Author: Fabs G (MoodyMuse19)
Disclaimer: Yeah, if they were mine, there’d be more Nick/Greg scenes in season 5.
Summary: A visit from Bobby’s daughter to the lab provides Nick and Greg the opportunity to talk about their break up.
A/N: 1. Yes, you read ‘break up’ Don’t lynch me, read first! 2. Also, am I the only one that wants Bobby’s family to be addressed on the show?
“Hey Archie.” Said Nick cheerfully, entering the A/V lab. He stopped, all cheer gone: Greg was there “Hey” he said to him, wary, as if testing ground.
Greg’s greeting was just as wary. “Hey”
It’s not like he should be surprised of running into him. Greg was a CSI now (and he knew very well- the way the two of them celebrated was not something easy to forget), and was working the same case as he was.
It still unsettled Nick. After months of secret looks and being themselves only in front of Archie –who had known about them even before they themselves had known- suddenly not being able to touch, feel, just look at Greg, felt awkward. He felt trapped, retrained.
“Anything new?” said Nick, sure Greg could read his mind.
“Yes. Nothing.” Said Archie and Nick frowned. “Your suspect was never in the store. He’s lying”
“Well, that gives us somewhere to start at least.” Said Nick
“If he’s lying about this he might be lying about everything else-“ said Greg calmly, politely, out of character. “his relationship to the victim, when he saw her last…”
“Yeah, we should call him in again” said Nick.
The conversation was controlled, measured, polite and so not those two, Archie decided he had had enough. He knew what was going on, and had been listening to it too long.
“Look,” aid Archie, turning to face Nick and Greg ”I know what you two are going is hell. Working with the ex you still have the hots for? Not nice, I’ve been there, believe it or not. But put a little of yourselves to get over this or everyone will start noticing.”
Nick sighed, and Greg said nothing. “Archie, it’s-”
“What’s up?” greeted Warrick from the doorway, pretending he did not know he had interrupted a conversation.
Archie swiveled in his chair and faced the screen again, showing Warrick a still of the video at a certain time. “Store video shows nothing. Your perp was never there.”
“Nice, one alibi less, one suspect more” said Warrick, looking at the frozen image of a deserted clothes store.
"Look what I found wondering around" said someone from the doorway.
The four men turned to Catherine's voice and saw that she was carrying a blonde-pigtailed little girl, looking at everything wide-eyed.
They all knew Lily, Bobby's daughter- although most knew her by Bobby's proud father pictures in his wallet and locker. Catherine had met her once and today she’d offered Bobby to take care of her as he was late for court and his nanny hadn't showed up.
On her way to where the other CSIs were, people had greeted Lily constantly, and Lily had to ask Catherine how is it that everyone knew her. "Well, that's because you daddy loves you very much. He's always talking about you"
"Really?" the girl asked, and Catherine refrained from mentioning he talked about her only to those who knew Lily had two daddies.
"Really" Catherine said.
Now in the A/V lab, the men smiled at Lily. "Hey Lily" said Warrick, and Lily smiled at him.
Then she spotted Nick.
"Uncle Nick!" said Lily and squirmed herself out of Catherine's arms and catapulted herself into Nick's arms.
Nick’s smile was sincere now, and the girl hugged him tight. Only when she let go did she see Greg standing close. "Uncle Greg!" she bellowed again and Nick passed Lily to Greg.
Both Nick and Greg smiled sincerely at the girl, although Archie thought he saw the flicker of something else. Reminders, perhaps?
"Uncle?" wondered Warrick, and Catherine was just as curious.
"Yeah, they're my uncles." said Lily proudly before Nick or Greg could open their mouths. "Dad says that your uncles are the brothers of you daddies or people really-really close, so they’re my uncles"
"I see" said Catherine slowly.
"Yeah, they're awesome. They visit me all the time and they give me nice presents on my birthday and Christmas...” Lily’s face grew sadder “but…"
"What is it, beauty?" asked Catherine.
"They don't visit as often now." Lily looked at Greg and Nick accusatorily. "Why don't you visit me anymore?"
Nick and Greg looked at each other, trying to find an excuse they could tell the girl. "Well, we've been busy" said Nick.
"But you visited all the time when you were busy” accused Lily.
"We did?" said Greg, not having a better answer.
"Yes, you always arrived together and left together and talked about your job with daddy. Why don't you come see me now?"
Nick and Greg looked at each other again, and a thousand sad words could've fitted the look they gave each other, but nothing was said. Dammit all, they thought. Greg put Lily down on the floor as Nick sat down and faced the girl. "Well, that's because uncle Greg and I don't live together anymore" he said, and suddenly his voice had acquired more of his Texan accent and was closed off, as if he was getting a cold.
Lily threatened to pout, but didn't. "Why not?" she asked simply.
"Things got difficult" said Nick and could not avoid looking at Greg.
"Why?" she insisted.
Seeing that Nick's answers –and composure- were running low, Greg kneeled and spoke to Lily. "Well, we were friends before we lived together, and we didn't want to stop being friends"
"And you can't be close friends and live together like my daddies do?"
