Summary: Nick confronts Greg after Sara's departure. Post You Kill Me
Pairings: Greg/Nick friendship, Sara/Greg friendship, traces of GSR.
Spoilers: A La Cart, You Kill Me, Good-bye And Good-luck, Fannysmakin'
"Good-night Greg," said Grissom aware that the younger CSI was headed home; awaiting a long (and probably REM) sleep. He was also aware that all he awaited was a cold office and a tiring double-shift.
Now that was unexpected. Just like Sara's departure Grissom thought sadly. No! He screamed at himself No thinking about that. Back to Greg.
Grissom turned and watched as Greg stalked towards the exit. As much as he wanted to help the younger CSI, he knew that he wasn't the one to talk to Greg. And then he saw his opportunity.
"Hey Nicky!" he called out, just as the man turned the corner. A moment later Nick retreated.
"What's up Griss?" said the Texan, eager to help.
"Greg just left," started Grissom, pointing towards the exit with his glasses. "He seemed a bit off-- why don't you talk to him?"
Nick frowned. He nodded and took off towards the exit. Grissom, pleased with his solution, continued towards his office.
Nick didn't notice it was raining-- no pouring-- until he was already outside. He was thankfully still under the mini-roof that stuck out of the building, and was about to turn back to grab an umbrella from inside. He stopped however when lightning illuminated a still figure lying on the wet concrete.
Nick heart thudded, and his mind went on overload. He rushed forward, the umbrella forgotten. Sprinting towards the still figure, Nick tried not to imagine what could have happened to Greg. He pushed gunshots and beatings and stab wounds out of his mind, and called out, falling to his knees near his injured friend.
Greg looked up at him, startled. "Nick?! What the hell happened?!"
"You--but you were--" Nick stuttered embarrassed at his own paranoia. "I thought you were hurt."
Suddenly annoyed at Greg for placing him in such a situation he snapped "And now I'm wet! Get the hell inside before you catch a cold!"
"Stop being so paranoid! I'm not hurt, and I won't catch a cold!" retorted Greg.
"Grissom said you've been acting off, but I think you're just losing what little sanity you have left! What are you doing out here anyway?!"
Nick was angry. He hated getting wet-- and all because Greg was 'thinking'. "Well stop acting so damn flamboyant, and go home," he growled standing and stalking off.
"I'm sorry," said Greg resigned, and Nick turned to find him standing. He looked tired and small as his water-logged clothes stuck to his thin figure. "Just don't leave," he sighed, "I can't afford to lose another friend right now."
Nick paused and turned.
"We all miss her Greg."
"Why didn't you tell me Sara and Grissom were together?" He knew it was cruel but Greg's guard was down and he wanted-- no needed-- answers.
Greg didn't reply. He stalked off, and hearing Nick follow him picked up his pace. Soon they were both sprinting, and Greg knew that Nick would catch up soon. Just as Nick was a bout to grab onto his arm, Greg felt the ground slip from underneath him. Then it was rushed up to meet him. He felt Nick's hand brush against him, as he tried to catch him, but he was too late and Greg hit the ground harshly. He turned onto his back, winded.
He closed his eyes for a moment, catching his breath. He pushed himself onto his elbows, and groaned quietly. He was about to ask for a hand in getting up when Nick repeated his question, not even giving Greg a chance to stand up.
Greg growled in frustration, and stood. He grit his teeth and didn't answer.
"Why the hell didn't you tell me?!" said Nick, annoyed.
"Because I didn't know! Okay! She never fucking told me. I never found out. Not in so many words-- not in any words," Greg shouted. His voice slowly became softer, until it was a sharp hiss.
They were silent for some time. Greg was breathing deeply and his eyes were dark. Nick couldn't read Greg. No one on the team could (except Sara probably). It amazed Nick actually, because Greg didn't hide his feeling he warped them He wasn't like Grissom or Brass or even Warrick. His poker face was, when necessary, the opposite of what he felt. It was quite misleading.
At the moment Greg's poker face wasn't up, but it wasn't down either. His expression was stony, but hurt. He was angry, but more than that he was betrayed. Sara had let him down, and he as defeated.
