CSI Hazing

CSIFO October 2014 Fan Fiction Challenge

(csiforeveronline dot wikifoundry dot com)

Rules: Write a Halloween story based on the photo shown on the homesite. It can be silly, scary, dramatic, otherworldly; i.e., Halloweeny Length: 5000 words or less Characters Allowed: Any CSI LV characters (and that includes villains)

Setting: Season 6ish, though a little AU in that GSR is established and known in the lab :)

Disclaimer: None of the characters or the concept of CSI are mine, I'm just playing with them a little.

Fog rolled around the edges of the lake, delicately weaving amongst the trees and bracken that grew close to the water. The white-grey tendrils were faintly painted by both the predawn light and the red and blue pulse of the police flashers. Dark shapes moved around the nearest edges of the shore, partially hidden by the dock that thrust its sharp edges out into the breeze ruffled lake.

Greg Sanders approached the crime scene with cautious steps. The weathered boards of the old dock were slick with condensation, he hoped, making for treacherous footing. The last thing he wanted was to slip and pratfall into the lake with Grissom and Sara watching . . . Speaking of his supervisor and beautiful mentor, the spiky-haired CSI1 looked around for the pair. Voices echoed strangely off the misty water, and it took him a moment to hone in on the origin of the sounds and realize that they were somewhere beneath the wooden planks.

As he wove his way past the crime scene tape and the policemen guarding the area, Greg's attention was diverted by the sight of a small brown dog sitting motionless near the end of the dock, staring out across the water. None of the sounds from the milling officers nor the flashing lights drew the canine's attention. If it weren't for the slight rise and fall of its ribcage, Sanders would have guessed that the thing was stuffed, it was so still. He maneuvered closer, trying to see what the dog was staring at so raptly.

"Placid little thing, isn't he," came from behind the former labtech, making him nearly jump out of his skin.

"Jeeze, Sara!" the blond gasped, grasping at his chest while turning a glare on his grinning mentor. "Trying to give me a heart attack?!"

"Please don't kill him, Sara," came a soft reply from the young man's other side, making him jump again. "I really don't want to see what paperwork Ecklie would make me fill out to replace a 'Greggo'." Grissom's blue eyes twinkled as he bestowed one of his crooked grins on the pair before heading off toward where SuperDave was waiting to move the body.

Muttering, Greg turned back to the grinning brunette. "Does Grissom train you how to haze new CSIs, or is it just a natural talent of the night shift?"

With a shake of her head, Sara bumped her shoulder against her trainee's. "Naw, you're just easy, Greggo." She laughed as he sputtered, trying to come up with a response, continuing before he got his tongue untied. "So what about our little canine guardian drew your attention?"

Giving her another glare, he let the teasing go, answering her question instead. "I've never seen a dog so calm around so many strangers . . . why hasn't he been shooed away? Did he belong to the victim?"

"Not according to the ranger who found the body." Their supervisor's voice came from behind them, causing Greg to startle again. "Apparently the dog isn't a stray, but is a regular visitor here. Unless we find evidence that he was down by the body, we should be able to leave him alone. Why don't you check on that, Greg, and Sara will help me clear the area below now that the body is leaving for the morgue." Grissom moved back under the dock, disappearing from view.

"You seriously need to put a bell on him," the blond groused, shaking off his tension and ignoring the brunette's quiet chuckles as she moved away. Setting his case down, he pulled out his ALS to begin a sweep of the dock, hoping that he would be able to eliminate the dog as being a part of their crime scene.

After a few minutes of peace and quiet, his attention was again pulled toward the silent sentinel that was now only a few feet away from him. "Whatcha looking at, fella, hmmm? What's so much more interesting than all these people?" This time, the young CSI heard the quiet rustle of clothing and turned his head to see Grissom approaching.

"Legend tells that the veil between worlds thins on this day," the older man began in the tone that Greg knew to be his 'teaching voice'. "This allows those who have beyond to return and visit, causing weal or woe, as the spirit moves them . . . so to speak."

A soft groan told the younger man that Sara was also near, but his full attention was locked on his supervisor.

"It is said that animals can see these restless spirits, and that we can see through their eyes, if we dare to choose to look."

There was an odd lilt to the senior CSI's mellow voice, making Greg feel like he was listening to a ghost story, with that lovely spine-tingly, hair-raising sensation. Almost against his will, he found himself whispering, "How?"

"Dogs whose ears are upthrust, like the German Shepherd, are said to be the best, but if the canine is willing, any will work," Grissom intoned, the flashing lights causing his eyes to glow eerily in the predawn light. "Look between your guide's ears, down along his snout, and the restless wanderers will become visible. But take care not to stare too long, in case they take notice of you."

