Disclaimer: same as chapter one (prologue)


Chapter 18 – The Lab

Two men entered the crime lab ten minutes before shift started and headed toward the locker room. "C'mon G, we're gonna be late," the Texan accent of the older one said to the smaller man.

"Yeah, yeah, I know, it's my fault we were late. Well I had to stop by the bank before shift 'cause I wasn't going to be able to make it after," the younger violet eyed man snapped with a smile.

"You two should hurry it up, you know your supervisor isn't patient," the Assistant Lab Director said before they dashed into the locker room.

"Aw, you're no fun," the younger man quipped. The Assistant Lab Director was right though, the boss man wasn't a patient man and the two rushed into their work clothes.

"… and Brown, you got a 419 at the Tangiers," the Nightshift supervisor said and handed the tall green-eyed man his assignment slip. "Glad you two could make it," he said as the two late CSI's entered. "You two can take DB out at Lake Mead."

"Sorry boss," the younger man grinned and took the assignment slip and followed his partner back out of the room. The Nightshift CSI's stood and went to their crime scenes.

The Nightshift supervisor shook his head as he watched the two youngest CSI's go. He turned when he heard his brother chuckle. "What?"

"I was just thinkin' that maybe the Assistant Lab Director was right about those two," Jazz said as he stood. "They're just like Mum and Dad." Theo snorted. (1)

"Of all the people we could ever meet to turn out like Mum, it had to be Uncle Gil and Aunt Sara's youngest kid."

"Hey, when I'm right, I'm right." The Nights supervisor and Lead CSI turned to see the Assistant Lab Director leaning against the doorway grinning.

"Hey Lindsay," Theo greeted.

"At least Sandra Grissom is nothing like Donovan," Jazz pointed out.

"I'm not sure that's a good thing either," Lindsay joked. "She's the perfect mix of her parents. I mean while she's a brilliant entomologist, she's a shameless workaholic."

"You're just saying that 'cause she likes your little brother."

"Manson can handle himself. It's Elizabeth I'm concerned about."

"Michael Phillips is a good man," Theo argued. "Just because he's a coroner-"

"It's got nothing to do with that," Lindsay countered. "This is my baby sister we're talking about."

"My baby sister is seeing the Toxicology Tech and I'm not about to fillet him alive," Theo grinned.

"You're not," Jazz commented. "But I am."

"Midna is a grown woman who can handle herself," Theo pointed out.

"Just because she can beat you in an arm wrestle-"

"You're just sour because she knocked you out while boxing."

"I hope you two got a DB, 'cause at this rate anything living will have walked away," Lindsay smirked at the two men. "Well, I'm going to get back to work. Talk to you guys later."

"Bye Linz," the two brothers called as they too walked out of the lab, continuing their argument. In her office Lindsay Willows-Brown changed the month on her calendar: September, 2044.

It had been eight years since her Uncle Nick had retired from his position as Assistant Lab Director. Her Uncle Greg had retired as Lab Tech supervisor four years later – leaving the supervising position to the Ballistics Tech Callista Dawson, the eldest daughter of the previous Ballistics Tech Bobby Dawson.

Being top of the list in seniority and best suited for the job, Theo Hojem Sanders-Stokes had become the Nightshift supervisor when her step-father Warrick Brown had retired the year before Nick, his younger brother Jazz Brian Sanders-Stokes – second on the seniority list – was promoted to the newly vacated Lead CSI position.

The rest of the Nightshift CSI's, listed by rank, were now: Sandra Grissom, noted entomologist and the daughter of Gil and Sara Grissom, followed by Lindsay's brother and Warrick and Catherine Brown's youngest child Manson Brown. Next in line was Donovan Grissom, Sandra's younger brother – a Carrier with the same zany personality as their Uncle Greg, if not worse. Last, but not least, was Carson Stokes one of Nick's younger nephews and semi-secret lover of Donovan – why they were still believed they were hiding it well was beyond Lindsay, Theo and Jazz.

As for the Nightshift Lab Techs, Midna Zaria Sanders-Stokes had obtained her father's old post after transferring from swing shift. The youngest of the Sanders-Stokes was the only girl and Lindsay couldn't help but smile every time she heard her Uncle Greg teasing Nick over the fact that she was the only child of theirs they'd conceived while they were both completely sober – something her Uncle Nick has yet to live down where his eccentric husband is concerned.

