Gil Grissom had been on edge since the call came in, he hated cases related to children, and Zachary Anderson was so young, barely started out in life, and this was all happening to him. The reasonable part of his mind kept control reminding him that the baby wouldn't be aware of what was really going on, wouldn't remember it in years to come, but the less reasonable part of him nagged at the back of his mind that this case wasn't just another night on the job, this case was unique, because Zachary Anderson was innocent in a way few others were.
Grissom was standing with Warrick outside the nursery window discussing the evidence, including the boot print Warrick had found near the ladder, but it seemed to match the gardener's boot, which wasn't out of place in the context of the scene.
Grissom's phone ringing interrupted their musings, and he answered it, seeing Sara's name on the caller ID.
"Ransom note's not from the Anderson's printer or paper supply." Sara told him.
"You're breaking up." Grissom said, straining to hear what she was saying.
"The Andersons are clear. Whoever wrote the letter did it from a different location and brought it with them." Sara repeated.
"Are you standing next to the copy machine outside ballistics?"
"You want me to check ballistics?"
"No. I want you to move away from that machine. Look, check all the printers at Steve Anderson's company." Grissom told her.
Dogs barking in the background distracted his attention for a second. "Get Q.D. to help you with a warrant. Target all immediate coworkers and disgruntled employees first." Grissom told her.
Warrick motioned towards the golf course and the sound of the barking dogs, making Grissom hang up the phone, stuffing it back in his pocket as they ran towards the noise.
"Get those dogs back. Get them back!" Warrick scowled.
The two CSI's looked into the bushes, seeing the small bundle, that they knew could only be Zachary, his body wrapped carefully in blankets.
The tech's stepped forward to take pictures, and Grissom snapped.
"We got to have pictures. The coroner will be all over us." The guy said.
"I'll get the pictures!" Grissom half growled, he wasn't even concealing his anger as he normally did, he couldn't. He grabbed the camera and took the pictures, kneeling down to take more.
When the coroner tried to move in to take the body Grissom stopped him. "I'm going to take him."
No one argued the point.
Grissom looked up seeing Gwen Anderson being held back by Catherine. He felt for her, he'd never understand what she was going though, but he did none the less feel sympathy for her, with her, he could only imagine the pain of losing a child, let alone one so young, and he was sure his imagination didn't come close.
Grissom was walking hastily through the hallways of CSI, finding Sara, and a lab tech carrying printers into the labs.
"Are those from Anderson's company?" he asked.
"Yeah. There's like 200 of them in that place. I'm going to test them against the ransom note, one by one." Sara told him.
"You got homicide's list of disgruntled employees?"
Sara shook her head. "Not yet. They're still working on it."
"You call homicide back and tell them to get us that list now!" Grissom told her sharply. Ignoring her stunned look as he walked away.
"Hey." He stopped seeing Warrick.
"Where are we on those DNA samples?" Grissom asked.
"I got the hair samples from the baby's crib ready for comparison."
"Yeah? So answer my question."
Warrick looked properly scolded. "Well, DNA's jammed. Sanders says he'll get to the blood comparisons
Grissom didn't wait for Warrick to complete his sentence before he stormed of in the direction of the lab.
Grey was working quietly
"I hear you're backlogged." Grissom said.
"Twenty 'unknowns' from some drug shoot-out. FBI special request. Sheriff told me to clear it off my counter before I do anything else." Greg told him.
"These?" Grissom asked.
"Yeah. You can almost smell Quantico, you know?"
Grissom grabbed the paperwork in front of Greg threw it on the trolley with all the samples on it, pushing it out the door and into the hallway hearing it bang against the wall. He's sure a few people stopped in their tracks but he doesn't really look up to see.
"There. Now they're off your counter."
Greg nods, but doesn't speak.
"Zachary Anderson, DOB 01-23-01. Date of death, three hours ago. Until we find out how and why this is the only case you work on!" Grissom told him, putting the blood samples in front of Greg.
"Yes, sir." Greg answers almost shakily, Grissom thinks maybe he scared the young lab-tech but he doesn't care, if it gets the job done, he'll apologize later.
"Grissom?" Sara calls him as he's walking off down the corridor
"What?" Grissom asks, still clearly angry.
Sara's tone softens. "You told me a few weeks ago that nothing is personal. No victim should
be special. Everyone follows your lead."
"Everyone didn't find that baby. I did. And that little boy is dead because someone lost their temper or screwed up, or god knows what. So, excuse me, but this victim is special!" Grissom snaps, his eyes dark, face flushed.
As Grissom turns to walk away, Catherine is behind him.
"Mr. and Mrs. Anderson are calling. They want to know why you refuse to release the body for burial. They said that you gave the coroner strict instructions." She says softly. A knowing look in her eyes.
"You better drive." He tells her with a sigh as he walks off. He only half hears Catherine's "Sure."
Catherine waits until they are in the car before she says anymore more, but with him in the passenger seat, and buckled in, and her holding the keys it gives her the leverage to call him on his behavior.
"Everyone thinks you're losing it." She tells him frankly.
"I haven't yet I'm saving that for whoever did this." Grissom says, his voice still angry.
"You want to tell me why you're making this so personal?" Catherine asks.
Grissom almost smiles. She already knows, he knows she does, she's like that, can read him before he even knows what he's thinking sometimes.
"Okay... can I theorize?" she asks when he doesn't reply. "You hate all cases with kids involved. But especially babies. Especially since Lindsey was born."
"She was so tiny. Zachary Anderson was so tiny. Lying there in that blanket, it could have been any baby Catherine," Grissom said shakily.
"I remember you cried when you held her. I so wanted Eddie to be there, but he wasn't, you were and you looked so damn pleased to be the first one to hold her, I thought you were going to burst. But nothing like that ever happened to Lindsey." Catherine said.
"But it could have. It could have happened to her, it could happen to any baby, any where, and when I was younger I never understood how precious a baby could be, how special those little souls were. You and Lindsey changed that. That someone could just... murder... an innocent... snuff out such a tiny life and there would never be a good enough reason, Never!" Grissom scowled.
"We'll catch whoever did it Gil, we'll find them, and arrest them, and make sure they pay for what they've done, but you need to be on the ball on this, you start pushing and pulling mistakes will be made." Catherine said, taking his hand.
"I know." Grissom said softly, glad for the gently touch.
"We'll wrap this up, and then me, you and Lindsey will spend some time together. Maybe I'll even let you build her that ant farm, but you will keep it in the basement." Catherine insisted with a mock glare.
Grissom let a small smile grace his lips. "I'd like that." He agreed.
"So would we." Catherine told him, leaning over and kissing his cheek lightly.
"We'd better go." Grissom murmured.
"You okay now?" Catherine asked.
"Not quite. But I promise I won't damage anymore innocent trolleys."
Catherine smiled; squeezing the hand she was still holding, before letting go to put the car into gear.
Grissom sat quietly on the drive over to the Anderson's house; he managed to keep his temper in check for the most part, unless you counted his little clash with the reporters... vultures feeding over a dead baby and a family being torn apart... Catherine had surprised him a little after that, asking if he thought Gwen Anderson was innocent. He hadn't had time to answer her, and he was glad he hadn't, because he wasn't sure he could have.
After, when it was all over, Grissom knew exactly what he would say about Gwen Anderson, she was a woman willing go to go jail, possibly even die, for her child, and that to Grissom said everything.