Catherine walked into the station waving a letter. "It's from the daughter."
"And what news does Lindsey have?" Greg asked with a grin for her. He was sponsoring her into Canada's magic academy and her grades were looking very good. He was very pleased with his student. "New pranks learned? New flying moves perhaps?"
"No, but new boyfriend," she said dryly. "He's in the next year up, in her house, and he helps her study a lot. He's even taken her on some long walks around the grounds, with a chaperone because he said she was too young to be out without one." She grinned at him. "He sounds nice and I'll be getting a letter from him soon she said."
"Good," Greg agreed, grinning, but she could tell his mind was running in circles.
"Something we should know about dating wizards?" she asked patiently.
"Well, kinda," he admitted. "Um, I was really hoping Emilia would cover this stuff, but then I realized her magic isn't exactly the standard wizarding stuff and she didn't have a clue what I was talking about." He grimaced and shrugged. "Go ahead and shut the door."
"Is this something really bad?"
"No, but we've got to talk about wizarding sex." She raised an eyebrow. "There's a few things that aren't quite...standard about us, especially the first time. Um, our first real orgasm creates more magic than most explosions. Which is how unnoticed wizards and witches get found more often than not," he admitted. He sat her down on his stool. "See, magic, well, think of it like the Jedi's Force. It's everywhere, and usually the magic is called more strongly by strong emotions. As the Wiccans who have skills have proved time and again." Catherine nodded slowly. "Now think about your first time."
"Oh, shit," she said quietly, holding her head. "What's going to happen?"
"Usually, as long as they're gentle, just a magical spike. Emilia had the worst we had ever seen in Slytherin. Her first self-given one created a tree."
"A tree?" she asked.
"Well, she is a creative force," he said dryly, smirking at her. "But yeah, a tree. In the middle of the common room, big, huge tree, kept us from getting out to dinner. Sev came looking for us when he realized only three students had made it to dinner." The door opened and Grissom stuck his head in. "Give us five, we're talking about wizarding facts of life."
"Oh, okay." He shut the door, but came inside to listen.
"Grissom," she complained.
"It's fascinating. What's this about a tree?"
"Our first time," Greg said, looking over, then shifting so he could see them both. "Creates a magical spike. That's how we often find the unnoticed ones. Or the abused ones," he said grimly. "I found one of those myself a few years back." Grissom nodded, accepting that. "Emilia's not exactly got the normal wizarding structure of power. She created a tree during her first self-given moment of pleasure." He looked at Catherine. "So that's two times, and we can use our wands for that part," he warned. "It's pretty normal to try it now and then."
"Oookkkkaaaayyy," she drew out. "Sorta like a toy?"
"More like creating the feelings without needing to spend thirty or fifty bucks on the toy," he said with a smirk. "There's spells for that too. The guy who patented the main few and the cockring spell made millions back in Victorian times. In today's money." She shivered at that and he nodded. "There's also something called a power orgasm. That's when his power and her power combine." He gave her a sweet smile. "That's what created the explosion when Emilia and I first got together. It created the listening spell actually. Alex can't have those with Draco, he makes sure it doesn't happen after the last one destroyed a small island."
"Destroyed an island?" Grissom asked. "Why?"
"Because that's basically an emotional surge as the two magics touched. He took his first sweetie, the one who died long time ago, and took her away to try it. Good thing, otherwise the house never would have stood. It's recorded in the books as one of the most powerful spikes ever recorded. That's how they knew he was going to go into curse breaking. They couldn't let him go into any other field with how powerful he was." He grinned at Catherine, blushing a bit. "There doesn't have to be actual sex involved in that one either. They can be holding hands. Emilia and I were kissing. Alex and his girl were groping, he admitted such in the records. But it will happen sometime. Most of the schools will put in lodestones to suck up the excess energy horniness creates in the dorm rooms. I know Lindsey's does because I asked." She nodded once at that. "Otherwise, things can and will happen. If you don't guard against it, it's most often a...creative force, and I'm not talkin' about those people with muses either."
"So, you get a lot of teen pregnancies?" Grissom asked.
"No, and that's why we have the lodestones, to keep them down. Almost every single teen witch pregnancy is from something like this. I'll be finding Lindsey one to wear around her neck. It's much more common when you first hit love's flush of desire."
"Her first crush," the mother said grimly. Greg nodded. "This guy?"
"If he's from a wizarding family, he knows. I'd guess that's why he's taking the chaperone." She smiled and sighed a bit at that. "So it sounds like he understands, but you've got an additional topic to tell Lindsey about."
"Oh, yeah. There'll be no grandkids until she's thirty," she said dryly, standing up. "Lodestones?"
"Yeah, and we can't get one here. I can take you to Diagon and get you one. The local store doesn't carry them for some reason and Chicago's doesn't either. I checked." She patted him on the face. "It's an older theory that stated I'm paying her way through school so she gets a proper education to tend my family," he said dryly, grimacing a bit. "Chicago still lives in that era now and then."
"Ah." She nodded. "You're not, right?" He pinched her, making her yelp. "Sorry, Greg," she offered, kissing him on the cheek. "I know Emilia is more than you can handle most days."
"You got that right," he said dryly, shrugging a bit but grinning. "So the next time we're both free, we can go visit Tipsy and the twins and get her a lodestone necklace or earrings. They're the most practical version of those."
"Then I get to tell her why I'm welding them to her body," she said dryly, shaking her head. "Should I worry?"
"Nah, sounds like he's being careful and the school has precautions, I know they do."
"Good. Then how did Emilia get past hers?"
"The upperclassmen two years before Sev dismantled ours for a spell. One of them needed an heir very quickly and the lodestones hold much power." Grissom chuckled at that. "I'm serious. He had triplets." He shrugged and grinned at them. "So, we only have to watch out for her first real time, making sure he's careful, she's careful, and that she's wearing a lodestone, because that'll keep the power spike down. The other kids will know if she's at school. It's as big a sign to us as coming in rumpled and half-dressed is. The sad thing is, it doesn't matter how into it she was, it'll still happen the first time she gets off," he said, staring her down. The mother in Catherine nodded at that subtle message, she understood what he was trying to say. "So, add that to your next girl talk and hopefully we can find her a pendant quickly. That way it'll contain a lot of power, just in case."
"Do you keep records of these things?" Grissom asked.
"Formal records of the strong ones," Greg admitted, looking a bit sheepish now. "Maybe one out of every thirty kids gets on that scroll in Hogwarts. Tipsy sure did. Her first time and her first power orgasm happened near the same time. First the breakfast bowls of oatmeal danced and then they started a huge food fight."
"You can have more than one?" Catherine asked.
"Yeah, it's just that the first is the most powerful usually. The exception is if the first isn't done in lust and then one is with your 'one, true, soulmate' sort of person. Then it can get a bit more dramatic." He grimaced. "Sev had his whole apartment warded so no one knew whether or not he and Holly had one. The twins first time with Tipsy made it onto the scroll too from what I hear. Or so Philip said," he added with a grin.
Catherine shook her head. "Okay. I'll write Lindsey back tonight and say I'd like to meet this boy by this summer if they're still together then. I'll put in something about having to talk about wizarding sex and the like. Do I still have to have the STD talk?" Greg nodded. "The full one?" He nodded again, crossing his arms over his chest. "What about the HIV talk?" He nodded again. "Anything else I should know?"
