Hello everyone! Well, I'm back, with more Greg goodness for you all to enjoy. I know I've been away for awhile but I hear that absence makes the heart grow fonder, so you should all be very fond of me.
Disclaimer: I do not own any thing CSI related, except the merchandise I bought and that's mine I tell you! All mine!
Rating: M or R, whatever. The high rating is because of some excessive swearing later from our bad guys.
Category: Action/Adventure, Angst, Drama, H/C, really, what else do I write?
Anyway, I'll let you get to my latest fic. The first chapter is pretty much just plot set up, but trust me, every chapter after this shall be pretty intense and I'm quite excited about it. So please enjoy …
Miles in his Shoes
Gil Grissom couldn't help but smile a little, at least to himself, as he entered the break room, despite the two homicide investigation assignments he had to hand out, because for the first time in a long time there wasn't a free space at the table. Sara and Catherine were next to each other at the end of the table, seemingly in serious conversation when they were actually discussing an addictive soap opera they both watched, and leaned as far away as possible from the immature boys on the other end. Warrick and Nick sat beside each other near the end of the table, both had paper footballs set for kickoff with Greg's hands making a goal post across the table.
"Ready, aim … fire!" Greg announced, drawing out the last command for effect. Nick and Warrick both flicked their footballs across the table, and Warrick cheered in victory as Nick's ball fell short and his went straight, consequently hitting Greg square in the forehead.
Everyone turned and laughed as Greg rubbed his head.
"Ow," he complained lightly, but all he received was mock sympathy in the form of a lip pout from Sara.
"You poor thing, maybe next time they'll let you play instead of just being the post," she teased.
Greg offered a fake laugh in return and then everyone's attention was drawn to the doorway, where Grissom had cleared his throat as he shook his head.
"That's a good way to scratch a cornea," Grissom lectured.
Nick huffed, "You know you could just go with the classic, you'll poke someone's eye out doing that."
"No, I would only say that if it were true. It'd be physically impossible for either of you to hit those with enough force to knock out Greg's eye," Grissom pointed out.
Warrick and Nick exchanged a glance, as though they were being challenged.
"We could test that out you know," Nick suggested casually, as if it would make a good experiment for later.
"Not with these eyes you won't," Greg replied, pushing his chair away so they wouldn't get any ideas.
"Nah, and ruin that perfect 20-20 vision of yours?" Warrick brushed off the idea. "Hodges, his eyes'd pop out like nothing, they're already damn shifty after all."
Everyone smiled at the thought and then gave their attention back to Grissom, who had their assignments. Strangely enough, he was smiling as well, for a different reason.
It was good to have the team back together.
Too bad their first night back he had to split them up.
"Okay people, down to business, we've got two homicide investigations, a double and a single. Catherine, Sara, Warrick, you've got the single," Grissom said, handing Catherine the assignment sheet.
"Loughlin, great, a long drive is just what I need to wake me up," she muttered as she then handed the sheet to Warrick.
"Seventy year old male. We're sure it's not natural causes?" Warrick asked, not wanting to drive all the way to Loughlin if they weren't sure a crime had been committed.
"The bloody footprints through the house seem to indicate otherwise, according to the arriving officer," Grissom replied, and the three accepted this as making the case definitely worthy of investigation.
"Nick, Greg, you're with me, double murder in Harcant," Grissom continued.
Nick cringed and nodded, "Shooting?"
"Yeah," Grissom replied.
Greg's brow furrowed, "How'd you know that?"
"It's not the safest neighbourhood in the world, and I heard through the grapevine that there's some kind of mini gang war going on down there. Cops keep getting domestic calls, far as I know this is the first murder," Nick explained and Grissom nodded in confirmation.
"Brass said he'll fill us in when we get there. I'll meet you in the parking lot," Grissom said as he started to leave, then turned around at the last second and added, "Nicky, why don't you take Greg in your car."
"Yeah, I can do that," Nick agreed and again Greg was confused.
"Hey, I've got my own car," he protested, inwardly praying he wouldn't be stuck in Nick's SUV with its god awful preset country radio stations.
