DISCLAIMER: let’s be honest if i owned any of this i wouldn’t need to write these stories. this is done for fun not for profit.
SPOILERS/WARNING: This story picks up directly after the end of the ep Nesting Dolls so it is fairly spoiler heavy for that episode and hints at a few others but nothing else major. This story deals with Sara’s abusive past so it does have some descriptions of domestic violence. It also has scenes of intimate love between women. I hope all is handled and done well, if so enjoy. If not…
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Worst Part
By Layla


Catherine couldn't believe this feeling. Her body was melting, melting into Sara with the heat and intensity of it. There was nothing in the world that felt like this. Sara had partially rolled them over so much of her weight was resting on Catherine pressing their bodies tightly together as their lips and tongues explored each other. Catherine's hand had somehow found its way to the strip of exposed skin between Sara's shirt and pants and was slowly caressing there. Their kisses had taken on a slow exploratory element. They each wanted to taste and know as much of the other as they could.

Catherine also knew, with her last coherent thought, that they couldn't take this further. Not quite yet. She needed to hear Sara tell her she was ready for this. And she knew Sara needed to say it, to make it true by speaking it. With her last ounce of strength Catherine pulled back drawing in a much needed breath. Her voice shaky and raw she uttered the only word her mind and mouth could form. "Sara."

Sara was lost. Lost in the soft sweetness of Catherine's lips, in the searing heat she felt where Catherine's hand touched her skin, in the emotional torrent that was rising in her body. Her entire world was focused on this moment; there was nothing else for her. She heard a strangled moan rise up from her own throat as she felt Catherine's lips leave hers. Blindly, she tried to lean back into the older woman until she was brought up short by the sound of her name. At least, she was fairly certain it was her name. She had never heard it uttered in such a way, so she couldn't be sure. Her name had never sounded like that, laced with heat and desire, shot through with need.

The brunette drew back slightly, her breathing ragged, trying to bring Catherine's face into focus again. If Catherine had said her name Sara needed to know why, needed to know if she had made the right choice. She needed to know if following her heart had been the bravest or the most foolish choice she could have made. There was always the chance it was both. Sara was having an astonishingly difficult time drawing her usually ordered thoughts together. Her body was speaking very loudly. Every inch of it that was pressed against Catherine was dismayed at this rude interruption, but all Sara's heart knew was that Catherine needed to talk to her.

Looking up into Sara's eyes Catherine could read so much there; confusion, desire, fear, love. Catherine's free hand reached up tucking dark locks behind the younger woman's ear. She was trying to gain some sort of control over her body. Her breathing and heartbeat were faster than she could ever remember them and her voice had come out so full of emotion she could hardly recognize herself. She had to collect herself enough to start this, but it was far more difficult than she expected. "Does this mean you aren't going to throw me out and go make coffee?" Catherine asked the question with a smile in her voice belying its seriousness and her own need for an answer.

Sara didn't know how to find her voice to answer. She had kissed Catherine because she didn't have words to express everything she wanted to say. Her vocabulary seemed so small in the face of this emotional onslaught and, she had to be honest, the reality of kissing Catherine sure as hell hadn't made her feel any more articulate. Knowing she didn't have a way to say everything she wanted Sara opted for what she hoped was…well…god was she this bad already…cute. "Yeah, I guess you can stay."

Sara's lighthearted answer both frustrated and amused Catherine. It wasn't the heartfelt emotional admission the older woman had been hoping for, but at the same time it was another little glimpse of the Sara she wanted so desperately to know. The one that would let Catherine in and would make jokes and show the older woman all the parts she kept hidden from everyone else. Catherine wanted to draw this Sara out into the open, here where it was safe.

"Well, that's a relief; because I'd hate to have you kiss me like that and then expect me to leave here under my own power." Catherine continued the banter figuring it would eventually lead them back to the discussion they really needed to have. She wasn't going to force Sara to share her feelings before she was ready, that would lead to disaster. Besides, she could wait for Sara for a very long time while safely pinned under her beautiful body.

Catherine's comment made Sara do something she didn't know she was entirely capable of…she blushed. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks and could feel an utterly shocking wave of shyness wash over her. This must be what it felt like, what she had always dismissed as chemical attraction and fantasy. This is what it felt like to let someone into your heart. Sara had never believed the florid descriptions of what it felt like to fall in love with someone. And now suddenly here she was heart pounding, thoughts scattering, lips tingling, terrified and brave. With that realization Sara felt her shyness recede to be replaced by something quite the opposite, a certain boldness. Sara suddenly couldn't help herself, after everything she had been through in the last 24 hours, she found herself smiling her full on, gap-toothed, gorgeous smile.

Catherine didn't think she had ever seen anything more beautiful than Sara's smile. It was a gift she would cherish. She knew this was going to be one of those memories later in life, one of those moments you look back on with awe: the first time Sara's smile was just for her. Catherine found her thoughts being spoken aloud before she knew it, "Forget the kissing Sara, that smile is enough to make a girl weak in the knees."

If it were possible Sara's smile widened. "I didn't think it was possible to feel like this…I didn't know this actually existed." With her smile some other things had come to Sara, she had found words and the courage to speak them. She wasn't sure where it was coming from but that didn't surprise her. At this point she was in such uncharted territory that she decided trusting her instincts and the voice of her heart was just about all she had to go on.

Sara paused for a moment and saw Catherine about to take that opportunity to say something. Very quickly Sara decided it was her turn. Sara moved her fingers to lightly cover Catherine's lips. "No Catherine, you've told me where your heart is. Now it's my turn."

Catherine's eyes widened just a bit at Sara's words. She realized a part of her had been holding its breath since they had woken up. She had put her heart out there, wise decision or not, and until this moment hadn't really believed it would be accepted. She had walked in here last night and somehow both of their lives were now completely different because of that choice. With the soft touch of Sara's fingers to her lips all Catherine could do was wait for Sara's words.

Sara decided if she had stopped Catherine from speaking she had little choice now but to start. She had no idea what she was going to say really, she just knew she had to tell Catherine she could take the risk, that this feeling…that they… were worth it. "I can't really believe this is happening…I've never given myself the chance to feel this. I had never let anyone close enough. To be honest, no one had ever really tried. I made it too difficult to bother. You were right last night when you said I make things difficult. I do…I really do. I always knew it would hurt too much, risk too much to let someone in. But I realized something…not taking this chance right now, with you…would hurt so much worse." Sara could feel her voice catch at the idea of turning her back on this, could feel her heart clench at the prospect of not being this close to Catherine again. It just wasn't an option anymore.

She had no idea how to maintain this type of relationship; she had no blueprint in herself for open and honest communication. But she knew if she didn't take the leap she would regret it for the rest of her life. This was her chance, not only to fulfill the aching need Catherine's kisses had left in her body, but to ease the pain she had lived with in her heart for so long. "I can take this risk Catherine, I have too. I want this…with you…more than I've ever wanted anything. Will you help me?"

