DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of these characters; all rights go to those who do. I'm just using them as a tool for you reading pleasure. The songs used in this fiction are David Berkley's "Fire Signs," Lifehouse's "Take Me Away," and Dido's "Here With Me."
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

She Makes Me Want To
By Dearlylovedaimee

Stage 6-Similarities

In the car, Catherine wasn't sure if it was Sara's constant fidgeting with the radio or her inability to hold a formidable adult conversation at the moment, that lead her to believe that she wasn't exactly okay with the idea of spending this much time with her. Yes, Catherine knew how abrasive and intimidating she could be at times, but she had thought Sara was warming up to her.

Catherine was thankful when Sara finally seized her attack on her car stereo and settled on the latest song from Norah Jones. Catherine was hoping the music alone would ease Sara's nerves and break the tension that hung in the air. But when Catherine realized that Sara had replaced her radio surfing with staring out the passenger window, she figured it best that she say something.

"You're doing it again."

The words themselves startled Sara out of her hypnotic state and she turned her head to face Catherine.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, that you're doing it again."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about that thing you do, you know when you trying to figure out something to say because you think that's what I want to hear. Honestly, Sidle your really starting to piss me off."

"Catherine, you may find this hard to believe but I don't require endless conversation to pass the time. Despite what you think, sometimes I actually like being alone."

"Oh I know, but I think right now you really want to know why I invited myself to your apartment."

"Catherine I already know why you invited yourself. You want to make sure I'm okay. I thought we covered this back at the office."

"We did, but I think you know there's more to it."

"Okay Cat I give up, what's the real reason you wanted to come over to my place?"


"Whatever, I'll bite. After all, this is your game and I have to play by your rules. So lay it on me."

"First of all, I'm glad you finally called my Cat. Second of all, did it ever occur to you, that I might just want to know what you like to do? You know, see if we have any similarities."

"Actually, no it didn't."

"Well now you know. So would you stop treating me like your mother and start treating me like a friend? Talk to me Sidle, tell me some more about you."

Sara situated herself so she was sitting straight up instead of leaning back. She turned the volume on the radio down and started.

"I'm an open book Cat, what do you want to know?"

"Let's see here, okay we'll start out easy. What's your favorite kind of music?"


"Alternative, what does that mean, alternative?"

"Oh you mean bands?"

"Yes brain dead, I mean bands."

"Why didn't you say that in the first place? Cat, I must insist that if we are going to continue our game of twenty questions, that you be a bit more specific."

"Yes, ma'am!" Catherine said as she threw a mock salute as a final touch.

"And for your information, I like bands like Evanescence, Matchbox 20, Vertical Horizon, and I really love the Rascal Flatts, but their country."

"I love the Rascal Flatts! My favorite song is the one where he's talking about the two people liking each other, but she denies it. It's from their first album, I think it's number seven."

"Oh yeah, 'It's Not Just Me,' that's one of my favorites too. And of course you can't forget about Melt. Talk about sexy! Gary LeVox's voice is amazing. What about you, what do Catherine Willows' ears consider good music."

"Well I'll have you know that Catherine Willows' ears are not to picky. It's kind of hard to be, when you have a child who's big into Britney Spears and Beyonce' Knowles."

"Booby Spears no, but Beyonce' is okay."

"Booby Spears Sara?"

"Hey, I can't help it if I think she sounds like a cat in heat."

"Actually, I hate to admit this but some of her songs aren't that bad."

"As bad as compared to what Cat? She sounds like one of the munchkins when she sings. I just want to toss the radio out the window whenever they play her."

"Sara you are incorrigible."

"Well call me crazy, but when I'm in the mood to listen to that type of music, I want to listen to someone that actually has a set of pipes. Like Christina Aguilera, now she can sing. I also like Kelly Clarkson."

"Kelly Clarkson, as in American Idol Kelly?"

"Yes, and don't sound so surprised, her album was actually pretty good. That girl has vocals. Now there's real talent."

"Sara Sidle in all my life, I would have never pegged you as an American Idol watcher."

"Oh I'm not, I just really like her. I think it's amazing with all these groups out there, and you have one little southern girl who can wale it as compared to another who makes millions and couldn't carry a tune to save her life."

"Okay folks, we've established Sara's got issues with Britney Spears, anything else you hate?"

"No that's about it, but you still haven't fully answered my question. Who else does the almighty Catherine Willows listen to?"

"Well Missy, I'll just have you know that I'm a very eclectic person. I listen to everything. I just happen to love the entire list of artist's you mentioned up above, with a big emphasis on Evanescence."

"Funny, I would never have guessed you were an Amy Lee fan."

"Oh I love them, but I'm not talking about 'Bring Me To Life,' I'm talking about songs like 'My Immortal' and one they haven't released, but that my sister Julia found on the Internet."

"Catherine Willows tisk, tisk! Participating in illegal download, you should be ashamed."

"Hey, I said my sister Julia, not me. She's a stay-at-home mom, so she can afford to piss all her time away doing things like that. She's really quite good at it. She's found me tons of songs by them that I would have never known about. There are two now that I think of it, that I really love. One's called 'You' and the other's called 'Anywhere.' They are so haunting and romantic, that I couldn't believe it. I have them at my place; I'll have to bring them for you sometime. I know you'd love them."

"Cool. Okay, now stop repeating all of my answers and come up with some of you own for a change."

"Alright, alright picky. Who else? Well, I love Andrea Bocelli, he's…"

"I know who is, my cousin loves him. She has been all over the world just to see his concerts. He has a beautiful voice, but I don't understand Italian, that's the only problem."

"That's never really bothered me, because I know where to find the English lyrics. I also love Josh Groban and Laura Pausini."

"Hey that last one, I've heard of her before. She had a song on All My Children that I absolutely loved. 'I Need Love,' I could listen to that song about a million times a day."

"All My Children Sara?"

"Hey don't even knock it. That is my soap. My mother and I used to watch it together when the first invented VCRs. I've been a loyal follower for years. If you're going to be my friend, you'll just have to get used to it."

"Well, since we're confessing our worst television habits, I love, and I do mean love ER."

"Oh, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship."

"You two, huh?"

"Are you kidding, I love Parminder Nagra. I saw 'Bend It Like Beckahm' three times. Hank was ready to throw me over the edge if he had to see that movie one more time. He hated soccer and he hated movies about it even more."

"Too bad for Hank, because I own that movie."

"What else do you watch?"

"I never miss an episode of Law & Order:SVU. Mariska Hargitay is one of my favorites, and let's not forget Monk, he cracks me up."

"I know, and I just love watching reruns of M*A*S*H. That was my father's doing. He used to have a crush on Loretta Swift. But now, I own all the boxed sets, so I don't have to get upset when I miss an episode."

"Okay, there's one more show that I love and you've probably never heard of it, but it's called 'Coupling.'"

"Oh my God Cat, I love that show."

"The guys just crack me up."

"Sounds like you're big into British humor."

"No, I just appreciate it. I just get sick of all the same crap."

"Okay, so we both love the same types of music and television, but what about food."

"We both love Chinese, but I fully admit to being a closet Italian lover. Spaghetti and meatballs are my favorite. I also love p.b. and j., but I blame that fixation on my daughter. When Lindsay was six, that's all she wanted to eat."

"And do you blame her? It's only the best in the world. But seriously, I have a strong affliction for macaroni and cheese and potato salad. I know it's sounds nuts, but I like side dishes."

"I believe you, especially since you were the one that downed all the spring rolls."

"Hey, I was not."

"Sara, I think I had maybe half of one, and you ate the rest."

"Yeah, well at least I didn't hog all the crab rangoon."

"We're getting off this subject."

"Fine with me."

"Okay, what else. Oh yeah, you mentioned before that you didn't have a lot of friends in high school, well what about college."

"College was a completely different story. I was more laid back then. That's were I met my best friend in the world, Samantha. You see we both had Advanced Chemistry with Mrs. Prescott as our first period class. Well, we all know how hard it is to sit through all those symbols and charts, I don't know how Greg did it; but anyway, she was in the seat directly behind me. I had seen her around before, but I mostly noticed her because the first test we got back she had failed it. It was then that I decided to ask her if she'd like to be my study buddy and the rest as they say was history.

I found out we had a lot in common and by the end of the quarter, we were moving in together. Her parents were like my second family and I would come home with her on weekends to get a home cooked meal and get away from my own goofy parents."

"Sounds like she's a great girl, you'll have to introduce me sometimes."

Catherine wasn't sure what she had said, but it was enough to break Sara in mid sentence. Catherine kept her eyes on the road only because she had too, but she was more concerned with the pale shade that Sara had just turned. She took that as her queue to pull over.

Sara noticed Catherine switch lanes and stop next to the coffee shop. She knew her facial expressions had given her away. Sara also knew that Catherine was relentless and wouldn't let things go until she knew what she had said that had made her so upset. She took a deep breath and forced herself to look up at Catherine.

When she did, her brown eyes were met with concern and questions, rather then curiosity and pushiness. A single tear escaped Sara's eyes as she shifted her stare back to the dashboard. Sara couldn't look at anyone right now, much less think about Samantha. It hurt too much to be reminded about what had happened almost twelve years ago.

Catherine watched as Sara's tear fell from her eyes onto her cheek then to her dashboard. She sighed as the guilt began to takeover once again. She then unbuckled her seatbelt and grabbed her purse.

"Hey, stay here for a second."

Catherine instructed Sara. She was inside the coffee shop for no more then five minutes, when she emerged carrying two large cups and a bag. Sara reached over and opened the door for her and was rewarded with a smile and one of the cups.

"I thought you might want some coffee before we talked."

Sara smiled and took a sip.

"Vanilla, how did you know?"

"Greg, he's always bringing in those creamers you and Gil like so much. Well, I've seen how he hides the vanilla one for you in the mornings. I only know that, because I steal it from him so I can have some."

"Look Cat, I'm sorry about this."

"Why, there's nothing wrong with crying Sara. I obviously said something that upset you. I just hope you can forgive me enough to tell me about it."

"Cat, did I ever tell you why I became a CSI?"

"No, I just assumed it was because you were weird."

Catherine laughed at her own joke but Sara's face still stayed blank.

"Okay, that wasn't so funny. Alright Sara you've got me, why did you become a CSI?"

"Because of Samantha."

"Wow, now that's a first. I haven't met too many people who joined the Crime Lab because of their friends. Most of the people I know do it to help people. I also know a fair share that does it for the rush, but none because of a friend. Tell me, what did Samantha do that inspired you so much that you wanted to be a CSI?"

