"Sara, I've got a 419 for you. You can take Greg with you, in case he decides he wants to work with you and not with Morgan." Russell looked at Greg, who sat next to Morgan. They were in a conversation about their last case.
"I thought they're still working a case." Sara leant on the door frame to Russell's office. Grissom's old office. Many times, when she came here, she thought of the time when her former supervisor, now husband, sat in this office and they talked. She missed working with him but being married to him was better than working with him. Especially since he was in Vegas and worked for the university here. Finally they saw each other every day, no more telephone calls and chats in front of the camera.
"Almost done, she can wrap it up alone. The question is, does boyfriend Greg wants to be with you or girlfriend Morgan?"
"I will find out." Sara took the sheet of paper and went over to Greg and Morgan in the break room. "Hey guys, I've a 419 and could need some help. To quote Russell: does boyfriend Greg wants to be with me or with girlfriend Morgan...what about you and Hodges?" She looked at the blonde. Rumor was Morgan and Hodges were a couple, at least they went out a couple of times - with their parents together. The only thing worse han going out with Hodges was going with Hodges and Ecklie. Poor Morgan, you couldn't choose your family, right?
"So Greg is your boyfriend?"
"No! Russell just says this because...he's Russell..."
"Okay." To her this made sense. Sara looked at Greg. "So?"
"I'm all yours." He grinned and got up. "You can wrap up the case alone and we'll talk about this issue later."
"Later, when you have to buy me a beer because you're wrong and I'm right; again."
"In your dreams." He followed Sara, grabbed his kit on the way out and tried to get his eyes on the sheep of paper. "What is this case about?"
"DB in the mountains, Jim is on his way too. No more information. What is it between you and Morgan?"
"Nothing." His voice sounded defensive.
"What is it between her and Hodges?"
"Nothing...her father and his mother are dating...and for some strange reasons they believe, Morgan and Hodges are a couple too. I've no clue why and she never gave me a real answer to this question. All I know, they both had this double dates and hope, their parents meet without them; if they have to see each other at all."
"Okay. What would you like to have between her and you?"
"We're colleagues...just because you married your boss it doesn't mean everybody else dates somebody from work."
"You can date her, lab policy isn't against it. Hodges and Wendy dated too."
"Yeah...I will never understand why she dated him. What can possible be attractive about Hodges?"
"Don't ask me. When you want somebody who points out attractive or sexy parts of Hodges, I can't be your source."
"Women can always name what is sexy on a man. You're a woman."
"Not when it comes to Hodges."
"Does that mean before you image dating Hodges you imagine dating a woman?"
"It means I'm married, happily married and the only man I think of is my husband. Maybe every now and then you, because you're my best friend. But I think of you like you think of a little brother."
"It started so good and ended...not this good. Anyway, let me guess, you want to drive?" He lifted the keys.
"Of course." With a smirk she took the keys and opened the car. Time to get up in the mountains. It was a warm evening, the sun set down a few minutes ago, by the time they arrived at the scene, there would be a lot of stars. What a pity she didn't have her husband by her side. A case with Grissom under the stars, in the mountains...wait, they had something like that. When he told her about a crime scene, it was a good make-out place. Right. They should go to this place, it had been a while they were there and...watched stars...
"Gosh, this isn't in the mountains, this is in the middle of nowhere...no, the middle of nowhere is too central, this is nowhere in the nowhere." Sara swore when she had to drove the car back a little bit to get over the rest of a broken branch. The forth or fifth on the road. Or the space between the trees they used as a road, it wasn't a real road, not even an real off road path.
"It's a cross way, show me how good you are with a car. Or shall I drive if it's too difficult for you?" Greg offered with a smirk.
"Shut up and look on the GPS...if it's still working. I don't want to get lost here."
"It's working and we're on the right way. Less than a mile and we're at our DB. I wonder how Super-Dave will make it to here."
"The same way we do. Swearing and late." Sara pushed the pedal to the metal and their car jumped over another branch, flew for a second before they hit the ground.
"Damn it, you're not a cross rally driver." Greg held his head.
"No, but I could be one, I'm good enough. Look, there are lights, we're almost there." Sara tried to speed up the car, but the trees and branches made it impossible. As soon as she accelerated, she had to hit the brakes again or their car would end up in front of a car.
Glad to make it to the scene with a working car and a little bit sea-sick she jumped out off the car and took a second to get her feet used to solid ground again. The fresh air helped and when her eyes were right, Greg needed a second too before he got his kit.
"Sara, you made it in record time."
"Felt like ages. Who finds a body here? Who is here?"
"This guy over there." Jim pointed to a man in his late twenties, who stood next to a woman around the same age. Both talked to officers and looked shocked. "He and his girlfriend were out for a hike, left the tracks for a shortcut and when he wanted to take a leek, he found the DB. Lucky for us and them, they have a walkie-talkie, a cell phone doesn't work here."
"No surprise." Sara walked to the dead body, or what was left of it.
"He or she is here for a few days." Greg said when he stopped next to her.
"Yeah...there isn't much left of our DB, somebody was faster and hungry." Most of the flesh was gone, coyotes and mountain lions had their share before the bugs took over the rest.
"So many bugs...and Nick is on his three weeks vacation in Europe, we don't have a bug man around."
"Well, I know one." Brass looked at Sara.
"What?" She knew exactly who he was talking about.
"Your husband happens to be the best, why don't you give him a call?"
