Summary: Greg gets sick. Nick helps out. Still Pre-slash
Disclaimer: I so don't own the boys or CSI. If I did...well, lets just say that any and all subtext in the show between these two would be way more then it is.
A/N: Words for this chapter were: Franchise, Blizzard, Clap, Camera, Graduate, Apron, Simplistic, Tournament, Garage and Floor.
A/N2: I want to thank my beta Jayceepat. She makes me look so much better then I am. Also, this list sucked to work with, so it kind of came out on the short side, but we can see the relationship progressing somewhat. YAY! Hurt/Comfort in this chapter, not that this story isn't just a whole wallop of that, but still...
Nick watched, bemused, as Greg walked back and forth from the dining room table into the kitchen. He could hear the refrigerator opening and then shutting every time Greg went in there. He shook his head and matched up the fish head to itslower half, making sure he didn't get so much glue on the two pieces that it escaped from the crack.
"Is there something you're looking for G?"
Greg sniffled, a sure sign his nose was clearing up more than likely in thanks to the spices of his mama's chicken soup and dropped down next to him at the table, "I want ice cream."
Nick raised an eyebrow and set the magnet on a piece of paper toweling before pulling off the rubber gloves he had put on to keep his fingers glue free, "Greg, I bought you what? Four pints of varying flavors?"
"I know." Greg said after a moment, a bout of coughing keeping him from replying right away, "But I want an Oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen."
Nick shook his head, "Believe it or not, I really don't think a Dairy Queen is open at..." He looked over his shoulder at the clock, "Three in the morning. I think you're just going to have to stick with what I got."
Greg got up and went back into the kitchen, "Bummer."
"Grab me the strawberry cheesecake, would you?" Nick asked, smiling when he heard Greg swear at him. That was Greg's favorite flavor and after all the help Nick had given, he wouldn't be able to say no to the request.
The pint was unceremoniously set in front of him and Greg sat down in the same chair as before, opening the pint of cookie dough, "I suppose if I can't get Oreo,this is the next best thing. Probably be easier on my throat too."
Nick could tell his throat was still bothering him by the softer pitch and the winces that sometime emerged on the vibrant face when Greg talked. He felt a moment of guilt at taking Greg's favorite flavor but it was squashed at the look of pure bliss that crossed Greg's face as he ate his first spoonful of the cookie dough. He dropped his own pint and gaped, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight.
He never really paid much attention when they got ice cream before and he was damned glad he hadn't, because each of those times, Warrick was usually with them and the man did not need to see the reaction his body had because of Greg and ice cream.
He swallowed thickly and placed his hands flat on the table to keep them from wandering below. He was also insanely grateful he was wearing sweatpants instead of jeans.
It didn't make sense, he decided. This was probably the third and least provocative image Greg had made, unintentionally, in the last twelve hours, but DAMN; it was the most arousing.
"Something wrong with the ice cream?" Greg asked, pointing his spoon at the pint?
Nick shook his head, "Nah, guess I'm not really in the mood for ice cream."
Greg popped another spoonful into his mouth and eyed Nick, though the Texan couldn't read the look. It was slightly disconcerting really and he had to wonder if this was how perp's felt across the interrogation table, "Mm." Greg pulled the spoon from his mouth, "What do you want? 'Cause you do look hungry."
"Dunno." Was his reply though 'you' was definitely on the forefront of his mind, but he had managed to bite that response back. He prayed his t-shirt was long enough to cover the bulge below and stood up to go and deposit the pint back into the freezer. He was halted though, as Greg snagged the back of his t-shirt. That was becoming a really bad habit.
"You ok? You look a little flushed." Greg stood up and slipped a hand around Nick's forehead, "I really hope you're not coming down with this."
"I'm fine, G." Nick peeled the hand from his face, "Just a little warm," Which was a bit of an understatement once he thought about it, "I probably just knocked the heat up too high before. So I should probably get this back into the freezer." He waved the ice cream for emphasis.
"Oh, sorry." Greg dropped his shirt and sat back down.
"It's ok. I doubt the hold up has made it melt faster." Nick said. He placed the pint in the freezer door and shut it. A smile crossed his face when he heard Greg mumbling, probably louder than he intended to.
"It won't be my fault if he comes down with this cold. No siree, no blame pointed my way."
