Author's Notes: Takes place a few months after the events in the movie. I always wondered what would happen to Chewandswallow after things settled down. They couldn't just leave all of that food lying around, could they? And what about the mayor using up all of the city's money to pay for "Sardine Land?" Here's my take- enjoy!

I rated this "K+" only due to a few scenes that include kissing and cuddling- nothing more. I also want to give a BIG "thank you" to everyone who reviewed my first CwaCoM fic, "The Meaning of Happiness," and for those who added me to their favorites list. I appreciate your thoughtful comments very much. This one's for you guys!

Disclaimer: Flint Lockwood, Sam Sparks, and the other characters in 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' belong to Sony Pictures. I don't own them; I'm just having fun with them. : )

Finally- on with the story!

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Crash!

For once, the lights in the Lockwood household didn't go out because of one of Flint's experiments. This time the culprit was a vicious New England ice storm. It was late November- still too early for snow, but that didn't stop a furious "Nor'easter" from slamming the tiny island of Swallow Falls with rain and ice.

Flint Lockwood winced as another terrific burst of thunder shook the house, rattling the pictures on the walls. He was glad he was in his family's living room and not the lab. It would have been impossible to walk the short distance from the lab to the back door without getting completely soaked.

The young inventor patted Steve, who was clinging to his leg and shaking. Steve was not a fan of thunder. "Come on, Steve. Let's get these lights back on and then get some food, okay?"

Steve scrambled up onto his shoulder, bobbing his head. "Hungry!" the thought translator's high-pitched voice pronounced.

Chuckling, Flint managed to navigate his way to the kitchen without crashing into anything. As he rummaged in the drawers for the flashlight, Flint reflected on how…normal it was to hear rain and thunder falling, even if it was during a particularly nasty storm.

Flint sighed; thinking about the rain made him reflect on everything that had happened in the past few months. After the debacle with the food storm, Flint had destroyed the blueprints to the food replicator. There was no way he was going to give anyone like the former Mayor Shelbourne another chance to get their hands on his invention.

When the citizens of Swallow Falls (they had switched back to the town's original name) discovered that their mayor had not only spent the town's savings on Sardine Land, but also put them in millions of dollars worth of debt with high-interests loans, their was a unanimous cry for Shelbourne's immediate trial and conviction. The former mayor was now in jail, but the damage was done.

Swallow Falls was now even poorer than before, thought Flint with a surge of guilt. He knew the townsfolk didn't blame him, but Flint couldn't help but think that he should have seen through Shelbourne's false promises of fame and acceptance.

The only good thing to come out of this whole mess was "Flint and Dad's Spray-on Roof Sealant." Demand for the product was incredibly high, as Flint's polymer compound was both safe and easy to use. With all of the repairs going on worldwide after the food storm, Swallow Falls' newest business was booming.

Flint was glad that something he made was finally being put to good use, and that the new factory opened a lot of jobs for Swallow Falls. He still felt guilty about the whole mess, though.

Sam insisted that Flint had no reason to feel guilty; according to her, Flint had done more than enough to make up for his past mistakes.

Sam. Just thinking about his girlfriend (he still couldn't believe that he, Flint Lockwood, actually had a girlfriend!) made his face flush and heart pound. Sam had to go back to New York for a few weeks to tie up some loose ends, but before she left she and Flint had gone for a long walk together.

"Flint, the town's bankruptcy isn't your fault!" She insisted as they sat on the docks where they had first met.

"But if I had only seen through Shelbourne-"

Sam shook her head, her golden-red hair shining in the autumn sunlight. "Flint, you learned from you mistakes. We all did, and we're so proud of you." Sam reached out and stroked Flint's unkempt hair, a comforting gesture that he never tired of. It reminded him in some ways of his mother.

"You have to promise not to brood while I'm gone, okay?" she said, resting her head on Flint's shoulder and twining her fingers through his.

Flint sighed and rubbed his cheek against her soft hair. "I'm gonna miss you."

Sam smiled and pressed closer to him. "Me too, but about you," she said quietly; it was their private phrase for each other. "Besides, you'll have Steve for company." she added with a giggle.

Flint was slowly getting over his painful shyness and he pulled back a bit to grin mischievously at Sam. "Yeah, but I can't do this with Steve." And he suddenly pulled her closer and kissed her. Sam kissed him back; Flint was a very fast learner when it came to kissing.

"Hungry!" Flint snapped out of his revere at Steve's shrill voice. The monkey bounced impatiently on his shoulder. "Okay, buddy, let's get some power going and then it's chow time."