Catherine reached inside the bag she had brought and pulled out a blueberry bagel. She then offered it to Sara, who refused.

"Oh nothing, she just went and got herself murdered."

Catherine was so stunned by what she had just heard, that she dropped her bagel in her lap. She looked up at Sara to observe her expression, but it hadn't changed.

"Sara, I'm sorry. If I had known, I wouldn't have said anything."

"It's okay, not many people do. Which reminds me I would really appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone. It's still something I haven't gotten over."

"Sara, who ever does? That's a terrible thing and I don't blame you one bit."

"Funny, because I blame myself all the time."

"Sara, you shouldn't do that to yourself. It's not your fault, how were you to know that it would happen?"

"Catherine I was her best friend. I knew everything about her. I knew her favorite color, her favorite food; I even knew her favorite brand of toothpaste. But it was amazing when the cops went to ask me if she had a boyfriend, I couldn't even tell them that. Apparently, she had been seeing some frat guy and I didn't even know it.

Looking back, I should have at least suspected something was up. She had been coming home late from the library. She would eat dinner alone and she stopped asking me to come home with her. I just assumed it was because she had become more independent, little did I know."

"Sara, I don't mean to bring this up, but may I ask…"

"They found her in the park a few miles from school. She had been tied to a tree, stripped naked, gagged, beaten, and rapped. They were never able to figure out how many people had done it, but they were positive it was a group. The police said they suspected the group never meant to kill her, just rape her. She would still be alive today, but when they tried to keep her quite, the accidentally suffocated her with the gag."

"Sara I'm sorry, I really am. I wouldn't wish something like that on anybody. Did they ever catch the killers?"

"No, but they had suspects. Like I said before, Sam had been seeing this frat boy named Roger. Unfortunately, the police were never able to place Roger or his friends anywhere near Sam."

"Collaborated alibis huh? Still, what about DNA?"

"All circumstantial. Roger had said that he and Sam had slept together before, so they couldn't use his sperm. And whoever raped her, used a condom. All-in-all, they got away with the perfect murder and I lost the first person I have ever truly loved."

Sara couldn't hold back her tears any longer. She covered her face with her hands, to try and hide her shame from Catherine. Catherine got out of the car and headed to the other side. She opened Sara's door, pulled her out of the car, and into a hug.

Sara didn't have the strength to fight anymore, nor did she want to. She just let all her tears come and allowed Catherine for the second time today to comfort her.

It didn't matter to either one of them, that they were standing right in the middle of Clarkson and Broad Street making a public display out of themselves. All that mattered was Sara was hurting right now, and Catherine felt like it was her job to make it go away.

Catherine just held on tight to Sara while she cried harder then she had in twelve years. Sara was pretty sure that after Sam died, she had lost the ability to ever feel pain, but then she met Gil and that all changed. He seemed to be one of those people who could hurt her without so much as whispering a word. The only other person who had ever had that affect on her was long gone.

For a while, Sara was more then satisfied with not feeling. In fact, she was so happy with it that she often went out of her way to keep things exactly the way they were. That's what got her started on the isolation thing. After Sam's death, Sara was completely convinced that no one on this earth would ever relate to her again the way her friend did. Then Gil entered the picture and it just seemed like a safe haven for Sara to be. Sara viewed Gil as the same type of human she was, scientific and detached. For twelve years Sara was convinced that was the only way to be, but now standing here with Catherine, all that didn't make much sense any more.

Sara was tired of being tough. After a while the pain turned to hollowness, and the hollowness lead to a life of nothingness. Sara didn't want to be alone for the rest of her life. She wanted someone to come home to, someone she shared things in common with. She wanted Gil Grissom, but he was no longer an option, so why not Catherine?

After Sara's tears seized, she just remained caught up in Catherine's arms. She felt incredibly safe and secure right where she was. Never mind that people were staring at them, they could kiss her ass. The only thing that mattered was she was there with Catherine and they both wanted the same thing.

Catherine sensed that Sara was okay enough to pull away and let go. As she unwrapped her arms from Sara's body, she noticed that Sara wasn't doing the same. Catherine knew immediately, that maybe this was a big mistake.

"Um Sara, are you going to be alright."

A simple yeah was all Sara could muster up. She didn't dare face Catherine, for she knew what she wanted to do would ruin everything. Sara had to force herself to wait until they weren't standing on a street corner, to make her move. So with all her courage, Sara let go of Catherine's body.

As the two parted, they each chose the same second to look up. Brown eyes got lost in blue as they both realized there was more to this then either one of them could have predicted. Instinctively, Sara lowered her head to Catherine, closing her eyes preparing for what she thought was going to happen. Catherine followed Sara's lead, only moving her head forward; but when the honk of an unpleasant driver broke their moment, Catherine pulled away, nervously looking around.

"We should get going. If we keep this up it will be almost ten o'clock until we get home."

Sara, unable to speak, nodded in agreement and watched as Catherine walked back around to the driver's side. Catherine entered the car and buckled up without so much as a word. Sara did the same, and that was how they stayed the entire drive.

Stage 7-Desire

It was almost nine in the morning by the time Catherine and Sara reached Edison's Groceries. The entire trip had been made in virtual silence. Neither one of them could shake what had happened back at the coffee shop. Mixed feelings ran through each of their minds. Each of them silently weighted the options of a possible relationship.

As they both got out of the car, Catherine hit the automatic lock button and walked in front of Sara. She wasn't sure if it was because she was too embarrassed to face her or if it was because she liked the prospect of Sara checking her out while she walked, that made her want to be in charge.

Sara, who had once considered kissing Catherine as much fun as getting bit by a snake, was now picturing what she would look like naked. She tried to force herself to look down, but as she watched Catherine walk ahead of her, the motion of her hips swiveling back and fourth, caused her eyes to involuntarily shift down.

In the back of Sara's mind she was wondering if Catherine moved as well off her feet, as she did on them. It was that single thought, that caused Sara's nervousness to slip away; and for the first time since they had left the coffee shop, made her to smile.

She just couldn't get the image of Catherine stripping for her out of her mind. She was pretty sure that in all the time she had spent obsessing over Grissom, she had never once wanted to ravish him the way she wanted to do to Catherine right now.

Sara tried to get her brain to focus, but it was too late. She was going down the path of least resists. She knew that Catherine had intentionally walked in front of her in hopes she would check her out. Well, her wish was being granted, but Sara couldn't guarantee she would be able to keep her hand off of Catherine much longer.

She wondered if it was because she had comforted her, or if it was because she had gotten to know her, that made Catherine more attractive to her. They had so much in common, it even surprised Sara. And Catherine was a lot more attentive when Sara spoke. She didn't fidget with the video games like Nick or Warwick did, she didn't turn everything into a joke like Greg did, and she certainly didn't act as detached as Grissom did.

With Catherine everything was much more then scientific equations and mathematic expressions. She didn't need the answers to her questions right then and there and she didn't need an entire report on why Sara made the decisions she did in her life. For once in the entire four years they had known each other, Catherine was treating Sara like her equal. It felt great to be acknowledged for her personal interests rather then her professional. Overall, being with Catherine just felt right.

Sara sped up in attempts to catch up with Catherine as she walked from the parking lot to the store entrance. Once they slowed down, Sara observed the mother in Catherine take over. First she grabbed a shopping cart from the side, then she threw her purse in the front, and last she opened up her purse and pulled out a list. It had been along time since Sara had seen a list, much less made one. Her idea of grocery shopping was getting milk, bread, and lunch supplies. Sara never bothered to buy any more then that because she knew she'd never eat it.

Most of the time she'd get off a shift, go home, take a shower, be too exhausted to eat anything, and head to bed. When she woke up, she'd go for her run, fix her lunch, and then get caught up on her TV and e-mail. By the time she did all the above, it was time for her to get ready for work. But watching Catherine made her want her to experience the other side to things; the side that involved sharing your life with someone.

Catherine was too busy getting organized to notice the way Sara was staring at her. When she finally got everything situated, she looked up to ask if they were ready, and that's when she saw it. Sara wasn't moving, she didn't even blink, she just stared. Her eyes sparkled as if she was in some kind of trans that could only be broken by magic. And she was smiling at her, which struck Catherine as being odd considering what had almost happened about twenty minutes ago. Nevertheless, Sara wasn't budging and her behavior was starting to embarrass Catherine.

"Sara, what are you staring at?"

"I'm sorry, was I?"

"Ah yeah you were."

"Sorry, I just can't get over how amazing you are."

That last comment caused Catherine to blush and lower her head. She rubbed the back of her neck self-consciously and then spoke.

"Sara, what are you on?"

"I'm sorry, it's just that I've never seen you like this. I mean you're always so professional and reserved when we work together; it doesn't really leave much room for your mothering skills to come out. I must say I wish they would more often."

"Sara, is that a nice way of telling me that I'm a great mom?"

"No, it's a nice way of telling you that I think you're wonderful."

"Well I appreciate that, but I feel like I don't deserve that compliment. I feel like I should be telling you how wonderful you are. I know that putting up with me can be a pain, but so far you've risen to the task. Quite well, if I might add."

"Catherine, it's only difficult putting up with you when you make it that way. You can't fool me, because I've seen how great you can be. And now, I think I want to know you even more."

"Geez Sara, all I did was get a shopping cart and pull out a list. I can't imagine what you'll be like when I really do something impressive."

"Well, just have to wait and see now won't we?"

"I guess we will."

Catherine and Sara locked eyes and smiled at each other. Suddenly shopping was the last thing Catherine had on her mind. She had waited four years for Sara to tell her she was perfect, and now that it was happening she never wanted it to end. She anxiously started to chew on her bottom lip, waiting for the moment they were sharing to pass. When it didn't show signs of letting up, Catherine forced herself to look away from Sara.

"Well as much as I enjoy the front of the store, I don't think the groceries are going to buy themselves. Are you ready?"

Sara never took her eyes off of Catherine as she answered.

"I guess, but I told you I have a lot buy."

"How much is a lot?"

"Let's put it this way, another cart wouldn't hurt."


Sara made her way to the side of the store and fetched her own cart. When Catherine was sure she was ready, they entered the bare store and began to conquer every isle.

Being the mother she was, Catherine's natural instinct was to go down every lane. She knew if she forgot even one thing, Lindsay would be giving her a hard time for the next week.

It seemed like she had made the right decision, because as they made their way threw the store, Sara would see something and declare she needed it. It was after they hit row 5, that Catherine realized just how serious Sara was when she said she had nothing.

"Sara, just exactly how long has it been since you went shopping?"

"Last Friday, why?"

"Oh no reason, but I think you might want to tell the armed forces dinner's on you."

