Title: Good Enough
Warnings: This story will eventually contain slash. If male/male relationships bother you, you shouldn't read this. Also, this story contains mention of suicide.
Author's Notes: I haven't seen enough Nick onscreen, so this story is decidedly Nick-focused. Also, it's really angsty and dark.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm not making any money.
I narrow my eyes at the couple standing next to Jim Brass. They're about forty, well-dressed, and from the looks of the house, fairly affluent. The woman has blonde hair, and her husband has dark, graying hair. The man has his arms draped protectively around his wife's shoulder. They both look pretty shaken up. Not that I blame them. Earlier tonight, they came home from an evening out to find their seventeen-year-old son dead from an apparent suicide.
Exhaling, I trudge toward the couple. I nod at Brass and hold my hand out to the husband. "Sir. Ma'am," I say.
"Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid," Brass says, motioning to me. "This is Nick Stokes from the Las Vegas Crime Lab."
Mr. Kincaid shakes my hand. "Thank you for coming." He sounds like I've dropped by for a cocktail party.
"Would you mind answering some questions?" I ask.
"Of course," Mr. Kincaid says, his voice a little shaky.
I clear my throat. "Thank you. Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid, did you notice Daniel behaving differently this evening than he usually does?"
The husband shakes his head. "No," he says. "No differently than usual."
I nod. "Was he alone tonight?"
"Of course," Mr. Kincaid says. "He was studying for a physics test."
Mrs. Kincaid takes her husband's hand. "We told him he should take a break, come out to eat with us."
"But he was just so…" Mr. Kincaid closes his eyes. "Daniel was dedicated to school. He was graduating."
"He'd applied to Stanford. He wanted to be a scientist."
"He was a bright boy."
"Yes, sir," I say. "Is it possible he had someone over to study with?"
"No," Mr. Kincaid frowns. "We generally don't allow company when we're not home."
Mrs. Kincaid nods in agreement. "He was home alone."
"Do you think someone broke in?" Mr. Kincaid says, grimacing.
I glance at Brass, who just stares blankly at me. "We're trying to find out exactly what happened," I say. "Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid, was your son depressed?"
"Absolutely not," Mr. Kincaid says impatiently.
"Our son wouldn't hurt himself," Mrs. Kincaid says. She looks intently at me, as if daring me to disagree.
"What else can you tell me about Daniel?" I ask.
"He was hard-working," Mrs. Kincaid says, wiping her eyes. "He was such a good boy. Popular, dependable, courteous."
"Always doing things for people," Mr. Kincaid says. "Didn't cause us a speck of trouble."
"Did he mention anything he was looking forward to?" I ask. "Like a concert or anything like that? Future plans?"
Mrs. Kincaid looks at her husband. "Dear, there was that sporting event."
"Daniel was going to a football game in Los Angeles with his best friend," Mr. Kincaid says. "It's all he's talked about."
"And college," Mrs. Kincaid reminded us. "Daniel was looking forward to college."
I nod. "Who was Daniel's best friend?"
"Cody Briers. They were in Honors English together."
"Sir," I say. "Ma'am. Thank you for your help. I'm sorry for your loss."
Brass motions for an officer to take the couple aside to answer additional questions. Then he turns to me. "What do you think?" he asks.
I let out a breath. "Well, from the sounds of it, we're looking into the death of the world's perfect child."
Brass just shakes his head. "Every parent has the number one kid in the world after they're gone."
"I don't know," I say. "Sounds like they put him under a lot of pressure."
Brass shrugs. "Ah, they don't have a lot of perspective right now."
"Nah," I sigh. "I know parents like that. The kid was probably born in a pressure cooker."
Brass cocks his head at me. "You know people like that, huh?"
I grin. "Grew up with two of 'em."
Finished with the interview, I leave Brass and head to find the rest of the team. Grissom isn't happy with me. I managed to show up to the scene late. He hasn't said anything about it yet, but even while he was telling me to go talk to the mom and dad, he kept shooting me that look. Entering Daniel Kincaid's bedroom, I take a deep breath, and then exhale. "Hey guys. What should I do?"
"We're about done, Nick," Grissom says, not looking up.
"Look, Gris," I say. "I'm sorry about being late. I ran into an accident."
"That's okay, Nick."
"It's just, you know, I had to take a detour."
Grissom looks at me for the first time since I entered the room. "It's okay, Nicky. How did things go with the parents?"
"Well," I say, my eyes scanning Daniel's desk. "They said he had some big plans. He's applied to college."
Sara walks up to me. "Could that be Mom and Dad's doing?"
"Maybe. Sounds like this kid had a lot of expectations thrown on him." I look around the room. Academic awards sit on the dresser, and a couple of football posters hang on the wall, but other than that, there's not a lot of personality. I look over at Sara, who is packing up her gear. "This kid leave a note?"
Sara shrugs. "Well, somebody did. It was printed out and left next to the computer. No signature."
I raise my eyebrows. "Mom and Dad are convinced he didn't kill himself. They figure a break-in."
"Well," Grissom says, wearing that half-smile he gets when he's discovered something, "They're not altogether wrong."
"This is no suicide?"
"No sign of a break-in," Grissom says, pulling himself to his feet. "But this kid had help getting to the other side."