The second of Catherine and Warrick's three children, Elizabeth, eventually became the Audio/Video Tech on Days and when Archie Johnson retired from Nights she'd put in for her transfer. Archie's daughter (whom he had with his wife, Mandy formerly-Webser, the old Print Tech) had qualified for her mother's old job once Mandy left the lab. Midna's boyfriend, Dalton Andrews, became the Toxicology Tech in his father's place after the Toxicologist who replaced Henry Andrews transferred to Miami. The son of David Phillips – assistant coroner back when Greg had first started working at the lab after University – Michael had followed in his father's footsteps and also became a forensic pathologist (more commonly called a coroner). To Lindsay's dismay – and over-protectiveness of her sister – Michael was engaged to Elizabeth Brown and they planned to wed in December that year. The last to follow in a parent's footsteps was Trace Tech Rabecca Hodges, the only child of retired Trace Tech David Hodges and his wife Wendy formerly-Simms. Wendy had become a CSI around the time Greg was able to return to work, leaving the DNA Tech position open for him.

Lindsay couldn't help but smile as the studied all the photographs that adorned her office walls – her Vegas family. She turned back to her paperwork and sighed. She couldn't wait for the late lunch the entire family was having the next day. No matter how old she got she always enjoyed the stories her parents and Aunts and Uncles would tell about the lab and how it was when they were their children's ages.

- - -

Back at home an aged Greg Sanders-Stokes sat on his eldest son's childhood bed smiling contently at an old photograph of two young men as his husband slept. The two men in the photograph were smiling and very much in love – like Greg and Nick were now. It was like the world spun just for them…

- - -

Las Vegas, December 31st, 2000, 11:58 PM

Nick couldn't believe he was standing here, in the middle of a Lab staff party, dressed in an outfit Greg had breezed into his apartment with three hours earlier. As it was he found himself wearing what Greg had affectionately termed his "fuck me" jeans under black leather riding chaps that made Nick blush when Greg had first pulled them out of the bag. The younger man then pulled out a black sleeveless top that, upon closer inspection, had strands of shiny green threads woven into the fabric. He'd expected it to itch but he found it surprisingly comfortable. While he questioned Greg's reasoning that his outfit had been "the last one" and in his size, he really didn't mind his slightly unconventional outfit. Of course he was nothing compared to the sexy man standing next to him. Upon opening his apartment door he'd been ready to take the young Lab Tech right there in the hallway. Greg had been standing there in a red-glittery sleeveless black shirt, black running shoes that oddly enough could have passed for dress shoes, and to top it off a little leather miniskirt that ended a little over halfway up his thighs. The man was sex on legs and he was all Nick's.

"Hey guys," Sara smiled as she came up to them with a camera – one that strangely looked like the same camera she'd used at a crime scene during the previous shift. "You boys look amazing. I have to take a picture."

"Oh, no, that's okay," Nick protested.

"Aw, c'mon Nicky, don't you want to show it off in a few decades to the newbie CSI's to prove just how cool you were back in the day?" Greg grinned at his shy Texas boyfriend.

"Not particularly." Greg batted his eyes and Nick caved. "Maybe just one." He wrapped his arm around the smaller man and Greg smiled widely. Nick couldn't help but smile back. In his heart he knew that Greg was the only one for him. He was about to lean in for a kiss when Sara's voice was heard.

"I'll make a copy of this one for you," she said. Nick looked up a bit surprised, he hadn't even seen the flash go off. He turned back to the man next to him as the count down to the New Year began. They stared into each other's eyes and Nick knew this year was going to change the rest of his life. As the countdown reached one and everyone around them shouted and began to sing, he pressed his lips onto Greg's and the world melted away leaving only the two of them, gently swaying to the distant beat of the music that floated around them.

- 30 -

End Chapter Eighteen



(1) I think Mum is a common British spelling for Mom, but I figured I'd use the two in this story to differentiate a woman from a Carrier. In this story all children refer to their father's as "Father" or "Dad" but with their other parent "Mum" signifies a Carrier parent and "Mom/Mother" signifies a woman. Just thought I'd add that - though I probably should have added it about three chapters ago... I think...

A/N: Well, I hope y'all liked it! It was a pleasure writing this, I had a lot of fun exploring this take on the subject. And a special thanks goes out to all of those who made it this far and enjoyed it! Thank you! Hope everyone continues to read my stuff! Take care!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! (2008!!!)

chapter updated: December 31, 2007