Sara blushed and smiled awkwardly. She looked down at her almost full cart and shrugged her shoulders.

"I told you I had nothing."

"Boy when you say something, you sure mean it."

"Cat I live alone. It's not like you. I don't have someone else to help me eat everything, so I just don't buy it."

"By looks of that cart, I beginning to think you don't buy anything."

"I do buy some things, but not like you."

"Oh, so you mean Frosted Flakes and Fruit Roll-Ups aren't on the menu?"

Catherine held up both boxes and grinned.

"Frosted Flakes maybe, but not Fruit Roll-Ups. I've always considered myself to be more of a Gusher girl."

"Hey that reminds me, Linds wanted me to grab some of those for her class. It's a thing all the kids do once a week. They take turns bringing in snacks for the class."

"Wow, that must get expensive."

"Nah, you just have to bring little things. God knows I don't have any time to bring something homemade."

"And why not? Are you telling me that somewhere in between fighting bad guys and being a mom, you couldn't find the time to bake? Cat, I'm beginning to question your purgatives as a parent."

Sara giggled at a Catherine, who responded by throwing her pen and hitting Sara in the shoulder.

"Hey, don't you know you could poke an eye out with that thing?"

"Yeah, well I'm sorry I missed."


Sara whined with a mock shocked expression and threw the pin back at Catherine.

"Hey, don't you know you could poke an eye out with that thing?" Catherine said in a sarcastic, child-like voice.

Sara laughed and then pulled out her bag of pretzels she had been snacking on and threw a piece at Catherine. Catherine jumped back avoiding the piece of flying food and retaliated by throwing a chocolate covered peanut at Sara.

"Sara Sidle what is your obsession with throwing food at me? Are you trying to start something here, because I can already tell you, you won't win."

"Depends Catherine Willows, are you trying to be annoying?"

"No, I'm succeeding, and don't take that tone with me!"

Catherine threw another peanut at Sara, that landed right in the middle of her forehead, leaving a chocolate smudge for a third eye. Catherine burst into laughter and bent over pointing at Sara's head.

Sara took that as a sign something was wrong, so she pulled out her compact to assess the damage. When she saw the smudge, she wiped it off her forehead with her thumb, snapped her compact shut, and threw it in her purse.

"And I suppose you think that's funny huh?"


"Well Chuckles, since you like chocolate so much, why don't I help you out."

Sara closed what little space remained between she and Catherine, reached into her shopping cart, pulled a hand full of peanuts out, and smashed them into Catherine's mouth.

Catherine almost suffocated, she was laughing so hard. She responded by grabbing Sara, who was trying to escape from danger, by her coat and twirling her around into her grasp. The two went into a fit of uncontrollable laughter and fell all over one another.

The two were so busy, that they didn't notice the elderly couple coming around the corner. As the two watched Sara and Catherine's obvious flirtatious behavior, they just exchanged knowing glances and smiled.

Sara looked up in time to catch the older woman's smile, and she hesitated for a moment, backing a little away from Catherine. Catherine noticed the immediate change in Sara's demeanor, and turned around to look at what had caused it. When she saw the couple, she quickly wiped the chocolate off of her mouth with a Kleenex, and bowed her head.

The couple kept coming at them, just looking back and fourth. They finally stopped within a few feet of Catherine and Sara and the elderly gentlemen spoke.

"Don't stop on our account, you two make a lovely couple."

Catherine and Sara looked at one another and blushed. Sara decided to speak up for them.


"We weren't embarrassed, we were just worried about making you feel uncomfortable."

Catherine interjected before Sara could set the man straight. Sara looked over at her amazed.

"Well don't be, you have nothing to apologize for. What kind of world do we live in that doesn't allow youngsters such as yourselves, to be affectionate. My Winston and I have been married for fifty-five years, and I still have the urge to hold his hand every once in a while in public. That's what true love is made of, and don't ever let anyone tell you girls differently."

"Harriet dear, I think these nice girls would like to get back to their shopping."

"Oh no, that's okay." Catherine said.

"I must apologize for my wife, she make a living out of embarrassing others. After seventy five years, she's still quite good at it."

"Winston, they're sweet girls. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say something."

"Actually, you are." Sara said with a chuckle.

"Oh I am sorry, I do hope I haven't offended you girls."

"Ah, no offense taken, I just wish more people were as kind as you two."

"Well, I have a great granddaughter who's exchanging vows with her girlfriend this May. I'm very proud of her. She's my baby."

"Oh that's wonderful, congratulations."

"Thank you dear. And how long have you two beautiful girls been together?"

Catherine looked over at Sara, then reached for her hand, took in her own, and smiled.

"We've been together for four years now."

"Oh lovely. Do you have any children?"

"Harriet dear, please!"

"Winston, it's fine. Go on honey."

It was Sara's turn to feed their story. She squeezed Catherine's hand a little tighter and piped up.

"Actually, we have a little girl. Her name is Lindsay."

"Oh I just love children, how old is she?"

"She's nine." Catherine said, as she reached in her purse to pull out a picture of her daughter and showed it to the woman.

The elderly woman took the wallet from Catherine and tugged on her husband's jacket sleeve to make sure he was paying attention.

"Oh she's an adorable little girl. Look at those green eyes and that blonde hair. I bet she's as smart as a whip."

"Oh she is."

"I can tell she's an angle. I bet you two are wonderful parents."

"We try to be."

"Oh Winston look at her, she looks just like Angela when she was that age. That's my great granddaughter."

"She is a beautiful little girl."

The woman handed the wallet back to Catherine and she put it back in her purse.

"Well, girls we don't want to take up any more of your time. Have a good morning."

The couple walked away, both waving back at Catherine and Sara. They returned the wave and looked back over at each other. Catherine was the first to notice that she and Sara were still holding hands. She hesitantly let go, and sighed.

"Well, that was interesting."

"I know, but she was a nice old lady."

"Yes she was."

"So… a honey, we'd better head home, or our Lindsay will worry."

Sara laughed at Catherine who shook her head and bumped hips with her. They finished the rest of their shopping and headed to the front of the store.

Catherine wasn't completely unaware that she had quit talking somewhere back in isle 6. She wasn't trying to be rude, she just didn't know if she could say anything without sounding like a moron. The truth was she hadn't been playing along with Sara, so much as feeding her desire. She knew better then anyone, that Sara wasn't hers. The fact that she woke up every morning alone, made it painfully clearer by the minute.

When she sat down and thought long and hard about what was really bothering her, it was the fact that she didn't have Sara to come home to. This reality was made even harsher when she was reminded that the one person Sara did want to come home to, was her best friend. It was hard to like Grissom, when she knew he had what she wanted. Nevertheless, Catherine had to suck it up and face facts; Sara was not now and never going to be hers. It was the one thing she had been avoiding confrontation with since the day she realized she was in love with Sara; only now, there was no where to run. Gil was Sara's idea of perfection.

Catherine loaded her groceries onto the counter and paid the woman. Sara noticed the long look on her friend's face, and started to worry. Whatever had happened between their little food fight and now, was really affecting Catherine. Sara wanted to say something, but she opted against it. Something inside of her, told her she might like what she heard.

Sara instead chose to place her hand on Catherine's shoulder.

"Hey Cat, are you okay?"

Catherine shook off Sara's hand and moved away.

"I'm fine."

Sara's eyebrows furrowed, and she once again tried to touch Catherine's arm. Again, Catherine did the same thing, and shook off Sara attempts at physical contact. If Sara hadn't known better she could have sworn she had done something wrong, but she couldn't put her finger on what.

"Cat, you don't look fine."

Catherine was just about to say something, but the woman interrupted to tell Sara how much she owed. Sara dug in her back pocket and pulled out her money. The bag boy handed them each their numbers and they left, again in silence.

Finally, Sara couldn't take much more of it and pulled Catherine to the side.

"Hey Cat!" Sara said a little louder then normal.

Catherine whipped her head around and snapped back.


Her face wasn't calm and hurt anymore, but rather harsh and frigid. Sara hadn't seen that face in such a long time she almost forgot what it meant. When she was reminded, she quickly let go of Catherine and pulled away.

Catherine watched Sara's emotions switch from concerned to hurt and angry. She then realized what she had done and put her hand over her mouth.

"Sara, I'm…"

"I think I'm ready to go now."

Sara didn't wait around to let Catherine finish what she had to say. She instead shuffled to the parking lot as fast as her legs could carry her and waited by the car.

Catherine was still frozen in place at the front of the store, watching Sara waiting out in the middle of the parking lot for her. She just continued to watch for a minute at the way Sara was fidgeting. She felt too ashamed to face Sara right now, but she knew she couldn't leave her standing there. She made her way to her car, and as she got closer that's when she saw the tears.

Sara didn't know why she was crying at the moment, it wasn't like she had done anything wrong. She tried to blame what had just happened on her, but when she couldn't figure out what she did to upset Catherine so much, she started to cry. Sara had never connected so fast with anyone in her life; and when Catherine reverted right back to the way she used to treat Sara, Sara was reminded that things didn't last forever.

Sara's tears wouldn't stop, no matter how hard she tried. When she saw Catherine coming at her, she quickly wiped her fingers over her eyes to get rid of the evidence. When she saw that Catherine was just moving faster, she tried to turn around, but it was too late. Catherine came right at her and scooped her up in her arms.

"Please don't cry Sara, I can't stand to see you cry."

Catherine just held on tight to Sara's body and reached up to place a kiss on her cheek. Sara responded with her own kiss on Catherine's forehead. Reality hit Catherine, when she felt Sara's warm, moist lips on her skin. It was then that she chose to make a decision that would either make or break them.

Catherine responded by pulling back slightly in Sara's arms and locking eyes with her. This time there was no distraction on this earth that could stop the inevitable. As Catherine searched in Sara's eyes for permission to continue, Sara stopped breathing. She realized what Catherine wanted to do and it caused her to panic. As Catherine moved towards her, to capture Sara's lips, Sara reacted by turning her head and lowered it so she could rest it on Catherine's shoulder.

Catherine shed a tear of her own, when she saw Sara's reaction to her attempted kiss. She was again reminded of how things could never be. Catherine continued to hold Sara in her arms until it appeared things were okay.

Sara closed her eyes, feeling the heat Catherine's body was giving off. She felt so safe and loved in her arms that she didn't want to let go. She knew she couldn't stay there forever, but that didn't mean she was ready to let go. When Sara felt Catherine try to release her, she spoke up.

"I'm not ready for you to let go."

Catherine was shocked by Sara's words. She tried to say something of her own, but the words got caught in the back of her throat. She rewrapped her arms around Sara's body and rested her chin on her head.

