Author: Nicksfriend

Rating:k

Spoilers:

Disclaimer: They do not belong to me...that is for sure.

Catherine pulled out her cellphone as she made her way towards security,"Gil, the little boy is gone, Joey Tetherman's father signed him out AMA." She glanced at her watch,"It was over an hour ago according to the papers."

"Did we get an address or location on the father?" Grissom wondered to himself how the father would have known that his son was in the hospital?

"Gil, no address that is different than were we found Joey. I'm going to security to see if we have any footage of the man who took the little boy. The nurse said he looked normal, five foot eleven, auburn colored hair,brown eyes and and a really nice smile." she reached security's door and gave it a knock.

"That description could fit anybody, even Nick." he spoke it out loud, not really giving much thought to the words he had just spoken.

"listen I'm going to see it they have tapes of that floor or the hallways and I'll call you back." she was about to hang up the phone when Grissom interrupted.

"I was going to ask Ecklie but I'd rather ask you, what about a tarp found at the crime scene?" his curiosity had been peaked with this detail.

"Nick's victim was in a downstairs bedroom, she was lying on a tarp that covered the bed, Nick took a lot of pictures but they probably haven't made it back to lab yet,actually I think the camera was with Nick when he left the scene with the little boy. They probably locked it up when they admitted him, I'll ask security what they did with wNick's valuables. Listen I have to go." She ended the call and walked into the opened door introducing herself to the security officer.

Crime lab

Warrick was running a background on Mr Joseph Henderson Tetherman and was coming up empty, the man was almost as squeaky clean as his partner Nick. Tetherman was born in Dallas, Texas on August 18,1971 at Dallas/Wallace Memorial. No history of even a speeding ticket,the man was a saint.

He looked over at the printer/fax machine awaiting a picture of the man who had seemed to elude everybody so far, his company was sending a picture they had on file. The man had not shown up for work for several days and they had just reported him missing that morning.

He stretched sore and tired muscles, a double was quickly turning into a triple and soon it would be time to come back on his shift,he was dead tired and he would still need to go and see Nick after his shift ended, he needed some caffeine.

He was about to leave the room to get a cup of coffee when the beeper on the copier/fax machine sounded. He walked over and picked up the picture, his hand almost dropping the photo,his facial expression a look of shock,he needed to find Grissom.

Tetherman House

Crime Scene

Grissom exited his SUV,officers were still on the scene as well as Ecklie's dayshift crew, still obtaining evidence and looking for bodies.

He walked over to the entrance to the house and looked around, slipping on a pair of gloves and a pair of shoe covers, he looked at the door, no forced entry, he entered, pulling out his flashlight,shining it towards the dining room area, the trail of blood dry now, no puddles,very interesting, he thought himself as he continued down the hallway.

The table, where the blood stained tablecloth had been found, set for dinner for ten, now was empty.

There were eight bodies found and a little boy that had stayed hidden, the killer had no idea that he was even in the house. The table setting a clue to maybe what the killer was thinking,Nick had documented the same theory in his notes.

The chairs and table had been printed, he needed to see the pictures of how it looked prior to the team dismantling the scene. Nick's notes had indicated that the chairs had been precisely three inches from the table, measured by Nick.

He continued to walk towards the bedroom, a noise of a motor coming from behind the closed doors, he reached over and opened the door to find a CSI starting to vacuum the tarp that still draped the now empty bed.

"Hey, stop, I want to take a look first." he yelled so his voice could be heard above the motor.

The CSI turned and nodded his head and flipped off the power then walked out of the room. Most of the CSI team members knew Grissom liked to work an area alone, in a quiet place, so no questions were asked.

Grissom walked around the room, taking in the crime scene the way Nick had seen it, his unfinished report described the woman in the bed, her hands and feet tied with clothing, mostly with underwear. No spatter on the walls but blood evident on the floor, on the dresser and on the bedspread that had been folded and laid at the foot of the bed.

The tarp covered the bed,tucked in as to protect the bed itself from the blood or was it to protect the crime scene? Grissom continued to walk around the room, observing how things were placed.

He had read Brass's report, Mr Cale had said that Mr Tetherman had covered his car with a tarp in front of the house everyday and that is how he knew he wasn't home for the past few days. Also noted was that the wife had been out of town prior and had given the extra key to Mr Cale, the neighbor. Where had she been?

He continued to place the puzzle pieces together, a man who would not hesitate to kill, who seemed from the looks of it to actually enjoy the chase and the kill.

His eyes scanned over to the music box that sat on the dresser, he walked over and took a picture, it meant something,just like the coin left behind on each victim. He reached over and started to lift the lid when something inside him stopped his movements,something was off,something was not right.

The box didn't fit into the room, it was off to everything else. A grown woman with a kid's jewelry box. He stepped back,thinking about the roses,how the possible killer had planted the poison within the flowers,nobody would expect poison in flowers,nobody would expect poison in a child's music box.

He turned to see an officer outside the door, "I need the scene cleared! Now! He yelled as he shut the door to the room and exited the house with the rest of Ecklie's team and officers, the hasmat crew being called as he walked out the front door.

He walked back to his SUV and entered, the heat of the summer day hitting him in the face as he entered causing a sweat to form on his face,his hand quickly dialing a familiar number,"Doc, I need the autopsy reports on Mrs Tetherman and the other victims now."

