Just a small interlude and dedication to my author friend Herves Vuin. I hope, you're doing well wherever you are, Herves, and hope to hear from you soon.
This is a funny little Halloween oneshot -yes, I know, a little early, but who cares? Its just something to take my mind off before returning to my Hodges fic. So, kick back, get some hot cocoa with marshmallows and enjoy this creepy lil' story starring our beloved CSIs.
None of this belongs to me. If it did, you think Id still be hauled up in a cellar room?
All Hallow's Greg
He had pulled too many a stunt, made too many practical jokes and freaked them out one too many. So the Vegas Crime lab decided to get back at Greg Sanders for every single antic he had ever displayed. And what better night to do so than Halloween?
It was a rather lazy night, by comparison. Then again, it was barely nine in the evening; grave shift had only just begun and Greg Sanders was in a particularly good mood. Not only because there would be little to no say about his flashy choice of outfit(a lime-green t-shirt with a 'Kamelot' print, neon red sneakers, worn-out blue jeans and orange blazer), but also because he could jump and scare the hell out of people unpunished.
First things first, though; whistling Greg sauntered down the lab to Catherine's office to check if there were any waiting cases. Knocking, he entered and greeted,
"Hey, Catherine, got any- whoa, did your AC go haywire, or what?"
Indeed, the blonde supervisor's office was a good ten degrees Celcius colder than the hall; the only light the eerie, cold, blue-tinted glow from the aisle.
And there, next to her desk, stood Catherine herself, wearing a blank, impassive expression and a long-sleeved, shoulderfree lace dress that covered her feet and pooled on the floor around her.
Greg was perplexed; he lifted a finger, then smirked.
"Ok, ok, I get it. The White Lady, right? Nice costume, I must say. Looks great on you."
Catherine didn't answer, but kept staring right through him, unmoving.
Scowling, Greg walked closer until he was about two steps from his supervisor.
"Catherine? Hello? You..ok in there?"
No answer, not the slightest flicker of recognition.
Greg rose both arms and flailed them about wildly, but to no avail. Huffing, he let his limbs drop again and stated,
"Y' know, if you dont talk to me, you can't assign me any cases. If I don't get assigned any cases, I can't do my job properly. If I don't do my job properly, it'll show up on my record and then Ecklie will come down wanting some answers..."
He trailed off, as Catherine still didnt react, and eyed her warily.
Was she even breathing?
A suspicion rose in his brain and he chuckled,
"Ok, nice one, nice one, Catherine. Y' really had me fooled with this mannequin. Real good, I must admit. Couldn't have pulled it off any better."
He bent and grabbed them hem of the skirt to check as to how the supposed dummy had been secured to the floor, when he felt something brush the back of his collar-
"How dare you defile a lady's virtue?"
Greg almost got a heart attack, when Catherine's voice thundered through the small room; he shot up and took a flying leap backwards. Before he could so much as utter a single word, Catherine rose her right arm and declared,
A gust of wind billowed the various layers of her dress and Greg was pulled backwards and out the door where he unceremoniously landed on his back.
Incredulous, he stared at Catherine's imperious figure as the wind picked up some more and shut the door closed in his face.
For several moments, Greg just lay there, awed, then scrambled to his feet and muttered,
"Wow. She'd consider taking that act to the Tangiers Halloween party; she'd sure bring down the house."
Driving his fingers through his unruly hair, Greg continued on his way through the lab.
Some thirty minutes later, Greg was more than a little confused; the lab rats were behaving rather odd.
Well, more odd than usual, that is.
Henry for instance, was obviously suffering from a bipolar stroke; he switched from mad cackling to heart-wrenching sobs mid-sentence.
Perhaps he was heartbroken, mused Greg, still, that didnt explain the horns and fake batwings he had sported.
Mandy on the other hand had been more catty than usual in a manner of speaking.
Somehow she had managed to curl herself up on her stool and was busy purring and licking her hand, when Greg had entered.
He had taken one look at the brunette and decided to come back later.
Perhaps Archie was done with the comparison of the surveillance camerea shot and the ten years old photo from his robbery case?
"Hey, Archie, how's it going? You done with the bank heist case on Fifth?"
"Yes master." Greg smiled, pleasently surprised.
"Kewl. So, got any match?"
"Yes, master." This time, the blonde's smile held just a tint of annoyed smugness.
"Even though its nice of you to admit to my superior intellect and stunning good looks;" Greg whisked his golden strands back with one hand,
"there's no need to kiss up to me. I'm not Hodges."
