DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Running Interference
By Debbie


She watched them quietly, day after day, circling around each other. It was a dance of interest, a dance of 'come and get me', and yet, it was thus far, a dance of two single people wanting more.

A dance that was so obvious to all that watched these two gorgeous women, they couldn't fail to understand what was happening. It was so very obvious she'd nearly dropped through the floor when her best friend had admitted he was now dating her sworn enemy.

Gil was dating Sara, how the hell could that be? She watched the tall brunette, intent on the blonde detective, and saw how her eyes flashed with some hidden sparkle. She had never seen that flash when Sara looked at Grissom.


She looked up as a deep voice broke through her musings. Sofia Curtis was walking slowly towards her and nodding towards the corridor. Seeing the request in shining blue eyes, she followed her out of the break room.

"May I ask you a question?"

"You can try."

"I know you two are friendlier than many give you credit for, and I know you know everything, so… what can I get Sara for Christmas?"

She smiled to herself; here was her chance.

"You're asking me?"

"Yeah, I am."

She knew exactly what Sara needed for Christmas, but that answer wouldn't work just yet; she'd have to guide Sofia slowly down another pathway.

"Um, well, I was at her apartment yesterday, and it looks so bare, how about a…"

A few days later, she hurried up the stairs to Sara's apartment. It'd been one of the unexpected pleasures of the past year, this travelling to work together. Sara had called sometime in the New Year, sometime after her assault and the loss of her father, to see if she wanted company on her journey in. She had, Sara'd obliged, and it had just become their habit and their time.

She knocked on the door and then walked in, knowing that Sara would be at her breakfast bar, downing another glass of water to clear her mind for the day's investigations. Suddenly, she pulled up sharp; there in the corner was a beautiful Christmas tree, sparkling with hundreds of white fairy lights.

"Wow! That's a beautiful tree, Sara."

"Um, yeah, Sofia brought it around on Saturday and stayed to help me decorate it. That was nice of her, huh?"

"Yes, it was, wasn't it?"

The ripple of excitement that coursed through her body at the thought her plan was moving quicker than she'd anticipated was a nice accompaniment to their journey into work. Another idea entered her head.

"You are joining the Secret Santa this year, Sara." It was a statement not a question. Sara just smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

That afternoon the CSI crew, the lab techs, and a few chosen detectives gathered around Catherine's carefully prepared Cool Whip bowl with a number of strings dangling over its side. Each string had a carefully chosen tag attached.

She watched and waited as each of her colleagues pulled out the name of their 'chosen' recipient and grinned at the smile that graced Sofia's face.

Sure enough, as the CSIs departed the room muttering about their task, a voice called her back inside.

"Catherine? I did it; I pulled Sara's name and wish. It says, 'meal for two'. Have you any ideas where I can take her?"

"Well, I do know that she's fascinated by Eastern culture…"

Catherine's silk stockings, provided by David Hodges, and Nick's assortment of male eye shadow, provided by Wendy Simms, were the talk of the Secret Santa unveilings, though Grissom's Carpenter ant colony from Greg ran them a very close second for discussion.

The result she was most interested in, however, went by so quickly and so quietly she nearly missed its unveiling. She did manage to catch the hint of a blush that travelled up Sara's neck as, for the briefest of moments, Sara locked eyes with Sofia. She smiled in acknowledgement.

Later, walking across the concourse of The Bellagio, on her way to meet up with Al, Jim, and her mother, for their annual Christmas drink and 'old Vegas' reminiscence evening, she was surprised to see Sara in the distance. She'd never seen her wear such a beautiful green dress before.

A few moments later, she was a little less surprised to hear Brass call out happily, "Sofia, over here."

Glancing upwards, she saw a grinning Sofia, dressed to the nines, obviously in a hurry to be somewhere else, but making the time to greet her friends.

Dr. Al Robbins was the one who dared to ask where Sofia was heading, and she could only smirk at the non-committal answer, "Just out for a meal."

"Anywhere special?"

"Um, yeah, that new Sushi bar that's opened around the corner."

Brass interrupted, desperate for details about his colleague's evening, "With anyone we know?"

Sofia caught her eyes as she answered defensively, "Oh, just someone."

The two men and Lily all laughed out loud and ushered Sofia on her way.

She watched Sofia carefully and saw the moment the blonde met up with a taller woman wearing a dress that sparkled green.

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the halls of CSI, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, when she spotted Sofia sitting in a darkened DNA lab.

"Sofia, what are you doing here? There'll be no DNA results for hours and hopefully no more call-outs unless you lot start giving us a hard time. Go home and get some rest; we'll be called if we're needed."

Sofia looked up and nodded. "I know that, but there's still one more thing I have to do, and I can't for the life of me think what to do. I want to give Sara a last gift before she goes to spend Christmas with him."

She smiled; she knew damn well Sara wasn't going where Sofia thought she was gong. She knew because Gil was spending the day with her, Lindsay and Lily, and Sara definitely wasn't a part of the equation. She was pretty sure Sara was working the whole of Christmas as she had every year since arriving in Las Vegas. Her only wish was that, with one last push, she could at least ensure that next Christmas would be different.

"You detectives get it wrong all the time, Sofia, that's why you need us CSIs to guide you through."

"Har har, Catherine; so, come on then, if you're so clever, tell me what I can give Sara to make her day special."

"Oh come on, Sofia. I told you about the tree and made sure you went to that Japanese place, surely you can work something out for yourself. It's so obvious."

And, before Sofia could answer her back, she leaned forward, gave her colleague a hug and walked away towards the break room; she had time for one last coffee before the shift was officially over.

Lazily, sipping away at Greg's perfect roast coffee, indulging her one guilty pleasure, she heard a noise in the corridor and stood to see who was approaching. Briefly, she wondered if she needed to hide her mug.

She hadn't meant to pry, honestly she hadn't, but when she'd seen Sara, and then Sofia, sneaking into the smoker's corner – although, why it was still called that she didn't know; nobody ever smoked these days – she'd just had to follow.

The smile that split her face at the shared kiss she witnessed was reason enough.

She'd known all along that what Sara wanted for Christmas was the sweet taste of Sofia's lips, and now it was happening right before her eyes.


The End

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