TITLE: The Hunt

AUTHOR: The She Devil

EMAIL: urbaybeedoll13 at yahoo

CATEGORY: Romance? Drama? I don't know.

RATING: Mature for sexuality.

SPOILERS: None. Also, obviously this doesn't take place after the latest season finale.

ARCHIVE: Please ask first.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything.

SUMMARY: Nick enjoys hunting just as much as he enjoys the catch. Nick/Greg slash. I couldn't help myself.

--

It was late. So late it was early. The sun always seemed to sneak up on Nick Stokes while he was inside the windowless Crime Lab. It would be dark when he entered, dark in the halls, dark in the rooms, and then all of a sudden he would push open the doors to leave after a long shift and have the unforgiving Nevada sun rising in his eyes. Although, to work the night shift and see all of the evil in the world (or, at least, in Las Vegas), and then to leave in the morning and have the sun still rise, kind of gave him a little bit of hope.

"So tell me again," Catherine Willows said, grasping a piece of bacon between two delicate fingers as they sat at their favorite diner for breakfast. "Where did you get the bright idea to check the car again?"

"Me," Greg Sanders chimed in before Nick could even open his mouth. He spoke around a mouthful of pancakes, glancing up only briefly from his plate. "I found the trace evidence on the driving gloves Wyland Truman Mayweather the Third was so fond of," he finished, adding quite a pretentious accent to the murderer's name.

"Yeah, as usual," Warrick Brown stated, a smile gripping at the corner of his lips as he stabbed crisp hash-browns with his fork, "Greg cracked the case."

"Wide open!"

"Easy there, Tiger," Nick said. "I think all that sugar you're ingesting is getting to your head. Are you sure you don't want some pancakes with your syrup?"

"Ha," Greg replied with sarcasm. "Where haven't I heard that before?"

"All right, boys," Catherine interrupted, dropping her napkin onto her plate. "It's getting early and I'm tired. My bed is calling me."

"Is it calling me too?" Greg asked.

"You wish." She slid out of her seat, grabbing her jacket and check. "I think Nicky was right about all that sugar."

"Yeah, I'm gonna head out too," Warrick interjected. He stood up beside Catherine, grabbing her check. "Don't worry, I got this."

"Oh!" Catherine said, her eyebrows raising as she smiled. "You know this doesn't mean my bed will be calling you either."

"Ha, ha," Warrick said, indicating the cashier. "Let's go."

They exchanged goodbyes, and Nick followed them with his eyes until their cars drove their separate ways into the desert. He wondered what it was like to be Catherine and know there was someone waiting at home for her. Someone who loved her and was always relieved to see her walk through the door, even if they were mad at one another.

Nick had only experienced that feeling once, when his coffin had opened to reveal his small family waiting for him, the love in their eyes more intense than the hot Nevada sun. It had seared him just the same, leaving an impression deep within his heart that he would never forget. He just wished he could have that every day.

Maybe he should just pop out a child. He knew the statistics. It seemed simple enough. All you had to do was insert Tab A into Slot B and -- bam! -- you had yourself a kid.

"Ahem," he heard, from the one in front of him. "It's rude to stare out into space and think of places you'd rather be when you have company, you know."

Nick couldn't help but smile. "Then let's get out of here."

"You're kidding, right?" the younger man asked. "It's, like, eight in the morning. We have to be back tonight."

"Okay," Nick said, shrugging as he folded his hands over the table, his empty plate pushed forward. It had been a long night, and he really would like to grab a drink somewhere. He knew it was early in the morning, and if he didn't work nights he would've considered an AA meeting instead. And while he wouldn't consider grabbing a drink with Greg on a usual basis, the young man had been chosen by default, having still been sitting here when everyone else was ready to call it a night -- or, day, rather.

"What?" Greg asked, in response.

"Nothing."

"What!"

"Nothing! It's just that," Nick replied, almost off-handedly, "when I was your age, I remember partying my ass off, taking a nap for a couple hours and then waking up refreshed and ready for my shift."

