Author's Notes: I am aware that I have Sara fudge the procedures. For the sake of expediency, let's just pretend that she doesn't have to trace the fingerprint into AFIS, ok? *grins* Besides, it gets her home to Catherine quicker, and I know you all want that...
Pairing: C/S, established relationship
Rating: PG-13 for kissing and mostly nekkid happenings, as well as vicious callousness and painful death *grin*
Summary: Response to challenge. Sara solves the case of a poisoned man covered in coffee grounds before going home to Catherine's lovin' arms.
Challenge: Write a fic containing the following words:

  1. drip
  2. freaky
  3. hooked up
  4. duck walk
  5. fake
  6. dude
  7. your socks are on fire
  8. you never struck me as a trekkie.
  9. Canadian
  10. riverfront
  11. it's raining
  12. gondolier
  13. big screen
  14. coffee grounds
  15. the cat's in the oven

Challenge Fic
by Lex 'Spork' Tenou
"The cat's in the oven."
Sara paused midstep, blinking.
Grissom looked up, surprised to see that she was still there.
"Oh, just something my father used to say when he wanted me to stop and think."
Sara stared at her old friend.
"You know, the longer I spend around you, the more I realize exactly how freaky you are."
Grissom smiled at her enigmatically.
"But of course! Didn't I ever tell you about the duck walk escapade?"
"You know what, Gil? I don't want to know!" Shaking her head at his true insanity, Sara fled to find Greg, hoping he had finally finished with that analysis of those coffee cups she had found near the Canadian tourist.
"It's raining men! Halleluiah, it's raining men, amen!" Greg sang softly as he peered through the eyepiece of his beloved microscope. Heedless to the fact that his door was open, the scientist continued with his work until a voice broke into his happy humming.
"I never wanted to know that you knew that song." Sara leaned against the doorjamb, a smirk lining her lips. Greg flushed.
"My ex loved that song, what can I say?" Greg shrugged. "Oh! You're here for your results, on that coffee grounds dude?" Greg rifled through some papers. He pulled out one and thrust it at Sara, a huge grin on his boyish face. "Here ya go! Had some trouble on the lipstick cup until I ran an analysis of the lipstick. Turns out it was laced with-"
"Strychnine." Sara looked up at Greg from the report. "Who the hell uses strychnine?"
Greg shrugged.
Sara shook her head, quickly making her way to the break room. She desperately needed a drink.
"Yo, G, you gonna get me hooked up?"
"Yeah, bitch, I got the hook up, chill. You got me real shit this time. Last time you got me that fake shit, you got me that again I'm gonna teach yo momma new tricks."
The television's volume was at a moderate level. Nick's laughter was not. He lifted the remote and flipped, having seen his favorite scene.
"Hey, Sara. What's up? Didn't you catch that coffee guy?"
Sara grumbled as she made her way to the small refrigerator. Opening it, she glanced up at the tv in time to catch that Nick had tuned into the Star Trek marathon. Pulling a bottle from the fridge, she turned to Nick.
"Resistance is futile. You WILL be assimilated." Nick mouthed along with the flat voices emanating from the screen.
"You never struck me as a trekkie," Sara observed.
Nick grinned at her.
"I have many skills you don't know about."
Sara raised her hands to fend off any further comment.
"I do NOT want to know!" Nick laughed.
Sara took another swig from her bottle and watched silently. A tall blond woman strode purposefully across the bridge of a starship.
"Who's that?"
Nick didn't remove his eyes from the screen.
"Seven of Nine, former Borg drone. In this episode, she's trying to save the ship and crew from the Borg. Again. Looks better on a big screen. Or even better, HDTV."
Sara tore her eyes away, shaking her head.
"You're as crazy as Grissom."
"Aww, c'mon, Sara! No one's as crazy as Grissom!"
Sara replaced her bottle and left the break room. She made her way to the morgue. It was time for a tissue analysis.
"Hey, Doc. Didja cut open my guy yet?"
Dr. Al Robbins shook his head.
"Of course not. It's not like I have a million cases waiting for me." Sarcasm dripped heavily from his tone.
"Aww, Doc, is she giving you a hard time?" Grissom stood in the doorway, a smile playing about his lips.
"Only as much as you give me, you pain in my ass."
"I haven't heard such sweet talk since I was surrounded by drunken Marines." Sara noted wryly.
"I hear your coffee man might have some strychnine."
Sara nodded.
"That's what I'm hoping to find out. Doc? Think I can get some tissue samples for analysis?"
Dr. Robbins nodded.
"Give me about an hour and I'll beep you." Sara nodded and turned to leave, her mind already assessing the posibilities.
