AN: I've seen comments here and there about how people wish they could pull together some of the snarkier members of the various CSI shows. This is my take on a chance meeting between three of them. I hope you enjoy. :)


"…and so dear friends, let me just say again…"

"Didn't he already say that again?" muttered an older, grizzled man with brown hair.

A much younger dark-haired guy to the first man's immediate left smirked. "Actually, I think he said it about twice already."

The third and last man at the table in the back corner of the convention hall in Chicago, a tall man completely bald on the top of his head, snorted. "More like three times."

The first man turned to his right a little. "How can you pay attention well enough to keep track?"

"Let's just say I have a lot of experience listening to idiots talk and making sure I catch the main points of whatever they're saying."

"Oh, I hear you," said the shortest of the three. "There's this one guy I work with, I've known him for years and he's a nice guy and all, but he's really into bugs-"

"Bugs?" asked the man on the left in his distinct accent.

"Yeah, he's one of the CSIs in our department, actually the head of the shift I work, and he's an entomologist or whatever it is you call someone who studies bugs. Anyway, sometimes the guy gets into this zone where he can't stop talking about some beetle or fly or whatever and I just have to tune him out or I will lose what sanity I have left." He smiled sardonically. "Reminds me a lot of my relationship with my ex before she was my ex actually."

"I hear you there," said the man on the right. "But I've got you beat on the CSI torture. I work with this idiot who can't even hold his head up straight. No, I'm serious," he insisted to the other two who were giving him incredulous looks. "The only reason I don't say anything to him is because I figure there must be some medical reason for it 'cause there can't be any other reason why someone would hold their head at a forty-five degree angle almost all of the time. I swear I haven't seen the man hold his head straight up in about four years."

"Let me guess, this is the idiot you were referring to earlier?" asked the man on the far left.

"Oh, yeah. The head tilting is the least of his annoying quirks. He also tends to pause in the middle of every sentence like he thinks he's William Shatner on Star Trek, only worse. But I've got an ex too, so I've grown a tolerance for annoying speech patterns and stuff. What really gets me about this guy is his inability to know when to wear sunglasses."

"Oh, I've got to hear this," said the man in the middle almost laughing already.

"I swear to you on my badge I have seen on multiple occasions this guy at a crime scene that is indoors put on his sunglasses inside as if they have some kind of magical powers where he can see evidence better when it's darker and then he walks outside and takes them off. It's like someone programmed him wrong and switched around the wiring so he does everything wrong! And this is the head of our lab!"

The three men snickered and laughed loud enough that a spindly guy at the table in front of them turned around to say something, but one glance at the three detectives behind him made him think twice and he just turned back to the front to pay attention to the speaker and continue taking notes.

This almost made the three men laugh even harder. As seasoned detectives they were used to shooting their patented looks at perps and getting confessions in record time, but it was fun to use those same looks outside of the interrogation room on someone dumb enough to think the speaker was actually saying something worth listening to. He had folded faster than the most pathetic punk, just a raised eyebrow from two of the detectives and a folded arm posture from the other.

Once they had somewhat recovered from their fit of laughter, the youngest one of the group spoke again. "You guys are making me grateful for the guy who heads up our lab. He's a hardass, but he's a former Marine so it's understandable. I don't think you can come out of the Corp without being one. But at least he's a fair one. And he does know when it's appropriate to wear a pair of sunglasses."

The three chuckled a little again at that. The man who had been speaking picked up a pen with the convention's title on it from the table in front of him and rolled it around his fingers. "Hey, if the head of your lab is that much of an idiot, how do you get any work done?"

"Fortunately we have some decent CSIs that get the job done despite their boss. Especially our ballistics girl. And I respect her brains and all, but I have to tell you that if I were about twenty years younger and a bit more in shape, I would definitely be asking her out. She makes working a scene a pleasure if you know what I mean."

"Unfortunately I don't," said the other older guy. "I mean, don't get me wrong, we have some good looking CSIs but none like that, at least not for me. It's probably because of the two female CSIs I most often work with, the younger one is involved with the bug guy I told you about and the older one dresses like she is out on the town 24/7 so there is nothing left to imagine about what it would be like to see her outside of work, you know?"

"The young one is dating the bug guy? Geek love, huh?" asked the one man as he absently rubbed his bald head.

"Yeah, I guess. They think they're keeping their dating a big secret, but the day those two or any CSI can keep a secret like that from me is the day I retire. I mean, it's been obvious since the day she transferred in that they had a thing and everyone in the whole damn department has just been waiting for them to get it over with already."

