XXIII – SUSPECTS

Brass was waiting for Grissom when he arrived at the lab.  Greg had called him, and Brass was working on a warrant for Marta's house, but he was also curious as to what Grissom was going to say to Nick when the younger man arrived.  Brass had never seen his friend admit he was wrong before; nor had he ever heard him apologize to anyone.

Of course, not being privy to the fact that Grissom had already gone to apologize to Nick after shift earlier that day, he was slightly – disappointed – when Grissom, Sara and Nick all arrived at the same time.  Not that he wanted to see Grissom squirm *he did, sorta* -but… 

"Brass – you're here!"  Grissom's voice interrupted Brass' thoughts. 

Brass shot Grissom a sardonic glance, before responding dryly, "What was your first clue?"

Grissom grinned at that – grinned! – and Brass blinked.  Twice.  What the fuck?

"Greg called you."

"Yeah.  I'm just working on a warrant for Marta's house.  I'm assuming you're going to want to speak with Miles?"

"Eventually.  I'll wait until you bring Marta in."

Brass nodded, "Fine with me."  He looked over at Nick, who was still standing there, and smiled, "Good call on the hair, Nick.  You broke the case."

Nick smiled at that, "Sometimes, knowing how to flirt is a good thing, right Grissom?" 

Brass blinked again.  Was Nick teasing Grissom?  He shot a look at Sara, who was trying not to grin, before looking in disbelief back at Grissom, who was actually a little red in the face. 

Brass shook his head, before leaning in and studying Grissom's ID with great exaggeration.

Grissom sighed, "Jim – what are you doing?"

"Wanted to make sure it was really you, and not Rod Sterling." Brass muttered, before grinning at his friend.  "I missed the apology, eh?"

Grissom rolled his eyes, but didn't seem too upset that Brass had asked.  Brass smiled, "I thought it would get a lot colder in Nevada when Hell froze over."

* * * * *

Sara was talking to Greg in the break room when Warrick arrived, Lyndsey in tow.  "Hey – you seen Grissom around?"

Sara shrugged, "He and Nick went with Brass to search Marta's place and bring her in for questioning."

"Grissom and Nick?"

"Yeah," Sara grinned. "Hey, Lynds, what are you doing here?"

"Vanessa's car broke down so mommy went to get her.  Warrick brought me with him until Vanessa can take me home," the little girl stated, matter-of-factly.  "Did you know I gots a new puppy?  Uncle Warrick took my today to get one."

"Wow, a puppy!"  Greg grinned, "Is she cute?  I have a dog too – Ms. America - he's looking for a girlfriend."

Lyndsey giggled, "Gre-egggy – my puppy's just a puppy – she's too little to fall in love."

"And since we got her at the ASPCA, she's going to be s-p-a-y-e-d," Warrick spelled out, as he reached into the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water, "before she does."

Greg sighed, "So – no puppies?"

"No puppies." Warrick confirmed.

Lyndsey looked back and forth between the two men.  "I don't need anymore puppies anyway," she announced.  "I'm getting a new baby sister."

Warrick choked, "Lyndsey – you know that's not -"

Sara interrupted him, "Your mom is going to have a baby?"

The little girl nodded happily, "Soon, now.  She and Uncle Warrick are going to get married."

The silence in the room was deafening.  Warrick could feel the hot blush spreading across his face.

"Warrick and Catherine?"  Greg sounded both shocked and gleeful, and Warrick stifled a groan.  Cath was going to kill him.

"Lynds," he began again, his voice gruff. 

The little girl just grinned at him.  "What?  You were kissing her."

"I thought we explained that -"

"You said you loved me."

"I do -"

"You got me a puppy."

"Well, yes.  But puppies are a lot easier to get then babies, and -"  Warrick stopped talking, and looked at Greg and Sara, who were both avidly listening.  "You two mind?" he muttered.

"I don't mind.  Do you mind, Greg?"  Sara asked.

Greg shrugged, but he winked at Lyndsey when he did.  "Why should I care who Warrick kisses?  He's not my boyfriend!"

Lyndsey giggled, and Warrick glared at Sara and Greg. "Will you two knock it off?"

"But this is so – elucidating…" Greg replied.

Sara snorted, and he turned to look at her, smiling evilly, "Grissom kiss you yet, Sara?"

Sara turned beet-red, "Wh-what?"

"You heard me."

"You and Grissom are gonna have a baby too?" Lyndsey squealed, "That's so cool!"

* * * * *

Marta was nothing if not blatant.  When Brass had rung her doorbell, she had answered in a short black silk peignoir set.  She had looked at Brass blankly for all of two seconds, before she caught sight of Nick over Brass' shoulder, and smiled flirtatiously.

