I decided that I needed to change some things with Past and Present so I deleted the story to start the rewrite. If you read the story previously, please disregard whatever you remember. We're starting over anew ;-)
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters and back story belong to their respective creators. I only own my own original storyline, and the characters that I have created. Please do not borrow them without permission.
This story is a sequel to "The Past Came Back". If you haven't read that one, this one probably won't make much sense. This is going to crossover at times with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation but will be focused mostly on the Profiler universe.
The story is going to go back and forth between past and present (hence the title) but hopefully it won't confuse anyone.
2:40 AM Las Vegas time
"Nick, where's Greg?" Gil Grissom asked, having found one of the two CSI's he was looking for.
"He's helping out in the DNA lab since it's slow." Nick Stokes looked up from the paperwork he was filling out. "What's up?"
"I've got a 419 in the desert. Brass is on his way here, you and Greg will be following him out to the scene."
"You don't trust us not to get lost?"
"It isn't that, Nick. Your DB isn't exactly on the beaten path. A USDA chopper was flying over looking for rustlers and spotted the body. They dropped a GPS beacon so you can find your way to it, and Brass has the receiver."
"Damn, this is out in the middle of nowhere," Greg Sanders commented when Captain Brass finally brought his car to a stop.
"Good place to dump a body."
"Or to get lost and die of dehydration and exposure."
The three of them walked over to where the body was and Greg frowned. "Well he hasn't been out here long, the body doesn't have any signs of decomposing."
"You better cancel the coroner and request an ambulance," Nick said, having crouched down by the body. "This guy's still alive and breathing."
"I'll get some blankets," Greg said, running to the Denali while a very surprised Jim Brass relayed the information to the dispatcher.
By the time the ambulance left Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows had joined Nick and Greg in looking for evidence. There was no identification on the man and he was unconscious so they couldn't ask him who he was and how he got out there. "There's footprints, looks like the victim's, leading up to where he was when you reached him," Catherine said, using her flashlight to illuminate the trail. "I'm going to follow them, see where it leads."
"I'll go with you," Gil quickly offered. "Can't have you getting lost in the desert," he teased.
After walking a while they found a vehicle. "Maybe this will tell us who our John Doe is."
"Maybe." Gil opened his kit, then put on gloves as Catherine was doing the same.
"Looks empty." Peering through the windows with her flashlight, Catherine saw that the passenger door wasn't shut completely. "Someone got out in a hurry, didn't bother to close the door."
"Let's get to work."
"The sun will be up soon. We should be able to see better if there are any other tracks around."
"I'll arrange a tow to get the car back to the lab."
"I'll photograph the area before it gets disturbed." Catherine had her camera snapping photos before Gil had even opened his phone to call for a tow truck.
"So, anything useful?" Gil asked when he entered the crime lab's garage.
"We got several prints off the windows, inside and out, as well as the dashboard. Mandy's running them now. We also found some blood drops in a few places on the backseat and the rear floorboard. Nothing in the trunk, and the steering wheel and driver's side door was wiped clean," Catherine reported.
"What about vehicle registration?"
"Plates were reported stolen in Elko two months ago off a minivan, and the VIN comes back as being donated to one of those charities several years ago. This car is supposed to be sitting in a salvage yard in Georgia."
"I'll call Nick and see if he's having any better luck out in the desert where we found the car."
"Damn, this rain is going to wash away any evidence," Nick yelled as Sara was snapping pictures.
"Yeah, seems like we always get the rainstorms just when we don't need them," she yelled back.
"Let's pack it up and get back to the lab. We're not going to find anything else out here until this rain stops."
"Nick and Sara are on their way back, thunderstorm hit and the rain's coming down too hard for them to do anything more," Gil announced as he closed his cell phone.
"Damn, there goes any hope for finding any more evidence," Catherine said with a sigh.
"At least we've got the car," Greg said, getting out of the car. "Strange that the steering wheel and driver's door handle were wiped down but the rest of the car was full of prints."
"Whoever was driving only cared about his or her prints not being found," Gil said.
"I've got something on the fingerprints recovered off the passenger door," Mandy Webster said, rushing in with a folder. "One of the prints matches an FBI agent that disappeared two months ago."
Looking at the file photo, Gil showed it to the other CSI's. "Looks like we just identified our victim."
"There's more. I also got a hit for Nicole Hillsdale. She disappeared with Jake Carter. There's been nothing on either of them since they were kidnapped."
"If she was in that car then she could still be out there in the desert." Greg looked worried now. "These thunderstorms are forecast to get worse, there's bound to be flash flooding."
"We also may have your kidnapper out there." Mandy held up another paper for Gil to look at. "One of the prints belongs to Patrick O'Doyle, a known crime boss from back east."
"Patrick O'Doyle, haven't heard that name in a while," Jim said.
"You know him?"
"I don't know him, but I know of him from when I was cop in New Jersey."
"This does change things," Gil said, "but until the weather breaks there's nothing more we can."
"I'll make sure there are search crews ready to go out as soon as the storms move out," Jim said, leaving to get everything arranged.
9:50 A.M. Atlanta time
John was sitting at the conference table with Sam, waiting for Bailey and Grace to join them in discussing the cases they were working on.
"I was thinking we could go out for dinner tonight, there's a new Italian place and it's been a while since we had Italian. I already asked Angel if she would watch Chloe and she said she has no plans for tonight and would to."
