One the Edge
Summary: A single decision can turn into a deadly mistake, as Greg and Sara find out one storm night.
Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, don't own the characters. You know the drill
Chapter One: The Fall
The steady beam of the flashlight moved over the ground in a slow, back and forth motion; Greg taking each step carefully, kneeling down to place a marker every foot or so. They would definitely need to come back out here in the day time, being this far out from any real light source made work like this that much harder. Trying to locate skid marks on black tar in the middle of the night was like trying to find a needle in the haystack. Actually trying to find the needle would have probably been easier.
Kneeling down, Greg placed another marker on the road, the beam of his flashlight sweeping over the small area. With a sigh, he raised his head, smiling to himself at the sight of the city, several miles away. It was like a shining star, floating just above the dry land. The only one out that night as well, he reminded himself, casting a look to the sky. Not a clear patch of sky in sight.
"Come on Greg, stop daydreaming, let's get this wrapped up," Catherine's voice snapped him from his thoughts.
In response, Greg grinned at her, despite the fact she probably didn't even see it. "I can't be daydreaming," he told her, "It's in the middle of the night."
Catherine let out what sounded like a harsh laugh, but didn't say anything back. Not to him at least.
"Watch you step Sara," Greg followed her Gaze to where Sara was documenting the car that was halfway over the cliff's edge. "That first step is a doozy."
Greg shrugged, standing back up to take a few more steps, than kneeling back down. They had been here for hours now; the officer that had been with them earlier had left to check on the towing truck that had never showed. They were close to losing the car, and had tried to anchor it down with some rocks, with little luck. They couldn't do much, only hope that it wouldn't fall before the truck arrived.
"I think I've got something here," he told Catherine, setting down his flashlight to take a few pictures.
Catherine came to look over his shoulder as he collected the small metal piece with a pair of tweezers. "Could be from our vic's car, or from whoever hit her," Catherine nodded, "Good work."
Greg was just bagging the piece of evidence when the first drop hit him. He let out a groan, glancing back up to the sky. Just what they needed, a desert rain storm. It would wash out most of their evidence before they even got a look at it.
"Pack it up, let's get before it gets too bad," Catherine made the call.
"If we leave now, we'll loose the car," Sara yelled from her spot, trying to be heard over the clash of thunder that had filled the air.
"We can always pull it out later. It'll be more work, but if we don't get out of here, we'll need something to pull us out as well."
Catherine was way ahead of the two; with her case already packed she was climbing into the car as Greg and Sara were hurrying to do the same. It was raining harder now, big drops, and heavy. Catherine rolled down the window.
"I'll catch you two at the lab," she yelled at them, able to see their faces as lightning flashed across the sky. It was followed by another loud roar of thunder.
"Yeah," Sara nodded, closing her own case.
"Drive careful," she told them before rolling the window back up, and pulling away. Greg was already loading the second car, when the rain suddenly became torrential downpour. He turned around, waiting for Sara, but was surprised to find her with her kit open once again.
"What are you doing?" He yelled in order to be heard, as she stumbled back over towards the car.
"We're not finished here," Sara yelled back, going over towards the car. "This rain will kill any evidence we have, we need to get as much as we can."
"Sara," Greg started to argue, taking off after her. He was interrupted by the thunder. The storm was getting closer. "Sara, we need to get going. We'll come back."
"We need to get it now Greg. Catherine just doesn't want to get wet." She reached over with a gloved hand, working to get the door open on the crashed vehicle. The car swayed under the movements, Sara waited until it had settled back down before proceeding to climb into the front seat.
"Sara, this is crazy," Greg tired to convince her to come out. "Come on," he reached in for her hand, but she waved him off, tensing as the car rocked beneath her.
"If you want to help, hold the car down," she told him, moving her flashlight slowly around the interior of the car.
"No," Greg said firmly, "Let's go before you get killed. You know what these rainstorms can do," he pleaded.
"Yes, I do Greg," she told him, pulling out a swab, "Which is why we need to get this stuff now."
Irritated, Greg reached in, grabbing her wrist, probably a little to forceful, and started to pull her out. He hadn't meant to hurt her, but this was insane. Still seeing her wince like that made him feel guilty, made him loosen his grip on her. She pulled back with an equally forceful tug, not willing to go anywhere. It was in that moment she felt the car rock under her, and this time it wasn't going to stop. Greg saw it too.
Nearly jumping in the car himself, Greg grabbed a hold of her arms, pulling her out even as the car fell. He planted his feet firmly on the ground, or what he thought was ground, only to find the edge had already been washed away by the rain, and felt himself sliding; sliding down to the gully below.
Greg was desperately seeking a handhold as he slid further down, the finally plunge wasn't far away when managed to snag a root. He wasn't even aware he still had a hold of Sara until he came to a stop, their combined weight causing the root to snap slightly.
"Pull yourself up," Greg yelled down to her, trying to find some footholds, to balance his weight, but the cliff face had turned into mud. Below him, Sara was having even less luck. Greg was her only support at the moment, and she didn't know how long he could hold onto her.
"There's another one up here," Greg suddenly yelled at her. Sara felt him slowly lifting her up.
Sara did what she could, but it was hard work. The ground kept giving way below her, every so often she would come in contact with a rock formation that allowed enough room to get a foot on it, but they were small. She reached up as far as she could, stretching, feeling the root end in her fingers. With a breath she jumped for it, grabbing a secure hold on to it.
Greg had kicked away enough mud to find a secure rock, but it was barely big enough to hold him, let alone balance him. His main weight was still on the root, but with Sara's weight diverted, it felt as though it would hold, for a while at least.
Sara had done the same as him, holding onto the root tightly as she gazed upward. It was hard to see anything, the rain helped little. It was cascading over the cliff like the waterfall, drenching the already wet pair. She turned to look at Greg, who was also surveying their scene.
Another bolt of lightning lit the sky, allowing the pair to see each other for a moment. "What do we do know?" Sara yelled over the storm.
"We have to try and climb out," Greg yelled back, already knowing that task wasn't going to easy, or safe for that matter. But they couldn't stay like this, it would several hours before anyone would come and check up on them.
With one hand he reached up, feeling around in the mud and rocks for something that would support him, but found nothing. Sara had found something, reaching up for it, the root snapped, sending her tumbling down further.
She came to a rest nearly four feet below Greg, a branch having caught her shirt, bringing her to an abrupt halt. Sara wrapped her arms around the branch, lifting herself up some, her feet digging into the muddied side once again.
"Sara?" Greg was yelling frantically, he couldn't see her, or hear her in anyway, he was afraid she had fallen all the way.
"I'm okay," she yelled back at him, her voice shaken, but she doubted Greg could hear it over the storm. Her head was throbbing now; she realized dully that she must have hit it during the fall. She closed her eyes, shivering softly, the rainwater and mud had caked most of her body now, drenching her clothes, and it was getting cold. She assumed Greg was in much of the same condition.
She allowed herself to look down, searching the darkness as lighting flashed, brining the area to life for only a second, before becoming dark once again. It was long enough for Sara to see a raging river below them, something not uncommon for these storms. Flash Floods. The water would slowly rise, until it swept them away, unless of course they fell first. Either way, it was rarely possible to out swim an angry river.