Nicholas Parker Stokes was born the last child of seven to a fairly well off family in Dallas, Texas on February 9th, 1970. It seemed Nick would always be destined for law enforcement, with a lawyer father and public defender mother at the helm of the family. Though it's never stated what his other siblings (five sisters, one brother) do, there's reason enough to believe they also have something similar to do with law enforcement.
With that in mind, Nick did want to become a police officer, but his father was wary against it, worried about the danger of such a profession. Nick, however, was torn, wanting to appease his parents as he was very close to them, and yet wanting to find his own path in life.
Directly out of college he joined with the Dallas Police force, but while there gained an interest in forensics. As it was still dealing with law enforcement, it became the compromise between himself and his father, and after a year with the Dallas Crime Lab he transferred to Las Vegas, namely the grave shift and Gil Grissom's team. He transferred in 1997 as a CSI level 1, his specialty being hair and fiber analysis.
By 2000 (the show's start), Nick was working leg in leg for the CSI level 3 promotion with friend and colleague Warrick Brown. Both were just one closed case away from it when Warrick found himself in trouble with not only Grissom, but then CSI-director Jim Brass for poor behavior towards his superiors while on the clock. Though Nick felt bad about it, Warrick had dug his own grave, and he closed his final case and earned his CSI-3 promotion.
Unfortunately Nick found after that, that back luck tends to follow CSIs sooner or later. Several times he was held at gunpoint by caught and desperate victims. During the year after his CSI-3 promotion he was stalked by an over enthusiastic 'fan', thrown out a window by the same person and eventually confronted in his own home by the man, only to find out he'd been living in Nick's attic the entire time.
That very same year a case brought him across the path of a hooker named Kristie Hopkins. Though they had a connection, Nick knew of her profession due to her involvement in the case and chose to keep his distance. Some time later, however, he found her again arguing with her pimp in a casino. After breaking up the fight he offered to drive her home, learning on the ride there that she was trying to get her life together by going to school. They shared the night together at her house, and Nick left for his shift the following evening. When he returned that morning, though, he found crime scene tape over her house and was told that she'd been strangled to death.
Though frightened he'd be implicated for the crime for having spent the night there, all evidence pointed to the pimp and he was eventually revealed as Kristy's actual killer.
Life granted Nick a bit of reprieve after that, nothing of particular issue happening to him for about the next four to five years. The lull in general bad luck, though, appeared to be gearing up for what happened to him in 2005.
Warrick and Nick tossed a coin to decide between two cases - an assault at a strip club or a 'trash run' at Flamingo and Koval. Nick loses, getting the trash run, and he heads there none the wiser to what's being planned behind the scenes.
Upon arrival, the officer on scene left (complaining of feeling ill, since the 'trash' was apparently some one's intestines), and Nick began collecting evidence. He spotted a Styrofoam cup placed inside a sealed evidence bag sitting on a sidewalk further away from the scene, but when he approached to collect it and take pictures, he was grabbed from behind, knocked out by ether on a rag and dragged from the scene.
When he woke, he found himself in a Plexiglas coffin with nothing but his side arm, a loaded clip, a tape player, and a fan attached to a light at the end of the coffin. He was also buried six feet underground.
When he played the tape, a taunting voice spoke to him, never using his name but saying that he would be left down there to die - slowly or quickly was by Nick's choice, as evidenced by his gun remaining with him.
Though panicked, frightened out of his mind, Nick had no choice but to wait and pray that his fellow CSIs would crack the case and find him. While there he learned that the fan attached to the light was also attached to a web cam and a live feed that had been directed to CSI HQ. Every time some one at the office clicked the button to see him and his progress, the light came on and the fan shut off, cutting his air supply for several minutes at a time, and shortening the already short time he had to live.
After realizing this, he aimed his gun and fired it at the bottom of the coffin, breaking the light in two shots and getting the fan and the web cam to remain on after that, though only making himself visible through it with the use of a green glo-stick.
Breaking the Plexiglas, though, allowed a particular kind of fire ant to enter the coffin and begin biting him. With his air running out, the ants slowly injecting poison in to his system, and his hope wearing thin that he'd ever be found, he began to hallucinate, causing him to put the barrel of the gun under his chin and nearly pull the trigger in desperation.
