CSI Forever Online March 2014 Challenge

Rules: The subject of the story is Extreme Weather of some kind - floods, snowstorms, heatwaves, typhoons, etc. The story must begin with the phrase - "It was the night before . . ." The following prompts must be used: Sunset, Soup, Necklace, Mine, Goldfish. The story may be of any length. You may use any of the characters from the series. It may be funny, romantic, dramatic, silly or anything you choose.

AN: This story takes place in the same universe as "Ch-Ch-Changes," though it is not necessary to read it first. Just note that while the events of Season 12 and the first episode of Season 13, nothing beyond that exists in my bubble. GSR Forever and Always :) Oh, and this rainstorm really did happen in Vegas, on this date.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It was the night before their vacation was due to start that the rainclouds rolled in with a vengeance. Gil had called Sara at work the night before, letting her know that he would be staying overnight at the DRI campus, to help check in the student teams that had been recalled from their research sites in the nearby desert due to the flash flood warnings. Sara, herself, had barely made it home from her shift before the storm broke. She quickly took Hank on a much abbreviated walk, which soaked them both within a matter of moments, and was truly grateful for the loft complex being well above flood level as she watched the world outside their windows blur like a Monet painting as the water coated the glass.

Knowing her husband wouldn't leave until all the students were accounted for, Sara kept herself busy, drying off both their placid boxer and herself, and getting dressed in warm, comfortable clothes. She then went looking for sustenance, and found her morning meal ready and waiting in the refrigerator. Prepared by Grissom the night before, she smiled at the simple, but hearty fare he had left her – a bowl of rich, vegetable soup and a package of goldfish crackers. Settling down to eat, she tried not to dwell on the ominous news streaming from the radio and her police scanner: road closures; accidents; stranded motorists; the collapse of a roof at a local 7-11; power outages; flooding at UNLV . . . the last one had her gnawing on her lip and nervously playing with the necklace that held her engagement ring. The campus wasn't all that far from DRI . . .

With a shake of her head, Sara arose and cleaned up after her meal before moving about their home, placing candles in strategic locations, and finding some of the battery powered lanterns they used when camping and on their longer research trips. Checking around the loft, insuring that windows were tightly closed, against the battering of the storm, filled some more of the time and kept her mind from worrying too much about her man, who had not yet called or made it home.

He'd tell me there was nothing to worry about, if he was here, that he can take care of himself, and has done so for many years . . . but he's mine to worry about, now, whether he likes it or not! she thought stubbornly as she checked over the luggage they had packed in preparation of leaving that night. They were due to leave on a redeye out of McCarran that night, bound for a conference and week of fun in New York. She was laying out towels by the door and finding warm clothes for Grissom to change into when the news reported the temporary suspension of landings at the airport at 1:30. Dismayed, Sara reached for her phone to call Gil, but immediately got his voicemail. Fighting her worry, she tersely reminded herself that the weather could be playing havoc with the signal, or he might have run the battery down in his efforts to notify the researchers of the danger.

The hours slowly trickled by, as news of more accidents, mudslides, debris on the roadways and the closure of the Regional Justice Center to all but essential business due to flooding, filled the static-y airwaves. Eyes trained on the waterlogged world outside, Sara chewed her lip, and absently stroked Hank's head as the boxer leaned against her, offering his mistress what comfort he could, as the afternoon slowly dragged on. It was only the insistent nudging of the dog that got her to her feet to eat something more for a late lunch, after filling the patient animal's bowl with kibble for his meal.

As the rain finally began to slacken in the late afternoon hours, Sara wrapped herself in a blanket, and resumed her post at the window, waiting for some sight of her husband returning home. She hadn't slept a wink the entire day, her nerves stretched too taut for her to relax enough even to nap. She didn't need to hear the weathermen exclaim about the record breaking rainfall, or that thousands of Vegas residents were without power as Nevada Energy worked hard to restore service around the valley. She only mildly cared that plane service had resumed at McCarran, or that a sheet of slick mud on I215 near the Airport Connector had halted traffic for a goodly portion of the day. The only thing she wanted, was to see Grissom come home.

Finally, as the light began to dim outside, the sunset hidden behind blankets of grey clouds, that a loan SUV drove into the parking lot below. A single figure climbed wearily from the vehicle, waving to the driver within before trudging toward the building, but Sara didn't stop to watch any further – she would know that slightly rocking gait anywhere. Out the door at a run, she was down the stairs and wrapping her exhausted and rain-soaked man up in her embrace before the outer door had finished closing behind him.

Startled, Grissom hugged his wife close, feeling her light trembles, and murmuring reassurances that he was fine, just a little tired and very wet. Once she had reassured herself that he was indeed unharmed, the lithe brunette begin clucking over his chilled hands and urging him up the stairs and into their home, determined to get him dried and fed in no time. Knowing that capitulation would save time when his lady was in this kind of a mood, Grissom allowed Sara to do as she wished with him, though he drew the line when she attempted to feed him, taking the spoon from her hand.

"I can feed myself, my dear," he teased her, holding her close to his side.

"What happened, Gil? I tried to call you, earlier . . ." Sara trailed off, blushing at how naggy she thought she sounded.

With a shy grin, Grissom bussed her cheek. "Most of the teams were back by lunchtime, but there was sensitive gear that needed offloading, and everyone turned out to help. My phone fell out of my pocket and was waterlogged before I realized it, and the campus phones went out of order due to a flooded junction box shortly after that. We had radio contact with the last team and emergency responders if we'd needed the help, but I had no way to reach you, as the others either had no battery left, or couldn't get a signal with storm. I'm sorry I worried you."

Wrapping her arms around her husband, she kissed him thoroughly. "I think worrying is part of the marriage deal, Griss. No matter what we do, or where we are." Shrugging lightly, she nuzzled her man and rested her head on his shoulder. She would worry about their trip, later, all that mattered right now was that he was home, safe in her arms.