Title: Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson (Blockbuster Ficathon Entry)
Genre: Crime Scene
Beta: Thank you seattlecsifan for your terrific work on this, and thanks chauncey10 for being honest enough to tell me my first fic sucked.
Disclaimer: I don't own The Graduate or CSI. I'm just borrowing some people for a little while, although the crime scene is my own.
Prompt: "Mrs. Robinson, you're not trying to seduce me. Are you?"
Words: 3000 (approximately)
Summary: 'Mrs. Robinson, that's what women like Liza had been called – and sometimes were still called.'
X X X
It seemed fitting, in a twisted sort of way, to be listening to Simon and Garfunkel's acoustic rendition of Mrs. Robinson, as Roger barreled down highway 93, nearing Las Vegas. For a moment, he thought of his purpose and grinned at destiny or whatever the hell had dragged his ass from Boise to Las Vegas.
Liza, he thought. Only Liza could get me here. The late night heat, wafting off the pavement of the highway, carried the smell of tar and oil – a smell comfortable to Roger, as he spent a good chunk of his life on the road. The atmosphere of the moonless night, as he crossed the desert merged with the tunes from the speakers in a cosmically perfect mix. Sunk in thought, he listened to the music of energetic seduction wafting through the air. Remembered the source. Laughed at the parallels. Drifted back to a time of lust, craving, need, and ultimate love.
Mrs. Robinson, that's what women like Liza had been called – and sometimes were still called. Older women, who in their greed, sucked away the innocence of young men. Oh, Liza had quite successfully achieved the status of Mrs. Robinson, if that had been the only criteria. For three days, she'd shown Roger many forms of pleasure that he had never known existed. Sure, he'd been a young man and looked at magazines, but the feel of her hands on him had been magic to the boy in him, and a right of passage to the man he became.
She'd been in her mid-thirties, he just eighteen. In a last hurrah before being called to duty and shipped off to Vietnam, his high school friends had kidnapped Roger and given him Liza for three days of lascivious gratification. In that time, he'd lost the boyish innocence that had taken the form of his virginity. Even more, though… he'd seen a seedier side of the world for the first time, and connected a human being with that life. The woman had seduced and stripped away his inexperience, providing satisfaction, even if he had to forcefully push aside ingrained morality. In doing so, he'd connected with himself, and found his voice; and by the end of those three days, he'd been half in love in the most unrealistic way.
The honking of a truck horn in the dead of night had Roger wiping at his tired eyes, wondering at the sudden surge of moisture that coated the burning irises. Her lawyer had called. Elizabeth Turner's lawyer had called just days before. She'd left him something.
Roger had wondered for a long time if maybe, just maybe, she'd loved him as much as he'd loved her. He could so easily see her body, feel the wrinkles setting in as she neared middle age, and slip right back to eighteen once again; and in his mid sixties, it felt so right to remember her as young, not the elderly woman who had passed.
Bringing himself back to the present, he took stock. Checking out the gas gauge, Roger made a mental note that he wouldn't need to fill up until he headed home. Knowing the problems he'd had earlier in the day, he checked to make sure his old pickup wasn't near to overheating. Everything checked out okay, and he let his mind drift once again to that time so long ago.
His wife knew little of his life between being drafted until over four years later. He and Annie had known each other most of their lives, having grown up just down the block from each other. Nearly forty years later, those four missing years no longer stood between them, but Roger still felt a pang of guilt every now and again. The motto What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas wasn't new. It'd been around since the inception of the city.
So Roger never spoke of his time before leaving for boot camp. He never spoke of his time in Vietnam. For over a year upon his return, he never spoke of the nightmares, either, although they ruled his sleep.
Then one day, Roger's high school friends, all worried about him, had kidnapped him and taken Roger to Vegas. To Liza. In hopes she'd rekindle something he'd lost.
Annie never knew why Roger had returned from Vegas and immediately asked her to marry him. He'd never purposely spoken of it. How could he explain to a woman who made the most… suitable… wife, how his life had twisted and turned, so that his body no longer contained the soul of the boy who grew up just down the block? He didn't, and he never would.
She never understood that Roger's love for a Vegas whore had brought him home to her; that while Annie may hold him every night in their bed, and be his lover, his heart would never leave a woman named Liza who had sent off a boy, welcomed home a soldier, and worshipped a hero's body.
The very upright Annie never knew how Roger got down on that same knee and begged a hooker to be his wife just days before he'd proposed to the righteous and acceptable Annie.
My Annie loves me in her way, though, Roger mused, taking an turn here and there, as he wound his way onto the Vegas strip. It seemed like tackiness had become a contest, with everyone fighting to see which casino could outdo the other in an obnoxious, glowing war. Lights blinked. Lights marched. Lights shot out into the dark, confusing night and day.
Pulling his pickup up to the posh valet parking area of the Bellagio, Roger cut the engine and sat back in the seat. The truck, some twenty years old, sported only a tape player, and he punched rewind. Eventually, he found Mrs. Robinson once again, and listened to the opening guitar before the harmonizing voices joined in.
