Well, this is the end of Blast from the past, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I have started writing the sequel, but I'm not quite happy with it, so it could take a little while for it to be up. It will be posted sometime soon though – hopefully. And I hope the little bit of smut in this is ok, I'm not that good at writing smut.

Thanks for the feedback on chapter 35, I hope you'll let me know what you think of the end as well.

Jess, thank you so, so much for being my beta. This story wouldn't be nearly as good if you hadn't been a part of it. The best thing about writing this story has definitely been me getting a new friend. You're the best!

Chapter Thirty Six

The Date

Sara woke up with a start, the turmoil of feelings about almost loosing Veronica had finally caught up with her. She had been dreaming, but it hadn't been one of her usual nightmares.

She spotted Veronica and ran after her to stop her from being hurt, but the faster she ran towards her, the further Veronica was from her. From somewhere above her she heard Catherine's voice booming:

"You'll never get to her! You are weak and pathetic, what makes you think you can reach her? What makes you think I would ever consider being with you?"

And it kept shouting louder and louder as Veronica moved further and further away from her. She kept running through it all and passed by people from her past who were all pointing at her laughing. The last person she ran past was her father standing tall over her, blood oozing from the stab wounds in his chest. He joined in Catherine's mocking words.

"You still think you're special, Sara? Give up and face the truth; you're a worthless piece of shit, who should have never been brought into this world! You think you have friends? People who care? You don't! You never will!"

He started laughing loudly and it just kept getting louder and louder until it finally drowned out everything else, including the beating of her own heart.

That was when she had woken up. She felt the tears pressing and quietly slid out from Catherine's protective embrace. She cared deeply for the blonde, but she couldn't wake her up for this. Right now she needed her privacy. Catherine had already seen her crying once, if it happened again maybe she would give up on her, maybe she would decide that Sara wasn't worth the happily ever after ending she so desperately wanted.

She slipped quietly into the bathroom and locked the door behind her. At least, she thought, she had gotten three or four hours of sleep before the nightmare had woken her up. At the memory of the nightmare, the tears started falling and she was unable to stop them. She had almost lost her best friend; the one person who had almost made her believe that she wasn't bad, who had made her believe for a while that she was worth loving. Sitting down on the cold, hard tiles and leaning against the wall, she started sobbing quietly. She reached for a towel and buried her head in it, stifling the sounds so she wouldn't wake up Catherine in the other room. Maybe the dream had had a good point; what was she thinking? Why would Catherine be with someone like her? Why was she even considering involving Catherine in her crazy messed-up life? If she loved her, why would she put her through that?

She didn't know how long she had been crying before a knock on the door startled her.

"Sara? You in there?" Catherine asked through the door.

"Yeah." Sara cleared her voice, hoping Catherine couldn't hear that she had been crying.

"Are you ok?" Catherine sounded worried.

"Yeah." She took a deep breath willing herself to get her voice under control. "I was just going to take a shower." She told the blonde.

"Ok, I'll make some coffee and wait for you."

"Sure." Sara turned on the shower and shed her clothes.

Stepping under the warm spray she let the tears fall until there were no more left. She knew she needed to stop crying before facing Catherine again or she would start all over again. Finally, after a good fifteen minutes, she turned the water into cold hoping it would wash away the traces of her tears.

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Catherine was reading the paper and drinking a cup of coffee, still wearing the clothes she had slept in, when Sara made it to the kitchen. She stood still in the doorway for a minute, taking in the vision that was Catherine Willows.

"Morning." She said, stepping into the room when she had the image etched in her mind.

"Good morning." Catherine looked over at her with a smile. "Hope you don't mind." She gestured to the newspaper. "It was outside the door and I figured…"

"No, it's fine." Sara smiled as she made her way to the kitchen, getting a cup of coffee for herself.

"I need my glasses though." Catherine smiled. "I'm getting too old to read properly without them."

Sara returned to the living room and sat down opposite her. "I love those glasses." She murmured, looking into her mug.

