Title:  Burned

Author:  Harper

Email: Xfjnky2@yahoo.com

Rating:  PG-13

Fandom: CSI

Pairing:  Catherine/Sara, established

Archive:  This will be at www.realmoftheshadow.com/harper.htm with the rest of my drabble.

Disclaimer:  I don’t own the characters.  I mean no infringement and make no profit.  This is just harmless fun.

A/N:  I’ve wanted to write this pairing for a long time, but they seem to forever elude me.  This is just a dark little piece, more of an emotion than a story, and not what I wanted my seminal outing with them to be.  Oh well.  It’s un-beta’d, so all mistakes belong to me.  If you’d like to send feedback, I’d love to hear from you.  I’m at Xfjnky2@yahoo.com.

Back and forth, cat and mouse, all sharp claws and gleaming teeth and eyes flashing with everything but remorse.  It tore into her, parting her flesh, ripping her open until she was white gleaming bone and serrated, crimson stained and sundered muscle.  Until she was nothing but a walking wound, oozing pain and agony with such embarrassing visibility that one almost cringed to see it.  Or would have, but even that display was lost in the muted blankness of a shell of stone.

That she had subjugated herself to the capricious whims of a woman well aware of her own power was not unexpected.  It was a pattern in her life, always wanting to please the unpleasable.  She reveled in her fruitless toils, the ceaseless desire to be more than she was intimately rewarding.

It wasn’t that Catherine was cruel.  Not intentionally, at least, but cutting blue eyes and careless unconcern hurt just as deeply as rejections and taunts.  She didn’t want anything more than a part-time lover, and hadn’t made any assertions otherwise.  There was Lindsay, and her job, and whatever took up her time when she wasn’t with Sara, and the brunette had known going in that she was little more than a dalliance.

With the fervor of the not yet jaded, though one could wonder how it was she still possessed even a shred of such untouched innocence, she’d assumed she could change things.  Thought that her love would be enough.  Thought that it would be more than enough, and when Catherine realized just how much she was needed and adored and desired, that she would open her heart and her home and not just her bed.

That she’d been badly mistaken had been a realization a long time in coming.  Always painfully available, earnest dark eyes begging silently for an ounce of attention.  And, when that attention came, it burned her with the heat of the sun, leaving her dazed and near delirious and counting the seconds until she could be there again.  Left her wanting more, an addict in dire need of a fix, ready to flay the skin from her very own bones if it would bring an end to the aching, overarching hunger clawing painfully at her belly.

Catherine tasted like sin, deliciously dark and enchanting, but her body and hands promised absolution in spades.  There could be no wrong when everything was just so perfectly right, or so Sara had thought to herself when she was nothing but a disjointed conglomeration of enervated nerves set on fire and throbbing need.

When she burrowed into soft flesh and wanted more… wanted soft words and softer caresses, wanted promises and assurances, the sun went cold.  Huddled there, freezing and dying in the resulting frigid and barren terrain, she wondered about her capacity for self-torment.  To revel in unmitigated bliss, knowing the prospect for increasingly violent intrinsically driven torture loomed ever closer.  Knowing she was setting herself up for the crushing collapse back to a world that held little more than suffering and death.  It was the height of self-inflicted destruction, a cycle of pain verging on slaughter all drawn by her own hand.

Even as the darkness within her grew, she couldn’t pull away.  She’d trapped herself in a web of hopes and desires, plagued by the delusional belief that simply enduring enough suffering would eventually net her what she wanted.

She didn’t think Catherine knew, not to any substantial extent.  Sara was a master of disguise when it mattered most, voice calm and rational when she insisted their current arrangement was enough, near debilitating need hid under only the softest cloud of disappointment when her vague appeals for more were summarily dismissed.

But, it wasn’t enough, never would be.  Hanging on to the tatters of what could have, should have, and might have been hers had something somewhere been arranged differently was her only recourse, and one she clung to with a tenacity that pervaded every aspect of her life.  So no one would ever know about them.  So Catherine would never admit she knew Sara wanted more.  So she’d perpetually be relegated to second place to everything else in the other woman’s life, until the day second turned to third and third to honorable mention and that faint praise to nothing at all.

None of that mattered.  She’d tasted fire, and until it was taken from her, nothing could make her give it up.


The End

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