Danny looked over at Flack, who was fussing with his uniform. "Stop it," he said quietly. "I'm sure you've played some sort of sports in the past. Same thing, only up on brooms." He went back to his pre-game ritual. He said a prayer and started to work on his wrists, rubbing liniment into them to make sure they wouldn't cramp up if they went long. He got done with his rubbing and wiped off his fingers, then slid on his wrist guards. He left them open for now. The liniment was heating up and he didn't want to be burned or anything. He stood up and pulled on an undershirt then his uniform shirt. They wore blue, the same color as the NYPD uniforms, and the overrobe wasn't that badly fit. He swung his arms, wincing a bit. Never mind. He took it off and did a few quick fitting charms to fit it to himself, then put it back on and nodded since it was looser. He tied it closed and sat down again, flexing his fingers back and forth. His phone rang so he answered it. "Yeah?" He listened, then smiled. "Arena. Yeah, there. We're changing now, we go to the platform in about ten minutes." He looked around. "Good, call Stella. Make sure she's okay. They've got the girls in another room." He hung up and looked at him. "Aiden. Your sister?"
"Already here. She dropped me off." He grinned at him. "Your wrists okay?"
"They'll be fine, Flack. Concentrate on yours." He went back to making sure his hands would be okay, looking over as the coach came in. He got given a hesitant look. "Liniment just in case, coach."
"That's fine. You done?"
"Nearly." He bent down to lace up his shoes, then stood up and did his wrist guards. He looked at his brooms, choosing his old one. He frowned, something felt off. "Do a check, coach." He handed it over.
The coach took it out to the ref to check, getting another of the brooms just in case. Each team had their own broom case that was supposed to stay sealed. "Ref?" He came over to check, frowning a bit. "Messer noticed his," he said, pointing at the older one. "I removed it from the case myself."
"I'll get someone in here to remove the charm."
"Thanks." He went back there. "Everyone, I need your brooms. They're checking for new tampering."
"I didn't think the fire department was that desperate," Don joked, handing his over.
"They're not but it wouldn't be the first time. We've got a prankster around here who likes brooms." He took them out, then went to get the women's brooms. The other coach had his out there too. "Can we play?"
"I need someone with more finesse," the ref offered.
Danny walked out and called Greg. "I need someone who's good at removing charms on brooms. We've got a prankster who did both teams' before the game. The arena in New York. Yeah, there, thanks, man." He hung up. "Half an hour at most." The ref gave him an odd look. "I know some friends who play." He looked at his coach. "Stella?"
"Bundle of nerves."
He nodded, walking that way, tapping on the door. "Stella, want a shoulder rub? I need to stretch my hands." She came out and hugged him. "It's fine. It's just like a longer practice, on with more people watching. Now, sit and let me work on your shoulders." She nodded and got a chair to sit in, letting him attack her shoulders.
"Do not wear out your hands, Messer," the coach ordered.
Don came out to take over, giving her a grin. "You look cute in your uniform." He heard a squeal and smiled at Aiden as she came over. "Hi." He gave her a hug. "Doesn't she look tough yet girly?"
"She does. Nearly everyone looks hot in quidditch uniforms." She kissed Stella on the cheek. "I know you'll kick ass, Stella. You are the queen of quidditch in this city. Now, let's deal with your hair, sweetie." She pulled a ribbon out of hers and got to work braiding Stella's hair with the ribbon so it stayed in place. She got one wince but that was all right. Then she took the rubberband off her wrist and tied it back. "There, that should keep it in place and out of your eyes." She gave her a hug, then Danny and Don. "Kick some ass for me, guys. Make me proud. I'll be between the two hot honeys and the new chick." She hurried back to the stands when she saw a redhead coming their way.
"Forge," Danny said fondly.
"I'm Gred, Danny, get it right," he teased. The ref swallowed and he smirked. "Who better to remove a prank? Besides, we played." He checked the brooms, removing all the bad spells. "Are self-polishing charms allowed?" The ref shook his head so he took that one off as well. "There you go. This one's got a wonky flying charm," he said, holding up Danny's old broom. "I don't know why. Someone tampered deeper."
"I'll get your backup, Danny." The coach went to do that, letting the ref and George Weasley check it for him. Danny took it with a smile. "We good?"
"We're good," the ref announced. "To the platforms if you're ready." He walked off to bring the balls out.
In the stands, Stan and Aiden were talking. She noticed the nets coming up. "What're they for?" Stan asked.
"Protection of the crowd," Tipsy said as she sat behind them. "Hi, boys." She smirked at Stan and pinched her on the cheek. "You're adorable!"
"Draco's fixed, right? Danny wanted to make sure," Speed asked, smiling at the young girl staring at him. "Hi."
"You're scruffy." She reached out to run a hand over his beard. "It tickles?"
"Not me. Girls say it does when I kiss 'em." She beamed at that. "Which one are you?"
"Joxer." She grinned wickedly. "I help let dragon loose."
"Yes, you certainly did," she sighed. Tipsy shook her head and looked at the sons. "You three behave."
"Sit with pretty woman!" Iolaus demanded, pointing at Stan.
