CSI
never give up by kissingchaos [Reviews - 1]

“Hey.”

Nick looks up from his magazine to see Greg toeing off his shoes and emptying his pockets onto the table in the hallway.

“Hey. Are you hungry? I just made a sandwich, but I can make you one.” Nick closes the magazine and sets it on the coffee table. Greg picks up Nick’s feet and sits down with them in his lap, rubbing his ankles.

“I’m not hungry, but thank you. Actually, I wanted to talk to you.”

Nick sits up a little, leaving his feet in Greg’s lap. He knows what’s coming, but he keeps quiet and lets Greg finish.

“Sara told me about the interview with the swim instructor.”

Nick sighs and leans his head back over the arm of the couch, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“I apologized to her, and with the sheriff’s statement it won’t adversely affect the case. I know, I lost it, but I’m fine.” He looks back up, and Greg is staring at his feet. “G? I’m okay.”

Greg nods. “Yeah, I know, I just… You know what? Nevermind. You say you’re fine, I believe you.” He scoots Nick’s feet out of his lap and stands up. “I think I am going to make a sandwich.”

Nick sits up and grabs Greg’s wrist. “Wait. What’s going on with you?”

“Nothing.”

“Greg.”

Greg sits back down. “I just—what was that about, Nick?”

“What you mean? It was about Cassie, and finding her.” Nick frowns, searching Greg’s face for an indication of where this conversation is headed. Greg turns towards him, setting a hand on his knee.

“I know that, I just… I wonder if maybe it was about more than that?”

Nick moves to the edge of the couch, pushing Greg’s hand off his knee. “He knew where she was, man. He knew, and he was just going to sit there and let her die and Sara was so convinced that she was already dead, and I just couldn’t believe that. She was alive, and that bastard knew where she was.”

“We had no way of knowing that she was still alive, Nick.”

Nick shakes his head, steeling his jaw. “We had no way of proving she was dead, either, Greg. There was no blood in the house, none in the boat, no indication that they killed her.” Nick glares at Greg. “What is this about, man? My job was to find out what happened to that little girl.”

“Our jobs,” Greg begins emphatically, “were to process the house and find out what happened to the family.”

“Are you telling me I don’t know how to do my job, Greg?” Nick moves to stand up but Greg grabs his shoulder.

“Nick, god, I’m not trying to piss you off, and I’m not questioning your ability to do your job. I just want to understand.” Greg’s eyes are pleading. Nick can feel his heartbeat in his ears.

“Understand what?” He’s getting frustrated, now, and it’s making him antsy. His knee is shaking and he can’t seem to make it stop. “There was a little girl out there, scared and alone and I just wanted to find her.”

“That’s…Nick, we had no reason to believe she was still alive.”

Nick takes a deep breath and looks at Greg. The words are out before he can stop them. “You had no way of knowing I was still alive, either. And if you had given up on me as quickly as you had given up on Cassie, I wouldn’t be.”

Greg’s face falls, and Nick wants to reach out, touch his arm or hold his hand, but he doesn’t move. He swallows thickly.

“It’s true, G. I’m alive because you refused to give up, and I refuse to believe that my life is worth more than that little girl’s.”

“Nick, that’s not—“

“No, I know, that’s not what you meant, but it’s what it boils down to. You all never gave up because you love me, and everyone that loved Cassie was killed. It doesn’t mean she didn’t deserve to have someone fighting for her.” Nick looks away and wipes his nose. He’s tired of fighting back tears.

Greg wraps an arm around Nick and pulls him closer, resting his forehead against the side of Nick’s neck. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Nick whispers.

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything, it’s just that Sara was talking like you Hulked out and killed a man with your bare hands, and I got worried. I just want you to be okay.” Greg sighs heavily, and Nick can smell coffee on his breath. He smiles and turns his head, kissing Greg’s temple.

“I’m okay. Really. If it makes you feel better, I’ll mention it to Dr. Warren on Monday.”

Greg’s ‘thank you’ is muffled by Nick’s throat, and Greg kisses his collarbone. Nick reaches a hand up and fingers the hair at the nape of his neck. “Come on, I’ll make more sandwiches. I think we still have some of that roast chicken left.” He stands up, pulling Greg to his feet. Greg wraps his arms around Nick’s waist and kisses him. “I love you. And from now on, I promise that if you believe in something enough to fight for it, I’ll fight with you.”

Nick smiles, his heart threatening to burst out of his chest. “That’s all I ever want, G. That’s all I ever need.”
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