"Catherine, will you stay with me today?"

Catherine again couldn't manage to find her voice. When she felt Sara turn her head and kiss the crook of her neck, she gulped. Sara then placed small, chase kisses up her neck, until she reached Catherine's ear and whispered.

"Catherine please?"

The feel on Sara's warm breath on Catherine's ears, was enough to make her melt. Still, she couldn't manage to speak. When she finally swallowed, she opened her mouth.


It wasn't what she'd had in mind, but it was enough. Sara closed her eyes and smiled into Catherine's neck.

Stage 8-Clarity

Time seemed to stand still after their little moment in the grocery store parking lot. Sara didn't know how she managed, but she eventually let go of Catherine long enough to allow them to get their groceries and head home. Just like before, the drive was spent virtually in silence. Each woman stared straight ahead, avoiding the one thing that needed to be talked about.

Sara would occasionally steal glances of Catherine, wondering what was going through her mind. She hadn't expected to dismiss Catherine's kiss earlier, but looking back on it, she was glad she did. Sara wanted Catherine as much as anyone ever could; but to share their first kiss in parking lot, wasn't exactly her idea of romantic. She wanted things between she and Catherine to be special.

As funny as that sounded to Sara, she didn't want to cheat Catherine out of the romance she deserved. Everyone always used to say the same thing about her when she mentioned Gil; it struck her as amusing that she would be using the same thought process. Actually, to be quite honest, Sara didn't find it to far-fetched at all. Catherine wasn't just anybody to Sara. She was the woman she had been begging for the past four years to pay attention to her.

Catherine was the one person on the night shift that wasn't easily swain by her good looks or her intellect. Catherine was a woman of integrity, she judged a person more on who they were as a human being, and less on how impressive they were. It made no difference to her if they were the President of the United States or some bum off the street; if they had character she liked them.

Looking back on it now, that may have been the real reason she and Catherine never clicked. Sara always presented herself as a woman of science. If the evidence was or wasn't there, then that was who that person was. It took a lot more for Catherine to make a decision about someone.

Sara often times found it to be a flaw in Catherine, or at least that was the excuse she used to make herself feel better. Truth be told, at times Sara wished she could be a little less like Grissom and a lot more like Nick and Catherine. Both of them had faith in people, something Sara had lost along with Sam. Sara knew she tended to look for the bad in people, even if there was none. Sara didn't mean to do it; it just came naturally. That was another reason she could never see herself being friends with Catherine, she got to the heart of things instead of avoiding them.

Sara had been practicing the art of avoidance for twelve years now, and she was damn good at it. If things didn't fit together in a nice little box, Sara would just wash her hands of it. She hated to deal with problems and she hated confrontation. Catherine on the other hand, lived for it. She always had to know what was upsetting people at that very moment. She never beat around the bush and she was always straightforward. Her opinion on things was if you couldn't handle it, then get out while you still can.

Now that Sara was thinking about it, they really were two different people. But somehow, at this very moment the only thought running through her mind was how much she wanted to be with Catherine. It was the first time in the entire four years she was with another lover, that she wasn't thinking about Grissom. As far as she was concerned, he didn't exist. It was just she and Catherine, and there was no place she'd rather be.

"Catherine, we need to talk."

Catherine's concentration was suddenly broken when she heard Sara speak. She had hoped for a miracle and prayed that they could avoid this topic at least until they were out of the car. She hadn't anticipated anything but evasion on Sara's part. She knew that Sara was the queen of denial, but it had become apparent to Catherine somewhere back in the beginning that she wasn't any better.

She had no desire to discuss what almost happened back at Edison's. Sara made it quite clear that she didn't want her. She turned her head when she tried to kiss her. Catherine figured the only reason Sara had asked her to stay with her today, was because she was still upset over Gil. Catherine frowned at the thought of that name. Who would have ever thought that she would want to strangle him in her lifetime?

It wasn't too much of stretch when Catherine realized she was jealous of Gil. She was so jealous, that she knew she didn't want to be with Sara right now. She expected that at some point in their conversation, she would yell some type of obscenities at Sara if she spoke his name. Catherine just couldn't for the life of her figure out why Sara was so obsessed with him.

Gil wasn't anything special. He was just like every other man. He was a detached workaholic, with no concept of romance and even less of an idea on how to treat a woman. Hell, Catherine had spent her first two years, trying to get his attention. When it was evident that he had no romantic feelings for her, she simply shrugged her shoulders and moved on. But not Sara, she still had faith that he would wake up one morning and sweep her off her feet. Catherine had to hand it to the girl she was persistent.

Still, Catherine couldn't understand why Sara sacrificed four years of her life on an illusion. Then again, Catherine really couldn't comment or condemn Sara for this. She too, had spent the part four years falling in love and imagining things that didn't exist. The only difference between she and Sara was that Catherine had become the master at controlling her feelings. It wasn't that she hid them and then chose to forget about them, it was more like she pushed them aside and forced herself be professional. If she didn't, Catherine feared she would have done something stupid. Only now it looked like stupid had finally caught up with her.

Catherine sighed as the words left Sara's lips. She forced herself not to turn her head and continued to look ahead.

"I know we do, but can we wait until we get to your place. I don't think this is a conversation we should be having while I'm operating heavy machinery."

Catherine threw in a half smile in hopes it would throw Sara off long enough for her to collect her thoughts. As predicted, Sara bought her act and left things at that.

The ride was even more aggravating now then before. With the knowledge that Sara had things to say to her, Catherine found herself unable to concentrate on anything else. Her foot unconsciously weighted down on the gas pedal. She didn't know why on earth she was so anxious to hear Sara out. She guessed it mostly likely had to do with just getting it over so she could move on and find a new obsession. Catherine knew that was easier said then done, but where there was a will there was a way.

The two finally pulled up to Sara's apartment around 10:30. They both exited the car and grabbed the groceries out of the back seat. Catherine was silently thanking God that Sara had insisted they stop by her place and drop off her groceries. If they hadn't, Catherine knew there would be no room left in Sara's refrigerator.

It took them three trips with the help of Sara's doorman Richard to get everything up to Sara's apartment. Catherine hadn't even expected a doorman. To be honest, she had expected Sara's apartment to be one of lesser elegance. Catherine had always thought Sara to be a person of resources and not one of comfort. She knew that Sara spent more time at the lab then she did at home, so she had naturally thought she would have owned some one-bedroom apartment in a lesser neighborhood for a cheaper price. Catherine couldn't have been further from the truth.

Sara's apartment was anything less then shabby. It had a security gate at the front, a doorman, and security doors that required ID to enter. If truth were told, it looked a lot fancier then it really was. Sara just liked living some place where it was quite and safe. After seeing the type of things she saw everyday, she felt her need for security was justified.

Catherine and Richard followed Sara, as she headed up the stairs to her apartment on the second floor. Once there, Sara opened her door, letting Richard in first. The doorman placed the groceries on the counter top in the kitchen, smiled, and excused himself. Sara walked him to the door, leaving Catherine by herself.

At first, Catherine opted against snooping. Not only was it rude, but she also knew how much Sara valued her privacy. It wasn't much of a problem for Catherine, until she noticed part of the living room. Catherine finally gave into her natural instincts and peeked around the corner of the kitchen and into the living room. Just about the same time Catherine was leaning her body over the edge of the counter top bar, Sara returned.

Sara was about to ask Catherine if she liked the place and offer her something to drink, when she looked up and noticed what she was doing. A sly grin spread across her face. She folded her arms across her chest and spoke.

"Find anything interesting?"

Upon hearing Sara's voice, Catherine leaped a good foot off the ground, causing her to pull her head back and hit it on the pots and pans that hung from the structure above the bar. Catherine let out a slight grumble of pain, smacking the pot above her in retaliation. She turned around to face Sara, rubbing her head frantically trying to ease the pain.

"Sara, a little warning next time would be nice."

"Ha, serves you right!"

"I was only admiring the walls. By the way, what color is that?"

"Bull, Catherine Willows you were snooping, admit it."

"I plead the fifth and demand the fourth."

"Well, since you have about as much patients as your daughter, would you like a tour."

"No, that's fine. I understand how much you like your privacy. I wouldn't want to invade it or anything."

"Okay, if that's really how you feel then let's put the groceries away."

Sara turned around, and grabbed the sacks on the counter and began to unload things.

"What, that's it?"

Catherine dropped her hands to the side and stared at Sara with an innocent expression on her face. Sara turned around just in time to catch it.

"Don't give me that look, you're the one that said you didn't want to invade my privacy."

Catherine rolled her eyes.

"Sara, do you always believe everything people tell you?"

"No, I just wanted to see how long it would take you before you broke down. Hum, let's see five seconds; that's a record, even for you."

"Cute, very cute."

"Why thank you. Now if you're done stroking me ego, I'll show you around."

Catherine held her hand out and gestured for Sara to lead the way. Sara cut in front of her and headed back out to the front door. She cleared her throat and pretended to be Vanna White as she spoke.

"I'm Sara Sidle and I'll be your tour guide for today. I thought since this is your first visit, we'd start with the basics. This is my door. It make look like your common, ordinary, run of the mill door, but in fact is was crafted out of the same material God uses to make trees."

Catherine again rolled her eyes and sighed. She placed her hand on her head and closed her eyes. When she finally felt like speaking, she interrupted Sara.

"And right in the middle of my door, you'll notice that tiny little dot thing, more common referred to as a peep whole. Now I believe if more people used this nifty little invention, it would reduce crime by 89.9%, further more…"


"Yes, a question from the lovely blonde in front."

"Shut up."

"Right. So you prefer the abridged version of the tour."

"Funny you should mention a bridge, because all of the sudden I have the urge to push you off of one."

"Now who's being cute?"

"Doesn't take much you know. And besides, what makes you think I was trying to be?"

"I'll dismiss that last comment and chalk it all up to a bad night and modesty."

"Sara, has anyone ever told you that you stimulate their need for Tylenol?"

"As a matter of fact they have."

"Well do us all a favor, carry some with you in case of emergencies."

"Dually noted, now shall we continue?"

"I don't know, is it safe?"

"Okay, I'll stop acting like a dork."

"One, who say's you were acting and two that would be greatly appreciated."

"My aren't we testy?"

"I prefer to think of it as irritable. But anyway, as you were."

"Okay, now where was I?"

"I'm afraid to answer that."

"Ha, ha, ha. Anyway, let's go to the next room."

Sara walked down the hall and stopped at a door.

"This is my storage area."

"Jesus, that's huge."