"Yeah?" Catherine couldn't help the smug grin forming on her lips.

"Oh yeah." Sara finally looked up at her. "I really do."

"That would make me feel less old." She said whilst making a mental note to wear those glasses more often. "I should probably go take a shower too." She added, getting up and walking in the direction of the bathroom.

"Hey Catherine?"

Sara's voice stopped her and she turned with a questioningly look. "Yes?"

"You're not old." She said honestly.

Catherine walked back to her and kissed her shortly in the lips. "You are very good at making a woman feel good." She whispered into her lips, before kissing her again, this time deepening it. She licked the brunette's lower lip seeking entrance and would, had she not been occupied, have jumped up and down in victory, when it was granted. As they parted she couldn't help but smile. "Morning." She whispered.

"Morning." Sara smiled too. "Did you sleep ok?"

"I had a very nice pillow." Catherine nodded. "How did you sleep?"

"Better than I have in a long time." Sara admitted shyly.

"I'm glad." Catherine straightened. "I better go take that shower now. I need to pick Lindsay up from my mom's soon."

"I put clean towels on the sink for you."

"Thanks." Catherine went to the bathroom, throwing one last smile Sara's way.

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Driving towards the hospital, Catherine looked over at Sara apologetically.

"I'm sorry, I would really want to be there for you, but…"

"You have to see Lindsay." Sara stated clearly. "I understand that, Catherine, you don't ever have to feel sorry for having to be with your daughter."

"I know, I'm just…"

"I'll be ok, Catherine." Sara stopped her from saying sorry again. "And Lindsay probably needs to see you just as much as you need to see her."

"Are you sure you'll be alright?" Catherine asked just as they were pulling up in to the hospital.

"I'm sure." Sara looked over at her. "But thanks… for everything." She put her hand over Catherine's and squeezed lightly.

"Anytime." Catherine's smile turned into a frown when Sara proceeded to get out of the car. "Sara?" She stopped her.

"Yeah?" Sara looked back.

"I know we haven't been on a date yet, but…" She paused.

Sara looked at her not getting what she was trying to say.

"Yes?"

"But don't I even get a kiss goodbye or something?" Catherine pretended to pout.

"Oh." Sara smiled widely and jumped back into the car. "Right." She kissed her and added a short hug. "Thanks for the ride."

"You're welcome." Catherine started up the engine again. "I'll be back to pick you up in an hour or two depending on traffic."

"Catherine, you need to spend time with Lindsay." Sara said again.

"Lindsay has school today, Sara." Catherine informed her with a smile.

"Oh." Sara got out of the car again. "Ok then, I'll see you later." She closed the door.

Catherine nodded and waved at her as she drove off to pick up Lindsay.

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"Hey you." Veronica whispered as Sara walked in the door. She made a shush noise and pointed to Kimberly sleeping in a chair next to the bed.

Sara moved closer and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "How are you feeling?" She whispered, sitting down on another chair and holding Veronica's hand.

"Like I've been hit by a train." Veronica whispered.

"Did he…?" Sara didn't finish the question before Veronica just nodded. "Are you…?"

"I'll live." Veronica looked over at the sleeping Kimberly. "I'm more worried about her." She looked back over at Sara. "Is he… Did they…?"

"He's dead, Veronica." Sara blinked away tears. "He'll never be able to hurt you again."

"Did… She didn't… It wasn't her, was it?" Her eyes moved back to Kimberly.

"No," Sara shook her head. "It was a guy from the SWAT team."

"Good." Veronica relaxed against her pillows and closed her eyes and they fell into silence.

Sara looked her friend over once more, she really did look bad. Every patch of skin visible was bruised, her arm was in a cast and Sara knew that there were new scars under her pyjamas. Her eyes were glazed over from the pain meds, but somewhere behind it all Sara had seen the glimpse of the old Veronica, and that made her feel more at ease than she had in a long time. Veronica would beat this, she would make it through and she would be stronger than ever – more importantly she would be safe from Oscar Charles Dunne.

