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13 August 2007 @ 07:14 pm
HL50 prompt - Watcher  
This is unbetaed so any and all comments gratefully received. It's a CSI/Highlander crossover, and my first CSI fic so I would really appreciate the feedback. Written for the highlander50  challenge prompt Watcher.

I don't own anything, I'm just playing with Grissom's lab and I promise to put it back the way I found it.

Set pre season 1 for CSI and somewhere in Season 3 for Highlander.
What Happens in Vegas
This trip to Vegas was the best idea he could have had. Richie was enjoying two weeks of well deserved fun in the casino capital of the world. He’d had a few near misses with security, but his ID seemed to be holding up to close scrutiny and he hadn’t yet been thrown from any casinos.
But tonight he was enjoying a far less adult pleasure. He was queuing for the latest, and therefore busiest, rollercoaster to be built in Las Vegas. The Canyon Blaster promised to be the ‘only double looping double corkscrew indoor coaster in the world’ and Richie couldn’t wait.
After an hour waiting in line he finally made it to the front. The ‘coaster was packed to capacity, and there was only one seat left, at the front of the ride. He wasn’t sure why nobody else had taken such a choice seat, but it may have had something to do with the other occupant of the carriage.
The man was in his late thirties, and seemed ordinary enough, but there was something about him that screamed ‘serial killer’. It may have been the spectacles, of the design referred to by some as ‘child molester glasses’. Perhaps it was the way the man was sat so primly in the seat, as though he were embarking on a scientific experiment rather than a thrill ride. Richie climbed in beside him and the man shot him a smile.
“Have you been on the Canyon Blaster before?” The stranger asked. Richie shook his head as the coaster began to move.
“No, it’s my first time.”
“Then you’re in for a real treat.” Any further conversation was cut off by the G-force as the rollercoaster kicked into high gear.
A few hours later Richie decided to stock up on snacks for his trip home. It would be a long ride, and he felt like doing the tourist thing and stopping at the Grand Canyon and any other sites along the way. A stockpile of sugary goodness would keep his energy up for the nights he couldn’t find a diner.
He entered the almost empty grocery store and walked up and down the aisles, filling his basket with cakes and sweets. The only other people in the store were the clerk behind the counter and a woman picking up a pack of diapers. He paid for his purchases and flashed the female clerk one of his best smiles, making her blush. As he headed toward the doors, he spotted a stand with T-Shirts bearing logos like ‘I Las Vegas’ and other equally tacky mottos.
Richie grinned and decided to buy one each for Duncan and Joe. He was perusing the stand when two armed men wearing ski masks burst into the store. They waved their guns around, threatening Richie and the two women, demanding that the cashier hand over everything in the register.
Swiftly, Richie grabbed the thug nearest to him and wrestled him to the ground, neatly disarming him and cold cocking him with the butt of the robber’s own pistol. He was all too painfully aware of what could happen in these situations after what happened to Annie Devlin’s husband, but he was a little older, better trained, and hopefully a little wiser than he was then.
Once he was sure he’d subdued the first robber he turned to the second, whose attention was on the cashier. He stepped toward him, but something made the robber turn. Seeing Richie holding a gun, he panicked and fired twice, the first went wild, hitting the T-Shirt stand, but the second struck home, hitting Richie in the chest. He collapsed to his knees, hand to the wound in his chest.
“Aw crap, not again,” he muttered as he slipped into unconsciousness.
Richie awoke to find himself face down on the cold floor of the store. He had no idea how long he had been out, so he waited a few moments, listening for any sound from the robbers or the other two civilians in the store or the cops. When he heard nothing, he cautiously pulled himself up and looked around.
The woman with the diapers was lying on the floor a short way from Richie. She lay on her back, her blank glassy eyes staring at the ceiling. Blood pooled next to the body led Richie to realise that she had been shot in the back while trying to run. He looked for the cashier, but he couldn’t find her. He hoped that she had got away safely.
He knew that this was a complication he did not need to get involved in. He wanted to help get the bastards, but the cops would ask too many questions. If they looked too hard at his ID they would discover it was fake, and that could lead to even more questions. Best just to skip town and hope that Las Vegas’ finest would catch the bad guys.
He was heading for the door when he heard approaching sirens. What to do? Play dead? As he looked around quickly, he spotted a storeroom. Hoping there was a delivery entrance he ducked inside. Damn, luck is not on my side tonight, he thought. The only way in or out of the room was through the door he just used.
