Disclaimer: If I owned CSI, Grissom wouldn't have left, Warrick would be alive and this would have happened...
Also, George Eads would take his shirt off more often. XD
A/N: Be nice, as this is my first CSI fic, constructive criticism is useful though, so point out anything. Flames will be studiously ignored.
And I know this plot has been done before, but HELLO it's a perfect NickXGreg opening, it HAS TO BE DONE!
"G, you okay?"
The spiky haired lab rat glanced up from his computer to smile at Nick, "Course, why wouldn't I be?"
"Your hands are shaking." Greg swallowed and forced his smile to widen, replaying his exact words to Grissom earlier.
"No they're not, you're getting old Nicky, if your sight's already going." He chuckled and stood from his chair, placing his back to the Texan and trying to control the tremors in his hands.
"Greg." A large warm hand landed on his shoulder and he stiffened, immediately Nick withdrew his hand.
"Shit, I'm sorry, did that hurt?"
Greg blinked rapidly and turned to look at Nick who had guilt on his face.
"No...no...I just...no." he looked down, watching his hands continued to tremble.
Then those same hands were surrounded by larger, calloused tan ones and held tightly. He didn't dare look up to meet Nick's gaze as he clung back to the Texan with a surprisingly strong grip.
"I can't get it to stop. Grissom said it would stop, but..."
"Grissom, as far as I know, never went through what you did." Nick's voice was soft and gentle, lulling Greg into a sense of security he hadn't felt since coming back to work.
He licked his dry lips, "Did...after Crane, did anything."
He heard the smile in Nick's voice, "Yeah...yeah it did. I was endlessly checking locks, and windows, hell I went up to my attic twice the first day after all the repairs were done."
Greg finally looked up; he'd been right, Nick was smiling, but it was a bittersweet smile and his eyes were far away. His grip on the young lab tech's shaking hands never loosened though.
"The fear goes away eventually, Greg." He promised.
Greg took a steadying breath and nodded, "Yeah...just wish the shaking would stop."
"C'mon, fresh air always does the body good." Nick wrapped a warm arm around Greg's shoulders and led him out of the quiet lab.
"It's Vegas Nick, fresh air is only existent in the desert."
The Texan chuckled, "Yeah, but anything's better than a stuffy lab, right?"
When the cool desert breeze hit Greg's face as they entered the back parking lot of the lab, he had to agree. The remaining tension in his shoulders left and he leaned into Nick, eyes closing and breathing deeply.
"I think I was close to a panic attack." He muttered vacantly.
He felt Nick nod, the older man's chin brushing the top of his head, "I could tell."
"That why you dragged me out here?"
"In part, I also just wanted to talk to you. I'm sorry I didn't visit in the hospital."
Greg shrugged, drinking in the warmth leaking off Nick's sturdy frame, "You were busy."
"I should've made time."
Greg snorted, "Are you kidding? With Catherine on mandatory leave, you guys were already down a tech, no need to be down another CSI for no reason, too."
"Are you saying you aren't good enough for me to spend time with?"
Greg cursed the observational skills of the CSIs in that moment and remained silent.
"Cause you are worth time, G, and I should've made time."
Greg sighed, "You're here now, right? I mean, no one else is here keeping me from flipping out."
Nick's other arm wrapped around him protectively in a hug Greg basked in, "I told you, you're worth every second, Greg."
Greg made a soft sound, probably in agreement, nuzzling his face in Nick's shoulder and sighing as his arms wound around his friend. With the feeling of safety came lethargy from nights of nightmares of burning plastic and searing heat.
"You haven't slept in while, have you?" Nick asked softly, running his fingers through Greg's surprisingly soft spiky hair.
Nick smiled, in his drowsy state Greg was positively adorable.
"Let's clock out then, I have a theory."
Greg yawned and let Nick drag him back inside, barely aware of his surroundings when all he could focus on was the warm hand surrounding his wrist.
"M'a scientist, I like theories...lay it on me."
Nick chuckled again as he helped Greg remove his lab coat and stuff it in his locker, replacing it with a soft red sweater.
"All in good time, Einstein."
