A/N: Hey everybody, look at me! Two updates in two weeks! I am on fire! For those of you who haven't read my last update, it was the latest chapter on Reunions & Revelations, and you should scamper off and read it as soon as you're done reading (and reviewing!) here!
Major shout out and thanks must be given to kwmadhouse7, who totally walked me through this chapter, whether she knows it or not! And of course a round of applause for everybody who reviewed the first chapter. Thanks, guys!
Sara Sidle had a problem. Deciding to flirt with Catherine Willows while in the safety of one's own apartment, without the flesh and blood woman standing right there in front of you was one thing. In theory, it was a pretty great plan- hard to fuck up. But now that the moment was upon her, Sara was very much at a loss. How could I forget that I don't know how to flirt on purpose?
She had been sitting in the break room, waiting for shift to officially start, when Catherine strode in. Looking fantastic. Of course she looks fantastic, she always looks fantastic. Tonight, though, she seemed to look especially good. Midnight blue slacks and a peacock blue raw silk blouse over a black camisole with lace along the neckline. Her hair was angelic, her makeup flawless, and her walk was all confidence.
Sara looked down at her own outfit. She didn't look bad. Long-sleeved black jersey top (top two buttons undone) over charcoal grey work pants and shiny black boots. Everything hung off her figure the way she liked and she'd definitely worn worse to the lab. But she didn't look quite like…that.
The brunette sighed as she watched the other woman prepare her first cup of the day, seemingly unaware that she had an audience. It wasn't fair. Why did she have to be so damn unapproachable and hot? Why did she have to be standing in the exact same place she had been when the ass smacking thing had happened? Great. Now I'm staring at her ass.
Suddenly, the vision spoke, "Have fun without me yesterday, Sara?"
Sara jumped. "What? No! I mean, what?" Smooth, Sidle.
Catherine turned, twirling the spoon in her coffee. She was grinning vibrantly. "Get any good cases last night?"
Work. Okay. Sara could talk about work. "Mm…not really. Nicky and I pulled a B&E, pretty open-shut. I heard Warrick got a naked bank heist, though. Apparently the guy thought he'd leave less evidence if he robbed in the buff or something."
Catherine laughed, "Yeah, I saw the security cam footage on the news. Apparently he had a pretty defining characteristic south of the border?"
Sara's smile came easily enough and she forgot to be nervous. "The way I heard it, he was pretty eager to show the entire PD his manhood, or-"
"Lack there of!" They both said it at once and shared a chuckle. Catherine gestured to the brunette's coffee cup with her chin, "Refill before assignments?"
Sara rolled her eyes and nodded, trading places with the other woman, "Only my third cup tonight."
"Nice. Got a case yet?"
"Nope, still waiting for-"
"Me?" Greg smiled as he appeared in the doorway.
"Nope!" But Sara smiled back.
"How about me?" That was Grissom, and he seemed in no mood for games.
Nick and Warrick fell in behind their boss and the team crowded around for assignments. "What's up, Grissom?" Nick inquired.
"Too many cases. Bad night for Las Vegas. Most of us are solo tonight. Greg takes the trick role. Warrick, the B&E off Tropicana. Nick- suspicious circs and possible missing persons out in Seven Hills. I'll be here manning the fort and keeping an eye on the experiment I'm running for Ecklie's court case." He looked up at the two women. "Girls, you closed that case last week in record time, lets see if you can keep it up. DB out in Henderson, Brass is meeting you there. Let's move, people."
The team spread out and the two women headed for the door. Remembering she was on her best behavior, Catherine held back to let Sara go ahead. But the brunette had the same idea and gestured gallantly, "After you…partner."
Catherine smiled and stepped forward. A polite Sara…she could get used to this.
I will not laugh over a dead body, I will not laugh over a dead body. Sara repeated the mantra over and over in her mind. Why would she not laugh over a dead body? That's right, because its not funny!
It was kind of funny, though. Not the body, of course, but the absurdity of the situation. The guy blew his own ass off with a homemade rocket chair; it's a little funny. Sara bit her lip and tried to focus on the gravity of the situation. The man was dead. Dead. Died of massive bleeding and internal injuries. No, she couldn't laugh at that.
