Disclaimer: The characters of CSI belong to CBS and I'm only doing this for fun. No money is involved in this posting.
A/N: I am a Nick and Greg slasher. If you don't like that kind of thinking consider yourself warned. English (the UK version) is my second language, so any grammatical errors are simply lack of knowledge on my side. This is the first fic I ever wrote and I've had it posted elsewhere. For those of you who already read it, there is going to be a few changes. Most are simply grammatical but there is also the occasional lost word.
This story contains 11 chapters and I'll post one every other day as I have time for it.
The dry dessert air assaulted his entire body when he exited the airport terminal; it was so unlike anything he was used to. It felt like all the moisture was being sucked out through his skin, his nose felt as if on fire and he had to blink several times before his eyes adjusted.
Today was filled with firsts; first time in Las Vegas, first time to live in another state than California, first day or in his case first night at his new job and first time to have absolutely no known faces around. Somehow throughout school and college there was always someone he knew choosing the same as him.
An old friend of his mother had family in Las Vegas and she had arranged an apartment for him there. The key had been send to him a week ago and most of his stuff had been packed and send low budget to his new address which meant it would take another four to five days for it to arrive.
The cab ride seemed to take forever and it only took him through suburbs and low apartment blocks. Technically he knew it would be so, he had studied the map enough before he came to know that he was going nowhere the infamous Strip.
The driver pulled in to a parking lot surrounded by a horseshoe shaped building two story high; he recognized it from the pictures he had received along with the key. Finally!
He got his luggage out of the cab and literally sprinted up the outdoor stairs to the first apartment fumbled with the key and stood back when the stale air of nicotine escaped the place as the door swung open.
His curiosity won over his senses and he dumped his things inside and started exploring his apartment.
There was a small kitchen that desperately needed cleaning; grease and nicotine dominated the small room. The living room had a pair of double doors that opened out to a balcony facing the street outside. The walls were yellow from years of smoking the carpet had several stains and burns. The master bedroom had a French balcony a worn out carpet and walls with a '70's designed wallpaper. The second bedroom was decorated as a nursery probably for a girl because of all the pink colors mixed together; walls had one carpet another ceiling a third and the window frame a fourth nuance. The bathroom had moldy added to the stale nicotine smell. There was a bathtub surrounded by an old shower curtain and a somewhat makeshift shower head. The toilet was brand new the kind with both a big flush and small one. The sink had a small mirror fitted above so small it would become a challenge to set his hair.
All in all a perfect place to start if you were handyman and not a DNA lab tech. At least he knew exactly what chemicals to use to fight the nicotine and the various fungi but the carpets definitely needed to be replaced.
He took his backpack and left to go shopping for cleaning products. On the way he had noticed a collection of shops so he went there to find a hardware store. An hour later he returned with the chemicals needed and some white paint which supposedly should be able to stop the nicotine. He left again this time to find basic kitchen equipment such as a coffee machine plates glasses pots pans and cutlery. One more trip got him his idea of basic groceries.
It was about six p.m. and he still had several hours to go before work started. For a short moment he considered sleeping but he had way too much energy pent up for that. So he started to clean the kitchen, his mother would've been so proud if she could see him right now. Next he attacked the bathroom to get rid of the mold growing there and reminded himself to get another shower curtain and a bigger mirror.
He had measured out the distance to the lab on the map he had bought weeks ago and calculated that it would take him around 40 minutes to walk there. When he left there was 1 hour and 50 minutes to his official start time.
The receptionist at the crime lab building handed him a visitors I. D. and told him where to go. It was nothing like he'd expected most of the walls were made from glass, so you could see into the various labs and offices and everything was clean and tidy. A head poked out from the office he stood next to.
"Can I help you?"
"Eh yeah I'm Greg Sanders. I'm looking for Jim Brass or Gil Grissom. It's my first day eh night here."
"Well I'm Gil Grissom." Greg took the outstretched hand and shook it politely.
"Welcome. Brass isn't in yet, but I'll show you the DNA-lab."
"Thank you" he wanted to say something more but the other man motioned him to follow and he felt unusually tongue-tied.
"This is the breakroom, you can put your lunch in the fridge and the coffee is free."
Greg nodded and dug out the sandwich he bought on the way and placed it in there.
"This is the A/V lab, night guy is Archie he'll be in later."
Greg hurried after Grissom who had already moved on while Greg was looking at the equipment in the lab.
"This is the DNA-lab, where you'll be. Day and Swing shifts has their own technicians, so you share it with them."
"Cool, so shouldn't there be someone here now?"
Grissom was already heading off again.
"Locker-room. It is co-ed." He walked over to an open locker.
"This one is yours, the locks are combination padlocks so you set your own code."
"The rest of night shift will be in shortly. You can put your backpack away and meet us in the breakroom. I'll find a lab coat for you. Small?"
