CSI
Triangle by Serenity [Reviews - 1]

Greg and Henry were huddled together at the break room table, Henry’s head hanging low in a mirror image of Greg. Nick peered across to see what was so interesting, wondering if Greg‘s infamous semi-pornographic magazines had made a surprise reappearance. He found that they seemed to be looking at nothing more than a case file.

“You two look like you’re conspiring something.” Nick said loudly to make his presence known. Greg looked up and gave him a blinding grin, but Henry’s eyes only briefly flicked up as far as Greg’s face before going back to the file, making no acknowledgement that Nick had even entered the room.

“Hey there Nick, how’s it going?” Greg asked, lifting his steaming coffee and taking a small sip. “Just showing Henry the details of my latest case, which I solved in record time with an uncannily brilliant piece of detection, thank you very much.”

“Modest as ever.” Nick laughed, giving Greg a playful punch on the shoulder. With that, Henry pushed his chair back and stood up quickly. “Thanks for your time, Greg. I’ll call you later, OK?” As he squeezed past Nick to leave, he gave him a small nod and a tight smile.

“Calling you later, hey?” Nick teased once Henry was out of earshot. “Anything you want to share with us, Greggo?” He was more interested in Greg’s answer than he let on.

Greg finished his coffee and walked over to the sink to rinse his mug. “I’m just giving him some advice, he’s been thinking about making the big transition from the lab to the field, and who better to talk to than someone who has been through it. We’re meeting up for something to eat later so I can share with him some of my….” He searched for the right word. “…expertise.”

“Expertise!” Nick snorted. “That’s one way of putting it, I guess.”

“I don’t get your meaning.” Greg furrowed his brow in confusion. “He just wants to know what’s involved in training to be a CSI. I want him to go into this with as much information as possible. If I can be a role model for Henry, then I think I should make the effort and do it right, don’t you? I know first hand what a difficult process it is.”

Nick held his hands up in mock surrender. “OK, fine. But if you ask me, I think that Henry might see you as a little more than just a role model.”

Greg picked up the file and used it to tap Nick on the chest. “Just as well no one is asking you, isn’t it?” He smiled and greeted Sara who was just coming into the break room, then turned and left.

“See you, Greg. Hi Nick.” Sara’s voice was muffled by the donut she’d stuffed in her mouth. “So I see that Henry has finally left Greg alone for five minutes. I was beginning to think they were joined at the hip.”

Nick nodded, a look of thinly veiled concern on his face. “You’ve seen them together? Please tell me I‘m not the only one who sees what‘s going on here.”

Sara swallowed her mouthful and grinned, the gap in her teeth showing. “I know, it’s so cute. He follows Greg around the same way Greg used to follow you around. Talk about hero-worship. I guess everything comes full circle. Or triangle, actually, when you think about it.”

“Greg never followed me around like that.” Nick frowned, shaking his head. “ I mean, Henry’s practically hanging off his every word, it‘s like he‘s obsessed with him or something.”

