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

Unexpected Surprises
By Ann


Panting, the blonde rolled off the brunette and lay on her back looking up at the ceiling as she tried to get her breathing under control. The face of the smiling dark haired beauty soon blocked her view of the white textured sheetrock.

"Hey, what's the matter? Did I tire you out?" Sara teased, lightly running her hand up and down the detective's side.

"You wish," Sofia replied, and reaching up to push a strand of hair behind the brunette's ear, she asked, "Sara? How come we always come to my place?"

The other woman noticeably stiffened at the question, and Sofia cursed herself for ruining the post lovemaking bliss. Attempting to recapture the rare mood Sara displayed after she'd brought the detective to new heights, Sofia smiled and promptly flipped the unsuspecting investigator onto her back.

"My turn to ravish you," the blonde whispered, and she proceeded to make good on her promise, and the two were so caught up in each other that neither woman noticed the blinking light on the detective's answering machine before, during, or after their love making session.

Later that evening, Sara was assigned to work solo on a crime scene in which Sofia was acting as lead detective. The women took advantage of the opportunity to shamelessly flirt with each other as well as make a few plans for the next evening as both women had somehow managed to get New Year's Eve and New Year's Day off.

When all the evidence had been collected, Sara offered, "Why don't I pick up breakfast after shift and meet you back at your apartment?"

Pleased that the investigator was taking the initiative to plan the first part of their day, Sofia replied, "That'll be great. I'll give you a call if anything comes up, and you do the same, okay?"

Smiling, Sara said, "You've got a deal. I'll see you later." Turning, she strode to the Denali and climbed inside, and a grinning Sofia watched until the taillights could no longer be seen.

A few hours later, Sara was knocking on the detective's apartment door. Well, actually she was kicking the base of the door since her hands were full. She'd been thinking about Sofia's question from the day before and had decided she'd start off the New Year by inviting the blonde to her apartment for dinner followed by a sleepover, but first she planned to prepare a special breakfast for her lover.

As the door began to open, Sara shifted the bag of food on her hip with one hand and held up a bouquet of flowers with her other. In a soft voice, she offered, "These are for you."

"Oh, really," an unfamiliar voice answered, and Sara quickly looked up into the face of a much older blonde who bore a striking resemblance to her lover.

"Mother, I said I'd get it," a mortified Sofia stated, watching her mother size up a very uncomfortable Sara. She'd just hoped the brunette would stick around long enough so that she could explain that she wasn't aware that her mother was going to show up for a visit.

"Well, aren't you going to introduce us, Sof," the elder Curtis asked in a typical parent tone.

Sofia grimaced and replied, "Sorry. Sara, this is my mother. Mother, this is Sara. Now, let me help Sara take these things into the kitchen and put these flowers in some water."

Taking the flowers from her grinning mother, she added, "We'll only be a moment, Mother," and grabbing her stunned lover's arm, she pulled her into the nearby room.

"Sara, I'm so sorry. I tried to call your cell to warn you, but it went to voicemail," the detective offered the moment she'd closed the kitchen door.

The brunette put the bag on the table, and then took a seat in the nearby chair. She immediately put her face in her hands and muttered, "Oh, God. I can't believe your mother's here, and I handed her your flowers."

Placing the flowers in the sink, Sofia knelt down next to the investigator and offered, "Sara, it'll be okay. Mother is aware of my sexual orientation; it's just that she's never actually met any of my girlfriends. I had no idea she was coming to visit, and I can't believe she chose New Year's Eve of all days."

"I've got to get out of here," Sara panicked and started to stand, only to be stopped by Sofia's hand on her shoulder.

"Please don't run, Sara. I don't even know what her plans are; she didn't bring any bags in with her, so maybe she's staying in one of the hotels. Don't let her ruin our plans," Sofia pleaded softly.

The brunette didn't say a word; however, she didn't attempt to stand again either, so Sofia took that as a good sign. Smiling, the detective teased, "You've never brought me flowers before."

Sara turned red and just shrugged her shoulders in response, and knowing how difficult it was for the brunette to acknowledge the romantic gesture, Sofia deciding to let her off the hook, for now anyway.

"Well, it was very sweet of you. Now, what do you say we unload this mystery bag of groceries and go back in the other room to face my mother?"

Sofia took charge of putting the flowers in a vase while Sara placed the ingredients for what looked to be a most wonderful omelet into the refrigerator. Taking Sara's shaking hand; Sofia let her lover back into what she hoped wouldn't be the lion's den.

Mrs. Curtis sat on the couch patiently waiting for her daughter's return. Sofia had been nervous when she arrived, and she was a little disappointed that the uncomfortableness that had always existed between the two of them hadn't lessened any. She'd hoped that their physical distance and her daughter finally attaining the rank of detective would have somehow eased the tension that surrounded them.

The new arrival gave her hope that perhaps Sofia's nervousness was more from her concern of having her mother and girlfriend in the same room as opposed to just being alone with her. The elder Curtis was going to try her best to make things easy for her daughter, but she couldn't help but worry about the possible complications that could arise should Sofia's lesbian relationship become public.

The door to the kitchen opened alerting the older woman that her daughter was returning. She tried not to show surprise when she noticed the held hands as Sofia led her girlfriend back into the den.

Sara veered toward the chair nearest the door, but Sofia held tightly to her hand and led her directly to the couch where her mother was currently sitting. Taking the seat in the middle, she gestured for Sara to sit on the other end, and the symbolism of Sofia sitting between her mother and her lover wasn't lost on the elder Curtis.

Getting right to the point, Sofia asked, "Mother, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?"

"Well, Sofia. I hadn't seen you in awhile, and I had a couple of days vacation so I thought it would be a good time to come see how you're doing. As for the unexpected part of it, that's your fault. I've left two messages on your machine, telling you I would be here today," the older woman offered in response.