Desert Palm Hospital

Sara glanced at her watch, she had been unable to sleep and wanted to check on her friend, she was worried, Nick had been through Hell over the past couple of years and she really just needed to see him to make sure he was doing okay.

She was about to hit the button to the elevator when she saw Catherine walking down the hallway loaded down with a box and bag, what the hell was she doing?

"Catherine, what's wrong?" she asked as she walked towards the assistant supervisor.

"Joey is gone and we are trying to see who took him, I was going to the media center to view these tapes, you want to come?" she asked as she handed a bag to Sara, easing the load in her arms.

"I was going to see Nick first, see how he's doing." she looked over at the multitude of tapes in the box and bag, this was going to take some time.

"I have a team getting prints in Joey's room and a team in the garage looking at tapes too. Nick can't have visitors until tomorrow so for now we need to focus on who took that little boy." she was tired and she was worried about the small defenseless child that had gone missing and about Nick, but she had a job to do and Nick was going to upset to find out the boy was gone.

Sara nodded and followed Catherine,she would still check on Nick before she left, she had a way of getting past the red tape especially when it involved her friends.

Intensive Care Unit

Julianna was observing her patient, his increased restlessness had initiated a call to the intensivist and an MRI scan of the brain which had proved to be unchanged since his last film on admission. Her patient's irritation was increasing and he was fighting the sheet that covered his sweaty body and the nurses. Her patient was having a difficult time and nobody, not even the doctors or the nurses could figure out why.

She walked over to see his opened eyes dashing back and forth, a sign that he was in a dream state but he appeared to be awake, though not responding to anybody, only to the nightmares that he was seeing in his mind.

Nick was in the midst of a open space, he was in a room, it was cold, and there were voices that were screaming at him to save them, crying out for his help. He was franticly opening closed doors,looking for the source of the screams,looking for the victims that were calling out for him, for him to help them.

Suddenly a voice from behind him was talking to him, it was low and full of venom,it wanted him to find the victims, find them but not to help them,"Only a victim can find the victims Mr Stokes. But a victim can not help another victim without having some type of repercussions."

"I'm not a victim, I'm a CSI, where are they you son of a bitch?" He turned to see if he could see the man with the voice but was unable to see anybody even in the bright light," You're just a coward hiding in the dark! Shoe yourself you murdering bastard!" he screamed into the air, the stark white room surrounding him,so white that it hurt his eyes. He quickly turned around,the vast display of doors suddenly disappeared. In the middle of the room a table set for a meal, the blood stained tablecloth adorned with candles and flower arrangements. A man in a mask set at the end of the long table, a little boy sat beside him.

He walked over and took a seat, the tablecloth was stained with human blood, the stench of blood and death surrounded them, but the man was smiling, taking him in as if he was his next victim, as if he was going to devour him in a instant.

"Who are you?" Nick asked wanting an immediate answer, looking over at the little boy, who seemed to be in shock, speechless,almost in a trance. He attempted to calm his own nerves, not wanting to alarm the little boy, he did not want him any more scared than he already was and he didn't want to create a situation that might endanger the boy's life.

"Nicky, you need to eat, your food is getting cold. I'll take care of you, don't worry about anything, I've taken care of everything." The man's hand reached over and stroked the little boy's face and he smiled, the voice of the man wanted to give comfort but instead it was giving him a feeling of dread, of a horror yet to be revealed, the man was evil,his face hidden behind a mask.

He glanced over at the boy, it was Joey. But it couldn't be Joey, he was in the hospital, he was safe, wasn't he? Weren't they safe? Were they in a safe place? He turned back around to face the masked man but he was no longer in the white room, he was at the Tetherman house, the bedroom where Joey's mother had been found dead.

He walked over to the dresser and stared down at the music box, he slowly reached towards the box to open it, it seemed out of place, it didn't fit in with the room with this mother. A overwhelming feeling hit him, he shouldn't open the box, the box was dangerous, it would kill whoever opened it. He needed to warn them.

"Don't open the box. Tell them not to open the box! They will die.", he started to mumble over and over. He looked around the room and saw the face looking down, his voice now louder, "Tell them not to open the box!" he reached over with frantic hands and attempted to grab Julianne's hand with his covered, restrained hands, sweat streaming down his face,"The music box will kill them. Tell them! Please tell them!" he pleaded with the nurse,his glassy eyes staring up at the woman hovering over him. He felt as if his heart was going to come out of his chest, his mind was racing and he had a feeling that he was coming out of his skin. He felt as if he were dying.

Julianna nodded, in hopes it would calm her patient, telling him what he wanted to hear,"I'll tell them, if you'll only quieten down. I need you to try to rest, if you don't the doctor will place you in a medicated coma state, that wouldn't be good, so just calm down Mr Stokes." her hands rubbing his arm and her voice giving him comforting words but it was not breaking through to his fevered mind.

He nodded finally and closed his eyes,"Tell them, just tell them! Please, please, tell Catherine, please." he continued to talk loudly as she took a cool cloth and placed it on his warm forehead, his cheek's red flush evident even in the dark space. She then turned and walked back to her desk outside his room, her patient continuing his restless movements, the doctor would be in soon but she felt he needed to get there now, so she picked up the phone and overhead paged a stat call for Dr Madden.