"We probably want to keep the amount of cars we bring down to a minimum," Nick pointed out, trying to sugarcoat the situation as much as possible. "Last time we went to Harcant one got stolen."
"Someone stole a police car from a crime scene?" Greg asked incredulously, thinking they were just pulling his leg, teasing the rookie, but Nick didn't back down.
"It was unmarked, parked kind of far from the scene, they might not have known it was a cop car," Nick theorized. "They found it stripped a few hours later."
Suddenly leaving his baby … uh, car, at the lab sounded like the best idea Greg had heard all day.
As they all got up to leave, Warrick patted Greg on the back, "Have fun."
"Thanks," Greg mumbled through gritted teeth.
"Come on, you'll be fine," Nick promised as they headed towards the locker room.
A few minutes later Greg was slipping on his Forensics vest when the sound of a safety clicking off made him turn his head. He couldn't help but stare as Nick took his gun out of his locker, checked to make sure it was loaded and then clipped it into his holster.
Nick easily noticed Greg watching and shook his head, "I know you don't need to have one as a level 1, but you should really consider getting a sidearm Greg. We can find ourselves in some … uneasy situations in this job."
Greg knew what he meant, had heard all too many horror stories from those CSIs above him about being fired upon, and Hodges's constant taunting didn't help either, but he still shook his head adamantly, "No, it'd be kind of pointless. I'd never be able to handle it, and it's not like I could ever shoot someone."
"I never have either, but I've drawn my weapon a few times," Nick explained, "Helps to control a situation."
"Seems like a good way to escalate a situation to me," Greg pointed out, picking up his kit and closing his locker.
"Yeah, I guess it can do that too," Nick agreed, and knew by the way that Greg immediately turned for the door that the subject should be dropped. Greg wasn't comfortable around guns and wanted to leave it at that.
When they got to the parking lot and into Nick's car Greg immediately started eyeing the radio, wondering if there was any way he could subtly flick the station over, but Nick didn't give him any chance. As soon as the car started the radio came to life and some Gretchen woman was twanging away about keeping her Christmas lights up all year. Greg sighed and when Nick was focussed on backing out of the parking lot his hand desperately started to reach for the dial, but Nick wouldn't have it.
"You touch that radio and you're walking Greg," he threatened without even turning around from looking behind him.
"Nick, this music pains me. You see this face, despite its boyish good looks, this is the face of pain," Greg pleaded as he reached for the wonderfully close volume knob.
"Well you'll be in a lot more pain if you change it, not to mention the pain I'll be in. I can't stand that crap you like, it splits my eardrums," Nick told him.
"You sound like my Dad," Greg replied, hoping he could make Nick feel substantially uncool and self conscious enough to want to be hip and listen to some alternative rock.
"Then at least your Dad probably has some decent taste in music."
That backfired, thought Greg as he slouched down in his seat and tried to drown out the music by focussing on the Vegas sights. It worked for awhile and Greg got caught up in the lights and billboards, at least until the lights and billboards started to disappear. As Nick drove there were less and less buildings and more and more homes that got more rundown as they went. Soon they were in a badly graffitied neighborhood driving slowly through barely lit streets, watching out for pedestrians and the police lights that would tell them they were in the right place. The streets were practically empty – clearly people knew better than to be out late at night in this neighborhood.
With a shudder, Greg realized they had just passed the alley on D street where he had found the emaciated body of a five-year-old boy in a Rubbermaid container, and then almost been shot at a few seconds later. He could still remember the bone numbing fear as he heard those shots and just dropped, scrambling behind a dumpster, knowing it wasn't very safe to be an unarmed law enforcement officer in a destitute, urban neighborhood where almost everyone sporting gang colors could be guaranteed to be carrying a gun.
The thought of gang colors reminded Greg about something Nick had mentioned earlier.
"So, what's this about a gang war down here? I thought the cops cleaned up Vegas and broke all the gangs up," Greg asked fishing into his quickly growing police knowledge.
"Yeah, well they broke up the big gangs like the Snakebacks, the ones that were causing major problems in the strip and affecting tourism rates, but it's hard to patrol out here in the rural areas. This neighborhood's been mostly black for awhile but now there's a lot of Mexicans moving in and apparently people just aren't getting along and things are getting territorial."
