Chapter 1

Disclaimer: Don't own don't sue.

Greg Sanders paced back and forth in front of the apartment door, the rain falling around him effectively ensnaring all of his senses making him feel more alive but in essence making him more nervous as well. He sighed running a hand through his hair making it even spikier than it had been previous. "Okay." He said to himself, trying to gain enough courage to knock. "So he's still your friend, you can still talk to him, what happened doesn't change that Greg, don't be ridiculous."

He closed his eyes and sighed, images flashing before his mind, Nick in that box, the tears wet on his cheeks as he looked horrified at his surroundings. When he'd first seen the situation that Nick had been in a large knot had formed in his stomach, threatening to make him physically ill every time he thought of the man who had been so friendly to him since the first day he'd moved to Las Vegas in that situation. It just wasn't fair that this sort of thing kept happening to him, to either of them really.

Continuing to pace Greg tugged at his hair and walked back to his car getting in he rested his head on the steering wheel trying to control his tumultuous emotions, tears stinging at his eyes. "You're fucking weak G." He muttered scrubbing at his cheeks then his eyes. "Nick's gone through so much and you can't even talk to him, he visited you every day you were in the hospital after the lab explosion." He turned the key in the ignition and sat back in his seat looking at the apartment complex through the rain rapidly falling down his window, his eyes fixed on Nick's balcony.

There was another problem, the lab explosion, Greg felt phantom pains shoot up and down his back, the scars on his skin pulling taut as he tensed, remembering the searing agony that had flowed through him in a matter of seconds. A choked groan ripped itself from his throat as he fought back nausea, the smell of burnt flesh suddenly permeating around him.

Opening his eyes Greg breathed deep again and again, forcing a smile onto his face as he remembered hearing about Sara's wisdom when it came to gagging. Smile G, just smile, you won't gag. He turned off the car again and pulled the keys out fiddling with them, he picked up the colourful lei attached to it, running it through his fingers, the reality of why he was actually at Nick's slamming into him, full speed like a Mac truck.

The truth echoed through his mind at a dizzying pace, everything that had happened to him since he'd moved to Vegas. Greg's first meeting with Nick, his absolute shock at seeing the CSI who just seemed to exude a masculine sensuality that had wrapped itself around Greg, making him unable to do anything but choke out a greeting. When he'd moved to Vegas he hadn't counted on meeting such wonderful, caring men, although he had liked Warrick at first he soon realized that the rather large black man was a ladies man and he'd always preferred the twang of a Texas accent anyway.

It had seemed rather ironic to Greg when he'd heard what people had been saying about him before he arrived, that he was gay. The ultimate San Francisco stereotype, he'd denied it though and in the moment, he couldn't figure out why he had. The once lab tech had never experienced the shame of others who had been unable to accept themselves right away, he'd always been out and proud, his parents had supported him, his whole family had. But once he'd seen Nick, Warrick and the other CSIs he was just filled with a fear that had made him want to run to the safety and comfort of his home with his tail between his legs.

After the explosion Greg had realized that he shouldn't hide anything and that life was too short, but he still hadn't told anyone outright that he was gay. He'd merely, been less shy in hiding it, the outrageous personality he was famous for had faded slightly afterwards though, he'd shied away from people just in case they'd decided to hate him. But then he became a CSI, and he had more to be proud of, he'd accomplished something great, something that was more than his wildest dreams. And that disbelief had shattered with a fibreglass coffin, and the look of abject horror on Nick's face. He needed to tell the Texan how he felt, it was just too much, too many bad things had happened to all of them, life was short but it was shorter if you had a job like theirs. And somewhere along the line he'd actually fallen in love with Nick, the personality of the other man was suddenly comforting and exhilarating all at once.

Opening his car door Greg slid out, looking up as the sky remained open, rain still falling down around him. A grin broke out on his face as the cold water hit his skin, beading and sliding down his arms. He locked his doors and ran back to the apartment quickly climbing the steps to Nick's. Nervousness suddenly sank into the pit of his stomach and he bit his bottom lip, practically gasping as the door opened. He braced himself, preparing for what might happen.