With an exasperated groan, Greg sat on the edge of the table Archie used to pile evidence upon. Resting his forearms on his thighs, Greg sighed,
"Very funny. Are you gonna keep that line up all night or can I get a decent conversation here?"
Greg rolled his eyes heavenwards. Oh joy.
"Would you knock it off? What's wrong with you? How-who came up with that stupid idea in the first line?" Archie cocked his head to the side.
"Master master. He tells me what to do."
Cocking one brow, Greg crossed his arms.
"And what exactly did hm- master tell you?"
"To fullfill my duties at my upmost best and obey every one of your orders, master."
"Great! Can I now get my results on the bank heist or do I have to wait till Hannukah?"
"Certainly, master. Here you go."
Gritting his teeth, the blond ripped the page from Archie's nimble hands and bit,
"Thank you. Master."
He didnt even wait for the Asian man's reply but hurried out the A/V lab in a double.
Wendy sat at her laptop, typing away, a straw clenched between her glossy lips.
"Hya, Wendy, how's that blood sample I gave ya doing?"
The brunette fliched at Greg's voice, coughed and hid the small plastic bag she had sipped from underneath her desk. Greg frowned.
"No drinking or eating allowed in the lab, Ms. Simms. You know the drill."
Wendy squared her shoulders.
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Please, you got tomato juice dripping from..the corner of..your mouth.."
The Scandinavian took a closer look; something about this juice was not right. Familiar, but not right.
It was too thick, too dark, and the way it collected at the seam of Wendy's lips
"Wendy, is that -blood?"
Brown eyes widened as slender fingers wiped away the residue from creamy white skin.
"Of course not. You're hallucinating."
"I am not hallucinating. Wendy, why are you drinking blood-"
"I'm not drinking blood! Stop claiming things that aren't true!" screamed Wendy, brown eyes full of rage.
Greg took a step back.
"Hey calm down, I'm not-"
"Get out, get out, get out, GET OUT!"
Wendys voice climbed higher and higher, peaking in a shrill screech.
Greg pressed his hand against his ears, as the cry grew more and more intense...
And the line of test tubes next to the wall at his right exploded into a thousand tiny shards.
Golden eyes went wide as saucers; Greg pressed himself to the door and stared at the raging Wendy in utter terror.
"Gone!" he whispered, then ducked out the door.
Damn, he'd known that PMSing women had strange urges and violent mood swings, but that had been just downright scary.
"No wonder Hodges' in no hurry to ask her out! I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that attitude either!" he thought, as he fled to the break room for some desperately needed coffee.
"Ray! Hey Raymond, wait up!"
The bulky doctor started and turned at the voice, a pensive look on his dark features.
"Hey, Greg. So, getting anywhere with the robbery case?"
The shorter man mock nodded.
"Yeah, at least I would if the gang hadn't decided to go all Scooby-Doo on me. And they call me immature. Yeah, right."
Langston smiled, but there was a hint of concern in his eyes.
"Yes, well, as long as it's all fun and play, I doubt, anything bad will happen. Still, I cant help but be worried..."
"Oh, c'me on, not you too!" he groaned. Raymond smiled apologetically.
"I might be a man of science, but there is no denying my heritage. I'm part Cheyenne and part Kreolan. My grandmother was a Voodoo-priestess and my great-grandfather a medicine man. So, call me superstitious if you will, but..I can feel something evil roaming these labs."
Greg pursed his lips.
"That's impossible, Ecklie's off for the weekend."
Both men grinned, then Langston searched in his jacket pocket for something and finally produced a tiny, odd-looking puppet that looked suspiciously like-
"A Voodoo-doll? You gotta be kidding me!" exclaimed Greg.
"Not really, it's more of a- protective guardian. To fend of any evil spell directed towards you." He handed it over to Greg. The shorter man just gave him a level gaze. Again, the doctor smiled, this time reassuringly.
"Go ahead, take it. Consider it..a lucky charm, if nothing else. Kind of a rabbit's paw."
Reluctantly, Greg pocketed the tiny figurine, mumbling,
"Yeah, well, y' know what the say about the rabbit's paw, right?"
"That it couldn't have been too lucky, or else its foot wouldn't be dangling from my keychain", they chorused.
Greg nodded, then sighed.
"Yeah, well, thanks, anyway. Even if I don't believe in such things..thanks for showing that you care."
"Hey, what are friends there for, right?"
"Right." Greg flashed the dotor a warm smile, then waved good-bye and walked towards Nick's office.
