Pairing: Sofia/Lady Heather, (with a hint of Sara/Sofia) CSI
Rating: NC-17 Read at work at your own risk.
Disclaimer: CSI and all its characters are not mine, they belong to Jerry Bruckheimer
Summary: Sofia meets Lady Heather
A/N Warning: I don’t know Lady Heather that well. For those of you who have read my stuff, you should have some idea of how insane my muse is. I saw the first episode Lady Heather ever appeared in, and this is what popped into my head – for DAYS – until I finally wrote it to shut the muse up
Kink: This fic does deal with the idea of dominance and submission. Handcuffs will be used in a manner other than that recommended by the Surgeon General. That said, the kink isn’t really the point of the story, and it is completely consensual, so I don’t think it is particularly disturbing.
Archive: Yes, just please let me know where it’s going.
Shoutouts: To merrek, because you have to put up with sexist assholes all day. To serenitymeimei for being my beta and cheerleader. I never let her read the final version so any mistakes are mine. And to so_wicked you asked for it!
Sometimes she is my lover. We are partners in every sense of the word: we snuggle on the couch and watch old movies; we make love gently on lazy Saturday mornings and spend all day talking; we read the paper together on Sundays. Our house is bright and warm and her arms are my safe haven.
Sometimes it’s different. She is a stranger; someone I have met by chance. We do not know each other’s histories - we share nothing but this moment. The room is dark and hot and though I crave her touch, it is unfamiliar to me.
Some things however, are always the same. I can never see her face – it is never defined – but I always know her. She is powerful: strong, but not in the way of physicality. She is dangerous – deadly even – yet I am drawn to her with a need I can neither explain nor deny.
Always I feel the fire on my skin as she wields the lash with expert skill. I know the feeling of complete helplessness as I struggle in the chains while her sure touch teases my burning flesh and leaves me begging. And always, I know that perfect moment of complete surrender where everything in me is left raw and exposed to her – and I am known, accepted, loved – and my release leaves me shattered and remade.
I rarely think about the after. There can be no after unless she is truly my partner and lover, and yet even then I find it difficult to imagine what it might be like. Maybe I don’t want to. If there is no after, then it remains perfect – like the fairy tales we hear as children – there is only the climax and happily ever after.
This is no fairy tale, and so for now, it will remain buried; my fantasy, and the one thing my soul and body crave above all else
“Hey Sofia, you coming?”
Not nearly the way I’d like to be, is the sarcastic rejoinder that I keep firmly behind my teeth while I shove down the irritation I feel at his interruption. Frankly, the way things have been going lately, that fantasy may be my only company for quite some time.
“Yeah, be right there Jim,” I reply, trying to keep the weariness and frustration out of my voice. It’s not his fault.
This case is wearing on me. Hell it’s wearing on all of us. Young men and women, brutally tortured to death. You think you’ve seen it all, and then something like this reminds you that it doesn’t really matter if you have or not: death is still ugly and senseless and people are still evil.
I just want this to be done. I can feel the cracks in the armor I have welded around my soul to do this job, and that, more than anything else, scares me.
I am so tired: tired of fighting and fighting and never seeming to win against the tide of crime; tired of coming home every night to an empty apartment; tired of the shifting emotional sands and uncertainty that surround me every day in the lab – of the barely concealed glares and the way everyone walks on eggshells around me.
I told Sara I missed being trusted, but it goes so much deeper than that.
I want to trust again. I want to feel the safety of a lover’s arms or even the simple welcoming smile of a good friend.
I thought – hoped even – that there was a chance of something between Sara and I, but the distance I see in her gaze when she looks at me tore that hope away, and I am ashamed to say I let it go without a fight.
So here I am, walking out into the blistering Vegas heat with Gil and Brass to talk to a source of Grissom’s so we can try and shed some light on this damn case. I have no idea where we are going. Brass is being cagey and Grissom just smirked and said “you’ll see,” in that aggravatingly smug way of his. By the time we get away from the strip though, I have a sneaking suspicion of where we are going to end up, and I have to admit: I’m curious.
She’s shorter than I expected.
Not particularly inspired perhaps, but standing with Grissom and Brass in the opulent lobby of the ancient house-slash-brothel, it’s about all I can manage.
To be honest, I’m not sure what I really expected. All I can say is; I was curious.
Clinical, physical description is easy. The woman approaching us is aboutu my height, slender but curvy, with dark, almost mahogany hair, ivory skin and pale wintry blue eyes.
She moves with a sensuous grace as she descends the stairs; her black leather outfit purposefully designed to draw the eye – as it’s doing quite effectively with Gil and Jim.
Hell, as its doing to me
I will freely admit that I find her physically appealing. I’m not dead after all. But simple physical appeal is hardly rare, nor is it enough to stir anything deeper in me. There are lots of pretty people in Vegas.
Her sexuality is blatant, and yet almost unconscious – as if she has been doing this for so long she has forgotten how to be anything else.
Watching her walk toward us with all the predatory grace of a stalking panther however, I don’t believe that for a second. She knows exactly what she’s doing.