"How 'bout next ta me, little guy?" She lifted him over so he could snuggle into her side. "You can explain stuff to me, okay?" He beamed and nodded, then grinned at Aiden.
"You're a little charmer," she teased, straightening out his hair. She looked at Tipsy. "I don't mind. I'm Aiden, a friend of Danny and Don's." She shook her hand.
"I love you, you give me sanity while I'm teaching potions," she said, giving her a hug. "Thank you. I'd kill my students otherwise." She pulled back and smiled at the young boy poking her in the side. "Sorry, did I squish you, Iolaus?" He shook his head and took his own hug. "Thank you."
Tipsy grinned at her son. "He has good taste already." She looked at her husband as he came back. "Iolaus has nice taste."
"He gets it from us," he teased, kissing her. "After all, we realized that your beauty hid a wickedness that was better than even Greg's." She giggled and kissed him. "Make room for a daddy, guys." The boys shifted apart, sitting on his lap. "Thanks." He grinned at his wife. "We'll switch out in a few."
"That's fine, dear." She stroked his cheek. "So, are they any good?"
"From what Alex said, yeah. Bear even said Don had skills and he'd heard of Danny in the past." The teams were announced and they watched, all the kids 'ooohing' and 'ahhhh'ing when they flew out. "You guys can do that soon," he promised. They smiled at him and got back to watching.
"So, this is like basketball on brooms with three hoops?" Stan asked Tony, who nodded. "Okay." She watched what was going on, listening to the announce go on about the balls and things.
"Regulation play is outside," Tony said in her ear. "It's also a lot more fierce. You get more bumping and shoving." Stan smiled and nodded, watching raptly as the PD team got possession and they took off, mouth slightly open. "Speed was our keeper, that's the guy in front of the goals. Danny always played beater, but I played chaser, like Stella," he said, pointing at her. Stan nodded slowly, following it back and forth. Tony grinned at Speed, who smiled back. Then they cheered on their protege of evil and his teammate, Danny.
After all, someone had to watch out for Danny when they weren't around and they had to be at least as good as they were.
Aiden pounced Don as soon as they landed, taking control of his mouth. "You looked hot," she whispered. "Tonight, my place. Or else I'll have ta start without you until I hunt your cute ass down." She walked off, going to get ready for him.
Don beamed and hugged his sister.
"Please, don't slip me the tongue like she did you," she teased. "You look good up there, Donny. Very cute."
"Please, I'm the Man," he announced, smirking at her and his mother. "Hi, Ma."
"Don." She kissed him on the cheek. "You did look very manly." She patted him on the cheek and smiled at Danny, who was surrounded by his friends. "Introduce me?"
"Danny?" Danny looked over. "Ma, that's Danny Messer, my coworker and fellow beater."
"Former pain in my ass every day of my school career that we shared," Don's sister added, giving him a hug. "Looked good again, Danny. Happy to be back up there?"
"Very," he agreed with a grin. "Thanks, Steph." He ruffled her hair. "Guys, remember the Mini-Flack?"
"Hey, Steph," Speed said with a smirk. "I'm surprised you haven't pounced him for all the pranks Tony pulled."
"Why bother? Tony will eventually come back and I can get him then." She pinched Tony, making him yelp and rub his side. "Good, you deserve it for the frog smelling shampoo that time." She hugged him. "I've missed you guys." She smiled at Speed. "Want one?"
"Sure." He gave her a hug too. "It's good to be back around the family. Hey, H?" Horatio came over. "This is Stephanie Flack, Don's little sister. We used to torment her for ages on end. Steph, this is Horatio Caine, my boss in Miami."
"Hi." She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. "For putting up with Speed's insanity without his drug of choice, Danny and Tony." She skipped back to her brother's side, going to talk quidditch with him.
"Danny, beer later?" Stella called as she came out of the dressing room.
"You're on. Bring some over," he called. She smiled and nodded, going to talk to Tipsy and whichever twin husband she had on her arm, plus the kids. She adored those kids.
"I'll see you later for a beer too," Don called, walking his family off. "You guys too," he told Tony, punching him on the arm. "Don't hit on my sister. Let me kill her husband first." Tony snickered and nodded.
Danny grinned at Stan, noticing how he was moving. "Come on, you can clean up at my place, Stan." She blushed and nodded, but Tony took her arm and took her there. He looked at Speed. "Let me change and get my other broom back to see if it can be fixed." He disappeared to change out of his uniform and grab both his brooms to take home. He came out and found Mac talking with Speed and Horatio. "We're heading back to my house," he offered.
"I've got better beer and sanity at mine," Mac assured him with a grin. "Go celebrate your first of many wins, Danny." That got a grin and he disappeared with Speed. "Come on, that way you can tell me about your nephew."
"He's a squib," he offered quietly.
"Are you sure? With how they missed Don and Stella?"
"How would I tell?"
"Ask Danny to check." He shrugged. "I relate all such questions back to Danny. I see myself as the benevolent boss watching over some mild insanity now and then. I'm almost surprised we didn't see Gibbs or Grissom."
