Thanks again to Mick'n'Star for the beta.

Chapter 2

When Greg woke up they were just landing. After he got his carry-on bag he got off the plane. When he got to the terminal he looked around for Molly. He spotted her; or rather she spotted him and started waving so he could see her.

"Greg! It's so good to see you!"

"Hey Moll, it's good to see you too."

"You don't sound so happy. We really need to talk about what happened that's got you so upset. Let's go get your bags Hun. Then we can talk about this in the car. How does that sound?"

"Great. I'm so glad you're my friend Moll."

"Oh Hun is it that bad? You need a hug, some hot chocolate and a bitching session where you tell me all about it and then we plot revenge. I think this can wait till we get back to my apartment." Molly gave Greg a big hug and a peck on the cheek.

After they got Greg's bags and drove to Molly's apartment she noticed that Greg was almost asleep on his feet.

"I think we can wait to talk about this tomorrow…I don't want it to seem like I'm putting you off, but Hun you look half dead. I don't think the plane ride was enough sleep for you. You go take a nap and we'll talk when you get up. How's that sound?"

"Sounds fine by me, I feel like I got run over by a truck."

"Ok, you can use the room right next to mine. You remember which one?

Greg nodded. "Good, go lay down. Don't worry about your bags. I'll just stick them in by you ok? And when you get up we'll have that hot chocolate and you can tell me all about what's got you so down."

"You're too good to me Moll."

"Na, I consider you to be my little brother, one of my best friends, and nothing is too good for my little brother. I'll even help you hide the bodies if it ever comes to that."

Greg smiled and laughed before grabbing his overnight bag and heading off down the hallway.

Molly felt good because that was the first time she had seen Greg smile or laugh so far today and Greg was usually laughing and joking around almost constantly. She knew that something really big and upsetting had happened in Las Vegas and after Greg talked with her and told her who had hurt him she would make them pay. As long as Greg didn't mind, she amended. She didn't want to upset him anymore than he already was.

She looked in on Greg later that night before she went to bed and saw that he was still sleeping. He was curled up in ball in the middle of the bed with the covers down around the foot of the bed. She pulled the covers up to his neck and tucked them in. She smoothed the hair back from his forehead and gave him a little kiss before turning to leave the room. She saw the huge smile he got and heard him mutter "Grissom..." before he rolled over and buried his head under the covers.

Hmm…something else we need to talk about, she thought. She closed the door behind her and went into her own room.

Greg woke up the next morning with a slightly panicky feeling, realizing that he was not in his own bed. Then he remembered that he was at Molly's and smiled. But when he remembered what had happened in Las Vegas Friday, he felt like crying. He wanted to stay and mope in bed forever but nature was calling so he got up and shuffled down the hall to the bathroom. When he was done he went to kitchen where he saw Eric and Jordan.

"Hey Greg!" Eric smiled at him and gave him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Jordan did the same to the other cheek.

"Congratulations Doctor Sanders. We're so proud of you." Jordan said.

"Hey guys, how come you're over here so early?" Greg wiped the smear of jelly the older man had left on his cheek.

"We wanted to say hi and offer our congratulations. Like Jor said, we're so proud of you."

"Plus we wanted the free food Moll always provides us." Was Jordan's comment.

"Thanks guys. That means so much to me." Greg managed to only put a hint of sarcasm in his reply.

"Ah, you know you love us." Eric reached over and ruffled his hair.

Greg made a face and stuck his tongue out at them. "Yeah. Who wouldn't love such annoying dander heads?"

"What're big brothers for? To annoy you, and to beat up anyone else who annoys you. Or hurts you. You just give the word and me 'n Eric will go beat them up."

"Na, I got first dibs guys." Molly said when she walked into the room.

"Hey sis," Eric walked up and hugged her.

"Hey Moll," Jordan said waving from where he had his head stuck in the fridge.

"Hey big bro'" Molly returned the hug. Then she walked over and swatted Jordan on the butt, making him yelp and bang his head on the fridge door. "Hey Jor." She smiled sweetly at him when he glared at her.

"Molly Hutchins, if you weren't Eric's sister I'd beat you right now…"

"Don't let that stop you Jor. I don't mind."

"Eric! I'm going to tell mom on you!"

"That is so frightening…no please don't call her."

"I'll tell her that it was you who broke the vase that day…"

"No! Anything but that! I'm sorry Jordan…I can't let you hurt my sister. She holds to much power over me."

Greg was laughing so hard that he was having a hard time pouring the milk on his cereal and it splashed all over the table.

"You guys are going to make poor Greg choke on his cereal! Out! Out of my kitchen before you kill someone!"

"Oh, I can just see the headline now! Man dies from choking on cereal due to chronic laughing!"

"Jordan Larken! Out! The both of you, before you're late for work. Stop by later and you can help us look through the newspapers for an apartment for Greg."

"Crap, we better ask for overtime." Jordan whispered to Eric.

"I heard that! And just for that you can both go take Greg out tomorrow to look at the apartments we pick 'cause I got to work."

