A/N: I got the idea for this story after Spike TV showed a rerun of "Play With Fire" earlier today. I had always wondered why Catherine goes to apologize to Greg after the explosion, but she seems to not care about the fact that Sara got hurt or even realize it. This is Catherine's apology to Sara, and the smut was just added in for smut's sake. I hope you guys enjoy it :D

Greg had taken her explanation of events surprisingly well. Catherine hadn't been expecting that, given that he was laying in the hospital right now because of her own mistake. But he had assured her that he didn't blame her at all, and that those things just happened.

She figured he was probably much less inclined to be angry because of the drugs, but hey, she wasn't complaining.

She had gotten up to leave when he told her that he was tired. She was almost to the door when he stopped her.

"Did you talk to Sara?" he asked groggily, his eyes somewhat open, somewhat closed.

"What?" Catherine asked in confusion.

"Sara..." Greg mumbled, his newest dose of medication making it harder and harder to form coherent sentences. "She got caught in the explosion... is she okay?"

Catherine stared at Greg in puzzlement. Sara had been caught in the explosion? But how was that possible? Wasn't she on break? Wasn't she supposed to be in the break room eating lunch? How had she not heard of this?

She stopped herself, shaking her head. Of course Sara wasn't in the break room. Of course she was on break, but had that ever stopped her from roaming the halls to check on lab results or offer someone help analyzing evidence? And of course she hadn't heard about it; Sara could be dramatic at times, but getting her to admit something was almost impossible.

"I was just on my way over there," Catherine finally replied, smiling sympathetically at Greg. "I'll let you know. Get some rest, okay?"

Minutes later she was in her car, pulling out of the parking lot of the hospital. She tried to remember Sara's address from the lab records; she knew she lived in an apartment complex, but she wasn't sure which one. Come to think of it, had she ever been to Sara's apartment? Had they ever seen each other outside of work alone, save the one time she left a severed finger in a glass on the table in front of her date?

Guilt suddenly washed over Catherine like a tidal wave, and she frowned at the road as the car slowed to a stop at a red light. Sara had been caught in the explosion and she hadn't even noticed; it was her own fault for purposely butting heads with the younger woman at any given chance, forcing them further and further apart.

With a sigh, Catherine stepped on the gas when the light turned green and set off in the direction of where she thought Sara's apartment was. She doubted Sara would want to talk, let alone even see her, but the least she could do was offer her an apology. She didn't even have to accept the apology. She only needed to know that she was truly sorry.

Catherine pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex when she spotted Sara's Tahoe. Parking beside her car, she peeked in through the windows and spotted a parking placard on the dashboard, stating her room number.

Satisfied, Catherine started her trek up the stairs to the third floor of the complex. She stopped when she found Sara's apartment number and stood just in front of the door, a bundle of nerves. She didn't know why she was so nervous. Maybe she was just preparing herself for a fight or an argument to break out so she would be ready for it.

Clearing her throat, Catherine knocked on the door with her fist, listening for any signs of movement inside. After about a minute she heard what sounded like footsteps, a groan, a crash of some sort, some mild cursing, and then the footsteps grew closer and louder.

The door opened, revealing Sara clad in an old tank top and sweat pants combo. Her hair was tied up behind her head in a messy ponytail, and she looked as if she had just woken up. She seemed to sober up when she saw Catherine. "Cath, what are you doing here?"

"Uh..." Catherine suddenly didn't know the answer to that question. What was she doing here?

"Is something wrong?" Sara continued. "Is something wrong at the lab? Is Lindsey okay?"

Catherine's eyes widened. "N-No, Sara, everything's fine. Lindsey's fine. I just wanted to come by to talk to you."

Sara let out a sigh of relief, but her look of confusion never disappeared. "Oh. Okay."

Catherine nodded, nonchalantly trying to peek inside the apartment to see what was inside. "Can I come in?"

"Yeah, sure." Sara stepped out of the doorway so Catherine could enter.

Sara's apartment was anything but dirty. Everything was spotless, neat and tidy. Not one object was out of place. Catherine expected this. What surprised her was how the rooms looked human and colorful and decorative; Gil's version of decor was his framed butterfly collection and jarred fetal pig fetus as his table centerpiece.

"You have a nice place," Catherine informed her.

