Disclaimer: Despite the dream I had last night, CSI is not mine. Ivy is, though.
A/N: A few weeks ago when I was driving to work, I saw a homeless woman sweeping her piece of sidewalk in the underpass. That was the start of this fic. This is my first Greg centric fic.
Thank you to dreamsofhim for the awesome beta'ing, and mjade8 for the read through and suggestions.
It was a Wednesday night. I remember because Wednesday is when the recycling center on Culver is open to the public. I had taken two full bags in that morning and left with a half empty cart and almost fifteen dollars. After I made sure no one was watching, I hid the money in the toe of an old tennis shoe. Fifteen dollars may not sound like much, but it was enough to feed me for the next week.
I get tired more easilythan I used to, so it was only just starting to get dark that night when I pulled my cart into the shelter of the underpass and settled down to sleep. With my whisk broom I cleaned the concrete before putting down the rectangle of cardboard I use to cushion my bones against the hard ground. Pulling my army blanket over me, I closed my eyes.
I was startled out of sleep a few hours later by a loud pop followed by the squealing of tires. In the dark I could barely make out a shadow of something twenty feet away. Pushing my cart a little farther under the shelter, I walked tentatively across the cracked cement. It didn't take long to realize it was a person sprawled out on the ground and that the poor soul was dead.
I don't know who alerted the police because it certainly wasn't me. They sure did show up quick, though. Two cars with flashing lights came first and then a plain sedan. Last to show up was one of those big gas hogging SUV's carrying three passengers. Two of them went to join the crowd of people around the body. The third, a handsome young man with dark blond hair, panned the area slowly and then started walking in my direction.
"Hello," he said when he reached the cement wall on the far side of the lot where I had gone when all the cars had arrived."I'm Greg."
"Hello Greg. I'm Ivy," I introduced myself.
"I need to ask you a couple of questions. Is that all right?"
"Are you a cop?" I was a little leery. I've never had any major problems with the police, but I have friends who have.
"No. I'm a criminalist." He hesitated just a little as he spoke and I wondered how long he'd had that title.
"I don't know that I can help you much, but you may ask me your questions," I agreed. He seemed like a sweet boy, but I couldn't help tsking over the state of his hair. Really, is there any excuse for a person's hair to go in so many directions? I reached up to pat my own hair, making sure it was still neatly tucked under its bandana. It was.
I tried to answer his questions, but since I had been asleep when the gun sounded, I'm afraid I wasn't much use. By the time I was awake enough to understand what had happened, all I'd been able to make out were the red tail lights of a car. And the body – but he had already seen that.
As we spoke a drop of water fell from the sky and landed on my cheek. A moment later I saw another drop fall on the young man's shoulder. Without a word he placed a hand under my elbow and led me to the shelter of the overpass. With a mournful look he watched as the rain began to fall in earnest.
"What's the matter, honey?" I asked.
"Ivy," I interrupted. "You call me Ivy, honey. I never did care for the sound of ma'am."
"Yes, Ma-Ivy. When it starts to rain like this at a crime scene, it means we have about three minutes to gather any evidence we can. After that, pretty much anything that can help us is washed away." Following his gaze I watched as a pair of men lifted the body into a van. The gray haired gentleman and the brunette woman who wore the same jacket as my young man repeatedly bent down as they picked up items too small to be seen from this distance and put them in bags. As predicted, they stopped after a few minutes.
"That's it," he said dejectedly, "Our crime scene is gone."
"It will turn out all right." I covered his hand with both of my own. If I'd ever had children, I would have considered myself lucky to have them be like this boy.
"You just wait and see. What you need is sure to be in one of the bags your friends have." I pointed across the lot, and for the first time since the rain began, he smiled.
"That's my boss, Grissom, and my mentor, Sara. If anyone could find a piece of evidence in the middle of a rain storm, it's one of them."
"You sweet on her?" I asked. There was a hint of something in his voice when he said the brunette's name.
"No." He shook his head. "She's just a good friend."
He paused for a moment, "Actually, can you keep a secret?" His voice lowered and his grin widened; there was still so much boyishness in him; I wondered why a light hearted person would choose to work in such a dark profession.
"Yes," I nodded.
"The two of them, Grissom and Sara? They're dating. No one else knows, but Sara accidentally let it slip a couple of weeks ago. I promised not to say anything."
"And you'll keep their secret. You're a good boy."
"And you are an excellent judge of character," he joked.
"Greg." The woman friend of his called across the lot and made a gesture with her hand.
"I guess we're ready to go back to the lab." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a twenty dollar bill. "Would I offend you if I offered this to you?"
Tears welled up in the corners of my eyes. "Not if the offer comes from your heart," I told him. Silently he slipped the bill into my hand. Before he turned to leave, he kissed my cheek. Smiling, I watch as he walked away.