Spoilers: YGM and very slight PNN
Archive: www.grissomandsara.com. Anyone else, ask permission and I'll probably say yes.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. I do own the plotline you're about to read, but since we all know it'd never make it to the show... then I must not own the show. Damn!
Summary: G/S (some W/C & N/OC) - Grissom wakes up the morning after the team's crazy night of charades...
Chapter 75 - Chchchchinchilla!
"Ok Susan, talk to me," Sara said under her breath as she began on the fiber evidence. There was a lot of it, but she felt confident that somewhere in this pile was evidence that would convict the man who'd done the crime.
Household carpet fibers in two different colors and shapes. Sara consulted the notes taken by the detective at the scene, but there was nothing there to tell her the color or make of the carpeting at Susan's house. Setting them aside, she jotted a note to remind herself to ask O'Reilly about it and have the victim come in for an interview if needed; one of the two types was likely to have a connection to the rapist.
From under the victim's arm, a nurse had retrieved a series of fibers that appeared to match each other. Under Sara's microscope, it became clear that they were all triangular, light blue stands of polymer. The shape of the fibers, Sara knew, suggested that these were fibers from vehicle carpeting, as did the fact that they were not textile. O'Reilly had noted that the victim had been walking when she was assaulted; Susan Akers tried to leave her car at home as often as possible. That meant that unless Susan had had her bare back pressed against a friend's car floor, it was likely that these fibers had come from the vehicle in which she had been assaulted.
As she was opening the envelope for the next set of fibers, Greg said from the doorway, "I ran the blood and then those hairs you gave me."
Sara set down the envelope and turned around, leaning back against the table. "Oh yeah? Did you come up with anything good?"
Greg grinned. "Don't I always? Well, it's probably not case-breaking tonight, but I think I came up with good stuff. First of all, your notes were almost all right. None of the unknown hairs came from the victim and all of the unknowns except the one marked 'facial hair' jibe with the hair the vic pulled from her attacker."
"That's great! So we have two clean samples, one for the vic and one for the rapist."
"Well," Greg said slowly, "except for that facial hair, which, as it turns out, isn't a facial hair at all. It's actually a..." He paused dramatically.
"Spit it out, Greg!"
"Patience, patience, my dear Grissom-lover. The unknown hair is actually a hair from a chinchilla."
"A chinchilla. Small rodent, originally found in South America, usually in the mountains. Looks like a cross between a rabbit, a squirrel, and a rat. Its fur is considered luxurious and commands a high price on foreign markets. Anyway, it shares no characteristics with human hair, so I looked it up in my handy-dandy animal hair guide," he held up the book proudly, "and lo and behold, this hair matches almost perfectly with the book's example of chinchilla. A black one, to be more specific, if you hadn't figured that out for yourself."
"Chinchilla..." Sara repeated. "Yeah, I've seen them. Cute little things. Ok, so there was a chinchilla hair at the scene. Does the victim have one?"
Greg shrugged and pointed a finger at her, saying jauntily, "That, my dear, is your job to figure out. But I can tell you this: if you find that animal, I can try to match it." He grinned. "Seeing as how I'm the top DNA tech for the number-two lab in the country, I recently got funding for equipment that'll work for animal DNA. I can actually run the same sort of tests that I do on human DNA to get an equivalent profile."
"You're kidding! I mean, I've read about the cases solved with animal profiling, but can you really do that here if I bring you the animal?"
"Right on, my sista," Greg assured her.
"Bonus! So now we can at least narrow down the suspect list. Assuming, that is, that the vic doesn't have a chinchilla." She smiled her thanks and waved him away. "Now go away, I've got to finish these fibers." She set back to work opening the next envelope, muttering, "Rodent fur... pet store?"
The next set of fibers had been pulled from the victim's jeans. "Linen?" she asked herself after examining it and standing up. "Not the jeans. Not carpet. Ok, Sara, think. You've got three linen fibers stained black. What would use black linen?" She was stumped. The only common things linen was used for as far as she knew were clothing and paper money.
Sara quickly got a print-out of the view from the microscope and took it to the break room, where Warrick and Catherine were having coffee. "Hey, you guys. What's linen used for these days? I've got black-stained linen fibers from my rape."
Catherine looked toward the ceiling, thinking. "High-end clothes... we're talking spun linen, right, and not flax?" Sara nodded and Catherine shrugged. "Clothes, is all I can think of. And I think some canvas, too. Warrick? Any ideas?"
"Money. Red and green linen fibers go into American paper money. But you said yours are black?"
"Can't be money then, at least not American. No black anywhere on our bills."
"Damn," Sara sighed. "This isn't going to get me far. I need to find something specific!"
"Go ask Grissom," Catherine suggested. "The man's a walking encyclopedia; if he doesn't know none of us do."
Sara nodded. "Yeah, I will. Is he in his office?" She was answered by shrugs. "Ok, well, thanks guys. I'll let you know if I figure it out."
"Grissom?" she said quietly as she knocked on his door a few minutes later. His office light was on, but there was no answer to her call, so she pushed the door open. "Gris? Oh." He was seated with is back to her, apparently having one of his bad-hearing moments.
She shut the door, then walked up and crouched down beside him, signing, "Is your hearing out again?"
Grissom looked thoughtful for a moment, then smiled. "Nope, it's back," he said out loud. "You need something?"
"What do you know about linen?"
"Uh, it depends on what you need to know, Sara. Is this about a case?"
Sara nodded. "Yep. The rape. I have three black linen fibers. Or at least, mostly black. The ends of each are grayish-white. Here's the photo," she added, handing him the digital image of the fibers. "Any ideas?"
"Hmm," he mused, pushing his glasses back up on his nose. "Clothing and money, of course, I assume you already know that." Sara nodded and he continued looking closely at the picture. Suddenly a grin split his face. "Manuscript!"
"Medieval manuscript. Books were made of linen then. The black may be ink. Get Greg to mass-spec them and figure out what the black consists of. If it's ancient, you'll get natural ingredients. Oak, I think, and iron. And soot."
Sara's face was split by a smile. "Gris, you amaze me sometimes!" She leaned over and gave him a kiss. "Thanks, hon. I'm gonna nail this guy to the wall. I've got pet hair, which Greg tells me he can get a genetic fingerprint from, and now these book fibers. I don't think there're too many guys running around with pet chinchillas and medieval texts."
"You're probably right, Sara." He kissed her again with a little more force. "How much longer until shift's over?"
"I dunno, maybe four or five hours. I might stay late, though. I want to get all the fiber evidence cleaned up."
Grissom sighed theatrically. "Oh, the perils of being involved with a workaholic!"
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