DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of CBS and Jerry Bruckheimer.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Knock 'n' Roll
Catherine opened the door to the interrogation room. Walking inside she took in the scene in front of her.
At the table in the middle of the room sat Alice Kenner, her head resting on her hands, her face smeared with tears.
Brass stood opposite her leaning against the wall arms folded over each other, and a stern, though sad, look on his face.
"Miss Kenner" he spoke up "This is Catherine Willows she's with the crime lab and will be sitting in on this interrogation."
As Catherine walked over to take a seat opposite Alice Kenner she again took in the woman already seated. The investigator in her immediately started to process the 'scene' in front of her.
Long blonde hair cascading alongside a young face, onto hunched shoulders. Black streams of mascara had flown down over her cheeks. Eyes still downcast, resting their focus on the table.
As Catherine sat down pleading red eyes looked up at her, and although it was silent, it was as if Catherine could hear her scream for help.
The whole vibe Alice Kenner was sending her was of someone innocent, someone who got the blame shoved in her shoes.
Brass now also walked over to the table and took a seat next to Catherine.
"Two nights ago a woman was hit by a car when she crossed the street. There were witnesses that saw your car speeding off. You care to explain that?"
"That wasn't me" Alice said defensive. "I haven't used my car the last four or five days"
"So you're saying you didn't drive your car the last few days yet it was seen at the scene?" Brass asked skeptically.
"As I just said, I haven't used my car"
"Then where were you two nights ago between eight and ten pm?" Catherine asked
"I've been at home. My little girl has been sick. I had to take care of her, and since we just moved here and I've got no relatives around I've been home alone with her."
"Is there anyone that can confirm that?"
Suddenly she started to sob again "No. Listen, I was home alone with a sick baby. I know this isn't an alibi, but you have to believe me"
"We believe the evidence, and it tells us you caused an accident and didn't have the guts to stop"
Her cries became louder "It wasn't me. Please believe me" she started to beg.
"I need to see my baby girl. Please let me see her .please"
Catherine studied the blonde in front of her intently. Alice Kenner was crumbling down into little pieces, now crying out loud, repeatedly saying 'please'
Catherine looked over at Brass, who shot her an apologetic look, and then she spoke up to Alice Kenner again.
"Look we are still waiting on some results from our investigation, and I'm sorry but you'll have to go to a holding cell for a while. I'm sorry but you can't see your daughter for a while" The mother in Catherine had a hard time saying that to her, but the CSI in her knew she had to follow the rules.
Since they had to wait for the results of the processing of the SUV that Sara and Warrick were working on, further interrogation was of no use, and therefore Brass lead Alice Kenner back to a holding cell.
On her way back to the CSI HQ Catherine had time to rethinking all that had passed.
Was Alice Kenner the one responsible for the hit-and-run leading to the death of an old lady? Catherine wasn't sure.
The evidence they had thus far pointed to her. The SUV found on her driveway had definitely been involved in an accident.
The answers they had further gotten from Alice Kenner during the interrogation, and especially remembering Sara and her had found something wasn't right at Brandz's made her doubt whether Alice was the one they're looking for.
Meanwhile Sara and Warrick, now both clad in dark blue coveralls, were working their way through the SUV.
After an hour they decided it was time for a short coffee break. Thus far they had come up with much. Of course, the blood on the outside of the car, and they had collected some of the headlight's glass to compare with the splinter they had found on the victim's body.
Sitting in the break room Sara kept mulling over what Catherine and her had found in the car of Mr. Brandz.
" that she was so concerned for her baby girl" Warrick had been talking to her, but she hadn't heard any of it, that is, until he started about the baby girl.
Without saying a thing she placed her mug on the table, stood up and walked out of the break room.
"Sara? Where are you going?" Warrick called after her, a bit confused about Sara's sudden departure.
"I need to check on something" she muttered, not even turning back to face Warrick as her mind was working overtime trying to figure everything out.
Sara walked to the layout room she had been in before. Placing the evidence they found at Brandz's back on the table and picking up the comforter a smile came onto her face. She knew she her feeling had been right all along. Now she only had to find out how every piece had to be puzzled together.
Taking the comforter and the blonde hair they had found Sara went to search for Greg. As she found him she handed him both and told him to compare the DNA. Telling him to bring her the results as soon as possible, she headed for the garage again to check something else that had come into her mind.
Catherine walked through the halls as Grissom called her when she passed his office. Warrick had informed him about the case, and how he suggested to search Alice Kenner's garage.
That's when Grissom told her he would be doing the search at the Kenner's residence, together with Brass.