"Broom flying is usually done double unless you're very good and can do what Alex and Draco or Dawn and Ron can do and match paths, then it's like dragons mating. So if she makes dirty jokes about quidditch or brooms, she's had it that way," he said dryly. The mother groaned and walked off, shaking her head and going to write that letter now. She really wanted to talk to her daughter soon. Maybe she'd call her cell tonight to see if it was working again. Greg looked over at Grissom. "Got samples?" he asked hopefully. "Or just lurking?"
"Just lurking. Is Hodges in or is he hiding?"
"I saw him earlier but he left early. He basically stomped out at dinner."
"That's fine. I understand why. Are you okay? Is Ecklie bothering you too much?"
"Well, yeah, but we're good," he said dryly. "It's not gonna happen. Besides, I can always go to England to get a job over there as a potions researcher and that'll make sure my kids get to Hogwarts."
"Point," he agreed, nodding. He saw Nick walking up the hall slowly. "It's a treatment day, you're not supposed to be here," he said firmly, going to stop him from coming in any further."
"I'm going out of my mind, Gris. Please?" he begged.
Greg grabbed something and went to hand it to him. "Here, go proofread for me," he said firmly. "It'll be a big help, it'll be scientific, and it'll help you sleep since potions isn't your field." He grinned. "Or you could go get Emilia to get the sex ed book for Cat."
"Eeehhh, no thanks," he said grimly, looking at the book. "What is this?"
"Potions," he said with a grin. "Shoo. Before you get sick and they have to go on *longer*." Nick gave him a horrified look. "If you get sick, they can't do your treatments."
"Oh, man," he complained, but he did go back to his car and he did go home, taking Greg's new book with him. At least it'd give him something to do. He noticed after the first page that things were spelled funny but then he realized it was British spelling so he didn't mark them. It was kinda interesting though. It outlined the links between three potions and how you could combine them to do various things, like healing or killing someone. He hadn't known those two were so intimately entwined but it was very enlightening.
Greg beamed at Grissom. "Field work?"
"The day shift person will be in next week, Greg, then you can go out in the field for more training," Grissom reminded him, heading back to his office.
Warrick stuck his head out of another lab. "You're writing a book?"
"It's for my Mastery. To keep it up, I have to produce something qualifiable every ten years. So that's my reupdating one." He waved a hand around then snapped his fingers. "Should be a cinch." He headed back to his lab. "I'm bored with nothing to do," he yelled before walking in.
"I can solve that," Sarah yelled back, heading his way with a whole tray of samples.
Warrick shook his head, waving her on. He hadn't known that about Greg but it was very interesting. He should probably get a copy of that book when it was finished so he could read it over. It had to be somewhat scientific to qualify.
Emilia looked up as Catherine walked out to join her on the back porch, bringing Cassandra out hugging her. "Was she fussing?"
"No, I'm having mommy flashbacks," she said miserably. "Greg told me about wizarding sex."
"He said something about you and a tree?" she offered.
"Oh, that stuff. Yeah, Tipsy made a big deal of it too. I didn't have that many problems."
"He said that was because you weren't the average witch," she said dryly. "Said something about brooms too."
"That's like having sex on a motorcycle while it's moving."
"Ah." She nodded, hugging the baby closer. "I miss having one this age."
"Yeah, well, you can steal her all you want," she offered with a grin. "What's he looking for now?"
"A lodestone for my daughter."
"Good idea. She got a boyfriend?" Catherine handed over the letter so she read it. "Good choice. I know his family. They're from the Middle East, but very liberal. The last I knew, they had moved to Boston but Salem doesn't like taking foreign students." She handed it back with a grin. "You could always have another one."
"I'd rather have the full package before I start thinking about that," she complained. "I'm not even dating anyone."
"Good point, but there's another option, especially at the moment. Some people have massive families that want a grandkid and the son won't cooperate."
"No, more having one with someone like Draco or Alex, and you'd get a very supportive family in addition to them now and then."
"So, no father, but grandmothers and everyone?" she said sarcastically. Emilia nodded, smirking at her. "That's a bad idea."
"Not really. It's actually pretty workable. The older, more powerful families usually do it for gay sons or daughters. Usually sons and infertile daughters really. It can be done by potion or spell or the practical way. Everyone gets what they want. The father doesn't have to be a daddy, but the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and assorted cousins get someone new to coo over and protect. The family name gets carried on. The mother gets a child she's been wanting for a while. The last few I heard of had support agreements with custody switches and babysitting built in. It's like splitting the kids after a divorce, only without the marriage and no recriminations about whose fault it was." She gave her a long look. "I know Alex needs an heir and his aunts are getting pushy. That's why he's spending the next year in a desert. I know Draco needs one and again, Alex's aunts are getting pushy and so is his mother," she said dryly, smirking at her. "Then again, so is Mrs. Weasley. She's got Charlie, Bill, and Ron to deal with that way most likely. And the best thing is that if they do get married some day, the stepmom will almost always welcome the kids because kids are precious to us." She leaned closer. "By the way, you missed it. Hermione finally caught up with Philip again and grabbed him to kiss him stupid. Right in the middle of Diagon," she finished with a wink and a smirk. "He came home *bright* red and running for cover."
Catherine snickered at that. "That is cute." She nuzzled the baby's hair, waking her a bit. "Sorry, princess, go back to sleepies," she whispered in the soft hair. Cassandra snorted and wiggled until she was against her shoulder, then went back to sleep once she had her little fist curled in Catherine's hair to suck her thumb with it. "I miss these times, but with work, it'd be a pain. Going to college was bad enough. I can't imagine going to work this way."
"Eh, Vegas provides daycare now and then for younger kids. Greg and I had to use it a few times. Besides, it'll give my kids someone else to pick on." Catherine snorted and relaxed, shaking her head. "Think about it, Catherine. You're under no obligation to be with the fathers."
"Yeah, but that's the bad part. Part of the good part of pregnancy is sharing it with someone you like and having them there to fetch, carry, and give backrubs."
"True, but I'll let you borrow Greg for that. Plus, you've got how many guys on your shift that'd coo over your belly the way they did mine? Even Brass cooed over my stomach, though he'd disagree if you asked him." She gave her a long look. "Think about it. Talk with Lindsey when you talk to her again." She gave her a light nudge. "Think about how much fun a baby Alex would give Grissom and Sarah."
Catherine snickered at that, swatting her friend gently. "That's bad."
"Well, yeah. Wanna bring her in tonight? Let her daddy teach her more lab stuff?"
"He's busy tonight. Sarah found a bunch of nasty stuff in a car that she needed tested. Why? Did you need the night off?"
"Well, technically, I have to work with my protege again. She's got some troubles and needed a counselor. The boys are sleeping but she'll be up long before daddy gets home and my student gets hives from kids. She hissed at her the other day and I had to restrain her for a good thirty minutes."
"Sure, I'll bring her back with me," she promised. She stood up. "Thanks, Emilia."
"Just give it some thought. Remember the two am feedings and the three am diaper changes, then the four am feeding and the five am diaper change. Remember the rug burns, the diarrhea, the vomiting, the fevers, all that fun stuff," she said patiently. "Then make your decision. You might not meet Narcissa's requirements, but for Alex you probably would."
"Sure. Thanks. Diaper bag?"
"Beside the door. I was going to bring her to Greg in a bit, when she woke up."
"Sure. Thanks." She grabbed the diaper bag on the way out, heading out to take the carseat too. She was still small enough to need one. They headed back to the station and she stopped to grab her messages at the desk, finding someone standing there. "Hey, Brass."
