Title: Gifts Author: N'kala99 Summary: An introspective of Nick by Grissom. Grissom's POV.
Disclaimer: They ain't mine.
Author's Notes: Just a little drabble I came up with when I was watching 'Anatomy of a Lye'. Did anyone else notice how Nick knew about his maggot when Gris asked that question? That got me thinking . . . Here's the result.
Also- I know nothing of entomology. My favorite bug is a dead one. I made all the bug stuff up, so don't hold me accountable. ?

Gifts By: N'kala99

Of all my CSIs on my team, Nick is the one who surprises me the most.

Catherine, I've known for a long time. She's a dedicated criminalist, very much in tune with the people she works with. She has a great empathy with all the people she encounters, and knows how to get results without stepping on any toes. She's been an asset to the team since Day One.

Warrick, despite his problems, has come so far. He takes such pleasure in investigating crimes and processing evidence. He has such a casual way about himself that puts everyone around him at ease. Like Catherine, he really gets the most from people simply by asking.

Sara's most like me. She lives for forensics, and truth be told, can become a little too serious about the cases she investigates. Her passion is singular, her focus intense. Sometimes I worry that she might not be able to pull herself away from a case one of these days.

Nick, though, Nick always surprises me. I know he's a very people-oriented person; he's popular with the police department, and shows such compassion with victims he encounters. He has a very kind soul, and I worry that one of these days he might lose that innocence that shines like a beacon from his eyes.

That isn't what surprises me, though. What surprises me is that, just when I think I have Nicky figured out, he goes and does something that throws me for a loop.

Take the case we just finished wrapping up this evening. Two dead bodies in the desert, dumped several days ago. Warrick and I were working on it; I had removed several larvae from the bodies to help establish time of death. Warrick and I were in the break room discussing the case with Sara and Catherine when Nick stopped by for a cup of coffee. Sara had asked a question about my experiment regarding my bugs and their development. I opened my mouth, fully prepared to give her a dissertation on the life cycle of my larvae when Nick answers the question.

It wasn't so much that he answered it. It was how matter-of-fact he sounded when he did. And he was correct.

All of our eyes were on him, and he suddenly became very embarrassed at his answer. He tried to hurry out of the room, but I stopped him and asked him how he knew the answer to Sara's question. I had to know.

So he told me. Nick explained how fascinated he had been when I had performed a similar experience a few years ago, and how he had started to learn more about entomology. Apparently, he had been listening more closely to my small discussions about my bugs than I had given him credit for.

I was pleasantly surprised.

That was when he did it again. In a bashful voice, he had asked, hesitantly, if I would be willing to recommend some reading materials to help enrich his own knowledge of my field of expertise. I know my surprise must have shown on my face, because he tried to brush off his request as unimportant. He tried to leave again, but I caught up to him and gave him the name of a book I felt would help him. Nick smiled that big smile of his, thanked me, and went on his way.

Nick's insatiable thirst for knowledge pops up in the strangest of places. But his drive to learn things that he doesn't know is one of the things that makes him such a successful investigator. I have worked with Nick for quite a few years now, and the fact that he can still find ways to surprise me is a wonderful gift that I hope he will never lose.

"Gris? You wanted to see me?"

I turn to see the object of my thoughts hovering in the doorway to my office, looking slightly nervous. He has no idea why I've summoned him.

"Nick," I greet. "Have a seat."

Nick walks into the room and sits in the chair that I had indicated. He looks at me, his eyes filled with curiosity and a little apprehension.

I smile a little, trying to appease his anxiety. The last thing I want to do is chase away his desire for knowledge.

I sit on the edge of my desk, a few books in my hands. "I have some books here I thought you might find interesting. Once you finish them, I thought we could talk a little more about what you've read."

I hand him my books, which he accepts. He glances at the titles, comprehension dawning on his face. He looks back up at me, some of the confusion still dwindling in his expressive eyes.

"Y-You don't mind?" he asks me.

"Look through those and let me know what you think," I tell him. "We'll go from there."

Nick stands and heads back out of my office. He pauses in the doorway and turns back to me, a slight smile on his face.

"I already read Turner's work on the life cycle of the American cockroach," he states. He holds up one of the books I had given him. "Doesn't his findings contradict Pruchet's research?"

There it was again. Surprise.

I merely raise an eyebrow. "That's a good place to start when you're finished."

Nick beams at me and leaves. I remain on the edge of my desk, staring at the space he had just left, relishing the idea of conversing about entomology with an eager colleague.

Yes, of all my CSIs, Nick is the one who still has the ability to really surprise and please those that he works with. It is indeed a rare and special gift that few possess, and I pray to a God I don't really believe in that Nick will never lose that ability. I don't think that I could stand it if he did.

The End.