Title: BROKEN BOY

Author: Michmak

Summary: A dead child. No clues. 'Nuff said.

Disclaimer: The only characters I own are the ones I create for the purpose of this story. All the rest? Not mine.

BROKEN BOY

The child was beautiful. Stunning, really. His solid little body was clutching an obviously much-loved Blue's Clues blanket and a tattered blue elephant in his arms. His Snugli pajamas were bright yellow, with the legs carefully cuffed over to protect his feet. He looked like one of Raphael's Angels, peacefully sleeping while the world drifted by.

From where she was standing, Sara could smell the sweet incense of baby- powder. The innocent scent was incongruous when juxtaposed with the flashing police lights, ribbons of yellow crime scene tape, and the harsh static squawk of walkie-talkies that surrounded her. She could not tear her eyes away from the child.

Flash! Flash! Flash! The sudden bright light immediately to the left front of her shot a sudden strobe-like pain through her head. She blinked and looked at Nick, who was grimly taking photographs. His jaw was clenched ferociously, his cheek bones standing out in prominent relief against his taught skin.

She turned to look for Grissom, and found him to her right, softly talking with Brass to the trucker who had found the small body. The big man was twisting a well-worn baseball hat in his beefy hands. He looked like he was trying very hard not to cry.

She turned again to look at the small boy, and gingerly moved towards him, stepping softly, almost as if she was trying not to wake him. Crouching down on her haunches in front of him, she studied his face intently, noting the small dimple in his chin. His eyebrows were delicately drawn, his nose straight, his small lips full and well-shaped. His hair was a dark blond, all unruly curls and ringlets, trimmed neatly in a clear effort to tame it. That hair would have been the bane of his existence as he grew.he wouldn't have liked it, but when combined with his already-handsome looks, he would have had no problem getting the girls.

Nick came and hunched down on the opposite side of the small body. If possible, the tense muscles around his jaw had turned impossibly white - even whiter than they had been when he was taking pictures. He studied the boys face as intently as Sara had, before looking at her. She didn't know if the deep anguish she saw in his eyes was merely a reflection to the anguish in her own, but she flinched from the raw pain she saw there.

"No visible sign of trauma to his head or hands." His voice was a harsh whisper. "No outward bruising." He glanced at the sterile gloves on Sara's hands, and then on his own. "I wish I could take these damn things off." He muttered. "I don't want to touch him with these on. It seems too clinical. I'm afraid they'll scare him.." Sara looked at him as his voice trailed off into silence, followed by his deep sigh.

"I know what you mean, Nick. He looks like he's going to wake up any minute." She gave him a small, tight smile of sympathy, before bracing herself. "Ready?" At Nick's nod of assent, she gently slide her hands under the child's left shoulder and buttock, leveraging him slightly, and gently turning him unto his side. She quickly scanned the ground underneath him, looking for anything that would provide a clue as to who this child was and what had happened to him. The only thing she saw was dirt. She slowly lowered the boy back down, into his original position.

Nick reached out a tentative hand and softly pushed his latexed fingers through the child's hair, brushing the curly bangs off his forehead, into the shape it had held before Sara had shifted him. The gentle movement caught Sara totally by surprise, and she was once again assaulted by the sweet smell of baby powder. Again, Sara heard his deep sigh.

Nick's hands moved down to the top snap of the boys pajamas, and silently he undid them, gently pushing the material to the sides. Sara shut her eyes at the sight of the small chest, gasping in shock. While there were no bruises or any other obvious signs of assault, across the middle of his chest, tattooed in blue ink, were the words: Broken Boy.

She couldn't hide the tears in her eyes as she looked at Nick, and back to the tattoo.

"What does this mean? Who would do this?" she whispered.

"I don't know Sara. I just don't know." Nick's couldn't hide the shaking in his hands as he picked up the camera beside him, and began snapping more photos. Under his breath, Sara heard him mutter, "It's gonna be a damn long night," before he turned and called in a louder voice - "Hey Grissom! Come here. There's something you should see."

Sara looked at the small body in front of her again. "Who are you?" she whispered to herself. "Who are you?"