DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of Jerry Bruckheimer, no infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Precious

By Wingsfan


This is new, Catherine noted as she made her way to Sara's apartment. She remembered the first time she walked through this hallway. She remembered how she and Sara had taken their time exploring each other when they got to Sara's place.

All those memories, now under the threat of being forgotten. All because she had a momentary lapse in judgment. And then knowingly commit the same mistake again.

She knocked on the door, her hope faltering when she received no response. Frowning, Catherine called out to the brunette.


Catherine knocked harder on the door again, hoping it would bring the woman to her.

"Open the door, please," Catherine leaned on the door, her palm flat on it.

"Go away, Catherine. I don't want to see you," Sara's voice was steel, but the blonde would prefer this to no contact at all.

"Please, Sara. Give me a chance to explain myself."

Just as soon as the words left Catherine's lips, the door swung open, revealing a pissed off Sara.

"What is there to explain? That you just accidentally fell onto the bed with her? Or that your clothes came off by themselves?" Sara squared her gaze at Catherine.

"I…I'm sorry. Can we not do this in the hallway?" Catherine wasn't sure if Sara allowing her into the apartment was a good sign but she held out for hope.

"You've got five minutes." Sara stood in front of the couch and took up a defensive stance as Catherine stepped closer to her.

"I'm sorry," Catherine began. "It… it was a mistake. I was drunk, I was missing you like crazy and I guess I just…"

"That's no excuse for cheating."

"No, it's not. It's what happened, though," Catherine countered. In her mind, she was screaming for Sara to understand. "I made a mistake."

"A cardinal sin," Sara said plainly.

Taking a deep breath, Catherine tried not to let her desperation take over. She wanted to make things right with the brunette, but she also knew things might not work out.

"Sara," Catherine stepped closer to Sara, following the woman when she moved away. She snaked her arms around Sara's waist, holding her in a death grip.

Sara, on the other hand, was trying to shrug out of Catherine's embrace. No matter what she did, Catherine's arms remained around her.

"Catherine, let go," Sara said in a firm voice.

"I can't," Catherine said as she rested her head on Sara's shoulder. "I don't want to let go. Please don't let go."

"Should have thought about the consequences then, huh?" Sara replied acidly.

Catherine's head snapped up so fast from Sara's response that it was a minute before she responded. Standing on her toes, Catherine peppered Sara's face with soft kisses, planting her lips to Sara's.

Still not getting a response from the tall brunette, Catherine applied more pressure on the lips, silently rejoicing when she felt Sara return the kiss But just as quickly as the joy overcame her, it was replaced by a pang of sadness as she felt Sara pulling away from their hug.

"I'm sorry." Catherine felt tears trickling down her cheeks, angrily wiping them when Sara looked away.

"Leave." Sara's tone left no room for argument, and Catherine knew better than to challenge that.

With a last glance at her lover, Catherine walked out of the apartment dejectedly. She sat in her car, trying to compose herself enough to drive home.

All those words, all those reasons she had thought of as she drove to Sara's place died on her lips the moment she saw the woman. She had no choice but to give Sara some time and space to think things through.

She stole one last glance at the apartment, letting out a heavy sigh before she drove away. The rest of the day flew by in a blur, with Sara's parting word hanging heavily in her mind.

Catherine forced herself to get into her routine, even though part of it was having breakfast with Sara. She went home alone, feeling a little lost as she stood in the middle of her living room not knowing what to do.

Thus began her routine for the rest of the week. At work, Sara was polite, cordial to her. But a mere mention of anything not work related, the brunette always found an excuse to step away from the conversation.

Today, Day Four of working with Sara since the blowout, Catherine told herself she should just suck it up and corner the woman. The uncertainty overrode the sense of guilt still lingering inside her.

Spotting the tall woman on her way to the parking lot, Catherine stealthily followed her. She quickened her steps just as Sara neared her car.

"Sara, wait up." Catherine half-ran to her.

"Yes?" The tone was short and clip, hinting the speaker's short patience.

"Got a minute?"

"What have you possibly got to say to me?" Sara knew it wasn't about work, but she was too proud to take the first step.

Catherine looked around to make sure no one would be witness to what she had in mind. She grabbed Sara by the arm and dragged the both of them to the far side of the car. Pinning the taller woman against the car, she leaned in for a rough kiss.

She paid no attention to the sounds Sara was making; she was adamant on getting Sara to see how sorry she was. When she tried to move her hands underneath Sara's shirt, she realized they were held hostage by Sara.

"What are you playing at?" A slightly dazed Sara all but growled at her.

"Making up to you," Catherine replied as she moved in to nibble on the spot behind Sara's ear. "Telling you how sorry I am."

