A/N: Yes! I have completed this update! It only took me ten million years! But I have done it. So, for reasons that shall become obvious when you read it, this was a really hard update to write. It also happens to be the part that was really the most important part I wanted to get across when I originally started writing this fic. And it earns me my M rating. So it was doubly and triply hard to write too. Throw in the fact that I am a lazy ass and have had zero inspiration for Cara fic in lets say…from my last update of this until…now, and that pretty much sums up all of my reasons for this being insanely late and overdue!
But all of your lovely encouraging words for everything I've posted recently and all of your pleas for a Sara's Baby update have inspired me to get off my ass, or rather sit on my ass, and write. So, voila. Proof that your reviews really do make a difference. I will warn you that this is a little heavy, mentions rape, and sets the stage for everything to come. So…no pressure! Enjoy and, as always, review!
Catherine shut the door as quietly as possible when she entered the house, just in case Sara had gone to sleep and not waited up for her. She had made Sara leave shift on time because she had seemed antsy and irritable- and more than a little tired. But Catherine herself had stayed late, wrapping up a solo case she'd pulled the night before. Now the sun was up, the sky was bright, and she couldn't wait to collapse into bed beside her girlfriend.
She set her keys and bag on the hall table and then ducked into the living room; Sara often read downstairs on days that she waited up or couldn't sleep. But there was no sign of her. Just in case, the redhead checked the kitchen as well. There was no Sara, but something caught her eye. Catherine frowned at the empty coffee pot. Sara coveted the single cup a day that the doctor allowed her, always racing to the kitchen the instant they got home. But not today, apparently. Catherine shrugged it off. Maybe she had just been really tired. Sara was more tired these days, and understandably so. At nearly thirty weeks, the baby was viable, weighed several pounds and took every ounce of energy she had.
In the two weeks since their declarations of love in the boss's office, their life had taken on a quiet routine. Catherine felt like they had settled into their relationship and it was…comfortable, now. And sleeping with her girlfriend was just about her favorite part of the day. Snuggling and touching. Sometimes they fooled around, but since Sara still seemed hesitant, more often than not, it was just basking in each other's company. And Catherine could certainly use some of that after the night she'd had.
Tiredly, Catherine padded up the stairs and down the hall to the bedroom; the door was slightly ajar. She peaked in and was surprised to see the bed was still made up. Odd. Sara's car was here, so where was Sara? The shower maybe? Catherine came into the room, a few steps bringing her to the bathroom door. She was about to knock when she felt strong arms come from behind and slide around her middle. She jumped, a little startled.
"Good morning," Sara's unmistakable voice and the now familiar baby bump against her back relaxed her immediately.
Catherine smiled, looking back and up at her girlfriend. "Hey, you." She lifted up on her toes and pressed a gentle kiss to the brunette's lips. "Why aren't you in bed?"
Sara brushed their noses and cheeks together softly. "Waiting for you," she said, by way of explanation. She turned Catherine around in her arms, moving warm hands up her body to tangle in her hair and pull the older woman in for a firm, adamant kiss.
Catherine willingly kissed her back, responding automatically to the touch, but she could tell right away that something was a little off. This kiss was different from the many that had come before it, and as Sara's hands slipped from her hair and down her neck to cup her jaw, Catherine could sense the desperation of her movements. Still, Sara seemed to be fine, so she reveled in the sensations that filled her for a while longer. When the younger woman finally broke the lip lock, the redhead took a step back, wanting to question her. But Sara was having none of it; she closed the distance between them again, latching onto Catherine's pulse point. Catherine's eyes slammed shut as she took in the feeling of Sara's lips on her body. She was dimly aware of the buttons on her blouse being undone.
"Mmm." She hummed quietly and brought her hands to Sara's sides, slipping her fingertips under the cotton tank top.
Sara's lips smiled against her skin. Her chuckle was dark. And sexy. Her teeth grazed Catherine's neck and Catherine. Was. Lost. If it hadn't felt so good and if she hadn't been so ready; if she hadn't been waiting for this moment for just so damn long, she would have known- she would have known that something was wrong. As it was, any doubts she might have had were pushed from her brain as soon as Sara's hands covered her breasts. She gasped and clung to her partner, her fingernails scraping against the brunette's ribcage.
