DISCLAIMER: I don't own C.S.I. or any of the characters represented in the show. They're owned by someone else who isn't me. No copyright infringement is implied/meant/deliberate in any way, shape or form, and no money is changing hands/no profit is being made, etc.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Del Robertson
"Well?" asked Sofia, pushing open the door to the lab, her strong stride bringing her to stand beside the counter where Sara peered through a microscope.
"Hold on - " Sara pensively bit her bottom lip, readjusted the settings. Squinting, she studied the slide again. "Yes." Sofia smiled triumphantly. "No." Her smile abruptly fell. "I don't know," Sara admitted, sitting back on her stool, staring at the detective in exasperation.
"Let me try," Catherine Willows nudged her out of the way, examining the hair sample. After a few suspenseful moments, she straightened. Shrugging helplessly, she said, "I can't tell, either."
"Wendy?" Sofia asked the new DNA tech.
She was just retrieving a vial from the spinner. Holding it aloft, she carefully added a drop of a chemical compound from an eyedropper to the test tube. The liquid turned blue, then clear. "Inconclusive," she determined, shaking her head, miserably.
In frustration, Sofia flipped open a folder that lay on the lab table. Rapidly, she threw out twenty head shots, from every conceivable angle, arranging them on the table. The other C.S.I.'s gathered in close, garnishing magnifying glasses. She waited, tapping her foot impatiently as the other women studied the photographs.
Minutes ticked by.
Finally, Catherine looked up, shaking her head. "I'm sorry, Sofia."
Defeated, Sofia slumped down on a nearby stool, cradling her head in her hands.
"It's okay," Wendy consoled, running a reassuring hand over the blonde's strong shoulders and upper back. "We'll get him."
"I don't know, guys." Sara continued to stare at the photographs in front of her. "Maybe we should just admit defeat."
Sofia looked up, staring incredulously at the brunette. "You mean it?" she asked.
"Yeah, I think so. The evidence is inconclusive," Sara shrugged, "We may never know if Nick Stokes is a victim of a bad toupee - or just chronic seventies-hair."
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