I take a brief glance at my companions and hold back a smirk. Poor Jim. He’s as old fashioned a gentleman as they come with a deep respect for women, but his tastes are decidedly vanilla. I’d bet a paycheck that an exciting evening for him is retiring early with a glass of good whiskey and his favorite show or sporting event. Brass is a simple man, with simple views and simple pleasures. It makes him a good person and a good cop who I trust with my life: it also makes him utterly mundane.
Grissom’s reaction is far more interesting. I’d heard the scuttlebutt of course. This woman is a bit of a celebrity in the department, and that’s saying something in Las Vegas – where the weird is commonplace.
It’s rumored that she claims to know a patron’s desires before they themselves know. She apparently told Catherine she’d make a great dominatrix – quite a compliment – and one Cath was quite flattered by. I could see it too. Cath is all about control. She is brash and obvious and guards her power zealously, but she’s the kind of person that fights you face to face. I can appreciate that in her – she is a product of a rough and tumble life and a will harder than steel. It makes me admire her and wish we could be better allies, but little beyond that.
It’s also rumored that Grissom is fascinated by this woman – not just by her profession – but by her psychological abilities. He apparently called her an anthropologist. I guess that was a compliment from him, though the implications of that label give me pause.
She is also supposedly the only woman he’s ever lost his cool for, and that I find interesting. Grissom studies people. He figures them out and then dismisses them – never letting them get close enough to touch him. That she supposedly has an affect on him - combined with his comment about her alleged abilities - made me curious.
I wonder what she would say about Sara.
I wonder what Sara would say about her.
Watching Gil watch her with fascination, something I have never seen on his face and can only assume is the Grissom version of lust, and a hint of fear however, I am beginning to believe the scuttlebutt. I am still unsure what to think of her however, when she speaks in a smoky, cultured voice that whispers down my spine most pleasantly.
“Dr. Grissom, Captain Brass. What can I do for you gentlemen this evening? I assume you are not here to indulge yourselves.”
“I’m afraid not, we’re here on business,” Grissom says, his voice softer than usual.
I roll my eyes at Gil and am about to just introduce myself, when she turns to look at me, and I mean really look at me.
Everything else fades away, like mist before the sun, and I am pinned for a second by eyes the color of Arctic glaciers; eyes that seem to look right through my skin. I feel trapped and completely exposed under her gaze. I am suddenly hyper aware of my heart beating; of the breath in my lungs. Even as I am suddenly open to her however, something is visible to me as I stare back. For the briefest fraction of a second, she drops the mask of polite civility and I see the control she wields over herself – I glimpse just how much she is holding back and how much power coils within her. My analogy of a panther was close, but,
God, I had no idea
It makes me shiver. Hell, it does more than that: it makes me want to drop to my knees and surrender myself to her will.
It terrifies me.
It turns me on.
“Gentlemen,” she speaks, still holding me fast with her eyes. “Where are your manners? You fail to introduce me to your stunning colleague.”
Then Grissom speaks and the tether is snapped; the moment gone as if it never existed, and I am left nearly trembling.
“Detective Sofia Curtis, meet Lady Heather.”
“Pleased to meet you Detective,” she says with perfect smoothness and clarity while it takes nearly everything I have to manage a slightly husky, “Likewise.”
Normally, this is where I start to get pissed: pissed at myself, for the loss of control, and pissed at her for trying to play me.
So why am I not angry right now? Because she isn’t trying to play me. There is no hint of mockery or smugness in her gaze or manner. She knows exactly the effect she’s having on me, yes, and she won’t apologize for it –its who and what she is – but the fact that my body, my whole being, responds to her like a tuning fork to the hammer; well, that’s not her fault, is it?
Brass takes the lead in the questioning and thankfully I am able to drag my attention back to the matter at hand. We are actually here for consultation, not because Lady Heather is connected to the case, and as I watch her look at the crime scene photos of young people murdered - supposedly by torture or rough play gone wrong – I am glad. She displays no emotion but the socially appropriate distaste for murder. Not a blink or a breath gives away her true feelings. I would hate to have to interrogate her.
I’d rather have her interrogate me, comes the errant thought before I can mentally slap myself.
Tightening the rein on my libido, I re-focus on why we are here.
“Your victims are not gagged.”
“So?” asks Brass. Grissom picks up the photo again, looking at it like it will suddenly give up its answers.
Lady Heather merely arches one sculpted brow and contemplates the guys like a teacher with two promising but occasionally dense students.
“In such situations, the submissive would have made a great deal of noise. That the dominant - in this case your perpetrator - did not gag them, most likely means that they wanted to hear the victims.
“Son of a bitch wanted to hear them scream,” Brass growls.
“Perhaps,” she replies coolly, holding out her hand for the photos again. “However, the methods used here are extremely sophisticated; painful in the extreme but not fatal. There are much easier and quicker ways to make a person scream, Captain. You should know that. Perhaps it was not screaming the murderer wanted to hear from his victims.”
Now she has my full attention, not to mention Gil and Brass’.
“What do you mean Lady Heather?” Grissom asks.
Pointing again to the photo of the vic, she outlines the position the boy had been hung in.
