Title: Follow the Evidence
Fandom: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Spoilers: All episodes, though I pick through the canon to find the gems and cut the rest.
Disclaimer: If I owned CSI in any shape, form or fashion would I still be working in retail? Um, no.
Author's Note: This is a rewrite of my previous story of the same name. I took the first version of this story down some time ago, and have just now figured out exactly what and how I wanted to tackle this rewrite. I started to hate the original version of Follow the Evidence about five minuites after I posted the last chapter. It has nagged at me for a long time, so now here I am going back and fixing it. I don't usually rewrite things, but this story has always been something of an issue with me. I like the core concept and theme but hated the way I went about it. It never came together and my writing style had yet to gel. In short it fell way short of my personal standards, especially compared to my later work.
For those who read the original, don't worry. I've kept the core ideas, and the pairing, but allot has changed! It's about 60/40 with the larger portion being new or at the very least rewritten material.
For new readers, I hope the fact this is a rewrite doesn't discourage you. It exists in it's own little bubble of CSI continuality and is not connected to any other story I've written.
Please read, enjoy and review!
The pearl gray desert morning greeted Sofia Curtis with a stingy desert breeze and a sun that was already harsh and high in the sky. The obnoxiously bright light cut through her gritty eyes like dull razor blades and lodged into her brain. She pushed her hands through her damp blonde hair and squinted against the harsh daylight and wished she had her sunglasses. Sunglasses were a necessity in Nevada and She didn't know where hers were. Had she left them at the bar or the taxi? Either was possible, but she couldn't remember. Most of the evening was fuzzy at best.
Who was she kidding? Sofia scoffed at herself. She had gone out with a single goal in mind: to get blackout, fall-down, forget her life drunk. Why? God, she had list of reasons that was at least a mile long, but last night's reason had been the Hannity Case. Darryl Hannity had killed his brother-in-law. He had beaten him to death with a shovel and buried him in a shallow grave on a strip of desert off of the highway. They had him dead to rights. He had no labia, and they had his fingerprints on the murder weapon, and his epithelial DNA on the victim. They had a solid case, damn near a slam-dunk or they had until she had taken the stand. Sofia covered her aching eyes with her hands and sighed. It hadn't been one of her finest hours. She had slung her jacket, once pressed and court ready, over her shoulder. It's sleeve and collar were crumpled and wrinkled into non-recognition. Her once starched and tailored white shirt was untucked, the sleeves were rolled and the buttons undone to reveal the faded baby blue camisole underneath. Her panties were in her pocket. Sofia had to smirk at the situation: She hadn't done the walk of shame quite like this since college.
All in all, yesterday had been a shit day. She had gone from testifying on a slam dunk to having her entire career dragged through the mud by a slimy, ambulance chasing, jackass defense attorney . He had brought up every single misstep in her career and he had even tried to bring up her personal life. Howard Wexler Attorney at Law had all but waved around the results of her last pap smear before the judge had threatened to hold him for contempt. Kyle Addison, the ADA, hadn't been expected the personal attack and she hadn't been prepared to defend herself. It had been, Sofia fumed, a disaster and the jury had lapped it up. They had been a Law and Order spoiled crowd who liked flashy arguments and so-called expert witnesses. In short they had been doing their civic duty and attending the circus. Three grueling hours of putting her through her paces like a dog and their slam dunk had started to look very iffy. The verdict wasn't back yet, but the fact that it had taken more then ten minutes told Sofia what she needed to know. She went strait from work to the nearest bar.
She'd arrived in a cab, ordered tequila and hadn't planned any further then that. Her non-plans had been hijacked by a stunning brunette with smoldering dark looks and a slow, sexy smile. Her eyes,though, were what had caught Sofia's attention in the mirror that ran behind the bar. They were hypnotic, dark and incredibly sad, and Sofia hadn't been able to look away. Three shots, two for herself and one for the lady, later she finally recognized her. She realized exactly whose brown eyes she'd been staring at and why they were so sad. Everyone knew that she had taken the recent death of her teammate to heart. Sofia couldn't blame her. The boys in Homicide were like a second, but equally dysfunctional family to her. It was a possibility that they all lived with but hoped and prayed they never had to deal with. The job was dangerous and not every case ended with a nice, tidy trial. Maybe, Sofia reasoned, if she hadn't been so down, she wouldn't have motioned the other woman over. Maybe is the brunette hadn't have been so lost, she wouldn't have come. Their work relationship was touch and go at best, and it really wasn't a good idea to fraternize with on the job. Not that the brunette was on the job in exactly the same way, Sofia reasoned, but the unwritten rule had to exist for a reason. Maybe if they both hadn't been drinking heavily things wouldn't have gone quite so far. Besides, hadn't she heard rumors about the brunette and her boss possibly being an item? She was sure she had heard about a clandestine and age-blind chemistry between the superior and subordinate. Hindsight was 20-20, and at the time her inhibitions had been a bit askew. All the doubts and head-splitting reasonable thoughts she was currently having aside, it had been a truly great night. What she could remember of it, at least. So as long as they both minded their Ps and Qs on the job it would be like it never happened. No matter how many tell-tale marks were on both of their bodies. Sofia swerved at the last moment to avoid another person walking in the opposite direction on the narrow sidewalk. Sofia ducked her head, to hide the full-face blush, and eased around them. Knowing her luck it was on of the neighbors who had heard more then they wanted to the night before. She felt sixteen again, having to sneak home before someone got the right idea about her and her best friend Claudia Stevens.
Her cab, the one the sultry brunette had called for her, honked impatiently at the curb. She would have just enough time to get home, take an aspirin for her god-awful headache, take a shower to wash the smell of tequila and sex off and slide into work about ten minutes late. If she was lucky Brass would overlook her tardiness this one time. She slid into the blessedly dim cab and rattled off her home address. The driver was quiet and had the radio low enough to ignore. She slouched down in the seat and sighed, it was going to be a long day. Sofia looked around serendipitously for her sunglasses, but came up empty. She had already gotten lucky once, and the glasses were easily replaced. She was pretty sure she had a spare pair in her desk drawer.
Sofia looked over her shoulder as the cab rounded the corner and the last thing she saw was the apartment complex's overly-cute house shaped mailboxes. She was hung-over, and sore in all of the best places and she couldn't help but smile despite the twinge of regret that was already settling into her guts. So this was how the tourist women felt every day? God, she couldn't imagine flying across the country to get this feeling especially when one could look in their own backyard.
She scoffed at herself, but put only a little effort into it. It wasn't like this tiny tequila mistake was going to effect her life any further then it already had. There might be a few awkward moments at meetings or in the ladies room, but they were both consenting, unattached adults. There was no reason to act like they had committed a crime.