Catherine felt Sara's fingertips glide away from her lips as she asked the question. She knew what Sara was asking; she knew this wasn't going to be an easy path for either of them. They were strong women who both carried a lot of baggage and they would need each other to make this work. Catherine knew this wasn't a decision to take lightly. Sara wasn't one of her boy toys. She wasn't someone Catherine wanted to use to satisfy an itch after a rough case. She was someone Catherine wanted all the possibility of the future with.

"We'll help each other Sara." As Catherine spoke the words she reached up to stroke Sara's face. She needed to seal that simple sentence with all the complexities words couldn't express. She lifted her head from the pillow closing the gap between them quickly and with purpose. She knew Sara wanted this…wanted her…and that made all the difference.

Sara's eyes slid shut at the feeling of Catherine's lips against hers. It was the softest and yet most intense touch she had ever known. The sweet taste of Catherine, the feel of her warm tongue as it begged entrance into Sara's mouth, the completeness Sara felt as she opened to the other woman. It was so much to process. Sara quickly decided to let go of the last analytical voice that tried to define what she was feeling and just gave herself over to feeling it.

Catherine knew the moment Sara let herself go into the pure raw emotion of the moment. Her body felt it. Her heart felt it. In that moment Catherine knew there was no more holding back for either of them. Her hand that had been playing at the warm skin of Sara's lower back became adventurous exploring soft skin over firm muscle, her nails lightly dragging up Sara's spine.

Sara arched into Catherine's touch shivers breaking out over her skin at the light teasing. Her own hand that had been resting on the blonde's hip began to explore sliding up her trim waist…over her ribs…allowing her thumb to gently brush the underside of Catherine's breast. She felt her soon to be lover's sharp intake of breath at the contact and pulled her mouth away to look into those amazing blue eyes.

There was no going back. They both needed this, needed to show each other everything. To be bare and vulnerable. To cherish and worship. They needed contact…they needed more. Sara looked into Catherine's eyes as she rolled away making just enough room to yank her t-shirt over her head and toss it aside. Her hands reached out to help Catherine with hers, but she was too slow the shirt had already disappeared.


Sara was caught breathless by the vision before her. She had always thought Catherine was beautiful. It wasn't really a matter open for much debate. But seeing her here…like this…Sara was awestruck. Her hands continued to reach out fingers brushing Catherine's bare stomach, tracing her collarbones, her shoulders, barely touching her breasts. She was overwhelmed.

Catherine was being driven half crazy by Sara's light touch. She was lost in the grazing of Sara's nails over her skin and amazed by how stunning Sara looked in this moment. She barely heard Sara as she spoke. "God, you are so beautiful."

"I think that's my line, sweetheart." Catherine uttered the endearment as if she had said it a million times. Somewhere in her heart she probably had. She reached out to Sara to draw her closer. As she pulled Sara down to her she was aware of every inch of bare skin that met with bare skin. As their breasts touched Catherine drew Sara into another kiss. This one was different; it was full of passion and desire and need. It told Sara everything she needed to know in that moment.

As they continued kissing Sara's touch became firm, less teasing, she cupped Catherine's breasts her thumbs stroking soft nipples to firm peaks. As she did so she caught Catherine's moan in her mouth, felt the vibration as Catherine pressed into Sara's hands demanding more. Sara took the hint. She drew her mouth reluctantly away from Catherine's lips and began kissing a trail down her throat stopping to nip at Catherine's pounding pulse point and to kiss away the sting. She slowly trailed her way downward until she was a breath away from her goal. Sara's mouth was hovering above Catherine's nipple warm breath teasing her, tongue sneaking out to taste her skin.

Catherine was on fire. The heat from Sara's touch was incredible and the warmth of her breath cooling the wetness left by her tongue was nearly more than the older woman could take. She needed the feel of Sara's mouth on her; her entire body was aching for that touch. Just as she thought she couldn't take it any more Sara's lips enveloped the pink tip sucking it into her mouth. The sensation of Sara sucking on her nipple seemed to spread throughout Catherine's body; it seemed in perfect time with the low throbbing in her center.

Sara could have spent days exactly where she was in that moment. The feel of Catherine's nipple in her mouth, the other woman's hand tangled in her hair holding her as close as possible, hands exploring new curves as lips devoured. She could have stayed here forever, except there was so much left to explore, so much to know. Sara had already learned how to make Catherine moan with light teasing touches but she wanted to hear, and taste, and know everything…every part. She wanted everything Catherine could give. Sara was alternating between Catherine's nipples sucking them to rock hard peaks while her hands stroked Catherine's sides, her hips, her thighs. But there was one last thing between her and everything she wanted. Her hand found the drawstring of the shorts she'd loaned Catherine to sleep in and tugged the string loosening them. She sat up gripping the waistband her finger sliding inside to hook around the thin strip of lace underneath and quickly tugged both garments off.

Catherine felt a brief moment of cold. All of the places their bodies had been touching were chilled by the breath of air between them. She suddenly realized Sara had made quick work of what had remained of her clothing. She also realized Sara had not gotten rid of her own. Catherine needed to feel all of Sara she needed to know what it would feel like to be pressed up against every inch of the taller woman. As Sara moved to return to her previous position Catherine stopped her tugging the brunette's pants down off of her hips until Sara could kick them off the rest of the way. They were both fully exposed now. No barriers, nothing between them but desire and need and love.

Sara quickly lowered herself back over Catherine's body her hand stroking the other woman's now bare thigh. She began sliding lower, her body over Catherine's, her lips leaving burning trails over flesh. As she began kissing her way down Catherine's stomach she could feel the heat radiating from Catherine's center. She wanted to extend this out as long as possible but she was being drawn in. She needed to give this to Catherine. She needed to touch her, to communicate everything this meant to her. Slowly her hands moved to Catherine's thighs gently guiding them apart to make room for her to settle between them.

Catherine wanted Sara…needed her, every bit of her. She wanted to give herself to this woman, wanted to let her have everything. And as she felt Sara moving closer to the source of her heat, felt her make room to lie between her legs, she knew she was going to give Sara everything. There was no holding back. Catherine reached out a hand to lift Sara's chin, to look into her eyes. As she found herself drowning in those dark depths she willingly lost herself in Sara. Her voice was rough and low, heavy with building passion and love. "Please, Sara…please."

Sara felt Catherine's voice and her plea in the very core of her being. Her own passion doubled at the very sound of the older woman's voice. She also knew she would fulfill all she heard in that plea. She would give all she had…and take all Catherine was offering. She continued to look into Catherine's eyes as she lowered herself between the blonde's firm thighs. Her long fingers reached out opening the other woman to her. She could smell the sweet scent of Catherine's arousal, could almost taste it on her tongue. She finally broke eye contact as Catherine's hips rocked upward at her touch demanding her attention.

