Author: SirDigby PM
Nick forgot Grissom's birthday and needs to get him a last minute gift, but none of the other CSIs are cooperating...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Nick S. - Words: 3,303 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 1 - Published: 06-24-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3005126
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Hey, Nicky!" Catherine Willows greeted her co-worker as he walked into the locker room.
"Hey Cath," he smiled. "You're here early."
"So are you." She put her jacket on a hanger. "What's the occasion?"
"Nothing special," he shrugged. "It's not as if we really have a schedule around here."
"Tell me about it." Warrick walked in as well. "Oh, Hey Cath."
"Hey," she responded. "Anyway, Grissom is holding a staff meeting in the break room later, make sure you'll be there."
"A staff meeting?" Warrick looked surprised. "Grissom?"
"Yeah," she laughed. "What do you know?"
"Maybe he's handing out assignments," Nick suggested innocently.
"Yeah, either that or he's having a birthday toast," Warrick laughed.
"No, I said Grissom." Catherine winked and turned to walk out. "See you later."
"Yeah, see ya' there." Nick smiled and shut his locker close. "Oh man!" He leaned forward and hit his forehead on the locker door.
"What?" Warrick looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Wait, you forgot his Birthday, didn't you?"
"Man, I'm not even sure what day is it today."
"Chill, he hates birthdays anyway." Warrick smirked and started untying his shoelaces innocently. Nick stared at him.
"You got him something cool, didn't you?" Nick saw right through it.
"Ooh, yeah!" Warrick smiled.
"Suck up." Nick got up and started walking out.
"You just can't stand it when he likes me better!" Warrick teased him, but he was already half way out.
Nick was in trouble. He not only forgot Grissom's birthday, but Warrick also got him a birthday present and he didn't. He knew it was sucking up, but he can't be the only one without a present, Grissom would think he forgot.
He knew Grissom couldn't care less, but he did. He can't be the only one without a gift! But what do you get a guy who doesn't want anything?
Nick had some real detective work to do. So he went to see a real detective.
"Hey Nick, what can I do you for?" Captain Jim Brass was sitting behind his desk, seemingly very tired.
"Hey Captain, how's it going?" Nick asked and approached carefully. "I'm here on… unofficial business."
"Sure, go ahead," Brass said. "How can I help?"
That was a relief, Nick thought. At least he's in a good mood.
"You know Grissom well, right?" he asked carefully.
"Just as well as anybody ever knows Grissom," he muttered. "Look, if this is about his birthday, just drop it – seriously – he's really not the birthday type."
"So you didn't even get him a birthday present?" Nick tried his luck.
Brass wore his poker face. "Maybe I did, Maybe I didn't."
"Why, didn't you?" The Captain shot back. "Oh Nick, don't tell me you forgot," he teased.
"Forgot what?" Grissom suddenly entered with a case-file under his arm.
"Oh, Grissom, hey" Nick stuttered. "I was just… We were just discussing…" Nick squirmed in his seat.
"The race tracks." Brass came to his rescue. "Nicky here owes me fifty bucks."
Grissom raised an eyebrow. "I thought that was Warrick's thing, but okay."
There was an awkward silence. "Well?" Brass smiled. "Pay up, scientist."
Nick frowned and handed over 50 dollars he had in his wallet.
"I'll… be back later." Grissom walked out.
"Bad day, Stokes?" Brass was pretty pleased with himself.
"Alright, hand it over."
Brass just tilted his head, smirking.
"Why you…" Nick muttered and stormed out.
"I outrank you, you know!" Brass yelled out to the hall, but Nick was already long gone.
Nick entered the break room for the staff meeting. Greg was already there, reading a newspaper with his feet on the desk, and Catherine was making coffee by the mini-kitchen.
"Hey guys," Nick said, trying to catch their attention.
"Hey, Nicky." Catherine didn't even turn around.
"Hey," Greg added.
Nick walked passed him and went directly behind Catherine.
"Say Cath, how long have you known Grissom?"
"Too long," she said jokingly, and fell into a chair. Nick took the one next to her.
"Then you'd know what he'll want for his birthday, right?" he asked, trying his luck.
"Not that long." She was serious this time. "Look Nick, don't sweat it, it's not the first time he's had a birthday and you didn't get him anything".
"Hey, maybe you should ask Sara," Greg commented from across the table, not even taking his eye off the newspaper.
"Oh, I don't think Grissom would want from Nick what he gets from Sara," Catherine grinned. "Speaking of Sara, where is she? I haven't seen her all day."
Catherine looked at Nick who shrugged and then at Sanders who didn't even budge.
"I swear, that girl just comes to work whenever she feels like it".
"Wouldn't you, if you were sleeping with the Boss?" Greg spoke again.
"She is not sleeping…." Nick started defending her, but suddenly froze as he realizing how much more sense that made. "Where is Grissom, anyway? He's already five minutes late."
"The supervisor is never late," Grissom exclaimed as he walked in pacing quickly, followed by Warrick.
"Alright, Scoutmaster." Catherine smiled and sipped from her coffee.
"You're awfully chirpy today." Warrick snared at her, and she just winked in return.
