Title: "Boo Are You?" (1/6)
Authors: Kristen999 and everybetty (Beth)
Disclaimer: All rights belong to CBS and their fine writers. Please don't sue it's just for fun.
Summary: Nick, Warrick, and Uncle Brass are dragged out to a haunted house by our two favorite Lab rats. Oh. And it was a dark and stormy night, too. Happy Halloween!
Notes : Another co-authored piece by everybetty (Beth) and Kristen999.
Updates: We'll post a chapter each day except Tuesday and Friday where TMB will go up.
"Can you believe it really is a dark and stormy night??"
"What I can't believe is that a building like this really exists in Las Vegas."
"Yeah, all it's missin' are some gargoyles and a hunchback lurchin' around cryin' yesss, master."
"Hey! Is that organ music I hear?"
"Cut it out, Archie. I can't believe you talked me inta this. I need to have my head examined."
"Ah, c'mon, Bobby. I couldn't get anyone from GHPSV to come."
"If you couldn't get one of your geek friends from the Ghost Hunting Paranormal Society of Vegas to come out here, what does that tell ya?"
"It tells me they're all a bunch of chickens. C'mon, we deal with scarier shit on a nightly basis than some creaky doors and rattling chains. IF we even find them in there. This was some dude's house, not Castle Frankenstein."
"What the hell kinda freak would build somethin' like this," Bobby drawled, gazing up at the mansion that loomed before them. "Looks like somethin straight outa a Stephen King novel."
"More like Lovecraft," Archie muttered.
"And why didn't Greg wanna go again?"
"Cuz he has a date, unlike us," Archie said with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh, yeah," Bobby conceded. "So, let's get this over with. Still can't believe I'm wastin' my one night off to ghost bust with you. Frickin' Egon Spangler wannabe." He thumbed on his Coleman lantern, the glow lighting up the area.
A flash of lightning lit up the sky overhead. A few icy cold drops fell, one making its way down the back of Archie's shirt. He shivered, clicked on his own flashlight and nudged Bobby. "Let's get in there."
They hustled up to the humongous wooden door, ornate wrought iron knocker at arms' length above their heads.
"What makes ya think this door is gonna open anyways?"
"Cuz it always opens in the movies."
"The same movies where everyone dies?"
Archie gulped. Reached out a hand and turned the knob.
The door swung open.
Bobby stuck the lantern in through the open door, illuminating a huge foyer, black and white tiles on the floor leading to a broad staircase. Over head was a massive crystal chandelier covered in years worth of dust and spider webs.
Archie took the first tentative step into the building, flashlight held high, sweeping the area with its beam.
The light reached the landing at the top of the staircase as he panned it over the space.
"Wait!" Bobby whispered. "Go back. Did you see…"
Archie cast Bobby a doubtful look but turned it back to the left. "There." The light froze.
"Holy… yeah… I see it," Archie whispered back.
"Is this some kinda sick joke you and Sanders cooked up?"
"No! No, I swear…"
"Who else knew we were comin' out here---- you didn't tell Hodges, did you?"
Archie snorted. "Yeah. Hodges and I talk aaaall the time. You think we should….?"
Bobbie nodded shortly. "You first."
Archie steeled his shoulders, took a quick scan of the area, then walked slowly towards the staircase.
He reached a hand up, hesitated, then brushed his fingers over the pale white ankle before snatching his hand back and frantically rubbing it on his jeans .
He turned around, the flashlight showing Bobby staring at him from the doorway, dinner plate eyes in an alabaster face.
"Feels real. Real dead."
"Are you shittin' me?" Bobby muttered.
"Wish I was." He turned back to cast the beam of his flashlight on the corpse hanging from the banister. The light caught something at the top of the stairs.
"C'mon, Arch. I'm done with this."
"No, man. I'm serious. I think there's someone else up there."
"Well go check it out," Bobby said, cemented to the doorway.
The Asian rolled his eyes and threw him a glare. Throwing a second look behind him at the dangling body he shivered, then placed his foot on the bottom stair.
By the time he'd reached midlevel he took the rest two at a time and dropped to a crouch next to a second body. He took in her blood covered chest, then tentatively placed two fingers on her neck.