"Is that baby Greg?"
"Yup, baby Greg. Emilia has her student in for some emergency counseling and she hissed at this one last time. She doesn't like kids."
"Wonderful. Sanders is in the field. There was a multiple."
"Why wasn't I paged?"
"Grissom took him." He shrugged and got her messages, tucking them into her purse. "There you go."
"Thanks. We'll be back that way while I'm babysitting. I'll page Greg and let him know."
"Sure. Are you okay? You look worried."
"Emilia didn't sound too fond of her student and it's nothing. Empty nest," she said grimly. "Lindsey's got her first boyfriend at school. They're going on long walks with a chaperone."
"Ah." He nodded. "I remember that stage. My wife wanted a second one too, but I refused to change another diaper until I retired."
Catherine nodded. "I said the same thing, but Emilia wants me to surrogate and have one for Alex. That way I wouldn't have the daddy, but I'd have supporting relatives barging in all the time to help."
He snickered. "I'm sure you would. Some of his aunts are more fierce than I am." Cassandra yawned and blinked at him. "Hi, 'San." He smoothed down her hair. "You're in cute jammies tonight."
"Because your mommy had to meet with her student. Daddy will be back soon," Catherine assured her. She looked up at her, blinking a few times. "It's all right, I'm going to watch you." That got a smile and a sleepy kiss to the cheek. "Come on, we'll go page your daddy for you." She smiled at Brass. "See ya later." She headed back to the breakroom, going to make that call while Cassandra laid on the couch to finish her rest. That let her get some stuff done while she checked on her all the time.
Hodges walked in and looked at the child, then snorted. "Baby Greg is back. Why?"
"Mean lady comed," Cassandra said quietly, blinking up at him. "I see wings."
"Gee, thanks. How?"
She grinned. "I'm good. Daddy said so."
"I'm sure you try," he said patiently. "Who's watching you?"
He snorted at that nickname, it almost made him grin a bit. He went to tell her that the child was up. "Hey, Auntie Kitty, Baby Greg is up," he said from the doorway to the garage she was working in.
"Thanks. Think she'll go back to sleep?"
"You ask like I know a thing about children," he said dryly, heading back to his Trace lab. He checked the breakroom and found it empty. Then he groaned. "She's escaped," he yelled.
Catherine came running out, going to find the little girl. She found her in the bathroom, doing what big girls did. "That is so good! Does your mommy know you do that!" she asked, grinning at her. "You deserve a treat." Cassandra blushed a bit, but finished up and let her auntie clean her up and help her wash her hands, then accepted her candy bar and the cartoon channel in the lounge for her treat. Then Catherine went to make another call to Greg's pager, leaving that message, and headed back to do a bit more work for a few minutes.
Greg looked at his pager, then at Grissom. "My daughter is partially potty trained," he said proudly. "Catherine said she woke up and went all by herself."
"Congratulations, Greg. Good luck training the other two," Grissom said fondly, smirking at him. "Boys are supposed to be harder."
"Nah, I'll teach 'em how to pee off the back porch like Nick did that time he was drunk." The cops around them stared at him. "What? It was his last birthday party." They just nodded, they had heard about that one. Grissom gave him a look. "At least it wasn't in the pool. Just in my neighbor's roses." He marked another shell casing and took a picture of it. He heard a siren and looked behind him. "Suits," he called quietly, getting Grissom's attention.
"Wonderful," he muttered, going back to examining the bodies. He pulled off a few hairs he thought could be lost in transit and bagged them. One of the FBI agents, as noted by his badge and the ID he was holding as he came over to bother him, coughed to get his attention. "You're in my light."
"Where is one of your CSI techs, Saunders?" the agent asked quietly.
"I'm right here, and I can hear you just fine," Greg said in a sing-song voice. "You're still in his and my light."
"Mr. Saunders," the agent said, carefully walking that way. Greg growled at him and he backed off, watching as he took some pictures. "We need to talk. Someone has leveled some fairly strong allegations against you."
"They can eat shit and die," he said, glaring up at him. "Let me guess, the former DNA tech who messed up or the former CSI field guy who went and broke into my house?"
"Uh," his partner said, carefully standing out of the way. "The first I believe. His background check didn't say anything about DNA jobs." Greg glanced at him. "If we could have you for a few minutes? We could probably clear this up right away."
"You can wait until I'm done," he said patiently. "I'm still learning in the field. You had better not have stepped in blood," he told the first one. "That'll only muddy the crime scene."
"I was very careful not to, sir. They sent us because we do work in the field quite often."
"Go ahead, Greg," Grissom said. "That way they can go home."
"Yes, sir." He handed his camera over and led the way out of the crime scene and over to their car, hopping up to sit on the hood and look at them. "Okay. I'm supposing you want to know what happened?" They nodded. "Someone broke into my house. Now, I'm a night shift guy. Always have been. One of the day guys took the case even though we were coming in and it should have been ours. You see, I went to school with a student once...."
"Scotland. Private religious institution." He looked at the other one. "There's someone who was here a few months back who knows where I went." He looked at the first one again. "Anyway, my friend's parents owned a gold mine or three, something like that." He shrugged. "He's from Africa." They both winced. "His parents died while we were in school and I'm sure you know about corrupt governments who're greedy and take more than their fare share in taxes?" They both nodded. "I was on scholarship. I gave him some of my scholarship so they could restart operations so he could pay off people. He promised me ten percent profits for three years in return. We drew up some kiddy contract on the back of a homework assignment. I didn't expect to get anything but I went back for a reunion to celebrate the Headmaster's tenure. He found me and started to pay me. The CSI guy got pissed. I reported it to Internal Affairs. I reported it to my shift supervisor and the detective who I trusted to guide my next actions. Then I had the help of another CSI to change it over since he kinda sent the first bit in lumps." They both winced at that and he shrugged. "He wasn't sure what he should do, I asked about protocol once I brought it back. I had no idea what I was doing, that's why I went to the detective and asked his opinion and asked him to get me someone to talk to in Internal Affairs about this. He did. We talked to them, they made a report, I told them my goals of buying a really big house so all my school friends could come visit," he admitted with a grin.
"The break-in was how long after that, sir?"
"Um, few months," he said with a small shrug. "Not related to it, but the CSI who took the case had a grudge. He went into my personal research lab. He went in without gloves. He screwed with stuff I was working on without gloves, and walked it into the station the same way saying it was radioactive." They both hissed. "Which was tested immediately by one of my coworkers. She found it wasn't radiating, and it shouldn't have been since it's a purification source. He carried it in with fingerprints." They gaped. "I called him on it. I threw a fit," he said plainly. "I threw a fit because he had disturbed my research, he could have been poisoned because he didn't know what was in my lab and it was clearly marked as having hazardous materials in there. I'm working on a new herbal painkiller." They nodded in unison. "Do they train you to do that in the academy?" Grissom coughed. "Sorry," he said sheepishly, grinning at them. "I'm fairly easy to get along with, but when you ruin my research, dirty the case of whoever had broken into my house, and then threaten me and my wife? You're not going to walk over me. I threw a fit. He got fired for his actions at that scene."
"He was," Grissom agreed as he walked over. "The Sheriff, the day shift supervisor, and myself all talked to him over the next four days. He had broken protocol so severely that he was endangering the reputation of the lab, untold cases he had worked on, and his coworkers since he thought that stone was radioactive and still carried it into the station by hand." One of them let out a moan and shook his head, his eyes closed. "So we did fire him after giving him an accurate job description and reviews. We're just really happy Greg didn't sue us for it."