"It's not like there's much to fight over," Greg muttered, seeing only dilapidated buildings and broken sidewalks everywhere.
Nick shrugged and continued, "People will always protect what they feel is theirs, Greg. So tension's been building the last few months. Cops have been out here breaking up fights between the two sides, petty stuff too, cars, girls, who's got the rightful claim to the basketball court, stuff like that. Once or twice it was over drugs. A guy got stabbed last week but survived, this'll be the first killing if it's related to the same thing. Really sad thing about it all is that it's not even just gang against gang, it's about people not being willing to trust other people and paranoia leading to violence. Chances are things are going to keep escalating too, unless the cops can cap this thing," Nick replied at length.
As Nick rambled about drugs and stabbings and killings, Greg felt more and more uncomfortable and anxious. The neighborhood they were in already made him nervous enough - after all, if even the people who lived here knew not to come out at night, what chance would he have if something happened? – and he knew his nervousness was mostly because he wasn't exactly overflowing with street smarts. Growing up in a wealthy family in a safe neighborhood in San Francisco hadn't exactly street proofed him for tougher areas. Even when he had interned briefly in New York he had stayed away from neighborhoods like this, knowing he had no business in them because he didn't know how to take care of himself, at least not physically. He was pretty sure he could talk his way out of almost anything, but there were no words that could stop a bullet or a sneak attack in an alleyway and he was suddenly very aware of his own lack of physical protection.
He didn't have any kind of hand to hand training, he wasn't armed and he wasn't exactly the most intimidating person of all time, in size or appearance.
He looked over at Nick, someone who never had to worry about physical safety – unless of course he was being stalked by a madman, or locked in a coffin. No wonder the Texan worked so hard to be physically intimidating, he was trying to repel all those people who seemed to continuously want to hurt him, Greg realized. But no matter what the reason, the effect was the same. There were few suspects in their right mind that would try to take on Nick in a fight, hell, he even looked like a cop. Square jaw, huge build, even if he wasn't all that tall, armed and never backing down, that was Nick's style. He could get straight to the point of matters because he knew no one could argue with him, because he would win. Greg couldn't say the same.
None of his recent attempts to add extra muscle to his light build had worked as of late and the new blazers and button ups he had been wearing to work, mixed in with the remnants of his spiked hairstyle, made him probably the least intimidating law enforcement officer of all time. Hell, even those kids had run away from him in that alley a few blocks behind him, even knowing he was police officer. And he knew they wouldn't have run away from Nick, they would have been too scared of the consequences because Nick could be intimidating when he wanted to be and demanded respect and attention.
"Here we go. Make sure you lock the door," Nick instructed, breaking Greg out of his thoughts as they pulled into a parking lot. As Greg got out he saw that they seemed to be at the border of where the neighborhood started to meld into Vegas again, since they were parked in front of a Motel with a pool hall across the street. He grabbed his kit, locked the door and followed Nick under the police tape.
"Hey Nick, Greg," Brass greeted them, opening up his notepad to read off what they knew so far. "We got two male DBs, African American, late twenties, multiple bullet wounds each, hotel manager called it in."
"How long ago?" Greg enquired.
Brass checked his notes again, "A little over an hour."
"Scene should be fresh, that helps. What room?" Nick asked, wanting to get to work.
"213," Brass answered, pointing to the second level.
"All right, let's go Greggo," Nick said leading the way.
"Yeah coming … uh, give me a sec," Greg requested, backtracking when he looked at the pavement a few feet away. "I'll cover down here first."
"Sure, meet you up there," Nick replied, willing to let Greg do discovery on his own.
Brass followed behind Greg as he knelt down and touched a gloved hand to the burnt pavement.
"These skid marks are fresh, someone peeled out of here in a hurry," Greg noted.
"Well, manager said there were four shots and then skidding tires, by the time he got around here the car was gone though, he didn't even get the color let alone the make," Brass explained.
"Hopefully we'll be able to match the treads, might come up with something distinctive," Greg commented, then headed back to Nick's car to get the camera tripod so he could properly photograph the treadmarks.
