|Quitting The Scene
Author: CrystallineSolid PM
While on a case, Greg and Russell visit one of the clubs Greg used to frequent when he first moved to Vegas, and Russell learns a little bit about the young CSI's past.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Friendship - Greg S. & D. B. Russell - Words: 1,826 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 3 - Published: 04-02-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7981754
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: This randomly came to me while reading Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (David Levithan, FTW!) Anywho, this is kinda a Russell-Greg bonding pieced based around the fact that I'm SO DAMN SURE that Greg has been involved with drugs in some way or the other in the past. So, this is kinda a light, subtle story. Review please? Is Russell too OC? (I kinda feel like I made him too Grissom-like. Wasn't really sure how to portray him.)
Greg pushed his way through the throng of people, slipping neatly through pulsing, sweaty bodies. He allowed himself to be moved with the crowd, knowing that he would end up at the bar regardless. Russell followed behind him, shouldering through the crowd—against the flow, rather than with it. Greg could tell the older man was uncomfortable in the club, but reminded himself that Russell was the man who had only ever been with one girl in his whole life. He had probably never even been to a club like this.
Reaching the bar before Russell, Greg leaned back against it, waiting for his supervisor before they continued with their investigation. He took in the crowd. Everyone looked younger, angrier than he remembered. All torn-up jeans and ratty t-shirts. He smiled faintly, remembering the way he used to get ready for his club nights. Skinny jeans, and a leather jacket over a too-thin t-shirt. Eyeliner and glitter. Mussed hair sneaking out from under a fedora hat. And by the end of the night—sweaty, translucent, high on drugs and alcohol and dancing and music. Doc Martens scuffed and feet aching. Laughter echoing in his head, as he ran home, feet thudding against the ground. Forget the taxis, forget the bus. Sometimes, he took someone home with him; other times, his lips were already tugged sore before he left and he was happy to be alone.
"Greg!" Russell shouted over the music. "You ready to get the show on the road!"
Greg grinned, shrugging and nodding at the same time. He looked around, finally spotting the bartender on the opposite side of the bar. He walked along the bar, motioning to Russell to follow him. Two teenagers crashed into him, high and wide-eyed. He ignored them, and hoped that Russell would too. There were worse people out there to put in jail.
"Hey, Todd!" Greg yelled to the bartender. The lanky, forty-something year old turned to Greg and laughed.
"Greta, is that you?"
"Sure is," Greg couldn't stop grinning. He glanced at Russell, taking in the older man's amused expression. He figured he wouldn't get into too much trouble for this. Though the nickname might require some explaining. "How ya doing?"
"Good! This place ain't the same without you and your crazyass friends though!" Todd leaned forwards, pulling Greg into a half-hug over the bar.
"Those crazyass friends aren't so crazy anymore!" Greg said with a laugh. "Hell, even Spazzy grew up and got himself hitched!"
"You're not lookin' too crazy yourself," Todd said, half-amused, half-disapproving. He took in Greg's serious-looking light-pink button-down and leather jacket. "What the hell happened to you? If not for the jacket I wouldn't even believe you were the same person."
"Yeah, well, I'm not," Greg said seriously, sitting down on a barstool and leaning his elbows on the bar.
"So, what, you're too cool for me now?"
"Well, it comes with the job,"
"Hey, that's BS. You were with LVPD ten years ago, and you still took the time to visit."
"Yeah, well that's when I worked in the lab and could still foil the drug tests!"
"Greg..." he heard Russell's warning over his shoulder. Oh shit, in all this catching up, he forgot all about his boss. Busted.
"Look man," Greg said to Todd seriously. "Speaking of work, that's what I'm here for." The song that was playing ended and Greg lowered his voice. "Think you could get Dick to meet me in his office for a minute. It's about a case."
"A few years ago, that wouldn't have been why you wanted a minute in the boss's office," Todd said teasingly. Greg blushed, remembering how he used to fool around with Robbie, Dick's son, in his father's office, while their friends kept the boss busy outside in the club.
"Hey, not in front of my supervisor!" Greg said with a nervous laugh.
"I think I've heard enough, Greg," Russell said dryly.
"Todd," Greg said, serious once more. He leaned over the bar. "I kinda need to talk to Dick right now. It's important."
"Sure," Todd nodded. "Head over to his office. Dick's out back on a smoke break. I'll tell him to catch up with you."
"Thanks man." Greg smiled, then leaned closer and spoke into Todd's ear. "Maybe I'll come visit on my day off, huh? But don't try and slip me anything in my drink okay? It's strictly dancing and no drugs!"
"Sounds good," Todd said loudly. "See ya around, Greta!"
