DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters. Wish I did...
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: General season 5 and 6 spoilers.
All or Nothing
"So you think you know me."
It wasn't a question, but a firm statement. Sara lifted her head up from the microscope, startled, to see Sofia Curtis standing in the doorway, with her arms crossed. She was leaning against the doorframe, her head slightly tilted, as she studied the brunette CSI in front of her.
A look of confusion crossed Sara's features, as she turned her head to face the young detective, who not so long ago was working alongside her, yet in a different capacity.
Sofia lightly shook her head, as if to shake off the invisible fluff off her golden hair, the long tresses falling gently on the back of her arms, revealing the gentle contours of her cheekbones and porcelain skin. She continued to stare questioningly at Sara, who in turn dropped her gaze, pursing her lips in wonderment and trying to take in what she had just heard.
"What are you talking about?"
Sara didn't even realise the word have left her mouth, not until, looking up, she noticed Sofia's somewhat puzzled reaction. The former CSI - turned detective moved her head slightly, once again letting her hair slide over her back and chuckled. Confused, Sara spun around in her chair, directly facing Sofia now.
"What's so funny?"
Her head tilted back, with eyes inspecting the cream-coloured ceiling, Sofia let her tongue wet her lips in slow move, before lowering her gaze and smiling at Sara.
"Well... your reaction, for starters..." Sofia retorted seriously, her voice however taking on an ever so slightly mirthful note. "It looks as though you might be having a problem. With me."
Oh, please! Sara almost snorted with disbelief. Was this what it was all about? She didn't even try to hide her exasperation. Letting out a breath she didn't know she was holding, the brunette gathered her composure before lifting her head, as her eyes met Sofia's.
"I do not have a problem with you" She simply stated, as calmly as she could, although her trembling hands would have disagreed.
Sofia neither made a move nor reacted to Sara's words in any visible way, but a little smile played in the corners of her lips. Her confident look was starting to infuriate Sara, as much as it worried her, too. The detective continued to glance at her, the sea-deep like eyes boring into the young CSI, who was growing more uneasy with each second. Shifting nervously in her swivelling chair, Sara clasped her hands together, her fingers unconsciously fiddling with the buttons of her lab coat.
"Well..." Sofia started again, giving her sentence a meaningful pause. "You see, that's not how it looks from my point of view."
Ignoring Sara's rather blank expression, the blonde continued.
"I've worked with many different people, Sara. And during the course of my work, and I'm not only talking about being a CSI, I've developed rather accurate perception skills. Those in conjunction with my job, have come in very useful, especially in some instances."
As she spoke, Sofia slowly made her way over to the table, where Sara was sitting, almost entranced, her eyes focused on the figure before her. She felt Sofia's words being engraved in her brain, tentatively making their way into her subconscious.
She felt paralysed, as if she had just entered another dimension, one where the only presence was of herself and the person speaking to her at that very moment.
"I used to pride myself on knowing people, on being able to penetrate their veneer. I felt comfortable easily relating to others and even making friends. Which, as you probably know isn't that easy in our line of work."
Sofia turned her head and her gaze locked with Sara's, who, looking up, was now fully immersed in the other woman's monologue, and something very much resembling fascination, was transpiring from the depths of her hazel-brown eyes.
"Yes, did." Sofia confirmed half-heartedly.
"And do you know why?" Not waiting for Sara's answer, the detective continued. "Because along came someone who thinks she knows me. The person I really am. But she's wrong."
"I never judged you." Came a harsh whisper.
Despite herself, Sofia chuckled, her crystalline voice subtly echoing through the room.
"You wouldn't though, would you?"
All of a sudden, it was Sara's turn to make her feelings known. In one swift motion, she rose from her chair, its wheels turning over and over, as they carried the object straight into the file cabinet, hitting it with a distinct thud. Neither of the women seemed to pay attention, however.
Sara stepped forward, involuntarily moving closer to Sofia. They stood inches from one another, yet neither of them touching. Sara's breath felt ragged, as she realised the proximity of the other woman. Her pulse skyrocketed, yet somehow she managed to keep her voice level.
"I wouldn't what, Sofia?"
Even now, after so many months of spending the time with the person now before her, the name still felt foreign in Sara's mouth. Yet, she couldn't deny the almost tingling sensation on her tongue, every time she was able to say it out loud.
Sara tried her best to sound as casual as she could, but she still wasn't able to get rid of the slight tremor in her voice. Sofia pursed her lips and her head tilted to the right, as she seemed to contemplate Sara's question, wondering whether perhaps she did misjudge the woman in front of her.
"Why wouldn't I judge you?" Sara repeated, snapping Sofia out of her temporary reverie. The CSI sounded almost desperate in her plea, wanting so much to resolve the tension between them, but both women knew better than that. Sofia looked down and Sara's gaze followed, only now acknowledging the closeness that formed between their bodies. Sara's pulse quickened, but she didn't back away. Instead, she lifted her head and looked into Sofia's eyes, daring her to answer. To her surprise, the taller woman reciprocated her gaze, along with an intensity Sara's never come across before.
