dipenates: (Nick - wistful)
[personal profile] dipenates

Title: Passing Judgment on my Life
Fandom: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Rating:  R
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Icon: [livejournal.com profile] bflyw 
Characters:  Greg, Sara and Nick friendship. Nick and Greg pre-slash.
Warning:  Contains references to sexual abuse and rape. Please stay safe when reading this fic.
Summary: Sara and Nick are forced to look at their pasts as they investigate an assault on a child. Started life as a post-ep for 6X05: Gum Drops.

Chapter three

“Have you not made it out of here either?”

Day shift had arrived hours ago and Nick was blurry-eyed with fatigue. He hadn’t realised that Warrick was still in the crime lab also.

His colleague waved a bottle of Optrex at him and grinned ruefully. “Catherine and I caught a double just before your case came up. We were supposed to be handing off to the dayshift but there’s been a bus crash on the I-15 and they are all out dealing with that. We’re totally slammed.”

“How you holding up?”

Warrick waved a hand, as if to brush away the question. “Not so bad. I haven’t pulled an all-dayer in months so I was past due. You?”

Nick shrugged. “Just working through the child abuse protocol. Brass interviewed the vic’s mom and they’ve just brought the stepfather in. If we get a DNA match it should be a slam dunk.”

Warrick knit his brows. “You like the stepfather for it?”

Nick shrugged again. “Seems like the obvious choice.”

Warrick looked at him for a long moment and Nick ducked his head as if to avoid his gaze. “You OK, man?”

“Yeah.” Nick cleared his throat. “It’s just this kind of case, you know?”

“Yeah,” Warrick echoed. He looked up the corridor to where Catherine was talking to Brass. “I should get going. I only went to my locker to get eyedrops so I could focus on the hours and hours of security camera footage we pulled from the Blue Chip Motel.”

Nick grinned. “It’s so much more convenient when people get dropped at one of the big hotels on the Strip, where the security systems are awesome and the crews will help cue up.”

Warrick smiled ruefully. “True that.”

He bumped knuckles with Nick and strode off to join Catherine. Nick watched as the daytime AV tech joined them and started to speak to Brass, waving her hands around to underline whatever point she was making.

At that moment a deputy came round the corner and Brass held his hand up to the AV tech; an unmistakeable Be quiet signal. Brass listened and then beckoned Nick with his head, making his way to the interview room.

Nick felt his adrenaline start to flow again, watching through the two-way as the stepfather was brought in and seated on one of the familiar metal chairs. Brass sat down opposite him, body language neutral. Nick knew from experience that Brass could go anywhere in an interview; convey enormous sympathy, become a suspect’s best buddy, or become so intimidating that even Nick had at times found himself flinching away from Brass’s controlled anger.

***

Gregory David looked quiet and anonymous. He was in his forties, wearing a suit that was sharp, but not too sharp. Greying brown hair was in a short, nondescript haircure. Comfortable, but not flashy, Nick thought. He sat meekly enough in the chair the deputy had pointed out to him.

Brass regarded the suspect coolly for a moment. “So you know why you’re here, Gregory?”

The man blinked. “Yes.”

“And why is that?”

“Because you found evidence that my step-daughter, Annabeth, was sexually assaulted and you want to eliminate me, the most likely assailant, from your list of suspects.” The man hadn’t shifted position on the hard interrogation room chair.

Brass wasn’t so unprofessional as to look surprised but Nick could detect a flicker of a reaction to the man’s bloodlessness.

“Who says you’ll be eliminated?” Brass raised one eyebrow. “Before we get to anything else; when you agreed to come down and answer some questions you agreed that we could search your car. The AV tech checked out the laptop in the trunk and discovered some encrypted files. We know they’re images. Care to explain?”

Nick watched Gregory David’s face closely. His expression betrayed nothing as he said, “Those images have nothing to do with your case. They are connected to my work and I am not at liberty to reveal any more than that. I’d like to wait for my lawyer now.”

Brass leaned forward in his chair and placed two palms on the table. He had clearly, Nick thought, decided to go down the menacing route.

“Our case?” he asked, incredulity in his voice. “Our case is your small stepdaughter, who has been sexually assaulted at least once.”

