DOWNPOUR

CSI/GSR/smut. Sara and Grissom get caught in the rain. Romance/Humor. Rated M.

A/N: Oh, no. Another WIP! What am I thinking? But this one would not leave me alone. One chapter to go. Reviews welcome!

Chapter One

It never rains in Nevada. It pours. Oh, man, it pours.

Grissom had Sara accompany him to a lonely desert stretch of nothing much...just a skeletal DB with some vague suspicious circs. It was a black midnight-black night with a snow field of stars above them. Miles from any highway. Not a soul other than the two of them. Cold and dark. Windswept. The darkness seemed to stick to their faces.

Grissom hadn't asked for her help in weeks and they were wary of each other. Sara was wary all the time, it seemed to both of them. She had decided that the ball was in his court and if he wanted to pursue...this...it was his call. Yet. They missed the close work partners they'd been...the easy flirting camaraderie they'd had...how long ago that seemed. They both did. But could not talk about it.

It seemed easier to Sara to just edge away and ignore that magnetic pull that was Gil Grissom, at least until Grissom got his shit together. Meanwhile he was feeling like a bumbling oaf, and so kept his words to a minimum.

So. Personal space was strictly enforced. Conversation forced. Body movements jerky and awkward. Grissom kept fidgeting, clearing his throat, drawing a breath as if to speak and then seemingly changing his mind. Generally working on her last nerve. If he starts to say something, something patronizing or condescending, I'm outta here, she thought to herself.

Sara sighed deeply and forced her attention to the case and not the aggravating male specimen standing exactly three feet away.

Grissom, on the other hand, was doing his oblivious act. He felt the waves of annoyance rolling off his young protegee but couldn't formulate a way to address it, for the life of him. Then his attention was drawn to the night sky–the stars were disappearing under an enveloping cloud cover. The darkness deepened.

Sara sighed again. Now he was staring at the sky. She might as well be one of the cacti for all the attention he was paying her.

"Just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait," she bitterly half sang, half whispered under her breath.

"Pardon?" Grissom said with forced courtesy.

"Nothing." Sara turned away and took a few brisk steps into the blackness. Grissom stared after her. She seemed to fade away like a ghost, and anxiety sprang up in his gut. Grissom took a step in her direction, then another, all the while nervously twisting his camera strap in both hands. He felt an irrational fear that she might take one too many steps and vanish...forever. He peered into the blackness after her. His thoughts were jumbled under the stress of the situation, mixed up with his confused attempts to rebuild the shattered rapport between them, doubling his anxiety.

Grissom was trying, he really was, but his skills with the opposite sex were sketchy on a good day. His mind insisted (for no apparent reason) that she might be a flight risk...in that mood she'd been in lately, Sara was unpredictable and...well, skittish. Not only that but...it was so dark!...so eerily dark out here! Miles from anyone and anything.

She was all in black too, he rationalized to himself, dark navy jacket, black shirt, black pants along those long slender legs, dark watchcap...so she looked about ready to disappear into deep space.

Again he stepped toward her, noting but not reacting to her flinch of annoyance under his silent scrutiny. Sara huffed a breath and spun around.

"What!"

Grissom looked dumbfounded. "What?"

"Are you checking up on me?"

Grissom gaped at her. "Huh?"

"Don't 'huh' me. Why are you dogging my steps?"

"I wasn't..."

"I know I haven't worked with you in...ages," Sara said sarcastically, "but do you doubt my abilities now?"

"Not in the slightest," Grissom said firmly.

There was a pause.

"All right then," she said grudgingly, taking a few steps away and looking intently at the ground with her miniature flashlight.

Grissom turned away with a jerk and started his own careful inspection of the dusty ground surrounding the bony remains of the unfortunate soul.

Her bootsteps crunched away and faded. Silence. The wind had dropped and the flat desert was utterly silent. Grissom felt the oppressive silence acutely. It hadn't been long since his surgery, and he was wary of relapses. What if she gets lost? And if I can't hear her call for me? If she falls in some hole–and yells for help? And I can't hear her? What then?

"Sara?" His voice was pinched. When she didn't respond, he yelled louder. "Sara?"

A crunch of gravel in the distance...where?...Grissom stumbled in that direction, still calling her name.

All of a sudden she was standing in his flashlight beam, her features guarded.

"Grissom?"

"There you are." Grissom hurried up to her, relief all over his face. "I...I couldn't...I couldn't find you," he said breathlessly. A tentative hand stretched toward her.

Hope bloomed in her weary heart. Why does he look so glad to see me? I wasn't gone that long...was I? His anxiety seemed to drift into her and grow.

"Grissom? Are you okay? Are you feeling all right?" she approached and gently touched his hand, watching him carefully. A jolt ran up his arm. Sara pulled it away hastily, feeling a jolt too. They looked at each other for long minutes.

"I...I'm fine, Sara," he said at last, heavily, resignedly. It's too late. Too late. It's all my fault. "Just...peachy."

He looked so lost that Sara's heart jumped. "What...what's wrong?" Her breath caught.

The moment was broken by a fat wet drop on his forehead, quickly followed by another, and another. A desert downpour. The skies opened. Sara gasped and pulled her jacket over her head, but was still drenched in seconds. Grissom was nearly blinded by the curtains of rain beating down on him and sliding icily down his neck. He shivered violently.

Though standing a mere foot apart, it was like trying to see each other through a waterfall! Sara started to curse, then distractedly watched as his clothes darkened to black and stuck to his body, water comically streaming off his face and bearded chin, hair plastered down...and started to laugh. It was too much. Just the expression on his face! and that set her off again, deep, hearty, belly laughs of relief and amusement. Grissom looked stunned a moment...then he started to laugh too. He laughed that rare Grissom laugh.

"You look like a drowned rat!" he yelled over the storm.

"Me?" Sara's face split in a grin. She pointed at his face. "You should see what you look like!" Her voice rose as another laugh took over.

Grissom grabbed her, the better to hear her. Sara grinned at his drenched face. She leaned into him to yell in his ear. "Let's..." her voice faded.

"What?" he yelled.

"Get out of the RAIN!" she bellowed.

Grissom just smiled and took her wet hand.

TBC