DISCLAIMER: CSI is the property of CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SERIES: First part of the 'Stuck' series.
Stuck to me
"all which isn't singing is mere talking
and all talking's talking to oneself"
~ e.e. cummings
I awoke as you slowly entangled, and for a brief, panicky moment I thought you were leaving for good.
As you padded towards the bathroom though, I relaxed, and when you were finished and came back to bed I stretched out my arm and you settled in right where you'd been, reaching back for my other arm and cradled my hand just under your breasts.
And I basked in the familiarity of it all: the feel of you and your body close to mine, the warmth you were radiating.
"You make me feel so safe," you murmured and in seconds you were asleep again.
I couldn't believe the ordinariness of it all: you, me, in our bed.
I couldn't believe how it could all feel the same, when everything was different.
It all started a little more than a month ago, when me and Greg were leaving the locker rooms for our next assignment and saw Wendy, the new DNA girl, wandering the halls like a ghost; hollow-eyed and wild- haired.
"Hey, Wendy," I said as we approached.
"Oh, hey guys" she replied. "You haven't seen Catherine around, have you?"
I shook my head and said no. I heard Greg snicker beside me as Wendy rushed on, in and out of labs and offices as she went.
He punched an invisible button.
"Ker-CHING, yet another strike for the cat woman!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Aw Sara, come on! Don't tell me you haven't noticed Catherine's been prowling poor Wendy for WEEKS."
"'Prowling'?" I shook my head, "what do you mean?"
He stopped and looked at me with a raised brow.
"You know that look Catherine gets when she wants you to do something for her?"
"Yeah," I smiled. I knew it well.
"Well, imagine that times ten and then tell me you could resist it."
Something in my face must have amused him, because he continued with a laugh. "Sometimes I think you and I are the only ones left on her to-do list..."
He started walking again.
"And sometimes I think maybe she's just saving us for a rainy day..."
I looked at Wendy as she came out from the break room, heading towards us once more.
"Oh, hey guys. You haven't seen Catherine around, have you?"
"Not in the last 30 seconds, no." Greg stated seriously.
"Oh, right. Sorry."
She hurried on.
"Well," I said. "If that's the outcome, I hope it stays sunny forever..."
"That's the beauty of living in the desert, Sara." He looked at me. "You coming?"
"Yeah, yeah," I mumbled. "Go ahead. I'll catch up with you."
Later, I couldn't explain why I stayed behind.
Within moments after Greg had disappeared, I heard the distinct click-clickety sound of Catherine's heels, and I turned, just in time to watch her round the corner at the far end of the corridor.
She looked at me and smiled and she didn't look away, and that's when friendship turned into something else.
"It took you long enough, Sidle."
She studied me over her glass. We were sitting, well half-laying actually, in some ridiculously huge sofa-turned-chairs, sipping cosmos and ginger ales respectively.
"I'd almost used up all my tricks," she smiled a crooked smile. "All my moves..."
"I don't respond well to games, or challenges."
She arched a brow and raised her glass and slowly took a sip, her eyes never leaving mine.
"I'll make sure to remember that."
And then she started talking about nothing and everything. About Eddie and how they more or less commuted between Reno and Vegas for years, fighting and loving, right up until Lindsey came; about dancing and dance girls; about growing up on a farm in Nowhereville, Farizona.
For hours we stayed at the bar, laughing, drinking. Her talking and me listening, me listening carefully.
Later, when I dropped her off and walked her up to her door, she was kind of buzzed and it showed. She slumped against the door with a confident smirk.
"You wanna come in?"
I leaned closer and let my lips brush her cheek.
"You know, Cath. For all your talking? You sure don't say much."
"Honey, that depends on who's listening."
Suddenly she didn't seem so drunk anymore.
"Or maybe it depends on who you're talking to?"
"That's what I said, wasn't it? Maybe it depends on how you're listening."
And with that, she turned and went inside.
As I remembered the suddenly cold feeling of staring at the closed door, I shivered.
I snuggled into your neck, careful not to wake you up.
The scent of you right before you do is wonderful: heavy, earthy, and sweet; nothing at all like the crisp, clear mist surrounding you during the day.
With a sigh, I slowly stole my hand and arm back and silently tip- toed out the bedroom to the kitchen.
I grabbed your t-shirt from the couch as I passed and wrestled it on, feeling uncomfortable being all naked as I started the coffee.
It'll be cups and cups before you get up, hours of me alone with my head in the silent house.
When the coffee's done, I poured a mug and returned to the bedroom, and as silently as possible slipped back into the bed, careful not to disturb you. You sighed and rolled over on your back, landing a hand on my leg. Your cheek glistening adorably, your mouth open.
As I took a my first taste of the coffee, my mind flipped to the the break room, with Catherine standing right next to the machine, her back against the door.