"I can understand that," the more polite of the two agents noted quietly. "We were told he was actually making or melting down the gold and then selling it as found or recovered."
"Eh, no," Greg said, shaking his head. "I file paperwork."
"It's missing the name of the mine, sir."
"I figured that had to come from him," he said with a small shrug. "I don't know which one he got it from. I'm assuming the one in Africa. I'm doing everything I can as legally as I can. I even pay taxes on it. Heavy taxes on it."
"You have, and we appreciate that, sir."
The other nodded. "We appreciate you doing everything you could to keep this all legal." He smiled. "Though we did do a trace sample analysis on the gold that was attributed to your first sale. It doesn't match any mine on our files."
"Then again, do you have all the mines in Africa on file?" Greg asked. They both shook their heads. "Just the major ones?" They nodded and sighed. "So that's suspicious. I admit it looks odd. The account is probably being given a look like I did when I had a former pet shove my alarm clock into the toilet back in my Masters and internship."
"How?" Grissom asked.
"I had a cat and no a/c one summer," he said bitterly. "I did a lot of sleeping in the tub. The alarm was on the back of the toilet. Cat wanted that space, knocked it off when it walked around it, it landed in the toilet. Made me ten minutes late for a final exam. The professor wouldn't give me the extra time but I didn't really need it." He shrugged and looked at the guys again. "What do you think I did? Make it in my lab?"
"No, sir, that's a physical impossibility," one of them offered.
"Then again, we know that person you spoke of earlier and I know what she deals with," he said dryly, giving him a long look. Greg stared back. "Give us ten minutes, Pershing?"
"He wants to ask a private question," Greg told him. "He thinks you'll be embarrassed."
"Oh." He nodded, leaving them alone.
The agent looked at Grissom, then at Greg. "I'm assuming he knows?" Greg nodded. "Okay. Let's just say my cousin knows a bit about this. He went to school at Salem."
"I went in Scotland."
Greg only grinned. "Maybe. Why?"
"I'm thinking you're the rarest of the rare, sir. Are you an alchemist?" Greg only raised an eyebrow. "If you were, or knew someone who was, like your school friend, it's not against the law, but I'm wondering why that person filed the report."
"Because he got jealous. It's like what happens when someone wins the lottery and you work with them. He did it to himself by breaking the protocol. I know better than that and I'm only starting my field training." He slid down, leaning against the side of the car, his arms crossed, and giving the guy a look. "I'm expecting three people to try to discredit me. This guy, the day shift DNA tech who messed up and I caught his mistake, and Ecklie." Grissom gave him an odd look. "He's still trying to blackmail me. He thinks he knows what I'm about," he said dryly. "By the way, I'm going to have to go back over there to defend my mastery soon," he said dryly. "I let Nick do the proofreading of my research so he'd have something to make him take a nap."
The agent looked at him. "I won't ask if you are or aren't, sir. I won't even suggest you practice your arts now and then somewhere else." Greg smirked at that. "I figured you weren't doing that only over here since you have so many tight ties in Scotland." He looked at Grissom, then at Greg. "This is one of those situations where things are probably going to go fairly well for you but a very serious allegation about your work was also put forward and we do have to check into that."
"I never, with two exceptions, use my wand in the lab," he hissed. "One was to fix the stupid mistake the day guy made. The other was when I was defending myself and I had to do that with it."
The agent nodded. "I understand. We saw the record of the assault. We did do a bit of research before we came here," he admitted with a small smirk of his own. "By the way, that was brilliant work with the mix up, CSI Sanders. How long did it take you?"
"Nearly the whole day," he said dryly. "And three pots of very good coffee."
"I understand," he agreed, nodding a bit. "How much faster did it make you?"
"I'd say about twice or maybe twice and a half as fast," he admitted, smirking at him. They had a very good understanding going. "But it was necessary and I am very careful in my lab."
"You are. Which wasn't a problem with us. Everything was properly time stamped and date stamped. I'm amazed personally, but I don't think anyone would notice."
"We're hoping so too," Grissom said dryly. "Is that a problem?"
"No," he said, shaking his head and giving them a true grin and a wink. "Not at all. Actually, it's not a problem in the least. The other three who do the same work as you have had to dip into temptation due to their bosses in the past."
"Fortunately my boss cares for my work," Greg told him. "Even if I was tempted now and then. Speaking of," he said, looking at Grissom. "Did you look under the car yet?" he asked, pointing at the wand he could see.
"I hadn't, but I will," he promised. He looked at the agent. "Is that all?"
"For now," he agreed. "Just be a bit careful and do watch out for reprisals, CSI Saunders. You never know who's listening and out to get you." He nodded toward and alley.
"I saw and felt," he admitted. "We've had a few discussions." He looked over. "Coming to check out the scene and your new trainee, Director Ecklie?"
"I was," he agreed, coming out of the alley. "What's going on?"
"Your former day shift guy tried to say I was corrupt and doing bad things again," Greg told him. Ecklie gave him an odd look. "Ethan knows exactly what I do. Ask him."
"I did," he admitted. "Pain killers?"
"Actually, four intermixed. They combine to create a new one which is stronger, easily works on everyone, and still isn't addictive. It's for my Mastery," he said dryly. "It's all natural and costs about fifty bucks a dose to create singly." Ecklie looked stunned. "I am a Master in my field," he noted patiently. "I have to renew my Mastery every decade. This is my decade and Nick is looking over my notes that I'm presenting in a few weeks. It's giving him something to do and a reason to nap after his treatment earlier."
"I see." He pulled Greg aside. "You are like Snape?"
"A Potion's master, yeah," he said, glancing around. "I have been since about two years after I graduated over there, right before I started my undergrad." Ecklie winced. "Why? Did you doubt?"
"No, I didn't, I doubted that you did your undergrad our way."
"No, I did it this way because I was hiding from the big goober we defeated last winter," he said dryly. "He wanted me for what my talented little fingers could do, the same as your day shift guy did. I ran, it was safer." Ecklie nodded at that. "Now then, is this a problem?"
"You used it twice?"
"Once when I was attacked in the lab. Once when I had to fix the other guy's problem. And then I only sped up time," he said very quietly. "I still did it legally, I just did it with a lot of coffee."
"Fine," he agreed, backing away. "I'll leave you in Grissom's hands. The other two?"
"Holy's sister is a Wiccan. She understands but nothing else."
"Oh." He nodded. "The new person coming in?" Greg shrugged. "He was your suggestion."
"Him? Hell no," he snorted. "Christian right wing moralist. Pat Robertson has nothing on this guy."
"Oh. That's fine, I guess."
"I told him a two week trial and then we'd make a final decision," Grissom offered, butting in. "Is there a problem? Greg's told me that there's some...strife between you two."
"No, not any more," Ecklie admitted. "I thought he was doing things the easy way."
"I'd never keep him if he was," Grissom noted.
"And I'm not like that," Greg reminded him. "I never was."
"Fine. You do know one of your papers was never found?"
"That issue's obsolete and I do have it at home if you wanted to read it."
"No, that's fine," Ecklie decided. "Do you, um, know much about Ethan and I?"
"Yeah, but I don't care," Greg told him. "If you stay out of my way, I'm staying out of your thing with him. Luna likes to babysit now and then, it's like an inspiration for birth control."
"Oh, that's good." He nodded. "Fine, carry on. What, um, do we do when cases like your thing happen?"
