DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters nor do I intend to make profit. This is just for fun!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I'd like to thank Maria and Beth for beta reading! You guys rock!
SPOILERS: CSI LV Season 5 finale & New York for 1st season.
FANDOMS/PAIRING: CSI/CSI:NY   Sara Sidle/Aiden Burns
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
WEBSITE: Mindwalker's Refuge

By Mindwalker78


Sara Sidle watched her co-workers head out of the conference room to their assigned cases. Catherine Willows and Greg Sanders were assigned to a burglary in the outskirts of Las Vegas, Warrick Brown and Nick Stokes were sent to a burnt down house with two unidentified bodies.

Now that the team had been re-united for several weeks, things had started to look up for Sara. Ecklie, supervisor of the lab, was no longer in her face and it seemed like Catherine was somehow glad to solve cases instead of engaging in office politics. She looked a lot more relaxed, too.

"When's he flying in?" She asked Gil Grissom, her supervisor, about the CSI from New York they had contacted the night before.

"She, not he, is arriving in around one hour. Here," Grissom wrote down a name and a flight number and handed her the paper. "Detective Mac Taylor has a court commitment so he sent his partner who's been working the case with him."

Four days back, Grissom and Sara were called to a dead body outside of Las Vegas. A truck driver had found it while taking a break and chasing his dog which had ran away. After several long hours of investigating, Sara had found a matching cross from a year old unsolved case in New York.

"Bring her here and we will start comparing notes when you get back." The shift leader got up and left the room without another word.

Sara sighed and wondered if they'd ever talk like normal people, but knew that the term normal didn't fit either of them. She went to get her jacket and car keys and headed to the airport. The brunette was glad she could get a change of scenery without any dead bodies, so she was not even complaining that she had to play taxi.

Arriving at McCarran Airport, Sara scanned the arrival monitors and saw that flight number CO 468 from JFK was one hour late. Checking her watch and deciding what to do, Sara bought a coffee and a newspaper and sat down in the waiting area. Glancing up whenever people arrived through the sliding doors, the brunette realized she didn't even know what her fellow CSI looked like nor did she bring a sign with her. Crossing her long legs, she shrugged. She'd deal.

When the arrival lights started blinking, Sara folded her newspaper and sat up a little straighter. Those chairs were not made for people her height. Stretching a little, she eyed every passenger that walked past her. She kept looking for someone who was also searching for someone.

There weren't that many single women travelling on this flight and none of them fit the description of a CSI, though Sara briefly wondered what the typical CSI looked like. She was still musing when a brunette walked through the sliding doors and scanned the waiting area. They locked eyes and Sara got up from her seat. Meeting half way, each woman eyed the other with a trained look.

"Aiden Burn?" Sara asked and got a smile as a reply.

"That would be me." Aiden offered her hand and immediately liked her counterpart. The tall brunette's handshake was firm but not too tight.

"I'm Sara Sidle with the Las Vegas Crime Lab. Nice to meet you." Sara introduced herself and led the way to the parking lot. "Long flight?" She wasn't known to be good at small talk but at least she tried.

"It was kind of a last minute thing. Mac Taylor, my boss, was supposed to join you guys but he was held up with a court hearing. So he told me three hours before the flight that it was my turn." Aiden grinned.

"Perfect timing." Sara smiled back.

"Well, we've been working that case together so it was either him or me."

Sara opened the trunk and watched as the other woman put her suitcase and laptop case away. Sara felt slightly underdressed when she compared her black jeans and wrinkled shirt to Aiden's business suit. She had to admit it suited her damn well. Sara stood about an inch taller than the other woman and Aiden's hair, which was pulled back in a ponytail, was way longer than hers. "Co-operations really could be nice." Sara mused.

"Where are we heading?" Aiden asked with a thick and unmistakable New York accent.

"I thought I'd drop you off at your hotel, you can freshen up and I'll come pick you up in an hour or so. How does that sound?"