Nick swallowed uncertainly. He wished Greg would go back to yelling, because this wasn't the Greg he knew. Even when Greg got mad, he was never so quiet and brooding. He told someone what was wrong, rambled about it, then he would smile weakly, offer to make some coffee, and return with a grin. He didn't shout, but Nick was willing to deal with that as long as Greg told him what was wrong.
Something like this had only happened once before, right after Tara Mathew's case--
Nick was broken from his thoughts when Greg began to tremble, partly because of the cold, but mostly because of his over-run emotions. Nick didn't see the tears running down Greg's cheeks, but he saw his back rise and fall erratically, and he almost heard him sob over the thunder. He closed the distance between them, and pulled Greg into an embrace. He rubbed Greg's back and whispered comfortingly to him.
Greg didn't keep his guard down for long. He pushed Nick away and wiped at his tears, even though they were invisible in the down-pour. Greg laughed hoarsely, and looked up at the sky. It was early morning, and although the sun was out, clouds shrouded it and it as barely visible. Perfect!
"Let's go to the diner. Talk about what's bothering you," suggested Nick, his previous frustration replaced by worries and concern for his friend, who was now laughing hysterically at something in the sky.
Greg sobered up and looked back at Nick.
"Yeah, I could really use a beer"
They didn't realised that they were still soaking wet, until they reached a diner full of bemused customers, and an outwardly annoyed janitor. The diner was also full of cold air-conditioned air, and Nick envied the Californian when it was obvious he wasn't affected by the insane temperatures.
By the time they were seated, they had fallen into an uneasy silence that was broken only when the waitress came to order. She looked at the CSIs skeptically, before smiling uncertainly and taking their orders. Greg ordered cheap beer and coffee. Nick wasn't sure if he wanted to know what would happen if Greg had both. Nick settled with an ice tea.
Greg closed his eyes and rested his head on his arms, folded onto the table He didn't speak until the waitress had returned with their drinks Then he downed his beer in a quick, prompt, motion.
Now Greg was sipping on his coffee, and Nick on his preferred drink. Greg looked away for a moment. Just a flickering glance around he diner and back. He cleared his throat and began speaking.
"Sara and I—well we're persons," seeing Nick's confused expression he continued. "What I mean is, we tell each-other everything. At least we used to. Basically we bitch about bad things or we gloat about good ones. We ramble a bit, then our person tells us to shut the hell up and we do."
"But sometime after the DJ incident, she started to act odd, almost guarded. I was really messed up back then with the trial and all, so I think I just wanted an escape. I wanted to worry about her problems instead of mine. But she wouldn't say a thing. I thought something was really wrong. Like something bad. And I was kinda paranoid then," continued Greg, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably, "so I thought she had been attacked or something," he added sheepishly.
"It wasn't until a few days ago that I realized that that was about six weeks after they got together. She told me about everything about their relationship before it actually happened, but nothing when it did. She told about all the let-downs and the almost dates. But she didn't tell me about the happy stuff. She didn't tell about the first date, or the day they moved in together. And that's not how it's supposed to work. I was her person and she's supposed to tell me everything—the good and the bad."
Greg looked down and blinked. His voice dropped considerably, and Nick had to lean in to her hi speak. "And the worst part is that I she's still my person. I still call her, even though she doesn't answer. I still want to talk to her about what's going on. I still trust her. And she obviously doesn't trust me. At least not enough to tell me she was leaving, or that she and Grissom had gotten together. And I still care about her, too. I Email her ask her how she's doing. And she doesn't care about me enough to reply. Or even to say good-bye when she left," his voice dropped to a whisper. "I don't know what I did wrong."
Nick sighed, but then stood suddenly. He pulled Greg up, and slinging an arm around his shoulders, paid and led the younger man to the exit.
Greg closed his eyes and let Nick lead him to the car. He pretended everything was alright. That Sara was happy. That he was happy. That the team was happy. That they were all as happy as a clam, not a cloud in the sky.
The thunder rumbled on, and the rain poured down. But Greg ignored that. He took comfort in the warm arm around his shoulders and held onto that. He would go on. He just needed the warmth.