Fandom: CSI: Las Vegas
Characters/Pairing: Gil, Catherine, Team
Rating: R for Casefile details
Disclaimer: I don't own them. It's just for fun.
Previous Chapters: Prologue|Ch.1|Ch.2|Ch.3|Ch.4|Ch.5| Ch.6|Ch.7|Ch.8|Ch.9|Ch.10|Ch.11|Ch.12|Ch.13
He had only intended to shut his eyes for a few minutes. And to answer a cliché with another cliché: The best laid plans rarely worked out as originally intended. At the sound of his name morphing from hollowed dream to reality, Gil’s eyes snapped open to find Jim, Catherine, and Nick staring him down in his office.
He was on the couch, one arm draped over his forehead. Papers scattered over his chest and stomach that he had been studying before he had drifted off into an intentionally light slumber. “Time?”
Reaching into his coat pocket, Jim retrieved his cell phone and squinted at the bright display. “Quarter past nine.”
Forgotten papers fell to the floor as Gil sat up on the couch. “I meant to just shut my eyes for a little bit.” He leaned over to begin picking up the fallen paperwork.
“It’s okay, Boss. You needed the sleep.” Nick knelt down to help with the mess of scattered papers on the floor. “Cath updated me on the case. Said you might could use the help and some fresh eyes.”
When Gil looked to her, the unvoiced question obvious in his eyes, Catherine shrugged. “Nicky’s just finished the last two cases you’ve assigned him. I thought he could help us out.”
“We still have the forty names to go over… Alias’s.” As he attempted to redirect his thoughts, Gil stood up.
“Have you thought about the feathers as a… signature of some kind?” Nick handed Gil the papers he had gathered and then crossed his arms over his chest.
Gil shook his head. “If it is a signature then he just picked it up with the last two murders. Catherine and I were very thorough at every crime scene and a feather has only been found at the last two scenes. And if it isn’t a signature, you have to think about the coincidence of actually getting the feather to both crime scenes. It had to be sticking to his clothing somewhere where he didn’t know it was there.”
“And that’s twice. He’s around the bird a lot.”
“A pet, maybe.”
“You know, I really hate that this is boiling down to lists and feathers.” Jim said. “The guy is roaming around Vegas and now he’s got a cop’s handgun.”
“He won’t use it unless forced.” Moving to his desk, Gil found his glasses and slipped them on. “He’s methodical in his actions. He likes things a certain way from start to finish. That’s why he came back for Carrie in the hospital.”
Nick nodded at Gil. “He needed to complete what he started.”
“And even after that, he still wasn’t satisfied.” Gil continued. “It was out of place, there were other people around. The body wasn’t restrained and positioned the way he prefers. Which, if you consider the brevity of that… disorder, doesn’t in any way bode well for us.”
“Because he’s going to want to do it again… quicker.”
Nodding at Catherine, Gil sat down at his desk. “He’s itching to get it right. Up until now every murder has been about two weeks apart.”
“Give or take a few days.”
Nick’s eyes narrowed around the understanding. This didn’t look good at all. “He could be out there killing right now.”
Gil’s eyebrows arched over his brow as he started to agree, to add that the killer had more than likely already found another victim and killed again. But over the years he had learned not to say certain things aloud anymore no matter how interesting he found them. “Precisely. Like an itch that needs to be scratched.”
The room settled into an uncomfortable calm for a few moments before Gil spoke again. “Nick, analyze the feathers. See if there’s anything distinctive about them. Catherine, Doc Robbins will be performing the autopsies of both Carrie and Officer Wilson in about another half hour. You can take that or the lists.”
Always sympathetic to girls who had died too young, Catherine nodded. “Autopsy. I’ll go with Carrie.”
“That means you get to stare at a computer screen. Fun.” Jim started out of the office. “Call if you find anything. Cath, I’m with you. I need to collect James’s personal things.”
Gil watched Jim and Catherine walk out of his office and looked up to Nick. “Analyze the ropes also. Look for any trace that might have been missed. But… feathers first.”
Nick nodded. “You got it, Boss.”
List comparison was never an easy task. While at times it was necessary, it was also tedious and somewhat boring for a scientist. Gil was somewhat glad that he was the one sitting in front of a computer screen though. Catherine had been on edge and this would have only made it worse. And as Nick was new to the case, Gil had stuck him with the evidence so that he could understand more of what they had to work with.
With each name that came across the screen, Gil went through a check list of attributes that they knew about the killer. It was a he most definitely a ‘he’ as Carrie had informed them. He had access to rope and knew how to tie knots most commonly seen in rock climbing. He was around birds, notably barn owls and a specific breed of parrot. Something traumatic had happened in his past in regards to his mother. He was associating the hookers with his mother and yet somehow remained detached up to the actual stabbing. He had bested an officer of the law which suggested that he knew some sort of combat skills.
He had worked the list of forty down to eight names. It was something to be proud of and he knew that Catherine would be pleased. Eight was easiest thing they had had to work with so far.
His phone rang and after inspecting the caller ID to make sure it was someone he had time to talk to, he answered. “Jim?” A pit formed in his stomach as he listened to the detective on the other end. It was just as he had suspected. “I’ll grab Nick and we’ll come to you.” After ending the call, he stood up and went in search of his colleague. There had been another murder.