"That's fine with me! I could really use a shower and a change of clothes." Aiden buckled her seatbelt. She pulled out a piece of paper from her breast pocket and gave Sara the name and address of the hotel where she was staying and Sara pulled the black Tahoe onto the road.

One and a half hours later Sara knocked on Aiden's door. Her hands in her pockets, she waited. After a few muffled sounds, the door was opened and she was waved inside while the other woman was on the phone.

"Listen, Danny, I'll head to my new headquarters now, gonna call you guys later." She hung the phone up and grabbed her jacket which was on the bed. "That was one of my co-workers. They've been wondering if we solved the case yet." Aiden chuckled.

"They think high and mighty of you then." Sara grinned and Aiden chuckled. She liked the gap Sara showed whenever she smiled. It looked really cute on her.

"Ready to go?" Sara blushed a little when Aiden looked at her longer than necessary. She had always felt uncomfortable when she was given too much attention.

"Sure. I've got all I need." Aiden shouldered her laptop case and off they went.

"It's so much different here." Aiden looked around curiously when they were driving through the highly lit strip. It was only a small detour but Sara thought it would be nice to show her new co-worker a little of the city. "And so bright." She laughed.

"That's Las Vegas." Sara took another turn and headed toward the office.

When they arrived at headquarters, it was a little past 1 a.m. and Sara spotted Catherine's car back in the parking lot. Nick and Warrick were nowhere to be seen yet. She hoped Grissom was around so they could get started.

They walked to the admin desk and first got Aiden an ID card and locker room key. Then Sara gave her a quick tour through the lab and introduced her to the staff. She didn't know what Greg had said to Catherine after they had left their evidence room but she could see Catherine smack him on the head. Chuckling, she showed the way to Grissom's office.

"Grissom?" Sara poked her head in first. Her boss was sitting back from his paperwork and asked them in.

After a quick introduction, they were ready to start working on their cases. It took a few good hours until they had shared all their knowledge and Grissom offered to buy breakfast so they could bounce a few more ideas around. Not having eaten in a while for various reasons, both women agreed and so they headed out into the bright morning sun of Las Vegas.

"Is he alright?" Aiden asked Sara when she was giving her a lift to her hotel.

"Grissom?" Sara laughed and raised an eyebrow. "He's always like that. Don't worry."

"If you say so."

"So, I'll come pick you up before shift tonight and then we can look at the crime scene photos again like Grissom suggested. Maybe we can spot something that we missed before." Sara pulled into the hotel's own parking lot and turned off the engine.

"Sounds like a plan," Aiden yawned. "Sorry."

"You have a good rest and I'll meet you here tomorrow." Sara smiled, a little amused. "Night shift and travelling gets to the best of all of us." She winked.

"I'd ask you in for a drink or something but I think it's kind of unusual at 11am." Aiden got out of the huge vehicle and waved shortly before she entered the lobby.

"I just winked at her." Sara shook her head amused.

"This is where the body was found." Sara pointed at a huge dead tree on one of the photos they had pinned to the board. The crime scene was located in the middle of nowhere, nothing but sand and dry plants for miles. "Nothing similar to your dump site, is it?" When they had compared notes, it was clear that these crimes had nothing in common but cuts found on the victim's skin looking like a cross. While this body was found in the Nevada desert, theirs had been a dead body in a side alley of busy New York.

"It's quite beautiful out there, without a body that is." Aiden watched the stars and the almost full moon. "Never get to see this in Brooklyn."

"A lot of people drive out in the desert just to see the night sky." Sara glanced over at her co-worker. "Among other things." She added grinning.

"You speaking from experience?" the smaller woman chuckled, "You don't sound like you're from Nevada. Where's that accent from?"

"California." Sara answered but didn't like where this was going. She hoped Aiden would let it go at that.

"So you're the surfer chick. Cool." Aiden eyed Sara up and down. "I always wanted to try that."

"I haven't been on a board in ages!" Sara laughed, remembering the last time she had broken two ribs trying to ride a big one.

