DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Season Seven finale 'Living Doll'.

If Sara Lives....Take 1
By Ann


The rain continued to pelt down on the desert sand. At first, the water was quickly absorbed into the dry earth, but soon, puddles began to form, causing another worry for the trapped CSI.

Sara desperately tried to claw her way out from under the wreckage, but her grip was tenuous at best and her lower body seemed to be trapped beneath the mass of wrecked metal. She could wiggle her upper body, but her legs wouldn't budge. If someone didn't find her soon, she feared that she'd die from the lack of blood flow or perhaps she'd drown in the pool of water forming under her head. Closing her eyes, she sent her last thoughts to the only person she'd ever truly loved.

Sofia burst into the house, gun drawn and flashlight leading the way. She and her team worked their way through the rooms, hoping to find their abducted team member only to have their hopes dashed. Sofia's shoulders slumped as she turned and walked back towards the table containing the miniatures, and it took everything she had to stop herself from raking her arm across the table. Taking her frustration out on the model parts wouldn't bring Sara home any sooner.

Sighing, Sofia took a seat on the stool in front of the millions of parts and stared down at the table. Her eyes shifted left and right, focusing on every single part. Suddenly, the hairs rose on her arms, and she turned in her seat, looking frantically around the room for the voice resounding in her head, "I love you, Sofia."

The detective shook her head; sure that she was losing her mind; however, her apparent hallucination immediately turned her thoughts to Sara. She'd asked Sara out once, but the investigator had declined, citing that she was still unsure of her feelings for Grissom. Sofia knew that Sara and her supervisor had been seeing each other, but she'd asked the investigator out anyway, hoping that Sara had grown tired of being second fiddle to Grissom's work. Plus, there was always the fact that the blonde doubted that Grissom could ever make Sara happy.

Sofia turned back towards the table and shifted her focus to a small red car. Evidently, this piece was discarded in favor of the one the killer had used in her scale model. The detective reached in her pocket and pulled out one of the gloves she always carried around with her. Being a CSI had taught her to be prepared for any situation.

Lifting the model car, she studied it closely, noting the crushed ends and bits of glue that had been carelessly applied. Sofia wondered if this were the reason that the killer hadn't used this particular piece. Had she gotten sloppy in her work?

The detective's thoughts came to an abrupt halt, and she automatically grabbed for the nearby magnifying glass, not bothering to put on a second glove. She quickly viewed through the lens and froze. On the base of the car, a small sliver of paper was haphazardly glued to the bottom. The blonde squinted and brought the model car closer to read the tiny print, finally making out the words, 'a street racer's end.'

Sofia dropped everything and reached for her phone. She quickly stood and started for the door, anxiously awaiting the caller's answer.


"Catherine, it's Sofia. Meet me outside the lab in ten minutes. I think I may have found something."

Catherine rode beside the quiet detective, replaying the last several minutes in her head. Sofia had pulled in front of the lab as planned and reached over to open the door for the investigator. Catherine had shrugged and climbed into the car, startled when the blonde took off before she could even close the door.

"Sofia! What the hell are you doing? Where are we going?"

"Catherine, that case that you and Nick had in the desert, where was it?"

The redhead had tilted her head and studied the detective. Sofia had appeared to be nervous and excited at the same time. Her eyes were filled with something else though.

"Catherine! Where?"

The investigator had blurted the answer as Sofia accelerated, heading towards the freeway. The proverbial light had gone off, and Catherine could now put a name on what she'd seen in the blue eyes of the detective. Sofia was scared; she was scared of losing someone, and that someone was Sara.

Catherine was brought back to the present when Sofia turned sharply onto a dirt road, throwing the investigator against the door. The redhead hit the window's glass and reached to rub her sore head.

"Shit, Sofia. Slow down, would you?"

The detective didn't acknowledge the other woman; she simply pushed her foot down more firmly on the accelerator. She had to get to Sara.

As they flew down the road, Catherine began to take notice of their surroundings. In the dark, it was difficult to tell where they were, but the investigator remembered seeing a huge rock next to the turnoff that had led she and Nick to the body of the street racer.

"Stop, Sofia!"

This time the blonde heeded Catherine's words and slammed on the brakes. Both women were thrown forward, but their seatbelts kept them from injury. Catherine didn't waste time yelling at her rough treatment, she simply ordered the detective to back up.

"That rock we just past. I think it's where we need to turn."

Sofia put the car in reverse and backed up to the landmark. Sure enough, there was a narrow road just to the side of it, and Sofia quickly turned the wheel and headed down the path. A few minutes later, both women's mouths dropped open. There, directly in front of them, was the exact scene the model had replicated. The red car was tilted at an angle, and there appeared to be someone under it.

The blonde stopped just feet from the wreckage, and both women jumped from the car. The rain was teaming down, and Sofia lost her footing and fell, coming down just inches from a hand, a hand that was grasping the muddy sand.

"Catherine! It's Sara, she's alive. Call for help!"

The redhead raced back to the car and climbed inside, grabbing the radio and frantically issuing orders, "Gil. We've got her. Tell Nick to direct you to the location where we found the dead street racer. You'll need to bring something to lift the car off Sara, too. And Gil? Hurry!"

Catherine reached into the back of the car and grabbed the blanket that was lying on the seat. Opening the door, she quickly made her way back to the scene, but her steps faltered when she took in the sight in front of her.

Sofia lay on her stomach facing the trapped CSI and holding Sara's hand, offering quiet words of reassurance. But, what brought Catherine to a stop was the gentle way in which Sofia was cradling Sara's face, and the investigator couldn't tell if the water flowing down both women's cheeks was from the rain that was still coming down in sheets or from tears of sheer joy at being reunited. Catherine pulled herself from her stupor and headed for the wreckage.

"Here, Sofia. Maybe if we placed this folded blanket under her head, it would keep the water away."

The detective nodded and reached back for the blanket, releasing Sara's hand but keeping her other one on the investigator's cheek. Judging from the look in both women's eyes, Catherine concluded that Grissom's heart was about to be broken.

The two women sat beside the car, waiting for the others to arrive. Catherine felt a bit like a third wheel as she watched the obvious affection each of her colleagues had for the other, and when Sara began to speak, Catherine excused herself to go back to the car, citing her need to check on the location of the others. However, her keen hearing had her smiling as she walked away.

"Sofia, I'm so sorry I didn't take a chance on us. I was scared for what I felt for you; the feeling was just so strong and intense. I'd never felt like that before, and I didn't know what to do. So, I took the easy way out, the safe way out, and I stayed with Grissom."

Sofia gripped Sara's hand tightly. "Hey, it's okay. I should've fought harder for you, but I'm giving you notice, I'm not letting you go this time."

Sara smiled, in spite of the rain and puddles of watery sand. "I won't let go either."

The two women continued to make promises as they waited for the rescuers to arrive, and Catherine sat in the passenger seat, keeping a close eye out just in case she was needed. The redhead smiled at the picture in front of her, knowing that as dangerous as the situation was, seeing the love and emotion projected made her heart sing. She knew Grissom would never be enough for Sara, but Sofia? Oh yeah, Sofia would definitely give Sara a run for her money.

The End

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