This follows pretty much immediately after the end of the season finale…I think this may be the first CSI fan fiction I have ever written that did not involve Grissom or Catherine.
Disclaimer: Not mine
Spoilers: Skin in the Game
"What the hell happened?" Ecklie yelled storming down the hall towards Greg and Nick as the pair entered the crime lab.
"Look," Nick said, "We thought she was in the SUV—"
"Well she damn well wasn't" Ecklie snapped back.
"Yeah well we didn't know that did we?" Nick asked a little sharply. He knew Ecklie was pissed at him, but he was pretty angry himself. He had no idea how Morgan could just slip away when she had been right there.
"You should have realize," he told them still yelling.
"Conrad," Russell said, entering the hallway. Finn stood behind him with a slightly pained look on her face. "They couldn't have known. None of use knew. We all thought Morgan was in the car."
"They were the ones watching her back," he replied angrily, his voice still raised. "They were supposed to protect her."
"Don't you think we know that?" Nick snapped back.
"What I know is that some psychopath took my daughter," he yelled.
"You are not the only person here who cares about Morgan," Russell said in his normal even tone, "but standing here yelling is not getting us any closer to finding her or Ellie."
"If they are even still alive," Ecklie said bitterly, "what's to say he hasn't already killed them both?" He did not really mean it. He believed Morgan was still alive; she had to be, if she wasn't… He could not let that thought enter his mind. He could not face it. However anger and desperation were directing his words, mostly anger.
"Shut up," Greg said speaking for the first time since he and Nick had left the scene, "just shut up." He voice was choked and the frustration was nearly tangible. Suddenly he turned and walked away, disappearing through the nearest doorway.
The hallway was silent for a moment before Finn spoke. "Can we get to work now?" she asked the assembled crowd.
"Alright," Russell said, "Jules can you go fill everyone else in on what's going on. Nick, every piece of film needs to be combed over. I am going to go talk Jim and his ex-wife." Finn and Nick both nodded and disappeared into the lab. Russell looked at Ecklie.
"I need to help," Ecklie said, his voice now returned to a civil volume.
Russell shook his head. "I can't have you on this case Conrad."
"She's my daughter," he protested.
"Exactly," he replied, "you are too close."
Ecklie wanted to argue, but he seemed to realize the wisdom of Russell's words. "Just bring her back," he said, and Russell could hear the pain and fear.
"We will," he promised before following Nick and Finn. In truth they were all probably too close, and the case should be turned over to the day shift, but Russell was not about to let that happen. Even if he did give the order it would be pointless because everyone would ignore the order and continue working the case.
Ecklie paused for a minute before setting off in the opposite direction though the door Greg had taken. The young CSI was not hard to find. He was sitting on a bench in the locker room with his head in his hands. His locker door was open revealing a picture of him and Morgan pinned at the top.
"Greg," Ecklie said standing in the doorway.
"What?" Greg asked, not looking up at Ecklie.
"I shouldn't have said that," he conceded.
"You were right," Greg muttered, his response slightly muffled by his hands.
"No," Ecklie said shaking his head, "I was scared and frustrated. I am scared and frustrated. My little girl is out there somewhere all alone, and I don't know what to do."
Greg looked at him, and for the first time he realized just how distraught the Sheriff was. It was understandable given the circumstances, but Greg often forgot that Ecklie was Morgan's father. He just did not think of those two as connected that way most of the time. However now it was painfully apparent.
"I am not the best father," Ecklie admitted quietly, "I know that. I've tried to change that, to make up for not being there when she was a teenager. I just—" his voice trailed off.
"She knows you are trying," Greg told him, "and it means a lot to her. She's told me…"
"What if I lose her?" he asked.
"Don't," Greg almost whispered, "We will find her. We have to."
Ecklie studied him for a moment. He had never spent much time with Greg but was drawn to the young man by the weight of the situation. "You care about her." It was not a question.
"We all do," Greg replied quietly.
"I know," Ecklie said, "but it's different for you."
Greg looked up at the door of his locker, and for a moment he just stared at the photo of him and Morgan. They had their arms around each other, and they were laughing. "It is," he admitted finally, "she is my best friend."
There was silence for several moments. "I should never have let her go," Ecklie muttered to himself, "I should never have okayed the undercover mission."
Greg paused for a moment, but then he shook his head. The initial shock of finding out Morgan was gone was starting to fade and anger towards the men who had taken her was beginning to take control. "No," he said his voice stronger than before, "You made the right call. An undercover operation is our best chance for catching this guy. Morgan wanted to go because it was her job, and you let her because it was yours."
Ecklie looked at the young man in front of him slightly surprised. Greg had pulled himself together and was now on his feet. Ecklie was still lost.
"Sitting here doesn't help Morgan," Greg said answering the unasked question, "I need to be in the lab."
"You'll bring her home?" Ecklie asked.
"There are no guarantees," Greg said, because it felt important to remind Ecklie of that, "but we have done this before, with Grissiom, with Sara, with Nick."
Ecklie wanted to point out that this was different, but he realized that it was not different for most of the grave shift. If one of them were in harms way the others would not sleep until that person was rescued. He had watched it happen before.
Of course Greg knew this time was different. Not for most of the rest of the team, but for him this time was different, because this time it was Morgan.
Hope you liked it. Please review.