Langston watched him leave, then sighed heavily.
"Good luck, young one."
A breakthrough in a running case was always good news.
Little wonder Greg practically bounced into Nicks office, waving the file exitedly.
"Game, set and match! We got him, Nick! Call Brass to have him-"
"Yeah, right, go tell it to Catherine", growled the dark-haired man who stood with his back to the door.
Blonde brows shot up.
"Sheesh, what's with the attidtude, dude? I just came to say that we can book the suspect on the bank heist and you-"
"Sorry, Greg, guess, this -this..skin condtion I got makes me kinda cranky."
"I'll say. What skin condition?" Nick tilted his head back, and Greg frowned. Had the brunet let his hair grow out?
"Listen, jus' leave the file here and I'll get back to you once I dont feel like Im going crazy with this itching."
"Yes, well, I heard that permethrine and benzol benzoate based medication is quite helpful against scabies-" Nick swerved and bellowed,
"Does this look like scabies to you? Does it?"
Greg's eyes popped out of their sockets as his mouth dropped open.
Nick's once handsome face was almost entrely covered with shaggy, dark-brown hair, his strong jaw and upper lip hiddeously deformed.
"Damn, Nick, did your werewolf mask explode, or something?" hushed Greg stunned.
A low, deep growl erupted from the stocky Texan's chest and Greg decided that safe was better than sorry, as he fled the room.
If there had been an 'accident' with the mask glue, Nick would be sporting that look for another couple of days along with the mood.
And Greg wasn't ready to take the blame for something he had no doing with.
The morgue was eerily quiet; yet, there was a soft whisper echoing through the abandonded corridors.
A single body lay on a stretcher next to the half opened door of the scrub room, and Greg mentally gave a quick prayer for the poor soul that had lost their life for whatever reason.
He knocked, popped his head in and softly called,
"Hello? Doc? Dave? Anybody in?"
No reply; still, Greg could hear low murmuring. Stepping in, he gazed around and was met by the rather strange sight of a surgical curtain seperating one of the autopsy tables from the rest of the morgue.
Curious, Greg closed the distance, once more calling out for the mortician and his assistant.
Immediately, the voices died down, there was a hurried rustling, as the curtain moved and billowed, then Doc Robbins peeked through the folds, more than slightly unsettled.
"Greg! Hello! I-I didn't expect you so soon." 'Or at all' said his expression. The Scandinavian grinned, sauntering closer.
"Yeah, well, it's a slow night, so I decided to stop by for a visit."
Doc Robbins scowled.
"That's nice of you. Now, if youll excuse me, I'm busy."
"With what?" queried Greg, trying to steel a peek over the doctor's shoulder.
"That is none of your business. Now, please, leave me to my work; unlike you, I am a very busy man!" rumbled the white-haired man, as he pulled the curtain even tighter. Greg gave his most brilliant smile and best puppy doog look when he begged,
"Oh, c'me on, y' cant leave me hanging like this; I mean, I'm your best student?"
"That would be Dr. Langston, and no, you can't hey-hey-what're you-get out of here!" shouted Robbins furiously, as Greg elegantly side-stepped him, ducked under the curtain and lay eyes on the secret behind it.
All blood drained from his face at the sight that met him.
"Oh my God, that-that's-"
Lightning flashed through his brain -and then there was nothing more than darkness surrounding him.
"-to use the tazer!"
"Yeah, but the tranquilizer would have interfered with the electrodes and you said you wanted him as crisp as possible."
"Crisp, not crispy!"
Greg blinked his eyes open groggily, trying to force his maladjusted vision to his surroundings.
One by one, his senses came back..and Greg wished, they hadn't.
Strapped to an electric chair with two morticians discussing his fate had never been something he had wished to wake up to.
Well, perhaps he had, but in his dreams the doctors had been scantily clad beauties armed with whipped cream cans and chocolate sirop.
Not a middle-aged Sci-Fi nerd and an elderly surgeon with a Stryker bone saw.
"I am really very sorry about this, Greg. I wish you had listened to me. Yet, I am glad to have such a -promising specimen for my research."
Greg swallowed past the lump in his throat.
"What research?" he asked.