"Yeah, really, when you were my age?" Greg asked, pulling a face. He splayed out his legs in front of him, his calf brushing Nick's. "Well, let me tell you, things have changed since the fifties, you can't just -- "

A sticky napkin interrupted his quip, leaving a trail of syrup across Greg's face. "Excuse me! That was rude."

"Yeah, like what you were about to say wasn't," Nick said. "So...where are we headed?"

"I can't believe you're making me do this."

"What's a matter, Greggo, you a lightweight?"

"No," he denied. "You can't even imagine how many drinks I can hold."

It turned out that, if you had asked Nick to imagine just how many drinks Greg could hold, he would've guessed wrong -- because he would've overshot the accurate amount by at least 75 percent.

They had gone to a bar at the Montecito. Much like the Crime Lab, it had no windows, allowing time to pass for the patrons as smoothly as it's liquor passed over their tongues. Unfortunately for Greg, it passed a little too smoothy. Currently, he was relaying a story involving an experimental software that could take the photographs of a man and a woman and combine them to create several images of what their offspring would most likely look like. And, after talking in a few circles, Greg was mentioning how ugly Warrick and Gil Grissom's babies would be.

"Wait a second," Nick said, his features displaying his puzzlement even as his lips displayed his amusement. "I thought this was a software that put men and women together. Not men and other men."

"Well, yeah," Greg replied, his words slow and deliberate. "But the computer doesn't know that. Also, don't have any babies with Sarah."

"Really."

"Noooo," Greg said, his eyes wide, his face very serious. "Please, no."

"Calm down, Greg," the older man replied, his hand patting his coworker's knee comfortingly. "I don't think that'll be happening any time soon."

"Anytime never," Greg stated. He attempted to sip more Bombay Sapphire and tonic from his straw, but the loud slurping sound that followed caused his face to fall. "I think I need another drink. Bartender!"

"No, no, no," Nick said, taking his empty glass and signaling for a check. "I think that's enough. I'll take you -- "

"Hey, hey," Greg insisted, his hand clasped around Nick's as he handed the bartender his check card. "One more for the road."

"What happened to working tonight and -- "

"Hey, you could at least finish what you started."

"Greg," Nick said firmly, an eyebrow raised.

Greg held up hands in surrender. "Fine. Take me home. I guess old timers can't party like they used to. Hey, I can get this."

"Don't worry about it, you'll owe me one," Nick said, signing his check. He left more than twenty percent, having been a bartender in Las Vegas before and knowing how stingy the tourists could be. "Thanks, man," he said, to the bartender. "Come on, Greggo, let's get you to bed."

"Alone?" he asked, and Nick pulled a face. Greg's face fell once more. "Alone."

The car ride home was mostly quiet. Greg was dozing in the passenger's side, his leg's splayed like they were in the diner, his hand resting on his groin. Nick could see him in his peripheral vision, hear his breath softly escaping from his partly open mouth.

"You don't want to make a baby?" Greg suddenly asked, almost startling Nick as he broke the silence.

"Someday," he replied, shaking his head. "I just don't see myself settling down anytime soon."

"You don't want to find a mate?"

"Right now," Nick said, smiling, "I think I'd just like to mate in general. Besides, hunting is a lot more fun."

"Why wouldn't you make a baby with Sara?"

"What? Greg, you are seriously weird."

"You said you wouldn't make a baby with Sara," Greg persisted, peering at Nick from underneath blond bangs. "Why?"

"Sara isn't exactly my type," Nick replied, shrugging.

"What is your type?"

"I don't know," he replied. "Someone more...feminine. No offense to Sara, but I like a girl who can wear some lipstick and a sexy dress and not feel out of place."

"Oh." Nick heard the disappointed tone and assumed it was aimed as his poor choice of words.

