Title: Smoldering Wounds
Spoilers: AU Season 6 (mention of episodes: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Daddy's Little Girl, Rashomama...a few others too)
Disclaimer: Don't own a thing...seriously...just a rambling of things CSI...all in good fun
A/N: Response to Chrissie0707's challenge to give our CSIs superhero powers. Each person in our group was assigned a particular season...mine happened to be the recent Season 6. Here's what my mental synapses fired off...
It didn't rain much in Las Vegas, being the middle of the desert and all. But, when it did rain it seemed things began to happen. When it rained in Las Vegas the psychos came out. When it rained in Las Vegas all Hell broke loose.
When it rained…people changed.
And tonight…it was raining. It was raining hard.
"Man, it took me forty-five minutes just to get to the lab, tonight," Nick shook his head as he entered the break room with Warrick. "It never takes me forty-five minutes to get here. Damn, I hate the rain."
"Man, I thought you hated the dark; when did you start hating the rain? You look like a drowned rat," Warrick laughed as he took a seat across the table from Greg who was busy reading the day's paper. "You're not growin' that nasty ass hair of yours back out again are you?"
"Hey, you know what? Bite me…and my nasty ass hair," Nick punched the man in the arm. The Texan's hair hung dripping wet across his forehead, his black t-shirt in similar shape as it clung tightly to his chest and abdomen. It had been several weeks since Kelly Gordon ODed killing herself as he and Sofia had come to arrest her. The shitty mood he'd been in since then was finally starting to wane. Well…it was until his car got stolen on the way back to the lab, with all the evidence pertaining to their current case inside it. That had only been a couple weeks ago. "I was actually thinking about shaving it all off again," he sighed taking a seat next to Greg. The younger criminalist, already dried from his walk across the parking lot, now sat reading the newspaper oblivious to the men's conversation.
"Hey man, you finished with the sports page?" Warrick shook his head at the Texan.
"Yeah," Greg nodded throwing the man the page of interest. "So, what was the line on the Duke game last night?"
"Man, I don't mess with that anymore, you know that," Warrick dismissed the question with a wave of his hand.
"Yeah, and I'm Spiderman," Nick laughed roughing his wet hair with a towel.
"Nah, we'll just call you Cyclops," Warrick smirked, "What, you have money on the game, Greg?"
"Just trying to make conversation," he shook his head in reply. "Hey, did you guys hear about the preacher down on Tropicana? Guy's got a cardboard placard declaring it's the end of the world. It's like the lower end of Gotham City out there."
"Shoot, Gotham City's a picnic compared to a rain storm in Vegas," Warrick laughed.
"So, St. Pete's back again? Damn, he's out every time it rains" Nick chuckled taking hold of the comics section of the paper. "He was on Fremont St. last month. He also said the end was gonna happen back in March."
"Guess he miscalculated," Warrick smiled.
"He just doesn't know how to read the signs," Greg smiled closing his section of newsprint. "You see all the wars in the middle east, Lebanon and Israel? Come on…this guy's gotta be on to something."
"You'd know," Nick shook his head.
"Don't tell me you're into all that holy war shit," Warrick smirked. "Or maybe you're just clairvoyant."
"Well, not exactly," Greg shrugged. "I mean, psychic abilities run in my family, but my powers are more of the intuitive nature. I can't actually tell things are going to happen before they do. I just have a sixth sense that tells me something's about to happen. Like that time the lab blew up? I didn't know it was going to happen until just before it did. I got a feeling… I'm still working with it, trying to get better with it. It's coming better now that I'm actually working in the field. No, it just seems the crazies seem to have Armageddon pinned down to one specific day. I just know that's not exactly the case either. Have you even read the book of Revelation?"
"Yeah, and my grandfather's rollin' over in his grave the day Greg Sanders actually read a book of the Bible," Nick remarked.
"You're the one with X-ray vision, Sparky" Warrick smirked. "You'd know."
