Title: Banana Hammocks
Timeline: Season 5, post-split
Warnings: language, nylon & lycra, David Hasselhoff
Summary: Where in the hell was Brass gonna find a couple LVPD employees with nothing better to do than look good in swimwear?
Dedicated to the people who put up with me talking about this crack idea last year.
And don't kill me. I swear on Grissom's beard that Code will be updated this month.
"I got it!"
His LVPD colleague's sudden outburst snapped Jim Brass from a delightful mid-meeting daydream. A damn shame, too. In this one, Mike Piazza was still on the Mets. And he was hitting .387 with 28 homers at the All-Star Break. Oh, what he'd give to—
"Oh, yeah, uh, great idea," he managed. "Repeat the last part for me again?"
"I said, so, we'll have a couple of our guys pose as lifeguards! Catch the bastard in the act."
Brass blinked. This was the third meeting in a week about the "crisis" at the Henderson Country Club Pool. Some lunatic had been stealing out of unwatched purses and wallets around the pool, but yesterday the problem reached new heights when someone reported a guy with a knife behind the concession stand.
The club's security had been baffled thus far, even after doubling its watch. Whoever the culprit was knew exactly how to blend in and avoid police presence.
"Sure," the Captain retorted, "Now all we need is David Hasselhoff to come out of Baywatch retirement. Anyone got his number?"
"That's your problem," a new voice sounded from the doorway.
All heads swiveled in the direction of Sheriff Mobley, who was looking pointedly at Brass.
"That's right. We're going with Johnson's plan, and I'm placing YOU in charge of this operation. Make no mistake about it, Brass, I want this taken care of yesterday! Do you know how many donors to our department are members at this place? Get it the hell done!"
The rookie who'd just poured his coffee winced as the slamming door sent liquid spilling over the edge of his cup. That seemed to be the only movement in the now-silent room, as everyone else stared at Brass.
"Re-election time already, huh?" he quipped.
Somebody on the other side of the room cleared his throat.
"Okay… so…" Brass drummed his fingers on the table. "Any volunteers?"
There was a brief respite before the previous silence exploded with the sounds of chairs squeaking, papers shuffling, and everyone making one, massive dash for the exit.
"I uh, gotta print a guy—"
"—promised mom I'd take her out for lunch—"
"—would get a terrible sunburn—"
"—never did learn how to swim—"
"—gotta arrest some jaywalkers—"
The room cleared out faster than an aisle of lawn ornaments at a Wal-Mart Christmas sale.
"Guess not," the Jersey-ite mused to the now-empty room.
He got up from the table and walked to the door, pausing when he noticed his reflection in the glass. Holding up a suit jacked-enclosed arm, Brass flexed at himself.
"Yup. Still got it, Jimmy," he muttered before poking his soft stomach. "Well… maybe not the Marine you used to be."
Alright… so he wasn't quite up to candidacy. Where in the hell was he gonna find a couple LVPD employees with nothing better to do than look good in swimwear?
A corner of his mouth quirked up as he headed for the car.
"Me, Nick? Like anyone can hear with all your shhhhing!"
"Both of you! I'm trying to listen."
"I think they're arguing over the trash run. You think Gris is making Swing take it?"
"Who knows, all I hear is you talking in my ear!"
"Greg, you're not even supposed to be on yet!"
"Sorry, Warrick, we had extra work to catch up on."
"Cath better be getting us the good stuff – Nick, man, quit staring."
"Aw, shit, you see her face? 'Rick, she's taking the trash run!"
"Atta boy, Grissom!"
"Shut up, Greg."
So engrossed in trying to listen to the voices on the other side of the wall, no one noticed a fourth person had joined the group.
"Trying to find out where mom and dad are taking you for vacation this year?"
The three CSIs turned and saw their favorite detective smirking at them.
"Oh, hey, Brass," Nick smiled. "But we weren't…"
"You do realize the walls are glass, right?"
"We were trying to be cool about it," Greg clarified.
"Ah. I'm sure you were very inconspicuous."
"Right," Warrick ran a hand through his hair. "We just wanted to see who was gettin' the crap detail so we could take a strategic Big Gulp break."
