CSI - Series Fan Fiction ❯ Dreamer ❯ Chapter 4
[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Nick stood in the DNA analysis lab. Greg Sanders sat in front of a computer a few feet in front of him.
Greg is a lab technician, he's the guy to see for DNA and fingerprint analysis. For a while, he worked `out in the real world' like Nick, Sara, Grissom, Warrick, Catherine, and Hillary, but lately he had decided to work in the lab again.
“When's this going to be done, Greg?” Nick asked. He felt like he had been standing here forever.
“Good things take time, Nicky-my-boy.” Greg paused, and then changed the subject completely. “So, how about that new girl, Hillary? I'm thinking of asking her out.” Greg had always been a lady's man.
Nick rolled his eyes. “You've talked to her what? Once?”
“And you've talked to her more?”
Nick had actually been talking to her all morning. He'd learned about her brother and how law enforcement really didn't run in her family; her mom was an engineer, her dad a professor. The only person in her family who had anything to do with law enforcement before her was her great-uncle, who had been chief officer in Ottawa. He liked Hillary and they were comfortable together. He hoped they worked on a case together, soon.
They had talked until she got called off on an assault case. They bumped her up quickly. “Well, actually…” The printer began running off the results.
“Hold that thought,” Greg picked up the piece of paper and read it quickly. “Well, you've got your answers.” he handed the paper to Nick. “The blood on the lamp was Alan Swan's, and the blood on the steak knife was Lisa Swan's.”
Nick looked at him over the paper. “Well, we assumed that. Can you tell me something I don't know?”
“Yeah,” Greg almost huffed. “There was another small contribution of blood on the tip of the knife. It was Sebastian Swan's.” Nick stood there for a moment. “And an interesting thing about the clothes,” he began. “On Lisa Swan's shirt, that blood spatter, it was Alan's blood.”
Nick looked puzzled. “I see,” he began to leave. “Thanks Greg.”
When Nick was gone Greg went back to his thoughts. `I wonder if I should ask her out…'
Nick quickly found Sara in the hall.
“I've got the DNA analysis,” Nick said.
“And I've got the fingerprints.” They started towards the evidence room. “You go first.”
“Alright. The blood on the lamp was Alan Swan's and the blood on the knife was Lisa Swan's.”
Sara nodded her head. “We guessed that.”
“But get this, there was another contribution of blood on the knife. It was Sebastian Swan's.”
“And Greg told me something interesting. Some of the blood on Lisa's clothes was not hers, but Alan's.” Sara thought for a minute. “So what do you got?”
“Well, the fingerprint we got off the knife was also Sebastian's. I would guess we would have found his fingerprints on the gun, if it hadn't been in the tub water. We also found his fingerprints on the lamp.”
“Do you think he killed both his brother and his brother's wife?” Nick hoped that was all.
“I don't know. We found something really odd. Lisa's fingerprints were on the lamp too. And none of that explains Alan's blood on Lisa's shirt.”
“This is really odd; I don't know what to think.”
Nick suddenly stopped. “Wait a minute.” he turned around and started towards the morgue. He hoped Dr. Robbins was there.
“Nick? Where are you going?” All Sara could do, was follow him.
Nick walked into the morgue. “Doc?”
Dr. Robbins was sitting at his desk writing something down. “Yes?”
“Did Sebastian Swan have any type of cut on his hand or one of his fingers?” Sara had caught up and stood behind him.
“Hmmm. I believe so. Let me check my file.” He pulled out a brown file that said `Swan, Sebastian' on it and pulled a paper out. “Yes, he had a cut in between his left pointer finger and thumb. Why?”
“An idea,” Nick left and started walking towards the evidence locker again. Sara followed him.
“I've got an idea what happened. Two scenarios. Scenario 1: Sebastian had been fed up with his brother's debt and decided to end in. He had just killed Alan when Lisa walked into the room and saw he dead husband on the bed. She had run over to him and felt for a heart beat, getting blood all over her clothes in the process. Sebastian had come up behind her, she had not seen him. He picked the steak knife off the food tray and slit her throat, cutting his hand in the process.” Nick paused. “After cleaning up and throwing away the evidence, Sebastian had realized what he had done and shot himself in the tub. Maybe he thought we would think somebody came in, killed his brother and his sister-in-law and then shot him. Maybe he didn't want his name to be stained. Lisa could have touched the lamp at anytime, explaining her fingerprints on the lamp.”
“That could work.” Sara said. They walked into the evidence locker. Nick went to one of the selves and pulled out the evidence from the `Swan Case'. He put it on the table then he went back into the coat hanger and found Lisa Swan's clothes from that night.