"It's a woman. She's dead too," he whisper-shouted as he rose from his squat. "Looks like she was shot in the heart. She's covered in blood."
He jogged back down to the foyer.
"I think we need to report this."
Bobby nodded slowly. "Who you gonna call?"
"I can't believe you two geeks had nothin' better to do on a night off than muck around in a deserted building. Someone's been watchin' too much Supernatural."
"People actually watch that show? I hear it airs on a tough night."
Warrick shot Brass a smirk. "Yeah, I've been known to catch it, but there aren't any babes on the show."
"I bet Catherine would beg to differ."
"Hey! Cath doesn't need to be eyeing no man candy. She's got plenty right here in Vegas."
Nick sighed. "And Grissom tells me I watch too much TV. C'mon. Let's get in there and get this over with. Gettin' frickin' wet out here."
"Aw, Nicky, you wont melt," Brass jibed. "But I agree, let's get this over with. So which one of you wants to gimme the rundown?"
Archie stepped forward. "Two bodies, that's what I got."
Nick looked around the gravel drive. "Only cars I see are the Ectomobile and our Denali. And the uni smart enough to stay in his cruiser outa the rain."
Brass frowned, walked over to the patrol car and knocked on the window, hooking a finger at the cop inside. The window rolled down part way. "Hey, Condannato. If your CAPTAIN is out in the rain, your ass is too."
The officer grimaced but shut the car off and got out to join them.
"Where are the DBs?"
"Right inside," Bobby spoke up. "Kinda on the stairs."
Archie clarified, "The first DB is a man, hanging from the banister of a wide staircase that rises to a second level and branches off to both sides. There's a broad landing at its top. The second DB is a woman sprawled at the top of the landing and slightly around to the left."
Warrick quirked an eyebrow at the description, but clicked on his flashlight. "No power in this joint I guess?"
"Don't think Nevada Sierra Pacific's in the habit of offering power for free. Place has barely been lived in for seventy-five years. And no one at all for the last twenty," Jim said.
At the surprised look he shrugged his shoulders. "What? I've been in Vegas long enough to know all the local legends too."
Nick fired up his own Maglite, a 20 foot area of light illuminating the foyer.
Warrick cocked his head at the light. "Your flashlight's bigger than mine, bro."
Nick smirked. "Oh, I'm sure it's not size, it's what you do with it. I'm sure you're used to telling ladies that, right?"
"Picture that." Warrick grumbled. Then turned and headed towards the door, the rest of the gang and the uniform following, most of them snickering into their hands.
They entered the home, flashlights and lanterns illuminating a huge foyer, and, as described, a doublewide staircase. No bodies.
"I see the stairs, Arch. DBs are here, right?"
Archie's jaw dropped. "Yeah. They're right here. They're … Bobby, tell them!"
"They were. I swear. Two bodies. Archie even touched em. At least, he told me he did."
"I did! Damn, I'm telling you there were TWO BODIES here."
Warrick took the stairs slowly to the top. "No body here, Arch."
"You two knuckleheads think it's a joke dragging us out here? You on any controlled substances I should know about. Scooby snacks, maybe?" Brass snarked.
Nick panned his Maglite around to illuminate the floor. "Only footprints in the dust are Rick's he just made and a set that goes that way," he said, raising the light higher.
"That was me. Checking on the DEAD BODY hanging from the banister," Archie huffed.
"Ooookay. No blood. Rick, you got blood up there??"
"Got nuttin', man. Some nice carpeting though. And a buncha specimens for Grissom's spider collection," he said, his boot falling on something to crush it.
"Look, there was no blood on the guy, he hung himself. But the woman had been shot in the chest and I saw blood."
Warrick came back down, wiping dust from his hands. "Saw no blood, Arch, but if it it'll make you feel better I'll Luminol it. Nick, you wanna help me do 'er up?"
"Sure, bro." He opened his case and pulled out his trusty spray bottle.
At the top of the stairs the two men sprayed down the entire area, then stood back to see the results.
Every inch they'd sprayed glowed an eeeerie blue.
"Jesus," Brass breathed from below. "Was there a massacre up there?"
Nick shook his head with a scowl. "Nah. Rick and me had a case in a turn of the century home a few months back. Same thing happened. They used tetrachloroethylene to clean the carpeting. Fouls up the reading. We won't be able to tell anything."
