DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything or anyone from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Mother Knows Best
Lifting the burning stump to my lips one last time for the night, I inhaled the thick smoke into my lungs hungrily. Shift was finally over, and I was finally home. Grissom put me on a double DB with him for the last three days without so much as a night off to get some much-needed sleep.
The tiny cigarette butt spiraled into the dim Vegas night and fell to the hard concrete with a spark. Pushing my way through the sliding-glass doors and into my apartment, all I could think of was climbing into my warm bed and staying there for the rest of my life.
Not literally, but my brain screamed for rest as I shuffled my way into the bedroom. My clothes were shed from my aching body and tossed carelessly onto the floor. The fluffy pillow cradled my head like a cloud, and I quickly found myself visiting the very familiar land of dreams.
The shrill screeching of my mobile device jerked my body and sent my head flying off the warm pillow. As a slight pang of pain ran its way through my head, I groaned and reluctantly reached for my phone which was lying atop the bedside table.
"Hello?" I asked into the receiver.
Since when did I answer my cell phone with a 'hello'?
"Sara?" the voice on the other end asked cheerfully.
Whoever the hell was calling me had better have an excellent reason for waking me up and making me form rational thoughts. My voice seemed to be disagreeing with my brain as I had to clear my throat and answer the voice on the other line.
"Yeah?" I finally grumbled.
"Sara, it's Emily," the voice told me.
"Emily? Hey, I haven't heard from you for a long time! How are you?" I asked.
"Oh, I'm doing ok...now that my divorce is finalized," Emily told me.
"I'm sorry," I said.
"It was for the better. You're still in Vegas right?" Emily asked.
"Yeah, right by The Strip," I told her.
"Well, I'm in town until tomorrow, and I'd love to see you," Emily said.
"Yeah, that would work out just great," I started, "Today is my day off actually."
"Well, great!" Emily exclaimed into the phone.
We went over the details about where and when we were going to meet before I dragged myself out of my warm bed. It wasn't an hour later that I found myself bustling around my apartment, trying to get everything somewhat clean for my guest.
The couch cushions were fluffed, the paper and magazines were placed neatly on the table, and the dishes lying cleaned in the sink were stacked away before the doorbell interrupted my cleaning. I walked briskly to the door and flung it open without hesitation.
"Sara! Hi!" Emily exclaimed through a wide smile when I opened the front door.
My eyebrows shot up to my hairline as I took in the sight before me. She was exactly how I had remembered her. Her stature was petite but still adequately full in all the right places. Her soft brown curls framed her porcelain face while her bright blue eyes blazed right through mine. There was one difference though, and a very little and difference at that.
"Baby," I blurted out with a shocked expression. "You have a baby!"
Emily looked up at me and smiled slightly before she spoke as if she was about to make fun of my choice of words. Thankfully she decided not to; I already felt stupid as it is.
"Yeah," Emily said cheerfully, "This is Parker. He's only two months."
Emily proudly turned her chubby little son towards me. I smiled at the little boy who was smiling at me. Tentatively, I reached my finger towards the little tyke and watched intently as he wrapped tiny fingers around mine.
"Come on in," I finally said to Emily and stepped out of her way.
"This is a really nice place you got here, Sara," Emily said as she took in her surroundings.
"Keeps me happy," I answered. "Would you like something to drink?"
"Do you still suck down coffee like its your life source?" Emily joked.
"Of course, haven't changed that much," I smiled back at her.
Emily brought Parker into the living room and made herself at home. While I was getting the coffee ready, I could hear Emily talking the special way mothers talk to their children. You know, all those high-pitched voices and little noises. Smiling to myself, I listened to her intently and occasionally caught a little giggle coming from the happy little boy.
"Here ya go," I said as I handed Emily a steaming mug of coffee.
"Thank you," Emily said dramatically as if she hadn't had coffee for years.
"So what brings you to Vegas? I always thought you hated The Strip," I asked over my mug.
"After the divorce was finalized, Gerry moved out here to Vegas. He hasn't paid a single child support check, so I thought I'd get it straightened out right away rather than waiting until I'm up to my elbows in debt," Emily filled me in.
"Wow, I'm sorry," I said sincerely.
"It was brewing for a long time between the two of us. We just waited for the inevitable," Emily confessed.
I smiled happily at the contented baby being cradled in his mother's arms. My head tilted to one side, and I studied the little life thoroughly. Emily must have noticed my silence because she was soon looking up at me with a puzzled look.
