Fed up with everyone's favourite non-couple, Greg devises a plan to bring them together (with a little help from William Shakespeare). Also a case file. (GS)
I don't own anything, not even the shoes I'm wearing right now. Wait ... I'm not wearing shoes...
This is my first fic ever, but don't go easy on me, I want to improve! (PS: I'm Canadian so there will be some different spellings, like "favourite". I hope you can handle a few extra U's. : P)
Poor Greg was bored to tears. It was an unusually slow night and it appeared that his services were no longer required. Catherine and Nick where just finishing up a homicide, they would be done by the end of shift, Warrick was working on a robbery, but there was no rush, because the stolen items had already been recovered at a local pawnshop, and as far as Greg could tell, Grissom and Sara were completing unfinished paperwork. It had gotten so bad he had even begun to build a house of cards. The house was soon abandoned, however, when Greg noticed a determined Sara marching past the DNA lab.
"Where are you off to in such a hurry?" he asked nonchalantly.
"Car crash near the strip, Gris and I are heading over there to see if anything looks suspicious, but it sounds pretty run-of-the-mill, so don't expect any excitement. See yeah later, Frank Lloyd Wright."
And with that she was gone. Greg swung by Grissom's office, but sure enough, he had left as well. It was time, Greg decided; this maybe the last chance he would get to put his plans in motion.
It wasn't hard to find Catherine; she had been in the layout room for most of the night. Greg casually entered the room, but didn't announce his presence until he had closed the door behind him.
"Can I help you, Greg?" Catherine asked a bit irritated.
"Actually you can. What are you doing after shift?"
"Your too young for me Greggo,"
"I'm not asking you out, there is a much more pressing matter we must attend to."
"And that is?"
Greg glance around the room nervously, "The walls have ears,"
"So do I,"
"I'll tell you what, all will be revealed after shift, at the dinner." Catherine surveyed him skeptically. "Trust me Cath, you'll want to hear this."
"But you must solemnly swear to speak of this to no one, especially anyone from the lab. Lose lips sink ships, remember?"
"All right, Greg." With that she went back to work, nothing more was said, which suited Greg just fine. There were other people he needed to speak to and his time was running short.
When Sara arrived at the crime scene she was greeted first by the familiar, yellow crime scene tape and secondly by Brass. "The victims names are Adam and Jane Kenneth. Mr. Kenneth is with the paramedics," he gestured towards a balding man, sitting in the back of the ambulance. "Mrs. Kenneth is on the pavement, some distance from the vehicle, dead. I haven't taken his statement yet, wanna come?"
As they neared the ambulance Sara began to see how upset the man was. His whole body was shaking. The paramedics had him wrapped in a blanket as hey treated his head wound. "Mr. Kenneth, I'm Jim Brass and this is Sara Sidle from the crime lab. We would like to ask you some questions." The man nodded, although it was clear his mind was somewhere else (perhaps a few hundred feet up the road). "Can you tell us what happened?"
"Well ... Janey ... I mean my wife and I were coming home from our eighth anniversary. She was exhausted so I told her I would drive. There was nobody else on the road. I looked away for a millisecond and ... it was like I hit a brick wall, only ... there was still nothing in front of me. My head was spinning and ... and I reached for Jane but ... she wasn't there."
"Do you know if Jane was wearing a seat belt?" Sara asked kindly.
"Oh yes, she always ... wait, no she wasn't because she was trying to sleep. She took it off to be more comfortable..." the man began to shake more valiantly.
"Is that enough?" the paramedic asked, although it was more of a statement than a question. "I have to get this patient to the hospital." Brass nodded and in not two minutes, the ambulance was gone.
With her eyes, Sara followed the ambulance until it was just a light on the horizon. In a way criminal cases were easier; at least there was a "bad guy". How do you bring peace of mind to a grieving husband, when it is an accident? To take her mind off this line of thought she turned to Brass, "So, where's our fearless leader?"
"Over with the body, were else?"