But during that time CSI had been working to locate him, and even after losing their main lead and suspect to suicide, they used the evidence gathered as well as the location of the webcam's signal to locate Nick. He was saved, just barely, and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Some time later, Nick went to see the jailed daughter of the deceased suspect and pleaded with her to 'not take it' with her after she was released. Sadly, Kelly Gordon later died of a drug overdose less than a year later.
Though Nick never experienced anything like his kidnapping again, two more cases did have a heavy impact on him, both within the year following the incident.
In the first one Nick encountered a strange and disturbing incident in which an entire family was presumed murdered and dead, but all that remained was their blood stains all over an empty, trashed house. The family was a mother, father, son and young daughter. Nick believed, due to evidence and his own intuition that Cassie, the daughter, was not dead. Evidence pointed either way, with Cassie's blood never found in the house, but all four 'bodies' missing from the scene.
Nick's persistence paid off, though, and through his tireless searching he located Cassie, her throat cut but heart still beating off the shore of the lake the rest of her murdered family had been dumped in to. She had not been shot like them, but rather the killers had attempted to drug her and drown her instead. Cassie, having been wise to what was going on, pretended to be drugged and asleep instead, and therefore had swam to the shore where she eventually passed out.
Nick came to see her after she'd woken in the hospital, and shared a tearful moment when she presented him with a crayon-drawn card saying 'To: the good guys who catch bad guys', and they spoke about what happened to her family.
The later case was not one of his proudest moments. Having worked insane amounts of overtime on a high profile case of the murder of a court official at the day of her son's wedding, Nick drove his own personal car and filled it with evidence. Rather than taking it straight back to the lab, he made the mistake of choosing to head to a diner where Sara Sidle and Greg Sanders were having breakfast. While inside, the car, along with all the evidence, was stolen, meaning that even if it was returned it had been compromised. The team spent the next fourteen hours waiting for his car to be found and released to him while searching for a way to prove murder while having very little to go on.
The case was cracked thanks to their diligence, but all three CSIs were reprimanded for what had occurred. Needless to say, Nick learned his lesson - both about properly handling evidence, and keeping a closer eye on his own belongings.
While things were calm for a while, it became personal again when Greg was attacked while on a case and nearly left for dead. Local Vegas teens were participating in a practice called 'Fannysmackin' where they went in swarms, locating obvious tourists on their own and beating them mercilessly. One victim, an actual Vegas local and not a tourist, died on the scene while the other two were nearly killed. When Greg was on his way to one of the recent scenes to process, he spotted one of the attacks in progress and went to stop it. When one of the gang members turned on him, he defended himself with his SUV, a large Yukon Denali, and as a result was pulled from the vehicle by the rest of the gang and beaten.
It hit all of CSI hard, but Nick in particular who had taken Greg under his wing as a brand new CSI (Greg having originally been a lab tech) and felt a certain sense of responsibility for having allowed it to happen, even though realistically he couldn't stop Greg from going as it was his first solo assignment. He was seen lashing out at a by stander (later revealed to be the leader of the gang) who spoke ill of CSIs as a whole, Nick himself taking it as a personal insult to himself and to Greg as a victim.
But as always Nick's hard work and dedication - not just to his job but to his friends - won out and with the others backing him they were able to bring the suspects in to custody. It was disappointing to learn that most were minors, meaning the incidents would likely be expunged off their records as soon as they were adults, but there was closure in knowing that the attacks would at least stop for the time being.
It happened yet again when Sara Sidle became the victim of kidnapping, this time because of her close relationship with Gil Grissom. The so-called Miniature Killer made herself known by targeting Sara, taking her, and leaving her under a wrecked car in the middle of the desert just as a large rain storm was predicted. Though close to Sara as well, Nick actually kept a slight distance during that case - with Grissom almost entirely at the helm due to his personal emotional involvement, Nick felt best to back off and simply work the evidence to do his best to find Sara before she died. He did, however, get frustrated several times over lack of progress during the case, and did find one vital clue while remembering a conversation he'd had with her during Cassie's case about it being 'some one's day to die'.
With that clue they were able to locate where the car that the Minature Killer used was purchased, and from there they found it in the desert. Sara had escaped, but luckily they were able to find her thanks to her own ingenuity (she used a mirror from the car as a reflective beacon), and she was rescued before dying of shock and heat exposure.
