Four - The Wear Down

"Grissom! Grissom!" Catherine ran in to Gil's office, nearly out of breath. "I've got it!"

"You've got what? Catherine, sit down and take a deep breath." Gil gently pressed her down into the chair opposite his desk. Once Catherine was seated and had calmed down a bit, Grissom leaned against his desk and folded his arms. "Now. Care to tell me what's got you so excited?"

"I've got it!" she repeated excitedly. "I know what's wrong with Greg!"

"Weren't you supposed to be working on the mariachi case?"

Catherine frowned, confused, and quickly picked up. "Yes, but I found the solution to the problem with Greg!"

"And what would that be?"

"Ooh, I'm thirsty!" Greg exclaimed. He walked over to the counter and grabbed his styrofoam cup, which had "Greggo" written in permanent marker on the side. Greg shook his head as he looked at Nick. "You know, we could have had a lot of fun together! I might have even shared some of my drink with you."

Nick tried to reply, but his words were muffled. By duct tape. Greg, upon realizing that Nick was not here to have fun, had promptly secured him to a swivel chair with several (read: a few too many) yards of duct tape. And he'd finished off by taping Nick's mouth shut. After all, who wanted to listen to that southern drawl become whiny and pathetic? It was just heartbreaking, really.

"What's that?" Greg asked. "You want a sip?" He tsk-ed and shook his head. "I'm not in much of a mood to share, but... I will give you a sniff!" Greg walked over to the captive Nick and waved the cup underneath his nose. Nick took one whiff and his eyes became wide. He knew what it was. And it could only be one thing...

"Cuban blend," Warrick said. He was sitting in the interrogation room, with Grissom and Sara pacing back and forth in front of the table. Catherine was watching from behind the one-way glass. Warrick thought this was almost ludacris. Why had he been brought in for questioning about his coffee!

"Do you realize the implications of what you've done?" Sara asked. Her tone of voice seemed such that it made Warrick think he was guilty of conspiring to murder the Pope.

"No, actually, I have no idea. Would someone care to explain it to me?" Warrick looked up at his coworker and his supervisor. Yes, this was definitely ridiculous. Insane, even.

"Well, I only had one cup of coffee," Greg started. "At first."

"And then?" Nick looked at Greg. Hodges, in an insane twist of fate, had freed Nick of his duct tape bonds. Apparently, voluntarily doing seven rounds of the hokey-pokey with Greg got you on Greg's good side. Then again, one does not endure seven rounds of the hokey pokey without an alterior motive. And Hodges's motive was to get Nick to subdue Greg. Which happened after fifteen minutes of chasing Greg around the lab.

"Well, y'know... This coffee was different. It was... good! It tasted really good and a lot different than the coffee normally tastes. And then I found Catherine's secret stash of Irish Cream half-and-half, and did you know that that tastes really really good?" Greg would have continued, but Nick interrupted him.

"Okay, okay, okay! I don't need that much information. So you had coffee... but... the coffee was different? All right... stay here, I'll be right back."

"We figured it out," Grissom said as he, Catherine, Sara and Warrick met up with Nick in the hallway.

"So did I," Nick replied.

"I'm still lost," Warrick said.

"Let me show you," Nick said.

"I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout! When I get all steamed up, hear me shout! Tip me over and pour me out!" Greg stopped singing and dancing in front of the one way glass and then knocked on it. "Hey! Anyone out there? I'm a little lonely in here!"

Warrick began to get choked up. If only he'd kept an eye on his pot of coffee! Or even just made only enough to fill his thermos! He raked his fingers through his hair. "It's all my fault."

"It's okay, Warrick. But we will have to punish you..." Grissom said.

"What? Anything. Anything to make up for what I've done!"

"You have to work with Greg for the rest of the shift," Catherine informed him.

"Anything but that," Warrick muttered. He sighed.

Greg had begun a round of the Chicken Dance as everyone turned to walk away. Warrick hung his head and resigned himself to it. He was going to have to deal with Greg... for another three hours. Lord, have mercy on his soul...

Sara shook her head as she patted Warrick on the back. "You know, it's too bad we can't just keep him in there."