DISCLAIMER: Mine! Mine! They're all mine! Aaaaand then I woke up. CBS, Jerry Bruckheimer blah blah blah. You know the deal.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Love loads Mikey Baby. Also, I may not continue this story, haven't decided yet. Let me know what you think.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
When Darkness Falls
By Pure Intent
She gasped as she woke with a start, sucking precious air into her deflated lungs. Her throat was raw and she could taste the bitter tang of blood in her mouth. Hyperaware of her surroundings she could hear every tap of rain on the window, the shadows streaking down her face. She let out a sigh and ran a hand through her tousled hair. She froze, as there was another sound from the window. It was distinctive, as if something sharp was scraping the contours of the wooden frame. As countless hours of training had dictated she breathed steadily, trying desperately to keep her heart rate down and stay cool. Though she tried to rationalise that it was probably nothing, there was something about this, something in the air. Fear struck her as the image of her daughter flashed before her eyes, sleeping in the next room, only to feel relief at the realisation that this night, she was not there. Slowly she extended her hand out into the darkness, groping at the nightstand containing her side arm as the scratching assaulted her senses again. Retrieving her weapon she carefully laid aside the sweat soaked sheets from her body and rose from the bed. Silently she edged toward the window, one foot forward, feet together, one foot forward, and feet together, the gun held steadily before her. She paused at the curtains, billowing in the breeze. With her last ounce of resolve she grasped the material and flung it to the side.
The opaque, peaceful night stared back.
Allowing the taut muscles in her back to relax she let a sob escape her as she slumped against the cool glass. Composing herself, she straightened pulling the window shut, locking it and again drew the curtains. She turned, immediately struck by paralysis as the gun fell to the floor. Seconds passed in slow motion as the face contorted and smiled back at her.
"Hello, my love."
Her long, slender legs carried her swiftly down the corridor as if she were floating on air. The fluorescent lighting cast her with a stark white complexion out of which the deep blue eyes shone, taking in everything they surveyed. The long, flowing coat swayed behind her as her hips moved with predatory intent. She had no real idea why she was here. She guessed curiosity, an experiment of sorts. Can't break the habit of a lifetime she thought, even though that lifetime was lost to her now. The euphoric feeling she had hoped for began to run in her veins as people she had known for years passed her with a greeting and moved on. All too wrapped up in themselves to notice. She veered to the left and entered the break room.
"Evening," she said announcing her presence, a private grin pulling at her lips. She took in the sight before her. Two men who had once meant so much to her, now nothing more than a shadow in her mind.
"Hey Cath, how's " Warrick's sentence died a quick death as he turned to look at her.
Nick, doing the same couldn't help himself, "Blam!"
Catherine didn't move to say anything, just continued to smile. "Hey, you okay?" asked Nick, slightly unnerved by her current demeanour.
Her smile grew wider, "Oh, I've never felt better."
"It's just well you look don't you think that's a bit risqué for work?" he queried indicating to her clothes.
She followed his gaze, admiring the blood red corset, tight black leather pants and maroon duster, running her hands up and down her sides. "Well, I think my life may be about to become a lot more risqué so I dressed for the occasion." She stepped closer to the younger man. "Why? Don't you think I look good, Nick? Would you prefer I take it off?"
Warrick scratched his head in a confused manner. Something was definitely going on here, something not right, but he was damned if he knew what.
Nick swallowed hard, "No. No, that's okay. It's just, if Grissom sees you he's gonna blow a fuse."
Catherine paused her hands that where now caressing her lapels, tugging gently at the garment. She sniffed and suddenly looked decidedly bored with the conversation. She ran a finger over her lips, "As long as it's painful, I'm game."
Nick's eyebrow shot north as Warrick crossed his arms over his chest at the vehement playfulness in her tone. Then, she picked up on something, a scent, calling to her. She craned her neck in the direction it had come from for a moment. Turning back to Nick, she leaned in close and winked at him, pouting her lips before pushing off his shoulders, spinning one hundred eighty degrees and sauntering out of the room.