"Well, you two could always do something for me, instead, if you're up for it."
"Yeah?" Nick asked. "What's up?"
"It's kind of time-sensitive though, so if you can't do it, I gotta grab someone else right away."
Before the CSIs could get any further details, Grissom and Catherine walked out of the office.
"Oh good, Nick, Warrick, I want you two to check out the—"
"Sorry Cath," Warrick interrupted. "Brass needs us over at the PD. Urgent matter."
She raised an eyebrow and looked at Nick.
"Both of you?"
"Special assignment from the sheriff," Brass added.
"Greg can't do it?"
Greg's ears perked up like a park-bound puppy.
"No, I need him with me tonight," Grissom waved a piece of paper in the air.
The former lab tech's shoulders sagged.
"Okay," Cath shrugged and handed Grissom the other slip. "I guess you'll just have to add it to Sara's then. See you, guys."
They watched the Graveyard earlybirds walk off, before Catherine turned back to her boys.
"Hurry up with this, will you?"
"Don't worry, Cath, I think they're perfect for this. It'll be a day job if I know these two," the detective assured her with a smile.
"Alright…" she agreed over her shoulder, already heading towards her office.
"Saved by the Brass," the Texan nudged his friend.
Brass rolled his eyes.
"There's a situation over at the Henderson Country Club's Pool…"
"Yeah, I heard about that," Warrick said. "You need us to process?"
"No, ah… we're trying a more… preventative matter."
"C'mon." He started walking and gestured for the two younger men to follow. "You guys will be on a sort of stakeout."
"A, er… specialized stakeout."
"What do you mean?" Warrick pressed.
Brass paused as he pushed open the front door, squinting against the early afternoon sun. He allowed his friends to pass through before answering.
"You'll be going undercover."
Both CSIs stopped in their tracks. Nick's head whipped around, eyebrows raised in surprise.
"Lifeguards?" he parroted.
"Yeah, uh…" Brass seemed to be reaching for an explanation. "We needed people who could… blend in."
The CSIs exchanged a look.
"So," the taller of the two began, allowing a slow smile to spread across his features, "you needed a couple strapping young men such as ourselves to look the part?"
Brass cleared his throat.
"You could say that."
"Well we're all over this, right bro? No trash run, a day at the pool. Fun, sun, lovely ladies…"
Nick grinned. "Yeah, you're a saint, Brass!"
They stopped smiling when they noticed the detective hadn't really joined in.
"What?" Nick's brow furrowed, only slightly.
"Oh… nothing. C'mon, let's get down to the pool."
"You're outta your fuckin' mind, Brass."
Warrick looked down at the black Speedo with "GUARD" emblazoned across the back.
Nick blushed madly as he held up the offending garment between two fingers.
"Look at that!" the Texan said, "They can barely even fit the whole word on there – and it's only five letters long!"
"I think Cath had bigger bottoms at the last Memorial Day picnic," Warrick groaned.
"You're right, but it looks almost exactly like her 4th of July getup," Brass' grin was positively shit-eating.
"Jim… you know I'm happy to do help you out, but this…" Nick tried.
"'This' is part of the deal. The club is exclusive and old-fashioned. It's what all the lifeguards wear. Suit up, boys."
Warrick sighed and followed his best friend into the locker room before turning his back to methodically undress. Each man was silent, lost in his own pathetic torment at having agreed to take this assignment. What kind of moron volunteers for something without knowing what it is first?
Us, he brooded.
He pulled the sleek, stretchy briefs up his legs and paused, wondering when was the last time wore something this uncomfortable. Behind him, he heard Nick do the same.
Neither of them turned around.
"I think mine is too small."
"Or… maybe it's supposed to feel like this?"
"Like your junk is being packaged and processed and placed in the canned food aisle?"
"Right next to the beans and franks."
"That was lame, bro, even by your standards."
"I know. How can people go out in public like this?"
"More like how did we ever agree to this?"
"Come on," Nick said, and Warrick pictured his friend's face mustering its customary determination. "We can do this. We're men!"
