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CSI: Point of View (III)

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This story is No. 3 in the series "CSI: Point of View". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Halloween, a night to become something different. What happens when the spell left something lingering like ideas, career paths...?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
CSI > CSI Las VegasLilNezumiFR1315,0961196,0189 Mar 109 Mar 10Yes
Title: CSI Point of View (III)

Main pairing:  No pairing at this point, this is a stand-alone tale, of very brief duration.  See my profile for preferred pairing style. This is part of your warning.

Warning:  My preference in writing stories with romantic pairings usually fall under the m/m slash category and if this series does continue.  Future stories may contain slash references depending on where the rest of the stories are going.

MY Inspiration:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (movie, T.V. Series, graphic novels), Angel the Series (T.V. Series, graphic novels), CSI Vegas (original series), Halloween Fics from this website

Disclaimer:  This is my standard disclaimer; I don’t own anything in regards to the sources of MY Inspiration.  All publically recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

All the characters, worlds, base concepts or general ideas are just a bit food for the writing bug.  This story is pure fiction and is in no way meant to copy or reflect real life, events or people, should this happen then obviously it is pure coincidence.

Summary:  Halloween, a night to become something different.  What happens when the spell left something lingering like ideas, career paths...?  (Part III, upon request from the wonderful reviewers and reviews)

XSXSXSXS

It took a bit of time for the rest of Xander’s future plans to work.  He needed to get the Sunnydale Police Department to agree to his application.  They would only agree with a recommendation from his current employer, but that didn’t take much and soon he had everything in order.  He decided to wait until he was seventeen years old to apply and then he’d try to get his mother to sign the consent form. 

He finally managed to convince her and it was interesting how that happened.

XSXSXSXS

One evening near the end of March, late after his last shift at the morgue, he was sitting at the kitchen table in his parents’ home.  His mother was sitting across from him.  He just sat there looking at her.  Staring at her really and he made her hold his gaze until she absolutely knew that there was something different about her son.

“What is it?” Jessica Harris asked her son. 

This was the first time that it looked like he what he was about to say was very important to him.  He wasn’t smiling or joking or doing any of the usual Xander-like things that she associated with him and his teenage friends.  “You didn’t lose your job did you?”

Xander snorted and shook his head.  “No I did not lose my job,” he told her.  “There are not that many people willing to work in a morgue.  We do everything that needs to be done in order to prepare a body for examination or any other stuff, like gathering the evidence or washing them to prep them for burial for the funeral homes.”

She shuddered at his mention of the things that he did.  He had surprised her and husband with getting a part-time job at the morgue in the evenings.  There were so many accidents and deaths in this town, that she didn’t want him to be exposed to the results.  However, her boy sat them down and explained that it was a good job and that he was working there with an eye to opening up more options for his future career.

“I want you to come to the Police Station with me and sign a few forms,” he said.  “I’ve applied to attend a special course called the ‘Citizen’s Police Academy’ (...i...).  They had two versions of the course.  A ten week program and a twenty week program and I want to attend the ten week program to see if I like it... I also want to take it before this school year finishes.”

“If you do,” she questioned.  “If you do like it, what will you do then?  What about finishing your school year?”

“I can apply to attend the extended program and stay for an extra five weeks to round out the courses I’ll need, if I’m interested in more training.  I’ve already passed the equivalency exams completing this year of high-school.  I’ve actually been working longer hours at the morgue since I passed the year,” Xander said.  “This is something that I know I can do, but I also know that the course can’t be taken anywhere near or in Sunnydale, which is why I have to register now.”

“Why not near here?”

“I don’t want to be influenced by the cops in this town or by the way they work.  I don’t want to develop any bad habits, just in case I ever move to another town,” he held up his hand.  “You ‘do’ know what I mean.”  He looked at her with such an expression that she was forced to acknowledge that sometimes the police in this town were not that quick or that they were definitely ‘paid’ to look away from some things. 

“I want to go to one that’s taking place in Las Vegas.  It’s due to start in five days and I’m not going there for the nightlife.  I understand the requirements and it’s going to be a pretty intense course because they compress most of the elements that they would normally stretch out in the twenty week program.  I also need to get far enough away so that it will be impossible for me to run home or to give up.  Do you understand?”

Jessica sighed and nodded her head.  “I thought that you had to be eighteen to attend such things.”

