CSI: Death by Chocolate

A crossover fanfiction by Beth Einspanier

Disclaimers: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and all related characters are the property of CBS. Las Vegas, on the other hand, is the property of Nevada. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", including but not limited to the characters of Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka, are also not mine, though after seeing the recent Johnny Depp movie I wish Wonka was mine. Oh well. All rights reserved.

Note: This fic takes place ten years after the events described in "Chocolate Factory".

Author's Note: Jared - The Last Renegade is posting a live reading of this fic on his YouTube channel Audifiction. Check it out at www .you /watch?v=NwM0E8RDqrA&list=PL2dXZD6jcunwS-_aI5f7X7XUkxd5rxv3j

The young man lay sprawled in the desert brush like an impromptu reproduction of DaVinci's "Vitruvian Man", though in the dim after-dusk light it was hard to make out without a flashlight, and since he was dead the effect was little appreciated by those who currently had them.

He was dressed in a suit and tie, though the suit was – had once been – brilliant royal blue, not a color one ordinarily found in a menswear catalog. Now it was badly stained with something thick and brown that smelled vaguely rancid. His dead eyes stared blindly towards the sky, and were it not for the flies blithely exploring the brown stuff rimming his eyes and caked in his nose and mouth he might have looked merely strung out.

Gil Grissom shone his flashlight over the victim's face, and saw more brown stuff caked in the surrounding hair, which was short and otherwise fairly well-groomed. Whatever the brown stuff was, it had been carefully wiped away from most of the vic's face, probably postmortem. If anything, the young man looked vaguely startled rather than afraid.

"Ugh," grimaced Nick Stokes as he came up beside his boss, "What is all that?" He indicated the brown stains with a cautious wave of his hand.

"That, Nick, is one of many reasons we wear gloves at a crime scene. It could be nothing, of course—"

"Or it could be exactly what it looks like."

"Precisely. Any ID?" This question was directed to a nearby police officer.

"He had what looks like a passport in his inside coat pocket." He handed the passport to Grissom, who immediately saw that it was fouled with the same brown stuff, to the point of illegibility. He bagged it, making a mental note to send it to Document Retrieval when they were done at the scene.

"Hey Griss, take a look at his hands." Nick held up one of the victim's brown-stained hands for Grissom's flashlight. There were smooth white fibers caught under the nails, along with the brown stuff. "Looks like he struggled." With tweezers, he took a sample of one of the fibers – they looked like animal hairs – to look at more closely back at the lab.

"There's one thing I don't see, though," Grissom observed.

"What's missing?" Nick looked around, though he knew it was silly to look for something that wasn't there.

"Our scene. The brown stuff is pretty much confined to the body itself, and I don't see any source for the white fibers. It looks to me like our John Doe was dumped here. I think, though, that once we find out what this is…" He crumbled off a bit of the brown stuff from the vic's jacket. "…we'll know better where our crime scene is."

Little did either of them know that John Doe had once been the luckiest boy in the world…