"Now look what you got us into." Eric whispered to Jordan.

"I got a feeling she would've made us do it anyway Eric."

"Out of my apartment now! The both of you shoo!" Molly yelled from the kitchen.

The two giggling men quickly hurried out the door.

Greg nearly did choke on his cereal over that last exchange. Molly had to thump him on the back.

"You want me to make that hot chocolate now and we can talk over this when you're done eating?"

Greg just nodded, the smile disappearing off of his face.

"You'll feel better after you talk it out Hun, trust me. It always worked for me." Molly smiled at him before turning to get the hot chocolate ingredients together.

"I know…it's just that I said some things I wish I hadn't, and some things I should've said a long time ago."

Molly patted him on the head as she went to fill the tea kettle with water.

"No talking right now. Finish your cereal first ok? Then we'll talk."

Greg nodded and proceeded to finish his cereal. The kettle whistled just as Greg got up to rinse his bowl out. He sat back down after he put it in the sink. Molly poured the water over the chocolate mix and handed the cup to Greg.

"You ready to talk now?"

"Yeah." Greg listlessly stirred the mix and water together as he started talking.

"I just got fed up Friday, I was tired of being ignored, snapped at, and ordered around. It all started out so nice…It was a pretty quiet night. Only one major case going on, and that was almost totally solved. I had just gotten the news about my doctorate a little earlier…right before my shift started. I was so happy. I wanted to tell Grissom, my boss you know, right away but he was busy so I waited until he was free. At least I thought he was free….he was just sitting at his desk looking through a case file, an old one. So I went in to tell him and he ignored me. Said he was busy, and that nothing I had to say was important unless it was about the Matthew case. I was crushed. And then in the hallway…Catherine snapped at me when I bumped into her, I was just so upset by Grissom's reaction. And Catherine just ignored me when I apologized, just kept walking into Grissom's office after snapping at me. I went back to the lab and Warrick came in, he just acted like he always did, but at that point in time I was sick of it. Then Sara came in and acted like she always did, I am a machine, I just process stuff for her, I'm not important enough for her to talk to, at least Warrick jokes around a little, you know? So, I finish Warrick's stuff, page him and he comes and gets his report. At least Warrick thanked me…but just before Warrick came in Miss Sara came in demanding her report. I told her that Warrick was there first and so his got done first, I was just about to start hers and she gets all prissy with me. She went and bitched to Grissom telling him I had a temper problem. I was nice and polite. Maybe a little sarcastic but I didn't snap at her. And Grissom comes in telling me I had a temper problem. So I was sarcastic with him…he was all Mr. polite and no feelings….so I snapped. I called said Catherine ignored everyone unless she could mother them, I said Warrick used people, Brass didn't like me, Sara was a Bitch who had Grissom wrapped around her finger, and Grissom was a high and mighty know it all bastard. I blew up at everybody but Nicky. He was the only one in that whole place I felt actually liked me. I feel bad about what I said about Warrick and Catherine. I plan on calling and apologizing to them today. Grissom…I'm not so sure about. Sara…never, not unless she apologizes first."

"Oh Greg." Molly hugged him. "That's awful. You shouldn't have blown up like you did, but I'm glad you did because holding all that in isn't good for you. We need to teach you to stand up for yourself. That's what we need to do. And we need to talk about why you blew up the way you did. But not right now. Now you need to drink your chocolate and we need to think up what you are going to say to Catherine and Warrick."

"That sounds like a good idea Moll. I'm glad I have a friend like you."

"Thanks Greg, that means a lot to me, really. And I'm glad I have you as a friend to."

Molly hugged a still seated Greg and kissed him on top of his head.

"So, what are you going to say?"

"I don't really know. I figure I'll call them up, say I'm sorry, and see where it goes from there."

"Sounds like a good idea. How soon can you call them?"

"Hmm…Well, Warrick goes to Church with his grandmother some Sundays so he probably won't be home till after twelve, Catherine has Lindsay to take care of so she'll probably be up by now…I'll wait to call her till about ten though. I'm going to go take a shower ok?"

"Now that is the best idea you've had so far today, you reek."


Molly just stuck her tongue out. "My house. I can kick you out if you mess with me."

"You just wait till I have my own apartment…then I'll get you. Just you wait."

"Hey I just remembered…when do you start again?"

"The thirtieth, but on the twenty seventh Dr. Kilandre wants me to come in for a tour, meet my underlings and all that. Hey, you're an underling! Hello underling."

"Shut up and go take your shower."

Greg just stuck his tongue out at her.

Later on after Greg had taken his shower he picked up the phone and started to dial Catherine's number, but then he put it back down and got out his cell phone.


"Yeah Moll?"

"May I ask why you are using your cell?"

"Oh, Catherine has Caller ID and I don't want her not to pick up because it's out of area."

"Ah, that makes sense." And Moll went back to looking through the apartment listings.

Greg hit the speed-dial button for Catherine as he walked back to the guest room because as much as he loved Molly, this was something he needed privacy for.