"Well, hello there.  I wasn't expecting to see you again so – soon.  Or with anyone else.  What can I do for you gentlemen?"

"Warrant."  Brass muttered, "And we'll need to take you back to the station with us."

Marta's hand fluttered to her chest, and she stepped back into the foyer, "Warrant?  For what?"

"We know you were involved in the burglary at the Icarus."  Nick said this with a great deal of satisfaction as he followed Brass and Grissom into the house.  "We have your brother in custody.  Your hair looks nice, by the way."

Marta quirked her eyebrows together. "My – brother?  What are you talking about?"

"Mr. Raymond Miles, concierge at the Icarus.  Your brother."  Grissom elucidated.  "DNA doesn't lie."

"DNA?"  Marta repeated blankly. 

"You might want to change," Nick offered.  "I don't think you want to go to the station wearing that."

Marta looked stunned, "I'm expecting company."

"Anyone we should know about?" Nick questioned.  "Perhaps another accomplice?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

Nick sighed, "Marta.  You're involved up to your eyeballs.  We got you dead to rights."

Marta wrapped her arms around herself and sullenly followed the three men further into the house, trying to pretend she wasn't nervous.  "You're not going to find anything here – I wasn't involved."

"And I'm Harry Houdini," Brass muttered.  Grissom walked into Marta's bedroom and lifted the top off the laundry hamper.

"Do you really need to go through my dirty laundry?"

"Yes."  Grissom's reply was succinct.  "Hey, Nick – look at this."

Nick walked over to where Grissom was standing, and glanced into the hamper.  "Black spandex cat suit," he grinned, quickly pulling on a pair of latex gloves and lifting it out of the hamper, "One piece.  Wonder if any of the fibers Cat retrieved from the ventilation system will match."

Turning, he let his eyes wander over the room, before he headed towards the large walk-in closet dominating the far wall.  "Anything interesting in here?  Like a watch cap?  Or perhaps some jewelry that doesn't belong to you?"

Marta stared at them sullenly.  Brass smiled at her grimly before opening up a couple of dresser drawers and rifling through them.  "I found a gun," he offered, as he popped open the clip and counted the bullets, "We're missing three.  Pretty sloppy, Marta."

The sound of the doorbell made them all jump.  "You better answer that," Brass offered.  "Sounds like your company has arrived.  Nick – you want to go with her?  I'll cover, in case something goes wrong."

Nick grinned, "Sure thing, Brass."  Taking Marta's arm, he escorted her down the hallway.  The doorbell peeled again.

"Answer it."

"Fine," Marta retorted, pasting a false smile on her face and opening the doorway. 

It was Willem van der Brucke.

* * * * *

Catherine sighed as she flipped open her cell phone, "Yeah?"

"Cath – it's me."

"Hey Warrick.  I'll be there soon – Vanessa's with me.  Her car's been towed to that garage you were telling us about.  I'm going to give her my car – you don't mind taking me home after shift, do you?"  Her tone was teasing, and she grinned at the silence on the other end as she winked at Vanessa.  The younger woman grinned at her.

"It's fine with me Cath – I just wanted to give you a heads up."

"About what?"

"Lynds told Greg and Sara about her new baby sister."

Catherine almost drove off the road, "She did what?"

"You heard me."

"But we told her -"

"I know what we told her, and obviously, she wasn't listening."

Dead silence, on both ends.  Finally, Catherine sighed, "Does it bother you?"

"Does what bother me?"

"The fact that everyone at the lab is going to know we're seeing each other outside of work."

She felt like she was holding her breath, waiting for Warrick to answer.  "Doesn't bother me," he finally responded.  "As long as we really are seeing each other outside the lab."

Catherine smiled, "Where's Lyndsey now?"

"Greg hooked up one of the video games for her, and they're playing.  Want to know something else?"

"Don't tell me we're having twins – I couldn't handle that," Catherine teased.

Warrick chuckled, "Nope – no twins.  But apparently, Grissom and Sara are 'having a baby', too."

Catherine shrieked and dropped the phone, feeling for it frantically before bringing it back to her ear, "Warrick – you still there?"

"Yeah.  But I think my hearing is damaged."

"Sorry – but…did you just tell me Grissom finally kissed Sara?"

She could hear Warrick's smile over the phone, "That's what I said.  And, if Sara's blush was anything to go by when Greg was teasing her, it's true."

Catherine started laughing, "Well.  I'll be damned.  Nick's little scheme worked after all.  Go, Nicky!"

____________________________________

Author's Note:

Almost done with this story.  Only one or two more chapters.  Thanks for your continued patience – please R&R – it means a lot to me.