"I think so." Was all he managed before Grissom was out the door. He reminded him of a teacher he once had. Anything said more than once was a waste of time, brain and breath.
He removed his Discman and two CD's before putting the backpack into the locker, sat the combination on the lock and made a quick visit to the toilet.
The breakroom was empty when he returned and there was no coffee, he went through the cupboards till he found the beans and filters, letting out a disappointed sigh when he realized the lousy quality of the coffee beans. Grissom entered with a blue lab coat for him, he slipped it on and it kind of felt like home. Again the other man was out of his sight before he managed to say anything.
He sat down facing the hallway. A few minutes later his mind got blown by the sight of the two men approaching. The tallest was afro-american, but with green eyes. The other was white with dark hair and really dark brown eyes and a killer smile. Both were around thirty and classic casual in their outfit. Greg jumped out of his seat as they entered the room.
"Hi I'm Greg Sanders, the new DNA tech on night." Grinning broadly he stretched out his right hand.
"Hi this is Warrick Brown and I'm Nick Stokes, we're CSI's on night." Brown-eyes said gripping his hand in a firm shake. Greg hardly knew what to do with himself two knockouts working the same shift as him. He shook hands with Warrick while getting himself together again.
Both men went straight for the coffee and the next thing he saw was a rather foxy lady walking towards him.
"That's Catherine Willows, she's also a CSI. Hey Cath meet Greg Sanders our new DNA tech." Nick called out and revealed his Texas accent.
"Finally; we've had some priority issues with days." She said and gave him a motherly smile and a firm handshake.
"Well rest assured I'm all yours. Your samples will be…" He was cut of by Grissom entering the room with another man.
"Greg Sanders, this Jim Brass leader of night." More handshaking and then Brass handed out the assignments for the night.
Turning to Greg he said: "Go in and get familiar with the lab, so you're ready for them when they come begging for their samples to be processed as fast as possible. They can be some real crybabies when it comes to it." Smirking as he went after the CSI's.
He spent the night working the samples as they came in and talking to the other techs from the shift, who all dropped in to his lab to meet the latest addition to their group.
It was exciting and he felt really good about the whole situation, it was everything he hoped for and more. The added bonus was all the eye-candy around him, well until Hodges entered his lab. Greg was relieved to find that there was someone unattractive in the lab and it helped him to calm down. He had felt like a teenager with rampaging hormones since he'd met the CSI's, he often did that when he met new people. Over and over again had he received comments on his openness towards other people, but it was his nature no matter how many times it brought disappointment.
When the shift finished he was still bouncing all over the place and definitely not ready to sleep yet. The others all just seemed to be headed home no one was talking about going for breakfast or beer. He decided to go clubbing. He had heard about a gay-club that supposedly was open round the clock from some of his old friends and he had checked it out on the internet even found out what busses that would take him there.
So he chanced into his clubbing outfit and spiked his hair up with some glittering gel.
An hour later he was moving on the crowded dance-floor letting his body flow with the music. The club attracted a great variety of people from Pride Parade participants to guys in Armani suits. The music was loud the rhythm relentless and he loved it.
The dance-floor got lit up by the bright flash from a powerful strobe-light giving you the feeling of being in a movie with only 1 picture a second or so.
Greg was continuously eyeing everyone and flash; Nick Stokes 10ft away grinding his hip against an ass clad in leather. Flash; Nick 9ft away looking down and not touching anyone. Flash; Nick 8ft away squashed between two suits. His heart skipped a beat realizing that it was Nick dancing right there, he just appeared so bloody straight. Without thinking what to do or say he edged closer to where Nick was. The strobe was still firing adding a surreal feeling of not really being there.
Flash; Nick was next to him but still looking down on the floor. Flash; eye-contact and Nick looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Flash; Nick was turning away. Flash; Nick had increased the distance. Greg followed him on pure instinct why was the other man bolting; LVPD didn't use CSI's undercover or what. His mind was trying to find any explanation for Nick's panic but kept coming up empty.
He caught up with him at the edge of the dance-floor and grabbed hold of him. Nick tried to shrug free and he was hissing something that drowned in the music. Greg held on hard and dragged him towards the exit where they would have a chance to talk. Nick wasn't easy to coax but somehow he managed to get him to the wardrobe.
"Let go!" Nick was hissing at him and tried again to shrug free.
"Relax! I'm not out to get you, no need to panic!" Greg's voice was high-pitched with the agitation.
"I'm not panicking, just let me go!" he forced the words out through clenched teeth.
"Look can we just talk." Greg had regained control over his voice and had calmed down.
"OK. Outside." Nick gave in to the brown eyes staring at him.
Greg got his backpack from the RuPaul look alike and Nick his jacket from the bold woman in the combat attire. They went out into the now rather bright day that was promising to become really warm. Greg followed Nick to his truck not saying anything still trying to think of what to say
"How the hell do you know about this place? What are you doing here? Did you follow me?" The questions just spilled from Nick.