Nick shot a glance at Warrick, "Wha .?"
"I don't know man," he answered, that dangerous furrow becoming evident in his brow. "I don't know."
Her septum twitched as she tried to get a trace on that intoxicating aroma again. It had been so intense it had initially thrown her off balance, but now she was focused. She would seek it out. She weaved around the corridors following the invisible path. She made a left, a right, then halted gazing though the glass wall. She stood mesmerized. Perfect. How could she have not thought of this sooner? The vision before her filled her head with all kinds of wonderful, terrible things. Such horrific desires that she had not long known even existed. She felt herself begin to salivate as the excitement set off her synapses. On the other side of the partition, unknowing, unsuspecting, sat Sara Sidle.
The Tahoe carrying Grissom, Sara and Catherine hurtled down the I-15 following the rhythmic flashing lights of their police escort. Grissom was amazed by the amount of traffic on the interstate at this time of night as he whipped passed the other vehicles. Not as amazed as he was at the fact Catherine hadn't insisted on driving as per usual, a dispute he never won. She seemed to be a bit out of it tonight. He'd have to make a point of talking to her. If not about her attitude then about her outfit.
They pulled to a screeching halt outside the secluded strip club in the desert.
"More fitting than a "Welcome to Vegas" signpost any day of the week", Sara commented, unloading the kits from the trunk.
They had managed to get to their destination in just under twenty-five minutes thanks to the escort. Speed was of the essence so they were told. The victim was the son of a recently elected senator, found in one of the "private booths" with his pants around his ankles. The very mention of V.I.P automatically sped things up ten fold (which all C.S.I's despised) and everything became very hush hush.
Sara shivered at the cold that managed to seep past her scarf. She watched as she experimentally blew out a plume of snowy air stretching for at least a foot. She looked around, seeing everybody bundled up against the unusual chill for this time of year. Even Grissom had taken the liberty of donning a thick wool coat and gloves. Her eyes settled on Catherine. She must be freezing in that get-up. Serves her right, hardly professional. She noticed how there was no condensation escaping those painted lips. Huh, maybe not. She shrugged off the unusual anomaly as Grissom called to them from the other side of the tape.
Grissom rubbed his eyes fiercely as he tried to get some sort of control over the situation. Catherine sat before him, idly picking at her polished nails. Her behaviour tonight had been unacceptable, even to him who had dealt with a lot from all of his C.S.I's in some form or another. But this was an entirely different state of affairs.
"What is going on with you? This isn't like you at all."
"Isn't it?" she snorted, "and how would you know?"
"Catherine!" His voice rose a good two decibels in disbelief, "Not only where you not performing your job, you where blatantly flirting with the E.M.T's, you almost let the entire case slip to the reporters and very nearly "lit up" at a crime scene. Your telling me that's the kind of person you are?"
"People change Gil," the sound of his name dripped with venom, "Though most of you imbeciles wouldn't notice. You can't even see beyond the end of your own noses. And you, you're the worst. So don't lecture me now that you have seen a side of me that you don't like. It's not my problem, it's yours."
My God, what has happened to her? "Catherine, carry on like this and in the not so distant future it will be your problem. I'm your friend, let me help you before this goes any further, please."
"You? You're beneath me now." That was the last thing she said before she left the room, leaving him to stare after her.
"Hey, you guys here about Cath?" Nick asked as he caught up to Warrick and Sara in the corridor heading to the locker room.
"What? At the crime scene? Yeah, I heard," answered Warrick nodding his head in Sara's direction.
"No man, I'm talking about her indefinite suspension pending a full professional and psychiatric review."
"What?" asked Sara astounded. "She was bad I know, but a full suspension and psychiatric review?"
"Bit harsh for a bad night," Warrick agreed
"Oh, there's more, when Ecklie told her she was suspended she swiped a vase at him and stormed out before anyone could stop her." He let that information sink in before he continued. "He's at the hospital right now getting cleaned up. Couple of inches difference and she could have blinded him." Everyone paused in their stride trying to get their heads around it all.
