Title: Leaving Las Vegas, Lights So Bright
Authors: Nox/BJ and Hawkeye/Katy
Betas: Danny/Sarah, Onigami/Lorne and Alex/Odysseus
Fandoms: CSI, CSI:Miami, CSI:NY
Disclaimers: We don't own them. If we did, this would be canon.
Warnings: Supernatural themes. Some violence. Some language.
Summary: In an Alternate Universe where Werewolves live amongst humans the Las Vegas Pack are forced to make a hard decision when new legislation alters their lives.
Leaving Las Vegas, Lights So Bright
Archie bolted into the breakroom, eyes wide as he disregarded his normal attempts at 'human-ness'. The slender Asian stopped on a dime, the inhuman grace that had him pegged as a werewolf fluidly asserting itself. Bobby and Warrick, the lone occupants of the breakroom, looked up, frowns on both of their faces.
"Nick? Greg? Any ideas?" Archie barked out, the harsh voice tersely out of character for the normally cheerful young man.
"Well, I'm here," came a voice off to Archie's left, "Greggo's gettin' some coffee, I think. What's got you all worked up, Arch?"
Greg's uncharacteristically subdued voice answered that for him, "I'm guessing, this, right Arch?" he said, brushing past the now-gathered CSIs and labrats to switch on the breakroom's TV.
"… new legislation in Nevada. The 'Lycanthrope Registration Act' was passed today and will put in place changes for the werewolf community. The most notable of these being a curfew that prevents any lycanthrope from being out and about after midnight. We cross now to Bailey Evans on the street, talking with some of the people most affected by the new legislation. Bailey…"
Archie shook his head, switching off the TV and turning to face Nick and Greg, "A curfew?"
Nick still stared at the blank TV screen, "What are they thinkin'?" he whispered.
"They aren't thinking," a new voice spoke up.
All heads in the breakroom swung around to look at Grissom. The entomologist looked over his glasses at them all, before his eyes finally settled on his three werewolves; Archie, Greg and Nick. The miniature wolf pack looked back at him. Grissom absently noted how Archie and Greg (both born werewolves) unconsciously kept Nick in the middle, the oldest of the three men becoming the youngest of the three wolves. He almost smiled at the absurdity of this, and elaborated.
"They aren't thinking of werewolves as people in their community," Grissom said, "To the people who made the 'Lycanthrope Registration Act', werewolves are drooling, raving fiends who howl at the moon. They aren't the guy who serves them in the 7/11 or the woman who cuts their hair…"
Warrick continued his train of thought, "… or the CSI who keeps their city safe."
All faces turned to the wolf pack again. Expressions ranging from disbelief to anger to sympathy crossed over the faces of every non-were in the room. It was Greg who finally spoke up, turning to face Archie, head dipping slightly as he spoke to the Asian, his alpha.
"What do we do now?"
Archie frowned slightly at the submissive gesture, then glanced in askance at Nick. The frown grew deeper as the Texan flicked his eyes away and tilted his head, baring his neck submissively to Archie. Archie's eyes widened and he blinked down at himself, blushing sheepishly as he noticed the sub-vocal growl, wide-footed stance and tensed shoulders. He scrubbed a hand over his face, forcibly relaxing himself. His blush grew deeper as Grissom shot him a small smirk.
Archie sighed, glancing over at Grissom, then back at his pack, trying to shoot them a reassuring smile, "I have no idea."
The three of them went back to Greg's house after shift, knowing that they had to sort something out before Ecklie sorted it out for them. Archie sat in Greg's living room nursing a coffee and a headache. Greg was in the shower. Nick was in the kitchen, Archie could smell the bacon frying. A low purr of appreciation rumbled up through his chest. Nick's quiet snicker floated through from the kitchen, making Archie grin sheepishly.
"Bacon! Nick, I think I love you…" Greg waltzed into the kitchen, hair spiking crazily from where he'd towel dried it.
"Y'all only love me for my bacon," the Texan deadpanned, sliding a few rashers onto each of their plates and pouring coffee into their mugs.
He nudged a plate towards first Archie, his alpha, then Greg, his beta, before pulling one towards himself. The three men ate quietly for a few moments, enjoying both the food and each other's company. Greg frowned down at his empty plate, unusually quiet. Archie sat lost in thought, finishing his coffee and smiling softly as Nick refilled the whole pack's cups. Surprising them all, it was Nick who spoke first.