"You hand them to me and to Brass," Greg told him. "We handle these things. He knows enough to know when to come to me and I know what to do to protect those who might be involved unfairly."
"Fine. And the wooden things?"
"There's a nice box in my second desk drawer, behind the flask of good scotch, that I'm keeping a few in," Greg admitted. "It's purely for shock value though," he finished with a grin.
"I'll keep that in mind when Brass's Dewers runs out," Grissom said dryly. "Since when?"
"Since McGonagall sent some to me last year. Her sister distilled it when she was graduating."
"Good?" Grissom asked.
"Very," Greg agreed. "The cask is in my cellar. I'll share it later." He looked at Ecklie again. "Can we have peace or should I become more like my undergrad self?" he asked with a bright grin. "I have worse t-shirts."
"No, please don't," he moaned, shaking his head. "Fine. I have a case, I'll talk to Brass."
"Sure. Send him down when you're done." He looked at the agents, then at Grissom. "Problems now?"
"No, Greg, I've kept an eye on you and you're staying clean as far as I can tell," he noted. "I still want a copy of a picture of Brass with bunny ears." He walked off, going to find the wand Greg had noted. "Greg?"
He looked. "Over to the left. In. There. Grab." Grissom grabbed something and brought it out, putting it into a bag. He looked at Ecklie. "You got problems?"
"No, not any more."
Greg nodded, heading back to the agents. "Are we done?"
"We are," the second one noted. "Thank you for letting us know what's been going on. We will tell him that we did speak to you and that you did explain the circumstances of why he broke protocol."
"I have the complaint filed against him," Ecklie offered, stepping closer. "I about took his head off for that."
"Sure, if we could," the first agent said with a smile. "Thank you for your cooperation, Director Ecklie. CSI Saunders? Will you be at the lab later?"
"Depends on how soon we get done here. Do you think there's another problem?"
"I want to see if this man has done anything else about you. I'm not sure if he's joined the second tech's lawsuit about you ruining their professional reputations."
"Excuse me?" he asked, looking stunned. "I did what?"
"By finding their mistakes, it ruined their professional reputations," the second agent said with a grimace. "It's what we call a payment suit. They want you to pay them to go away."
"I'll kill 'em to make 'em go away," he said dryly. "I need a good lawyer?" They both nodded. "Can you drop me any details about that?"
"I'll email them to the director later," the second agent promised. "Thank you for being so understanding."
"Hey, not an issue. If they're desperate enough, they'll do stupid stuff to try to cover their asses," he said bitterly, walking off shaking his head. "Thanks, guys."
"You're welcome, sir," the first agent said, looking at the director. "When can we get that complaint?"
He pulled out his card. "I'll email it to you."
The agent pulled out his card and handed it over. "Thank you. We'll be back in the office by later tonight."
"Of course." They shook hands and Ecklie walked off, going to call Brass to meet him somewhere to talk about this new case his people had gotten. He'd mention that suit as well. The department would have to beg Saunders for that.
Greg walked into his lab and shut the door, then kicked it once before turning and taking a deep breath. His little girl laughed from his seat. "Hey, princess. Daddy's a bit frustrated, he could use a hug." She walked over, giving him the cuddle he needed. "Thank you. You're the best remedy for someone trying stupid shit near the daddy."
"Because you are so very cuddly," he assured her with a grin. "You know, some day we'll have to change our names and find a way to make sure everyone forgets the daddy," he said, sitting down behind his desk.
"You mean like 'obliviate Greg'?" Catherine asked from the doorway. Greg looked at her and nodded. "Why?"
"Because there are way too many people who know me," he said bitterly. "I had two Feds come up to me today to see why the idiot who tried to wreck my first stone filed for them to investigate me." She gaped, her mouth hanging open. He nodded, giving her a steady look. "One of them had a cousin who went to Salem." He looked at his daughter. "Where is your mommy and brothers?"
"Ah." He nodded, hitting the speed dial on the phone. He got the answering machine. "It's what time?" he asked Catherine, who was still gaping at him. "Cat?"
"Um, nearly four. Maybe she's asleep?"
"My baby's a night baby like I am," he said plainly. He tried again, getting the answering machine again. He tried his tattoo and only got paranoia. "Fuck," he said, making his daughter giggle. "Um, Cat, can you maybe take someone over to my house and see if the stupid brat took her *and* the boys?" he asked calmly.
"On it," she agreed, heading down the halls at a run. She ran into Brass. "Greg just tried to call home. She's not there, and she said she had to meet with her student, who had hissed at Cassandra the last time. Greg only felt paranoia when he tried it his way."
"Hell," he muttered, taking her out to his car. He backed out, heading out there after checking for the little orange indicator light. It wasn't that far away, fortunately, but the door was open. "This is not good." He led the way inside, hand on his gun, and found a young woman on the couch. "Where's Emilia and the boys?" he asked.
"Gone. She left Greg."
"I doubt it," Catherine told her. The woman sneered at her so she pulled her up and handcuffed her. "I'm guessing you're the student, bitch. You'd better tell me where they are or else."
"You'll never find her or them," she sneered.
"Greg, she did take them, she's got them hidden," Catherine called.
"Oh, really?" a dry, male voice said from the stairs. Teller came down the stairs, looking at them. "Where might that be, Brandy?"
"I'm not saying a word without my lawyer."
"Excuse me for a minute," Teller said, walking her back up the stairs. He came down a few minutes later and handed back the cuffs. "You won't be needing them. They're up in the mountains. Find the boys first," he said, concentrating then laying his hands on either side of her forehead and looking into her eyes. "Concentrate," he whispered.
She flinched but she knew where that was. She nodded and backed off. "Emilia?"
"Nearby. She can hear them cry. I'll make sure she gets down there."
"Call someone," she said, dragging Brass out to his car but getting in to drive. "Call someone now." She pulled away fast enough to leave rubber behind.
"Hey, easy on the tires," he complained.
"The bitch buried them," she said grimly. "Got shovels?"
"No, where are we going so I can have Gris join us?"
"Remember where Nick found that drowning? At the foot of that mountain." She turned on the lights and went through a redlight, not caring that she caused a wreck. "Stupid idiots."
"Catherine, let's not wreck, I'm sure they'll be fine."
"I doubt it." She sped up once they hit the highway, heading as fast as she could. She hated people like that woman and she would be punished, maybe Greg would let her help. "Call Gris."
"Calling," he agreed, reaching for his cellphone. He wasn't going to broadcast this. "Ecklie? Why are you in Grissom's office?" He grimaced. "No, tell him Emilia's student buried the boys and blocked Emilia up somewhere so she had to listen to them cry. Do not tell Greg yet. We're heading out there. Teller gave Catherine the location. Tell him we'll need shovels and that she apologizes for the wreck she caused in front of Circus Circus." He hung up and looked at her, making sure she wasn't going to spaz out. Well, more anyway.
Greg was led out to the site by Nick, who was trying very hard not to shake. Warrick had Cassandra. Emilia had been found and so had the boys. He looked at the two boys on the stretcher, then at the paramedics. "Should I go kill her now or wait for bloodwork?" he asked dryly.
"They'll be fine, sir."
"I doubt it," he noted, going over to hug his wife. "You okay?" She nodded against his chest. "Go with them to the hospital. Who had her?"
"Teller," Catherine said. "He walked her off, she didn't even scream."
"Oh, there's things that'll make you piss yourself but won't make you scream," he noted. "Where is she now?"