Catherine could see Sara's desire in her eyes, knew her need, her love, would be answered as she watched the beautiful brunette lower herself to rest between her legs. She nearly lost herself as she felt supple fingers part her lips opening her for Sara. She marveled at the sensation, at the look of awe in Sara's eyes, but she couldn't wait…not any more. She communicated this with a roll of her hips requesting Sara's immediate attention.

Sara lowered herself the rest of the way, a deep moan escaping from her at the first taste of Catherine's sweet essence. Her tongue played over the folds of Catherine's lips darting in and out of her opening tasting and discovering new textures. All the while Sara was avoiding the spot she knew Catherine wanted her most. This was too amazing to rush. Sara was in no hurry. She wasn't just doing this for the sexual need, she was giving Catherine her heart and that took time. Sara was focused on how Catherine responded to each new spot she touched, was listening to each new moan and cry that escaped Catherine's mouth.

Catherine had never felt from a lover what she was feeling from Sara at this moment. She had had some amazing sex with both men and women. But this, this was something she had truly never thought possible. She felt as though she was Sara's entire universe. There was nothing else before or after this moment. Catherine felt as though she was being loved and worshipped. Sara was giving Catherine an all new definition of making love. She was also sending Catherine places she didn't know existed. Each exploring stroke of Sara's tongue sent waves of desire through Catherine. She didn't know how much longer she could stand it…she didn't know how much higher she could go.

Sara could tell Catherine was getting close. Her breathing was fast and ragged, her moans were louder, she could feel the tension mounting as she teased her way around Catherine's center. Sara knew it couldn't last forever. If the tension in her own body was becoming almost too much to bear and Catherine hadn't even touched her yet she could only imagine what Catherine was feeling. Sara knew she had brought Catherine high enough; it was time to bring her lover home. With that Sara's tongue finally brushed over Catherine's clit causing the older woman to cry out at the sensation. As she began stroking Catherine in earnest her right hand slid from its resting place on Catherine's hip to waiting just outside her opening. Sara dipped just the tips of two of her long fingers into Catherine and felt hips lift begging for more. She was more than happy to oblige, sliding them into Catherine's welcoming wet smoothness. Her tongue kept a steady pace as her fingers began to slowly slide in and out of Catherine. Sara kept the pace of her fingers slow; she wanted Catherine to feel every movement as she was filled.

Catherine's universe had narrowed to the sensations Sara was causing. She felt pleasure mounting in her body as Sara's amazing tongue stroked warm wetness over her clit and those fingers were building a slow undeniable tension inside her the likes of which she had never felt before. She was completely aware of every inch as Sara penetrated her in one long slow motion and equally aware of the feeling of loss as those fingers pulled back. She had no words to describe the feelings that were building in her; all of her expressions were coming out in guttural deep sounds. She felt herself swelling around Sara's fingers gripping them tighter with each stroke, each motion building on the next until she couldn't stop it, she couldn't hold back. She felt the sweet pain of desire spiraling out around her as she called out Sara's name, the sound of her own voice echoing in her ears.

Sara felt Catherine's body grip her fingers holding them still as she cried out her release. Sara had never heard her name sound better than it did in that moment. She continued to bathe Catherine in soft licks and kisses until the last spasm had passed and she could withdraw her fingers. As she did she shifted her body back up to lay on top of Catherine holding her as close as possible as she felt the older woman's breathing struggle to return to normal. Once she had Catherine wrapped in her arms she bent her head and kissed her slowly and thoroughly.

To Catherine there was no more erotic thing than kissing Sara with her taste still in the younger woman's mouth. She couldn't stop kissing her, everything Catherine felt was pouring out of her in her kisses. She had never had anyone make love to her as Sara just had, as though she was the only thing in the world that mattered and she needed to return the favor. Catherine needed Sara to feel what Catherine had to give her. As they kissed Catherine's hand slowly stroked its way down Sara's chest cupping her breasts stroking her nipples learning each dip and curve of flesh as her tongue memorized Sara's mouth and lips.

Sara felt the focus shift. She had been so involved in Catherine's pleasure she hadn't been paying much attention to her own. That was all changing…fast. As Catherine continued to kiss her each touch of lips shot through her body to settle into the wet heat at her center. Each touch of Catherine's nimble fingers on her breasts sent shockwaves through her highly sensitized body. She hadn't realized how close to the edge she was until this moment.

Catherine shifted her weight maneuvering herself and Sara until they were lying side by side facing each other. As they shifted Catherine pulled back to look at the younger woman. With the parting of their lips Sara's eyes opened to be greeted by Catherine's blue eyes darkened with passion and love and holding an intensity she had never seen before. As she spoke Catherine's voice held the same emotion as her eyes. "Look into my eyes Sara. I want to see your responses when I touch you. I want you to see me when I give myself to you."

Sara was amazed by the feeling this idea invoked. She had never felt the desire to look into the eyes of a lover, not in this most vulnerable moment, but there was no denying that's exactly what she wanted right now. She would give everything to Catherine and she knew it would all be accepted. Sara would not turn away from this. Sara looked deeply into Catherine's eyes and uttered the truest words she had ever spoken, "I'm yours."

Catherine's breathing nearly stopped at Sara's words. She hadn't known for sure how Sara would respond to her request, that declaration hadn't been what she had thought, it was what she had dreamed. She stared into Sara's eyes as her hand traveled down the younger woman's tight stomach to play at the edge of her dark curls. Lying down made up for much of the difference in their height and Catherine maneuvered herself to reach her goal and still share this intimate gaze. She watched Sara's eyes as her fingers dipped lower, teasing into warm sweet wetness. She watched as pupils dilated darkening brown eyes to almost black. She watched as Sara's breathing went ragged with each stroke over her clit. Catherine watched for each nuanced response, each indication of pleasure that came into Sara's eyes. She listened for each moan, each new sound that escaped Sara's lips.

Sara's eyes wanted to close from the sheer pleasure she was receiving from Catherine's fingers but she couldn't do it. The look of love and desire mixing in Catherine's eyes as she touched Sara was something the younger woman didn't want to miss a moment of. Her body was at Catherine's mercy. Each stroke of the blonde's fingers brought her new waves of pleasure and to see those waves reflected back in their shared gaze pushed Sara even higher.

Catherine was completely focused on Sara. She watched as Sara's desire grew with each touch, each movement. She lost herself in those dark eyes and the feeling of Sara's warmth enveloping her fingers. She slid two digits into Sara and felt moans escape from both of them at the contact. Catherine watched as she filled Sara, she watched the look in her eyes as she drew her fingers back out. Her arm flexed as she maintained one smooth motion in and out of Sara. She kept pace with the younger woman keeping in time with her hips as they rocked against Catherine's hand. She felt, with wonder, Sara opening too her. Those obsidian eyes were drawing Catherine's heart in just as Sara's body was drawing in more of her hand.

