Home - by Sara's Girl
AN – This is pure fluff, I just had to write it after a conversation at the Fort turned to how Greg and Nick's relationship might first be shown in a subtle way. The following was my first idea. This is part of a one-shot series of 'finding-out' fics from WMTDB which I'm going to repost separately here.
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"Seriously, though, strangled by her own hair extensions? Man, that was weird. Only in Vegas." Nick shook his head and leaned back precariously in his chair, one foot one the floor.
"I wish you wouldn't do that," complained Greg, eyeing the other man nervously. "I always think you're going to fall. But yeah, it was pretty crazy. Didn't see that one coming," he conceded.
"Sorry mom." Nick grinned devilishly but returned the front legs of his chair to the floor.
Catherine sat down at the table opposite Greg and fiddled with her coffee cup. Watched the exchange between the two men with amused interest. She never could decide if their interactions reminded her more of an old married couple or two kids in the playground. Wondered if the two friends were aware of how they behaved around each other. Realising that Greg was staring at her, probably because she was staring at him, she snapped back to the conversation.
"You know what? Nothing surprises me any more. When you've been in this job as long as I have, very few things register on the weird scale." She smiled ruefully.
Greg was laughing, but she noticed that he had dark circles under his eyes. It had been a long shift and there had been very little let up. Now they were sitting here, just waiting for final confirmation from the lab that their theory was correct, and no amount of caffeine could disguise the exhaustion apparent in all of them. She observed with amusement that it seemed to be making Greg act a little more unhinged than usual, and Nick...Nick had the air of a petulant child about him, his smile one second away from a pout.
"Thus speaks Catherine Willows. The oldest CSI in the world. She has seen everything, and is surprised by nothing," Greg intoned, his face completely deadpan.
Nick suppressed a snort and Catherine swatted at Greg with the file in front of her.
"You're getting far too cheeky, Sanders."
She shot him a trademark steely look, not quite hiding her smile. Her eyes fell on Nick, who was now yawning and stretching in his chair. He looked as though it was a struggle to hang onto consciousness.
"Why don't you guys get off? I can finish up here."
Nick's tired eyes lit up and he smiled gratefully. Dragged himself from his chair with a groan.
"Thanks, Cath, I appreciate it."
He turned his gaze to Greg, who was still sitting at the table, looking almost like he was trying to stare a hole in the wall directly ahead of him. "Hey, Greg, are you...ah...are you staying or going?"
Greg's mouth twitched almost imperceptibly, and Catherine couldn't help wondering what private joke was tickling him. She crossed her arms on the tabletop and waited. She had never known Greg wait so long before talking. His usual style was more like open-mouth-then-engage-brain. This contemplative behaviour was mildly disconcerting.
Finally, Greg tipped his head back so that he was regarding Nick, still standing hesitantly behind his chair, upside down. He smiled lightly through the untidy curls that slid across his forehead.
"I'm going to hang around a while. Got a couple of things to finish off."
Greg didn't move from this position and Catherine thought she caught some edge of an expression cross Nick's weary face, but she couldn't quite identify it.
"Ok, " Nick murmured, yawning again. He looked like he was barely in the room with them, dead on his feet. "Bye, Catherine."
He raised a hand half-heartedly without turning to look at Catherine. In fact, she mused, he had not diverted his gaze from Greg's throughout the whole exchange. She watched with growing astonishment as Nick reached out as if in a daze, as though no longer in control of his own body. Threaded fingers briefly through Greg's hair as he stared at him silently from below. Nick sighed.
"See you at home."
It was said in a whisper but the words, and the meaning, were unmistakeable. Nick removed his hand and left the room.
Catherine followed his progress down the hall with cool, appraising eyes before turning back to Greg. He had shifted positions and now rested his chin on folded arms, stretching across the shiny tabletop like a cat and looking just as satisfied. The younger man met Catherine's eyes and grinned unapologetically. His obvious delight at Nick's gesture pulled gently at Catherine, and she couldn't help but return his smile.
Yeah, she thought, smirking into her coffee, they knew alright. She would deny it if pushed, but Catherine was a little surprised.