Nick and Greg shook their heads slowly. "No" they said softly, but everyone heard it.
Lily knew when to stop asking, and seeing her uncles so sad was telling her that no more questions should be asked.
Warrick and Catherine were looking stunned at the three in front of him and were wise enough to say nothing. They pried into people's lives for a living and what they were witnessing here was clearly news of the break up of a couple to a little child.
Archie had blended into the background, almost as if not there. He'd been the one person who had know about them before, during and after the relationship, and knew when to keep his mouth shut.
Which was not now.
"Hey Lily" said Archie, swiveling his chair round and beckoning her forward.
Lily gave small, sad steps. "Hmm?"
"Why don't you come with me? We'll get something to eat and I'll show you where your daddy keeps photos of you" he didn’t mention he planned to break into Bobby’s locker to do this.
Seeing her daddy's things seemed to interest her a bit. "Okay." She smiled shortly.
Archie scooped her up, Lily rested her head on his shoulder and, with a subtle glance at Catherine and Warrick, Archie and Lily disappeared down the hallway.
Nick and Greg stood up and looked at each other. Forgetting Warrick and Catherine were still in the room, an awkward silence ensued. "At least we saved that conversation from Bobby" said Greg, who could never tolerate a silent room for too long.
"Yeah" agreed Nick.
Catherine cleared her throat and, suddenly remembering they were there, Greg and Nick found out they did not care that Warrick and her now knew.
Suddenly, overtime on the case was out of the question.
"You two look like you need breakfast" said Warrick.
"Thanks, I just want to crash a bit" said Nick, but Catherine wouldn’t allow him.
"We're not going to leave you two on your own now." She said "Let's go."
Greg quickly agreed, said he needed to change and left the room with a ‘excuse me’.
Nick saw him go and sighed. “Let me get my things first.” He said.
“Meet you guys in ten” said Warrick, walking off with Catherine to God knows where.
In the locker room, Nick found that it was deserted but for one person: Greg, of course. He had his locker door opened and had just finished putting on one of his loud t-shirts. The one he liked the most, Nick mused, and wondered if it was intentional or accidental. “Hey” he greeted, going for his locker.
“Hey” greeted Greg back.
Silence. Never before, in the five years they’d known each other, had there been the uncomfortable silence there was now.
“I, uh, hope Lily will be okay” said Nick conversationally. He hated the silence: the clanging of locker doors and the thumping of boots and duffel bags.
“She’s tough.” Said Greg “And she has Bobby and Mark”
“Yeah.” Silence again.
Nick send all inhibitions into the back of his locker and turned to face Greg- and when had Greg taken his breath away so quickly just by looking at him?
Greg faced him too. There was a certain defensive tone in his voice. “What?”
Nick rubbed the back of his neck. “The last time we talked about this- I mean- it didn’t-“
Greg nodded. “We were at each other’s throats, I know”
“Is that how it’s going to end?” he sat down, realizing he needed to change his work shoes for something more comfortable. Or maybe it was just an excuse not to look into Greg’s eyes all the time and feel he’d go crazy standing so far away.
“If it were up to me it wouldn’t end at all, you know that” Greg put his bag on the bench.
“That’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s not up to us” Left shoe, off. Left foot, in. “It should be” said Nick softly.
“We were starting to hate each other, Nick.” Greg closed his locker door and leaned against it. “I don’t want that.”
Right shoe- what? Nick looked up at him “I don’t hate you” he said. Greg didn’t believe that, did he?
“I don’t either.” Said Greg, and Nick breathed. He put in his foot inside his right boot.
After a short silence -again- Nick said aloud: “I think we moved in together for the wrong reasons”
Greg chuckled, and Nick smiled just because Greg had chuckled. “Yeah, we couldn’t keep out hands off each other”
Nick’s smile was wistful. “Yeah…”
Catherine and Warrick popped their heads in the room. “You two ready?” she said.
Nick threw his shoes inside his locker and closed it with a bang. “Sure” they both said.
Catherine and Warrick started walking down the hallway, giving the two men space to end whatever could have been going on.
Greg grabbed his bag too, following Nick to the door. He was never sure when he decided it, but he hurried, dropped his bag, grabbed Nick’s arm to turn him around and kissed his lips hard, like he hadn’t in weeks.
Nick kissed back and his arms went around Greg out of instinct, honed from months of being together, and he realized that nothing had ever felt so good as to feel Greg’s lips on his again and feel him in his arms again.
The kiss was needy, the kind that tears at your very core when it finally happens. Unknown to them, Nick brought Greg against a locker for the same reason Greg was holding his face: neither wanted the other to go. But the need for air was strong, and the kiss ended. They panted, looking at each other, and neither knew what words were worthy of breaking such blissful but confusing silence.
Nick found them. “We’ll figure it out” he said softly, and Greg could do nothing else but smile, nod, and let Nick give him a quick kiss before they left the locker room.
Breakfast, even with Warrick and Catherine, seemed like a good idea now.