CSI: Out of the Closet: One Shot|
Warrick went down the stairs, enjoying the feel of the carpet on his bare feet. A good cup of coffee and some eggs were just what he needed to start the day and get rid of his hangover. When he found his way into the livingroom, he was abruptly reminded of the party he’d had the night before with the team, to celebrate their victory over yet another serial killer. Paper cups and beer bottles still littered the floor and he’d nearly stepped on a paper plate covered in a dried out cheese sauce. He shook his head as he picked up the plate and proceeded further into the room.
But he wasn’t alone. After the rest of the team had gone home, Greg and Nick had stayed after to play some Madden on his new tv. Greg had gotten so drunk he’d passed out on the floor before they’d even finished the game.
A slightly inebriated Nick was still crashed on his couch the morning after, but the youngest CSI had departed the sleeping bag draped over him. Shit. Where had he gone? He didn’t need a hung over Greg getting into trouble at this ungodly hour.
In the dark room he saw Nick blink from the couch.
“Hey man. Where’s Greg?”
Movement caught his attention. Another form moved on the couch and Warrick was startled to realize Greg was curled up into Nick’s side, pressed firmly between the warm body and the back of the couch.
He snorted at the sight, “How long’s he been there?”
“Most of the night,” Nick whispered.
Warrick grinned. “Just wait till he wakes up and realizes he’s not with a pretty girl. And man, you must be more drunk than I thought to stand him all night.”
“He hates sleeping alone,” Nick stated, with a certain gentleness to his voice that suggested he knew this on a personal level coworkers didn’t normally share. “And you know how much I had to drink last night, Rick. I’m only as drunk as you originally thought I was.” Nick was serious and Warrick was surprised to find not even an ounce of laughter in either his expression or the tone of his voice.
“You must be joking.”
“I’m not. And Greg’s a genius. He knows who he’s sleeping with.”
“Nicky, what’s wrong? Why are you so tense?” Greg mumbled from beneath the comforter. “Oh my God, my head hurts.”
“I know, G. I know.” Nick’s eyes bored into Warrick, as if shooting daggers, but his voice was soft and comforting.
Breakfast was now the last thing on Warrick’s mind and he was sure he didn’t need coffee to wake up anymore.
“I gotta sit down,” he said absentmindedly, trying to wrap his mind around what he was seeing and learning. He set the plate back on the floor.
“Greg, come on. We’ve got to get home,” Nick tried to roust his hung over partner out of sleep.
“Mmmm... I thought we were home, Nicky.”
“Greg! Get up!”
“Nicky?” Greg mumbled, slight fear creeping into his voice.
“He’s too hung over. Let him sleep.” Warrick looked around the room, surprised by his own words. He hadn’t meant to say them. He wasn’t sure he knew what he had wanted to say instead. But they had popped out regardless and now he was stuck with them.
Nick only looked briefly at him with wide eyes before turning back to Greg as he whimpered about his head again.
“We’ll get you some coffee on the way home.”
“No, Nick. I’m not making you go home. I don’t want to make that headache worse.”
“Are you sure? You have to be sure here, Rick.”
Light snoring met their ears and both looked down to see that Greg was sound asleep again, hugging Nick like he was his lifeline keeping him alive.
Warrick shook his head. “Man... I just never woulda thought...”
“I know.” Nick looked back up at him. “We never really told anyone. Didn’t want to upset the flow of work or anything.”
“It won’t, you know.”
“You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?”
“Hell no. That’s your personal life and I have no business telling the world about it. Unless I felt it was destroying you. But it’s not.” He nodded toward’s Greg’s peacefully sleeping body, with the small smile on his face. “He’s happy, and that’s a good thing. I’m glad.”
“What about me?”
“You’ve been on the defensive since I came down here so I can’t tell. Are you happy with him?”
“He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Rick.”
“Then I’m happy for you too.”
“I didn’t mean for this to happen, you know. I was hoping he’d either stay on the floor and forget where he was or that he’d wake up long before you walked in.” Even as he talked, Nick’s arms tightened around Greg.
“But you don’t like sleeping alone either,” Warrick surmised.
“No.” Nick shook his head. “I don’t. Not really.”
“Let me guess... Nigel Crane had something to do with it?”
“Yeah. And the box. And the James family. And the lab explosion. All of it. Every time I had a gun in my face...”
“So this isn’t... this isn’t new then, is it?”
“Now I remember... you stayed at his place that night we arrested Crane.”
“He didn’t yell at me for falling apart. He didn’t hate me for it or find me weak. Instead, he quietly put me back together,” Nick said in a faraway voice, as if he was reliving the incident in his head, his hand gently rubbing Greg’s arm. “And when the lab exploded I quietly put him back together. We’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Warrick smiled. “I’m glad. All this time I thought you didn’t have anyone. I’ll admit I was worried after we got you out of the ground. I didn’t want you to have to go home alone. But I didn’t know if I should say anything or what to say. Knowing you had him, makes me feel better.” He got up. “I’m gonna make some coffee. You want some now? Or you gonna wait till he wakes up?”
Warrick headed toward the kitchen.
He turned at Nick’s voice.
“Thanks,” Nick said.
“Not kicking us out.”
“You know I wouldn’t.”
“But still... thanks.” Nick gave him a warm smile.
Once his coffee was made and he’d returned to the livingroom, Warrick was surprised to find both men sound asleep. Nick wore a content look on his face with his arms loosely wrapped around his still smiling partner.
Grinning an evil grin, Warrick grabbed his camera and got a candid shot before he sat down with his coffee and a recent copy of Forensics Journal.