Title: Semper Ubi Sub-Ubi

Authors: Michmak and Zheidi

Rating: PG13 for the subject matter and some language.

Summary: Nick moves out of his house, and Sara finds a magazine that sparks a bet.


Nick pulled tape over the last box and marked it "Bedroom" in blue Sharpie marker.

"Got it all?" Warrick asked from the hallway.

"Yup," the dark haired man affirmed. "That's it."

Warrick nodded and turned to the guys behind him. "The moving van here yet?"

Grissom was busy trying to put Nick's books into boxes and missed the conversation completely.

"Not yet," Greg answered. "Still got about fifteen minutes before they're due."

Nick didn't care when the movers got there, as long as they showed up. He needed to get out of his house.

"Hey-Grissom?" Nick walked into the living room and found his boss had only packed three books and was now busy speed-reading a fourth. "Grissom?" No response. Nick leaned down and brought his mouth very close to Grissom's ear. "Gil Grissom!"

Grissom jumped and turned to Nick with a frown. "What?"

Nick shook his head with a laugh. "You are dead to the world when you're reading, and I'm glad that you're enjoying my books, but do you think you could get that done before the movers get here, or do you want me to take over?"

Grissom looked down at the book, and actually blushed a little to his credit. "Sorry. I'll take care of this stuff here." He went back to packing and was just securing the tape when Catherine and Sara walked in with breakfast.

"Here we go," Catherine said, setting bags of take-out on the counter.

"Thanks," Nick told them, standing to investigate what they brought.

Sara smiled then joined Grissom by the bookcase.

"Nicholas Kyle Stokes, what is this?" she practically shouted.

Nick looked up to what she was holding, then turned to Grissom for help. Grissom just stared in wonder at the article, then turned to Nick with a look that clearly said, 'You're on your own this time, pal.'

Warrick had pretty much the same expression.

Greg, who had managed to wander in from the bathroom, missed the entire exchange and smiled happily.

"Ooh.November edition of Victoria's Secret. I love that one-it's the one with the girl in the Santa negligee and the red and white striped thigh highs. . ." He sighed happily, "Her legs look just like candy canes."

Sara rolled her eyes, "Just what every girl wants."

Catherine strolled over to Sara and took the catalog from her hands, smiling when she found the picture. "Well, you know what they say. Candy is dandy - but if you lick 'er, it's quicker."

Nick felt his ears turn a deep red. Warrick smirked at Catherine. Grissom just cocked an eyebrow.

Greg shot Nick a commiserating look, "Hey guys, come on! It's not like you found a stash of Hustler or something like that!"

"That would be your apartment, Greg," Sara offered. "Besides which, Victoria's Secret? This stuff might be nice to look at, but it's damned uncomfortable. Especially the shit with the wires."

Nick stalked over to Catherine and grabbed the magazine from her hands, rolling it up and shoving it roughly into the back pocket of his jeans. "It's not mine."

"Sure," Catherine smirked and pulled it back out of his jeans, turning away when he grabbed for it. "If it's not yours, who does it belong to?"

"It's my sisters'. I told you she was up a week ago, helping me sort through my crap. She must have forgotten this here when she left."

"Your sister travels with a Victoria's Secret catalog?" Sara was disbelieving, "What - is it like American Express now? Victoria's Secret: Don't leave home without it!"

Nick laughed, despite the fact that he wanted to throttle her. "Okay, fine. Think what you want. At least it's not a Playboy."

"Nothing wrong with Playboy," Warrick inserted drolly. "It's an honest magazine. It doesn't try to hide the fact that it's made specifically for men to get their rocks off; unlike some other magazines out there that 'pretend' to be for women."

Greg grinned, "Yeah, but it's way more acceptable for men to read Victoria's Secret in public places. Trust me on this."

Catherine started laughing. "Boys and their toys - or in this case, veiled smut. Sara's right though - the lingerie is nice to look at; but a bitch to wear." She flipped to another page, pointing out a red velvet bustier / corset with matching red velvet thong. "I had to wear stuff like this when I danced - and the places thongs can go -" she winced with great exaggeration and winked at Warrick, who's eyes had strayed to her butt when she mentioned thongs, "well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination."

"If women's underwear is as uncomfortable as you say, why wear it?"

"What are you suggesting, Greg? We go commando?" Sara responded cheekily, enjoying the slight googly-eyed choke Greg made as her words penetrated his brain. "We wear it because of societal demands."

"Bullshit!" Nick objected, "Women wear stuff like this to drive men crazy."

"Not a long drive, actually," Sara retorted, "and that's not true. Women are inunduated with advertising, pressure from men, TV, magazines - you name it - to look sexy, act sexy, be sexy! It's almost ingrained. It's not women that design this crap, I can tell you this. If woman designed underwear, there would be no wires, no itchy lace, and the elastic would be elastic and not rubberized tooth floss."

Catherine laughed to herself, then put the catalogue in her purse. "If it really is your sisters, "I'm sure she won't mind if I keep it. Y'know. . . seeing as how you won't be needing it."

Nick gave a rueful smile and was glad when the moving van arrived.