"Hey now, it's not X-ray vision. It's night vision, completely different, and don't go getting all jealous, man," the Texan pointed a finger at his friend.
"Yeah, you've got the world fooled with your cool swagger. Man, anyone would give their left foot for your powers," Greg added then. "The ability to woo any woman, to count cards in a split second, to smooth talk their way out of anything. Man, now you've got the skills. You'd just think you'd use it more for keeping yourself out of the doghouse with the wife."
"Yeah, I can sweet talk any Blackjack dealer," Warrick shook his head, "but, Tina's a whole new breed."
"The kid's got a point, Rick, and it ain't just on the top of his head," Nick nodded. "Hey, you still in trouble with Tina for staying out past curfew the other night?"
"Hey, talk about fooling the world," Greg motioned to the door.
"Okay guys, it's going to be a long night," Grissom sifted through the pile of papers in his hand as he breezed into the break room. "Where's Sara and Catherine?" he looked up his eyes scanning the room.
"We're here," Sara smiled her gapped tooth grin as she and Catherine entered the room. There was a twinkle in her brown eyes as she made eye contact with the entomologist. Whether no one noticed, or chose to ignore it, the bug man was relieved for the lack of response he got from his team. Sara had been slightly less than discrete with her comments as of late and there'd been a rash of humorous wisecracks spreading through the graveyard shift. What with Nick finally coming out of his I've-been-buried-alive-so-the-whole-worlds-out-to-get-me depression, then having his car stolen; and then there was that whole rat pack thing with Greg earlier that spring. The last thing he wanted was attention drawn to him.
"It's really raining hard out there," Catherine ran a hand through her wet locks. The low cut black top she wore made her hair blaze unusually bright and her pale skin glow an even more ghastly white. "Hey, did anyone hear that guy preaching down on Tropicana? What a nut job."
"St. Pete's back?" Sara asked with an amused grin as she took a seat next to Nick.
"Okay, guys. Yes, it's raining out. So, you know what that means," the shift supervisor began. "We've got a busy night. I need everyone on this one; you know I don't like anyone working solo anymore. Call me paranoid, I just don't want anyone being buried alive again, even though it would seem that threat is behind us now that the Gordon's are dead. We've got a double homicide in Henderson. With our powers combined we should be able to close this relatively quickly."
"With our powers combined? Are you turning into Captain Planet on us?" Greg asked with a laugh.
"Captain who? Alright, we're leaving in ten minutes."
"Okay, guys," Grissom gathered his team outside the perimeter of the crime scene. It was dark. Being nearly one o'clock in the morning, it was a logical thing to expect. It had stopped raining in their hour long drive to Henderson, but the temperature had dropped drastically.
Nick stood unusually close to Warrick as they awaited their assignments. Whether it was due to the cold, or uneasiness resulting from the extreme dark, no one would know.
"It's really dark out tonight," the Texan shivered under his black nylon field vest.
"Yeah, and it's cold too," Warrick nodded. He really wasn't in the mood to cuddle with Nick at the moment; anyway he'd rather be cuddling with Catherine. Why she didn't just light up her hair, he didn't know. It would sure be a hell of a lot warmer if she did, though.
"We've done this before," Grissom eyed the shivering members of his team. "You know how this works. We'll divide and conquer. Greg, you and Warrick take the perimeter. Catherine and Nick take the downstairs. Sara and I will take the upstairs. Use your powers, work together. We've got two more murders to close tonight."
"That's right; we're the A-Team, the stronger team. Should we do, like, the secret CSI handshake or something?" Greg asked with a small laugh. "Maybe say go team?"
"Let's get to work," the supervisor rolled his eyes. He had actually wanted to laugh, really…he did. Greg was a funny guy. But, as the shift supervisor he wasn't allowed the luxury of a sense of humor…unless he was the one offering the witty comment. But, seriously…Greg was a funny guy. He was glad the younger man had finally gotten over that whole nervous thing around him. He was even put at ease that the kid felt comfortable second guessing him, questioning him…within reason of course.
