DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of Jerry Bruckheimer, no infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The muse strikes again. Though truth be told, there were... outside influences that encouraged her. Thanks for reading, folks.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Precious and Oasis.
"This must be Christmas for you," a voice from behind brought a frown to Sara's face.
Before the brunette replied, she made a quick 360 degree turn to make sure no one else was near them. "Steve."
"How are you?" The lieutenant asked Sara. "I heard that you and "
"I'm fine, thanks," Sara cut him off. She didn't feel like discussing her love life while working on a crime scene, least of all with another old flame.
Missing the dismissive tone in Sara's voice, the officer continued. "If you ever need someone to talk to, well, I'm here."
Annoyed, Sara turned around and was about to shoot off a sharp reply when she met his gaze. Instantly, she felt bad for wanting to bite his head off.
"Thanks, Steve, but I'm fine. Really," she added as an afterthought.
The man nodded, finally catching on to her discomfort. He stood at the front of the door, positioning himself so that he could see both Sara and his officers in other parts of the house. Despite their dating snafu, Sara had a special place in Steve's heart.
Many times, he wanted to ask her for another chance, but each time he shied away. By the time he had mustered enough courage, Sara already was seeing someone else. The fact that she was dating a woman, though, was a boost to his ego.
From his vantage point, Steve could see the brunette talking with one of the other CSIs. Briefly, he wondered where the woman of the hour was. He was curious to see the two of them in action.
"Hey Watson," a voice broke through his daydreaming. "You heard a word I just said?"
"Yeah," he grumbled.
"All right then, I'm heading out. Don't take any detours after you've dropped the CSI off," his co-worker winked at him.
"Hey, still in the room, you know," Sara's not-too-happy tone reached their ears.
"Sorry, ma'am," the officer ducked out quickly.
"Sorry about that. You ready to go?" he eyed the evidence bags next to her.
"I'm just waiting for Warrick to add his stuff to mine then we'll be all set," Sara replied. "Thanks for driving me back to the lab."
"No problem. Hope Brown's feeling better. He didn't looked too good."
While they waited, Sara took the chance to take another walk-through of the house, making sure she didn't miss anything. She had left a message on Grissom's cell phone that she was heading back to the lab, hoping the man will get the message in time.
Her thoughts flashed to Grissom's companion, but then just as quickly, Sara suppressed the distraction. When the woman first came into the crime scene, a shiny reflection caught her attention.
On Catherine's hand, was the ring Sara had given her. When they broke up, Catherine had not given her back the ring, and Sara had not asked for it. So it was a surprise to see Catherine wear that ring when she knew Sara was there.
"Yeah?" Sara frowned when she realized what she had been thinking.
"Brown's waiting for us outside," Steve said as he tilted his head at the unmarked sedan's direction.
"Ok," she hefted her kit and the bags and followed the officer out.
The ride back to the lab was quiet, since Steve knew Sara wasn't much for small talk. The two stayed silent until the arrived back at the lab 20 minutes later, and the lieutenant offered to help her carry the bags into the lab.
"Thanks, Steve," Sara turned to the tall blonde and smiled.
No matter what had happened while they were dating, Sara still regarded the man as a friend. When her mind flittered to Catherine, she couldn't help but sigh at the contrast of the outcome.
"I should go. Are you coming for the picnic this Saturday?" the man shifted on his feet.
"With this case, I don't know," Sara shrugged.
"Give me a call if you're going." He smiled before turning to walk away.
Grateful to be alone once again, Sara began working on the evidence. Every now and then, her brain chose to play back her conversation with Steve, reminding her of the past.
She shook her head, trying to clear the fleeting thoughts in her mind. By the time they had wrapped up the case two days later, Sara was more than ready to hide in the confines of her bed.
The woman hurried to the parking lot, half hoping the rest of the team would miss her. Before she even could finish that thought, a voice called out to her. Stifling her groan, Sara schooled her annoyed expression and turned around.
"Heading home?" he smiled at her.
Her crisp, short answer should have deterred him, but he was too caught up to notice. "Catherine and I are going for breakfast. You want to join us?"
