Title: No More Mr. Nice Guy
Disclaimer: No, I don't own either the show CSI nor its characters and I'm not making any money with this story – anybody surprised about this?
Feedback: Yes, please! Any kind is welcome, but praise or constructive criticism is greeted with hugs and kisses. Send to Sheela.Dragongmx.de
Archive: Yes! Anywhere you want, just please tell me where it's going and give me credit for writing it.
Summary: A writing exercise in letting Greg ramble: A phone conversation between Grissom and Greg, concerning new… er… 'evidence' in a murder case. Greg angst
Author's Notes: Thanks to my beta readers Anomaly, Kadie and Dr Foo Foo for helping me to make this story as good as it could become.
I blame the Mini-Greg in head for this story. I watched a random CSI episode and he Greg started talking to me in my head and wouldn't shut up, not for work, not for sleep, not for lunch. So I finally told him to shut up or he would end up getting hurt. He didn't shut up, I sat down and wrote this story and Greg got hurt – can't say I didn't warn him.
Hope you like it!
With confident, hurried steps Gil Grissom strode down the corridor of the Las Vegas Crime Lab. In his left hand he held a small evidence bag with the fingernail scrapings from their latest victim. From the looks of it the murdered man had scratched his killer before his death, gaining some precious DNA for the investigators. With a bit of luck their killer might be in the CODIS database.
In any case, they finally had a solid clue – which was far more than they had had so far: absolutely nothing at all.
During the last two weeks Las Vegas had been witness to a row of cold-blooded murders. So far there had been four bodies, all quite average middle class men. But even after only two murders it had been clear that the police and the crime lab had a serial killer on their hands. All victims had been stabbed to death either at home or in their car, on their way to work. Left with each of them had been a single hand-written note, stating "No more Mr. Nice Guy". As a consequence the press had, of course, immediately dubbed the criminal the 'Nice-Guy-Killer'.
Up to until now none of the investigations had yielded any helpful information, despite their best efforts. The autopsies had shown nothing special about the murder weapon, except that it was estimated to be a medium sized kitchen knife. The analysis of the notes only indicated that it was the same hand writing in each case, with an ordinary ball-point pen on an ordinary piece of paper from a small notebook – the type which could be bought in about two hundred places in Vegas alone. It was determined that the writer of the notes was right handed and male, but apart from that no further distinctions could be found.
The four victims hadn't been related in any way either; a thirty-four year-old postman, a fifty-six year-old bank worker, a twenty-three year-old store clerk and a thirty-one year-old waiter. None of them outstanding in any way. Their respective families and co-workers all described them as easy-going, polite, helpful, if a bit shy. The interviewers had gotten the feeling that their victims had been the kind of person that you could easily take advantage of and they would never complain. Altogether, just your average Mr. Nice Guy, each of them.
Basically, the CSI's didn't have much to go on – until today. The nail scrapings could be what they had been waiting for.
With a grim smile, Grissom arrived at the DNA lab, ready to hand over the scrapings for analysis and found – an empty lab. No tech in sight to run the tests.
Putting down the evidence bag on the counter, Grissom turned to the break room. Again no 'lab rat'. Only Catherine Willows sipping a coffee while she was reading a file.
"Where is my DNA tech?" Grissom growled.
Catherine just raised an unimpressed eyebrow at his sharp tone and shrugged.
"The woman from dayshift went home ten minutes ago," she said.
"And where's Sanders?"
Another shrug. "He should have been here half an hour ago."
Angrily Grissom stormed into his office and practically ripped out the register holding the personal files. Looking up Greg Sanders' address, he called his home number first.
Eight rings, nine…
"He better have a damn good excuse for this!"
Eleven, twelve, thirteen rings…
Smashing down the phone the supervisor then dialed the lab tech's cell number.
A couple of rings, then:
"Sanders, where the hell are you?"
"Gr… Grissom. Hi… Look I know I'm kinda late, and I am really sorry about that but I…"
"Greg, where are you?" Grissom interrupted harshly.
"In the car. I'm on my way to the lab as we speak. I… I'll be there in a few minutes, baring any further hindrances – which, seeing that we are in Vegas, is kinda unlikely. Accidents, traffic jams, building sites, police blockages, demonstrations, drunken tourists, insane drivers, blinking lights everywhere – it's a wonder anybody is ever on time in this city. Guess you just learn to take that all into account before you leave home. I mean I do too. So anyway I'm really sorry, but I'll be there soon."
Rolling his eyes at the babbling – didn't Greg ever shut up? – Grissom snapped: "Soon is still too late. I have new evidence here and I want it tested NOW!"
"Oh… on the 'Nice-Guy-case'? That's funny, 'cause I kinda have new evidence for that one as well."
"You have what?" the supervisor bellowed into the phone, his tone belying his disbelief.
"New evidence for the Mr. Nice Guy thing. Are you hearing me okay? Or do I have a bad connection? Do you hear me now?! The cell is new and we're both in a well-populated city, so it should work and be within range... I said I have new evidence. There's a new victim. Well, I'm not sure if you can call it a victim, since nobody is actually dead. If it's an attempted murder, is it also an attempted victim? But that sounds stupid. I'm kinda confused. Maybe it's better to call it evidence as well and…"
"Greg?" Grissom interrupted. "Who is the victim?"
