This wasn’t the first time he’d done this, or even the hundredth, but it was the first time they’d done it. They’d been dancing around the issue for years, flirting, teasing, taunting, promising, but never doing. Salacious glances and innuendo-filled words had led to mutual fantasies. But neither of them acted on it, keeping their wants, needs, desires hidden for years. Each had tried to replace the other in their dreams, but those relationships crumbled relatively quickly under the weight of secrets. They knew what the other preferred, yet they refused to believe in the possibility. So they ignored the issue, tiptoed around its perimeter, pretended it didn’t exist. And it worked. At least, until tonight.|
Sara and Warrick had actually managed to work together in a stunning show of cooperativity to catch the Hospital Drive Rapist, a man who preyed on female victims as they left Desert Palms alone. He had six reported victims, but there were most likely more. All had survived, yet evidence accumulated that the level of violence was escalating. It’d been a tough case for both primary investigators, Sara because of the victimization of women and Warrick because of the proximity of the crimes to his estranged wife’s job. To celebrate the closing of another of Vegas’ open crimes, they’d invited all of the members of the night shift to get drinks at Warrick’s favorite dive bar. It was off the Strip, away from the tourists, a hole-in-the-wall they could have free reign over without the annoyance of dance music or throngs of people.
Grissom had begged off, claiming the onset of a migraine caused by reams of unfinished paperwork. Catherine rainchecked, saying she was late to meet Sam and her mother. Bobby Dawson and Jacqui Franco agreed to go but left after one drink, each needing to get home to their children. That left Sara, Warrick, Nick, and Greg tucked into a booth in the back corner, ringing a wobbly table and drinking away the demons of burn-out. Greg was on his second beer of the hour, a dark imported brand whose name only Sara recognized, when he started to tell a story about his days at Columbia. He’d been a graduate student in a natural products synthesis lab, a fact that only Sara seemed privy to. He was waving his hands wildly as the fedora fell forward to obscure his eyes, recounting how the whole lab had banded together to indoctrinate one of the post docs into American culture. He hit the punchline, and as the other three laughed at the images in their minds, his now-still hand came to rest on Nick’s thigh.
He felt the jolt immediately, the crackling of electricity in his bloodstream quickening his heartbeat. There’d always been sparks, tension, chemistry between them, but it had never felt as alive as it did in that touch. Warm brown eyes sought his darker ones out around the brim of the hat, and Nick knew what the look meant. After tonight there’d be no more wondering, longing, dreaming of impossible dreams. Tonight he’d know how Greg tasted, the words he mumbled as he rocketed towards orgasm, the expression on his face as he came down, and it both thrilled and terrified him. They were playing with fire, but for the first time in years, Nick wanted to get burned. He picked his sweating beer bottle off the table and grinned around the neck as he took a long pull. Greg returned the smile, the corners of his lips barely twitching upward. It was shy and timid yet happy. He glanced down, searching for something in his pockets with one hand, the other refusing to break contact with Nick’s thigh. The slightly older man was a little surprised when a crumpled pack of Camel Turkish Gold’s was placed on the table.
Warrick’s voice drew his attention across the table as the hand disappeared, ostensibly to light a cigarette. His skin still felt tingly where the touch had seared into his flesh. He listened half-heartedly as Warrick slurred through a story about some flight attendant he’d been seeing before Tina and tried not to be distracted by the clicking of a lighter. There was a flare, a deep inhalation, a ragged exhalation, and the scent of the burning chemicals and paper hit his nostrils. Nick chanced a glance back at Greg, who was taking another puff on the cigarette and holding the smoke in. He sighed, and it crawled out of his mouth, dancing in a random pattern. Nick was transfixed, watching Greg so thoroughly enjoy something that would most likely kill him. He didn’t seem to care about that, though. Nick took another drink of his beer, trying not to stare, wondering what the inside of Greg’s mouth tasted like. He’d never been one for kissing smokers, always thinking they tasted more like ashtrays than something exotic, but he knew it’d be different with Greg. His hand migrated towards Greg’s leg slowly, a tentative touch of just fingertips. Greg’s eyes flew open at the contact, but he recovered quickly, quirking his head in the direction of the door, asking without words if they were ready to go. Excuses were made, and suddenly the two of them were outside, waiting for a cab, neither sober enough to drive responsibly.
The cab ride was mostly silent, Greg watching the lights of the Strip go by the window, and Nick watching Greg. Occasionally there’d be a shifting of position, but it remained quiet in the back of cab 422. Through some agreement that Nick couldn’t remember, they were dropped off in front of Greg’s apartment complex, where they currently stood.
Under the sodium vapor light, Nick is struck by how young Greg looks. He’s not yet 31, but he could easily pass for someone in their mid-20s. The cigarettes Greg is scrounging for again have yet to age him, and Nick wonders how long he’s been smoking. It can’t be that long because he still grimaces on the first inhale, but he doesn’t cough. Nick stands transfixed, watching Greg watch him through the cloud of smoke until the younger man diverts his gaze, working the worn toe of his sneaker into the crack of the sidewalk. He sighs heavily, dramatically, dejectedly, and Nick realizes that he thinks the Texan doesn’t want to do this anymore.
