DISCLAIMER: Jerry Bruckheimer I am not. I'm playing in his sandbox without cleaning out the cat piddle from the day before. If his lawyers are on their way I ask they apply sunscreen and make sure that the sand doesn't go places that sand simply shouldn't be resting.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Perfect Match
By Corbeau's Alcove


Catherine stepped out of the Tahoe, black boots hitting the road with purpose.

"What have we got Brass?"

Brass waved her over to the front of the house swarming with police, medical staff and yellow tape, his tweed jacket blowing in the wind.

"Catherine, how are you this chilly evening?"

"Not really enjoying my clothing choice," Catherine replied smiling weakly. "So, you said something about a dead body?"

Brass smiled and thought to himself that Catherine's attire may just be warming up the majority of people on site. Her aqua button down shirt was the closet to sheer she could get without trying to look like she was dressed like the popular girl at school who wanted to show off her 'worth' to the Captain of the football team.

"Right, dead body, yes. A one Lauren Maines, 27 year old worked as a dj. According to her flat mate she was a great mixer. Officer over there got the call, he didn't touch her before you ask. She's got a rope around her throat and I'm guessing it is not a new necklace. She's in bra and undies on what can only be described as a cold evening."

"So you're saying possible sexual assault and a strangulation?" Catherine asked smiling at Brass.

Brass returned the smile and replied, "I'd never make a guess Catherine, but if I were to ..."

Brass was cut off by the shrill of a mobile phone.

Catherine looked down to the phone clipped to her belt.

"It's mine. Willows?"

"Catherine, Grissom. Nick and Sara about ten away and I'm off with Warrick to court. Can you take care of things while we're gone?"

"Gil, I think this dead body can do without your supreme expertise, we'll be fine."

"Make sure they follow your plays. Bye." With that Grissom hung up.

Catherine looked at her phone with some humor and stepped into the house. Her mind begun the routine she always had when first entering upon a crime scene, documenting the rooms in the hope to catch some clue. Her training kicked in and she went about determining the scene boundaries keeping the door open for the possibility of extending it if needs be.

On the bed was as Brass had described; female, dressed in bra and panties, a rope tied around her neck. The sheets were in a pile on the floor at the foot of the bed. Catherine put her case down and conducted a detailed search of the room searching for something out of place.

Nick, in the meantime, entered the room and whistled.

"Nice top Cath, hot date?"

Catherine turned and smiled. "You know me Nick, I love to dress up."

In truth, she had been out on a date and was almost praying for a call into work. Not that she was one to wish for a victim but the man she had been paired up with made Gil look interesting. If she heard him discuss the square root of whatever she was going to excuse herself to the ladies room and leave stage left.

One thing was certain, he wasn't getting any kind of square root from her.

"Hey Catherine, did you open this window?" Nick asked.

"No, and with the temperature I don't know if our vic would have either, unless she was born in Antarctica."

"I'll dust for prints."

Catherine nodded in agreement and continued studying the body.

She lifted two distinctly different hairs on the bed and bagged them. She continued pulling fibers from the body and surrounding area looking for anything out of the ordinary. As she was moving away from the bed she saw a used matchstick lying slightly under the bed.

Nick turned to Catherine.

"Oh and Brass said to let you know he will personally rush over the rape kit."

"Thanks Nick, last time there was a stuff up so he's being extra cautious."

Nick smiled knowing that Catherine had scared the officer who had left the kit in his car in the hot Vegas sun while he went to visit his lady friend. In fact, that story did the rounds of both the Day and Night shift for sometime. Truth be told, he thought some of the uniforms still cowered as she walked by.

Sara in the meantime was taking photographs of the body.

Catherine hadn't noticed Sara before then and wondered how she could have missed another body in the room, after all it wasn't a mansion.

"Sara, guess your other case is closed."

Sara's attention was momentarily diverted by Catherine's nipples piercing through the flimsy material.

"Oh uh yeah, all wrapped up."

"I wish I was," Catherine mumbled to no one in particular.

