A familiar Scent
"I'll take the car, Catherine you take the garbage. Nick, check the kitchen for knives." Grissom instructed his team. "Warrick-you get the living room and Sara you have the bedroom." He kept her as close to Warrick as possible while allowing her some semblance of autonomy. Her small smile showed her appreciation.
Nick began searching for Ecklie's knife drawer. He was pleased when he discovered one was missing. He checked the remaining pieces against the Cut co inventory he had. Not an easy task considering the different models and types of knives the company made. But all he needed was one. A medium size carving knife with a platinum base, model # 22-6b.
Warrick was certain his assignment was more of a person than an actual room. Not that he was displeased. For once he didn't complain about a cake assignment, though most wouldn't agree that watching Sara was a cake assignment. Until he found a photo album that highlighted Ecklie's hatred of Grissom. He turned through the pages of pictures and newspaper clippings he had collected through the years. He was fascinated to see the vast amounts of evidence. 'Motive.' He thought to himself. Sara had been right, he was arrogant. So arrogant he hadn't bothered to clean out his house of all the evidence that could tie him to all the attacks.
Sara had passed the two men and headed towards the bedroom. She was as relaxed as possible not thinking she would find anything useful in the bedroom. She appreciated Grissom's concern and was hoping that the monotony of fieldwork would ease her mind.
Upon first glance nothing seemed out of order. It was a typical, sterile male room. Which was why the scent of vanilla startled her. It was her favorite scent, well until now. Ecklie wasn't one to have female visitors so it seemed so strangely out of place, drawing her deeper into the room. She scanned for the candles and found some scattered on top of his dresser. She made her way across the room as her gaze traveled upwards she gasped and dropped her flashlight.
The noise startled Warrick from his reading. "Sara?" Warrick inquired to see if she was okay.
She couldn't move, couldn't speak at the sight in front of her. A myriad of pictures taped to his wall of her. She noticed some from work, which wasn't too unusual, until she noticed that he had cut other people from the pictures, and some were ones that she knew belonged to Catherine or Nick, the sentimentalists of the team. Then she spotted other ones that made her shrink back in horror. 'He's been outside my house.' She thought frantically, desperately trying to hold unto her composure. Her eyes quickly found more intimate pictures of her getting dressed inside the locker room or inside her bedroom. The pictures were too much as she was overwhelmed by the events of the last day. The emotions came pouring down and she was powerless to stop them.
It had only been a few seconds since he called for her. Suddenly the sounds of sobbing caught his attention as he jumped up. "SARA!" He yelled urgently as he sped towards the bedroom. Nick heard Warrick's cry and raced out to retrieve Grissom.
He found her shaking and sobbing transfixed in front of the dresser. He saw the pictures briefly, forcing himself to keep himself in control for her sake. "Come on." He said as he firmly but gently grabbed her arms and pushed her out of the room. That seemed to break her trance as she tore out of the house where she collapsed on the lawn. The sickening images raced through her head and she vomited. Warrick, like always, was at her side instantly, picked her up and declared, "I'm taking her home." Without asking anyone's permission. The other three watched in worried confusion at her reaction. Warrick buckled her in and went to explain to his puzzled coworkers.
"What's going on Warrick?" Grissom demanded as soon as he returned from his car. Warrick sighed. "He's got a intimate shrine of Sara in his bedroom not to mention a album dedicated to Grissom in the living room." He announced somberly.
"Oh my god." Catherine exclaimed softly. Nick couldn't get any more disgusted. He had thought Ecklie to be a nut job but this was something else entirely. Even a hardened veteran like Grissom couldn't hide his shock at the discoveries.
"What do we do now?" Nick questioned to no one in particular. "The first thing is that the we doesn't include Grissom." Brass decided. Gil started to protest but was interrupted by Nick. "It's personal Gris." He explained patiently as to why Grissom couldn't stay on the case.
"Besides it's for your own good. You're the next target, keep yourself safe." Catherine warned him.
The normally unflappable supervisor suddenly got angry. "What! I'm just supposed to hide while this guy attacks members of my team!" He yelled incredulously. "Knowing he used all of you just to get to me makes me sick. I'm not hiding." He repeated firmly.
"Fine." Brass relented. "Just stay away from the case." He pleaded with his friend.
"Do it for Sara." Warrick reminded him. "We have all the evidence we need to put him away inside, and if it's compromised, he gets away with everything. We need to put him away for a long time." Grissom agreed and left the case in his team's capable hands.
"Go." Catherine commanded Warrick forcefully after Grissom had left. "Take her home." She said more gently this time. She could see his feelings written all over his face. She didn't know how Sara felt but hoped it would work out between the two of them. Despite their protests to the contrary, they needed each other.
She was still seated where he left her, seemingly in a trance as she barely even flinched when he closed his car door. For once in his life, Warrick Brown had no idea of what to do.
Sure he had tried to comfort victims before, it was part of his job. But this time was different. It was one of his co-workers. It was Sara. And he knew that they would be just words to Sara. He couldn't make her any promises, and that frightened him more than anything.