By: Terri Gordon
Disclaimer: If I owned CSI
or anything associated with it other than the season DVDs, I wouldn’t feel the need to be writing this, now would I?
Spoilers: References here and
there, but we’ve seen all the episodes by now, haven’t we?
Rating: PG-13, for violence,
gore, and language
Summary: G/S, cause that’s
how it should be. Sequel to “Bible Thumper,”
Vivian’s back and is out for blood…
A/N: Special thanks to Kati Owen for yelling at me for the ending of the first… I might never have had the guts to follow in others’ footsteps!
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* * * * * * * * *
awoke to feel Sara’s nearly nude body tucked closely into his own. He let
his hands drift and explore, softly so as not to wake her, just to be sure it wasn’t another dream. He didn’t have enough limbs, enough hairs on his body to count the many dreams he’d awoken
from, only to find himself lonely and without her. He’d silently cursed
himself for hurting her, for pushing her away so many times. It was torture how
he could be so happy in these fantasies, then be so close to the real thing and be miserable every night at work.
next to her and feeling her unconsciously wiggling closer towards him, he knew he wasn’t dreaming. He enjoyed the feel of her against him, skin on skin. He reveled
in his happiness, wrapping his arm protectively around her, remembering how they’d come to be here.
ago, after catching Vivian Corinth, Catherine had insisted they take some time off for Sara to recover. She and the boys would cover court and overflow for the next few days, while Sara and Grissom took advantage
of the vacation time they never used.
mind drifted to other moments that had led them to this place. Sara touching
his cheek at a scene, presumably to wipe chalk off his face… Grissom letting
slip at the hockey rink that he thought she was beautiful… The two of them
working on a scene when they didn’t even need to speak to know what the other was theorizing, what others called “The
Grissom and Sara Show”… Grissom sending her a plant to keep her from leaving… Sara dropping everything to come to Vegas the saqme day he’d asked her to help after Holly Gribbs
were interrupted as Sara turned to face him.
going on in that head of yours?” she asked, causing the movie reel of memories to cease.
looked her in the eye as she smiled, pulling him back into the present he still wasn’t convinced was real.
thinking,” he replied, giving her no insight into his thoughts.
faded as she broke eye contact to look at anything but his face.
never put down those walls, will you? I’ve tried… God knows I’ve
tried to break through, even hide behind them, but…” She stopped, a tear rolling down her cheek.
wrapped his arms protectively, if not possessively around her, letting her sob into his chest, stroking her hair for comfort. When she’d finished, he pushed her back far enough to look deep into her eyes.
know what it’s like to want to know someone inside and out. I know how
frustrating it is when you can’t figure them out, when they won’t come out of hiding… I’ve been trying
to figure you out for years.” He paused before continuing. “But, Sara, if you know anything about me, you know that I’ve been building those walls for
so long… It will take a while for them to fall.” What he didn’t
mention was that with each tear that fell from her eyes, another section of his fortress crumbled, leaving him vulnerable.
a kiss on her forehead and changed the subject, as much for his own self-preservation as for hers. “How ‘bout some breakfast? I make a mean omelet.”
her eyes, she looked at the clock. “It’s six o’clock! Have
we been sleeping that long?”
Grissom unwillingly separated himself from her warmth and climbed out of bed. His
clothes still lying in a heap on the floor, he pulled a shirt and some sweatpants on over his boxers and made his way to the
kitchen, leaving Sara some privacy while she searched for her own clothes.
* * * * * * * * *
came into the kitchen, Grissom already had breakfast cooking.
giant vegetarian omelet, complete with mushrooms, onions and peppers, on the way!” he said with a smile as she found
a seat on a barstool at the breakfast bar. Sara smiled at his efforts to please
her and let her mind wander, picturing life as it would be for the next few months.
brought back to the present when Grissom joined her at the bar, placing the sizzling omelet before her. As they ate, they talked about trivial things, including stories about people they used to know and weird
tidbits of information they’d picked up over the years, both contributing a fair amount to the conversation, amazed
at how much you can learn from the little things.
was interrupted, however, when Grissom’s cell phone danced across the nearby coffee table. He looked at it and chose to ignore it. When his house phone
began to ring as well, the cacophony it caused brought them both to their feet.
answer the house phone,” Sara offered, as Grissom got up to grab his cell.
