DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to mrswoman for the quick read through.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Christmas in January
By Ann


Bing Cosby crooned his way through the small apartment.

"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas, just like the ones I used to know…"

"Got it!" A voice called from somewhere under the tree.

Sofia reached for another ornament and smiled. "If you'd checked those lights before you put them on the tree, you wouldn't need to stand on your head to find which light needed to be replaced."

A bare foot bumped against Sofia's shin, and she moved away from the tree to allow her lover to slide out from under it. Sara pushed to her feet and stood back to admire her work.

"Ha-ha, for your information Miss Know-it-all, I did check them. They were working just fine before I strung them around the tree."

Sofia grinned once more and placed a shiny gold ball on a branch. If someone had told her last Christmas that she'd be decorating a tree with the lanky former LVPD CSI, she'd have laughed in their face. The fact that the decorating was taking place in January made the situation even more unbelievable.

"I figured as much; I just couldn't resist teasing you." Sofia turned to retrieve another ornament when she suddenly found herself engulfed in a hug. Sara pulled Sofia to her tightly.

"You've been teasing me all evening with those threadbare sweats and that cut-off shirt. You know, I'll bet you chose that outfit on purpose."

Sliding her arms loosely around Sara's back, Sofia tilted her head. "I bet you're right."

Two pairs of lips met in a gentle kiss. Slowly pulling away, Sara swatted Sofia on the backside. "Okay, back to work. We'll never get this tree decorated if we stop now."

Sofia stuck out her lower lip in a classic pout, and Sara laughed out loud at the sight.

"Let's finish this tree, and then we can decorate each other with that jar of chocolate body paint Catherine sent."

Racing to the couch, Sofia scooped up a handful of ornaments.

"God that was messy." A freshly showered Sara stepped into the kitchen and plopped down at the table. "It'll take days before I'll get all the chocolate off of me."

Sofia smirked, knowing she would remove any and all traces of the hidden chocolate later that night. Oblivious to her lover's thoughts, Sara asked about the chocolate-covered bed linens.

"What did you do with the sheets?"

"I threw them away; I'll buy some more next time I go to the mall." Sofia wasn't upset in the least about having to throw away the relatively new sheets. Time spent in Sara's arms was well worth the sacrifice.

"I don't think that'll be necessary." Sara grinned; she was fairly certain that the other gift Catherine had sent was a set of queen-sized sheets. At least, that's what the weight of the bulky package indicated.

"Let's worry about that later. We need to start preparing for tomorrow's meal." Sofia mentally made a list of items she'd have to buy at the store. She smiled at the thought that the stores would be back to normal, the shelves restocked after the Christmas rush. There was definitely an advantage of celebrating Christmas a week after everyone else had.

Sara seemed to be focused on the late celebration as well. "Next year, we'll celebrate on Christmas Day. There won't be anything stopping us."

"I still don't understand why my request to take my remaining vacation wasn't honored by the department." Sofia shrugged. "Maybe they weren't happy with my decision to hand in my notice."

"Well, that's over with now. Vegas' loss is San Francisco's gain." Sara stood and walked over to her lover, pulling Sofia into another embrace. She just couldn't believe that their plans were finally coming to fruition. Adding voice to her thoughts, she said, "I'm so glad you came to find me, Sofia. I was so lost; I didn't know what to do."

Sofia tugged Sara closer. "When I realized Grissom was going to let you go, I had to take a chance." Sara stiffened at her former lover's name but relaxed as a pair of lips moved along her cheekbone. Sofia's next words were a whisper. "He was a fool."

"No, I was the fool. I settled, Sofia." Sara tilted her head to allow the kisses to move down her neck. "If I had known there was a chance with you, I'd have never . . ."

Sara's words were swallowed by a pair of soft lips. The past wasn't important; the present was all that mattered.

"Hey, Sara?" Sofia never looked up from her task of chopping the green onions into tiny pieces. "I thought you said we'd wait until tonight to open our presents."

"We are." Sara eased the peeled potatoes into the pot. "Why'd you ask?"

"You opened the chocolate body paint."

Sara chuckled. "No, I didn't. Catherine sent it unwrapped with a message that we'd already missed Christmas so there wasn't any need to delay its use."

"You know, I think we need to send Catherine something special. She's the one who tipped me off that you'd left, and then a week later, she dropped by my office to inform me that Grissom wasn't going after you." Sofia grinned at the memory. "Then she told me to get my ass to San Francisco."

Sara almost dropped the pot on the floor. "What? You never told me that."

"I guess I was so nervous when I showed up on your doorstep that I forgot all about it."

"Hmm, I guess we really do need to find something extraordinary to send to Catherine." Sara put the pot on the stove and turned the control to high, a mischievous smile forming on her face. "Maybe we can return the favor and find something for her and Wendy."

Using her knife to slide the onions into a bowl, Sofia chuckled. "Now, that's a great idea. We can go down to that specialty shop on Valencia. It's just the sort of place Lady Heather would order from."

"What specialty shop?" Sara turned the burner to a lower setting and placed the lid on the pot.

"Good Vibrations." Sofia grinned, knowing first-hand the store's inventory. She had something special under the tree that she'd purchased for her lover. "They have all sorts of toys, and I'm not talking about the ones Santa brings down the chimney."

"Oh, really, and exactly how do you know that?" Sara leaned against the counter and folded her arms across her chest. Sofia acted as if she'd seen the inside of the store personally.

"I might have gone inside a time or two." Sofia shrugged casually. "I do have to acquaint myself with the various parts of the city."

"So, you had to go inside, huh? Couldn't you have just driven past the different businesses? You really only need to know their addresses."

Sofia decided it was time to tease her lover. "Yes, but if I just drove by, I wouldn't have been able to purchase one of your Christmas presents."

"You got me a present from a sex shop?" Sara's eyebrows scaled up her forehead.

"As a matter of fact I did." Sofia wished she had a toothpick. She knew how much Sara loved it when she spoke around the wooden prop. Instead, she chose to strut towards her lover, pleased when she noted the catch in Sara's breath. "Want to open a present early?"

Sara hesitated for just a moment, her mind racing with the possibilities. Glancing at the vibrating lid that signaled the potatoes were staring to boil, she flipped the control to off before turning her full attention to Sofia.

"Will we need to change the sheets again?" Sara moved until she was hip to hip with her lover.

Sofia licked her lips, barely able to keep from latching onto Sara's. "Depends; is there any more of that chocolate left?"

Sara pushed her lover backwards towards the den. "You get the present, and I'll get the chocolate. I'll meet you in the bedroom." The Christmas meal had been postponed this long; it could certainly wait another several hours.

With a knowing grin, Sara veered towards the bedroom, increasing her stride as she started down the hallway. She'd failed to mention that Catherine had sent a dozen jars of the body paint, each a different flavor of chocolate.

Christmas in January had already surpassed all her previous December ones put together.

The End

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