DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to my flist for helping with the details and to my sister for a very last-minute beta. Constructive criticism gratefully accepted.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Caitrin Torres
Tuesday night. Sara would rather be at work, but her friends are in town and she'll never live it down if she ditches them to show up at the lab. Nick was happy to switch shifts and take her Friday off, and happier yet when he heard her reason. She's still not sure if his interest in her social life is a good thing.
Nick would never let her hear the end of it if he knew where she is tonight, either. There had been four of them at Harvard: Tony, Jon, Isaac, and herself, who'd been adopted into their ranks after she shot down Tony's roommate by mentioning her girlfriend. At the time, she appreciated being one of the guys. Now, though...
A woman wearing little more than a thong runs a finger across the back of Jon's chair. The guys each tuck a dollar into her hand, while Sara makes a mental note to take charge of the plans the next time the gang schedules a get-together. There is acceptance, and there is forgetting who she is. She wonders if they'd take their girlfriends to a strip club. She's sure the answer is no. They treat their dates like ladies.
Sara can't help but laugh as Isaac cracks another joke. He moved to San Francisco not long after she did, to take a teaching job at Stanford. She misses him now that she's in Vegas. He's worth this tonight. She idly swirls the melted remains of her third margarita and settles back in her seat to enjoy herself.
Later, there's a new dancer on stage. Her hair is too red, Sara thinks, and then she wonders why that would be so. She has no idea who this woman is. Sara studies her face, curiously. She's definitely not familiar. Still, her hair is too red and her build too slight, but there's something about her that...
The dancer flips her hair and smiles flirtatiously as she leans into another spin and Sara sees it. Catherine. Of course. Sara has heard the rumors about her past. Of course she kept some of the mannerisms she picked up when she was stripping. Mystery solved.
Mystery solved, but she can't look away. The dancer's bra hits the floor. Sara sees Catherine stripping down to a tank top to work in the hot sun. She bends backwards and curls her leg around the pole, and Sara cannot help but remember what it feels like to have a woman wrapped around her.
"See something you like, Sara?"
The guys laugh as Sara blushes. She fumbles for her pager and holds it out in weak explanation. "I have to go. I'm sorry. Email me, ok?" She throws a twenty onto the table to cover her tab, and flees.
"Man, that was rough. Four days of sorting shredded documents is not how I wanted to spend my weekend."
"But we got him," Sara says, a ruthless grin on her face. Seven shifts in four days and a multitude of paper cuts, but Andy Ridolfi is safe at home and a kidnapper is off the streets. Exhaustion feels good.
"Yeah, we got him." Warrick disappears around the corner with his duffel bag and Sara turns her attention back to her locker. Tuesday morning and she's finally ready to go home.
Warrick's locker bangs shut. Sara jumps and shakes her head to clear the cobwebs. She's more tired than she realized. "I'm outta here," he says. "See you Thursday?"
"Thursday." Sara eyes him speculatively as he buttons the collar of his shirt and pulls out a tie. "Wow, you clean up well. Court?"
"Nah," Warrick replies easily. "Breakfast. I was supposed to have Sunday off, but...." He trails off, and Sara nods in understanding. "Fortunately, Monica is a forgiving sort. We're meeting at a little place near her office. You?"
"I'm--" she yawns involuntarily. "I'm heading home. Some of us can't snap our fingers and have a date every night of the week, you know."
"Oh, I don't know about that..." Sara freezes at the sound of Catherine's drawl and slowly turns around to see Catherine looking her over. A frisson of excitement sweeps over her in the wake of her gaze and is roughly pushed away. She is painfully aware of bags under her eyes and the dirty blue coveralls she has yet to change out of.
Sara gathers her bag and her anger and meets Catherine's eyes. "Some of us don't need a date every night."
She tries not to notice the hurt on Catherine's face as she leaves.
Sara isn't entirely sure how she came to be kissing Catherine outside the break room, and as Catherine nips at her earlobe and sucks gently to take the sting away, she decides she doesn't care. Whys and wherefores can wait. Right now she has Catherine.
Sara pulls Catherine closer and slides one hand under her shirt to explore the small of her back and then it's Catherine who has her as she spins them both around and pins Sara to the glass wall behind her. "You're mine," Catherine whispers harshly.
Sara wants to struggle. She belongs to no one but herself. The thought that a woman - that this woman - could claim her so easily is terrifying. She tries to pull away, but Catherine's penetrating gaze pins her more effectively than the knee resting between hers ever could.
"Mine," Catherine says again, and Sara is unable to look away. "Mine."
Sara relaxes into Catherine's embrace before she is fully conscious of her own surrender. She sees triumph and joy in Catherine's expression before her eyes flutter closed at the sensation of Catherine's mouth on hers. It's easy for Sara to lose herself in this. She revels in the press of their bodies. The faint scent of vanilla mixed with the ineffable something that is Catherine is intoxicating.
Music plays in the background as Catherine's hands slide across Sara's chest and then down to loosen her jeans. Cool glass against her bare skin reminds Sara where they are. "Someone will see us," she murmurs, but the uncontrolled thrust of her hips as Catherine grinds into her belies her protest.
"Let 'em watch."
The promise in Catherine's growl sends a jolt of pleasure through Sara. This is right, she realizes. Then Catherine's fingers are stroking her, in her, and Sara stops thinking. Yours, Cat... are the words on Sara's lips as Catherine holds her, as she comes, as the music grows louder, as the dream fades away.
Sara silences her radio with a frustrated blow and rolls over to curl into herself. Wednesday noon, and she is alone.
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