Your Bass, My Hodeses
Disclaimer: See Chapter One
Beta: Queen Sereya
Chapter 4: Your Bass, My Hodeses
Grissom walked into Trace, holding Xander against his side. He knew that Xander shouldn't be back in the lab, but no one had been in the break room. He'd just have to watch him carefully. It would only be for a few minutes. Gently, he placed Xander at his feet so he could feel the baby leaning against his leg.
Xander had already overfed the pet cockroaches at home. Grissom wasn't sure if he should be proud of his son or chastise him. Not only was Xander able to remember where he had placed the pet food, but he had been able to get the almost full container of food poured into the cockroach tank. It was not the way Grissom had wanted to discover Xander was crawling.
Hodges looked up from his scope and saw Grissom waiting on him. "Grissom."
"Did you get the results from the things I left you?"
"Of course, I put your samples ahead of everything else." Hodges paused for moment before continuing, "The fabric was a silk cashmere blend, a very expensive blend and very rare at that. Few textile companies make that particular blend ratio."
Hodges handed over a paper that listed a small number of companies. "Funny enough, none of the companies that make that grade of cloth, had that color blue. Nor have they ever had that color."
"You researched. I'm impressed."
Hodges looked smug. "Yes, well, I know how important this was to you."
Grissom stared. "And the glitter?"
Hodges lost his smug appearance as he discreetly pulled up his right pant leg. "The glitter?"
Grissom frowned. "Yes. The glitter. I left two samples for you to analyze three days ago."
"Uh. I was able to do an initial analysis. Then someone in the lab tried to make a fool of me."
Grissom stared. "A fool?"
Hodges nodded. "Yes. I ran the mass spec. It didn't register in the machine. While I was having the machine looked at, someone swiped the samples."
Grissom raised his eyebrow.
Hodges defended himself, "There were two sample dishes out. Someone switched the labels."
Grissom just stared.
Hodges reached across the table and grabbed the sample dish he had put off to the side two days ago. He handed it over to Grissom before shaking his leg slightly.
Grissom examined the sample dish. There was nothing in it. He looked at the label on the top. He looked up at Hodges. "This is my handwriting."
Hodges blinked. "Yes. QD confirmed it."
Grissom looked at the label again. He lifted up the dish to stare at the top. "Hodges. This is the dish I gave you. No one switched the label."
"But they must have!"
Grissom shook his head. "No this label hasn't been moved. There's a small wrinkle on the top from when I placed it there." Hodges frowned, as Grissom looked at him and asked, "When did the glitter substance disappear?"
Hodges looked at him in confusion. "Uh . . . well I left the samples between 10 and 10:45 that night. Why?"
"Because, the rest of the glitter vanished from Xander's carrier at 10:30."
"Xander? Carrier? What are you – umph!" Hodges looked down wondering what had hit his leg. At his feet was a little brown haired boy looking up at him innocently. Now that the child had his attention, the child grinned. He lunged and latched himself to Hodges leg, hugging it.
"What is that?" Hodges asked horrified.
"That is my son, Xander. I guess he wanted to meet you." Grissom said dryly.
Hodges paled and he glanced at Grissom's unsympathetic face. He glanced back down at the little boy. "Well . . . uh . . . he's got a strong grip."
Grissom smiled. Crouching down he pried Xander off Hodges. Xander pouted as Grissom held him. "Find out how the substance evaporated. Come on Xander, We've got to go see Uncle Greg. Say bye to Hodges."
Xander smiled and flailed his free arm at Hodges. Hodges stared as they left.
Greg looked up as Grissom entered DNA carrying Xander. Xander saw Greg and immediately reached for him. Greg smiled and reached out to catch a lunging Xander. "Hi, Xander. What have you and Papa Gris been up to?"
Xander beamed. He patted at Greg's lips. Greg blew raspberries at his fingers, making Xander grin and giggle. Grissom smiled fondly. "Greg, you wanted us to come in?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah. I had some problems breaking down Xander's DNA."
Grissom frowned. "The lab's rated one of the top in the country. And you weren't able to break down Xander's DNA?"
Greg handed Xander back to his father. He sighed and ran a hand through tousled hair. "We might be in the top five, but Miami's got all the new equipment. They've got grants to test the newest forensic technology." Greg paused before continuing, "I'm going to send the samples down there. They can break the DNA down within a couple days and send the results back. It should take about a week."
Grissom nodded. He studied Greg who seemed to be hesitating on saying something else. "Was there something else? You could have told me that over the phone."
"I . . . wanted to take some more reference samples from Xander. A cheek swab, some hair." Greg rushed to explain, "Nothing harmful. But the more samples we have, the better chance we have of finding the mother."
Grissom looked down at his son. Xander was quietly sitting in his arms, playing with his shirt button. Grissom looked back at Greg and nodded his compliance.
Greg took the samples and Grissom watched as he bundled them up for Air Mail. "So, you get everything you needed the other night?"
Grissom nodded. "Yes, thank you for giving me the run down of necessities."
Greg gave a small smile and shrugged. "It was nothing. I just wanted to make sure Xander had everything he needed."
Grissom smiled and headed toward the door as Greg turned back to his evidence. He paused in the doorway and turned around. "Oh, Greg?"
Greg turned around. "Yes?"
"Ecklie called me." Greg frowned as Grissom continued, "he wanted to know about your hours."
Greg studied the floor.
"You were supposed to start your vacation two nights ago. You're not a DNA tech anymore and you've been working in the lab every night."
Greg nodded. "I know. But Dan, the swing shift DNA tech, asked if I could help them catch up before my vacation. Then I wanted to help with Xander's results. Then Mia was in an accident. She's fine. A couple broken bones, some bruises. But I offered to take over her shift until she's better."