As Sara approached the primary crime scene she was surprised to see David wheeling away the body and Grissom missing entirely. She was about to call out to him when something caught her eye. It lay on the ground just in front of the car. As she picked it up she heard a familiar voice say, "What have you got?" Gill Grissom was still in the car, but he had opened the door enough to talk to her.
"Light filament, from a car's head or tail light." As she stared down at it she couldn't help but smile, "There was another car here." She didn't need to see Grissom to know his reaction. Still staring at the tiny piece of metal Sara had a clear image of an inquisitive Grissom with one eyebrow raised. "Both of the car's head light filaments are still intact," Sara said, answering the questions he had never verbally asked. "Plus, there is no melted glass on the filament. When the light is on, the filament glows as a result of heat. If the light is broken while it is on, the glass collides with the filament and melts on to it. You know, Cath and I worked a case in which one SUV pushed another on to the railway tracks in front of a train. Only in the beginning no one saw the second SUV because it was black and its lights were out. We found the same kind of filament there ... Grissom, are you even listening to me?" The silence that followed seemed to be an accurate answer. Learning from her mistake, Sara waited until she was just inside the passenger door to pose her next question, "What are you doing?"
"I should think that would have been obvious," he responded, not looking up from the seatbelt release he was dusting.
"Why are you looking inside the victim's car in an auto accident? Do you know something?"
"No, just being thorough," he said with a smirk, as he finished collecting the prints. "I found some dark paint transfer on the front of the vehicle, I think you might be right about that second car."
"Oh, so you were listening to me."
"I always listen to you." The seemingly offhand statement reminded Sara of many previous comments made by her companion. As far as she could tell though, they never really meant anything, and if they did, Grissom didn't know it.
"So, what do you think happened here?" she asked, breaking eye contact with him and staring down the empty street.
"I don't know. We'll know more once we've gotten back to the lab."
Greg was purposely on the late side, to allow everyone else time to show up. He didn't want any of them questioning him without the rest of the group; they were CSI's, they were bound to get something out of him. When at last he did arrive, he was almost overjoyed to see the six confused and slightly annoyed eyes staring up at him. Catherine Willows, Nick Stokes, and Warrick Brown, Las Vegas' finest, baffled by the likes of him. Greg wished he could live in that moment just a little while longer, but they were all tired and would not appreciate him taking anymore of their time.
"Let's get down to business," Greg mused as he took a seat with his colleagues, "I have asked you all here to---"
"Wait," Warrick budded in, slightly perplexed, "where's Grissom?"
"And Sara?" Nick added, "Aren't we going to wait for them?"
"They weren't invited. Now as I was saying..." Greg couldn't help but notice the look that was passed between the CSI's. Very well, he thought, I suppose I'll have explain this to them as best I can. "Do you guys remember that theatre major I was dating?"
"Yeah, blond, right? Veronica?"
"Wait, what do you mean by "was"?" Catherine asked, already quite sure of what the answer would be.
"Simply that we are not seeing each other now. She was way too artsy for me. She was always talking about "truth" and her inner ... something or other. But she was pretty hot, wasn't she?" He said the last part to the men; he didn't really want to see the look that Catherine was giving him. "Anyways, being the gentleman that I am I figured it was only right to go see at least one of her shows before I broke it off."
Catherine couldn't help but smile as she envisioned Greg breaking up with his date as soon as the curtains fell. "What does this have to do with anything?" She asked, as she returned to reality.
"Well the play they put on was Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", and it gave me some brilliant ideas on how to... solve a continuous office problem." They all looked at him as though he had two heads. "You know, pertaining to the two members of our team that are not present." He felt like he was growing a third head. How was it that they could be so oblivious, they were CSI's for crying out loud. "Sara and Grissom? Have you guys never noticed the way those two... are?"
"You mean how they are both in love with each other, but they are each so confused about it they deny it to everyone, including themselves."
To be honest, Greg hadn't anticipated such an exact, matter-of-fact response to his question, especially out of Nick. It wasn't just that that surprised him; it was also the look on Warrick and Catherine's faces, a look that seemed to suggest that they were about to say the exact same thing. "So you guys have noticed it all along?"