"Jesus," was all Warrick could muster.
"I know, Grissom said he'd spoke with Ecklie and convinced him not to press charges," at his companions expressions Nick held up his hands, " Don't ask me how. You know how convincing he can be."
"True," said Sara, thinking of her own experiences, "But even he may not be able to get her out of this one."
Catherine ran a hand through her hair sweeping the silky locks from her face. Silently she watched as the aimless souls passed underneath her. She was reminded of the hours spent as a child watching marching ants in her back garden, thrilled at the realisation that with just a little applied pressure from one finger she held the power of life and death. From one ant, to one human. The change was so minute that it had never occurred to her until now. She allowed herself a few moments to let her mind run away with itself, imagining the events that would be set into motion by her hand. The sky applauded and wept at the same time.
She leapt from the roof of the Rampart.
Sara threw her keys on the table as she kicked her apartment door shut. Slipping her shoes off she walked over to the phone to check her messages. She was relieved to find the counter flashing zero. At one time, every similar situation would have lead to a drinking binge and a rough head in the morning. She had made a lot of progress since then however, but tonight she had more important things on her mind. Now, it was the image of Catherine that moved her feet into the kitchen to retrieve the trusty short glass and bottle of scotch.
Contrary to popular belief she did not hate her colleague. She did not even dislike her. In fact it was because her feelings were quite the opposite that caused the relentless problem to simmer below the surface of words. But she didn't want to think about that now. She calmed as she felt the amber liquid sear the blood vessels in her throat. She filled the glass again and went to the bathroom. After splashing cold water on her face she stared intently into the mirror. It was a blue-eyed face that stared back. The concern and foreboding that had built all night had finally come to settle heavily on her stomach, as it had threatened to when she had suggested that someone should check on Catherine. Warrick had thought it was better to leave things be for now, explaining the more they all got involved the worse the outcome could be.
Sara had conceded at the time, using her brain to assimilate the rational words. But now, alone, she was having a hard time convincing her heart. She exited the bathroom heading straight for bed not even acknowledging the phone that was beckoning to her. This was going to be a long night.
Catherine leaned in close, looking through the window at what would soon be hers. It was the second time tonight but she found it no less breathtaking. Ironic chose of words she contemplated. She was struggling so hard not to just burst in and give into her desires right now. But no, she couldn't. It had to be perfect. She ran her fingers along the smooth cold surface tracing the outline of Sara's body, licking her lips in anticipation.
Warrick sat back down with his freshly brewed coffee staring blankly into the glaring computer screen. He'd been home for 4 hours and he was still at it. Fatigue was attacking him from all sides but he couldn't leave this. He had to do something, despite his earlier words of caution. There has to be something here, he thought looking through medical resource papers based on distinctive behavioural changes. As of yet, he had found nothing pertaining to Catherine's personality overhaul. He tried again. He wasn't really surprised he'd found nothing significant, most mental conditions where specific to the person affected by them and were extremely open to interpretation; he just had to believe that he would find something soon. On some level he felt as though he was betraying his friend, pinning her activities to mental instability, it seemed too easy a conclusion to reach, but he knew of nothing else that would explain this. He'd known Catherine for too long to believe that deep down she was just a bitch, pure and simple.
He grabbed the cordless phone dialling in the familiar number. No answer. Figures. He crossed the room to retrieve his cell phone from his jacket and hit the speed dial.
The line connected this time. "Grissom."
"Hey," Warrick greeted. "You sound beat. You still at the lab?"
"Yes. Can't bring myself to go home."
"Catherine?" Warrick asked, already knowing the answer.
"I've searched and searched again. Nothing."
"So, that's it? We've got zilch to work with?" Warrick let out a frustrated sigh. If Grissom of all people couldn't find anything, they were screwed.
"Well, maybe not. I don't know how this will help us but I got a number of messages from Nancy."
