I do not own anything to do with this series (SOSF) and all is done for fun and skill development.

This piece was written in response to a writers challenge - an h/c type of theme without violence. Hope you enjoy! Reviews are welcome.

Out of the Fog

After over 750 miles and two lengthy transfers, the bus carrying an exhausted Jeannie Stone made its stop at the main terminal in San Francisco. The college coed boarded the Greyhound in Phoenix late the evening before, and she managed to sleep sporadically on what was an uneventful trip. Now, her spirits skyrocketed; she was home for spring break.

Peering out the window, she expected to see her father's tall figure complete with his black fedora and dark raincoat. She couldn't wait for the reunion. As the bus pulled to its stop, Jeanne grabbed her bag from the overhead bin and made her way through the line of people exiting the bus.

"Jeannie!" a voice shouted. The young woman glanced around but could see no one familiar through the crowd of travelers.

"Jeannie!" the voice called again. It was a familiar voice to her and as she turned her head again, she saw her father's police partner making his way to greet her.

"Hi, Steve!," the young woman began as pulled him into a quick hug. "I didn't expect you here. Let me guess, Dad's busy on a case and…"

"Something like that," Steve coolly interrupted as he quickly kissed her on the cheek. He didn't mean to sound so unfriendly, so he took a quick breath and softened his next line. "Here, let me carry your bag for you."

The young man was bothered by something; Jeannie could tell. He didn't look like the happy-go-lucky and sharply dressed detective who had become so close to her father over the last few years. His face was stern and tired. His attire was strictly casual: jeans, a flannel shirt and blue jacket. Something definitely wasn't right.

"Steve, is Mike okay?" Jeannie met the detective with a concerned look in her eyes.

Steve looked down to his hands which now held the handle of her bag. "Mike had to go north to Santa Rosa for a case we're working on. He's been, um, delayed. Come along…I'll tell you more in the car." He placed his hand on her elbow and proceeded to lead her to his Porsche.

After putting her bag in his trunk, he opened the door for her and helped her in. Then he got into the car and placed his keys into the ignition. Leaning back, he closed his eyes and sighed.

"Steve, you are scaring me here. What's wrong?"

"I'm sorry, Jean. I didn't mean to scare you, but the police captain whom Mike was meeting this morning said that he never arrived. We don't know where he is right now. I remembered that you were coming in on the bus this afternoon. I thought that maybe we all just had our wires crossed and that Mike was back in town."

"What are you saying, Steve? Is he missing?"

"It looks that way. I had today off, but Lee Lessing called me and told me what was going on. I stopped by your house and saw that he'd left. His breakfast dishes were in the sink. Then I went over to the police garage and learned that he had checked out another car this morning. It sounds like he was on his way."

"Someone saw him leave?"

"Yes, Jack over at the garage remembers it clearly. Listen, there was quite an intense fog that rolled in early along 101. I know it was a mess there. I want to head up just to make sure that he didn't have any car trouble. The State Police have issued an APB for the car. He was driving the green Galaxy."

Jeannie looked down with concern in her eyes. "I have a funny feeling about this, Steve."

"I'm sure he's all right. You know Iron Mike. He probably just had car trouble. Let me drop you off at the house and then I promise I'll call you when I find something out."

"No way," Jeannie replied defiantly. "I'm sticking with you until we find Daddy. If he's had an accident, I want to be out there helping to find him."

"My thinking exactly," Steve thought as he grabbed her hand and squeezed it. "Very well. We'll find him, Jeannie. But we`d better be going - we only have a few hours of daylight left."