"Then why haven't you tried to do anything about it?"
Nick and Warrick just looked at each other, and Warrick verbalized what they were both thinking, "We assumed they would figure it out sooner or later. Why, should we have done something?" All eyes turned to Catherine.
"Hey, don't look at me. I'm the sole reason they got this far."
"Which is where?"
"He bought her that plant." Her three companions seemed to roll their eyes in perfect unison. "What's wrong with that?"
"Nevertheless," Greg said, trying to steer the conversation back to his brilliant plan, "I have come up with a way to get them together for good."
"Yeah, thanks to Shakespeare."
"And who knows more about love than Shakespeare?"
Grissom might have called him on it; he would have explained that another person's view on love were more accurate because... and then he would have supported his argument with some lofty quote, and an unfailing, superior look. The three CSI's, however were far too tired: they simply shut-up, and allowed Greg to continue. "Well in "Much Ado About Nothing", what happens is... well lots happens, but the important part is that a bunch of people devise and execute a plan to get two individuals to fall in love."
"Wait a minute, I think I've seen this one," Nick said, looking thoughtful for a moment, "Hey, were are we supposed to get the love dust?"
"That's "A Mid Summer's Night Dream"!" Catherine snapped, "Even I know that one."
"I was kidding," Nick said, defensively.
"Anyways... the two lovers were named Benedick and Beatrice, and the plan went something like this. The men waited until they knew Benedick was eavesdropping on their conversation. Once he was, they talked amongst themselves (so that he could hear, of course) of how much Beatrice loved him. The women then did the same thing to Beatrice, and bam, love!"
"That's it? That's the brilliant plan, 'I heard someone likes you'?"
"Who's to say that that would even work in real life? These are intelligent people, they are not going to fall head over heals because someone has a crush on them."
"But that's not the case here, "Greg said, thinking fast. "You said it yourself, 'they are both in love with each other, but they are both confused' the main reason they are confused is that they don't know how the other feels. Trust me, guys this could work! And besides if it doesn't, where's the harm."
"You mean other than it becoming completely and utterly awkward between the two of them?"
"Could it be any worse then it is now?"
A thoughtful silence floated over the table, like a warm breeze. Four scientific minds were each performing a risk-benefit analysis of the situation. True: this could lead to awkwardness, but it was also true that this chance wouldn't be available forever. It would not be long before one of them threw in the towel, and then it would be too late. Perhaps it was already.
"Okay," Catherine said, breaking the silence at last, "I'm in."
"Yeah, me too," Warrick chimed, "Those two deserve a little happiness."
All eyes turned to Nick; "Well hell yeah, let's do it!"
"Okay my little cupids, meeting adjourned!"
Sara was on her way to see Houches about the black paint chips when Grissom caught up with her. "I was just talking to Brass, Mr. Kenneth had a fairly large life insurance policy for his wife".
"One million dollars," although he kept a straight face while he said it Sara could tell Grissom was trying not to smirk.
"I didn't realize the Kenneth's were that wealthy".
"They're not. In fact dear, old Mr. Kenneth is two hundred thousand dollars in debt". Now the smirk was unmistakable.
"So, what, your thinking... motive?"
"It looks that way".
"But this was an accident."
"We don't know that for sure. I'm going to go see Jackie about the prints"
"I was just about to check in on Houches".
"Good. Meet me in the garage when you're done". Grissom saw the puzzled look that past across the face of his companion, "We have a crime scene to reexamine".
Sara had noticed the printout of her results sitting on the edge of Houches' desk, and had swiped them before he was able to turn around. She didn't have time for him to show off (besides she didn't need any more of his not-so-subtle allusions to her and Grissom). She read through the file in the front seat of the Kenneth's vehicle as she waited for her supervisor. The colour of the paint chips was "Black Mamba", and fortunately it was only offer on a particular vehicle, Hummers. It makes sense, she thought, no wonder the second car was able to leave the scene. Her internal monologue was partially interrupted by the arrival of Grissom.
