DISCLAIMER: I don't own/work with anything CSI related, I'm just a fan writing because I'm a hopeless romantic and posting because I'm insane.
SERIES: Sequel to Oh, God and Sugar is Sweet

By Lil

Catherine's hair is baby fine, and softer than soft. I'm fascinated by the way the light brings it to life, making the auburn strands stand out, holding me captive in a fiery fascination. We're sitting in the living room, watching Jonathan Taylor Thomas sing about not having any worries. Or at least, I'm watching it. Catherine is `watching', which is to say, she's snoring lightly, curled up against me. Lindsey's on the floor, also snoring, with a pillow and a blanket.

That kid…I swear, she's just the oddest thing. While her mother and I were making fools of ourselves in the kitchen, this child was getting her plate, bringing the pancakes to the table and digging in. She was even compassionate enough to wait until Catherine stopped hiding her face in my neck before grinning at us cheekily. I can tell already that she's not going to have to say a word to get her point across. I *did* appreciate the way that deep blush rose from Catherine's collarbone to her ears, though Three cups of coffee and a loaded dishwasher later, Lindsey suggested we all watch a movie. Catherine actually had to stop the argument between us on whether it would be Beauty and the Beast, or the Lion King. Apparently, she's going to make it up to me later.

If anyone asked, I'd deny it with my last breath…but I like this. This peaceful intimacy. Just being together. It's really nice. For once I'm not really worried about anything. I'm not obsessed about a case, not trying to think of reasons to avoid calling my dad, and even more unusual, I don't feel a need to pick up a pencil, or a brush. It's nice.

Catherine stirs against me, and I realize I've stopped running my fingers through her hair. Distracting thoughts to the tune of Elton John. There is something wrong with me. I drop a kiss to her forehead, and find myself caught in a magnetic blue gaze. I feel, rather than see her warm palm find it's way under my shirt to rest against my waist.

"Whatcha thinkin' `bout?" She asks, her voice thick with sleep.

I can't help but smile at her. "Lunch."

She picks up her head and looks at the clock behind her. "It's only eleven thirty, though."

I run my fingers through her hair again. "But by the time we swing over to my place so I can shower and change, it'll be time to eat."

Catherine bites her lip for a second. I know it's because she doesn't want to leave the safety of the house, to make all this real, and fallible. I know, because I feel the same way. But the sun keeps rising, and I know I will hate myself if I don't at least TRY to make this work.

"Why don't we wake Lindsey up, and head that way now?" I suggest softly. She nods, and visibly steels herself before getting up and stretching. I leave her to the task of waking the dead and go start her car. I wonder how mad she'll be that I've decided todrive her car… then I realize it doesn't matter. She doesn't know where I live.

I live in an apartment toward the business district in the city. It's a studio/condo setup; I have the entire floor to myself. Lindsey's first act is to run to the full-length windows; Catherine's is to take in the atmosphere. Funny how I was fine bringing them, and I'm just NOW getting a bit nervous. The place isn't a pigsty or anything, I mean, it's only my cat Mary Magdalene and me.

The windows don't have any blinds or shutters on them, this is my workspace, and I need all the natural light I can get. There are two plush, cream-colored couches in the living area, but Catherine can't tell because they're covered in sheets. I've got an easel set up so the light from the windows can hit it, and paints strewn all over the coffee table and floors. There are canvasses, both blank and used, lined up on the floor along the walls, and hung all over the place. There is no pattern, no set theme. Just…me. It's weird, I've never been nervous about having company before. I guess it's just Catherine.

Mary Mag is the cat equivalent of a mutt, her previous owners dropped her off at the local shelter when she wouldn't stop having kittens. She's opinionated, standoffish and rude. She's also perfect for me. She makes an appearance at the delighted cry of Lindsey, but heads toward Catherine. I shrug, shaking my head at the cat that should have been named Benedict Arnold.

"Um, make yourself at home. I'm just gonna shower and change really quick." A light touch to Catherine's lower back to draw her attention and then I'm gone.

The water is hotter than it should be, but just the way I like it. I've always been a lover of the long, drawn out bath, but since they're waiting, I finish up in half the time. The scent of cinnamon fills my nostrils in this humidity and I can't help but smile. I've just turned the water off when the shower curtain is slowly drawn back. Catherine. She's standing there, holding my towel, her mouth curled up in a smile that manages to be both mischievous and shy at the same time.

"I thought if I helped you'd get done faster."

I step toward her and out of the tub, letting her wrap the towel around me. Her lips are a sweet, cotton candy pink, and they're calling to me. My tongue darts out of its own violation for a quick taste, causing her to smile brightly. "Somehow, I doubt that."

She starts rubbing me dry in slow, sensuous circles, and looks up at me from lowered lids. "Well, we can try, at least."

Who knew getting drunk would turn out to be the best thing that's happened to me in a long time?

The End

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