Catherine came to stand beside her, surveying the damage. "What an asshole."
Sara almost lost it. She barely contained herself. Tears were streaming and she was biting her lip. Not laughing. Not laughing, not laughing, not laughing!
Brass appeared on her other side. "Apparently, it was his favorite chair."
Sara bowed her head and coughed, covering her mouth with a fist. Catherine slapped her on the back. "Okay there, Sar?"
The brunette righted herself and cleared her throat, "Fine, I'm fine. Need to change my gloves." She turned back to her kit and missed the smile that passed between the other two.
It wasn't until hours later, when the two women were in the car on the way home, that they allowed themselves to really let loose and laugh until they cried.
"We're terrible! I don't know why we keep laughing. It really isn't all that that funny. I mean, he's dead."
"But that's part of it, don't you think? I mean, if we didn't laugh, we'd cry. You've got to laugh when you can. And we did have to hold it in for nearly three hours."
"God, I nearly peed when you called him an asshole!" That set the two of them off again. It was an almost hysterical laughter.
By the time they were back in the lab examining evidence, though, they were under control again. It was towards the end of shift and Sara was feeling rather proud of herself. They hadn't argued. They'd had fun. And while she hadn't exactly overtly flirted with Catherine yet, this new thing they had going was definitely, well, going somewhere. Not to mention that they'd have this case wrapped up by the end of the night! Bonus!
Meanwhile, Catherine, across the hall, was also feeling immensely pleased with herself. She had been a little worried about this whole 'friends with Sara' business, but she had decided to relax and see where it took her- and what a pleasant surprise! Things were going so well! Better than she'd ever imagined, really. If they kept this up, they were liable to be friends in no time.
There was a knock on the door and Catherine looked up. "Sara, hey! I was just thinking about you. Got your report finished?"
Sara flashed the file in her hand. "All typed up and ready to go. You?"
"Printing it out as we speak."
"Hey, I was wondering, do you want to grab some breakfast? After shift?"
Catherine smiled but shook her head, "I promised I'd take Lindsey to school today. I never have time anymore so…" she trailed off, not missing the momentary look of disappointment on Sara's face. "But rain check, okay?"
Sara put on a brave face as she nodded. "Sure, no problem."
"Geez, Sar, two open shut cases in a row; Gil is going to love us!"
That elicited a real smile from the brunette. "I wonder if he'll keep putting us on cases together."
And he did. Not every case, but at least twice a week for the next month. And every time they worked together, they hit one out of the park. They were the dynamic duo- unstoppable. And with every solved case, they learned that much more about each other.
Sara quickly learned that intentionally trying to flirt with Catherine was a recipe for disaster. As soon as she consciously tried to achieve it, her mouth would dry out and her brain would fry. When that happened, things would get unbearably awkward for a moment. But then Catherine would smile like she hadn't noticed and set Sara on her feet again. And that was when anything that could possibly be construed as 'flirting' would happen. It was when she was at ease with herself and the woman next to her, or on the other end of the phone, that Sara could enjoy the conversation and not get caught up in the mechanics of the situation. Most of the time, she forgot to flirt at all and just had a good time.
She also learned that she liked Catherine. Not just as the sexy, if sometimes difficult, co-worker she had always known, but also as the person she was coming to know. And Catherine did cash in on that rain check, before the week was out. They had even gotten together a few times since then, including twice so Sara could teach Lindsey how to play guitar.
And wasn't it a sight? Catherine thought. To see Sara guiding Lindsey's fingers over the frets, laughing and talking all the while? For her part, Catherine was astounded at how human Sara had become to her. How had she not seen this side of her co-worker before? Not only were they now a great team at work, but they were getting along and hanging out after hours too! It was an amazing transformation. Being friends with Sara was turning out better than she could ever have hoped for.
Friends. Yes, they were definitely friends.
Sara scowled into her microscope one evening. Catherine was off that night and she was paired with Greg. Not that it was a bad thing. Sara had needed the shift to think. She did want to be friends with Catherine. But she also wanted more. And she was beginning to think that it was time to take this friendship to the next level.
Ta-da! What do you think? Short and sweet and leading on to who knows what! Well, I know what. And if you want to know too, you'd better hit that button and reeeeeeeeview!