Summary: It wasn't fair, and it wasn't right, but Greg had to face the facts that he was dying, and that no one he knew would be able to help him.
Disclaimer: Don't own CSI, don't own the characters, as always.
Chapter One: Distractions
Fifteen minutes, he had been sitting there for fifteen minutes now, one hand resting on the table, the other pressed against his mouth, chewing on his fingernail absentmindedly. He was staring, at what Grissom couldn't be certain, it was just a window after all, a window that looked across the hallway into the trace lab. Pulling his glasses down, Grissom coughed to get the young man's attention, but when that didn't work, he called his name.
It took three tries, and a slap of his hand on the table, causing the young man to jump. "What?"
"The results Greg?" Grissom asked, watching him, now a bit worried.
"They're coming," Greg told him, leaning forward in his chair. He hated times like this, he knew that the results were important, knew that sometimes it was the only possible lead in certain cases. But they did take time, time that some of the members that worked nightshift weren't willing to wait. Then they would wait here, pace back and forth, making it rather impossible to concentrate on anything else.
"Not very quickly," Grissom told him, "especially just sitting there." He indicated with a nod of his head to batch of samples sitting in the chemical analyzer, the lid still open. Grissom could hear Greg swear under his breath as he reached over, closing the lid, and starting it up.
"I could have sworn I started it," Greg explained, turning back to his boss. "I'm sorry, I'll page you as soon as they come out."
Grissom nodded, he would have preferred the results now, but he would wait. Aside from that, it was rare when Greg made a mistake, certainly a mistake such as that. But then again he was human, as they all were. Still, it worried him some.
"You okay," he asked Greg, who in turn nodded, drumming his fingers on the table in front of him.
"Just thinking, about stuff you know, nothing much to do right now."
Grissom sympathized with him, sometimes DNA could be very slow, and for Greg, slow wasn't necessarily a good thing. Greg was someone who was always on the move, always finding something to engage in when the lab wasn't keeping him busy enough. He had become an effective note taker; Grissom let him do so when he had the time. It freed his own hands up, and Greg seemed to enjoy it. The lab rat, as he had been destined, was always eager to help where he could. Grissom believed it was intrigue, or the simple fact that the DNA just wasn't enough of a challenge for Greg.
When Greg had just started here, Grissom was unsure of the young man. He was loud, energetic, and bit on the odd side. But it had brought a welcome change in the place. Even in the worse of situations, Greg had managed to find someway to lighten things up, even if it only lasted a few seconds. Grissom was used to hearing the loud music when he came in, the smell of the Blue Hawaiian coffee, Greg's own special stash that Grissom had helped himself to more than once. Greg was effective at hiding things, but he always managed to find it. Still Greg was persistent on moving it around, unwilling to give in just quite yet. Grissom had also admired the yearning Greg had showed, and still did. At least until the last few weeks.
It had been a subtle change, small things that Grissom nor anyone else had even paused to think about. But it was quite clear now that something was going on; getting a good look now at Greg, he realized why. He looked pale, drawn out. He looked sick.
"When was the last time you took some personal days off?" Grissom asked, leaning against the table.
Greg shrugged his shoulders, "I don't know, last May I think, why?"
"Being in the hospital doesn't count Greg," Grissom chided him, ignoring the question. "When?"
"I really can't remember, but it's no big deal. I take time off, then I have nothing to do, no where to go, and I just end up in trouble. You know, I'm one of those kids that get in trouble when they get bored. There is a reason why they say 'curiosity killed the cat'" Greg laughed softly.
"I want you take next week off," Grissom said suddenly, ignoring Greg's surprised look. "You need the rest, besides, it is company policy to provide our employees with vacation time. You have any idea what Ecklie will say when he sees that you haven't taken any?"
"I'm fine," Greg stated, watching him. "DNA's just been slow," he explained.
"All the more reason to take some time off now. While we are ahead, we don't want you gone when we are overloaded."
"Griss," Greg started, but stopped as his boss stood.
"No Greg, next week, I don't want to see you even near here, you understand? Take some time for yourself, go have a life for a week. This job can be murder sometimes, you're too young to be so wound up like this."
Greg nodded, watching Grissom leave before heaving a sigh and leaning back in the chair. Why had Grissom brought that up? It was only vacation time after all, but Greg suddenly felt as though he had been laid off. He knew he had been making a few mistakes lately, but most of them he fixed before anyone knew, or saw. Tonight would mark the third time he had forgotten to start the bloody machine.
Sure, he had been distracted lately, but that was no reason for his foul-ups. As long as he kept himself busy, he didn't have to think about it, didn't have to think about what they had told him.
"What are the chances?" he had asked. "Not good," was all the reply he had gotten.
That was nearly a month ago, he had been avoiding it quite well, but now things were changing. He wasn't sleeping, and his appetite had decreased, food just didn't sound all that appealing. He always felt warm, even though he would shiver throughout the day and night. They were small things, something he shouldn't worry about, but couldn't help it. After all, they were the first signs.
Greg clicked his tongue against his teeth, sitting up as Nick walked in, dropping off several manila envelopes.
"Those are priority Greg, you run nothing else until those are done, Grissom's orders," Nick told him, as Greg looked over his shoulder.
"Exactly what would I run before theses?" he asked, eyeing the empty table.
Nick only frowned, "You know what I mean Einstein, page me asap when you get the results, okay?"
Greg nodded, waving him off as he started opening them. He was thankful, another distraction is what he needed right now. He would have all of next week to dwell on his knowledge, and try and figure out what he was going to do.