Chapter 16

Nick paced the waiting room, looking at the emergency room doors every five seconds as Catherine sat on the seats, her elbows resting on her knees and her hands folded together and resting on her chin. Both were hoping for the health of the two men that were now in surgery. There were his oldest and youngest brother and him, the middle child, stuck waiting for news. He just hoped that everything would turn out alright. When Nick glanced at the door once more, he watched as a doctor in surgery scrubs coated in blood came through the doors. "Gregory Sanders?"

Both Nick and Catherine approached the doctor. With a smile, the doctor replied, "Mr. Sanders is going to recover just fine. We were able to recover the bullet and stop the internal bleeding. He should be ready to go this afternoon."

They sighed with relief and thanked him as the doctor walked away. Before the doctor disappeared, Nick asked, "Do you know the status of David Stokes?"

"He's still in surgery. We'll let you know when he comes out."

And with that, the doctor left. As Catherine called Grissom to let them know Greg was going to be fine, Nick began pacing again. Now if only David could pull through. Three hours passed and finally, the Stokes and the Las Vegas Crime Lab came through the doors. "What took you so long?" asked Catherine.

"Chad Jacobs was trying to escape out the back. We were tracking him down and eventually, we caught up with him. We had to take him to the Dallas police to get permission to arrest him Dallas jurisdiction," explained Grissom.

Right on cue, the doctor from before came out, but this time, his face was not a pleasant one. Nick hoped it was for someone besides David, but there was no one else in the waiting room. His hopes were dissolved when the doctor stated, "David Stokes."

Nick, along with his other siblings, approached the doctor. The team stood back, not wanting to intrude on the family. After heaving a sigh, the doctor looked at them all and whispered, "I'm sorry. There was too much internal bleeding and hemorrhaging. We did all that we could, but in the end, Mr. Stokes succumbed to his injuries."

Those words were like a hard blow into Nick's face. David, his older brother, was now gone. Holding back his tears, Nick nodded and turned away from the doctor, looking at his newly reunited family and his old surrogate one, who stared on in sympathy. The words of David's last request rang through Nick's head. I want you to watch out for these monsters. Nick was going to obey his brother. As Nick stared at his now grieving family, he knew what needed to be done. "I want you to come back to Vegas and live with me," he said.

Shockingly, no one objected. At that moment, a nurse came out and said, "Mr. Sanders is awake. You may go see him now."

As soon as the nurse left, Nick led the way through the hospital to the OR Recovery room where Greg sat in his bed, an IV line hooked up in his arm and a steady heart monitor beeping next to him. The moment Greg saw everyone, he smiled. Everything let out a laugh as they clambered into the room and stood around him. "How are you feeling?" asked Sara.

"Like I've been shot."

Grissom and Catherine shook their heads as everyone stifled a laugh. "Good news. Looks like you're going to get out of here today," smiled Catherine.

"Glad to hear it. Where's David?"

Everyone's eyes averted to the floor. "W…what happened?"

"Thomas Sanders shot and killed him while you were unconscious," replied Grissom in a barely audible voice.

Greg seemed really taken back by this statement. After all, he was related by blood to the guy. "At least we're all together again, though, huh?" stated Jacob.

"Yeah, David got to see Danny at least once before he died," smiled Greg.

Four months later…

"Hey Greg!"

Greg's head shot up from the gun he was staring at. Nick was running his direction and once he reached the door, he said, "Hey, listen, you want to stop by for lunch after you get off?"

"I don't know, Nicky. I got a lot of work to do and I don't know when I'm gonna get done here. You go on ahead. Besides, I don't want to intrude on your family."

"Greg, technically you ARE family."

Shrugging, Greg replied, "Minor detail. I'll see what I can do."

"I've already talked to Grissom. He's going to kick you out of here in time."

Shooting his head to the side, Greg replied, "You sneaky bastard."

Nick smiled and shrugged as he walked away. As Nick left, Greg laughed and shook his head as he went back to work. Once his shift was over and Grissom and thrown Greg out of the lab, Greg drove to the outside of Nick's house, which was now larger due to the number of new tenants that resided there. Parking his car and locking it, Greg walked up the steps and found the key that Nick had given to him to unlock the door and step inside. The interior was dark until Greg turned on the light, causing everyone to jump up and scream, "SURPRISE!"

Nick, all his siblings and the team were there. Just as Greg walked in, Grissom walked in behind Greg and said, "Happy Birthday, Greg."

"Well, technically it's Danny's birthday, but since he's one in the same, I guess it doesn't cause too much harm," smiled Billy, throwing Greg a present wrapped in green wrapping with a gold bow.

Greg caught in and smiled. "Thanks guys."

"Don't thank us, thank Nick. It was all his idea," stated Warrick, hitting Nick on the back of the shoulder. Greg looked at his older brother and winked, "Now I know who to blame."

"Come on guys, the cake's waiting in the kitchen," stated Jacob as he and his sisters raced towards the kitchen. Everyone wished Greg happy birthday and followed suit. Just as Greg was about to walk in, he sensed someone behind him. Turning, he saw the bright figures of his mother, father and David looking on at him. "Welcome home," his mother smiled.

Greg simply smiled and followed everyone into the kitchen. The Stokes life had never been better.


Please let me know what you thought. I suck at writing endings.