A Dish Served Cold by moptop [ - ]
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Category: CSI - General
Characters: Catherine Willows, Greg Sanders, Jim Brass, Nick Stokes
Rating: R
Genres: Case
Warnings: Adult themes

Summary: The DNA evidence is conclusive. It's up to Greg, Catherine, Nick, and Brass to disprove it. Cameos by Warrick Brown and Mia Dickerson.

Greg sat down at the booth in the visiting room at High Desert State Prison. Through the thick plastic window, he watched two guards escort Nancy Casey through a door in the far wall and into her seat on the other side of the booth, before backing away out of earshot. The trim, salt-and-pepper-haired woman smiled at him, and picked up the receiver on her side. Greg did the same.

"I didn't think you'd come," she said.

"My curiosity got the better of me. What's this new information?"

"Come, come, Mr. Sanders! Must you always be so direct? It's not often I get visitors. Especially one as cute as you."

"Uh ..."

"Oh, come now. I may be an old woman. But I'm not blind."

"You're not so old."

"Bullshit, young man! Once a woman's looks are gone, she's old."

"Then you're definitely not old."

"Mr. Sanders! Either you're the one who's blind. Or you're a charming liar."

"Neither. You still have your looks."

"Flatterer! Let's screw."


Greg flushed deep crimson.

"It's what you came for," she whispered bitterly into the receiver. "Isn't it? To screw me over? Like the last time we met?"

Greg made a wry face.

"Ha, ha," he said without humor. "Cute. I get the message. For the record, I did not 'screw you over.'"

"You put me here, didn't you?"

"You put yourself here. The moment you decided to commit murder. I merely found the evidence that proved your guilt."

"Like I said. 'Screwed me over.' Now I'm going to screw you over. Mark my words!"

"Is that a threat?"

"A promise." She stood, turned, and signaled the guards. "And I don't just get even," she said while they approached. "I get ahead. Way ahead. If you've learned anything about me, it's that."

The guards arrived. She stuck out her tongue at him and hung up. She gave him an evil smile as the guards took her by the arms and led her away.

Catherine Willow's dash clock read 09:02 as she pulled onto Galena Circle. Police cars filled every available parking spot, their flasher beams piercing the night, splashing dancing dots of blue, yellow, and red onto the nearby houses' darkened exteriors. She continued on to Ponderosa Court, found a space, and parked by a mailbox marked '231.' She exited her vehicle, slipped her camera strap over her head, picked up her kit, pushed the door shut with her foot, and headed for the house behind the yellow tape.

Captain Jim Brass stood in the yard, speaking with two uniformed officers. He looked up, saw Catherine, excused himself, and moved towards her, meeting her at the tape, which he lifted with his right hand.

"Ooh!" he said. "The all-black turtleneck and Capris ensemble! With the short grey jacket."

"Thanks. I get a lot of comments about it."

"I don't doubt it. It really shows your figure off to advantage."

She stepped inside the tape. "I understand the Councilman called it in?"

Brass nodded. "Paramedics found Dario in the front doorway, curled up in a ball. They took him to Vegas ISC for observation."

"Could it be an act?"

"Maybe. Gut feeling? He didn't do this."

"Where's Carla and the other DB?"

"In the kitchen. Second vic's one Anne Palentina, of 231 Ponderosa Court."

"231? I parked there! 'Palentina.' Hmm. Why's that sound familiar?"

"She was a witness in the Palmeiro case."

"Ah," she said. "Better get started. Which way?"

"To the kitchen? Or the bedroom?"

Catherine half-sneered in surprise.

"Third vic," Brass said. "Unidentified female. Early twenties."

"A triple!" she marveled. She pulled her cell from her belt. "I'm gonna need backup."

Brass placed his hand on the cell before she could open it.

"Not necessary. I talked to Gil. He's sending Nick."