Now, though, the house was waiting. Waiting for him…for his expertise. He knew he was an unstoppable CSI force, well…he and his team. They would catch the bad guy.
Sara stepped back, allowing the supervisor to lead the way. Her eyes stealthily moved the length of the man's backside. The black slacks he wore were especially nice and accentuating. She could feel the desire building within her, a warm, fuzzy feeling teasing her in the pit of her stomach, gnawing from within, threatening to end her.
Unable to hold back she let out a loud whistle, WHOOOOO HOOOOOO, piercing the silent blackness of night, through the gap in her front teeth.
She knew it was a misuse of her power. She'd been instructed several times to only whistle when something was wrong, when someone needed to be alerted.
But, this time…well…it was just too damn irresistible.
The look Grissom passed her way, though, was a mixture of embarrassment and bewilderment as he stopped abruptly halfway to the house. Not quite the reaction she'd hoped for.
As for Grissom, well…he hated when she did things like that, whistled at him in public. Had anyone noticed? How could they not have heard? Sara had the loudest power of them all…that stupid whistle.
He didn't know how many times he'd have to tell her. She was supposed to use her whistling abilities for good, for signaling from afar… She was NOT supposed to use her powers for flirting…especially in mixed company. He'd have to lecture her on that after work…it'd have to be a stern lecture, too.
"Uh…Griss," Nick hesitated as he walked toward the house. "I can't help but notice how…uh…how dark it is in there." He knew his gaze was shifty; his eyes darting back and forth making sure no one was paying attention. It was embarrassing…being afraid of the dark. But he had his reasons…and they were pretty darn good reasons too. It wasn't everyday someone got buried alive for 24 hours. It was dark in that box…well except for the dumb green glow sticks. And well…don't get him started the whole bug thing…
"Dark? Oh…right," the man cast his eyes toward the ground. "I…I thought you were over all that. We talked about that, didn't we? Sylvia Mullins is dead… Kelly Gordon's dead. I thought that was all history. I mean, you agreed…it's over."
"Oh…uh…yeah…yeah…over," the criminalist stammered with a nod. "It's not about that really…" he cast an uneasy look back into the dark home. Sure he was ticked when he'd heard the tape, had learned Grissom hadn't told him about it and then had brushed the whole thing off when Nick had confronted him. But, not everything he went to Grissom for pertained to the stupid Gordon family.
And…well, Grissom wasn't sure how to respond. Okay…so maybe he had been working on his intuitive/feeling powers in the past year. So far it'd been a slow process. Yeah, he'd finally managed to read Sara's emotions, had finally been able to relate to her.
But, Nick…Nick was a different story. He wasn't as easy to read. When it came to Nick, he found it easier to use his Praying Mantis abilities. His keen ability to hunt, to trap insects…not that Nick was an insect, though there had been that one dream he'd had not long after they'd saved Nick…that dream where Nick was a giant Fire Ant…but, that was another issue for him to tackle with his therapist. But, seriously they seemed to be better working a scene together rather than trying to have a deep meaningful conversation.
As for his other powers…well, he'd worked on his reflexes; had developed them to be far superior to any other power he had. And well…he was still working on improving his eyesight. Sure, his sight wasn't quite to the level of the Praying Mantis, but he'd only worked to develop that power within the past year.
"Oh…just use your night vision," the older man left the Texan alone at the entryway of the house.
"Easy for you to say," Nick said under his breath.
"What was that?" Grissom stopped at the foot of the stairs. Regardless of his surgery three years ago, he'd not fully developed his keen sense of hearing either.
"Ah, don't worry, Nicky, I've got my fiery red hair," Catherine smiled offering a slightly seductive toss of her long locks as she draped an arm around the Texan. She was using her mothering-meddling powers along with her seductive eye magic. Together the two were nearly impossible to resist. "I'll keep you safe."
Silently Nick and Catherine watched as Grissom and Sara scaled the flight of stairs.