"Grissom said he's never seen a match." He shrugged and followed Mac out to the car. "Do you think Yelina would've stopped him from going to a school?"
"No, but I think Ray might've, Horatio. You said he hated you for this stuff."
"Point. I'll be checking him when I get home later tonight." He smiled at him. "It would be nice to have another wizard in the family."
"Yeah, it would be," Mac agreed, driving off once traffic had cleared up a bit. "I could use some of that too." Horatio nodded. "Claire freaked the only time I took her to a match. The bludger came near her and the beater as well. She refused to ever watch another one or listen to it on the radio."
"I wish I could share a similar story but I haven't had anyone that serious in years. Anyone I dated was a muggle." He shifted some, looking at him. "How's Danny doing? Speed said he had some problems this last week."
"He cleared out his father's office."
"Oh, that sort of problems."
"Yeah, that sort of problems. He also found out his fiance was taken from by Death Eaters
right after he fell," he offered quietly. "His father had his memories taken of her as fully as he could. He's had a roller coaster week all week, but it looked like he used the bludger to take it out of his system."
"At least he has an outlet. Speed just rides his bike really fast. Worries us to no end."
"If he's as good on a bike as he is on a broom, then he'll be fine."
"Even the greatest of the great fall, Mac. Even Potter and Wood."
"They're training with Dumass so they've probably met them both. I know we had breakfast with Harry a few times."
"You...had breakfast with Harry Potter?"
"And Ron and Dawn and the dragon and Draco," he agreed dryly. "Harry's a sleepy morning person. Draco's usually happy as long as he got his morning infusion of Alex. Ron and Dawn are nauseatingly cute and cloying. Touchy-feeling is too light of a description for those two. Then again she's gone most of the time. Lovegood is very strange and scary. Ginny Weasley is interesting. She's a reserve Valkyrie and she's got a mouth like a sailor at times. Keelian's a cute little baby dragon but he likes to shirt drive. He did it to Stella, Ginny, and Dawn."
"Mac, perhaps I should drive," Horatio said calmly. "Keeping dragons is illegal."
"He's the school's dragon. He adopted Ron in a bazaar in Rio." He shot him a grin as he pulled onto his street. "Besides, we're nearly there." He parked and got out, leading Horatio inside. "Get comfortable. Good beer, mediocre beer, or something stronger?"
"Beer's good. Good beer is always appreciated." Mac nodded and got them each one, handing his over. "Where were you training those two?"
"Dumass Castle. He ceded the manor house with the unicorns to the various aunts. They were nagging about heirs last I heard, they wanted Catherine Willows to have it for him since she has a young witch of her own in Lindsey."
"Interesting." He sipped his beer. "Ron got adopted by a dragon?"
"Curse breakers draw trouble. The more trouble, the better they'll be. Plus they get physically sticky when they're leaking magic. Don had to do an extra two weeks with Alex. I'm surprised he didn't need a nap before the game. Alex left him some tasks to continue his education. From what he was complaining about the first one was that he could have anything he could free from the cavern, but no one could help him, especially not Danny. We can only help him look stuff up or hint at what he's doing wrong."
"Sounds interesting. What did he bring home?"
"A temper tantrum." He grinned at him. "Alex made it so he could unlock the cavern but he's got to do each thing separately. So he's working on learning his anti-lock and anti- sticking spells. Alex said he could go out on digs for his vacations, that way he could blow stuff up and attract his own dragon."
"Keeping a dragon is illegal," Horatio said again.
"Not in this country. We don't have a Ministry."
"Point," Horatio admitted, thinking about it. "I know we've got a bad creature smuggling ring down in Miami. I've had to bust them a few times and talked to the Ministry in Mexico about it."
"We call Canada for anything like that," Mac agreed. "I'm not sure we could handle anything like a Ministry anyway. Not with the purge still floating around."
"Wonderful. I'm hoping they don't show up on my doorstep."
"They shouldn't," Mac offered. "Not like you're young enough."
"True, but Greg told me they tried on him."
"Greg's still a young thing," he assured him. "Besides, he's a known potions master. Not everyone knows about his alchemy stuff but he's a known potions master, about eighth on the world's top list." Horatio looked impressed at that, taking another drink. "You and I would be the ones they got rid of as being useless since we're not in practice."
"I'd hope not. I'd hate to have to kill some of your former bosses, Mac."
"Me too. They'd be really pissed when I turned everything they taught me back on them." Horatio smirked at that. "I would. Oh, how's that case going? I haven't heard from Gibbs recently."
"They're transferring back up here, the paperwork got in before the block was widely known about," Horatio said dryly. "We've narrowed their kills in Miami down and we're going back over it to make sure of any evidence we might have. So expect Tony to be around a lot more often."
"He and Speed make Danny happy and odd. It's good that he's happy, I don't mind Tony for that reason alone."
"Better you than me. Speed apparently channeled Tony's playfulness one day. Eric ended up as a basset hound to help him pick up girls in the park." Mac snickered at that. "I made him change him back but it still wasn't appropriate since they were in the office at the time. We have just as many glass walls as you guys do." They shared a look, then shook their heads. "I have no idea why we got glass walls. They're dangerous if something happens."