'Let me wrap you up in my arms' Sara thought. She pulled the camera over her head so it was resting like a necklace and took off her Forensic jacket.

"You look like you need this more than I do," Sara said, her eyes once again looking at Catherine's chest.

Catherine followed Sara's eye line and blushed yet still did not take the jacket. She was surprised to feel a little arrogant that Sara was looking at her breasts with such interest.

Sara smiled to cover up her overt ogling, the gap in her teeth showing.

"Please, I'd feel better if you took it."

Sara inwardly cringed at how that statement meant one thing to her and another to Catherine. 'Yeah I'd feel better alright, I wouldn't have to think about my sexual attraction to a co-worker. A straight woman with a daughter who wouldn't even consider me a friend.'

Catherine looked at the jacket held out in Sara's hand and as it looked like she was about to take it, Nick interrupted.

"Catherine, I found some fibers on the latch."

Catherine smiled at Sara and went over to the window.

"Excellent Nicky, bag it and check outside for footprints, any sign of ..."

Catherine stopped when she realized she was emulating Grissom's talent for stating the obvious to a trained CSI. She simply waved her hand and Nick nodded in understanding.

"I'm on it Cath."

Catherine suddenly remembered she had a lone matchstick to find a home for and walked out of the bedroom searching for Brass.

"Hey Brass, the flat mate still out here?"

Brass nodded, otherwise occupied in a discussion with a uniformed officer and pointed her out.

She walked out into the kitchen and saw the flat mate sitting at the table, hands wrapped around a mug of something hot.

"Excuse me miss?"

"Sally Withers."

"Miss Withers, did Lauren use matches for anything? Cigarettes? Incense?"

Sally Withers shook her head. "She didn't smoke, I have asthma so she wouldn't burn incense, she's very thoughtful."

Catherine's mind was clicking over. "Do you know if her boyfriend was a smoker?"

Sally smiled slightly as she replied. "She didn't have a boyfriend, she's a lesbian."


Catherine nodded and rephrased the question, "Did any of her girlfriends smoke?"

Sally took a sip from her cup.

"She didn't really bring anyone home, she stopped after my ex boyfriend and her had a fight."

Brass who had appeared from behind Catherine interrupted the conversation.

"We have the particulars of this gentleman Catherine. Martin Mercer, 32 year old truck driver. We'll question him after the uniforms pick him up."

"Thanks Brass." Catherine smiled at Brass before turning her attention back to Sally. "Miss Winters, can you tell me the nature of the argument?"

"Usual macho crap, thought she was waiting for a man who could satisfy her and he offered his services." Miss Winters said shaking her head. "She cut him down and he spat at her calling her a useless dyke. I dumped him right after that."

"Would you consider him a violent man?" Catherine asked.

"He liked rough sex but he never struck me. He didn't take Lauren's rejection well though."

"Rough sex, did he ever tie a rope or some sort of material around your neck?" Brass inquired.

"He wanted to once but I refused. He told me it would be a great way to climax. When I said no he pressed me a few times but then dropped it."

"Okay Miss Winters, thank you for your help. I'm sorry for your loss." Catherine said placing her hand on Sally Winters shoulder in a moment of comfort.

Catherine re-entered the bedroom to see Sara standing at the foot of the bed looking at Lauren's prone body.

"See something Sara?" Catherine said.

Sara looked to the doorway where Catherine was with a frown, "It's just that she's still in her underwear. If this was a sexual attack why is she still wearing them?"

"Perhaps this was foreplay?"

"Well we'll know if there was any sexual activity after Doc takes a look." Sara said moving over Catherine.

"Did you get all the photos you needed?" Catherine asked.

Sara nodded. "Yep, just waiting on Nick."

"Like all ladies Sara. You only have to ask." Nick joked.

"Nicky, tell me about outside." Catherine said.

"No footprints but I found some cigarette ash on the stones near the pipe."

"According to Lauren's flat mate she wasn't a smoker and didn't have many visitors to her bedroom" said Catherine.

"Sounds like my love life" Nick said smiling.

"I thought you were a stud Nick?" Sara said teasing.

