AN: Entry for the February 2014 CSIFO challenge - In honour of the Games of the XXII Winter Olympiad write a story about a game, a challenge or a competition! You can go for a simple game of chess, or a sporting event, or a game of truth or dare on a night out. Anything as long as it involves a game, challenge or competition.
The Rules: 1. Only one chapter, no word limit. 2. Nothing gloomy. Let's spread love and happiness.
Gil Grissom stared up at a white ceiling, vaguely aware of the quiet murmurs of his team around him. The words were unintelligible, but the emotions, while varied, were crystal clear. Worry, amusement, triumph – they moved about the brightly lit room like tangible objects. A bemused smile curled his lips as he drifted off, recalling the events that up to this day . . .
One week earlier . . .
"Is he really going to get away with this?!" Nick's Texas twang rose sharply above the rest of the angry noise the nightshift was making in their supervisor's office.
Grissom glanced around at the packed room, surprised that so many people could actually fit into his sanctum without something crashing to the ground. He winced as Hodge's waving hand knocked into one shelving unit, causing several jars to wobble dangerously, but breathed again as Henry and Mia quickly moved to steady the swaying specimens. Mandy, meanwhile, worked to settle down the irate Trace tech.
In the corner by the stuffed bookcases, he saw that Warrick, Archie and Bobby were trying to calm the fuming Stokes. Though from the looks on their faces they weren't far behind him on being ready to explode themselves.
Finally, the entomologist glanced at the last cluster, hoping that Greg and Jacqui could calm Catherine. The fiery redhead looked like she was about to blow, and by the glower on the face of the brunette who was leaning on the wall near her, Sara wasn't far behind.
Taking a deep breath, he sighed and rose to his feet. "All right!" Grissom's bellow cut through the bedlam, bringing instant silence and all eyes focusing in his direction. "So Ecklie's thrown us a curveball with his ringers for the annual Dayshift/Nightshift game." Grumbles began, but quickly quieted as their supervisor raised his hand. "But his ringers, while not normally part of the dayshift, are currently assigned to fill in for tech's he's got on vacation."
"Griss, those ringers are SWAT!" Nick growled.
The grey-haired man leveled a stern gaze at the other man before continuing. "Dayshift is a group of individuals who somehow manage to work together . . . and the SWAT members are from different shifts . . . two of which are on leave for failure to work with their teammates . . . And the third has anger issues." Grins started to appear around the room as the anger bled away. "On the other hand we are a team. We play by the rules, we know on another, we know how to work together." Crossing his arms over his chest, he looked around, not bothering to hide a smirk of pride at the looks of determination that had replaced the irritation that had been there before. "Gameday is Saturday, so be ready, and remember, we play for ourselves and for the fun. And if we still manage to beat Dayshift, despite his ringers and whatever other tricks Ecklie tries to pull, then we'll be batting a thousand." As cheers and laughter filled the once anger filled room, Grissom threw a wink over at his favorite brunette, grinning openly at her laughing blush.
Day of the Game, 7th Inning Stretch . . .
The game had been much tighter than expected, with some very dirty playing on the part of the Dayshift. Two of Ecklie's ringers had been ejected so far, while both left and center field had to be replaced due to injuries: Mandy had been knocked to the ground while running to second, wrenching her back in the sixth inning, and Bobby had just been beaned by a 'wild' pitch in the top of the seventh. The score currently stood at two all, and Grissom was working hard to calm his players down.
"Okay, folks, Doc says Mandy will be fine with some rest, and Bobby just had his bell rung, no concussion. But they won't be able to play for the rest of the game, so Henry, Hodges, you're finishing the game." Seeing the slightly green grin the two techs were giving him, Grissom nodded as encouragingly as he could. "Only Sanchez is still in the game from the SWAT ringers, and he's the one that brought in both of Dayshift's runs, so he's the one we need to really watch out for. We only have two more at bats to bring home the win."