"In custody," Grissom said, staring him down. "You're not allowed near her, Greg. It's against policy and the law. You can't hurt her."
"Do you think I need to be on the same continent to hurt her?" he asked dryly.
"No," Grissom admitted. "But I'm hoping you'll let the law work first."
Greg took a deep breath, then shook his head. "No." He looked at him, then at Brass. "I'm not. Not unless she's going away right this instant, and then I'll get her once she's in the jail." He smiled sweetly. "By the time I get back there to pick up 'San, she'd better be pleading and begging for her life in front of a judge. Or else I will make her plead and beg." He grabbed his head, moaning a bit, and shot back a very long invective at the people ordering him to calm down, letting them know exactly why he was going to go homicidal soon.
Tipsy Ramvette-Weasley appeared a few moments later. "That camp moving spell is very handy," she said plainly, looking at the men. "Honey. Where's Emilia and the boys?" Brass pointed at the ambulance. "They're okay?"
"Hopefully," Grissom told her. "They seem to be. We're taking them in for observation. We still can't let Greg near the woman who did this."
"Then she'd better be begging for mercy," Greg said, smirking at him. "Luna just showed up with Armwrench." He straightened up and looked at Tipsy. "Are you going to try to stop me?"
"Hell no," she snorted. "Alex will. He's on his way. You know he can do torture so much better, Greggy."
He shrugged. "Do I care? He can help me." He turned and walked off, heading off and disappearing. He landed back at the station and ran into Draco. "Out of my way, bitch."
"No," he said, getting in his way. "Alex is in with her," he said calmly. "She's paying and paying hard," he said, making Greg look at him. "He's making her confess."
"And then what?" he said bitterly. "She goes to jail?"
"No," Ron said, putting an arm around his shoulders with an evil smirk. "Then she starts paying for real. The way only one of us can make her." Greg stared at him. "I did learn a bit from the twins," he said dryly. "We can do anything to her once she's been found guilty."
"But first, we have to find her that way," Draco noted calmly. "Tipsy called for a Tribunal. We're waiting on you and Emilia."
"Warrick has Cassandra."
"He still does and he's waiting on you in your office," Draco admitted. "I can go get her if you want."
Greg shook his head. "No, thanks though." He looked at the doors, but someone caught him and he backhanded whoever it was, turning to look at Nick. "You don't touch me. I'm not going near her. Yet." Nick nodded, holding his hands up and backing off. "Thank you. I don't want to hurt anybody, but right now, I'm going to explode."
"Then let me get the mini-mite and bring her out," Nick suggested. "That way her defense attorney can't say anything."
Draco snorted. "My consort's in there talking to her at the moment," he said dryly. "She doesn't have a lawyer. I doubt she'll be needing one. She'll be making a full confession." He looked at Greg. "I can if you'd rather."
"No, I'm cool with Nick," he admitted, looking at Ron. "Comfy?" he asked. The arm had went back around his shoulders.
"You're nearly as pretty as Dawn is," he said with a smirk. "Figured you could use a cuddle anyway and I could always knock you out if you tried to hit the too pretty one there," he said with a chin-nod at Draco. "Alex might get upset if you beat his little boy there."
"I will be kicking your ass later, Weasley."
"Fat chance," he said with a smirk.
"Boys, annoying me now," Nick noted. "Really. Grow up."
"We have. I have to spend nearly every waking moment looking at him," Ron told him. "I never liked him, I put up with him."
"Yes, I find that my endurance levels for the intolerably stupid have grown as well," Draco noted. "Too bad this is all he's good for."
"I can still kick your tail," Ron said patiently. "As I did last night at practice."
"A lucky shot."
"Enough!" Greg snapped.
"Sorry," Draco said. "He's not smart enough to apologize, but I will for both of us."
Ron gave Greg's neck a squeeze. "He doesn't realize, but this all has a reason, giving Alex more time to work." He gave him another squeeze. "Go get the baby. She's about the only niece I wanna see from my near-family. The twin's kids are horrible."
"And then some," Alex said as he walked out with Warrick. He looked at Greg. "She's making a full confession, without mentioning her specialness. She's decided she's very sorry. Severus is running the inquisition and we're doing the punishment together." He bowed. "My evil mind is at your service, Greg."
"Thanks." He took his daughter, who was looking very confused. "Mommy and your brothers are fine."
"Why they not?" she asked, sounding like McGonagall trying to have patience with a stupid student.
"The mean lady insulted mommy and sneered at the boys," he explained. "Mommy has them and she's going to be right with us."
"Want brother now!" she demanded loudly. One of her brothers popped in and Nick made a diving catch for him. "Wow."
"Very wow," Draco agreed, taking her to put his own shields around her.
Ron called Emilia over their tattoos, telling her what had happened. "So, when're we helping you guys move?" he asked.
"As soon as I can find a new place," he said grimly. "Which could be a few days."
"Greg, you have money, I have money, we'll find you a spot," Alex promised. "Just give us a few days to work on someone." He nodded, taking his daughter back to cuddle her. "You're adorable, Cassandra."
"So?" she demanded. "I smart!"
"Yes, you are," Ron agreed with a grin. "That's much more important, you're right." He stuck his tongue out at Alex. "She'll be a woman like McGonagall. Smart and pretty in her youth." Alex, Draco, and Greg all gave him odd looks. "Mum said she was!" he defended.
"She was," Alex admitted. "She was a lot more delicate back then too. I had to teach her how to brawl and how to duel. It was the only way she could beat a few guys off her, including a relative of that Oliver guy." He smiled at Cassandra, who grinned at him. "Where should we find you a new house?"
"I don't know," Greg admitted, finding a nearby picnic table and sitting down with her. "I don't like moving."
"Me either," Nick admitted, handing over the book he had grabbed from his front seat as he raced back to stop Greg. "Here, I did the proof. I didn't know you could do that." Greg gave him a small grin. "Really! That's so much worse than Advanced Chemistry. It's like a textbook on how to make that fifth solution. It was kinda interesting."
"You mean you didn't nap?" Greg teased dryly.
Nick nodded. "I did. That fourth one knocked me out after I had that 'eww' moment."
Hodges jogged over. "Are you okay?" he demanded.
"The bitch buried my boys and put Emilia in a hole just near enough to hear them cry," he noted. "I'm a bit pissed. They're keeping me from killing her."
"At least they're fine?" Hodges pressed. Greg nodded. "Good." He patted Cassandra on the head. "Look out near the end of the strip for a place, Greg. There's some good, secure places out there."
Greg nodded. "Thanks, Hodges. By the way, the idiot tried to get the FBI to investigate me. They showed up at the scene I was working with Gris earlier." Hodges gaped. "Yeah. Oh, and the old DNA tech is suing me for ruining his professional rep."
"And I thought I was petty," Hodges snorted, shaking his head. "I'll take over the lab for you tonight, okay?"
"Sure. Thanks. I think I'm gonna be pounding my frustration out somewhere around the school."
"My house," Alex corrected. "In my workspace so we don't upset my aunts and make them want to help."
Greg nodded. "I can agree to that. It'll be safer anyway for the kids." He looked at his son, who was cooing at Ron. "You okay?" His son beamed at him. "Good boy. We'll get that bitch. We'll be fine. Mommy and your brother will be fine or else Daddy's going to go insane." Ron hugged him again. "Ron," he said impatiently.
"Sorry, filling in since she's walking across the parking lot," he said, nodding at Emilia and Teller carrying his son. "I figured you could rant to me about something else, it might ease some of the anger while Professor Armwrench went off on her with Luna's help."