"Do you still have family in California?" Aiden asked and took one picture off the wall to study it more closely.

"Long story, basically family trouble," Sara added after a moment. It just didn't feel right to be angry at Aiden while it was her family she was angry with. Sara clenched her jaw and shook her head. Either the other woman hadn't noticed her sudden change of mood or she didn't show it.

"Family usually is," the New Yorker replied and smiled, "my grandparents emigrated from Italy." She slightly changed the topic away from Sara. "I've got dozen of stories to tell about my folks."

"Italian, huh? I've been wondering."

"Yes, and no, no mobsters in my family. Well, none that I know of." Aiden grinned. "But growing up with three brothers was hard enough. I don't need the mob to raise trouble."

"Hey guys!" Sara called after Nick and Warrick who had just gotten back from a crime scene and were heading for the lockers. "Where have you two been?" Sara laughed when she looked them up and down.

"Nice to see you, too, Sara." Warrick rolled his eyes.

"I just wanted you to meet our fellow co-worker from New York. This is Aiden Burns, Aiden, this guy with the unidentified substance all over his pants is Warrick. Nick's the one carrying the smelly stuff."

"Nice to meet you!" Aiden shook both their hands without hesitation. She just hoped they'd been wearing gloves during whatever they've been doing.

"Don't ask." Nick grinned, "I'm not sure if I want to know what we've recovered here."

"We'll see you guys later, we've got an appointment with Grissom." Sara spotted their boss walking the hallway towards his office. "By later I mean after a shower and decontamination," she called after they were out of punching distance and Nick threatened to throw some of that smelly stuff after them.

Sara was sitting in a chair, her legs stretched out in front of her and Aiden leaned onto the desk, arms crossed and a frown on her forehead.

"Let me recap." Grissom put the files he'd been holding on his desk and grabbed another stack. "We all agree that we've got what appears to be a possible serial killer. The only details that connect our cases are the DNA we found and the marks on the skin in the form of a cross."

"I'm afraid you'll need to check all crimes that involved religious markings, crosses and such for the past 9 years."

"When he killed his first victim, a 16 year old boy, we believe he was not much older than him. That's what the profiler says. So he shouldn't be older than 25 now. Anything that might have affected him so deeply might have happened in his youth, beginning from toddler to teenager." Sara pondered.

"I have two reports due for court and one statistic to hand in by Friday. You're on this alone." Grissom smirked.

"We'll keep you posted." Sara shrugged when he left the office. "I'll take the Las Vegas area. You take New York?" she offered.

"Deal." Aiden sighed. Her neck already hurt from thinking of working hours on the computer digging through the archives.

"Needle in a haystack, eh? Good luck."

It was much later, the day shift had already started, when Brass came to the lab waving a bagged piece of paper. "You have mail." He smiled.

Someone had sent an anonymous letter to the police claiming to have insight into the crime and identified a suspect.

"Letter was mailed from LV according to the stamp. Sent anonymously. Claims to know our suspect is one Sean Anderson. We have a search out and my guys will report to you as soon as they find someone with that name." He left the note with the two CSI's and finally called it a day. "Call me when you find something."

"How is it going?" Grissom entered one of the trace labs where Sara and Aiden had been sitting for hours now. He looked at the pictures that were pinned to the chart curiously and somehow totally forgot he had asked a question.

When Sara cleared her throat, he turned around and looked into two amused faces.

"I said we have a lead." Sara tried not to chuckle and hoped maybe he could help them. "We don't know who sent it but whoever it is, claims to know something about this crime."

"We've checked the envelope and the letter but whoever wrote it, was very cautious. We couldn't find a single trace of DNA. It was mailed from LV and addressed to the police. The printer used was a regular laser printer. There are thousands in use in Vegas."

Grissom sat down next to them and read the letter several times.

"Who's this Sean Anderson?" he asked absently.

"That's what we're still trying to find out. So far we've even checked every single incident involving a Sean or an Anderson. Who knows, maybe he changed names."

