Disclaimer: I obviously do not own CSI: NY. I just own my car, my laptop and my crazy muse who seems to want to write 4 different stories at a time. I also do own any characters that you do not recognize. You can borrow them if you ask permission first!
A/N: Okay. Thanks to everyone that read and reviewed! Here's the next chapter! Many thanks to Axellia for the beta. While the title is not actually a song title, it was inspired by Paula Abdul's "Opposites Attract" where she sings, "I take two steps forward, I take two steps back." What can I say? The weirdest songs get stuck in my head.
Two Steps Back
As Danny made his way into the evidence lockup, he made the realization the following day was Independence Day. Where has this year gone? he mused. Shaking his head, he walked up to the entrance to the evidence warehouse. "How's it going?" he asked the young officer on duty.
"Good," the young man answered, taking a look at the small T.V. that he had on his desk. "How can I help you?"
"Yanks playing?" Danny asked.
The young man flushed. "Yes, sir. The Red Sox. They're losing right now. Down four to zero."
Danny just shook his head as he pulled out is badge. "Detective Messer with the crime lab. I need to look at some evidence."
"Do you have the case number?"
Danny nodded and quickly scribbled the case number down on a piece of paper. The officer accepted the form, but the crack of a bat distracted both men. The officer stared intently at the screen as the Yankees filled up the bases. Danny recognized the intentness of the man's look. A true baseball fan. He sighed and offered, "Why don't I go and collect what I need?"
"Sure, man. That's cool with me," the officer said gratefully.
Danny just shook his head as he walked through the warehouse looking for the box of evidence. After ten minutes of searching, he finally found the carefully packed box. He pulled it out and set it on the floor. After he removed the lid, he searched through the bagged evidence carefully and then furrowed his brow when he realized the gun was not in the box. He searched again, but to no avail.
Rocking back on his heels, he withdrew his cell phone and dialed Mac.
"Danny, what did you find?" Mac answered.
"The gun is gone, Mac. It's not in the evidence lockup," he informed his boss in disbelief. "I checked twice and it's not here."
"How is that possible?" Mac exclaimed.
"I don't know, Mac. I'll check with the evidence officer and see if I can find anything out."
"Call me as soon as you find anything out," Mac instructed.
"Will do, boss," Danny replied before putting the box of evidence back on the shelf. Quickly, he strode back to the evidence desk, his irritation building with every step. When he got back to the desk, he flipped the T.V. off and stared at the officer.
The officer looked up in irritation, his mouth opened to object when he saw the look on Danny's face. "Something wrong?"
Danny cocked an eyebrow and looked at the officer's nametag. "You could say that, Officer Craig. My evidence is missing."
"That's not possible, Detective. Maybe it was just miss-filed. I'm sure you'll find it close to where it is supposed to be," the officer said flippantly as he turned the T.V. back on.
Danny unplugged the T.V. in anger. "No, Officer," he growled. "You don't understand. The box was there, but my evidence was not in the box. So, you've got some explaining to do."
The man looked as if he had been hit in the back of the head with a board. He stammered, "Here's, here's the log of people that have either requested evidence or put evidence down here. I would know if anyone had walked out with something."
"Obviously not," Danny shot back as he grabbed the clipboard. "Is this for today?" At the man's nod he continued, "I need the records for the last four days. And I needed it yesterday."
Officer Craig jumped to his feet. "Of course. Right away," he stammered.
Danny waited impatiently as the man ran to make copies.
Cory was sitting in the interrogation room with Angell, shaking her head. "That guy…He knows something. God, why couldn't I break him?" she wondered aloud.
"Because we didn't have enough ammo," Angell tried to console her.
"I know, but it's still frustrating," Cory concurred. She got a twinkle in her eye and decided to change the subject when she saw a former undercover agent passing by their interrogation room for the third time since Sadowski had left. "So, how are things going with Ovidio?" she asked, nodding her head at the agent in question.
Angell blushed a bit. "It's good. I'm going to meet his parents tomorrow. We're supposed to barbeque."
"Wow," Cory said with a smile. "Meeting the parents is a big deal."
"I know," Angell responded. "They live in Westchester County."
"Oh, they have money."
"Yeah, and advanced degrees. His dad has a PhD in economics and his mom a PhD in political science. His brother, Julio, is working on his PhD in international business."
"Whoa, that's kinda intimidating," Cory said.
"My family doesn't have any of that. I come from a family of cops," Angell responded, an edge in her voice.
Cory smiled. "Jess, trust me. People with money for the most part are very similar to everyone else. Especially if they produce someone like Ovidio."
"But, what if I'm not good enough?" Angell responded with worry.
"Then they don't know what they are missing. Just give them a chance. If they're stuck up snobs, then you don't have to see them again," Cory reasoned as her cell phone beeped. She grabbed it, read the text message and smiled. "Got him."