"So tell me about you, Sara," Emily began with a smile. "What have you been up to? Married? Babies?"
I couldn't help but laugh at her prodding questions before I began to speak.
"No babies," I clarified right off the bat. "I'm still working at the Las Vegas Crime Lab, and really loving it."
"Does Lab-guy still hit on you all the time?" Emily asked with a smile about Greg Sanders.
"Well first of all, Lab-guy is now CSI-guy," I informed her. "And yes he does, and I don't think he'll ever stop!"
Emily chuckled and set her mug gingerly down on the table. She brushed a stray piece of hair from her eyes and looked down at Parker.
"But he's a sweet guy, and he knows when he flirts with me it's just for fun," I told her.
"What about bitchy blondie? Still work with her?" Emily asked.
"Catherine?" I chuckled slightly.
Silently cursing myself for ever having given her the harsh nickname, I tried to focus on her good points... which was easier than I had figured.
"She's actually a supervisor now," I told Emily.
"Wow," Emily started, "So you work for her?"
"Sometimes," I told her. "She's really doing well in the position."
Emily looked up from Parker and into my eyes. One of her eyebrows was raised as she looked at me questioningly.
"What?" I asked the confused woman.
"It was like a year ago when you told me about the biggest bitch you had ever met," Emily started.
"I know," I interrupted her, "but she's really not that bad. I was probably just having a bad day or something," I lied over my coffee mug.
Emily looked over at me skeptically and patiently waited for me to speak.
"Look," I tried to reason with her, "I jump...to conclusions from time to time..."
"From time to time?" Emily interrupted with a chuckle.
"Ok! Ok, whatever," I finally agreed.
Emily smirked at me and quickly turned her attention down to Parker. She gently bounced the baby in her arms while she spoke to me.
"So you like her?" Emily asked.
"What?" I almost shrieked. "Just because I don't think she's a bitch anymore doesn't mean I like her. I mean, I think about her from time to time, but that doesn't mean I'm in love with her or anything."
After me little explosion, I looked over at Emily. She was staring at me, wide-eyed, thoroughly not expecting that answer from me. Oh shit.
"Well, that answers a lot," Emily said generally.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" I asked playfully.
"Nothing, just that you like Catherine," Emily said.
"I already told you I didn't think she was a bitch anymore," I tried to cover up my confession.
"No, I think you like-like her. More than a friend, like her. You wanna jump her bones, like her," Emily said with a smile.
"I don't think so," I tried to change the subject quickly.
"You are so in denial Sara," Emily said with a chuckle.
I scoffed playfully at her insinuation and turned my attention to the peaceful infant in Emily's arms. He was just starting to drift off to sleep, and I watched his little eyes lids struggling to keep open.
"He's not gonna make it too much longer," Emily said about her little baby.
"The plane ride must have been quite an ordeal for him," I offered.
"Yeah, and now I have to drag him into a meeting tonight and then back to the hotel for two more nights," Emily told me.
"You have a meeting with Gerry and his lawyers tonight?" I asked.
"Yeah," Emily sighed, "I planned on meeting with them tonight and tomorrow because Gerry can be such a stubborn-ass."
"How about you go to the meeting alone and get some rest tonight for tomorrow's meeting and trip back," I told her.
She looked at me with a cocked head and puzzled expression.
"I could watch Parker for you," I offered.
"Sara..." Emily started.
"And don't give me all that 'you're not good with kids' shit because you know I can handle kids just fine," I interrupted her.
Emily's mouth snapped shut, and she looked from Parker to me. She thought for about five seconds before she spoke again.
"Ok," was all she said.
I smiled widely and stood up to take Parker from his mother's arms. Emily seemed relieved and a little worried at the same time as she bustled around my apartment, telling me everything I needed to know about Parker and his schedule. She finally ran out of things to tell me, and gently placed the now sleeping baby boy into my arms.
"Thank you so much Sara," Emily said sincerely.
"You're welcome, Emily. You'd do the same for me," I replied with a smile.
And with a gentle touch of her hand on my arm and a kiss to the top of Parker's head, Emily stepped out of my apartment, leaving me with the little baby. This would be a piece of cake.
"Parker please," I pleaded with the infant.
Not five minutes after his mother was our of ear-shot, Parker started screeching non-stop in a tone only heard by dogs. I could barely hear myself think anymore as I held the baby close to me, trying everything in my power to stop the little infant from crying.