Since they hadn't dug up anything that shift, Grissom sent them both home to rest and start fresh the following night.

"Ladies!" Brass met up with Sara and Aiden in the conference room. "I have some good news and some not so good news."

"Spill it, Jim, please! It's too early." Sara smiled at him.

"We found one Sean Anderson in a cheap motel here in Vegas. That's the good news. The bad news is, we can't arrest him. I've been to the judge but he won't sign an arrest warrant. He says we don't have enough evidence and he's right. We have nothing but that anonymous letter. The matching cross found on the bodies doesn't help us at all."

"So, what do we do?" Aiden felt like tapping her foot on the floor, she wanted to go out and do something. "All we need is a DNA-sample."

"Right, but that'll only connect him to the crime scene and the hair that was found on the NY victim. We're still looking for motive." Sara added.

"How about we keep an eye on our guy first and see what he does. We can't search his motel room but maybe we can find out how he lives" Brass suggested and they all headed out to his car.

"So, this is where he hangs out?" Brass asked the assigned officer who had been following their suspect to an underground club with mostly gothic dressed patrons.

Sara glanced up and down the alley that was a few blocks away from the strip.

"I guess it's not a good idea to send someone in now. They will stick out like a clown at a funeral." Aiden sighed. "We don't want to make him take off."

"Right." Sara glanced at her own blue jeans and Aiden's suit.

"The night's still young. Why don't we find something more suitable and come back here?" Sara suggested. She could feel the adrenaline rushing through her body and she felt anxious for some real action.

"That's fine with me as long as you take a couple of my folks as backup with you." Brass nodded. He knew Grissom wouldn't like it but they had little they could do now. The officers weren't trained to collect evidence like the CSI was. If they were to find something out about Sean Anderson, this was the best way.

"Jesus, it's been ages since I dressed up like this!" Aiden laughed when she exited Sara's bathroom. She spread her arms and turned around so Sara could approve of her outfit. After picking up Sara's car at headquarters, they had stopped at a couple of shops so Aiden could buy something fitting since nothing she brought was even close to what she needed and Sara couldn't help her out much. They didn't exactly wear the same sizes.

"I can say it looks good on you." Sara had to admit. Aiden was wearing a black skirt, and a matching shirt which didn't hide much, at least not the view of a real nice lace bra underneath. The makeup was a bit dark for Sara's liking but they weren't going out on a date.

"Why thanks, Gorgeous! Let's roll." Aiden winked. Sara would definitely turn some heads with tight black leather pants, a short, deep purple tank top and a leather coat to top it all off. "I really like this necklace." She traced the classic looking silver chain with the bordered ruby.

It didn't go unnoticed to her how Sara's breathing changed. "Really sexy." Aiden grinned and ran her fingertip a little further down.

"I think these rings classify as weapons." Sara tried to ease the mood, or maybe just get her wits back together. They laughed at the bling jewellery on Aiden's fingers and the New Yorker let it go for now.

"That's because I can't hide a gun in my outfit like you can." Aiden spread her fingers out and eyed the spider-like ring and the spiky one on her thumb.

"Think we should take a picture for the guys?" Sara chuckled nervously. She was glad she could hide her gun under the coat. Their suspect was a possible murderer and she didn't like taking chances. She made a mental note to stay close to Aiden, just for safety reasons of course.

"I bet they'd pay good money."

When Brass didn't make one of his comments when he picked them up, Sara didn't know if he was amused or stunned. She'd never seen him speechless before. Getting together with the rest of his team in a side-alley near the club, they talked the case through with everyone, Brass assigned everyone their position and made it clear that Sara and Aiden were to play it cool and not risk anything. They would try to keep their suspect under observation and collect possible evidence. If they were lucky, they could get a hold of his DNA or even check if he was wearing a cross.

Sara checked her gun one last time and then they headed out onto the dark street. A plainclothes had confirmed Anderson was still hanging around the club. Wishing for the best, they nodded at Brass and walked the rest of the way to the club.