Doc Robbins and Dave exchanged a look, then the mortician nodded. Super Dave hurried to a shelf barely out of Gregs view, even as Al explained,
"You see, for several years I have been saving and conservating the brains of people who's physical injuries were too grave to safe them. So instead, I had their brains removed from their machine-supported bodies and placed in a jar with nutrition fluid. You know, so that a part of them would always remain with their relatives. Yet, it occurred to me that, since the cells were, though disrupted, still fully functional, it might have been possible to...relive them with just the right amount of electric energy. Naturally, there were some..fatal errors in the beginning, but, over the years, I have achieved a quite sufficient level of technology to grant success in over eighty percent of the cases. Behold, my newest achievement: Mr. Daniel Roberts!"
Dave shoved a huge jar into Greg's face.
The blond blinked, then gagged.
Inside the clear glass container a brain floated in what appeared to be some kind of oily solution; fine, almost invisible wires leading from and to tiny electrodes implanted in the organ. A line of small bulbs in various colours were embedded in the stainless steel frame protecting the jar.
"Amazing, isn't it?" beamed Dave and Doc Robbins added,
"You haven't seen the best yet. Mr. Roberts, say hello to Mr. Sanders."
One green light flashed, followed by a yellow and yet another green one.
"Nice, ain't it? I created an entire morse code of sorts, only in colours. There's a micro imbedded in the socket along with a chip, which translates sound into electric impulses that he brain can discern. The according synapses and lobes activate, stimulate the responding electrodes, which are connected to the light bulbs. This way, the supposedly dead person can communicate with their surrounding- on a very basic level, of course. Neat, huh?"
Greg gaped from one grinning mortician to the other -and screamed.
Bucking and twisting, he tried to escaped his prison, just to be held down by Dave, while Robbins pulled a syringe out of literally nowhere and-
The leather band around his chest came off, freeing his arms. Greg swung his right fist and struck Dave clear across the chin, sending the other blond to the floor.
Another punch and the doctor hunched over, nursing his ribs.
Frantically, Greg tore and pulled at the remaining straps and was free, before Al had a chance to catch his breath.
Kicking the rising Dave in the shin just for good measure, Greg ran for his very life, vowing to never, ever enter the morgue without a firearm and security guard.
Humming, the mass spectrometer made its final thirty-eigth-thousand spins to break down the components of the smear found on the floor of last week's gang war. Hodges chanced a look through the microscope, then moved to the printer-
"Hodges! Oh thank God, I knew youd be the only sane person in here!" shouted Greg, as he flung himself at the trace tech, clinging to the startled Hodges and holding on for dear life.
However, his relief was short-lived, because Hodges slapped his arms away and barked,
"Unhand me, you foul peasent!"
The blond almost broke into tears, when he begged,
"Please, David, dont tell me you're into their damn game too!"
Cocking a brow, Hodges pulled at the lapels of his labcoat, tore it off ..and stood there in an elegant black suit with a fitting white dress shirt, black cloak with blood red fodder and matching black bow tie.
Gregs face drooped.
"Oh, great. Count Dracula, I assume?" Hodges gave an agreeing nod.
Greg had to admit, it suited the trace tech quite fine; especially since he had his graying hair brushed all to the front, giving him an air of carefree aloofness. Along with his natural pale complexion and uncanny sharp blue eyes, he did make quite the impressive vampire. A smirk revealed pointed, sharp white fangs.
"Precisely. However, unlike these mere humans entertaining themselves on playing dress-up and scaring their workmates, I am the only true supernatural being in this facility. So, in order to..teach them a lesson, I decided to join the fun to satisfy my own...urges."
The blond stuck his tongue into his cheek.
"Yeah, right, next youre going to try to convince me you hypnotized the whole lab." Hodges gave a small, razorthin smile.
"Again, your intellect speaks for you. While the rest of the year my powers are basically sealed off, this one night, when the gates of darkness open, I have full access to the entire spectre of my abilites."
Greg made a goofy face.
"Hodges, that's just silly. I dont know what you're on, but you really oughta see a doctor about it. Or a shrink, for that matter."
A flash of white, as the trace tech closed the distance between them and purred,
"My dear, poor, little unfaithful Greg, do you really think that a slightly above average looking guy such as myself could woo a gorgeously beautiful woman as Wendy without a little ..persuasion?" Blue eyes trained in on the brunette in the opposite lab. Greg turned and followed his gaze.
Wendy was sitting at her computer, sipping from the blood unit he'd seen before. Greg blanched and shivered, as Hodges' voice grew low and husky.
"She is perfect. I have already managed to accustom her to drinking blood. And tonight I will make her my rightful bride."
Greg jerked his head back at the trace tech.
"Wha-what?" Hodges entered the blond's personal space, forcing this one backwards against the wall.
"You-you serious? You gonna ask her out?" He stood with his back against the wall, Hodges a mere step away.