Turning on the light, he found the cashier. She had been shot twice, first in the shoulder and then in the stomach. Richie shook his head at the sight, but he had no time for sympathy.
Thinking fast, he saw some T-shirts and grabbed one in his size. He put it on, stuffing his bloodstained one into the plastic packaging and stuffing it in with his purchases. Time to play the scared witness.
“We meet again,” said a familiar voice. The detective paused in his questioning and Richie turned to see the stranger from the rollercoaster. Richie showed his recognition and smiled. “Gil Grissom, Crime Lab.”
“Ryan Richards. Witness.” Richie replied with a grin. Grissom smiled at the joke, a warm friendly smile and Richie chided himself for his earlier thoughts. No way was this guy a serial killer.
“I’m afraid I’ll need your groceries.”
“Huh?” Richie looked at the bag stupidly, “But there’s nothing to do with the robbery in here. It’s just snacks for my trip home.”
“Well, I’m sorry, but you won’t be able to go home yet, Mr. Richards.” The detective was speaking now, “We can’t let you leave town until this is resolved.”
Richie inwardly smiled at the cliché, but at the same time he was scared. The crime lab people would find his blood stained shirt and start asking questions. Damn, why didn’t he just stuff it in the trash or something?
“There’s something about this guy’s story that doesn’t sit right with me Gil,” Jim Brass said, examining the witness statement in front of him, “I mean, the perps shot both the cashier and the female customer, but this guy doesn’t have a mark on him.”
“Stranger things have happened Jim. If he was hiding quietly at the back, as he said in his statement, he could have avoided detection while the robbers’ attention was at the front of the store.” Grissom reasoned.
“I still don’t like it. What about the evidence you collected? The blood-stained shirt?”
“It’s a DNA match to our witness, it’s his blood. He claims that the blood is from a scratch sustained while fixing his bike. But the hole in the T-shirt is more consistent with a bullet. It could conceivably be a burn, but the fibres around the hole aren’t melted or scorched. I’m waiting on the videotape to arrive from the scene. That should tell us more.”
“Okay Gil, let me know what you find. In the meantime I’ll get a detective to bring our friend Mr. Richards in for questioning.”
Gil nodded and left Brass’ office. He headed into the lab and spotted a video tape on the counter. Putting it into the nearest machine, Gil pressed play and watched mutely as the robbery played out in front of him. When the scene had played out, he moved over to his computer and entered a query into one of his databases.
The computer seemed to confirm his suspicions, so he quickly went back to the player and pressed a button. Catherine popped her head around the door at that moment and he smiled at her, waiting for her to speak.
“Good news, uniform found your perps,” she said. Grissom merely raised an eyebrow in response so she continued, “It seems they got greedy, had a quarrel and ended up shooting each other. One’s dead, the other is on the critical list. They don’t think he’ll make the night.”
“So much for honour among thieves,” Grissom replied. Catherine rolled her eyes and left. Grissom also left the lab, heading for the interrogation rooms. He reached the one he wanted and knocked before entering. Jim Brass and a detective sat opposite a tired and dishevelled looking Richie who looked very glad about the interruption, “Sorry to interrupt, but we’ve found the robbers. The video is unfortunately missing segments, but it upholds Mr. Richard’s story.” Grissom said. Brass looked at him, eyebrow raised before turning to Richie.
“Well, it seems you’re free to go Mr. Richards. We’re sorry to have delayed you.” Brass said reluctantly. Richie glared at Brass, and it was clear that he wanted to retort, but instead he got up and left the room. Grissom followed after him.
“Mr. Ryan!” he called. Richie stopped and turned.
“It’s Richards, Ryan is my first name.”
“Of course, my mistake. I just thought you would want to know that, as this case will never come to court, the video evidence will likely be…lost, shall we say.” Grissom said.
“I thought there was nothing on that tape?” Richie said warily.
“As far as anyone else is concerned, that is true. But there was nothing wrong with the tape. The evidence is the most important thing, I wouldn’t suppress evidence. Ever. But, as I said, this will never come to trial, and that video would only pose more questions than it answers,” Grissom said, and held out his hand for Richie. As Richie took it, he noticed that Grissom had faint traces of a Watcher tattoo on his wrist, “Say hello to Joe Dawson for me.” Gil added. Richie grinned and nodded.
“Thanks for going out on a limb for me,” he said.
“You’re welcome. Just try to be a bit more discreet the next time you’re in Vegas, okay?” Gil said with a smile. Richie returned a kilowatt smile of his own and walked out into the daylight and his waiting motorbike.
Chris: LT. Cainesharpiesgal on August 13th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
That was very interesting and I can easily see Grissom as a Watcher.