"Oh," Sara waved her hand at it as she headed into the kitchen, flicking on a light switch as she went. "It's nothing. Would you like a beer?"

"Yeah, thanks," Catherine nodded, following her into the tiny kitchen nook. She stared at the white bandages covering her hand as she reached into the refrigerator. "I hope I didn't wake you, by the way. I was just in the neighborhood."

"No, I couldn't sleep," Sara shook her head, grabbing two bottles from the six-pack in the fridge. Tossing one to Catherine, she removed the lid from her own and took a sip. "So what's up?"

"Uh..." Catherine suddenly became very uneasy, and pretended to have much difficulty with the cap on her beer. "Well, I just came back from visiting Greg at the hospital."

"How's he doing?" Sara asked, taking the bottle from Catherine only to remove the cap and handle it back. "Is he feeling better?"

"Thanks," Catherine muttered, taking a sip from her beer. "And yeah, he's doing fine. I... found out what happened to the lab and I wanted him to know."

Sara raised an eyebrow. "You did? What happened?"

Catherine bit her lip, wanting to run for the door, but at the same time, wanting to stand her ground and tell the truth. There was no use in running, and besides, Sara had a right to know. "Someone left a combustible liquid under the fume hood without checking to see if it was turned on."

Sara whistled, taking another swig from her beer. Catherine could tell she was already playing the path of the explosion out in her head, despite having had a front row ticket to the whole thing. "Wow. Do you know who did it?"

Catherine took a long sip from her beer, before slowly nodding her head. "Yeah. I did."

Sara's eyes widened and she stared at Catherine for a long moment. It seemed like hours to Catherine, but in reality it was only a few seconds. Glancing back down at the floor, Sara took another sip from her beer. "You've had a really bad couple of weeks, haven't you?"

Catherine couldn't help but chuckle at that, nodding her head. "Yeah, I guess I have."

"So let me guess," Sara sat on one of the barstools lining the counter. "You're on paid leave."

"Yeah," Catherine nodded, wondering why Sara wasn't yelling and screaming at her yet. Maybe that part of it would come in a minute. "Not that I'm complaining, but I just feel so stupid for doing it, you know?"

"Yeah, but it wasn't your fault. Mistakes happen, you know?" Sara shrugged. "That thing gets turned on by accident all the time. No one checks it because by the time you've gone to the scene, logged in the evidence and documented everything you're exhausted."

"...Sara?" Catherine hesitantly started. "I'm really sorry."

Sara's confused look only confused Catherine. "For what?"

Catherine furrowed her eyebrows. "For the explosion. Greg told me you got caught in it, and judging from the bandage covering your hand, you got hurt pretty bad. I'm... I'm sorry I didn't notice."

Sara's features softened. "Cath... it wasn't your fault, alright? Like I said, those things happen. And I'm fine. I had to get stitches, and I've got a hell of a bruise on my ass, but the state paid for the medical bills, so no harm, no foul."

Catherine chuckled at that, and Sara grinned in response as she took another swig from her beer. "Are you sure though, Sara? Because I know we've never been exactly close or anything, but..."

"Cath, really, I'm fine," Sara assured her. "I promise. I feel bad that you felt you had to come all the way over here just to tell me that."

"It was something that needed to be done," Catherine replied. "But now that I've apologized, I should probably get out of here so you can try and get some sleep."

"You don't have to," Sara replied, a little too quickly. Flustered, she quickly added, "I, uh, I just mean that I was just going to sit around and watch TV anyway, so you could stay if you wanted to..."

"Yeah?" Catherine smiled at that. "Sure. Let's see what Sara Sidle has on her DVR."

---

"Were you watching a sappy romance movie or something?" Catherine asked, spotting the piles of tissues on the coffee table in front of the TV.

"Oh!" Sara quickly ran over to the table and gathered up all the tissues, tossing them in the nearest waste basket. Her face reflected embarrassment and Catherine wasn't sure why.

"What?" Catherine raised an eyebrow. "What is it?"

"I wasn't watching a sappy romance movie," Sara shook her head, sitting down on the opposite side of the couch.

"So... you were crying?" Catherine asked. "What were you crying about?"

Sara bit her lip, staring ahead at the TV which had yet to be turned on. "Is it really important?"

