A/N: I wrote this a while ago. I am in the process of updating I Want to Trust You. I hope this will tide you over until I can get that one up.
A little Catherine/Vartann written 2 years ago as a fanfic prompt on TALK CSI.
441 or I Wouldn't Question Jim Brass
"Vartann." His gravelly voice barked into the small device making the loud shrill sound. Unfortunately it woke him from a deep and much needed sleep.
"What…wait… what?" He questioned the caller while his eyes focused on the green numbers on the digital clock beside the bed. 1:34 am.
"Okay, hang on, I'll check," he said to the voice on the other end of the phone.
"Hey Cath," he asked his soon-to-be wife, "are you on call tonight?" as he placed the phone against his chest and leaned into the woman next to him in bed.
"HMMM What?" She asked her voice sounding just as sleepy as his. "No, I'm not."
"Why?" She asked rolling over and sitting up to face him. They had only asleep few hours and she wasn't going to leave the warmth of their bed unless it was necessary.
"Brass is on the phone and said there is a 441 in the alley next to The Flamingo. I think he's looking for you and asked for me by mistake."
"What else did he say?" Catherine Willows asked her future husband.
"Not much else, just there is a 441 and he asked for me, which, I think is odd."
"I wouldn't question Jim Brass," Catherine absent mindedly commented as she lay back down in the bed.
Twenty minutes later he was dressed and out the door.
Tony Vartann found himself walking along a dark alley adjacent to Flamingo Boulevard.
Normally this time of year was tolerable in the Las Vegas area. But this year brought exceptionally cold weather.
With one hand he finished buttoning his heavy trench coat Catherine gave him for Christmas. He was grinning to himself because he thought he would never wear it, but this particular night proved him wrong.
He felt himself shiver as a breath of warm air escaped him. He watched it swirl in the cold, dark air of the night.
A sip of coffee he bought on the way to the scene produced another breath from the warmth of his body to the outside.
He thought about his bed and how nice it would be to be in it lying next to Catherine.
Instead, he got called out to a Malicious Destruction of Property complaint, which seemed, again, very odd to him. But, Catherine was right; one doesn't question Captain Jim Brass unless he wanted to be saddled with traffic duty until the next millennium.
Mindlessly, he walked along the alley with his thoughts on his home and his bed. And , of course, the redheaded woman he left there. He continued to sip on the coffee hoping it would warm him.
He began to take in his surroundings. No one was around. Not one single lost tourist wandering aimlessly trying to find The Strip, no drunken party goers, no locals cutting through the ally to get home, no one. For Las Vegas, the city that never sleeps, having no one around didn't feel right.
Looking around he realized, there wasn't even a single police car. No blue and red lights silently guiding him to the scene, no voices in the night discussing the crime. It was completely silent.
His hand traveled to his gun holster carrying his Glock 9MM. He discarded the coffee cup and the remaining contents as he released the safety. He prepared himself for…. for… whatever was out there.
A small wave of panic crept into him that made him shiver as much as the cold. What if this is a trap? Entered his mind.
He continued to walk towards what looked like an abandoned car. In the darkness, he couldn't make out the make or the model, but the color became evident, dark blue with light blue trim.
As he walked to the car, something really jumped out at him; his name. There was no mistake, it was his name; VARTANN scrawled on the front windshield. Other words were smeared on the back windshield of the car in red, but it was his name that he focused on.
This time it was fear that stuck him. He was in the alley and armed, but, Catherine was at home, in bed alone. Sure, she could take care of herself, but yet, he still felt the need to protect her.
The idea that this was a ploy to lure him to a remote crime scene while something terrible happened to Catherine, entered his head.
Quickly, he drew his gun and shouted, "LVPD, Who's there?" to the emptiness.
No reply came.
Again, this time with more urgency in his voice, "LVPD, Identify yourself!" he yelled as he cocked his head to the side.
He turned around quickly, keeping his gun squarely in front of him, at the sound of a laugh that echoed through the alley.
"WHO'S THERE? COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!" He called to the night as desperation now entered his voice.
He tried to shake it off, the horrible feeling that this whole situation was going to turn into something bad. The longer he stood there, in the cold, dark alley, the more he got upset.
"Good, you're here." Came from the darkness in a voice he thought he could recognize.
"Who's there?" Tony stood frozen with his gun still drawn.
Jim Brass seemed to have come out of nowhere as he walked towards his friend.
A huge sigh of relief came to Tony as he lowered his gun. His head cocked to the side again this time jetting his jaw forward.
Brass walked towards the now relieved detective and stuck out his hand.
"Congratulations man, " Brass said as he enthusiastically shook Tony's hand. "I heard about your upcoming nuptials. The boys and I thought of this brilliant plan as our way of saying; congratulations," he continued.
After returning his gun to his holster, Tony swiped his tongue across his upper lip, something he probably picked up from Catherine, no doubt. "You guys had me a little worried you know."
"I know, that's what made it so brilliant," the police captain confessed with a gleam in his eye.
Cocking his head to the other side, Vartann asked, "So, who is the vandal that gets cited with the 441?"
"Oh yeah, that was Nicky," Brass replied.
"Stokes, yeah, I should have known," Tony stated.
"Yeah, it was pretty funny," Nick commented appearing next to Brass.
"So, now that you are here, how about we head to The Pepper Mill? I hear they serve a mean cheeseburger." Nick asked the two detectives. "You know, as a way of making it up to you for…. what…scaring you, right Vartann?" He snickered.
"Very funny," Tony sneered. "By the way, what else was written on the windshield?"
"Uhhh, you don't want to know, man," Nick responded placing his hand on Tony's back, "you just don't want to know."