"Tell me about you and Catherine." Veronica whispered.

Sara looked up at her. Her eyes were still closed and she had thought that she had fallen asleep.

"You should rest." Sara whispered.

"I'd like to hear about you and Catherine." Veronica smiled a little. "Come on Sass, I want all the dirty little details."

"What makes you think there are any dirty details?"

"Just hoping, plus I've seen you two fight." Veronica whispered. "Come on, Sass. Cheer me up a little."

"Ok, ok. Well…" Sara leaned back and told Foxy what had happened so far with Catherine in hushed tones. When she had finished Veronica stayed quiet and Sara thought that she had fallen asleep. After sitting in silence for ten minutes or so, Veronica broke the silence.

"I'm happy for you, Sara. You deserve someone good in your life and Catherine sounds like she fits that mould. And I'm sorry."

"Sorry?"

"Sorry for not being more careful." The tears started running down her cheeks. "Sorry for having you go through this again. Sorry for not being able to stop him. Just sorry all round really."

"Foxy." Sara leaned in, using her fingers to wipe away the tears running down her cheeks. "None of this is your fault." She whispered softly. "It was never your fault."

Sara got up from her chair and placed their foreheads against each other, which was the only way she could get close to hugging the other woman without hurting her. She caressed her cheek gently while just letting her cry. As she felt the tears dry on the doctor's cheek she leaned back up looking her in the eyes. "We all love you, honey." She whispered softly.

"Thanks." Veronica looked up at her, smiling just a little to comfort the brunette.

"You should get some rest." Sara sat back down. "I'll stay for a little while longer."

"Yeah, until Catherine picks you up. Don't think I don't know you, Sass." Veronica closed her eyes again.

"Well, I do need the ride, my car is at the lab." Sara smiled. "The fact that Catherine is the one picking me up is just an added bonus."

"Night, Sass."

"Night, Foxy." Sara leaned back in her chair keeping a silent watch over the two sleeping forms, hoping that they would make it through this phase together.

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"How was she?" Catherine asked as Sara got in the car.

"She was surprisingly talkative." Sara said.

"Ok." Catherine waited for her to elaborate as she pulled out into the street.

"She was beaten up and bruised pretty badly, but I think she'll make it through everything. Maybe not alright, but she won't let him have control of her anymore."

"That's good." Catherine looked over at her shortly before turning her eyes back to the road.

"I know it's going to take time." Sara sighed. "But we'll all be there to help her. She has so much to live for."

"Yeah." They sat in silence for a while. "I thought I'd drive you to the lab now, that way you can go in early tonight like I know you want to." Catherine broke the silence.

"Thanks." Sara smiled. "You're right on that one."

"Could you just promise me to get something to eat and maybe sleep a little before going in?" She asked pleadingly.

"I'll promise to try." Sara answered.

"Is that the best answer I'm going to get from you?" Catherine asked.

"Yes." Sara nodded.

"You know that's not going to work in the long run, right?"

"Yes." Sara nodded again.

"So about that date…" Catherine changed the subject.

"Are you sure you want to venture into all…" She gestured to herself, back towards the general direction of the hospital and everything else, "…this?"

"Are you saying you don't want this?" Catherine countered.

"No, I do. I'm saying I'm messed up."

"We all are, honey. I say it's about finding the right person to be messed up with." Catherine smiled over to her. "But about that date…"

They planned the date and got to the lab where they went their separate ways, Sara remembering this time to kiss Catherine goodbye.

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For some mysterious reason Sara was feeling nervous ringing Catherine's doorbell. This was just a simple date and with someone she knew even, plus there was going to be other people around as well, so there was no pressure at all. She rang the doorbell, taking a deep breath to prepare herself. She looked down and hoped that her somewhat casual attire was good enough and that the present she had brought wouldn't make her seem too geeky. Catherine opened the door looking stunning in a pair of tight dark pants and a low cut black top.

