Touch - by Sara's Girl
I had a worrying amount of fun inside the mind of Hodges while I wrote this...reviews are loved as always.
Look at them, standing there, touching each other like that. Can they see themselves? It's almost as if...No. He shook his head.
The dark haired Trace tech had sensed something between Nick and Greg from his very first day in the lab, but had dismissed it eventually as imagination. No one else seemed to see it. He had asked the others about it at first, tried to test his theory, but every single one of them had laughed at the ridiculousness of the idea, or had just rolled their eyes and told him to shut up. Eventually he had stopped asking, but he had not stopped watching.
David Hodges looked out on the rest of CSI from his lab like the spider in the centre of the web. Watching, waiting, silent. He liked that he could see everything from his workspace. While he waited for his results to process, he leaned on his workbench and took mental notes of his colleagues.
Catherine was pacing, talking urgently on her cell phone. She was shaking her head and her voice was raised. Hodges wondered what Lindsey had done this time.
Archie was in his lab, slowly rotating in his swivel chair, looking lost in his own world. Not getting much done either by the look of it, thought Hodges, narrowing his eyes with disapproval.
Sanders was leaning against the wall outside DNA. He had one foot braced against the plaster and one on the floor, and his head in an overstuffed light brown folder. He shifted slightly and a cascade of glossy crime scene photographs spilled out onto the floor. Hodges smirked, watching him swear under his breath. Suddenly someone else had turned the corner and was instantly crouching down helping Greg to retrieve the photographs.
Well, hello, Mr Stokes. For just a split second, both men stopped what they were doing, and on hands and knees on the polished floor of the corridor, their eyes met. After what seemed to Hodges like an unnecessarily long time, they looked away at the same time, picked up the remaining photographs and stood up hastily.
Nick flashed a smile. Handed back the sheaf of photographs. Greg's eyes were drawn down by the movement.
"Hey...you missed a belt loop," he said softly.
And there it was again. Greg was reaching out and ever so casually poking his index finger through the piece of fabric in question. To Hodges it seemed like an extremely intimate gesture, he wasn't sure why, but it was.
Hodges was an intelligent man and knew that he was not a popular member of the team but he could deal with that. He found interaction difficult and knew that when he actually liked someone, his attempts at bonding usually came over all wrong. He thought Sara was pretty and consequently tried to impress her with how efficient he was at his job. Unfortunately, she just thought he was rude.
He liked Sanders, too, even if he was a traitor now that he was a CSI. Liked, despite himself, the younger man's boundless energy and enthusiasm. Of course, Greg thought he was a suck up and that he stuck to the rules too much. Hodges snorted to himself, raising one thin eyebrow. If anyone needed to remove the stick from their ass it was his good friend Stokes. Though, he conceded, Stokes did seem to display almost human characteristics when he was around Greg.
He thought back to earlier in the shift. Stokes and Sanders were working a case together involving a vehicle collision and had walked into his lab to collect results.
"Your paint transfer is from a '98 Explorer," he had said. "But this is this interesting part. There was a foreign substance in the sample. Take a look." Gestured toward the microscope.
Greg had bent down to examine the new evidence. Nick had hovered behind him, somewhat impatiently. One hand on the countertop supporting his weight and the other resting on Greg's back, between his shoulder blades.
"What is it, G?"
Greg had answered him, but he had not moved away from the touch. A touch that to Hodges' mind was unnecessary in that moment. He hadn't needed to touch Greg at all. They were standing right next to each other; Nick hadn't needed to get the other man's attention. And yet nothing about it had seemed uncomfortable. They were obviously used to touching each other.
Hodges snapped back to the present moment, almost dropping the sample he was holding in his excitement. The pure excitement that only came with finding the evidence to support a theory. Of course, he thought. There was always something, a tell, a giveaway. When two people were closer than they let on.
With Grissom and Sara it had been the negative spaces in their relationship that had given them away. Hodges fancied that he had known it before his supervisor had. He had noticed the times when they had avoided each other, when Sara had said less but unconsciously said more. When Grissom seemed distracted and pushed her away.
With Catherine and Warrick it had been the looks. They could say whatever they wanted, but he always noticed the looks. The ones that started out as ordinary glances and stretched out into four or five seconds. Subtle, yes, but he had a trained eye, and those looks were far too long for two people who saw each other as colleagues first and foremost.
Of course it fit the pattern. Nick and Greg's tell was the touching. It made sense now. Hodges gazed through the glass wall of the Trace lab and back down the corridor, where sure enough, Nick was slapping Greg on the shoulder as they walked towards him. He could tell that the gesture was intended to look friendly in a masculine, all guys together way. You can't fool me, Mr Stokes, thought Hodges, dropping the sample into a test tube and swirling it around. Or you, Mr Sanders. Noticing the delight on Greg's face and the way he was unconsciously turning into the touch. CSIs thought they were so sly, but they didn't get anything past him.
He smiled slowly, a rarely seen warmth lighting his sharp blue eyes. There were lots of things he liked. Cars. Poker. Japanese food. All sorts. But, he mused, what he liked most of all was being right.