Sara took the reply as the perfect opportunity to escape the situation and suggested, "Why don't I leave the two of you alone to visit? I'm sure you have a lot to catch up on."

Before Sofia could voice her objection, Mrs. Curtis replied, "Actually, Sara. I'd like for you to stay. There're some things I'd like to discuss with you as well."

If Sara could've found a way to change into liquid form, she would've gladly seeped into the cushion of the couch; anything was better than facing the mother of her lover. Instead, she stayed rooted to her seat and nodded her head in response.

"Now, wait a minute, Mother. Sara's not here for the Spanish Inquisition. If you want to know about our relationship, you can ask me," Sofia answered in defense of her lover.

Turning her attention to her daughter, Mrs. Curtis said, "I don't think you can very well speak for how Sara feels about you. I want to hear her answer, not the answer you think you know or that I want to hear."

"You're not going to interview Sara like she's one of your witnesses. I know how you operate. She's my lover, Mother, not a criminal. What she feels for me is none of your business," Sofia stated in a wavering voice.

"Do you even know how she feels about you, Sof? Are you willing to risk your career on a relationship in which you have no idea where you stand?"

Sofia almost jumped off the couch at the mention of her career. Taking a cleansing breath, she replied, "My career is my career, not yours. If I choose to make my relationship known, I'd like to think that both my colleagues and Sara's would accept our feelings toward one another."

"You'd like to think, but you don't know for sure, do you? Look how long it's taken for your colleagues to accept that you weren't responsible for shooting a fellow officer. If they don't agree with same-sex relationships, you'll be ostracized for the rest of your life, and for what? A relationship with a woman that it's painfully obvious you don't have a clue what her feelings are toward you?" the elder Curtis shouted, trying desperately to make her daughter see the potential danger the relationship with Sara posed to her.

The bickering continued between mother and daughter with Sara as the main topic of conversation. Finally, the brunette could no longer stand idly by, knowing that she was the reason her lover was fighting with her mother.

Standing abruptly, Sara immediately garnered the attention of the other two women, and they turned to her with surprised expressions. "Mrs. Curtis, for the record, I'd like for you to know that I'm in love with your daughter; however, I do understand your concern for her career as I also have the same concerns. For myself, I've never worried about what others thought of me, but I'm also one hundred percent certain that my teammates will accept my relationship with your daughter."

Surprised at Sara's unexpected declaration, a stunned Sofia watched as her lover walked toward the door. Sara had said she loved her, she'd actually said the words.

Reaching for the doorknob, Sara turned and said, "You don't have to worry, Mrs. Curtis. I won't stand in the way of your daughter's career any longer." With unshed tears, Sara looked at her lover and whispered, "I'm sorry, Sofia." Opening the door, she walked out of the apartment, taking the stairs two at a time.

The drive home seemed endless, but Sara was bound and determined to keep from falling apart until she was safely behind the closed doors of her apartment. Pulling into the parking space, she raced up the steps and entered her haven, heading straight for the shower.

With the hot spray beating down on her head and neck, she finally allowed herself to let go as she slid to the floor of the shower and curled into a ball, weeping uncontrollably as her tears easily mixed freely with the water from the shower.

When no more tears would flow, Sara pulled herself from the floor and went through the rote motions of showering and washing her hair. Drying off, she pulled on a pair of boxers and a tank and headed straight for bed. Exhaustion soon took over, and she fell into a fitful sleep, dreaming of what could have been.

The afternoon sun filtered through the window hitting the investigator across her face, waking her. Squinting, she rolled onto her side to avoid the dreaded light, but the damage was already done, and she couldn't go back to sleep.

Rolling onto her back, Sara put her arm over her eyes to shield the bright light, but a soft shuffle had her sitting up and looking toward the oversized chair in the corner of her room.

"Sofia?" The brunette asked in confusion, wondering if perhaps she was imagining that her lover was in the room.

The blonde didn't reply, but instead, she kept her gaze fixed steadily on the bed, and more to the point, the woman on the bed. Sara moved to get up, but she was stopped by the sound of her lover's voice.

"Stay there, please. I have some things to say, and I need this distance," Sofia stated, and the brunette sank back into the mattress, clinching her fists in preparation for the hurtful words she knew she so rightly deserved.

"First, who are you to decide what's best for me? I've had to live with my mother's interference my entire life, I don't need the same from my lover," Sofia said in a sharp tone, and Sara visibly flinched at the barb.

Crossing her legs, Sofia continued, "Second, I can't believe you just walked away like that. Do you know how that felt? You may as well have stabbed me in the heart with a knife, Sara."

It took everything the brunette had not to get and run again, but she knew Sofia deserved better; she deserved the opportunity to end their relationship on her own terms.

Standing, Sofia moved toward the foot of the bed, and for the first time, she noted that Sara was physically shaking and one step away from losing it. Purposefully speaking softly, Sofia said, "I need you to know one more thing, Sara."

Not able to look into the blue eyes any longer, Sara closed her eyes and bit down on her quivering lip; waiting for Sofia's parting words.

Moving to the side of the bed, Sofia hesitated before climbing in next to Sara. Softly stroking the brunette's hair, she whispered, "I love you too, Sara."

Overwhelmed by her lover's unexpected profession of love, Sara sobbed aloud, and Sofia pulled her lovingly into her arms, holding her tightly and murmuring words of comfort.

They still had things to discuss and barriers to overcome, but they'd cleared the most important hurdle of their relationship. They'd admitted their love for one another, and at the moment, everything else was secondary.

This New Year's Eve, the pair had something special to celebrate at midnight, a relationship filled with love and promise.

The End

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