“I can get into the courses and take them, as long as I have parental consent from one of my parents or guardians,” Xander explained.  “The captain at the Sunnydale PD has agreed to recommend me, if one of you will come in and sign the papers with me.  Then when I come back from L.A., depending on how well I do, I’ll be permitted to work with at a desk in the Station.  I’m sure that once I’m back I’ll be doing much of their paper work until I actually turn eighteen.  I won’t go out into the field until I pass the high school equivalency tests or the final exams if Sunnydale High will let me take them without attending classes.  However, I can still work at the morgue and do more actual evidence gathering from the bodies that come in, it will be more official because of this course.”

“So you want to leave high school now and go into a Police Academy course instead,” his mother needed to confirm his choice.  “Why?”

“I can’t explain it, but this is something that I’ve been working at for some time,” he said.  “Like I said, I’ve already taken the final exams for this year of school, so there’s no need for me to go there anymore.  I’ve been going there to exercise and work out in the school’s gym in order to meet the physical requirements for this course.  It’s just something that I feel I have to do.”

“How are you going to pay for the trip?”

“I’ve sold some of my comic book collection,” Xander told her.  “I put the rest in a safety deposit box at the bank for protection.”

“Comic books are valuable?”  She asked wondering what she was missing.

“Some are, yes,” Xander said.  “I only sold the ones that I had duplicates of.  There are some that are just valuable due to rarity and that makes them special enough to keep.  The ones I tucked away are because they have sentimental value to me.”  She looked at him, wondering what he was talking about. “Jesse.”

Jessica looked into his eyes and saw the sadness that lingered there.  It had been there for a long time, but this is the first time that she could put a name to it.  She had noticed it ever since she found out that her son’s best ‘male’ friend had disappeared.  She knew that the boy would never found after she saw the boy’s details on the back of milk carton one day.

She looked deeper and noticed the sincerity and determination that was practically vibrating from him with regards to this strange request.  She was very familiar with that particular look because when Xander was a little boy he often looked at her with that same expression. 

This look triggered a few fond memories, of things that she thought she had forgotten.  Things like; the first time he tied his shoes, even though they were on the wrong feet; the first time he rode his bike without training wheels; the time he defended a very young Willow from a frog that had hopped a little too close to her... There were many memories of this expression and this moment in time would be just another memory for her to lose one day, but for now there was something that she could do and that was to agree to his request.

“We’ll go in the morning,” she said.

“Thanks, Mom,” he said with a smile and sigh of relief.  She smiled back at him with a mirror of his normal goofy grin.

The next day the papers were officially signed and two days later, Xander hugged his girls, saying good-bye and small farewell to his hometown.  For the few weeks he needed to take the courses for a career path that he’s quite certain that he would never have considered as being an option before.

Sure, as children they all played ‘Cops & Robbers’, Willow’s invented of the ‘Bounty Hunter & the Fugitives on the run from justice’ and even the old one of ‘Cowboys & Indians’, but it was still only something that a child’s imagination could come up with. 

This new course and path is not something that he would have ever considered, if not for the analytical scientific influence of one Dr. Gilbert Grissom on a fateful Hellmouth Halloween night.

XSXSXSXS

Eight weeks into the Academy course and Xander was doing very well.  In some of his courses he was average enough not to stand out, but in some others where they drilled the cadets in what to do at crime scenes he positively excelled with alarming passing scores. 

Some of the other students were jealous and it did come out in the form of mild hazing.  It was not something that he was unfamiliar with.  So he held his own and pranked them right back until they quit hazing him or they just quit the Academy courses, washing out of the whole process because it wasn’t for them.

This teenaged student knew more about forensics and the gathering of evidence from cadavers, than any other nominally adult student there.  The teachers and professors all spoke about it, but none of them even thought to ask him how he had learned some of those skills.

They were only watching and gauging him.  They knew that he never cheated on his tests.  However, sometimes to try and trip him up they would give him a different test.  The different tests were usually at a completely different and higher level of education one in comparison to the immediate course material that they were teaching.

It wasn’t until they had a guest lecturer come in for two sessions in Forensic Entomology, that any of the teachers and professors found out how the teenager knew what to do and why when it came to crime scenes and cadavers.

Dr. Gilbert Grissom was there to lecture about the bugs that could be found on dead bodies and how the Forensic community relied on that information in order to assist in the timeline for some criminal cases.  It was especially useful when the corpse had been exposed to the elements for a long time.

The man himself was curious about a very familiar face in the group of students attending his lectures.  He did think for a long time that it had been just a dream brought on by the drugs used during the operation for his ears and due to his subconscious mind churning for various obscure reasons.

Xander had been eagerly waiting for this course in order to actually see the man that continued to live with him, even though it was only his experiences that influenced him.  The man knew his stuff and he was right about the bugs.  They were interesting and having found out about Forensic Entomology he wasn’t surprised that the man was in that field.