"Hi."

"Hi yourself." Catherine smiled at her looking her over. "Lindsay! Sara's here!" She yelled over her shoulder. "Come on in." She ushered her inside.

"Sara, hi." Lindsay appeared behind her mother.

"Hi Lindsay." Sara smiled at her holding out the present. "Happy birthday."

"Thanks!" Lindsay took the present looking it over and shaking it. "Come on into the living room, everyone else is in there." She walked away from them.

"We'll be right there, Linds." Catherine took Sara's jacket from her and hung it up.

"You look great." Sara said, feeling her nervousness returning.

"So do you." Catherine looked her over again before moving into her personal space. "Nervous?" She asked, putting her arms around Sara's neck.

"Yeah." Sara nodded, holding onto Catherin's hips.

"No need. It's just dinner, no pressure." She looked her in the eyes.

Sara smiled at Catherine wording her earlier thoughts.

"No pressure, just your entire family."

"That's right." Catherine laughed a little before kissing the lips in front of her shortly. "They'll love you, come on." She took one of Sara's hands and led her into the living room, where she introduced her to everyone.

"Oh my God, you're so lucky!" The girl Catherine had told her was Claire exclaimed as Lindsay unwrapped Sara's present. "I've been begging my mom for those for like forever!"

"And you got the DVD too!" Beth screamed.

"Wow!" Lindsay looked up at the brunette. "Thank you, Sara. This is so cool!" She got up and hugged her shortly before looking at the present again.

"You're welcome." Sara smiled, slightly uncertain about what to do when the girl hugged her.

"What did you get, Linds?" Catherine asked, smiling.

"The Narnia books and the DVD." Lindsay smiled too. "Can we watch it?" She asked hopefully.

"After dinner, honey." Catherine promised. She squeezed Sara's hand before heading to the kitchen to check on the food.

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Sara had stayed back as all the guests started breaking up for the night. Greg, Nick, Grissom and Warrick had left first to go to work and the rest of the guests had left not soon after that. So now she was sitting in the living room sipping a glass of wine waiting for Catherine, who was tucking in Lindsay, to come back down.

"Well, according to Lindsay this was the best birthday ever." Catherine let her presence be known as she walked down the last stairs.

Sara turned on the couch and watched her with a smile. "That's good."

"She loved the present you got her." Catherine sat down next to her still smiling and reaching for her glass of wine. "When did you get time to buy it?"

"After you dropped me off at the lab yesterday. I'm glad she liked it."

"We're taking the weird road with this aren't we?" Catherine asked, shifting closer to Sara.

"What do you mean?" Sara asked, absentmindedly holding the hand closest to her.

"Well, we have our first kiss before the first date and it happened in a prison of all places. Then we end up in bed together before the first date. Ok, so we didn't do anything except sleep and cuddle, but still we were in bed together." She smiled.

"Yeah." Sara laughed a little.

"And now we finally have our first date, and it's on my daughter's birthday." Catherine laughed along with Sara.

"I guess you could categorise it as weird." Sara laughed. "But I kinda like weird, though."

"Yeah, me too." Catherine placed her head on Sara's shoulder and shifted into a more comfortable position. "Me too." She repeated with a contented sigh.

They fell silent, enjoying each others presence and time went by much too quickly for both of them.

"I better get going." Sara said regretfully. "It's getting late and I have to get to work."

"What?" Catherine got up from her comfortable place curled up against Sara, so that she could look at her properly. "I thought you had the night off?"

"Actually I just took a couple of hours off so I didn't have to eat and run." Sara said with a slight blush.

"Oh." Catherine smiled again. "That's…" She stopped and moved to straddle the brunette's legs. "That was a very nice thing to do, Sara." She said hugging her.

"It was nothing really." Sara dismissed it, enjoying the hug. Especially the fact that in their position she couldn't help that one of her hands we're placed extremely close to Catherine's perfect butt.