"Hey, Sara...don't forget his clothes." Grissom's gentle reminder broke through her haze.
"Thanks..." She grabbed the bag and fled to her office.
After pulling on her gloves, Sara opened the bag and upended it on the table before her. Jeans, size 42 by 34, a large t-shirt proclaiming "I LOVE LAS VEGAS", an empty tan knapsack, sneakers size 14, grey socks and leopard print bikini briefs tumbled out on top of a brown leather wallet.
Seeing the last, Sara shook her head. Why did so many people think leopard print looked good? She would never understand the desire to attire oneself in spots. She much preferred the soft supple nature of suede.
She flipped the wallet open, looking at the man's ID. Their victim had been visiting the City Without Clocks from Toronto. He had apparently been in the area only briefly, not even having had time to unpack his hotel room. Sara remembered the eagerness of the young man behind the counter. He must have thought to make a good impression on her. Unfortunately for that young buck, she was very taken.
She examined the wallet carefully. A slight dust seemed to have settled on the wallet. Sara frowned. It refracted light, seeming to Sara to form a small rainbow.
"Is that...mica?" Sara's eyebrows raised. She pulled a piece of tape and lay it carefully over the wallet, lifting the powder. Setting it on a slide, she slipped it under the nearby microscope.
"I'll be damned..."
The shards that were revealed beneath the intense magnification showed that the man's wallet was covered in mica dust.
"Where the hell did this come from? Hello..."
Sara shifted the slide over carefully. In among the dust was a tiny fragment of a different kind of substance altogether.
If Sara hadn't known better, she would have said that was a ruby.
Sara blinked and stepped back from the microscope.
"Ok...Mica dust and a small...ruby?" Sara stepped back to the microscope and magnified the lone fragment further. As it came into focus, Sara knew there could be no doubt. "Well...I guess I will be damned."
"For what?" Nick's voice caused Sara to look up sharply.
"Oh...Apparently Mr Coffee had some contact with rubies before he left us."
"That's not all. His wallet is covered in mica dust."
Nick appeared unsurprised by this information.
"Then I guess my coming to tell you they found mica on his body was a bust, huh?"
Sara waited.
"Oh, fine...they also found the strychnine. Said to keep an eye out for some sort of needle or something."
A shadow passed Sara's face and she turned to the table. Taking a pair of forceps, she gingerly picked up the briefs. Turning them in her hand, she examined them with a scrutinizing gaze.
"Holy hell...check this out. A small patch on the inside of his underwear. I'd say that'd be a first."
Nick shook his head.
"After a while on this job, you'd think you would have lost the ability to see be surprised by how far people will go to kill each other."
"No kidding." Sara looked at the man's wallet again. "I wonder...hey, Nick, hand me the print kit? It's on the chair." Nick handed it to her as she carefully pried open the wallet. "Damn...this had to have been in water at some point, it's stiff as all hell."
Sara quickly opened the case and pulled out the brush and powder she needed. She wanted to use the green, but this was not the time for frivolity. She could taste the breakthrough.
Nick stood in the doorway, watching as Sara dusted the inside of the wallet.
There, in the stark black of the powder, were two distinct prints.
Sara grinned at Nick.
"I think we've got him."
Sara quickly scanned the prints and compared them to Mr. Coffee. Only one matched. She raised her gaze to Nick, her eyes sparkling.
"We've got him. I'm running it through AFIS." Sara entered the print and leaned back. "Now we wait." The computer popped up a hit. "Or not..."
Sara quickly scanned the file. Male, mid forties, last seen heading for Las Vegas, Canadian citizen from Toronto. Currently enjoying the hospitality of the LVPD for drunk and disorderly.
The grin on Sara's face split her face wide.
"We've got him."
Sara glared at the man through the one-way mirror of the LVPD interrogation room. The worm had spilled everything. The Canadian embassy had been called in and had advised the man to keep his mouth shut. He had refused, claiming it had all been an accident.
He and his friend had been site seeing, not wanting any trouble. They had started drinking and decided to take a ride on a gondola. After harrassing their gondolier in ways too numerous to count, they left and drove into the desert. They had happened upon a long abandoned quarry and decided to take a swim. Unfortunately for the man sitting in the interrogation room, he hadn't known that his wife had wanted him dead. He had lent his friend a new pair of underwear, still in the package, the night before. They had been a present from his wife, a chemist.
When his friend had started swimming, he had complained of cramps. They had gotten out of the water and his friend had started convulsing. The man was a bit fuzzy on the timeline. Hard gin tends to mess with time perception, unfortunately.
When his friend had passed out, he had tried to wake him. When he had been unable to find a pulse, the man had panicked and stuffed his now stiff friend into the car, cracking his large ruby ring on the frame of the car, which was the fragment Sara had found on the wallet. He had then dumped him behind the first restaurant he had run across.
