Summary: Nick never liked the term 'boyfriend.' oneshot NickGreg. Slash.

AN: Yeah. So...actually, I don't live in Texas (Minnesota...) but we've been known to be pretty redneck-y as well. I'm basing anything off of the MN so-called rednecks, and the whole college thing's a guess, because I haven't gotten to college and at this rate, I probably won't.

Also, because of my lack of knowledge in the CSI: background info and such, I make no promises as to what is true and what is not. I seriously know very little about this show...meaning that I don't know for sure if the subject of Nick being brought up in a rural or urban town or if Greg and Nick arrived in Vegas around the same time were ever touched. I go off what my mind tells me.

One more; written through the hours of five to six thirty AM. Really, after a night of watching reruns, FRIENDS, and the news, I feel a little...I'm not even sure. Anyway...The ending kinda sucks, but oh well...It was kind of hard to find a way to work around that.

I don't own and yadda yadda...

Nick had never liked the term 'boyfriend.' In the redneck town he lived in back in Texas, being the 'boyfriend' made it okay for your girlfriend's father to chase after you with a rifle, shouting and yelling about how he wasn't good enough for his daughter because of somd stupid reason, Nick's being that he was a very emotional child. Being so emotional didn't help him with sports or gym class, either. Actually, thinking back on it now, Nick believes that it's a little too cliched and stereotypical. But it's pretty much the gist of reality. At least where he grew up.

After moving out of the town he resided in for the good half of the first eighteen years of his life, Nick discovered a whole new meaning to that term. In college, being the boyfriend meant that you were making out between classes or holding hands during classes, and screwing only each other. Somehow, that last rule only applied to Nick. Every girl he dated managed to go down on nearly the entire male population on campus, which was stupid; of course he'd find out.

A bruised ego and a few failed relationships later, Nick gave up and busied himself with studies and the sex slash love life of his friends, though not really caring. He made it through college, and made his way to the LVPD, having been sucessful in remaining single for the rest of his college life.

And then there was a whole new scene, the crossdressing, the karoke, the funny haircuts everywhere, and -something Nick wasn't completely accustomed to, though knew that they were okay, despite having grown up in Texas - the open homosexuality scene. Everything was new to him, in a sense - TV was only good for so many things, though college had broaded his mind a bit.

But then there was his coworkers; quite a bunch, if you'd ask him, though they slithered their way into Nick's heart, becoming a second family, making Vegas not his 'home away from home' but his home entirely. Going home for the holidays, he realized that it was hard to fall asleep without the honking of horns and sirens going off right outside your bedroom window. When found downstairs, watching TV at three AM, his mother worried something was wrong; after half an hour of her son telling her that it was just the lack of the Vegas life around him that was keeping him awake, she went back to sleep, still unconvinced, though willing to let it go.

Even though Nick hadn't been in a relationship for a good three years, his family was still riding his back about finding a girl and settling down; his siblings had already given his parents fifteen grandchildren, leaving him at the starting line without even telling him there was a race.

Didn't matter much, though; by that time, Nick had realized he'd always be left at the starting line. Not because he'd never settle down, but because he wasn't sure he'd ever find the right person to have children with, their personality, character, or how well they clicked not being a factor; no, it probably had to do with how Nick wasn't attracted to women as much as he was men. It took him the majority of his teen years, and then some, to realize this, and another few years to get him out of the denial stage and into the accepting stage of his...well, whatever you want to call it.

Then came the DNA lab tech, Greg Sanders. Nick knew, automatically upon meeting him, that he was an interesting character and probably a damn good friend. Once, of course, you earned trust and all that. A few weeks, spilt coffee, and an awkward impromptu breakfast/dinner date later, the two were joking and laughing during breaks, Greg teasing him at any opportunity he got for growing up in Texas and being "a man of many emotions," as the blonde liked to put it.

There were times Nick didn't know if Greg was just being friendly or if he was flirting. Nearly every moment he could think of, recall on, happened in the lab. Though every bone in his body was screaming to ask why, he kept quiet, happy with the assumption that Greg felt at home in the lab, safe and sound.

Enter lab explosion. So much changed, and Nick beat himself up for not seeing Greg in the hospital, but he thought that maybe, just maybe, it was still too early in their "relationship" to show too much affection over the eccentric lab rat. He was still a man, and therefore had a "legitimate reason" to be macho. He just chose not to act on it most the time. Things changed once Greg got out of the hospital; things were awkward, Greg wanting to ask the question, Nick knowing he wanted to. Why didn't you visit me, I thought we were friends?

