Title: Beautiful Disaster

Author: ArtemisEmerald

Rating: M to be safe

Disclaimer: Not mine. So not mine.

Warnings: Slash which means male/male kissing…or more

Pairings: Nick/Greg, brief mentions of GSR

Summary: A/U NG. 'He was going to die right here, right now surrounded by the cold lake water and there wasn't anything anyone could do about it. All he could do was make enough noise and hope to attract someones attention.'

A/N: I know, I really should be working on the sequel for When All is Said and Done, but I've got a block on that one and this story just sort of…slapped me up side the head. It's an A/U sitting somewhere in the middle of season five. Greg's been a level one for about a year. Nick, on the other hand…

Hope you enjoy it.

Oh, and if anyone is curious, I have the link to Nick's house that's described below. (Sadly, it's not the one in the show and there's a reason for that.)

"You're safe. I've got you now."

Greg stopped struggling as the owner of the voice grabbed his bound wrists and hoisted him out of the water with ease. It wasn't until after the rope was cut and he had rubbed the water out of his eyes that he got a good look at his savior.

The man had dark brown hair that was sheared and the most beautiful brown eyes that Greg had ever seen. He was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt that showed of a nicely shaped body. Not overly built but definitely one of someone who took care of himself.

"I…thanks." Greg managed, his throat scratchy from the lake water he had swallowed while trying to stay at the surface.

The man gave him a brilliant smile, but it didn't overshadow the concern on his face, "I'm detective Nick Stokes. I've got towels back at my truck. Do you think you can walk?"

"Greg Sanders and...maybe?" Greg tucked his legs under his body and pushed himself up onto his knees. He was a bit wobbly, probably from adrenalin than anything else, but Nick's hand was steady at his elbow and he managed to get to his feet with little problem.

The walk to Nick's truck was a short one, around the small cove and down about fifty yards. As short as it had been, Greg's legs were shaking from excursion by the time they reached the black F-150. Nick sat Greg on the tailgate before going around to get a towel from the cab.

Greg looked down at his wrists, where they were rubbed raw from the rope. Whoever had done this to him was good. He had managed to get a good look at the bindings before Nick had cut them off. Now, all he kept thinking was that it was a damn good thing he had woken up on the way out here. He'd hate to think of what would have happened to him if he hadn't. He shivered at the thought and wondered just how long it would be before he'd be able to take a board back out onto the waters back home, whether it would even be worth the trauma to do so.

"Here you go." Nick dropped one towel over his head and another onto his lap. Greg started to scrub at his hair before he remembered all the gel he used. The water would have hydrated it, making it runny and sticky. He didn't want to ruin Nick's towels, so he set the one towel on top of the other and pulled off his t-shirt, planning on using that on his hair first.

Before he got any further than pulling it off, he heard Nick gasp in what had to have been shock. Confused, he lowered the shirt and looked at Nick. Nick, however, was too busy staring at his torso to notice the questioning glance he was getting.

"What?" Greg asked, before looking down at himself. He, too, drew in a breath of surprise. His entire torso was covered in bruises. Some were yellow and fading, others were blue and purple showing that they were new. His entire chest was covered in them and one under his arm looked distinctly like a boot print.

Nick reached out and ran a finger along the boot mark before hissing in sympathetic pain, "What the hell happened to you?"

Greg looked up at Nick, suddenly scared out of his mind, "I have no idea."

Ten minutes later, which was how long it took Nick to hunt down his phone, Nick snapped his cell shut and gently pulled Greg off of the tailgate, "Brass is meeting us at the hospital."

Greg grimaced at the thought, "I don't need to go to the hospital."

Nick leveled a mild glare at him, "For all you know, you have a couple of cracked ribs. Don't think I didn't see you wincing while I was on the phone. Besides, I don't have a choice. Brass pretty much demanded it." Nick helped Greg into the cab before heading around to the driver's side.

After they were on the road for a few minutes, heading towards County General, the nearest hospital in the area, when Nick spoke up again, "How do you know Brass?"

"He's the detective liaison between the CSI's and the police department." Greg responded. His answer was slightly slurred as pain began to blossom all over his body. He wondered what the hell happened to warrant such abuse. He knew for a fact it wasn't a one night stand gone bad or a jilted lover and he was pretty sure the case he was working on most recently was a teenager breaking into a store. Of course, given his spotty memory at the moment, he just wasn't certain.

"Let me guess. You're a CSI." Nick said, his voice almost a growl.

Greg glanced at him, worried, "Yeah, have been for a year or so now. I used to be a lab-rat."

"You're still a rookie?" Nick was starting to sound pretty angry. Greg could actually hear a southern drawl that was starting to make itself more pronounced. Before it had been barely noticeable, but now it was really coming to the forefront

"Hey, like I said, I've been a level one for about a year now. Besides," Greg rested his head gently against the headrest, barely holding back a cry of pain as a bump in the road jolted him out of position, causing his ribs to flare up in pain, "I'm not too sure this is 'cause of a case or not." He managed to get out.

Nick glanced at him, "Greg, Brass said you've been missing for a week."