"I know, but it comes in handy. I have a lot of junk from San Francisco and I was lucky not to have to pay for storage. Then we have the guest bathroom and the extra bedroom, which hardly ever gets used."

"Why, no one loves you enough to visit?"

"Well, my parents are busy pretty much all year round taking care of the B&B, so they rarely get to come. I usually have to go there or settle for an occasional phone call. I don't mind, because they have a full life. It's not easy for people their age. To be quite honest, I'm glad they don't come down a lot, because I work nights and I would never have the opportunity to show them around Vegas."

"You know Sara, you could always request time off."

"Are you kidding, my Dad would have a stroke if he found out I was taking time off for him. My Dad has always been one of those people who believes in going to work, even if you're dying. He wouldn't let me take off work. He may be from the free love generation, but he has good ethics."

"What about your brother, does he ever come to see you?"

"Nah, Jarred is busy working on his masters in LA. He only comes for the summers and even then he doesn't like to impose. He did tell me he was going to bring his fiancée Karen home to meet me in June, so I should have some company then."

"You don't sound like your close with your family."

"Actually, I am. We have always been like this. We always had our own lives to live, and we didn't ever think about going our separate ways. My parents raised their kids to be independent and we are. Trust me, when the holidays come around we are always together. It hard when you live in another state but we manage."

"Yeah, well sometimes when I was your age, I wished I could have gotten rid of my family. My sister was okay but my parents always seemed to drive me crazy. When they both passed away, I regretted never telling them thank you for always putting up with me. Then I found out about Sam, and it was almost like I had gotten a second chance. I keep going back and thinking about what it would have been like if I hadn't of screwed up."

"Catherine you can't dwell on the past."

"Yeah, well now Julia and Lindsay are all I have; and not a day goes by that I don't tell them how much I love them."

Sara smiled at Catherine and then took her hand in hers. Catherine's eyes shifted between her hand and Sara's eyes. She finally allowed herself to smile.

"Okay, what's next?"

Sara nodded and tugged Catherine by her hand to the other side of the guest room and out a door. From there, she led Catherine into the living room she had been trying to get a peek at earlier.

"Wow, this is huge and look at that view."

"I know, isn't it beautiful. That's the reason I got the second floor apartment, for the scenery. Whenever I need to think, I just head outside and sit. It's so peaceful."

Catherine took a moment to analyze the living room and the furniture in it. The front of the house had a very homey feel to it. The bathroom was decorated in a darker purple with crème accents. And the guest bedroom was also decorated in purple and had a very classic feel to it. The living room was what really brought out Sara's rustic side.

It was also on the darker side as far as colors. The couch, along with the love seat, and rockers were all decorated in a navy blue with plaid stripes of maroon, green, and crème. The coffee table and in tables were a gorgeous oak finish that matched the woodwork in the apartment. Sara had all the latest in technology, which surprised Catherine considering Sara didn't appear as much of a T.V. watcher.

"Woman, I want to know one thing?"


"Who's paying you and how much, because this is a lot nicer then I could ever afford?"

Sara smiled and blushed.

"You know, I don't use half the stuff in here. It was all gifts from family members. The furniture was a gift from my Grandpa Arthur. He owned a furniture store back in California before he passed away, and when I got the job here he insisted that I pick out some new things for my apartment. He had this set on discount, so I took it. I love that hunting lodge look.

Then my parents bought me the T.V. for Christmas last year. I don't even know why, considering I hardly ever watch it. But it is nice and big for when I have company. My brother and his fiancée sent the VCR/DVD combo for my birthday because mine broke down. Don't even ask me how to work it."

"I'll have to have Lindsay come over sometime. She's a wiz at that stuff."

"Yeah, well the only thing that's in this room that I owned before hand was my stereo. I can't live without my music."

"Which reminds me, do you think your family would adopt me?"

"I don't think so. I'm a big enough handful as it is, but I'll tell them to consider it."

"Thanks for that."

"Shall we continue?"

"Lets. Okay, where was I? Well, the dinning room's through there and this is my bedroom."

Sara opened her bedroom door and switched on the light. Catherine's eyes lit up when she saw the inside. It was a lot different then she had pictured in her mind so many times. It wasn't completely bland and impersonal.

Sara had her queen size bed with her hunter green sheets & comforter that matched the look of the living room. An oak nightstand with matching dresser and a hand made bookshelf, decorated with pictures and books. Catherine came right up to the shelf and began to slowly take each picture off one-by-one and study it. She guessed from each photo who the people were and their importance in Sara's life.

The order read from a single picture of Sara with her whole family, then one of just her parents and one of just her brother and his fiancée. The next two pictures were obviously of her grandparents and extended family. Catherine smiled as she'd pick up each picture and then looked over at Sara. She saw so many similarities between her and her mother that it wasn't funny.

"Boy you kids sure look like your mother."

"I know. My Dad used to say thank God for that."

"Why, he's a very handsome guy."

"I know, but he worships the ground my mother walks on. He was always telling her how beautiful she was when we were younger. One of my favorite memories I have of my parents was when I turned eight years old. I was running into the kitchen to tell them to hurry up with the birthday cake, because my bother and I were arguing over who could eat more. Well, they had the radio going in the kitchen earlier when my Mom was baking, and when I came in my Dad was twirling her into his arms and dipping her. I remember just stopping dead in my tracks and hiding in the doorway to watch them. I laughed right along with my mother as she came up to kiss my father. He always told her how amazing she was, and I remember that next day I told him that my birthday wish was that I found someone as wonderful as he was when I was older."

Catherine watched Sara as she stared at the picture of her parents. Sara ran her fingers over the glass, then kissed it and returned it to it's rightful place on the shelf top. Catherine was about to move on to the painting on the wall, when she noticed she had missed two photos. She reached behind the picture of Sara's extended family and retrieved the hiding photos. Catherine was surprised when she realized it was a photo that had been taken at last year's Christmas party and a photo of an anonymous woman.

"So you do miss us when we're not around."

Catherine swung the photo around to show Sara what she was talking about.

"Hey, be careful with that, the back is loose!"

Sara stole the picture quickly out of Catherine's hand and gingerly placed it back on top of the bookshelf. A look of panic came across Catherine's face when she realized she might have just tread on sensitive ground.

"I'm sorry, Sara I didn't mean to touch it. I hope I didn't cause any harm."

Sara looked over at Catherine and realized the way she had just reacted.

"Cat, I'm sorry I didn't mean to snatch it out of your hands like that. It's just that it the only picture I've ever had with all the people I've worked with. It means a lot to me; and when my cousin Pagan was here last, she knocked it off the shelf when she was playing in here and the back busted. I put it back together but the frame still needs to be replaced. I am just particular about that photo. It's an only copy and it means so much to me."

"I understand. I have tons of pictures like that at home. All of them are special to me for different reasons. One picture in particular, because it was taken when we threw a welcome party for Holly in the break room. I can't bare to put it out because I worry it will get damaged."

"You were close to Holly weren't you?"

"Not so much, but she was a nice kid and I liked her. It was terrible when she died. Still to this day, I get scared when I enter a crime scene. I wonder if I'll be next."

"I would never let that happen."

"You can't protect me from the inevitable Sara."

"I can try."

"Yeah, well make sure when you try you don't go getting yourself killed. After all, who would I get to be my friend then?"

Sara smiled, and then realized Catherine still had a picture in here hand. She watched as Catherine shifted her gaze from the photo of her fellow employees and focused it on the picture she was still holding on to. The girl in photo mesmerized Catherine. She had a charisma and innocence about her that was unlike anything she had ever seen before. Catherine unconsciously ran her fingers over the letters on the side of the frame. It was one of those designs that had words that described the person behind the glass. Just from reading, she guessed that whoever it was a good friend of Sara's.

It was at that precise moment, that something inside Catherine connected. She had been trying to figure out where this mysterious girl was at the time the photo had been taken. It was obviously in fall, because the leaves were beginning to change colors and fall off the trees. The girl had on a bright blue long sleeve shirt that matched her eyes perfectly and black jeans similar to the color of her hair. Judging from how she was posed, she wasn't the tallest girl in the room, probably a little shorter then Catherine. She hadn't taken many pictures in her time and Catherine got the hint that she was very shy and quite but her smile gave off a warm and friendly nature to her. All in all, the girl wasn't your typical supermodel, but Catherine could tell she stood out in a crowd. She was real and genuine and someone that Sara clearly cared for. It took Catherinea minute to put the pieces together, but when she watched the way Sara got lost in the photo, it didn't take her long to realize it was Samantha.

"Sara, she's absolutely gorgeous. Why do you keep her hidden from the world?"

"I don't do it on purpose, it just hurts so much to look at her sometimes."

"Why don't you put her away, so you don't have to think about it?"

"I tried that once, but she just kept calling to me. I had nightmares all the time of her asking me why I was trying to forget about her. She accused me of not loving her anymore and desecrating her memory. Finally, I couldn't take the guilt anymore, so I put her back up on the shelf. I moved her out of plain view, but sometimes at night when I'm lonely, I move her to the front and I talk to her."

"You were in love with her, weren't you?"

"We were going to start dating when she was murdered. It wasn't official, but the night before she was killed, I told her that I was in love with her. She was so happy, that she told me she had wanted it for a long time. Just before our first date, she told me she had some business to take care of and that she would meet me. I sat at the restaurant for almost three hours. I was so sure she had stood me up, that I cursed her the entire way home. I said I wished she were hurting as much as I was right that minute. What a strange time for God to finally start listening to me, huh?

Around two o'clock in the morning, I got a knock at the door telling me they had found her body in the park. I went into complete denial, then shock. I was so sure I was going to pass out, but I never did. I just sat there listening to the police ask me what I knew and I answered them. It was like someone else was doing all the talking. I felt like I was watching, waiting for them to tell me something I didn't already know.

Then I had to identify the body. When I saw it was her I lost it. Jarred had flown down that morning to check on me. He was there, holding me the entire day as I cried. I kept telling him that it was my fault and that it should have been me not her. Still to this day, I'm not really sure he understood what I was talking about. He was only 17 at the time, so I suspect he just thought it was the ramblings of a grieving friend. He tried asking me a couple of times, but I could never talk about it.

I kept going over that night in my head, regretting ever letting her go alone. I know she was telling Roger that she didn't want to see him anymore, but I could never prove it. "

Warm tears slid down Sara's cheeks one-by-one. Catherine set the picture back on the shelf and turned towards Sara. She removed a stray piece of hair from her eyes and began to wipe the tears away with her fingers.

