Disclaimer: I do not own any part of CSI, characters, eps and all. Its very sad and I do not like to talk about it. :(
A/N: Hello, hello, one and all! How goes life? So, here is the new fic I've started. I've decided to go ahead and start posting, even though I am still hard at work with Sara's Baby. Don't worry, I will keep chapters coming for it too, this is just a little something I'm working on at the same time- helps the inspiration to keep flowing.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy, there isn't really any explanation needed. Pretty straight forward fic- except you know there's nothing straight about it!
"Hey, Sara," Catherine stuck her head into the break room. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"
Sara frowned as she put down the journal she was reading. "Sure…"
"Great. My office? Five minutes? I need to hit the little girls' room."
"Okay, five minutes. Sure thing." Sara sat back, pondering what Catherine could possibly want. If it had been about a case, she would have said so.
She shrugged. It wasn't that uncommon for them to talk about things outside of work these days.
For the last several months, they had been more than friendly; working together better than ever and getting together in their free time for drinks or breakfast. Sara smiled as she thought about it. She had always wanted to be closer to the redhead, and it seemed like her wish was finally coming true. Of course, only Sara knew how much closer she wanted herself and Catherine to be. From the moment she had first laid eyes on Catherine Willows, she knew the redhead could very easily capture her heart. But, she insisted to herself, she could be content with being friends. She'd have to be. It wasn't like Catherine was going to suddenly wake up one morning and fall in love with her.
She sighed, stood from her seat on the sofa, and headed towards the other woman's office. Besides, it was fun being friends with Catherine. She brought out the brunette's playful side. Sara really felt like she could relax around Catherine now. They laughed, and joked around- they had fun together. And that was something Sara seldom got to do. She leaned in the open doorway, waiting for the Catherine to notice her. As she waited, she studied the line of the other woman's jaw and the curve of her neck as she leaned over her papers. After several seconds she knocked on the wall to get Catherine's attention.
"You wanted to see me?"
Catherine looked up, smiling quickly as she indicated the chair in front of her desk. As Sara took the seat, the redhead propped her glasses up on her head and cleared her throat. "Yes, I did. I have a favor to ask of you. A big one."
Sara quirked an eyebrow, pushing the other woman to go on.
"Well, you remember a few weeks ago? How I told you that Lindsey made me get a Facebook account even though I am not allowed to 'friend' her?"
"And then a few days later, that girl from my old high school found me?"
"And she told all your high school buddies you had a Facebook and they all friended you too."
"What about it?"
"Well…" Catherine fidgeted with her pen. "last week, the first woman who friended me told me that a bunch of people from high school were thinking of getting together sometime soon."
"Right…" Sara still had no idea where this was going or why it concerned her.
"And you know how it is, I was sort of going along with it, and before I knew it, I was somewhat jokingly suggesting that we do it here. In Vegas."
A light went on in the brunette's head. "And I'm guessing she didn't think you were joking."
Catherine bit her cheek in annoyance with the situation. "No. She didn't."
"I see. So when is it?"
"Well," Catherine spoke as if she hadn't heard, "they now have a whole four day weekend planned, with cocktail parties and shows and I don't know what all."
"When is it?" Sara asked again.
But Catherine continued on. "And now it looks like there are going to be a lot more people than was originally planned and-"
"The whole situation just kind of sucks because what I thought was going to be a lunch with a few old friends is turning into a fucking reunion and I'm in the middle of it because I'm the only one who actually lives here and-"
The redhead's neck snapped around to look at Sara.
"When. Is. It?"
Catherine glanced at her watch and winced apologetically, "The first get-together is in about six hours."
Catherine bit her lip and nodded, asking hesitantly "Come with me?"
"What?!" Sara snorted, "You've got to be kidding. That's the favor?"
"Yeah. I know its short notice and I know its not your sort of thing, but-"
Sara stood. "It is so above and beyond not my thing- I wouldn't be caught dead at my own high school reunion, let alone one where I know absolutely no one. Why me?" she pleaded. "Can't you ask one of the guys or something?"
Catherine got to her feet as well. "What? No way." She counted off on her fingers. "Warrick is married and Nick has a girlfriend. I can't possibly show up with Gil- you know how he gets, and please don't suggest I take Greg."
"So I'm your choice by default?" Sara rolled her eyes. "That's flattering."
