CSI: Letter: one shot|
I don’t know how to put this... I guess there’s no other way than to just spit it out and get to the point. I know this will be hard to believe but I need to tell you some very important things that will affect your life and those around you to the core of your very beings. In your future you will meet many people... how do I know about your future? You wouldn’t believe me even if I told you the truth. You’re going to quit the Dallas PD soon. You just sent in your resume to the Las Vegas Crime Lab, which is what you really want to do with your life. When they call you back to say you’re hired after your interview next week, maybe then you’ll believe everything I’m telling you, and take the advice I’m about to give you.
You’re going to meet a nice girl after you land this job, Kristy Hopkins. She’ll be involved in several cases you’ll work and she’ll try to hit on you during all of them. No matter how much you might think you like her, don’t let her get to you that way. The night she asks you to sleep with her... don’t. It’ll be one of the worst mistakes of your life if you do, especially when you leave that night and someone tries to frame you for her murder. Help her get back on her feet and make sure she’s safe, but whatever you do, don’t ever sleep with her. She’s not the one for you.
Right now you don’t know anything about true love, even if you think you do. But in a few years you’ll know it. You’ll have it. And you’d better not let it go. Ever.
For many years you’ll hide your true feelings for one of your coworkers. This is the biggest mistake you’ll ever make. It’s ok to tell Greg Sanders you really like him. Just tell him. And the sooner the better because he IS the one for you and because three years after you meet him the DNA lab will explode. Greg will be caught in the middle of it. I want to tell you how to stop it from happening, but I know he wouldn’t want me to. The experience ultimately changed his life, for the better he says, though it took him awhile to realize it. He’ll survive the burns across his back, but he’ll need you to be there for him, to take care of him, and you’re not. No one is.
Go with him to the hospital, stay with him, talk to him, hold his hand, and take care of him. You have no idea how much it’ll hurt seeing him in the hospital, but how much worse it’ll be if you hide from him because you’re afraid of how he’ll react if you tell him why you’re there. And it’ll hurt when you see him at work again not long after. They’ll have the lab fixed in no time, but Greg will still be affected by what happened long after. It doesn’t look like anyone else will notice. But you do. And you still don’t do anything. You leave him to deal with his demons alone.
Nicholas Stokes, you love him. Tell him. Don’t miss this crucial time in his life.
Two years later, it’ll be your turn to spend time in the hospital, and guess who’s standing by your side? Greg is ready and willing to do whatever it takes to help you heal. And he tells you why he’s there, that he didn’t jump into the ambulance taking you away from your grave site right away because he wasn’t sure how you’d react. He was unsure, but fear of losing you got him to realize he didn’t have much time. He told you.
Yes, you eventually get together with Greg, but don’t wait forever. Don’t wait for Greg to make the first move. You have to do it first. He’s there for you when you need him, even through the little things, like tough cases, or your cousin’s daughter’s crazy first birthday party. You have him in the end, but he needs you in the beginning. Please be there for him and tell him the truth. Please. That’s all I’m asking. Just tell him.
“You know why I slept so much while I was in the hospital after the explosion?”
Nick jumped in his seat at the voice right behind him, the pen in his hand skittering across the note pad and rolling onto the floor. Greg’s arms wrapped around his shoulders and he quickly hid what he’d been writing with his hand.
“No. Why?” Nick finally asked once his senses had been gathered. Then he stopped a moment to think. “Wait... well, of course you slept a lot, I mean, don’t most people after something like that?”
Greg kissed his cheek and he could feel him smiling against his skin. “You just admitted to knowing I slept a lot and I don’t recall you ever coming to visit me.”
Nick felt the color draining from his face, fear flooding his heart, even though Greg’s voice was light and happy.
“Even so, I knew you were there.”
Nick stopped breathing for a moment. “You...You did?”
“I was a little confused about why you never came to actually see me, but I knew you were out in the hallway and it made me feel safe. That’s why I slept so much, why I could allow myself to, even though I was scared and confused.” Greg chuckled. “I actually laughed a little when that nurse finally brought you a chair cause you wouldn’t come in and sit in the one beside my bed.”
Nick felt tears prick at his eyes. “You heard that?” His stomach churned at the thought that Greg had known all along and that he’d failed at being able to do such a benign thing as to sit beside a friend when he loved him so much.
“Honey, you’ve got to stop beating yourself up over this. You’ve been doing this for too long. We’re together now. That’s all that matters. Even though you never said anything, I always knew I had your support, no matter what. I knew I could ask anything of you and you’d do it, even if I never told you how much I loved you too.”
Nick tried hard to swallow the lump forming in his throat but found it difficult. His boyfriend reached around and kissed his tears away. He gently pried the pad of paper out of his fingers, ripped the top sheet off, and crumpled it up. Nick could only stare at the empty space on the desk where his pad had been, the fear sliding a little deeper into his soul.
“I know you’ve got a stash of these letters to yourself in that old box under the bed.”
