Missing by CSI Ballistics [ - ]
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Category: CSI: NY - General
Characters: Mac Taylor, Other
Rating: NC-17
Genres: Angst, Drama
Warnings: Adult themes

Summary: One phone call from Ellie late on a Friday night is enough for Jo's maternal instinct to kick in. Fear doesn't begin to describe her reaction; irrational panic may not be too far off...

Chapter 1

Jo smiled upon gazing at Lindsay supporting her growing tummy while leaning in slightly to eye a very small scrap of evidence through the microscope –– a bit of evidence which Sid had noticed upon their victim a tad earlier that evening. Lindsay had determined it was a shred of red fabric, which might have gotten ripped off of the killer's clothing. "You're really beginning to show," Jo commented, watching Lindsay pull away from the magnifier, before smiling down upon her tummy.

"I know, right?" she replied. "I was way further along with Lucy when that happened last time! I can't believe it!" With that, she patted her tummy proudly and looked at the scrap of red fabric once more, to see if there were particles of any sort on it that could help them further with finding more details about either victim or offender and what had happened between them. Sid already had stated that the victim couldn't have managed to give herself those injuries, no matter the circumstances.

Jo smiled weakly, remembering how incredibly proud she herself had been, when she had been with Tyler. She remembered the mornings when upon getting dressed, she turned this way and that before the mirror to look down on her expanding belly. A sigh eschewed from between her lips as the memories flooded her mind, the amazing realization that that time had been over twenty years prior already. Jo fleetingly wondered whether she would have had more children of her own now, had she and Russ not had issues then. She wondered if she still would have opted to adopt Ellie.

She felt her phone buzz in her pocket before the ringtone resounded quite loudly through the lab. Lindsay didn't respond –– after all, how often did it happen someone got a call while at the lab, either personal or related to the case, one of more relevance than another? Jo's attention shifted from the victim's jeans to reaching her mobile phone, buzzing and ringing rather wildly in her pocket. Thinking about kids now... she thought. An uncomfortable feeling raced through her body seeing her adopted daughter's name upon the screen, though. Ellie was having a sleepover with a girl from her soccer team, this Friday night, and she had never once called during sleepovers. Immediately, fear gripped the mother in her –– fear that maybe something had happened. Jo would have imagined the girls to be watching a chick flick with a bowl of hot popcorn right about now, while she was working late –– anything that didn't require a call to her. Accepting the phone call and holding the phone beside her ear did nothing in fact to lessen the fear that she felt rising within herself. If anything, what she heard when she accepted the call only alarmed her more.

"Mom?" Jo heard, Ellie's voice barely resounding over the music and other noise. It sounded as if she was at a club or such –– definitely somewhere, she could tell from the mere sound of it, that was not suitable for her mature but still teenaged daughter. She held the phone a little further as the noise intensified and she clearly heard someone call 'Mommy's girl!' close by, as if meant for Ellie.

"Ellie, honey?" Jo called, and the sound of her voice caused Lindsay to abandon the microscope, whereas the sound of the phone hadn't. When her adopted daughter didn't answer her, Jo's mind and gaze filled with a sudden, unabashed determination, anger and intense worry. She wasted no time, and walked from the Trace lab in the direction of the AV lab, not even bothering to take off her gloves or lab coat at all. She hurried down the hall to where she knew she would find Adam, hoping against hope that Ellie would stay on the line, if anything... so that he could locate her. Meanwhile, she tried to keep in touch with her daughter. "Ellie, where are you? Where are you calling from now?" she asked, not getting any response at all. "Trace!" she demanded, eyeing Adam, and turning the speaker function on, before handing it over to him.

Seeing the look in the mother's hazel eyes, Adam did as told without any questions at all. The look in her eyes and the fear it elicited was scarier than any consequences that could possibly follow her request. He set to work, getting the devices running and hoping that he could give her an address at least.

"Ellie, please talk to me!" Jo demanded, sensing something amiss on the other end, mind running, heart racing. Then the call ended and Jo's eyes flashed from her cell to the screen of Adam's computer. Ellie never would have ended the call that way, Jo knew. She imprinted the address on the screen into her mind and snatched away her phone once more, hurriedly running off to the end of the hallway, slamming her palm against the elevator button.

If Adam had thought that she looked scary when she demanded he trace the phone call, then he definitely had no words at all for the look upon her face just before she took off. He had a good idea as to where Jo was headed... but he had no idea at all what to do, nor how to react to it. Should he have let her go to begin with? Should he contact Mac? Then he saw that was not necessary anymore, because even less than a minute after Jo had raced from his lab, Mac was following her down the hallway in a seeming hurry. Even Adam was convinced that could not be a coincidence. Maybe he had seen her run down the hall, thought it unsafe to let her go wherever she seemed to be headed very fast. The address didn't ring a bell with him, so Adam's innate curiosity and worry lead him to search further until he could see it visualized on the screen. "Seven Oaks" it said, and it really appeared to be a club –– and while its name alone didn't say much of the sort, the bright neon lights on the walls definitely did.

Oh dear, he thought. If only he were Ellie's mom (or dad), then he surely would be concerned right now, especially given the fact that she had suddenly ended the phone call ––or someone else had done so in Ellie's stead. After some years of working at the police department, you definitely began to see something suspicious in almost everything you ever came across. Adam Ross had seen too much not to; but then Jo had seen more still...

"Jo! What's the matter?" Adam heard Mac's voice carry over across the lab's main hallway, once he had reached her at the elevators.

"Ellie's in trouble."