Feedback address: angelaumbrello[at]yahoo.com
Date in Calendar: 28 December 2008
Pairing: Lady Heather/Catherine (Strawberry Tea) Catherine&Warrick friendship
Rating: a very soft PG
Word Count: 1314
Summary: An unexpected turn of events leads to a connection between Heather and Catherine.
Spoilers: Can you really spoil an episode you haven’t seen? ‘For Warrick’
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW08
Disclaimer: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," CBS, or any representatives of the actors.
Author's Disclaimer: I don’t own CSI. What a shocker.
Author's Note: It’s been a while since I’ve written a full-fledged story, but someone’s gotta represent the Strawberry Tea. Good or bad, please feel free to comment.
Let me have a look inside these eyes while I'm learning.
Please don't hide them just because of tears.
Let me send you off to sleep with a "There, there, now stop your turning and tossing."
Let me know where the hurt is and how to heal. (Trouble Me, 10,000 Maniacs)
She looked like she was thinking deep thoughts, but in actually her mind was blank. Unfocused eyes stared unseeing through the window of the café taking no notice of the various vehicles coming and going. Her ears too, took no notice of the sounds around her. The chime of the door did not register, nor did the sound of stiletto heels approaching her.
“Catherine? Catherine Willows?”
“Oh, Lady – I mean Heather.”
Warmed by the instant recognition, the former domme smiled. “I wasn’t sure if you remembered me. It has been a while since we talked.”
“Of course I remember you. It’s not every day someone says I’d make a good dominatrix,” Catherine paused for a beat and then started. “Where are my manners? Please sit down. How are you?”
“I believe that’s supposed to be my line,” Heather responded smoothly. Taking a seat across from the CSI, Heather sipped her tea, and studied the other woman for several moments. There seemed to be a grey cloud over her. She noted how tired the strawberry-blonde looked, the circles under her eyes, and how the light that seemed to emanate from her seemed to be extinguished. “I’m sorry about the loss of your friend.”
“Um . . . ”
“The news,” Heather responded in anticipation of her question of how she knew.
“Oh. Right. Thank you,” Catherine responded softly. The coffee cup in front of her became the most interesting thing in the world. She did not want to see the pity in the former domme’s eyes. The strawberry-blonde hated pity, hated feeling as if people thought her weak.
“Catherine? How are you doing?”
“As well as can be expected, I suppose.”
“Catherine, look at me,” Heather commanded.
The strawberry-blonde obeyed, reluctantly. What she saw in the other woman’s eyes was not pity, but a quiet knowing. If anyone could understand her attitude toward pity, and her desire, her need, to remain strong, it would be Heather.
“Have you been sleeping?”
Catherine blinked once, then twice at the unexpected question, she wanted to say yes, but she could not force herself to compose a convincing enough lie to fool the former domme. “An hour or two here and there.”
“Where the two of you close?”
“I used to tell Gil, ‘Whether you like it or not, we are a family’. So yes, yes we were close. I loved him, I still do, and I think I always will. I think there will always be a part of me that will refuse to believe he’s gone. It . . . never mind,” Catherine finished with a shake of her head. She felt as if she had already shared too much.
“No, I . . . ” Catherine closed her eyes, and tried to steady her breathing, she could feel the prickly burn of tears in the corner of her eyes. Taking Catherine’s hand, Heather waited several minutes for the strawberry-blonde to collect herself. It was a good thing that the café was nearly empty at this time in the day. She did not think that Catherine would appreciate an audience watching her grieve.
“I know how you feel. Sometimes I have to remind myself that Zoe is dead, and then it’s like no time has passed at all, all the pain is brand new.”
“Exactly. That’s exactly how it feels,” Catherine said. Opening her eyes, she sighed deeply. “I feel kind of stupid for comparing the loss of Warrick to the loss of your daughter.”
“You shouldn’t. Like you said, he was family. Not by blood, but certainly through the care and love you felt toward each other. Don’t ever think your grief is less real, or less deserving of sympathy than mine.”
“Thank you,” Catherine said softly. A sad smile tugged at the corners of the strawberry-blonde’s mouth, she squeezed Heather’s hand between her own hoping that her gratitude could be felt through their connection.
With her free hand, Heather reached across the table, and in a surprisingly intimate gesture wiped away a stray tear that was starting to fall. Her thumb lingered on the soft skin of the strawberry-blonde’s cheek for a moment or two too long, but instead of pulling away, Catherine unconsciously leaned in, allowing maximum contact. For nearly a full minute the two women stared into each others eyes. An unexpected connection was forming between the them.
And just like that, it was broken. Heather pulled back, releasing herself from the strawberry-blonde’s hands, and blinking as if she had been in a daze. “Sorry,” she mumbled. “I don’t know what came over me.”
Catherine quirked an eyebrow at the former domme, surprised at the other woman’s reaction. “It’s okay. It wasn’t like I was stopping you or anything.”
Embarrassed, Heather chuckled. “I shouldn’t have pulled away. But let’s be honest, this is not the place for this kind of thing.”
“Point taken, ” Catherine responded taking a deep breath to calm her libido down. Already they had one or two men stare at them. It didn’t take a psychic to read what they were fantasying about – 2 beautiful women freely touching and sharing personal space could mean only one thing amongst the less evolved. Lesbians. “So now what?”
“We talk. And then . . . we’ll see where nature takes us.”
“Talk? After – Oh Heather, you’re killing me.”
“I didn’t come here to get laid. I came over here because when I saw you, I was worried. You didn’t look yourself. I take it Gil is hiding in his house, emotionally in the fetal position. Which means you are de facto leader, trying to shoulder your team’s grief as well as your own. Am I right?”
“Yeah. You’re right,” Catherine replied in a deflated voice. “He’s such an asshole sometimes. This is his team, his family, he should be . . . I don’t know why I get worked up. He’s been like this forever. But there are still times when I just want to strangle him til he gets some sense in his head. ”
“No arguments from me. But my point in bringing it up in 1st place was to ask if you were talking to anyone?”
“You mean like a shrink,” Catherine said defensively.
“No, I mean like a friend.”
Catherine sighed and leaned back in her chair, a deep sadness came over her. She stared at the palms of her hands as if she were trying to read her fortune. “Warrick . . . Warrick was the one I would talk to. He would take me here and ply me with those horribly fattening cinnamon rolls, and I would talk, and talk, and talk about everything and anything. And afterwards I would feel as if a weight had been lifted from off my shoulders. I could go back to work or home and face whatever came my way . . . He was my security blanket against all the bogey monsters of the world.”
“Catherine . . . ”
“I got nothing Heather. He was only one who understood me, the only one who didn’t judge me.”
“That’s not true.”
“I’m here. And remember, I was a former dominatrix, I’m the last person to pass judgement,” Heather said trying to lighten the mood. “I know I can never replace Warrick, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a friend and fatten you with cinnamon rolls.”
It worked, Catherine smiled, and then laughed. Everything might just actually turn out all right, she thought. “I’d like that. Though you really have to try one.”
“And they’re sugar-free.”
“So basically we’re both going to get fat?”
“And if we’re really lucky, laid,” Catherine rejoined.
Heather leaned back in her chair, and shook her head in amusement. For better or worse, this was certainly going to be the most interesting relationship she’s ever been in.