Catherine picked up after the fourth ring. "Yeah?"

"Catherine…it's me, Greg. Can I talk to you for a bit, you're not busy or anything are you?"

"No Greg, I'm not busy, and I want to apologize for ignoring you. And for snapping at you Friday in the hall. I'm so sorry I made you feel that I didn't like you."

"Wow Catherine, thanks, that means a lot to me, but the reason I called is I want to apologize to you. I'm sorry I said those things about you, it was totally uncalled for and I'm so sorry."

"It's ok Greg, it wasn't entirely uncalled for. I have ignored you. What you said hurt but it wasn't undeserved."

"Thanks Catherine. You are so very understanding."

"Not at all, you didn't have to quit you know."

"I needed to Catherine. I just couldn't stand it anymore. Grissom is a great guy and everything…but he's just not a people person. And Sara…I couldn't stand her anymore. I had to get out of there before I did something way worse than what I have done."

"Are you happy where you are?"

"I will be. I have a great new job, friends to help support me. In fact my friend Molly is letting me crash at her place while helping me look for a new apartment."

"That's good Greg, that's really good. And if it helps at all, Grissom is sorry. We all went by your place yesterday to apologize but you were gone and the movers were taking your stuff out."

"All of you, even Grissom and Sara?"

"Well, not Sara. Grissom even drove out to the truck yard that the movers are based out of to talk to the supervisor to get the info on where your stuff was being shipped so he could apologize to you."

"Really? Well, they are shipping it to Molly's. She has an extra room I'm putting it all in till I find an apartment. Then my friends Eric and Jordan are going to help me move it in to the apartment."

"That's good Greg."

"Do you mind keeping this to yourself for now? It's ok if you talk with Warrick and Nick, but I don't want Grissom to know where I am right now. I can't deal with talking to him just yet."

"No problem, I understand. Where are you anyway?"

"I didn't tell you? I'm sorry, thought I did. I'm in Washington, the state, not Washington D.C. My new job is at a crime lab they just started up here."

"Good for you Greg. I'm proud of you."

"Thanks. I gotta go now. I still need to call Warrick and Nick."

"Ok, bye Greg."

"Bye Catherine."

Greg then called Nick. He picked up on the fifth ring just as Greg was getting ready to hang up.

"Stokes speaking."

"Hey Nick, its Greg."

"Hey Greg! I'm glad you consider me a friend. And I think quite a bit of what you said is dead on."

"Really? You think so, I didn't mean to say all that, I was just so sick of the way I was being treated."

"Yeah, I mean it, and I'm sorry for all the times I've ignored you too."

"Thanks man. But you never really deliberately ignored me."

"You are to kind to me. So, how are you, and why'd ya quit?"

"I'm great, I think I can actually be really happy here. And I quit 'cause I couldn't stand working like that. I mean half the time I was ignored, and the other half I was treated like a machine, a piece of lab equipment. And it sucked. I just couldn't take it anymore. I was fed up, pissed off."

"Ah, I'm sorry I didn't see that Greg. I would've tried to help."

"Nothing you really could've done about it Nick."

"I see why you kept trying to get in on the field work."

"Yeah, I wanted to be treated like part of the team, to be noticed."

"So, where are you anyway?"

"I'm in Cascade, Washington. I got a job up here at the Cascade Crime Lab."

"Cool, good for you. You'll let me know what your new address is, won't you?"

"Yeah, I will. I got something else to tell you too. I wanted to tell Grissom first…but he ignored me."

"Really? Is this part of the reason you blew up Friday?"

"Yeah, I had just gotten the information that my Dissertation had been approved by the panel. I had my doctorate. I wanted Grissom to know first seeing as he is my boss."

"Yeah, that and the fact you got a crush on him. But congratulations Greg. I'm happy for you. Just what is your doctorate in anyway?"

"Huh, you knew I have a crush on Grissom?"

"Yeah Greg. Kinda obvious to me. But your secret is safe with me, nobody else has noticed, I'm pretty sure about that."

"Oh good, good. You're ok with this?"

"Yeah Greg, I'm ok with you having a crush on Grissom. I think it's kinda sweet."

"Ha, so very ha."

"Yeah, I thought so. Anyway, you didn't answer me, what the heck is your doctorate in anyway?"

"Oh, well…that's in chemistry stuff…My whole diss was about the importance of chemistry analysis and how it can help police solve crimes. I used examples from my work at the lab."

"Neat. Anyway, I gotta go Greg, email me ok?"

"Yeah, when I get a new computer or Molly lets me use hers."

"What happened to your laptop?"

"It fell off the roof of Molly's car at about fifty miles an hour."

"Damn, ouch. Well, email me when you can, let me know your address when you get your apartment ok? And I'll miss you around here Greg, just won't be the same without you."

"Thanks Nick, that means a lot to me, I'll email you when I can. Goodbye Nick. And remember, tell no one anything ok, I'll tell them myself when I'm ready."

"Yes Greg, bye Greg."