NOTE - Updated on 12/21/07 because I never worked with a song fic before and I wanted to make it a little less tedious to read.

A/N – Okay, this is the sequel to Tempered. However, I am going to try to stay a little more in character in this (one of the prime reasons for restarting this), and keep it more focused on case files.

A/N 2 – For those that did not read Tempered… here's a quick background. Grissom went out to San Francisco after Sara asked, he got to meet her mother, step-sister April, and step-father Dennis. Sara decided it was time to come home. That's where this story starts.

Disclaimer – I have a huge doubt that of the millions of stories out there, mine will be the one that gets sued if I don't say how I don't own CSI or the characters and stuff like that. Hold it, I just said. Never mind, I'm good.




It ended up taking a couple of days before they left the bay area. First, they had to stop to off at a store, because Hank had gotten into Gil's suitcase and ripped apart every pair of socks he'd carried with him. Grissom, who had no problem tolerating Sara's half-chewed shoes, seemed to get extremely irritable picking up pieces of cotton knitting.

Muffling a laugh, Sara tried to not to grin, but couldn't help it. When Gil caught sight of the look on her face, his frown intensified and he got the look that always frightened the boys in the lab. Someday I'll have to tell him it doesn't affect the women, she thought to herself, and promptly decided perhaps she'd wait for his ninetieth birthday.

Within hours, they'd packed the cars with her scant clothing. He knew she'd purchased it all shortly after arriving, because she hadn't brought anything with her. Throwing her laptop in the backseat with Hank, Sara took one last look at her temporary home. She'd felt comfortable there, and felt a pang as the building disappeared in the rear view mirror.

"Next stop, Vegas," Grissom said, flipping on the radio. Popping a compact disk into the radio, he knew he'd shocked Sara when a country song filled the car, and her mouth fell open.

Oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss

It's better my darling, I promise you this

The next time I hold you, I'm not letting go

Will you wait for me darlin', I need to know

Sara felt her eyes well a little at the sentiment. She'd waited left Las Vegas, not asking the one question the song anticipated. She left without asking if Gil would wait for her. Part of her expected outright rejection, but when she'd left she'd been on the edge of breaking apart, and viewing life with a pessimistic attitude. She hadn't expected to find her mother to be the soft, kind person she was. Sara also hadn't anticipated meeting a step-father and step-sister she'd begun to care so much about.

Well, you know I'm a sailor and tomorrow we sail

It's a hard way of living but I know it well

And if I surrender my life to the sea

You can marry another it's all right by me

Sara scoffed at this idea. She'd never really thought about it, but the part of her that knew she'd love him forever didn't ever want him to move on if something happened to her. The biggest part of her, though, wanted his happiness, and knew that in her core, she would want him to move on and have a life.

Though we won't be together again 'til the spring

Just imagine the treasures I'll bring

"This sounds a great deal like a folk song," Sara murmured, closing her eyes, letting the lyrics and melody drift through her. She'd fallen asleep many a night to songs like the 'Edmund Fitzgerald', and this song closely resembled the style of aching melody. For some reason, lamenting songs seemed to find a place in her, as she often reconciled the sadness of the melody with the sadness of her life.

Come lay with me, stay with me, soon I'll be gone

I will remember you all winter long

And when I return to the one that I miss

Oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss

The sweeter the kiss

She hadn't given him the chance to lay with her. She'd just left, and part of her would regret that for the rest of her life. More than anything, she'd hurt him and knew it. At that moment, she promised herself she'd spend a lifetime making it up to him.

When the mornings are warm and the valleys are green

I'll come back from wherever I've been

Sara could imagine Vegas in the dead of winter... or the height of spring. The mornings would be bitter cold, and the landscape muted. Smiling, she realized she wouldn't have it any other way, and looked forward to seeing the city again. She felt a bit of anticipation well up in her. Yeah... she'd take the desert and the city over green valleys any day.

Oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss

It's better my darling, I promise you this

The next time I hold you, I'm not letting go

I will give up the ocean, forever I know

Forever I know

As the music died out, the acoustic guitar took up the refrain, and the strong solo voice finished it. All the while, Sara began to smile. The first kiss after not seeing him had been desperate, not sweet. The sweetest kisses he gave her were sitting together on the couch, or making love in their bed, gently showing each other how they felt. The lyrics may sound beautiful in theory, but didn't accurately describe Sara and her husband.