She never broke eye contact. Catherine needed Sara to know she was the one giving her pleasure; she was the one loving her. She felt Sara grow wetter and grip her fingers tighter with each stroke. She was lost in the rhythm of their bodies together, in the tension in her arm as she maintained the pace Sara had set, in the speed of their breathing, in the connection that flowed between them. Everything Catherine had in her she was giving to Sara, the emotion poured from her, from her deep blue eyes, from the tips of her straining fingers.

Sara's eyes were locked with Catherine's; she was captured in the intensity of that gaze. She found herself nearly panting now as Catherine's fingers drew more and more pleasure out of her. Her connection with Catherine was amazing. She saw the desire, the love reflected in Catherine's eyes each time the older woman's fingers entered her, each stroke of her thumb on Sara's clit brought the emotions full circle spiraling faster and faster. She felt herself climbing, felt her whole body expanding to encompass this feeling, until finally it became more than her body could contain. She exploded. Her body clamped down around Catherine's fingers, a deep guttural moan was drawn out of her lips, her hands gripped Catherine's shoulders nearly hard enough to leave marks, her body convulsed, pleasure enveloping her entire being.

Catherine held Sara in that moment for what felt like an eternity her fingers drawing every last gasp of pleasure from Sara. Her eyes never left those fathomless orbs even as Sara cried out her release. Catherine could feel the pleasure that ran through Sara almost as if it was flowing through her own body. She could see herself reflected in Sara's eyes. She could feel the love and passion flowing between them as she pulled Sara into her embrace. She could feel the pounding of their hearts and their ragged breathing. She knew they were together.

Sara held tight to Catherine as she regained some form of conscious thought. She had never in her life experienced this closeness. She had never allowed herself to be vulnerable, not since she was very little. She had learned quickly there was no advantage in vulnerability. At one request from Catherine she had opened herself up and laid herself bare. She hadn't even questioned it. This connection she felt was so overwhelming. She had often wondered if she let go of the fear what would be there to take its place. It seemed she was on the road to finding out.


This closeness was more than Catherine had ever expected. She was totally aware of every inch of skin that touched Sara's. Catherine wasn't sure how they had gotten to this place but she was damn happy they had. It seemed so strange to her now, all the time spent running from Sara, all the road blocks she had thrown up between them only to find herself here anyway. Now that she was here she wasn't going to spend anymore energy running. This was exactly where she was supposed to be. Her arms were wrapped tightly around the younger woman's slender frame her lips pressed a soft kiss on Sara's forehead which caused the brunette to lift her gaze.

Sara slowly lifted her head from the comfortable spot she had found on Catherine's shoulder. As she met Catherine's eyes Sara was greeted with a site she would cherish forever. Catherine was smiling at her, more than just the upturned lips but a smile that came from deep within, from her heart. Sara was in awe. She could read so much in a look from Catherine, more than she had ever let herself see in anyone. She had never been very good at this. She was an expert, a genius really, with science and figuring out the puzzle. People had always mystified Sara; they were too unpredictable, too variable, too willing to hurt each other.

Sara had always embraced her fear. It kept her safe from too much emotional risk, from letting anyone hurt her. Now here she was, her fear lying by the roadside about two exits back, with no idea what was next. She had no context for this. She wanted to be held, to be close, to breathe in the scent that was uniquely Catherine. Sara wanted so much, more than she had ever thought possible. And right here safe in Catherine's embrace, warm and sweetly exhausted she knew she could have it. What she didn't know was how she could have it a few hours from now when she had to stand on her own. She wasn't the same person she had been a few hours before, but was she different enough to do this?

Catherine knew that what they had just shared had changed the dynamic between them, had brought them closer, closer than either of them had expected. She could also see so many questions in Sara, so much they needed to talk about. Catherine felt her voice slip out quietly, so softly it was as though she thought any noise would throw off the delicate balance they rested in. "What are you thinking, sweetheart?" There was that name again, Catherine wasn't sure how it kept slipping out so easily but she had no power or real desire to stop it. Right now she had more complicated things to think about; the simple easy things should really just be accepted.

What was she thinking? That was a damn broad question. There were the simple answers, the things on the surface, she was thinking about how amazing she felt, how she fit so well curled around Catherine's body. She was thinking that she had just had the most amazing orgasm. She was thinking about how it felt to make love with Catherine. She was thinking she had never let anyone as close as Catherine was right now. She was thinking about how shockingly good it felt to be this close. She was thinking about how much she wanted this to last, not just the physical naked comfort, but the connection. She was thinking about her feelings for Catherine. She was thinking about what this meant at work and what this meant at home. She was thinking about why Catherine had stayed. She was thinking about when Catherine might leave. She was thinking about what Catherine would tell Lindsey about them. She was thinking how surprising it was that she really cared what an eleven year old would think about her tenuous new relationship. For the first time Sara could remember she was thinking about the future, not just the next case or the next hour or the next beer, the actual future and what it may bring.

The problem was all of those thoughts were making it difficult for Sara to know where to start. So she decided to start with the most honest answer she could come up with, "I'm thinking about you." The answer seemed simplistic even to Sara's ears but she was a little impressed with herself that she had managed honesty over evasiveness, this was all about baby steps right. She knew that she wanted to open up to Catherine, to truly be honest with her. But, she would be lying to herself if she thought that would be as easy as it sounded. It was the right thing, but it sure as hell wasn't the easy thing.

Catherine was amazingly touched by Sara's answer. She wasn't sure she had any real notion of how, or whether, Sara would answer her but she was continually surprised by the depth Sara could let her see in the smallest phrase. She could tell how much it took for Sara to open up…she really couldn't blame her…not after everything she had found out. Her brain was still trying to put all of the information Sara had given her in some kind of order. There was a lot for them to get through, but now, at least, Catherine knew they would work through it together. She knew this feeling she had wasn't fleeting. The way her body felt right now was not just a feeling of sexual satisfaction, she felt cherished in a way she never had before. She felt Sara's words not just as a simple answer but as a truth of her heart. As her hand lightly traced Sara's face she asked with a slight smile, "About me, huh, just what about me?"

"So many things…I don't really know where to start." Sara couldn't sort out where to begin. She wanted to pour out everything she felt but it felt as if there was so much it all got stuck just behind her tongue. There was still an element of the surreal involved in this whole situation. Yesterday she was yelling at Catherine in the hallway at work, berating her in public and now here she was…here they were. For all of the perfection in it…and it did feel like perfection; Sara couldn't quite wrap her brain around all of this. "I can't quite believe where I am right now. I can't quite believe you stayed." As she spoke the words she reached to again touch Catherine's face as if reassuring herself that this all wasn't just a dream.