"Cath's sister? What did she say?"
"That Catherine didn't pick Lindsey up today as she was meant to. She tried to call Catherine's cell and home lines but there was no answer. When she went to the house, the place was deserted," Grissom informed him.
"Well that's it. Now we know there's more to this than just a tantrum. Catherine wouldn't just leave her daughter like that."
"I know, but it doesn't tell us anything, it only confirms our suspicions. I'm going to see Nancy in the morning, tell her what has happened and see if she can give us anything. Then maybe go to Catherine's place."
"That won't do much good. If Catherine's not there you have no reasonable grounds to search inside. And if she is there, odds are she ain't gonna let you anywhere near the place."
"We don't need reasonable grounds if we're off shift and have Nancy's assistance, a legitimate key holder to the property."
"We?" Warrick asked.
"Didn't think you'd want to miss out on this."
Warrick allowed himself a small grin, "What time?"
Sara eyes opened slowly to the sound of soft music flowing from under her bedroom door. The first time this had happened she had been almost too afraid to even get out of bed, but she'd thought she'd fixed the problem. She cursed as she stumbled out of the bed, snatching the covers that were entangled round one leg. "For crying out loud I just had the damn wiring seen to, what more do you want?" she glared upwards half expected some heavenly voice to answer her. It never did.
She crossed the living area to the C.D player in the corner but paused before turning it off. For some unfathomable reason she couldn't shake the feeling that she was being watched. She reached around the back of the table arming herself with her trusty old hockey stick. It had seen better days but she had no doubt of the damage it could cause. Slowly, she lowered the volume slightly, reaching out with her senses trying to pick up anything foreign. She swung as she felt a shift in the air behind her, but there was nothing there. Your going nuts Sidle. "What do you mean going?" she asked herself as she turned back to turn off the music. Her muscles contracted as she jumped hauling the stick above her head.
"Shit Cath," she exclaimed as she took a laboured breath and let the hockey stick drop. "What are you doing? I could've killed you!"
"Maybe," came the calm reply as the intruder casually leaned against the table.
There was something about the way Catherine was acting that made Sara keep hold of her weapon. "What are you doing here? How did you get in?"
"So many questions. Aren't you happy to see me?"
"Well yeah I mean I was going to call, see how you were. I heard about what happened."
"Oh that?" Catherine's wiped the imaginary problem from the air before her, "I'm over it." At Sara's confused look she asked, "Aren't you gonna offer me a drink?"
Sara didn't answer for a short while, "Scotch?"
"Purrrfect," Catherine said with a deadly smile.
Sara swallowed hard as she went into the kitchen, feeling Catherine's eyes following her all the way. She pushed the anger down into the pit of her stomach as she poured. She wanted to help Catherine, wanted to find out what was going on and she knew to do that she couldn't fly off the handle at how Catherine had broken into her apartment and was making herself more than comfortable in her personal space.
She turned around shocked by the fact that those blue eyes where inches from her own. Catherine took her drink from Sara's shaking hand, "Thank you."
When Sara walked back into the living room she found Catherine sat in the seat under window, legs crossed leaning her head back onto her coat that was slung over the back of the chair, eyes closed.
Out of the blue she asked, "Are you going to sit down?" Sara sat on the couch across from her knowing exactly who was in control here, and not liking it one bit. "That's better," Catherine smiled as she heard the fake leather creek. Such subtle differences between the sounds of fake and real leather. She opened her eyes.
"You going to tell me what's going on?" asked Sara, taking a drink. "I assume you're here for a reason. Something other than a power trip I mean." She winced at her own lack of self-control.
The look Catherine gave her, though not aggressive, scared Sara more than she would like to admit. No matter how Catherine had treated her in the past, Sara had never feared her, until now. "Everything will become clear soon. I promise."
"It better had Cath, because this," she said indicating to the woman opposite, "Not good."
Catherine ignored her as she rose going over to the sound system turning the volume up a few notches. Sara remained where she was, glad for a reprieve from those eyes.
