Title: You've never?
Pairing: Calleigh/Natalia CSI: Miami (duh!)
Rating: PG – 13. Nothing but a bit of useless fluff. Established relationship.
Disclaimer: Oh please, broke ass grad student here!!
A/N: I am officially on the fast track to "Special Hell" so I've just decided to enjoy the ride. I know this would never happen in the show (but come on! They wouldn't be together in the show anyway, so…
Special thank you: To grad school, for creatively strangling my muse, without you, I probably wouldn't be writing this crap, er, stuff. If fic were my thesis…I would be done already. How sad is that?
Grabbing the coffee pot and her usual cup from the countertop in the lab break room, Natalia turned to look at her colleague.
"You're kidding. Never?"
Calleigh raised one delicate eyebrow as she nibbled on her bagel. "I grew up in rural Louisiana - there wasn't a great deal of opportunity for it. And once I entered the force, there was never time."
"But you must have wanted to at some point. I mean, it's every girls dream."
Calleigh grinned ruefully. "Of course I wanted to, but wanting was not the issue, availability was."
Natalia shook her head in amazement and took a sip of what was commonly referred to as "CSI sludge," trying not to grimace. "We are going to have to fix this. I can't believe you have lived your entire life without doing this."
The blonde ballistics expert shook her head in amusement. "Natalia, it's hardly a life changing event, its only…" she trailed off however, at the stubborn, incredulous look that had settled on her lover's features.
"You absolutely can't say that until you've tried it, Calleigh." She paused, considering for a moment, and then her features softened. "You aren't scared are you, because I would understand. A lot of people are, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. I know I'm pushing a bit, it's just: I can't believe you've never done it."
Now it was the smaller woman's turn to level a look at the brunette. "I am in no way, whatsoever, afraid. It is something I've always wanted to experience - it's just never been a priority in my life."
At Calleigh's answer, Natalia's eyes took on a definite sparkle, and the blonde watched with rather shocked amusement as her lover began to make plans out loud. Excitement made the words trip lightly off her full lips, and Calleigh found herself becoming distracted by their shape and texture, by the light she saw dancing in the dark eyes and the way the afternoon sun fell through the glass walls of the lab and onto Natalia's hair, giving it living bronze highlights.
Their relationship was still new; tenuous and exciting and a little terrifying at times. It was wondrous and fulfilling, but the ballistics expert was beginning to realize it came with its own set of dangers – like her tendency to get distracted just looking at Natalia when the taller woman was talking or even just working in the lab. Sometimes it was as if her mind had decided without her input to ignore everything but the sight in front of her.
"I really think you'll enjoy this Calleigh," Natalia was saying softly, jerking Calleigh away from her detailed analysis of the taller woman's cheek bones.
In the end, her lover's enthusiasm was infectious and Calleigh couldn't help the smile that tugged gently at her lips.
Which is how, that Saturday, she found herself opening the door to Natalia, taking in the outfit the woman was wearing, and wondering what on earth had possessed her to wait so long in agreeing to this.
Natalia was tingling with excitement. There were a great many things that her co-workers didn't know about her: many painful and in her past. A few, however, were pleasant, and of those, this was her favorite. There was no real reason she had kept it secret, it had simply never come up, and in Calleigh's case, she had wanted to wait until the right time to share one of her truest and oldest loves with the woman who had taken possession of her heart.
Rifling through her clothes to find something for Calleigh to borrow, she let her mind wander back to the first time she had felt that powerful emotion, and been swept away by a pair of infinite, kind, fathomless eyes.
She had been 10, it had been her birthday, and her father had driven her out of L.A., away from the city and up a wide, winding driveway bordered by white rail fences and palm trees. She still remembered the earthy smell and the aura of calm purpose that had blanketed the place. The chaotic sounds of the city didn't exist here and the soft whisper of the breeze was broken only by the occasional call of a bird.
Her father had taken her by the hand, walked her into a large, airy building and introduced her to what would be the first love of her life.
His name was Charmer, and he absolutely lived up to it. Standing just tall enough to seem enormous to her ten year old self, he had a glossy, dappled bay coat that shown with red highlights in the sun, a thick, flowing mane and a brilliant white star on his forehead.
Even now, all these years later, Natalia remembered the sensation of running her hand along that satin shoulder and feeling the shift of muscle over bone. It had never occurred to her to be afraid, and from the moment the young woman who would be her first teacher helped her into the saddle, Natalia felt like she had found something she hadn't even known was missing from her life.
The CSI closed her eyes, pausing her packing and unable to stop the smile that formed as she once again felt that transformation from earth bound child, to magical centaur. Everything had looked so small from Charmer's back. That hour had passed in a blissful haze as she learned to move with the animal under her.
When it finally came time for her to be pried off her horse's back, her father hadn't even let her speak.
"Yes Natalia, you can come back."
And she had: lessons, competitions, hours spent just grooming and washing and being around them, it didn't matter. Though she never owned her own horse, she had favorites in the barn and they were always there: quiet, powerful and understanding through the best and worst times in her life. The only thing that ever truly separated her from her passion had been Nick.
Should have been my first clue, the ass..