Cath,” he said before flipping his cell open. “Grissom.”
won’t hold her!” Catherine said, clearly frustrated. “After
everything that bitch did, they’re letting her go!”
slow down… Are you talking about Vivian Corinth? What happened to the journal?”
lost it! He took it to compare to a day shift case that he thought was similar,
and now says that it was ‘misplaced.’ God, I’m going to kill
was the only piece of convicting evidence!” Grissom checked his pulse,
and then turned to glance at Sara as she spoke on a portable phone on the couch. He
wasn’t sure if the look on her face was shock or fear.
know! And now that bitch is going to go free because she never actually confessed on the tapes and she left no trace at the
crime scenes. I’ve never hated the justice system as much as I do right
calm down… We need to get everyone who worked that case to the lab ASAP
and figure out what can be done to take her down.” With not so much as
a ‘goodbye,’ he hung up and joined Sara on the couch with a plop, checking his pulse once more.
over, Sara chuckled dryly. “Is it up to 95 yet?”
that conversation from what seemed like ages ago, he glanced her direction. “110,”
really are upset,” she whispered, moving closer and brushing his cheek with the back of her hand as she had that night
long ago, before leaning her head on his chest. “She’s just going
to keep hurting people, isn’t she?”
and put his arm around her. “No,” he answered. “We won’t let her. We just need to regroup and
go over what we’ve got to find out what we missed.”
* * * * * * * * *
did the crew arrive in the break room then did Grissom’s phone ring.
a body for you at the courthouse,” came Brass’s gruff voice.
our shift hasn’t started yet…”
see why I didn’t call swing shift when you get to the courthouse,” Brass retorted.
“Better make it quick. The media’s already here.”
up, Grissom turned to the crew.
calls… Let’s go.” Turning to Sara, he asked, “Are you
sure you want to come? I understand if-“
I’m coming, Gil. I won’t let anyone else suffer at the hand of this
false prophet. I’ll make the bitch pay for what she’s done.”
* * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
at the courthouse to find a bailiff stabbed several times, lying on the floor near the guilty chair. Written in blood on the wall behind the judge’s seat were the words, “I’m back…
Matt, 23 32 33.”
the bailiff?” Sara asked as the team got to work processing the scene.
looked like he was going to be sick when the crime scene photos were shown at Vivian’s trial,” Catherine explained. “He was so shocked, he broke Commandment number two…”
‘Do not take the Lord’s name in vain,” they finished simultaneously.
her head and heaved a sigh.
wrong, Sara?” Catherine took her aside and touched her shoulder for comfort.
tell Grissom, he’ll think I’m too emotionally involved… but I’m not sure how much more of this I can
take… I thought I could handle it, but she’s ruining lives. She knows
all of us and how we work, and she’s always a step ahead. She’s twisted,
Cath, and it’s driving me crazy!”
know,” Catherine replied, obviously sharing much of the same. “Look,
why don’t you follow the body back to Doc. Find out the significance of
the stabbings and look up the verse. That way you can help us figure her out
when we get back to the lab with the evidence.”
you find any.”
cringed at the bitterness in Sara’s voice. “There’s always
evidence,” she reminded her stubborn colleague, “and it never lies.”
* * * * * * * * *
no doubt the stabs helped, but he died of asphyxiation.”
believe what she was hearing. She looked again at the body that lay on the slab
in the morgue. They’d called Doctor Albert Robbins in early to see the
body and it was clear that graveyard’s secret weapon would rather be back in bed, but he was curious to see what Vivian
had done to this poor soul, after seeing the other victims.
you should have seen all the blood, Doc!” Sara cried. “He lost too
much to have not died from exsanguination!”
sorry, Sara, but this man didn’t bleed to death. He was suffocated, and
then his heart exploded. He was stabbed first if that’s any consolation,
but he died from a lack of air. How did you say you found him?”
on his back, arms outstretched, in front of the guilty chair. Why?”
you happen to notice where he was stabbed?”
once again at the bailiff, studying each of the seven stab wounds. Realization
dawned as she took in the whole picture. She ran out the door, yelling “Thanks,
Doc!” as it swung shut behind her.
* * * * * * * * *
totally symbolic,” she explained when the rest of the crew arrived in the break room.
She spread the photos of the body out in front of them. “The bailiff
took the Lord’s name in vain, so Vivian suffocated him, drugged him so his heart would burst, and stabbed him with a
round object in seven places. Obviously the stabbing and the drugging happened
first, but she suffocated him just before his heart exploded. All these things
happened in the same order as-“
it,” Warrick interrupted. “Drugging and suffocation are not in the
crucifixion is,” Sara pointed out. “He took the Lord’s name
in vain, so she reenacted a crucifixion.”
not just crucify him? Why go through the trouble of reenacting it?” Greg
asked, clearly confused.
much time and too much work,” Nick cut in. “She’s not strong
enough to lift the guy and nail him to a chunk of wood.”
