AN: First story, submitted for the CSI Forever Online September Challenge (996 words according to Word Perfect)

Sara smiled tiredly as she pulled into her parking space at home. It had been an interesting shift, to say the least, culminating with the unexpected breakfast invitation from DB. Her lips quirked as they always did when she thought of their new supervisor's name.

New supervisor . . . her smile slipped as she thought of the changes that had occurred in the aftermath of the Haskell fiasco. Ray's ignominious departure; Catherine's punishing demotion; Ecklie's characteristic loss of faith in the night shift's capabilities; the vague sense of loss of unity, of trust, that dogged her as they all struggled to understand what had happened and how it had all gone so wrong . . . And now, to have this – this outsider! – in Grissom's office . . . sometimes, in the quiet times of the night, she could almost feel his presence there, helping to center her during the difficult cases. And there had been plenty of those over the past couple of years.

Shaking her head to clear it of such maudlin reminiscences, Sara gathered her things and trudged to her front door, focusing on more pleasant thoughts. Gil was due home soon, and she was looking forward to some well deserved R&R with her husband. Though if she had any say, there would be very little rest happening at first. Chuckling at her own lusty thoughts, she was inside and throwing the bolt on the door before the unusual musty odor that permeated the entryway registered in her tired brain. Dust . . . and vegetation? she puzzled as she spun around to see boxes and a couple duffle bags piled to the side.

Sara blinked for a moment before what she was seeing registered – and then she was off at a run through the townhouse searching for Grissom. He's home! repeated over and over in her mind as she eliminated room after room before arriving at the master bedroom. She saw Hank happily panting in his bed just as the bathroom door opened.

A cloud of steam puffed out as her husband stepped out, one towel wrapped about his waist, another being used to dry his hair. Temporarily blinded by the terrycloth, he didn't see Sara launch herself at him, but her squeal of "Gil!" caused startled blue eyes to appear just before she crashed into him, wrapping him in her embrace. Used to these surprise pounces on his returns home, Grissom was able to catch his wife and not topple to the floor, turning her momentum into a twirl that wound up with both of them falling to the bed, his towels flying away in the process. Anything he was about to say was instantly muffled as her mouth closed on his in a breath-stealing kiss.

Some hours later, the two lovers were curled up together under the covers, drowsy and sated. "You're home," Sara murmured against his throat, filling her lungs with his scent. The slight ache in her heart that always appeared during his absences disappeared with the solid feel of him in her arms once again.

"That I am, my dear," Grissom rumbled in turn, pressing a tender kiss against her temple.

"Not that I'm complaining or anything, but I thought you wouldn't be home until next week?" she queried, idly drawing circles on his chest and grinning as she felt his skin shiver under her touch.

Capturing her teasing fingers, he brought them to his mouth and kissed each one before resting their joined hands on his chest again. "True, but I realized that it would be a couple days spent filling out final reports followed by waiting the rest of the time for the next ride out . . . so I figured I could just as easily finish the paperwork here and fax it back to the Institute." His ocean blue eyes sparkled as he turned to stare into her whisky brown ones. "Think you can stand to have me around awhile longer, m'love?"

Gleeful laughter and a fierce hug was her immediate answer before her eyes suddenly narrowed at his wording. Sara studied her husband's face as he fought not to laugh at the suspicious look on hers. "What aren't you telling me, Gilbert?" she growled playfully, placing the fingers of her free hand against his ribs. A soft smile and quirked eyebrow was her only answer at first, so Sara began dragging her fingernails along his side.

Trying not to squirm, he first attempted to grab her tickling hand, but only succeeded in losing his grip on her other one. She quickly shifted atop him, both hands poised and ready. "Gilbert?" she purred out, her dark eyes sparkling wickedly.

"New interrogation technique, CSI Sidle?" Gil managed to get out before she attacked in earnest. While he managed to get in a few tickles of his own, the brunette definitely had the upper hand, and it wasn't long until he cried, "UNCLE!" Breathing heavily, he smiled up at the tousled woman perched atop him.

"Care to answer the question now, Dr. Grissom?" Sara grinned, loving the wild state of his curls and the warm feel of his body rising beneath hers with every breath.

"Weeeeell . . . I know you've faced a lot of changes these past few months," he rumbled, rubbing his hands soothingly along her thighs, his smile warm and loving even as her's dimmed a bit at the rush of memories. "But, I was wondering if you could handle one more change?" His eyes never leaving hers, he reached over to his nightstand, and grabbed an envelope that was laying there, handing it to her.

Sara took the envelope and glanced at the crest. Eyebrows climbing at the logo from the Desert Research Institute, she quickly pulled out the letter and scanned it. "A teaching and research position? At their Vegas campus? Gil! This . . . this is . . ." Eyes bright as words failed her, Sara settled for attempting to kiss her husband senseless, the thought floating around in her head that maybe, just maybe, changes were a good thing.