my anger out on you I blamed you for not finding the evidence to get a conviction."
"No more than I blamed myself." Sara whispered.
"I wasn't your fault Sara I know you did everything you could. I'm sorry I blamed you. After I came to my senses, too much time had passed and I didn't know how to make things right between us."
"This seems like a pretty good start." Sara leaned over and kissed Catherine's forehead. Catherine snuggled in closer to Sara's body and they sat there quietly, eventually falling asleep.
Sara woke up and looked at Catherine sleeping against her shoulder. As much as she did not want to move, she was getting a cramp in her back. Sara slowly extricated herself from the sleeping woman and stood up.
"Where are you going?" Catherine asked, half asleep.
"Just stretching I have a cramp in my back."
Catherine stretched out the full length of the sofa and looked up at Sara. "Lay down by me."
Sara removed her shoes and lay next to Catherine on the sofa, facing her. "Your beautiful," Sara whispered.
Catherine smiled and brought her hand up to Sara's neck. She gently applied pressure guiding her forward. When she heard the phone ring, she closed her eyes and sighed.
"Don't answer it." Sara's lips were just inches from Catherine's.
"I have to." Catherine reached over Sara and grabbed her phone off the coffee table. She looked at the caller ID display and answered. "This better be good Grissom I'm not on call."
"Sorry Catherine. There's been a major accident involving a bus, multiple deaths. I need all the hands I can get. Nick and Greg had too much to drink at your party and can't come in early, Warrick's on his way and I'm getting ready to call Sara "
Catherine spoke up. "Sara stayed to help me clean up, she's sleeping on the sofa. I'll let her know."
At the mention of her name, Sara sat up and looked at Catherine.
"How much did you drink at brunch? I really need you and Sara to come in early." Grissom asked.
Catherine was tempted to say she could not come. She wanted to stay on the sofa with Sara, but she knew how hectic the accident scene would be. "I'm good a little tired, but good. Let me take a shower and I will meet you at the site. I'll wake Sara up."
She hung up the phone and looked at the woman sitting next to her. "Bus accident on the highway. Grissom is calling in everyone who isn't hung over from the party."
"That leaves Greg and Nick out." Sara laughed.
"I'm going to take a quick shower and try to wake up. You can take a shower in Lindsey's bathroom if you want."
"I just need to grab a change of clothes out of my car." Sara always kept a couple of shirts and pants in her car for emergencies.
Catherine took a shower then joined Sara in the kitchen. "You ready."
"Yeah." Sara handed her a mug of coffee. "I made some fresh coffee."
Catherine took a sip and sighed. "Thanks. Why don't you ride with me to the scene. No sense taking two cars."
Once inside the vehicle, Sara turned and looked at the older woman. "Catherine."
She leaned over, placed her hand behind Catherine's neck, and pulled her closer. Sara kissed Catherine gently, exploring her lips. She gave the older woman a couple of small kisses, then sat back in her seat. "I just thought we should get that out of the way." Sara grinned shyly.
Catherine smiled and put the car in drive. "Good thinking."
It took several hours to process the crash site and the women worked through the entire night shift and part of the next day. They finally finished about 2:30 pm, barely enough time to get any decent sleep before their shift started again.
Sarah sat staring at her locker, hands in her head.
"Are you okay?" Catherine leaned against the locker and looked at her.
"I'm exhausted." Sara sighed.
"Come on, hopefully it won't take too long to get to my house." Catherine held out her hand to Sara.
"You're house?" Sara asked surprised.
"Your car is still at my house, but I can drop you off at your apartment if you want."
"Right I forgot. Your house is fine." Sara shook her head and stood up.
They drove in silence to Catherine's house, each in their own thoughts. She parked the car and turned to look at Sara. "You don't have to go home you can sleep here if you want."
"Catherine I'm not sure if I'm ready "
"Relax, Sara. I'm exhausted all I want to do is go to sleep." Catherine explained. "You can sleep in the guest room or you can sleep with me. Right now, I don't care. All I want to do is walk in my house and drop on the bed."
Sara was embarrassed by her assumption, but she was too tired to drive. "The guest room is fine. I really don't feel like driving home." Once in bed, she tossed and turned, not able to sleep. She kept thinking about Catherine in the other room. Sara wished she had taken Catherine up on her offer to sleep with her.
