"Has anyone seen Grissom?" Warrick’s voice boomed into the conference room as he rounded the corner. The team had been waiting twenty minutes for their assignments already, which was unusual considering Grissom’s usual punctuality.
"Did you check his office?" Sara suggested, wishing they could hurry up so shift could get started instead of them sitting around.
"No sign of him, he hasn’t even checked in." Warrick replied. "I’ve already tried his cell also, no answer."
"Maybe Catherine knows." Nick suggested, frowning also, it wasn’t like Grissom not to show up at work without telling anyone.
"I tried but can’t find her either." Warrick said, his tone and facial expression clearly conveying his concern.
Brass appeared with a folder, and a similar look of worry on his face, which did not help put any concerns to rest.
"Sara and Greg, two DB’s found in an alley, Warrick and Nick, two 418’s." He handed out the assignments briskly.
"418? That’s missing persons." Nick questioned.
"Yes I know." Brass said sarcastically. You two are going to find our missing CSI’s. Catherine’s mother has called looking for Catherine, and we have tried every known way to reach them by phone, pager and family members. I’d suggest starting at their residences."
"They’re probably off at a motel together." Sara said sarcastically, not wanting to believe that anything was really wrong.
"Let’s go to Grissom’s first." Nick suggested, not acknowledging Sara’s comment as he and Warrick walked briskly towards the parking lot.
"Man it feels weird being here." Warrick said as they opened Grissom’s door and flipped on a light after failing to get a response to their knocking.
"Yeah, like being in his little sanctuary," Nick agreed as he looked around at the neat living area.
Quietly the two CSI’s began searching, not speaking as they combed the townhouse from top to bottom, not finding anything to make them suspicious of foul play.
Finally, giving up they called Brass to report their progress so far before heading to Catherine’s house. Lindsey and Catherine’s mom were understandably concerned while Nick and Warrick tried to make the search seem as routine as possible without causing any further alarm. Yet, by the end of their search, with similar results the two were definitely starting to get worried.
"We’ll find them." Warrick promised, trying to encourage Catherine’s mother before they left.
"Them?" Lily questioned. "Who else is missing?"
"Our supervisor, Gil Grissom," Warrick replied, surprised at the sudden change in the woman’s posture.
"Well that explains it, they’re likely shacked up together having a good time while the rest of us worry." She shook her head in exasperation.
"We’ll let you know if we find anything." Nick interjected before Warrick said something he would likely regret. Nick grabbed Warrick’s arm to usher him through the door, both glad that the task was over. Their next step would be to locate and process the vehicles. Brass had already put an APB out on the two Denali’s but no response as of yet.
"I almost hope they are in a motel room together right now." Nick spoke up, echoing Warrick’s own thoughts.
"Yeah, me too, but you know that wouldn’t be like them to not show up at work, or at least they would call in sick." Warrick had to bring up the obvious reasons why this scenario was unlikely.
"I know man, I just want them to be alright." Nick admitted, picking up his cell phone as it rang. "OK, we’re on our way."
"What?" Warrick asked as Nick made a quick u-turn.
"They just found Grissom’s vehicle at a gas station," he explained as they sped to their destination.
"I was thinking, maybe we should do a GPS search on their cells." Warrick suggested as they walked across the small parking lot to the Denali that was being guarded closely by an officer.
"Don’t think that’d do any good." Nick said as he shone the flashlight into the car, seeing the cell phone lying in the passenger seat.
"That’s not good." Warrick sighed following the flashlight beam and seeing the phone. "Door is unlocked, key in the ignition, also not good." He stated as he observed their preliminary findings.
"Nothing looks out of the ordinary." Nick said after a cursory look through the vehicle and crawling around the perimeter of it on his hands and knees..
"Let’s send it back to the garage, we’ll look at it closer there." Warrick said, letting the officer know where it was to be towed before they walked into the gas station. The pimply faced clerk had not seen anything at all suspicious and didn’t recognize a picture of Grissom that they showed him. When they asked to see the surveillance tapes they were chagrined to find out that the cameras were phony, and didn’t really lead to a tape area.
