Catherine was almost bouncing when she presented me with the tickets. She looked at me expectantly, as if I too might start vibrating with energy as I opened them.
"Simon and Garfunkel?" I asked, trying very hard to keep my surprise out of my voice.
Unfortunately, Catherine knows me well.
"Simon. And. Garfunkel." She repeated, very slowly, and I watched her lips, slightly distracted. "American Legends. Simon and Garfunkel. In Vegas."
I was still staring at her, trying to figure out why she was giving me tickets. To Simon and Garfunkel, even, who I'd barely listened to in my life. Catherine was still staring at me.
"You want to explain why?" I asked. She suddenly looked nervous, and I mentally kicked myself for bringing her down from her obvious high.
"They were the last two tickets, and the only person I know who listens to Simon and Garfunkel is Grissom," She made a face and I laughed, the mental image of Grissom at a concert, staring at the crowd as if he were writing a study about them dancing through my brain. "And I figured, even if you don't like them, I can hook you on them in the month there is up to the concert." She grinned at me, took one of the tickets and left me, dumbstruck.
The relationship between Catherine and I had become better, true, particularly following my break-up with Hank, but I wouldn't say we were close. Not close enough for Catherine to invite me to something as expensive as that must have been.
I looked at the ticket in my hand, and slowly, I started to grin.
A week later, I was on the night shift, checking for prints on a regular B&E when I noticed Grissom looking strangely at me.
"What?" I asked, feeling my ears heat up a little.
"I didn't know you liked Simon and Garfunkel." He said, shrugging. I relaxed.
"Neither did I, really." I said and went back to checking for prints. "I've been slandered, libelled..." I started singing again, under my breath, trying to hide my smile.
"It's not dancing music." I commented as I entered the break room. Catherine was sitting eating a salad, and I stopped to watch for a few moments, the way she daintily poked at it with her fork, her mind clearly some place else.
Greg knocked me out of my reverie.
"What isn't?" he asked from where he was talking with Nick, sitting on the counter by the fridge. Nick looked slightly annoyed at the distraction.
"Simon and Garfunkel." Catherine replied. She smiled up at me, and the bad lighting made her freckles stand out more. "At least that's what I assume you're talking about?" I grinned back.
Across the room, Nick looked distinctly amused and Greg was wearing an expression somewhere between disdain and amusement.
"Aren't they kind of old?" Nick asked and received a glare from Catherine. I hid my smile behind my hand, grabbed my coke and left before I heard Catherine's response.
"Sara, you can't really like Simon & Garfunkel."
"Greg, you can't really still be talking about this."
I was waiting for my DNA to be processed, and Greg was the tech on duty. I liked talking to him usually, he didn't make me feel awkward in the same way Grissom or Warrick did. He also didn't make me feel as confused as Catherine did. And he was smart and could keep up with my conversations.
Then again, sometimes he was just annoying.
"They're old." He said, fiddling with a ball point, and checking the clock.
"So are the Beatles." I said, stretching my legs. Greg shook his head sadly.
"One day I'll have to take you to a proper concert." He said.
"Still trying for a date, Greg?" Nick asked, coming in and flopping down on the other chair. Greg turned around and grinned at him.
Surely the DNA would be done soon, and I could get out of here. I hummed 'I am a Rock' under my breath and tried to ignore Nick and Greg's ongoing banter.
"I will never give up!" Greg proclaimed, and Nick laughed at him.
"Whatever, man. How's the DNA coming along?"
"Yes?" I looked over at Catherine, whose eyes were firmly fixed on the road.
"You can sing along, you know."
Catherine had been singing along since we got in the car. Of course it was Simon & Garfunkel, and she knew every lyric.
I found myself knowing most of them too, and I'd been humming along quietly. Obviously, not quietly enough. She was smiling at me though, and I tried not to blush.
She turned pressed the skip button and grinned at me before turning back to the road.
"You know what you said?" she asked, then continued without waiting for an answer. "This one is pretty good for dancing."
i ...My daddy was the family bassman... /i the familiar strands of Baby Driver flowed from the speakers.
"I'd like to see that." I said, then winced. That sounded a little too much like a come on. Catherine didn't seem to notice, she just laughed.
"Maybe one day I'll show you." I glanced at her, trying to figure out if she was flirting with me. No, that wasn't possible.
"Sara, look for a parking space. I think this is as close as we're likely to get."