Nick pulls the half-smoked cigarette out of Greg’s lax grip and brings it to his lips. As he sucks the nicotine into his lungs, he realizes that this is the closest to kissing they’ve gotten. He holds the smoldering cancer stick in his right hand and reaches for Greg with his left. Greg closes the distance between them in two steps. Shaking hands pull Nick’s hips flush against his, and he dives in for the first kiss. It’s a clash of teeth and lips as noses smash together. A heavy tongue pushes into Nick’s mouth, and he feels sticky slobber drying on his bottom lip. Greg angles his head slightly, and his tongue strokes Nick’s. Nick moans, flicking his tongue, chasing the taste of citrus hidden in the beer and enhanced by the cigarette. It’s an intoxicating and heady combination, and he eagerly pursues it, twining the fingers of his left hand in the curls peeking out under the fedora. He must’ve been too eager, though, because Greg pulls back, smiling nervously. He takes the cigarette back, taking a long last drag before dropping it on the ground, stubbing it out with his toe. Nick surges in for a second kiss, wanting it to be better than the first. Greg’s hands ball his shirt up, exposing the small of his back as they scrabble for a solid hold on skin. Blunt nails dig into his obliques, and Nick gasps at the pain, breaking the kiss.
The air is chilly with the last cool respite of spring, and Nick has to fight to suppress a shiver. Greg hunches his shoulders against the gentle breeze that’s now blowing, and once again, the level three investigator is reminded just how young Greg looks. He’s managed to remain pure and innocent despite everything he’s seen in the year and a half since he fully left the lab. Keys rattle, and Nick knows he can either walk away now and go home to masturbate to the taste he knows his toothpaste will never be able to mask, or he can follow Greg up the stairs and into a world of complications. He doesn’t think twice.
The doorknob digs into his back, but the discomfort is easily ignored as soft, swollen lips collide with his slightly chapped ones. Confident hands grip his shoulders, and one works its way into the hair on the back of his head. The hold is strong, positioning his head to allow for better access. His hair is being pulled, but the demanding tongue pushing against his teeth distracts him from the pain. Using the door for support, he pushes the other man back without breaking contact, steering them deeper into the apartment lit only by the blue light from the aquarium in the corner of the living room. He aims for the couch, but a miscalculated step on toes sends them both crashing into the table in the small entryway. There’s a muttered curse, a shaky exhale, and a chuckle. Lips seek each other again, guided by some unseen force, and both men wonder why it took them so long to do this.
Nick finds himself pressed against the wall, the corner of a picture frame digging into his scalp. Greg’s hot mouth works its way along his jawline, nibbling on its path to his ear. He moans, working his hands under Greg’s button-down shirt, seeking soft skin. His fingers graze raised flesh, and his eyes fly open. Nick had forgotten what had provided the impetus for Greg to leave the lab, never seeing the scars, never hearing Greg talk about the incident, never watching hands shake with nerve damage. He wants to see them. His hands start to work open the buttons. A hot tongue swipes along the edge of his ear, and he falters on the third button. He can feel Greg grin, and he wants to kiss that cocky smile away.
His shirt is being worked up his torso, and the cool air raises goosebumps along his flesh. Nick pushes Greg away long enough to peel off his shirt, tossing it somewhere into the apartment. He leans in to reclaim Greg’s mouth, but he misjudges the distance between them. His forehead collides with Greg’s cheek hard. He jerks back quickly, whispering, “Are you okay?” He gets a nod and a small chuckle in response. And then eager hands are plying his flesh as a hungry mouth searches for his. He resumes trying to unbutton Greg’s shirt, but the scrape of nails disrupts him. “Ow.”
“’s okay. Just… not so hard.” A hand is working at his belt buckle, and Nick feels himself getting closer and closer to coming undone. He feels like a teenager about to lose his virginity, and as Greg palms him through his jeans, he knows he’s dangerously close to coming in his pants. If he’s going to do that, he at least wants to feel Greg’s bare chest against his. He grips the offending shirt and tugs, the three unbuttoned buttons falling to the floor and rolling to parts unknown. Greg laughs softly, but the delicious sound is swallowed by Nick as he hauls him in for a bruising, desperate kiss. Skin meets skin, and both men sigh into the other’s mouth at the contact. Nick works his hands under the waistband of Greg’s pants, gripping the globes of his ass and pulling him in tighter. Erections brush through four layers of fabric, and Nick’s soclose. He thrusts into Greg as nails dig into his shoulder blades. One, two, three, four brutal thrusts and he’s coming in his jeans like he’s seventeen and letting Ed Miller explore his body for the first time. Greg grinds into him two more times before grunting out his release, his head falling into the crook of Nick’s neck.
They remain like that, riding out the aftershocks until Nick’s legs collapse under their combined weight. He slides down the wall, bringing Greg after him carefully. “Well, I haven’t…”
“Don’t be.” Greg’s voice is growing thick with sleep.
“Next time will be better,” he whispers, placing a kiss along Greg’s hairline, wondering where the hat went. He’ll look for it in the morning, he thinks as his eyelids drift shut.