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10 March 2008 @ 07:35 pm
Bindings [CSI; Grissom/Catherine]  
TITLE: Bindings
CHAPTER 5
FANDOM: CSI
PAIRING: Grissom/Catherine
SPOILERS: "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?" (5x06)
RATING: PG-13
SUMMARY:


*****

"Got anything yet?" Sara asked as she strolled into the evidence room, the drawing of Catherine sealed in a manila evidence bag not just to keep away prying eyes, but to keep away the disturbing, heart-wrenching image.

Nick shook his head, busy glancing over the other comic book drawings spread across the lit-up evidence table. "Nothin' yet," he drawled. "Mia's working on that DNA from the envelope, and Greg and Warrick are checking out the van for any more clues about the Rackish murder."

Sara nodded, pursing her lips, then tossed the evidence bag onto the table. "I looked that drawing over inch by inch," she murmured, shaking her head as she took a seat on the stool beside Nick. "Aside from the pose and general look of the sketch, there's nothing connecting it with the drawing of Kaitlin."

"Well, the van was already in our possession by the time Catherine was taken, so... that makes sense."

She sighed, shaking her head. "What the hell are we gonna do, Nick?" she asked softly, bravely reaching forward to take the drawing out of its envelope. When her gaze settled on the fearful look drawn in Catherine's eyes, she felt her own start to water -- fear, anger, and sadness gripping her insides like a vise. "What are we gonna do if he... if he k--"

"Hey, hey..." Nick placed an arm around his companion supportively, rubbing her back in small circles. He pressed a brief, chaste kiss to her temple, wiping the few tears that had begun to escape. "Don't dwell on that, Sara. Just don't." His voice was low, placating yet confident... strong. "We will find her. We'll find her, and get her back safe and alive. Just--"

"Guys!" Greg Sanders' spikey-haired form appeared in the doorway, the expression on his face one of exuberance, while Warrick stepped up behind him.

"What?"

"We got something from the van." Greg held out two items to the brunette CSI's, one being an evidence bag filled with a strange black powder... the other a sheet of paper printed from the GCMS.

Nick took the bag while Sara took the piece of paper, her chestnut eyes scanning the information laid out on the page while Nick opened the baggie and took a whiff of whatever was inside. "Toner?" Sara enquired, turning her eyes up to Warrick and Greg, who had now stepped fully into the room.

Greg nodded while Warrick reached across the table, pulling the drawing toward him. As his eyes did a visual sweep of it, he shook his head, his voice a disdainful whisper. "That son of a bitch..."

Greg, who'd opened his mouth to continue filling Nick and Sara in on his findings, suddenly looked over to the drawing that held Warrick's attention. When his eyes settled on Catherine's familiar features, they widened. "Whoa, damn."

"Guys, gimme that." Sara plucked the drawing from their fingers and slid it back into the evidence envelope, taping it shut once again. "Enough people have seen it, now." She pointed sternly at Greg. "And don't you go spreading word of this all around the lab!"

He held up his hands in surrender, genuine innocence on his boyish features. "Hey, never about something like this. I take this stuff way too seriously."

Nick then steered the conversation back onto its original course. "So what would toner be doing in that van?"

"That was my question," Warrick replied. "And according to the GCMS, it's not just ordinary, 'home-copier' toner. It's for a real, industrial copying machine. Ones they use in business offices and stuff."

"Or college campuses," Sara chimed in, raising an eyebrow.

The four young CSI's shared looks, before Nick and Warrick rose to head to the campus, and Sara and Greg headed for the Denalis.


*****

"So who uses these copy machines?"

A young man stared at Nick, nervousness twitching at his lips while he gestured to one of the large copy machines. "Well, anyone that comes into the Student Union can use 'em... as long as they've got some sort of campus ID."

Nick nodded, tossing a brief glance at Warrick, who was busy studying the buttons on the copy machine. "So students and staff, basically."

"Pretty much, yeah."

"Hey Nick..." Warrick's voice drew the Texan's attention.

"Hmm?"

He nodded toward something sitting atop the copy machines, narrowing his startling blue eyes at it. "Notice the binding?"

The young student union worker gestured to the machine. "Yeah, that's our binding machine. Some professors require you to bind essays and papers. Normally it's pretty expensive to do it professionally, but we only charge a buck for every document you bind."

Nick and Warrick nodded in unison, exchanging a glance before Warrick spoke up. "Anyone ever use it to bind comic books?"

The kid shrugged. "Sure." He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, gesturing inside an office. "One of our guys here makes his own comic books."

"That guy have a name?" Nick drawled, raising an eyebrow.

"Kevin Greer."

The two CSI's exchanged another glance, then Nick asked, "Does Mr. Greer happen to be working right now?"

"No, he left maybe, uh... ten minutes ago?" The kid nodded. "His shift ends at eight-thirty."

"Okay. Thanks for your time," Warrick replied, then gestured to Nick with his head for them to leave.

Once outside, on the steps leading away from the building, Warrick sighed. "Eight-thirty. Well, that's awfully convenient."

"Yeah..." Nick nodded, brows furrowed and lips set in a firm scowl. "Just in time for the evening classes to let out."


TBC