DISCLAIMER:Don't own anything associated with the show… I just like playing with the characters in it from time to time. Dance Monkeys! Dance!
RATING: M - Mature (language, sexual situations, adult subject matter)
PAIRINGS: GSR & Yo!Bling pre-established in previous fics of this timeline.
SPOILERS: Sequel to "Displacement", "Transitions" and "Vicissitudes" - Number 5 in the Discovery Series
SUMMARY: Sometimes, the best way the deal with the changes all around you is to stop fighting and evolve in response to them. GSR/Yo!Bling/Nick-OC
A/N: Another installment and I finally found a name for the series, thanks to one of my wonderful readers. I hope this one provides you with all of the things that were missing from the last story (which also means there will be smut in here, so if that ain't your thang, stop now).
REVIEWS: Reviews are the way I know if people are enjoying the work or not. So, if you leave one, THANKS! And if not, I hope you found at least a little something to brighten your day, and thanks for taking the time to read.
20:45 – 2007.01.07
CSI Lab: "Grissom's" Office & Break Room
The room looked different. There were fewer specimens, the spider terrarium was gone and the desk was remarkably uncluttered. It was the same office, the same furniture, the same shelves, but it was all different. Warrick would never be able to think of it as anything but Grissom's office.
Catherine told him to hang a picture, or change the calendar, or get a different chair, anything, but he simply could not do it. As long as things stayed the same, something in his head told him there was still a chance Grissom would be back. He knew that was not going to happen, but until he saw the papers in front of him, he was not about to completely take over the office.
When the phone on the desk rang, he recited the words in his head once before answering, "Night Shift Supervisor."
"Are you going to do that for the whole three months?" He smiled at the sound of her taunting voice.
"That would be the current plan… What can I do for you this evening, Madame Assistant Director?" Warrick smirked at the use of his new favorite jab.
"Oh no, I am off the clock, this is strictly personal, buddy."
"Then, in that case, make it quick, Beautiful… I gotta hand out assignments." He held the receiver to his ear with his shoulder as he pulled the assignment sheets out of his inbox.
"I was thinking-"
"That spells trouble." The huff that came through the phone told him all he needed to know.
"Anyway… Since Nicky has his niece trying out the lab this week, what d'you say about throwing a little party for her on Friday? I mean, the kid needs to have some fun while she's here, right? Plus, it might be a nice little ice breaker for everybody after all the stress from the transitions." Warrick smiled when he realized that the woman he came home to everyday was absolutely incredible.
"You know what, Babe… That sounds fantastic. What do you want me to do?"
"Nothing… Linds and I'll handle it. I just wanted to make sure it was okay with you before we did anything." He laughed at her explanation. "What's so funny?"
"I'm sorry… It's just, I guess I'm not used to being consulted about stuff like this. Kinda makes it feel a little more real." Warrick had been having those little moments of clarity a lot in the last few months. For the first time in his life, he truly felt like he belonged to a real family. He had been an orphan living with his grandmother as a boy, and though he loved the woman dearly for all she gave him, it was not the same thing as a regular family.
"Well, if I can get out of that budget meeting on time tomorrow, you'll get another reminder of that reality."
The tone of her voice was all he needed to hear. "Mmmm… And on that note, I better get to work, so I can be well-rested tomorrow. G'night, Babe."
He hung up the phone after hearing her words of affection and the smile was still spread over his face as Blake Reynolds poked his head in the office. "Now, that's the way to start a shift… Musta been a good call?"
Warrick stood up with the slips in his hand and nodded. "Better believe it. Everybody ready?"
"Ready and waiting, Chief." Warrick grinned with the man's attempt at a show of respect. He knew it would be difficult supervising a guy who had more seniority than himself, and he wished he could say something about it. However, with his position as a permanent supervisor still in question, he simply did not feel comfortable confronting a man who might end up being his supervisor if Grissom's plan failed.
"Sounds good… Let's get rollin'."
As the two men walked into the break room Warrick saw the familiar and welcome faces of his friends and the tired face of Ted Shibley from Days. Blake passed him and took a seat at the table with the others.
"Okay guys, I have been assured that we'll have our new body by the end of next week. And thanks for stepping up this week Shibley. I'll be sure to keep the coffee flowin', man." Warrick waited for the man to nod and Nick reached over to pat Shibley on the back. "The AD tells me she's got the list down to three candidates and is interviewing them this week."
"Does that mean we get a nice, fresh rookie to torment?" Greg waggled his eyebrows in a comical gesture and rubbed his hands together, which only emphasized his humorous expression.
"Hate to burst your bubble, Little Man, but nothing under a Level Two this time. We're short staffed as it is, with all the shifts running at bare bones, so throwing a newbie into the mix was not what she was looking for. You're still gonna be drawing the short straw for a while longer." Greg slumped down into his seat and Nick gave him a friendly nudge in support.
"So, we got a light load tonight. Blake, you're gonna take Greggo out on a home invasion in Sunrise Manor. Nick, you and Shibley are processing a four-four-six down one block off the Strip. Narco needs some help with a bust scene, so it should be a simple process case." Warrick gave them their slips and then sent them on their way. "And since that's all we got tonight, be sure to keep your phones handy… We all know how fast that can change."
When Warrick left the room, everyone stood up and got ready to head out for the night. Greg and Shibley were the first ones out the door, but Blake called after Greg. "Hey man, I'll meet you at the Tahoe."
Greg's reply was quieted by the distance as Nick put his paperwork in order before heading out. When Blake started talking, he treated it like white noise at first. He knew the guy had a decent reputation, but he had no real interest in him either way.
"Hey, Nick… Look man, I just want to clear the air with you." Nick looked up from the papers in his folder and Blake continued. "I know my transferring in for Sidle had to feel like a slap, but really, you've got nothing to worry about. I'm next in line for a supervisor slot, and the only reason Haggarty hasn't retired already is because of Grissom's surprise vacation. Ecklie talked him into waiting until Grissom got back, so you only gotta deal with me for a few months, and then I'll be taking Swings over from Haggarty."
Nick shrugged and said, "Sounds like you've got everything figured out." He knew the guy was only attempting to keep things on an even keel at work, but he wanted to string him along a while longer.
"Man, if I had everything figured out I wouldn't be spending my mornings talking to lawyers and my afternoons keeping my son from feeling like the divorce is his fault." They both laughed at his honesty. "Seriously man, this change is helping me take care of my kid until my soon to be ex-wife finishes her degree and we get this whole custody thing worked out. So, just know that it's only temporary and not personal in any way. In a few months, you and Warrick can go back to being the big dogs around here and I'll be there when you come in for shift to get in on the latest action around the lab."
Blake held out his hand, hopeful that he had put to rest any animosity between the two. Nick gave a sideways smile and took the other man's hand. "Don't sweat it, man… I've already come to terms over the whole thing, so there's no hard feelin's… Honest."
"I appreciate that, Nick… I didn't want this to be a struggle for either of us, man. Life's too short for that, you know what I mean?"
Nick smiled again and nodded his head. "Preachin' to the choir, brother… Preachin' to the choir."