Gil reminded him of Giles.  Both experts in their knowledge, but living closed or almost closed lives.  He knew that Giles expected his death to come from his Watcher activities.  He got the strange feeling that Grissom was doing the same, only in this case it was with his current life and lack of seeming direction.

However Xander could see that the man loved his bugs and he could see that there was still something that held the man where he was.

On the last day of Dr. Grissom’s presentation, he passed out a test that counted for their final course marks.  The cadets were familiar with this by now, as several of the guests were lecturing professors and the knowledge they brought in with them counted as base course requirements, if the students wanted to go further into that particular field of study.

Xander snorted when he reached the end of the test.  There was a bonus question, but... ‘Sneaky Entomologist,’ he thought with an inner grin.  ‘Geez, you didn’t even mention the second bug, let alone the scientific name for the first.

The last question on the test was; “Name the first two insects to arrive at a corpse, extra bonus points will be awarded for their scientific names?”

Xander shook his head and had no problems answering: Dipteras which are commonly referred to as “Blow Flies” are the first to arrive at a corpse.  They are flesh eaters.  Second to arrive are Staphylinids, known as “Rove Beetles”.  They appear as soon as there is exposed bone because they are bone-eaters. (...ii...)

He handed his paper and was about to leave the classroom when Grissom called out to him.  “Alexander Harris,” Dr. Grissom said, calling forth the attention of the only teenager in the course.  “Could you please return in hour?  I will have graded this and I find that I have a few questions for you, that is, if you’re available and wish to answer them.”

“Sure thing Doc,” Xander told him with a nod and left the room so that the other students could concentrate on their tests.

Later all of the students had left for study sessions or down time, as this was the last course of the day for most.  The test took another hour of that time and Xander came back into the room with an extra coffee and one of his famous snacks in a plain brown paper bag.

“You wanted to see me,” Xander said.  

He had startled Grissom from the test corrections that he was doing.  He had made sure that they were simple questions and only had a few that required full written answers, but the answers were meant to be simple too in order to get the corrections done over the shortest period of time possible.

“Sorry,” Xander said sheepishly.  “I thought you heard me come back.  I did knock.  Here I brought you a coffee.  I figured you could use one by now.”

Grissom cleared his throat with a nod and said, “Thank you.” He sipped the coffee and noted that it was exactly how he preferred it.  “I wasn’t sure you’d be back when I saw the students race out here.”  He shrugged off the strange fact that the boy knew how he liked his coffee and instead asked, “I need to know.  Have we ever met before?”

Xander looked at the man, looked down and away and then looked back, holding the questioning blue eyes.  “No we’ve never officially met.  How about I introduce myself?  Hello, professor. My name is Alexander Harris, but I prefer that you call me Xander.”

“Dr. Gilbert Grissom,” Gil said.  “You can call me Gil or Grissom.”

“Thanks,” Xander said with a pleased smile.

“For what?”

“Not many of the professors here have asked me to call them anything other than Professor,” he told him.  “Most of the other students were already given that adult kind of permission to call them by their first names.”

“Not you?”

“No,” Xander said.  “I think it’s because I confuse them.”  Gil looked quizzical again.  “I mean I know a lot about some of the things that they are teaching here, but sometimes they catch me out and I’m sometimes lost because of it.  It’s nothing new here.  Well, that’s why, but it could also be because I’m still a teenager and the youngest student that they have here right now.”

“What is it that you know?”  Gil asked.  “I mean that’s different from the other students.”

“Well for example, when they took us to see cadavers and learn how to process them,” Xander began.  “I already knew all of that and I think that surprised a lot of people.”  He chuckled a bit remembering that time and then explained, “Three cadets got sick at the sight of the dead bodies and four had to leave the room with the shakes.  All of them had to return at later dates and complete that part of the course requirement.”

“You had no problems?”  Gil was surprised at that.  He had a lot of new employees that never did pass the stage of seeing dead bodies.  It didn’t make them less efficient, but it was also a deterrent when the body could tell a CSI so much about a particular crime.

“None,” Xander said.  “I worked part-time in the morgue back in my hometown for about a year and half.  I’m going to go back to that job when I finish here.”

“Why?”  Gil was now very curious.  His dream had occurred slightly more a year and a half ago, which was when his operation took place.  “Why would someone your age choose to work part-time in a morgue?”

