Title: God's Eyes
Summary: A conversation between Grissom and Nick, taking place after "Who
Disclaimer: The only characters I own are the ones I create for the purpose
of this story. All the rest? Not mine.
Grissom found Nick in his usual spot, up on the roof, staring blankly at
the stars. Beneath them, Greg was busy bustling around in the lab, his
music ungodly and louder than it should be. Catherine had gone home
earlier at Grissom's insistence to spend the remainder of the night with
Lindsey. Sara and Warrick, oddly enough, had gone out to grab a drink with
Brass and Officer Tyner, the hothead Warrick had almost come to blows with
earlier that afternoon - the man who had, until a couple of hours ago, been
their main suspect in an OIS.
It had been a mere hour and a half ago that Nick had had a gun pointed at
his head. Mrs. Hendler had been escorted to the police station and
arrested for murder and threatening an officer of the court; Mr. Hendler
was in shock, waiting for a lawyer.
Grissom wondered how guilty the husband must feel, knowing his wife had
murdered his girlfriend five years ago, and just dumped the body in a fresh
poured foundation. He wondered as well at what reasons a man would have
for marrying a woman he didn't really love when the one he really wanted
His gaze rested on Nick for a few minutes, sitting huddled in his thin
coat, back against some venting, head thrown back, face staring into the
midnight sky. Sighing softly, he stepped over some piping and moved
"Hey," Grissom's voice was soft, and he handed Nick the silver thermos he
had been carrying, "Brought you some coffee."
Nick shut his eyes against Grissom's voice, before quickly opening them and
taking the thermos. He let his hands cup around it, enjoying the heat of
the metal, hearing the gentle slosh of liquid. "How'd you know I was
Grissom looked at him seriously, hunkering down beside him and resting his
back against the same wall Nick was leaning against. "Where else would you
be? You always come to the roof when something is bothering you or you
need to think."
The two men sat in silence for a moment, before Grissom jerked a thumb at
the thermos, "You gonna hold that, or open it and pour me a cup?" He
sighed in appreciation as Nick opened the thermos, taking an appreciative
whiff of the dusky aroma of Greg's special Hawaiian Blue. "So."
"So." Nick's voice was grim as he passed the thermos to Grissom, keeping
the cup for himself.
"Mrs. Kendler is probably processed by now."
Nick cocked an eyebrow at Grissom, "You came up to the roof to tell me
"No, actually, I came up here to see how you're doing."
"You a psychoanalyst as well as an entomologist now, Grissom?" Nick tried
to keep his tone light, but Grissom could still here the underlying edge in
"C'mon Nicky. I was there."
"Yeah, you were there. I was there. Mrs. Kendler was there."
Nick was looking up at the stars again, keeping his eyes firmly fixed to
the sky. Beside him, he could feel Grissom shifting, the soft sigh
escaping him totally out of character from the Grissom he knew.
"My mother once told me that the stars were God's eyes, looking down on the
universe," Grissom offered suddenly, apropos of absolutely nothing.
Nick snorted, "If there even is a God, do you really think he's still
interested in humanity?" Grissom tried not to wince at the defeated tone
in Nick's voice, carefully construing his response in his head before he
"And what the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"You're still interested in people. Despite the stuff you see every day;
you're still interested."
"It's my job, Grissom," Nick sighed.
"No, Nick. It's not your job. Your job is to process crime scenes and
find evidence to either prove or disprove theories until we can close the
case. Whether it's a murder, or a rape - missing persons case, like the
last couple of days - your job is to find evidence. You don't need to be
interested in people to do that."
"How can you say that?" Nick straightened up slightly, turning his head
sideways to look at Grissom. The older man was still leaning back against
the wall beside him, nursing the thermos of coffee he held. His blue eyes
met Nick's brown for a brief moment, before flashing up to the heavens.
Nick's gaze automatically followed.
"I say that because it's true," Grissom sighed, "when Mrs. Hendler pulled
that gun on you this evening, you were scared."
"Damn right I was scared. I thought she was going to blow my head off."
Nick's retort was bitter.
"And she might have. But you know what else I noticed, Nicky? You were
concerned. Not only for yourself, but for her as well. You told her you
would listen to her. You felt empathy for her, even though she was
pointing a gun at your head."
Nick didn't respond, but Griss felt his sigh. He smiled. "That's what
makes you a good CSI, Nick. You care about the people you investigate.
You felt sorry for Mrs. Hendler - on some level, you still do. So, why are
you still interested in people if they're so bad?"
Nick shrugged, "I guess I'm just a big Boy Scout."
"Don't do that. Don't sell yourself short, Nicky. You're a good man - one
of the best I know. You're an optimist."
"That's just a nice way of saying naïve fool," Nick snorted.
Grissom was silent for a moment. "I don't think you're naïve, or a fool.
I think you're sensitive."
"And that's a great masculine trait."
"You'd rather be all testosterone and grunting insensitivity? Some wild
Grissom shot Nick a semi-amused glance, smiling when Nick suddenly grinned,
"I was a wild frat boy."
"And did you like yourself better than, or do you like yourself better
Nick sighed, "Point taken."
Once again, a companionable silence fell between the two men, before Nick
spoke again. "You ever have a gun pointed at you before?"
"Yeah," Grissom sighed, "a long time ago - my third year as a CSI. We
caught a prostitute murder; turned out the detective heading the
investigation was the guy that did it. He got parole and came after the
CSI in charge of his case - namely, me."
Nick whistled, "Intense. What happened? What did you do?"
"He ended up eating his gun. First and only time I ever cried on the job."
"But you cried?"
"Yeah. I could never figure out why he did it - why he killed the girl,
why he pulled a gun on me, why he killed himself. I'd worked with him
before on several cases - he was a good man caught up in a terrible
situation, and he couldn't cope. But in the end, he chose to shoot
himself. I'll always be thankful he didn't shoot me."
"I do feel badly for Mrs. Hendler," Nick admitted. "I wonder what was
going through her head when her husband blurted out he still loved the
victim? I mean, here she is - five years after murdering the girl, still
seeing her blood everywhere. She's built a life for herself, perhaps put
it out of her mind. Maybe she's starting to feel a little safe - 'no one's
found the body yet,' she's thinking, 'maybe they never will.' But then the
unthinkable happens. The body is found; identified. Everything we find
leads back to her husband. She knows he didn't do it, just like she knows
he's still in love with the girl she killed - and still, she loves him
enough to try to save him. Her whole life for the last five years built on
"I don't know what she thought shooting you would have accomplished,"
Grissom inserted, "but in her mind, it made sense."
Nick smiled grimly, "She would have shot me, you know. She was ready to do
it when you came in. You saved my life."
Grissom just smiled, "Had to. Every team needs an optimist, and they are
hard to find - especially ones trained in the forensic sciences. We'd have
a hard time replacing you, Nicky."
"No problem," Grissom jumped when his pager went off, scowling as he read
the message scrolling across it. "Mobley. Wants to talk to us."
Nick grinned, "Maybe he wants to tell us what a good job we did on closing
Grissom grunted as he rose to his feet, smiling slightly at the ease with
which Nick jumped to his own. Clapping a hand on the younger man's
shoulder, he grunted, "Optimist."
Heading towards the stairwell together, he smiled when he heard Nick's
slight huff of laughter. Nick paused at the door, taking one last look up
into the night sky.
"God's eyes, right Gris?"