Looking around, he saw the determination on all his teammates, and felt a swell of pride. Despite all the bad feelings that had been generated with the injuries, the dirty tricks, and the blatant harassment of his female co-workers, they had not sunk to the level of the Dayshift. And they wouldn't. They had too much self-esteem to ever do so.
"Let's do it . . . goooooo Graveyard!"
Bottom of the Ninth
The score was Dayshift 2, Nightshift 3, with two out and one on base.
Grissom gritted his teeth, still annoyed with himself for allowing Ecklie, of all people, to get on base. Conrad had been crowding the plate, and a curveball had curved too much, hitting the man solidly on the hip. The Dayshift supervisor was on second, grinning insolently at Warrick, who was splitting his attention between the annoying man and the batter. Sanchez, the anger-issues SWAT member, was at bat, and the entomologist knew he was taunting Nick, whose face was visibly red behind his catcher's mask.
Locking eyes with the younger man, the nightshift supervisor shaking off the signals until he got the pitch he wanted. Winding up, he threw a slider, grinning as the umpire yelled out, "Strike one!" The next pitch, a sinker, drew a "Strike two!" and an audible growl from the batter, who stared at Grissom with narrowed, angry eyes. Drawing in a deep breath, he again shook off the first two signals, before finally nodding and winding up.
The ball flew straight and fast, but Sanchez managed to get a good piece of it, hitting a high flyball to center . . . where Hodges lost it for a critical second in the sun. The ball bounced out of his glove as he fumbled with it, and by the time he came up with the it, Sanchez was powering past second, and Ecklie was rounding third. The Trace tech had a good arm, however, and he had it to Warrick in no time.
But when the tall man turned to throw the ball to home, he saw that Ecklie, instead of stepping on homeplate, was plowing straight into Nick, knocking the catcher to the ground, the pair landing in a hopeless tangle of limbs. Seeing that there was no hope to catch the runner at third, and that the pitcher had faded toward home to back up the relay, Warrick knew he had only one choice. "Grissom!" he shouted, alerting his boss before throwing the ball.
Fast reflexes had the grey-haired man catching the ball and turning toward home. Sanchez was barreling toward home and Grissom charged, hitting the plate and turning to brace for impact with the beefy runner. Bodies collided, and the older man went down hard, left arm thrown out to try and break his fall, ball clutched firmly in his right. A sickening crack resounded as they landed on the hard packed earth, and the entomologist's eyesight blurred at the pain shooting from his forearm. He held on, however, with a grimace, and couldn't help grinning as he heard the shout of "Yer out!" followed by some truly vile swearing from Sanchez. But it was the additional swearing that burst out of Ecklie as the umpire informed him that his run didn't count because he hadn't touched home plate before the batter was called out, that brought a huge smile to his face.
Present . . .
The feeling of fingers gently combing through his curls brought him back to the present, and he opened his eyes to smile up at the brunette that was looking down at him. "Are the drugs that good, Griss?" Sara murmured, her husky tones soothing to his soul.
"Naw, just remembering how pissed Ecklie looked after he got through yelling at the umpire." His chuckle was quickly muffled as she bent over to give him a soft kiss.
"Only you would be so happy after snapping your radius AND ulna, and being stuck on paper patrol for several weeks." Her eyebrow crooked up as she noticed that her lover's smile had grown even more. "What on earth has you so happy?"
"We beat Dayshift and Ecklie, Mandy and Bobby are going to be fine, Brass gets to chew out some SWAT guys . . . and I just got to first base with the cutest first baseman in CSI. Who wouldn't be happy?" Grissom answered with a boyish wink, hooking his right arm around her waist and tugging her close.
Laughter burst out of the surprised brunette, and she blushed as she heard Warrick's surprised snort behind her. "Swinging for the fences, Griss?" the brown-skinned man guffawed, drawing the attention of the rest of the room much to Sara's dismay.
"No grandstanding here, 'Rick," the older man replied, squeezing the woman at his side. As the medication he'd been given once again began to overwhelm his senses, those closest to him could hear that he was humming "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" with a huge smile on his face.