The light touch of Sara's fingertips on Catherine's face brought a shuddering breath from Catherine. She understood what Sara meant. Their relationship had taken an unexpected turn, to say the least. Now that she was here though, Catherine couldn't imagine being anywhere else. She had spent much of her life searching for this feeling she had right now. "Of course I stayed Sara. Once you asked it really wasn't a question anymore." Catherine wanted Sara to understand that she would do anything for her. Her heart had made its decision.

"That's just a bit astonishing to me Cath." Sara had the briefest pause in her speech as she realized she let the shortened version of the other woman's name slip out. "I don't exactly come from a place where I expect that." She hoped Catherine understood why she had this nagging little doubt that haunted even her happiest thoughts. She hoped Catherine had really heard all the things she had spent the last hours communicating.

"I know, Sara. I know you don't have a lot to base this on. Hell, I know I don't have a lot to base this on. But…" Catherine took a breath trying to think of the best way to express her next thought. "I…I want you to be able to trust me when I tell you this Sara. Trust me when I tell you I'm not leaving. I don't take this lightly, I didn't just give myself to you to turn around and take that away. I'm here…right here." Catherine could feel the slightest bit of urgency creeping into her voice as she tried to explain how she felt. She wanted, needed, Sara to understand this.

Sara could sense Catherine's concern in her tone and in the way she was searching Sara's eyes for any indication of understanding. She even thought she had a fairly good idea of why Catherine needed that understanding so badly. Sara had given her no reason to take it on faith that she wasn't going to bolt at the first sign of trouble. Sara knew that even with what they had just shared she was coming into this with enough baggage to scare almost anyone off.

"I know where you are Catherine. I can feel your presence in ways I didn't think existed. I know I'm asking a lot of you just in asking you to be here at all. What you have given me…what you've given of yourself…is more than I ever thought I'd have." Sara felt her words starting to fail her. In a few short hours Catherine had given her more than she had thought possible. She wanted so badly to be worthy of all of it, so badly to be able to return it all a thousand times over she just didn't know if she knew how.


"Sara," Catherine's voice had taken on a warm comforting tone, "nothing you have asked is more than I can give, and none of it is more than you deserve. I'll say it again and again if that's what it takes; whatever you need I'm here for you. Whatever you want." Catherine hoped she knew what she was saying. She knew what she wanted from Sara, but she had no idea what Sara really wanted from her. More than their previous pseudo-friendship, that much was obvious, but beyond that Catherine was a little clueless. Sara liked her solitude, enjoyed her own life. Catherine didn't know where she and a pre-teen ball of fire really fit into the ordered existence that Sara lived in.

Sara knew Catherine meant every word she said, knew it was true. At the same time she didn't know how to respond to it. They were barely friends and now they were lovers. If Sara stopped and listened to her heart she had no real question about what it was she wanted. She wanted things she had never even considered. She wanted Sunday crossword puzzles and Chinese take-out in bed. She wanted dates you need to dress up for. She wanted phone calls just to hear her voice. She wanted romance and comfort. She wanted everything.

This alone was scary enough. But, Sara started to get truly frightened when she wondered what it was Catherine really wanted. It was obvious from what they had shared that she wanted more than friendship, more than they had had before. That seemed simple enough, even to Sara, but Catherine already had a life. She had family; she had a daughter, hell she did things other than sitting at home on days off listening to the police scanner. Sara didn't know how she fit in with all that. She couldn't assume there was a regular place for her, that Catherine would want her as a part of her daily life. Catherine had offered comfort and care and passion and compassion but that did not mean she was really prepared to take all of this on.

Catherine was watching Sara as the silence stretched between them watching her overactive brain carry her off somewhere alone. She could see the distance growing in Sara's eyes the longer she was thinking. Catherine quickly decided she was going to bring her back right here where it was warm and safe and they could figure this out together. Sara left to her own devices couldn't be a very good idea right now. "Sara, sweetie, where did you go?"

Sara was snapped back out of her reverie at the sound of Catherine's voice. She had no idea what the older woman had said but she figured she had better at least try and pay attention to a voice outside of her own head. "What, I'm sorry. What did you say?"

"Losing your interest already? Let's see if I can get your attention." With those words Catherine wrapped her arms around Sara and rolled onto her back pulling the taller woman full on top of her. In this position Catherine brought their bodies back into contact leaving Sara no choice but to give the beautiful woman beneath her every bit of her attention. "Think you might hear what I'm saying now?" Catherine said with a knowing smirk on her face relaying her need for Sara's attention with humor that was uniquely Catherine.

As her arms came to rest on either side of Catherine's head and her body met full on with Catherine's Sara wasn't honestly sure she would be able to pay attention to anything other than the sensation of skin on skin but she thought she was a smart girl she'd figure something out. "I don't know if your body pressed against me is a help or a hindrance to my attention to detail but I'll give it my best shot," Sara said with a cheeky grin on her face.

As she looked down into beautiful baby blues Sara felt just a bit like she was going crazy. She had such an ordered existence. There were no hiccups in Sara's life…okay maybe the occasional emotional breakdown over a case, or a DUI, or nightmares, or insomnia, or general loneliness…but nothing she wasn't used to. She kept things she was accustomed to close, guarding her. Things that stirred her up or reached inside or made her feel, she would ignore until they got bored and went away. Only right now she was stirred, she was open, she was vulnerable, she was all the things she said she would never be. And the crazy part was she liked being here. More than liked it…she didn't want to be anywhere else. All of her running, all of her pushing, all of her panic and here she was anyway. Yep, she was definitely nuts.

So nuts in fact she didn't even think before asking the one question that could end this giddiness before it could even really get started. She just heard the words slipping out of her mouth unheeded by all of the rational parts of her that would normally stop her from asking the dangerous questions. "You keep telling me you're here for me, for whatever I want. But tell me Cath…what is it you want?"

Of the long list of unexpected things that Sara had done or said in the last 24 hours Catherine would have to say this topped it. Catherine had really figured she would be the one that got to ask Sara that question first. She had been prepared to lead their conversation down a path to clearing up what they both wanted. With one simple or, perhaps, incredibly complicated question Sara had just taken complete control. Catherine had not anticipated this turn of events. Here she was, pinned under every inch of Sara's lanky frame, nowhere to run, no room for evasive answers. This really wasn't going quite as she had planned.

Finding herself in this position made a few of things very clear to Catherine. First, she wasn't going to get to lead them down this path. As much as Sara's history put her in a position to fear this kind of closeness she was too strong a woman to just be taken care of. Second, up till this point Catherine had a certain notion of what she needed to be in this situation. She thought she was supposed to be the leader the one who instigated the communication, who lured Sara out of her shell. Apparently that was a false assumption. Finally, Catherine realized she was really, really happy to figure this out.