The hacking cough that followed wiped the smile off of Nick's face and he stepped over to the edge of the kitchen step, "Greg? Maybe you should take more medicine. That cough is sounding worse."
Greg shrugged and pulled the spoon from his mouth, "I don't want to sleep anymore and yeah, the coughs getting worse. My colds usually turn into bronchitis."
Nick's mouth dropped open. The way Greg spoke, it was a forgone conclusion that that was what was going to happen, "And this doesn't bother you at all?"
"Should it? I get a cold once a year, give or take. I'm used to it. I've got an inhaler in my bathroom for when it does happen, so don't worry." Greg said, before shoving another spoonful into his mouth.
It was on the tip of Nick's tongue to ask what good an inhaler would do for bronchitis, but decided he didn't want the headache of a long versed description. Not that Greg's voice would last that long anyway, with the way it was sounding at this point, "Since you seem to like Nyquil so much, I picked up some Dayquil when I went on the tissue run. Figured it would come in handy at some point. Will you take that at least?"
"K." Greg said around his mouthful of ice cream.
Nick grabbed the plastic Walgreen's bag and fished through it, suddenly wishing the only thing he had bought was the Dayquil and tissues, but there was another package of glue in case the first didn't hold the magnet together, a disposable camera he had been planning to buy before the fourth of July, as well as a tub of Vick's vapor rub.
He had finally found it and was pulling it out of the bag when his cell went off, the ring tone he had programmed for Warrick buzzing around the room. He grabbed it off the counter and flipped it open, curious as to why his friend was calling during work hours, "Stokes."
'Hey man. How's Greggo doin'?'
Nick placed the phone against his shoulder and went to work on the protective wrapper of the bottle, "He's a bit better. I think he hit the worst a few hours ago."
"He is standing right here, you know." Greg said, pulling the bottle out of Nick's hands.
Nick turned and leaned against the counter, tucking one hand into the elbow of the arm holding the phone. He watched Greg fight with the bottle, only half listening to Warrick.
'Tell him I heard that but that's not really why I called.'
"Okay? What's up?"
'There was a B & E a few houses down from yours. Did you leave your garage door cracked?'
Nick straightened up. "No, I had no reason to go in there. Wonder if the lock broke and I didn't catch it." He refused to jump to any major conclusions and he decided to ignore Warrick's mention of the B & E.
'I'll stop and check when Cath and I head back to the lab, cool?'
"Yeah, thanks man." Nick hung up the phone when Warrick signed off and took the bottle from Greg, wrapper still intact, "Where are your scissors?"
Greg scratched the back of his head and looked around the kitchen. That was a pretty good question. The last time he had used his scissors was when he had bought the new floor mats for the second bath, which was a couple of weeks ago, and he had put them...he pulled open the drawer closest to the bathroom and pushed aside a barely used apron his mother had gifted him with. Sure enough, the scissors had slid underneath them and were jammed partially under a cork board pot holder.
Greg handed them to Nick and shut the drawer with his hip. He really hoped that this stuff kicked in as fast as Nyquil, because he could feel the tickling in his chest getting worse and shallow breathing could only do so much in holding back coughs.
He drummed his fingers on the island as he took the orange medicine from Nick. It was so quiet. Normally on his nights off, he had music blaring through his headphones as he did his housework, worked on his logic and variety puzzles or even knitted.
"I'm bored. In an antsy, there's nothing productive I want to do sort of way." Greg said, setting the plastic cup down.
Nick snorted, "I can tell. That finger tapping is kind of annoying."
Greg looked over at his fireplace as he stilled his fingers, where he had two wicker picnic baskets placed on the hearth, "Well, I got something to do, but...you gotta promise me you won't laugh."
"You didn't laugh at my drawings, so why would..."
"Nick, your drawings are incredible," Greg said, interrupting him, "You've got an amazing talent." Greg made himself a fresh cup of the Rose hip tea before heading into the living room.
Setting the cup down on the coffee table, he grabbed the red cloth rimmed basket and a leather roll case from the shelf. He set both down on the middle couch cushion and dropped down in the corner. He then watched and waited for Nick to settle and become engrossed once more in his drawings before opening the basket.
