Title: Perfection
Author: Debbie
Feedback address: deb123em@gmail.com
Date in Calendar: 15 June 2008
Fandom: CSI
Pairing: Um, wait and see
Word Count: 1503
Summary: A watcher sees everything the eyes may say.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD08

Disclaimer: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.

Author's Note 1: Written for the Femslash Advent Calendar: Dead of Summer 2008

Author's Note 2: This was something I started ages ago in a totally different fashion. If any of you have read the original, I apologise; I'm pretty sure I've never shared it with a soul. In any case, it's morphed into this piece. This is different, this is new; I promise you. Hope it's ok?

The sound of loud music fills the night air, and you sigh. Standing off to one side, you survey the room. Your wife says you've always been a people watcher, so who are you to disagree. Every day, you spend hours and hours with the dead; it makes sense that when you can, you devour everything about the alive.

Your wife adores these get-togethers but, you - you hate the pretentiousness of the whole thing. Who in their right mind wants to celebrate all that is wrong in the world of CSI? Who needs to celebrate one asshole retiring so that another can take his place?

It appears the answer to your rhetorical questions is everybody who is anybody, the place is packed.

You give a wave to your wife and see that she's deep in conversation with Catherine's latest girlfriend. Sofia Curtis is the young, and very beautiful, newest day shift member of CSI. Jim Brass told you how she'd not long ago become a fully-fledged police officer. An officer showing so much promise, he'd had his sights set on offering her the chance to go for her detective's shield. But the sheriff, probably seeing the pretty face rather than the aptitude needed for police work, had immediately purloined her for his CSI team.

After that asshole of a husband, Eddie, Sofia's a perfect choice of partner for Catherine, gorgeous and kind, and most importantly, she knows and understands the job. You know Eddie's still on the scene, and whatever else you think of the man, he did father Cath's daughter, so you're pretty sure whatever Catherine and Sofia share, it's only transient. Knowing the older CSI as you do, she's probably only using Sofia as a well-earned fuck; no time to build a proper relationship like both of them deserve.

Talking of Catherine, where is she? She's certainly not one to miss one of these occasions. She claims to hate them but, and you love her for it, she just loves the opportunity to show off her body and her style at these functions.

A loud swish draws all eyes to the hall doorway. And there she is, pushing the doors open with a flourish. You chuckle; she always enjoys entering in a big way, and then you smile as you see the moment her frown is replaced by a fixed grin, the perfect partygoer, the perfect CSI professional. You watch as her body begins to sway and a subtle pleasure runs through her as all eyes follow her movements.

Wearing a simple black number, short enough to accentuate the suppleness and the muscularity of dancer's legs, she walks towards the bar and her date as if she owns the world. Sofia and my wife smile at each other and the young blonde's grin turns smug as she gets ready to welcome Catherine.

But wait, something else has caught Catherine's eye; *someone* else has caught Catherine's eye.

Her eyes meet those of a stunning dark-haired woman over near the dance floor. How could you have missed that body in your previous room sweeps? The brunette swivels her body around, and her gaze locks with Cath's. Her smile stops Catherine dead.

She has that awed look, you know the one; the one that says everything fits. The one that says, 'Hey, look, I've found the last piece of the jigsaw.'

It's not every day you get to witness one of your dearest friends meeting the 'one', is it?

Well, that's what you feel now; that she, the woman whose brown eyes are boring into Catherine's, is that missing piece. It's her. It's what Cath's been searching for; she's the one that will finally make Cath settle down.

She's the one that will be to Catherine everything your dear wife has been to you, and more, you hope.

Sofia walks towards Catherine, but she just ignores the blonde, all she can do at the moment is turn towards this other woman whose eyes are calling out to her. The look they share can be read by anybody who wants to read it; they're not hiding anything. You suppose, they can't; it's obvious what's happening.

Their look offers so much; it's palpable.

Catherine begins a slow, careful walk towards her siren song. Amazingly, a hush falls over the room, and once again, all eyes swing in their direction. Like you, it appears they can feel the pure magnetism that pulls Catherine towards this stranger. Who she is, you have no idea.

The brunette smiles. Catherine smiles and raises her hand in greeting. This is it.

But wait, from nowhere, Gil steps into your line of vision and holds his hand out towards the young brown haired woman. He takes hold of her hand, tenderly, and turns back towards Catherine, pulling the girl forwards so they meet in the middle.

Your lip reading skills become important in your understanding of what is bound to happen next.

He says, "This is Sara Sidle."

You can see his words cut deep into Catherine as she reads the look in Gil's eyes exactly as you do – he's smitten - and if there's one thing you know with all certainty, it's that Catherine would never, ever steal from her best friend.

The two women stare at each other, both sparing a glance for Gil, and the moment feels as if it lasts an eternity. Sofia approaches from behind, a look of jealousy etched on her face, and Catherine must hear her approach, because she turns and flashes a grateful, almost loving smile Sofia's way. The grin that creases Sofia's face is stunning. She thinks she's won.

You can see different, Catherine is playing that best friend role to perfection. She pulls Sofia into the circle of her arm, wrapping her tight against her side, claiming the rightness of what now looks so horribly wrong.

You can't take your eyes away from the drama that's unfolding right before you.

Sara's eyes flash as Catherine holds tight to Sofia, speaking volumes in seconds. She shrugs and accepts the gesture for what it is.

Catherine nods in perfect understanding. She's made her choice.

Whatever else the two women are feeling; the only choice they can make is the right one.

Sofia is Catherine's choice, and Gil is Sara's choice.

It's not every day you get to witness Catherine giving up on something without a fight.

But that was eight years ago, and now, once again, you're watching Catherine and Sara intently.

They’re standing together, closer than you've ever seen them in all the years since that night. You've watched as, even after making their choice, the fire between the two women continued to simmer away. Always there, just glowing away like the embers of a wood stove waiting for the morning stoking. Occasionally, the fire would bank, and there'd be some kind of a small explosion, some kind of break up, and then the ashes would settle and the fire would settle back to a glow.

You’ve watched and you’ve waited. And meanwhile, as far as you know, Gil and Sara have had a relationship that toddled along on a slow, stoic path, and Catherine was Catherine, going through more lovers than you care to remember.

Now, you've heard she's back with Sofia, has been for about a year, which, for Cath, means it's pretty darned serious. You think that's good. At least, Sofia treats Catherine right, and at least, with Sofia, Catherine smiles more often than not.

But always, always, and you've seen it, you've even heard it from Catherine's own mouth, always there's that little spark of something missing.

You've caught sight of that spark on and off for eight years, and you see it now as Catherine reaches up to stroke Sara's cheek. And then, Sara leans into the hand and smiles. You watch as everything once again falls into place, and the flames flare.

Catherine returns the smile and lets her hand drop away. You can't believe you're watching this happen, but deep down, you know it is going to happen. Greg couldn't wait to tell David the story of Sara kissing Grissom goodbye right in front of Hodges, and David, in turn, couldn't wait to tell you the tale, so it's obvious Sara's leaving.

Something tells you Catherine's not, which means this is another goodbye. Sure enough, Sara turns on her heel and walks away. At the doorway, she turns one last time, and it's as if she's back at the edge of the dance floor seeing Catherine for the very first time. She shrugs and leaves.

Catherine sighs, and her head drops for the briefest of moments, defeated. Then, as you knew it would, her head lifts and she pastes on her professional smile, turning towards the lab where you know for sure Sofia is waiting.

It's not every day you get to witness one of your dearest friends losing the one thing she was never meant to have, perfection.

But you, you've witnessed it all.