CSI: Live and Love: Chapter 1
A/N: (N/G) Greg has a secret relationship that could cost him his life. Meanwhile a serial killer is leaving a personal message for one of the CSIs with every body he leaves behind. There will be lots of fluff, tragedy, angst, and good ol' forensic science! Told through Nick's pov.
One warning, some parts, namely crime scenes, will be slightly graphic, read at your own discretion. Also, please do not forget to post comments! The more I get the more I'll write, and I love to know how I'm doing. Suggestions, corrections, and praise are all accepted. Flames are not. Thanks! This story is also being posted on nickandgreg (dot) com under the same penname.
"We handle each case objectively without presupposition regardless of race, color, creed, or bubble gum flavor." -Gil Grissom from "Pilot" Season 1.
Nick Stokes got out of his Denali at the CSI lab, his stomach turning at the sight of the ambulance parked outside. Its lights were flashing and both back doors were open, though no siren was piercing the silent night air. He rushed though the front door to find the secretary at her desk playing with a rubber band, unable to do any work. No one else was around, which was unusual for this time of day.
"What's with the ambulance out front?" he asked.
"I don't know. They say he won't move. Doesn't feel good. Doesn't look good. But won't move."
"I don't know. Probably some perp trying to get out of questioning for all I know."
His stomach churning even more, sure she was wrong about the perp from his gut instincts, Nick ran down the glass corridor looking for anyone who might know what was going on, Warrick, Cathrine, even Bobby or Hodges, anyone. But no one was there. No one. Turning a corner at the end he found no one in the next hallway either. He suddenly hated this place because it reminded him of a maze more and more. And to top it off, he had a deadline to catch, find the exit at the end before something horrible happened. He'd had dreams about it before. Now he felt as if he was living it.
Inside he had the feeling that something was terribly wrong. Something worse than a broken foot or even cardiac arrest. He began to run, worry clouding his mind. Something was wrong. And he knew who was destined for that ambulance even before he ran pell-mell around another corner and finally saw everyone bunched around the break room door.
He began to shake, praying it wasn't who he knew it was. Grissom was first to see him running down the hall toward them and waited for him to get there.
"It's Greg," Gil said, without waiting for Nick to ask.
Nick stopped cold. He didn't want to hear those words. Not those. Anything but those. He worked hard to control himself as his boss spoke.
"We don't know what's wrong. He's curled himself up on the couch. Won't let anyone touch him. Claims he doesn't feel good. And he looks like he could have been hit by a car. Paramedics are in there with him now, but he won't let them near him."
Without even thinking, Nick pushed through the crowd and into the room.
Two paramedics looked up when the door opened but Nick didn't care about them. On the couch in the corner was Greg, curled into a ball, just as Grissom had said. Quirky Greg. Always dependable for a laugh. Sweet, beautiful Greg. Tears were pouring down his bruised face, soaking his shirt. His hands were trembling as Nick fell to his knees beside his fellow CSI. He reached out to take Greg's hands in his but Greg pulled away.
"Don't touch me," was all he said.
Nick looked into Greg's beautiful deep brown eyes, those eyes he wished he could stare into forever, and found a pain he hadn't seen there before. One that went deeper than any possible car accident. It hurt him to know that anyone would even think of deliberately hurting Greg. How could they?
"What happened honey?" he asked, finding himself speaking words he'd only dreamed about calling Greg.
"Nothing. I just don't feel good. Why can't everyone just leave me alone?"
"Hun, you're hurt. You need help."
He didn't care who heard him and what they thought. He would do anything for Greg and right now he needed to know what had happened and he had to get him to the hospital by whatever means possible. He wasn't giving up.
"I'm fine Nick."
"No you're not."
Greg sighed. "I was doing ok. But I couldn't keep my balance. I spilled my coffee."
Greg weakly pointed to the floor past the paramedics who were watching them interact from where they sat. Blue Hawaiian coffee grounds had spilled from the bag all over the floor.
"Gil called the paramedics then."
"Why won't you go with them?"
"Because I'm fine."
"This was no car accident G. This was deliberate. So who would want to hurt you?"
"No one," Greg choked out. "Please leave me alone."
"I can't do that, hun."
"Look, we need to get back on the road," one of the paramedics spoke up. "If he doesn't want help there's nothing we can do."
Nick got to his feet and in one fluid motion scooped Greg up into his arms.
"Nick!" Greg was surprised, a look of shock covering his face.
"You're going to the hospital, even if I have to carry you."
One of the paramedics rushed to open the door for them. As they walked through, Nick holding Greg close, all eyes turned to see them. A few shocked expressions appeared at seeing Greg's condition for the first time.
"I'm going to the hospital, Griss," Nick said.
"Good. I'm glad. But we are swamped with cases and already understaffed as it is."
"Then what are you all doing standing around here for? Go solve some cases! I got this one covered."
Nick left Grissom giving orders with the paramedics right behind him. Greg was resting his head on his shoulder. He seemed to be comfortable and to have relaxed somewhat. The older CSI wondered how he seemed so weightless. Of course he'd always been thin, but this was almost too thin. Was that a rib he was feeling?
"G, when was the last time you ate?"
Greg mumbled something he couldn't understand.
"You know I'll figure it out if you don't tell me. Might as well make it easy."
"I don't know," Greg mumbled more clearly.
"What do you mean you don't know?"
They had reached the main doors by now and the paramedics held them open for Nick while the secretary stared.
"Maybe yesterday...or the day before..."
"Oh hun, what's going on?"
"Nothing. Just...just...take me home Nick, ok?"
"No. You need help."
Nick set him gently down on the waiting gurney and he was loaded into the ambulance.
Along the way Greg passed out. According to the paramedics it was most likely due to his not having food for so long. They put an IV fluid in his arm and kept track of his vitals which weren't looking good.
In the Emergency Room Nick waited while nurses took Greg into a separate room to look him over. A nurse came out seconds later and called Nick in.
"You said you were CSI?"
"I got his shirt off...and, well, you'd better see this."
He rushed past her to Greg's side and stared in shock. The younger CSI's entire chest was black and blue, as if he'd been used as a frequent punching bag. And he was thin too. Now he knew what he'd felt was a rib. He could easily see each and every one of them. Greg's wrists held ligature marks as if he'd been tied to something and had possibly struggled to get free for many hours.
Nick cringed as his cell phone rang.
"Thanks," he whispered to the nurse before backing out of the room and answering the call. "Stokes."
"Nick, I've got a scene I need you to process."
"I can't Griss. I need to stay with Greg. When he wakes up I need to talk to him, find out what happened."
"How is he?"
"Someone tied him up and beat the shit out of him for a long time. And maybe he ate yesterday but it could have been the day before. He doesn't remember Griss. And he's so thin. I need to find out who did this and I'm gonna kill the bastard."
"Nick, calm down. Look, I understand how you feel. I wish I could let you stay, but I can't. Day shift is already coming back in for a double along with Swing, and I've already got another homicide on Tremont just called in. Sophia's on her way to pick you up."
"Nicky, you know I want to catch whoever did this just as much as you. But right now we're too swamped and he's still breathing. Just process the scene for me. In the morning you can find out from Greg himself what happened. He's strong Nicky. He'll pull through."
"You'd better be right. Cause I don't want him to end up dead like the body at this scene."