"You still awake?" Catherine stood in the doorway.
Sara sat up in bed. "Yes. You can't sleep either?"
"No. I keep thinking about you here in the guest room. I know I said I didn't care where you slept, but I want you in my bed."
"I want to be in your bed." Sara replied honestly.
Catherine held out her hand and Sara got out of the bed. They walked quietly to Catherine's room and got in bed. Sara scooted over to the older woman and spooned her from behind. She wrapped her arm around her and pulled her close.
"Much better." Catherine snuggled into the embrace.
"Yes it is. Good night, Catherine."
Catherine woke up and glanced at the clock. 6:00 PM. Lindsey should be home. She slowly got out of bed, careful not to wake the sleeping woman. Catherine found her daughter sitting at the kitchen table and she leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. "Hi sweetheart. How was school?"
"Are you gay?"
"What?" Catherine replied, surprised by the question.
"Are you gay? I walked in your room and I saw you and Sara sleeping together."
"Lindsey we were just sleeping."
"You were laying on her stomach and she had her arms around you."
"Sara and I are just friends." Catherine defended.
"I don't sleep with my friends like that." Lindsey spat out angrily.
Catherine knew if she were going to get involved with Sara, she would need to be honest with her daughter. "Sara and I are just friends but we do like each other."
"So you are gay." Lindsey accused.
"I'm not going to lie to you I like Sara. Would you have a problem if we were more than friends?"
"Is that why you divorced dad because you're gay?"
"Lindsey, I divorced your dad because he cheated on me and he was no good." Catherine replied angrily.
"He probably cheated on you because you were gay."
"Lindsey stop it! I am your mother and you will not disrespect me."
Sara appeared at the door. "I'm sorry. Did I interrupt something?"
Catherine shook her head.
"I don't want you seeing my mother." Lindsey walked out of the kitchen.
"What happened?" Sara asked confused.
"Lindsey walked in my room and saw us in bed together."
"We weren't doing anything."
"I know, but we were a little bit too affectionate. I couldn't lie to her I asked her if she would have a problem if you and I dated."
"I guess the answer was yes."
"I'm sorry Sara. I know there's something between you and me, but I need to talk to my daughter before I let it go any further." Catherine walked over to Sara and held her hand. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay I understand. I should probably go now." Sara held her hand a moment longer then turned and left.
Sara sat on her sofa thinking about the last 48 hours. She and Catherine had finally acknowledged their attraction to each other. Sara always got along with Lindsey, so it never occurred to her that the teenager would react so negatively. She was pulled out of her thoughts by a knock at her door. Sara looked through the peephole and saw Catherine standing outside her door. She opened the door and smiled at the older woman.
"I hope you don't mind me coming over without calling first."
"Not at all I'm glad you're here. I was just thinking about you."
"Really?" Catherine asked shyly.
"Really." Sara replied. "Do you want anything to drink?"
"No thanks. I will probably steal some of Greg's coffee at work. I thought we could talk before shift starts."
"Okay." Sara indicated for Catherine to continue.
"I'm sorry about Lindsey and this afternoon. She threw a fit after you left saying she didn't want a lesbian for a mother and some other things that I won't repeat."
Sara leaned back against the wall and looked at Catherine. "I'm sorry my being there caused problems."
"It's not you. Lindsey and I have been having problems and this just adds to it. I think you and I have established that we both like each other." Catherine saw Sara nod in agreement. "I don't want to start something with you I can't finish I need to get things settled with Lindsey."
"I understand, Catherine. Lindsey's your daughter and she comes first."
Catherine could see the disappointment in Sara's eyes. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay. Really."
"Okay. Well I'll see you at the lab." Catherine got up to leave and Sara walked her to the door. She turned around and looked at the younger woman. Catherine wanted to wrap her arms around Sara and kiss her, but she knew she should go. "See you at work."
"I'll be leaving in a few minutes."
Catherine got in the car and sat for a few moments. It was hard walking away from Sara, but she thought it would be best in the end. She was startled by a knock on her window. Catherine rolled down the window. "You scared me."
