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tv - lost girl - lauren looking down

atfm in passion_perfect

Title: A Conversation in the Rain
Fandom: CSI
Pairing: Catherine/Sofia
Summary: Stuck in a traffic jam.
Disclaimer: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AN: Thanks to darandkerry for the beta.
AN 2: First attempt at this pairing. I guess it would work for the 1001 Nights table's 'weather', if you want it, ralst.



”Great.“ Catherine threw up her hands in an annoyed fashion, and then let them drop back onto the steering wheel. Channelling her frustration, she squeezed tightly in a knuckle-whitening death grip before eventually letting her hands slide down the dark leather and into her lap. “Three drops of rain and the city’s infrastructure completely breaks down.”

That particular number was, of course, an understatement. Hours before, the heavens had opened up, bringing a virtual deluge of rain down on Las Vegas. Apparently, it’d decided more than a puny shower was needed to wash the city clean of its sins. In his time, Noah might have gloated at his fellowmen because he had an Ark and they didn’t, but as it was, everyone continued to manoeuvre their cars through the flooded streets, just like the drivers behind or in front of them.

However, at this particular moment, nothing was moving at all as the failure of traffic lights had caused a hopeless chaos of cars, buses and trucks to congest the intersection ahead of them. The drivers were becoming more aggravated by the minute, and the sound of impatient honking worked its way through the lines of cars in a chain reaction.

“It’s the season.” Sofia watched rivulets of water run down the windshield and refract the red glow of the countless taillights like a prism, only to be swept away by the swift moving wipers. The lights from the cars were the only source of anything bright in the gloomy weather in this part of the city; yet, their intense amplification by the rain only seemed to bring out the dullness that surrounded them even more.

It was true that it was the time of the year when the heavy, sweltering heat and humid air were frequently relieved by violent thunderstorms. And, as if to validate Sofia’s statement, the inside of the car became illuminated for a fraction of a second, followed by thunder exploding right above them.

Catherine flinched noticeably and turned off the ignition. “All the more reason to be prepared for it, isn’t it? You’d think one of these years they’d equip traffic light cables in such a way that they don’t die at the first sign of a drizzle.” She looked out at their rain-soaked surroundings. “I don’t see the point in driving out to the crime scene when all evidence will most likely be compromised. We might very well come out of this one empty-handed.”

“And heaven forbid that Catherine Willows wastes her time on a case she might not be able to close successfully.” The mumbled response had a distinct sound of irritation.

Striking the pose she assumed when she felt she was being attacked, Catherine turned to face Sofia as best she could with the seatbelt still fastened across her upper body. “And just who spit in your soup today?”

“No one.”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Who says somebody did? Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Blame it on the weather or something like that.”

“I’m the mother of a petulant fifteen-year-old; I know the difference between a stroppy reply and snapping at someone to cover up how you’re feeling.”

“Cover up how I’m feeling? I’m not covering anything up. I’m just splendid, thank you very much.” Sofia leaned forward and opened the glove compartment, retrieving a piece of cloth from it. She began to wipe the steamed up window on the passenger side and peered out into the dusk that was beginning to fall. The rain hadn’t let up as its steady drumming rhythm continued to beat down on the roof of the car, and there was no sign of movement in the line of cars ahead of them.

“Getting defensive and diligently performing a task of little relevance to distract me tells me it’s a relationship gone bad,” Catherine observed calmly.

Sofia gave her a curious look and smiled slightly in spite of herself. “Damn you.”

Catherine chuckled darkly. “I am an investigator. My job description demands that I notice these things. You of all people should know that.”

“And I thought you specialised in blood spatter,” Sofia muttered.

“You mean you thought you were safe.”

A noncommittal snort was Sofia’s only reply, and it was nearly drowned out by a drawn-out rumble of thunder from the outside.

“So,” Catherine continued, “what went wrong?”

Tapping an erratic beat on her knee with her fingers, Sofia stubbornly stared out of the window once more and hesitated before she replied. “Her, me, us.” She shrugged. “Who cares anyway?”

Catherine perceived a slight bitterness in the other woman’s voice. It was the bitterness of someone who’d been disappointed by love often. She knew it well and recognised it easily, though she truly wished she didn’t because it meant the feeling was all too familiar. But, there was also a sense of an underlying hurt innocence, the innocence of those who still dared to open their hearts to others.

“It seems like you do care,” she said softly.

Sofia’s face tensed in an intense emotion for a second before it relaxed again. “I don’t want to care.”

“You’re only in real trouble if you ever stop caring.”

In Catherine’s eyes, it was okay to let people affect her and to not be fine if she was left behind, even though that attitude might have come as a surprise to those around her. The trick was to not let anyone know she cared, stripping away the satisfaction of realising they could make her feel like shit.