He glanced down.
"And no hiding it, now."
Nick let out a shaky laugh.
"All in the name of protecting and serving. Let's go."
Simultaneously turning around, they glanced at each other, seemingly reassured by the other's reciprocal misery.
They walked back out of the locker room, Warrick not quite reaching his trademark swagger and Nick still blushing like a 5th grader in sex ed class.
"Damn," Brass whistled. "I always thought Sara had the nicest legs in the lab, but Rick, you give her a run for her money."
"Shove it, Brass."
A blonde in a neon green bikini gave him a flirtatious wave.
"Afternoon, ma'am," Nick smiled down at her politely.
What a job.
Perched in the lifeguard tower chair, it was easy for him to forget he was actually supposed to be scanning the area for a suspect. The sun, the heat, the company – he smiled at a few more passer-bys – all made playing the part pretty easy. He even had the ubiquitous, nonchalant whistle-twirl down perfectly. Trying to ignore the sight of green bikini woman walking back towards the chair again, Nick squinted into the distance, trying to find his partner.
He and Warrick had been switching back and forth throughout the afternoon – one of them would survey the scene from the chair while the other walked around the grounds. It had been pretty uneventful thus far – his only action coming from Warrick's calls over the walkie-talkie, usually about the latest babe sighting.
"Buchannon to Brody," a staticy voice to his right squawked.
Speaking of which.
Nick shook his head and spoke back into the small, yellow device.
"Warrick, man, it's been three hours. Aren't you tired of the Baywatch code names?"
"Not while we still gotta perp on the loose."
"I think Hodges is rubbing off on you."
"In his dreams," the muffled reply came. "You're just jealous that I'm Hasselhoff's character."
"Yeah, I wanted to play the dirty old man. Lucky dog!"
"Also, it makes me forget about the fact that I'm walking around wearing nothing but a banana hammock."
"Amen to that," Nick agreed, craning his head around to look at the tennis court. "Where are you, anyway?"
"Standing at the bottom of your chair, Mr. Crimestopper."
Chagrined, Nick looked down and saw his partner.
"Damn, Warrick! I've been trying to find you the past ten minutes!"
"I know it's hard, I probably blend in wearing this," he said, pointing to his hips.
Nick climbed down the small ladder on the front of the tower.
"Y'know, I think it's Brass who's actually rubbing off on you," he said upon reaching the ground. "Speaking of – seen him lately?"
"Haven't for a while. Last I saw he was spilling relish down his shirt from a hotdog. But I'm sure it was an Official Police-Sanctioned snack break."
"That's our guy."
Warrick nodded in return, eyeing the chair.
"You ready for a change?"
"Yeah," Nick said, wincing. "I think my shoulders have burned enough up there."
"She's not quite Pamela Anderson, but there's a babe at the end of those lounge chairs that you may want to recruit for sunscreen application."
Nick left his partner to the chair and began his circuit over by the kiddie pool. Everything seemed normal as he slowly moved towards the diving boards. Way up to his left, he noticed that a middle-aged man with a floppy hat appeared strangely interested in the abandoned rows of lounge chairs – and all the personal effects littered around them. The man reached down towards a gaudy straw purse and the CSI quickened his pace.
"What?" came the annoyed response, just as a woman, whom Nick now realized must be the purse's owner, appeared and pulled out some sunblock before putting her arm around the man.
"Uh, don't forget to re-apply," Nick finished lamely.
"Oh, we won't. Thank you, young man," the woman said before smiling at Nick and gushing about the personal service of the country club.
Nick let out a sigh and kept making his circle around this side of the pool. He rubbed his forehead and wondered where Brass was holed up. Apparently there were some other plain-clothes cops around the area, but so far he hadn't spotted any of them. Maybe they were just really good at blending in. So it's a wonder why one of them couldn't just—
He spotted a few middle school-aged kids waving frantically and pointing to a girl hovering lifelessly at the bottom of the deep end.
"She can't swim!" one of them shouted.
Nick desperately looked around to see if any other – real – lifeguard had noticed.
Of course not.