It kept Nick up at night, that scenario. What Greg would say, what he would say...what would happen. He'd probably say something stupid that didn't have any reason to happen, and Greg would probably say something, which would set Nick off a bit, which would push Greg over the edge, and...No. Greg wasn't the type to get emotional over something like that. If he got around to asking, he'd ask, probably try to make a few stupid jokes out of it, then let it go. But Nick couldn't let the topic off that easily; Greg could've lost his life, and Nick didn't go into the hospital to see him?

But nothing was asked, so nothing was confessed, which meant Nick continued his flirtatious friendship with Greg, now convinced that, yes, Greg was indeed flirting. It took a few confirmations from a friend outside of work, but he managed to send out a few obvious signals, hoping Greg would at least catch them.

Then along came Walter Gordon, and Nick's kidnapping. After hours of being able to set everything in perspective, Nick swore to whatever spirit or god that was listening that he'd tell Greg if he ever made it out of that stupid coffin. But everything seemed so doomed, and he knew chances of him making it out alive were low, lower than he was in the dirt, and somehow, everything fell around him. He was so relieved to see the rest of the team above him, happy that he wasn't going to die in a glass box coffin thing, that he was going to be okay. And Greg, Greg had become a CSI one recently, and he hadn't even given him a proper congratulations like he had planned. All because he was too chicken, too afraid of his predictions being wrong, too afraid that Greg would just laugh at him.

After being yanked from the coffin and stuffed into the ambulence with Catherine and Warrick, he knew that he was okay, that he'd make it out fine and that he had to tell Greg, no matter what. After a week of the hospital, spending a week at home to heal, he went back to work with a weird confidence, unsure if Greg would return his feelings or not, but sure that Greg wouldn't laugh at him or tell him to leave or be disgusted; Greg had flirted, Nick had flirted back, and Greg had flirted back again. It was like a game of table tennis, except filled with cheesy jokes and lines.

Nick had told him, Greg had teased, Nick felt rejected. Greg told him that, no, he had it all wrong, that it was entirely the other way around. Nick forgets most of the mush that Greg had fed him, now only remembering that telling Greg was the best thing he'd ever decided to do.

He never got to be a 'boyfriend' to Greg, mostly because they skipped all the mumbo jumbo and went straight to 'lovers' mostly because that's what they felt. After a few weeks of Greg making jokes in the lab, saying things to him with others in the room, ending with 'boyfriend,' Nick would clench his jaw and correct him. Lovers, they were, and nothing would change that. Though it was a big deal for Nick, Greg couldn't really care less what they were called, so long as he had Nick. And Nick knew that.

So, after a year and a half of the Boyfriends vs. Lovers debate, they moved in together, adding roommates and partners to the list. After discovering all of Greg's nasty living habits (yeah, even the one where he kept all his nerdy stuff in the back of the closet and under his side of the bed), Nick proposed, happily adding 'husbands' to the evergrowing pile of names.

Nick, now recalling back on everything as he watches the ring on Greg's finger twinkle, standing next to him in the crime lab, realizes that he complete detoured actually ever being Greg's boyfriend. Deep down, he knows that he wishes he could've been such a meaningful thing in Greg's life, but he now knows he has something much more meaningful, something much closer to the heart than he'd ever have as the 'boyfriend.'

He's Greg's husband. He was Greg's lover, roommate, partner, friend, best friend, etc. But now, he's Greg's everything, and Greg's his. And that's the only terminology that matters, really, because it's the only one that can really describe them without going down the stereotypical road of being boyfriends or husbands or any of those stops in relationships.

In a way, Nick was happy he missed out on the whole 'boyfriend' bit. Because missing out on that led him to becoming Greg's everything, which meant that he didn't need to be a boyfriend, and he never needed to be one, because that's what the term 'everything' means, anyway - everything, including all the terminology Nick doesn't like.

AN: I apologize for the lack of dialogue, but I'd really enjoy some feedback! This is probably (in all honesty) one of the best things I recall myself writing (though it's early and I'm tired, so my judgement is most definitely clouded), so if you'd please review and tell me what you think, I'd forever be in debt.