“Anyone I know?” she asked casually when Sofia remained silent.

“No.”

“You sure?”

When Sofia turned her head to look at Catherine, the lightning split the dim interior of the car for the briefest of moments, and she thought she saw something akin to jealousy flit over the other woman’s features. “It’s not Sara, Catherine.”

Catherine considered protesting, asking Sofia why she’d think she had Sara in mind, but she knew Sofia’d see right through her. Without as much as an attempt to explain, she said simply, “Good.”

Refraining from any further comment on the matter and running her hand over her face as if to wipe away the outer signs of her inner turmoil, Sofia let out a frustrated groan. “I just can’t believe I made the same stupid mistake again.”

“Believing too strongly and loving too blindly?”

Sofia glanced at her, surprised.

“What?” Catherine raised an eyebrow. “You think I haven’t been there? We all have.”

“So, why do we do it again and again and again?”

Catherine shifted in her seat and shook her head. “That’s just how we are. We run into a wall head first, and no matter how bad the pain is, as soon as we’ve recovered, we do it again. I guess that’s what ‘history is bound to repeat itself’ means.”

“You’d think mankind would be extinct by now.”

Sofia seemed so genuinely puzzled by the question why the human race hadn’t died out due to its own stupidity that a small, husky laugh bubbled up from Catherine’s throat. “Another of those typically human traits. We always bounce back. Good thing, too.”

Cocking her head to the side, Sofia gave Catherine a look. “Awesome. We get run over by a truck and survive so we can be run over by another truck.”

“Not so cynical, Detective. Wouldn’t want to let a single bitch or bastard bring you down at once, would you now?”

Before Sofia could reply, both women were caught off guard and jumped when someone knocked on the window on the passenger side. They exchanged a nervous look, and Sofia rolled down the window. Outside stood a young officer, a cape loosely draped over his uniform, droplets of water running down his chubby cheeks. He grinned when he recognised Sofia. “Hey, Curtis.”

She smirked. “Drew the short straw again, Sanchez?”

“Yeah, can you believe it? Gotta love a good traffic jam in a thunderstorm.” His good mood appeared to be unaffected by the weather. “We’re just going around asking people to be patient and letting them know the problem will hopefully be fixed in the next hour or so.”

“The next hour or so?” The quality of Catherine’s voice was closer to the growl of a wolf than to a woman’s timbre.

“They’re working as fast as they can,” Sanchez said apologetically and smiled again. “At least you’re dry in here. Anyway, I gotta move to the next vehicle. Inner poise!”

When his form had disappeared from the spot where he’d been standing, a gust of chilly wind swept in and carried a fine spray of water with it. Sofia hastily rolled the window back up and shivered slightly.

Catherine noticed goosebumps rising on the other woman’s arms, the tiny blonde hairs standing on end. Reaching out automatically, she smoothed them back into place with her palm. When Sofia gazed at her curiously, she returned the look silently for a long moment before she spoke again.

“So, what’s your strategy to get over her? Cutting all photos of her into minuscule pieces? Spending time with Johnny Walker? Credit card your best friend?”

Sofia chuckled incredulously. “You never let anything go, do you?”

“Nope; relentless as the rain, honey,” Catherine playfully retorted. As if to underline her point, the wind let the raindrops patter against the side of the car violently.

“Well,” Sofia said, “if you must know, my weapon of choice is sugar. Unhealthy amounts of it. Chocolate, custard, cotton candy – it doesn’t matter, just so long as it’s sweet.”

Catherine seemed intrigued. “Interesting; I’ve never tried that one. Does it work?”

Sofia shrugged. “I guess. Sugar-induced euphoria does have its merits. No hangover. It’s been a few hours since I had something sweet, though.”

“That explains the testiness.”

A flash of lightning coincided with Sofia’s mock gasp and gave the scene the look of a cheap horror movie. “Saucy.”

Catherine smirked and turned her head to look out on her side of the street. It was dark now, and still the rain beat down mercilessly, water rushing down the drain in streams. The pavement was deserted, and only a few shop windows were illuminated. Narrowing her eyes to see through the blurry glass, Catherine scanned the rows of houses searchingly. Then, she abruptly reached to her side, snapped her seatbelt loose and pushed the car door open. “Be right back.”

“Where are you—” The rest of Sofia’s sentence was cut off by the door being slammed shut. She leaned over to the driver’s seat in an attempt to see where Catherine was going and what the hell she was doing, but the darkness had already swallowed her. Alone in the car with nothing to do, Sofia’s mind began reeling, her thoughts stumbling over unpleasant and unwanted memories. Work was usually a welcome distraction, and she was surprised to find that talking to Catherine had done her good. But, in solitude, her mind was still preoccupied with the break-up, and her emotions went on a rampage. She was thankful when Catherine returned to the car a few minutes later, managing to slip inside without bringing much rain or cold air with her.