The man’s face was impassive and, watching, Nick was perplexed by his seeming indifference. Tearing his eyes away from Gregory David’s face, he caught the glance that Brass tossed in the direction of the two-way and realised that the detective was waiting for him to swab the suspect’s check to get a DNA sample. They had a warrant for that, at least.

***

“Do you like him for it?” Nick asked, when, swab safely in his hand, he and Brass were standing out in the corridor.

“Dr. David is certainly an unusual man, but I’m not sure I do like him for it. He’s clammed up pretty quickly, but I don’t know that it’s guilt that’s keeping him quiet.” Brass drew one hand over his face. “In any case, it suits me fine to wait for his lawyer given the number of interviews we’re dealing with out at the bus crash site.”

Nick was still focused on Annabeth. He had every respect for Brass’s instincts, but he didn’t want to put the case on hold until the next round of interviews were possible. “What did her Mom say?”

Brass opened his notebook. “I interviewed her myself at Desert Palms. She married Dr. Gregory David two years ago after meeting him at work. She’s a nurse at a private clinic in town and he came in with a cut hand he’d sustained at work. By the way, he’s not an MD, he’s a PhD who works as an electronic engineer. Love apparently blossomed over the suture tray, and I’m sure his fair-sized paycheck didn’t hold Cupid up any.”

Brass looked at Nick. “I ran a background check on them both. Not so much as an outstanding parking ticket on Dr. David but Mrs David has a bunch of domestic disturbance calls from her previous relationship. No arrests ever made but that doesn’t mean her life with husband number one was a bed of roses.”

“Is husband number one Annabeth’s father?“ Nick asked.

Brass flipped through more pages in his notebook. “Yeah. Patrick Bryant. I’m running a detailed background on his just now. Something cross-jurisdictional popped and I’m just getting a clear picture on that before we question him.”

Nick rubbed his eyes with the fingers of one hand. “In that case I’m going to grab a couple of hours sleep in the breakroom before night shift starts. We’re as slammed as the PD with all the trace from the bus crash.”

“Half your luck.” There was no sting in Brass’s words as he pulled out his cell phone and half-smiled at Nick.

***

Greg hesitated as he approached the layout room. He could see through the window that Sara was completely absorbed in the task of reviewing what he assumed were Annabeth David’s SART kit photos.

He paused in the doorway, his voice more tentative than normal. “I have DNA results for Annabeth David, Janet David and Gregory David against comparators from the SART kit.”

Sara cast a panicked glance at the layout table and stepped towards Greg so that she obscured his view of the photos that she had laid out.

He looked her in the eye. “Nick’s asleep so I thought I would share them with you first.”

“Can I, um, come and get them from you after I’ve finished up here?” Her voice was strained.

Greg waved the buff folder he was carrying at her. “There are unidentified samples that probably should be run through CODIS. Should I wake Nick?”

“No, “ Sara said firmly. Greg raised an eyebrow. “I’ll be as quick as I can with the photo evidence and then I’ll come to the DNA lab.” It was a dismissal and Greg was about to turn on his heel and go back to his lab when Nick appeared behind him.

“Hey, sleepyhead, want to hear the DNA results on your case?” Greg grinned at Nick.

“Sure.” He rubbed his eyes and focused on Sara, who was still standing in the middle of the layout room floor. “Are these the SART photos?” He gestured at the layout table. Greg caught his eye and shook his head, an almost imperceptible movement.

“I’m just finishing up,” said Sara. “Why don’t you go discuss the DNA results with Greg and I’ll be there as soon as I can?” She rubbed one arm with the opposite hand, shoulders hunched.

Nick broke the tension in the room. “Sounds like a plan.”

***

“You see?” Nick said to Greg as they walked in the direction of the DNA lab. “She couldn’t have been any clearer that I wasn’t allowed to see the photos. What does she think? That I'm going to get off on them?”

His voice had risen and a stray tech from the day shift glanced curiously towards Nick and Greg as she sped in the direction of the locker room.

Greg sighed. “Let’s save the conspiracy theories until we’re back at my workstation, huh?”

Nick shot him an annoyed look, but they walked the rest of the way to Greg’s bench in silence.

(Part four)

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March 2015

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