They had fought the entire time. They had fought while driving to the scene, while processing the evidence, while loading that evidence into the truck. The bickering didn't stop until they climbed back into the car to head back to the lab, both initiating "the silent treatment" on one another.
Sara folded her arms tightly, then yawned. Oh, so that was the source of the infamous Sidle crankiness, Catherine mused. Little Sara was sleepy. Well, little miss brunette was going to pay for her outright bitchiness, Catherine was sure of that. It also helped that Grissom was no where in the vicinity to save "his favorite CSI".
Eventually, Sara passed out.
Catherine wasn't really sure where she had developed the idea. It just came to her like some divine inspiration from the heavens above. A dove flying down from the clouds with a message saying, Yes, Catherine. This is the perfect solution.
It was spur of the moment. A rare opportunity. Except, after she did it, she realized it wasn't that perfect of an answer to her dilemma after all. In fact, she was sure it would only prove to perpetuate more issues in the future.
Well, on the other hand, it was rather funny to watch.
Sara was pulling and yanking. Griping and yelling. On the verge of spiteful laughter, spitting her utter hatred to anyone who would listen and/or crying out of pure frustration. Honestly, she had never seen Sara this animated. Hell, their latest squabble didn't even compare to this!
Sara watched Catherine exit their Denali and shut the door with a cocky defiance. She continued to seethe, glaring at her "superior".
Catherine leaned on the door, looking through the open window. She was half smiling, still admiring her handiwork. She wondered aloud, "I wonder why I never tried this before."
"Because it's illegal!" Sara grumbled. The word 'illegal' was almost a growl.
"You're in no condition to question this suspect," Catherine said seriously. "We both know how you get when you're like this."
"So you handcuff me to the damn steering wheel?" Sara asked exasperated, still trying to force herself free.
"Better than shooting you."
"Nothing. Look, I'll meet up with Brass in interrogation, then come back out and free you, okay?" Catherine winked, still feeling rather proud of herself even though she knew this would backfire somehow. Sara would surely want revenge. "I'll be two minutes, tops."
"Catherine, if you leave me here like this, I swear . . .," Sara warned, shaking her head in disbelief. This would be the last time she fell asleep in the car with Catherine at the wheel.
Catherine locked the doors, maybe as extra reassurance that Sara was indeed trapped in the vehicle. As she was leaving the car in the distance, she could hear her co-worker shouting some not-so-nice words at her. She had heard worse.
Jim Brass was waiting in the hallway when she approached him. He frowned when he asked, "Where's Sara?"
"Uh, she's tied up at the moment," Catherine smiled at her own little inside joke. "I can handle it alone and fill her in later."
Jim didn't seem to like the juvenile twinkle in her eyes, but he wisely ignored it as he ushered her towards the door, "Okay, he's all yours."
Catherine surely didn't expect the interview to take so long. In fact, she thought she would just scope out the suspect through the two-way mirror, excuse herself, then grab Sara. No. Instead, she reveled in her "genius". She told Brass that Sara was just "busy".
It had been thirty minutes since Sara had been locked in the car. Thirty minutes would give her plenty of time to think of a witty plan of revenge. Thirty seconds was all Catherine had to cover all her bases. She had to make sure Sara didn't touch a hair on her skin once freed.
Okay, so what was her plan?
Okay. The plan was: open the door, quickly reach in, unlock Sara and then get the hell out of Dodge. Simple enough, right? Foolproof?
With a deep breath, she approached the car and peered in through the open window. Sara was kinda limp and slouched in the seat, her arm still attached to the steering wheel. She was relatively calm despite the storm brewing in her pupils. Her head turned to face Catherine, her expression stone cold. All Catherine could say was, "I'm sorry. I didn't think I would be so long. This was really meant as a joke, you understand."
Sara didn't say anything. She just expectantly glanced at her restrained wrist, waiting for Catherine to release her from this handcuff hell. As Catherine opened the door, Sara laughed ruefully, "I guess I deserved this."
Catherine was speechless. She had no intention of locking the young woman up for this long. She most definitely didn't want to give the impression that Sara deserved to be treated like a criminal. "Sara, I never meant to. . ."
"It's okay, Catherine, really," Sara insisted, turning her head to face the blond. "Given my family history, my prior misadventures with alcohol and our recent squabble, this was quite ingenious of you. I'm just mad I didn't think of it first."
"Family history?" Catherine repeated meekly. That didn't sound promising.
"I'll tell you about someday or maybe you can ask Grissom," Sara sneered. She was being sarcastic again. "You two are pals. I'm sure you can get him to tell you all about it."
