Disclaimer: I don't own anything but those words
Summary: They can solve murders, but can they get away with one?
This take place back in the days when the original graveyard shift was all there, no one's dead, no one's gone… good times, good times… written from Catherine's POV
A/N:Yes, I am working on my on-going story and the sequel I should be writing now… but Mojo wandered off, I had to follow not to lose him and this is what he came up with.
"She's going to be alright," says Warrick with little conviction.
"I don't think so," replies Sara.
"Don't say that, Rick's right, she's going to be alright. She has to be alright," Nick pouts a bit.
We are all looking at the unanimated body in front of us, each one of us wincing at the sight.
"Guys, sorry to burst your bubble, but it's over," says Greg with finality.
"Oh, we are so screwed…" I moan before passing my hands through my hair.
There's a general round of cursing, I can feel my spine growing cold. I can't believe this is happening. It can't be, surely I'm going to wake up soon.
"I think I'm going to be sick," Nick declares.
"What have we done… oh god, what have we done?" mumbles Warrick.
"It's called murder, mate," Sara informs him without emotion.
"We are screwed… we are completely and utterly screwed," Greg whines, echoing my earlier statement.
"It was an accident," Nick offers nervously.
"Yeah, good luck proving that one cow-boy," Greg replies with sarcasm.
"Nick, everything in that scene is screaming 'murder'," Sara adds sternly.
"Nobody wanted to kill her!" Nick protests through his teeth so as not to raise his voice.
"Really? You were singing a different tune not so long ago, when she was still alive and I don't remember you holding back when you were beating her," Sara points out, her patience clearly running out.
"Because you did hold back, right?" Nick snaps back. "I just defended myself, she had the crazy eyes, okay?"
"Sure Nicky," sarcasm drips from Sara's voice.
"Listen, it doesn't matter anymore, the fact is that she's dead now and we're all responsible for it!" I put an end to their argument.
"I'm not taking the fall for this," Nick says raising this hand in surrender.
I narrow my eyes at him, if looks could kill there'd be another body in the room. "Alright, let me make it clear for everyone once for all. We are all in this together. We got in this situation together and we are going to get out of it the same way. If anybody so much as thinks about bailing out, let me assure you that I don't mind adding another dead body to my record at this very point in time."
"Everybody take it down a notch and focus. In case you forgot we have a dead body on our hands," Greg steps in before I can let my murderous desire run free.
"You do realise that Grissom will know something is wrong when he doesn't see her? He loves her so much he spends time with her everyday," Sara points out.
We are still, trying to figure out how did everything go from good to utterly bad in a matter of minutes. It's the kind of question I always ask myself when I talk to the perps… and now… now that I'm the other side of the fence I understand that a lapse of judgement is all it takes.
"We need to tell Grissom," Nick proposes after a long silence of contemplation.
I look at him with a frown. He cannot be serious. "Brilliant idea Nicky," I clap my hands together slowly in a false applause. "Let's go find our boss and let him know we've just committed a murder in the middle of the lab. I'm sure he's going to give us medals and cookies."
"Oh shut up Cath, at least I'm trying to find a solution," he dismisses me.
"Anybody else has a genius idea?" I ask around with a ton that let them know that I'm in no mood for jokes right now.
We are all thinking hard and fast, the atmosphere of the room is suffocating; I look around and only see nervousness painted on every faces. I think it's safe to say that the severity of the situation is slowly dawning on us.
"I say we… get rid of the body," Warrick's deep voice resounds in the room. Four pairs of eyes are glued on him, I think we're all surprised he'd suggest such a thing. "Don't look at me like that. You know the rule: no body, no evidence, no crime."
"Yeah…" Greg points a finger toward Warrick. "Yeah… I'm with him."
"Me too," Nick joins them.
Sara looks at them one at a time, her eyes round as saucer plates. "You are all out of your. Fucking. Minds," she stresses out every word.
I sigh deeply. "As much as I hate to admit it, Rick is right."