“Scenario 2: Lisa and Alan had been having a bad marriage and Lisa had decided to end it the easy way. She sees him sleeping and picks up the lamp, and hits him several times on the head. Sebastian walks in and sees what she has done. He takes the steak knife off the tray and slits her throat from behind, cutting his hand. He cleans up all he can, thinking he will run off and never be seen again. But he can't live with the guilt, so he shoots himself in the bathtub, thinking that we would think somebody came in, killed his brother and his sister-in-law and then shot him.”
“Really well done, Nick.” Grissom said as he walked in the door. “And you know how to figure out which one was right, don't you?”
“Yes,” Nick placed Lisa's blood-stained blouse on the table. “Blood patterns.”
“So if the blood is spread out in small droplets, Lisa killed him, then Sebastian killed Lisa.” Sara said.
“But if it is clustered in certain spots, we know Sebastian killed both Alan and Lisa.” Grissom ended.
Nick took the plastic covering off of the blouse. All three of them looked closely.
“Looks to me like Lisa killed Alan,” Sara mumbled.
“Me too,” Nick nodded his head.
“I think we have a case closed.” Grissom was as just as happy as them that this was finally over.
Warrick walked into the room. “Did I hear a case closed?”
“Yes you did Warrick,” Nick was happy this was over. “Finally!”
Nick had just walked into the small lunch room. He wanted to have his lunch break, it was almost lunchtime anyway. He had just gotten off another case. The triple murder at Palm Springs had been over a week ago, but it was still fresh in his mind. Hillary was sitting at the table reading a book and drinking a bottle of water.
“Hey, Nick,” she greeted him, putting her book on the table. “Heard you finished that case. Good work.”
“Thanks.” Nick walked over to the counter and poured himself a cup of coffee. He sat down at the table across from Hillary. He could wait a few minutes for lunch, right now he wanted to talk to Hillary.
They had become friends quick and had worked their first case together a few days ago. It was also Hillary's first murder case in Nevada. In Nick's eyes, she was level three material, but he didn't really tell her that.
“What you reading?” Nick asked as he took a sip of his coffee.
“Ah, and old murder story I read when I was in collage.” He could tell she was remembering her collage days. “Found it when I was unpacking the rest of my stuff at home. Just wanted to see if it was a good now as it was back then.” Hillary's phone went off. She opened it.
“Hello? Oh hey, James.” she looked a Nick. “Scuse' me for a sec.”
“No problem,” Hillary got up and walked outside the door.
“Yeah. Yeah, I know.” Nick took another sip of his coffee. He wasn't really eavesdropping, but technically...“Really? Definitely, considering I'm not competing this year. No, I'm just going to settle in. Yeah, I'll find my old uniform. Okay, thanks James. Bye.”
Hillary walked back in and sat down. She sighed. `Poor old James.' she thought. It was quiet for a moment, and then Nick spoke up.
“I don't mean to be rude,” he began. “But I head something about a competition. What competition are you two talking about?” Hillary and Nick were very open around each other, they were like old friends. Nick also knew the `competition' had to be horse related, considering he knew James was the owner of a one `Midnight Creek Equestrian Center', where Hillary boarded her horse, Louie.
“Just an old jumping competition I use to compete in. James asked if I wanted to be the banner bearer when it starts next month.”
“Well, that's pretty neat.” Nick was interested in horses, even though he hadn't ridden one since he was a kid. He knew Hillary was crazy about them, and that she was a very experienced rider.
“Yeah. I haven't been in that competition for years, haven't had the time.”
“That's too bad.” Nick was interested in every little thing she said.
They talked for quite a while, and eventually, Nick had to get his lunch and eat it. As Nick had finished his sandwich and they had begun to start talking about another subject, both their pagers went off.
“Well,” Hillary said as she got up. “I'm off to the desert.”
“And I'm off to the casino.” Nick stood up and they walked towards the door.
“One more thing, Nick.” Hillary took a deep breath. “I have to thank you for being so friendly this past week. You've made me feel welcome here.”
Nick really enjoyed hearing that. “Hey, no problem at all.” He smiled at her.
“I really do appreciate it, Nick.” Hillary said while thinking: `More then you believe.'
“What are friends for?” With that, they headed their separate ways and the long day continued.
As the weeks whizzed by, Hillary was adopted into to the team. Although she worked with Catherine and Nick most of the time, she had worked with everybody at least a dozen times since she arrived in Las Vegas. Mostly everybody in the lab liked her, especially her main fellow CSIs. Nick had become really attached to her, and they spent a lot of their free time together.
