Title: Just the Beginning
Summary: Sequel to No Safe Place. After two months, Greg is coming to the end of his training. But one case poses him as the main suspect and Greg has to figure out who is framing him, and all evidence he collects leads him to believe that it the person who is supposed to be in jail.
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI. Maybe if I had 1 million bucks, but…I don't.
A/N: How can I resist? You guys really inspired me with your "great story" reviews and some reviewers wanted a sequel and I had fun writing the last two…so…voila!
The sun beat down on the Las Vegas city at a high of 90 degrees. Tim Caldwell was walking home after a long day of work at the National Monument Bank and was beat tired. The rays of the sun warmed his body as he continued his short 2 mile walk. Now was the time that he wished he hadn't got into that car accident a couple weeks ago. People were busy walking into their favorite casinos to gamble, to shop, or just to get out of the outrageous heat. But Tim had a wife that was waiting for him, so he didn't have time to go in and cool off in the casino's air conditioned building. Finally, he was off the strip and in his neighborhood of Summerlin. It was a beautiful neighborhood and he and his wife, Katrina, had spent almost all of their savings to buy a home in the place. He was just a few blocks away from his house when a gun-shot rang out and struck him in the back. As he turned to see his attacker, he fell to the ground and slowly dipped into darkness.
Two months. Two months was how long Greg Sanders had witness the two men that tormented him oh so long ago finally get the justice they had deserved and when Grissom had informed him that he would begin his laborious training to become a Crime Scene Investigator. But of all the time in the year for Vegas to go on a Crime spree, Vegas had chosen the last two months to pile case after case on the Las Vegas Crime Lab. Successfully, Greg had closed two robberies, five rapes, three assaults, and God knows how many homicides. It was starting to take its toll on the former DNA lab tech, but it was worth it. Greg had just finished another robbery and was grabbing a sandwich out of the break-room's fridge when Grissom came in with an assignment sheet. "There you are Greg."
As soon as Greg saw the assignment slip clenched in his boss's hands, he knew what was coming next. "What is it this time?"
"A 419 in Summerlin. I just sent Nick over to give you a helping hand. He'll fill you in on what's up there."
"And where are you going?"
Grissom turned and looked at the young man. "I have a lunch date to attend to."
In fact, Grissom was referring to the lunch date he had previously set up for him and Sara at her favorite vegetarian restaurant. After the whole ordeals that the lab had previously encountered, four of the team members had fallen in love. Grissom and Sara had pronounced that they were, in fact, dating while Warrick had finally picked up the courage to go on a couple of dates with Catherine. The only two people left were Greg and Nick, and, of course, they were just the by-standers watching the romance unfold before their very eyes…and often enough…go and sabotage their dates. After Grissom had walked out of Greg's sight, Greg threw the sandwich back into the fridge and headed over to his Denali to go and meet Nick at the crime scene.
When Greg pulled up to the crime scene tape, the sun had just set and the moon was beginning to rise. The red and blue strobe lights on top of the squad cars lit up the neighborhood as news reporters surrounded the yellow tape, trying to get a clear view of the murder. Greg remembered Grissom telling him that reporters were like ants; they swarmed around the best food available to them. As Grissom told him this, he also remembered looking at the reporters and picturing them all as little ants. But, back to the case at hand, Greg showed the officer his ID and proceeded underneath the tape. There, he saw Nick and their residential coroner that barely got out of the lab, Doctor Al Robbins, hovering over the body. Nick was busy taking photos as Doc Robbins took the liver temperature. "Hey guys," greeted Greg.
Nick looked up and smiled. "Hey Greg. Getting tired of being in the field yet?" asked Nick.
"Nah, too much action to take place out here then there is in the lab…no offense Doc."
"Don't sweat it," smiled Doc Robbins as the temperature read 98 degrees. "Due to the intense heat we've been experiencing, I would put TOD at around six hours ago."
Nick snapped another photo as Greg set his case down and overlooked the body. "Did you get an ID on the vic?"