"Because it's almost midnight and he doesn't work for LVPD anymore." And Grissom didn't come back to Las Vegas to work cases, he came back to lecture at the university. He made the decision not to work law enforcement anymore and people should accept it. When he was away in South America and Europe they handled their cases without him too.
"I'm sure he will agree of being the consultant if you ask him."
"No. That's not my job. I won't mix up my private life and work. If LVPD wants Grissom to work the case, Ecklie or whoever has to ask him. And his cell phone is off at this time, he needs to be back at the university around eight. Some people sleep at night." And right now she missed the time when she slept at this time too.
"I'm sure he misses working at night."
"Ask him. Tomorrow morning." Sara bent down. "I will collect a few of them, Greg can you start with the photos?"
"Sure. Look, Super-Dave arrived. I bet he hated the drive as much as we did."
"The trip up here isn't a joyride." Brass agreed. "I...uhm...well, I can't talk to any other witnesses. I'll call the ranger, inform them about this and...take our two witnesses back to Vegas. Enjoy your time up here..."
"Thanks. I'm sure we're stuck here for a couple of hours" Sara missed already a fresh coffee. Until she got one, it would be morning, late morning.
"Oh, one more thing."
"We need an ID of this guy...woman...good luck with finding a wallet."
"Just...let us work." She grumbled. Great. A wallet. How were they supposed to find a wallet? Whoever killed this person took it with him. Or it was taken away by animals, who loved carrying things away from the crime scene. Meant, they had to search the area. Precious. Searching the woods in the mountains for a wallet. At night.
An hour later when the body was taken away, Sara and Greg took a little break. So far there was no wallet, all they found was a ring. Nothing expensive, ordinary silver ring with a N as an eye catcher. If the killer took the wallet and left the ring, it was worthless. Greg found it soon after he started to look for the wallet and additional evidence, sent a photo of it to the lab, so they could check if it was mentioned in the missing person database.
"Do you think our DB also took a shortcut?" He sipped on his coffee. Luke warm coffee. The only thing you got here.
"I don't know. Our witnesses took a shortcut, I can't think of a reason why you want to hike here at all. There's no view and you have to watch every step."
"Around a mile above us is a place with a view over the canyon and down in the canyon is a river, perfect for a swim. At least that's what the ranger told me." A few minutes after they arrived at the scene a park ranger joined them. "The first DB in a year."
"Is this supposed to be good or bad?"
"For this area good. People like to dump bodies here."
"No wonder, a remote area, nobody comes here unless he's a hiker and they're the perfect target. Nobody hears you calling out for help, nobody comes here without a reason and there are no reasons to end up here except the shortcut to..." Sara stopped. Irritated she looked at Greg, who gave her the same look, she gave him. Yes, he heard that too. There was noise, it wasn't an animal, it was...an engine...didn't they just say nobody comes here without a reason? Their team was complete, they didn't except another cop or ranger, who...was the killer on his way back?
Before they could react the noise became louder, a light appeared between the trees and came closer. Fast. No, this couldn't be the killer, all the lights they used made them visible for everybody and when you kill somebody, you don't get back to the scene when police and CSI were around.
With one more loud engine noise a black cross bike stopped right next to them, a little bit of dirt from the stop flew on their clothes.
"What the fuck...?" Sara starred at the person on the bike. Dressed in tight black leather pants, black leather jacket, covered in mud. Relaxed body language, like he had a ride on the beach, black gloves pulled the helmet off the head and...the man became a woman.
"Sofia?" Now Sara was more than surprised. What was the former detective doing here? On a cross bike.
"Deputy Chief Curtis, I had no idea you're a biker lady." Greg's jaw stayed down, where it dropped when Sofia stopped her bike next to them. Their old colleague was...he had no idea, his brain didn't work anymore.
"Sorry it took me so long." Sofia shook her long blonde hair, got off the bike, put the helmet on it.
"We had no idea you'd come...since when does the Deputy Chief come to a crime scene? In the middle of nowhere."
"A favor for the Sheriff and Undersheriff. Where was the DB?"
"Why are they interested in our DB?"
"Remember Izzy Delancy?"
"Sure." Like she remembered everything of the miniature killer; especially the part where she became a victim. Did Sofia want to tell her, this case was related to the miniature killer case? That was impossible.
"You've found the young and successful version. Natas Live, a heavy metal rock star, who was missing since one week."
"Natas Live? Are you serious?" Greg's jaw ended down again.
"Yes. The ring is his, we need autopsy to confirm, but so far it looks like it's him."
"His music is great. He's the new Marilyn Manson."
"What happened to the real Marilyn Manson?"
"He is old, Natas Live's music is more...alive."
"Well, he isn't anymore, I guess that makes Marilyn the winner."
"Oh my god, imagine we find evidence linked to Marilyn, we can get him into the department and talk to him...a real star in our department..."
"I'm the primary on this case and you won't talk to Brian Warner, you're too much of a fan."
"You know his real name, you must be a fan too."
"No, I've a friend and I listen to the things he tells me. What do you want here, Sofia? Are you here to make sure we don't make mistakes?"
"I'm here to tell you who your DB might be and make sure, everything is done the way it should be. And to handle the press, who will be here within the next hours. I try to keep them off your crime scene, ordered a few more officers. And yes, I'm also here to tell you to work faster. Means, break is over." She took Greg's coffee. "Go back to work and maybe I told the officers to get fresh coffee here, we'll stay a few more hours. Oh and Greg?"
"No fan comments when the press is around - or the Sheriff. They find out you're a fan, you're off the case. It's between us, okay? At least for now."
"Okay." Natas Live. He worked the scene of Natas Live.