A/N Ok, so I'm back, as promised, with a sequel. I have a wicked storyline planned in my evil little mind which I hope you all like! Hope you like, let me know your thoughts on it, good or bad. Constructive criticism is the most helpful thing you can give me (aside from cookies). Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter of Lessons. I was sad to see that one end. Anywhoooo enjoy!
Tomorrow's Another Day is set roughly three months after A Lesson In Rebellion. I suppose Greg is OC but only because I put the poor man through hell and back in my first story!
Therapy. The treatment of disease or disorders by some remedial, rehabilitating or curative process. Roughly translated as the treatment of someone who has so much crap in their head they're about to explode.
Greg hated it.
He had been in therapy before, just after his stabbing but that was different. That was him and seven other people. This was just him and a shrink.
He nervously fiddled with a loose piece of thread coming off the sleeve of his jacket, not looking at the smiling woman sat across from him. This was his sixth visit to Dr Cleveland but he wasn't any more comfortable now than he had been on his first. She made him anxious. She was too smiley. Too nice. She must have been in her early forties and was garbed in a smart pant suit, her auburn hair scraped back into a clip. He knew she was staring at him, waiting for him to start. When he didn't she spoke.
"How are you today, Greg?"
"Good?" She questioned.
"Yeah, good." He repeated.
"You want to talk about it?"
"I thought that was the point of therapy."
Dr Cleveland gave him a level stare but overlooked it. "How are you sleeping?"
"Like a baby." He lied smoothly. Dr Cleveland frowned a little but didn't push him. "How's work?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "Fine."
"Are you back in the field yet?"
"How do you feel about that?"
"How am I supposed to feel about that?" Greg shot back at her.
"These sessions are for your benefit, you know?"
He looked at her for the first time since he entered the room. "I'm only here because I'm not allowed back out into the field unless I complete this program." He could think of a million things he would rather be doing right now. Not that he told her that.
"Do you feel like you were pressured into it?"
"A little. Yes. I wasn't really given much choice in the matter."
"Do you think it's not helping?"
Greg paused, weighing up his words before he spoke. "I don't know." He replied honestly, leaning forward in his chair, pressing his palms together in front of him.
"This is our sixth session now, Greg, and every time we meet we have this same discussion. We never talk about how you feel about what happened to you. You need to open up. Let it all out."
Greg met her eyes. "I'm not ready to."
She gave him a small smile. "Try."
He shifted uncomfortably, trying to arrange his thoughts and took a deep breath. "I'm not sure how I'm supposed to get on with my normal life."
"What do you mean?"
Wincing, he shrugged. "I feel… different. I am different. I nearly died, three times. It's a lot to get my head around."
"It is, but you can come back from this. You have a good support network."
Greg briefly thought of his work companions and knew it was true but it didn't help him at that moment.
"I feel… afraid… of everything." He fumbled over the words, trying to put his feelings into some semblance of order.
"They're natural feelings to have after what you've been through."
He dragged a hand over his eyes, sinking back into his chair. "I want my life back."
"It will take time but you will get it back."
He gave her a wry smile. "How? It's not over for me yet."
"The man who attacked you has been caught, hasn't he?" She questioned, jotting a few words on the file on her lap before flicking her gaze back to his face.
"Yes." He admitted.
Michael Wade had been picked up two days after Greg's abduction. He remembered watching the interview from the viewing room. His blood had run cold as he listened. Wade had no remorse about his actions. He only seemed sorry that Greg had been found alive. The twenty-one year old boy had so much hatred towards Greg. It had been frightening listening to him talking about what he had done to him so calmly. He shuddered involuntarily.
"Michael Wade still worries you?" Dr Cleveland asked.
"I keep thinking he's going to turn up. Try and kill me again."
"He's in prison. He can't hurt you now, Greg."
"I know that. It doesn't stop the way I feel though."
Dr Cleveland glanced down at her notes. "You moved out of your apartment?"
"Yes." It had been the first thing Greg did after being released from the hospital. He couldn't bear to go back there. It didn't feel like his home any more.
"How does that make you feel?"
"Safer?" He threw tentatively out.
"Does it? Or are you just saying what you think I want to hear?"
With a lop-sided smile he shrugged. "Aren't you supposed to figure that out?"
She sighed and continued as if he hadn't spoken. "So your new apartment?"
"It's nice. In a great neighbourhood. Closer to Nick."
"Nick is your friend from work?"
"Yeah. He's my rock." Greg admitted. "He keeps me sane. Most of the time I think I would crack up if it wasn't for him." Again she jotted a few things down. It made Greg nervous. He wondered what she was writing.
"So back to my first question. How are you today?"