Greg held a defensive hand up and started to explain about friends having been there on a holiday.
"Listen Nick. Take it easy. I got on a bus out here. I never picked you as gay. You flew way below my gaydar." Greg came to the conclusion that Nick was still deep in his closet and had probably no intention of ever leaving it.
"I… I just… I'm not. It's not like that." He stammered without persuasion.
"Hey I'm not gonna "out" you!"
"Done that once and ain't never doing it again."
Nick gave him a quizzical look but remained silent, oblivious trying to wrap his mind around the situation.
"A boyfriend I had ages ago. My parents were totally cool when I told them and I just figured everyone would be. So I told his parents that we were an item." Greg drew a hesitant breath and continued.
"His dad beat him into a pulp, he spent 3 weeks in hospital and I was not allowed to visit. They send him to some Christian mind washing thing." Wincing at the memory and bracing himself for the next part.
"I've heard about them, kind of an AA for Christians infected with homosexuality." Nick's voice was low and trembling.
"Yeah. He got so upset he committed suicide 2 months after he started there. They preach that homosexuality is the worst sin. I went to one session. You know checking out the enemy." He said with a crooked smile.
"They made it sound like murder and robbery was just minor mishaps compared to same sex relations as the preacher called it." Greg spat the last part out with disgust.
"Sorry I panicked. I come here to wind down when I've had a bad night. I'm not really sure about this…" Nick trailed of clearly showing his confusion.
"Don't worry. It's my first day here and I'm not gonna jeopardize this job over gossip about a co-worker." Greg rested a hand on Nick's upper arm trying to be as comforting as possible.
"Besides I have no idea of what is acceptable at the lab yet and I know quite a few gays who have lost their jobs just because of that." He sighed.
"Nick I won't tell and I prefer to tell people myself when I think they're ready to hear it."
"Thanks I guess." Nick gave him a very cautious look.
"Can I give you a lift?" Nick asked remembering to be the gentleman his momma had taught him always to be.
Greg nodded and smiled and climbed into the passenger side of the truck. Once Nick was in he told him his address and then fell silent thinking about what Nick had said.
"Yeah. You know get all the shit I see every night out of the system. It builds up and sometimes I just need to let it out."
"Well dancing is a lot better than drinking." Said a laughing Greg.
"Oh yes. First of all no hangovers and secondly it's good exercise." Nick said relaxing somewhat and turned the radio on. Greg winced at the country music blaring out. He kind of figured that it was Nick's normal taste and the club was just his way to let out steam.
"Not your thing or what?" Nick asked.
"Nah, the club was more spot on, heard about Nine Inch Nails?"
Nick nodded: "And that is definitely not something I like."
The rest of the ride they talked about music and Greg's rundown apartment.
When Nick pulled into the parking lot closest to Greg's apartment turning the engine of he said:
"No way it can be as bad as you say!"
"Well you can come up and have a look see." Greg wasn't sure what Nick wanted, but you can't blame a guy for trying.
Nick followed him up and let out a gasp when the still stale air hit his nose. Greg gave the quick tour opening doors and windows to refresh the air. Then he headed for the fridge to get a couple of water bottles he threw Nick one and emptied his own realizing it was way overdue.
"Do you need any help painting?" Gentleman Nick stepped into action again.
"Eh, you really wanna do that?" Greg was utterly clueless by now. 'What does the guy want?' he couldn't quite figure Nick out.
"Well I went to the club to wind down, but then you showed up…" He fumbled for the words.
"Guess I just need to keep busy for some few hours more before I can sleep."
"Ok. Well there's plenty to do, the walls need washing, except the small bedroom, that wallpaper has to go."
"Pink's not your think?" Nick smirked.
"Not like that." Greg grinned big time.
Nick borrowed an old t-shirt from Greg and a pair of baggy surfer-shorts. He looked so out of place somewhat like an Eskimo in Sahara, Greg thought, but he was efficient in getting the pink wallpaper of.
When it came to put up the new wallpaper Nick got a TKO in less than a minute.
"It's payback for you did to its ancestor." Greg mused at Nick.
Nick flushed bright red clenching his hands around the roll of wallpaper he was holding.
"Damn it. I just don't get it. It looks so bloody simple."
"Hey don't worry I really appreciate all your help, you can go home now."
"Why don't I start washing the walls in the hallway, what do you want it washed with?"
Greg instructed him on the wall washing and returned to the wallpaper.
They talked about everything and nothing until Greg finished. By now they were both exhausted so Nick left without changing his clothes. 'Wonder when realizes?' Greg thought as he got his sleeping bag out and decided on sleeping in the kitchen, since it was the cleanest floor in the place at the moment.
All in all his first 24 hours in Las Vegas had been everything he had expected and a lot more. He fell asleep thinking about Nick wearing nothing but a cowboy hat.