DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to the brilliant mrswoman for working her magic and beta'ing this fic for me. You are truly a star!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To wk.piper[at]hotmail.com
Taking a Chance
"So, did you see your strawberry blonde Goddess wearing that tight blue shirt you love to drool over?"
The voice that stopped me in my tracks was Greg's. I looked down at my shirt and unconsciously grinned. I had put on my favourite shirt, it was a simple but professional cut and hugged my body in just the right way to make me feel sexy.
I was about to walk into the break room where the conversation was taking place when the voice I heard next made my heart beat faster.
"Greg, so help me god, if you don't lower your voice and shut up I will kill you, and I know they will never find your body, ok?" Sara's husky drawl was barely discernible from where I was standing and I had to stifle a chuckle as I heard Greg almost yelp as she grabbed his ear and twisted.
"Ouch, Sara, if you don't let go then I'll tell your secret crush that you want to do the nasty with her!" Greg whined.
There was the sound of footsteps and a body hitting the couch. "Look, Sara, just tell her. I mean you want to rip her clothes off every time you have an argument just because she's so hot; you told me that, last night, when we were enjoying a little quality time with Mr Jack Daniel's. Just tell her, pin her to the wall and kiss her, until she can't think straight!"
"That's just it, Greg, she is straight and there's no way that I'm going to do that. Damn you, now I'm going to have that on my mind through the rest of the shift! What if we are paired up on the next case that comes in? I won't be able to concentrate!" Sara's voice now took on a desperate quality.
I grinned, backed away from the doorway, and made my way to Grissom's office. As I rounded the next corner I bumped into the man himself. Looking down, I saw him clutching a pink assignment slip, plucking it out of his hand I immediately informed him that I would take the assignment and would take Sara with me. Before he could utter one word I spun on my heal and headed back to the break room. A stuttered, "Ok", was heard as I once again approached the room where I knew Greg and Sara were.
"Sara, you're mine tonight," I said, deliberately, knowing the affect my wording would have on her.
"Uh, wha I mean sorry? What did you say, Cath?" Sara stuttered, almost dropping her coffee cup. Her eyes were wide and she had the startled look of someone caught in the headlights of an oncoming car.
"We're up, come on, we have a case. Get your gear and meet me at the car," I said waving the slip. I turned grinning; this was going to be fun.
As it turned out our case was a simple B & E. The perp was a neighbourhood kid turned thug who thought he was above the law. I enjoyed watching Sara systematically take him apart with her logic and the evidence we had gathered on site. With a confession and a signed statement we watched Jim Brass hand the prisoner over to a couple of uniformed officers and lead the way to book him in.
"Well, apart from the paperwork, I guess we can call that case closed until the trial. Even though I think his lawyer will probably try a plea bargain with the DA." I said stretching tiredly.
Sara sat still, her eyes glued to my arching back and reaching arms. With her suitably distracted I said, "I think you owe me breakfast, Sidle."
"Huh?" Sara managed as my question made itself known in her addled brain. "Hey! How do you figure that, Cath?" Sara protested.
"Well, ok then. You can just come to breakfast with Linds and me. Come on it's past time we left here and I don't want to keep Lindsey waiting." I tugged Sara upright and led her to the locker room. I didn't want to let her out of my sight, as I knew she'd want to think of an escape.
Sara opened her locker and pulled her jacket, wallet and keys out before hanging her vest inside and locking up. As the door banged closed she turned and took a deep breath but I stepped close and gently placed my fingers over her soft lips, halting whatever she had to say before it escaped her mouth.
"Save it, Sidle, Linds keeps on asking me when you're coming out for dinner so you're going to come to breakfast and we are going to talk about whatever has been bothering you. You've been a little spaced out recently and I want to know what's going on!"
Dumb-founded, Sara just nodded her head slightly, causing my fingertips to stroke her lips. My eyes locked onto those soft lips and I was just about to lean in and capture them with my own when Sara gasped. This was not the time; I pulled back, took Sara's hand, and led the young CSI out of the locker room.
The journey was a quiet one, with Sara staring out of the window and me driving to Nancy's house to pick up Lindsey. As I pulled up to the driveway we climbed out and my little girl came running out to greet me; spying Sara, she let out a whoop and jumped straight into her arms. I looked over at Sara holding my baby and laughed at the shock on her face as Lindsey's enthusiasm and joy at seeing her friend overflowed. Walking around the truck I added my arms around the hugging pair and felt the love and joy surrounding me.
"Ok, Ladies! We need to get home and eat some food and then Lindsey's got to get ready for her trip with Sam and Grandma," I said, trying to get my girls moving.
My girls? Where did that come from? Since when did I think of Sara as being in my family unit? I must admit it did seem natural to include the tall dark woman.
Closing off my thoughts I climbed back into the truck and we made our way back home.
Our breakfast became humorous as our banter prompted laughter from the three of us. From my vantage point at the sink, I watched Sara and Lindsey in the family room. Lindsey had somehow conned the very scientific, very stoic Sara Sidle into watching cartoons! Grinning, I watched my little girl curl into Sara's side and rest her head on Sara's shoulder. Sara's arm naturally gathered her in; her hand stroking Lindsey's golden head. Drying my hands, I make my way through to them and sit beside Lindsey.
"Linds, your Grandma is going to be here soon, is your bag packed for your trip, honey?" I said rubbing my hand over her back soothingly.