Flint grabbed the flashlight and made his way to the basement. He was glad they had their own back-up gas and generator; ice storms and the occasional blizzard were not uncommon in Swallow Falls, and his father had installed both for emergencies. Flint was about to go down into the basement to turn on the generator when someone pounded on his door.

The young inventor paused and looked at the door. Was someone actually knocking on his door, and in this weather? For a second he thought his father was already back from his business trip to Maine, but he dismissed it. Tim would have just used his house key; he wouldn't knock.

The pounding sounded again, louder and longer this time. Flint went to the door and peered through the key hole, but he couldn't see anything through the rain.

"Who is it?" he called, suspicious.

"Flint, it's me! Please open the door, I'm freezing!"

"Sam!" Flint quickly unbolted the door, and the force of the wind slammed it open against the wall. Steve leapt from his shoulder and onto a bookcase to avoid getting wet. Sam stood on his doorstep, soaked, shivering, and looking completely miserable.

"C-can I come in F-Flint?" She chattered, shaking furiously. Flint realized he was staring, shocked to see Sam on his doorstep, and ushered her in. He managed to push the door closed, shaking rain from his hair before turning back to Sam.

"Sam, what are you doing here? I thought you weren't coming back for another two weeks." She shrugged and wouldn't meet his eyes. "I decided to c-come back early…my c-car stalled on the way to your place."

"You walked up here?! Sam, it's freezing outside; why didn't you stay in your car and call me?" The young woman shrugged and managed a shaky smile. "My phone couldn't get any reception…and I wanted t-to see you." Flint couldn't help but smile at that, his chest doing that funny flip-flop whenever he was with Sam.

He noticed that Sam was still shaking, and he took her hands in his. Flint winced; Sam's hands felt like ice. "Geez, you're freezing, Sam! There's some towels in the bathroom," he said, pointing down the hall. "Give me a second to turn on the generator and get the water going, and I'll find you some dry clothes."

"T-thanks, Flint," said Sam through her chattering teeth. Flint bounded down the stairs to the basement, muttering to himself as he checked the generator.

"Checking…booting…activating…come on-yes!" he exclaimed as the generator suddenly kicked into life. Humming his personal theme song to himself, Flint hurried back upstairs and into his bedroom. Although he often slept in his lab, Flint still kept his regular bedroom. He tossed things aside as he looked for some dry clothes for Sam to wear.

"Aha!" Flint exclaimed triumphantly, emerging from under his bed with a blue wool sweater and sweatpants. He grabbed a pair of socks and hurried back to the bathroom. Flint knocked on the door.

"Sam? Uh, the water's working, so if you want to take a shower, go ahead. And I've…uh, got some clothes for you. They're probably a little big-okay-probably too big, but they're clean, so…"

Sam opened the door a crack, smiling at Flint. "Thanks, Flint. I'll be out in a few minutes." Flint nodded and handed her the clothes, keeping his eyes firmly on the wall and trying not to think about the fact that Sam was wrapped only in a towel.

"Aargh, get a grip on yourself, Lockwood!" Flint said, giving himself a good smack on the head with his flashlight for good measure. Steve got into the spirit of the new game and began smacking Flint on the head with a spoon he had found.

"Ouch! Steve, quit that!" Flint scooped up the monkey and set him down. The young inventor returned to the kitchen, his Spray-on-Shoes squeaking on the linoleum. He frowned as he studied the meager contents of the fridge. He had planned to make peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner, but that was out of the question since Sam was here.

Flint was pulling out a pot and some dishes when Sam joined him. Flint blushed as he looked at her; his clothes were too baggy on Sam's slender frame, but that shade of blue did amazing things to her eyes…

"Flint? Flint, do you need any help?" He pulled his straying mind back to the present and shook his head. "Nope. Just relax while Chef Flint prepares a culinary delight!" He added in a poor imitation of a French accent.

Sam laughed; Flint, as goofy as he could be sometimes, never failed to make her smile.

She sat at the small, square table in the center of the kitchen as Flint heated up some soup. He had confessed to Sam once that he was an abysmal cook, and that as brilliant as he may be, he could barely boil water without blowing something up.

He seemed to have the soup under control, though, and soon they were tucking into chicken noodle soup and ham sandwiches. Steve munched happily on his crackers and cheese at their feet.