I'd never been to the Garden Arena before. It was huge, and packed, even though there was at least another hour before the concert started. Catherine weaved her way through the crowd effortlessly, taking my hand firmly in hers to make sure I didn't get stranded somewhere in the crowd. We stopped in front of the mixer, more or less in the middle of the arena.
"Stay here." She said, and walked off. I stood, shifting uneasily from foot to foot, watching the people around me.
It was an interesting mix. I'd imagined most of them would be older than Catherine, but most of them were her age or younger. There were a good number of people in their fifties, but a larger number of people I assumed must be in their thirties and a few much younger than that. Right near me were two teenaged girls, giggling and talking as if this was the event of the year for them. One of them was clutching a program which she'd routinely thumb through, stopping to point out particularly sweet pictures to her friend.
I wasn't really aware that I was watching them until Catherine came back. She prodded me and I turned to see her. She'd changed clothes was the first thing I noticed. She'd been wearing a black wife beater on the way over here, but now she was wearing a concert tee shirt that fit her very well. The wife beater was hanging out of her purse. Under one arm she had a program and she held two glasses of beer in her hands.
"I forgot to ask you what you wanted to drink." She said, raising her voice more than normal to speak over the general noise. She handed you one of the beers, and I sipped at it gratefully.
"It's okay." I replied. I found myself looking at her shirt again. It did fit very snugly.
"We can get you one after the concert, if you want?" she said, twirling to let me fully appreciate it. I smiled at her and shook my head. She shrugged, grinning.
"Suit yourself." She scanned the stage and audience, still grinning. She seemed so alive here, like she did when she was solving a case. Except, when she was on a case, it was more concentrated, more focused. Here, her energy just seemed to flow, and she seemed almost bouncy. It was pretty catching.
"How'd you get into Simon & Garfunkel?" I asked her. She turned her attention back to me and grinned.
"My girlfriend at the time took me to see them in Central Park."
My brain hadn't gotten past girlfriend. She could have been referring to a female friend, of course, but I'd never heard Catherine use the expression like that before.
Catherine misinterpreted the look.
"After the break up in 71, they did a concert together in 81, in Central Park. I was lucky enough to be there." She explained. I just nodded dumbly. Made sense. "I fell completely in love with them. They sounded so good together, it was even better than the CD's. And, back then, Art was hot." She paused, biting her lip as she smiled at the memory. "My girlfriend had had a crush on him for years. You should have seen her, I was almost jealous."
She smiled at me and I just stared dumbly. I guess it answered my question.
"Sara, is something bothering you?" she asked, after I didn't reply for a few moments.
"No, I just didn't figure you for, um, an Art girl." I said, stumbling over my words.
She laughed. "The girlfriend thing threw you?" She put her arm around me, and took a sip of her beer before continuing. "I haven't dated any girls for a while, but yes, I am bisexual. If that's what you want to call it."
"Well it is the technical term." I dead panned, and she squeezed my shoulders briefly. Her hand was warm where it rested on my upper arm.
"So, what are you?" she asked.
"Um, what?" I asked, shocked.
"An Art girl or a Paul girl? Come on Sidle, I know you have a preference." She was smiling again, relaxed and open to me. I'd never seen her quite this relaxed, except those rare times with Lindsay.
"An Art girl. I think. I don't know them i that /i well." I replied, smiling back. Damn smile was infectious.
"You'll know soon enough." Catherine said, and turned her attention towards her program.
"They're thirty minutes late." I commented as the crowd started cheering again for no apparent reason. The lights hadn't even gone down.
Catherine shot me a look and then giggled. I raised my eyebrows trying to figure out exactly what had been amusing about my statement.
"They're probably talking and lost track of time." She said, but she was still giggling.
I stared at her for a few minutes, but no comment was forth coming, and then the lights began to dim.
A short movie flashed on the screens, and the crowd cheered at various places, sounding louder and louder as clips passed over the screen.
Then they walked on stage and the crowd...
It's hard to explain. There wasn't a roar as such, but there was cheering and the whole place seemed to vibrate. It was unlike anything I'd seen before really. The cheering abated after the first few chords, and the whole place was humming. It was amazing.
And that was before they started singing.
And I completely understood why Catherine had been so excited about this. They sounded beautiful, and I couldn't find the words to describe them.