"As Greg found out." Horatio made a quizzical noise. "You didn't hear? Catherine accidentally left something underneath a fume hood and it lit. It blew up the DNA and chem lab. Greg had second degree burns on his back for months. It was a few years back."
"Damn." He finished his beer. "At least he managed to heal and keep going. He moved into the field after that?" Mac nodded. "Emilia knew?"
"They got together just after that," he told him. "She would've freaked and killed everyone in her way to get to Greg. She's got the classic overprotective consort veela issue. You know, Danny could use one of those." Horatio cracked a smirk at that. "He could. Someone to protect and humor him, but who wouldn't let him get too odd? It could be good for him."
"I won't tell him you suggested that, Mac," he promised, patting him on the hand. "Kelly's doing fine," he offered. "Calleigh taught her a lot about being a woman."
"Apparently not about wet panties with the way she was moaning and moving after the game."
"True," he agreed smugly. "Then again, I'm sure if she wanted, Tony or Speed could take care of that for her." That got a smirk and a nod. "Maybe Danny would calm down if he had a real girlfriend."
"He's had a few over the years, they make him bouncy and happy. Does he swing both ways?" Horatio nodded. "Any idea why?"
"From the way Tony and Speed were talking? He likes cute young girls that giggle and act like cheerleaders. For guys he likes someone more mature. Speed noted that he thought Gibbs was cute in a 'tie you down and watch you wiggle' way." Mac snickered at that. "I didn't take him as one to take him up on it, but you never know."
"Yeah, you never know. Maybe that's what he needs." His phone rang and he groaned. "Taylor," he answered. He nodded a few times. "That's fine. Thank you." He hung up and called Danny. "Your spell should've just been broken. You might want to make sure and let Hammerback let you see the body if it didn't." He listened. "That is what I'm saying, Danny. Thank you." He hung up. "Sonny Sassone just committed suicide," he said fondly. "One less asshole yanking Danny's chain." Horatio smiled at that. "Want another?"
"Sure, I can toast to another criminal being gone. Too bad he evaded the years of justice he'd get in prison."
"It's better this way." He got up to get them another beer, handing Horatio his. "So, I take it Miami's having to do without you and Speed today. Bored?"
"Miami never closes, Mac. Bite your tongue. If we ever got bored, they'd start taking away my tech budget." He pulled out a CD case from his pocket. "This is what we've got in the lab and where we got the funds for any grants." He handed it over. "That way Danny can quit whining to Speed. Kelly's old precinct apparently had typewriters."
"That had to suck." He got up and put it safely on his desk then came back. "Thank you. We could use a new goodie quotient." That got a smug look. "Want to change labs?"
"No thank you. Some of your precinct looks like a catacomb." He smirked a bit. "Besides, I'd miss the sun."
"I could use some sun more often, but not as often as you guys get it."
"We do get a lot of sun," he agreed happily.
Danny beamed at Don as he walked into his place. "So, how was your dinner with the family?"
"Fun. Speed took video for Greg." He beamed at him. "I looked hot up there and you looked okay too." Danny threw a throw pillow at his head, making him laugh. "Sorry, you looked good too."
"Damn right I did." He smirked at him. "So, you're my guard tonight?"
"Sure am. I figure we can get through the rest of the books tonight maybe. If you want."
"Sure. I could use them being shelved."
"Where's everyone else?"
"Tony took Stan home for a bit. Speed got a call from Eric, who was pouting. He wasn't so sure the case doesn't have to do with magic so he had to check it out. If he's got time he'll be back tonight." That got another nod and Don followed him into the library, helping him move boxes where they needed to go. "I'm surprised you're not with Aiden."
"I've got a raincheck. The military tried to raid the school again." Danny stared at him, mouth slightly open. "They're fine, they pushed 'em back, but they're having to check the school over. She said one of the students was making exploding potions in the just in case and it worked very well all over the walls so she's cleaning it up at the moment."
"Is everyone okay?"
"Fine. She said they showed up and tried to claim some of the kids. Sirius and Spike met them and beat the guy's ass. I called Abby so she could pass it onto Gibbs or whoever. I figure someone's watching those things." He answered the phone when it rang. "Messer's pad." He raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, Greg, you need us, we're there. Need me too? On it, man." He hung up. "Everyone in Vegas is swamped and Greg just got handed a body dump by himself. He's seeing at least twelve bodies."
"Crap." Danny went to change clothes, tossing Don something to put on. "It's cold in the desert at night." He slid into a light jacket then grabbed his case, checking everything. He grabbed a few extra things, putting them into his pocket. Including new batteries just in case. "Okay, we're going to portkey. It's too far to apparate quickly." He created one out of forensic journal he had been meaning to hand to Greg the next time they got together. They landed a few minutes later and he gaped. "Holy Mother of God, Greg."
Greg looked at him. "Grissom said everyone else was busy and of course I could handle a body dump. I told him I had multiple bodies and he said to do what I could for now. Brass is coming with the ground sensing radar equipment. I called the ME's office and he's bringing extra bags. Hey, Don, thanks."