Soaked to the skin but smiling, Catherine handed Sofia a styrofoam cup, took a sip from her own, and sighed contentedly. Sofia engulfed the cup with both hands and inhaled the strong aroma of the coffee. “Thanks.”

“I got more.” Catherine held up a crumpled and slightly damp paper bag. “Here.”

Extending her left hand, Sofia took the bag, unrolled its upper part and peered inside. When she looked back at Catherine, a small smile had formed on her lips. “A donut? You bought me a donut?”

“Sugar fix.”

“Yes, but, Catherine…a donut?”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“I’m a cop. Cops…donuts…get it?” Sofia seemed amused that she was about to confirm a cliché.

With a laugh, Catherine leaned in quickly and whispered, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. Besides, it’s double chocolate.”

“I saw,” Sofia chuckled. “How very sweet of you; no pun intended. But really, thank you.”

“The motive was a purely selfish one. Looks like I’ll have to spend a little more time in this car with you,” Catherine informed her earnestly, but the twinkle in her eyes gave her away.

“If I didn’t know better, I might suspect you’re trying to woo me. Outrageous.”

“Maybe I am. Who knows?” Catherine smiled enigmatically.

Sofia grew serious. “I appreciate that you cared enough to ask what was wrong and that you scampered through the rain to get me a donut. It’s a good feeling. But I’m—“

She was interrupted by Catherine’s hand gently patting her arm and a pair of blue eyes regarding her reassuringly. “I know. No hurry.”

Relaxing into her seat, Sofia drank her coffee and smirked. “You know, I could get used to this. What else do you have in mind to convince me?”

“Shut up and eat your donut, Curtis.”

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Comments

No Sassy in this fic. ;) Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. :)
I know. I was just playing. ;)
That was really good. I'm kind of on the fence about this pairing, but this one really worked.
Me too, especially since I'm not the hugest Catherine fan, but this idea only seemed to work with her, and I enjoyed writing it.
I'm not a huge fan of this pairing but this was very sweet, and very well done.
I'm slowly but surely warming up to it. Thanks. :)
Fantastic fic. So easy to picture it all, and very easy to picture those two talking/acting like that.

Perfect end line, too! =D
Glad it was believable, thanks. I love a good end line, but they're hard to come up with. :)
There is so much I could say about this piece...

1) ty so much for writing Cath/Sofia :)

2) your descriptions of the scene leave me in awe...

eg: “It’s the season.” Sofia watched rivulets of water run down the windshield and refract the red glow of the countless taillights like a prism, only to be swept away by the swift moving wipers. The lights from the cars were the only source of anything bright in the gloomy weather in this part of the city; yet, their intense amplification by the rain only seemed to bring out the dullness that surrounded them even more. ... I guess living in Europe makes the rain 'easier' to describe ;-)

3) Catherine was (is) perfect.

4) Sofia was (um, yeah, is) perfect.

5) The conversation and the actions were perfect.

Um, I think you get the gist of how I saw this piece...

Thank you.
1) It's not a secret I'm not the biggest Catherine fan, but I'm warming up to her, and there was this small scene from somehwere in the middle of the fic in my head that wouldn't go away. :)

2) LOL, I suppose it does. Glad you liked the description.

3) I still feel like I have no grasp on her whatsoever, so it's good to know she wasn't completely out of character.

4) Now this would be bad if I had no grasp on her. ;)

5) Yay. :)

Thanks for reading and thanks for the wonderful feedback. :)
Heh, aww. Cath got her a donut...it's so cute!
Sweet, even. :)
*giggles* How fun! And sweet! Literally... *veg*
Glad you liked it. :)
Oh my yes... *g*
I didn't expect that, but it's nice. Thanks for taking this one on. Looks like I shifted my mistake focus from commas to using the wrong words, though I'm not sure that's a good thing. :)

YAYCATHXSOFIAWHEE

Oh, it's just wonderful.

I'm very happy with the end. If they had gotten any closer it probably would have ruined it.

Re: YAYCATHXSOFIAWHEE

Thank you, I'm glad you liked it. Just like I had to acquaint myself with these two, they slowly had to do the same. :)
*smirk*

Oh, Cath. So very sneaky.

I laughed when you managed to sneak a bit of Sara in there.
*grins* Yep.

Well, I'm more of a Sassy writer, somehow I can't have Sofia completely without Sara. :)
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February 2019

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