Never having thought it would be this hard, I walked over to the fridge for about the millionth time that night to check if baby Parker wanted some milk. And for the millionth time, Parker refused the bottle that was being presented to him.
My head was spinning as I walked quickly from the kitchen to the living room and back again. I really had no idea where I was walking to as I tried desperately to calm the screaming infant. Holding him tightly to my body, I gently bounced the little infant against my shoulder and tried to think of what to do with him.
Finally making up my mind, I gently placed Parker in his baby carrier and stomped over to the phone. Violently punching the familiar numbers into the keypad, I left the phone to my ear and sighed heavily.
"Oh thank god!" I blurted when I heard Catherine's voice on the other line.
Catherine paused for a noticeable moment before she spoke into the phone again.
"Sara?" she asked in a surprised tone.
"Are you busy?" I quickly asked into the phone.
I could barely even hear myself talk over Parker's crying. Catherine was silent on the other end of the phone for a moment more as I tried to turn myself away from the incredibly loud noises coming from the little person.
"Do you have a baby in your apartment?" Catherine asked.
"No Greg's over, and he got upset that I ate the last piece of pizza, yes I have a baby in my apartment!" I screeched loudly into the phone.
Catherine pulled the phone away from her ear towards the last part of my statement because of my yelling. Her face scrunched slightly and thought about what I was doing with a baby.
"Well...what's it doing there?" she finally asked.
"My friend Emily is in town getting some legal things straightened out, and I offered to watch her baby tonight," I said over the screaming baby.
"Ok..." Catherine tried to take in everything I was telling her.
"What do I do? He won't stop crying!" I exclaimed into the phone.
"Have you fed him?" Catherine asked the first thing that popped into her head.
"Yeah, he won't eat anymore," I told her.
"Is he wet? Have you checked his diaper?" Catherine asked.
"Yes Catherine, I checked his diaper," I told her matter-of-factly.
"Are you holding him?" Catherine asked.
"No," I said, sounding a little guilty.
"Go pick him up," Catherine began, "and carry him around the apartment."
"Well..." I whined with a childish sigh. "Can you come over?"
"Sara, I'm sure you can handle a little baby for a few hours," Catherine replied.
"No I can't! Not this one!" I exclaimed into the phone while shaking my head.
Catherine sighed on the other end of the phone, and I heard her rustling around her desk. She thought for a few seconds in silence before she spoke.
"Fine," Catherine agreed.
"Thank you so much," I breathed into the phone and promptly ended the call.
Parker seemed to be crying even louder than before, and I was suddenly extremely happy that Mother Catherine was on the way. I did everything from bouncing to rocking to walking around the apartment until I finally heard a knock on my door.
Whispering a 'thank god' to myself, I walked Parker over to the door and whisked it open immediately. Locking my eyes to Catherine's, I extended the screaming baby towards her. She raised an eyebrow at me before her face turned into a 'you've got to be kidding me' look as she took the crying baby from my arms.
Not knowing what to do, I took a step away from her and watched as she turned the baby in her arms and gently started stroking the back of his head. She walked into my living room and turned to meet my interested gaze. I was trying to watch everything she was doing so that I could remember for later.
"How long has he been crying?" Catherine asked a few seconds after listening to the little baby crying.
"For like three hours," I said with a sigh.
"Hmm..." Catherine mumbled.
She squinted her eyes and proceeded to sit down on the couch. I stood only a couple feet away from her and watched closely as she turned Parker around in her lap so that he was lying on his back across her thighs.
Parker's beet-red face scrunched as he forced another bout of cries into the small apartment. I glanced from Parker up to Catherine who looked completely unfazed by the sheer volumes coming from the tiny child.
I watched in awe as Catherine gently caressed Parker's chubby tummy in circles. To my utter amazement, Parker's cries became stifled and quieter as Catherine continued to sooth the infant. Catherine was beaming dreamily at the tiny child lying in her lap, and I couldn't help but wonder if she was starting to feel like a mother again.
Lindsey was nearly a teenager and was currently going through the stage of her life when she wants nothing to do with her mother. Catherine probably never saw Lindsey anymore due to her shifts and the fact that Lindsey was gone from home every chance she got. But watching her like this, soothing this defenseless child, made me look at her in a completely different light.
"I don't believe it!" I exclaimed quietly.