In room 213 Nick found Grissom already sweeping the dingy hotel room with his mag-lite as David knelt next to one of the bodies. Both DBs were lying with their feet facing the door, with two bullets in each of their chests. One was right in front of the door with the other propped up partially by the second double bed, apparently having been sitting on the first bed when he was shot and then falling.
"Why do I get the feeling this wasn't a domestic dispute?" Nick asked as he snapped on his gloves.
"I've got a white substance on the sidetable, could be cocaine," Grissom announced as he pushed the evidence into a brown paper pouch.
"So you're thinking drug deal gone bad."
"Possibly. I won't jump to any conclusions just yet. This could be sugar for all we know," Grissom pointed out, not having tested the substance yet.
"Yeah, that's likely," Nick muttered sarcastically, shining his own light over the two DBs who were obviously gang-members with their matching tattoos and bandanas.
"Where's Greg?" Grissom asked.
"The parking lot with Brass, he found some skid marks, he's logging them," Nick answered as he opened up his kit, "I'll start printing."
Grissom nodded and left him to begin coating the room with fine black powder.
As Nick fingerprinted and Grissom searched for trace in the motel room, Greg finished photographing and logging the skid marks in front of the building.
"Got anything good?" Brass asked, walking over after interviewing a few hotel guests who had seen nothing.
"These treads are pretty clean, should be able to get a match back at the lab no problem, that spiral pattern is pretty distinctive. I don't suppose this place has a security camera, make my job a little easier," Greg asked hopefully, already knowing the answer as he looked around the dingy parking lot.
"Just in the front desk," Brass answered having already checked. "It doesn't see much other than the cash register."
Greg nodded, not surprised, as he loaded his equipment back into Nick's car. A place like this would pride itself on secrecy and privacy for its less than savory clients, it was no surprise there was no surveillance. Just as he was about to put the camera tripod away an idea struck him though and instead of walking back towards the hotel to help out Grissom and Nick, he started in the other direction towards the road. The streetlights were dim, but with his mag-lite the street was bright enough for him to find what he was looking for.
After all the incidents they seemed to be having with CSIs at crime scenes lately, Brass made sure to keep a close eye on Greg and joined him when he saw the young CSI processing the road outside the crime scene tape. Greg was standing in the middle of the two way street - when you pulled out of the hotel you had to turn left or right, there was no option to go straight ahead – examining the ground.
"What do you got Sanders?" Brass asked as he approached.
"Well, judging by the tire treads in the parking lot, our suspect must have really revved it when he pulled out, meaning he probably skidded when he turned out here too," Greg explained, pointing out the second set of skidmarks. "Same spiral pattern."
"So, we know he sped out and then turned left," Brass said, judging from the angle of the treads.
"Looks that way," Greg agreed, then looked to see if there was anything noteworthy down that road. The first thing he saw was a bright yellow sign indicating an all night convenience store that the car would have had to drive by if it had indeed turned left and kept going.
Smiling, Greg turned to Brass and asked, "Feel like a snack?"
Brass wasn't amused but had a patrolman accompany him to the convenience store.
Inside the hotel David finished rifling through the pockets of their two DBs.
"Clarence Matthews and Jamal Turner," he announced, reading their IDs. "Liver temp confirms they've been dead a little over an hour."
"Thanks David," Grissom said absently as he ran the ALS over the second set of bedsheets and sighed at the array of illuminated spots.
Across the room Nick cringed, "Man, I hate processing scenes like this. It's impossible to know what evidence was left by our shooter and what was left last month. Places like this don't exactly get a regular cleaning."
It was true, the scene was unusually dirty. The sheets were a myriad of biological samples of different degrees, every inch of the place was covered in somebody's fingerprints and there was a feeling of grime coating everything.
"Well, this cigarette butt looks fresh," Grissom pointed out optimistically as he sniffed the stub he took out of the ashtray.
"Either of those guys got cigarette packs on them?" Nick asked, indicating their dead bodies.
"None that I found," David replied.
Grissom raised an eyebrow as he bagged the cigarette, "Then this could belong to our suspect. It would confirm that these two knew their killer; they obviously weren't trying to run when they were shot."