"Remind me to tell Grissom to never buy gas here again." Warrick complained as they headed back to their vehicle, just in time to receive the call that Catherine’s vehicle had been found at a shopping mall. The scene was the same as the one they just left. Nothing overtly suspicious, save for the fact that it was unlocked and keys were in ignition, phone in the front seat. No one in the store, or outside, remembered seeing or hearing anything unusual or recognized the pictures they showed around.
They hated to admit it, but they had absolutely nothing to go on yet, except for the mysterious disappearance of the two investigators.
Catherine’s head was throbbing as she slowly opened her eyes. For a moment she almost wondered if she was dead as she regained her senses. The room was pitch black and the pain in her back told her she was laying on a concrete floor. The smell of the room was musty, and her head was still pounding, rolling over slightly she began feeling around, jerking her hand back reflexively when she felt a hand. Nervously she felt back for the hand again, taking a moment to note that while slightly clammy, there was a pulse. Gently feeling her way up the arm and to the body, she tried to figure out who was with her. When she reached the face and felt the beard, she knew, "Gil… Gil?" She said, shaking him gently as she spoke, hoping he was ok. Getting no response she finally laid her head on his chest, listening to his heartbeat as she prayed he would wake up soon as she tried to keep the rising feelings of panic down. "He would know what to do," she kept telling herself.
"We don’t have anything yet." Warrick had to admit to Brass and Ecklie after they had scoured both Denali’s for any evidence of foul play, not finding a single thread, trace evidence or fingerprint that didn’t belong.
"So we treat this as a missing person’s case until further notice. I'll notify both families." Brass finally sighed, not liking at all that Grissom and Catherine had been missing since the end of their previous shift and not only was there no evidence of what had happened to them, there was no contact from a kidnapper either. And as much as he hated to think it, his gut told him that this was the result of foul play, wherever Catherine and Grissom were, they had not gone willingly.
Grissom’s faint moan told Catherine that he was finally coming around as she leaned back, giving him a moment to become oriented. "Shhh, take it easy." She said, hoping that hearing a familiar voice would help ease his transition to wakefulness.
"Cath, what... where are we? Why is it so dark?" He finally said as he realized that they were in very unfamiliar and uncomfortable surroundings.
"I don’t know." She said honestly, trying to keep the fear out of her voice.
"Hello," he called out tentatively, to see if they received an answer. Hearing no response he slowly began rising to his feet. "Ouch" he exclaimed, sinking back to his knees. "This ceiling is only about five feet high at the most" He explained as he began crawling forwards, stopping when his hand hit a wall. "Catherine, how about you start moving left, and I’ll start moving right, maybe we can get an idea how big this room is." He suggested as she moved over beside him.
"Ok," she agreed, feeling better now that they were doing something as she began tentatively exploring the wall, it didn’t take long before her hands found something. Something that seemed oddly familiar yet took a moment for her to realize what it was. "Grissom, there’s a toilet here." She exclaimed as she pressed the handle to hear it softly flush. "I don’t think we’re expected to be leaving here anytime soon." She crawled a few feet further, "there’s something here on the wall," she said as she began exploring blindly with her fingers, finding a handle and turning it on. "A faucet, and a drainage hole," she said after feeling the floor beneath the stream of water and turning it back off.
"That’s good though, in a way," he said, "dead people don’t need toilets or water," he explained, his voice sounding fairly close until she felt him next to her again. "I would say it’s about 15X20 feet" he guesstimated as he crawled back towards a corner of the room to lie down and think about the recent findings, still feeling a little fuzzy from whatever he had been drugged with.
Blindly crawling towards the sound of his breathing Catherine collapsed beside him. "So what do we do now?" She said, also feeling a bit dizzy.
"We wait, wait until whoever did this comes to tell us what the game is." Grissom said quietly, hoping they would know soon. The truth would be better than the many different scenarios his mind was coming up with. "So how did they get you?" He questioned, trying to change his direction of thought.
"Stupid really, you would think I’d be smarter than that, but I was all focused on rushing into the mall and didn’t take time to check my surroundings at all. I opened the car door, started to lean over to get my purse, and felt something sprayed in my face and that was it. Then I woke up here. You?"
"Not much different, I pulled into a gas station, was going to run inside for a pack of gum, barely opened my car door and started stepping out when I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, felt spray hitting my face, and I vaguely remember being caught as I started to fall out of the door and carried to what was probably a van. They must have sensed I wasn’t fully out because there was another spray in my face and then well, I woke up here." His story wasn’t much longer than hers.