"Hear me?" Aiden leaned a bit over and spoke into Sara's chest. She knew she didn't have to get that close but where would the fun be?

"Loud and clear!" they both heard Brass' reply over their ear pieces.

Grinning at the bouncer, the two CSI's didn't have any problem entering the club. Two undercover officers were already inside, the others would follow shortly after. Scanning the crowd, both women made their way slowly over to the bar.

"Can you see him?" Sara had to shout because the music was so loud.

"Nope. What'll you have?" Sara had to bend down a little or she could never make out what the smaller woman was trying to say.

"I'll take a beer." Sara pointed at the bottles on the shelves behind the bartender and Aiden ordered the same.

"How do you think we can attract his attention?" Sara leaned down once more. She didn't mind having a perfectly clear view of Aiden's assets. Not only did she get out of the office, she had nice company to boot.

"We could start making out on the dance floor," Aiden stated coolly and they could hear a strange sound over their earpieces. It almost sounded like Brass had spit something out.

Chuckling, they kept scanning the crowd which wasn't easy because the club was so dark.

"Let's walk around a bit" Sara suggested and took Aiden's hand. It was so packed she didn't want to lose her. So, with linked fingers, they strolled from one floor to the next and back.

Aiden spotted someone in a far corner matching the Polaroid they were shown earlier and tugged on Sara's hand, pulling her with her to the opposite side of the club where she gently pushed Sara's back to the wall. Invading her personal space, Aiden spoke loud and clearly for Brass to hear it, too.

"I think we've got him. He's right behind us talking to a redhead. He's about six foot tall, has spiked black hair and is wearing a black muscle shirt. He's wearing some jewellery around his neck but I can't make out anything religious yet." Sara tried not to be too obvious when she looked past Aiden, her eyes travelled over the many faces until she found who she'd been looking for. "I see him. The redhead just left and he's laughing about something with his buddy."

After several offers for a drink or dancing, the two CSI's still hung around the club, carefully following their suspect wherever he went. They changed with the other teams a couple of times not to be made but so far they couldn't even pick up a cigarette butt because he wasn't smoking.

"Damn, he's still nursing the same bottle of beer. And he's wearing leather gloves." Sara shouted loud enough for Aiden to hear.

Just when he had started chatting up a girl, all hell broke lose. Several DEA officers stormed into the club, the music was cut off and they heard someone yelling that it was a raid.

"Brass, what the hell is that?" Sara shouted. "We need some help here."

The club patrons were divided into several small groups and everyone was searched. Before Sara could say anything, she found herself face down on the floor and stripped of her gun.

"We're CSI!" Aiden protested but was harshly pushed to the ground as well. "Brass!" Sara called again.

In the distance she thought she could hear his voice, arguing with someone.

"Those are my guys!" Brass talked to the DEA team leader. "This was an undercover mission and you guys just blew it!" his face turning red. That was all they could hear because other people were shouting around him.

Aiden kept looking around to where their suspect was and spotted him in another group that was cornered by several officers. She also watched as he took a knife from behind his back and let it drop to the floor. Glancing over to Sara, they knew that could be evidence. If he had used that knife on his victims before, it was a good guess that they could prove it.

Unfortunately, none of the guarding officers had noticed and so the knife slid under a booth.

"We need to get that knife!" Sara hissed. "Let go of me, asshole!" she growled when a knee was pressed into her back.

Half an hour later, the club was mostly empty sans the officers. It had taken Brass some time to get his team out of there and the DEA to sort out the dealer, the buyers and those who were just partying.

"Our suspect was arrested." Brass had collected the knife for them and they stood behind their truck now. "You guys think this is the murder weapon?" he looked at the knife for blood while he held it with gloved fingers.

"We'll find out." Aiden had crossed her arms over her chest against the cool air.

"Here." Brass handed her one of the team jackets from the truck with big "Police" letters on the back. "I'll give you a ride to HQ so you can pick up your car. I assume you want to change first and meet me back later at the lab?" the bulky man still grinned when he looked at the two CSI's.