"I am Sara, just trying to find that right girl."

"Apparently so was Lauren." Catherine said.

Sara looked over to Catherine, "A lesbian?"

Catherine nodded. "Flat mate said she stopped having people over after a fight with an ex of her flat mate."

"We got his details?" Nick asked.

"Brass has the uniforms picking him up. Until then I say if we're all done for now we head back to the lab." Catherine said.

"We'll meet you back there Cath." Nick said.

Catherine allowed Nick to leave first. She had been so focused on the information Sally was giving her she forgot just how cold it was. She rubbed her arms in a futile attempt to warm up cursing whatever God had possessed her to forgo a jacket in the pursuit of showing a bit of flesh.

Sara had noticed the shiver that went through Catherine and walked up behind her. She took off her jacket for the second time that night and wrapped it around the woman in front of her. Her mind was screaming at her to lick the neck she was presented with. Catherine's close proximity was making her heart beat so fast she could have sworn her insides would explode.

"I told you Catherine, you need my jacket. I don't want to have you come down with the flu. You can't leave me on a case with Nick." She joked to cover up her instinct to accidentally brush her hands against Catherine's breasts.

Catherine's breath hitched when she realised Sara was almost pressed up against her back. For a moment she was tempted to lean against it. 'For the warmth,' she told herself but for some reason she wasn't convinced.

"Thank you Sara. Your consideration is duly noted even if you had a selfish ulterior motive." Catherine said turning to face Sara smiling back at her.

Sara blinked quickly, 'Surely she doesn't know I'm attracted to her' she thought worriedly. It took another second to realise Catherine had meant her joke about working with Nick.

"Ah, that's why you're the lead CSI Cath, I can't get anything past you." Sara smiled.

Catherine laughed as they exited the house and got in their respective cars for the drive back to work.


Catherine strode into the lab holding up her pager.

"Greg, what you got?"

"Just one minute Catherine, I'm about to ... wow," Greg had his back to Catherine but as he spun around in his chair to face her he noticed the top she was wearing. "You didn't have to dress up on my account Catherine, you know after Sara you'll always be my favourite."

Catherine pulled the front of Sara's jacket across her chest wondering why she hadn't changed before she was summoned by the one person in the lab who would voice his dorm room comments.

As Catherine zipped Sara's jacket up, thus preventing any further glaring from Greg, she realized that she had had ample time to get changed yet was hesitant to relinquish Sara's jacket. First the feeling of excitement when Sara looked a little uncomfortable when Catherine caught her looking at her top, then the increased heart rate when Sara was almost pressed up against her body...

"Hey hello?" Greg snapped Catherine out of her ponderings waving a piece of paper in her face. "Thinking about the man who made you put that top on?" Greg said smiling.

"Greg, just the results." Catherine said exasperated.

"Okay, okay. The two hair strands. One was from our vic, Lauren Maines. The other, unidentified white female I'd say she's 30, but when you find some suspects you know you can call me for a DNA match." Greg said smiling.

"Anything else?" Catherine asked sighing.

"Hey Catherine, I'm backed up and you did just get back so until I can perform the magic of Siegfried and Roy then you'll have to wait." Greg said.

"You're wrong about one thing Greg," Catherine said as she was leaving the room. "You're a master of illusion."

Greg watched Catherine's back trying to determine whether or not he'd just been insulted.

Sara was returning from visiting Doc Robbins in the morgue when she noticed Catherine entering the coffee room. She smiled with some satisfaction when she noticed Catherine still wore her jacket.

Catherine was pouring a cup of coffee when Sara entered. She leant against the door frame watching Catherine's movements. She looked smaller in the jacket that was rolled up at the wrist. On Sara it was long also, a one size fits all jacket handed out by the department heads but on Catherine it fell past her bottom covering up what Sara thought, was one of Catherine's best points. 'Not that she has any bad ones' Sara mused.

Suddenly Catherine yelped, shaking her hand and cursing.

"Bloody cup. Shit!"

Sara was over to Catherine in a matter of seconds.

"Cath? You okay?"

