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

Figuring out Sara Sidle
By Kristina K


She's a little odd, the brunette CSI. The word 'creepy' came to Sofia's mind on a few occasions, as well. She keeps to herself, hovers like a ghost, has a peculiar sense of humor and seems to be unnaturally self-sufficient.

"She might be an alien," Hodges leaned into Sofia, offering in a conspiratory whisper, "She and Mandy? They're from the same planet."

With a dry expression Sofia watched as the lab technician mimicked a sound of an UFO hovering in front of the detective's face.

"Hodges," the blonde exhaled in a deadpan voice, "I suggest a little less solo time with Voyager and little more playing with the well adjusted kids, ok?"

Hodges made a face at the detective, subtly trying to transition his extraterrestrial sounds into a casual whistle.

She's definitely a handful, Sofia noticed. The way Sara retorts and makes her point wouldn't fly for everyone. Having someone like Grissom for leverage definitely helps. She makes a habit out of getting into the suspect's face – before they even become suspects – and promising them the eternal fires of Hell upon their soul for thinking they could murder an innocent person and then get away with it. As if it was her personal crusade to eradicate all the villains in the world. Sofia had to give it to her, though; the CSI was really efficient at doing her job.

"Oh, she can be snarky!" Catherine huffed. "With her it's something like poking at the wasps' nest." She and Sofia walked down the corridor, the older woman shaking her head at the memory of her head-to-head with the young CSI. "My advice, Sofia?" Catherine patted the detective's forearm, "Don't poke. 'Cause, she'll poke right back and it won't be very pleasant."

Sofia walked on in silence, absorbing the piece of information Catherine offered.

Mysterious. That's another word Sofia thought described Sara well. There was an air of this... puzzling energy wrapped around the personality that was Sara Sidle. It made her seem, not untouchable, but almost impenetrable. The way she kept herself at bay, safe from any burdening human contact, relationship or possibility to share what she hides within, pulled Sofia in like the strongest magnet. There was no denying the intensity Sara's presence had on the young detective, but it was all kept so hidden and, sadly, unexplored.

"She's one of those people you can never quite figure out, you know," Greg offered, even though Sofia never asked. She could also tell he was preparing the Sara speech for quite some time, too. "I remember the time – I was still young and naïve – when Sara was this shiny thing in my view and I would do anything to please her and get her attention." He shrugged casually, "You could say I sort of had a crush on her."

Sofia smirked, "Had a crush?"

"Well, yeah." His smile was timid. "In addition to being tough to figure out, she's also pretty hard to shake off." Seeing the glint in Sofia's eyes, his smile broadened, "But I guess you already knew that." Sofia's eyes instantly darkened and Greg had to chuckle. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone."

So much for keeping it hidden.

She'd never return the sentiment, Sofia told herself too many times. The usually cool and calm detective found herself in a weak spot when her criminalist colleague was in question. Sometimes it was painfully hard to remain collected and she had to admit that she started to slowly lose the battle with her own feelings.

The department's first floor lights were all out. The small desk lamp was enough for two cops, comfortably seated in the Captain's office to share an after hour drink.

"Would you like to talk about it?" Jim Brass held a Scotch bottle tilted in mid air, somewhere in between being ready to pour himself another drink and deciding against it. He finally refilled both of their glasses when his detective offered an answer by simply shaking her head. "I can't help you, you know, if you don't tell me what's bothering you."

"I never said something was bothering me, Jim."

"Really, Sofie," he gave her a cheeky grin, "You're forgetting that you're not the only detective in the room."

"It's complicated," she said after a moment.

Brass swirled his drink pensively, "It always is."

She has a unique talent for getting herself into trouble, Sofia found out. Only this time, it wasn't just Sara who was in trouble, but her entire shift, as a result of Sidle being notoriously unable to keep quiet when she clearly should have kept her mouth shut. Sofia was most likely a collateral victim in the whole thing and not exactly worried.

"Sara Sidle is insubordinate, willful and pretty much a liability for this lab." The lab director's face was beet red and Sofia could clearly see the vein popping on the side of his neck. She wasn't sure if she should start to worry or just remain amused, seeing how Gil Grissom never once blinked since Conrad Ecklie started his tirade. She also wasn't sure what her purpose was supposed to be in this situation since she no longer worked as a CSI and she could care less about Ecklie, his lab policy and Sara Sidle blatantly breaking it.

"Curtis!" Ecklie broke his pace, giving up on Grissom and diverting his attention to her. Sofia blinked and stood taller, waiting for a tidal wave to come crashing in her direction.

"Was I just reprimanded by Conrad Ecklie?" Sofia tilted her head at Grissom after Ecklie's lecture was over and they both got dismissed from his office.

"Feels like good old times, doesn't it?" His smile was beaming and she decided that not only was Sara a bit odd, but the whole damn graveyard shift as well.

She had the widest, prettiest and most enchanting smile Sofia had ever seen. When working in law enforcement, you have to be ready for an unhealthy dose of sorrow, pain and death to deal with. The hours on the job are long, the sights and images brutal, and it's a day-to-day struggle to stay sane and not give up. It's a smile like Sara's that kept Sofia afloat and one day she'll break the routine and step up, gather up the courage to tell the young brunette she's glad she has her in her life, if nothing else then as a friend.

"You've been asking around about me." Sara dusted off her pants after she put her kit in the back of the Denali and then closed the trunk door shut.

"I was just curious." Sofia shrugged, "Does it bother you?"

Sara pondered over the question for a moment, wiping the sweat from her brow. "No. But I do wish you came to me, rather than asking others whatever it was you wanted to know."

"It's not like I was collecting info about you," Sofia smiled.

"Are you satisfied?"

"With what I found out?" Sara nodded. "I could always use a confirmation from the source itself."

"Interesting, that." Sara's smile brightened another hard day, "And I could really use a nice refreshing drink after five hours in the desert."

And on top of everything else, Sara Sidle was definitely smooth.

The End

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