"I don't like waiting." Greg whined as Nick pulled on his leather jacket and took him by the arm again to lead him out to the parking lot and his waiting Denali.
"Then I'll explain on the way."
Greg jolted into further wakefulness as the passenger door was shut a few seconds before Nick climbed into the driver's seat and started his truck.
"So..." he yawned and stretched his arms back behind the chair to avoid the ceiling, "Theory me."
Nick smiled, he loved Greg's quirkiness and had missed it while the younger man was on medical leave, "After the whole Crane incident, I found it nearly impossible to sleep by myself, just because I always felt like someone was watching me."
"Is that how you ended up in the attic?"
Nick nodded, "Yep. I ended up crashing on Sara's and Warrick's couches for a few nights until I got my head on straight."
Greg felt a little hurt that Nick hadn't requested his assistance, but guessed it wasn't personal and pushed it aside.
"So your theory is?"
"Well, you're scared when you wake up from a nightmare, right?" Greg nodded soundlessly, slightly embarrassed he hadn't been able to hide the reasons behind his lack of rest.
"So was I. I found, that knowing someone was in the next room that I trusted, let me sleep easier. Maybe if you know you're somewhere safe with someone who won't hurt you and won't let you get hurt, you'll be able to sleep."
Greg ran the words through his head, drowsiness making processing slow, but eventually got it.
"We're headed to your place?"
"Do you have a problem with that? Cause I can always go to yours."
"No, no, actually I'm glad we're going to your place, mine's a mess."
Nick laughed, "Mine is so clean it'd be easy for us solve a case with the lack of crap lying around, one thing out of place would be suspicious."
Greg managed a smile and they drove in silence until they reached Nick's townhouse. Greg had only been there once before, to pick Nick up because his truck wouldn't start, yet the Texan's home was familiar and inviting in ways his apartment wasn't.
"You coming?" Nick asked through the open door as he got out of the car.
Greg nodded and unbuckled, trotting after the Texan as he locked the truck and unlocked the front door.
"Make yourself at home, I'll grab food."
Nick disappeared into the kitchen after locking the front door, an action that wasn't lost on Greg as he both deadlocked and chained it. He took the time to glance around and familiarize himself with the space.
The walls were painted a deep navy, no evidence of the stalker incident was obvious to him, but he bet Nick saw remnants of it everywhere. There was a decently sized TV sitting in the entertainment unit, but Greg took note that he owned more DVDs, CDs, and other electronics than the CSI. Also, he was positive his TV was larger.
The couch was a soft, supple black leather that looked comfy and obviously slept on more than once if the cozy, red and black knit blanket lying across the back meant anything. Pictures of family members –and Nick had a lot of those- graced the wall, but more space was taken up by pictures from work of the CSIs, a few cops he knew Nick was buddies with –these pictures were usually quick snap photos most likely taken by Sara or Catherine on scene as a joke- and even a few lab rats. Greg was pleased to notice that he was in a fair few of them.
"You do know that the phrase, make yourself at home, means you can sit down." Greg jumped slightly, blushing when he realized he hadn't moved from where he'd been standing since he first walked in.
"Sorry, got a little preoccupied."
Nick smiled in acceptance and dropped onto the sofa, placing two plates of heavenly smelling lasagne on the table with two bottles of water.
"I guessed that you aren't allowed to drink with your meds, and it's no fun to drink alone."
Greg smiled in appreciation, "No coffee either, I'm in withdrawal.
Nick laughed at that as Greg shucked off his shoes finally and sunk into the sofa cushions with a sigh.
"I think I'm having a love affair with your couch." He murmured, only to have Nick gently punch his arm.
Greg smiled, "You are almost worse than my mother." Nevertheless he picked up the plate and fork and took a huge bite, deciding he could quite easily just stay there and never leave.
In geek speak, here was the equation: Comfy couch plus heavenly lasagne added to Nick Stokes and you got Greg's daydream, plus a few extra clothes and a little less whipping cream.
Nick watched Greg eat with satisfaction written on his face and they ate in silence, the lulling of the good company giving them no need for words.