Greg sighed. "I won't lie to you, it's taken me a long time to get where I am today. The last few months have been… hard. I've been at rock bottom and I made a conscious decision never to go back there. I'm still a little flaky at times and scared of things but mostly I'm happy with myself. Even when things are shit I think they can always get worse. I mean, I haven't been beaten up, stabbed or left for dead yet so I'm already doing better."
She nodded. "It's good to have a positive attitude." He shifted his shoulders nonchalantly.
"I've dealt with worse and I'm still here. Doing the things I enjoy, with people I like. Things aren't as bad as they seem." He paused, his brow furrowing. "But then I think about that guy and what he did to me and I fall to pieces. I want to be strong. I want to get on with it but sometimes it's hard to let go of the past."
"No one expects you to let go of the past but you do have to learn to cope with it."
"I know." He said quietly.
Greg left Dr Cleveland's office, pulling his sunglasses from his pocket and walked over to his car. He only had to complete another two sessions and then he was deemed to be fit for field work. He was nervous about it. He wasn't entirely sure he was ready but a part of him wanted to get back to normality. Grissom had put him in the lab for the last few months, hoping to build his confidence back up and truthfully he had enjoyed it. It was easier to deal with somehow. He guess it was because there were always people in the lab. It made him feel safer. Most of the time you were on your own in the field.
He was supposed to meeting Nick for lunch but he almost wished he hadn't agreed to it. He felt drained after that session. It was the most he had opened up. He had talked about feelings he didn't even know he had. When the hour had been up he felt as if he had been shoved out of the door with all these nightmares rolling around his mind. It was the most unsettled he had felt in a long time.
Pulling up outside the café he locked his vehicle and wandered into the substantial diner. It was decorated in a 1950s style, with more stainless steel on display than was ever necessary. In the corner an old juke box was pumping out a Buddy Holly song and neon signs flashed whimsically on the walls. Greg raised his brow making a mental note that Nick was never picking the venue again.
Flicking his eyes around the crowded room he couldn't see the Texan and so moved over to the only empty booth, sliding behind the table. After a moment a blonde haired waitress in a gaudy pink and mint green shirt wandered over. He ordered a soda and waited patiently as she brought it over. Sipping absently on it he was half way through reading the menu when Nick sunk down opposite it.
"You do know what tardiness means, don't you?" Greg asked. Nick glanced at his watch.
"I'm only ten minutes late. The traffic on the strip was hell."
Nick shrugged his jacket off and pushed the sleeves of his shirt up. Although he had been out of a cast for weeks now his left arm was considerably thinner than his right. Greg was still amazed at what he had done that night. It was not every day someone threw themselves under a car to save your life. He would never be able to tell Nick how grateful he was. Greg suspected he knew but there were something's in life that saying thank you for didn't quite cover. Being hit by a crazy psychotic woman was one of them.
"You just got off shift?"
Nick shook his head. "Nah, been home and slept."
"Bonus." Greg said flicking his brow.
Things were quiet in the lab at the moment. It was almost as if someone had handed them a break since Greg's abduction. It suited everyone however. They had all slipped easily into normal shifts and no overtime. Everyone was soaking it up. Calm before the storm was the phrase that sprung to mind. They were making the most of it whilst it lasted.
The waitress reappeared and they both ordered some food. Nick waited for her to leave before speaking.
"Have you slept yet?" Nick thought he looked tired. Truthfully Nick hadn't seen him look well rested for a long time.
"Nope. Had my therapy appointment this morning."
"How's that going?" Nick asked taking a mouthful of his drink. Greg quirked his brow at him.
"I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours."
Nick laughed. Like Greg, Grissom had referred Nick to a therapist to talk about his 'incident'. Nick found the whole thing amusing. He complained that he didn't need it and in all honesty he didn't. He seemed to have taken the whole thing in his stride. Greg wondered if he was just really good at hiding his feelings or if he really was fine. He wished he could get over it so quickly. He felt weak for not being able to do so.
They continued to talk for a while about everything from work to video games and only halted when the waitress appeared with their food. Greg picked a fry off his plate whilst reaching for the ketchup.
"You know Ecklie's interviewing for a new DNA tech today?" Nick said.
Greg raised his brow, his fry nearly making his mouth. "Is this one coming with a full background check?"
Nick shrugged. "God knows. You want me to swab for DNA when no ones looking?"
He laughed. "People already think we're crazy because we're in therapy. Let's not add to that."
"People think you're crazy." Nick corrected him. "They think I'm a hero."
"You're never letting that drop are you?" Greg asked, finally shoving the fry in his mouth.
"Nah. The chicks love the boy hero thing."
"Well if that fails you can always try the dating columns. There are lots of desperate girls in Vegas looking for equally desperate heroes." Greg's lip twitched slightly at Nick's expression.
"Maybe I'll pass them your number."