Nice job.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: happinessidontlikegravy on August 13th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Tiger Lily: highlandertigerlily0 on August 13th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I agree with the previous comment. Grissom would make an awesome Watcher.

Cool story.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: happinessidontlikegravy on August 13th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: nice
He would wouldn't he? Thanks for commenting. :)
Carol Bartholomew: MacLeodcarolhelga on August 13th, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
Darn, now I've got Grissom as Watcher in my head, and that doesn't fit with my CSI/HL cross. LOL

I'll have to pretend I didn't read this to finish up mine... Great stuff, though. I like Grissom meeting Richie on the rollercoaster. Perfect!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Richie2idontlikegravy on August 14th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
I hate when stuff like that happens to me so sorry. I'm having to avoid the rest of jinxed_wood's excellent Blue Sun Rising in case I accidently steal any ideas for my FF cross. *g*

Talking of your fic, any more appearing soon? *bats eyelashes*

Glad you enjoyed. *bounces*
Carol Bartholomew: Lickcarolhelga on August 15th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
Talking of your fic, any more appearing soon? *bats eyelashes*

I'm almost ready to post...probably this weekend.
I will call her George: Methosstrangevisitor7 on August 15th, 2007 04:08 am (UTC)
I agree as well - I love the idea of Grissom as a watcher. I really like Richie. There need to be more Richie fics.
“Aw crap, not again,” he muttered as he slipped into unconsciousness. I love it how Immortals are always annoyed when they die. It cracks me up.

Also, if you need a beta just ask.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Richie2idontlikegravy on August 16th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
There need to be more Richie fics
No argument from me on that front, there should definitely be more.

Thanks for the offer to beta, I'll keep it in mind :)
holde_maid: Royoholde_maid on August 15th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
It's so Richie to go and get himself shot like that. *g*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: Richie2idontlikegravy on August 16th, 2007 01:58 pm (UTC)
Isn't is though? He tries so hard, but it never quite works out for him. I think it's part of the reason I love him so much. :)
holde_maidholde_maid on August 16th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
In that respect he reminds me of an acquaintance of ours. If it weren't for the bad upbringing, she'd have been a nice, industrious person with a good life. But just a few factors being off, her life's rather a mess, and she has no Duncan to teach her the lessons she missed earlier in life.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: japanidontlikegravy on August 17th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
I think we all know someone a bit like that.
holde_maidholde_maid on August 16th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
PS. I wanted to add that I love the way you describe Gil as the epitome of a mass murderer. That immediately put anime-like images in my head. Great imagery!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: happinessidontlikegravy on August 17th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
Cool beans! Thank you very much, I always find the descriptive stuff the hardest so I'm extra pleased when it works. *bounces*