Holding the door open for the lady, Nick shook his head, "No offense, Cath, but I'm not Warrick. I prefer brunettes, anyway."
"I know that," she sighed, "but, he's married now. I've got to focus my untamed desires somewhere. I mean, I hardly get to see Lindsey, and when I have time to see her, I'd rather be out in a bar drinking with some hot guy. So, you see…my powers need an outlet. I can't help it. I'd take having good mom powers any day. But, if you've got it…flaunt it, right?"
"Uh… Hey guys," a voice called from down the front walk. "Forgetting someone?"
"Did you hear something?" Nick stopped just inside the door. "Was that Warrick?"
"Didn't sound like Warrick," Catherine shrugged ready to go further into the house.
"Yo, guys," the voice called again. "What am I…invisible?"
"Did I hear Brass out here?" Grissom asked from the top of the stairs.
"Couldn't be," Catherine shook her head, her red hair swishing with the motion. "I didn't see him when we got here."
"Guys, I'm standing right here," the voice said from the doorway. "Can't you see me?"
"Jim, you've got your Invisi-shield up," Grissom sighed slightly perturbed. "Turn it off, and then we can see you."
"Damn," the detective shook his head. The dark room quickly burst into a brilliant array of shimmery crystals as the detective disarmed his Invisi-shield. SHAZAM! In a split second the man came into view. "I keep forgetting."
"I never get tired of watching you do that," Catherine winked at the older man.
"Want me to do it again? I'm getting' pretty damn good at this thing."
"So, Jim," Nick smiled from the doorway of the living room, "What's the story here, murder/suicide or are we looking at a real honest-to-goodness double murder here?"
"Hey, man, you're the superhero. I'm just here to keep the peace and make sure none of you guys use your powers for evil." The man cocked a half grin, his accent taking on a slight Brooklyn flavor to it. As usual, the man looked impeccable in his ash gray suit and tie. He'd beat Ecklie on the catwalk any day.
"I thought you were here to make sure none of us got kidnapped," Warrick added from the doorway. His sea foam green shirt was no longer crisp and clean, but was now splotched with several clumps of mud, the dark brown kind, like mud caused by heavy rains.
"Damn, boss," Nick laughed. "Just change your name to Mud Boy."
"What happened to you?" Catherine cast a sultry eye on the tall, dark criminalist. She liked it when the man got down and dirty, too bad he wasn't wearing a forensics jumpsuit.
"Well, the guy that stole Nick's truck a few weeks ago was back for a second round. He started taggin' Brass' Taurus with this nasty color of orange spray paint. Didn't go well on the tan sedan, so I figured I'd work him a bit, you know? When I couldn't sweet talk him into a poker game, we had a rumble in the gutter. Damn kid messed up my favorite shirt. Since Brass was nowhere to be found, I had some rookie cop take him downtown in a paddy wagon for questioning."
"Paddy wagon, huh? And since when are you doing my job for me?" the detective smirked.
"Someone's gotta do it. You forgetting to make yourself seen and all…"
"Hey, Cath it's dark in here," Nick called from the living room. "I can't seem to find a light switch, and my eyes are getting tired. Care to shed some light on the situation?"
"What no flashlights?" Brass asked ascending the staircase now.
"Flashlights are for losers," Catherine smiled as her head began to radiate a brilliant glow. Her normally tame hair was suddenly set ablaze, WHOOSH, shedding light around the entire room.
"Nice," Warrick smiled offering a sly wink in the female's direction.
"You like that, huh?" Catherine smiled with a twinkle in her eye.
"Yeah, that's pretty hot," Warrick nodded watching the woman sashay into the other room.
"It's fire," Brass nodded, "go figure."
"Uh, guys…" Nick stood in the center of the living room. "Crime scene? Dead body? Remember?"
"Oh…right," Catherine turned back to the scene.
"Yeah...uh…sorry Nicky," Warrick offered a sheepish grin. "I better get back to helpin' Greg outside. Holler if you need help."
"We will," Catherine winked at the man as he exited the room.
