A/N: Here it is folk! The Last Chapter! We've made it through thick and thin and you all stuck with me! I'm so happy! Sorry this wasn't up yesterday, I had an emotionally hard day and couldn't bring myself to write. But I think it's better than it would have been because I was just plain EXHAUSTED yesterday. Let me know what you think!
It took several trips to get everyone from the hospital to his house because Nick required the entire back seat. His leg in a cast requiring elevation for a while. Warrick, his car at the lab still, rode in the front with Grissom driving. His house was officially a bachelors pad. He'd offered them to stay for a while, he just hadn't expected them all to say yes. He'd expected Warrick and Archie to choose their own homes, Nick didn't have a choice, and Greg he figured would stay as well. That was not a large surprise, he'd been a nervous wreck the few times he'd been left alone, of course those times had been with his adamant demand that he try. And Grissom had respected his effort to recovery. Of course he had Catherine nearby just in case, not that he'd told Greg that, he just couldn't let go like that so soon.
He was nervous every time one of his CSI was out of his sight for more than half an hour and he felt that urgent need to call and make sure they were okay. He resisted, most of the time, but the times he couldn't he always found an excuse to veil the original cause of the call. This had shaken him, badly. He wasn't sure if he would admit it out loud, but nothing had ever shaken him so badly. Not being able to have control. Horrible things had happened to his people, their lives nearly lost, multiple times, and there had been nothing he could do about it, stop it, or even slow it down. He was out of all control, and his friends suffered as he sat back and watched helplessly. It shook him.
He brushed away the thoughts ready to think of better, happier things as he tried to think of where he would put everyone. Nick got the spare bedroom because it had the best mattress. Warrick was left in limbo for a while. His next trip brought Archie and Greg home. Archie got the couch, Greg took an air mattress on the floor next to the couch. That left Warrick and himself, Catherine and Sara were staying at Cath's house. That was when Warrick pulled a cruel, but effective trick. He's seen it in the movie White Christmas with Danny Kay, who would pull out the puppy eyes and caress the old arm injury from saving a guy's life. He had to substitute the arm with his bullet wounds, and gave a pathetic, very fake groan of agony, but it worked. Gil Grissom crumbled like a good wedge of cheese. He scored the master bedroom. He left with his bag of stuff with a triumphant, smug grin and moved into his space. Grumbling at his easy defeat Grissom got another air mattress and blew it up in the only space left. The rarely trafficked end of the hall. Once everyone was settled pizza was ordered in.
Nicky insisted on playing UNO with Grissom while Warrick held his cards for him. They had to explain the game to Grissom. Twice. Nick was still stoned, but not nearly as bad as at the hospital since he was on milder meds. Greg and Archie became engrossed in a heated battle of chess. Nobody won that game. They continued to end in a draw, neither good enough to beat their opponent but good enough not to lose.
They remained that way, game after game of UNO and Chess. The pizza was delicious. Eventually for his sanity Grissom had to have a different game, especially with Nick winning every game. They played Go Fish. Another game that had to be explained to Grissom. By nine Nick was barely awake, Warrick could fall asleep but wasn't near as close as Nick. Greg and Archie though still trying to beat each other at Chess, they could be seen jerking their head up suddenly desperate to stay awake. Grissom saw his escape from Go Fish.
"That's it! Bed time." they all looked at him surprised, all blinking owlishly.
"Go to bed, all of you."
"Why?" Warrick inquired.
"Because if you aren't there in two seconds, I'm taking my bed back, shot or not." The threat issued Warrick was off like a shot. He then helped Nick hobble to bed and got him settled. Greg and Archie were on their own, but he still checked to make sure they actually went to bed. He had to confiscate the Chess board before they actually went. The house was silent moments later, until a slight snore erupted from the many parts of the house.
Hours later, Grissom awoke. I've been abducted by aliens. That was his first thought when he opened his eyes. It took him a moment to realize what had initiated the thought. His air mattress was deflating rapidly. Enough so that it had curled around over his ears so he heard the air conditioner through the inflated plastic which gave it an alien hum. This was effectively sealed with a red blinking light directly above him. He watched it for a moment until his brain registered what had truly happened. He huffed and rolled off the mattress, grabbing his pillow.
He shuffled wearily towards his room. Warrick was in just the right spot to leave no room for Grissom. He huffed grumpily, which is what happened when he was stressed and deprived of uninterrupted sleep, he whacked Warrick with his pillow. He looked at Grissom blurrily, his eyes highly unfocused and not truly awake.
"Roll over. Make space. Move it."
"Huh?" Warrick yawned all statements in one ear and out the other. Gil huffed again.