"Armwrench is here?" Emilia asked as she joined them. "Brandy?"
"In custody, singing like a song bird," Alex told her. "There's a tribunal to see what happens to her next. It's at my workspace." He took the second son and cuddled him. "Hey. You okay?" The baby reached over and bit him on the nose. "Yeah, we love you too." He patted him on the back. "We ready?"
"We're ready," Draco agreed, standing up. "Cousin dear?"
"Coming," she agreed. She took her son back from Ron, who was cooing at him now. "Come on, son. You too, annoyance."
"Me?" Ron asked with a grin. "Can't I stay for just a minute?"
"Hell no. If I can't, you can't. I get first hit," Greg assured him.
"I was going to make her forget about magic," he complained, standing up and following them. "Camp moving spell?"
"Sure," Alex agreed. "You need the practice, Ron."
"Me too," Draco sighed, starting on his side. "Circle?"
"Fine," Ron agreed, laying out his edge with his wand. The group of them disappeared, but he did send a silent prayer to Armwrench about his idea. Dawn had told him who he was really. Maybe he could do something about her before they did. When they landed, Alex reached over to slap him across the back of the head. "Hey!"
"He said we could handle it first and he'd add that on top of it. Good idea though, Ron. I'd give you points but you're not a kid anymore, even though you act like it." He stared him down. "We could have done that."
"Yeah, but he can make it stick permanently. No matter who sees her."
"Eh, true," he agreed. "In one year he'll make it start." He looked around. "Up the blue lit passageway. It'll come out in the kitchen of the workhouse." He walked one of the boys up there, letting Greg take his daughter and Emilia take the other son. He walked in and nodded at Severus. "Ron decided to be impetuous and make Armwrench an offer to start her memory eraser in a year's time. She won't remember anything about magic."
"But the torture can live on," one of the twins noted dryly.
"Most pleasantly so," the other agreed.
"We just have a year to torture her beforehand, that way she realizes what she's done and who she's fucked with," Draco noted. He stole the son from Alex's arms and put him down to crawl. "There, be adored. Go bite Joxer or Iolaus. Please."
The boy cackled and went that way, going to pounce his friends. The other twin wiggled until he got put down and then he too went to pounce the other kids.
"I got good news today," Greg said proudly. "Catherine found this little one in the bathroom all by herself."
"Well," Emilia said happily, taking her daughter to hug. "I'm so proud."
"Diapers nasty, mommy," she complained patiently. "Go potty now?"
"Sure," Alex agreed, pointing his wand at a door and making it change. "There you go, the roving bathroom in this house." She smiled at him and got down, going in there to use the potty for her parent's pleasure. They clapped and she got treats from the twins and Tipsy when she came.
Alex banged on the table at the front of the room. "Okay, let's get this started. Yo, some food!" he yelled. "We've got to be mean and need food to do it." The house elves brought in plates of sandwiches and pitchers of milk and juice. "Thanks. Tell the aunts we're being mean and to leave us alone."
"Aunts know, say babies stay here with mother," one said, glaring at him. "Father go be mean on everyone's behalf." The house elves disappeared.
"Sure," Alex agreed. "Okay with me."
Emilia shook her head. "Nope, not this time."
Greg looked at her. "You sure? She has a husband."
"Who's a woose. Hodges could beat him."
"Point." He held up a finger and took Hodges out of his jacket pocket and released him. "Free ride?"
"Yeah, but more to get away from Ecklie. He's pissed. He's trying to get Ethan to call something down on that woman. I didn't want to be in the crossfire. How wimpy is this guy?"
"We're talkin' fully limp wristed, decorator, bitch-ass pasny," Ron told him. "And he's not. He just acts like one. He thinks it makes him cool."
"Ah," Hodges said, nodding. "Then yeah, I could probably take him." He grinned at them. "Can I go look at the unicorns?"
"Sure," Alex agreed. "Come this way." He led him outside. "You liking the changing thing?"
"It's pretty neat after the first time, that hurt," Hodges told him. "I...kinda guess it's not so bad."
"It's not," he agreed, grinning at him. "Just remember, you can't tell anyone who could get you into trouble."
"Only Greg and Gris know."
"Eh, I doubt he's going to tell anybody." He nudged him and pointed. "Out there. Sit on the hill there and you get a good view most nights of the pond." Hodges nodded, shaking his hand. "We'll come get you soon." He headed back inside, going to whisper in Greg's ear. Greg nodded and relaxed, getting down to business. That woman would be sorry.
Greg walked up to the holding cells, looking at the woman. "You fucked up," he said calmly. "There's no way you're not going to be punished our way too. You will be punished and there's no Ministry here to help protect you. Since you're American..." He smirked and pulled out a wand made of ivory. "Well, you know the drill, dear. By the time you're allowed to forget all about us, you'll have it ingrained in your DNA." She snorted and crossed her arms. "Any last requests or statements?"
"Actually, I'm not," he smirked, then flicked his wand at her. One the way out, he took off his illusion, looking at the nice detective. "Thank you for your indulgence, young man. That was most kind of you." He shook his hand. "Have no fear, she will be punished. Then she'll mysteriously forget all about our world. If she has a wand, keep it. I'm sure someone around here can use the decoration on their desks." He smiled at Grissom as he joined them. "Hello, young man."
"I know you," he said. "You look just like your son."
"I do," he agreed smugly. "Pity he couldn't be here but I had to work quite strongly to knock him out." He smiled and walked off, putting his wand back in his inner pocket, then disappearing once he found a shadow outside.
Brass looked at Grissom. "It's only fair."
"It is," he agreed. "We can't punish her the way she should be." He looked at the woman, watching her break out in sores. It was a good start in his mind. "Greg would be happy."
"I'm sure he helped plan everything," he said tiredly. "Where is he?"
"His lab. He's staring at his flask of good scotch."
"Let's go," Brass said tiredly. He found the bag with her wand and handed it to Grissom. "Here, test this, see what it is."
He looked at it. "Beech wood." He looked at Brass. "It's a fascinating art." Brass nodded, following him back to the lab. He tapped on the door and walked inside. "Hey."
"Hey." He opened his bottom drawer and pulled out a lock box, tossing it to Grissom. "It's still open. Lost the key last year." He looked at Brass and waved the flask. "Glasses?"
"In my office." He went to get them, bringing them back. He held his out, letting him pour a bit into it. He sniffed it. "This is well aged."
"It is. The cask is in my house." He poured Grissom some, then blew out a coffee cup from his desk and added some to it, capping the flask and putting it back down. He sighed as he took a drink. "Who came?"
"Alex's father," Grissom told him. "He said he knocked out Alex." He put the wand inside the box, leaving it in the bag so it could be identified later.
"Don't worry about it. Ollivander knows who a wand belongs to. That's one of his by the mark on the handle." Greg drank another sip. "I need a new house. Hodges suggested the end of the strip."
"With that lawsuit, you sure you wanna do that, kid?" Brass asked, taking another sip. "This is really good."
"Yeah, she used some good purification to get any and all contaminants out. Makes it smoother. She just laid another few barrels aside this year for her future grandkids to deal with." He finished off his coffee cup. "Yeah, I need to move. I don't feel safe there. The only one I'd worry about is Blair at the moment. He's a bit out of his mind. I'll send the new address and pictures to Stanley. He's on his couch." He looked at his flask. "Am I still on suspension?"