"Yes, Mom, I put it by the door already," Lindsey said in a slightly whiney voice as she snuggled closer to Sara. Looking up into Sara's face she asked, "Will you be here when I get back, Sara?" As she saw Sara look quickly at me for help she pulled the big guns out, pouting and batting her eyes she added, "Please, Sara, I love it that you are here. It makes Mom happy, too; I mean you like her don't you?"
"Erm, err sure I do, I mean we work together, don't we?" Sara stuttered out helpless under Lindsey's charm.
I had to turn my face away and bite my lip to keep from laughing as Lindsey nailed Sara with her next comment.
"You weren't looking at Mom the way Nick and Warrick do? In fact, Sara, I saw you checking her out when she was cooking our breakfast," Lindsey said turning the full force of an intense stare on an uncomfortable Sara.
With her face now blushing scarlet, Sara sat there, mouth open, shocked and not breathing. It was then that my little angel moved in for the kill.
"Are you going to be Mom's girlfriend?"
It looked just as if Sara's heart had stopped as the words left Lindsey's innocent mouth. It was obvious she could see the plea in Lindsey's eyes as if my daughter was willing Sara to give her a positive answer.
I saw Sara's face pale disturbingly and after a quick glance through the window I saw my Mother pulling up in the car. I stepped in to save her from answering the question; I desperately wanted the answer to myself only.
"Lindsey, I think Grandma is here, go to the bathroom you have a long drive ahead of you," I said, knowing that my daughter had the bladder the size of a pea.
Looking at Sara, then at me, Lindsey slowly released Sara from her hold and grumpily stomped into the bathroom.
Leaving Sara to recover some composure I went to open the door and greet my Mother. Leaning in to hug and kiss my Mother, I said, "Thanks again Mom, Linds has been excited about this trip for ages."
"Don't be silly Catherine, spending time with my Granddaughter is an absolute pleasure for Sam and me." She hugged me tightly.
At this we heard the thundering footsteps of my sweet angel come down the stairs, then a startled squeak as she threw herself at Sara in a child's bone crushing hug.
"Lindsey Willows, put Sara down and come greet your Grandmother!" I called out in a mock stern voice. A low murmuring came from the living room and then a Lindsey shaped bullet hit me in a hug; she mumbled a 'bye' before grabbing her bag and dragging my Mother back to the car. Shaking my head at the sight and chuckling to myself I waved them off before closing the door.
As I walked into the living room I paused in the doorway and took in the sight before me. Sara had her head tilted back on the couch with her eyes closed, I could see she was not sleeping but I surmised that she was plotting her escape now that Lindsey was gone.
"So, are you ready to talk about what's been bothering you lately?" I said, walking over to the couch and sitting close by Sara's side.
Jumping slightly in shock as I sat down, Sara almost leapt from the couch, her eyes immediately took in the fact that I was considerably closer to her than before. Swallowing convulsively she took a breath and promptly lost her voice as I leaned closer, our eyes locking. I could see the turmoil in her deep brown eyes.
"Cath, I..I..I don't know what you mean," Sara finally said. Her voice cracked and her eyes dipped to the opening of my shirt as I leaned in closer.
"Sara, who was Greg talking about in the Break room earlier?" I said, allowing myself to lay a hand on Sara's thigh, my fingers spreading to get maximum coverage. Her muscle jumped under my palm and remained rock solid as my fingers started to move slowly over the denim clad limb.
"Earlier Greg Br...Break room? Sara stuttered, her eyes now locked onto my hand as my fingers drew small teasing circles on her trembling thigh.
As I laid one arm on the back of the couch I lifted my hand from her thigh and placed it gently on her chest. I could feel her heart hammering as I leaned even closer.
"Do you like my shirt, Sara?" I whispered against her mouth; my eyes staring at her lips and my tongue slowly licking mine.
"Umm, Cat I can explain. I didn't mean any disrespect to you, I mean. ApartfromGregnooneknowsandIwasn'tgoingtodoanythinganyway." Sara blurted out, her words gaining momentum as she finished in a rush.
"Sara, I know," I said, locking eyes with her, "I like you. too." My voice low as I whispered my secret.
Sara's eyes darkened as my statement sunk in and comprehension dawned. She swayed towards me, her eyes now focused on my lips. Her control snapped back as she realised what she was about to do and she jerked her head back.
"Cat, please don't play with me. I have real feelings for you. I think I've been waiting my whole life for you. Please don't hurt me." Sara's voice cracked, barely above a whisper and my heart broke with the need to protect her and love her.
Cupping her face I gently guided her lips to mine, placing small kisses on her lips. Each one sweeter than the rest until her control broke and she increased the pressure, her hand cupping the back of my head ensuring our lips could not part. Her hands now guiding me into her lap, I moaned as her tongue brushed the seam of my lips, tasting and begging entrance.
Finally, we broke our kiss, both panting slightly; I stared into her eyes and said, "I want you for keeps, Sara, I can't take a one night stand with you, you mean too much to me and Lindsey loves you too. You realise that if we do this then it's a package deal. You get two for one in this relationship." I held my breath as I waited for her answer.
"Do you mean it, Cath?" Sara's eyes were intent, her arms tightening around me as I snuggled into her. "I mean, I love Lindsey as well. I know that it would mean the three of us and nothing would make me happier than to be more involved in her life."
I released a relieved breath and kissed her passionately, my heart bursting with love for her. Placing my head upon her shoulder, feeling safe and secure in her arms, I smiled as I thought about new beginnings.
"I'm glad I decided to take a chance on you, Sara. I love you."
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