DISCLAIMER: CSI belongs to CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer. The Title 'The Wind In The Willows' is from a story by Kenneth Grahame, so also not mine.
SERIES: First part of the 'Sara & Catherine: The Unfinished Story' series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Sara & Catherine: The Unfinished Story
By MBInc


Chapter 1: The Wind In The Willows


"Attention Please. Flight 694A3 to Boston is now boarding at gate 5. Flight 694A3 to Boston boarding now." A voice over the intercom at McCarran International Airport announced.

"Damn. Where is she?" Sara cursed under her breath as she was waiting at the gate for Catherine to show up.

Grissom had asked the two of them to go to a conference at Harvard where they would give a lecture on processing desert scenes. Both of them were a bit reluctant to go, but in the end –when Grissom offered them a day off as soon as they would be back- at least Catherine wanted to go. An extra day off so she could spend it with Lindsey was more than welcome to her.

Since Catherine had decided to go Sara couldn't –or rather wouldn't- stay behind. Two days one-on-one with Catherine was something she had wanted for quite some time now, but simply asking her out wasn't an option for her.

So now she was waiting for the strawberry blonde. Just as she had reached for her cell phone and dialed Catherine's number she heard a voice coming closer.

"I'm here. I'm here. No need to call" Catherine puffed as she threw a suitcase on the ground and grasped for breath.

"Finally, let's go" The brunette said a bit irritated

"Well I'm sorry that I'm a whole 3 minutes late. I had to say goodbye to my daughter" Catherine snapped back.

"It's ok Catherine, at least you're here now. So, let's go" She flung her bag over her shoulder and reached for Catherine's suitcase.

About half an hour later both women finally were in their seats, Catherine at the window and Sara right next to her. After take off Sara decided to try and catch some sleep while Catherine was reading. The flight was going prosperous and Sara felt completely at ease. Flying together with Catherine made her feel comfortable –more than she had expected considering their work-relationship.

They had had a strained relation for years, but Sara was trying her hardest to change things between them. That's why she quickly agreed to go with Catherine to this conference even though she had been very reluctant before. Finally she would be able to spend time with the woman she had longed for for years.

An hour later Sara woke up, because she felt her chair shake. First she didn't realize what was going on until the shaking became worse. Catherine –who had also fallen asleep– suddenly sat up straight clutching Sara's hand in a death-grip.

"Relax," Sara said, "It's just some turbulence" She locked eyes with Catherine and started to rub circles over the older woman's hand.

The soothing gesture made Catherine's nerves go away in an instant, and the caring look she received from the brunette even relaxed her when another wave of turbulence hit the plane.

Minutes passed and Catherine was still holding Sara's hand leaning into the longer woman's body. Realizing this was the first time Sara was willing to let someone come into her personal space Catherine looked up into two brown eyes.

'I've never seen her being so caring. That look in her eyes…is it only concern? Or is there something else…' Suddenly Catherine realized the last hit of turbulence had passed about 5 minutes ago, and she was still clinging onto Sara as if her life depended on it.

Embarrassed she pried her hand out of Sara's –who immediately missed the warmth of Catherine's hand. "Don't tell the guys I had you in such a death-grip. They wouldn't let me live it down.

"Don't worry about it. I'm sure I can think of some way you can make it up to me." Sara smiled, but as soon as she made eye contact with Catherine she realized how flirty that just had sounded. A blush spread over her face.

'Is this the real Sara Sidle? Letting me inside her personal space? Flirting?' was the thought that filled Catherine's mind, but as she noticed Sara was becoming a bit nervous she decided to ignore it 'for this moment, that is' she added mentally.

"It's just that the turbulence makes me all..." Catherine started, but before she could finish Sara softly placed a finger on her lips thus silencing her. She seemed to have found her equilibrium again –the tension replaced by a new found source of confidence.

"As I just said, don't worry about it. Try to get some more sleep. The turbulence seems to be over now. And in case it starts again…" She said as she picked up Catherine's hand again and gave it a little squeeze "You can just reapply that death-grip" which earned her a beautiful smile in return.

The rest of the light was relatively peaceful giving both women the opportunity to rethink all that had passed between them –during the years they had worked together, but also what had just happened during the plane ride.

For four years they had had arguments and fights –work-related, that also influenced their personal relationship. From day one Catherine had been standoffish and bitchy towards the younger woman, because she was afraid that she would lose her place in the team. She realized she hadn't been fair towards Sara, especially after Eddie's case.

Of course she knew Sara had done her best, and also that the brunette still blamed herself for not being able to solve the case. 'And I had to screw up everything.' Unconsciously she sighed heavily which caused Sara to look at her questioningly.

Catherine decided then and there that she would put more effort in her relationship with Sara on work-level, but also on the personal one. She hoped that after everything that had passed between them Sara would want to build up a friendship with her.

'I wish there was an easy way to tell her how I feel about her' was the only thing that

occupied Sara's mind –still reminiscing about how good it had felt to hold Catherine's hand.

The End

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