Once finished, Nick forced Greg to stay put while he cleaned up, and Greg obliged after only a few seconds argument. Then he curled up on his side on the couch from the gods and closed his eyes, breathing in the scent of Nick Stokes that he loved so much. Not in a creepy stalker way, but in the 'I feel safe around you in ways I never feel safe anymore' way.
"Greg...Greg, wake up." The Californian's hazel eyes opened slowly and he saw Nick was smiling at him.
"C'mon Sunshine, a real bed is calling your name." Nick helped his friend up and led him down the hall to the guest room.
Once inside, he sat the smaller man down on the bed and helped him get off his sweater and jeans before tucking him in with the ease of a man who had taken care of a many nieces and nephews.
"Sleep well G, I'll be right across the hall if you need me." He ran a caring hand through Greg's hair again, before turning and leaving, at last minute leaving the door open a crack.
It wasn't two hours later that Greg shot up, breathing heavily and coated in a cold sweat, pupils dilated in fear and he fought for his bearings. When he finally realized where he was he calmed down enough to hug himself and sniffle quietly.
He chewed on his bottom lip for a few minutes before getting out of the bed and standing on shaky legs, fear and exhaustion propelling him across the hall and into Nick's room.
The Texan was asleep in his bed, lying on his back and wearing no shirt with the covers just a little higher than his hips.
He shivered again and contemplated just turning back and going to the guest room, but before he could make up his mind, Nick's eyes opened and met Greg's where he stood in the doorway.
"Get over here." Nick ordered in a sleep clogged voice, throwing open the covers in invitation. Greg practically vaulted into the bed and curled as close to Nick as he could, damning the consequences.
"Hey, hey, it's okay, you're safe." Nick whispered softly, wrapping his arms around the trembling DNA tech. It was only then that Greg realized he was crying.
"I keep...I keep reliving it." He sobbed, clinging to Nick for all his worth.
"I know...I know..." Nick held him tighter, feeling the younger man tremble and shake.
"I don't want to go back to sleep, I'll just go back there again."
"I'll wake you up before that happens." Nick whispered, forgetting himself as he kissed the top of his friend's head.
That small bit of affection seemed to work wonders though because almost instantly Greg's sobs evened out and became soft whimpers before dying completely, and the tears dried to only a few drops and streaks down his cheeks.
Nick nodded and held Greg tighter, "Yeah, yeah I promise."
Greg hesitantly rested his head on Nick's chest; finding that the older man wasn't pushing him away he sighed softly and closed his eyes.
"Sleep, I've got you."
Greg slung one arm over Nick's stomach and took a few breathes before he was out again. Nick stroked his hair and his back, watching the object of his affections sleep. It was only a few minutes later that he too fell into the land of dreams.
Morning came and Greg opened his eyes to find he felt completely rested and relaxed with no recollection of another nightmare.
Also, he was still in Nick's arms, and the CSI 3 was breathing deeply in the thralls of sleep.
Greg smiled and cuddled closer to one of his favourite people, if not his favourite in all of Nevada, and sighed.
Time passed and Greg felt Nick shift under him, before that large warm hand that had done nothing but fight away the fear all night, drifted down the back of his neck sending pleasant shivers down his spine all the way to his toes.
He giggled softly as Nick tickled him behind his ear.
Nick laughed and Greg felt it as he remained where he was, arm slung over Nick's abs, head resting over his heart.
"But you're way too cute like that."
Greg smiled and opened his eyes, looked up at Nick who was watching him with unconstrained love and affection.
"So." Nick returned, a grin lifting his lips as is hands continued tracing up and down Greg's back, the tech found he quite enjoyed the contact.
Greg looked down, blushing softly, "Ya mean that?"
Nick's hand paused for a second before continuing, "What I'm here for."
"Boyfriend?" Nick sounded hopeful.
Greg looked up, joy the likes Nick hadn't seen on him before lighting his eyes and smile, "Good enough for me!" he pounced on his newly christened boyfriend, who happily obliged the lip lock.
When they pulled apart for air, Nick smiled and picked up Greg's hand, lacing their fingers together, "Your hands aren't shaking anymore."
Greg placed a soft kiss on Nick's lips, "I'm not scared anymore."
Fluff piece! My first addition to 'The Love', so let me know your thoughts, feelings, etc and so forth.