“We bought this house how long ago? Which means we’ve lived together for how long? Nicky, I know you come in here to be alone sometimes. I’ve seen you bent over this note pad before. I’m not oblivious. Though you are when you’re brooding over your words. I read this one over your shoulder just as you were finishing it. It’s been a long time since these issues were major in our lives. When was the last time you wrote one of these?”
“I don’t know...a year ago? Maybe?” Nick admitted with a sigh.
“Take them out and get rid of them. They’re not going to do you any good. You can’t change the past. Kristy had a bright spot near the end of her life when you entered it. And I’m not talking about the last time you saw her either. And now, she’s in a better place, living a better life. She’s ok now. Let her go.”
Nick slowly nodded, unsure if he would ever be able to let her go.
“She would want you to, Nick. If she truly loved you, she would want you to be happy. No matter who you’re with.”
Remembering her beautiful smile, her laugh, her touch, he knew Greg was right. She would want him to be happy. She would want him to let go of the past. And he would try. For her. For Greg.
“We’re here, together now. That’s what matters. The explosion is in the past and I’m long over it. You were there for me just by being there. You did everything you could for me, and that was enough. Even if you never sat beside me or held my hand.” Greg tossed the crumpled paper in the trash can and set the note pad back on the desk. “Besides, I think you more than made up for it this time, babe.”
Nick turned to see the reason for his sudden need to write another letter. The black eye which had been swollen shut just a few weeks ago was healing nicely along with the rest of Greg’s bruised face and body. He gently stroked the pale yellow cheek with his thumb.
“The James family will get away with murder,” he murmured.
“There’s nothing we can do about it. We did our best and whatever the court decides is beyond us. Don’t hang onto that, Nicky. Besides, you did get to punch Pig.” Greg smiled. “Warrick’s recounting of it was good, though I wish I’d been there to see it myself.”
Greg’s eyes met his. “Honey, you have no idea how much you’ve actually done for me even when we weren’t together. The little things all add up. You were supportive of me while I was in training for field work. I know you bet against Chandra making it in the lab, but that was her failing, not me. And I didn’t because of you. You kept me going when I thought I couldn’t do it. When you were exhausted after pulling a double you still stayed up with me to test me on my field work.
“You know what else? It’s true you didn’t tell me back then how you felt. It’s true you weren’t right by my side helping me adjust. But you have no idea how much I wish I’d been given the chance to beat Nigel Crane to a pulp like you got the chance to hit Pig. I wish I’d been able to be there for you because no one else was. I kicked myself for that one so many times. And when you were kidnapped, that was the last straw for me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to see you and I had to tell you the truth.”
Nick thought about it. Thought about what it would have been like if Greg hadn’t said anything two years ago. What he would have felt seeing Greg get hurt again. Would he have been able to get up the nerve to spill his guts and tell him the truth?
A slide show filled his mind quickly and then was gone in the same instant. In it, he saw Greg’s hair on the pavement, saw the Denali with its windows kicked out, the outline of Greg’s body where he’d been found, saw his bruised face, saw him lying in his hospital bed through the small window waiting for the burns on his back to heal while his friends quizzed him about the explosion, and remembered how he’d gone to Nick first at the scene of the bus crash, how he’d always looked up to him for guidance, support, and most of all acceptance.
“We’re on the same ground now,” Greg said as if he’d just read Nick’s mind.
Swinging his leg up and over Nick’s he sat on his lap, facing him, draping his arms over Nick’s shoulders, his eyes searching his face. And Nick knew he would have done the same thing Greg had. He would have spilled his guts the second time Greg got hurt if Greg hadn’t done so first. Without a doubt.
“I knew you were out in the hallway and it made me feel safe. That’s why I slept so much, why I could allow myself to, even though I was scared... I always knew I had your support, no matter what. I knew I could ask anything of you and you’d do it, even if I never told you how much I loved you too.” Greg’s voice played in his head as if he was actually repeating his own words through his eyes instead of his mouth.
“You never had to say anything,” Greg repeated, his voice faint, his lips barely moving.
“I’m glad you did though,” Nick finally spoke, his throat thick. “I’m glad you didn’t wait any longer. One of us had to say something first, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be me.”
Greg smiled. “Exactly.”
“But I would have. Eventually. If you hadn’t.”
“That’s good. Because a life without you... that would be torture.” Greg leaned in and gently brushed his lips across Nick’s, before pulling away.
“Torture would also include your teasing,” Nick said, pulling him back for another, much longer kiss.
When he ran out of breath a wild idea came to him. He let Greg go, a wide grin on his face as he panted for air.
“What?” Greg asked. “Was it something I did? Something I said?”
“Something like that,” Nick laughed, glad to feel the weight finally lifting off his shoulders.
Greg stopped breathing and stared.
“One of us had to be the one to ask sooner or later, G. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be you.”
Nick watched the emotions in Greg’s eyes go from happy, to shocked, to an adoring, tender gaze, glistening with tears. Without words, Greg dived in for a sudden, heated kiss, and Nick had his answer.
In the morning, he would throw all of his old letters into the fireplace and never look back.