She was my Mrs. Robinson, he mused. She brought me home.
Looking around, as if his wife could potentially be laying in wait, Roger popped open the glove compartment and pulled out a pack of Marlboro cigarettes. Unwrapping the plastic then the foil from the flip top container, he smiled, while his heart hammered. For half a moment, he felt like a rebellious teen, anticipating the joy of disobeying his parents. With eagerly trembling fingers, he pulled out a smoke, rolled his window down a crack to the overpowering heat of the late summer night, and pushed in the cigarette lighter.
X X X
"Geez, Grissom. What are you listening to?" Greg asked, as his boss's SUV came to a stop a hundred feet from what used to be an old white Ford F-150 pickup. Killing the engine, effectively cutting off Simon and Garfunkel, Grissom stepped out.
Carefully shutting the driver's door, he looked across the vehicle and winked at Sara, who had just exited the passenger side of the lab's vehicle and faced him through the open windows. Turning slowly, the CSI supervisor put away the part that reveled in what little time they managed to eke out alone, and put his mind into gear. Although… he could still hear the sounds of guitar and melodic voices in his mind, and hoped he would until he and Sara managed to scrape away a little more time together.
Slowly, he turned, faced Greg and finally replied, "It's called music, Greg. You ought to try it sometime."
"I don't know," Greg stated, frowning slightly in thought. "Most girls I know dig Coldplay or Linkin Park."
Without so much as batting an eyelash, Grissom responded, "That's the difference. Girls might like your music. Women like mine." He gave a slight pause to make sure he had the young man's attention before adding, "It might explain why your dates are into latex, Greggo."
As Grissom walked toward the back of the SUV, where Sara bit her cheek, trying not to laugh at the conversation between her two favorite men, Greg stood dumbfounded. Gil Grissom had just made a joke.
Finally catching up with Sara and Grissom, the trio made their way to Brass who stood out of range of the waves of heat and black smoke puffing off the vehicle, wafting the smell of burning oil.
"What do we have, Jim?" Grissom asked.
"We know the truck is registered to Roger Stetson of Boise, Idaho," Jim stated. "The parking valets were arguing about who would have to park this heap, when it suddenly blew up." The detective waved his hand toward the mess around him. "We had to push people back inside the casino. Plus, we've cordoned off a hundred foot radius around the truck."
"Yeah," Sara wryly interjected, "we noticed. Had a hard time getting through the traffic backed up on the strip, since you've closed a lane."
"Yeah, well… come over here," Brass stated as he walked to an area where a few sheets had been laid out over what Grissom presumed to be body parts, as blood soaked through the pristine white cotton. Pulling back a couple of the covers, Brass said, "We're finding pieces of at least one victim around the vehicle."
Looking at the front of the torso and a leg, Grissom glanced at Greg and said, "Get started on processing parts. We need to find the source of the explosion."
Brass said, "I'll go over what the witnesses said about the explosion," and walked off with Greg in tow.
Grissom frowned at the scene around him, wondering at the destruction, until he heard Sara's soft voice.
"I happen to like Simon and Garfunkel." When he raised his head, he felt his neck flush when she subtly winked, and couldn't help but gulp down a breath of air in reaction to the flush that ran across her cheeks.
Instead, he dumbly replied, "I know."
For a moment, he let himself stare, before giving himself a violent mental shake and looking over the exposed body parts in front of him.
Following suit, Sara focused on the case at hand, and crouched down to get a different perspective. She nearly chuckled, though, when he pointed to the torso and leg and asked, "So, my dear… do you want the breast or the thigh?"
Jesus, he can be gross, she mused, and wondered why she really felt an overwhelming desire to laugh.
X X X
Annie Stetson, formerly Annie Matthews, of Boise, Idaho, sat regally in her conservative, tasteful dress, accessorized with what she considered a 'funky' bronze loop belt and her mother's pearls. In her early sixties, Annie prided herself in looking no older than fifty. However, as Jim Brass sat across from her, eyeing the woman, she felt unnerved, and wondered how many new wrinkles showed through the layer of make-up toning her skin.
"So, Mrs. Stetson… Roger was here for a boys' weekend?" Brass asked, smiling at the woman in front of him. She doesn't look particularly dangerous, he mused, staring at her well-manicured nails. He knew from one-too-many car rides with Catherine that those kinds of fingernails required money.
"Yes, detective," Annie demurely replied, tapping those very nails lightly a few times on the table top.
"Can I ask you a few questions?" Brass asked, shuffling through the papers of several case files, attempting to look busy and over-worked with too many cases. Finally exclaiming, "Ah hah!" he moved the proper folder to the top of the stack and opened it.
Looking up, he watched her perfectly lined and glossed lips quirk up in a well-played smile and she demurely replied, "Of course, detective."
"Oh, please," Brass interjected, smiling wide, and giving her a friendly look, "call me Jim. Or even Brass." He gave himself a mental high-five as her shoulders relaxed and she sat back just a fraction in her seat.
