Spoilers: Bits and pieces from the first three seasons, as well as Eleven Angry Jurors and Butterflied.
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Disclaimer: Ah, what would life be without disclaimers? I own nothing. Nada. Zilch. All of the characters I adore belong to someone else. <sigh>
Author's Note: Here's my lame attempt to sort out all of the issues facing our favorite geeks. It's set post-Butterflied. I've realized only after the fact the similarity between the case file presented here and that of Sex, Lies and Larvae.
Summary: Post-Butterflied. My attempt to resolve things.
"Something wicked this way comes."
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth~
The setting sun behind the mountains was a splendid sight. Reds, oranges and blues blended and clashed simultaneously. The temperature was perfect, a breezy seventy-two degrees. It was easy to see why the mountainous pass was so popular with hikers and campers. To the three crime scene investigators, however, it was anything but idyllic.
The corpse lay in a ravine about fifteen feet below the trail. Time, insects and environment had already taken their toll. She was a young woman, probably once beautiful, with long blonde hair and red silk pajamas.
"Melanie Morrison, age twenty-two," Jim Brass grimly informed. "Boyfriend reported her missing last Tuesday."
Grissom, kneeling by the body, said nothing. His hands worked carefully, using forceps to extract insects and larval casings from the surface of the corpse and placing them securely in specimen cups.
"Guys?" Sara called out from a short distance away. "I got shoe prints."
"Could be from the hikers that found her," Brass suggested.
Catherine busily snapped photographs of the body and the immediate vicinity. She moved to shoot the shoeprints Sara had found. "Oh, good, here comes David."
"Hey, Sara," David Phillips shyly greeted.
"Hey, David," Sara grinned back.
"David?" Grissom intervened. "Body's over here." The CSIs continued to process the scene as the body was prepped, bagged and removed.
"It seems your victim led a very violent existence," Albert Robbins reported when he saw Sara and Grissom enter the autopsy. He motioned for them to come closer. "Cause of death is difficult to pinpoint due to the repeated injuries and fractures," he pointed to the x-rays in the view box. "You can see the multiple facial fractures. Some are fresh; some are healed. She has rib fractures and organ trauma as well. We're looking at a long term pattern of abuse, and this time he went too far."
"He went too far the first time," Sara seethed.
"Perhaps we should talk to her loving boyfriend," Grissom's voiced revealed his concern as he glanced at Sara.
While Grissom and Sara attended the autopsy, Catherine searched the home Melanie Morrison had shared with her boyfriend, Anthony McCalmant. To the untrained eye, it was an average home; clean, comfortable, warmly decorated. Yet to a CSI, it was a hotbed of evidence. Catherine never ceased to be amazed by the wonders of Luminol and an ALS.
She discovered covert blood on the bedroom wall and floor, as well as a droplet trail leading into the bathroom. In the bathroom, the sink and soap dispenser positively glowed for her. Bastard, she raged. He's lucky he's not here right now.
Anthony McCalmant wore an expression of arrogance as he sat in the interrogation room across the table from Catherine and Grissom. Sara stayed close to the door with her arms folded protectively across her chest and alternating between leaning against the wall and pacing.
"I haven't seen Mel since Monday," the suspect recounted. "She didn't come home after work. We didn't ride together like we usually do because I had some errands to run after work. When she still hadn't made it home Tuesday afternoon, I called the cops."
"You and Melanie worked together?" Catherine led the questioning.
"Yeah, at the Hubbard Inn. She was a waitress. I work in the kitchen."
"How long did you know her?"
"About two years," McCalmant shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "We've been living together since August."
"Any problems in the relationship?" Catherine pressed. "Did she give you any indication she may not be happy with the situation?"
"No... well, we had fights, but everyone does."
"Only your fights were physical," Grissom interjected.
Grissom held up the victim's x-rays. "Melanie suffered repeated fractures."
Sara stopped pacing and leaned on the table, her face only twelve inched from Anthony McCalmant's, "We know you beat her. You beat her and you killed her." Grissom lightly grasped her forearm, causing her to pull away and step back.
Catherine laid out the case for the suspect, "You've got a dead girlfriend, a history of domestic violence, and blood all over your house. You say she never came home from work, but she was found in her jammies. You'd better find a good attorney, Mr. McCalmant."
He set his jaw defiantly, "Are we done here?"
"Yeah. You can go." McCalmant hastily exited.
"They worked together," Catherine observed. "Those things almost never work out."
"Working together had nothing to do with it, Catherine," Sara's response was perhaps a bit too quick. "He'd be an abusive ass no matter how they met."
Grissom leaned back in his chair, deep in thought.
"Earth to Grissom," Catherine waved a hand in front of his face.
"I'm just remembering the words of Jonathan Swift: 'I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them unashamed.'"
Day shift personnel swarmed the halls, the sounds of morning greetings buzzing in the air. Grissom wound his way along the corridor, peeking into each room he passed. Finally, he found her in the layout room. She was absorbed in her work as she studied Melanie Morrison's pajamas.
"Sara," he spoke softly, hoping to avoid startling her. "Shift's over. It's time to go home."
"I'm almost finished," she protested, not looking up.
"Sara," he said again, this time trying to sound more authoritative. "Go home."
"I clocked out," she shrugged. "It's not overtime."
"It's not the overtime that worries me."
Sara quietly continued looking at the clothing. If she ignored him, maybe he would get the hint and not press the issue. Damn him! Why does he also choose such inopportune times to act as if he gives a damn about me?
"Sara?" he kept his voice gentle as he moved to stand beside her. "What is it about these cases that gets to you so much?"
"Grissom," she finally turned to him, her voice increasing in intensity with each word, "A young woman was brutally beaten and had her security, her dignity, her very life taken from her and you want to know what's bothering me?"
Gil was momentarily taken aback by her ferocity. "I think it's more than that."
She breathed a deep sigh, "We all have our dragons to slay."
"Maybe it would help to talk about it..."
"Yes, I should definitely tell you my deepest darkest secrets, because you're certainly so forthcoming about your own." She stuffed the pajamas back into the evidence bag and stormed out of the room before he could see the tears forming.
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