TITLE: The Nut Cracker

AUTHOR: Gomey (grissomsgnome@yahoo.com)

ARCHIVE: Anywhere . . . just let me know, so I can brag. Heheh. J/K

TYPE: GCR (what else?)

RATING: R (some sexual themes)

SPOILERS: *shrugs* I guess . . .

DISCLAIMER: All known characters and premises belong to their respective owners. So there.

SUMMARY: Classical dance can be a very competitive sport.

NOTES: I have a few ideas brewing, but this one was probably the most developed. The beginning might seem to drag out, but I like to set my scenes.

Cheers!

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"Mom! I can dance too! Maybe even better!" The little boy pranced around the room, almost knocking over his sister.

She glared at him, sticking her tongue out - her only means of defence, and then continued with a slow balletic shift, from second to third position. Her arms floated up to gateway, and she forced herself to adorn a peaceful smile, as she had been instructed to in class. Again, the blur-of-a-body bulldozed past her. "Moomm! Tell Jarod that he's disconcentrating me." She yelled, blatantly trying to get her brother to stop showing off.

"Distracting, dear. There's no such word as disconcentrating." A melodious voice floated around the room.

"Fine! Tell him that he's ... distracting me!" Krissy squealed as she almost lost her balance.

The mother's gentle laugher could be heard. "Jarod dear, let Krissy practice, okay? She has a recital tomorrow."

The little boy stopped his prancing; one foot planted on the ground in turn-out, the other lifted high in the air with well-pointed toes. He turned and looked to where the voice was coming from. "Mom, I have *my* recital in a week. It's not my fault that I'm in advanced classes." He stated, pushing Krissy over.

"Jarod!" The screen went black.

Krissy sat back in her chair, remote control loosely gripped in her hand. She shook her head, her eyes sad. «Why do I always watch these?» She asked herself, surveying her living room floor, now cluttered with video tapes, dated from fifteen to seventeen years ago. She stretched her legs, arching her feet and pointing her toes. "I was still the best." She got up and gracefully walked towards the door. She put on her jacket, slung her ballet shoes over her shoulder and grabbed her keys. Pausing at the door, she glanced at the picture hanging to the right of it. Her fingers glided over the picture of her brother, who was standing next to her, arm around her shoulders. She kissed the tip of her fingers and placed it on her brother's face. "Love you." She said to the picture and left the apartment.

***

Gil Grissom stood at the door of the Nevada Ballet Theatre. He had come by once, when Lindsey had forced him and her mother to attend the Nutcracker, a year ago to this day. He smiled remembering telling the young blond, whom he loved as his own, that he was sincerely just 'resting his eyes' when she had jabbed him in the side.

"Gil."

His head jerked to the side, breaking him out of his thoughts. "Cath." He nodded a hello to Warrick behind her.

Catherine Willows walked up to him, stopping but a centimetre away. She knew close proximity bothered him, so usually that was the main reason she would always stand so close, just a hairline from physical contact. However, another reason began to present itself over the years; another reason she was not prepared to accept as of late: she craved his being. She just wanted to be by his side forever, she wanted to feel more than just his aura crashing against her body; she wanted to feel his skin against hers, his hands on her body, his eyes held captive by hers. "So, what do we have?"

Gil straightened and let out a silent breath. Her presence always caused blood to rush southwards, and despite not wanting to work with her on cases - which always left him distracted - he couldn't bear the thought of not seeing her eyes sparkle as the investigation began. He couldn't break away from the spell she unconsciously cast upon him when she would be searching for clues, dissecting and analysing. He chuckled to himself; he had seen her dance, and it had turned him on. Hell, you'd have to be a blind man not to be turned on by Catherine Willows, but for some weird reason, probably bordering on the fetish side, watching her decipher a scene was one of the sexiest phenomena he had ever seen. He cleared his throat and guided both of them into the theatre. They walked silently into the girls changing rooms, finally reaching the showers.

Warrick Brown shook his head. "Hopefully, not all the evidence went down the drain." He stated, slapping on a pair of latex gloves. He bent down, his knee resting on the floor. He took a picture and then turned the head towards him. A pair of deep brown eyes, almost as if in suspended animation, stared back at him. They were quite a contrast to the pale skin of the woman lying half on her side, in a deserted communal shower. Her red hair proved to be deceiving as dark roots looked as if they were rejecting the dye. He looked behind her head, right at the base of her neck. "There seems to be a puncture wound right above the spine." He pondered, "could be cause of death." He looked more closely. "Seems to have been done with a pointy object, knife, pen. . ." His eyes trailed down her naked body, noting bruising underneath her breasts. "I don't think the crime was done here." He stated.

