DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: In response to the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas Challenge.'
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Twelve Days in One Night
It was an unusually boring night for the crime scene investigators of the night shift. With no crimes being reported, no cases pending, and everyone caught up on their reports and lab tests, the team had assembled in the break room trying desperately to find something to occupy their time. Nick, Greg, and Warrick were in one corner playing video games, and Catherine and I were sitting at opposite ends of the sofa reading. I, of course, was researching the newest methods of processing a scene while Catherine had her nose stuck in the latest People magazine.
My attention was temporarily diverted when Wendy came into the room and took the seat between me and Catherine. Wendy began to complain about having nothing to do, and Catherine smiled broadly at the young lab technician.
"Want to catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip?" Catherine asked, handing one of her many magazines to Wendy.
Smiling, Wendy scooted closer to Catherine and took the magazine. She crossed her legs and started to read, and I watched in both confusion and shock as she moved her leg closer and closer to Catherine's. Hey, Wendy just slid her foot up the back of Catherine's calf!
Before I could focus on the two women's legs, Grissom came in and announced, "Okay everyone, break's over. I need you all to grab your kits and meet me in the lobby of the Bellagio. There are multiple crime scenes which need to be processed."
The guys groaned, but gamely stood and left the room. I placed my book down on the table and turned my attention back to Catherine and Wendy. My mouth dropped to the floor when I caught sight of Catherine reaching over and squeezing Wendy's hand before she got up to leave. Stunned, I watched her walk out of the room with Wendy following closely behind.
Coming out of my stupor, I realized I was the only one left in the room, and I had no idea what crime scene I'd be walking into, but I'd come to the conclusion that I was totally aware of the scene I just witnessed between Catherine and Wendy; however, I'd need more evidence before I could make my suspicion known.
Arriving at the scene, we were met by a grinning Sofia who quickly filled us in on what had transpired in the past hour in this one hotel. The hour began with twelve members of the day and swing shifts getting together for a little early Christmas cheer which quickly turned into quite the brawl.
Management asked them to leave, and they took exception to the request so LVPD was called in. It took eleven police offers to remove the rowdy CSIs from the premises. The management had requested that they all be charged with disorderly conduct, but the sheriff wanted someone from the night shift to investigate to get to the bottom of the apparent disagreement. Grissom quickly assigned Greg to look into the matter, and he left to talk to the manager.
Catherine turned to Sofia and asked, "So why are we here?"
Grinning, Sofia answered, "Well, in one of the penthouse suites, Lady Heather had a little party of her own. It started off as a get together among her female staff and ended with a suspicious death. Brass is up there now, and I know I'm no longer a CSI, but on first glance, I noticed ten pairs of lingerie lying around the room in various locations. I also counted nine latex gloves next to the articles of clothing. I don't think I want to know what they were used for."
Nick and Warrick chuckled, and Sofia continued, "Anyway, eight of the ladies are confessing that they were responsible for the death, and Brass is trying to sort it all out, but he needs a couple of CSIs to help."
Catherine and I stepped forward, but Grissom sent the still grinning Nick and Warrick instead. As the two men walked away, Sofia turned back to the three of us. "Now, in room 510, we have another problem. A poker game involving seven gentlemen is the scene of yet another suspicious death. It seems the game had started off innocently, but quickly moved into the high stakes category, and Mr. John Vallentine didn't live to see the end of the last hand. Just as another round of cocktails had been delivered, one of the other players suggested that they up the ante. Everyone was in agreement, and the value of the chip began to rise with each hand. On the fatal hand, Mr. Vallentine pulled out a revolver and emptied the six bullets into his palm. The players said he then methodically placed each bullet on the table one by one. He said that if he lost the hand, he would place one in the cylinder."
"A game of Russian Roulette?" I interjected, hoping that we wouldn't be walking into an apparent suicide. I hated to see people get so depressed during the holidays that they'd take their own life.