"What's gonna happen to us?"
Archie blinked abruptly, "Us?"
Greg stared at his alpha over the top of his coffee cup, the slightly yellow glint in his eyes the only sign that he was even the slightest bit emotional, "Yeah, us, Arch… The pack. What? You thought you could get rid of us that easily?"
Nick's slightly hurt frown made Archie bluster his way through an answer, "No… I just… didn't… I thought…"
Archie paused, taking a deep breath to try and collect himself, "I thought I was a kinda… interim alpha… someone that would stand in until you guys joined a real pack."
Nick shook his head abruptly, "Hell no. Take a look at me, Arch. You say boo to me and it takes everythin' I got not to bare my neck for ya. Y'all could use that to your advantage, but ya don't. If I joined a real pack, I'd be nothin' more than a piece of ass."
Archie's eyes flashed at that, but before he could respond, Greg began to speak, "Put me in a real pack, I'd be dead within a week," he said flatly.
Nick shifted a little closer to his beta, offering comfort, as Greg continued, "The lab explosion left me scarred, so I wouldn't be sought out, as Nicky so eloquently put it, as a piece of ass. And, I'm not completely dominant, like you. I'd have people trying to fight me for dominance left, right and centre," Greg's eyes glinted yellow again, "And sooner or later, Arch, I would lose."
Archie's shoulders slumped forward, overwhelmed by the unexpected loyalty, "Well, shit," he whispered.
Archie picked himself up, rolling his shoulders and taking a steadying breath. He had a pack to take care of now. A flood of affectionate warmth rolled through him at that thought. A frown creased his brow as thoughts of the new legislation flitted through his mind. Wait… legislation… where had he read that…? He eased himself up from the table, not seeing Greg and Nick's confused looks, and headed for his laptop, quickly calling up a search engine.
Archie's fingers flew over the keyboard, calling up and dismissing windows. Where was it? He knew he'd seen it before. A growl rumbled up from his chest. He felt a warm hand on each of his shoulders and made the effort to tone down the growling. Wait… there it is! A triumphant grin spread across the Asian werewolf's face as he hit the final key, calling up an article, before turning to face Nick and Greg.
"I knew I'd read something about this somewhere," he said, gesturing to the article.
Greg murmured as he read over Archie's shoulder, "'NYPD First To Establish Werewolf Taskforce'," he blinked, then looked down at Archie, "No way…"
Nick growled softly as he tried to look around Archie, then Greg, finally tucking his head under Greg's arm so he could read the article, "Y'all are thinkin' New York, Arch?"
Archie shrugged slightly, "We'd stand a better chance than anyone else, don't you think?"
Nick nodded, extricating himself from Greg, "I reckon. After all, we'd just be departmental transfers. All Ecklie would haveta do is sign off on the paperwork."
A slightly manic grin crossed Greg's face, making Nick's eyes widen in alarm, "Greggo, don't…"
"Start spreadin' the news," Greg sang, the manic glint never leaving his face, "I'm leavin' today…"
Nick buried his face in his hands, before looking over at Archie's raised eyebrows, "I did try…" he said over the din.
"It's up to you, New York… New York!" Greg bawled, finishing the song, making Archie and Nick wince on the final note.
Archie raised an eyebrow at him, "You finished?"
Greg seemed to ponder that for a moment, before answering, "Why, yes… yes I am."
Walking into CSI the next evening, with Nick and Greg next to him, Archie felt nervous. He sighed, pausing out the front of Grissom's office. He felt Nick nudge him with his hip and saw Greg shoot him a grin, before he reached up and knocked on Grissom's door, waiting for an answer before pushing it open.
Grissom looked up over his glasses at the three werewolves. He'd be sad to see them leave. But they couldn't stay on night shift because of the new legislation, and there were no vacancies on day shift. He took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose, hoping that Archie had come up with a solution for himself and his pack, because Grissom was out of ideas.
Archie reached into his pocket and pulled out a slightly crumpled piece of paper, "We'd like to apply for a transfer," he said, holding out the piece of paper for Grissom to take.