"So, your husband came down for a boys' weekend. Did he do this often?" Brass asked.
"Oh no," she rapidly replied, "Never. He hadn't been to Vegas in almost forty years." Letting out a soft sigh, Brass watched her play up the sadness as her eyes watered just enough for affect. "He recently retired and has been… so lost." A single tear rolled down her face. "So when he said he wanted to go to Vegas with his old military buddies, I said 'Go,' and helped him pack."
Brass watched in amazement, keeping his features schooled, as she gave an effective sniff, and pulled out a handkerchief to softly wipe away the tears. She's frickin' amazing, the detective thought.
"I'm sorry you had to find out about your husband's relationship with a local… ummmm… madame," Brass quietly stated, leaning in just a bit to show support and sympathy for the widow.
"It's such a shock. Especially from Roger," Annie replied. Her voice wobbled, and the first hint of a sob broke through when she said, "He's always been such a rock," and covered her face with her hands. Brass had no doubt that the woman could a win an Oscar if she chose, when she choked out, "I never knew of his transgression." She said the word with a look on her face that made Brass think of sucking on lemons.
Still leaning toward her, Brass quietly murmured, "You didn't know?"
"N-n-no. I didn't know."
Gotcha flashed through Brass's mind, and he slowly leaned back.
"That's funny," he said, pulling papers from the bottom of the file. "I have a statement that you signed for a package that contained love letters from your husband to Ms. Turner." Brass watched the woman in front of him pale only slightly, before her eyes widened, and he could practically hear the whir of her brain working.
"Yes, I got a package," she quickly stated. "I gave it to my husband. I never knew what was in it."
Smiling over another small lie, Brass asked, "Then why does the delivery man remember you opening the box with the letters?"
When her mouth opened and closed like a guppy drowning in air, Brass pushed pictures of a blown-up Roger in front of his widow. "Here's what I think happened. I think you found out that your husband had been having an affair with this woman a couple of weeks ago when those letters showed up. Then, last week your husband drove down here to Vegas on the behest of Ms. Turner's lawyers. You found out he was heading to Vegas, and you decided a divorce wasn't good enough."
Brass paused for affect, and noted her eyes had gone cold and hard.
"You don't know anything," she seethed.
As she opened her mouth once again, Brass spoke before the inevitable request for the lawyer could emerge. "So why don't you tell me? Maybe start with what kind of man someone in your advanced years could hire to take out your husband."
And bingo ran through Brass's gleeful mind as the well-maintained face with the perfect make-up twisted in rage, and he could damn near hear the snarl in her voice. Don't screw with her age, he mused, and prepared to watch the show.
"What do you know?" she asked, her voice low and moaning in anger. "I spent nearly forty years with that bastard. I knew he never found me satisfying enough, and now I know why. Every time he crawled on top of me, he thought of her. Every day, I gave him the perfect home. The perfect life. Then he gets a call from that whore's lawyer, and leaves."
"He left because she offered him something you never could," Brass mildly stated, and swore he could hear Sousa music playing in the background and fireworks going off in spectacular BANGS.
"The whore had a son. She said it was his, but she was just a whore. Even if it was, who the hell cares about a whore's son!" she raged, standing and leaning toward Brass. The detective remained absolutely still, as the woman became so riled, she spit every word into Brass's face.
Brass sat back as Annie's face contorted and she fell back into her chair. He did his happy dance, though, when she verified his suspicions with her next words.
"I do my own dirty work," she said, looking suddenly old. "My father was a mechanic, and growing up, I helped him. In fact, when Roger was in Vietnam, I worked in my father's shop as his assistant." Pride showed through, when she continued, "I didn't just keep books – sure I did that, but I did more. I know cars."
From behind the glass, Sara and Grissom watched Brass go in for the kill, as the detective pulled out pictures of the remnants of what had blown Roger Stetson to pieces. The detective had it covered, with more than enough evidence.
At ten o'clock in the morning, the CSIs wanted nothing more than food and sleep.
Well, maybe a little more than just that, Grissom mused, sneaking a glance at the swaying hips only a half step in front of him.
"My place or yours," Sara murmured as they walked out into heat of the day. "All I want is air conditioning," she said, feeling the instantaneous formation of a droplet of sweat, and the subsequent itchy slide down her back.
Dropping into the passenger seat of his Mercedes, she slid her sunglasses on her nose and tilted her head back.
Starting up the car, he glanced over and grinned at the woman beside him. Definitely more than food and sleep. Flipping on the car's stereo, he turned it up to hear the opening guitar strum of Mrs. Robinson.
When she felt his hand settle on her leg, she shifted, nonchalantly, achieving her desired goal; his hand slid higher, and he got the point, moving it even farther up her thigh. She nearly snorted when she damn near heard a salivating Score scream through his brain.
Sara didn't open her eyes, too content with the cool air blowing on her neck from the air conditioning, when she purred, "Take me home, Mr. Robinson. You can seduce me all you want."