"What do I want? Now that is quite the question Sara," Catherine's voice had taken on a teasing tone that covered up a bit of the seriousness in her answer, "would it be too simplistic to say, you?"

Sara felt her mouth go dry and her body heat up at Catherine's tone and her implication. Her own voice was a bit deeper than normal when she answered, "That depends, do you want the simple me. . . or the complicated one?"

Catherine briefly contemplated her answer to that question. She decided now was the time to lay it out there. Honesty was Catherine's best and only real choice. "I don't think there is a simple you, Sara. And I know myself pretty well; if you put those two things together the only possible answer is complicated. But, I've had simple. I've had things that weren't supposed to be complicated and I have no desire for that again. You and I, sweetheart, we sure as hell won't be simple."


"No, Cath I don't think we will be," as she spoke Sara realized she was lowering herself closer and closer to Catherine's luscious mouth. In this position she just seemed to be drawn in like there was no other choice than just to touch those softly smiling lips. When she was almost to her goal Sara felt Catherine's fingertips on her lips. At this sensation Sara's eyes opened the question obvious in them. She saw the smile still on Catherine's lips and waited for her to explain.

Catherine really wanted to kiss Sara, wanted it almost more than anything. She also knew if they started kissing they would have no chance of finishing this conversation, not with their bodies pressed together like this, one kiss and she knew she'd be a goner. "If you start that sweetie, there's no way I'll be able to answer your question. You are far too irresistible."

Sara had to wonder if blushing was going to become a habit around Catherine now. She could feel the heat rising in her face at the other woman's words and was again astonished that she was even capable of it. Sara had to smile at herself. She knew Catherine was right, maybe not so much about Sara's irresistibleness but about the fact that they wouldn't get anywhere with the talking if they started kissing again. As much as she wanted that, the feeling of freedom and wonder she found in kissing Catherine, she needed to know the answer. She needed to know exactly what it was Catherine wanted. There was no point in giving in to the desire if there conversation led to the place Sara feared most, the place where she was alone again. She placed a soft kiss to the fingertips still touching her lips and nodded her agreement. As the fingers moved away she spoke, "You're right, besides I really want to know, just how much complication do you want Cath?"

There she goes again just laying the question out there. No decoration, no subterfuge, just the blunt core of it. Catherine was quickly realizing she was going to have to get used to this side of Sara, though she should have expected it. The younger woman had often shown the ability to cut to the core of an issue in a case; this must just be how that translated into her personal life.

If Sara was willing to lay the question out there Catherine felt she really owed her the full answer, even if it meant rejection, she'd already come this far, no sense in chickening out now. "I want everything, Sara. I've been hiding from this…from you…for a very long time and it would seem all of my hiding has proven pretty pointless. You are a complicated woman Sara and I want to learn each and every twist and turn of you. I want to know you, all of you and I want you to know me. I want to have to resist the urge to kiss you at work when I pass you in the lab. I want you to cook me your favorite meal. I want passion, desire, crazy impulsive leaps of faith, romance. I want your complexity. I want your mystery. I want your dark and your light. I want all of the complication. I want you. I guess now I just need to know what you want Sara."

Sara wasn't exactly sure what to say. She was blown away by Catherine's answer. Astonished, really, by what Catherine was offering. And, truth be told, no one had ever really asked Sara what she wanted, not in this context. No one she had been with had really been concerned with what she wanted; not that she encouraged them to be. It was a lot easier to maintain your image of total self-sufficiency if you never let anyone know what you needed. Besides if you didn't ask you wouldn't be disappointed. Sara felt suddenly shy again in the face of what was about to happen, what they were about to embark on. "That's a difficult question for me Catherine. I'm not used to people needing to know what I want, especially when I want this much. I never imagined you would actually want to know. I never thought I'd want to tell you." Sara took a deep breath preparing to let the rest of it out. She was marshalling all her strength into answering this question. Of all the difficult truths Sara had shared with Catherine in the last hours she really believed these were the most difficult. Admitting the horrors of her childhood was actually easy in comparison. Those things were something Sara was used to, she had made space in her life for that pain. This was all about opening herself up for new, fresh pain. This was about taking the crazy leap of faith. Sara had never done that, ever. Now here she was on the precipice spreading her arms and taking off.

"I want to let you in. I want to truly share myself with you. I want you to be the person I don't have secrets from. I want to take you out and show you off. I want to paint your toes. I want to know all of your ticklish spots. I want to give in to the desire to kiss you when I catch you alone in the locker room at work. I want to hold your hand at the movies. I want to make out in the back row. I want the passion and fire you put into everything you do. I want to know the truth of you. I want you to call me on my shit. I want to call you on yours. I want to send you flowers for no reason. I want all of you." Sara couldn't believe she had said all of that out loud. She hadn't meant to, at least she was pretty sure she hadn't meant to. Now all she could do was hold her breath and wait for Catherine's response.

"Wow." Catherine knew that wasn't the most articulate response to all that Sara had said but she barely had a voice much less words to express how all this made her feel. Her heart was pounding, she could feel the edge of tears in her eyes, she felt new still unnamable emotions swelling in her. She couldn't believe this was finally happening. Sara wanted her, wanted to be a part of her life, wanted to share with her. Catherine also knew, even through her haze of wonder at this new development, she had to ask one last question. It was the final deal breaker, the one thing that would end this before it started if Sara couldn't deal with it.

"You really are amazing Sara," Catherine started to speak but paused.

"Why do I here a 'but' in there somewhere?" Sara could see the hesitation in Catherine, could hear it in her voice. She needed to know the last thing Catherine seemed to be holding back. After her admission there were many parts of her that were terrified she had said too much, admitted it all too soon. She needed to hear what Catherine still had to say, needed to know if it was going to send this crashing down. She also needed to know if it would save them both.

"It's not exactly a 'but' Sara. There's just something I need to know. When you say you want all of me does that include all of my life, does that include my daughter?" Catherine knew Sara liked Lindsey; she knew Sara and Lindsey talked. They had talked during the investigation of Eddie's death and a few times since that she knew. Often when Lindsey was at the lab for some reason, she would seek Sara out and Sara never seemed to mind but that was a far cry from Sara wanting to make permanent space in her life for a soon to be teenager. Much of why Catherine's recent relationships had stayed so casual was because none of the people she had been involved with showed a bit of interest in really being in Catherine's life. After everything they had said to one another there was no doubt that if they were going to get all the things they wanted casual wasn't really on the table.

At first, Sara didn't really know how to respond to the question. Was Catherine asking her if she knew Lindsey would always be her first priority, was she asking if Sara would pay attention to Lindsey when she was around, those seemed to be to simple, too easy, Sara knew Catherine had to be asking a more important question she just couldn't quite figure out what it was. "Catherine, I would never get involved with you and not expect it to impact your daughter. I know she is the most important thing in your life, any fool could see how much she means to you. You are an amazing mother." Sara's last words were tinged with a certain melancholy sadness, regrets over her own life clouding her words.