Oh, the longer the waiting, the sweeter the kiss

It's better my darling, I promise you this

The next time I hold you, I'm not letting go

I will give up the ocean, forever I know

Forever I know

"It's a beautiful song," Sara murmured, a smile playing on her lips, "Besides, I'm back before spring, aren't I? While I may go back to visit, I'm pretty sure I'm done with the bay."

"Nick gave me this disk during his weird phase," Grissom balefully uttered, ejecting the disk.

Slyly grabbing the disk from his fingers, Sara inserted into back the player. The words 'Nick' and 'weird phase' combined with the country music intrigued her. She really wanted to flip through the songs and get an idea of what else Grissom had endured.

The next song she recognized from many unfortunate trips with Nick in his Denali. On more than one occasion, it occurred to her that simply taking her gun and shooting him in the head would cease the issue, but she unfortunately determined Brass would not want to have to handle the case. It took two songs before she couldn't take it anymore and flipped out the disk to insert Tchaikovsky.

Much like his singular drive to San Francisco, Grissom was forced to stop every couple of hours to let the canine out of the back seat, or tolerate him howling out of tune with whatever played over the stereo.

Sara's curiosity no longer containable, she said, "I haven't heard your cell phone ring once since you arrived the other day, Gil."

"I didn't want to be disturbed, so I turned it off."

Turning in her seat to get a better view of her husband, she accused, "You did something before you came here. You're avoiding someone." Then having a good idea who he would most likely wish to evade, groaned, "You're sending Ecklie to voice mail again."

"I'm taking a page from Aristotle, 'The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but avoid pain'."

When she laughed, he glared, only to hear, "You don't care about Aristotle. You're just the biggest procrastinator on the planet."

"Cite your source," he challenged.

"Paperwork, dealing with anything political, dealing with Ecklie, talking to me when we're arguing… shall I continue?"

The silence from the driver's side of the car confirmed her victory. Hank chose that moment to prance in the back seat, signaling the need to pull over once again. Laughing, they found a spot to, as Grissom intoned when he opened the back door, "Release the hound." Sara just rolled her eyes.

Stopping only for a quick bite to eat, they found themselves on the outskirts of Las Vegas shortly after nightfall.

"I want to see the lights of the city," she soberly stated, so they drove the strip. The glow of neon had been a missing factor in her life of late, and she never realized how important the familiarity of the city had become. Leaning forward for a better view, Sara smiled at the gaudiness of the scene before her.

"Welcome home," Grissom said, as they slowly left the tourist traps and headed towards their townhouse. She found herself as restless as Hank, as he pulled in front of their house.

Giddy with excitement, Sara jumped out of the car, grabbed her laptop, and was about to bound up the stairs, when Hank jumped up, apparently even more excited than she to return to 'his' domain. Laughing, she sank onto the stone front steps and laid back, while Grissom unlocked the front door.

Smirking, he held out a hand, helped her to her feet, and gallantly bowed, "Your castle, m'lady?"

Making her way through to the dining room, she dropped her laptop on the table, and made her way to their bedroom. Long ago, she had interwoven that deep masculine colors with touches of lighter feminine blue and peach.

The quizzical look on his face found her asking, "Tell me, Gilbert. What are you thinking?"

"I was just wondering what would happen if you draped some of that gauzy material from the ceiling over the bed," came the absent-minded reply, "like you had in San Francisco."

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she murmured, "I'm sure it can be arranged." A quick kiss later, she sat.

Smiling, he removed his shoes, and she watched his nightly ritual, preparing for bed. Wearing only a robe, he propped himself against the fluffy pillows, and raised his brows at her. "Are you planning on joining me?"

Smirking, she shed her clothing, and lay next to him in her own robe.

When she reached up, his eyes danced, then flared a flaming blue.

Holding her lips a breath from his, she murmured, "Hi, honey, I'm home," and let the night consume them.


A/N – Okay, I realize it's not that long, but hey. I finished Tempered AND managed to get the next story started. Be kind, and I might actually be able to write more over the next few days.

A/N 2 - The song is from Josh Turner's latest album. The song is called 'The Longer the Waiting (The Sweeter the Kiss)'. The 'Edmund Fitzgerald' is from Gordon Lightfoot.