“My town has a high rate of ‘accidents’ or ‘disappearances’,” Xander explained.  “One of my best friends disappeared a long time ago and working in the morgue has allowed me to work through some bottled grief.  Besides it’s known as one of those high paying, low demand type of jobs that the people there were very grateful for whatever help they could get, even if it was from a high school student like me.”

“So why did you choose to attend the Police Academy in this particular city?”

“I checked out the solve rate on some of the labs in the country, this one was the closest to my home town,” Xander explained with a shrug.  “I figured that there was something that you guys were doing right, so I thought that maybe in my down time from these courses that I’d attend a few court cases that were opened to the public.  I wanted to get a feel for the court system and see how you guys presented your findings.”

“That’s an interesting method to improving yourself,” Gil said.  “Are you going to be working in the Forensics Field when you return to you home town or stay with the Police?”

“That will depend on my home town and how their current system works,” Xander said.  “It’s not quite the same as Vegas or L.A.  My town is... um... isolated in some ways and ... um... I believe that they might still be using...um some-um... outdated methods of Policing.”

“Really,” Grissom was curious about it, however the bell rang in the school to indicate a change of classes for those who needed to move on to their next class.  “I’m sorry... I don’t want to detain you from your next course.”

“This was the last one I had for today,” Xander said.  “Besides I figured you would have other questions for me.”

“How so?”

“You stared at me when you called out my name the first day,” he said.  “You also kept looking at me more than any other student during the past two days.   So, of course, I figured you had some questions in particular that you maybe wanted to ask me.”

“Is the food good here?” Gil asked.  “I would like to continue this discussion.”

“It’s all right,” Xander said.  “I usually add a few things like spices or other stuff to improve the taste sometimes.”  He leaned in and in a stage whisper said, “It helps that the stuff I add is something that no one would touch too.”

Gil smiled at that, thinking about his own meals that he sometimes added a bit of bug parts to improve the taste and to prevent anyone from ever mistaking his well balanced meals for something that they could just take without asking.  He did try to offer it to the others for tasting, but he never had any takers.

“I understand,” Grissom said.  “I do that at work sometimes.”

“I know,” Xander muttered, as bent down to gather his things.

“What did you say?”

“Hmm,” Xander turned to look at the wide-eyed expression that the older man had.  “I’m sorry, what?”

“You said that you know,” Grissom pushed.  “What is it that you know about me?”

“I’m sorry,” Xander said.  “I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

Grissom was at loss for what to do next.  “There’s a Thai restaurant that’s nearby, only a couple of blocks away and quite good.”  He noticed the youth wavering and then said the one thing that would guarantee acceptance, “My treat.”

“Well in that case,” Xander said with a happy grin.  “You got it.”

They were seated in the restaurant about half an hour later and about to begin to eating their meal when Grissom asked, “So what kinds of things do you add to your meals in order to improve the taste or texture.”

Xander swallowed a portion of his wild rice.  “Being an Entomologist you must be familiar with the term entomophagy (...iii...),” Xander said.  Gil’s eyes widened at that and then he was surprised when Xander said, “Here,” and handed him the brown paper bag.

Grissom looked into the bag and noticed three bags of snacks.  He though that they were regular chips because the bags had the same type of packaging.  He pulled one out and noticed that it contained the picture of an Ant.  ‘Chocolate-Covered Giant Ants’, curious he pulled out the other two and they were ‘Roasted Giant Crickets’ and ‘Chocolate-Covered Scorpions.’

“Curious eating habit,” Gil said.  “How did you develop such a taste?”

“How should I know?”  Xander said.  “One day I’m craving the moist, tasty and beautiful ‘Golden Snack Cake’ dream that is known as a Twinkie, when suddenly it wasn’t enough.”

“How do I know you?”  Gil asked.  “It was only a dream, wasn’t it?”

Xander shrugged taking another mouthful of food.  Then he said, “If you suspend your scientific mind for a bit, then anything is possible.  Don’t you think?”

Gil Grissom was taken right back to that night when he had the strangest mental exchange in his life.  There was a lot that he could believe in, but when that blond vampire with the strange Billy Idol look showed up and began to harass him.  Well, he hadn’t truly believed in much of that evening until that particular demon showed up.

Xander’s instincts that night had saved them, but that vampire had been able to get away with some injuries that would have been difficult to heal.  The strange powders that Xander had prepared worked very well indeed.

They had spent the rest of that evening herding the non-changed humans back into their home or to safe places to wait out the spell’s termination.  All the while, during their work, they had been exchanging knowledge ideas and just conversing as friends.