"Sorry I I forgot something." Sara replied.
"This." Sara reached in the window and pulled Catherine closer. She kissed her softly at first and then she deepened the kiss. Catherine responded by running her fingers through Sara's hair, and then she suddenly pulled back. "Wait."
"I'm sorry." Sara stepped back
Catherine took a deep breath then got out of the car. She pulled Sara into a full body hug and kissed her deeply, running her hands through her hair and down her back. They continued for several minutes, kissing in the parking lot until they saw headlights come their way. They pulled apart and looked at each other.
"Oh my." Catherine breathed
"I'll say." Sara replied
"That was "
Sara interrupted before Catherine could finish. "I want to fuck you right here in the parking lot."
"Sara stop talking like that God I'm "
'Wet?" Sara interrupted her again.
"Yes." Catherine took a step back not trusting herself. "How long has it been?"
"Hank was the last, " Catherine asked
"Person I slept with." Sara replied softly.
"Oh Sara all I want to do right now is go back in your apartment and let you fuck me." Sara stepped forward, but Catherine stopped her. "We can't do this right now. We have to go to work."
"Go go back upstairs or I will lose every ounce of restraint that I have."
"But " Sara replied.
"Sara go upstairs now before I take your hand and shove it down my pants."
"You are not helping the situation with the visual."
"Sorry." Catherine smiled.
"Okay I'll go back u stairs, but this is not over." Sara pulled Catherine in for one last kiss.
"This is definitely not over," Catherine responded.
Sara stood by the lab door watching Catherine process evidence.
"Don't just stand there, come here and help me." Catherine looked up and smiled at the younger woman.
"You processing evidence from bus accident?" Sara asked.
"What do you need me to do?"
"I am processing all the tires and any tire rubber we found near the accident. I haven't started on those yet." She pointed to the corner.
"That's where I will start then." Sara bent down to examine the tires. "Do you have plans after shift?"
"Just the usual eat and sleep."
Sara turned and looked at Catherine. "Can I interest you in breakfast."
"I'd rather skip breakfast and go to your place."
"What about Lindsey?" Sara stood up and walked over to Catherine.
"She has soccer practice after school. I don't pick her up until 5:00."
"That's not what I meant."
"I know." Catherine took a deep breath. "You are too important to pass up. Let's see what happens between us. I know Lindsey likes you I'm sure she will come around."
"How about we cook breakfast at my place?" Sara grinned.
By the end of the shift, both women could not wait to get to Sara's apartment. Catherine had trouble concentrating, often catching Sara looking her way and grinning.
"Do ya'll want to get some breakfast?" Nick asked the two women as they were leaving the lab.
"No thanks I have plans." Catherine responded.
"What about you, Sara?"
"No thanks, Nick I'm cooking breakfast at my place for Catherine." She turned to Nick and winked. "We decided to test your theory."
"What theory?" Nick asked confused.
"See you tonight Nick." They both yelled to him as they got in Catherine's car.
"What are you " Nick finally realized what they were talking about. "It's about time." He shook his head and smiled. He saw Greg in the parking lot and yelled to him. "Hey Greggo how about breakfast."
Catherine started the car then leaned over and kissed Sara. "I've been wanting to do that all day."
"Me too." Sara smiled. "Do you think we are making a mistake?"
"Maybe but if it doesn't work out we can always go back to not liking each other."
"True." Sara laughed.
"Something smells good in here." Catherine opened the door and saw Sara standing in the kitchen with their daughter, Nikki, and granddaughter, Katie.
"I've been slaving over a hot stove all day while you've been out shopping. One of those presents better be for me." Sara tried to sound angry.
Catherine walked up to her partner and kissed her. "I have a present for you." She winked at the younger woman.
"Did Katie give you any trouble?" A woman who looked like a younger version of Catherine walking through he door.
"Hey Lindsey Katie was good, as always. Nikki helped me feed her."
"Mom threw some carrots at Katie and made her cry." Nikki started laughing.
"Sara, you threw carrots on my daughter?" Lindsey picked up her baby girl and kissed her.
"No." Sara eyed her daughter. "Nikki came in, slammed the door, and scared the crap out of me. The carrots kind of flew out of my hand." She said sheepishly.