The brunette made a decision, ignoring the signals her body was sending to her brain. She moved away from Catherine, putting just enough distance that she was out of reach. When their current position dawned on her, Sara couldn't help but laughed at herself in her mind.

"Sara," Catherine stretched her hand out to Sara. "Baby, please, give me another chance."

"You've become what you hated, a cheater," Sara said. "Tell me why I should give you another chance."

"Because we love each other, and we're great together and what we have is too good to pass up," Catherine answered without missing a beat.

"You threw away what we had when you decided to cheat on me," Sara replied flatly.

Not waiting for an answer, Sara walked around Catherine and got into the car. Catherine only could watch helplessly as Sara pulled out of the parking lot. Their distance was choking her, and Catherine knew she had to try one last time.

She got into her car and drove to Sara's apartment. Catherine never was a religious person, but she had muttered a silent prayer that her plan would work.

Navigating through the Las Vegas traffic proved to be difficult, Catherine realized. There was a backlog created by an overturned trailer on one of the main thoroughfares and traffic was backed up for a mile.

Cursing her luck, it took the blonde the better part of the hour before she escaped the chaos and pulled up in front of Sara's apartment building. Spying the woman's car, Catherine entered the building and made her way to Sara's apartment.

Hands trembling a little from nervous anticipation, Catherine knocked on the door and waited for an answer.

"Go away," Sara told her as she swung the door open.

Seeing the woman, Catherine immediately took a step forward. "Sara, please. Can we talk?"

"What is there to talk about? You've said your piece, I've told you mine."

Brows furrowed, Catherine was taken aback by the tone of Sara's voice. Her words, carefully chosen for maximum effect, worried Catherine.

In all the years she has known the brunette, Sara never once spoke in such a cold tone to anyone. Her mind raced to come up with a solution, but each time they involved some sort of physical contact.

One look at Sara's crossed arms and rigid posture, Catherine decided against any physical touch. Sara's temper was legendary, and she was surprised that the woman had yet to lash out at her.

"Can I fix this?" Catherine gestured between them.

"Can you turn back time?" Sara shot back.

Catherine held her tongue, even though she wanted to scream at the woman for not seeing things her way. "What happened to forgive and forget?"

"Religion is nothing but an organized cookie-cutter's club." Sara looked into Catherine's eyes and said, "Besides, I'm no saint."

Sara's stance softened, and the movement did not escape Catherine. She knew, there was no way she could get Sara back. Not when they both were still caught up in their emotions.

She made up her mind, though she hated the uncertainty that her new plan will bring. Without thinking, she stood closer to Sara, glad that they woman did not physically restrain her from standing too close.

"Can we be friends again?" Catherine asked.

"We were never friends in the first place," Sara answered softly. "We went from enemies to a couple in a blink of an eye."

"Can we be friends?" Catherine asked again. "I'm not trying to pressure you or anything. I just… don't want to lose you. If that means being a friend, so be it."

Sara pondered on the offer, mentally weighing the variables. Catherine, on the other hand, took the prolonged silence as rejection.

Heartbroken, Catherine turned and was about to leave when Sara stopped her. "You're leaving?"

"I figured I'll salvage what little dignity I have left and save you from coming up with an excuse to say no." The words came out a notch more bitter than Catherine intended, but she was tired of pleading her case.

"How sure were you that I would say no?" Sara countered.

The brunette's words sparked the fire of hope in her again, Catherine was grateful for the break. "I… didn't. I didn't dare hope."

"It's not a yes," Sara replied. Catherine felt her hopes fading, before Sara continued. "But it's not a no either."

"Then?" The past week's events were beginning to take its toll on Catherine.

"It means we'll see. One step at a time. Take whatever fate throws us," the younger woman said impatiently.

"I hate not knowing," Catherine said softly.

"So do I, but until I can learn to trust you again, that's all I have to offer."

Knowing this would have to do for now, Catherine nodded. "I guess I should go then."

"Yeah," Sara breathed out as she walked Catherine to the door.

When they were at the door, Catherine hesitated. Before she could think further, Catherine closed in on their distance and hugged Sara.

The brunette stiffened when she felt Catherine's arms tighten around her waist. It would be too easy to give in to temptation, but Sara knew she had to be strong.

"Bye, Catherine," Sara said in a neutral tone as she pried Catherine's arms away from her and gently pushed her out of the door.

Leaning against the closed door, Sara breathed a sigh of relief. Had Catherine stayed a minute longer, Sara was certain she would lose the last shred of control in her. She continued to calm herself down, hoping her labored breaths would douse the flames of anger.

The End

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