Flint watched as Sam pecked at her food; he knew something was wrong, but he didn't know how to bring it up. After they finished eating, they went into the living room. Flint busied himself with lighting the fireplace; once it was burning safely, he stood and joined Sam on the sofa.

"Hey, what's wrong?" He asked softly, taking her hand in his. Sam blinked and looked at Flint in surprise. "What makes you think something's wrong?"

"Well, you haven't really looked me in the eye since you got here, and you keep biting your lip. You always do that when you're upset about something, by the way." Sam smiled. Leave it to Flint to noticed something as inconsequential as that. It was just one more reason why she cared about him so much.

Sam studied their entwined fingers. Flint's hand was much larger than hers, and constantly covered with grease or oil from working on one of his inventions. She rubbed at a grease spot on the back of his hand with her thumb, trying to collect her thoughts.

Growing more worried by the minute, Flint gently lifted her chin up so she had to look at him. "Hey, come on, you can tell me," he said, smiling encouragingly. He was shocked when Sam's green eyes suddenly welled up with tears.

Alarmed, Flint awkwardly patted Sam's back as she suddenly buried her face against his neck. "Sam, what's wrong? Please, just tell me!" Flint said, his voice tight with growing panic. "Are you hurt? Did you fall or something when coming up here?"

Sam quickly pulled back, shaking her head and wiping at her eyes. "Oh no, nothing like that, Flint! It's just-just those stupid jerks at the network!"

Relieved, Flint gave Sam a few minutes to collect herself before pressing her. "Is that why you're back so early? Something happened in New York?" A sneaking suspicious was growing in his mind, but he tried to ignore it, hoping he was wrong.

Sam nodded, taking a deep breath. "When I first got back three weeks ago, everyone was going crazy. They all wanted live footage of Swallow Falls during the storm outbreak. Of course, that was only after they saw the ratings."

She snorted in anger, remembering her coworker's Patrick's sneering comments and how he had cut off her broadcast during the spaghetti twister.

"Patrick and some other bigwigs pulled me into a meeting, demanding more footage of food weather. When I told them that the machine had been destroyed, they weren't very happy. They wanted me to convince you to make another FLSMDFR," she added in disgust.

"Oh, Sam…what did you tell them?"

Sam took a deep breath and finally met Flint's gaze. "I told them to go stuff themselves, and that they could find another intern."

"So you were fired?" said Flint, stunned.

"Well, I actually quit before they could fire me...but yeah, that's pretty much what happened."

Sam saw the guilt in Flint's face, and reached up to stroke his cheek. Her expression was tender as she smiled at Flint. "You're more important to me than any stupid weather show," she said, blushing.

Flint gaped at Sam for a minute, floored that Sam had given up her whole career for him. "Sam…" he said quietly, awed. He reached out, cupped her face in his hands, and kissed her long and hard. They were both breathless when they finally broke apart. "Flint, where did that come from?" Sam asked, raising an eyebrow. Flint flushed to the roots of his hair. Where had that come from? "I dunno?" he said, shrugging and grinning from ear to ear.

Sam laughed and kissed his cheek. They spent the rest of the evening watching old black-and-white movies, mostly corny monster flicks from the fifties. "Why am I not surprised?" said Sam, rolling her eyes and smiling when Flint held up the cover to The Blob.

Sometime later, Flint woke up from a light slumber. It took him a few minutes to realize that the movie was over, and he had fallen asleep on the sofa. Sam was stretched out next to him, also sleeping. Flint hated to wake her-she looked exhausted-but the couch wasn't the most comfortable place to sleep.

"Sam? Sam, do you want to sleep in my room? I can take the sofa." She stirred and just shook her head, her hair tickling Flint's neck. "No, this is fine. Besides, you're nice and warm," she added. Flint was about to protest, but decided that Sam was right. It felt…right somehow for Sam to curl up next to him. Her quiet breathing was comforting, and he was pretty tired himself.

Flint relaxed back against the couch, smiling as Sam laid her head on his chest. He ran his fingers through her hair, humming quietly. She smiled; Flint was never quiet. He was always talking to himself, or humming, or whistling, or doing any combination of the three when he was absorbed in a project. The only time he was silent was when he was upset about something.

They both knew that they were in for tough times, but together, they could face anything. After all, they had saved the world, hadn't they? Flint smiled at the thought, reaching over to pull the quilt from the sofa over them. Steve curled up on the arm of the sofa near Flint's head. Soon all three of them were fast asleep. The storm continued its assault on Swallow Falls, but inside one house, there was only peace and the sound of Flint's soft snores.