"Don't get me wrong," Nick said, trying to backtrack so he didn't sound like such a chauvinist pig. "Sara can be sexy...I'm sure...when she wants to be."

Greg cracked a crooked smile, the look in his eyes almost smug. "I've never seen you with a woman."

Nick furrowed his brow as they pulled up in front of Greg's apartment. He didn't exactly like the sound of that. He put the SUV in park, the engine still running, cool air conditioning making it's best attempt to keep Nick's sweat at bay. "What is that supposed to mean?" he asked, turning to face the younger man.

"Nothing," Greg replied, almost lazily. "Just saying."

"No, what is that supposed to mean?"

Greg didn't answer. Instead, he opened the car door and stepped outside, hot air entering the car in waves. "Thanks for the ride."

Nick pursed his lips. He was almost going to leave, but there was something about that last comment that bothered him, so much so that killed the engine and got out of the car. He came around the front, closing the door behind him, keys in hand. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Greg turned, his back towards the car, his face showing his surprise. "Don't expect to say something like that and think I'm going to let you get away with it. I take you out for a drink and pay the tab, and you're going to make snide comments?"

"I wasn't making a snide comment," Greg replied, licking his dry lips before they skinned across his teeth, forming a shit-eating grin that fit him well. "I was just saying that I've never seen you with a woman. You taking it so personally might say something about your character."

"My character?" Nick spat. He came up close to Greg. "Maybe since you're trashed I'm not understanding your train of thought. Care to explain it to me?"

"You want men," he said, more blunt than Nick expected. The smile was still there, and Nick was tempted to wipe it from his face.

"What?" Nick asked, incredulous. Who did Greg think he was? Nick really was beginning to regret taking him out for a drink. The young man was turning out to be an incredibly annoying drunk. "Greg, you -- "

"You want me."

His smile was so self-assured, matching the look in his half-closed eyes, and Nick snapped in an anger only seen in rare bursts. He grabbed the CSI's collar, pushing him up against the SUV, their bodies flush. The heat emanating off of Greg's body was more intense than the desert, the heat in his eyes more intense than the sun.

"Say it again and see what happens, you smart-mouthed punk," Nick challenged, Greg's shirt balled in his fists. "I will wipe that grin right off your face."

Greg said it again. And Nick wiped the grin off of his face. With his own mouth. His lips pressed hard against the younger man's, his teeth hitting Greg's. He felt the smaller body under his, felt Greg's groin against his thigh, felt Greg's breath against his face. Hands were under his shirt, on his back, tracing muscles that had been carefully garnered through hours of hard work and training. His own hands explored a body very different from his -- very different from any he'd ever explored before -- and he liked the way it felt lithe yet strong beneath his fingertips. He liked the way Greg's lips matched his body. He had never kissed a man before, but he liked it.

Nick pulled away as abruptly as he had began, breathing hard, his fists once again wrapped tight around Greg's collar. He didn't meet Greg's eyes at first, but soon looked up from underneath dark eyelashes. The young man's lips were swollen from their kiss, his mouth red from Nick's five o'clock shadow. The grin was also gone, replaced by a quite serious expression.

"We'd make pretty babies."

Nick actually smiled, stepping back and letting go. The shit that came out of Greg's mouth sometimes, always at the right moment. "You think so?"

"Yeah."

"I'll see you at work tonight," he said, walking back towards the driver's side. "Get some rest."

Greg stepped away from the SUV and onto the sidewalk. His expression was wary, his mouth open as if he wanted to say something, but he didn't speak.

"You'll need it for tomorrow night," Nick continued, as he opened the door.

"What's tomorrow night?" Greg asked.

"The drink you owe me."

Greg offered a smile, waving as Nick got into the truck. The man stepped back and began towards his apartment, as Nick pulled out of the parking spot. Nick wasn't sure what he was doing, or what he was going to do, but he was pretty sure in Las Vegas that it was always hunting season, day or night, and Nick enjoyed hunting just as much as he enjoyed the catch.

--

To be continued...