Title: Rough Night

Summary: Brass gets a phone call...

Disclaimer: I don't own any part of CSI.

A/N: Takes place mid season 5. This story serves as prelude and backstory to Homesick, a longer WIP.


This was not going to be a good night, Officer Jack Dooley sighed as the apartment door swung shut in his face.

First, the fight with his wife. Eight months pregnant and full of hormones, and he had made the mistake of buying her flowers. Now she was accusing him of cheating, which was absurd, he would never do that, and really she should have calmed down by now. He'd call her, he decided, as soon as he was done here. Although technically, he was already done here.

Just the TV, my ass.

Jack hated it, knowing there was nothing he could do, that the woman wouldn't stop lying and protecting her boyfriend until she wound up in the hospital, and maybe not even then.

This case was a little different, though.

Oh, not the details of the incident, they were normal enough. A neighbor heard shouting, and then screaming, and called the police. When he arrived, a teary woman insisted that everything was fine, no crime had been committed. The man was long gone, probably out drinking off his anger and remorse. There was really nothing he could do.

The problem was, he was pretty sure he had seen this woman before, and not as a victim. She looked an awful lot like one of the CSIs he had seen working a half dozen murder scenes over the years while he secured the crime scene, an anonymous spear carrier to the investigation.

Sidle.

That was the name on the woman's vest at the scenes. And that was the name of this woman.

He was sure about the CSI's name, because she had been pulled over on a DUI not too long ago, and he had heard some of the boys at the station snickering about it, until Captain Brass heard them. After that it hadn't been mentioned again.

Brass had a reputation for being tough but fair; he'd back his men all the way in front of outsiders, but he ran a tight ship up in homicide. A CSI wouldn't normally deserve any special protection from him, especially not one who had been dumb enough to drive drunk. So the woman was a CSI, and for whatever reason, Brass considered her one of his.

It's a violation of her privacy, but if I let this go, it will only escalate. It always does, in the end. And Brass will look back and see the domestic disturbance in the log, and that I did nothing, and how will I get to be a homicide detective then? Shit.

With a long sigh, Jack pulled out his cell phone. And the night is still young.