Baby Driver really was excellent to dance to and the crowd seemed to be almost in unison. I couldn't keep my eyes of Catherine though, throwing her hair and moving her hips just so.
Her eyes never left the stage, of course, and she didn't even seem to be thinking about the dancing.
The suddenly she glanced over at me. She frowned when she saw I wasn't dancing, and pulled me to her.
"C'mon Sara, dance with me." And she moved her hips again, and I moved with her.
It felt amazing.
Up on the stage, Simon & Garfunkel sang on, and the crowd moved around us.
"So?" Catherine asked me as we collapsed into the car seats.
"So?" I replied, trying to hide my grin. I could feel sweat still trickling down my back, my feet hurt like hell, my throat felt scratchy and I still wasn't sure why I was there.
It was practically perfect.
"Sara, stop being obtuse. What did you think?" Catherine said, turning towards me.
"Catherine, you already know I love it." I rolled my eyes in her general direction. She grinned at me, reached out and squeezed my shoulder.
"Sara?" I turned to look at her, her grin hadn't faded. "I'm glad you came along instead of Grissom."
I laughed at that, for what felt like the first time in months.
"So, which was your favourite number?" Catherine asked.
"Is there any reason you're sounding like a thirteen year old girl?" I winced at my comeback, looking over at her to see if I'd insulted her.
"It's bad form to answer a question with a question, and I was trying to make conversation." She paused, and smiled. "Or I could ask whether you're an Art girl or a Paul girl again."
I was pretty sure that meant more than she was saying.
"Well, it's hard to say really. 'I am a rock' was pretty awesome, but it always is. American Tune? Was that what it was called? That was beautiful." I hesitated, trying to think of other standout numbers, coming to the conclusion that it was hard to single one out as better than the other. "All of them?"
Catherine smirked. "I like the sound of that."
"Wonder why they didn't do 'So long, Frank Lloyd Wright', though? I would have liked to hear that one live." I said.
Catherine rolled her eyes at me. "You young people!" she said, and I felt an impulse to stick my tongue out.
Apparently, antagonising Catherine brings out the child in me.
"Ow!" I rubbed the spot where the programme had hit me. "What was that for?"
"Read and learn." Catherine said. I started to flick through it, when I noticed that Catherine had passed my turn.
"Catherine! You're going the wrong way." I told her.
"Sara, you're assuming I was going to drive you home." And then she smiled at me.
I was so screwed.
"Why are we here?" I asked, looking at Catherine's house.
"Because I'm still buzzed on adrenalin, and I could use the company. Do you mind?" And she smiled i that /i smile at me again. I just blinked at her.
"I'll let you choose the music." She said, and I swear she batted her eyelashes at me. I bit my lip and got out of the car.
"Where's Lindsay?" I asked, looking at the dark house.
"Oh." And I was trying not to think about exactly what one could do with Catherine in an empty house. Trying not to think about the flirting, and the constant feel of slight unease I felt around Catherine, but mostly I was trying not to think about dancing with Catherine earlier.
Needless to say, it wasn't going so well.
"Drink?" Catherine asked, flipping on the kitchen light. The kitchen was slightly messy, leftovers from lunch still lying around, and a few dirty dishes in the sink. Catherine looked around and sighed. "I'll do that tomorrow. So, Sara Sidle, can I get you a drink?" She smiled disarmingly.
"What have you got?"
"Hm." Catherine looked in the fridge and pursed her lips. "OJ, water, wine, beer or fruit punch?"
"OJ will be fine, thanks." I said, looking around.
"Go sit in the living room. Oh, and put on some music, if you want?" I nodded and padded out of the kitchen.
I decided against messing with the stereo, which looked more expensive that I'd expected from Catherine, and just pressed play. Unsurprisingly, Simon and Garfunkel played.
Catherine laughed when she heard.
"Glad to hear you're not sick of them yet." She called from the kitchen.
"Not at all." I called back, sitting down on the couch. My t-shirt was still wet and sticking to me, but I felt it would impolite to ask to use Catherine's shower.
Said woman appeared in the living room with the drinks, OJ with ice for me and wine for her.
"So." I said as she sat down on the couch next to me.
"Scintillating, Sara." She said, and stretched, putting her feet up on the couch, resting against my thigh. "So?"
"So, why did you invite me tonight?" I said, without thinking about it. Catherine looked a little taken back.