"Now that is something I'm familiar with," sighed the younger man with the striking blue eyes. "I have these two CSIs, one that I've known for years and the other that just transferred in from Montana of all places not that long ago, and I swear these two are the most oblivious people on the planet. Sometimes I just want to smack the two of them upside the head and tell them to get over whatever it is that is holding them back so we can all get on with our lives instead of dealing with the latest saga in As the Lab Turns."

"Oh, I know several people who could use a good smack, and I'm not even talking about the idiot with the sunglasses. There are two guys in our lab who are okay guys, they aren't the brightest bulbs out there, but they're okay…until you get them around women. One lost his badge for awhile because he decided to screw a girl in the middle of a street against a building and the other couldn't keep his mouth shut around a pretty reporter. And then the two ended up fighting over some lab rat that smart men wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole."

"Remind me to never come to your city," said the brown haired detective and the man to his left smirked agreement.

"Oh, it gets better. That lab rat I mentioned somehow became a CSI and now I have to worry about her at scenes because she wears the most inappropriate clothes. I doubt the woman you mentioned has anything on this girl. I swear to you that she has worn a dress to a scene."

The detective to the left dropped his pen in astonishment. "A dress? Wow, the women I work with would eat her alive for giving female CSIs a bad name. One in particular, this statuesque Greek woman who if I had the balls and maybe ten more years I would ask out. She's stunning in all the right ways, but she is a hell of a CSI, doesn't take crap from anyone, and she knows how to dress well but appropriately for a scene, you know?"

"If you had the balls, huh?" inquired the man to the far right as he uncrossed his legs and leaned forward on the table to look over at the younger man.

"Yeah, I may be good, but she is way out of my league. Plus, she went through a crappy experience with a guy not long ago so I don't think she's really dating right now anyway."

"I would drink to that," said the grizzled detective in the middle as he sat back in his chair. "Actually, most of the people in our lab have had pretty bad relationship experiences in one way or another, including one guy now dealing with the consequences of actually getting a drive-thru marriage. Sometimes I think the only people in the entire place who can hold down a steady relationship are the morgue guys."

"About the only one with a working relationship in our lab is in the morgue as well," agreed the other older detective. "She's nice and all, though I wonder sometimes if her husband knows how she talks to dead people. Creeps me out sometimes at a scene to realize she's talking to the dead body and not me."

"Sounds like our ME," laughed the younger man. "He's quirky, and that's putting it mildly. Sometimes I think that's why this one CSI I know who used to be an ME left the morgue. God only knows how long I could be around some of those people without running away screaming. I've considered taking perps down to the morgue before. If I can't crack them, the MEs and their dead bodies definitely could."

"For all their craziness though, I wouldn't trade my guys for anyone else," admitted the man who had initiated the whole conversation. "I've seen them pull some rabbits out of hats and others out of thin air. In particular we had this one CSI who was kidnapped a while back by some crazy guy who had had his daughter go to prison. The sociopath buried our guy in a box. I never gave up on him, but it wasn't looking good, but the bug guy I was telling you about pulled one of those rabbits out of nowhere and we got to our guy just in time."

"Is your guy okay now?" inquired the younger man.

"Oh, yeah, he's fine. I don't think he's completely worked through it all even now, but then who am I to talk to anyone about that? I've got enough issues of my own. Besides, we all have those times when we grow through hell that we'll never forget."

"For me it was an exploding building," said the younger man quietly. Before either of the other men could say anything, some hotel employees came over and asked if they could please leave because all the tables needed to be moved around to get ready for the next event of the day. The three detectives were surprised to find that the speaker was finally done and they were pretty much the only people from the audience still left.

They all picked up their suit jackets and walked out to the lobby. "Hey," said the younger man, "you guys want to go out for a beer? That former Marine I was telling you about is from here and he told me of some good bars in the area he thought I should check out."

"Sure, what the hell," said the shorter of the three. "By the way, the name's Jim Brass, Las Vegas."

"Frank Tripp, Miami-Dade," the balding man said as they shook hands.

"Don Flack, NYPD," the younger man said as he too shook the hands of the other two. "Let's blow this popsicle stand. I need a beer."

"Hear, hear," said the Las Vegas detective as he followed the other two out of convention site. "I'm going to have to tell this one detective I work with that I'm not as sorry anymore I lost that bet with her and had to come."

"You lost a bet?" inquired the younger man, smirking.

"You'd think at my age I would have learned not to take a bet from a good-looking woman, but no…"

And the three detectives went out and snarked like Chicago had never seen before.