Meanwhile, up the road, Greg and the patrolman entered Maury's Quik-way to see if they could recover any evidence. There was a lone cashier behind the counter who had already been standing at the door when they pulled in, trying to see what the commotion was up the road.
When they came in the young man moved back behind the counter, shifting with nervousness at the sight of cops. When Greg walked up to the counter, the cashier seemed all too eager to please.
"Hi there, I'm Greg Sanders, I'm with the LVPD, this is Officer Marko. Can I ask you a few questions?" Greg asked after flashing his ID.
"Yeah, sure I guess. Is it about what's going on at the Morada, cause I don't know anything about that. I don't even know what went down," the cashier said, immediately defensive.
"Look, uh …"
"Zack, we can't discuss an ongoing investigation, but we just want to ask you a few questions in case you heard or saw something that maybe didn't seem related at the time. Have you been working alone all night?" Greg asked, taking out his notepad.
"Yeah, it's just been me since nine," Zack replied.
"Okay, and did you hear or see anything unusual around say eleven?"
"Not really, heard a lot of folks yelling, couple people ran up the street, then the cops started showing up," Zack said rather generally.
"Did you hear a car skid and then speed by, by any chance?" Greg asked, knowing he was pushing it a little.
"Nah, not that I remember."
"What about security? You got any cameras in here?" Greg asked, already having spotted one over the register.
"In this neighborhood, you better believe it. We got three in the store and one in the parking lot. The place keeps getting tagged, I've had to scrub down the windows at least a dozen times, cops don't do much about it," Zack explained, pointing to the several visible cameras.
"All right, I'm gonna have to see those tapes," Greg stated, not really requesting but ordering as a cop would.
"I don't really know how to do that. I'll have to call my manager," Zack said, unsure what he was supposed to do.
"That's fine," Greg replied as he settled in to wait for the man he assumed would be named Maury to come give him the surveillance tapes he needed.
Thankfully Maury had heard about the shooting at the Morada and had been on his way to the store anyway to make sure everything was all right. He was cooperative enough about giving Greg what he needed, but like Zack complained about the lack of a police presence in the area to help defend his poor windows from gang tags.
"Well, unfortunately I think you're going to have more cops than you know what to do with around here soon enough. Let's just hope they won't be necessary. Thanks for these, I'll get them back to you as soon as possible," Greg promised as he bagged and labeled the tapes from the back room. He had seen the cameras filming for a few seconds when Maury was getting them for him and saw the quality was grainy and hoped he could enhance the picture back at the lab.
Officer Marko stayed with him until he was back behind the tape at the original crime scene and after stashing the tapes in Nick's car he finally made his way to room 213, a good hour after they had actually arrived.
"Hey, sorry I got sidetracked. Did I miss anything?" Greg asked as he came in.
"Only just about all of the collection. What were you doing out there?" Nick questioned, having been getting slightly worried when the young CSI was gone for so long.
"The tire treads in the parking lot indicate our suspect turned left when he hightailed it out of here. So I went to the convenience store down the road that he would have had to drive by. One of the parking lot cameras has a partial view of the road, I'm hoping it may have caught the getaway car. I had to wait for the manager to come and get me the tapes though," Greg explained, kneeling next to Nick to watch him pick up a discarded piece of paper from behind the bedside table.
"Sounds good, nice job," Nick commented as he carefully unfolded the paper.
"Thanks. What is that?"
"I don't know. It feels thick like the really old kind of notepad paper. CS, 11 PM, 5000 for 5," Nick read aloud what was written on the paper.
"And that means?" Greg asked.
"Well, 11 pm was the approximate time of the murder, so maybe CS is whoever these guys were meeting to sell their junk to," Nick hypothesized, bagging the evidence.
"Junk? We thinking drug deal now?"
Nick nodded, "Yeah, Grissom found some cocaine residue on the table, no sign of the drugs or the money so the killer most likely got greedy and left with both."
"Makes sense. Where is Grissom?"
"Bathroom," Nick answered, pointing behind him. Greg got up and inched his way across the room, careful of any blood smears, and knocked lightly as a joke before he stepped into the bathroom.
