Disclaimer: Wow, did you know that my Diet Mug Root beer has carbonated water, caramel color, aspartame, sodium benzoate, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors (like what?), modified food starch (wonder what they did to modify it?), quillaia extract, and phenylketonurics (which apparently contains phenylalanine). So these are just 10 reasons why I should stop drinking soda. But for real, CSI isn't mine, and if you're reading CSI FANFICTION then you should know that!
A/N: Well hello everyone- both new readers, and hopefully some of my old readers. This feels like when I go home for winter break after being at school for so long. It's familiar, but still different every time. Anyways, to give y'all an idea of what's going to happen: Idea gotten from "Dancing with the Stars." Greg is more or less tricked by Ecklie into entering "Dancing With the Law." DWtL is a fundraise being sponsored by the LVPD and Co. to raise money for an emergency shelter for battered women and children. So, needing a partner, Greg turns to Sara. Fun and romance ensue! So without further ado, onto the chapter.
Dancing With the Law
Chapter One: In Which Trickery is Afoot
"A dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest…Honestly." Captain Jack SparrowPirates of the Caribbean
"Come on in Sanders, take a seat," Ecklie looked up at the knock on his door.
"Thanks," Greg replied, walking in and sitting down in the chair.
"So what can I do for you?" Ecklie asked, leaning back in his chair.
"I just wanted to say thanks for putting me on that case. It gave me a lot of great exposure, and was a great opportunity to learn."
"Well, you were ready," he shrugged nonchalantly. "After all, you're a very promising CSI."
"Really? I mean, yeah, thanks," Greg tried to play it cool, but he couldn't help puffing up with pride at the compliment.
"As a matter of fact, I've got another challenging assignment, if you think you're up to it?"
"Of course! I'm up for anything that's gonna help the lab," Greg jumped at the chance to stay in Ecklie's good graces.
"Great! That's just what I like to hear. You're going places Sanders. Now, just fill this out, and I'll brief you on what you'll be doing," Ecklie handed Greg some papers that he promptly began filling out without reading or really taking in what they said.
"All right, here you go," Greg handed them back. Ecklie took out a packet of papers and handed them over to Greg.
"Excellent; now those are yours to keep. You have the honor of being the only CSI that is in this. Now, you have three months to prepare for the competition, and I'd like to see you, our only CSI, win this for the lab. Practices will be three times a week, and five times a week the last two weeks before the competition. Group practices, since there will be one or two times all pairs will be on the floor, will be held every Saturday. One of your papers is a calendar, so make sure to keep track of the weeks. And as for your partner, it can be any one you choose. Just make sure she'll be able to make all the practices as well, and doesn't have two left feet. That's everything Sanders," Ecklie turned his attention back to his paperwork, a smirk on his face. He wasn't about to let this competition happen without some CSI entering. After all, he knew the police had a couple of people with dance experience, and they were already bragging about how they would win. Bastards the lot of 'em.
"Wait, what is all this for!"
"You just signed up for Dancing With the Law, a fundraiser being sponsored by the police department. Competitors can be anyone from the lab, field, police department, or technicians. All pairs will compete in a one-night show. All money that is raised will go to the building of an emergency shelter for battered women and children, as well as foster children needing temporary emergency housing. I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a partner; girls love that sentimental crap," Ecklie grimaced slightly. "Now get the hell out of my office Sanders. You can't back out now, and I expect your full co-operation or your ass is fired."
"Damn it!" Greg cursed himself as he sat down hard in the locker room.
"What's up Greg?" Sara stood in the doorway, a grin on her face.
"Nothing!" He was quick to stuff the papers behind his back.
"You know, when people say nothing, it really means something," she stepped in, walking closer to him.
"I was just admiring the color of the lockers. Thinking about painting my bathroom this color," Greg lied, scooting backwards on the bench. "Really, nothing, see?"
"What I see, is that you're trying to hide something behind your back," her grin widened as she saw what was about to happen.
"No I'm not-OW!" He yelped as he fell off the bench on his rear. His hands flew out in front of him to grab the end of the bench so he could pull himself up, but they also gave Sara the opportunity to grab the papers he had been trying to hide.
"What's this Greggo?" Sara's laugh filled his ears. "Dancing with the Law? What is that, some sort of Dancing with the Stars spin-off?"
"No," he replied defensively, snatching the papers back from her, his face red. "For your information, it's a fundraiser for an emergency shelter for battered women and kids. A whole bunch of couples from all the different areas of the police department- CSIs, techies, officers, everyone, will be competing against one another in a one night show."
"Really? For an emergency shelter you say?" Her curiosity was piqued.
"Yeah. Ecklie tricked me," he sighed, sitting down hard on the bench once more.
"I know, and now I have to find…" he trailed off, looking up at her.
"Find what? And why are you looking at me like that?"
"I need a partner for this thing."
"Don't even think about it Greg, unh-unh, no way, no how," she began shaking her head emphatically.
"But Sara, you're a girl-"
"Oooh, well spotted Sherlock," she interrupted snidely.