"Did you know I once worked a case where a couple had died of carbon monoxide poisoning, because they where having intercourse while parked in their garage and they had left their car idling?"
"Why didn't they just go up to their bedroom?"
"I don't know..." Grissom appeared really be pondering the question, and as a result missed the completely confused look Sara was giving him as to the relevance of his comment.
"Did Jackie tell you anything useful?"
"The victim's prints on the seatbelt, husband's prints on the wheel, the seatbelt release however, was all smudges, she could not get any useable prints off it". As he said the last part he off handedly tossed her the smudges he had collected to illustrate his point. Not that it was necessary; Sara had seen smudged prints before. She didn't really even look at it; instead she turned back to Grissom.
"So we have motive, but no evidence to support a murder, and a second vehicle we know nothing about, except that it's a Hummer," Sara held up her results before he could ask how she acquired this new information.
"Okay, let's play it out. You're Jane Kenneth, I'm Adam and we are on our way home from our anniversary dinner".
"All right," Cast as a married couple, Sara wondered is Grissom saw the irony in that.
"Well if Jackie could get victims prints off the seatbelt we know that she had it one for at least some of the trip, but Mr. Kenneth said she took it off so she could get more comfortable and go to sleep".
"Then I suggest you go to sleep,"
Sara put her against the window, but instantly moved it because of the awkward angle it put her neck at. She tossed and turned on the seat, tried every conceivable position, but none of them yielded any comfort. "The vic was my height, right?"
"There abouts, why?"
"Whether the seatbelt's on or not I'm not going to be comfortable here. Unless I recline the seat, but it was upright when we found it".
"I'm sure you can manage it," Grissom had to smile at the insolent look that Sara gave him just before resting her head against the back of her seat, still facing him, and closing her eyes. "Alright, so it's late, we have been driving for a while, you've fallen asleep, and I"
"Take your eyes off the road for just a second".
"Right. I probably glance lovingly down at my sleeping wife". Sara quickly opened and shut one of her eyes, but it was enough to catch the loving look Grissom was giving her. She tried to figure out if he was: (a) role playing, (b) teasing, or (c) serious. It probably wasn't (c), She thought, and waited for him to continue. "And then we hit something, my airbag expanse, and you get flung from the vehicle".
"I don't have to act out being thrown through the window, do I?" With her character now deceased Sara sat up straight and rubbed the back of her neck. "It's too bad this was a 98 model, the newer cars have passenger side airbags. Even without a seat belt it would have..." Grissom was drumming his fingers against the steering wheel and it caught her attention, "Where were the husband's hands at the moment of impact?"
"On the wheel, I would suppose".
"They couldn't have been, I saw the paramedics treating him, he sustained no injuries to his wrists."
"So his hands were not on the steering wheel, his eyes were not on the road, is it any wonder why he hit something?"
Sara barely heard his rhetorical question. She was trying to put the whole thing together. Even if it was his plan to hit the Hummer it did not explain why he hadn't had his hands on the wheel. Although we had both a seatbelt and airbag, holding on to the wheel provided a bit support, at least mentally. It didn't make sense for him to just... let go. Sara began to glance around the car, trying to see what Adam Kenneth saw, searching for something, anything he might have reached for. Her eyes at last fell on the dash where she had placed Grissom's smudges. Picking it up, she now stared at the prints intently. Although most of the ridge detail hand been lost she was still able to make out that they were fingerprints. Her thoughts flashed back to the night before and in her mind's eye she saw Grissom collecting the prints. "I know where his hands were," Sara said triumphantly, holding up the seeming useless smudges. "These prints are upside-down. If I were going to undo the seatbelt I would have to reach over with my right hand, making my fingers point towards you, that's not the direction of these prints. If I thought sleeping in here was uncomfortable, it would be nothing compared to trying to twist my arm around, to make these prints. It had to be the Mr. Kenneth".
"He knew the Hummer would be there. He undid his wife seatbelt at the last second so that she would be thrown from the car".
"I think we should call Brass".