He pulled out a light purple, silky skein of yarn that had needles attached, deciding to work on the sweater for his mom. Her birthday was a month away and he still had the sleeves to make. The sweater pattern itself was pretty simplistic, the back, front, and two sleeves. He could even sew them together when he finished. What worried him was the crocheting that needed to be done at the end. He had never been able to pick up on that particular craft.
Greg was really getting into the rhythm and already had about four inches finished when he took a small break to ward off the tickle forming in his throat with the tea. He happened to glance at Nick who was staring at him, a shocked expression on his face.
He sniffed and wiped his nose on his shoulder, his hands too full to go for a tissue, "What?"
"Thank you Mr. Obvious." Greg muttered, looking down at the needles in his hand.
He heard Nick shuffling around before his yarn basket was moved and the cushions dipped as Nick sat next to him, "No, Greg, it's not a bad thing. Where'd you learn?"
Greg sighed and finished off the row he was on before marking it down on the pattern and setting the sleeve on his lap, "I broke my leg when I was seven. It was a small racing tournament and the hill was steep. Anyway, I was in a full leg cast, foot to hip and by the second week I was going stir crazy. My nana had had enough and surprisingly had the patience to teach me. Got good enough that I started making things for my friends. Hats, wrist bands, socks...my mom used to say I could be good enough to start my own franchise."
"Wow. That's...really impressive. You have anything around here that's finished?"
"Nope, but you have seen something that I've made."
Nick raised an eyebrow and looked down at the sweater pieces, "G, when I said finished I meant..."
Greg smacked Nick on the arm with the back of his hand, "I know what you meant. Who had Sara for Secret Santa?"
Nick scratched the back of his head, "Um, you did, but..." He trailed off as he thought back to Christmas. The Secret Santa had been a week long and had four smaller gifts through the week followed by one large one on the last day, to be given in person at the party.
Greg had gotten Sara a beautiful winter kit, all knit and obviously handmade. Gloves on the first day, a hat the second, followed by a scarf, another hat that had devil horns on the top, and a sweater. All had been in various hues of red, Sara's best color, and she had known by the devil hat that Greg had her name.
Nick blinked, "You made those."
"Each and every piece." Greg said with a nod, "Most were done already as gifts but I hadn't decided on who to give them too. The only thing I had knit up specifically for Sara was the devil hat." He laughed a bit as he recalled back, "I remember her thinking I either scrounged them off some old lady or went to a craft show. It was hard holding my tongue."
"Especially for you." Nick said with a smile. When Greg didn't answer, he looked over at him, wondering why. Normally Greg would come up with a scathing or humorous retort, so he was a bit worried to see a sad look on Greg's face, "G? What's wrong?"
"I was just remembering. For graduation, college not high school, I had knit up a sweater for someone. It took me months, because I had gotten out of habit. I chose a style they liked as well as their favorite colors. When I gave them the sweater, they said that they thought it was a bit outdated and that they probably wouldn't wear it. Sara, for all the personality that she has but hides, liked those things and her sweater so much, and I still barely know her." Greg replied, sniffling both from the stuffed up nose and the painful memory.
Nick, who had listened with growing anger at the insensitive person, pulled Greg into his arms and ran his hands up and down Greg's back, "Whoever that person was, if I had been around to hear that, I would have balled their ass out."
Greg rested his forehead on Nick's shoulder, relaxing into the hold. He chuckled then, "You would have been too late. My friend Chellie got to him first. He had a black eye for the ceremony."
"Good." Nick's hands stalled as he went over Greg's words, "He? Was he a close friend?" Nick had to bite his tongue to keep himself relaxed. The thought of Greg being close enough to another guy to knit him a sweater bothered him more then he cared to admit, and it was a struggle to keep the green-eyed monster at bay.
"Kinda." Greg replied as he struggled slightly to pull away from Nick's hold.
Nick's right hand traveled up to tangle in the base of Greg's hair to keep him where he was. It was comfortable and Nick really didn't want to relinquish the feeling, "Kinda? You spent months on a sweater for a friend you were kinda close to?"
"He was my boyfriend." Greg spilled out, before clapping his hand over his mouth and pulling away to stare at Nick with wide eyes full of shock at his own admission.
A/N: There you have it. Chapter four of A Helping Hand. Again, my many thanks to Jayceepat for putting up with my whining and complaints of being stuck. I had to have been a pain in the ass. Oh, and also my apologies for the length. If you got to this you've already read so please review!