"But I thought we had just established that it was no real victim? Just evidence. And isn't that what you always tell us? The only thing that counts is the evidence. Even if the evidence is a victim or an attempted victim or whatever… The evidence never lies you said. But what if the evidence is indeed an attempted victim who's able to talk? They could still lie and then…"
"Greg! What is your evidence? Who was attacked?"
The shouting drew Catherine to Grissom's office door, who indicated with his head that she should come in and then proceeded to press the loud-speaker button on his phone. Maybe it was better to have a witness to this conversation who might understand what Greg was saying. The line was silent after his last shout, just some "errr"s and mumbling could be heard. Driving an exasperated hand through his hair, Grissom forced himself into a slightly calmer tone and asked his question again.
"Greg, one thing after the other. What happened? Who was hurt?"
"Well… me… kinda." Came the quiet response.
"You see…" – off went the hurried flow of words again – "I was just packing some old newspapers and stuff into the trunk of my car which I wanted to take to recycling after work – the papers, not my car. 'Cause recycling is important. And I was actually on time to get to work, I really was, you have to believe me, Grissom. Okay, so maybe I was a tiny, tiny bit late – but I still could have made it in time, or I was gonna make it up with some overtime… And then suddenly there's this creepy guy next to me with this huge knife in his hand and a little notebook in his other hand. And he was telling me some strange stuff, like I didn't have to be the Nice Guy anymore and suffer at the hands of others like he had and that he would free my spirit now and that I would return to life as something good because of my Karma and then I couldn't really follow him anymore 'cause I was staring at the knife – did I mention that it was huge? – but I think it was some more Buddhist stuff, but I'm not sure 'cause I don't think that Buddhism includes stabbing people and leaving notes. But then, I could be wrong – religion really isn't my strong side. You might want to ask Jacquie about it, I think it's kind of a hobby of hers. Yes, even lab rats have hobbies, believe it or not, and Jacquie…"
Before the babbling could digress even further Grissom intervened again. "Greg? Are you hurt?"
"Don't know. I think not. I don't feel any pain. But I'm kinda lightheaded, like when I run too many samples in one shift."
"Are you bleeding anywhere?"
"There's some blood on my shirt." The voice from the speaker reported.
At this point Catherine pulled out her cell phone and ordered an ambulance to meet Greg at the lab and then proceeded to call Brass.
"The blood's never gonna come off – damn that was my favorite shirt. And there's some on my hands. I don't know if it's mine or his though – I'd have to run a DNA test on it…"
"Yeah, Mr. Nice Buddhist Guy's. He was bleeding quite a lot. I shoved him and he kinda hit his head. I don't think it's too serious, don't head wounds always bleed a lot? At least that's what they say on TV. I didn't mean to hurt him, really! Oh god, what if I killed him? Please tell me that would be self-defense, not manslaughter or murder. Oh god…"
Hearing the edge of panic in his tech's voice, Grissom made sure to keep his voice calm and his questions precise. "Greg? Where are you now?"
"Told you, I'm almost to the lab. Then" bang "I can run your evidence and maybe compare it to the blood" bang bang "samples on my shirt. If it is his blood and not mine after all." bang bang
"What's that noise?" Grissom demanded, referring to the dull banging sound that could be heard in the background.
"Oh, that's coming from my" bang "trunk. Guess I didn't kill Mr. Buddhist Guy after all. Good to know."
"He is in your car trunk?!" Grissom asked incredulously.
"Yeah, I kinda shoved him in. He hit his head on the lid and landed right on the old papers. I just hope he can't get out of there, like, when I stop at a red light – please let there be a row of green lights for me now…" bang bang "Can you actually open a car's trunk from the inside, Grissom? It would be good if you had a really freaky accident and trapped yourself. But kinda bad for me in this case…" bang
By now Grissom had realized that it would be futile to try and stop Greg's rambling – the young man was way too agitated and most likely in a state of shock, for which he compensated by talking a lot. Plus Grissom was slowly getting worried. Greg's words were slurring more and more and his train of thought was straying even further with every passing minute. They could only hope he made it to the lab in one piece.
"Hey, I can see the lab building. Woaah, look, there's an ambulance parked in front of it. Grissom, was anybody hurt? There wasn't another explosion, was there? Please say no…"
"No, Greg, nobody was hurt." He assured the young man.
"Oh, good. Err… Grissom, I'm feeling not so good. Really starting to be lightheaded now. If nobody from the lab is hurt, could one of the EMT's maybe wait and" bang bang "check me over? My stomach kinda hurts now and I think the blood might be mine after all… There's so much of it now…" bang bang bang "The guy back there sounds really aggressive by now… Please don't let him open the trunk…" bang "... please… Hey there's Brass… and quite a few of his guys – what's going on?" bang bang "They're all looking at me… Okay I'm here, stopping the car now…" The voice from the speaker was really slurred now, interjected with harsh breathing.
"Oh, Grissom, there's you… with no phone… then who am I talking to now?" bang bang bang "Grissom, I'm real sorry I'm late again…" bang bang "… so…" bang bang creak crunch "… sorry…"
A soft thud sounded from the speakers and then all that could be heard was the long monotone signal of a dead phone connection, echoing through Grissom's empty office.