also psychological,” Grissom continued the explanation. “She was
probably thinking along the lines of the disciples. They wouldn’t allow
themselves to die as their Lord, so if they were sentenced to crucifixion, they’d ask to be crucified upside down. They didn’t think they were worthy to die on a cross. The bailiff may have been a believer, but he wasn’t worthy of true crucifixion.”
so Vivian totally controlled the death so that everything would point to a crucifixion, including the order of inflicting
wounds,” Sara finished. “She even took care to stab him in the same
seven places as Christ was pierced. Like I said, it’s totally symbolic.”
what about the verse?” Catherine probed.
reached for a Bible on the table near him, but Sara stopped him.
got that too,” she said with a smile, clearly proud of herself. “Matthew
23:32-33. ‘Go ahead. Finish
what you started. Snakes! Sons of
vipers! How will you escape the judgment of Hell?’”
creepy.” Greg shivered as he spoke.
taking her anger at us out on others,” Grissom observed. “I wonder
if her pattern will hold.”
I hate this job,” Nick muttered, shaking his head.
we all do,” Catherine agreed, remembering the last time Nick had said those very words on a case not so long ago.
* * *
* * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
Vivian laughed to herself. Lucky for her, the team hadn’t found the bug she’d placed in the break
room, so she was able to hear the entire conversation. She was proud of herself
as she listened.
‘Good,’ she thought,
‘I’m getting to them. Once I’ve worn them out, they’ll
all get exactly what they deserve. Heathens!’
As she started her car and
drove away, she made her decision. It was time to let them know that her patience
had run out, that there was a price to pay for interfering with God’s work.
* * * * * * * * *
Grissom hung up his phone and looked at the clock. It was only
12:30, yet he felt as though he’d been at work for ages. Granted, they’d
started shift five hours early with a dead bailiff and a message from Vivian, which was enough to stress anyone out. On top of it all, Grissom had just gotten off the phone with the swing shift supervisor,
asking for some help with overflow while day shift was busy being asses and graveyard continued their wild goose chase with
Now Grissom got up to find
out what was causing the incessant crashing that only made his headache worse. He
followed the noise to Sara’s workstation to find her angrily heaving items across the room in frustration.
The sound of his voice, while
enough to make her stop throwing things, did not save her from collapsing to the floor in convulsing sobs. He rushed over and fell to his knees beside her, pulling her close to try and calm her.
After a moment, he ventured
to ask, “Sara, are you okay?”
“No!” she sniffled,
rather more forcefully than he expected.
“Do you want to talk?”
he tried again after another few moments.
“She’s such a bitch!”
she finally managed.
“Who?” he coaxed,
though he knew perfectly well whom she was referring to.
Sara corrected herself. “I’ve been working the databases, the victimology,
the patterns, the symbolism, the suspect info, the verses, everything, for three hours, since the group analysis in
the conference room. I’ve gone over every angle a million times and still
come up empty. I found nothing that we don’t already know… Then I
read the new one, and I just…”
Grissom straightened. “What new one?”
“She paged me and left
a new verse. Here, I wrote it down.”
She got up off of the floor and walked to the table. He slowly got up
to follow, feeling every bit of his age, and waited for a moment until Sara handed him a notepad on which she’d scribbled
he read out loud, taking the pad in hand. “ ‘This is what the Lord
Almighty says: As this jar lies shattered, so will I shatter the people of Judah and Jerusalem beyond all hope of repair,’”
he quoted, for once glad that he’d memorized so many verses as a Catholic.
with the Judah and Jerusalem analogy,” Sara said softly, but with more venom than Grissom had heard in her voice in
a long time. “She’s saying-“
“She’s saying that
she has to break us up… that we’re evil and we must be destroyed,” he finished with a sigh, handing Sara
a handkerchief as he heard another small sniffle escape before she exploded:
“That’s what pisses
me off! That twisted murdering bitch is calling us evil! How is that possible? I know I’ve done terrible things in the past, but-”
“Sara, don’t even
think it! You’re a beautiful person.
Remember that! Think of all the things you’ve done, and then think
of what she’s done: nothing. You’re so much better than her in so
many ways! If you let her get to you, then you’re letting her win. Forget her and look again. This is what
you’re good at!”
Sara looked up at him in shock. She’d never heard so many compliments from him in such a short amount of time. Knowing, however, that he’d be extremely self-conscious if she said anything,
and not wanting to break this sudden emotional connection, she simply nodded, and with a smile of thanks, handed back his
handkerchief and started cleaning her workstation before diving back in.
