DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written to help spread the femslash lovin' in response to a prompt from merfilly in which she asked for a crossover fic involving Catherine Willows and Barbara Gordon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The stench of burnt skin was really getting caught in Catherine's long hair, and she flicked her bangs back in irritation. Sighing, she methodically took samples of the dead skin cells and the fabric caught in the edges of the mess; she was certain it would show nothing, and yet, it had to be done. To her experienced eye, she was positive this was some sort of acidic attack; however, the bright green residue was something she'd never seen before.
Carefully, she bagged her collection of samples, and then turned back to the body to scrape under the fingernails. She looked around to see what had happened to the coroner's assistants, she would be so much more comfortable back in the autopsy room; as comfortable as anybody could be in that arena anyway.
She was so lost in thoughts of comfort, stench, showers, and dead meat; she almost missed the sound of a vehicle moving towards her. Wondering when the morgue's assistants had become mechanical, she spun around to rip someone a new one for daring to drive across her crime scene. Suddenly, she pulled up short, stunned to see a woman with flaming red hair, sitting in a motorized wheelchair like something out of Star Trek, almost close enough to be touching her knees.
Catherine looked down and glared. The woman offered up a slight smile, knowing she was treading on a professional's toes, she waited for the outburst.
The CSI in front of her didn't disappoint.
"What the hell do you think you're doing? Didn't you see the crime scene tape back there? It means 'do not cross'."
Barbara Gordon sighed and waited for the standard cripple treatment, you're dumb as well as disabled.
"No one, but no one contaminates my scene, not police officers, not the state officials, not even the damn President, and certainly not someone who really shouldn't be here."
Barbara was surprised when the condescending tone never came, it was clear that all the CSI cared about was the state of her crime scene. It didn't matter to her that it was a wheelchair rutting her scene, it just mattered that it was. She held up her hand to stop Catherine's tirade.
"I have some information that may help you."
"I'm sure you do." Catherine beckoned to someone over Barbara's shoulder. "Now, get the hell away from this area."
Before Barbara could say anything else, a police officer loomed over her, and he was condescending.
Back at the body, Catherine watched as the woman was dragged away, amazed at her audacity. She smiled to herself and realized she was slipping; she hadn't asked the beautiful woman her name.
Three nights later, Catherine was once again covered in the stench of dead and decaying skin. A second body had been found, thrown in a dumpster days before, and she was lead CSI again.
Working hard, she was surprised to hear the whirr of an approaching vehicle, only this time she recognized the noise as belonging to an electric wheelchair. She stood and faced the approaching woman.
The woman approached with a smile on her face, it was obvious that Catherine held no fear for her. Before Catherine could protest, Barbara spoke.
"Ms. Willows, please, just listen; I can help."
"How'd you know my name?"
Barbara tapped the edge of her nose as she answered, "I have my means; I know lots of things. May I?"
Catherine looked around and nodded her head. Despite herself, she was intrigued to hear what this stranger had to say.
"The two men you've found both originate from my home city. They are what are known as meta-humans; humans with an enhanced skill."
"Please, hear me out. He " Barbara pointed to the body. " shoots small electric bolts from his hands. Well, he did; now, I guess, he's just a dead-bolt."
The listening CSI didn't laugh; in fact, she beckoned a watching police officer across.
"Now, Ms "
"Ms. Gordon, if you've finished wasting my time, I'll bid you goodnight."
Once again, Catherine watched as Barbara was led away; all the time thinking of the odd words the woman had spoken. She glanced down at the body and saw that each finger appeared to have a small electrical burn at its tip. Surely, Ms. Gordon couldn't be telling the truth?
Sara looked down grimly on the young woman's body. She could see a large hole slowly growing wider as the acid continued to burn away at the flesh. Catherine had warned what to expect, but the stench was unbelievable.
At Catherine's shout of greeting, she looked up and nodded towards her colleague as she bent over the second body found a 100 yards further on.
The two CSI's settled down to evidence collection, and Catherine found herself only half concentrating. For some reason, her ears were attuned to the arrival of a certain motorized chair. Sure enough, after half an hour, she heard its approach.
Catherine stood, reluctant to share this odd woman with her colleague; she walked away from the body to meet Barbara halfway.
"Ms. Gordon, we meet again."
This time Barbara offered her hand in greeting, smiling at its acceptance. "In unfortunate circumstances again. And, please, call me Barbara."
"Catherine Willows, pleased to meet you. Now, tell me why you are here once again, and how you know where these incidents are happening."
The grin that creased Barbara's face at Catherine's immediate questions was infectious, and Catherine grinned in return.
"What? You didn't think I might wonder why you were always here. I am a CSI, you know."
