Title: chasing dreams

Author: Schlampcat

Summary: What if Sara is not the only one daydreaming? Sara's POV. C/S

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I don't own them; they still belong to CBS etc.

Feedback: Always appreciated. You know, I'm sitting here with my muse staring at the screen, and she- the muse- does this little dance every time I get feedback. (Believe me, I'm not hallucinating.) You really have to see that.

Archive: Just let me know.

*********

Wednesday. One last shift till it's my day off. One more night. Yet I don't know how I'll do it. If luck is on my side tonight, I can be back home in... No, don't think in hours. I can be back home in the morning. But that means I have to work with her first. See her talking, scanning evidence, walking. Smiling. Breathing. And I have to appear composed.

That will be the hardest part.

Every time I wake up I have to shower, since I'm all covered in sweat, having had her image withholding every part of my sleeping brain. Lips slightly parted, eyes shut, fists clenching the sheets... How am I supposed to be next to her, pretending to see her just as a friend, as a colleague? Right, that's actually all she is.

So why do I carry on dreaming of her?

I can't wait to spend my night off listening to my police scanner, taking a shower, a *cold* shower, sleeping... No, no sleep, definitely. I'll never again close my eyes.

I leave for work only reluctantly. Keep it in mind, it's only for a few more hours. You've done this before. And she didn't notice.

Somehow I manage to survive the next hours without losing my mind. I run a crime scene, take the evidence, talk to a witness. It's only when I'm in the DNA lab that I have time to take a breath. Again, I remind myself that tomorrow's my night off. Sighing, I take the report out of Greg's hands. Poor guy, he's trying to figure out why I didn't say one word all the time.

In the hallway I meet Catherine. At least we weren't assigned to the same case. This is probably the first time I'm really relieved at that. And it doesn't occur too often that I'm eagerly awaiting my night off either.

She passes me wordlessly, smiling at me. I'm about to let out the breath I was restraining when she holds me back. "How's your case?"

I am desperately searching for any word to be found inside my head while her eyes are resting on my face. "Ummm... interesting." Yeah, great reaction, Sara.

She looks at me, obviously confused. Fortunately, she just shrugs it off. "Interesting, uh-huh. What about breakfast after shift?"

What about me getting a heart attack? "Uh, actually, I wanted to..." run away as soon as possible?

Grissom interrupts my thoughts. "Catherine, I need you here. Now!" He disappears in one of the labs down the hall.

Catherine opens her mouth to reply, but closes it again as he's out of hearing-range. She turns, flashing me a quick smile. "So, breakfast after shift. I'm gonna wait at my car."

Before I am able to get myself out of this, she follows Grissom, leaving me standing in the middle of the hallway. One last shift. Right.

It feels like a second until I find myself heading for the parking garage. Heading for Catherine. She is standing beside her car, smiling as she sees me approaching, and if somehow I was hoping to get out of this, I realize it's no use trying. If truth be told, I don't want to either.

She looks gorgeous, though somewhat exhausted, and her blonde hair is shining slightly. I wonder what it smells like, feels like. Remember, this is only for breakfast, right?

We silently agree on taking her car, which means she'll take me back to the lab after breakfast. Consequently, we'll be together a little longer.

By now I'm beginning to display a split personality; on the one hand, I enjoy every moment I'm with Catherine, on the other I can't get away fast enough from her, always afraid she might look right into my heart- and break it.

I suddenly notice Catherine must be talking to me, since her voice is filling the small space around us. Unfortunately, I didn't even get one word. "I heard you got a suspect on your case," she repeats, noting my absent-mindedness.

I nod, trying to figure out what she's up to tell me. Oh. Small talk. That's what people usually do, don't they? Just... talk. "Yeah, we found some hair fibers on the victim, the DNA matching one of her ex-lovers. In addition, there were some chemicals in his clothes, the same the victim had in her photo equipment." See? Small talk, uncomplicated. Just stop now. You don't want to scare her off, do you?

She glances at me, apparently waiting for me to go on, and when I don't, she turns her attention back to the road. There's this silence between the two of us, kind of awkward, and at the same time comfortable. Yeah, I do have a split personality.

I silently watch the streets of Las Vegas flying by, without seeing anything but indistinct silhouettes. Blurred images like a dream I had. Just don't close your eyes.

Finally, Catherine pulls into a parking lot in front of a small diner. I watch her taking out the keys in astonishment, admiring her slender fingers. Well...

She soon becomes aware of my look, and of my out-of-this-world expression, and she begins to chuckle softly. "We're here to have breakfast. Food, Sara, okay?"

I'm suddenly more than delighted that no one I know has the ability of mind- reading, though I can't prevent myself from blushing. Just when I'm about to open the door, Catherine lays her hand on my shoulder, holding me back. I jump at the soft touch, but turn around to face her.

She's frowning, scanning my face for something I'm not sure she'll find. "What's the matter with you lately, Sara?" As I don't answer, she adds, "You're acting strange. And I can't help thinking that you're avoiding me."

I try to grin at that, but don't succeed. "I'm not avoiding you, Catherine. I wouldn't be here if I would be, true?"

Her hand is still on my shoulder, soft, nevertheless touching me. "You know this is not what I mean."

I'm about to say 'No, I don't,' but I feel like I'm behaving like a child. I sigh. "Let's just have breakfast, okay? I'm really hungry." Try avoiding the subject.

"No, Sara, no. I won't let you run away this easily. What is it? Something I said? Something I did? 's it something to do with this thing between you and Grissom?"

I can't suppress the laugh escaping my mouth. "Grissom? God, Catherine, sometimes you are just so... blind! Believe me, Grissom is totally out of this." I'm still giggling, finally pulling away from Catherine, opening the door. "You come?"

She stares at me in confusion, trying to comprehend what it was I said without really saying it. Knitting her brow, she follows me to the diner, her eyes glued to my back. But it is no look of concern. On the contrary, I can feel her eyes burning right through the fabric of my jeans, and I wonder if she felt my gaze every time I was half drooling over her as well as I can sense hers now.

Eager to find it out, I turn around. One look into her eyes, taking in the flushing of her face, and my question is answered promptly. Ooops. I stop in mid-step, hesitant where this might take us. Suddenly it strikes me that she must have known it all the time. But still we're here. My heart skips a beat, or two, or three, as I see her stepping closer, all my senses heightened, reaching out for her. Under her now yearning gaze I sense goose bumps slowly creeping up my back.

"What about take-out?" Her voice is so low I have to strain to understand her.

"Why don't we just skip breakfast?" My hunger for food has mysteriously vanished.

She's considering it for a second, before turning on her heels, heading back for the car. I take it as a yes and hastily follow her, seizing the opportunity to admire her slender frame once more. I'm no longer concerned she might be aware of my staring. I know she's doing the same when she thinks I'm not paying attention.