"Christ, Sara, I'm sorry," Catherine groaned. She quickly inserted the key on the ring connected to the steering wheel, heard the click and the handcuff gave way. Now this was the part of the plan where she ran like a bat out of hell, except she couldn't stop hearing Sara's desolate voice in her head. She couldn't shake those sad eyes knowing she was the reason for causing the young woman undo anguish. In that one second, she felt regret in her decision.
In the next second, she immediately forgot about feeling any kind of remorse.
The moment the lock gave way, Sara instantly grabbed Catherine's hand, her grip ungodly. Before Catherine could utter a syllable, she felt the cold metal slap her arm and heard the click. Catherine could only gape at her right arm, the silver metal ring snapped tightly around the wrist. She followed the chain to Sara's left arm, where the handcuffs were still connected. Finally, her eyes rested on the childlike glee in Sara's eyes. This was the revenge. Being handcuffed together.
Catherine then remembered she still had the key in her cuffed hand. Sara remembered at exactly the same moment, reaching her free hand over and smacking the key from Catherine's hands. They both watched the little bastard fall between the seats. Catherine stared blankly down the dark space knowing it would be hell to try and find it. She verbalized disbelievingly, "You bitch!"
"Pot and kettle, love."
"It was a joke!"
"Now I'm joking."
"Catherine." The two women reduced their squabble to a staring contest. Occasionally, one of them would tug on each other's arm, trying to cause discomfort. In reaction, the other would just yank back harder. Before they ripped out their shoulders, a voice called. Sara laughed. Catherine groaned. It was Gil.
Catherine whipped around, keeping her right arm hidden behind her. In doing so, she accidently yanked Sara's left arm downward causing the younger CSI to lean over the center console of the vehicle in an awkward position.
Sara mumbled in discomfort, "Uh, Cath? This is not. . .I need to sit up."
Gil walked over, eyeing the situation closely. He couldn't see too far inside, but he could see Sara keeled over like she was going to get sick. He then stared at Catherine with intense curiosity, "Is she alright?"
"Peachy. What's up?" Catherine answered quickly. When Gil moved to his left to get a better look, she moved to block his vision. He frowned at her. She smiled back.
"There's a new lead in the case. Check with Greg in DNA," Gil told them both, then ordered as he walked away. "Then meet me in my office once you get the results."
"Sure thing," Catherine forced a smile. She waited on him to be out of plain sight, then turned back around in hysteria. "You see what you did! We can't go in there like this!"
"I don't think we have a choice," Sara told her gently, then started to maneuver her way to the driver's side of the vehicle. "I tried looking for the key. Don't see it."
Catherine backed up just far enough to allow Sara to climb out. Once they were both out of the car, they stared at their new predicament. It suddenly occurred to both of them that walking around the lab was going to be an interesting experience. Forget that Sara was a bit taller than Catherine, because that would surely be awkward, but that wasn't really their main concern. Sara half smiled, "Won't it be funny when the boys see us walking like we're literally joined to the hip?"
"Hmm, yeah, especially after our little performance a week ago!" Catherine snapped, running her free hand through her hair. "We're just gonna have to find the key."
Sara held firm, keeping Catherine from going back into the car. She just smiled, "No. You started this. I'm finishing it. I'll decide when the cuffs come off."
"You'll decide?" Catherine repeated, now confused.
Sara held up the key in her free hand. Catherine then delivered her best death stare as Sara shrugged, "While you were talking to Grissom, I found it on the floor."
Catherine's eyes narrowed, "You said you couldn't find it."
Sara shrugged again, "I lied."
"Give. Me. The. Key."
Catherine spoke each word with its own ferocity and intensity. It almost scared Sara. Almost. She just smiled that quirky grin of hers, her thin eyebrows shaping the complete gleefulness written all over her face. It was obvious she wasn't going to unlock them. Not without a little persuasion. Catherine chuckled half-heartedly, "So, this is what you want? Us to be stuck together?"
Finally, that smirk washed away. Sara now looked concerned. "Catherine? Why are you looking at me like that?"
"We have to go see Greg," Catherine said evilly, using all her strength to force Sara to follow. The sudden movement caused Sara to stumble most of the way until they were inside the lab. The halls were slightly crowded and now Sara was suffering from a phobia that should've been bothering Catherine more. Only the blond was strutting down the hall like they were supposed to be cuffed together. Sara quickly shortened the space between them, trying to hide their hands. She did so just in time as they rounded the corner and ran into Warrick. Catherine smiled, "Hey, Rick."
"Hey. . .," he replied, but his greeting faded as he viewed how close the two women were to each other. Sara was practically on top of Catherine. Almost hugging her from behind.
Sara whispered through a strained smile and clenched teeth, "Okay, I'll unlock them now. You win."
