Author's Notes: My first CSI fic, and it's-- gasp!-- slash! Expect many little Sarah-Grissom drabbles in the future...

But seriously, I don't know why I like Nick/Greg so much. It's kind of awkward. And yet, bizarrely cute?

Or maybe that's just me.

The Realm of Possibility

For Megan, Eva, and Kristen:

I miss you guys!

Nick Stokes knows what it feels like to have his heart stop beating. He knows that exceptional pain that floats stagnant in still blood, brain spinning dizzily from lack of oxygen. Nick Stokes knows what it feels like to look down at a friend-- barely recognizable beneath the purple bruises and still-bleeding gashes-- and know that he might never wake up.

Nick Stokes knows what it feels like to have your whole body suddenly kick back into gear, organs pumping and pulling and breathing, heart pounding so fast against his ribcage he thinks it might break and free its prisoner. He knows that instant and fleeting surge of joy as Greg Sanders, eyes glued shut with pain, mutters through barely parted lips: "That you, Nick?"

And it's not that he's in love with the irrepressible lab tech, because Nick Stokes knows what it feels like to be loved by almost every woman he meets, and you don't just give that up for one pain-in-the-ass science nerd. But maybe he does care about him; he's willing to admit that Greg is dearer in his heart than most of his other friends.

But he is Nick Stokes, and he knows what it feels like to make the winning throw of the Rose Bowl your senior year of college, so there's not a chance that he's fallen prey to Greg "Never Played a Sport in my Life" Sanders.

This idea is not even in the realm of possibility. It is not even the tiniest blip on his radar.

Greg squeezes his hand weakly, a little tear poking out from under his eyelashes. "What do you think, man? Am I going to be picking up any ladies anytime soon?"

And because Nick Stokes knows what it feels like to love someone so desperately and know you can never be more than just good friends, he laughs and assures him, "Greg, buddy, girls dig the beat-up look. I bet you have one of those nurses under your thumb by tomorrow."

Then he lies, thinking of Greg's soft hands and his carefully spiked hair: "There's no better cure than the love of a woman, man."