"Hmmmm, apt," she commented as the soft piano chords filled the room.
All around me are familiar faces,
Worn out places
Worn out faces.
"Why is that?" Sara asked becoming more cautious with every passing second.
"It reminds of you times past, times you'd rather forget but wont let yourself. Tell me, do you listen to it to punish yourself?"
"What do you know of my past?"
"All I need to."
Bright and early for the daily races,
There was no way Catherine could know about her childhood, yet her tone was so sure. "When did this become about me?"
"It's always been about you," Catherine answered, her voice sounding like it had come directly from Sara's dreams, "It just took a change in perspective for me to realise it."
The tears are filling up there glasses,
Sara felt her own eyes begin to well at her memories. This wasn't about her; she couldn't let it be about her. "Why are you doing this?"
Hearing the pain in her voice Catherine moved over to Sara, lowering to the floor before her resting hands of ice onto her knees. "I'm not here to make to feel bad, or to punish you. I'm here to save you." She dried the tears running from brown eyes. Sara tried to pull away but Catherine held her face gently. She couldn't understand why this was happening, why she couldn't control her emotions as she had for years. "If you'll let me."
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow,
"Do you trust me?"
Sara, thrown by the question stared into Catherine's eyes. She could give her nothing but honesty. "No."
Catherine said nothing, only leaned forward brushing her red lips against the pale ones before her. "You will," she whispered taking Sara into her arms, resting her mouth over the erratic pulse.
And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad,
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had.
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take,
When people run in circles it's a very very mad world.
"You will," she repeated into her dark haired beauty's neck before she bit down.
She could feel every air molecule brushing against her skin, as she momentarily swam in and out of consciousness, marring her newborn body. Experimentally she opened her eyes and let her mouth fall open in silent awe. She had seen many things in her years, many wonderful and many sickening things, but nothing compared to this. Her own apartment. Her dark eyes reflected the light from the hundreds of candles surrounding her form. She watched as they flickered as one, branches veering off, atoms moving to caress the next, and the next until the entire world looked different. It happened again and again, every action and its immediate reaction seemingly seconds apart. She closed her eyes, the clarity overloading her senses. She could still here the chaos around her.
"Beautiful, isn't it?"
When her eyelids parted she let her gaze rest on her own body, prone and nude, fascinated by the unmarked alabaster skin.
Slowly she turned in the arms of her equally naked saviour. The raw emotion startled her and would cause her breath to catch, only, she realised she was not breathing. She answered her love. "Yes".
"There are so many things left for you, for us to see. So many precious gifts we have been granted with."
"You're the most precious gift I could ever have wanted," Sara admitted running her finger from the angular jawbone down the sensitive neck. She watched as the muscles there contracted at the feeling.
"That gift is yours, for eternity." Catherine stated unwavering.
They studied each other with every heightened sense available to them. Sara improved her position by moving to kneel in between Catherine's legs and arched forward, not allowing her body to touch her lovers. She ran her hands over that face, letting them finally rest at the nape of her neck as she leaned forward to smell Catherine's hair and was consumed by the scent of her arousal. She did not move, encompassed by the aroma.
Catherine trailed her owns hands from Sara's knees, up her sculptured thighs and lightly over Sara's hips. Gently she scraped her nails over the faint outline of ribs. She moved her hands again, allowing her feather light touch to explore the body before her, running them over Sara's breasts, eyes glinting as she watched the already taut nipples harden further. Sara tried to push herself into those hands, already desperate for more contact, but cruelly Catherine didn't allow her. Sara stilled again, causing Catherine to gently press her lips on the skin between her breasts, slipping out her tongue to taste the flesh.