Catherine bent down at the waist, right beside Warrick. She pointed to the bruising, observing one blue-ish tint underneath the breast, and four distinct ones near her back, almost framing her rib cage. "She was transported?"

Gil, who had been shamelessly admiring the view, stepped up beside Catherine. "But she wasn't dead when she was transported then." He nodded towards the bruising. "Bruising happens when a blood vessel is damaged, either due to a blunt force hitting the designated area or too much pressure being administered."

"So her heart was still pumping." All three CSIs turned to see Jim Brass walk into the changing room. "Alice Smith, 24 years old. Up and coming ballet dancer." He read from the file. "Just had an audition, was going to play the lead in the Nutcracker." He looked down at the body. "Pity."

Gil looked at the body. "Warrick, why don't you finish up here." He gently grabbed Catherine by the arm. "Catherine and I will do some interviewing."

Warrick raised his eyebrow. "And since when are you the expert on people?" He asked, mockingly. "And besides," he added on a serious tone, "what exactly do you want me to find?" He stood up, sighing at the fact that he just knelt in a puddle of water. "Most of the evidence has probably been washed away." He rubbed the wet patch on his knee.

Gil stopped short and an unexpecting Catherine ran into him. Gil's breath caught in his throat as he felt her breasts being pressed into his back. "Sorry." He muttered, his voice low.

Catherine remained pressed up against him, enjoying the warm feeling spreading across the front of her body. She finally brought her hands up to his back, and gently pushed herself away from him. She let her hands linger, feeling the sense of security still coursing through her veins. She swallowed hard. "It's okay." Her voice was soft, and she wondered if any sound came out of her now dry mouth.

Gil turned around, coming face to face with Catherine. He was surprised to see her still standing there, and the two held each other's gaze. Breath mingled with breath as neither made any effort to move - both lost in the deep blue seas of their eyes.

"Griss?" Warrick's voice somehow managed to make its way to Grissom's ears.

"Yeah?" Gil however, didn't take his eyes off Catherine. He chuckled inwardly, stressing the point that he *couldn't* take his eyes off the strawberry-blond even if he had wanted to. His eyes dropped down to her lips, fallen prey to a tube of clear lip-gloss that begged to be given attention. He almost gasped aloud when he saw her lips part and his eyes shot up to hers, intensity duelling.

Warrick glanced at Jim, a worried expression dawned on his face. With a shrug, he put his hands palms up, in form of a question, asking for the older man to help him with the situation.

Jim grinned and walked up to Gil, effectively breaking the trance that both senior CSIs always seemed to linger in. "Mr. Brown over there, remember him?" He mocked a now blushing Gil.

Gil rolled his eyes, a lopsided smile resting on his lips. He walked over to Warrick. "Let's see, you have the bruising - maybe you can get out the Mikrosil for the puncture wound behind her neck. Maybe you'll be lucky and lift some prints off the bruises, but at least we can get somewhat of a idea on the size of the hand used to transport the body." Gil continued looking at the body for anymore clues.

"Woah." Warrick stepped around the body and bent down near the feet. He grimaced and moved the legs slightly to give Gil a clear view. "Looks like she was restrained or something." He said, pointing to the bruising and dried blood caked on to her feet as well as her ankles. "She put up quite a struggle." He looked at her hands and wrist. "Though there's no evidence of any restrictions on her wrists."

Gil looked down, near the drain. "Take out the drain, see if you can find anything." He looked around the room. "Check the doors for fingerprints. . ." he paused, noting that it was a lot of work for the younger CSI. "Look, I'll stay here and help."

Warrick nodded a thanks, and started preparing the Mikrosil.

Gil looked at Catherine, apology written in his eyes. He raised his eyebrow and she cocked her head to the side, understanding. He wanted to be there with her, protect her at all times. He knew it infuriated her when he always 'babied' her, as she had tastefully put it. In any case, he would rather see her angry than hurt . . . besides, seeing her angry and flustered was quite the turn-on, he grinned.

Jim opened the door for her and let her through. "I'll keep an eye on her." He tried to comfort Gil's look of growing despair, as she left his view.

"Make sure you do." The CSI supervisor whispered, more to himself.

—TBC—