"Oh come on, not you too," she pleads.
"Sara, look at it this way," Nick starts. "There are five of us, one dead body and we've all agreed on the fact that none of us is willing nor wanting to do the time for it, so it's best we make sure there no crime to begin with."
"Besides, that's what we're getting paid for," Greg adds.
Sara narrows her eyes at him. "Right now I'm wondering what you're doing for a living, because committing murder, getting rid of a body and hiding my traces was never in my job description," she informs him
I can't help chuckling, but it's more out of nerves than amusement.
"Come on Sar, you know what he meant. We are five experimented CSIs who knows all there is to know to cover ourselves," Nick defends Greg.
"Alright, we need an action plan," Warrick announces. Sara doesn't add anything but we know she'll follow our plan if only because she's outnumbered.
I could swear hearing the gears of our brains all working together. It's one thing to find evidence, another to think in reverse and think about the one we shouldn't miss.
"Covering out tracks will be easy, our main problem is to get the body out of here inconspicuously," I point out.
"We use a box," Greg shrugs.
"A box?" Nick frowns.
"Yeah, we stuff the body in, then we pass it off as moving old furniture," Greg elaborates. "You know, when you think about it, the lab is the best place to commit a murder," he adds as an afterthought, which earns him odd glares from everyone.
"Okay, hum… Cath, Nick, go get some biohazard product to get rid of the blood and everything we might need, the rest of us will put the body in a box," Sara takes the lead.
Nick and I go out and split in order to find different product, when we come back Sara, Warrick and Greg are still trying to decide how best to move the body.
Sara makes a funny face as they start moving the body from its spot to the box they have found. "Careful now," Warrick mumbles.
Once the body is secured in the box we all look at it, guilt overwhelming us. I don't think any of us ever dreamt to find ourselves on this side of the crime.
"Am I the only one to find it quite unsettling that we are so cool about this whole situation?" Sara asks with uncertainty.
"To be honest, it kind of turns me on," Greg replies.
Once again every head snaps in his direction. "Okay, Greg, seriously? You're freaking me out right now," Sara remarks.
She has a point, Greg's remarks are quite disturbing considering the context. You'd think he has found a new vocation.
"I'm just saying," he shrugs.
"Just shut up, and put some biohazard product on the blood stains," I push the bottle into his chest.
"Alright, let's hustle with the cleaning of the room, we have a little more than 40 minutes to go for our lunch break," Warrick warns us.
With the five of us it takes only ten minutes to make the room spotless again. We then decide what to do next, and Sara who was reluctant to partake our plan actually comes up with the best ideas. We move in the corridor in pack, talking about the weather all the way making sure that no one is paying too much attention to us.
We take two cars and make a five minutes drive to our destination. Sara and I open the march while the boys fall behind us with the offending box. Sara and I exchange a look then get in characters and rush inside the building.
"Steven, stop!" we scream, panting from our short run to the funeral home.
"Stop the incinerator right now!" I order.
The young man in front of us obeys immediately and watches us with panic. "What? What's going on?"
"Who did you just put in there?" I ask urgently.
"Uh… Devon Baxter?"
"Oh fuck me swinging!" Sara curses and puts hands in her hair before punches the air. "We're screwed… Grissom's going to kill us."
"What? I had the order to incinerate the body… I… had the order," Steven stammers.
"Who gave you the order?" I continue my interrogation. "This body is part of an ongoing investigation!"
"Uh… I… I got the file in my office," he offers timidly.
He invites us to his office and we follow him, as I step into the room I can hear Sara speaking in hush tone 'go, go, go!', she urges the boys before closing the door of Steven's office and joining me to send a dark glare at Steven, fully knowing that it will make him nervous.
Our strategy works as planned because Steven, sensing our eyes boring holes in his skull is putting his office upside down even though the file he's looking for is in plain sight on the top of desk, however since Sara and I are stalling for time we don't mention that interesting fact.