He remembered flicking on the television after a long shift one Saturday night. It had been on a sports channel and he recognized what it was as soon as he saw it. It was the jumping competition that Hillary had talked about a month earlier. He vaguely remembered what the announcer had said:
“Hello, and welcome to the 30th annual North American Equestrian competition here in lovely Boulder City, Nevada. We have a wonderful lineup of talented riders from all over North America. The competition now begins as the American and Canadian flag is carried out onto the course.”
Two horses had trotted in from the side of the screen into a large dirt ring full of jumps. One of the riders, who rode a horse that was a gleaming white, was in a blue uniform and carried the American flag high. The other rider, who rode a large horse with a slick black coat and a white star and a snip (a spot on its nose), wore a red uniform and carried the Canadian flag proudly. Nick had recognized the second rider.
“Carrying in the American Flag is two-time winner, Bruce Davidson on his fiery Hanoverian, Red's Rocket. Carrying the Canadian flag is three-time winner, Hillary Matthews on her lovely Morgan, All That Jazz.”
Nick simply stared at the television screen for a moment; she hadn't told him she was a three-time winner of an international competition! It wasn't a professional competition, but oh well! If he had won all those competitions he would be bragging. Typical Hillary.
He had told her he knew about her `secret' the next day at work. She had shrugged at him and said “That was over seven years ago.” Nick had rolled his eyes at her and said she was way too modest. She punched him in the shoulder for that.
After her eighth month of coming to Las Vegas, she was promoted to CSI level two. And she was quickly making her way to CSI level three. Hillary and Nick had become good friends and one day she told him that if he wanted to, he could come over to Midnight Creek and go for a trail ride. He was thinking of going, even though he would probably make a fool of himself.
He knew Catherine and Lindsey had gone for a trail ride. Catherine had come in the next day and had told him that all Lindsey talked about was how she got to go ride a horse with her mommy. Catherine loved Hillary for that. Hillary had simply told her to phone up and ask if Lindsey ever wanted to go again.
Nick had seriously been considering going to maybe just see what the barn was like, but he knew that if he got there, he would have to go for a trail ride with Hillary, for several reasons.
Because Nick had been thinking of becoming something more then friends with Hillary. He had considered asking Hillary out, and Warrick had even told him to ask her. But every time he went up to ask her, he choked up and something else came out.
Nick blamed it on his lack of dates these past few months, but he also believed that it maybe because he knew that if he did ask her out, their relationship would be serious. Not just fooling around, but actual serious relationship. It could have been because they would have to work together and that Nick just knew if he got into a relationship with Hillary, it would be serious. He didn't know a simple answer why, he just knew.
Nick pulled onto a dirt road off of highway 15 in his blue SUV. This was his day off, on a Wednesday afternoon, and he had finally decided to come here. He drove up the dirt road until he saw a large sign that said `Midnight Creek Equestrian Center. Trail Rides, Lessons, Boarding, Mustang Preservation.'
When he could see the building over the hill he was shocked. It was huge! There was a huge red building that looked like a barn, and large corrals, and paddocks. Nick could see a large brick house off to right of the barn. There were horses running around in the paddocks, and he could see a group of people heading out for a trail ride.
`No wonder Hillary gave this place so much praise.' Nick was awed by the utter size of it. This place could be easily worth a couple million dollars.
As Nick pulled into a space in the gravel parking lot, he recognized Hillary's black pickup truck parked in the far corner of the lot. He got out of his SUV and headed towards the barn. Men and woman were moving horses around, but it didn't look that busy.
“What can I do for you?” a heavy British accent asked him. Nick was startled. He didn't see the man come up beside him as he was too busy gawking at the size of this place. The man wore a pair of dusty boots and jeans, and a well worn jean jacket.
“Ah, I'm looking for a friend of mine, Hillary Matthews. Is she here?”
The man nodded. “Yes, she's here. But may I be asking who you are?”
“Oh, sorry,” Nick held out his hand and the man shook it. “Nick Stokes. I'm a co-worker of Hillary's.”
The man took a good look at him. “James Balcombe. The owner of this establishment.”
Nick knew this man through Hillary. This was the James who was her good friend. So Hillary was here.
“So you're looking for Hillary? She's out back in one of the corrals, I'll call for her.”
“No need for that.” Hillary rode up a large black horse, the same one Nick had seen on T.V. that Saturday night he saw the competition. Her hair was tied back and she was wearing those same steel-toed boots he saw her put on the second time he talked to her.