"Not an issue." He looked around. "How far out is your line? You've got other bodies."
"I knew that. I cast a telling charm. I've got another cavity of bodies over there," he said, pointing. He took the magazine Danny handed him and grinned, stuffing it into his case. "Thanks for this, guys."
"Okay, you know the drill. Take soil samples each new layer. Separate any dirt out to the side, on top of a tarp if you've got it."
"Yup, already started that, but I'm about to uncover body thirteen." He looked at them. "I'm so far over my head." Danny nodded, putting on some booties and gloves, handing others to Don. They got down to help, Danny handing over his spare batteries when Greg's lantern went out.
Jim Brass finally showed up. "You moved the line too far back, Sanders. Um, you two are?"
"Messer and Flack, NYPD, in on special favor for Greg," Danny said, looking at him.
Don pointed at their left. "There's more bodies that way."
"I'm not that well trained yet, Detective Brass."
"Just Brass is fine, Flack." Don grinned. "Yeah, he's said a lot about you two. Where do you need me, Greg?"
"Let's start by defining the boundaries of this pit and then we'll move to find the others. I have the feeling there's a lot more out here and I don't know why. Oh, I've already sent off the military once."
"Crap. Where the hell is Grissom?"
"DB in a liquor store with Warrick. Cath and Sara are on a call at a casino, a DB post-sex as they said when they walked out. I'm in way over my head, Brass."
"You are, kid. I'll call Grissom in a few when we've got a clearer body count. If he's not here in a half-hour I'm going to scream."
"I owe you, man. Thank you." He got back to work uncovering that body. Then he took a picture and moved to a new area when Jim flagged the boundary of the pit. "Do we have more tarps?"
"Yeah, let me get one of the patrol guys to get some," he offered, using his radio. "Bring in more tarps, get the ME in here ASAP and if any other CSI show up, they're to be sent back. We've got more than one pit of bodies." He finished outlining that one then flagged the sole body he found just off to the side, then he found the start of a new pit. "Hell. These are older."
"Of course they are. If this many people disappeared at the same time, we'd have heard about it by now," Greg said bitterly. "Don, do you have an estimate?"
"Sixteen, maybe seventeen? I'm still in training, Greg."
"I know, but it's a good estimate. Danny, can I have you start on the south edge and meet us? Don, take the other side?" He nodded and they both shifted over, letting him get the center and the more precise center work. "Get some of the grunts in here, Jim? Please?"
"I've already tried that. They claim it's not their jobs." He put down another marker. "This one looks to be about the same size and depth," he offered.
"I told David we had at least twelve and I was still digging, to just bring a case of bags," Greg said bitterly, getting back to work. He stopped and marked a ring, then took a picture. He got up and went to use the radio. "Guys, get your asses back here and help do the basic excavation or I'm telling the Sheriff," he ordered coolly. "We're nearing thirty bodies or more." He handed it back and got back to work, shaking his head. "Who's off tonight?"
"Damn it." He called Grissom. "Just an update, boss, we're up to about thirty bodies now. I'm borrowing CSI wizards from other places and another detective, plus we owe Brass majorly." He hung up and got back to work, not caring that his boss had only grunted. "I'm guessing he found bugs. He didn't sound terribly into the phone call."
"Hell." He looked around, spotting another area that had nothing growing on it. "Want me to call out the cadets?"
"Only Grissom or Ecklie can do that," Greg noted patiently. "You wanna wake Ecklie up? I'll charm you fireproof," he offered with a grin for him. A few of the uniforms came over. "Dig that pit, don't get that close to a body. Get down to the point where you can see outlines, then wait for instructions. Another of you help Brass do the ground radar thingy." They nodded and he got back to work, taking another picture. "This is so going to suck. Is Nick fit for fieldwork?"
"No," Brass said. "He can dump pictures onto a laptop though."
"I can do that," Flack offered.
Danny looked at Greg. "Flagging sectors?"
"Once we find all the body dumps I'm hoping we won't have to. We'll number pits." That got a nod. "None of these bodies are fresh so I'm doubting we're going to get much from digging up the rest of the desert. If we need to, we can do that tomorrow. When we won't have to rely on field lights and an ever-patient ME's assistant." He looked up as the ME's van drove up. "Dave, bad news, man. We're looking at least thirty."
"I brought a case of bags, Greg. When you find a pit like that, you always find more according to Doc Robbins. He's hoping it's old deaths."
"Some," Brass admitted, looking at him. "Let me call Stokes to do camera and light stuff."
"Thanks," Greg said, giving him a pitiful look. "I feel like we're in _The Stand_."
"I saw that miniseries." He called Nick, looking around. "Stokes, get to Sanders' crime scene. He's got a massive body dump. We've already got at least thirty and Greg's doing triage to get at the bodies. Pit numbers and body tags. He said we can search anything else later unless we find some really fresh stuff. Everyone else is busy. He called a few friends from the NYPD to come help." He grinned. "Yeah, well, it's us and Dave." He smirked. "He's busy at a liquor store. Thanks. Yeah, that's us. Tell Emilia it's not dangerous."