* * * * * * * * *
Over the next three days, the
team worked tirelessly to locate Vivian and bring her down. Working together,
they went over every piece of evidence they had, which, considering the status of the case was not much. To no one’s surprise, it was Sara who brought things together.
“I got it!” she
called as she ran into the conference room with a map and a notepad. Scanning
the map onto the computer and asking Nick to flick the lights, she projected her findings for all to see.
“I believe we’re
all familiar with the layout of Las Vegas, Sara,” Grissom sighed.
“We’re all familiar
with the scenes, too, Grissom, but we never connected the dots,” Sara retorted.
“First victim, commandment number one, killed in his home in downtown Vegas.”
As she rattled off info, she
highlighted the corresponding scenes on the map.
“Second vic, killed in
his home near Henderson. Third vic, killed in his home near Laughlin. Fourth vic, our bailiff, was killed in the courthouse, not far from here.”
“What’s that other
dot, there in Vegas?” Greg asked, earning him an elbow nudge from Nick and a glance from Warrick that said to shut up
“My apartment.” Sara’s eyes glazed over for a moment, lost in thought, but she quickly shook
her head, as if shaking away the terror of that night, and forged ahead, focusing on the task in front of her.
“Look at the pattern
of locations,” she said firmly.
“Long, tight spiral,”
Grissom’s eyes narrowed
in thought. Glancing in his direction, Warrick chuckled.
“Watch out, guys…
Grissom’s got that look.”
Smiles and giggles filled the
room, but Grissom’s train of thought never strayed from the tracks.
“Finish the spiral, Sara,”
he said slowly, his eyes staring unblinkingly at the projection. “Connect
the dots… What’s in the middle?”
The laughter died down and
the smiles faded as they all watched the computer finish the spiral, the final point landing in central Vegas, right on the
“Log in the addresses
of everyone on this team,” he demanded, hoping his hunch was wrong.
One by one the homes of the
crew were typed into the database, and one by one crew members’ heads dropped as their homes appeared along the spiral.
“Her path of destruction,”
“She planned this all
along,” Grissom said heavily, getting up to pace the room. “The verse
was just the beginning. She’s trying to wear us down.”
“What verse?” Nick
asked, straightening up to hear this new tidbit.
“Jeremiah 19:11.” Sara quoted the verse for the rest of the crew.
“Think about it. Vivian knew she couldn’t get away with it
in Vegas. We’re the second best crime lab in the country, right behind
the FBI, who has made no attempt to help, by the way. Vivian knew that when she
got caught, she couldn’t be held. She didn’t leave enough evidence,
even for us. But, she also knew that we’d keep coming. We enjoy a challenge and we don’t give up. Now we’ve
figured her out and she has to get rid of us before we nail her.”
Catherine said quietly.
“Okay, so she’s
already hit you, Sara… Who’s next?” Greg looked to her for the answer to the question she was sure was on
“She didn’t hit
in any specific order… I don’t know… it could be anyone.”
At that moment, each member
of the team jumped as his or her pager went off. After looking at his own, Grissom
glanced over at Catherine’s.
“Same as mine,”
Warrick’s head snapped
up. “Dan 5 25?”
Several glances around the
room confirmed that they’d all just received yet another message from Vivian.
Picking up his Bible and flipping through the Old Testament, Grissom stopped at Daniel and, reminding them all of story
times in better days, read to the group:
“ ‘This is the
message that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN.’”
“In English?” Nick
asked, a look of confusion on his face.
“No, Greek,” Grissom
“Let me rephrase,”
Nick retorted. “What does it mean?”
means numbered. ‘Tekel’ means weighed. ‘Parsin’ means divided.”
“Our days are numbered. We’ve been weighed and we fail the test.
For her to win, we must be divided.” All eyes turned to Sara to
see her staring at the map, the familiar “quiet-but-pissed” look on her face.
“She’s gonna break us down, one by one.”
Seeing panic and concern sweep
the room, Grissom stopped his pacing and leaned forward on the table to give out orders.
“Sara, keep working on
those patterns. You can work in my office. You won’t be bothered there. You’re the best we’ve got, so make it count. Nick, you and Warrick go over possible focal points for Vivian. There
are six of us… Guess how many commandments are left?”
“Perfect.” Nick flashed a sarcastic smile Grissom’s way.
“Just perfect. She really did plan this out.”
“Get going. The sooner we crack this, the sooner it’s over. Catherine,
you show Greg how to work the databases. Find out how she worked in New York
and Miami. Look at victims, locations, communications with authorities, and anything
else you can think of. We may have to make a few phone calls.”
“What about you?”
Catherine raised an eyebrow.
“I’m going to look
at verses. There’s a story here and I’m going to find it.”
* * * * * * * * *