The Reaper by SLynn

Rating: R

Season: Five
Up to 'Spark of Life'
Pairings: Greg/Nick

Warnings: Slash/Violent Content/Disturbing Images

Disclaimer: No I don't own them, I just occasionally borrow them for my own twisted purposes.

Summary: The third woman in three months has just died horrifically by a killer the press call 'The Reaper'. Both shifts must now work together before the killer strikes again.

Love of two is one
Here but now they're gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn't go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared (saying don't be afraid)
Come on baby (and she had no fear)
And she ran to him (then they started to fly)
They looked backward and said goodbye (she had become like they are)
She had taken his hand (she had become like they are)
Come on baby (don't fear the reaper)

'Don't Fear the Reaper' by Blue Oyster Cult

Chapter 1: The Door Was Open

The room was perfectly set.

Candles. Roses. Wine.

It was all there.

All waiting.

Amber smiled as she moved about the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the main course. Alan would be home soon and they could begin the official celebration.

Amber retreated to the bedroom to change into the little black dress Alan loved and not much else. She carefully put on the diamond earrings he'd given her for their last anniversary and sprayed his favorite perfume across her wrists.

But her perfect evening was about to end.

Coming out of the bedroom humming a tune she stopped in her tracks.

"What…who are you?" she stuttered at the stranger standing in her living room near the patio door.

"Does he have a name for you?"

"Get out of my house," Amber said loudly, still afraid but determined not to show it.

"Does he?" the stranger repeated moving forward.

It was then Amber saw it. She saw the weapon raised and she panicked.

"Get out," she said stumbling backwards.

"I just want to know."

"Get out," she screamed, tripping on the rug in her haste.

"I have to know."

Greg and Sara rolled up on the scene together.

She flashed her crime scene badge to the officer standing guard at the driveway and he waved them both through. Greg, carrying both their cases as he always did without asking, ducked smoothly under the tape as Sara held it up.

"How bad do you think this one will be?" he asked her quietly as they made their way up the sidewalk.

"No telling," she said tightly.

The whole place was alive with CSIs. Two shifts worth: Catherine, Nick, Warrick, Sofia, Grissom and now the two of them. The townhouse was almost too small to hold them all.

"Good," Grissom said meeting them just inside the foyer, "Sara you're with me in the kitchen on this one. Greg, start a perimeter sweep. I want photos of every entrance to this place from at least three angles. Got it?"

"Yes sir," Greg said, handing Sara her case and heading back outside.

Sara gave him a fleeting smile, knowing he was disappointed. And he was. Grissom seemed to purposely be keeping him out of these scenes, like he was afraid Greg would lose it. And hell, maybe he would. The first 'Reaper' crime they'd rolled up on ten-year veteran cops were throwing up in the alley. Grissom had seen that and turned immediately to Greg and ordered him to the perimeter.

Sara, bless her, had tried to be reassuring and say that it was a sign of confidence. That Grissom must trust him in the field if he was letting him handle the outside alone. Greg had smiled at her tightly and tried to take it that way but half an hour later when Sofia joined him, just to see how he was doing, it seemed less like a vote of confidence and more like a sign of impending doom.

And tonight would be no different. Greg knew that. And sure enough, Greg had no sooner set his case down and put on his first pair of gloves when a voice came up from behind.

"You doing sweep with me tonight, Greggo?"

"Looks that way," he said turning and affecting his best 'I love my job' smile at Nick.

Nick smiled and shook his head as if reading his mind. Sometimes Greg wondered if he could.

"Hey," he said reassuringly, "we're more likely to find the key piece of evidence out here than in there."

Greg nodded, taking out his camera and once more trying to believe that.

That really wasn't far from true. This was the third scene and they'd be lucky if they got so much as a stray hair inside the home. Outside, on the second, the one that had been caught by swing shift, they'd found a partial shoe print outside the window but nothing more.

It was after that case that Catherine and Grissom had sat down and compared notes. Both crimes were nearly identical. Rage killings from the sheer violence of them but somehow not. They were planned. The victims almost certainly stalked. Both women, both discovered by significant others. Both nearly unrecognizable after the fact. Since then, and officially starting tonight, they'd been working together.

"So same means of entry?" Greg asked as he followed Nick around to the patio out back.

"Take a look," Nick answered.

Greg was careful to only step where Nick had, still trying to get use to watching his feet. He should be by now, but honestly, it was never something he'd thought of before. In his life.

Greg snapped off the first few pictures of the glass door, careful to get the whole thing in frame. Moving in he looked at it closer. Got snaps of both individual panels before getting even closer shots of the handle and the rails it slid on.

This time was different. Before the perp had been lucky enough to find an open or unlocked window or door to gain access. It looked like this time the perp had broken the smaller window next to the door allowing them an easy entrance. Greg took a few closer shots and stopped to look.

"Did you see this?" Greg asked taking out his tweezers from his vest.

"Haven't got there yet," Nick said leaning down and taking a look.

Hanging off the broken glass was a single thread of fiber.

"That's not hair," Nick said sounding disappointed.

"No," Greg said turning it over and bringing it closer, "it's some kind of fiber."

"Good catch."

Greg gave him a shrug before bagging it. Standing and snapping a few more shots of the entry point, he moved back.

"Come here," Nick said with a nod of his head. Nick walked around towards the fence, Greg close behind.