And when Sara's lips came up to crash against hers, she gave as good as she got. Tongues twisted and lashed and the only gentle movement in the next ten minutes came when, naked, she gingerly pushed the other, equally bare, woman back into the sheets. She was beautiful, just as Catherine knew she would be. Laying beside her, the redhead ghosted a hand down Sara's body from her heaving chest to her rounded breast and erect brown nipple, over her swollen belly and on to stop just above her heated apex. Catherine pushed herself up onto one elbow and brought her lips to within an inch of Sara's, fingertips idly brushing through dark curls.
"I love you," she whispered, just before she kissed the woman below her.
Sara kissed her, seemingly eagerly in return and then nodded her accent and widened her legs in invitation. And Catherine, moving her kisses to Sara's neck, then clavicle, took it. Her thumb pad moved against a warm inner thigh in comfort and then…heat. Blissful, liquid heat as she slid two slick fingers from entrance to clit and back again. She groaned her own desire and teased Sara's opening with one finger. The brunette gasped and her hips bucked impatiently. Catherine bit tenderly at one nipple as she slipped a first finger into her lover's channel. It was…amazing. And before long, Catherine was adding the width of a second finger to her slow, rhythmic thrusting. As she began kissing her way over the brunette's belly, Sara's entire body quivered and then shuddered. Had she orgasmed? With barely any attention paid to her clit?
It was then that Catherine started to realize that something was off. Sara's gasps were not coming in time with her thrusts. Nor were her shudders. Catherine's fingers slowed, then stopped as her eyes focused on Sara's face. Sara's tear-streaked, grimacing face. Oh, god. As abruptly as it had begun, it was all over.
Ice ran through Catherine's veins. "Sara?" In a heartbeat, the redhead unfolded from her intimate position, withdrew her fingers from inside her love, and was moving up the bed. "Sara? Sara, please…"
The younger woman shook her head violently, eyes shut tight, as she fought to keep her sobs silent. Quickly, Catherine pulled the blankets over them both and hesitantly placed a hand on Sara's shoulder. But the brunette stiffened and Catherine quickly withdrew the touch, feeling helpless. "Sara? Please, please talk to me. Tell me what's wrong. I…I'm so sorry…I-" her own tears were forming now as she tried to figure out what had just happened.
A particularly deep sob wracked Sara as she gasped for air, "Cath, please don't," gasp, "leave, I- I'm sorry, I'll try…again, I just-"
Catherine stopped short. Sara had NOT just said…wait what? "What? Sara, what are you talking about?"
But Sara could only sob again. Catherine's mind raced over what had just taken place, her brain wildly trying to grasp at any clue as to what might be happening. She thought back to coming home and into the room and…the coffee hadn't been made and…Sara had almost been…lying in wait. And up until this morning Sara had never wanted to…oh, god. Catherine closed her eyes. Oh, God. She was going to be sick.
"Sara." She held her breath to fight off her own break down. "Sara, please tell me, please tell me you did not do this because you thought…it was what I wanted." She said it like it was so much lead dropping from her mouth.
Sara's dam cracked and broke. The flood came and her sobs were loud and wrenching; her words were barely audible beneath them. But Catherine heard each one like it was stabbing into her ear. And her heart. "I thought I could…do it" she sobbed, "I thought- you want to, I know you do, I see it, you…you wish we would. And I tried! I thought if I just pushed past it! If I just ignored the voice that makes me stop…but it doesn't feel right!" She choked and gasped. "It should feel like…but it doesn't! And I want you to want me and want…everything. But I know you! You need this, and I can't…I can't give it to you…" she ended weakly and her head fell to the pillow as she continued to cry.
She really was going to be sick. Catherine felt her stomach heave with her revulsion at herself and the situation. She forced the bile back from her throat with an effort of will. "Oh, Sara." Her tears came now. Wet and hot, they came in a torrent. "Oh, Sara." She reached a hand out, but once again the brunette moved away. "Let me touch you," she whispered. "Please let me touch you."
Sara sniffed and nodded, willing herself not to move when the redhead's hand came to gingerly cradle her face. As soon as she felt it, felt the warmth in that touch, she relaxed. This was Catherine, she reminded herself. Catherine would never hurt her. Not on purpose.