"While she's in this facility, yes. I'm sorry, Greg," Grissom offered. "I wish I could break this."
"Yeah, well, I have things I can do." He stood up. "I'm off to talk to Emilia about what we want in a new house."
"Keep the pool," Brass suggested. "It's a nice thing to have in the desert."
"Yeah, and everyone comes to use it," Greg said with a small smirk. "Besides, if I can, I need to defend my mastery in ten days."
"Go for it. Tell me how it goes," Grissom told him. "I'll file forms tomorrow, Greg."
"Thanks, Gris. Brass, take the rest of that and feed it to someone else before I drink it. I can't be drunk around the kids." He walked off, heading for home. Emilia had their realtor in to talk to her. He walked in the back door, making their realtor jump. "I'm taking a few days off. I've got to go defend in a few days anyway," he pointed out, collapsing next to his wife. "So, anything?"
"A few promising things," she offered. "Not much." She put down the newest picture. "I don't mind the size of this place, but slightly smaller would be okay."
"Except for one time, we only ever use seven of the rooms," Greg offered. "Plus the pool."
"There's not too many of those around, Greg."
"I know," he said patiently. "The same as I know how expensive they are."
"Good point," Emilia agreed. "Can we afford it if we can't sell the house right away?"
"Yes, dear," he said patiently, patting her on the back. "Need a nap?" he asked with a grin.
"Well, yeah. The boys have been heathens while you were gone. Who got to take the flask away from you?"
"I shared with Brass and Gris," he admitted dryly. "It kept me from downing it myself. Then again, I did tell them we had more here." He looked at their realtor. "Can we sell this one?"
"Sure. Not an issue. I know someone who wouldn't mind it a bit." She looked at the portfolio in her hands. "How about a gated community?"
"Don't they usually have to accept new owners?" Emilia asked.
"I'm still working," Greg reminded her. "That could count against me and I can't play golf."
"True," Emilia offered, patting him on the thigh. "We'll need lab space for him."
"Have you thought about buying a commercial property, like a hotel, and renovating?" she asked sarcastically.
"Yes," they said in unison.
"Takes too much time," Greg told her. "I need to be in close to the city. Since I'm doing field work now, I've got to be within twenty minutes of most of the city if I'm on call."
"That narrows it down some," she said, grimacing a bit. She looked again. "How high are you willing to go?"
"Depends, what can you get us for here and for another, say, three mil?" Greg asked.
She looked at him. "Do you remember how much you paid for this place?" He nodded, looking reasonable. "I can get you a palace for that, Gregory."
"We could handle that, as long as it came with a maid," Emilia said, scrunching her nose up a bit.
"I said I'd do that," Greg reminded her, kissing her on the cheek. "As soon as we move. I'm talking Alex out of one of his." They looked at the realtor again. They both smiled.
"Fine, I have one," she admitted. "It's one of those 'famous people' houses. You'll attract attention."
"Not when I'm done with the security system," Greg said dryly. "There will be no more break-ins either."
"There is one," she sighed, handing over the listing to them. "It's in town. It's fairly odd. It's got a good set of bedrooms."
"It's right next door to Penn," Emilia said.
"You know him?"
"Yeah, but I couldn't live next to him. He's be over hogging the pool all the time," she said, handing it back. "Not enough bedrooms either. Or bathrooms."
"Think motel, dear," the realtor said, staring her down. She shrugged and grinned. "Condo building?"
"Would work for us," he agreed. "If it was small."
She rolled her eyes and dug through them again, coming up with one that had a card attached. "Unfortunately not mine," she offered, handing it over. "Near the Luxor. Nice place. Big rooms. Got a pool. Two stories, used to be a small condo building but it was renovated after being bought. It's all open spaces though. You'd have to put in walls."
Greg looked it over, then looked at her. They reread it then shook their heads. "We need walls," Emilia told her. "I can't stand to watch him work in the lab when he's so intense and that'll need to have a locking door as well."
"We have nosy friends," Greg agreed.
She rolled her eyes and took that one back, then found an older one in the back. "I'm not sure if this is up for sale still or not," she offered. "It's the best I have so far." She handed it over, letting them look at it.
"It's quiet, yet not too out of the way," Emilia offered.
"It's private, and I can make it more private," he agreed. "It's got walls, a pool, or three, and a hot tub."
"It's got a sauna and a good looking kitchen," Emilia agreed. "Way too many windows but that's what curtains are for. Gated community?" Their realtor shook her head. "Why is it on the market still?"
"It's haunted. Someone died there, the owner died right after the final bolt was installed. Said to be cursed."
"We can handle that," Greg said dryly. "We're pretty good at it really." He grinned at her. "How much?"
"About a third of the cost of this one."
"Even better, we can buy some furniture that the kids won't destroy." They looked at Greg's former favorite reading chair, which Cassandra had gotten bored and ripped all the stuffing out of. They grinned at each other. "Plus a dedicated playroom for the monsters and the children of our friends who're even bigger monsters," she said lightly.
"Yeah, because if I catch Joxer in my lab again, I'm gonna have to paddle her little ass," Greg agreed.
"You know someone who named their kid *Joxer*?" she asked. "Like off that show?"
"They're the owners of a great prank shop," Emilia sighed, shaking her head. "Her twin, Iolaus, is even worse."
Their realtor shook their heads. "I'll arrange for a viewing tonight, if possible. If not, definitely tomorrow. Then we'll work on getting this place sold. I'm going to go now, before you come up with more impossible demands or..." She squealed and jumped, looking at the grinning little boy staring up at her. "Who're you?"
"Iolaus," Greg said grimly.
"Where's your twin?" Emilia demanded. He grinned brighter and pointed toward the kitchen. "Shit!" she shouted, getting up to stop the mess in the making. She was not going to clean jelly off the textured ceiling ever again.
"You thought we were kidding," Greg said, capturing the baby before he could do anything else. "Where's your mommy?" He pointed outside. "Thank you. Why don't you go nurse or something? I'm sure your mommy wants to cuddle you since you're so much like your daddy." He beamed at that and let out an evil chuckle before going to find his mommy and get his rightful cuddles. He was right, he was like his daddies and they got cuddles so he should too. His sister squealed and ran after him, falling in the pool. Apparently she was more like their Uncle Percy than their daddies, but that was okay. More for him. His mother let out a dramatic squeal when he pounced her, making him laugh all the harder. She was a funny mommy.
"Get out of the pool," Emilia yelled. "Now, Joxer!"
"No!" she shouted, taking off to doggy paddle across it. Her mother lifted her up and floated her over with her wand. "Meany," she sneered.
"Just for that, you can nap," Tipsy said, glaring at her little girl. "And I do mean now." She put her daughter down on a nearby chair then floated her son over there. "Think up something to make your dads shudder." She looked over at Emilia. "I'm your guard, sweetie. We'll be out here."
"Of course you will," Greg called. "Keep them out of my lab."
"W may have a new spot," Emilia offered. "Nice, big, multiple pools. Hot tub."
"In the desert?"
"For when poor Greg is sore from working in the field."
"Uh-huh," she said dryly, glaring at Greg. "If you get hurt, I'll kill you and then let my boys have you."
He snorted. "The only one of you who scare me is Ron, because he's unpredictable." He went to pack his lab, he wouldn't trust that task to anyone but himself. Then again, he could also lock his door. That way no Weasley could torment him for a few hours. He heard a giggle but put up a block so they couldn't break the door in either. It'd save his sanity for another day.
To Part 17