"I'll need cuddles later," Greg ordered.
"He said to tell her he'll need post-traumatic cuddles later." He smirked. "She said that's fine. She'll make you breakfast." He hung up. "He'll be here within forty minutes." He took the secondary GSR from Dave and got to work with another uniform on another area that had been cleared off. "Another pit," he announced a few minutes later.
"Fuck," Greg complained.
"Hey, with this many bodies, you'll make level two within the solving," Dave offered, giving him a gentle smile. "How long before I can start bagging, Greg?"
Greg pointed at the bodies he was uncovering. "Let me get into the finer details and pictures, Dave." He moved back to the first body while the others uncovered his scenes for him. "Please let this be the mob and not the military," he prayed, looking at him. "They were already here."
"I'll tell Doc and tell him we'll need a lot of dry storage." He pulled out his cellphone. "Doc, David. Greg's uncovering bodies by the minute. We're already over forty. Yeah, I'm serious. Because Grissom is out there with you. He got Brass in on his night off and Stokes to come out to help too. Plus a few guys from the NYPD that he knows. Thank you." He hung up. "He said we'll find a spot for them."
"Good. We'll probably end up assembly lining the fingerprints if we can get them," Greg said. He took a few more pictures, getting out of the pit to take a more wide-angle view. "Okay. Let's go ahead and move the first one even though it's a bit dirty. That way any trace around the body can be gathered there. We've got too many here to do it here and some of it is probably things like skin." Dave nodded and reported that, getting an assent from his boss that it was a valid strategy. "Mark 'em Pit A, body 1 through however many." Dave wrote out the first tag and got the first body into a bag with some help from Don. "Thanks, guys, seriously. I can see Emilia screaming at me about not sleeping from this case." He got to work uncovering the next set of bodies.
"We've got layers, Greg," David said quietly.
"I saw. Top body then down, Danny, or is it full layer and then down?"
"Start top body, clear a few, then the middle of it. Then you work layers on each side so you know how far you go." Dave nodded and they got to work on that. He called Mac. "Hey, it's me. Greg just pulled a multi-billion body dump in the desert and they're full tonight. Don and I are in the desert with him. Yeah, he probably could, Mac. We're looking at at least forty bodies and we're still doing GSR sweeps." He hung up. "Mac and Horatio may be showing up in a few."
"Thank you, Goddess," Greg said, looking up. He got back to work, knowing it was going to be a long, achy night. "Jim, if you need to, you can leave," he offered, looking at him. "Just get me someone who's actually on tonight. Please?"
"Sure, kid. I've already called out there. They're all out with the other ones. They wanted to make sure it wasn't a cemetery."
"No, cemeteries are buried in neat little rows in coffins. Besides, the last body had a rolex that was still working." Brass snickered at that. He saw Mac and Horatio appear off to the side. "Hey, guys, got trowels and brushes?"
"Hell," Mac said, looking at the flags. "How many bodies per pit?"
"At least ten," Brass told him. "Nick's on his way in, he's not cleared for field work. It's my night off. Everyone else has DB's in town. They thought he might've been sent to an old cemetery."
"No, that's a body dump," Horatio agreed, taking some gloves from Danny's case and moving to help on the next pit. "Officer, spread out to give me a bit of room to work please," he ordered.
"Sir, which city are you subbing from?" he asked quietly.
"Miami-Dade. Mac is from New York. He's Danny's boss."
"Thank you, sir. We'll make note of who appeared out here." Horatio looked at him. "Like I care, sir. I'm just happy I'm not being trapped out here with just one CSI, especially since he panicked at first."
"I don't blame him," Mac assured the kid, coming over to help Horatio. "Jim, who's on for PD tonight?"
"All with Grissom and them. DB in a cassino, a liquor store job. We updated Grissom, he grunted." Horatio sighed and nodded. He heard an engine so he looked behind him. "Nick!" He waved him in, watching him jog in. "Good. Do what you can. Let Don upload files if you've got a laptop with you."
"Fine with me," Don agreed, getting out of the hole, bagging his booties and gloves, then making sure he dusted himself off back into the spot he had been working. "Greg?" Greg took a few new pictures and handed over his camera. "Laptop, Nick?"
"The Tahoe." He handed over the keys. "Guys, do long sweeps," Nick ordered. "Greg, grid?"
"Pits, I'm numbering pits since they're so old. We can grid later and if we find any fresher bodies." He looked at him. "I've already sent off the military once."
"Good job. Jim, I'll take over, go ahead and thanks for helping him."
"Not an issue. I'll send out a detective too."
"I'll hand you the case files tomorrow?" Greg suggested impishly, grinning at him.
"Please don't. I don't need the extra paperwork." Don laughed at that so he walked off. "Guys, be prepared that you might have to move the boundary back some. Watch for the other CSI to come out here." He ducked under the tape line and went back to his car, calling Warrick on the way in. "Are you with Grissom?" He grimaced. "Poke him and tell him Greg's now got helpers from the NYPD and Miami since he's got about fifty, sixty bodies in the desert, all in burial pits together. Oh, and Stokes." He heard Warrick repeat that and heard Grissom's groan. "Tell him he owes Mac, Danny, and Horatio his ass at the moment, but I'm heading home so send the detective you guys have out here. Thanks." He hung up and headed home. He loved delegating in these situations. Like Greg, he was hoping for mob hits instead of military ones.