He chucked his walkie off to the side and took off in a mad sprint. Mid-dive, he was suddenly thankful of his childhood affinity for spending entire summer days swimming at the small lake on his family's ranch. Eyes opening automatically, the CSI kicked his feet as hard as he could while his strong arms propelled him down through the water faster than he'd ever thought possible. Finally reaching the girl, he drew her smaller body back against his chest and pushed off the bottom, praying he wasn't too late.
By the time he broke surface, none of the typical sounds of a community pool rang in his ears, but instead, hushed silence intermingled with anxious murmurs.
Muscular arms reached down to help pull them out of the pool, and Nick's mind barely registered that it was Warrick.
"Please," another girl cried, "you have to save my friend!"
Nick instinctively recalled his CPR training and set to work, first tilting her head back and checking for breathing. Hearing and feeling nothing, he blew two puffs of air into her mouth. He briefly considered calling out for the people actually certified to do this, before leaning back in again.
Suddenly, her eyes shot open and Nick drew back slightly, startled. The people crowded nearest to the action gasped collectively. Before anyone could move again, she pulled the CSI's head back down to hers and gave him a long, slow kiss.
Not allowing her target any reaction time, she sprang up and tore across the pool yard, followed by her posse of giggling friends.
A stunned silence fell over the crowd before everyone began laughing, talking, and pointing at Nick. A few people even managed to take photos with their cell phones. The object of their attention remained in the same position on his knees, stunned.
"Nicky, that was…"
"…the HELL?" Nick fumed, watching as the kids hopped the fence without looking back.
"…hot!" Warrick finished, unable to contain his grin.
"—Just like that scene in the Sandlot?"
"Geeze, Nick, do you watch anything but bird documentaries?"
The Texan glared back as Warrick continued.
"It's a movie about these neighborhood kids playing baseball in the 50s. Anyway, they were all in love with the local pool lifeguard, Wendy Peffercorn. So one of them did exactly what that girl just did to you."
"So she couldn't even come up with her own material?"
Still feeling his face burn, he started walking away from the scene of disaster. The other CSI made a choking sound that was probably a muffled laugh and followed his friend.
"You should be flattered, man."
Nick kept moving in attempt to escape the whistles and catcalls from the patrons and saw his now least-favorite detective approaching, towel in hand.
"Hey," he gave Nick a once-over, tossing him the towel. "did you fall out of the tower chair or something?"
"No," Nick snatched it hastily and draped it over his shoulders. "In fact, I saved a little girl from drowning!"
"Technically…" Warrick interrupted.
"Does it still count as saving a life when the person was breathing the entire time?"
Nick pulled the towel over his head in exasperation.
"Well," Brass began, "I'm glad you got a bit of action in before you punched out. I just wanted to let you guys know that you're officially off duty."
"What happened?" Warrick asked, as his partner poked his face out from under the white terrycloth.
"We got our guy."
Seeing the double looks of surprise, the detective elaborated.
"Yeah, caught him just a few minutes ago trying to sneak into the check-in booth."
Nick's eyes scanned over to the entrance on the far side of the pool. He hadn't seen anything suspicious over there all day.
"Was he armed?"
"The, uh, knife turned out to be a stick of beef jerky."
Warrick half-snorted, tiredly rubbing a hand down his face.
"So you really didn't even need us," Nick challenged, crossing his arms over his still-dripping torso.
"Well, no, you saved a girl from faux-drowning. Not everyone has the skills to do that."
Nick sighed and pulled the towel over his face again.
"C'mon, Nicky," Brass pulled him by the arm. "Your shoulders look burnt. I'll buy you some aloe."
"See 'Rick? Didn't I tell you Brass was a saint?"
The taller man shook his head, probably a lot more thankful that it was over than he appeared. "So that's the sum of our assignment, then? We get paraded around like a couple misplaced showboys, all so you can catch some moron armed with bad snackfood – without us?"
"And those were just some of the perks," the detective smirked.
"Right. You're gonna buy us some aloe," Nick said. "What better thanks could we get?"
"Well," he stepped between the two CSIs and gave them simultaneous pats on the back. "You get to keep the suits, too."