"Alright, people, settle up," Grissom said and took out a bunch of papers. "Catherine, you and Warrick head up to Green Valley, we've got a D.B. in a residential area."
"Right." They both went for the paper, but Warrick was closer.
"Greg, you're with me, we have a double up in Summerlin."
"Yup." Greg was still behind his newspaper, and Grissom frowned.
"Anyway Nick, you team up with Sara and go check out the country club in Anthem, they found a couple of kids floating in a swimming pool."
"Say, where is Sara, anyway? She's late."
Grissom's heart stopped for a second before he realized what context that was said in. "She'll be here soon," he recuperated. "She had some personal business to attend to before the shift."
Nick and Catherine exchanged looks.
Grissom ignored them. "Questions?"
"Yeah," Catherine said, smiling. "How about a birthday cheer?"
Grissom smiled. "Maybe later, we're really stressed on time tonight."
"Aww, come on, Boss," Warrick called.
"Later guys, we still have a long night ahead of us," he insisted. "But I appreciate the thought. Now let's get to it. Greg?"
"Coming." Greg slammed the paper back on the table and followed the boss.
Catherine was amazed. "Wow, he didn't even forbid us to mention his birthday."
"And he let Sara come in late," Nick added. "I think we all know what that's about!"
Nick waited for some confirmation from Warrick and Catherine. All he got was silence.
"Come on guys!" He raved. "She called in late so she could go and get Grissom a birthday present before us!"
Catherine and Warrick froze and stared at him. Was he really that innocent?
"What?" he raised his arms in wonder as the two other investigators left the room.
Nick teamed up with Sara at the crime scene and they started processing the pool.
As they were processing the area surrounding the swimming pool, he asked innocently, "Were where you this morning?"
"I had… Personal business," She replied, not taking her eyes off the grass she was processing.
"You got Grissom a birthday present, didn't you?" he smiled.
Sara suddenly stopped and raised her head, looking straight at him. She was actually a little flushed. "Yeah," she said. "You got me."
"What did you get him?" he tackled her again. She seemed a little cornered.
"A book," she replied with a half-trembling voice. Nick smiled, he knew Sara long enough to know when she was lying. She was a terrible liar anyway.
"What book?" he tried her. Sara squinted at him, baffled, but before she could reply the police officer in charge of the scene called them from inside the house.
"You better take a look at this," he yelled.
Nick and Sara exchanged looks, and while she was processing remains in the grass surrounding the pool, he was just looking for more evidence. Without even speaking she just smiled at him as if to say 'It's your turn', so he stood up and went inside the house, where he found two more dead bodies and a whole lot of alcohol. This was going to be a long shift.
Nick actually intended to buy Grissom his birthday present on the way back from the crime-scene, but the additional two D.B.s kind of put them behind schedule. When they got back to the lab he went straight for the break room where he found Warrick and Catherine again, going over some crime-scene photos.
"Hey guys," he said and took out a fresh cup.
"Hey Nicky," Catherine greeted him. "I heard you got a quadruple."
"It's messy," he said. "But it looks like somebody drugged all of them."
"Need backup?" Warrick offered. "Sounds like a big one."
"I probably will, but I have to run it through Grissom first, a case this big would probably need some extra help."
They both just nodded, knowing that it's probably them who'll be added to the case, but neither of them objected to clocking in some overtime.
"So guys," Nick tried his luck again. "About Grissom…."
"Oh right," Catherine said. "I forgot his present in the car!" She grabbed her keys and jolted out.
"Where's yours?" Nick teased Warrick.
"Right here" He pulled out a small gift-wrapped box from his back pocket.
"You got him a CD?" Nick was impressed. Grissom did like music, and Warrick knew good music.
"Yup. I'm not telling you which, though."
Nick snared. It was actually a good idea, except that now he couldn't get him a CD because that would be unoriginal. He could get him a book, Grissom liked to read…
"There it is." Catherine entered with her own gift.
"Is that a book?" Nick pointed at the gift-wrapped little package.
"Yeah." She was pretty pleased with herself. "And I'm not telling which!"
"You guys are so…" he was pissed. "Gah!" He stormed out, leaving the two laughing CSIs in the break room.
Nick and Sara entered Grissom's office to report on the case. He let Sara do the talking while he tried looking around for other presents in Grissom's office, but he found none.
"Thanks guys, great work," Grissom said and so Nick started moving towards the door, but Sara stuck behind. "You coming?" he asked her.
"No, I need to speak to Grissom," she said without budging. "You go ahead, I'll catch up later."
Nick examined her. She was going to give him her present now! But where was it? Maybe she was hiding it. Nick looked for bulges in Sara's clothes, trying to see if there was anything in her pockets, but there was nothing.
Grissom frowned. "Nick, is there anything else?"
"What?" Nick was caught off guard.
"Leave!" Grissom was pissed now.
"Right. I'll be taking my lunch-break now, Boss."
"You do that."
As he left, he heard Sara whispering, "Was he checking me out?"
Nick ran out to his car and drove to the nearest shopping mall. Everyone seemed to be buying Grissom books and CDs, so maybe he should get him a movie? Grissom, he knew, didn't exclude any type of media – as long as it had some interesting value to it.
