DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Design
By Kristina K


It all started with an innocent brush of hands after working on the crime scene together.

Climbing over the locked fence to clear the back yard Sofia scratched the back of her forearm against the brick wall on the side of the house. Cursing under her breath, the detective walked over to Sara's Denali and pointed at the bleeding wound.

"Would you mind?"

"Ugh, that doesn't look good," Sara flinched, reaching for the first aid kit in the back of the car.

The detective sat on the corner of the back seat in the CSI car, holding her arm up so Sara could clean the wound and wrap it up in gauze. Every time the blonde flinched, Sara quietly apologized to which Sofia smiled and shook her head. When Sara was finished, Sofia jumped back on her feet and shook her arm a little as if to test if it still worked. Content with the way the CSI patched up her arm, Sofia placed her hand on Sara's shoulder, gave it a light squeeze, and then brushed her fingers down the brunette's arm.

Like the sparks that form from rubbing the synthetic fabric against skin, the electricity cracked where Sofia's fingers brushed against Sara's arm and both women jumped slightly, giving each other a nervous smile.

The event was stuck in Sara's head, permanently.

As she walked through the almost empty underground garage, Sara jiggled the car keys in her hand and then pressed the button on the side of the pendant which made her car alarm squeak and blinkers flash orange a few times reveling her car in the far left corner of the parking lot.

The corner was in half dark and as she approached it, Sara could tell there was someone leaning against the side of her truck and she slowed down her pace, instinctively flexing the fingers of her right hand in preparation to pull out a can of mace from her jacket pocket. With each step she got closer, her muscles relaxed and soon enough a little smile formed in the corner of her lips. She tried her hardest not to reveal the amusement when she recognized the familiar lean figure resting against the passenger door fumbling with a pair of sunglasses in her hands.

"Detective," Sara exhaled with exaggerated effort, which made Sofia look at the CSI from under her eyelashes, giving Sara her best stern look. Sara had seen that look many times in the interview room and she knew what kind of storm could result from an overconfident glare such as that one. Still, with a slight smile on her face, Sara walked all the way over to the blonde detective and, with her hands on her hips, she asked: "Am I in trouble?"

"Maybe." Sofia's arched eyebrow and flat tone gave Sara's heart a jolted lurch. From the back pocked of her slacks, Sofia pulled out a black fold up wallet and, holding it between her index and middle finger, she presented it to Sara. "You dropped this at the PD last night."

Sara nodded and reached over to take it from Sofia's hand. She held it for a moment, inspecting its contents – some cash, a few cards, notes and a photograph – and then folded it back up. The wallet was hers. Sara's head was lowered but Sofia could clearly see a wide smile forming on the brunette's face and a patch of rosy color forming on each cheek.

"Actually," Sara lifted her eyes and met Sofia's. The detective never saw the CSI as giddy and it made her drop the tough cop act and smile back while her eyes shined with curiosity. "I left this there on purpose," Sara confessed.

Sofia shifted in her place, and then tucked the sunglasses into the cleavage of her shirt. Sara's eyes followed the detective's motion and she felt herself blush a little bit more. Sliding her hands into her pockets Sofia tilted her head up a little in anticipation of an explanation.

Clearing her throat, Sara continued: "I was hoping you'd find it and return it to me. Personally." Off of Sofia's amused look Sara could tell the detective saw right through her. "It's too high school, isn't it?"

"I loved high school," Sofia smiled. "I just don't understand…" She shook her head a little, "We see each other every day. We work together. Why do this," she nodded towards the wallet in Sara's hand, "to get my attention?"

"Does it matter?" Sara shrugged. "It worked."

Sofia squinted and thought for a moment. "Well," she pulled her hands from her pockets and smacked both palms against her thighs, detaching herself from Sara's truck and standing upright. "Since you got your wallet back, with money and cards and all, you can at least thank me for returning it by buying me breakfast."

"I can do that." She smiled.

"And then you can buy me dinner on Thursday to thank me for not writing you up because you walked around without an ID, which is a misdemeanor."

"Anything else?"

Opening the passenger door, Sofia climbed into Sara's car and calling over her shoulder, she said: "I'm sure I'll think of something. Come on now, I'm starving."

Sara tucked the wallet into the inside pocket of her jacket and rushed over to the driver's side. "Where are we going?" She asked as she turned on the ignition and the radio automatically came to life.

"I know this cozy little place not too far from here," Sofia retrieved her sunglasses and placed them on her nose. "It serves the best breakfast you'll ever eat."

Putting the car into reverse, Sara backed the truck out of its parking space, "What's it called?"

She couldn't see Sofia's eyes behind the tinted glass of the detective's famous Ray Bans, but she could clearly see her own big smile reflecting in them when Sofia turned and said, "My place."

The End

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