Fandom: CSI/Highlander (ish)
Pairing: Sara/Sam (OMC)
Word Count: 1,211
Notes: Back to Alison Krauss titles.
When Sara woke that first morning, it wasn’t with a start, nightmarish images forcing slumber from her mind, making her sit bolt upright in bed, chest heaving, heart racing. Nor was it courtesy of the alarm clock, loud music blaring, demanding that she rise, get ready for work, face another day of catching the bad guys at the San Francisco Crime Lab.
No, when Sara woke that first morning, it was a slow and leisurely rise to consciousness, sleep fading gently like the morning mist over the bay, leaving her feeling refreshed, renewed. Eyes fluttering open, she blinked, finding blue sky beyond the window, a light smattering of clouds dotted along the sky. No pea soup fog this morning, just early summer sunshine, and the knowledge that she had the day off, could spend her time walking through the city, feeling its rhythms, made her smile.
Well, that, and certain other things.
Like the warm palm on her shoulder, the palm that traced a careful path down to her elbow, its owner’s way of telling her that he knew she was awake, that he was too. When it reached her elbow, that hand moved away from her skin, sliding over her waist over the bedclothes, pulling her closer to him. The sheets were cool against her naked flesh, but his body was warm against hers, and she snuggled closer to him, grinning as she felt the effect she was having on him. His lips pressed against her neck, and she felt his smile, shifting slightly so that she could lie on her back and look up at him, see him propped up on one arm, looking down at her. Eye bright and alert, he’d obviously been awake for quite a while, and she wondered why he hadn’t woken her, why he hadn’t got up. Going to sleep in his arms the previous night, there had been a part of her that had expected to wake up alone, though she chided herself that she should have known that Sam wouldn’t do that.
She should have known that Sam would wake up with her, would look just like he did now, smiling down at her, not speaking. Suddenly it hit Sara that this should feel an awful lot more awkward than it did. After all, they had a long history together – first teacher and student, then confider and confidante when she’d discovered his secret, then friends – but she’d never considered that they would ever end up here, in her apartment, in her bed.
Which, she was honest enough to admit, wasn’t exactly true. Along with half the female students in Tomales Bay – and a few of the males, it had to be said – she’d had a crush on Mr Sheridan, the handsome English teacher. They’d used to mutter it amongst themselves, the popular girls, about the virtues of an older man, and at first Sara had ignored them, shaking her head scornfully whenever she heard them. Later, after that afternoon in the woods, Sara used to listen to them and fight to hide her smile, wondering what they’d say if they knew just how old he really was.
“Penny for your thoughts.” His voice, low and intimate and, she thought, maybe a little nervous, broke the silence of the morning, and she was suddenly very aware of his fingers kneading her hip through the bedclothes. Blinking as she looked up at him, she noticed lines in his forehead that weren’t normally there, and she knew she was causing them, smiled to let him know that she was all right. When that didn’t work, she ran a hand up his arm, lifting herself up slightly so that she could kiss him. She meant it to be a light kiss, quick and almost chaste, but he had other ideas, pulling her closer against him, and when their lips met, she didn’t have any complaints about that whatsoever.
His lips on hers made the world disappear, and when it came back, when they were lying in one another’s arms, his fingers playing idly with her hair, he chuckled. “OK, that might be worth more than a penny.”
The words surprised a laugh out of her, and she slapped at his arm. “Watch it,” she growled, and he laughed again, blue eyes dancing, teeth flashing white. “How long have you been awake?” she asked him, and he shrugged, glancing at the clock on the bedside table.
“Not long,” was all he said, and she frowned up at him.
“You should have woken me,” she said, and his smile changed, softened as he lifted a hand, ran a finger down her cheek.
“Not for the world,” he told her, the simple words, the emotion behind them, sending shivers up and down her spine. Speaking was suddenly beyond her, so she settled for leaning into him, brushing her lips over his before pulling away, resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes contentedly.
For a long time, the only sounds in the room were their breathing, deep and even and relaxed, and the noise that filtered in from the street outside, a city going about its business, a world going on without them. For all Sara cared, it could go on like that forever. All she wanted to think about was Sam’s body against hers, the warm cocoon of the bedclothes, their own private universe in this small apartment.
Maybe that was all Sam wanted too, because his fingers traced lazy patterns up and down her back, across her shoulder blades, and his voice was drowsy when he spoke again. “Happy?” he murmured, and she nodded against his chest, before propping herself up as a thought occurred to her.
“Did you ever think we’d end up here?” she asked him, and his eyes opened wide at that, clear surprise initially, but then a shadow fell across them, and she had her answer. She felt a smile spreading across her face, fought to keep it back, and just about managed it, schooling her face into a mask of curiosity. “Even when I was a kid?”
His hands left her back, moved to cup her face, and he shook his head slowly. Not in a negative answer, she knew at once, but in confusion, frustration. “There was always something about you Sara,” he told her quietly. “But you were so young when we met… I knew that nothing could…” His voice trailed off with a sigh. “These last few years… watching you at Harvard, watching you become the amazing woman I knew you would become…” Another shake of the head, another long pause. “I dreamed about you Sara,” he told her, and if she’d never believed that the human heart could actually skip a beat, then and there, in that moment, she was a believer. “I just never dreamed it could come true.”
Sara’s sceptical side might have scoffed at those words had she heard them at any other time, in any other place, from any other man. At this time, in this place, from this man, with her face in his hands, sincerity in his eyes, she felt happier than she’d ever been.
Because his dreams had been her dreams too, and she knew exactly what he meant.