Gil had asked to look in a mirror and was shocked to find that the boy looking back at him was so close to his own appearance when he was younger.  It had made him wonder if they were possibly related.  Xander had told him back then that his mother was Jessica LaVelle before she had been married and that he knew most of their relations, so he didn’t think so.

“You mean...” Gil said, looking at his table companion.

Xander nodded.  “I didn’t think that there would be that much of an exchange, but don’t worry about it.  If it’s not something that you want to believe in, then your mind will continue to accept it as a dream and that will be the end of that.”

“Why did you really want to take this Police Academy course?”  Gil persisted.

“What I told you is the truth!”  Xander said.  “The only other thing was that I was hoping to find that you were real too.  You see, surfing the web you can find out many things, but to find out that you were a real person... Well that just blew my mind, you know, but I also knew that you might not have been the same so I had to take a chance with this course.  Also, I figured out that maybe some of these memories could be put to good use.  Then again I also thought that I should perhaps find you and tell about some of the cases that you’ve worked on, but could never solve and let you know that they’d never be solved.  See I think... No I know what happened, but you’d...”

Gil held his hand up and that made Xander stop.  “My cases?” 

Xander nodded. 

“Cases that currently exist and are still unsolved?” 

Another nod.

“Because of the exchange you know what exactly?” Gil needed to know how much the boy had gained.

“That’s what I don’t know,” Xander said.  “You see, the clothing that was spelled could have come from anywhere, including some other dimension or timeline that you exist in and I’m not sure that you’ll believe that.”

“I can accept that there are many things that I don’t know about the world,” Gil said.  “But what kind of cases are we talking about.”

“There was one in Minnesota,” Xander began.  Gil knew just where he was headed.  “I don’t know if the case was a real one or not, but I do know that you’ll never find the body of that girl, if everything we’ve exchanged was correct.”

“Claire Marks,” Gil said and watched the boy nod.  “Her parents thought that she had run away.  She was always out at all hours.”

“She was a known Slayer,” Xander said.  “A Watcher from the Council appeared and took her away for training.  According to their books it was a really big nasty that did her in, in the end.”

“You mean like your friend Buffy,” Gil said.  “How is it that her parents didn’t know this?”

“Secret societies, ignorance, anything to get rid of the...whatever is strange or unexplainable,” Xander said.  “There’s also just the plain human will to just ‘not see’ the things that go bump in the night.  She was probably able to see things for a long time and her folks probably had her seeing a psychiatrist in order to get her to stop being different from the other kids.  It’s common in my town too.  The majority of people, adults never see the things that I’ve seen.  Not many of the students do either, but they feel it more because their age.”

“This is something that I will need time to review in my mind,” Gil said.  Xander nodded and finished up his free meal.  “Is it your plan to return to your town and do police work there?”

“Yes,” he answered.  “I need to be there.  I may not work like other police in this country, but I will do what I can to give most families the closure they need.  If it happens to be the fault of some outside force, then I know I’ll be able to clean up the corpses and prevent more from rising or from being used as bait against the heartbroken.  I’ll be able to work some real cases too, but I’m not sure how the cops in my town will take to me working the night shift only to take care of the cases they don’t want because they’re afraid to ‘see’.”

“The night shift is not a bad place to be,” Gil said, as they walked out of the restaurant door.  He held out his hand, “I hope you do well in your studies.  If you ever do move out of that town of yours, why don’t you look me up?  I think that you’d do well working with me.”

“Thanks Gil,” Xander said shaking his hand.  “I’d definitely like to see you working real human cases.  Thanks for not telling the other teachers that I’m actually cheating because I’m using the memories that I got during a spiritual possession on a Halloween night.”

“I saw no evidence of that,” Gil’s eyes twinkled in mischief when he smiled.  “I hope to see you around.”

Xander grinned his goofy contagious smiley grin, “I hope so too.”

They left it at that!

For now!

XSXSXSXS

END



(...i...)   The courses are real! I “googled” with the search term for “Police Academy” and literally stumbled across “Citizen’s Police Academy” courses.  I found the mother-lode.  Watch out, I’ve been inspired by a few things.  The Police Academy movies were my first thought, as they were on a time-limited course of 10-20 weeks and that is what I was looking for.

Canadian Military Reserves allow a teenager of sixteen to join with parental consent, which is what I used as a reference to Xander’s early joining to the Police Academy, although I did age him one more year to get him closer to the limit for actually being able to go out into the field.

(...ii...)  Question and answer found at the web site “Daily Science”.

(...iii...)  Entomophagy – the practice of consuming insects and bugs as an alternate source to commercially grown beef, chicken and pork (gleaned from the WWW)

The End

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