"Sara, what a human being does to another human being is never anyone's fault. Just because you were upset with Sam, doesn't mean you caused this. You're a good person and she knew that. My guess is she loved you more then you could have ever imagined. You had no idea what that sick bastard and his friends were going to do to her that night. There was no way you could have. I'm sure Sam would have sacrificed everything, to be with you. Sara, Sam wouldn't want you to blame yourself for what happened to her. She would want you to live your life, make more friends, and do all the things that she can't anymore. Don't punish yourself for someone else's cruelty."

"It's so hard, coming home each night to an empty house and that picture. I keep thinking that if she couldn't be with me, that she wouldn't want any other woman too. You know I have spent the past twelve years avoiding all contact with women, because I knew I might fall for one of them. Instead, I focused all my energy on Grissom, hoping it would suffice, but I know now."

"Know what sweetie?"

"That he's not enough."

Catherine shook her head and tried to understand what Sara was talking about.

"Sara, what are you saying?"

Sara finished wiping the rest of her tears from her eyes and then breathed in deep. She held it for a second, and then braced herself for what she was about to say.

"Catherine, what I'm saying, is that I think I want you."

Stage 9-Passion (NC-17)

Sara waited for Catherine to react, but she was surprised when she didn't. Instead, she just stood there, mouth hanging open, eyes wide in disbelief, and sweat starting to form on her brow. Sara blinked a few times, then reached out and took Catherine's hand in hers.

"It's alright Cat, just breath."

Catherine nodded her head in compliance and expelled the air she had been holding in from her lungs. The color was returning to her face, but her words were still lost somewhere in the back of her mind.

"Catherine, did you hear what I just said?"

The only response Catherine could give was another head nod.

"Okay, well you obviously weren't expecting that."

Again, Catherine's nodded.

"Catherine would you stop doing that?"

Catherine shook her head back and fourth this time, which caused Sara to furrow her brow and put her hands on her hips.

"Alright, we seemed to have gotten separated somewhere between the part where you were comforting me and the part where I told you I wanted you; so we're going to try this again. Is that alright with you?"

Catherine nodded her head in approval and Sara cleared her throat in preparation for her speech.

"Catherine, I've had a lot of time to think between last night and this morning. And although it has appeared in the past that I would just assume get run over by a car then be anywhere near you, I have come to realized that I may have been covering up my feelings for you. Cat, what I mean to say, is that over these last couple of hours, I have started to become… oh hell with it. Either you like me or you don't, and it's been my impression that you do, so Catherine Willows can I kiss you?"

Sara barely got the last part of her sentence out, before she felt herself being pulled towards Catherine in a kiss. The kiss its self, didn't start out quite the way Sara had planned. Because she wasn't expecting it, the first few seconds felt like she had been slammed in the face by a truck. But as she eased more into the kiss, Sara lost all awareness of the world around her. Unconsciously, Sara's arm came up from her side and wrapped itself around Catherine's neck. It wasn't too long after that, Sara found herself moaning into Catherine's mouth.

Finally, when the need for air overtook their need to be close, Catherine hesitantly pulled away from Sara. Catherine cautiously opened her eyes one-by-one to reveal that Sara still had hers closed. A satisfied smile spread along Catherine's face as she raised her hand to Sara's right cheek and began massaging it.

"Sara honey, you can open your eyes now."

"I'm afraid to."


"Just promise me I won't wake to find you're not here."

Catherine closed the gap between them, and pulled Sara into an embrace. Sara instinctively rested her head on Catherine's shoulder and sighed.

"Sara, I won't leave unless you tell me you want me to. Do you want me to leave?"

"After that kiss, you'll be lucky if you're physically able to walk out my front door."

"I'll take that as a compliment."



"Would I be to forward if I said that I wanted to do it again?"

Sara tentativeness caused Catherine to smile.

"I would like that."

Sara buried her noise in the crook of Catherine's neck and inhaled her scent. She then gave her body once last squeeze and pulled away. It took all of Sara's might to look Catherine in the eyes, but as soon as she did, all her fears began to slip away. Sara was relieved that for once they were on the same page. She leaned in, tilting her head to the side and gently captured Catherine's lips with her own.

The second kiss was much different then their first. It wasn't better, but more confident. Catherine slid both hands down Sara's sides, resting them comfortably around on her hips. Sara reacted by wrapping hers around Catherine's body and pulling her closer. By the time they separated for oxygen, both women were completely flushed.

With her eyes still remaining closed, Catherine leaned in and rested her forehead on Sara's and smiled. For the first time in a long time, she had gotten what she wanted. Catherine reached up and kissed the tip of Sara's nose, beaming with the knowledge that her love was being mutually returned.

"If I had known you were this good of a kisser, I would have become your friend a long time ago."

"I wish you had, would have saved me the trouble of lusting after you."

Sara's eyes shot open and she looked down at Catherine, who was doing her best naive impression. A half smile spread along Sara's mouth, as she pulled away from Catherine. Sara wasn't meaning to be cocky, but she just couldn't help but be flattered by finally hearing the words come out of Catherine's mouth. She had spent four years avoiding Catherine and her wrath every chance she had gotten; but to hear that it was all a cover for her feelings, made Sara want to hit her and kiss her at the same time.

"And just how long have you been lusting after me, Willows?"

"Oh, so we're on a last name bases huh? Well, in that case I'd better come clean. I started to want you a few months after I started watching you?"

"Watching me? Catherine Willows are you telling me you've been spying on me?"

"For lack of a better term, yes."

"You voyeur you."

"That's me! Who knew I'd end up being like the guys that came to watch me when I danced?"

"And why may I ask, have you been watching me and when?"

"Actually, I didn't intend for my voyeuristic qualities to come out, it just happened. It all started when you refused the boys' offer to go out to eat with them. You would always disappear to where no one could find you, and then come back like nothing had happened. So one day I tailed you and discovered where you had been running off. That's how I knew where to look for you last night when you got upset. You always go there when you need to think or be alone. You do so much there when you think no one is watching."

"And all this time, I thought I was so clever."

"You were clever. I mean, I was the only one who ever knew and I won't tell anyone, I swear. But I do have to say I'm sorry?"

"Sorry, for what? I've had people watch me before; it's not a big deal. At least I didn't know, saved me the trouble of being embarrassed every time I saw you in the hallways. In fact, I'm grateful you didn't tell anyone else. So you're forgiven for being a pervert."

"That's not what I'm talking about."

"Okay, this time you lost me?"

"I'm not sorry I watched you, because to be quite honest there were some of my best memories. What I'm talking about, is all the times that I sat around and let you cry alone and make you think no one cared or noticed. I'm especially sorry for what happened with Eddie."

"It's not your fault, I should have tried harder."

"You see that's just it, you did. You tried harder then anyone ever has for me, and I never even said thank you. You don't know this, but I saw you later on that night. I, being the typical, resentful bitch wanted to rub my disappointment in your face one last time before I went home. I was all ready to give it to you again, and I almost did, but when I walked by the room I saw you just sitting there. You were on the couch with your knees curled under your chest. I was going to burst through the door and make some nasty comment about you slacking off on the job, and then I took a closer look. I noticed that you had a pile of Kleenexes spread all over the floor. That's when it hit me you had disappeared to cry.

After that, I just stood there ashamed of myself and the way I had been thinking. I never meant to make you cry and I certainly never wanted to hurt you. I had gotten so wrapped up in myself that I forgot how much the case might affect you. I knew you were out to prove to me that you were worthy, and all I did was throw your failure right back in your face.

Do you know I went straight home and cried? Lindsay heard me, and came in to comfort me. She thought I was crying over Eddie, but it was more then that. I was crying because I had just lost the father of my child and hurt the person I cared about. I was so disgusted with myself.

I was surprised the next couple of weeks when you made such an effort to walk on eggshells for me; especially since I never showed you one once of gratitude. And I want you to know something, those weeks that you went by trying to avoid me, were the hardest weeks of my life. I missed you so much. I snuck in the research room almost every chance I got just to look at you. Gil thought I needed counseling because I was away so much during my lunch. He thought I was avoiding talking about Eddie. I couldn't tell him the real reason that I was doing it was because I wanted to be near you. I almost had a heart attack when you finally started talking to me again. I was so relieved."

Catherine inched closer to Sara and reached her hand out to touch her face. With the back of her hand, she slowly caressed her right cheek. A single tear escaped from Catherine's eye as the memories came flooding back to her.

Just as Catherine's hand was reaching the end of it's journey, Sara brought her hand up and paused it. She took Catherine's hand in hers, and gave it a tight squeeze. Bringing it slowly to her mouth, she closed her eyes, and she kissed the inside of Catherine's palm.

Catherine just froze as she watched Sara. In the back of her mind, she knew this was Sara's way of telling her she was forgiven. Normally, she would have been content with this, if it were anyone else but Sara. Catherine needed more of a reassurance that her past mistakes weren't going to come back and haunt her.


"I forgive you."

Sara's eyes quickly opened. She looked up at a stunned Catherine and smiled.

"Catherine I'll forgive you, if you promise me you'll forgive me."

Catherine's brow furrowed upon hearing Sara's words.

"Forgive you, for what?"

"I have something to tell you, and I hope you don't let it affect the which direction we go from here."

"I'll try to keep an open mind, that's all I can do."

"I guess that's all I can ask you to do, so I'll take it. I have just one request, that you let me finish before you comment."


"Okay, here goes nothing. This morning Nick and I got had a little disagreement about you and the case. I was wrong and I knew it, but damned if I'd admit it. Well, I finally pulled my head out of my ass long enough to realize I was wrong, so I went looking for him. I knew he had a case, so I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. Well, when I saw him still standing in the entranceway, you can imagine my surprise. I was just about to call out to him, when I saw he was talking to you. I should have disappeared and caught him later, but something inside of me told me I had to stay."

"How much did you hear?"

Sara held her hands up in defense and backed up.

"Catherine, you promised."

"I know, I'm sorry. Please go on."

"To answer you question, I heard everything. I heard Nick giving you a hard time about harassing me, and I also heard him call you on having feelings for me. I was so shocked when I heard you threatening to tare him apart, that I thought my heart would stop. I was so sure Nick was reading too much into the situation, but as the day just kept going on, I realize there were signs, I just never bothered to read them."

"Well, I just like to blame Gil for that. Makes it easier to sleep at night."

"That's the problem, it's no all Gil's fault. Because you see, there have been other women, I have just chosen to ignore the signs."

"I suppose if I asked, you would explain."

"I thought I said no interrupting?"

"Since when I have I ever listened to you before?"

"True, but if you would let me get a sentence out, I was just about to tell you why I do the things I do."