They lost Sara to stress shortly after that when she put in her resignation, but as always the CSI team carried on, and the rest of the year went quietly, if not a bit oddly with Grissom also beginning to succumb to stress and over working.
It all came to a head for the entire department, though, when Warrick Brown, having just been cleared of a false murder charge, was shot and killed by Undersheriff McKeen. The news hit hard, Nick especially. When it was revealed that McKeen was responsible for it, Nick chased the man down on foot, eventually catching him and holding him at gun point, nearly losing control enough to shoot him. Though Nick did fire, he did so off to the side as a warning for him to stay put, and told Brass when he arrived that he 'missed'.
After the funeral, it was a struggle to go back to life as usual, but Nick knew he had a job to do, and he was determined to continue doing it to the best of his ability, even after Grissom finally resigned and two new CSIs named Ray Langston and Riley Adams were brought in. Sharing an office with Greg and Riley, as well as being promoted to Cathrine Willows' second-in-command of sorts helped ease some of the pain of all their loss, and Nick did not see himself quitting his work any time soon.
That was until he suddenly found himself in a whole new world...
ᐊ PERSONALITY ᐅ
Nick has been described on several occasions as the team's resident empathic. While most would prefer to keep an emotional distance, he disagrees with that method. He connects with many cases on a deeply personal level, often seems to feel the pain of the victims more than the rest of the team, especially if there is a child or children involved.
Being that CSI is a show set in 'reality' there's nothing ever explicitly said that Nick has any sort of 'psychic awareness', but during a case involving the murder of an entire family a woman said that his aura was 'very feminine' and asked if he was hearing voices. During the course of the episode the voice of the still-alive little girl of the family did speak at crucial moments that Nick was focused on, but nothing further has been said about it in canon. It's safe to assume Nick is simply more aware of the pain of victims and their families.
Away from this, though, Nick is an all around 'good ol' American boy' who appears to get along with just about everyone, including the lab techs on the grave shift - which isn't always an easy task for anyone considering David Hodges seems to be the egotistical bane of every one's existence there. He's not against showing Conrad Ecklie (and others like him) a little contempt for the way they do things (normally disregarding the personal aspects of the case for what can be shown in court and presented to the press), and telling Hodges when he needs to shut up, though.
He's willing to just roll with life's little punches, giving a smile and a laugh along the way, keeping his friends as close as he can. He's got a decent sense of humor, perhaps not on par with some of the other witty characters he works with, but enough that he can still crack a joke or two and give a good nature tease to the younger CSIs and other lab techs. He can be flirtatious, but not overtly so, though it's been said he's a bit of a ladies' man, a trait which is likely viewed more outside work hours.
Above all, he's honest to a fault, loyal to his friends and family, brave and willing to jump in to a situation with both feet, often times trusting too much in other people and disregarding his own safety as the end result.
ᐊ PARTNER ᐅ
'Cassie', Nick's Terriermon partner is young, both in spirit and at heart. In human-age comparison she'd be somewhere around eight to ten, and ironically bares the same name and similar personality aspects to the Cassie that Nick rescued several years ago.
Until recently she'd been living with a small group of Terriermon and Lopmon that had banded together when their own families had been tama'd for whatever reason, and while she was usually the one taken care of, she still had enough intelligence and kindness to want to help out as much as she could, acting as a sort of 'big sister' to even younger Digimon. When it came time for her to find her tamer, she was heartbroken about leaving her surrogate family, but also fully aware that she now had a bigger responsibility to Nick.
Kind, sweet, often energetic and optimistic, she's rarely phased by anything the world throws at her and those around her, always willing to offer some kind of advice or inspirational words. Very little brings her down, and likewise it takes very little to get her excited. Being young, she's often overly curious, sometimes for her own good, and it's rare to see her without an amused, bewildered, or happy smile. The few times she doesn't is when she is upset by something (usually some one's refusal to believe her about something), when she's actually confused, or when she is being stubborn and unreasonable for whatever reason. She also tends to get a little exasperated with Nick's teasing.
Though loyal to Nick, she finds it hard to fight, even for some one she knows she must keep protected. She doesn't fear much, but is simply reluctant to hurt anyone given what happened to her parents and brother, but if pushed far enough - either by her tamer being injured or some one continually attacking her - she will retaliate rather than run or try and reason with them.