Eventually Nick did warm up to Sandy and Greg couldn't have been happier.
"See Nicky they can make great pets." He said as he watched him feed her cheerios through the bars of her cage. Some days he would even let her perch on his shoulder or sit on his chest while watching TV. Nick had to admit she wasn't as bad as he had thought. He even didn't mind the picture Greg had taken of the two of them asleep together and kept on his night-stand. He hoped that she had finally gotten all the trouble-making out of her system though, all the explaining he had to do to Greg after he found the apartment in shambles was enough to last a lifetime. Apparently it was not, because one afternoon after grocery shopping he had more explaining to do.
"A little help?" he called as he tried to open the door and carry in two bags at once. There was no response. He managed to get into the kitchen and was greeted by a cardboard box and a scowling Greg. Sandy was blithely nibbling on a grape, oblivious to the mess she had once again got Nick into. The moment Nick saw the box, the one hidden far under the bed, the one that contained something he never wanted Greg or anyone else for that matter to know he had, the one the rat must have found, he knew he was in trouble.
"Look Greg, I can explain..." he said putting the bags down.
"No Nick, I don't want to hear it. I can't believe you have these things! Aren't I enough! I mean these things are awful!"
"I know! And you are! It's just when your gone I get lonely and well, Sandy does not solve all the problems that...arise, when you're not around."
"But you Nick, of all people, I thought were better than that!"
"I'm only human! I have needs!"
"But this is smut Nick! It's wrong and creepy and" Greg paused in an attempt to maintain a straight face, " really emasculating!" He couldn't hold it in anymore, the giggles threatening to give him away broke free, leaving Nick to wonder what was going on.
"You should have seen your face Nick, you were all red and..." Greg gasped though his laughter.
Nick was still confused.
"I don't mind you have them Nick, I just didn't peg you for that type. I mean Mr. Texas Ranger, keeping these under his bed! Wait till the lab hears!" The moment those words slipped from his mouth Greg knew he never should have said them out-loud. The look of confusion on Nicks face changed to a predatory glare. Greg took his cue and bolted into the next room, Nick in hot pursuit. Greg knew if Nick caught him it would be all over, he was no match for Nick in the ring. Taking a sharp corner into the bedroom in socks Greg lost traction and crashed into the door-frame. Before he knew what hit him he was pinned to the bed, Nick sitting on his chest.
"What did you say about the lab?"
"Nothing! I swear they will never find out! I was only joking!" Nick eased off him and Greg relaxed.
"You looked like you were gonna kill me!" Greg squeaked.
"If anyone ever finds out I will have too!"
"But then you'll be lonely Nicky, and you'll need your books for company!" That smart remark earned Greg a cuff on the head. That lead to a wrestling match, which turned into a makeout session, which ended in cuddling, which was interrupted when Greg realized he left Sandy on the kitchen table. Luckily she had retuned herself to her cage, Nick was very grateful Greg trained her to do that trick. It saved a lot of looking. Later in the night Greg sleeping softly next to him, Nick pondered a new hiding place for his box, somewhere rat proof...and Sandy proof, he thought. In the end he finally decided to get rid of them, because Greg was right, romance novels were a little emasculating, maybe instead he would just "borrow" some of the magazines he knew Greg kept in the lab...