This is a futurefic, and would be set probably about 18yrs or so down the road since Eli would be about 2 right now. I figure the younger CSIs, Nick and Sara may have at least that many years in them if I put them about to retire at the time and Greg probably will be around long after the others are retired, since he's so young. I actually started this fic with Sara as supervisor, but changed it given that Nick would be next in line after Catherine, and I'm not sure Sara would make it to supervisor with her history of leaving and returning. Hard telling with TV though. The thing with the CSI vest just popped into my head while I was writing this version, and I thought it was kinda nice. I also tried to illustrate a couple of times the fact that even though Eli would remind them a lot of Warrick, they'd be smart enough to appreciate him as his own person and not always as Warrick's son.
He lives in you
He lives in me
He watches over
Everything we see
Into the water
Into the truth
In your reflection
He lives in you
-"He Lives in You" from Lion King 2
Supervisor Nick Stokes looked up at the knock on his door to see the new CSI waiting. He responded with a smile and handshake as he stood up. He was struck once again by Eli Brown's face and emerald green eyes, distinctive but yet hauntingly familiar, so much like his father's. Nick had been pleased to see the application come across his desk and all too happy to bring the newcomer on board. It felt good to know that he was starting on the same path his father had taken years before. Nick still thought about Warrick quite often, and missed him terribly. He was all too glad to mentor his friend's son as he learned the ropes of CSI.
He had shown promise in training, inviting comparisons to his father, but at the same time, he was establishing himself as his own man, not content to hide in his father's shadow. No one was sure as yet if he had inherited things like his father's gambling addiction, but he had a clean record so far and seemed to be doing fairly well for himself. Nick had little doubt that the young CSI would make a name for himself in the field fairly quickly, and he knew how happy Warrick would have been if he were still alive.
The old team, both the ones still active and those who had retired, enjoyed talking to him, and he seemed happy to listen to their memories and see their photos of the father he never knew. There were three CSIs still active, although Nick and Sara were both soon to retire. Still, they, along with Greg Sanders, were looking forward to working with him, and those who had retired were happy to talk to him and mentor him when he asked for it as well. Gil Grissom had finally settled down to life with Sara in Vegas after surviving a heart attack, though he still lectured at WLVU from time to time and continued researching and studying. Catherine Willows had retired as supervisor some years before and was getting used to being a grandmother. Doc Robbins had retired as well, to spend more time with his wife. Sadly, Jim Brass had died two years back after a long battle with cancer.
Nick invited Eli to walk with him and began to show him around the lab, all the while thinking about his old friend. He still missed him terribly, and he only wished it had been different, that he'd been there to see this. He passed along a memento to Eli as well, one of Warrick's vests that he'd kept after his friend's tragic death. Naturally it wouldn't be worn in the field-CSIs went through at least one on each scene since they were processed for evidence afterward-but Nick thought 'Rick would approve, and Eli was appreciative.
Later that evening, Nick stood by his friend's grave, the happy smile still present as he spoke.
"I only wish you were here to see him now, 'Rick...you'd be real proud of him. He'll definitely establish his own reputation quick, but he's still definitely your boy. I can see a lot of you in him. He's going to learn from the best, from all of us. He's even talked to Gil and Catherine, even though they're retired now. You can't do any better than that. We'll look after him, I promise, and we'll take good care of him. I miss you, man, all the time. It's good to have a little of you still with us."
To Nick, even though Eli was his own man, a part of Warrick was definitely still alive, still with him and the others. And he was happy to be able to be there to see the boy following in his father's footsteps.