"Yes, I know that, and I can assure you I have nothing to hide. In some aspects, you might call me a private investigator. I can help you, Catherine. I can help you solve these murders. I can stop any more untimely deaths from occurring."
Catherine stared into the honest green eyes and truly believed that this young woman could help.
"You what?" Sara Sidle's incredulous voice shattered the quiet conversation in Grissom's office.
"She wants a small sample of the body tissue that's covered in the acid. She says, with that sample, she'll have our murderer within hours."
Grissom and Sara shared a glance, and then Grissom turned serious for a minute. He reached into his drawer and pulled out a small booklet, throwing it on the desk towards his colleagues.
Sara laughed. "A Batman comic?"
"Yeah, I like the escapism. In there are people called meta-humans; some people believe that only in fiction do we ever see the real truth."
Catherine watched bemused as the two scientists argued about Star Trek, Batman, and reality.
"Hey guys, can I have an answer here? Bodies are a multiplying."
Sara and Gil turned towards Catherine. Grissom was deadly serious as he asked, "What's your gut opinion?"
"You're asking me for a gut opinion? Wow! Let's see, I think we should give her a sample. Hell, we're getting absolutely nowhere and more people are dying as we struggle."
"But why, Cat, why do you trust this woman so much? You don't even know her."
Catherine stared at Sara, thinking over her answer carefully; knowing it was important. "I don't know why I trust her, I just do. You know how someone's eyes tell you more than you want to know sometimes, well she's got more answers in there than I'll ever have. And now, I'm asking you to trust me, Sara, will you do that?"
Grissom watched, oblivious to the real conversation, knowing that the decision had been made without his intervention as Sara nodded and Catherine left the room. His eyes twinkled.
As Catherine pocketed a sample of the tissue, another call of another body came through. She shrugged; at least she could offer Barbara this evidence without having to scour the city of Vegas to find her.
As promised, at a pre-arranged diner, within eight hours, Barbara wheeled towards Catherine, carrying a file of papers.
"Here's your man. Rascal Jones, a meta-human who spits Triflic acid at superhuman speeds and distances. I think you'll find him holed up at Quentin Heights Motel."
Catherine read the file, stunned at the amount of detail Barbara had delivered in the time it would have taken her team considerablely longer to achieve. She glanced at the woman opposite her and smiled.
"Give me a few minutes to make a phone call and then, we can share a coffee."
Barbara nodded, and then watched the other women become animated as she spoke with someone on the other end of the line. She grinned as Catherine's hand movements became more exaggerated; it seemed the other person needed quite a bit of convincing. Barbara sat back in her wheelchair, having no doubt that Catherine would get her way eventually.
Sure enough, as the CSI returned to the booth, she said, "Captain Brass is going to personally pick up your suspect, after I'd given Undersheriff McKeen a few words of advice."
Barbara laughed. "I'm sure you did, Catherine; professionally, I hope."
"Oh yes, I used no words longer than two syllables, very, very professional. Honestly."
This time the laughter was shared, and their enjoyment set the tone for a lovely few hours of getting to know each other. As the night wore on and still there was no call from Brass, Catherine had to acknowledge that she was feeling attraction towards the gorgeous redhead, and, if she was honest, she was pretty sure the attraction was mutual.
On the point of reaching across the table to take Barbara's hand in her own, the shrill tone of her cell stopped her actions. Barbara watched as Catherine listened intently, and she smiled inwardly as a massive grin gradually creased Catherine's face.
"We got him. Thank you so much for the help."
The two women finished their drinks, and Barbara called for the check, telling Catherine that she needed to return home quickly now that her work was done.
Standing from the booth, Catherine asked if she could give Barbara a lift to the airport, pleased when her offer was accepted.
As Barbara's flight was called, Catherine reached over to give her another hug. At the warm contact, Barbara turned her head to whisper her goodbye in Catherine's ear just as Catherine turned to whisper her thanks. Like some massive cliché, their lips met gently, only for a bolt of electricity to sizzle between the two as magnetism drew their lips together.
Barbara's inner strength was the strongest, and before real contact was made, she drew back and placed her hands firmly on Catherine's shoulders.
"I can't do this, Catherine. Despite this " she indicated the air between them, " I have someone waiting."
Catherine smiled ruefully as she answered, "Yeah, me too."
The hug they shared was as strong and firm as before, and their goodbyes as genuine.
Wheeling away, Barbara turned and shouted back towards the waiting Catherine.
"If ever "
Catherine smiled at the cut off words, understanding immediately. She nodded her head and watched until the wheelchair could no longer be seen, and then turned on her heel ready to go catch another Vegas villain.
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