"I don't know, you tell me?"

"Well if I don't tell you, you're just going to hound me until I do, right?"

"Bingo."

Sara rolled her eyes, and Catherine smirked in triumph. With a sigh, Sara rubbed her temples with her fingertips. "I... asked Grissom to dinner after shift."

Catherine's eyes instantly widened. She had known that Sara had a thing for Grissom for the longest time, but for some reason it never occurred to her that she might actually ask him on a date. "What did he say?"

Sara shot Catherine a wry smile. "What do you think?" she pointed to the tissues in the trash can.

Catherine frowned. "I'm so sorry, Sara."

"Don't be. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised. I had been preparing myself for his rejection long before I decided to ask him." Sara took another sip from her beer. "And straight-up rejection would've been fine. I could've lived with that. But... but it was just the way he said it, you know? That part of just made it hurt so much more."

Catherine sighed. "That's Gil for you. I think he has an entire encyclopedia full of his infamous euphemisms." Setting her beer down on the table, she moved closer to Sara so that she could place a hand on her shoulder. "Don't let him get to you. Those remarks of his are the reason he's still single. You'll find someone, trust me."

Sara slowly turned to look at Catherine, a small smile appearing on her face. "You think so?"

"I know so," Catherine nodded. "Look at you, Sara. Genius intellect, dynamite looker, that adorable gap between your front teeth. You'd be a catch for anyone."

Sara couldn't stop herself from laughing, and just the sound of it made Catherine smile. Sara had the sort of laughter that was infectious in nature; if just hearing it didn't make you start laughing along with her, at the very least it would put a smile on your face.

"It's the truth," Catherine grinned.

"You're just trying to make me feel better," Sara replied in between giggles.

"I'm not!" Catherine laughed right along with her. "I'm serious, Sara. You're gorgeous. Not to mention really sexy."

At this, Sara's laughter immediately stopped, and Catherine froze, unable to believe what she had just said. Had she just said Sara Sidle was sexy? Had she just said she was sexy to her face?

Both women remained silent for several minutes. It was Sara who finally broken the silence.

"...You know, no one's ever said that about me before."

Catherine was shocked. "Seriously? What about Hank?"

Sara shuddered. "God, no. Definitely not Hank."

"How is that possible?" Catherine asked, "Not even during sex?"

Sara wondered why she was talking about her sex life so casually and why she suddenly felt comfortable enough with Catherine to do so, but she didn't seem to mind. "No, not exactly... one time he even said the name of his fiance in the middle of it."

Catherine cringed. "What a pig. So why didn't you break up with him then?"

Sara smiled sadly. "I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I kept telling myself he had just made a mistake. Those things happen, you know."

"Yeah, I do know," Catherine nodded, gazing down at Sara's injured hand. Without thinking about it, she reached across her to place her hand over her bandaged one. "And some mistakes should never be repeated. I'm not about to make the same mistake twice, Sara."

"Cath, what are you--" Before Sara could even finish her sentence she was cut off by Catherine's lips against her own. Without asking for permission, the blonde pushed her tongue inside of Sara's mouth, eager to explore the unknown territory there.

Despite being caught off-guard, Sara wasn't reluctant or hesitant. Instead of pulling away, she slowly started to kiss Catherine back, trying to remember what she had always imagined kissing her would be like so she could compare it to the actual thing. There was no comparison.

Catherine moaned into Sara's mouth at just the taste of her; she tasted sweet and musky and strong and brave and intelligent, and all the things that made Sara who she was. She moved one of her hands to rest behind Sara's neck as she moved her onto her back, and the other began to lazily massage the taut muscles of her stomach and abdomen.

Sara hungrily kissed Catherine back, trying to encourage her ministrations. It had been so long since she had felt someone's hands on her body, even her own, and the sensations were electrifying. Absent-mindedly she buried one of her hands behind Catherine's head, tangling it in the strawberry blonde strands there.

Catherine reluctantly pulled her mouth away from Sara's lips, wanting to kiss her but eager to explore the rest of her body as well. She slowly began working her way down her neck with her lips, first kissing along her cheekbone, then down to her chin, and finally stopping to plant kisses along her neck. Her hand somehow found its way underneath Sara's tank top and tugged the fabric up to give way to the skin underneath.