"That's a good idea. I smell like an ashtray" Sara made a face when she sniffed her hair.

"And I should really change clothes." Aiden started to visibly shiver from the cold.

Two hours later found the two women back at work, showered and changed, but not feeling any better.

"Our suspect is still in custody and that's where he'll stay for another few hours," Brass informed them. He'd been talking to the DEA and heard that they had found a small dose of cocaine on him. He would get charged like a dozen other club patrons. "When they're through with him, it's our turn."

"You found the possible murder weapon?" Grissom joined them in Brass' office.

"Mia's just running the tests," Sara informed their boss and wondered why he was looking kind of strangely at her. "Unfortunately, there are no prints and besides Aiden, no one saw him drop the knife. We can't prove it's his."

"But we'll know if he's our guy." Grissom frowned. "Keep me posted."

It had been a busy night in general and Mia was doing her best to work everything she had gotten on her table, which was a lot. Catherine had been back first and brought four different samples for her. Warrick and Nick were next and dropped off only one piece of evidence but one that was extremely difficult. So, Sara and Aiden had to wait in line and there was little they could do.

Sitting in the lounge, they talked a little about various cases when Nick and Greg dropped by.

"Want to join us for a drink?" Nick asked and Greg grinned. "We need to celebrate a bit."

The two women looked at each other and got up. "I'll go tell Mia to page me. I'll meet you out front." Sara walked to the lab tech and the other three went to the parking lot.

"Slam-dunk case?" Aiden asked.

"Sure was." Greg beamed.

"Yes, our Greggo knew the felon and could identify him on the surveillance tape." Nick gave his buddy a high five and the woman chuckled. At least someone was lucky tonight.

Nick bought the first round of beer and they all gathered around a table in one of the more rural bars. Not many tourists visited here and at this late hour, it wasn't too crowded anyway.

"I hear you turned quite a few heads tonight." Greg beamed when he couldn't hold back any longer.

"You talked to Brass?" Sara raised an eyebrow. "That was fast." She and Aiden shared a knowing look.

"Better," Greg pulled out his cell phone, "he sent me a photo."

"Men!" Aiden sighed good naturedly and took a sip from her beer.

"Though it didn't help much. We're as far from solving this case as we were yesterday." Sara was frustrated.

"C'mon, cheer up some. We did all we could." Aiden bumped her shoulder with hers. Locking eyes, Sara nodded. "Who knows, he might even give us a DNA-sample."

"Tell us a little about your work in New York," Nick asked Aiden, to change the topic. He knew how focused Sara could get and how much it affected her.

Sara kept glancing at her pager but she found herself entertained by the stories Aiden, Greg and Nick shared. She was glad she didn't have to do the talking.

"So," Greg looked at his watch, "shifts officially over now, we can switch from non-alcoholic beer to real stuff now." He got up and took the now empty bottles with him.

"Is he bringing what I think he is?" Nick turned slightly green in the face.

"Who's in for Tequila?" the youngest of the foursome put a tray with bottle, glasses, limes and salt on the table.

"Not for me, buddy," Nick sat back in his chair. "Last time I touched that stuff I was sick for a week." And everyone chuckled.

"Come on, Nick. We're four people and only one bottle. You're a big guy, aren't you?" Sara challenged him. She had to admit she was really enjoying herself. Sure, she still wanted to solve the case, but sometimes you just have to take a break to see clearly. And that was what they were doing. The whole team had kind of loosened up after Nick's kidnapping.

A couple of drinks later, they were laughing and happily chatting.

Nick was the first who had to leave and since Greg had to head in the same direction, they shared a cab. Sara checked her pager and cell one last time even though she knew Mia was long home and their results had to wait until the lab tech picked up where she had left off.

"Want one more?" Aiden was pretty sober for the amount of drinks they had consumed but Sara wasn't really drunk yet herself. Or at least she seemed so.