Greg walked into the station very late the next morning, looking at the ME. "You got all 108, right?" he asked tiredly. He got a nod. "Okay. I'll be in tonight, normal time. Whatever you have is good because you are the man. I'll help take fingerprints or whatever then. Just let me sleep, please."
"Go home and rest, Greg. I'll have what I can by then."
"Bless you, man. Let it be known we did ground radar but it could probably be gone over in the daylight. Also, we didn't grid since none were really *new* bodies. We did it on the pit system. So if Grissom wants me to, it'll be tonight. Have someone recharge the field lights if he wants that." That got a smile. "I'm sorry I'm giving you a nightmare." He walked off, heading for home as fast as he could apparate. He shouldn't drive. One of the replacement patrol guys had driven his Tahoe back, Nick was sleeping in the back seat. The borrowed CSI had all went home and called off for at least the morning. He was going to do the same. He landed in his living room, swaying and looking at his wife. He handed over his cellphone. "If it's Griss, I'll be in at the normal time. If it's the press, you don't know me or speak English. If it's Ecklie, threaten to take a strap to him again. 108 bodies." He trudged up the stairs to take a shower and fall into bed. He was exhausted and gritty from the dirt.
She watched him go, then looked at their house elves. "Let him sleep." She called Nick's phone, getting a sleepy guy. "Are you home?" She smiled. "Good." She hung up and went to check on the kids. They were still asleep. They were on their schedule at the moment so it was okay for now. They'd let Greggy sleep.
Mac made it into his office late that afternoon, looking at Stella. "108 bodies." She winced. "Greg was working alone when he found them. Everyone else was busy."
"Busy my ass! You drop shit to get to those!"
"They were all old, they had fresh bodies to gather first." She snorted. "If I didn't tell you, you looked fantastic out there at the game, Stella. Good job." He leaned back and rubbed his eyes. "Anything I have to know?"
"The Chief said that he loves how you volunteered since you knew the crew out there."
"Good on me. Tell him we need a bigger budget to get tech stuff fixed. Even if you have to flash him or something." He found the CD he had her pick up, and tossed it at her. "How Horatio did it and what he uses. I want it, I want it badly, and I want it this month, even if we have to hire him strippers."
"As long as I don't have to be one of them," she agreed, heading to look it over. She was impressed at the lab plans and the technology he had listed, plus the grant giving institutions. Maybe they could upgrade to some newer stuff to replace some of the really ancient stuff. They still had some non-electric microscopes in some of the back labs. Even a few labs would be nice. She looked up as Danny dragged in. "Danny!" He backtracked and looked at her, giving her a bleary look. "Did you get any sleep?"
"Yeah, few hours," he complained. "108 bodies. Greg's going to need a cart to haul the files." He trudged on, heading for the coffeepot. The ballistics tech smirked at him. "I was helping a friend in Vegas. Don't even try. We were digging body dump pits."
"Hopefully to uncover?"
"Yeah, but I could send some of his coworkers into one of them." He found his mug and the pot was empty. "Damn it." The tech snickered and started a new pot. "Strong, please."
"You got it, Danny." He started it and put his cup under the spout to let him have the first fruits of the pot.
"Coffee, thank you," Mac pleaded as he came in, switching out Danny's cup for his when his was mostly full. "Strong?"
"Yup, Sheldon strong."
"Thank you, you're a saint." He fixed his cup when it was full and walked off again. "Horatio gave us information on their tech stuff."
"Thanks." He added some sugar to his and walked off, going back to his casework. The trace tech gave him an odd look. "I'm too fuzzy to go out. Give me stuff ta do."
She pushed over a whole stack. "Here you go, probably no slide detail needed."
"Thanks." He put his cup safely aside and got to work after one last sip. He'd come back to it in a few minutes. When his head cleared up a bit more.
"Danny!" Don yelled.
"Busy!" he yelled back, making the tech laugh. Don stormed in and he gave him a long stare, then snorted and drank some more coffee, making 'go on' motions.
"Someone broke into my locker." He held up the picture he had found. "Look familiar?"
"You only touch it there?"
"Yeah." He carefully laid it down in front of him. "I know my shit but there weren't any gloves and I'm not carrying a handkerchief. It sild out and onto the floor." He waved a hand. "Please, do your magic shit."
Danny looked at the tech. "Can you please get me stuff to do fingerprints?" She nodded and left. He pulled his wand and tested it. "Probably pointless." He put it away when she came back, taking the fingerprint powder and brush. "Thanks." He moved it off to the side, away from everything else so he wouldn't contaminate any other samples. He came up with one fingerprint and grimaced. "Not supposed to be possible," he said thoughtfully. He lifted it and walked over to the computer to run it. It came up with his name. He looked at Don. "I didn't put it in there."