“Oh, there you are Hillary. You have a visitor.” Hillary dismounted. She held on to the horse's reins and looked at Nick, smiling.
“What are you doing here, Nick? I thought this was your day off.”
“It is. But I've decided to take up your offer on that trail ride, if it's still open.” He had planned and was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, so he could actually ride.
Hillary nodded her head. “Definitely.” She had talked this over with James, and he said it was fine.
“Alright, take Riley out, will you?” Hillary nodded her head. James leaned over towards Nick. “If she asks you to race while you're out, just shake your head and say `no'.”
“Ah, come on James!” Hillary joked at him.
He grinned. “Well, I got to go; Amanda's going to kill me if I don't help her with the check-ups. Nice meeting you Nick.” he turned and began to leave. “And remember Hillary, take out Riley.”
“Yeah, I know.” she called after him.
Nick walked closer to Hillary. “So, how you doing? Hope I didn't interrupt anything.”
“No,” she looked up at him. “I was just taking Louie here out for a jog.” She patted the neck of the black horse.
“So this is Louie.” Nick looked at the horse. He had his eyes half-closed and looked like he was asleep.
“Yeah. He doesn't look very good now, but just wait until he gets out,” she paused. “So you finally decided to come over here and see the barn.”
Nick nodded his head. `And other things.'
“So, what do you think?”
“It's really, big. And really nice looking.”
Hillary chuckled. “That's the first thing I said when I saw it after it was redone. Well, come on.”
She led him into the barn area. She tied up Louie next to a water trough and headed inside. She stopped at a horse that was tied up, eating hay from a net. It was a big muscular horse, slightly bigger then Louie. It had a brown and white coat, a paint horse.
“This is Riley. Nothing more to say about him, except he can be a little hyper at times. Think you can handle him, Nick?”
Nick looked at her. “Oh, sure, I'm from Texas. Of course I can handle a horse.” He knew how to handle a horse, sort of. He just hoped he didn't make a complete fool of himself around Hillary.
“Okay, if you say so.”
Soon they set off. Nick had no trouble getting on, he could easily do that, but when they started to leave, Riley got a bit anxious. But Nick managed to handle him. When the barn and the other horses were out of sight, Riley calmed down.
“How you doing there, Nick?” Hillary asked a few minutes after the barn was out of view.
“I'm doing fine.” He had calmed down now, that little battle with the several hundred pound horse had taken some strength out of him.
“You handled him pretty well,” Hillary nodded at Nick's horse. “A lot of people would freak out if he acted like that.”
Nick sighed. “You've got this thing down pat, though.”
Hillary grinned. “I've been riding since I was eight, I'd hope so.” There was a long silence. They both rode, looking around at the scenery, and the mountains in the distance. Nick looked over at Hillary. She looked so comfortable on the horse's back. Nick shifted his weight and Riley flicked his tail.
“So, James. He's a really nice guy.” Nick had to say something. He liked the quiet, but he like to talk more.
“Oh yeah. James and his wife Amanda. They've taken really good care of that barn. Amanda was actually a friend of mine back in high school, then she moved all over Canada and the US following her veterinary career. It's funny we both ended up in Nevada though. They have two little girls that are just about as horse-crazy as their parents.”
They rode for another hour, in silence at sometimes, and talking at others. Nick really enjoyed it. He hadn't been riding in so long, and now he had all the time he needed to talk with Hillary.
“Want to go for a short run?” Hillary asked.
“By `run', do you mean `race'?” Nick remembered what James had warned him about.
“Oh no, wouldn't dream of it.”
They both kicked their horses forward and they bolted into a canter. Nick really, really enjoyed this. They cantered across a flat plain then up a small hill until they could see the barn, then they slowed down.
They were almost back to the barn now, and Nick knew it was either ask now, or not ask at all.
`Do or die.' Nick thought. “Um, so Hil…”
“Yeah?” She obviously had a good time.
“I was wondering, are you doing anything Friday night? Because if you aren't…”
Hillary looked at him funny. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
Now Nick was in trouble. “Ah, maybe, but you don't have to call it that…”
She cut him off. “Of course I will, Nick.”
He looked at her. “Really?” she nodded her head. What Nick didn't know was that her stomach was doing flips. “What do you say to nine o'clock, our shifts end at seven. We could go out for supper, then maybe a movie.”
“Sure thing Nick, anything's fine for me.” She couldn't believe he had asked her out. It's not that she didn't want him to, she had wanted him to, but she couldn't believe he had asked her out.