Catherine moved over to the sink to run her hand under the water.

"I wasn't paying enough attention obviously. Poured the coffee right onto my hand." Catherine said laughing ruefully.

Sara moved to Catherine's left rolling the sleeve jacket up further to survey the damage.

"Looks okay but I bet it stings," Sara said smiling.

Catherine laughed.

"Sara, you are the master of understatement," Catherine replied looking down to her hand. She noticed Sara was ever so softly running her thumb across her wrist.

Sara followed Catherine's gaze and realized she was stroking her wrist. She refused to look back up at Catherine for she knew it would be her undoing.

Catherine knew she should take her hand away from the water now but Sara's gentle to and fro was comforting her more than she cared to admit. She turned her hand over so her palm was showing and smiled when she noticed Sara simply switched her attention to her raging pulse. Catherine then moved her hand down so that her fingertips held Sara's thumb captive.

Sara gasped when she realized Catherine had shifted and tried to regain her composure when Catherine held hand still.

"Did I hurt you Cath?" Sara asked.

Catherine nodded no in reply and entwined her fingers with Sara's. Sara thought she would collapse on the spot.

"I'm fine Sara."

They both stood at the sink, tap still running, holding hands in the sink. If they weren't looking at each other they could have both found the positioning quite amusing.

However all Sara could think about was that Catherine was holding her hand. 'I could just lean over and kiss her,' Sara considered.

Catherine wasn't sure what possessed her to make the progression to hand holding but there was something in the way Sara had been so gentle that struck a cord with her.

"Thank you for your assistance," Catherine said moving her hand out of Sara's to turn the tap off.

As she leant over she berated herself. 'Assistance? Assistance? Catherine what is wrong with you?' Her inward cursing made her miss the look on Sara's face. Sara had been contemplating kissing this beautiful woman next to her and Catherine's brush off had been like a slap in the face.

"No problem Catherine, as I said earlier tonight, can't have you leaving me to work solely with Nick," Sara said trying to make light of the situation.

Sara moved to sit at the table, she had to get away from Catherine.

Catherine turned to see Sara sit at the table. Sara had chosen a seat far enough away from Catherine's folders to cause Catherine to worry if she had offended her.

"Sara, listen. I, ah want to thank you for taking care of me tonight. Your jacket came in handy not just to ward off the cold but also Greg's permanent stare at my chest. Then just now, well I just want to say thank you."

Sara smiled at the reference to Greg.

"I can imagine he had more than a scientific interest," Sara said causing Catherine to laugh.

Sara's insides melted at the sound of Catherine's laughter. She had made her laugh on several occasions this evening and was thriving in the knowledge that she could make the majestic redhead feel so relaxed.

"Yeah, although my top was a talking point he did manage to tell me that the hair strands belonged to Lauren and an unidentified female."

"So she had company but it doesn't necessarily mean murder on this woman's part." Sara mused aloud.

"I have to say, the flat mates ex-boyfriend sounds suspicious. Wanting Sally to perform a sexual act involving a rope and Lauren's strangulation ..." Catherine said leaving the sentence open ended.

"As Grissom would say, there are no coincidences." Sara said smiling.

"How was the autopsy?" Catherine asked.

"Doc's still going but he did tell me there was sexual activity. No visible sign of rape. I managed to get a few fibers from Lauren's neck from the rope. Looks like average rope, nothing special."

Sara was interrupted by Catherine's phone.

"Excuse me Sara," Catherine said before answering. "Willows? Hello Jarred. Can you hang on one moment?" Catherine turned to Sara and shrugged. "My date, wants to reschedule."

Sara's stomach dropped.

"Well you do have a case to solve first," Sara said with a little too much venom.

Catherine blinked in surprise at Sara's tone.

"Ah Jarred, look I just don't think I can give you an answer just now. I'm at work. I'm sorry. Dinner was nice yes," Catherine paused, looking over to Sara who was standing and walking to the doorway.

Sara refused to look back as she walked out on Catherine talking to the man who would be closer to Catherine than she ever would.

Part 4

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