There was a long pause before the supervisor turned to the brunette by his side and continued in a normal tone, "Let's do one last sweep below, but it looks like an accidental suicide – too much alcohol, too little sense . . ." His voice trailed off as he escorted Sara away with him, one hand resting gently at the small of her back, leaving the younger man alone on the dock again.

Greg stared after the departing pair, before turning slowly to look again at the quiet dog, still staring out over the lake. He wondered briefly is this was another prank on the newbie, but knew he couldn't leave without taking a look . . .

Slowly he drew closer, crouching down a short distance behind the dog. Taking a deep breath, he bent down, aligning his gaze with the canine's, looking down and out, just as Grissom had said to do.

At first, nothing seemed different, but then he started, his eyes widening in disbelief as the swirling of the mist on the water and the far shore began to change and take on the forms of people! They were milling about, passing through one another, and as every second passed, becoming more and more distinct to his stunned eyes.

The young man had no sense of time passing, had no idea how long he may have gawped at the impossibility before him, when it dawned on him that the forms were now turned toward the dock, drawing closer across the ruffled waters. His eyes locked with one that seemed to be leading the horde of shapes, and he realized that they were seeing him! Before he could rear back, or make any move to run, the little dog turned its head slowly toward him, its eyes glowing an eery blue-white.

"They're heeeere!" it intoned, just as the ghostly host swarmed the dock, surrounding him . . .

With a gasping cry, Greg found himself falling off the breakroom couch, hitting the floor and staring around the room wildly. Sara and Warrick startled from where they were sharing a cup of coffee, while Nick began laughing, having been close enough to hear what the young man had been muttering in his sleep.

"Ghosts getting you, Greggo? Who ya gonna call?" the Texan guffawed.

"Wait . . . what?" the blond man stuttered, getting back to his feet and trying to separate the reality of the shift from the wilds of his dreaming imagination.

Now Sara and Warrick had joined in the laughter, though the brunette did try to muffle her giggles behind her hand. "Grissom really does tell the best spooky stories, doesn't he," she managed to get out with some sympathy. "Just be glad it was only a haunted house with an extra dead body this time . . . some of the stories he's told me from his days in Los Angeles were not for the faint of heart."

Shaking his head, Greg recalled that they'd been nowhere near a lake this evening, but that there had been a small dog found at the haunted house. Grissom had spirited the animal away to check for trace, allowing his exhausted team to catch some downtime to eat and rest. "Damn, it was so real," he moaned, rubbing at his face. "I should know better than to watch horror films before the Hallowe'en weekend." With a glare at his laughing comrades, he tried to turn the conversation back to the case. "So did we get anything back on the dog's owner or the guy that was found dead?"

"You mean Chucky?" Nick grinned at the blond man's growl. "That's what Doc Robbins is calling our John Doe until we get something more, what with the weird cuts to the dude's face."

"I still think it should be Freddie, since the haunted house was on Elm Street," Warrick added his two cents, enjoying riling up the younger man.

Seeing Sara start to open here mouth, Greg held up his hand to stop her. "I'm going to see if Griss needs a hand, you all can play horror movie film critic without me," he grumbled, heading toward the supervisor's office.

Sticking his head into the dimly lit room, the blond man nearly leapt out of his skin as he saw two pairs of glowing blue eyes look up at him from the counter near the back of the room. "What the hell?" he yelped as he hit his back against the door.

The blue light winked out, and the desk lamp came on, showing Grissom holding the small dog on the counter, a blacklight laying on the countertop nearby. "You all right, Greg?" the supervisor asked with some concern, seeing how pale the younger man looked at the moment.

"Oh, jeeze, Griss, it was the blacklight, your eyes, his eyes, awww man . . ." the former labtech babbled, rubbing his face again.

With a light chuckle, the senior CSI, ran a soothing hand over the brown body leaning into him. "Sorry, Greggo. I was just checking Damien here for trace, so we can get him back to his owner, a Jason Meyers. Apparently Damien is a bit of an escape artist, and loves going wherever the biggest party is, and wound up at the haunted house tonight." Grissom's head tilted as he considered his newest CSI for a moment. "Your complex allows for pets, right? Do you want to take him home with you now, and bring him back in the morning?"

"You want me to take DAMIEN home with me? A Damien that is owned by a Jason Myers? Are you out of your mind?" Greg asked, totally horrified. "Either I am still dreaming, or this is CSI hazing!"

The little dog happily grinned up at the young man. "Yup!" he barked, causing Greg to bolt from the room, leaving his supervisor blinking after him in confusion.

AN: For those waiting on my WiPs, they will be completed, but the muse is being fickle, and time is not kind. Thank you for reading!