"So, what do you think?" Nick asked scanning the room with his eyes.
"Looks like the girl was shot," David Phillips informed as he materialized into the room pointing to the sizeable bullet entry wound in the victim's abdomen. Sticking his right index finger into the wound he said, "She's been dead seven hours."
"Since when can you get a TOD with your finger?" Nick asked.
"Oh, it just sort of came to me about a week ago, I guess," the man shrugged. "I haven't had it forever like I've had my ZANG powers."
"What that thing you do…zapping into a room with no warning?" Catherine asked, her hair still blazing.
"You heard the man," Nick smiled, "it's a ZANG thing. ZANG, Catherine, ZANG!"
"Excuse me," she raised a gloved hand defensively.
"So, Super Dave, she was shot, right? COD?" Nick asked crouching near the coroner.
"That would be my first guess," the bespectacled man nodded. "But, since I'm not one to make guesses…" he trailed off.
"You'll know more after post," Nick nodded rising to continue his search for evidence. "Hey Cath, I'm gonna head upstairs and see if Grissom and Sara have found anything."
"Be careful," she nodded moving across the room. "I'll finish up here."
She didn't see it happen. Only heard the cracking of wood, the yelp of pain.
Nick was in trouble.
Turning to find the source of the commotion she ran to the staircase.
There Nick stood, hovering over a dark, smoldering hole. The banister stood cracked and splintered.
Within seconds Grissom and Sara were surveying the scene from the top of the stairs, Warrick and Greg stood in the open front doorway.
"I…" the Texan stammered. His eyes were wide, his skin pale. "There…"
"What happened?" Catherine pulled Nick away from the obviously traumatizing scene into the cold night air. The man was shivering, shaking all over.
"Nick, man…" Warrick followed the couple outside, "What the hell happened?"
The rest of the team slowly filtered out of the house, curious to hear what had caused the gaping hole in the staircase.
"Are you okay?" Grissom asked with uncharacteristic concern thick in his voice.
"I'm sorry," Nick shook his head his eyes meeting the deep stare of the entomologist. "I didn't mean to…" he trailed off.
"What…" Sara looked confused.
Greg stood back, a look of terrified concern masking his own pale face.
"Take a deep breath," Catherine laid a hand on the trembling man's shoulder. "Take your time. Tell us what happened."
"You're gonna laugh at me if I tell you," he shook his head, his eyes now on the wet ground.
"Nick," Grissom demanded the man's attention. "We need to know what happened." His hair was mussed a bit, his shirt unbuttoned further than the usual two buttons. There was the distinct smear of pale pink rouge on his face. Nick wasn't sure what the more disturbing thing was…the idea that Grissom could have been making out with Sara upstairs, or…
"Nick, just tell us," Sara sighed. Her hair was also mussed, though that wasn't out of the ordinary for her. She really needed to quit listening to Greg for styling tips. There WAS a distinct lack of coloring on her lips and cheeks, however.
"There was a damn cockroach on the stairs, man," he turned his blazing eyes to meet his supervisor's inquisitive stare.
"La cucaracha?" Greg smiled slightly.
"Periplaneta Americana," Grissom raised an eyebrow.
"When I saw it, I freaked. All of a sudden…laser…laser death rays shot out of my eyes."
"You…killed the bug?" Grissom asked.
"Damn it, Griss," Nick raised his hands in frustration. "Didn't you just hear what I said? Forget the damn bug. LASER DEATH RAYS, man!"
"So…you killed the cockroach then…"
Nick let out a long sigh, his eyes falling to the ground at his feet. The man would never get it.
The team stood on the street, the red and blue lights of parked police cruisers flashing intermittently filling the darkness with their sporadic color.
It was quiet as the graveyard shift slowly dispersed; making their ways back into the house, back to their crime scene. They still had some work to finish up before moving on to the next scene. Evidence still needed to be collected upstairs. They'd have the case closed within the hour.
When the city's in trouble…
When the world is restless…
Who do you call?