When Nick got into his car that night, he almost let out a call of joy. He couldn't even dream that she would actually say yes. He was sore and tired, but he didn't really think about that. He had had a really good day. As he pulled onto the highway, all he could think about was how many seconds were left before Friday night.
Hillary was in the same mood. After Nick had left Amanda had walked up behind her.
“So, what's going on Hil? What happened?” She wanted to know every detail. Hillary told her about the ride and Nick asking her on a date. On a date! “You really do like him, don't you?”
“Of course.” Hillary was grinning like an idiot.
“Well, from what you and James said, he's a really nice guy, and he is handsome.” Amanda grinned evilly. “So when can we expect the wedding invitations?”
Hillary gave her a blank look. “You're insane, Amanda. This is a first-date, not a proposal!”
Amanda made a humph noise. “You never know, Hillary. That how James and I started dating.”
“Yeah, I know. You were a vet for his small barn of ten horses before the place started getting rich and you and James went on a single date and fell in love. I remember that, both of you kept phoning me in Toronto at different times asking questions about what the other one liked and didn't like.”
Amanda grinned, remembering. She shook her head to clear her mind. “Now, about Nick. I'm going to phone up Miranda, Katie, and Molly and tell them all about him.”
Hillary rolled her eyes. Miranda Connors, Katie Scott, and Molly Perkins were all old friends of theirs from high school in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Miranda was a lawyer in New York, Katie was a marine archeologist down in the Caribbean, and Molly was a Roman archeologist who had just come back from Italy. Somehow, all five of them had managed to stay in touch over all the years and remain friends. Everyone had settled down with a family, with multiple kids, except for Hillary.
“And why would you do that?” Hillary asked. Amanda was just joking and she knew it.
“Well it's not everyday you get to go on a date, now is it?”
Hillary rolled her eyes again, it was a habit. “And what's that suppose to mean?”
“Ah, come on Hillbilly,” Amanda only used Hillary's old nickname when she really wanted to bug her. “When was the last time you went out on a date? With a cute guy, none the less.”
Amanda was right. Hillary was what she herself called `not a people person' around men. She was more of a keep-to-her-self or buddy-buddy person around them. “Two years, so?” It was more then two years, and Hillary and Amanda both knew it.
What Amanda didn't know was that Greg had asked her out, or tried to. But Amanda didn't even know Greg. She and Greg hadn't gone out, though. Hillary felt really comfortable around Nick, that's why she had said yes, not because he was cute. Okay, maybe partly because he was cute.
“I see you are deep in thought, Hillary. Another reason to call up the girls!” Hillary glared at Amanda. They and the gang and always goofed off in high school, and it had traveled into adulthood.
“You're hilarious Amanda, a laugh riot. You know what? You should go down to a comedy bar in Vegas; I remember I've had a case down in one last week…”
Before Hillary could finish, James walked up beside Amanda. “Hello, dear,” he said and gave her a peck on the cheek and put his arm around her waist. Then to Hillary: “How'd the ride go? Did your buddy fall off?”
Hillary shook her head. James thought all big city folk would fall off one of his horses. “No, James. Nick actually controlled Riley pretty well.”
“Good to hear that.”
“Hillary has a date.” Amanda said. Again, Hillary rolled her eyes. “You know, Hil? If you keep doing that your eyes will stick.”
“Funny, Amanda, funny.”
“Whoa, I better alert the news crew!” James joked in his heavy British accent.
“You are both gonna get it.” Hillary playfully yelled at them. Those two were always in league against her.
Amanda looked at her watch. “I have to go, get the kids in bed. There's school tomorrow.”
“And that means it's my bedtime, right?” James said looking at his wife.
“Right, dear,” she said sighing. “Night, Hil.”
“Good night you two. I better get going as well.”
James and Amanda headed towards their house and Hillary headed towards her car. Hillary sat in the driver's seat and put her hands on the steering wheel. She was so happy for James and Amanda. But she was also slightly jealous of what they had. She was the only one, out of her friends and of her younger brother, who wasn't married. She had just been so wrapped up in her work all her life, and in horses, she hadn't taken the time to find a boyfriend or settle down. She took a look at the picture of her, Amanda, Molly, Miranda, and Katie at Molly's wedding that sat on her dashboard. The wedding had been almost five years ago.
“Oh, well,” she said aloud as she put the key into the ignition and started the truck. She thought about her date on Friday. A huge grin crept across her face. “At least I'll get to remember what dating feels like.”
She pulled out of the lot and headed down the dirt road, taking one look back at the barn as it disappeared over the hill. She pulled off onto the highway, driving into the sunset, and headed home.