"The guy's name is Tim Caldwell," said Brass from behind. Greg turned around to see Brass reading off his notebook. "His wife, Katrina Caldwell, was taking her afternoon run when she saw him lying like this on the ground."
"Is she here now?" asked Greg.
"Yeah, she's standing over by a squad car with Lieutenant Davies."
Greg nodded and turned to Nick. "I'll go chat with the wife."
Nick nodded as Greg got up and walked over to the wife. Tears were streaming down her face as Lieutenant Davies placed a blanket around her shoulders. As Greg approached, he nodded for Davies to leave. And sure enough, he left. Greg smiled at the thought of being able to dismiss cops whenever he needed them to leave. It was so cool! But Greg put on his serious face and began to speak. "Mrs. Caldwell?"
Katrina looked up at Greg. "I'm Greg Sanders from the Las Vegas Crime Lab. I'm terribly sorry for your loss. I'm going to ask you a few questions, okay?"
Katrina nodded as Greg smiled. "Mrs. Caldwell, where were you about six hours ago?"
"I was…at home cooking dinner for Tim and me. When he didn't show up, I just thought that the bank was making him work over time. After I ate, I changed into my running outfit and ran down the street when I saw Tim…laying there. I screamed and the neighbors began running out of their house. Ms. Jubilee…she's the one that dialed 911, ran up to me and held me close as I cried my eyes out. Then you guys showed up."
"What bank does your husband work at?" asked Greg.
"He works…worked…at the National Monument Bank. It's next to the Venetian, you can't miss it."
Greg jotted it down and sighed heavily. "That's all the questions I have for now. Where can I contact you if I have anymore questions?"
"At home…or at Bell's Diner. I'm a waitress there."
"Okay, thank you for your time."
Katrina nodded her head as Greg motioned for Davies to come back and keep her company. When Greg re-approached the crime scene, he saw Nick photographing some foot prints. "Find anything?"
"Yeah, I found a pair of footprints…around size 11, running away from the body."
Greg looked down and saw the impressions of the footprints. "Those look like Adidas All-Stars."
"And how do you know that?"
"I use to own a pair like them. Great shoes…until…"
"Until what?" asked Nick.
Greg clearly remembered what had happened to those shoes. They were the same shoes he was wearing the day that he was dropped into a water tank and nearly drowned. The shoes were covered with blood and were too water-damaged to ever wear them again. Knowing what Greg was thinking about, Nick quickly changed the subject. "Doc Robbins stated that COD was a through and through gun shot to the back. I haven't found the gun or the bullet, so why don't you go take a look around."
Greg nodded and picked up his case. As he walked down the sidewalk, Doc Robbins and his gang of coroners began wheeling the dead body away. As Greg got farther and farther away from the tape, the street grew dimmer and dimmer. It was growing pitch black when a small brass gleam caught Greg's eye in the sewer. Greg shined his flashlight on the object and found a bullet. Pleased with himself, he carefully picked up the bullet with a pair of tweezers and bagged the item. When he put the bullet in his kit, he turned back around and headed back towards the crime scene where he saw Nick piling into his Tahoe. "I found a bullet down about a half a block from here."
"Great, get it to ballistics. I'm going to go back to the lab and run the shoe impressions and see what comes up."
"Cool, I think I'll stick around here for a little bit, see if I can find anything."
Nick nodded and got into his Tahoe, speeding away. As soon as Nick's car was gone, Greg headed back under the tape when reporters began to swarm around him. "Sir, what can you tell us about this case?"
But Greg ignored them and got back to work. They were like a pack of hungry lions feeding over an antelope, and Greg was the antelope. Finally, Brass was able to push them away and gave Greg an open opportunity to work in some peace…if you call a crime scene peaceful. As Greg scanned the area, Brass came running up to him. "Hey Greg, I got something you may want to see."
Greg followed Brass back down the street to a garbage can. "It's a garbage can."
With gloved hands, Greg opened the lid and saw a rifle standing inside the empty bin. "Well done detective."
Greg photographed the gun then began to dust for fingerprints. A nice print came up on the grip. "Looks like our killer made a mistake."
So, what do you think guys? Please R&R and please no flames!