DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

A Close Call
By Ann


The detective leaned heavily against her lover as the two made their way up the flight of stairs leading to the blonde's apartment. The going was very slow seeing as how the couple had to stop on each and every step in order to be certain Sofia didn't further aggravate her injured ankle.

"Damn it. This is taking forever. Just let me hold onto the railing and hop up the steps," Sofia protested the amount of time it was taking to reach her apartment while Sara held on more tightly to keep her lover from attempting the foolish idea.

"No. We're doing just fine. We only have six more steps to go, so just hold onto me and let's finish what we've started," the brunette calmly stated, belying her true feelings of upset and fear from the events leading up to this moment.

Sara was just putting the evidence in the Denali when shots rung out behind her. Crouching behind the truck, she turned and watched her lover dive behind the large trash dumpster. The officers on scene returned gunfire with the sniper, and within minutes, an eerie silence filled the alley.

The CSI reluctantly waited until the all clear signal was given before racing toward the dumpster with her heart in her throat. She hadn't seen any movement from the area since the shooting had begun, and she feared for her lover's safety.

Peering around the metal container, Sara almost cried aloud when she saw Sofia hunched against the back of the dumpster. She quickly came to stop next to the obviously injured detective and put her hand on her lover's shoulder. Never had Sara been so happy to see those clear, blue eyes snap up to meet her own.

The paramedics quickly assessed Sofia and found her only injury to be a sprained ankle. Sara was beyond relieved; however, Sofia was another story entirely. She'd complained the entire drive to the apartment and hadn't let up when the pair started up the stairs.

Finally, the couple reached the apartment, and Sara placed the key into the lock. Opening the door, she assisted her love to the couch, and then returned to close the door, shutting out the rest of the world for the time being.

"Crap. I can't believe I twisted my ankle. I'll be the laughing stock of the unit for the next week. I can just hear them now, 'Hey, did you hear about Curtis? She tripped over a beer bottle and almost broke her ankle.' I might not ever hear the end of this one," Sofia complained, lifting her leg and gently placing it on the sofa.

Sighing, Sara replied, "Sofia, you were dodging bullets. You should be thankful that a sprained ankle is the only injury you sustained. You do realize that you could have been shot, right?"

"Hell, I wish I had. Then I wouldn't have to listen to my colleagues tease me," the sullen detective muttered as she laid her head back against the sofa's edge.

"Don't you dare say that; don't you even allude to something like that. Do you hear me?" Sara replied, anger having taken over her previous fears.

The blonde quickly lifted her head and turned toward her lover. For the first time, she took in Sara's stance and demeanor, and the brunette looked as if she was barely hanging onto her control.

Motioning her lover over, Sofia softened her tone and said, "Hey, c'mere."

Sara hesitated for a moment before she walked toward the sofa to take the hand Sofia had just offered. Taking advantage of the link they'd formed, the detective pulled on the brunette's hand until they were eye to eye. Never blinking, she slowly moved closer and closer to Sara as she carefully watched her lover's reaction.

When Sofia didn't note any hesitancy on Sara's part, she gently kissed the offered lips, and slowly, Sara began to relax. Pulling away, the detective apologized, "I'm sorry, Sara. I just hate to be labeled as a klutz even though deep down, I'm relieved to have just suffered a sprained ankle."

Sara smiled for the first time since the shooting began and asked, "Why don't I get you a pillow and some ice? You wait here, and I'll be right back." She kissed her lover once more before leaving to retrieve the promised items.

An hour later, Sara was losing patience; she was at the end of her rope, and the straw that broke the camel's back was looming in the near distance.

"Sara! The ice has all melted, and it's leaking all over my pillow!" Sofia exclaimed from her comfortable position on the couch.

Releasing a cleansing breath, Sara exited the kitchen with the tray containing milk and cookies Sofia had requested a few minutes ago. Placing it on the nearby coffee table, she removed the leaking bag and gently lifted her lover's ankle so that she could remove the pillow.

"Here's the milk and cookies you asked for. I'll get you a new bag and replace the pillowcase," the brunette reported, turning to fulfill the duties.

Groaning, Sofia whined, "Do you think I can have some more Tylenol? It really hurts, Sara."

"Sure, I'll be right back. Just try to relax."

Sara had barely taken three steps when Sofia asked, "Could you find me a movie to watch? I'm bored."

Walking over to the DVD, Sara grinned when she found the perfect movie for her lover. She quickly placed it into the player and left before the credits began to roll, but Sofia's yell followed her into the kitchen.

"Rear Window? Ha ha, Sara. Very funny."

Smiling, Sara placed the leaking bag into the sink and grabbed the bottle of Tylenol before filling a new bag of ice and pouring a glass of water for her lover. Returning to the den, she handed Sofia the pills and water to take while she repositioned the ice on the injured ankle.

By the time she'd changed the pillowcase, Sofia was complaining about the compression wrap being too tight so Sara dutifully re-wrapped her lover's ankle, placed it lovingly on the pillow, and gently laid the ice back on top. She didn't know how much more she could take before she started screaming at the detective.

Sofia motioned the exhausted brunette closer and rewarded her with gentle kiss. Slowly pulling away, she whispered, "I love you, Sara."

Sara smiled in return; the sentiment and the kiss had made her afternoon bearable again.

Softly, she replied, "I love you, too, Sof," and leaning forward, she resumed the kiss. With rewards like this, Sara decided she could easily make it through the days that followed.

The End

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