After ten minutes he finally looks at his desk and spots the file. "Oh, there it is!" he grabs the file and opens it. "Devon Baxter… thirty days without reclamation, authorized incineration," he reads the important lines, then hands me the file.
I read it and Sara leans against me toe read over my shoulder. "I'm going to kill Richard!" she mutters. I'm a little taken aback and my eyes meet hers briefly, but I don't say anything and trust her to run her play.
"Who's… Richard?" Steven asks.
Richard is the guy who stood me up about three weeks ago, I've told the gang over breakfast and we came with a game called 'crappiest excuses to escape a date', then we made a running joke between us according to which anything going wrong is Richard's fault. However, now is not the time for a joke.
"He's the new intern we have at our morgue and he's doing a crappy job," she says with irritation. "That ass, just nearly give us all a heart attack and sent us on a goose chase," she goes on. She sighs. "Devon Baxter is a man," she points out.
"Yes, I know… so?" Steven doesn't see the point.
"Well our Devon is a 25 year old girl, so if Richard had checked the file properly we wouldn't be standing here breathing down your neck."
Oh, nice one, Sidle.
"I'm going to have a serious talk with him," I growl for good measure.
"Uh… so that means, we're good?" Steven asks tentatively. "I mean, I haven't done any mistakes, right?"
"Yeah, Steven, don't worry," I let him off the hook. "Sorry, I yelled," I give him an apologetic smile.
Steven lets out a long sigh of relief, then Sara and I start walking out of his office. The boys are standing on the other side of the door, waiting for us; Warrick rubs his left earlobe then crosses his arms over his chest, our signal confirming that everything went as planned on their ends. I nod discreetly and take a deep breath.
"False alarm… Devon Baxter is man," I point the incinerator. "Our Devon is a woman…" I put them up to date with our lie. "Richard messed up… again," I add.
The boys hold back laughs, and manage to convey exasperation at our imaginary intern; then they act relieved as we are.
Steven laughs nervously then walks back to the incinerator. He pushes the button to activate it again then looks at us. "You scientist are really something, you know that?" he jokes.
Oh yeah, you have no idea.
"Not that I'm bored to have you around, but…" he walks to us and motions the exit.
"Oh yeah, sure, we're going, sorry for bothering you," Warrick states before walking away. Nick and Greg salute Steven as well and follow Warrick.
Sara waits a bit then unexpectedly kisses Steven cheeks. "I'm really sorry about all that, you're doing a great job, we were all just really stressed out."
"Don't worry about it," he dismisses her apology with a blush and a shy smile. I have to give her that, she's good.
I follow her lead and kiss his cheek as well before winking at him. I have the time to see him turn another shade of red before walking to the exit with Sara, serene in the fact that Steven will be too confuse about the kisses to put too much thought into what happened today.
Once we are all back to the cars, we don't waste time celebrating our well oiled plan, we briefly exchange looks wavering between guilt and relief, then we drive back to the lab, making sure to get some food on our way in order to justify our absence.
The rest of the shift goes by smoothly, just as we were starting to think that had manage to get away with our sin, Grissom calls in a 911 meeting. When I walk into the conference room the boys and Sara are already there, we all nod to each other; we can do this, we made sure to have a story and answers to everything, we've gone this far we can go further, it's all about keeping our calm.
Grissom finally shows up with a sombre expression on his face.
He knows, crap.
Alright, let's not panic, we can do this.
"I have called this meeting because I have a terrible new. Terrie has disappeared," he declares.
Or maybe he doesn't know.
"Terrie?" I frown.
"Isn't that the hot smoking blonde you used to date?" Greg asks.
Grissom looks at him blankly then shakes his head. "No, Terrie's my hot smocking pink tarantula," he elaborates, speaking of his 'pet' makes his feature go from those of a grown man to the one of a five year old in a matter of second.
"You have got to be kidding me…" I snort.
"I'd never joke about Terrie," he says firmly.
He has misinterpreted my reaction, but I don't correct him and go on. "How exactly did that happen?" I keep him in track.
