Title: Another Strange Case
Summary: Response to Chadini's Crime Code Fic Challenge #1
Prompt: 441 - Malicious Destruction of Property
Disclaimer - CBS/Paramount owns CSI. I just wish I did.
A/N – Okay, I know this is a little late. This is the first code (441 – Malicious Destruction of Property)
When your shift starts at midnight, sleeping through the day becomes vital; which might be why Sara felt a little cranky. The heat of the Las Vegas sun had seeped in through her curtains, and in a pissed off attack to close the dark drapes, she'd inadvertently yanked too hard. Sara Sidle had ended up sleeping through the bright light of day in a half-empty apartment.
Stifling another yawn, she made her way into the lab, glaring when Nick said, "Man, you look like hell."
"Shut up, Stokes," she said, knowing full well her eyes held dark smudges below. Stalking down the hall, knowing she was probably intimidating anyone around her with body language that screamed, 'Stay the fuck away from me'.
"What's with you?" Grissom asks, watching her walk in as he poured coffee. Handing her a mug, he poured another for himself. Pulling up a chair, he dropped paperwork onto the table, and sat. When he asked, "Trouble sleeping?" the glare he earned had him raising an eyebrow.
Standing, he leaned in slightly, aware they were alone in the room, and whispered, "If you gone home with me instead of staying late packing, you would have been in bed with me, my dear," and walked from the room. Closing her eyes, she concentrated on taking a sip of coffee, and winced at the swill obviously left from earlier in the day.
Closing her eyes, Sara thought about the long night ahead. She didn't hear Greg walk into the room, until he plunked down and asked, "Ready for another fun night?"
At her half-snorted grunt, he laughingly said, "Aren't we a ray of sunshine today?"
Too tired to care, Sara sat silently, trying not to doze, but failing in convincing herself to open her now closed eyes. Thinking back over the past few days – the rapes, the murders – Sara prayed for a rare, but quiet night.
Walking into room, Sara popped her eyes open at the familiar sounding shuffle, and watched her lover enter. Tilting her head, she watched the all-business attitude take control of the room, with the rest of the crew making their way in behind him, each taking a seat. The intensity he projected never ceased to enthrall her.
"Catherine, Warrick, take Greg. There's a 419 in the parking lot of the Luxor. Brass is on-scene. Nick, Sara, there's a 441 at Shadow Creek Golf Course," Grissom informed them.
"Any details?" Nick asked, only to watch Grissom flip through the papers in his hand.
"No. Patrol is on scene, though," Grissom replied. Sara watched a mild shade of annoyance cross Grissom's face. She knew he preferred to control the timing of releasing the information to his team, but not knowing details himself irked him, and she had no doubt someone would be hearing about it.
"I've got Ecklie breathing down my neck for the budget reports, so unless you need me, I'll be doing paperwork."
Grissom watched as Nick eyed Sara. Taking comfort in the ritual of daily assignments, he often found unspoken amusement in watching her take control. Like a ballet, she began her frontal assault with, "I'm driving."
The challenge thrown, the Texan stood, standing over her, grinning wide. "Not on your life, darlin'. I'd like to get there alive." As two of his best CSIs argued their way down the hallway, Grissom sighed and resigned himself to forms – in triplicate.
When his team checked in an hour later to confirm the 419 was indeed a 420 – homicide – Grissom was surprised to glance at the clock, read off the time, and realized he'd heard nothing from Nick or Sara, checking in on their own scene. Sitting up straight, he picked up his cell phone, worry edging into his features, when he found no messages. As he stood to check in with Judy at the front desk, he composed his features, and made it to his office door before his cell phone showed 'Sidle'.
Stepping back inside, he shut the door, and flipped it open. "Sara? Is everything okay, honey?"
The low, sternly controlled tone set off every alarm in her system. "Yeah, everything's good here. We have a strange situation, though."
Relief washing through him, he felt the corded muscles in his neck ease, as he made his way back to his chair. "Explain."
"I'm going send a picture to your cell phone. Call me back when you get it," she said. Clicking off, Sara blew out a breath into the cool Vegas night air. The full moon cast light onto the golf course in front of her. The neatly manicured lawns, with flags protruding from holes one through eighteen, shone bright and clear under the luminous object hanging in the sky.
"Nick, before you start collecting, could you get a few more pictures?" Sara quietly asked.
Holding out her cell phone, she snapped a photo, selected 'Grissom' from a list, and hit Send. It took only until the count of ten before his name popped up on Caller ID.
"Don't touch anything," he barked, perhaps more harshly than intended.
Turning around, she walked over to Nick, nudged him with her shoulder, and said, "I told you he'd want to see this." Climbing back into the Denali, this time on the passenger side, she fell asleep, secure knowing that all photos were taken, and the only evidence left to collect lay out on the golf course.
Grissom drove rapidly through the streets of Las Vegas, still unable to contain his enthusiasm. He'd heard of this phenomenon happening all around the world. It intrigued him beyond nearly anything, except perhaps his cockroaches. Finally arriving on the scene, he had no difficulty locating Nick, as his CSI waved him down.
"Where's Sara?" Grissom asked, approaching the young man.
"Right here," she said, opening the door to the Denali on a huge yawn. "Gris, you have got to see the full affect."
With Nick and Sara leading, they took him to stand directly in front of a large wooden sign, staked into the ground, with bits of torn up fairway about. "So what do you think?" Nick asked. Thinking not of her supervisor, but her lover, Sara smiled. Ever since Gil had read about something similar happening awhile back, she knew he'd been spending time in researching this trend.
"Just make sure there are plenty of pictures, Nick," Grissom said, stepping beyond the sign, onto the ninth hole. Smiling to himself, he turned back and looked at the sign one more time. Shaking his head, he stated, "I assume the course manager considers the torn up course the malicious destruction?"
"Yeah," Nick replied. "He ranted at us for about five minutes before storming off."
Grissom stood in front of his dedicated CSI's and said, "I'll meet you back at the lab; and Nick? I want copies."
Shaking his head, Nick smirked, "Figures."
Two days later, Grissom mounted the framed picture of the scene on his office wall at home. In the picture stood a four foot wide by three foot high sign, reading, 'The Garden Gnome Liberation Front Demands Freedom for All Gnomes'. To each side of the sign stood a gnome, its comically bulbous nose shiny under the glare of the moon. In the shadows, behind the signage, it was easy to make out several plaster and plastic gnomes in the pursuit of the perfect hole-in-one on the ninth, all of them carrying golf clubs.
"Happy?" Sara asked, wrapping her arms around his waist and laying a cheek on his shoulder, as he reached to straighten the photo.
"Yes, dear," he murmured, staring at the picture. In the photograph, standing next to the sign, stood Sara Sidle – her tired eyes dancing with laughter. "It's the best picture on the wall."
A/N - I hoped you like this. Please review.