Title: Two Sharp Women

Rating: T

Summary: One brunette once said, "Two sharp women are better than one." Sara and Catherine sure hope so as a crime-scene-gone-bad leaves them stranded in the hot Nevada desert.

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my original characters!

Catherine Willows, a blonde woman of 42, had taken a lot of crap in her lifetime. She had been in crappy relationships and she had been in good relationships. She dealt with the creeps she met working as an exotic dancer to support herself, her husband, and their baby girl. She went to school and dealt with the hardships she encountered until she finally graduated. But she was not about to just sit in the break room of the Las Vegas Crime Lab and listen to her supervisor Gil Grissom tell her about a four-nineteen she was going to be working in the desert.

"Are you serious?" Catherine asked, setting her mug of coffee down on the break room table. "You can't expect for me to work this. It's in the middle of nowhere!"

"Sorry Cath- Warrick and Nicky are working a case right now, Greg's off, and I'm working a case right now. It's just you and Sara."

"What? I don't need this! What about seniority?"

"Sorry Cath, you know I wouldn't ask you to do this if it wasn't absolutely necessary."

With a huff and a roll of her eyes, Catherine took the slip of paper out of her supervisor's hand and stormed out. Heading down the hall, her high heels clicked with each step she took.

"I can't believe this..." she muttered to herself as she made her way down the hall. Eventually, she ran into someone, almost sending both of them to the ground, and it brought her out of her thoughts.

"Whoa!" the second person said, stepping back a bit. "You look pissed."

"No, you think? You and me- four-nineteen out in the desert. Now."

"Hmm, sounds like fun."

"Come on..." Catherine muttered pulling the brunette along by her arm.

Sara Sidle was a tall, slender brunette in her mid-thirties. A dedicated workaholic, she barely had time for a personal life let alone a pet to feed. Always chipper about a new assignment, today was no exception. So what if the crime scene was in the middle of the desert? If it meant giving an innocent victim's family closure and putting away the scum-bag stupid enough to commit such a crime, it was worth it.

Walking outside, both Catherine and Sara stopped. They turned to each other. "I'll drive," the brunette said with a smile swiping the keys out of the senior CSI's hands and walking off toward the SUV.

"You always do..." Catherine said with a sigh and headed over to the car. She walked around to the back and opened the trunk, setting both of their kits inside. Slamming the trunk, she walked over to the passenger side and opened the door, sliding inside the car.

"If I act bitchy you can't shut me up with a candy bar this time," Catherine said to Sara.

Sara smiled. "Damn, then I guess I'm just going to have to find something else then," she said to the strawberry blonde as she started the car up and they backed out of the parking lot.

"Okay, so...where exactly is this place?" Sara asked looking over at Catherine, sunglasses resting on the bridge of her nose.

"Um..." Catherine reached into her pocket pulling out the slip of paper. "It says...it's south of the I-15...about 30 miles."

"Wow, that is far out there."

"Now you understand why I didn't want to work this case?" Catherine asked with a raised of an eyebrow.

"Are you trying to tell me something?" Sara asked with a smirk.

"Yes, Sara. I'm trying to tell you something. I hate you, you're absolutely terrible," Catherine said with a smile.

Sara laughed as the turned onto the 1-15 and headed south. The ride was silent for the most part, but Sara finally flipped on the radio and searched for a station.

"No..." Sara sighed as she changed the station. "No...no...no..."

"Pick one and keep it there, Sidle," Catherine muttered from her seat. "Lindsey does this all the time. Pick one and stick with it."

Sara smiled. "Alright, then I'll just turn it off." She turned the radio off and they were soon engulfed in an awkward silence, every now and then turning to look at one another.

"So...um..." Catherine cleared her throat. "How have you been lately?"

"Fine, I suppose," Sara said looking over at the other woman. "How about you and Lindsey?"

"Fine, fine..."

"That's good."

Catherine nodded, staring at the other woman for a second. She had dark circles under her eyes (Catherine had noticed them before Sara put on her sunglasses), and she was yawning quite frequently.

"You tired?" Catherine asked her.

"A little bit..." the brunette replied, mouth opening wide with another yawn.

"You've yawned quite a bit."

"Well I haven't been getting a lot of sleep."

"Why? Have you been depriving yourself again?"

Sara turned to the strawberry blonde. "Depriving myself?"

"Yeah."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh come on, Sara- we all know that you don't give your body enough sleep, you run solely on caffeine, and on top of that you forget to eat half the time."

"So..?"

"So, didn't your mother teach you to take care of yourself?"

Sara's mouth opened a bit, but she slowly closed it, turning back to face the road, trying to ignore the question. Catherine just sat there staring at Sara, mouth open a bit.

"Did you hear what I said?" Catherine asked.

"Yes," Sara said in a firm tone.

"So why won't you answer me?"

"Do you have to know everything?"

"No, but I was just asking a question," Catherine said with a shrug.

"Well I don't feel like answering it."

Catherine just stared in shock at the brunette who now had a fierce look on her face as if saying, "Piss off" with her eyes. Catherine slumped back in her seat a little, wondering why the mention of Sara's mother would have made her put up so many walls.

"We're here," Sara muttered, slamming on the breaks and putting the car into park. She unclicked her seatbelt and got out of the car, slamming the driver's side door behind her. Catherine stayed in the car a minute, still wondering...

"You coming?" Came the muffled voice of Sara from outside the car, holding her kit up to the passenger's side window looking at Catherine.

"Uh...yeah," Catherine replied, opening the door and taking off her seatbelt. She closed the door and went around to the back of the car reaching into the trunk and pulling out her silver crime-scene kit. She kept her eyes on Sara, however, pausing a moment to watch her movements. She could tell Sara was utterly exhausted and now she was clearly pissed off because of what Catherine had said to her. Sara was walking over to the scene, yawning once again as she tried to rub the sleep out of her eyes. Catherine took her kit out of the trunk and slammed the trunk, walking over the scene.

"Well...um...where's the body?" Catherine asked, walking over to Sara.

"I don't know," Sara said, sighing and digging her heel firmly into the ground. "Assistant coroner shouldn't have taken the body without CSI coming to process first."

"Well..." Catherine looked around, not really knowing what to say. "The body couldn't have just gotten up and walked off."

"Unless they were still alive," Sara pointed out.

"But someone called in the four-nineteen."

"Yeah...but maybe they didn't check to see if they had a pulse."

"True...okay...but if they were dead, then what happened to them, did someone steal the body?"

Sara sighed, lowering her head. "No one knows..."

"Hey, we've got the kits, let's process the scene and find out. There's tape around the area so someone must have come at one point."

Sara sighed, rubbing her head. "Alright, let's get this over with, then."

Catherine was about to ask her if she was alright, but was interrupted by the sound of screeching tires and the smell of burning rubber.

"What the hell..." Catherine muttered as she turned around, only to discover their SUV to be speeding off. "Oh for the love of.." She started running after the car. "STOP!" Of course, though, Catherine knew she could not run out a car, as did Sara, who chose to stay next to the crime scene which was only a small puddle of blood at the moment with no body.

"STOP!" Catherine yelled again, panting with exhaustion as she finally stopped running after the car. She finally lowered her head in defeat and turned back around to look at Sara. Sara was staring at her with a just-as defeated expression on her face.

The only difference between the two at the moment was that Sara fell forward onto the ground motionless.