Fandom: CSI: LV

Title: Condolences

Category: Angst/Drama

Spoilers: none

Rating: PG13

Pairing: Nick/Greg... which means slash.

Summary: Greg has hated two words every since we was young.

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, and I'm making no money what so ever.

A/N: This is mostly a Greg story, but Nick plays an important part to the plot of this small story. :)


Condolences

"She's pretty." Nick said, smiling and placing the photo in the album for Greg.

Greg smiled as he smoothed the plastic down. "I know."

Nick slid his kitchen chair closer so that he could wrap his arm around the younger man. "You have her eyes."

Greg laughed, "Wow, what a line."

Nick picked up the next photo as Greg flipped the page. "How come you never talk about her?"

Greg shrugged as he pulled the plastic sticky sheet, and they began placing photos. "She died… a long time ago."

Nick was silent as he helped Greg fill the scrap book up with pictures, and Greg drifted back in memory….

He remembered the day his mother died down to the very detail. He was in the sixth grade, with only 109 days of school left. Harlem Durnen had chased him around the playground, and pushed him down.

He remembered that he had scraped his knees, and torn holes in his pants, and that on the school bus on the way home, Harlem had tossed paper balls at the back of his head. He remembered that as he got off the school bus he had tattled, even though it was going to get him beat up the next day, because that was the only way he knew to get back at the bully even a little bit.

He remembered that as he walked up his driveway, he had kicked a rock with him. He remembered how confused he had been when he had arrived at his house to see cops milling about, and an ambulance parked in front of his home.

He had clutched his math book closer to his chest and ventured up to the house, not really frightened because his mother had to be somewhere, and she would console him through his bad day.

He stopped short when a tall policeman had turned around, and looked down on him. He'd looked the tall man in the eyes, before noticing his father sitting on the front porch steps, with his graying head in his hands. "Can I help you son?"

Greg had turned to look back at him, blinking before answering. "I live here."

The officer had paused, and at the sound of his voice his father had looked up. Greg felt the change, and looked back towards the porch. His father and he locked eyes for a short moment, and then his father was moving towards him, and Greg had felt a momentary flash of fear as his father reached him and swooped down upon him. But nothing had happened; his father had only wrapped his long arms around him.

That itself was enough to make him afraid. His father never hugged. His father disciplined, and his mother hugged. That was the moment where he had known something was terribly wrong. He shifted, and his father pulled away, holding him at arms length.

"What's wrong?" Greg asked, and his father glanced up at the officer, and then back to Greg. His father was kneeling in front of him, and Greg knew that whatever it was, it couldn't be good at all, because his father was getting dirt on him, and that couldn't be good because his father hated dirt and—his father's voice cut through his mental rambling.

"Gregory, your mothers gone."

Greg blinked and his mouth dropped open. The statement was blunt, and so much like his father—that for some reason it comforted him.

"Gone." He'd repeated, not questioned, because he had always been a smart child, and he knew that his father didn't mean gone to the store.

"I'm sorry for your loss." He heard the officer say as he placed a hand on his father shoulder. "Sir, if you would?"

His father looked at him long and hard, and then stood up and left. Greg remembered how he had stood there, in the dust with his math book clutched to his dirty orange shirt, until a Police woman had come over to check on him.

He remembered that she had brought him apple juice because he didn't like orange juice, and that his father hadn't spoken to him the next day at the funeral. He remembered all the 'I'm sorries' that had been thrown at him, and he remembered how he had hated them.

Because they didn't mean anything, not really. He appreciated that they loved his mother enough to come to her funeral, but he was angry and hurt, and he wanted to throw every 'I'm sorry' back in their faces. After his mother had been placed in the ground, his father had set him down for a talk, outlying how things had to be now that it was just them. Afterwards, he had said;

"I'm sorry Gregory, but she's gone—she left us and this is how things are going to have to work from now on, even if neither of us likes it." That sentence had cemented his hate of the condolence forever….

"Hm?" Greg asked, looking back at Nick and stilling his motions. Nick smiled at him,

"I asked how she died."

Greg pushed the plastic down over the picture, looking at the smiling image of his mother as he answered. "Suicide. She slit her wrist."

He felt Nick tense a little and pull away just slightly before tightening his hold. There was another moment of silence then Nick's fingers were under his chin, pulling his face up for a slow, sweet kiss. After he pulled away he kept there gazes locked, and Greg didn't feel any of the heaviness he had always felt in his fathers gaze.

"I'm sorry."

Greg didn't tense at the words, and loved Nick all the more for the honesty that he saw in his eyes.

"Me too."

Nick pulled his head down to rest on his shoulder, and Greg decided that maybe, sometimes; those two little words weren't so upsetting.

The End