Sara's breathing hitched in her throat, and she arched her back to give Catherine better access. Catherine's touch was smooth and gentle; much more gentle than she had ever envisioned, and yet it was also rough and raw with a need and a want that was driving her absolutely insane.

Catherine brought her second hand into the equation and she kissed her way down Sara's stomach as she reached around her back to unfasten her bra. Using her tongue, she traced along her bellybutton before moving back up to her chest, where she ran her tongue along the perfect curved valley of her breasts as she tugged her bra off.

She had to force herself to stop and admire the beauty before her. Sara, laying underneath her, chest heaving and covered in sweat, half-naked in only sweatpants now was quite a sight in itself.

"Oh Sara," Catherine whispered to her. "You're so unbelievably beautiful."

Without giving Sara a chance to respond, her mouth was on her breasts in seconds. Her tongue flicked and swiped against each nipple until they were turned to hardened peaks, and Sara moaned throatily and it vibrated throughout her entire chest and Catherine loved it. She could feel Sara squirming underneath her, and her hand found its way down her stomach until it slid inside her sweatpants.

Sara whimpered with need, bucking her hips in hope that Catherine would ease the throbbing between her legs.

Catherine returned her mouth to Sara's lips, slipping her tongue inside of her mouth as she ran her fingertips along the front of her panties. Sara's moan was her encouragement, and she slowly began to rub her between her legs.

"God, Sara, you're so wet," Catherine moaned in her mouth, moving her lips down to nibble on her neck before they returned to meet Sara's. "Do you know how wet that makes me?"

"N-No," Sara managed to reply, trying to move her hips with Catherine's hand to find a rhythm. But it wasn't enough, and the need was growing stronger now, almost painful. "Cath, I need you now..."

"I can tell," Catherine whispered, tugging her sweatpants and panties down in one swift motion. Her hand played with the brown curls between her legs, and she slid her index finger along her glistening lips, soaking her finger with the wetness.

She wanted to take her time and explore every part of Sara's body, to taste her, but Sara's moans were more insistent now, and she didn't want to torture her. Sliding down her body, Catherine nudged her legs apart with her elbows, before slipping two fingers into her wet heat.

Her fingers slid in with ease, and Catherine moaned, unable to believe how wet Sara was. Sara tugged at her hair, trying to buck her hips against Catherine's fingers. But her two fingers weren't enough to fill her, and she panted, gazing down at Catherine.

"C-Cath, I... I need you so badly..."

"I'm right here, Sara." Catherine moved back up her body, capturing her lips in a fiery kiss as she slid in a third finger. Sara moaned into her mouth as she slowly began pumping in and out of her, and her thumb flicked and danced across her swollen clit, causing her entire body to shudder violently.

She knew she was close when her breathing began to pick up. Moving her lips to her chest, she sucked on a rock hard nipple as she began to quicken her pace, bumping against her sweet spot and flicking across her clit with lightning speed.

A few strategic strokes over her clit was all it took, and Sara was sent reeling, her inner muscles seizing Catherine's fingers, trying to pull them in deeper, harder. Sara could only make the smallest of whimpering noises from the intensity of her orgasm; she was breathless, and she wanted nothing more than for it to never stop.

Catherine slowly kissed her way back up Sara's body as she lazily thrust her fingers against her, letting her come down from her high. Once the last of the shuddering waves of her body had gone, she pressed her lips to Sara's in a gentle, sweet kiss.

It took several minutes for Sara to recover. She was still feeling light-headed and slightly euphoric.

"Are you okay?" Catherine asked her, kissing her along her neck, and flicking her tongue across her pulse point.

"Yeah," Sara panted, trying to catch her breath. "...Catherine, that was..."

"I don't want to let you go without a fight, Sara," Catherine interrupted her, moving so that she could gaze into her eyes. "I... I know we've never gotten along very well, but... I don't want to lose you. I'm just sorry that it took me until you asked Gil out to realize that."

Catherine suddenly found herself pinned underneath Sara's body, and she was kissing her like she would never be able to do so ever again.

"Sara," Catherine panted, pulling away for the briefest of moments, "What..."

"I'm not going to make the same mistake twice, Catherine," Sara replied, before she captured her lips with her own.

THE END