"Why not?" She held her glass out for the New Yorker to share the last of the bottle.

"Now tell me, how long will you let Greg suffer?" Aiden asked and Sara laughed.

"I let him suffer?"

"That you do. I'd say he has the biggest crush on you. Not that I can blame him."

"He'll get over it." Sara sighed good naturedly.

"And until then you'll enjoy, right?" Aiden winked. "He's so cute and you would really break his heart if you told him."

"I've already told him the number one rule. Don't get involved with co-workers." And bosses, Sara added mentally. She had learned her lesson. Starring at the bottle for a moment, she didn't see the disappointed look on Aiden's face.

"Just too bad," she said and added, "for him."

"He'll be fine. And find someone his age." Sara smiled. "You tired yet?"

"You mean if I want to go to the hotel? Not really. I hate them. And my inner clock is still pretty off. At home I'd get up in two hours. Want another drink? My turn," she asked and Sara nodded.

"I'm going to regret this tomorrow," Sara said when Aiden was gone. "But I so do not mind," following her with her eyes all the way to the bar. "And rule number one sucks."

"I think I've lost my key card." Aiden searched her pockets once more. They were standing in front of her hotel with the cab waiting to take Sara home.

"You think you left it at my apartment earlier?" Sara suggested even though she had a hard time keeping her wits together.

"I can go to the admin desk, they can probably help me."

"I'll be right back," Sara informed the bored cab driver and accompanied Aiden. Arriving at the front desk, there was a note at the door "Be right back".

"Great! And now I really need to pee." Aiden laughed and grabbed Sara's arm not to lose her balance.

"Screw it, let's go." Sara said after a few minutes and pulled Aiden with her to the cab. "You can sleep with me," she added and it took her a good while until she realized how that sounded. "On my couch, I meant on my couch. Not with me, like in," Sara tried to make sense of what she was thinking but her mind didn't quite cooperate anymore.

"Don't sweat it!" Aiden just grinned at her. "And we'll see about that later," she added in her mind.

When Sara woke the next afternoon, she heard talking. Trying to clear her mind, she realized it must be the TV because she recognized the voices from some show. Preparing herself for getting up, Sara glanced at the clock on the nightstand which told her it was a little after 4 p.m.

"Hey!" Aiden greeted her from the sofa a little too cheerful. "You're still alive." The New Yorker was still dressed in one of Sara's t-shirts and some shorts she had given her the night before and was eating cereal. The bedding was neatly folded on the nearby chair.

"Not yet." Sara padded over to the kitchen and took some of the freshly brewed coffee. Grabbing a bowl from the cupboard, Sara fixed herself breakfast and sat down next to Aiden. Taking a sip, Sara sighed.

"How are you feeling this morning, well, afternoon," she asked, and looked over at her co-worker. Her hair was as tousled as Sara's but she looked a little brighter.

"I think I'm doing okay. I helped myself to breakfast. You don't mind, do you?"

"Why would I? How long are you up?"

"Not too long, half an hour maybe. I checked on you when I used the bathroom and decided to let you sleep a little more."

"How generous of you." Sara laughed. She was pretty out last night.

"I've just called the office but there is no news yet. We can take it slow. And by the way, I found my key card," Aiden held it up. "it fell on the bathroom floor last night." Aiden pointed at the table.

At six p.m. sharp, the two CSI's pulled into the headquarters parking lot and joined the rest of the team for the briefing. While they waited for Grissom, Sara talked to Greg by the coffee maker and Nick was sitting at the table with Aiden and Catherine.

"All I'm saying is let me come to your next undercover assignment, will you?" Greg pouted and handed Sara her cup.

"Yeah, man, and instead of having some police guys wire you, I've been told I have very smooth hands." Nick grinned boyishly and Catherine shook her head just when Grissom arrived with a stack of papers.

"I see we're all here, good, let's get started."

He sent Catherine and Nick to a hit and run and Warrick was assigned to finish some long overdue reports. Since it was a slow night, Greg was assigned to help Mia in trace to get some work done. Sara and Aiden wrote their reports of last nights investigation and waited to hear from the lab.

