Title: Where to Begin
Author: Ardvari
Feedback address: ardvari@hotmail.com
Date in Calendar: 16 June 2008
Fandom: CSI
Pairing: Sara/Sofia
Rating: PG13
Summary: Sometimes it felt like they were on the run.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD08

Disclaimer: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," CBS, or any representatives of Louise Lombard, Jorja Fox, or Marg Helgenberger.

Note: Inspired by “Where to Begin” by My Morning Jacket and the Oregon Coast.

Beta: Thanks to Shatterpath for the beta!

Where to Begin

Ten miles outside of LA, Sofia decided she wouldn’t stop driving until Sara told her to. Sara had rolled down her window, the warm wind blowing the hair out of her face, still blistered from the hours she spent wandering the desert. A thin layer of road dust had settled on the car’s dashboard but neither of them seemed to mind much.

Sara hummed along to all the songs on the one radio, even though sometimes the static seemed to drown out everything but the fuzzy beat of the bass. Sometimes she started singing, her voice soft and raspy, the voice of someone who had smoked years ago. She was slightly out of tune and sometimes half a beat behind the song but Sofia listened anyway.

She watched Sara closely, the smiles that crept onto her sunburned face, the way she combed out her hair with her fingers in the mornings. Mornings spent in the cramped showers of tiny roadside motels.

Their condo was up for sale in Vegas, their furniture in storage. The car was stuffed with suitcases and they spent long evenings in Laundromats, huddling in uncomfortable plastic chairs and living on overpriced, overcooked take-out while they waited for their laundry to get done.

Sometimes it felt as if they were on the run. When they drove through Tamales Bay, Sofia was sure Sara would want to stop. The town was dilapidated, the closest thing to a ghost town Sofia had seen in a long time and they didn’t stop. Not even to stock up on soda and those little chocolate candies Sara was addicted to.

They didn’t stay in any of the big cities until they hit San Francisco. They walked along the bay, ate enough shrimp cocktail to last them a lifetime and watched the sun set over the ocean. By the time the clouds lost their tinge of fuchsia and orange, they were back on the road, heading north. Still Sara didn’t say where she wanted to go and Sofia didn’t ask. They slept in the car on the side of the road, holding hands across the center console with their backrests pushed all the way back and the sunroof open so they could see a perfect rectangle of stars.

Sofia fell in love with all the motels they stayed in the little seaside towns. She liked the names and the weathered wooden siding and the faded pictures painted on the sides. She liked the flowered wallpapers and the too-plushy carpets Sara wouldn’t walk on without socks. They started collecting the tiny shampoos and soaps, piling them into the trunk of the car beside the suitcases full of clothes they didn’t wear because they didn’t have any use for all the fancy trousers and blouses.

Sofia called Brass once, from a payphone at the southern edge of Oregon, to let him know where they were and that they were okay. Sara was healing and they didn’t know where they were going but Sofia was pretty sure that they wouldn’t be back in Vegas. Not permanently, anyways.

Sara fell in love with the coast all over again and they left a suitcase full of clothes at the door of one of the little churches and replaced it with bags of sea glass, stones, and shells. Sand found its way into their shoes and jacket pockets, and lined the floor of the car. The wind swept it out of creases in their pants, fairy dust floating on the wind in front of them.

They slept well on beds that were too hard and not their own, exhausted from so much driving, walking and all the fresh, salty air. Somewhere along the road, when they stopped using the map and just followed the highway along the coast, they stopped at one of the small inlets, where the Pacific was quieter and they could swim. It was still early and the wind greeting them as they climbed out of the car was still cool, carrying the scent of rain with it.

Sofia stripped out of her pants, waiting by the hood of the car in a t-shirt and panties until Sara had thrown her own pants and shoes into the trunk. Shivering side by side, their hands clasped together tightly, they walked towards the water.

Tiny waves lapped up at their feet, licking between their toes curling into the sand.

“It’s freezing Sara.” Sofia giggled, squeezing the taller woman’s fingers.

Sara nodded, squeezed back and pulled Sofia into the water with her. They hissed and squealed as the water reached their bellies and Sara finally let go of Sofia’s hand, ducked into the water and swam, slick as a seal under the surface, until she ran out of air. Sofia followed her, keeping her head above the water until she reached Sara.

Wrapping her legs around the brunette’s hips, they hopped and drifted, still shivering.

“Where’re we going?” Sofia finally asked, planting a kiss on Sara’s nose.

“I have no idea, to be honest.” Sara answered, stretching until her lips touched Sofia’s. They kissed for a moment, forgetting the cold water and the wind and the fact that neither of them knew just exactly where they were.

“When will we know if we got there?” Sneaking her arms around Sara’s neck, Sofia kissed along her jaw line, tasting the ocean on Sara’s skin.

“We’ll know. It’ll feel like home.”