DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: A special thank you to darandkerry for the beta and the support.
CHALLENGE: Submitted as part of the Sara/Sofia 'Let's Get Sassy' ficathon.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

By Karin


Sara realized the minute she got out of the vehicle her life would never be the same. Despite all her emotional fears and uncertainties, the criminalist opened the door of the truck and stepped out into the desert with great determination.

The heat instantly struck the investigator as the desert sun radiated mercilessly upon her, knocking the air from her lungs. For less than a nanosecond, the brunette reconsidered stepping back into her air-conditioned truck, but after taking a few deep breaths, Sara walked to the rear end of the Denali and opened the doors.

She rummaged through her belongings, and with a sigh of relief, she found what she was looking for, her binoculars. Armed with her baseball cap and sunglasses, Sara carefully closed the back doors and started climbing the slope, hoping that when she reached the top, she would find what she was looking for.

With each step, Sara sunk deeper into the sand, the fine granules coloring her boots an orange-like color. The criminalist cursed under her breath; she hadn't anticipated the steepness of the incline and, with each footstep, Sara regretted the fact that she'd forgotten to bring water along with her. When the brunette finally reached the top of the rise, beads of sweat stood out on her brow, and placing her hands on her knees, Sara bent over and struggled to get her breath back.

It only took a few moments to get herself together again and, when she looked up, the first thing Sara noticed was a flock of birds of prey, swirling around in a circle in the vibrant sky. Careful not to burn her skin on the heated metal rim of the binoculars, the criminalist looked through the lenses and started scanning her surroundings.

A cloud of dust caught the brunette's attention and, after adjusting the binoculars' focus, a smile slowly curled at Sara's lips.

Sofia kicked at a loose branch, creating a swirling cloud. The relentless heat had driven the detective to the edge of frustration. The blonde checked her watch and realized that she, along with a couple of dozen rookies from the police academy, had been searching the wasteland for the last five hours without a single result.

The seemingly pointlessness of the search was one of the things that had caused the blonde's irritation. From the very first interview, the suspect had given an extremely vague description about the exact location of where he'd buried his victim's remains.

The detective had voiced her objections several times but, nevertheless, the Undersheriff had sent her and her team out into the barren land with only a few clues to go on. It had turned out, as a matter of fact, that the evidence gathered by the CSI's nightshift wouldn't hold up in a courtroom and the actual body was needed as proof. So, the blonde was out here for the third day in row.

Sofia took off her sunglasses and rubbed her eyes, sighing heavily as disappointment swept over her. Not only was her displeasure caused by the helplessness she'd experienced working in this god-forsaken wilderness; it was also due to the fact that she had to work days. Days meant no nights, and no nights meant no Sara.

The detective glanced at her watch once again. It was almost noon, and the ruthless sun would only drive the already unbearable temperature to its peak, so she decided to call it a day and radioed her decision to the lead officer.

Stowing the radio away in her backpack, Sofia huffed in annoyance and tied damp tresses of her hair in a ponytail. The blonde wiped at her forehead, feeling the perspiration that had formed on her brow. Grabbing a canteen, the detective tilted her head and poured water over her heated face in a futile attempt to cool herself down. At the same time, she gulped the warm liquid to quench her almost insatiable thirst.

From the corner of her eye, the detective's attention was caught by an unexpected reflection of the sun. Sofia dropped her empty canteen and scanned the area, shielding her squinted eyes with both hands.

Almost immediately, the blonde noticed a slim figure standing atop a hill less than two hundred yards away and, after a few seconds of processing her view, a smile slowly formed on Sofia's lips.

In a blink of an eye, Sara was startled, causing her to drop her binoculars instantly; Sofia's steel blue eyes had looked directly into her own. Taking a second look, a full-fledged smirk crossed the brunette's face; Sofia had given her a wink.

As she arrived at the small parking area, Sofia spotted Sara squatted against the Denali, taking advantage of the shade it created. The detective's gaze remained focused on the criminalist and, despite the high temperature, Sara looked stunning. Just the sight of the brunette caused the detective's heart to skip a beat.

A longing welled up when the investigator saw the blonde approach her with long, determined strides, and Sara got to her feet just as Sofia reached her. Standing only a few inches apart from each other, Sara's thoughts were instantaneously scrambled and she said nonsensically, "Hey."

The sound of the investigator's soft voice plastered a goofy smile on the detective's face, and she replied in a whisper, "Hey, Sara."

Sofia reached out her hand and, for a brief second, she slowly let her fingertips run up and down Sara's finely sculpted arm, causing a tingle to run along the brunette's spine. The detective could only state the obvious, but her tone was filled with expectation. "You're here."

The women just looked at each other, and the silence between them grew thick. After what seemed like a lifetime, Sara cleared her throat and answered huskily, "I couldn't stay away any longer."

It was the answer Sofia had been waiting for and, just as she contemplated taking Sara into her arms to give her a soul melting kiss, a car came screeching to a stop next to the two women, forcing the blonde to step back.

"Sara, what are you doing here?"

Hearing the voice of her supervisor caused Sara to ball her hands into fists, and Sofia immediately noticed the tension that sang along the brunette's arms.

Grissom didn't wait for her reply; instead, he inquired in a harsh tone, "You're not working this scene, are you? You've already maxed out on your overtime."

Keeping her eyes on the ravishing blonde, Sara shifted gears and answered in a businesslike tone, "No, I'm not; I'm off the clock. I'm on my own time now."

Dark orbs filled with desire as Sara ignored her superior and gazed upon the blonde detective. Maxing out on overtime would never again be a problem.

The End

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