"Greg, you're almost out of overtime."
Greg sighed. "I know, Gris. But I couldn't pile it all on Dan. I switched my vacation to near Thanksgiving. I already gave the forms to Catherine to approve."
Grissom stared at his CSI and nodded. Greg turned back to his work as Grissom and Xander left.
Grissom was headed for the door when he saw someone he had been meaning to talk to. "Jim!"
Detective Brass turned around. His eyes widened at the sight of Xander. "Come into my office, Gil."
Brass let Grissom into his office before shutting the door. "I haven't seen you for the past couple days and when I do, you've got a kid?"
Grissom smiled. "Xander was left on my doorstep last Friday."
Jim looked at the toddler. He was clutching Grissom tightly, his head tucked into the man's chest. He peeked at Jim's face only to hide when Jim smiled at him. Jim looked at Grissom questioningly.
"Jim, this is my son, Xander. Say hi to Jim Brass, Xander." Jim sat down abruptly in shock, his eyes wide as the toddler waved his arm half-heartedly.
Grissom put Xander down in the chair next to him. He took a deep breath to prepare to explain to his friend what had been going on. A knock on the door interrupted him.
Brass frowned as an officer opened the door. "Detective Brass, Sir? I needed to speak with you—"
"Not now." The officer glanced at Grissom before looking at Brass questioningly. Brass sighed. "Give me ten minutes Lakes."
The officer glanced at Grissom again before nodding and leaving the room.
Brass eyed his friend expectantly. Grissom launched into his tale including Xander's early morning foray into being helpful.
Xander eyed his big person, his. . . What was he? He wasn't Daddy. He didn't know how he knew, he just did. Big guy wasn't Daddy. What had the funny guy called him? Oh yeah, his Papa. His Papa. Well his Papa was talking to his Bass and being really boring and not playing with him. He should find something more fun to do until his Papa was done talking to Papa's Bass. That decided, Xander quietly got himself down from the chair and crawled toward the open door.
"I'm worried about his lack of speech. He should be babbling and uttering his first words around his age," Grissom was explaining, "He doesn't always respond to noise."
Brass looked concerned. "Do you think he's deaf?"
Grissom sighed. "I don't know. There's been a few times it looked like he was reacting to a sound. A car outside. The cart crashing at the store. Sometimes though, I call his name and he doesn't look at me until I'm standing over him. I've started teaching sign language to him and he's got an appointment tomorrow with the pediatrician."
Brass nodded and looked over at Xander. His eyes widened and he stood up abruptly.
Grissom looked over and gasped. "Xander!?"
Grissom jumped out of his chair and searched the room frantically. "Where did he go? The door was closed. . ."
Grissom paused. He turned to the open door, and then turned to Brass. Their eyes met as they both came to the same realization.
"Lakes!" Brass swore.
Xander looked around at all the busy people rushing around him. No one noticed him and one of them could step on him. Getting scared, he decided to look for someone safe. The funny guy or the other one. The Hodeses. He was nice. He'd find his Hodeses and be safe. He looked around before crawling off in determination.
Hodges moved around his lab. He paid no attention to the people outside his lab. If they needed him they'd come see him. He started to prepare a new slide. He had an idea what the substance was, but he had to be sure. As he was about to move to get a chemical, he did something he would deny to the day he died.
He looked down and groaned. He glanced out the door, hoping no one had heard his yelp that didn't sound the least bit girlish. No one seemed to be running. Pushing the acidic chemical and samples away from the edge he finally frowned down at the grinning toddler. The boy was hugging his leg tightly with one arm. His other arm was held against his body, his thumb in his mouth.
"You shouldn't be here. Where is your father?" Hodges scolded. Xander pouted, Hodges glanced out the window for Grissom. Surely, he was looking for his son. He looked back down at Xander. "You can't stay here. It's too dangerous. There are many idiots around here that could wind up hurting you."
Xander gave him some puppy eyes. Hodges frowned. He looked at his evidence. He couldn't leave the room. He glanced at the toddler who looked up at him hopefully. Then he looked across the room. Hodges sighed as he took off his gloves. "Fine."
Bending down, he picked Xander up. Holding the child at arms length, Xander giggled as Hodges brought him over to a chair that had been left in a corner. "You sit there. Understand?"
Xander blinked at him, sucking his thumb again. Hodges shook his head and went back to his work, glancing at Xander periodically. Grissom would be pleased that he had kept his son from harm. This way the child wouldn't be running or crawling, as the case may be, around. Someone would come for him eventually.
Hodges glanced over at his captivated audience. He'd never had such an attentive audience before. It was amazing how quiet the toddler was. As if he knew Hodges preferred it that way. It almost made him like the child.
"Xander!" A worried voice yelled.
Xander looked over to see his papa frowning from the doorway. Xander frowned back. Grissom strode in and swept up his son in his arms, clutching him tightly. "You don't wander away like that, young man. You had me worried something had happened to you."
Xander blinked in confusion. He patted his papa on the cheek trying to make him feel less sad. Grissom looked him over for any cuts or bruises before turning to Hodges. "Thank you for watching him, Hodges."
Hodges smiled pleased. "It was no trouble, Grissom. He's been sitting in that chair watching me for the past hour. I knew someone would be down here eventually looking for him."
Grissom blinked. "He staid still. Xander never stays still."
Hodges began to grin smugly. "I just have the touch."
"Maybe." Grissom again looked down at his son to make sure he hadn't been injured. Finished his check, he looked Hodges over. "But now I know who to call when I need a babysitter. Thanks again, Hodges."
Hodges stared, his mouth open to protest, as Grissom left the room. Maybe that hadn't gone as well as he had hoped.
Next time: Who’s the Mommy?