"Sara, you don't have to explain anything to me. I know how much Sam's death affected you. After Eddie left me, I thought I would never love again. It's not completely uncommon for human beings to masquerade their feelings. I get that you didn't want to betray Sam by moving on and having a relationship with another woman, I can even relate. My only concern is how much of your attraction to Gil was based on truth and how much of it was based on fiction? Because I'll be honest with you, I really care about you and I don't know what I'd do if you broke my heart. So I'm asking you right here, right now, do you think your past with Gil will affect your future with me? If you think it will maybe we should just stop now and try to salvage any type of friendship we might be able to have."

Catherine's eyes never left Sara's for a millisecond, that's how Sara knew she meant what she said. This time Sara was the one at a loss for words. She knew no noun, verb, or subject could express to Catherine how she was feeling. Sara knew the only way she was going to be able to prove to Catherine that her feelings were real, was if she showed her.

At that moment, Catherine watched the mood in Sara's eyes change; and before she knew what was happening, Catherine found herself being taken by the hand and led over to Sara's bed.

The entire time Sara pulled Catherine towards their destination, their eyes never left one another's. When Sara felt the edge of the mattress hit the back of her legs, she knew there was no going back. A sexy smile spread across Sara's lips, as she gently tugged Catherine towards her and kissed her.

Catherine felt Sara's hands making their way up her body and to the corners of her jacket. She tried to focus on the smooth way Sara's hands worked themselves under the fabric and eased it down her back and arms. Catherine broke the kiss long enough to watch her lover push the garment all the way down to where it was barely dangling off of her finger tips. Then with one swift move, the jacket was finally off and being shifted from one hand to another and then being chucked to the side of the bed.

Catherine leaned in once again; capturing Sara's lips and letting her own hands go to work. She broke their kisses, only to focus all her attention on Sara's soft neck. Easing her way up with a trail of kisses, Catherine brought her hands to rub Sara's back. The nipping and playfulness that was accompanied with Catherine's kisses, caused Sara to moan with pleasure, sending her head to involuntarily dip back. This gave Catherine room to maneuver by diverting all her attention to the front of Sara's neck.

Once she was satisfied she had covered every inch of skin, Sara brought her head back up, leaning forward and gravitating Catherine's mouth to hers. As if it were a magnet, the two mouths connected, igniting a passion neither one of them knew existed until this very moment. Catherine's right hand tried desperately to get a hold of Sara's left side of her face, while her left arm snaked it's way around her shoulders. With one graceful move, Sara whisked Catherine up into her arms while Catherine wrapped her legs around Sara's slender waist. This allowed Sara to reveres their position so they were now tumbling into bed.

Sara's mouth pulled away from Catherine and moved down her neck, placing butterfly kisses wherever it touched. As Sara broke her path to stare down at Catherine, she was caught of guard by Catherine's sly hands un-tucking her shirt from her slacks. Sara helped Catherine out, by unbuttoning her blouse slightly and pulling it over the top of her head.

The minute Sara's upper body was exposed to her; Catherine ran her fingers up and down the sensitive skin and worked them down and around Sara's breasts. The warmth of Catherine's skin caused Sara to shiver and Catherine to smile. Catherine grabbed Sara by the back of her head and forced her down to where she was and ravished her mouth once more. She then abruptly broke the kiss and allowed Sara to pull her forward and remove her own shirt.

As soon as the cool air hit her skin, Catherine felt her nipples began to harden and goose bumps begin to form. The cold quickly disappeared when Sara ran her hands over her waist and down her leg. Sara's hand stopped right at the opening of Catherine's slacks, and with one swift move, she had them unbuttoned. Sara slipped her hand inside Catherine's pants, past her panties, and into her center.

Catherine closed her eyes and moaned in pleasure as she felt two fingers slip inside her. Slowly, as if she were barely moving at all, Sara began to pump in and out of her, causing Catherine's back to arch and head to snap back. Sara continued her slow but steady rhythm as she felt the wetness beneath her increase. Catherine matched the movement of her hips in time with Sara's fingers, causing Sara to lean down and kiss her. Sara pulled a few inches away from Catherine, letting her mouth temptingly dangle in front of Catherine. Sara had severed their kissing for only one reason; she wanted to see the look in Catherine's eyes the very minute she came.

Just as Sara was about ready to lean in for another kiss, she felt Catherine's hips speed up in motion and she knew what was happening. Sara managed to gather her voice long enough to ask Catherine to open her eyes. At first, she was positive Catherine hadn't heard her, but when she went to say it again, Catherine's eyes forced themselves open. They both lost themselves in one another, and before they knew what had happened, Catherine buckled her hips and an orgasm washed over her.

Sara smiled, as she leaned forward to place a chase kiss on Catherine's mouth. She was simply content with Catherine take a minute to recover, but before Sara knew what hit her, she felt Catherine wrapping her legs around her waist and reverse their position.

Sara was amazed not only by how stealthy Catherine managed to perform the move, but also by how fast she had managed to undo her pants. Sara lay there, just watching as Catherine pulled her slacks down past her hips, to her legs, then down around her ankles. Once the pants were off, Catherine dropped them to the floor and continued her attack. She could smell Sara's arousal beneath her, which only made her work more diligently to accomplish her task.

Again with another one of her quick moves, Sara's underpants were removed, allowing Catherine easy access. She started placing gently kissed along the inside of Sara's thigh, creating a path up to her destination. Sara closed her eyes and braced herself, as she felt Catherine's tongue enter her. Using a move she had learned from her ex-husband, Catherine slowly dipped her tongue in and out of Sara, causing her to build up her excitement. Sara found herself unconsciously pushing on Catherine's head, wanting her to go deeper and deeper. Finally, when she couldn't take it anymore, Sara rocked her hips, hoping to push herself further into Catherine. Knowing how badly she wanted her made the task that much more appealing to Catherine, so she slowed down her tongue even more, causing Sara to groan in frustration.

Catherine couldn't help but be pleased when she heard Sara protest to her slowing down. She decided not to torture her further, so after a few minutes of slow and steady, she put the gear in overdrive and speed up her movement. Sara matched her perfectly so they were moving as one. As Catherine sensed her lover's release vastly approaching, she grabbed Sara's hand from her side and clasped it tightly just in time for Sara to fall over the edge.

Catherine finished attending to Sara's needs, and felt her body being forced up. As soon as Sara's lips were close to hers, Catherine kissed them harder then she had ever kissed them before. She released them only so they could get comfortable and drift away to sleep.

Stage 10-Betrayal

Sara squinted as she turned in her sleep. It took her a while to remember where she was; but when her haziness finally wore off and she was able to open her eyes, she recognized the hunter green pillowcase beneath her.

She turned her head to the left, trying to avoid the beams of sun escaping from the cracks of the blinds. When she was satisfied that her corneas were safe from the blinding rays of light, she focused on the sleeping form next to her.

Sara shifted once again to lie on her side. She propped her head up with her right arm and smiled. Catherine was still asleep, most likely as a result of their early morning activities. Sara gently reached out and touched Catherine's face, pushing away a stray strand of hair from her eyes. The gesture caused Catherine to instinctively shift in her sleep and drape her arm over Sara's waist, and pull herself closer.

Sara obliged, adjusting her position, so she was now lying fully on her side with Catherine's head comfortably nestled under her chin. Sara closed her eyes, and inhaled Catherine's sent. A combination of Patient Pro V and White Musk filled her nostrils, causing a wave of comfort to over come her. She kissed the top of Catherine's head, and closed her eyes, peacefully drifting back to sleep. As sleep over came her, her dreams brought back images of the past twenty-four hours.

Sara saw everything from the previous nights argument over who would get the case that Grissom had, to her conversation with Nick, her ease dropping in the hallway, and her confrontation with Grissom and his new girlfriend. As her mind relaxed further, it brought back images of Catherine. Everything from her warm smile, to the lust in her ocean blues eyes took over Sara's brain and caused her to drift away. She thought back to past and all the signs she has never seen and all the signs that were there. The memories she and Catherine had created this morning quickly replaced the ones of the way things used to be.

After about ten minutes of letting her brain run wild, Sara opened her eyes and sighed. So much had happened in the last couple of hours, and she knew there was no chance she was going to get back to bed. Sara slowly attempted to untangle her body from Catherine's and slip out of bed without being noticed. As she got up, grabbed her robe that was hanging from the bed, and put it on. She then went to the bathroom and emerged with a feeling of relief and minty fresh breath.

Sara debated over whether to return to her comfortable resting place in bed or start breakfast. When she returned her gaze to Catherine in bed, she saw her reach out for her again and realize nothing was there. Slowly, Catherine drifted back to consciousness and looked up. Sara smiled at her and spoke.

"Good morning sleepy head." Sara said as she closed the distance between them and kissed Catherine on the lips.

"Hum, what time is it?"

Sara looked over to the side of the bed and read the bold red numbers on her alarm clock.


Catherine closed her eyes again and sighed deep. She rolled over on her back and placed her arm across her forehead. Sara sat down next to her and watched as Catherine debated on whether to get up or just lie there a while longer.

"I guess I had better get up. We have to be at work in less then three hours. I still have to head home and change."

Sara leaned back and rested her head on the headboard.

"What about Lindsay?"

"She's staying with Julia and Bret until Friday. Her cousin and her are having a sleep over. She won't even notice I'm gone. I'll call her when we get to the office."

"Oh, so does that mean you can stay over again tonight?"

Sara looked over at Catherine, waiting patiently for her to answer. Catherine smiled at Sara's persuasiveness. She then rolled over and locked eyes with her.

"I guess I could stay, that is if you want me to?"

Sara's expression turned into that of a child's. She slid under her covers, pulling them up around her and Catherine. She wrapped her arms around Catherine and pulled herself closer. She then tucked her head under Catherine's chin and kissed her shoulder.

"I'll take that as a yes." Catherine said as she laughed out loud. She kissed the top of Sara's head, and then engulfed her in a hug.

"Do you think Lindsay would mind if I borrowed her mother for a while?"


"Good, because at the rate we're going, she might have to change the date to next Friday."

"Hey, I said Lindsay wouldn't mind that doesn't mean her old Mom wouldn't care."

"Catherine trust me, after I got done with you I'm more then positive you would be okay."

"My aren't we modest."

"I just know where all your sensitive spots are."

Sara moved her head out from under it's comfortable resting place, and looked up at Catherine with lust of her own. A sly grin spread over Catherine's face when she realized what Sara was going to do.

"We don't have time." Catherine said as she pulled the covers up and tucked them under her arms.

