By the Studebaker by kennedy [Reviews - 3]

“You working this by yourself, G?”

Greg Sanders poked his head around the hood of the Studebaker he was half-hanging out of and watched Nick Stokes wearily sit down upon one of the benches opposite the automatic ramp.

“Yeah, Warrick’s gone to pick up some more evidence with Brass. I told him I would handle this classic beauty.”

Nick happily surveyed the way the coveralls clung to Greg’s slender frame, accentuating all the right places. “Yeah, it looks it.”

Greg grinned and swung his wrench around, to catch it in his left hand, but of course missed it and let it fall noisily to the concrete flooring. “This is no time to be thinking of playing Hot Mechanic tempts the Rich-and-Bicurious Widower Client, Nicky.”

“We’re at work, Sanders. I wasn’t thinking no such thing,” Nick lied through his teeth.

“Uh huh,” Greg bent down to pick up the wrench, and straightened up in time to see Nick give an almost-cartoonish head shake. He bit his lip to cover up a smile and moved back under the hood.

“Although,” Nick finally admitted, “it is kind of a sexy thing to see you working on a car. Because it’s a rare thing.”

“Why do I need to work on cars?” Greg asked, muffled from beneath the hood. “That’s what I have you for.” He peeked out from Nick under the roof of metal and gave a cheeky smile. “But I’ll make a deal with you… if we ever need to look under the hood for blood, I’m your man.” And with that, he activated the ALS and became enveloped in a blue glow as he searched for blood to show under its intense scrutiny.

Nick didn’t answer, just made a grunting noise in response.

“So are you off home, then?” Greg asked, his legs practically kicking out in the air as he delved deeper within the engine. “Aha!” He reached for a swab and triumphantly retrieved a sample of liquid that had absorbed the beam of light.

“How much longer do you think you’ll be?” Nick asked.

“Don’t know,” Greg shrugged, reappearing in full view as he capped the swab and placed it in his kit. “And I won’t know until Warrick gets back, at least. That could be hours.” He wiped the sweat off his brow with his sleeve, and gave his stomach a small rub.

“Are you hungry?”

“Don’t have time,” Greg began opening the car doors so he could start examining the interior.

“You have to eat, Greg. Come on, I’ll go and get you dinner and you can take a ten minute break at least.”

“You’ll stick around for dinner?” Greg asked happily.

“Well, technically, breakfast for normal people. But we have to try and eat at least one meal together this week.”


Nick slapped his hands on his knees and stood. Without thinking he automatically leant in and gave Greg a quick kiss. Greg’s eyes widened, and he laughed.

“PDA? You are so unprofessional,” he teased, although he loved it.

Nick smiled tiredly, uncaring about workplace decorum when all he wanted to do was take his partner home and curl up beside him in bed for a good eight hours uninterrupted rest. “Shut up.”

When he arrived back at the vehicle lab about half an hour later, Warrick was still nowhere to be seen and Greg had finished running the LDS over the interior. He held up the grease-stained paper bags as solid evidence that dinner had been obtained, and Greg’s eyes lit with hunger.

“I could eat two burgers,” he smacked his lips loudly, and used the chemical handwash to clean himself.

“Could you now?” Nick asked, dragging the benches together and making an impromptu picnic table for them.

“Would you be willing to sacrifice yours?” Greg sat opposite him, close enough that their knees were brushing together.

Nick leaned in closer to ensure that they had full contact, and handed him his cherry shake. “Nope. But I did ask for extra pickle on yours, though.”

Greg grinned at him. “It must be love, then.”

Nick handed him his burger, and then an extra little packet. Greg opened it, and there were an extra three whole pickles inside. “You just don’t love me,” he teased. “You worship me.”

Nick snorted. “Eat your fries.”

They sat in comfortable silence, munching happily. Greg hadn’t realized until the food hit his belly how hungry he actually was. The simple touch of their knees and the fact that they were together enabled them to tune out the other sounds of the lab at work; the tapping of computer keys, the beeping of machinery announcing test results, the murmured chatter of their colleagues, footsteps in the hallways, the ringing of cellphones and landlines… until they were in their own little world where all that was relevant was each other.

Greg gulped down his meal faster, and was already surreptitiously stealing Nick’s fries.

Nick was letting him. “You bring me to all the best places, G.”

Greg stretched back, the lab overalls stretching taut over his body. “I would have lit a candle, but all the grease in here would have made the place go up in flames. Besides, wasn’t it worth it, just to have the pleasure of my company?”

Nick leaned over and wiped away the remnants of ketchup at the corner of Greg’s mouth. “It sure was. But you better get back to work.”

Greg sighed melodramatically. “I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be.”

“I’m going to go home,” Nick nodded. “This was a nice picnic, but next time, let’s try for somewhere more picturesque.”

“The A/V Lab?” Greg snarked.

“Funny.” Once again, it was Nick who leaned in for a goodbye kiss, and Greg was thrilled even though their breaths tasted of onion and pickle, which was never as good after the fact as it was during consumption.

As Nick turned to leave, a thought occurred to Greg, and he called out his partner’s name. “Hey, you didn’t get us any dessert!”

Nick grinned his best devilish smile. “Maybe that’s waiting at home.” And then he was gone, heading for the parking lot and swinging his car keys merrily.

Greg swore under his breath. This was going to be a long shift.

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