"My air mattress popped. MOVE OVER" He was feeling dangerous. He just wanted sleep. Warrick seemed to understand but he rolled the wrong direction. He was now in the center of the bed, with no chance of there being room for Grissom. He grumbled, moving to the left side of the bed. He threw the blankets back, grabbed the top sheet and yanked with all his might. Warrick and the sheet were dragged to the left half of the bed. He groaned at the disturbance but was again asleep. He just chucked the now excess sheet that would be on the floor over Warrick followed by the blankets.
It was at this time that he realized how thirsty he was. He chucked the pillow on the bed, saving his spot and crept to the kitchen for water. When he came back refreshed. Warrick had done a log roll and was wrapped like a burrito in the blankets, sparing not a square inch of blankets for Grissom. He was grumbling all down the hall stealing the blankets off the pathetically flat air mattress stumbling back to bed, thankful for no further interruptions or complications. He was asleep in seconds. The next morning he was the first up, letting the others sleep in, about to take the first sip of coffee when he was halted with a shout from the house.
"Grissom! Help! I'm stuck!" I swear if he is in the bathroom I will shoot him myself. He really needed his morning coffee. He sighed and set it down headed to where he could hear Warrick shouting from, the bedroom. What on earth could he be stuck on or in in the bedroom? he stumbled, followed by half awake Archie, Greg, and Nick. They gathered in Grissom's room and stared in wonder. Warrick was on the floor the blankets not only tight wrapped about him, but they were literally knotted, his arms pinned down.
"Help, I'm stuck." Greg and Archie gave a low whistle simultaneously.
"Wow, a boy scout couldn't do better, and you did it in your sleep." Nick giggled and everyone stared at him. Greg and Archie glared, Grissom had gone grumpily to Warrick to work on the knots.
"Nick, I hate you." it was Greg, with Archie nodding in agreement. Nick gave a pouty look.
"Awww…why would you hate me?"
"No one has the right to be happy in the morning let alone this happy this early in the morning." he rocked on his heels grinning.
"Somebody needs a nap, and it's not Nicky." he giggled.
"Don't make me get my erasers." Archie and Greg threatened. Grissom was huffing again, making no progress on the knots.
"Hurry up, I hear the call of nature." Grissom glared and yanked Warrick to his feet giving the blankets a downward yanked. They easily slipped of the hips and to the floor. Sadly they took the boxers with them. Everyone except Grissom cried out in horror, even Nicky, throwing their arms up over their eyes.
"Dude, haven't we been traumatized enough!" Archie shouted.
"I'm scarred for life!" Greg.
"I need therapy." Nicky not stoned enough to giggle at that.
"I need coffee." Grissom pushed his way out of the room. This was the last time he let his home be turned into a bachelors pad. Warrick reclaimed his boxers and went to the restroom while everyone else went for the necessary coffee cups trying desperately for a new image in their minds. That was not what anyone would want to wake up to see first thing, or ever for that matter.
That day Greg and Archie were back at the Chess and Grissom, Warrick, and Nicky were playing a game that he didn't need help with because of the hand, Scrabble. They spent their week in much the same pattern, Catherine and Sara dropping by at least once a day, sometimes staying for the whole day, other times, they would be having a declared girl day. At the end of the week they were declared well enough for the "We're still alive" party that'd been planned.
Pizza, soda, and chocolate abounded through the house. Everywhere you turned there was either a soda, slices of pizza, or some form of chocolate. Catherine had made chocolate chip cookies, Sara had made Ghirardelli's triple chocolate brownies. Now those didn't even come close to making it through the night. They played games like crazy, every couple of hours confiscating the Chess board and making Greg and Archie participate with the group. They made sure to play games that Nick didn't need help because of his hand which was to remain immobile for another two weeks.
They played mostly Scrabble, the winner was divided between Greg and Archie. Then they played some Monopoly, Catherine was the undefeatable dictator of that game. The last game they played was risk. Now that had been interesting. The two major powers in that game were Grissom and Archie, neither one willing to lose. After a long hard battle, Archie had conquered the world and Gil had grumbled that if he wanted to keep his job he would play a rematch the next day.
Warrick, Grissom, Sara and Catherine talked for a long time afterwards. They talked about everything and nothing at all. The topic of what happened was a mutually avoided topic. Tonight was their night to just have fun, enjoy each other's company and just forget what happened for the day. Plus it was about the chocolate. Time passed slowly, no one caring about it's passage. Time was no longer of the essence, and they all now had plenty of it. Hour had passed, or that's what it felt like, when they all paused to hear a strange chuckling in the hall, Catherine's well trained motherly ears heard the snickering as well.