Sara never took her eyes off of Catherine as she sat straight up and then strategically climbed on top of her. Catherine crossed her arms over her chest and titled her head to the side. She was more then confident she was going to win this argument, but nothing could have prepared her for what Sara was about to do.

Sara didn't try to fight her in anyway; she just made herself comfortable and continued to stare. It wasn't exactly the reaction Catherine had in mind, so she rolled her tongue along her top row of teeth in curiosity. Sara's facial expressions turned from serious and blank to sly and sneaky. A feral smile worked its way across Sara's face as she watched Catherine in amusement, trying to figure out what she was up to. A light bulb suddenly went off in Catherine's head, causing her tongue to stop moving and she her eyes to get wide. An evil smile of her own grew by the second.

"Oh, you're good." Catherine said as she pointed her finger at Sara.

"Funny, you said the same thing earlier this morning."

Sara twitched her eyebrows up and down.

"Yeah, except if I had known you'd hold me hostage this morning, I would have never given in."

"Yes you would."

"And there's that modesty again. What makes you so sure."

"Because we both wanted each other then and now."

"Yes we do, the only difference is that this morning we didn't have any place to be, and now we do."

"You can't go anywhere if you can't move."


"So I suggest you admit defeat and let me work my magic."

Catherine thought for a minute and then shrugged her shoulders.

"What the hell." She said simultaneously as she sat up and grabbed Sara, pulling her towards her.

Sara was caught off guard for only a second, as she felt herself tumbling towards Catherine. Two soft, but firm lips seizing hers broke her fall. Sara moaned into Catherine's kiss, deepening it, and gaining the control she had just a few seconds earlier. Catherine kept her hand on the sides of Sara's head, holding her firmly in place. She broke the kiss only when she needed to breath. The two pulled apart, gasping for air.

Catherine was the first to open her eyes, realizing that somewhere in the mist of things, their positions had gotten reversed. Sara soon followed and watched Catherine climb on top of her, holding her hands above her head. The bed sheet that once provided Catherine with protection from Sara, was now loosely hanging off of her breasts. Catherine looked down and smiled. She leaned forward, again capturing Sara's lips with hers and then pulled away and spoke.

"Don't move."

Catherine let go Sara's hands, and slid her own down Sara's arms. Sara watched in amazement as Catherine's fingers lightly traced over her skin. Sara was already past point of no return, when Catherine suddenly stopped and quickly hoisted herself off.

Catherine bent over, grabbing her clothing off the floor as fast as she could, and made a mad dash for the bathroom. Sara, realizing she had been tricked, quickly sat up and stretched her arms out to grab Catherine's bent over form. She would have had her, if Catherine hadn't of wiggled out of her clutches and threw her own underwear in her face.

Sara abruptly let go long enough, rubbing her eye that the undergarments had hit when they were flung at her, allowing Catherine to make her escape.

Sara, forgetting her pain when she saw Catherine speed across her floor, leaped off her bed and took off after her partner. But just as Sara felt she was gaining on Catherine, she was proven wrong with the harsh pain of a door being slammed in her face. Sara's altercation not only bruised her nose, but her ego as well. She cursed under her breath, as she heard the shower being run. Sara returned to the bed, crossing her arms over her chest, and pouting the entire time.

Catherine emerged from the bathroom smelling of lavender and berries. It was a scent she knew all too well seeing as how it was almost all she could concentrate on for the past four years. Pleased with finally being able to ascertain something of Sara's that all the boys in the office had dreamed of, she removed the towel from her head and began to pat her hair dry. When Catherine was satisfied she had all the moisture she could get out with the towel, she diverted her attention to finding Sara. She glanced over at the bed, only to find Sara sitting there, arms folded across her chest, and her lip stuck out in a pout. The sight before her was enough to send a wave of laughter coursing through Catherine's body. She pressed her lips together, trying to suppress her giggling before she finally had enough control to speak.

"Oh honey, don't be mad at me. You know I only do these things for your own good."

Sara didn't respond, but instead darted her eyes over to where Catherine was standing and then back. With her arms still firmly crossed, she refused to acknowledge Catherine's presents.

Catherine rolled her eyes and sighed at Sara's behavior. She took a few more steps closer to the bed and tried again.

"Sara you know I want nothing more then to stay in this bed with you all day, but we can't. I had to do it sweetie, or else we were going to be late. You wouldn't want to tarnish your perfect record, now would you?"

Sara shook her head in dismay. She wasn't going to give up easily this time. She had vowed to herself before Catherine came out that she was going to stand her ground firmly.

Catherine realized this act was going to be a lot harder to pull off, so she was forced to break out the big guns. She finished making her way to the bed, then plopped herself down on the edge, and situated herself closer to Sara. Sara reacted by moving away from Catherine, but was stopped when she felt Catherine reach over and place her hand on her leg. Sara's eyes immediately drifted down to where Catherine's hand was resting.

"Don't think I don't know what you're trying to do Willows!"

Sara's declaration was spoken with a hint of resent in her voice. Catherine sensed that she was starting to crack, so she relied on her charm to break down the wall Sara had established while she was taking her shower.

"Well, at least you're talking to me, that's a positive start; but not good enough. Sara, baby I'm begging you please don't be mad at me. I hate to think of you sitting in the lab all by your lonesome with negative images of what you want to do to me running through your mind. I thought we were past that? Please tell me what I can do to make it up to you."

Catherine began a slow and sensual rubbing motion with caused Sara's eyes to permanently fixate on her leg. Sara gulped as Catherine leaned in close to her and began nibbling on her ear. Catherine smiled when she felt Sara's heart rate increase as she gently captured her earlobe between lips and began nipping at the sensitive tissue. Catherine decided to go for the kill, darting her tongue along the inside of her ear and speaking.

"If you let me make it up to you, I promise that tonight I will…"

Sara's eyes went wide as Catherine whispered all the tantalizing things she was going to do to her. As soon as Catherine was done explaining in great detail all the ways she was going to use Sara as a buffet, she pulled away from her ear, placing a light kiss on it for extra assurance. Sara's head slowly turned so she was facing Catherine. She wetted her lips and opened her mouth.

"You're forgiven."

They were the only words Sara could come up with at the moment, and as she spoke them they somehow came out in squeaky voice, which sent a satisfying grin spreading across Catherine's face.

"Good, now go get ready so you can drive me home; and don't forget, I have plenty more uses for honey then most."

Catherine winked at Sara, who immediately retreated to the bathroom before her sudden urges to pounce got the best of her.

Except with the occasional torturing thought of what Catherine was going to do to her running through her mind, Sara was surprised at how smoothly her night was going. It again was another slow shift, with an occasional d.b. here and robbery there. Sara managed to get teamed with Nick, who wouldn't stop obsessing over Grissom's new girlfriend. Sara finally had to yell at him to get him to shut up; but when he saw how serious she was, he backed off.

Sara neither wanted to nor cared about Grissom's extra curricular activities when he was away from the office. She had her own relationship to focus on and hearing about Grissom was the last thing she wanted. After her spat with Nick, Sara was sure her Grissom streak was over and done with; but about an hour and a-half before her shift was scheduled to end, She went looking for Catherine only to find Grissom. Sara composed herself, then walked right past him hoping he wouldn't notice her. Just as she was almost in the clear, Grissom decided to look up from his file and saw her.

"Hey Sara."

Gil's cautious voice caused Sara to stop dead in her tracks. She sighed, and then turned around to return his greeting.

"Hey, how's it going?"

"Not bad, actually I was just heading off to look for you. Do you mind stepping into my office, I think we need to talk."

"Actually, I was just on my way to look for Catherine."

"Good then you'll have time to talk to me because she with Greg in the lab analyzing a sample found at our latest murder scene. She just got started, so she'll be a few minutes."

Sara mentally kicked herself, and then realized she had ran out of excuses. So she grit her teeth and followed Gil into his office.

"Do you want me to shut the door?"

"No, this won't take long."

Sara nodded her head in understanding and then took her seat. Gil waited for her to get comfortable by shuffling paperwork and then clearing his throat.

"So, what's on your mind boss?"

"Honestly, you."

Sara's raised an eyebrow in questioning.


"Yes, I think I owe you an apology."

Sara crossed her legs and waited for Gil to continue.

"I should have never invited Melissa down to the lab. I never expected our relationship to turn physical and I regret any hurt that I might have caused you."

Sara held up her hand to try and stop him, but it didn't last long.

"Really Gil, it's alright..."

Before Sara could finish, Grissom suddenly rose up from his chair, and came out from behind his desk. He squatted down beside her so they were eyelevel and continued.

"Sara, I had a lot of time to think between last night and tonight. After last night, I told Melissa that I couldn't do this any more. I told her that my heart belonged to someone else. Sara, I'm tired of pretending that I don't notice it every time you walk into the room. Catherine once told me if I wanted something, I should just go for it. Advice I think it's about time I took."

Sara never had time to stop Grissom before he leaned forward and kissed her. Sara tried to pull back, but it was no use. If she could have altered any moment in her life, it would be the one that shortly follow.

Just as Gil chose to make his move on Sara, Catherine rounded the corner clocking fifty in a twenty-mile zone. She barged into Griss's office without even thinking, barking out information as usual.

"Hey Gil, we got a hit. The print off our vic, belongs to an Arnold Hemsley. If we hurry now, we can catch him before he…"

Catherine suddenly looked up to see her best friend and whom she assumed to be her new girlfriend, locked in a passionate kiss. Quickly, Sara and Gil separated, causing Gil to loose his balance and stumble backwards. Sara looked up at Catherine, who had dropped her file on the floor and was slowly backing out of the office.

Sara pushed herself up from her chair and began to walk towards Catherine. She locked her eyes with Catherine's, but it was too late. Knowing what Catherine was instinctively thinking, Sara reached out her hand to try and stop her.

"Catherine wait…"

Catherine shock her head no, as tears began to fall from her eyes. Just then, Nick, Warwick, and Greg came down the hall to give Grissom an update on their case. Catherine was still in shock from what she had just seen, she didn't watch what she was doing as she backed out of the office. Suddenly, she and Warwick collided into each other. Nick and Greg steadied Warwick, but didn't have time to catch Catherine before she toppled to the floor. Warwick immediately brushed off the guys to rush over and help up Catherine.

"Cat, my God I'm sorry. Are you okay?"

Catherine scrambled frantically to pick herself up off the ground. Warwick, Nick, and Greg all reached out their hands to stand Catherine back up on her feet and watched in amazement as she no more then caught her balance, then took off.

Sara soon followed, making a mad dash down the hallway, but stopped when she realized she hadn't seen which direction Catherine had gone in. Sara pushed back her hair in frustration, and let the tears over come her.

Part 11

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