But he was long gone, and Natalia was riding again, and with the rediscovery of that freedom, she knew she had to share it with Calleigh.
When the blonde opened the door and her eyes did a slow, increasingly hungry slide down Natalia's body, the taller CSI wondered why on earth she'd waited this long.
Natalia was a little early when Calleigh opened the door at the sound of a knock.
Drooling is probably not appropriate, the Detective had to remind herself as her lover smiled knowingly at her and walked inside.
That said; it was damn hard to take her eyes off the other woman. Normally elegant, stylish and feminine in her dress and manner in the lab, there was a wildness and a strength to the way Natalia held herself at the moment, and it was doing interesting things to Calleigh's heart.
The brunette's outfit was simple – white men's dress shirt rolled up her forearms and tucked into belted, tan, skintight breeches that ended in knee high, polished black boots – and her hair was loose and un-styled around her face. The CSI in Calleigh automatically cataloged several things – the well used but well kept state of the boots, the soft, broken-in look to the shirt – that spoke of long use. The woman looking at her lover couldn't come up with much in the way of rational thought at all.
"Here," Natalia said with a wicked grin, handing Calleigh a bundle of clothes and purposefully ignoring the heat in the blonde's eyes. "You should fit these and you can borrow a pair of my half-chaps for this time."
Realizing that she wasn't going to get to take that fantastic outfit off Natalia just yet, Calleigh gave her the brunette one last appreciative look and headed to the bedroom to change.
Her gear was similar, but Natalia had thrown in a black, sleeveless polo shirt instead and Calleigh was surprised at how good the clothes actually fit, and felt on her. There were…different, than what she normally wore, but despite the rather snug fit of the breeches, she didn't feel exposed like she had expected. The ballistics expert was also able to extract a little revenge when she walked back into the living room and watched heat rise in the chocolate eyes staring at her.
I guess two can play at this game, she smirked to herself.
"Well, are we going?" was all she asked in a mild, innocent voice. For one moment the blonde thought Natalia might change her mind. She recognized that hungry look very well, but in the end her lover just shook her head and smiled.
"Yeah, we're going."
And in the end, Calleigh was glad they did. Riding had been incredible, even if it had taken her a while to understand the idea of moving with the horse and not trying to control him.
The two women had hacked out to the trails that ran into the wild area behind the barn for over an hour, and despite realizing she mostly had no idea what she was doing, Calleigh did begin to catch a glimpse of what drew Natalia so strongly. There were times; tiny fractions of a second that the blonde only identified after they passed, where it seemed that her will, her body and her mount worked as one. Gradually, without any awareness of the phenomenon, everything else seemed to fade away for Calleigh. There was only the sun on her face, the feel of the horse moving under her and the warm presence of her lover by her side. Not even Time was immune from the effect, and the future gave way gracefully before the fullness of the moment.
For Calleigh, the effect was akin to what she felt when she was shooting – a melding of will and effort where the outside world ceased to matter – but the warmth and energy of the animal she rode added an entirely new dimension, and one she found she greatly enjoyed.
The highlight of her time in the saddle however, was watching Natalia jump her horse through a series of obstacles. Despite her CSI trained eyes, Calleigh could see no method of control; changes of speed, direction, rolling turns and numerous jumps flowed effortlessly away on measured hoofbeats. Natalia simply looked, and together she and the dark chestnut mare seemed to agree on a path of flight. It was a singular site and when the brunette finally pulled her horse up next to Calleigh, her eyes shining and her face flushed, the blonde would have been hard pressed to guess who was enjoying themselves more.
"So," she said, unknowingly echoing a conversation held long ago. "When are we coming back?"
The smile she received in response was answer enough.
The horses were given back into the care of their grooms and the sun was sliding down behind the tops of the palm trees as the two women drove home, where Calleigh finally got to indulge her desire.
"Next time," she whispered against Natalia's neck as her fingers slipped loose another button and tugged the white shirt from her breeches, "wear a shirt without buttons."
At that moment however, her hands finally found the taller woman's skin and she pushed them back onto the bed to land on top. Natalia's only response was a low moan.
As Calleigh began kissing her way across a conveniently located collar bone, she decided that was an acceptable answer.
A/N: I wanted to leave this till the end and not give away the surprise, but I have taken some realistic liberties here. Not one single equestrian I have ever met wears their boots TO the barn. We have an odd tendency to wear them AFTER we ride – to the store, in Starbucks, through the library - but we rarely wear our boots (ESPECIALLY the tall ones) before hand. For that, its usually long socks and tennis shoes, or Ariat paddock boots. (and of course there is the whole half-chap thing, which I don't have space to explain) The point? Not nearly as sexy. So for any of you who ride, this is my "I really do know what I'm talking about, but I'm throwing it out the window in favor of the image of our favorite ladies in breeches and boots," warning. Also, as a working student and groom for well… my entire life, I have a rather dim view of people who just hand their horse off after work, but again, it would have messed up the story, and as a long time horse owner, I understand the HUGE time commitment horses are – which is why none of our CSI's would ever own one.
And yes, I TOTALLY have a thing for women in riding gear. I can't help it. Horses were my first, and still are, my truest love, but the women who ride them are a damn close second.