"You slammed the door?" Catherine looked at her youngest daughter.
"It was sort of an accident." Nikki grinned.
"Boy troubles." Sara added.
"Oh. We'll talk about this later."
"Thanks for helping with the packages honey." A young man with an armful of bags walked through the door.
"Oops. Sorry Mark I was checking on the baby." Lindsey walked over to her husband and gave him a kiss. "Sara threw carrots on Katie."
"I did not." Sara pouted.
Catherine laughed at her partner. "Nikki, go to the car and get the rest of the packages for me. And don't peak."
The teenager sighed. "Alright." She walked outside and stop dead in her tracks. Parked outside was a new car with a red bow on top and a sign that read 'Merry Christmas Nikki' on the door. "Dad, what "
"Merry Christmas sweetheart." Nick stood in front of the car and grinned.
Nikki ran up and threw her arms around her father. "Thank you, thank you, thank you I can't believe you got me a car."
"You're welcome sweetheart, but it's from all of us your moms helped pay for this too." Nick hugged his daughter and smiled at Sara and Catherine. When the two women approached him to be the father of their child he hesitated, but looking back, it was the best decision he had ever made.
Nikki ran back to where Sara and Catherine were standing. "Thanks Mom thanks Momma." She hugged them both. "Can I drive it now?"
"Here's the keys check out the inside. We'll take a drive later." Nick handed his daughter the keys. He walked up to Sara and hugged her. "Merry Christmas, Sara."
"Merry Christmas. Where are Mary and the kids?" Sara asked, referring to Nick's wife and two boys.
"They should be here soon. She told me to finish up with the car and meet her here."
"I think Nikki likes the car." Lindsey walked up to her mother.
"You think?" Catherine answered her oldest daughter sarcastically
"Come on Nikki, let's take a spin around the block." Lindsey called out to her sister.
"Hold on, Lindsey she's not going anywhere without me." Nick walked over to the car and got in. "We'll be back in a few minutes."
Mark walked out of the house holding Katie. "Where are they going?"
"For a test drive." Catherine looked at her son-in-law.
"Uh watch Katie for me?" He handed the baby over to Catherine and ran to the car. "Wait for me."
Sara and Catherine watched as they drove away. "We're never going to see them again." Sara turned to her partner.
Catherine laughed. "So what kid of boy trouble is our daughter having?"
"Bobby Johnson he's a jerk, according to Nikki."
"What did he do?"
"Nikki thought he liked her because apparently he's been flirting with her." Sara explained.
"How old is he?" Catherine asked angrily
"Slow down Catherine, he's sixteen same age as Nikki."
"So Nikki thought he liked her and she asked him to the school dance, but he said no."
"Why?" Catherine hated the fact that anyone would hurt Nikki.
"Because he's a stupid teenager that doesn't realize what a great daughter we have."
Catherine laughed at Sara's explanation. "She didn't seem upset when I walked in. What did you tell her?"
"I told her that I turned you down the first time you asked me out and you eventually charmed me into falling madly in love with you."
"You what?" Catherine asked worried.
"Don't worry Catherine I gave her the PG version."
"I still am you know." Sara looked at Catherine. "I'm still madly in love with you after all these years." She kissed Catherine and then kissed the baby on the forehead. "I don't know where I would be today if you had given up on me. I have a life I never dreamed I could ever have. A great wife who's still sexy as hell. Two great kids Lindsey I love as my own and Nikki. I'm a grandmother sort of."
"Hey, if I'm a grandmother then you're a grandmother. We are in this together. Here." Catherine handed Sara the baby. "Why don't you take care of Katie and I will finish cooking."
Sara sniffed by the baby. "Ah Catherine she has a dirty diaper." She walked after her partner. "I've been changing diapers all day. You change this one."
"Hey, it's just a part of this great life you have."
"Come on Catherine. You just said we were in this together I'll finish cooking if you change her."
Catherine laughed and turned around. "Get inside." She grabbed Sara and kissed her.
"There's more where that came from if you change the diaper."
"Uh okay." Sara grabbed the diaper bag and started to walk in the other room. "Hey Catherine."
"You still have it."
"Have what?" Catherine asked.
"The Willow's charm."
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