He entered the DVD store and started loitering around. Action? No way. Drama? Could be… Nah, they're all romantic novels on film. He passed by the Westerns section and it caught his eye. Something just seemed right about that.
"Let's see." He started going through the movies. "Young Guns 2," he paused. "Sounds crappy."
"Keep the Change?" He flipped the cover. "What is this crap!"
He browsed through some of the other titles. "Gunshy? That's not even a western."
He went on to the thrillers section. "Manhunter…" He read through the description on the back. "Nah, Red Dragon was better."
That store was lacking.
He was just about to leave when something caught his eye on the other side of the store, in the comedy section. The title said it all. It was perfect. He grinned.
As they shift went on, things started to fall right back into place. As it turns out, the four victims were drinking some imported brand of wine, which was a cover for smuggling drugs. There must have been a mix-up or something, because the victims got the wine with the drugs in them, and the drug dealers got some vintage wines. With time, the small containers inside the wine bottles were worn out and disintegrated, and so the four unlucky wine-favoring victims were O.D.ing on very concentrated cocaine.
The case moved on to the FBI, and the graveyard shift had the rest of the night off.
They all went to a local restaurant to celebrate their boss' birthday.
"I'd like to make a toast." Captain Jim Brass raised his glass.
"Can you make a toast with Diet Coke?" Catherine joked around.
"Now that we know that vintage wines can also be coke…" Brass replied and raised his glass, "To Gil. May you have many, many more." He saluted at the birthday-boy.
Grissom didn't like all this attention, but a part of him told him that he was celebrating this more for his friends than he was for himself.
"To Gil!" Everyone raised their glasses.
"Thanks guys," Grissom smiled. He was actually quite surprisingly touched.
"And now," Catherine said in a foxy tone. "Birthday presents, everyone!"
"Come on, guys," Grissom tried to object without success.
"Open mine first!" Catherine was as excited as a little child.
Grissom slowly and neatly unfolded the gift-wrap, and inside he found a book, and a drawing obviously made by Lindsey, portraying him very colorfully looking through a magnifying glass. Grissom smiled and looked at the book.
"Science and Poetry, by Mary Midgley" he was genuinely interested. "Thank you," he smiled at Catherine, who was pretty pleased herself. "Also thank Lindsey for the lovely drawing."
Brass was next. "Come on, Jim," Grissom smiled. "I thought you knew me better."
"I couldn't be the only one without a present, Gil." He gave Grissom his present. Grissom unfolded the gift-wrap and found a shield inscribed. "To Gil, don't mess up or you'll have my Job, -Jim."
Grissom grinned. "Is that a threat?"
"It's a promise," Brass replied, grinning back.
Warrick sent his own gift across the table. "Don't forget mine!"
Grissom started unfolding the gift-wrap but Warrick protested. "Rip it off, Griss!"
Grissom raised an eyebrow, and despite everybody's anticipation just kept on unwrapping the gift carefully.
It was a CD. "B. B. King - The Ultimate Collection," Grissom read out the title. He was actually intrigued. "Thank you Warrick, I'll listen to it first time I get a chance."
"Just enjoy it, Boss," Warrick said, grinning.
Greg handed over a flat little box. Grissom opened it as neatly as the rest and saw a funny little colorful shirt only Greg could pick out. Everyone laughed, especially Sara, and Grissom was just amused. "Thanks, Greg," he said. "I think."
Everybody now looked at Nick. It dawned on him that except for him and Sara, everyone already gave their gifts.
"Here's mine." He handed over his little gift. "It's more symbolic than anything." He apologized in advance.
"Well, considering the fact that he doesn't want anything," Catherine snared at the birthday-boy. "Anything would probably do."
Grissom carefully unpacked the present and saw a DVD box.
"A Bug's life," he read out, and everybody laughed. Even Grissom giggled. Nick felt uncomfortable. Were they laughing at him?
"Isn't that a children's movie?" Warrick questioned as if to stress Nick out even further.
"It's a great thought, Nick, thank you," Grissom said and leaned back. Nick let out a sigh of relief. He did okay. He then looked over at Sara, who was sitting very relaxed at Grissom's right. Didn't she say she got him a book earlier?
"So Sara," Nick started, "didn't you get him anything?"
"Oh? I did, of course I did," she replied, blushing. Grissom froze, and everybody seemed uncomfortable. Nick took a moment to put all the pieces together. Were they….
"Wait a minute!" Nick's brain went into overdrive. He scanned the faces across the table and got some sort of a vibe. "Are you guys…"
Sara was as pink as a peach by now, and Grissom looked like he was going to have a heart attack, when suddenly all of their beepers went off.
Sara tried to hide a sigh of relief.
"We've got a double homicide down in the strip." Brass suddenly jumped out of his seat. "Let's go, people!"
"Wait, what? But… I was just… They were…" Nick was confused, but everyone seemed to be rushing outside.
"Happy birthday, Grissom," he mumbled, sort of to himself, and got out of his seat.
"Hey guys, wait up!"