The redhead scoffed. "That was not what I was trying to say."
"No." Catherine ran both hands through her hair. "Look. I cannot go alone. These people are expecting the same old Cathy Flynn they knew in high school. And I'm not her- I've changed, I'm different. I really…" she struggled with the words, "I really need your help on this one."
Sara glanced over at her, feeling her desperation but unable to let the nickname slide. "Cathy?"
The older woman ground her teeth, "I was a kid, okay? Drop it."
"Whatever you want, Cathy."
"I mean it!"
Sara clicked her tongue and shook her head. "Yelling?" she mocked in a maternal tone. "You really think that's going to help you get your way? If that's the way you're going to treat me, no way I do this."
"Is that a roundabout way of saying you'll come?" Catherine brightened.
Sara thought about it and quirked an eyebrow, deciding to have some fun. "Why should I? What's in it for me?"
Catherine crossed her arms. "Are you kidding? You want compensation? How about the warm fuzzy feeling you get by knowing you're helping out a friend?"
Sara crossed her arms too, obviously unimpressed.
"Okay, fine. What do you want?"
"A thousand dollars." Sara said flatly.
"What? No way!"
"I was kidding." Catherine glared at her and she grinned. "Alright, how about you let me do laundry at your house- free, for a month."
"Laundry?" Catherine questioned, confused.
"Yes. The basement of my building has been flooded for a week and they have no idea when it will be up and running again."
"Okay," Catherine agreed quickly, "Fine. Laundry for a month and your attendance for every activity for the next four days. Deal?"
Sara hesitated before nodding, but then she looked at her colleague's pleading eyes and sighed. "Deal."
Catherine beamed and looked at her watch. "Great! The luncheon starts at one, why don't I swing by and pick you up at twelve thirty?"
"Why don't I swing by your place at around eleven thirty?"
Sara smiled, "I've got a few loads I'd like to get done."
Catherine gave her a look that said she was clearly not amused. "Fine. Eleven thirty. Sounds great."
Later that morning, as Sara stepped into a hot shower, she let her mind wander to the conversation that had transpired a few hours before. She tried to figure out what it meant. The fact that she had given in to Catherine so easily was really pathetic. If she was going to survive this whole friendship business, she knew she'd need to develop some kind of Catherine resistance. But, her brain argued with itself, seeing the smile she put on that angelic face was so completely worth it. She hated to think of what lengths she'd go to, to see that smile even one more time. It was a definite problem.
But, she thought, this turn of events did mean that she'd be spending a lot more time with Catherine, at least for the next four days. And that was a good thing. Wasn't it?
While Sara pondered her newfound predicament in her apartment on one side of town, Catherine was driving Lindsey to school on the other- but her thoughts were all over the place. It had been a good idea, asking Sara to come- hadn't it? Of course it had. Now she would have a friend there who could keep her grounded and help her out of any sticky situations she might get herself into, and she wouldn't be alone with the life she had run away from all those years ago.
But if had been such a good idea, why did she have this feeling in the pit of her stomach that things were not all that they appeared? As Lindsey chattered on about high school drama, Catherine thought about her female colleague. Things had been going really well lately, and their relationship had changed from the way it had once been. There was a time when the older woman had not always felt comfortable referring to the brunette as a friend. Not because she had wanted it that way, but simply because that was the way it was. Now, however, she could honestly say that she liked Sara- more than liked. They were getting to be close friends. And she liked that…a lot. Perhaps a little too much? Her mind argued. She slapped that thought away. No. What she and Sara had going was a perfectly healthy adult friendship. And that was exactly how she wanted it.
"Are you going to that high school thing today?"
"Yep. I'm taking Sara with me."
"Sara? You asked her?"
"No, Linds, I thought I'd throw a sack over her head and drag her all the way there, kicking and screaming."
Lindsey rolled her eyes. "It just doesn't sound like something she'd want to do."
"Well, she agreed to do it." Catherine failed to mention anything about the laundry agreement.
"What?" Catherine turned her head as they pulled into the school.
"Nothing," Lindsey hopped out and shouldered her messenger bag. "She must just really like you, that's all. I'll see you tonight, Mom." She turned and walked toward a group of friends.
Catherine was left to ponder that comment and the excitement it raised in her.
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