"I am so sorry. I am so…so sorry. I just…" Catherine tried to clear her head, she tried to say the right thing. It was so very important that she say this right. "I never wanted anything like this." Their eyes met and held. "I love you. You are amazing and strong and wonderful and…perfect for me. And you're right, I do want to be with you in any way that will bring us closer together. And making love…would do that." Her thumb brushed over Sara's cheek, wiping at a stray tear. "But only when its making love and not a second before. Making love requires the consent of both partners, Sara, and if you aren't ready then it doesn't happen."
"But you," Sara protested, "you like-"
"Sex. I do. I like sex. And right up until you, I had sex with almost every single romantic partner I ever had within the first few dates. And more than once I had sex with people I had no intention of ever becoming romantic with. But Sara, that's sex. It's a recreational activity that also, I may add, requires the consent of everyone involved." Catherine looked her girlfriend dead in the face. "Anything less than complete consent is rape, Sara."
The brunette flinched at the word and pulled her head out of the other woman's grasp. Catherine didn't miss it.
"That's what it is." She continued in a hushed tone, "And what I just did to you was-"
"No." Sara looked horror struck. "No, Catherine, that is not what that was, that was…my fault, I wasn't ready and I pushed you," she began to hyperventilate again, "and- and don't think for one second that you ever made me feel like…like that…that way. You didn't, I always feel safe when I'm with you, I didn't, you didn't, you wouldn't-"
"Okay, hush, okay, it's okay." Catherine didn't touch Sara, but she moved closer under the covers, ready to catch her if she overbalanced. "Calm down, babe, shh…breathe, just breathe." It was several minutes before Sara was quiet again, and by the end of it, she was in Catherine's arms.
"God, this is such a mess," she finally spoke into the other woman's arm. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Cath. I feel really stupid right now. I don't know why I tried to force myself…I just thought…I don't know, I just want you to love me."
"I already love you. I'm so in love with you, Sar." She kissed the top of the brunette's head. "Why did you think you had to do this?"
"Because I want you to keep being in love with me. I know you say you'll wait now, but what if you have to wait a long time?"
"Then I'll wait." There was no uncertainty in her voice at all, no hesitation. "I will wait until you are one hundred percent ready."
"What if I'm never ready?"
"Then I will buy a vibrator with a longer battery life, but I will never leave you."
Sara cracked a smile. "I really do want to make love with you, Cath. You're all those things too, you know. Beautiful and perfect for me. Even more perfect than I thought, it turns out." She chuckled self-patronizingly, "I don't know why its easier for me to fuck some guy I barely know and get knocked up than it is to make love with most beautiful woman in the world. That's pretty messed up."
"Not really." Catherine stroked her love's hair. "Its like I said. Sex is just sex. Like volleyball or watching TV or baking cookies. It can be fun, but ultimately its not the really important thing. And this? You and me? This is pretty important. So don't worry about it. I will wait. I don't want to be with anyone but you, but I can wait."
"Even if its forever?" Sara asked skeptically.
"Even if we are at your son's wedding and we haven't made it past second base, I will dance every dance in your arms. I'm not going anywhere, Sara. And if I have to prove it to you everyday forever, I will. I'm in love with you, okay?"
Sara grinned. "Okay."
"Now if you wouldn't mind, I am utterly exhausted and would like nothing more than to sleep in your arms. Which is why I came up here in the first place. So do you think we could manage that?"
"Yes, I think we could definitely manage that."
"Good." Catherine pulled Sara down and wriggled around until she was in her favorite position with her arm curved protectively under and around Sara's still growing belly. "Goodnight, sweetheart."
"I love you, Cath."
The older woman felt fingertips card through hair. "I love you too, Sara. So much."
Sooooooo…what did you think? Anybody got a guess as to what's gonna happen next? Or am I, in fact, keeping you guessing? Is there anything you guys really want to see? I can't promise sunshine and daisies from here on out, but…well, you know me and happy endings! And if you don't know me and happy endings, the best thing to do is go and read all my stuff (preferably in chronological order so you can see how I've evolved…) and review every single chapter of every single one! But if that sounds like too much work, then you should start out by reviewing this one! Thanks to all who have seen this through since the beginning and I'm sorry about the long wait! With any luck, another update is right around the corner!