Once they had eaten Greg made his way home. He needed sleep. His new apartment lay just outside the city centre. It was one of those new complexes and had only been built three years ago. Greg liked it because it was so new but also due to the fact it had more security features than Fort Knox.
Driving down the ramp he swiped his electronic fob over the small black pad and watched as the six foot gates swung open to the underground parking garage. Pulling up into his space he got out of the car, glancing around as he locked it. He walked quickly over to the door leading to the elevators and typed in the key code before dragging it open. Stepping in he tapped the third floor and sank back against the wall, running his fingers through his hair.
It was smaller than his old apartment but it was cosy. It had two decent sized bedrooms, and a newly installed kitchen come living area. It was costing him two thirds of his pay each month but he didn't care. It was worth it for peace of mind. This place was impossible to get into and even if someone did get hold of his front door key they still needed the fob and the key code to even get into the building.
Although he had unpacked most of his stuff there was still a few boxes lying around. He didn't even know what was in them. Part of him didn't care. They could stay there forever. Whatever was in them he hadn't missed up to now. He sank onto the sofa, throwing his legs out into the middle of the room and let his head fall onto the back, staring at ceiling whilst stifling a yawn. Without meaning to he fell asleep.
When he awoke the sky was beginning to darken. Disorientated he realised he was still on the sofa. Stretching and rubbing the knots from his neck he showered, ate a small dinner and headed for the lab. He flashed his ID at Judy as he passed the reception but she called out to him, stopping him in his tracks.
"Dr Grissom asked to see you when you arrived."
"Thanks, Judy." Greg forced a smile before heading to the locker room, wondering what Grissom wanted him for.
Warrick Brown was stood at his locker when he entered and glanced up with a smile. "Hey man. How's it going?"
"It's going good. Any idea what the assignments are for tonight?"
"I like to be prepared." Greg said with a grin. "Get all my equipment ready."
Warrick shook his head laughing. "You have seriously got to get out more."
Greg shrugged out of his jacket, sticking it in his locker and straightening his bright red t-shirt. Since he wasn't required to be in the public eye at the moment he had gone back to wearing his normal clothes. Normal being the word. Greg had tried to tone his wardrobe down after making CSI level one but he still liked to splash a little colour out now and again.
Warrick studied him for a moment. "You do know that shirt is a step from glowing in the dark?"
Greg gave him a fake laugh and shrugged. "Brown, black and white are just so… dull. I need primary colours in my diet."
"Diet?" Warrick raised his brow at his word choice.
Greg shrugged still smirking as he closed and snapped his padlock into place, checking it was secure before heading up to Grissom's office. He knocked lightly on the door and entered on invitation. Grissom, as always, was surrounded by a stack of paper work. He glanced at him over top of his glasses.
"You wanted to see me?"
Grissom indicated for him to take a seat. Greg complied, shifting himself to get comfortable. He had always been really nervous around his boss but since his abduction he had found himself more at ease. He figured it was probably because Grissom and Warrick had been the ones who had found him. It was difficult not to feel a connection after that.
"How are you feeling?"
Greg, who was used to this question being asked daily by everyone, gave his automated response. "Fine."
"Therapy going well?"
"As well as telling a complete stranger the most intimate details of your life can go."
Grissom gave him a look that said he was about to ruin his good mood. "Ecklie wants you to retake your proficiency test."
For a moment Greg's brain didn't register what had been said but as it sank in he felt his anger rising.
"What? But I've done it. I passed it with flying colours!"
Grissom gave him a tight lipped smile. He evidently wasn't happy about it either. "You've been out of the field for two and a half months now. He thinks you might be rusty."
Greg opened his mouth to contradict him but when he thought about it he realised he had been. His beating had occurred at the end of September. He had been given a month off following that, then with his stabbing and abduction he estimated he had actually worked no more than ten weeks in the last five months. Nine of those had been in the DNA lab after his abduction. That disturbed him. He didn't like what Ecklie was proposing but in a strange way he did understand it.
Grissom sighed. "You finish your sessions next week?"
"I have another on Thursday and then my last on the following Monday." Greg confirmed, his mood sinking.
"I want you in the field with me tonight. We'll get this wrapped up sooner rather than later." Grissom told him.
Greg felt his heart skip a beat. He wasn't sure he was ready yet. He had mentally prepared himself for starting back next week. Now he was being told that not only did he have to go into the field tonight but he was also being examined on his work. He had wanted any easy shift after a stressful day. It didn't look like he was going to get it.
"Greg?" He snapped his head up, dragging his mind out of his thoughts. He hadn't realised Grissom was speaking to him. He blushed.
"Are you ready to do this tonight?" Greg wanted to say no but he feared the repercussions of that word. Without missing a beat he replied.