Jim turned to pin an annoyed glare on the two techs. "I highly doubt two DBs got up and walked on outa here. If this is joke, ha ha, you got the old man. Now can we go back and solve some real crimes?"
Bobby nudged Archie who looked like he was going to protest further.
"Yeah," Archie sighed. "Let's go."
Nick slapped him on the back. "Lay off on viewin's of The Ring would ya, Arch?" He smiled then saw the AV tech's hangdog expression. "C'mon, if its not busy we can play a little Halo. I'll even let you drive the Warthog."
A half dozen sets of boots crunched noisily on the gravel drive as the group headed out to their vehicles.
Warrick got into the drivers seat and stuck the key in the ignition. When he turned the key over he got not even a click of the alternator.
Nick groaned from the passenger seat. "You have got to be kiddin' me."
"Looks like we catch a cramped ride with Condannato," Brass grumbled, hauling himself down from the back seat.
"I'm not riding in the back" Warrick muttered.
As they got out of the truck they saw the uni getting out of his cruiser shaking his head. Archie and Bobby were returning from Johnson's Integra, both looking perplexed.
"Hey, Rick, what you put the odds at for this happenin'?" Nick murmured to his partner.
Warrick never got a chance to answer. There was a blinding flash of light and a nearly instantaneous crash as the sky opened up and the drizzly rain became a deluge.
They all made a mad dash for the house, muscling to see who could squeeze through the door frame first.
Standing, dripping in the foyer, the men wiped their faces down, flinging water all over the floor.
Jim wrung out the tail of his suit jacket, then reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell. "I'll call motor pool about jumps for our cars."
"You think it was lightning?" Nick mused.
"What the--?" Jim punched at the buttons on his cell. "Damn battery is dead."
Warrick pulled his phone from his belt at the same time the others pulled theirs out.
Five sets of fingers punching at five dead phones. The uniformed officer was fiddling with the receiver of his radio, then shrugged his shoulders as well.
"Condannato, go try the squad car radio!" Brass barked, a drop of water suspended from his nose.
The uni wrinkled his nose but ran back outside. He came back a few minutes later, thoroughly drenched. "Nothing, Captain. Dead air."
"I dunno about you guys but I'll be hanged if I'm gonna stand here dripping all night. Place like this has gotta have a living area. Maybe a fireplace," Nick said.
"Dibs on the couch," Warrick said with an evil grin. "C'mon, let's check it out this way." He headed off down a hallway to the left, the others falling in behind him.
The hallway was wide, the walls on either side punctuated by old portraits of creepy staring people in old-fashioned garb. At the far end hung a tattered tapestry, a pack of hounds tearing apart a poor unfortunate fox.
A set of double wooden doors sat on the right at the end of the hall. Warrick shoved them open with a groany creak, shining his light in to reveal a sitting room. What he hoped to hell was furniture appeared as large looming lumps covered in dusty sheets.
"There's your ghosts, Archie. Boo!"
"Ha ha," the tech mumbled, sliding in past Warrick. He pulled a sheet free from a large leather club chair. Nick moved in to pull another sheet free from a massive couch.
Warrick grinned at the sight. "I'm set." He flopped his lanky body down to sprawl across all three cushions.
"Guess I'll make the fire," Nick said with a roll of his eyes at his lazy partner.
"Yeah, bro. Use them boy scout skillz of yours."
"Ha ha," Nick muttered as he knelt to check out the damper. He pulled it open with a rusty squeal, years of soot falling free. He pulled several pieces from the stack of wood next to the fireplace, piling them onto the grating.
"Anyone got a light?"
Warrick dug in his jeans pockets. "Don't ruin the matchbook, bro. Got a fine lady's digits on it." He tossed the book to Nick who opened it and pretended to memorize the numbers.
Nick smiled and turned the key for the gas, tossing in the match where fire burped to life to lick at the old wood. It was only after observing the flames for a moment that it dawned on Nick there shouldn't have been any gas …
Jim settled himself into a chair near the fire, holding out his hands to warm them. "So we havin' a slumber party, kids?"
Warrick snorted. "Ain't no one paintin' MY toenails."