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Distraction by DFerveiro [ - ]
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Category: CSI - General
Characters: Nick Stokes
Rating: PG-13
Genres: Angst, Case, Episode Related
Warnings: None

Summary: What if Warrick hadn't checked on Nick after he got pushed out that window in "Stalker"? An alternate version of events, developed into a full blown story. Whole team participates, but focus is on Nick.





A/N: This takes place during "Stalker," and has been altered (as you'll see). Just my take on what could have happened if Warrick had gone after the suspect instead of checking on Nick.

~*~

Nick walked quietly through the front hallway of Nigel Crane's home. It was eerily empty. He glanced around, and then he saw it.

Red drops. Blood? They almost seemed too thick for that. Almost subconsciously, he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a pair of latex gloves. They snapped on, and Nick followed the drops.

He crouched in front of some cabinetry, and paused. This is it. This could be the major find. He held his breath as he opened up the cabinet. A basket of random items lay before him. Nick started to rifle through it.

What the—A glove. Covered in bright red liquid. Nick's forehead furrowed in confusion.

And then he heard it. A scuffle behind him. He quickly turned his head, just as someone swung something at his head.

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"Yeah," Warrick said into his phone. "We'll be—"

He jumped as the window adjacent to him shattered. His eyes widened as he saw his good friend fall to the ground, with shards of glass and splinters of wood raining over him.

Warrick whipped out his walkie, and quickly called for backup. With a quick glance at Nick, he held his gun ready, and turned to face the apartment. Slowly he stalked through it.

He took each room, searching as quickly as he could without missing anything. He came to the kitchen, where a wooden cutting board lay on the floor. Warrick frowned.

There was blood on the edge of the board.

And suddenly he felt like he was missing something. That's when he heard it. An engine was idling out front.

Warrick darted out the front door. He stopped on the top step and looked for Nick. But Nick wasn't in the bushes anymore. A man in a blue uniform slid Nick in the back of the brown cable van.

"Hey!" Warrick yelled. The man looked up and quickly got into the van. Warrick started down the stairs, but he heard the tires squeal away, and knew he was too late.

"Stop!"

Why he bothered with that command, he didn't know. The van sped out of sight. And Warrick froze for several seconds. He just took Nick.

He forced himself to act. Warrick grabbed his walkie again.

"Dispatch, Nick Stokes has just been kidnapped by one Nigel Crane."

-------

Nick barely registered that the rocking motion stopped. He could hear noise, like a truck or something. He was being moved, but as much as he wanted to open his eyes, his head just hurt too much.

He gave up and fell back asleep as the vehicle he was moved to sped away from the brown Luna cable van.

-------

"What happened!" Grissom shouted across the yard of the crime scene. Warrick's eyes seemed very focused on the ground.

"I don't know, man," he said. "Nick got pushed out the window, and I went inside to catch the guy."

"Crane?" Grissom asked. Warrick nodded.

"I think so. When I came out, he was loading Nick up in a van." Warrick looked up at the sky, his hands braced on his narrow hips. "I shouldn't have left him."

Grissom glanced away to see Sara and Catherine pull up to the scene. He looked back at Warrick.

"No, you shouldn't have." With that, he turned to the rest of the team, specifically to Brass, who walked behind. "Have we heard anything on the van?"

Jim shook his head. "Not yet, but there's an APB out for it." He paused, and shot Grissom a reassuring look. "We'll find him, Gil."

Grissom didn't nod or say anything. He just turned to the apartment and went in, waving his hand over his shoulder for the others to follow.

"What are we looking for?" Sara asked as she pulled at her gloves. She glanced around the apartment of Nigel Crane, and like the others, was struck by how empty it was.

"Evidence," Grissom said. Catherine almost rolled her eyes at the obvious statement. "And I have a feeling it will relate to Nick."