"Well… she was in her metamorphosis phase… I let the lid of her terrarium slightly open, because she likes a little breeze during this time and I didn't thought she'd complete the process during my absence. She just… escaped. I don't understand, she never left before," he says with a small voice.
"Just to be clear… there's a tarantula big as my hand, loose in the lab," Warrick states calmly. At Grissom's nod, he shakes his head. "That is so wrong, Griss."
"I know… look, she must be scared by her new environment as we speak. We need to find her and…"
"Wow, time out," Sara makes a 'T' with her hands. "I'd rather touch Norbert bare-handed than look for a giant tarantula," she declares alluding to the pig foetus floating in a jar in Grissom's office.
"Yeah, me too… spiders freak me out," Greg adds.
Grissom looks crestfallen and turns to Nick, Warrick and I with pleading eyes. "But if we don't find her, something could happen to her."
"Griss, we can't go around and ask people to be on the watch for a tarantula, that would cause a wave of panic."
"Yeah, I'm sure Terrie is sweet but, most people don't like spiders."
"I know… that's why we need to find her. This lab is like a jungle for her, and people will be mean to her," he pouts like a little kid.
"We'll keep our eyes open," I offer because he breaks my heart right now.
"I'm sure she's fine," Warrick tries to sheer him up as well.
"Yeah… she probably just went out for a walk or something, you know… to stretch her legs," Nick adds. "I'm sure she'll come back home."
"I shouldn't have let the lid open…" Grissom sighs and for a moment there I'm afraid he might cry. He stands up and smiles sadly at us. "If you see her, don't panic and just page me, please," he demands softly. We all agree to do our best. "Thank you guys, I appreciate it," he says, then turns around walks away his head hung low, his shoulders down as if he was carrying the world on it, and a pitiful expression.
We all look at each other, our guilt now tenfold after this meeting. I wait for him to round the corner and be out of earshot before shutting down the door.
"Terrie? Can you believe that he named that monster?" Warrick ask out loud.
"That must be the short for 'Terror'," Greg replies.
"I feel so awful right now," Sara whispers, voicing what we all feel.
"Tell me about it," I put a hand on my stomach, feeling nauseous. "Oh and nice Nicky, 'she's stretching her legs… don't worry she'll come back home'," I speak to him with a stupid voice. "What was that?"
"Yeah," Greg snorts. "That was a bit over the top."
"What did you want me to say? Sorry Griss, we sent Terrie to spiders' heaven?" Nick defends himself. "Did you see him, he was breaking my heart."
"If he ever finds out that we killed the damn thing he'll never get over it…" Greg declares pensively.
"Are you kidding me?" I snap. "He's not going to find out, because we're not going to tell him anything, EVER!"
"She's right, we've just been through the hassle to cover our tracks, so it's not to give ourselves away now," Sara backs me up.
"I'm serious, we're all going to swear to take this secret to our grave. We are never talking about that incident again, not to our family, not to our friends, not to anybody, not even among ourselves. Clear?"
Everyone agrees, but I don't let go until I hear the words 'I promise' out of each mouth and promising to keep silence myself.
"On the upside, we now know what to get him for Christmas," Warrick states nonchalantly.
"You got that right," Sara mumbles.
Unexpectedly, Greg starts to laugh in a boisterous manner. We all look at him and wonder if he has gone mad after all. When he realizes that he's the only one laughing he speaks. "I was just thinking… that it was funny how Grissom was right without knowing it," he laughs again while we are still at loss. "Well, Terrie was smocking hot… literally."
There a bit, then in spite of everything we join his laughter even though the joke is not of a good taste.
"Greg man… that's cold," Sara says in between laughter.
We laugh away our perfect crime, as no one will ever know about the encounter we had with Terrie, earlier that day in a lab, and encounter that turns for the worst for the poor little thing. We have now officially succeeded to get away with murder.
Oh well… Griss really shouldn't have left the lid open.
Thanks for reading