Just as Sara was about to refuse his offer, a figure joined in on their conversation. "Did someone say breakfast? I'm all for it."
"Greg, you're always up for food," Sara shot at the smiling CSI.
"Only when you're around." He winked at her, smiling even wider when she returned his smile.
"All right, less talking, more moving. I'm starving," Greg half-heartedly pushed the two CSIs toward their cars. "The usual?"
"Where else," Nick chuckled. "Hey Sara, you wanna ride with me?"
"Sure," Sara took the invitation as her way out. She didn't need to turn around to know Greg had a disappointed look on his face. "See you there in 10, Greg."
Surprisingly, breakfast went by without much fanfare. There was the sweaty palms and the painful reminder of their failed relationship, but other than that, Sara felt she handled herself well. She had managed to appear cordial during the whole time, carefully directing her anger and pain into sarcasm toward Greg.
It was safer this way, she reasoned with herself. Sara knew she would have to be careful with her jibes, but the cloud of pain marred her judgment. By the time they were ready to leave, Sara had given up on civility and was a hair's breath away from shooting poison daggers at the blonde.
Catherine, on the other hand, tried her best to talk to Sara throughout breakfast. She would direct an open-ended question at the woman, but somehow the question would turn into a discussion with the rest of the group.
"Hey guys, I'm gonna call it a day," Catherine eyed Sara as she stood up and dropped a few dollar bills on the table.
"Rest well," Nick, ever the gentleman, waved her goodbye. He would have walked her to the car, but he knew his co-worker would not like that.
"Sara, do you need a ride back to the lab?" Catherine tried one last time. She had hoped to spend some time with the woman.
"I think you should go with Cath, Sara," Nick said as he eyed his friend. "Greg and I are hitting the bars after this."
Grudgingly, Sara agreed. She got up, paid for her meal and bade the guys goodbye. The duo walked to Catherine's car and, throughout the rest of the drive, remained silent.
Many times Catherine wanted to start a conversation, but she felt Sara's hesitation and backed off. Content to be near the brunette again without a yelling match, Catherine relaxed and settled into the comfortable silence.
She watched as traffic passed by absentmindedly, trying her best not to focus her gaze on Catherine. It wasn't until the outline of the lab building came into view did Sara expel a breath of relief.
"We're here," the blonde announced unceremoniously as she stopped near Sara's car.
Sara mumbled her thanks, shooting out of the car like a bat out of hell. The dichotomy of pain and desire shocked even herself, leaving her confused and nursing a massive migraine.
"Sara!" Catherine called out to the woman, unbuckling her seat belt and rushing toward her with a silver device in hand. Standing next to Sara's car, she knocked on the window and waited for the woman to respond. "You dropped your phone."
Quickly, Sara's hand flew to her belt, frowning when she realized her phone was missing. "Thanks."
Catherine handed the phone to Sara, their fingers touching for just a moment. Shuddering from the raw lust passing through her body, Catherine was sure Sara felt the same too.
The brunette pulled her hand away a little too quickly, trying desperately to hide the blush coloring her cheeks. However, a fleeting glance at the other CSI only confirmed her fears.
"I'll uh, see you tomorrow." Sara's voice came out as a throaty garble of words, much to Catherine's delight. She knew the only time Sara's voice came out like that was when she was aroused.
"Sara," Catherine wasn't about to let the chance go wasted.
"Yeah?" Sara was hard-pressed to even her tone.
I miss you, Catherine wanted to scream at the woman. "Lindsey misses you."
"I miss her too," Sara said quietly.
"Come over for dinner?" The hesitation in Catherine's voice was beginning to chip away the bubble of pain in Sara.
Not trusting her voice to work, the brunette nodded instead. She chanced a glance at Catherine, only to find the woman grinning. Sara's lips slowly crept upward into a smile, feeling the fogs of betrayal lifting by the minute.
"I'll see you later then," Catherine nervously said as she stepped back.
With the smile still plastered on her face, Sara breathed a sigh of relief. Her mind raced with possibilities, giving her a ray of hope.
There is hope after all, Catherine thought to herself as she watched Sara drive away.
Return to C.S.I. Fiction
Return to Main Page