Unfortunately, no one had looked inside the dumpster before tossing out the coffee grounds. It wasn't until the trash pickup the next morning that the poor guy had been discovered.
Sara sighed. It was cases like these that made her weary. They had just been a couple of friends having some fun. Sara's shoulders slumped and she ran a hand through her hair.
Making her excuses, she trudged out of the precinct. She made her way back to her office, the weariness growing with each step.
"Hey, Sara! Going home?"
Sara focused her gaze on Warrick. He had been out all night on a hit and run. He looked as tired as she felt.
"Yeah, as soon as I can. Looking forward to some sleep."
"Yeah, I hear ya. Tell Catherine I said hey, won't you? When's she coming back, anyway?"
"The doc said she should be fine next week, so long as she doesn't take any more slugs to the head."
Warrick nodded, sympathy on his features.
"She behaving for you? I heard stories about her when she's sick."
Sara smiled, her weariness lifting slightly at the thought of Catherine's big baby routine.
"She's worse than Lindsey, believe it or not."
"Damn...I believe it! Good luck, Sara...I don't know how you do it."
With that, Warrick strode off down the hall. Sara watched him, her mind still mulling over thoughts of Catherine. Breaking away from her thoughts, she continued toward her office.
"Sara! Your socks are on fire!" Greg's shout echoed in the empty hallway.
"WHAT!" Sara sprinted down the hall, recalling that she had left the socks on the top of the pile of clothes. If the evidence was burned, her ass would be in a sling!
Sara looked around her office in a frenzy, trying to locate the fire. Greg stood int he middle of her office, a smirk on his face.
"April fools!" His laughter burst out loudly, grating against her ears.
Sara stood, staring at him. she spoke softly and calmly.
"If you ever want to father children, get out. Now."
The chilling tone stilled Greg's laughter. He took one look at Sara's face and fled as quickly as his legs would take him.
Sara closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She remembered now that she had returned the socks, along with the rest of the evidence, to the evidence room before she had gone to watch the interrogation.
She shook her head as she closed the door to her office.
Not quickly enough, she was sliding into bed. The sun was beginning to peek around the tightly closed blinds. She finished pulling her pants off and pulled the covers over her bare legs before wrapping her arms around her lover.
"Mmm..." Sleep tousled blond hair stirred on the pillow. "'re late."
"Sorry. The case ran a little long tonight."
Catherine turned, opening her eyes to gaze upon her Sara's face. A smile spread slowly across her face as she looked into those familiar brown eyes.
Sara watched Catherine stretch, her eyes taking in the delicious arching of her back before she wrapped her arms around Sara's neck. Catherine pulled Sara down for a deep, leisurely kiss.
"Mmmm...I missed you, hon."
Sara smiled.
"I missed you, too." She raised her head and looked down on Catherine, here eyes filled with love. "I thought I told you to make sure you didn't overdo it today."
Catherine looked up at Sara, her eyes turning blue as she tried to look innocent.
"I didn't! I was a good girl, all I did was sit on the couch and watch tv."
"Uh huh...and I suppose the entire place was cleaned by magic fairies."
Catherine grinned impishly.
"Of course it was! I'd never do anything like that...not when I'm hurt so baaaaadly," she moaned melodramatically.
Sara shook her head.
"You're a brat and I love you anyway."
"Good. I'd hate to have to tie you up to keep you here." Catherine raised her head, dropping a quick kiss on Sara's lips. "Unless I felt particularly...evil." The glint in Catherine's eyes caused Sara's heartbeat to quicken.
"Oh, no, you don't! I need sleep!" Sara mock glared at her playful lover. "Besides..." Sara's voice lowered as she leaned in toward's Catherine's ear. "Tonight, Lindsey's staying with that friend of hers...and I have tomorrow off."
Catherine groaned.
"Damn you and your evil ways. All right, all right, I'll behave." Catherine pouted, dropping her eyelids and looking up at Sara through her eyelashes. "Can you blame me?" Catherine began to run a finger along Sara's chest. "You're just so sexy..."
Sara captured Catherine's hand and brought it to her mouth, dropping a kiss on her errant finger before leaning down and kissing Catherine's mouth thoroughly.
"I love you. Now let me sleep, woman!"
Catherine smiled and turned back over, pulling Sara's hand with her. Sara settled in, tucking securely against Catherine's back as she let the feeling of her lover's body sweep away the trials of the night. Squeezing Catherine close in one last hug, Sara let herself be carried away to sleep, secure in the knowledge that when she woke, Catherine would be there to love her.

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