Nick shot his supervisor a small smile, "Any reference letters you feel like sendin' our way would be appreciated too, Griss."
Grissom quickly scanned the article Archie had given him, "Werewolf Taskforce," he said softly, looking up at the three men, "New York has the right idea."
Archie nodded, then broke into a relieved smile as Grissom handed him three sets of transfer forms, "Bring them back filled in," Grissom said, looking at them over his glasses again, "I'll make sure Ecklie approves the transfer."
Greg let out a whoop, then quickly contained it, shooting Grissom a grin, "Thanks Grissom."
The three men sat in the breakroom surrounded by piles of paper. Archie squinted down at his forms, pen scratching to a halt. What? Description of wolf form? He lifted his head as he heard first Nick's pen, then Greg's stop on either side of him. He shot them each a wry smile and gestured to the offending question. Greg snorted, shaking his head. Nick pushed his reading glasses up his nose and sighed in frustration.
"Description of wolf form? What in the hell, man. It's not like I make a habit of preenin' my tail in the mirror," he grumbled, before blushing furiously as he received a curious look and a snicker from Warrick as the African-American paused to get a soda from a nearby vending machine.
Archie pulled his laptop out of his bag and opened it on the table, tapping a few keys, "There we go," he said turning it, triumphantly, to face the others, revealing a photo of three wolves, a black, a grey and a russet brown.
Greg looked at the photo for a second, "That's great, Arch…" he said, turning the laptop back to face his alpha, "But which is which?"
Archie opened his mouth to answer, then looked dejectedly back down at the photo, "Oh…"
Archie bit back a retort as the rest of his pack snickered at him, looking back down at his forms instead. He shut down the laptop and put it back in his bag. Still snickering, Nick and Greg looked up as someone cleared their throat from the doorway. Bobby Dawson and David Hodges stood there, the former looking slightly bewildered and the latter looking decidedly amused.
"So, you really don't know which is which in that photo?"
"No," Nick said sourly.
"But," Bobby said with a frown, "Surely y'all would know which one y'all ain't?"
Greg spoke up, "Wolves see in black and white, Bobby D."
"Ah," Bobby nodded in understanding.
Nick dropped his glasses on the table, "We're gonna have to shift, aren't we?"
"Only two of us," Greg said, "The leftover will be the third in the photo."
"I should probably be scared that that made perfect sense, right?" Hodges said to Bobby, who nodded sagely, eyes still on the werewolves.
Nick shot them a pleading look, making the two more dominant werewolves melt. Archie stood up and held out a hand to Greg, who allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. Archie shot a quick glance up and down the hall. Greg mimicked his actions and glanced at his alpha. Archie looked back at him.
"On three?" the Asian man asked.
"One," Greg started, still scanning the halls.
"Two," Archie continued, scanning the halls the other way.
"Three!" they finished together.
The two men dropped to their haunches, outlines blurring and shifting. Nick shivered in his seat, feeling the residual power of the shape-shifting fly over him. Hodges and Bobby watched with interest. Two wolves stood in place, one black, one russet. Nick grinned at the two wolves and nodded.
Hodges spoke up, "How do you know which is which this time?" he asked curiously.
The two wolves began their blurring transformation back to human as Nick answered, "Archie's the black, Greggo's the russet," the Texan replied instantly.
Hodges blinked, "How could you possibly know that?"
Nick scratched his head and shrugged, looking over as Archie spoke up breathlessly from his spot, crouched next to a panting Greg on the floor, "How did you know that, Nick?"
Nick pushed his glasses back up his nose and picked up his pen again, "Alpha's an alpha in any form," he said calmly as he started writing again.
"Ha!" Hodges poked the scowling Georgian in the shoulder, "You owe me $20, Dawson!"
Archie dropped the pack's paperwork off to Grissom, trying not to let his nervousness show. Grissom gave him a small smile, making Archie shake his head as he left. Heaven help the world if that man ever got turned.
Greg caught up with his alpha later on in the shift, dropping down into a chair in the AV lab next to Archie, "Did Ecklie sign off on our transfers?"
Archie nodded, still concentrating on the CCTV footage in front of him, "Our two weeks notice starts tomorrow," he said, distractedly, fingers flying over the keyboards.
Greg sat back in his chair, "New York, New York, huh?"