"Yeah, I guess that's what he had in mind, but he never had the chance. He used his last five poker chips, valued at ten thousand dollars each, to raise the other players. Two of the guys had already folded, and the other four were not sure what he'd do if they raised his bet so they all called. Vallentine smiled and moved to show his full house, only he turned blue and grabbed his throat before he could lay his cards down. One of the players realized he was choking and tried the Heimlich maneuver on him, but it didn't seem to work so they immediately called the front desk for help. He died before the paramedics arrived. We were called in because of the gun. I don't think it will take much to process the scene. One of the guys said Mr. Vallentine had been shoveling French fries into his mouth right before he turned blue. There are only three fries left in the rather huge container."
Once again, Catherine and I picked up our kits to head for the elevators, but Grissom decided to work the case alone, leaving Catherine and I standing in the lobby with Sofia. Shrugging her shoulders, Sofia headed for the elevator and an impatient Grissom.
Returning to the lab, we ran into Wendy as she was walking toward the DNA lab with two test tubes in her hand. Catherine offered to help her and excused herself to follow the technician into the lab. I watched as Catherine took one of the tubes and placed her hand in the small of Wendy's back, escorting her into the lab. Now, I had more evidence to confirm my earlier suspicions.
By the time the shift finally came to an end, all the cases had been resolved. Much to the dismay of the eleven arresting police officers, the sheriff took care of the charges against the twelve CSIs with the stipulation that it never happen again.
The eight confessions surrounding the suspicious circs in Lady Heather's penthouse suite were thrown out when the death was determined to be accidental. Doc Robbins discovered that the victim asphyxiated on a latex glove which explained why there were only nine gloves instead of ten, but I wasn't able to get an explanation as to what the gloves were used for. Hmm, maybe I'll talk to Lady Heather later.
The poker player choked on French fries, confirming Sofia's initial cause of death. The other players felt bad about not being able to help him, but they were relieved to find out that all six bullets were blanks. They actually applauded their friend for his brilliant bluff at getting them all to call.
As for Wendy and Catherine, I no longer had to wonder if there was anything going on between the two of them. Finding them making out in the locker room was pretty much icing on the cake.
Damned if Sofia wasn't right about Catherine and Wendy, but this was one bet I don't mind losing. In fact, if I hurried home, I could get started on paying my debt right away.
Opening my apartment door, I found Sofia stretched out on the couch, and placing my keys on the bar, I moved to join my lover. Sofia smiled and slid back to allow room for me to lie in front of her.
She pulled me into her arms, and we laid in silence for several minutes before I began to chuckle as the events of the evening found their way into a familiar, holiday song. Wendy and Catherine's relationship quickly took a back seat to my new rendition.
"What?" Sofia whispered into my ear.
"Tonight was interesting," I offered, turning toward my lover.
Laughing, Sofia concurred, "Yeah, it was."
"You know, it's almost like that Christmas song." I smiled and moved so that we were eye to eye.
Sofia slid her leg on top of mine and asked, "What song?"
"The Twelve Days of Christmas," I said, tightening my grip on my lover.
Tilting her head, Sofia asked, "What do you mean?"
Deciding the only way to explain myself was to take the different aspects of the night and put them into the lyrics of the song; I cleared my throat and began to sing.
"On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Twelve CSIs a cavorting, Eleven policeman parading, Ten pairs of Lady Heather's lingerie, Nine latex gloves, Eight murderers a confessing, Seven cocktails a brimming, Six bullets a gleaming Five poker chips Four calling cards, Three French fries, Two test tubes, and a ."
Abruptly, I stopped singing, wracking my brain to come up with a gift for the first day of Christmas.
Chuckling, Sofia asked, "Why'd you stop?"
I shrugged and replied, "Because that's all there was tonight. Everything was in pairs or more. I didn't come across anything solo or single."
Reaching her hand behind her back, Sofia purred, "I think I can remedy that problem."
She pulled a pair of handcuffs from her belt and quickly fastened one end around my wrist. Standing, she took the other end and guided me toward the bedroom. I more than willingly followed my lover down the hallway.
Attaching the free end to the headboard, Sofia kissed me gently and finished my earlier song in a soft, clear voice.
"And a pair of shiny new handcuffs."
Ah, what a lovely ending to both the song and the night, but especially the night...
Return to C.S.I. Fiction
Return to Main Page