Greg led Russell into the boss' office, closing the door behind him and cutting off the sound of the pulsing music outside. As they sat down at Dick Cassidy's desk, Russell couldn't help but ask "Greta?"
Greg shrugged, grin still plastered on his face. "We're old friends."
Russell shook his head, and smiled. "Brass told me you were right man for the job, but I never expected this."
"Hey, you should see me in 'Cisco. I'm still in with the clubbers there."
Russell raised his eyebrows. "Should I be worried?"
"Na," Greg said dismissively. "That's not my scene anymore." He continued more seriously. "There comes a time when realize you've gotta stop fooling around. I've had some great times at clubs like this, but a lot of the time, things have gone horribly wrong. Sometimes you've just gotta make a choice and stick by it. And that's what I did."
Russell nodded. "What drugs did you do?"
Greg shrugged. "E, crystal meth... Almost did heroin once."
"How'd that turn out?" Russell said sarcastically.
"Hey, I said almost!" Greg said indignantly. "My mom called, just as I picked up the syringe. And it occurred to me that I just couldn't do that to her."
"Good choice, Greg."
Greg smiled faintly. "Sometimes I miss it though. The rush, the friends, the... unity. You never feel more connected to a person."
Russell shook his head. "I never pegged you as a druggie, Greg."
"Well, be thankful you didn't know me when I first started working in Vegas. The team couldn't decide if I was always high, or just bat-shit crazy."
Honestly, Russell couldn't imagine Greg being either of the two. "So which was it?"
Greg smirked. "I like to think neither, but," he shrugged, "You'd havta ask Nick or Sara... Just don't ask Hodges," he said as an afterthought.
Russell laughed, shaking his head. He watched Greg for a long time, this serious man, and tried to imagine him like all those pulsing bodies he had just seen outside. "If you got away with it at work, why'd you stop? How did you get away with it anyway?" Russell added as a second thought. As supervisor, he certainly wouldn't let a drug addict run his DNA results.
Greg shrugged. "I had the credentials and they didn't have any proof. Face it, my genius is irresistible."
"So why'd you quit the scene?"
Greg smiled sadly. "You know how it is. You let this thing take over your life, and that's it, game over. We've both seen it happen enough times."
"But you've seen it happen to your friends."
"Yeah," Greg said roughly, looking away. After a moment, he spoke again softly. "I don't know why I'm telling you all this. I'm in trouble, aren't I?"
Russell looked into Greg's sombre eyes. "Not for something that you did almost a decade ago. It has nothing to do with who you are now."
Greg nodded. "I'd like to believe that."
A door opened behind them, and two strong hands landed on Greg's shoulders, shaking them slightly. "Long time, no see, kid," a throaty voice said with a laugh.
Greg stood and turned around to face a tall, square man in a grey suit, with equally grey skin and hair. They shook hands firmly. "How's it going, Dick?" Greg asked.
"You can see that for yourself," Dick said, looking pleased with himself.
Greg laughed. "Yeah, yeah, I can. How's Robbie?"
"Doing good," Dick said fondly. "He's running a book store in New York with his husband."
Greg smiled affectionately. "I guess we all got out of the scene eventually, huh?"
Dick smiled wryly. "One way or another, yeah."
Greg's smile dropped. "Yeah."
"Aww, I'm sorry, kid," Dick dropped a hand on Greg's shoulder and squeezing it. "I shouldn't 'a brought it up."
"Nah, that's okay." Greg waved it off with a weak smile. "Dick, this is my boss, DB Russell," Greg pointed to Russell, who smiled at Dick cordially. "We have a few questions to ask you."
"Sure, go ahead," Dick said amicably, sitting down behind his desk.
Russell pulled out a manila file from his jacket pocket, and took out a picture from it, laying it down on the desk. "You know this man?"
"Sure, I do," Dick said, looking at the picture of a young man lying awkwardly on a small twin bed. "That's Ian Smith." Dick paused, suddenly serious. "He's dead, isn't he?"
"I'm afraid so," Russell said regretfully. "He was found dead in his dorm room at UNLV. Stab wound to the stomach. He bled out." Russell sighed. "We talked to his classmates, and apparently he spent a lot of time at your club."
"So you're thinking a drug dealer got to him?" Dick said gruffly.
"It's a possibility. You know where he got his drugs?"
Dick shook his head. "I only make it my business to find out where my clients get their drugs if they're underage, and don't know shit about what's clean and what's not. But Ian...I didn't meddle in his business. He was young, but legal, and pretty smart too. He kinda reminded me of you," Dick nodded towards Greg. "Had a future."
Greg said nothing, looking down at his lap.
"Guess a future's no good unless you reach out for it," Dick finished.
"No," Russell leaned back in his chair, studying Greg. "I guess not."