DISCLAIMER: Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS and various others own CSI, not me. I just played in their sandpit for a while.
CHALLENGE: Written as part of the 1001 Nights Challenge - dancing.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Private Dancer
By Celievamp


In her dreams, she danced. She'd been one of the best, she knew. Whenever her current job brought her to one of her old haunts, she saw that look on the faces of the old-timers, half recognition, half embarrassment.

It didn't faze her at all. She'd always been proud of what she did. It paid the rent, put food on the table, it paid her college fees. It provided her daughter everything she needed – if not everything she wanted.

She had never been 'just' a dancer. She'd never been 'just' anything. It hadn't made her too many friends along the way. Sometimes, but not too often, she regretted that. Her self confidence had got her through things like not knowing for certain who her real father was, her on-off marriage with Eddie, the one night stands and half hearted relationships she had formed since.

In some ways she was still dancing, still up on that stage, something to be looked at, not to be touched.

It wasn't her personal relationships but her work relationships that had been the steadying influence in her life. Both Gil Grissom and Jim Brass had been a friend and mentor for more than a decade, her 'boys' Nick and Warrick had her back and kept to her rules. Greg, fascinated as he was by all things Vegas had been enthralled by her history as a dancer.

He remembered sneaking out of school and going to the clubs. "Perhaps I saw you dance," he smiled.

She shook her head, did the math. He would have been about twelve when she quit dancing. The club had been lax sometimes but not that lax. "No. If you had, you would have remembered."

Sara did not dance. Whether that was a 'could not' or a 'would not', Catherine did not know and had never asked. Catherine considered the way the two of them had circled each other for years and had concluded that Sara's problem was that no one had ever taken the time to show her the steps.

Catherine had never seen herself as a teacher. She had always assumed that everyone just knew. She wasn't sure if she had the patience – or the desire – to do it. But every time she saw how that shy smile transformed Sara's face she wondered what it would be like to have that directed fully at her.

It had been a long time since she had danced for anyone but herself. Perhaps it was time to try it again.

The End

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