I walked in as quietly as I could manage, and stopped just behind her. Not close enough for her to feel me, but close enough for her to know I was there. Suddenly my mouth was dry, and I had a hard time breathing.
"When can I see you again?" I croaked as I let my eyes travel her backside, up and down, and up again.
I swear she could feel me looking because I could hear the smile in her voice when she answered.
"You sure you want to?"
She half-turned her head, so I could see the smile as well as hear it.
"Thought so..." She chuckled. "Breakfast after shift? Maybe we can make it to go and finish this..."
I leaned in just so that my nose touched her hair, I inhaled and realized I was in way over my head and hadn't a clue what was happening. Equally parts terrified and excited I sensed Catherine could follow every flicker of emotion even with her back turned.
God bless Grissom who chose this moment to step in with the others to hand out assignments.
Me, Greg, and Catherine got a DB at The Flamingo.
"You'll meet Sofia there. She's been there for hours already."
I went to the locker room to get a sweater and gather my thoughts when I heard Catherine's voice float through the room.
"You know, Sidle, you surprised me back there," she leaned back against the door, effectively blocking anyone else from entering.
I looked everywhere but at her, since the look in her eyes was positively ... feral.
"And the only thing I find hotter than being surprised," she continued. "You know what that is?"
I shook my head.
"The way you'll look at me right... Now."
I raised my eyes to hers.
"Like you'd want to rip my clothes off and fuck me blind."
My eyes sank to her hands, as she started unbuttoning her top.
"I kind of like this shirt," she smiled with a shrug. "Come here..."
I swear to God, you could've held a gun to my head and I'd still gone to her.
"Don't worry," she whispered, "this won't take long. I'm ready for you."
And she was. Oh God, she was.
The rest of that day was a blur, with me alternatively zoning out, throwing up, but mostly staring at Catherine.
Slowly losing my mind.
I emptied my mug and scooted down to lie next to you. With a sigh, you draped your leg over mine and I tightened my hold. How on earth could I've possibly ever gotten this lucky?
The next few weeks were madness.
Catherine excelled in finding ways of catching me off guard; to literally take me by surprise.
And when she grew tired of the locker room, the car, her office, she took me home.
And during it all she was smiling, teasing, and pulverizing my defenses, my sanity. And she was talking, talking, and talking.
"When wanting someone at a distance... Fantasizing?" she said at some point. "So much of life has to be invented."
"Did you use to fantasize about me?"
She never answered.
"Everything's allowed," she said instead. "As long as you're not boring."
I gasped as wave after wave of memories from those first weeks rolled over me.
You stirred worriedly, and I had to make a conscious effort not to squeeze you too hard, not to grasp at you, beg you to save me.
All those secrets kept alive. How could I've known?
All those mysteries, unimaginably ours to feel, but mine and only mine to unravel.
Your lips twitched in your sleep and the sweetness of it almost made me cry.
You know I love you, right?
You know this is what counts, right?
You know I'll never let you go, right?
She got restless though, real fast.
I noticed it first when her eyes started wandering, and then as her mind obviously was elsewhere.
And then I was in my car outside her house. She'd just hurried me out, Lindsey was due back any moment. I looked at my hands in my lap, turning them over, noticing the bruising on my wrists, bringing them up to my face, blushing as I could still feel the lingering smell of her. Rubbing my fingers together, imagining I could still feel her, sticking to me. Stuck to me.
I raised my eyes to the road and realized I had no idea how to get home, what day it was, where I'd go from here.
"You're like a lost little child, Sar'" she'd said. "My very own little orphan, abandoned, adrift..."
"Not with you," I mumbled and rubbed my cheek to her breast. "You've found me, made me..."
Suddenly she stilled, and put a finger under my chin to look into my face.
She traced my nose, lips, eyes and eyelids with an amazingly soft finger.
"Don't hurt me, Sara."
"I won't. I can't."
"We'll see about that."
"Catherine, I..." I swallowed. "I think I'm -"
"Shh. Don't." She smiled and then she said with a horrible fake French accent, "Cherie, don't be tÓdieuce..."
"But, Cath, I need to..."
"What?" She looked me squarely in the eye. "You need to do what exactly?"
I didn't reply, as she knew I couldn't.
"Why do you want this to change?"
There was something there now, in her voice and in the way she looked at me. Something other, something moving, something I'd put there?
"Remember, Sara," something stony, something cold. "I eat little girls like you for breakfast."
She made me leave then, and she's avoided me ever since.
I was crying now, silently sobbing.
Your hand came up to my face, and touched my cheek.
"Shh... It's OK," I said. "Go back to sleep, it's nothing."
"Baby, what's wrong?"
"It's fine, honey... Go to sleep."
"Yeah?" you mumbled against my throat.
"Yeah..." I kissed the top of your head. "Everything's fine, Sofia."
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