"Hey, I got some video surveillance from a convenience store down the street, might have caught the getaway car. Do you need me for anything in here?" Greg asked, not even phased to find Grissom fingerprinting a toilet bowl lid.
"Good, we're pretty much done here. Why don't you and Nick head back and start processing. I'll finish up in here and meet you back at the lab," Grissom instructed.
"You're the boss," Greg said as he headed back into the first room. "Hey Nick, Gris says that since we've been so well behaved we can go back to the lab and start processing."
"Well, lucky us. Maybe we'll get a gold star too," Nick answered, joking just as sarcastically.
"Yeah right, just try tearing them away from Sara," Greg whispered as he took a few evidence bags from Nick.
The Texan laughed as he packed up his kit and followed Greg back into the parking lot.
"So, you think those surveillance tapes are going to pan out?" Nick asked as he waved to the duty cop when they again passed under the police tape to leave the scene.
"Have to wait and see back at the lab. Even if they did catch a glimpse of the car, the quality's pretty poor, it may not be helpful," Greg replied, trying not to get too hopeful about his evidence.
"Could be worse; at least you won't be scanning fingerprints for the next hour. I swear, every inch of that room had a print on it," Nick complained, bringing up again how annoying hotels were as crime scenes.
"Deal with it sunshine, it's part of the job," Greg said, oddly smug.
"Isn't that supposed to be my line, mister level one?"
"Guess I'm just a fast learner, faster than you are anyway," Greg teased, still smiling.
Nick was about to reply when he noticed the smile and realized what it meant as he finally heard that they had been listening to My Chemical Romance for a few minutes now – Greg had switched the radio station without Nick even noticing.
Of course, Nick immediately switched the radio back to something with a little more twang, but that didn't erase the triumphant smirk still on Greg's face.
When they got back to the lab the two CSIs made their way to the locker room to slip into their lab coats, agreed to update each other on their break and then went their separate ways, Nick to scan a stack of fingerprints from the scene and Greg to try and find an image of a getaway car that was clear enough to give them a lead.
In one of the smaller audio/visual labs Greg popped in the first surveillance tape, knowing the camera from the convenience store parking lot that saw some of the road was most likely his only chance to catch a glimpse of their car, and possibly their suspects. The hotel manager had called 911 at about 11:08, so Greg rewound the tape to ten to eleven, just in case there was a discrepancy in the time.
Half of the picture showed the small parking lot in front of the store, as filmed by a camera above the door, and just beyond that was a surprisingly clear shot of the road. Greg sat and watched – there were no cars in the lot and no traffic whatsoever – but then sure enough, at 11:04 a single car drove by, going way over the speed limit. He resisted the urge to rewind and enhance the footage and instead watched for ten more minutes, seeing no other speeding cars, just people on foot racing up the road to see what had happened, and then several cop cars.
Satisfied, Greg rewound and then paused the tape, freezing the image of what was almost assuredly their killer's getaway car.
"Nice," he commented to himself as he leaned in closer to the screen. It looked like a '67 Impala, not a bad ride at all and seemed to be in good condition from the little he could see. "It's a shame for a car that sweet to be wasted on a murderer."
He saved the image and was about to try and enhance it but looking across the hall he saw that Archie didn't look too busy in the main lab, and decided that a little expertise wouldn't hurt in the matter. Quickly strolling across the hall he peaked his head into the room.
"Hey Arch, you busy?" Greg asked suddenly. Apparently it was too suddenly for Archie who scrambled to close the window of the Stargate Message Board he had been posting on before anyone saw.
"Uh, nothing pressing," he mumbled in response, bringing up a screen that could possibly look like work.
Greg laughed as he took a seat next to the lab tech, not caring that he was goofing off, it was what labrats did when there was nothing to process.
"Good, I got a surveillance image I need enhanced, very fresh. I saved it on the server," Greg replied, pointing to the proper file on the screen. Archie opened it up and cringed a little.
"Grainy," he commented.
"Yeah, I know. I'd like to get a shot of the driver if possible, but at the very least I need the license plate," Greg explained, hoping for one of Archie's miracles.
"Well, the plates shouldn't be a problem," Arch commented, hitting a few buttons that immediately started tightening the pixels to improve the quality of the picture. When it got a little clearer Archie cropped and enlarged the back bumper of the car. "It only got the last three letters – QRB."
