Epilogue

Sofia stared out into the darkness that was the desert by night. It was foolish to run by oneself at night, but she did it anyway. Her mind was full and she needed to clear it out. Running was the only way to get that done. Her feet hit the ground in a steady rhythm and she thought over the events of the last few days. Laura Sidle, Sara Sidle, Janet Burgundy, the names and faces raced through her mind as steadily as her feet moved.

She had never truly realized just how strong Sara was. She felt weak in comparison. She had heard Sara's dark admission and she was humbled and ashamed. Sara was much stronger then she could ever be. If it had been her, Tom Sidle would have been dead long before his wife had stabbed him.

Her thoughts turned to Sara's Mom, Janet. There was another strong woman. One who was sharp and very protective of Sara.

A Few Hours Before

She hugged Sara one last time and leaned against her car. "Now, get on out of here, girl. You've got a case to wrap up." Sara grinned and waved before she and Catherine returned to the Lab. Sofia was about to leave when Janet stopped her.

"Detective." Sofia had turned, "Yes?" Janet looked her up and down. "My Sara is a near genius. She can do Calculus in her head. she speaks three languages fluently, and actually understands most of what they say on Stargate." Janet smiled, "But when it comes to matters of the heart, she's a little slow on the uptake."

Sofia nodded, though she had no idea where this was going. "She's got a lot of good friends here, Catherine, Greg and the rest. I've heard a lot about that Grissom fellow and would have liked to meet him." Sofia couldn't help but grimace at the mention of Gilbert Grissom in conjunction with Sara. There were red-hot rumors there, rumors that she preferred to ignore, for the most part.

"With all those folks around her, I expect she'd got a lot of protection." Sofia nodded, but now she did know where this was going, she could see it in the woman's eyes. "So I expect I'll hear about any heart ache Sara comes across. As you've seen I don't take kindly to people playing with my daughter's heart. I think you'll do good to keep that in mind. Got me?"

Sofia nodded, slightly dazed.

Then Janet smiled, "Well, I've got to get going. God knows my Squad will fall to pieces and start bickering like small children over a toy without me there to keep them on-task." She smiled, "It was nice to finally meet the Sofia Curtis I've heard so much about."

With that parting shot, Janet Burgundy started her car and left Sofia standing there.

It was different, Sofia mused, being on the receiving end of the 'My Mother Is A Cop' speech.

She began to slow down as she hit the five-mile mark of her run. She intended to take Janet's words to heart. She would protect Sara, whether the woman wanted it or not.

She came to a jerky halt and bent over double to catch her breath. The sweat fell into her eyes and stung. She would protect Sara; not that Sara couldn't take care of herself. The woman was the very definition of independent. No, she wanted to be there for Sara. She didn't want Sara to have only herself to rely on anymore. She wanted to be there for the other woman. She wanted to protect her. She would protect her from here on out. She'd protect her with everything that she was.

Fin

Author's Note: I've been asked if there is going to be a third instalment in this series. My answer is: possibly. I've got an idea, but it's yet to fully take form. If you'd like a sneak peek, though, take a look at Angels of Vegas (The Warrick and Sara casino bar scene to be precise) While this could be shameless self-pimpage, it's not intended to be. The third (and final) story in this line, if I write it, is taken from an unused side story from that series.

Some thanks to go out: To everyone who reviewed, I love you like the friends I've never met. Your little lines of praise and encouragment (and occasional outbursts -you know who you are-) bring a smile to my face and continue to inspire me.

As always, credit must be given to my lovley beta reader, HoneyLynx86 for mucking through the roughness and listening to my crazy rants.

Finally, to all: Thanks for Reading.