“The victims have all been tied, hanging from their arms, but there are penetration wounds in the wrists, and note how the feet are tied together, with identical wounds below the ankles. Commonly, in situations of sexual submission or simple torture, you would see the legs spread wide – exposing the victim – making them more vulnerable, especially with young women. See the bolts in the floor? This room was equipped for such restraint, why were their legs tied together? And here, this wound in their sides? Identical on each victim.”
Now she turns and pins both men with her arctic gaze.
“Are you a religious man Captain Brass?”
It was Gil who answered however, in a slightly awed tone.
“The spear that pierced Christ’s side. These crimes are religious in nature. The killer is re-creating the crucifixion.”
“Yeah, only he’s making it worse than the original.”
I could hear the weariness and disgust in Jim’s voice - the same feelings I had been battling this whole case. Now however, I feel the familiar cleansing fire of the hunt begin its slow burn through my blood. We have a lead and a jump on creating an accurate profile for this bastard. We are closing in. I take a breath, letting that heat push back the exhaustion, annealing the cracks in my soul. I know I’m heading for a crash, but I can see it through now.
Grissom gathers up the photos, excitement in his movements. Brass is quiet.
The guys thank the Lady and we turn to leave.
Everything in me wants to stay, to feel that electric stare again, but I can’t; not with the guys here. Still I hang back, just a bit, unable to stride out the door just yet.
“Detective Curtis,” her voice raises the hair on the back of my neck, and I turn, forcing myself to do it slowly. I will not act like naïve, hormones-on-overdrive kid. Honestly, I won’t.
The current in her eyes is dimmed, but not gone, and I swear I can feel the force of it crackle across my skin, hot and promising.
“When you are ready, I will be here.”
It’s a calm, simple promise…and it leaves me breathless.
Thankfully, Brass yells something from outside and I manage to pull myself together enough to nod. Standing in the cool dim lobby – her domain – with the desert and the guys waiting, I don’t bother to deny the impact she’s had on me.
“Thank you,” I manage quietly, then spin on my heel and stride out, putting on my shades to shield my eyes – and my roiling emotions.
I guess the rumors were true.
Nearly two weeks pass before it’s finally over. Donavan Kerry: 39, single, white male, raised in a house with a drunken abusive father and a drunken, religious mother, a Catholic priest wannabe who was never accepted to the priesthood, and now, a vicious killer. Dead vicious killer actually, thanks to some nice shooting from our own SWAT team and the feds.
I never thought I’d be glad to have the help of the Feds. But I am. Kerry is dead; his latest victim home with her family. He never had time to do much to her.
We never would have found him without the religious profile. I guess we have Lady Heather to thank for that. Kerry wasn’t native to Vegas, hence the Feds. Their profiler missed the crucifixion connection – they were running as blind as we were. We finally narrowed it down to private religious prep schools. Kerry had faked credentials and was volunteering his time at different schools – picking out his victims. Every one of them was bright, confident, smart, and bound to succeed in life. Every one of them had something he perceived as a flaw. Some were beginning to question their faith; one girl and another boy were gay. Little, stupid reasons that he tortured and killed them for. It still makes me sick to think about it.
We won and I know I should be thrilled, but all I feel is a bone deep exhaustion that is probably the only thing keeping the guilt and slow, deep rage at bay. I would hit something if I wasn’t so damn tired, and the tug-of-war of emotions is wearing on me, pushing me past tired into overdrive. Not a good place to be.
For the moment, the inter-agency pissing contest seems to have been put aside in the spirit of “Thank God we caught him” and the teams are going out to celebrate. I should go with them. I certainly earned it. But right now the thought of sitting in a crowd of slightly drunk cops and feds trying to be all chummy makes me want to vomit…or kill something. I haven’t decided which.
I’m so on edge I could scream and my jaw aches from clenching it. My skin itches and I feel dirty – guilty somehow that we didn’t stop him sooner. I’m coming down from the post chase high and I can feel myself crashing. I need to not be here, in the lab, when that happens.
The image of the desert awash in the gentle, cool light of the moon suddenly slips across my mind and with a final press of the keyboard, I finish and send my last report. I lock my desk, grab my keys and stride from the lab, only years of practice in holding my emotions in check is keeping me from lashing out at something.
“Sofia, aren’t you going out with the teams?”
A soft voice penetrates the gray fog in my mind.
I turn to find Sara looking at me, an unusual expression on her face. Instead of the normal distance, I see…compassion? Warmth?
My need to feel such things from her nearly undoes me, but my control remains – tattered – but intact.
“No. I uh, I have somewhere I need to be.” I nearly choke on the words and brush past her, my heart giving one last cry as I smell the faintest hint of her perfume in the air.
I hit the back roads and am soon heading away from the neon light of the strip. The desert is dark and welcoming; the cool night air a benediction on my face. I take no conscious direction, just drive. I’ve lost track of time, though I haven’t gone all that far: I can still see the strip in my rearview when I find myself turning off the main road. There is a house in front of me and as I pull up and park, I have to chuckle bitterly at where my subconscious has brought me