Brass dropped by shortly to check and informed them that their suspect was still in jail and would be charged with possession of drugs. The drugs found on him were enough for the DA and the whole procedure would keep him in custody for a while.

Just when he was about to leave, Greg dropped by with a huge grin on his face and a piece of paper. "You've got the right guy!" he handed it to Sara and Aiden to read.

"I knew it!" the New Yorker snapped her fingers. "The blood found on the knife matches samples from our victims. He probably didn't think we could recover such small traces."

"So now we have to prove that he was at the crime scenes and we can go to the DA and let Anderson give us a DNA sample." Sara said what everyone thought.

"I'll go interview a few of his neighbours and some of the people at the club." Brass waved at them.

"I'd love to help but I'm afraid Mia misses me." Greg waved and left also.

"Then I'll check what brought him to New York" Aiden offered. "We still haven't found a clue to what makes him tick. There's no motive so far. I'll keep looking into that." And with that they went back to work.

Sara had to admit the interview went well. Anderson's attorney wasn't too annoying for a lawyer and the DA let them do most of the talking.

So after Sara pointed out that they had found the blood of both victims on the knife they found, Anderson started sweating and whispered something to his lawyer.

"How about a deal?" The lawyer directed at the DA.

"Why would we want a deal?" was his reply. "We have enough evidence that any jury in the country will send him to jail as a double murderer."

"I did it, okay. But I was stoned. I wasn't thinking straight." Anderson now tried to talk his way out of it.

"You say you killed two innocent people because you were stoned?" Brass looked rather amused. "Aren't you supposed to be relaxed after a joint?" he asked.

"My client has been in a very stressful situation." The lawyer tried to explain and looked up when Aiden entered the interrogation room. She'd been listening from outside for a while until she thought it was best to throw in some more news to set them off.

"He was stressed out because his mother had killed his father when he was a teenager or because she made him watch?" Aiden put a police report on the desk. "Or was it because he went to outpatient therapy at a mental institution several times over the years and dropped out every single time?"

Lawyer and client whispered once more and both nodded. "I never intended to hurt anybody," Anderson gulped, "I wasn't myself those nights."

"Then why don't you explain it to us?" Brass looked over to the DA. "Maybe you will get life instead of a needle."

What followed was similar to many stories the authorities had heard before. Anderson tried to justify his actions with a bad childhood and a mental disorder caused by witnessing his father's death.

His mother had been extremely religious and when she found out her husband was cheating on her and even had a second family, she snapped. She took the massive metal cross from the wall and badly beat her husband then stabbed him in the chest with the cross. This could explain why Sean had cut a cross on his victim's chests.

The victims just happened to look like Sean Anderson's half-brother and his mother and he tried to explain that when he saw them, he just snapped like his own mother had.

And if his lawyer wasn't too bad, he might even be sentenced to go to a mental institution for the criminally insane instead of jail. But that wasn't up to the CSI anymore. They had done their job and now it was all up to the jury, and the judge.

"It's only noon, how about some lunch?" Brass asked when they had left the interrogation room.

"Sounds good to me. We finish paperwork and meet you where?" Aiden checked with Sara, who nodded.

"I know just the place." Brass winked, "let's meet on the parking lot."

"He invited us, didn't he?" Sara joked.

"That's what I heard." And the three of them laughed. It felt so good to close a case.

"By the way, when's your flight back?" Sara asked when they strolled over to her office.

"You know, it's funny you ask," Aiden grinned, "I just wanted to call my boss and ask him to give me a few days off. I'd really like to see some more of Las Vegas now that I'm here. Would be a waste if I left before seeing the desert." She winked at Sara.

"Then go ahead. I could even suggest you a tour guide."

"I'd like that." Aiden took a seat opposite Sara and they took their notes out. "And maybe we can discuss rule number one." The New Yorker wiggled her eyebrows.

The End

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