"Got another partial shoe print," he said pointing it out amongst the bushes.

Greg nodded and took a few pictures of it.

"You've done molds right?" Nick asked.

"What," Greg said smiling at him, "you think I'm a rookie at this?"

"I'm just asking," Nick returned good-naturedly. "Who knows what Sara has you doing, probably her paperwork right?"

"You'd be surprised," Greg said, still smiling as he bent down to get a closer shot.

"Would I?"

Greg looked up at him and tried to read his expression. Almost blushed at what Nick seemed to be implying.

"Don't start any crap," Greg said looking down at the print.

Nick laughed.

"You got this," he said once he'd stopped, "I'll go get the plaster."

Greg nodded and took out a marker before taking another couple shots. After that he stood and scanned the backyard. It was pretty basic. There was some patio furniture, a barbeque grill, and a tool shed.

Greg moved carefully to the back gate which was slightly ajar.

Taking more photos to document its state and ensure there was nothing on it first, Greg gently pushed it open and moved through the gate. There were two garbage cans there, both upside down and obviously empty. Greg took pictures of them regardless, stepping back to get them both in view. The alley was nearly completely black, the streetlight at the end flickering dimly.

Not quite able to get the shot he wanted, Greg continued to step backwards until his foot bumped into something.

Frowning, Greg took the camera from his eye and looked down over his shoulder and squinted into the dark.

"Greg," he heard loudly from the other side of the fence.

"I'm in the alley," he returned to Nick as he squatted down to get a better look at what he'd hit.

Taking a few pictures and cursing under his breath, Greg stood up as Nick joined him.

"I think I stepped on it," Greg said shaking his head.

He thought Nick might get pissed. Greg was, at himself, it was a stupid thing to do. But Nick didn't. He just turned on his flashlight and told him to hold still.

First he scanned the ground, took in the bloody pipe that was lying there before turning the light onto Greg's shoes.

"Back or front?" he asked.

"Back," Greg answered, "I was backing up."

Nick nodded and checked the heels of Greg's shoes.

"You're going to have to take them off."

Nick left momentarily to retrieve a large evidence bag. By the time he'd gotten back Greg was holding both shoes in his hand, standing in his socks, and looking very put out about it.

Nick held out the bag and let Greg put them inside before sealing it and indicating in pen the what and how of it.

"What am I supposed to do now?" Greg asked.

"We note it in the report," Nick started to answer, "Mark and document the evidence before…"

"Not that," Greg interrupted, "I have no shoes. I can't wander around a crime scene without shoes."

"You don't have a spare set in the car?"

"Is that a joke?" Greg asked back in disbelief.

Nick laughed and shook his head.

"I've got a spare set in my locker," Greg said knowing that did absolutely no good.

"Greg," he said waving him off, seeing the real panic start to set in Greg's eyes at the thought of having to walk around in socks all night. "I was joking."

Greg looked at him like he didn't believe it.

"Stay here," he said shaking his head, "I'll get you a set of boots. We keep them with the coveralls."

"Hurry," Greg called out, having not moved from the spot where he stood since taking off his shoes.

Nick was back pretty quickly and to Greg's mortification he wasn't alone.

"What'd you step in now?" Warrick asked with a smile.

"Oh man," Greg said, looking down and struggling to pull on the replacement footwear, "I'm never going to live this down am I?"

"No time soon," Nick answered.

Greg, his new boots a bit too big but wearable, now leaned down with the other two men to take a better look at the pipe.

"Hey but look on the bright side," Warrick offered, "It looks like you found the weapon."

"I thought the women were all stabbed?" Greg questioned.

"They were beaten first," Nick supplied, "Knocked unconscious with a blunt object."

"The perp was using an object in the homes," Warrick continued, "Whatever was handy to subdue the women. This, this looks like he brought it with him."

"First broken window we've found out of the three," Greg said nodding, "So they knew they'd need something like it to get in."

"Fits the theory that the guy is stalking these women," Nick said leaning in closer. "Hey, check this out."

Nick took out his own tweezers and pulled a fiber from the ridge of the pipe.

"Look familiar?" he asked Greg.

"Yeah," he said nodding, "Looks like the same kind I pulled from the window."

"Guys?" they heard from the gate.

The three of them turned at once to see Sara standing there.

"Grissom wants you all inside."

"Give us a minute," Warrick said to her in return. "Greg found what the guy used to break in and knock our victim out."

"Great," Sara said enthusiastically coming forward and forgetting they were supposed to be going in.

She hovered over the three of them as they finished the collection. Once done they all stood and moved to go back into the house. Greg hung back a moment, Sara waiting on him as well.

"Nice shoes," Sara said to Greg tapping him on the shoulder.

Greg just hung his head down and sighed making her laugh.

"It happens," she said reassuringly, having guessed what must have occurred just from the fact that he was carrying his normal pair in an evidence bag.

"Tell Grissom that."

"He'll tell you himself," she said evenly as the reached the door. "Really, you did the right thing. We all make a mistake or two. You didn't try to cover it up, that's what counts."

Greg gave her a weak smile.

"You ready for this?" she asked pausing at the door.

"It's bad then," he said nodding tightly.

Sara nodded in return, no trace of the smile previously gracing her face left.

"I'm ready," Greg said evenly, steadying himself.

"Let's go then."