"And I know with legs like that you had to have danced at least a little," he continued to plead.
"When I was sixteen Greg, and not by choice. I don't have an ounce of grace or poise in me," she held her hands up as if to ward him off.
"Please Sara!" He looked up at her, pouting slightly, and looking absolutely adorable. "If not for me, then for the women and children who will benefit from this?"
"Greg…" she looked at him, wincing slightly.
"Please," he stressed, seeing her resolve was weakening. She always did have a soft spot for battered kids and women. "At least think about it?"
"No, I don't have to do that," she sighed heavily. "I'll do it."
"Yes! Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!" He jumped up and pumped his fist in the air excitedly as he headed for the door.
"Hold it!" Her words stopped him mid-punch and mid-stride.
"Yeeeeeessss?" He drew out the word worriedly as he turned to face her, thinking she was about to yell at him.
"Chill Greg, you're not in trouble. I just want the papers so I can make a copy of them so I know the practices and stuff like that. I'm assuming there are a lot of practices?""
"Yeah. Like, three times a week, and then even more closer to the competition date," he shifted his weight as he handed her the papers. As she looked through them, he watched in puzzlement as she stopped at one of them and frowned. "What's wrong?"
"Madame Esfir Parajanov, that's what," Sara didn't look up from the paper. "She was my ballet teacher, funnily enough."
"And that's a bad thing?" he asked hesitantly, not knowing if it would set her off on a tirade.
"Well, yes and no. Yes because I didn't like her that much, but only because she pushed me really hard. Which is why it's not a bad thing. She's an excellent teacher, in all styles of dance. But just prepare yourself, we're going to be worked hard by her."
"Let me put it this way," Sara paused. "Think of how tired, achy, and fatigued you feel after working a triple, okay?"
"Okay," Greg nodded, wondering where she was going with this analogy.
"Now multiply that feeling by ten, and you're almost there," she smirked at his look of horror. "Oh and Greg?"
"Don't tell anyone that I'm your partner. They can just be surprised at the competition," she warned, putting the papers into her locker.
"I figured that," he rolled his eyes, but quickly stopped when she smacked him upside the head. "Ow!"
"Get over it, and just remember, I'm a higher CSI, so I know better than you how to hide a body."
"Duly noted," he grumbled, and let her precede him out of the locker room to the break room.
"Oh good," Grissom announced as they walked into the empty break room.
"What's good?" Sara raised an eyebrow. "And where's everyone."
"I already gave them their assignments," he waved a hand dismissively. "But what's good is that you're here. I've got another case that just came in. Floater in a hot-tub style bath. It's been there for a while by all indications. Take Greg with you; you'll need the extra set of hands to collect all the body matter, not to mention it'll be a good learning case."
"Thanks for ruining my day," Sara muttered under her breath as she snatched the assignment slip and walked out of the break room, Greg following behind.
"So uh…I'm guessing this isn't going to be fun?" Greg questioned as they walked down the hall.
"Nope," Sara's answer was short as she abruptly turned into the supply room.
"What are you doing?" His face showed his confusion as she began rifling through the closet and boxes there.
"Two words. Hot-tub, and floater," she replied victoriously, holding up waist-high waders and heavy-duty boots, as well as shoulder high gloves. She threw them to him with a smile.
"Gotcha," Greg nodded. "We're still going to reek, aren't we?"
"Oh yeah," Sara's eyes widened as she nodded, gathering up her gear. "Which is why we're going to pick up a couple dozen lemons on our way there, so we'll be ready when we get back."
"Yeah. It's the best kept secret for getting rid of the smell of decomposing body fat," she told him as they climbed in the car. "Anytime you deal with a floater, or just a particularly odorous corpse, make sure you pick up some lemons, and use them like soap in the shower first thing. Something about the acid in the lemons neutralizes odors."
"Hey, is that why all my bathroom cleaners and stuff smell lemony-fresh?"
Sara just looked at him, her expression clearly saying 'duh, are you a CSI or not?' before she focused on the road. Greg squirmed slightly, not liking the silence, and reached a hand out to turn on the radio. His hand received a prompt smack from Sara.
"Please? I promise, nothing like what I listened to in the lab. And if you don't like it, you can turn it off?"
"All right," Sara nodded her consent.
Greg turned the radio on and fiddled with it a minute, finally coming to rest on, surprisingly, a classical station. She almost laughed at his audible sigh of relief as the silence was filled by the soft, melodic music. He smiled and closed his eyes, relaxing in the seat as he took in the music.
"I hadn't really pegged you as a classical type of person," she said softly, not wanting to startle him.
"Mmm. Neither would I, but it goes back to when I was a kid," he answered after a minute. "My mom had me playing the violin since I was four. That's how I got into Stanford on a full scholarship, and why I also joined up with the Phi Beta Kappa society. I could study both of my passions. Though my mom's never been happy that I chose science over music."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"Nah, don't be. I still play for fun in my spare time, which isn't often, but that's all right. I can help more people this way than with my music."