"So this means that the team will find our vehicles, with our cell phones, keys and my purse, but nothing else. And I’m guessing whoever this was smart enough not to leave witnesses." Catherine sighed.
"The team will do their best to find us, we just have to wait." Grissom tried to sound hopeful as he reached over to take her hand, hoping that there would be something for the team to find to locate them before it was too late.
"DAMN!" Warrick exclaimed as he hung up the phone, fist hitting the wall.
"Hey, buddy, calm down." Greg said as he witnessed the scene. They had all been wound up the past couple of days and the pressure was getting to them all.
"Sorry, it’s just that I thought I had a lead, some lady from the mall who thought she saw something, but turns out it was false. Now we’re back to having nothing." Warrick was obviously in a foul mood.
"Yeah, well the kid at the gas station is about ready to take out a restraining order on me." Nick sighed as he entered the room, with a matching expression of frustration on his face.
"It’s really easy to lose track of time here isn’t it?" Catherine said, amazed at how loud her voice sounded in the small room.
"Yeah, wasn’t it nice of them to take our watches?" Grissom said, trying to fight the feelings of nervousness slowly settling into the pit of his stomach. "Hey, did you hear that?" They both sat up stiffly as they heard a faint scraping noise from somewhere above them.
"This is the only time you’ll be hearing from me, so listen good." A muffled voice echoed into their chamber. "Welcome to your new home. No I’m not going to kill you. You have probably already surmised that had this been my intent, you wouldn’t even be here alive at this moment. You have both been sentenced to life in prison, my prison. You will be here until you die, or the unlikely event of a rescue. LVPD has no idea where you are and your precious CSI’s can’t find a single clue, so I wouldn’t count on them." The sinister tone in the voice caused a shiver down Catherine’s spine as she blindly reached for Gil’s hand in the dark. Once a week you will be given rations of food. I assume you have found the toilet and your water supply." The voice faded out and there were no other words forthcoming, as the slight scraping noise was heard again.
"Wait, why are you doing this?" Grissom couldn’t help but call out, hoping for an answer. There was a pause in the scraping noise and a distant chuckle could be heard.
"Murder Dr. Grissom, you and your partner here killed someone very dear to me by putting them in prison, they died there. I’m merely returning the favor by sentencing the both of you to life in prison." There was a final scrape above and all was quiet once again. They had barely had time to register the words before there was another scraping sound and a thud as something dropped to the ground before the noise ended abruptly and then all was quiet again.
"I’m guessing that’s our food." Catherine said as she crawled in the direction of the noise. Stopping when she came upon the box, reaching in she could feel some wrapped sandwiches and other food objects that they probably wouldn’t be able to identify until they started to eat them. "I wonder if they’re poisoned," she mused briefly.
"I doubt it, they wants us to suffer, alive." Gil’s voice startled her, she hadn’t realized he was so close. They each picked up one of the sandwiches and scooted back until they were sitting and leaning against a wall. "At least we have a way to tell time now, he said he’d drop a box every week." He observed as he took a bite of his sandwich. "Peanut butter, what’d you get?"
"Same" she answered with a sigh as she took another bite. "What do you think those scraping noises were?"
"I’m assuming trap doors, and from the scrapes and clicks it sounds like they’re probably latched and covered with heavy objects to keep us from getting out, yet allowing them a way in." Grissom’s scientific mind having already broken down all the information he could about their prison.
"You’d think they could at least have given us pillows and blankets." Catherine said irritably after having finished her sandwich.
"I assume there will be a lot of the comforts of home we’ll be missing before too long." Grissom agreed as he returned from the faucet where he had gotten a drink of water. He then laid down, trying to find a comfortable position on the concrete floor. He was startled when he felt a hand land on his stomach that start to move upwards. "Catherine what are you doing?"
"Finding my pillow," she answered blithely as she found his shoulder and soon replaced her hand with her head. "You don’t mind do you?"
"Not at all," he said slowly as he repositioned his arm so they’d both be comfortable. Silence descending as they both stared into the dark, lost in their own thoughts, grateful to at least have each other right now as they tried to figure out what to do next.