"Not a chance," Catherine muttered back, then flashed another toothy smile at Warrick. "How's your case going?"
"Good," was all Warrick could say. His answer was drawn out and obviously confused.
"That's great, but we have to see Greg. Now," Sara insisted, pushing Catherine forward and past Warrick quickly.
He turned around slowly watching with great curiosity as Sara forced Catherine down the hall and into DNA. He took a moment to look through the glass and could see the two woman standing unusually close and clearly arguing about something. He wondered if he should intervene. He might have to prevent another possible suspension. . . .or a murder.
Then he saw Catherine smack Sara's hand. Sara's expression was priceless. Halfway between scared shitless and absolutely furious. He then decided that maybe it was just best to watch.
Nick approached, wondering what the hell was so interesting. "Hey, Warrick? What's up?"
"Shh," Warrick said to Nick. He pointed towards DNA and simply said, "Just watch. Something weird is going on with those two."
Nick stood next to Warrick observing closely, his eyes widening as Sara leaned in close to Catherine's ear. She was whispering something, but neither man could read lips. Catherine swung her head around in response, keeping the close proximity to Sara's face and looking just as ferocious. Then her face softened, saying something else obviously in a lighter tone. Sara also started to relax.
Nick could feel the smile forming on his lips, as he looked at Warrick, "Am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?"
"I don't know," Warrick shrugged, still watching the scene before him closely. Something was definitely off.
Nick began to chuckle, "If it is what I think it is. . .that's hot."
Warrick rolled his eyes.
Sara was sure to keep their cuffed hands hidden, well aware Warrick was still watching. This was absolutely mortifying! She stepped even closer to Catherine and hissed in her ear, "You just knocked the key clear across the room! How are we going to find it in Greg's Pig Sty?"
"Now you know how I felt back in the car," Catherine spat back, turning her head to face Sara and nearly knocking heads with the brunette, unaware she was so close. Now that Catherine had gotten back at Sara for getting back at her, it was time to end this. So she reassured in a softer voice, "Look, it was childish and I'm sorry. I want to get out of this too. We'll find it."
Sara visibly relaxed.
"Hello ladies!" Greg greeted them, sliding in on socked feet and smoothly falling into his rolling office chair. He then rode that over to his computer console. Since he was so preoccupied with sliding around, he didn't notice how extremely tangled up his two co-workers were. By the time they got situated, he was ready to report his findings. They stood side-by-side, trying to act natural but failing miserably. Greg raised an eyebrow and asked, "Is there something going on that I don't know about?"
"No," was their quick, unified reply.
Greg frowned as he viewed their positions. Catherine's right arm was hidden behind her back, while the left side of Sara's body was also hidden behind Catherine. It was almost as if they were holding hands. His eyes lit up and he observed, "I don't mean to pry, but you gals just look intimately close right now."
"Intimately?" Catherine repeated slowly, sure to use her free hand to push hair back behind her ears.
"Why am I always the last one to find these things out!" Greg shook his head in amazement. "I mean, congrats you two! I mean it! And uh, if you're ever interested in a ménage à trois. . ."
Ménage à trois? Sara finally caught on to what Greg was thinking and went to raise her cuffed hand in protest, but only managed to wretch Catherine's arm in a direction it wouldn't go. The blond shouted out in pain, "Jesus Christ, Sara!"
"Sorry," Sara mumbled, then pointed at Greg with her other hand. "We are not together!"
Okay, something definitely wasn't right. Greg gave them a blank expression. "Are you two okay?"
When Sara had raised her left arm, it was just high enough to clear the desk that had been blocking their vision. Shiny metal reflected in the light and both men winced when they saw Catherine's arm bend the wrong way.
Nick did a double take before he exclaimed, "Did you see that?"
"Yeah, we weren't just witnessing a lover's quarrel," Warrick grinned so wide it hurt. He was trying very hard not to laugh. "They're handcuffed together."
"How the hell. . .?" Nick muttered in disbelief, then covered his mouth to keep from laughing.
"I'm not sure I want to know," Warrick admitted.
Nick and Warrick turned around to find Grissom standing behind them. They immediately wiped the smirks off their faces as he asked, "Have you seen Catherine and Sara? They were supposed to meet me in my office."
The two men exchanged glances before shrugging and averting their glances to the floor. Then Nick surprised Warrick when he piped up with a huge grin on his face, "They're still in DNA, I think."
Warrick chimed in, with a mischievous smile all his own, "Yeah, they told me they had to talk to Greg. Maybe you should try there."
"Okay," Grissom nodded, walking past them, completely ignoring their huge grins.
