CSIFO April/May 2013 Fan Fiction Challenge (csiforeveronline dot wetpaint dot com)
Up to 5000 words; GSR at a crime scene; Must include a length of rope, a chicken, a stun gun, a deck of cards, fireworks, a broken mirror, a dead rat and cyanide
AN: This story follows the altered universe of my "Gifts From A Wise Man" story, where Grissom and Sara start a relationship in Season 4. In this story, they have been a couple for approximately two months, though I do try to follow canon where it doesn't fight the dictates of the tale. The story takes place after "Butterflied" 12:04 and before "Suckers" 13:04.
Crypsis: the ability of an organism to blend in with its environment
January 22, 2004
Gil Grissom stared at the crime scene in stunned disbelief. It was all too familiar and all too impossible to be true. His brain rapidly noted the elements of the scene . . . the intricately drawn blood circle, glistening on the floor . . . a headless chicken, white feathers almost aglow in the candlelight . . . the glittering shards of a broken mirror refracting blinking neon from the open window . . . a deck of tarot cards scattered meaninglessly about the grotesque circle . . . and the centerpiece of the macabre display, a blonde female, bound and gagged, her glazed eyes staring lifelessly at nothing.
Gritting his teeth to keep in the profanities that wanted to spew forth, the nightshift supervisor took a cautious step closer to the victim. She was dressed in a red silk nightgown that came to mid-thigh on the young woman – and he had to fight his rising gorge as he realized that Sara had worn the same just a few days before on their shared night off. Forcibly distancing himself emotionally until he was under control once more, he let his eyes drift over the corpse, making a mental note to have David check for burns on the girl's back. A stun gun to incapacitate, a single length of rope to bind and strangle, he remembered, eyeing the white cord that cut deep into the murdered woman's throat.
Startled blue eyes snapped up as he spun around, and the CSI Supervisor glared at Captain Jim Brass, then beyond him at the slight smirk on the face of Officer Helike, who stood guard at the doorway of the room.
The blond policeman immediately turned back to his business, but the former Jerseyan just smirked at his friend for a moment. Then he sobered up as he nodded significantly at the dead woman. "So is it real, or Memorex?"
"It has to be a copycat, Jim, but whoever it is knows too damn much about the originals," the entomologist growled, as he began to pace. "We caught Emmanuel Jean-Baptiste, aka 'Doktor Haiti' back in 1986, with his tenth victim. His fingerprints, hair and DNA were a match to all of the scenes, and there was no evidence that anyone other than Jean-Baptiste was involved!" Grissom turned toward the detective, a mixture of anger and worry clear on his face. "But this scene is laid out precisely as his ten were. Five home-made candles, two red, two white, one black; the body laid out north to south; the way the rope is tied about her; the placement of the chicken and the mirror shards . . . and even though I can't see it, I know that we will find burn marks from a stun gun on her back, and that the rope will be exactly sixteen feet in length!"
Brow furrowed in puzzlement, Brass asked, "Sixteen feet? Why that length?"
"Four times four is believed to be a very powerful number in Voodoo. 'Neither the Devil, nor his wife, can refuse to help you in working a charm with that number written into it'." Shaking his head in distaste at the perversions some turned a religion into, the CSI Supervisor turned back to their victim. "How did he know our holdbacks?"
Blowing out a long breath, the homicide detective eyed his friend carefully. It had just been a week since Grissom had walked into a scene only to see Sara Sidle's doppleganger poised dead on a bathroom floor. The case had rubbed raw every nerve the senior CSI had, and the captain didn't want to think how much worse it could have been. At least he figured things out with Sara before facing off with Lurie. For a moment his mind drifted back, recalling how gently the teary-eyed brunette had treated the weary entomologist, her softly whispered, "I'm still here," all that had been needed to get the exhausted man on his feet and heading out of LVPD in her care. While Grissom seemed back to his stoic self, there was an edginess to him tonight that worried the veteran cop. And there was an almost visible manic energy projecting from the man now. "What is it, Gil? What are you seeing?"
"It's what I'm not seeing . . . the pieces don't fit . . ." the CSI muttered. "Why pick this serial to copy? Why wait so long? The Blue Paint Killer's return made a sick sense – he was letting us know that Mathers was the knock-off on the eve of his execution . . . But this? Jean-Baptiste was killed in prison a year after he was sentenced to life." Grissom shook his head, continuing to stare at the corpse. "A visually perfect scene – but the numbers are wrong . . ."
A noise outside the room drew the attention of both men, and they turned to see the arrival of David Phillips.