DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Just Another Elevator
The corpse was ripe. Catherine Willows was used to the smell of a day old body left in a small room with little or no ventilation; Sara Sidle, on the other hand, still blanched at the smell only she would deny it with every fiber of her being if confronted. Catherine noticed it, she always had, and today was no different as the two found themselves processing what looked like a homeless man found stabbed to death in the middle of an elevator the size of a coffin.
"We're never going to get through all these," Catherine grumbled to herself.
"What'd you say?" Sara asked, turning to face her and realizing just how close they'd been working. Catherine kept bumping into the brunette, but she hadn't picked up on it until now.
"I said we're never going to get through all these prints," Catherine sighed, setting down her fingerprint dust near her right foot. "There's a million here, and a layer of dust over them, it's clear this elevator hardly saw any use-"
"-Which is surprising," Sara pointed out, "Considering this is the primary elevator shaft in the building. There are three, this being the center, but even when Brass was taking statements, you could sense nobody took this one if they could avoid it. Something about it being haunted."
Catherine laughed out loud, inhaling a bit of dust and coughing as a result. Sara tried juggling the duster, fingerprint powder and her balance so she could pat the strawberry blonde on the back but failed, losing her duster in a small pool of blood by the corpse's feet.
"Damn it," she cursed. Catherine turned slightly, breath hitching as she realized Sara's hand was still rubbing her back to try and get her to relax a bit. Sara's eyes were glued to the duster, now soaking up the congealed blood. "I'm going to have to document that... Can you hand me my notepad in my kit?" Sara broke contact, pointing to the metal box outside the open doors of the elevator.
"Sure," Catherine said, tearing her gaze from the brunette's posture and reaching for the open kit. Before she had a chance to get close to the notepad laying on the top of various powders, the lights flickered on and off a few times causing her to look up.
"Watch out!" Sara shouted, pulling on Catherine's arm, forcing them both to stand suddenly as the doors closed on them and the elevator lurched downwards a few feet. They both lost their balance, bracing against the door waiting for the elevator to finally stop its motion. When it did, they both looked at each, the dead body and then the door.
"We're stuck, aren't we?" Catherine asked the obvious.
"It looks like it," Sara shrugged, resting her head against the cold metal.
"You're going to have to document that, too," Catherine chuckled. Sara turned her head towards her, raising an eyebrow before getting the joke.
"How can you be so calm? We're stuck in here with the DB," she replied, ignoring the teasing and wondering just how they were going to get themselves out of this one.
"It's not like we haven't been stuck in an elevator before," Catherine explained, "This is probably my sixth or seventh time since I've been a CSI, not even counting the few times before that."
"It's my third since I came to Vegas. The last time I was stuck in one with Greg." Sara didn't want to remind herself of that time; Greg was beyond annoying, talking the whole time. Granted, he was nervous, but it wasn't like they were stuck in an elevator in the middle of nowhere where nobody knew where they actually were. When they were freed within a half hour of being trapped, Greg swore they were in there for days, and Sara just wanted to go home and take a hot shower.
Much like she was feeling this time around, except it was a cold shower she wanted and to get away from Catherine Willows at any cost. Even if it meant climbing out the emergency exit on the roof of the elevator and climbing to the next floor to freedom.
"I can't imagine being trapped with Greg," Catherine turned around, leaning against the far wall so as not to disturb any more prints on the buttons. "Should we try calling?"
"Don't bother," Sara said, reading a text message she'd just received, "Grissom says they're working on it. The fire department's on its way."
"So, we should be out of here in no time," Catherine mused. She recalled a time trapped in an elevator with Grissom a few years back, talk about the most boring ten minutes of her entire lifetime.
Now, Catherine was on one side of the elevator, Sara on the other, with the dead body separating them. They'd taken off their latex gloves and stood in silence, occasionally stealing glances at one another in the harsh, dim emergency light. They could hear voices coming from the floor above, since they were merely trapped between floors, and knew it would be a matter of time before they were free.
"Were you just... checking me out?" Catherine blurted out of nowhere, catching Sara's wandering eyes on her breasts.
"Wh... what?" Sara's eyes snapped up and met her blue ones fiercely. "Was I what?"
"You heard me, Sara," Catherine replied in a warning tone. The brunette was caught red-handed and was trapped. She had nowhere to go and time to kill, and why wouldn't she be checking the older woman out? She'd been doing it for weeks, and it seemed they kept drawing the same cases that put them into tight corners, like the elevator today.
"And what if I was?" Sara asked, not daring break her gaze.
"I'd say: What took you so long..." Catherine shot back with a wink. Sara rolled her eyes.
"So, where do we go from here?" Sara asked, butterflies in her stomach.
"I say we get out of here, finish processing this scene, and then get some breakfast. We have some talking to do."
"That's the understatement of the year," Sara replied, smiling weakly, as the lights flickered back on and Catherine's cell phone began ringing. It was Grissom. They were going to bring the elevator down to the next floor, then get them out.
"Looks like we're doing breakfast early," Catherine said when she hung up the phone, "We've got the rest of the night off once we get out of here. Greg and Grissom are taking over."
"Sounds like we have a date," Sara responded with a smile. The exhaustion she had building up seemed to dissipate.
"Yeah, it does," Catherine smiled, too, beamed really. Despite how horrible the shift had been, it looked like the sun was coming up for something better.
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