"Got who?" Angell responded in confusion.
"Maurice Sadowski. His fingerprints were at the crime scene. I wonder if he's still in the building."
Mac walked towards the trace lab, searching for Kendall, to see if she had found a match on the powder that had been found on one of the fingerprints. He looked around the lab, but did not find her familiar blonde head. He walked up to one of the other lab techs. "Candice? Do you know where Kendall is?"
The short raven-haired woman looked up at him. She shook her head. "Not a clue. I saw Adam give her some trace. She logged it in, but then got a phone call. She asked me if I could process it for her, so I'm running the analysis right now."
Mac nodded. "What have you found so far?" he asked the young woman, part of his mind hoping that everything was okay with Kendall.
"Actually, yes. The powder that Dr. Hawkes found on the fingerprint is cornstarch." Candice had a smirk on her face as she delivered the news.
Mac raised an eyebrow. "Interesting. I take it there's more?"
She nodded her head. "I had an idea. What if the person was wearing powdered latex gloves? They took off the glove, accidentally leaving a fingerprint, albeit smeared, on the doorframe. So, I figured that if this was cornstarch from a powered glove, then I might be able to find trace of latex in the powder itself," she said as she hit a key on the computer and the printer hummed.
Mac nodded, impressed with the woman's reasoning. "If the person's hands were moist, there would be slight transfer of the latex to the powder if the person wore the gloves long enough. Did you find anything?"
Candice smiled widely. "The latex was made of naturally occurring latex and nitrile rubber. I traced it to Hanson Glove Supply in the Bronx," she said as she grabbed the paper from the printer. "Here is their information. They make lightly powdered exam gloves."
"Nice work," Mac complimented her as he turned around.
He walked back to Hawkes, who was still having no luck with the fingerprints. "Hawkes, the power was cornstarch from a latex glove. Want to take a ride to the Bronx?"
"Let me get someone to watch over the prints and I'll be ready. Any word from Danny or Cory?"
Mac shook his head. "Not yet. Let's see if we can tie all of this together and maybe it will make sense. I'll get the car."
Cory and Angell opted to skip the elevator to see if they could catch Sadowski before he left the building. They ran down the stairs and burst into the lobby, causing a few heads to turn in shock. Both women scanned the milling crowd that filled the lobby, but neither spotted him.
"I'll take the back, you take the front," Cory instructed as she quickly turned to the back of the building. She exited the glass doors, bringing her hand up to shade her eyes in the sunlight as she scanned the people walking back.
After a few minutes, she sighed in frustration and hoped that Angell had more luck. When she walked back in, she blinked her eyes a few times to adjust to the light. She walked up to the reception desk. "Hey, Andrew," she greeted.
Andrew smiled at her. "Well if it isn't my favorite Texas agent. How you doing?" he said with a wink.
In response Cory grinned as she held up her left hand. "Remember, I'm taken," she responded in what had become a habit for the two of them. "Do you remember seeing the guy that I brought in earlier?"
"Overweight, balding and in a bad suit," Andrew confirmed.
"Did you see him leave?"
Andrew shook his head. "No, sorry."
"Damn it," Cory growled under her breath as she saw Angell walk back in alone. "Thanks anyway." She pushed herself away from the desk and walked toward her.
"Nothing," Angell said. "I'll get an APB out."
"If he's not halfway to Canada by now," Cory muttered as she crossed her arms in anger. "I'll get it out nationwide. Why do I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back?"
"Because this guy is good, but Cory? We're better. We'll catch him," Angell tried to reassure the downtrodden FBI agent.
"Thanks Jess." Cory exhaled. "I'm going to start trying to track the money. Maybe if I do that, we'll catch a break. Call me if you find anything."
"You got it," Angell said as she headed back out into the warm July air.
AN: Okay. I'm not making any promises that I will have the next chapter up in the near future. I have completely lost my muse for this story. I know what I want to do, but unfortunately, when I try to write it, it won't come out. I didn't realize that I had not posted this chapter, but I can promise that I will not leave this story unfinished. The ending is way too good not to do that. In the meantime, I would love to hear what people think about this story and maybe I can draw some inspiration. If you have any suggestions or even criticisms, please review! Just don't flame me. I am really looking for an honest critique that may spark my muse back! Now, on with the review responses..
Axellia - Girl, I understand! Hopefully, we can get inspired again!
niali4554 - Thanks! You have no idea how much that means to me! I am writing, just not for this particular story as much. I've been sucked into a copy of Harry Potter stories that I'm writing under another penname. But, I'm glad that you like the series, so I will promise not to leave any loose ends with this story because I do believe that it will be the last one in the series for now. :p