"It was." Catherine leaned back from the hug and looked her in the eyes. "Lindsay would have been so disappointed if you had to leave early." She kissed her lightly on the lips. "And when Lindsay is happy, Lindsay's mother is happy."

"Yeah?" Sara was afraid that her smile would be permanently glued to her face.

"Mmhmm." Catherine nodded looking down at Sara's lips.

"How happy?" Sara asked caressing the blonde's cheek with her hand. "Happy enough for a second date?"

"Happier than that, hon." Catherine shifted her body slightly so they were pressed more closely together.

"Oh." Sara felt the heat rush to her stomach and further south. The feeling of Catherine's body pressed against her own was better than any dream she had ever had about the blonde. She rested her hands lightly on her hips vaguely remembering that she had to get to work.

"It's ok to touch me, you know." Catherine purred into her ear before kissing her way along her jawbone towards her mouth. "I won't break."

Sara tightened her grip a little, concentrating on breathing. Catherine reached down, covering Sara's hand with her own and moving them backwards until they were resting on her ass.

"Oh God." Sara whispered, drawing Catherine impossibly closer to her.

"I thought you should have a treat to go to work on." Catherine smiled into her neck, before placing small butterfly kisses there. "Don't tell me you haven't wanted to do that for a while now."

"Mmmm." Sara, feeling very well spoken, rolled her head to the side to give Catherine better access.

Catherine seemingly had had enough of the teasing and took Sara's face in her hands moving in for the kill. She kissed her, lips slightly open mouthed, wanting to taste her, feel her, claim a part of her. She snuck her tongue out licking the other woman's lips trying to get access. Sara seemingly having woken up from her stupor kept one hand on the delicious butt and moved the other to the back of Catherine's head pressing them closer together, while opening up her mouth welcoming the blonde's tongue with her own. The kiss was heated and extremely emotional and something both women seemed to need more than anything. Slightly panting they parted keeping their foreheads together.

"God, I…" Sara stopped herself. "That was amazing." She smiled.

"Yeah it was." Catherine leaned in for another kiss, but Sara stopped her reluctantly.

"I'll never get any work done if we continue this." She said regretfully.

"I don't think Gil actually expects you to do much work after everything you've been through lately." Catherine smiled, slipping her hands down the brunette's torso and under her shirt.

"Catherine." Sara grabbed hold of her wrists stopping them from moving further up. "Please, at least right now I can pretend to be working."

"Ok." Catherine straightened up. "Sure I can't tempt you?" She smiled seductively.

"God, Catherine." Sara's hands had somehow gotten a life of their own and had found their way onto Catherine's thighs moving back and forth in a not so gentle caress. "I would really, really love to stay right now, but I think I should get to work, before Grissom calls wanting to know what's holding me up."

"Ok, I'll let you go." Catherine got up and held out a hand for Sara to take and led her to the front door. "But I'm expecting that second date as soon as possible."

"You and me both, believe me." Sara said, putting on her jacket.

"Good." Catherine moved in and kissed her again as soon as the jacket was on. "Have fun at work." She smiled when they parted.

"Thanks." Sara said with sarcasm evident in her voice.

"What?" Catherine feigned innocence. "You love work."

"Yeah, but I have never been sent off to work like this before." She moved in and kissed Catherine again, pushing her against the wall. The kiss was insistent and heated and left Catherine panting. "Sleep well." Sara opened the door hating to leave.

"I will." Catherine purred. "I have stuff for great dreams now."

"Ok, I guess I won't even be able to pretend to be working now." Sara groaned looking back at the blonde. "I really need to get going."

"I know." Catherine got a little more serious. "Drive safely." She walked to the door to watch Sara walk to her car.

"I'll call you tomorrow." Sara said before getting into the car.

"Can't wait." Catherine smiled and waved as Sara back out of the driveway and drove down the street. She closed the door behind her with a smile.

Life was finally getting good again.

- The End For Now -