"Oh, this I gotta see," Warrick chuckled, as the two men pounded their hands together in united trickery.
"Okay, listen Greg, I'm gonna level with ya . . ," Catherine grimaced, as Sara tugged on her arm in objection. Ignoring her, Catherine finished in a quieter voice, "We're handcuffed together and the key is somewhere on the floor."
"You're what?" Greg asked, then rose both eyebrows in surprise when the two women pulled apart to reveal their cuffed wrists. Before he could say anything immature, Sara called his name to grab his attention. He stared at the both of them, the seriousness on their faces priceless. He quirked one eyebrow this time and said devilishly, "Kinky. I swear, this is one of my fantasies playing out before me. Except, we were back at my place. With decidedly less clothing on. . ."
"For the love of God, Greg, come back to reality!" Catherine hissed. "Find the damn key."
Greg crossed his arms disapprovingly before Catherine groaned and rephrased, "Find the damn key, please."
"And try to be discreet about it," Sara pleaded. "Could you just pretend you dropped something and look for it?"
At that, Greg simply dropped his pen. They all listened to it clack on the ground, then he overtly kicked it away from him. In the most phoney way possible, he proclaimed, "Oops. I dropped my pen. I should pick it up now."
"Greg," Catherine warned, watching the younger man get down on all fours and search for both his pen and the lost key.
"Greg?" Grissom called from the entryway. The lab techie's head snapped up, while the two women struggled to turn and face their mutual boss without tripping over each other. It finally seemed to dawn on Grissom that something was definitely wrong. He squinted his eyes at them first, then asked the techie, "Why are you on the floor, Greg?"
"I'm looking for my pen?" Greg asked, trying to decide if that was the best answer to give. A glare from Sara made him amend the statement, "Yes, I'm looking for my pen."
"Did you give the results to Catherine and Sara yet?" he asked, sounding slightly irritated.
Greg still down on all fours, let his face scrunch up in a mildly pained expression, "Uh. No, I did not." Grissom gave him a very annoyed glare. "But I was just about to. Right now, in fact."
He rose from the floor immediately, rushed over to his printer and proceeded to hand the results over to the two women. They both rose their free hands to take it, grabbing it at the same time. There was a mild struggle, a few grunts of frustration. With an exasperated sigh, Sara let go and allowed Catherine to hold the results. After a few seconds, Catherine announced, "Looks like our perp and victim are related."
"Father and son to be exact," Greg finished, now taking refuge behind a lab table.
"Before you two go back to PD, I just wanted to discuss something in my office," Grissom said. Then he smirked, "And you might want to untangle yourselves first. The key is over there, by the computer."
On that note, he disappeared. Sara had her tongue in cheek, looking anywhere to avoid either Greg's amused grin or Catherine's humiliated expression. Greg was still smiling broadly, but Catherine's narrowing eyes made his heart stop. Sara was also looking at him impatiently. Greg finally understood and said, "Oh, you want the key. . ."
"Damn it, Greg!" Catherine nearly yelled. "Yes, we want the damn key!"
"Just get us the key before she has an aneurism," Sara said placidly.
Greg quickly crawled under the desk by the computer, retrieved the key and held it up, "Would you like me to. . .?"
They both held up their joined wrists and he unlocked the cuffs. Finally, they were free and they rubbed their chafed wrists in sweet relief. Greg watched them for a moment, then inquired curiously, "If you don't mind me asking, how did you two. . .?"
"We do . . ."
"...do mind," both women said nearly in unison. They glanced at each other before Sara remarked in exasperation, "You have got to stop finishing my sentences."
"Don't start mine," Catherine shrugged, before walking out of DNA ahead of Sara. Sara rolled her eyes, spied Greg holding the handcuffs and sighed heavily. He was looking at them with intrigue now and she could just hear the dirty thoughts running around in his head. He was most likely daydreaming about that whole handcuffed, ménage à trois scenario he had come up with earlier. He glanced up at her with complete dewy-eyed glee. She just shook her head and left.
They both sat in Grissom's office. If he was amused by what happened, he didn't show it. They discussed the case and were dismissed, but they didn't part without some infamous Gil Grissom wisdom.
They paused in the doorway and turned around to face him. He leaned back in his seat, "Do you know who Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was?"
Sara took a moment to think, then guessed, "A dead German poet?"
"Yes. A dead German dramatist, novelist, poet, and scientist, to be exact," Grissom smiled at them. "After witnessing two of his good friends quarrel over something meaningless and idiotic, he wrote this: 'There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.'" He then held up a pair of handcuffs with a pen and swung them back and forth. He even managed to smile at them, "Do I make myself clear?"
Sara and Catherine both looked at the floor and muttered, "Crystal."