Nick felt a great sense of relief when the moving van finally pulled away. The guys knew what they were doing well enough to pack Nick's bed and bedding last so he could get that set up straight away. A few sets of clothes were packed in a suitcase that he unpacked quickly, and the rest was incidentals that his friends helped him unpack rather quickly, after they took Grissom off of book duty, that is.

"I'm beat," Greg finally admitted as he leaned a painting against the living room wall.

Sara sank into Nick's sofa. "Me too."

Grissom and Catherine agreed that they, too, could use a break.

"Nick!" Grissom called. "Warrick? Where are you guys?"

Nick walked out of his bedroom, and Warrick came in from the kitchen.

"What's up, Griss?" the tall man asked.

"Guys-we need a break," Catherine said. "Let's go get some food."

"Hey-my treat," Nick offered. "Really, guys I appreciate this so much!"

Greg was the first to shake off the fatigue at the mention of free food. "Hey, I'm ready-let's get going!" He said as he jumped up from the leathery confines of the sofa.

The rest soon followed suit and hopped into two Tahoes, heading for their favorite sport's bar, 'The Goalie Box' on State Street. They settled back against their favorite corner booth, Sara in the corner, Grissom close to her, Catherine and Warrick pressed against each other, and Greg and Nick pulled up chairs, their backs to the television over the bar.

That was how they were caught off guard by Sara's now satiated stomach complaining about the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show that would be on CBS in a few weeks.

"See? This is what's wrong with the world," she mumbled. "This is why Ashleigh James ended up dead. Because guys just have to look at *that* all day long."

"Supply and demand, Sara," Warrick said a little cynically. "There are guys who want that, so that's what advertisers use to sell it."

Grissom smiled at Warrick's reasoning. "Supply and demand indeed," he said, more to himself than to the rest of the table. "But I wonder what the percentile is of men who prefer that underwear on women, and the percentage of women who are willing to wear it in order to entice those men."

"So you're saying you're not that kind of guy," Catherine accused.

"I think that if it's comfortable, you wear it. If it's not, don't wear it."

"I'm just saying that I like a little. . . frosting. . . on my cake," Greg said. "Just a little somethin' somethin' to put me in the mood."

Sara had to scoff at that. "But, on the other end of the scale, if you're wearing stuff like that, you don't feel sexy at all. You feel itchy and pushed up, just. . . uncomfortable."

"How bad could they be?" Nick wondered aloud. "How bad? It's just underwear."

"I'd like to see you try and wear them," Catherine said. "You wouldn't last five minutes."

"Oh-I would last all night, Cath."

Catherine looked him up and down. "All night? Well-that is something."

Sara laughed around a piece of pizza. Grissom smiled smugly. Warrick laced his hands behind his head. Nick gulped. There was something sinister brewing behind Catherine's steely blue eyes.


"So, let me get this straight," Nick said, "you and Sara against Greg and I - loser has to wear underwear of winnings team choice for three days?" The grin on his face was one of pure unadulterated enjoyment. "How will we know you and Sara are wearing what we want you to wear?"

Catherine responded, "IF Sara and I lose, we'll show you the bra straps. But we're not going to lose."

"You think you can out-drink Nick and I?" Greg chortled. "No way. This is gonna be so good."

Sitting beside Catherine, Sara frowned slightly. "Cath - I don't remember volunteering to be on your team."

Catherine just smiled, "Come on, Sara. It's not necessarily who drinks more, but who drinks the fastest. I recommend we do shots - first team to do 20 shots wins."

"Piece of cake," Nick responded. "You two are toast."

"I suggest we do Flaming Sambuca shooters. We'll get the waitress to have them ready. Grissom and Warrick judge. Twenty shots, each team."

"Do we get to go through your underwear to choose what you'll be wearing?" Greg interrupted.

"You are not going through my underwear Greg. You either Nick," Sara said firmly. "I don't want to do this."

"Too bad," Catherine retorted. "You're in. We're not going to lose, Sara. Trust me on this. And when WE win, we'll just have to buy the boys their thongs for the week. Should be fun."

Sara rolled her eyes at the older woman, "You are so on my shit-list if I have to wear lace thongs and push up bras for three days."


The waitress was setting up the drinks. The strong smell of black licorice permeated the air around them. At the end of the table, Warrick was smirking. Greg and Nick were trash talking the girls, and Sara was nervous. Catherine leaned towards her and whispered, "Just drink what you can manage. It's Saturday night, no work tomorrow, it's okay if we get a little drunk. It's worth a killer hangover to get those two into something uncomfortable for three days."

Sara sighed, "I'm not a big drinker, Cath."

"Neither are they, Sara," Cath grinned. "They're just puppies. We've got this hands down."

"You two ready?" Warrick asked, "Cause I'm ready to light these!"

"We're ready. Just discussing strategy!" Catherine replied. "Listen boys, these are going to be on fire - so make sure you blow before you drink." She winked with great exaggeration at Greg, laughing slightly when the younger man flushed. "And if you feel the need to concede, we won't hold it against you - much!"

"You are so going down, Cath!" Nick retorted.

"You wish!" Catherine retorted. "Light 'em up, Warrick!"