"I think perhaps I should rescue Nicky from Greg and Archie." she found them sitting in front of a closed door, snickering. Nick, she decided, was locked in the room.
"What are you two doing?" she looked at them suspiciously. They instantly plastered on very fake, innocent smiles.
"Uh huh. And I'm sure Nick is in there willingly."
"Is that really an important factor?" Archie insisted.
"It's not like we're hurting him…physically." she rolled her eyes at their dramatic play for fun and stepped into t he room. Nick was tied to a chair, gagged, in the center of the room. He was surrounded by dozens of blow up clowns rocking back and forth wildly a voice box for each one. She instantly recognized the laugh of the clowns, it was a copy of the laughing done by the blow up clowns in the old video game The Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Nick was sobbing and squirming. That was how she noticed the strings attached to the shoe lace of his unbound foot. They were connected the back rows of clowns which when the strings were pulled the clowns rocked forward bumping the other clowns like dominoes they were all in movement. She couldn't help but laugh. He looked at her with the HELP ME! Look. She laughed again and went to untie him. Greg and Archie stood in the door way with devilish grins.
"Aww Cath, how come you have to ruin our fun. Don't we have a right to our revenge." Nick stared at them baffled, not remembering his antics, as a person often forgets their actions whilst on drugs. Archie still hadn't gotten the paint off, though it was severely faded from what it had been. He currently had raccoon eyes, his eyebrows had bald spots, his legs entirely shaved, and coloring all down his neck that made him appear diseased. The status of the drawn on bra was unknown. Greg had no eyebrows at all and his legs were shaved as well, the collateral damage of the glue.
"You two are just plain sore, he was doped up."
"Yeah, the dope just brought it out, he already had it in him." they filed out of the room, everyone except Catherine throwing evil looks at each other, though there was very little seriousness in any of this. She ushered them into the living room, making sure they sat apart from each other, and the informal gift exchange began. Warrick got his gift from Greg. It was suspenders.
"Haha, very funny." he responded with a grin. Sara was given a box of brownie mix from each person with instructions to make more for them.
"When did I become your personal cook?"
"since you make killer brownies."
"Oh they'll be killer alright." They all laughed. Catherine gave Nick framed pictures of all his artwork during the hospital stay, which included Archie.
"I did that to him?" another evil look from Archie. Nick grinned. Then she gave a dvd to Archie.
"Alien Invasion, by Nick Stokes?" Greg cackled and insisted he play that tonight. Archie shrugged having been in the shower for the event and didn't know how much power he held. Warrick gave Nick a bag of supplies and an alliance for the war to come between him, Nick, Greg and Archie. Nick grinned the plans formulating. Archie gave Grissom a plastic box with air holes. There were two large bugs inside. Grissom's eyes boggled.
"Oooh…two perfect specimens of the dung beetle. These are hard to find in such fine examples. Thanks Archie." he was off like a shot to get his new bug friends settle into the 'bug room' as it was labeled. They all laughed, though only Archie knew why he got Gil two dung beetles. Lastly Nick gave Greg a big box wrapped in the Cars wrapping paper. He ripped it open like a kid on Christmas, the box lasting hardly a second.
"Ahhh…Nick this is awesome." he pulled out a fine leather jacket with the words Texan's Best Friend on the back in wild, Greg like colors. He slipped it on and zipped it up, modeling for everyone. It fit perfectly and was warm and cozy.
"I told you I was buying you a jacket. You won't fulfill your dream of being a popsicle though."
"That's okay, this is the best." he grinned happily.
"Nick that's cheating. You just bought Greg off!" Archie complained, fearing for his war.
"Relax Archie, put your DVD Cath gave you on, it's the perfect revenge. Besides, I'm still in the war." Grissom returned the grin ever present as Archie put on the movie. No one had a clue what exactly it would be, but Greg did know the event that had been recorded. In moments they were all roaring in laughter, as Nick's little escape attempt had been made into music videos with songs such as It's The End of the World As We Know It, and many other alien oriented songs. Nick had sunk to the lowest point he could get to on the sofa and was alternating between indescribable shades of red and even purple. He did not remember doing this and knew it would be the death of him.
Greg sat, snuggled in his cozy new, awesome leather jacket, as tears of laughter streamed down his face as they watched the movie. Everyone except Nick, who was mute with embarrassment, roared with laughter. They were enjoying each other's company, truly a team again. They laughed and were happy, enjoying their time together, a short reprieve before the trial.
A/N: Was that a good ending? Please tell me that was a good ending. Oh and for freakygirlhere, I just want you to know that Greg IS NOT all hunkey Dorey, I simply ended this story on a good note. There will me more into the emotional effects in the sequal. So was this a good ending?