Catherine smiled up at me, never stilling the motion of her hand.
"He must have colic," she told me.
"Why didn't I think of that?" I asked rhetorically.
Catherine smiled and turned her attention back to the little baby.
"Well even if I woulda known he had colic, I wouldn't have known what to do," I said.
"So how long do you have him?" Catherine asked me without taking her eyes off Parker.
"Until tomorrow morning," I told her.
Catherine broke her stare with Parker and looked up into my eyes. She had an unreadable expression on her face as I locked eyes with her. She didn't say a word as she motioned for me to sit down on the couch next to her. And that's what I did.
"Here," Catherine said as she gently passed Parker towards me.
"Catherine, I..." I started to protest.
Catherine shushed me and laid Parker softly into my lap as to not disturb him further. My legs pressed together as Parker was placed in my lap, and I looked up at Catherine for direction. She remained silent and instead took my hand in hers, placing it gently over the infant's tummy.
"Hold his head," she said softly.
Carefully propping his head with one hand and mimicking the circular movements Catherine had done only moments ago with my other hand, I gazed at the now quieted baby in my lap. Still lightly rubbing his stomach, I looked over at Catherine with a victorious smile when he started to close his eyes.
"See? Just needed a little guidance," Catherine said softly.
I smiled at her once again and turned my attention back to baby Parker. He was breathing deeply with his eyes closed, so I decided now was as good a time as any to put him down for the night. Catherine agreed and walked over to his portable crib with me.
After Parker was safely tucked into his little bed, I turned around to meet Catherine's soft gaze. She was watching me from a short distance with a loving smile on her lips. I walked over to her and returned the smile.
"Would you like some wine?" I asked in a whisper.
Catherine answered by widening her smile and following me into the kitchen. We chatted as I filled two wine glasses with the only wine I had in my apartment, and before long we walked into the living room together. We both sat on the couch and sipped our drinks until I turned my attention to her and spoke.
"Thanks for coming over Catherine," I said.
"I wasn't doing much more than blankly staring at papers and watching the clock tick by," Catherine admitted.
"Well, I really appreciate it," I assured her.
"So who's baby is this?" Catherine asked before she took another sip of wine.
"My friend from college, Emily. She's in town to finalize some things in the divorce settlement," I told her.
"Well, he sure is a cutie," Catherine said about Parker.
I smiled quickly and looked down at my glass. Catherine lifted her legs onto the couch and slipped them underneath her. Sighing quietly, I looked over at Catherine and smiled.
"You're a really great mother," I blurted out quietly.
"Thanks," she replied, sounding surprised. "It doesn't seem so glorious when they get older though."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, it just seems like I don't connect with Lindsey anymore, since she's a teenager now and everything," Catherine told me.
"As hard as it is, just give her space. She'll come around eventually," I said quietly.
"I know, it's just hard though. I need something else to keep my mind off of things," Catherine said with a gleam in her eye.
"Really," I said more than asked.
She was up to something, and I was really liking the possibilities.
"Have any ideas?" she asked innocently.
My eyes narrowed as she shifter her body so that she was facing me with an elbow propped on the back of the couch. I thought for a moment and gently laid my glass on the table.
"Well..." I started. "We could talk."
Catherine looked slightly disappointed with my idea, but she quickly regained her focus and agreed with me. We chatted about work and our current cases until there was nothing left to say.
"So are you seeing anyone?" I asked, meaning it completely innocently.
If she was surprised at the abrupt questioning into her personal life, she didn't show it. She took a deep breath, shook her head gently, and looked over at me.
"No," she started softly, "I haven't found anyone who can give me what I need."
Oh good god, this was too easy.
"And what is it you need?" I asked in curiosity.
"That's at least second date information. Maybe third," Catherine teased.
"Oh really?" I asked skeptically. "Well I must be one hell of a date because I already have you back at my place."
"Yes, you're quite the charmer," Catherine joked with a bright smile.
"No, I think it's the leather pants," I joked back.
Catherine peered over her almost empty wine glass over at my tight leather pants. I watched in fascination as her eyes raked over my long legs and finally coming to rest on my now darkened eyes. She smiled at me with a gleam in her eye as I returned the smile.
My stomach did a flip as Catherine bent over the couch to set her glass on the table. Without missing a single beat, she swiftly swung a leg around me and straddled my thighs. My eyes nearly popped our of my head as she made her move, and I felt my hands find their way to her small hips and grip them tightly.