Sara said nothing, but gave him a knowing smirk.


~~~


The next shift began that night as usual, Nick was in the locker room stashing his spare clothes when Greg came in. When he saw Nick he rolled his eyes and went to turn away again, but Nick called him on it. “Everything OK, G’?”

Greg sighed and nodded, pulling the strap of his bag over his shoulder and dumping it on the bench.

“How was your meal with Henry? Did you offer him your… expertise?” Nick asked, actually interested in how it had gone.

“Listen, Nick, I’d rather not talk about it, if you don’t mind. I’m not in the mood for your wisecracks.” He dialled in his combination and opened his locker, stuffing the bag inside.

“Are you OK, what happened?” Nick was concerned now, because Greg looked thoroughly depressed. “Did Henry make you pay for dinner?” He was trying to lighten the mood, make Greg smile, but it didn’t appear to be working.

“You were right, OK? Satisfied?” Greg slammed the locker shut and made to leave, but Nick grabbed his wrist.

“Right about what, Greggo? Talk to me, man.”

Greg looked at the floor, toeing at the tile with his sneaker. “He tried to kiss me, OK? I let him down gently, but I feel like shit now. He seemed so upset and embarrassed. I didn’t even realise that he had a crush on me until he told me that he really liked me. Then he tried to…. But I stopped him.”

His next sentence seemed to be directed to himself rather than Nick. “Dammit, why did he have to say anything, why couldn‘t he have just kept it to himself, like I did?” He let out a shaky breath and shook his head, speaking so softly that Nick could barely make him out. “I guess it‘s the best way though, now he doesn‘t have to spend the next few years thinking there might be a chance, he can just concentrate on his work, and becoming a CSI if that‘s what he decides to do.”

He removed Nick’s hand from his wrist and exited the locker room, walking towards Grissom’s office to get his assigned case for the evening.

Nick stayed by the lockers for a moment, both Greg and Sara’s words ringing in his ears.

He follows Greg around the same way Greg used to follow you around.

Why couldn‘t he have just kept it to himself, like I did?

He follows Greg around the same way Greg used to follow you around.

Now he doesn‘t have to spend the next few years thinking there might be a chance.


Nick cursed himself for being so blind. Just as Greg had been unable to see Henry’s intentions, Nick had been oblivious to Greg’s feelings for him, feelings that he would have gladly reciprocated had he known. He raced after Greg, eliciting a yelp of surprise as he pulled the young CSI into the nearest store cupboard.

“What the hell are you doing?” Greg fumed, straightening his clothes.

“Am I too late?” Nick asked, his eyes searching Greg’s face for any clues. “Did I take too long to notice?”

“Notice what, what the hell are you talking about?”

Nick took a deep breath to steady his nerves. “To notice how you feel about me. I’m sorry Greg, I just never knew. If I had……”

Greg buried his face in his hands for a moment. “If you had, you’d have done the same thing that I did today. You’d have been mortified, and you’d have felt like shit, but you would have let me down gently because that‘s what a nice guy like Nick Stokes does.”

“Greg….”

“Sometimes not knowing is less painful, Nick. I didn’t ever want to hear you say the things that I had to say to Henry this morning. But now it looks like I have no choice, doesn’t it?”

Nick remained silent, trying to think of a way to make Greg understand what he was trying to say. “It’s OK Nick. I know that we’re friends and nothing more. I’ve been dealing with that fact for longer than I care to remember. Now, will you please let go of my shirt so I can get to work?”

Nick looked down and realised that he had the hem of Greg’s shirt balled in his fist, holding the young man in place.

“No, I’m not letting go until you tell me, am I too late?” Nick pulled Greg closer to him, the atmosphere in the tiny store room thick with tension.

Greg’s voice was barely above a whisper, and Nick had to strain to hear him. “It’s been too late for a long time, Nick. And if you honestly didn’t notice this before today, I think you seriously need to reconsider your career choice. Listen, as much as I‘m enjoying this slow death by acute embarrassment I’ve really got to go. Grissom will looking for me.”

Nick held firm. “All this time I thought you were in love with Sara. You never shut up about her, what was I supposed to think, except that I had no chance? And you’ve spent the last six months working alongside her and I‘ve barely seen you, I always assumed that it was her you wanted. Not me.”

Greg’s breath hitched, and Nick noticed he was trembling slightly. “It’s always been you, Nick. You’re like….. gravity. I’m drawn to you, even against my better judgement. But I still stand by what I said. It’s too late. And no one is more sorry about that than me.”

He twisted himself out of Nick’s grasp and opened the store room door, blinking a little against the harsher light of the corridor.

Nick watched him go, his heart sinking. A movement in his peripheral vision, a flash of blue lab coat through the glass caused him to turn, and he saw Henry standing in his lab, also watching as Greg walked away from them. They made eye contact for a split second, sharing a brief moment of recognition before Henry turned back to his work, leaving Nick standing alone in the corridor.






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