"I guess. You know, I played piano for a few weeks when I was six, but my lessons stopped once I told my teacher I didn't see the point of banging around on an oversized piece of firewood," Sara grinned.
"You didn't?" Greg looked at Sara incredulously.
"I did. She was so red in the face from biting back whatever she wanted to yell at me, I thought she was going to burst," Sara laughed, a twinkle in her eye as they pulled up to the house.
"That's great!" Greg chuckled as they climbed out of the car and began to pull on the gear. "Thanks for sharing. Now I've got that image to hold on to while we do this."
"Good, but just remember that if you can't keep control of your stomach, then get away from the scene. No contaminations," she warned as they grabbed their kits and headed up the house.
Detective Vega met them outside the front door and briefed them quickly on the vic and the situation. 26 year old Janie Locke, lived alone, was discovered by a friend who knew the location of the spare key. Leading them into the house and upstairs, he warned them it was the worst he had seen, as the hot-tub had been in a little nook of the bathroom that was surrounded by windows and had a sky-light above it, allowing plenty of sunrays to help in the decomposing of the body.
"Oh God," Greg gasped as they stepped into the bathroom and got the full brunt of the smell.
"Breathe through your mouth, deeply, and don't think about the smell," Sara advised, closing her eyes a moment. It really was the worst she had ever seen. Feeling her stomach protest that which her nose was smelling, she quickly set her kit down and pulled out a small tub of Vicks vapor rub. She rubbed a little beneath her nose before holding it out to Greg.
"Oh, I don't have a cold," he shook his head, and she could see he was feeling the effects of the smell also.
"It helps," she smiled broadly at him. "It masks the decomp, and smiling helps with the gag reflex."
"Gotcha," he smiled back at her, quickly dipping his finger in the Vicks. "Thanks."
"Don't thank me yet. We still have the body to do."
And so the next hour was spent taking photos of the body, or what was left of it, and dusting for prints around the fair-sized bathroom. They also took samples of the brownies and wine that were sitting on the table to the side of the tub. Finally, they got started on the body, reapplying the Vicks as they began using thin silk nets to scoop up as much of the loose body matter as they could.
"All right, what next?" Greg looked almost scared to ask.
"Up for some swimming?" Sara asked, radioing down to David to bring up a stretcher for them to put the body remains on.
"Damn, I was hoping it wasn't that," he paled slight before gingerly climbing in.
"Yeah well, don't worry. Decomps are far and few in between, so you probably won't have to deal with many," she gave him a reassuring smile before going into lecture mode about the proper way to deal with a decomp, as well as other general procedures when in their type of situation.
"Whew, I'm glad that's done with," Greg breathed in the fresh outside air gratefully as they watched David pull away from the house.
"So walk me through what happened, based on the evidence we saw," Sara prompted as they took off the gear, stashing it in heavy duty garbage bags after rinsing off with a hose.
"Well, there weren't any signs of foul play, or intended guests," Greg started as they climbed back in the tahoe. "Only one wine glass, and the brownies. Looks to me like she was planning on just having a girl's night in, relaxing and all. Got that from the bath oils and candles."
"Okay. What else?"
"Well, there were no obvious signs of an attacker, or a struggle. Couldn't tell anything about the body thanks to the hot tub, but if I may be so bold as to hazard a guess?" Greg smiled cheekily at her. "I would say that she slipped and hit her head, and drowned. Accidental death."
"We'll have to wait for Doc Robbins' report, but that would be my best guess also. Good job."
"Cool cool," he moved his hands up and down on his lap, as if playing the drums.
"Hey, turn the radio up," Sara commented as the song 'Nella Fantasia' came on.
"Good song," Greg complied, before humming along softly. The rest of the ride back to the lab was finished in silence, save for the radio music, and occasional humming from Greg.
"Get those samples in to Hodges or Mia, and then meet me in autopsy," Sara ordered as they pulled into the lab parking lot.
"Sure thing boss," he grabbed the evidence from her and made to leave, but stopped. "Oh, uh, our first practice is tomorrow at four, and goes to seven, so I'll meet you at the studio?"
"Sure, that's fine," she nodded. "And remember, no one knows."
"Yes ma'am, boss lady ma'am," he saluted her before spinning about and strolling into the lab.
A/N: Okie dokie there's the first chappie for ya. Very different from AMOC, but I hope you'll all agree they're good differences. I want to show more of the friendship aspect between Sara and Greg, and how they interact; hence the case file bit. If you're not a case file person, don't worry, there won't really be many. A lot like in AMOC- you'll see assignments and stuff, but no cases too in depth, unless it really serves a purpose, but unlikely. So, let me know what y'all think, and if anyone's really interested in being somewhat involved in the story, IN A REVIEW, create a character who will be in the dance competition (looks and partner, partner's looks, dance you want to be the "expert" in, and where you're from…as in a unit from the police department, a techie, etc. No CSI's though, sorry :-) And I'll only be taking a couple of people, so get reviewing if you really want to.