Catherine's hands had found their way into Sara's hair pushing it back from her face as she spoke, "Sweetheart, I want what we have to be real, to be complete, and I can't have that if you don't want Lindsey in your life. I'm not asking you to be her parent, that's a choice for you and her to make and it's a long way down the road, but if we are going to be together you'll need to be her friend."

"Wow." Sara found herself echoing Catherine's earlier truly articulate answer. She couldn't believe what Catherine was offering. She wasn't just offering Sara a place in her bed or in her dating life; she was offering Sara a place in her life, her whole life. She was willing not only to share her own heart with Sara but willing to share everything, willing to let Sara in all of her messed up glory have a relationship with Lindsey. With this realization Sara suddenly felt the need to make sure, to verify that Catherine was really saying all of this. "Cath, are you sure? Are you really willing to trust me like that?" Sara knew she hadn't really given Catherine a reason to trust her like that yet.

"Sara, sweetie, let me explain something very important to you that may have escaped your keen observation. In the last 24 hours I have trusted you with my spirit and my body and you have trusted me with yours. I don't just do that at the drop of a hat you know. And I am pretty damn sure you don't either. That required trust I have in no way earned, you simply granted it. I have seen so much in you, not just tonight but for so long, you have baggage no doubt about that. And at some point your issues may hurt me, there's no way I could risk this much and not realize that. But I've seen you, I've seen the way you've been with Linds, I've seen you with other kids on cases, if there's one thing I know about you Sara Sidle you would die before you hurt a child. I know you would always do the right thing when it comes to my daughter, I just have to know if you want to be in the position to need to worry about it." Catherine hoped Sara had heard her words not just in her head but in her heart. She hoped the younger woman was ready for this.

Sara was speechless. She was staring into Catherine's baby blues, she could see the honesty there, could see that Catherine meant every word she said. She could feel the soft touch of Catherine's hands holding back her hair, wrists resting on her shoulders. She could feel her own heart skipping a beat as she realized Catherine trusted her, implicitly, with the most important person in her life. Sara had done nothing in her life to deserve this, had not, in any way that she could see, earned it. Yet here she was being offered a dream. She could hear the voice of her heart telling her one thing very clearly. When the universe hands you everything you want on a platter don't be an idiot, take it. Sara did the one thing she could think to do to convey this message. She leaned down before Catherine could think to stop her, before she could think of reasons to stop herself, and kissed her. This wasn't a kiss meant to build the fires, it was kiss of promise and gentle devotion meant to convey all that Sara was feeling but couldn't yet speak.

Catherine felt Sara's kiss, felt all that it was meant to say. She could feel the gratitude, amazement, joy Sara was pouring into the soft flow of lips upon lips. She was nearly overwhelmed by all this one kiss was meant to show. She felt her fingers tighten slightly in Sara's hair wanting nothing more than to hold onto this moment for as long as possible. It wasn't every day you got to have a moment that told you everything you had ever wanted was right here in your hands and Catherine was going to cherish every single second of it. Slowly, much more slowly than it had begun Catherine felt Sara's lips pull away from hers. As softly as her lips had touched her Catherine felt Sara's voice touch her.

Sara's voice came out barely above a whisper, "Yes, Cath, yes this is exactly where I want to be."


At those words a dam burst in Catherine's heart. The fear she had held at being rejected, the feeling that this wouldn't go anywhere; that she would be left alone after a taste of the sweetness life had to offer was washed away in a flood of emotion. Sara wanted all of it, everything that being with Catherine meant. Catherine found herself lost in the look of joy sparkling in Sara's dark eyes. She couldn't believe how much those eyes had changed in such a short time. The haunted, fearful look she had seen there last night was pushed back to the shadows, outweighed by so much more emotion and new connection. Catherine had thought she would never let herself be here. She could not begin to express how happy she was she was wrong.

Sara could feel the touch of Catherine's gaze. She couldn't help but smile at the sensation. Had anyone asked her she would have thought it crazy to be able to feel how someone looked at her; but she could feel it…all the way to her toes. Catherine, in just a few hours had bulldozed through Sara's defenses leaving her open and vulnerable and the strangest thing was Sara was happy. Sara felt so many things she had never felt before, never experienced. It was as though so many words she had known her entire life had new meaning. She was just beginning to understand hope, courage, openness, happiness.

Sara had used all of these words, had thought she knew how they applied to her. The longer she looked into Catherine's eyes the more she realized she had been so wrong. She had hidden herself away protected by loneliness, solitude. Her family had taught her the punishment for showing emotion, for speaking up, for reaching out. She had let her father's death and her mother's imprisonment define her for so many years. She knew she had channeled all of those feelings of helplessness into her work, into giving closure to others where she had had none, but she was also realizing how she had applied those feelings to herself had created a life she really didn't want. And now, as though on cue, here was Catherine opening the door and showing her the whole bright new world outside.

Sara was once again lost in her thoughts, in her amazement that she was being given this chance. She was drawn from her internal musing, back to Catherine, by the sweet soft sound of the older woman's voice. "Sara, you really are an amazing woman, and this time there is no but following that," Catherine said with a loving grin. "I really can't believe we both finally let ourselves get here. Thank you." Catherine was fairly sure Sara wouldn't understand the thank you but that didn't stop her from saying it…everything Sara had given her and was promising to give definitely deserved a thank you. She had watched Sara as they laid there, watched her think and knew she was trying to figure out how she had let herself get here. Catherine knew they would both be trying to figure out how they had let their guards down for quite some time. But right now was not the time for that, right now was the time to enjoy the fact that they had.

"Again with the odd thank you Cath. I really don't think you should be the thankful one." Sara was endlessly perplexed by Catherine's ability to thank her for the strangest things. Here she was, lying in her bed on top of the most beautiful, challenging, incredible woman she had ever met being offered a chance at a real life, a family, love, and she was getting the thanks. Catherine was the one taking a big chance on Sara. The younger woman knew she was unpredictable, mercurial, and generally messed up; she should be the one spending the rest of her life thanking Catherine. It was enough to confuse even Sara's genius brain.

Catherine couldn't suppress a light chuckle at Sara's words. She had known Sara wouldn't understand, would not realize the gift she was. "Somehow, sweetheart, I knew you would say that," Catherine again couldn't suppress her smile at Sara's look of confusion. "I am thanking you because you are willing to risk yourself, you are willing to open up to me in a way I'm sure you don't often do. You are not only willing to share yourself with me but you are willing to share yourself with my daughter. You care enough about me to embrace all the complications I bring. You are taking that chance on me, of course I'm thankful." Catherine really hoped Sara understood how much this meant. She had a brief moment of concern and wasn't sure what to think when she felt Sara's weight shift off of her.