"I think you know why." The detective whispered, before slightly leaning towards her colleague, the faint scent of her perfume briefly touching Sara's nostrils, almost making her dizzy. The silky, blonde hair briskly brushed against the brunette's arms, as Sofia took a step back and walked over to the window.
Sara stared after her, her feelings in turmoil. She wanted to disagree with her, argue about the pointlessness of her insinuations. But she couldn't. The words refused to come out, as she fruitlessly moved her lips, trying to speak.
The truth was, that ever since Sofia Curtis joined their team, right after Conrad Ecklie infamously went on a witch hunt, among the members of the Night Shift, Sara Sidle has discovered a new side to herself, one that she wasn't even aware, existed. Such revelation has been a startling experience at first, and Sara has been trying to push it to the farthest part of her mind ever since that moment.
It has been easy enough at first. She was always pretty good at disguising her feelings, and it proved no different on this occasion. She would avoid talking to Sofia as often as she could, and try to keep out of her way.
Yet despite all of her efforts, things were not getting easier, but quite the opposite, in fact. And although Sara staunchly insisted on keeping her life as it was, she realised that it was no longer possible.
Every moment spent with Sofia was filling her with multitude of vehement emotions, throwing her off-balance with a single word, a random smile, a touch. She didn't know how to deal with the novelty of her feelings, so she did what she'd always done - ignored them, thus rejecting her true, and only just discovered, nature.
Sara wanted to believe that Sofia was none the wiser about her inner turmoil. I was wrong, she sadly admitted to herself, glancing at the figure at the window, with her back to the brunette.
Was it all or nothing now?
Sara hung her head, contemplating her words. She could have either denied everything, and it would have been only too easy, considering the practice she'd had in the last few years. Or she could have always told the truth.
The words were so quiet, that, for a moment, Sara wasn't even sure if she'd even said it out loud. Nonetheless, Sofia heard her.
"I do know what you're talking about." Sara added, after a moment. "But that doesn't mean that I'm going to do anything about it."
Sofia still hasn't turned around. She'd been staring out of the window, as if something outside has caught her undivided attention, yet she was still focused on Sara's every word. The latter, meanwhile was once again caught off-guard by Sofia's blunt question and something very much like anger flared inside her.
"Why do you think?"
Sofia's chest rose with a deep breath, and turning around, she bored her eyes straight into Sara, who momentarily froze, nearly frightened by what she saw.
"Why are you asking me questions you already know the answers to?" Sofia spoke evenly, her gaze not leaving Sara's face. "And," she rose her hand, silencing Sara, who was opening her mouth to reply, "don't tell me that I'm wrong, either. Because you know I'm right."
"Is that so?" Sara took a step forward, followed by another few, quickly finding herself within Sofia's personal space. "Maybe it is", she added, answering her own question. "Maybe you're right. And to be completely honest, I'm tired of this game."
Sofia's eyes widened at Sara's candid admission and a victory smile started to form on her lips.
"Who said it was a game?"
Sofia lifted her hand, putting it on Sara's arm, gently moving it up and down. The brunette didn't shake it off, which encouraged the other woman to intensify her caress. Sara felt paralysed, her eyelids started to feel heavy and she let out a small moan, as the detective's hand moved down to her waist. For the first time in many months, Sara Sidle looked in the eyes of Sofia Curtis and saw what she had longed to see for a long time. Desire, passion and most of all, the truth.
Sara needed to know. Uncertainty wasn't something she dealt particularly well with, and if there was anything she wanted at that moment was a conviction of this reality.
"What do you want it to be, Sara?"
There was only one thing that Sara Sidle wanted right now, yet the magnitude and speed with which things were happening were still overwhelming her. She felt her hands tremble, and looking down she noticed the goose bumps on her skin. For the first time in a long time, she felt ready to give in to her emotions, not caring about the consequences of her actions.
Lifting up her head again, she gazed into Sofia's blue eyes, seeing the warmth in their depths, which, all of a sudden, made her feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. The butterflies in her belly, which not so long ago were only helping to create an even bigger confusion, froze, making way for a very intense moment of clarity. Sara looked at Sofia's lips, inches from her own, moist and inviting, yet she still hesitated. Only seconds separated her from the point of no return. One move and she would be lost, disappearing in the vast ocean of long time yearning and passion.
Her hands found their way to Sofia's face, her thumbs tentatively caressing the woman's soft skin, finally stopping on her lips. Sara felt Sofia tremble and her own composure began to crumble, too. Seeking confirmation in the crystal-blue eyes, Sara's breath was taken away, when the only thing she saw was a reflection of her own desires.
The blonde detective smiled and Sara responded by bringing her lips to Sofia's.
"All or nothing" Sara answered, before they lost themselves in an earnest kiss.
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