"What do you mean?" she asked, leaning forward.
"Why not invite Warrick, or Nick? Or some one not from work?" I asked, hating how insecure it sounded.
To my surprise, Catherine laughed.
"Because, Sara, I wanted to bring you. I wanted to take you. I had a feeling you'd like them as much as I did." She hesitated, and I was surprised to see colour stain her cheeks. "I like you Sara, believe it or not." Small smile and her blues eyes looked at me so earnestly.
"Oh." I replied.
We sat for a few moments, just looking at each other. Then 'The Boxer' came on.
"Oh!" I said, "This was one of my favourites too." Catherine blinked a couple of times, trying to catch my train of thought, then she smiled, the smile from the car and the driveway.
"Dance with me?" She said, unfolding herself from the couch, and pulling me up with her. She wrapped her arms around me, resting her head on my shoulder and starting swaying in rhythm with the music. I just stood there swaying for seconds, before hesitantly resting my hands on her waist. She sighed against my neck, causing me to shiver slightly. She pressed closer to me, still swaying, rocking against me, with me, to the rhythm of the song and I tried not to smile at how good it felt. I closed my eyes, let myself focus on the feel of her body, her breasts pressed closed to mine, her movements against me.
She moved her head and I opened my eyes to find her watching me.
"Sara, don't hide your smile." She said, cupping my cheek in her hand. "You look beautiful when you smile." I tried to swallow, but my mouth was dry. I couldn't blink, could hardly move, and then Catherine leaned forward and kissed me. The kiss was pretty chaste, closed lips against closed lips, but one of Catherine's hands was stroking my face, my neck and I sighed softly against her lips. She pulled away and smiled at me, and I smiled back without inhibition.
"That smile." She said, and leaned forward again. We kissed again, her tongue licking across my bottom lip before she pulled back.
"Stay the night?" she asked, and I grinned at her.
'Sound of Silence' was still playing as we made our way to Catherine's bedroom.In the bedroom, she undressed quickly, jeans ending carelessly on the floor, but folding her concert tee neatly, before turning to me. She slipped my t-shirt over my head, kissed me while she undid my bra. I undid my jeans and she helped me pull them off, along with my panties.
I looked at her and she looked back. Then we were kissing again, my hands resting on her hips. She pulled back, only to move in again, licking my collarbone, her hands teasing my nipples, making me gasp. Her mouth moved lower, tracing patterns between my breasts, her hands stroking my back, my stomach. She licked a nipple and I moaned. She looked up, kissed my nipple again, and pushed me down on the bed.
I pulled her down with me, letting my hands roam her naked body. She moved against me, sighing, then arching against me when my hand brushed her nipple. She kissed me again, her hand slipping up my thigh, coming to rest on my stomach. I kissed her neck, enjoying the sound it caused her to make. I let one hand caress her breast, tracing her nipple carefully, feeling it harden beneath my hands, feeling Catherine press against me. I moaned, pushed her back so I could kiss her nipples, lick at them. Catherine writhed, and pressed me back down onto the bed, thrust against me.I arched back, letting her kiss my collar bone, her hands teasing my thighs, brushing against my clitoris and her hand finally slipped lower, one finger slipping inside me.
"Cath," I sighed, "Oh!" as her thumb found the spot that left me breathless. She kissed me, kissed my neck, licking a path to my collar bone, hot, wet and lovely, making me moan. The fingers on one hand were still playing with my nipples, and I pulled her up for a kiss. She kissed me slowly, thoroughly. I wrapped my arms around her neck, licking her throat, collarbone as she worked on making me go crazy, her fingers stroking, thrusting and rubbing, until I was almost writhing against her.
And then she stopped. She pulled back a bit, pulled her fingers out of me and kissed me softly.
And her thumb brushed over my clitoris again, and I was gone.
I woke up smiling with Catherine watching me.
"You sleep well." She said, kissing me good morning. I stretched and kissed her again.
"You tired me out." That made her smirk.
"I'd hope so." She lay down next to me again, laying her head on my chest. I rested my hand on her hip, stroking her hipbone idly with my thumb.
"Catherine?" I asked, and she nodded against me and moved closer to me. "I think I've figured it out."
That made her sit up, for some reason.
"Figured what out?" she said, eyeing me warily.
"I'm a Paul girl." I grinned.
Catherine whacked me over the head with a pillow.
center finis! /center