"Not asking her out, dear Greg. Making her my rightful companion. My Queen of the Night to rule over you pesky humans." He stepped away from him, rounded the table, lazily rearranging some test tubes sitting next to the microscope.
"You don't look too good, Greg. Kind of..pale. Are you sure, you're alright?"
Greg's hand flew to his face and he glanced around in search of a mirror...
Greg peeked ofer his shoulder; indeed there was the mirroring surface of a draw board hanging there...
His blood turned to ice, as he stared at his reflection.
Behind him, he could see the microscope, the test tubes moving from one holder to the next- but no Hodges.
Swerving, he saw the trace tech stand there; tube in his hand, giving him an unpertubed gaze.
"Vampires have no reflection. Everybody knows that."
The tube was gingerly placed in its hold, then Hodges made his way towards the trembling blond.
"Now, where was I? Ah, yes, my wonderful bride. Soon our mating will be conducted. However, a sacrifice is needed to tie our bond."
Hodges' long, slender fingers reached out and gently stroked Greg's cheek, wandering down the sinewy, tanned neck.
"And you, my dear boy, will make for the perfect wedding gift. Once she has drank your blood, she will be rightfully and undeniably mine, forever."
He leaned in to the petrified blond, breathing in his scent; his voice thick and hoarse with desire.
Blue locked with brown, and Hodges smirk grew just a little more smug.
"You can feel it, don't you? How your heart races? The sweat on your brow, the cold shiver down your spine? You're still resisting my influence, but soon, very soon, your resolve will break, and then-"
Greg let out a guttural, almost girlish yowl, pushed Hodges away from him and dashed out the door, almost tripping over his own feet in the process.
He looked back, seeing Hodges raise both eyebrows, screamed anew and raced down the hall towards the locker rooms.
Two hours later, the break room
"-thought he was going to take my head off!" chuckled Archie, reclining next to Mandy and Dave on the couch.
"Yeah, but I gotta hand it to you, Arch, the two synced cameras along with the non-reflective foil was a great trick!" admitted Hodges, giving a small bow to the A/V tech. The other man returned it, even as Catherine butted in,
"Yes, but Henry's idea of coating Greg's cup with dextromethorphan was ingenious! I mean, a sugar-based spray-on hallucinogen?" Henry grinned, blushing slightly at the compliment.
"Nah, it was rather simple. I mean, Greg's got a sweet tooth a mile wide, so it wasn't that hard to produce an according solution. The only thing that was really difficult was the correct dosage. Thanks, Doc. And Doc."
He nodded to Langston and Robbins, who looked at one another, then shook hands.
"I must admit, when you first clued me into your little game, I was a tad bit worried," admitted Ray, "but truth be told- it was fun." The others grinned at that.
"Oh, and lets not forget about our two leading acts! Wendy, Hodges, that was brilliant! Especially your blood curdling scream, Ms. Simms", cheered Mandy.
The other brunette smiled broadly.
"Yeah, but the exploding test tubes were a nice touch, too. Thanks again, Archie!" Archie merely shrugged and beamed proudly.
Nick, who was still plucking some remaining strands of hair from his cheek, laughed.
"Yah, but the brain in the jar part was just sick! Whoever came up with that idea? On the other hand, I dont even wanna know." He turned to Catherine, who still wore her white dress.
"As for you, White Lady, good timing with the hook, there. I doubted it would work, but it surely managed to throw Greg out of your office. I might have to remember that one next time Hodges comes to bug me."
Everyone chuckled, even as the trace tech mock laughed.
"Very funny, Wolfboy. You might want to consider sueing Rogaine for your looks, though, fuzz-face."
A collective snort rang through the break room, then Catherine said,
"Hodges, you can remove your fake fangs. It's easier to talk without them. Even if they look good on you."
Hodges gave a puzzled look.
"Fake? I already removed the fake ones. Here."
He held out his hand, a line of commonly shaped plastic dentures resting in his palm.
Catherine rolled her eyes.
"Very funny, David. I meant the pointy ones."
A dark, incredibly sinister grin appeared on Hodges' features, when he purred,
"Who ever said these were fake?"
Behind him, the door closed and locked on its own volition, even as all the lights in the entire lab went out.
And then the screaming started.
*giggles *Sorry, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to turn Hodgey into a vampire and Cath into the White Lady. Originally, Ray was supposed to double as Frankenstein's monster, but I decided against it and rather have him play with dolls.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it, and if you did, dont be a stranger and review, thanks!^^