"Wow, you really thought this through, didn't you?" Sam asked, smiling. "Italian sounds great."
"All right, what are you two whispering about?" Grace teased, taking her seat at the table. "He's talking dirty to you, isn't he?"
"I'll have you know that I do not talk dirty to anyone while I'm working," John said seriously.
"Where's George?" Bailey asked, rushing into the command center
"He called, said he was running late. Flat tire, but he should be here soon," John answered.
"All right, I'll get a hold of George. You three, go home and pack because we're going to be leaving town for a few days." Bailey paused a moment before continuing. "Jake's been found. Just go, pack for a few days out of town and meet back here. We leave in ninety minutes."
1:30 P.M. Atlanta time
1:30 P.M. Atlanta time
"They found Jake in the desert?" Grace asked once the plane was airborne. They were on a chartered plane so it was just their little group.
"We'll find out more when we get to Las Vegas, I'm sure. What information is available is in the files I gave you."
"Bailey, did they find any sign of Nicole?"
"A car was located, and there were fingerprints lifted. That's how they identified Jake. Nicole's prints were also in the car, but there was no sign of her. There's something else you should know, John. Your father's prints were found on the car."
"There's no sign of him either, at least not at the time that I received the call from the director. The Las Vegas Crime Lab is still going over all of the evidence from the car and searching the desert for more. They have one of the best crime labs in the country--"
"Next to the FBI's, you mean," Grace interrupted with a smirk.
"I said one of the best. Anyway, they're going to continue working the forensic evidence. Grace, I'd like you to go over Jake's medical records at the hospital. See if there's anything they may have missed that can give us a clue as to how long he was in the desert and what happened to him. I spoke to a doctor at Desert Palms, and he's still unconscious. The rest of us are going straight to the Las Vegas police to find out the latest developments."
Sam felt the tension building in John from the moment he heard about his father's prints being on that car. It seemed like the more he tried to escape, the more ensnared he became. "You all right?" she asked softly, keeping her voice down although Grace and George were too absorbed with their own files to pay any attention.
"Yeah, I'm all right. I just don't understand why my father has to keep popping up."
"What your father does or does not do isn't your burden."
"I'm just worried about Nicole."
"We'll find her."
John turned to look out the window at the clouds they were traveling through, not bothering to look at the file. "What if we find her and she's not the Nicole we knew?"
"She's strong, and when we find her we'll help her just like we helped her before."
"She's been with my father for two months, Sam. I know what that bastard did to my mother. I know what he did to me."
"We don't know that Nicole has been with Patrick O'Doyle for the last two months."
"Right." John returned to staring out the window, and Sam resolved to let him be. She did rest her hand on his leg, and he in turn covered her hand with his and gave a gentle squeeze.
Closing her eyes, Sam decided to try and get some rest while they were flying. She couldn't help letting her mind wander back over the last two months, and she was certain that John was doing the same thing in his seat beside her.
Two months earlier
"John, it's three o'clock in the morning. Please come back to bed. We all need some sleep to be able to think straight."
"No, I can't. I need to get to the office. There has to be something that will tell us what happened."
Running her hand through her hair, Sam sat up and watched John get out of bed. "Will you at least let me come with you?"
"You should know I would never object to your company, Sam."
An hour later John and Sam walked into the command center only to find Bailey already there. "I thought you weren't going to spend the night here," Sam said.
"Funny, I thought the same thing about you two."
"I couldn't sleep and Sam said she'd come with me to keep me out of trouble."
"Have you eaten anything, Bailey?" Sam asked.
"No. I did go home, I just couldn't stand being there by myself so I came right back here."
"Let's all go get a cup of coffee and get away from this place for a while."
"She's right, Bailey. There's a diner just a few blocks away that's open all night, and I think we could all use some company right now. It's not easy going from that safe house with everybody to being on our own again."
Glancing over at John, Sam found that he had fallen asleep still holding onto her hand. For the first few weeks they were back in Atlanta, she had grown accustomed to waking John from his nightmares. At first he refused to talk about them but finally he started to give her glimpses into the world that took over when he slept.
"It's dark, and I can't see anything. I can just hear someone breathing heavy, and footsteps coming closer. I start running but since I can't see anything I don't know if I'm actually moving or not. The footsteps keep coming closer, and the breathing gets closer until I can actually feel hot breath on my back, and something metal is clanging around. Then I wake up."
What it meant, Sam didn't know. John didn't seem to know either other than it was frightening. Finally they stopped occurring, John declared that it had been from not getting enough sleep and the stress of everything that happened, and the subject had been dropped. Now that they knew Patrick was not only connected but was with Nicole, she had a feeling the nightmares were going to start again, and not just for John.
Bailey had spent a few nights at the firehouse when he and John decided to drink their problems away and passed out in the living room. He never discussed what his nightmares were about, but more than once she found him crying in his sleep. For some reason she didn't want to push Bailey to talk about his nightmares the way that she gently pushed John; probably because she knew what Bailey's nightmares were about and no amount of talking was going to stop the pain of having two people that they all cared about disappear.
Looking over to where Bailey was sitting, she wasn't surprised to see him staring blankly ahead. There was a lot for all of them to process, and a million questions going through everyone's minds. Unfortunately, they would have to wait until Jake woke up to start getting answers to most of them. Sam decided that since John was sleeping she would do the same. There would be plenty to keep them awake once they arrived in Las Vegas.