"I didn't think you did." He crossed his arms, looking at the picture. "Nothing else?"
"They could've lifted his and put it on gloves," the trace tech offered. "It's not that hard. Some rubber cement to lift it and then superglue it to a glove. We've seen a few of those since America's Most Wanted showed it one show." She looked at them. "What got you guys so tired?"
"A buddy of ours was in trouble and needed the help," Danny offered. He yawned and checked the photo over. "She's right, there's no detail spots, glove prints." Don moved closer to look. "Anything else?"
"No. Can you come print my locker?"
"Of course." He took the brush, a few collection strips, and the powder with him, letting Don get his coffee for him. Mac came out and gave him an odd look. "Pictures from yesterday ended up in Don's locker."
"Wonderful. Normal or not?"
"Normal but it had my print on it," Danny said dryly.
"Oh yeah." He waved the brush. "Going to do his locker, just in case."
"Thank you." He went to gather the picture and put it in his office in an evidence bag. It was a good shot of Don on his broom.
The tech looked at him. "My daughter will be disappointed she missed out on a Harry Potter event. I didn't even know Don was a fan."
Mac nodded. "Closet fan. He wanted to fly. He drug Danny with him. What's this stack?"
"Danny's. He's too fuzzy to head into the field."
"It's quiet so far, that's fine." He went back to his office, finding a business card on his desk. "Who are you?" he muttered. "Oh." He called it. "You're our new union rep?" He leaned back and rubbed his face. "No but a normal picture ended up in Flack's locker from the game yesterday. We're not sure. It had Messer's fingerprint on it but they were with me all night. Thank you." He hung up and sat up before he fell asleep again. His phone rang and he kept himself from moaning. "Taylor," he answered. He listened then nodded. "Well, yes, sir. Oh, I don't know, their solve rate speaks for itself, sir. Plus it would help us around here. When we had that federal case recently, theirs were done twice as fast and everything was on the computer. Which was much easier than ours, which included the old style boxes. You know, if we could put everything on the computer system, you could even get rid of part of the storage system so it would pay for itself. Sir, take a tour of their labs. They work smoother, faster, and easier than we do. Well, there are grants," he noted patiently.
"We'd accept just having a few of the oldest labs changed out. Sir, I spent most of last night helping a friend. I'm tired enough to suggest bringing it to you with a stripper. Yes, I'm serious. Well...look at their stats, look at ours. If we're nearly as good as they are with substandard and very old equipment in half the labs, what could we do with the equipment Miami has, sir? Well, we are the top lab in the city. We do have three labs that contain microscopes that are basically what got taken out of the high school ten years ago. The computers are at least five years old in them. We'd be more than happy to have just those updated. Of course, sir. Thank you, sir, and I'll get more sleep tonight. Have a better day." He hung up and kept himself from wishing him harm. He hated politicians most of the time. Especially when they were standing in his way. Danny walked past with his coffee cup dangling from a finger. "Anything?" he called.
"Nope. We checked with the possible sources and she said it wasn't her." He shrugged and continued on.
Mac shook his head and put it back against the back of his chair, letting his mind drift. That's why Stella woke him up an hour later. He blinked at the gentle shaking. "Sorry."
"Not a problem. I answered a call for Danny from Greg. Greg's moved Emilia and the kids to the castle, just in case. They were all killed the same way, mostly around the same time. He thinks that's why the military showed up. He wanted us warned."
"Thanks." He sat up and yawned, then let himself stretch. "I do feel better now."
"Good because I just got sent paperwork for the grant stuff." She handed it to him. "Have fun with that." She headed out again. "Night shift is starting to pile in."
"Thank you." He got up and took the paperwork home with him. At least he could claim that time as work time. He found Danny asleep in the locker room with his head against his locker. It was kinda sweet, which wasn't something he usually thought about Danny so he knew he needed a long nap. He slammed his locker closed, waking him up. "Take a cab home."
"Take a cab home. I am. Neither of us are fit to drive." Danny nodded at that and put his head forward again. "Danny!" He snapped awake and Mac looked around, then at him. "Portkey home," he ordered quietly. Danny nodded and created one out of himself, taking himself home the easy way. Mac looked around then sent himself off as well.
Sheldon walked in, frowning since he had been told Mac was still in here. "Mac?" No answer. His locker was shut and locked. So someone had missed him coming out. He went to email it to him. It wasn't earth shattering but he had a suspect now that he could find tomorrow since they worked days. He grabbed his stuff and headed down to the morgue. "Sid, drink?" he called from the doorway.
"Please. It's been a very strange day."
"Be thankful you're not in Las Vegas. Danny's friend Greg uncovered a 108 body body dump." The ME moaned at that. Sheldon nodded. "Exactly. He's a level one. This may put him over if he can count them as separate cases." He pointed. "The usual bar? I'm done if you are. I'll even drive."
"The usual is fine but it'll take me a few minutes to clean up and finish this one. I'll meet you there in a half-hour, Sheldon." That got a grin and a nod and the younger ME left. Sid shook his head and got back to work, smiling at the body. "I'm sure you had a few dates with your coworkers as well, my dear."