"That should be enough to get the RO. It's obviously an Impala, so I can narrow it down from there," Greg said, pleased with his work thus far and thankful for Archie's help. "What about the driver, can you get a shot of him?"
Archie ran through the stills Greg had saved and tried to get a clear picture of the front seat, but it was useless. He shook his head, "Nah, the angle's never quite right to see his face, and his head's turned when we would have got a side profile."
"Wait, what's that? Go back," Greg requested, spotting something in the last frame. It was one of the last images, taken just as the car was leaving the scope of the camera.
"There?" Archie asked, pointing to the front seat.
"Yeah, I know we can't see the face but can you clear it up a bit?" Greg asked, unsure of what he was looking at.
"I can try," Archie replied and after a few more keystrokes the pixels tightened once more.
"Huh," Greg uttered in surprise, "There's two people in that car."
Archie nodded, agreeing, "Yeah, definitely, you can see the back of two separate heads. Looks like the driver is wearing a red bandana or visor, can't make out anything on the passenger."
"So there could have been two shooters," Greg hypothesized, trying to put this new evidence into context.
"Unlikely," a voice suddenly announced from the doorway. Greg and Archie spun around to see Grissom coming in, obviously having heard Greg's last comment. "I just came from ballistics, all four bullets were from the same gun. One shooter."
"Well I've got some surveillance footage here that says there were two people in the getaway car," Greg replied, indicating the screen. Grissom came in further and looked for himself and nodded.
"So it would seem. Perhaps we have a killer and a getaway driver," Grissom theorized for himself, then asked, "Did you find anything else?"
"Yeah," Greg was quick to answer, pleased with his work, "Got a partial license plate, was just about to run it."
"Good work, let me know what you find, I'll be with Doc Robbins," Grissom announced, quickly leaving again to attend the autopsies of their victims.
"Sure thing," Greg promised and then stood up himself to go and track down the owner of the car. "Thanks Arch, have fun on your geek forums."
"They're not …" Archie started to protest but then realized the futility and opened his browser once more. "Never mind, good luck on your case."
"Thanks," Greg said again and then almost lingered behind to chat. He hadn't really talked to Archie in awhile, certainly not like he had when he was still in DNA, or even just training, and he suddenly felt slightly nostalgic for his labrat days. Sure his work in the lab had become stale and repetitive to him, but he had worked with good people, when he worked at all. He processed DNA so quickly it was hard for some CSIs to give him enough samples to keep him busy and he had had a lot of time to relax and hang out. But he wasn't a lab tech anymore, he reminded himself as he stepped into the hall, denying his urge to catch up with his former fellow labrat. He was working on a case, and it was hot, still only a few hours old, and if the plates weren't stolen or fakes then he would have a huge lead any second now and that wasn't something he could shove aside for a few minutes. Those two dead men in the morgue deserved better, even if they had been gang members and drug dealers, justice still had to be served.
As he quickly moved into a computer lab and entered his password into the police records archive, he wondered when he had gotten so righteous. At first, this job had been about the challenge, about learning new things and working out in the field, not being bored and stuck inside the lab all day. But as time went by, Greg found he was really starting to care. Cases were affecting him in ways he hadn't imagined and some even got personal. He knew if he wasn't careful he could become obsessed like Sara, and though he admired her passion, he didn't really want that to happen. He got too little sleep as it was.
When he snapped out of his thoughts he realized the browser had opened to search the DMV records. He entered his search criteria: license plate - QRB, model – Chevy Impala, then hit find.
The answer was almost instantaneous and he smiled as the page refreshed.
One result found.
That's why he loved this job, the rush of bagging the bad guy, and he had just found their first big lead to take this one down.
Whew, that was a long first chapter. Hope you all enjoyed it and will stick around for the second one when things get interesting.
Oh, and HelenLouise, I know I said this fic would be called The Journey but then I realized that my other fic was Painful Journeys and I didn't want anyone to think this was a sequel or anything so I changed it.
Anyway, talk to you all later, please let me know what you think thus far. Later days, Goody.