"I think so too," Catherine whispered, inches away from my ear.
A shiver racked its way through my body, leaving my fingertips and toes tingling with anticipation and excitement. I nearly lost it as I felt Catherine's warm breath sweeping across my neck followed by her tongue tracing the edge of my ear.
Not wanting this moment to suddenly turn into a dream, I snaked my hands in her hair and pulled her mouth away from my ear. I looked into her eyes and closed our distance slightly.
"Do you know how long I've waited to do this?" I asked in a whisper.
Catherine simply shook her head as I leaned in closer to her. Slowly brushing my lips across hers, I felt my whole body react immediately to the touch. Catherine's hands rested on the back of the couch as she steadied herself.
I teased her with short, fleeting kisses and pulled away every time she leaned in to deepen them. With one hand still in her hair controlling the kiss, I let my other hand lightly trail down her neck, past her collarbone, ghosting over her breast and finally resting on her hip.
Catherine moaned into my mouth, and I quickly took this opportunity to push her lips hard into mine as I snuck my tongue out to get a small taste of her. She moaned into my mouth again as I pushed my way past her lips and into her mouth.
Quickly moving my other hand from her hair, I reached around and grabbed her ass, pulling her higher on my hips. Catherine took this opportunity to finally take control of the kiss. She ground her hips into mine and lifted herself higher one top of me. She was kissing me with enough force to make my head bend back slightly as I struggled to keep myself in control.
My hands brushed up her sides, taking her shirt with them. Catherine ripped her lips from mine and stared into my eyes as if to give some sort of non-verbal confirmation. I smiled and quickly tugged her shirt up and over her head. Catherine shook her hair over her shoulders, giving me a completely unobstructed view of her lace-encased breasts.
I looked up to see Catherine watching me with a cocky smile on her face. Who could blame her though? She was beautiful and had a excellent body to boot. Bringing my attention back to the moment, I trailed my fingers behind her back to find the clasp of her bra. I followed the path of my fingers with my eyes and smiled at the path of goose bumps appearing on her soft skin.
My eyes followed the black lace fall from her chest, and I nearly gasped at the sight. Never moving my eyes from her chest, I whipped the bra somewhere onto the floor. My hands made their way up her thighs, across her ass, tickling their way up her spine and around to her flat stomach.
I looked up at Catherine who was quietly watching me with lust-laden eyes. This was, by far, the sexiest thing I had ever seen in my entire life. My heart plummeted into another depth I didn't know even existed in me as I tore my eyes away from hers and lifted my hands to her hot skin.
Catherine's gaze finally broke away from me as her head fell back when I tentatively brushed a thumb over each nipple. Agonizingly slow, I traced circles over the swells of her breasts and never touching the place she wanted me most.
When I felt Catherine lift herself onto her knees, I realized she was no longer in the teasing mood. A soft cry pushed past her lips as I finally took a nipple into my mouth, swirling my tongue around it slowly. Good thing my brain was on autopilot because if it wasn't I would probably die on the spot knowing I had Catherine Willows' nipple in my mouth.
As I brought my free hand up to her other breast, I earned myself another husky moan from the blonde. With one last tease with my teeth, I separated my lips from her breast and looked up into her eyes. She was still standing on her knees, staring at me, probably wondering what the hell I was doing.
Truth be told, all I wanted to do at this moment was look at her; take in everything that was happening. She looked confused and I brought her lips down to mine. After a slow and passionate kiss, I took my lips from hers and smiled brightly.
"I wanna sleep with you tonight," I said softly.
Catherine chuckled lightly at the insinuation, and I spoke up to clarify myself.
"Nothing more," I began. "I just want to remember the feeling of waking up next to someone."
Catherine's chuckle abruptly stopped, and I watched her gaze soften as she stared deeply into my eyes. Giving me a heart-warming smile, she snakes her body off mine and extended a had to me. I gratefully took it and followed her into my bedroom.
We slowly stripped each other from our clothing and walked over to the over-sized bed. Slipping under the covers quickly, I molded my back into the mattress and extended my arms to Catherine. She smiled and slipped under the covers after me.
I smiled to myself as I felt Catherine scooting over towards me and finally molding her naked body against mine. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea. But I managed to calm my libido long enough to wrap her tightly in my arms and listen to her breathing even out as she quickly slipped off into dreamland.
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