Sara couldn't help the moan that escaped her as Catherine cupped her breasts and moved her lips to tease the tight nubs, sucking them into her mouth before letting her tongue and teeth slide over them. Her hands moved down Sara's back, over the firm rear, and down the back of her silky legs positioning them on either side of her own as she pulled their bodies together. Her mouth still gravitating towards Sara's chest before her eyes, let her touch linger on her ass before gliding them around to the front, playing with the trimmed dark curls. Sara pressed forward begging to feel more, disdained when those fingers begin to tickle the inside of her thighs. She ground her teeth, praying for patience that was less than forthcoming. Catherine, not having much self-restraint of her own left wrapped an arm around the brunettes waist for support before allowing one hand to enter Sara's warmth.
The intensity of the intimate touch took all of Catherine's concentration and she leaned her forehead against the body that was now gently thrusting. She gave all that she was, all that she had become into the sensation of Sara's slick folds sliding over her fingers. It wasn't long before Catherine inserted one finger, waiting until Sara's need became more urgent each time before adding another. It wasn't until after she had added a third finger and started rubbing the heel of her palm over Sara's clit that she became aware of the incoherent moans emanating from above her head. She looked up in time to witness Sara's eyes squeeze shut, her upper body straining backwards against that supporting arm and grabbed Catherine's shoulders for extra leverage as her movement became more erratic and frantic. The erotic noises being ripped from Sara's throat only served to encourage Catherine to curl her fingers to give her exactly what she wanted.
The cold air whipped around Catherine's form as she stared across the street. This however was not the reason for her shaking. The cold was a companion now. The soft glow emanating from the house across the street danced sadly in her eyes.
There she sat, pondering with Nancy over some book. I can't leave her behind. I need her. She had to fight her weakness, begging her not to do what she was about to. Turning Sara had been different. It was sensual, the foreplay climaxing in the orgasmic bliss that would be their eternity together. But this was her baby. She couldn't imagine having to watch such an innocent body die, even if it was to be reborn to a higher level of existence. Her only other course of action was to leave things be, and an eternity without Lindsey was not an option. She just had to be strong and believe in what she was doing.
She revelled in the feeling of slender, powerful arms surrounding her from behind. She relaxed into the overwhelming erotic feeling of that figure.
"What are you doing here baby?" Sara asked with a gentle tone.
"The same reason I came to you. I need her Sara. I may be dead but I'm still her mother. I have all the power to protect her now. I wont leave her behind."
"Cath, I know what she means to you I want you to have all that you desire. You have given me so much and I would give myself completely to return it, but this wont work. You don't want this, not really."
"She needs me Sara," Catherine's voice rose, her passion taking control, "I'm here for her in a way I never have been before. She has to know that."
"Catherine, if you turn her now, that's it. No going back. She will remain like this forever."
"Beautiful, pure, the most angelic of devils." Catherine remembered the first time she had held Lindsey in her arms.
"And a child. She wont age, she won't develop. Her mind will expand but her body will not follow suit. How do you think that will affect her? There will be things she will crave that she will never be able to have, responsibility, sexuality you want to give her so much but you will take away even more. It'll affect her more than we can even begin to comprehend."
"So what then? I leave her? I can't do that."
"Maybe she needs you to do that. Let her become the young woman she is destined to be. Let her find her own path, become comfortable in her own skin. Then, we will come back with the gift of eternal life."
"We? We can be a family? You would want that?"
"More than anything my love. If you, and in time, Lindsey will have me."
Catherine pulled Sara's arms tighter around herself. "Always". Looking back across the street Catherine felt a single tear run down her cheek. "We will come back, won't we?"
"Do you trust me?" asked Sara, remembering the words Catherine had whispered into her ear not so long ago.
"I promise. Ten years from today, we will return." Sara felt Catherine's body shift after a while as the strength returned. The blonde turned in her lover's arms, an evil glint in her eyes.
"Come on, the sun will be up soon, and I need a really vile kill to set my mind straight."
Sara delved her fingers into Catherine's locks, roughly pulling her head towards her own. Catherine let her sadness, her anger, and all of the sadistic nature that came with her kind flow freely from her lips. It wasn't long before the seductiveness of the Hunger overcame them both as the blood feel from their lips.
To Be Continued
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