At Catherine's speech Sara realized something. She realized the entire internal dialog; all of the thinking about it wasn't going to show Catherine how she felt. She needed to share her own gratitude with Catherine, her own happiness. She needed to show Catherine more than the warm, fantastic, press of body on body. She needed to show Catherine that her gratitude was well placed that Sara was completely serious about wanting to be with her in all ways. She, with only a moment's regret at the lost contact, rolled off of Catherine's body and flipped back the blankets, careful to keep Catherine covered as the cool air brought a slight shiver to Sara's warm skin.

Catherine watched as Sara sat up wondering what would happen next. She nearly lost all ability at coherent thought when Sara flipped the covers off of herself exposing her beautiful body to Catherine's eyes. Seeing Sara naked was nearly enough to get Catherine to forget that she had no idea what the younger woman was about to do. Catherine had been able to predict the last couple of Sara's responses but this time she really didn't have a guess. She continued to wonder as she watched Sara's body move, watched the muscles under smooth skin as she put those never ending legs over the edge of the bed and stood, watched as thighs flexed lightly as she walked around to Catherine's side of the bed. Catherine was mesmerized by those muscles as they came to a stop facing her. She was drawn in, all she could do was stare as her eyes took in smooth thighs, the slight flair of slim hips, the softness of the ever so slight curve of stomach, the gentle shapely curve of breasts, on up to the sexiest smirk Catherine had ever seen, and then just a little further to smiling, soft, dark eyes.

"Like what you see?" Sara asked in a slightly cocky voice having just caught Catherine in what could only be termed, even by the most untrained observer, a lust filled stare.

Catherine knew she had been staring, knew she probably had a bit of drool on her lip, but she really, really couldn't bring herself to care. "Yes, yes I do," came her simple, eminently truthful answer.

Sara again, to her amazement, found herself blushing just a little under Catherine's appreciative gaze. It was almost enough to throw off her whole plan, almost but not quite. With her smirk still on her lips Sara extended her hand to the incredible woman in her bed, "So are you gonna lay there all day, or would you like to join me?"

Intrigued by the offer Catherine reached up to take Sara's hand while replying, "I had considered staying here but it would appear the best thing about this bed just got up, so sure, I'll join you. Where are we going?" Catherine couldn't keep the laughter out of her voice. She was witnessing a whole new side of Sara, she had said she wanted all of Sara and it seemed she was starting to get what she asked for.

Sara's smirk had transformed into a full blown smile as she helped Catherine up off the bed and pulled her into a warm embrace. "We, my dear, are going to breakfast. Last time I looked in my fridge there was some beer and mustard and those ingredients hardly lead to an impressive first date."

Catherine laughed out loud at Sara's statement. She couldn't help but marvel at this new Sara, this woman who had just asked her on date. Wait, Sara had just asked her out on a date. "First date, aren't we kind of doing this whole thing out of order? I mean I don't usually find out someone's most tightly guarded secrets and have mind blowing sex before the first date. I wouldn't want you to think I was easy."

"Cath, I would never think you were easy. It took us years to get here. That does not qualify as easy." Sara couldn't hide the laughter in her answer. As she stood there naked in her bedroom hugging Catherine she knew her entire life had just changed. The weight that had slumped her shoulders for so long seemed to be missing. She actually felt light; she felt like laughing, she couldn't keep the smile off her face. Sara had shed so many layers she wasn't sure who she was going to be now. All the things she had let define her; shape her for so long weren't hers alone anymore. She had someone, someone amazing, who was willing to share the burden.

Catherine could see the light in Sara's eyes could feel the happiness radiating from her. It truly was incredible to see the person Sara had kept buried and hidden for so long. Catherine had suspected there was more to Sara than the anti-social bookworm image she projected to the world. Catherine couldn't wait for the adventure of discovering all the things Sara was so good at hiding. "It's really true. We certainly took the long way to this place didn't we? So tell me, where are you taking me to breakfast?"

Sara could tell by Catherine's thoughtful tone that the first question really was rhetorical. The second question however was extremely important. Catherine probably didn't even realize how important it was. This moment for Sara was all about showing Catherine that everything they had shared here in the safety of her apartment would continue outside these walls. Sara was planning the first steps in showing Catherine everything she meant to her.

"We aren't going to go anywhere unless we manage to get dressed." As much as Sara was enjoying the feel of naked Catherine in her arms she knew she'd have to give that up for awhile if they were actually going to leave the house. Sara had to acknowledge, at least to herself, that she had never felt this comfortable naked before. But she also knew if she was going to accomplish her goal she had to push them in the direction of clothing.

Catherine decided she was feeling playful, "Tell me where we're going and I'll decide if it is worth getting dressed for." The older woman wrapped her arms more tightly around Sara's waist unable to resist the pull of being as close to Sara as possible. She wanted them to venture out into the day. She knew they could both use the reassurance that what they had was going to survive the light of day outside the safety of Sara's bed, but she just couldn't quite give up the touch of their bodies just yet.

"That depends do you want breakfast just the two of us or would you rather have company?" Sara figured she'd let Catherine vote before she made all the plans. She knew it had been over a day since she had seen her daughter, and she knew it was probably getting close to time for Lindsey to get picked up from her friend's house. Sara also wanted to make sure Catherine understood how seriously she took her promise to accept the younger Willows into her life as well.

"Are you asking what I think you are asking?" Catherine was a bit surprised at the idea that Sara was willing to share their new space so soon. She was truly touched by the gesture. It meant more to her than she could readily express. Sara was paying enough attention to know Catherine had to pick up Linds and to know that it had been awhile since she had seen her daughter.

"Yes, Cath, I was wondering if you needed to go get Lindsey and I figured if you did we could all go to breakfast. What do you think, are you ready to share?" Sara knew this was a tricky question. It was about the reality of the three of them spending time together, it was about Sara and Catherine venturing out together, it was about the future.

Catherine knew all of the serious elements involved in that question but she couldn't help but throw a little flirting into her answer as a grin spread across her face, "Sweetheart, I don't think I'm ever going to be ready to share you. But, I might make an exception in this case. I would love to have breakfast with you and Lindsey. Are you sure you're ready?

Sara knew Catherine was offering her time and space to adjust to this, she also knew that if she stayed here and thought about it the voices in her head would just make her question it. Right now she was sure, sure of her heart and sure of her choice there was no reason not to trust that feeling, not anymore. "I think it's the only thing I'm sure of Cath. I have a week of suspension to think about the rest of my life, right now I have something much more important to focus on. So you and me, why don't we put on some clothes and head out to take on the world?"

A wide smile broke out on Catherine's beautiful face as she took this moment to look deeply into Sara's eyes. The older woman could feel all of the emotion between them and could see her feelings reflected in those fathomless orbs. She knew this was the moment both of their lives changed forever, for better. "You and me sweetheart, we can take on anything."

The End

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