Catherine, becoming angry, felt Grissom was undermining her abilities, but decided to control her anger and try to keep things civilized Until Grissom gave her some other news
Nick, who had been working on a 419 at the Bellagio had been brought home by an officer. He had come down with stomach flu and couldn't continue his case. Therefore, Grissom had handed the case over to Warrick.
However, since Nick would be out for the next couple of days, he told Catherine she had to work his shift.
And the rest that happened is history
Back to the present.
The case had developed. Catherine was busy doing paperwork while Sara had been searching for Greg to check up on some evidence.
Half an hour later Sara headed for Catherine's office. Her senses had been right about Mr. Brandz and the feeling that he was hiding something. So she went to Catherine to inform her of the findings.
"Yeah?" she said as she looked up from the file she was reading.
"Our hunch turned into a case solver" Sara smiled.
"Really?" Catherine asked curiously.
"Well, remember the blonde hair in the SUV at Mr. Brandz? It belonged to Alice Kenner. I had her DNA compared with the DNA from the saliva found on the comforter. Turns out they have 7 out of 13 alleles in common."
"Miss Kenner has a baby" Catherine stated.
Handing over a file Sara continued "She and her eight month old daughter recently moved to Las Vegas. Guess who sold her a house?"
"Mr. Brandz" Catherine answered immediately.
"Bingo. Eight days ago Mr. Brandz and Miss Kenner closed the deal. My guess was he switched the cars, so I dusted the number plate of the SUV that's supposed to be Alice Kenner's"
"And those prints came back Mr. Brandz's" Catherine answered as in her mind all the pieces of the puzzle fell in place.
"Also, someone tried to scratch the VIN numbers out of both of the cars." Sara added.
"Well, let's call Brass to get Mr. Brandz so we can confront him with the evidence."
One brow shot up as Catherine looked over at Sara. "Care to elaborate on that?"
"Well, Alice Kenner is still in the holding-cell. I heard she begged to see her daughter, so since we've got enough evidence to nail Brandz I think it's priority to reunite her with her daughter."
"Ok. I'll call Grissom to update him. He's on his way to search Alice Kenner's garage."
"Well, there's no need for that. Tell him to meet us at Brandz's in an hour"
After Sara had been to Alice Kenner who was still at the PD and explained her how Mr. Brandz had tried to frame her for the hit-and-run, she picked up Catherine at the CSI HQ and together they went over to Brandz's place where they would meet up with Grissom and Brass.
Throughout the ride to Brandz's, Catherine kept sneaking glances over at Sara. Sitting behind the wheel and being involved in cruising through traffic Sara didn't notice the strawberry blonde's staring.
During the ride Catherine gathered up all her courage and decided to just be bold and ask Sara out. So, breaking the silence she spoke up.
"Hmmm" the brunette muttered, still focusing on the traffic jungle in front of them.
"Would you .uhm " Catherine's ability to form complete sentences seemed to vanish in the air.
Stopping for a traffic light Sara turned her head, focusing on the face of the blonde that had fed many of her fantasies during her sleep, a curious look came onto her face as she saw the blonde's rather flustered state.
"Would you please turn the radio on? We could use something to break the silence" The blonde asked 'Damn you weasel. Stupid, stupid! You should've asked' she kicked her butt mentally.
A flash of disappointment crossed over Sara's face, but was soon replaced by her serious 'CSI-look'
"Sure" she answered.
Turning on the radio she let out a sigh, which didn't go unnoticed by Catherine. This made some of her courage return. She recognized the sigh. It wasn't one of dismissal, no, it was one of disappointment.
Then and there she decided that, the next opportunity that would come up she would grab with both hands and ask the brunette out on a real date not just a dinner appointment between co-workers.
Arriving at Brandz's place they saw Brass and Grissom were already there standing at the front door. Apparently they had been here for a while and decided it was time to make the arrest.
Knocking on the door Brass called out "Mr. Brandz open up."
Not getting an immediate response he knocked again "Mr. Brandz!"
The door opens a little, but as soon as Brandz sees Brass and Grissom he closes the door and runs off through his house trying to escape via the back garden.
Meanwhile Sara and Catherine both had climbed out of the Tahoe and leaned against the hood of the car, waiting for the arrest to be made by the police officers before they could process the garage.
Sara, who saw movement in the back garden, told Catherine to start the car and drive it to the back. And the moment that Brandz walked by Sara opened the door, knocking him over.
"Mr Brandz you should definitely watch where you're going" Sara said, as she jumped out of the Tahoe and pulled Brandz back onto his feet.
Catherine who had also left the car had drawn her gun and pointed it at Brandz. Looking over at Sara she saw a smug look on the brunette's face, and as Sara's eyes met hers both of their faces showed full-blown smiles, satisfied with solving another case.
Brass came over quickly and took Brandz in custody, telling him his rights while pushing him into the back of his Taurus. Together with Grissom he headed back to the PD.
Catherine and Sara decided to check Brandz's garage, since the last time they were here we had denied them access to it, which had made them more suspicious at the time, but couldn't do anything about it then.
Kneeling at a dark red stain on the ground Catherine took some pictures. Sara opened her kit and put on gloves.
She crouched down opposite Catherine and swabbed the stain.
Holding up the now red-colored swab for both of them to see she looked Catherine straight in the eyes.
"There's no way out for him now. I'll bet my paycheck this blood will come back the vic's" Sara said.
Catherine had nothing but admiration in her eyes. She kept staring at the sparkly brown eyes in front of her, and until she saw Sara blush and heard her cough a little, she was shook out of her deep reverie.
She shot up right, but a bit too fast. Almost tumbling over, Sara was just in time to catch her and steady the strawberry blonde again.
Both of them noticed how each other's body reacted to their touch. And both of them really liked it. Unconsciously their faces inched closer, but before their lips got even remotely closer Sara's cell phone rang.
Quickly releasing Catherine out of her grasp, Sara flipped open her cell. A little sigh escaped her throat before she answered.
Catherine looked at the younger woman expectantly, curious about who called, and as Sara mouthed it was Grissom she also let out a sigh.
Grissom wanted to know how far along they were with processing the garage.
"We're done. We'll go back to HQ and analyze the blood immediately." the brunette said.
"Good. Let me know the results of it as soon as possible" Grissom answered before hanging up.
Back at the HQ Catherine and Sara handed Greg the swab and went to the break room for some coffee while they waited for the results.
In silence they each enjoyed a cup of steamy black liquid, sneaking glances at each other, but not saying a word.
Suddenly Greg stormed in. "Slam dunk!" he said "Blood's a match to the vic's"
"Nailed the bastard" Sara stated.
Catherine merely nodded and grabbed her cell, calling Grissom to inform him.
At the PD, Grissom told Brandz about all the evidence they had found. All of it pointed to him, and how he had tried to cover up his actions. Hearing this all Brandz confessed.
He had helped Alice Kenner to a house, and the first time they met he had noticed they had the same SUV. He even made a remark about their cars to Miss Kenner.
The evening of the accident, Brandz had been working late. He had one last business appointment and was on his way over when his phone went. As he reached for his cell he didn't notice that a woman crossed the street.
Sitting back up straight he saw the woman in front of his car. He tried to brake, but it was no use
Complete panic came over him, and he fled back home. There he placed the SUV in his garage. Remembering Alice Kenner had the exact same SUV, he switched the cars later that night.
He first tried his own key, and although it didn't set off the alarm it neither opened the door. Suddenly he remembered that the dealer had told him about a box for a spare key that was placed on the bottom of the car.
Thinking that no one would be so stupid to use that box he was surprised to find the hidden key on Alice Kenner's car.
To make the switch more believable he also switched the number plates, and filed off the VIN numbers from both SUV's.
Taking all the stuff from Alice's car and placing it into his and vice versa he overlooked the comforter.
And as he thought he had taken care of everything he headed back home, placed the SUV under a cover and went inside drowning all his troubles with a glass of whiskey.
"I couldn't let this ruin my career. My business was doing so well the last months. What was I supposed to do?" was the last thing he said before he was lead out of the interrogation room.
Catherine sat in her office finishing off the paperwork for the Hit-and-Run case as there was a knock on the door.
Blue eyes shot up to see twinkling brown eyes staring at her.
"Just wanted to let you know Alice Kenner said to thank you for helping her" Sara said leaning against the doorframe.
"Well, it was you who felt something was off from the start so all the credits are for you"
The strawberry blonde's face was showing a smile. "See, sometimes it's good to follow your heart."
Suddenly finding courage in Catherine's words, Sara walked over to Catherine's desk their eyes still locked, and smiles still plastered on their faces. She took the older woman's hand and placed it over her heart.
"I do follow my heart. More often than you think." She said as she closed the gap between them. She placed a soft kiss on Catherine's lips, her tong quickly grazing along the older woman's bottom lip.
"See?" Sara stated seriously as she leaded back, earning her a smile from the strawberry-blonde.
Knowing this was the perfect time to finally ask the question she had wanted to ask hours before Catherine spoke up, her voice sounding lower than usual.
"So how about a date?"
Hearing the blonde's request Sara felt a shiver go through her whole body.
"I thought you'd never ask" she answered before engaging their lips once again in a smoldering kiss.
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