Title: Animated Conversation

Author: Michmak

Summary: Warrick, Nick and Greg babysit Lyndsey one slow night at the lab

Disclaimers: Not mine, darn it.

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"I wonder if the Little Mermaid is going to tell Prince Eric she has crabs!" Greg whispered this softly, trying not to disturb a sleeping Lyndsey, as he looked at his friends in amusement. They were sitting in the lounge on an excruciatingly slow night. Eddie - the bastard - had failed to pick his daughter up before Catherine's shift had started, and so the little girl had come to work with her mother, armed with her favorite blanket and several Walt Disney movies.

Warrick and Nick had spent an hour teaching her to play a half-assed version of poker before Lyndsey had charmed them all into agreeing to a movie. She had chosen The Little Mermaid, snuggling comfortably against Warrick, charmingly demanding microwave popcorn from Greg, and sweet talking Nick into rubbing her feet.

Catherine and Sara had been personally called to a crime scene by Mobley minutes after arriving, and Cath had apologized profusely to them when she had left, begging them to keep Lyndsey entertained until either Eddie showed up or she returned. That had been two hours ago, and Eddie was a definite no-show. Catherine had called a few minutes ago, saying she and Sara were still processing the scene with Brass - and would be there for at least another hour or so. Grissom had stuck his head in the lounge a few times to check on Lindsey, but had managed to get out of actual movie watching citing copious amounts of paperwork to be done. No one could argue with him, as they knew Grissom always had paperwork, and the only time it ever got done was on slow nights like this one.

And so, it came to this. Three grown men sitting in a lounge, too pathetically lazy or indifferent to get up and turn off a movie they all claimed they didn't want to watch, when their only reason for watching it in the first place had fallen asleep 30 minutes into it. Greg grinned as he glanced at his friends again, noting that Nick was still absently rubbing Lindsey's tiny feet; Warrick's arm draped over the back of the small sofa, gently running through her shiny hair.

Flickering on the TV screen, Ariel had just jumped into a large, rather cushy looking bed, and her little red friend had just made himself comfortable on one of the pillows.

"I wonder if the Little Mermaid is going to tell Prince Eric she has crabs!"

Nick's response was quick, "You're a sick man, Gregg - this is a Disney cartoon, not Heavy Metal."

Greg had grinned at this, "I don't know man. Disney has to keep it interesting for the adults somehow - what better way then by subliminally sending us messages, like Ariel has crabs? You can't deny it, man. He's right there in bed with her."

"Will you two shut-up?" Warrick had growled, "What if Lyndsey wakes up and hears you? How will I explain to Catherine where she heard about crabs?" He tried not to sound too amused when he asked this, his eyes firmly fixed on the TV screen. "And Nick, don't be so naïve. You ever see Pocahontas? She's not drawn a double-D for the pre-pubescent set."

Nick laughed under his breath, "You've watched Pocahontas? And you ogled her? You're as sick as Greg!"

"Shut up!" Warrick's response was good-natured. "I watch all the Disney movies with my girl here. She has a way of conning me into them."

"I'm sure she has to try really hard, considering your predilection for animated babes," Greg snorted. "Personally, I prefer Belle from Beauty and the Beast myself. She's hot - and she's a brainiac!"

"I'm stuck here with a couple of freaks," Nick muttered, "If you're going to watch cartoons, can't you watch manly ones, like Iron Giant? At least he saves the world from nuclear war, and he references Superman to boot."

Companionable silence encompassed the three men for a moment, before Greg began again. "So - Warrick watches with Lyndsey, I watch Disney movies so I can impress chicks with how in touch I am to my feminine side, and Nick - you watch with whom?"

"I am an uncle, you know! Several times over. I get my fair share of movie watching when I go home to visit," Nick grunted, before cocking an eyebrow at Greg. "Are the girls you date really impressed when you tell them you watch Disney movies?"

"Oh yeah. Especially if I tell them what parts I teared up in, you know? I took this one girl to see Toy Story 2 when it was in theatres, and when I mentioned to her how choked up I got during that Sara McLaughlin song - when Jess is telling Woody her story - well, let's just say I didn't go home alone that night. She loved the fact I was so sensitive and in touch with my emotions."

"And they go for that?" Nick sounded incredulous, "I have to admit, I cried when the Iron Giant flew into the nuclear warhead and saved the town, but I never thought of using that story as a way to get laid!"

Greg waved a hand in a 'pffing' motion, "If you're ever in a bind, roll it out. Women dig men who can cry."

"Will you two shut up already!" Warrick groused. "I mean it! If you want to share tips like that, go to the lab or something - I don't need to hear it."

Nick grinned, "That's because you're already getting some on a regular basis - you don't need to resort to stuff like this."

"Really?" Greg looked at Warrick in interest, "You're in a steady relationship? How come I'm always the last to know these things? So, Warrick - who is she? Is she cute? Do I know her? Does she have a sister?"

Warrick closed his eyes and sighed in frustration, "Thanks Nick. Listen, Greggo - this isn't the inquisition. I'm trying to keep my private life private, no offense. So, I'm not saying anything."

Nick was openly snickering now, relishing the idea of teasing his normally laid-back friend, "Mom's the word alright!"

"What - a single mother?" Greg's tone was suddenly speculative. On the small sofa, Warrick stretched out his arm and swatted Nick none too gently on the back of his head, before moving his hand back to Lyndsey's hair.

"Oh my God! I get it now! That explains why Lyndsey's so comfortable with you! Wow - I never would have guessed that. So, can I ask, how long?"

Warrick rolled his eyes, "None of your business, Greg. And if this gets around the lab, I'll know who to kill, so keep your mouth shut."

"Hey, hey, hey now! I can keep a secret! Does Grissom know?"

"I'm not sure," Warrick responded coolly, "It's not like we go around advertising it."

"That's too bad - it might make it easier on him if he knew he wasn't the only one -" Greg stopped dead. "Uh - never mind, let's watch the movie."

Warrick and Nick would have none of it.

"It might be easier on Gris if he knew he wasn't the only one what, Greg?" Nick grinned at Warrick when Greg started squirming uncomfortably.

"Yeah, Greg - spill. What's the big secret?" Warrick's eyes lit up with avid curiosity, and he shifted Lyndsey against his side in order to turn more fully to face the lab tech. "Grissom involved with someone?"

Greg didn't respond, keeping his eyes firmly glued to the TV.

"Ho-ho!" Nick's tone was animated, "He is! And Greg knows who, so it must be someone in the lab."

"I didn't say that!" Greg responded hastily, his voice slightly panicked as he glanced quickly at the two men. "I didn't say anything!"

"You didn't have to, you're ears turned red. So, who is it? Any ideas, War?"

Warrick's lips were pursed thoughtfully, his green-gray eyes narrowed in concentration, "I know who I'd like it to be."

Nick grinned, "I know who I'd like it to be too. Initials S.S. - name rhymes with 'Let's not idle'?" He and Warrick both began laughing when Greg shook his head at them in mute denial.

"Bullshit, Greg! It is so. Way to go, Grissom!"

"I wonder who made the first move?" Warrick muttered, "And how the hell do you know, Greg?"

Greg gave up. "I saw them in the parking lot a couple of days ago. He kissed her, but he didn't realize I was there. They both made me swear I wouldn't say a word, so keep this on the QT okay, or my ass is grass."

"I so want to tweak Sara about this, though!" Nick was laughing in earnest, his expression as gleeful as a little boy. "Gris and Sara, sitting in a tree - K-I-S-S-I-N-G!"

"What are you, five?" Greg whispered forcefully. "Please, I am begging you - shut the fuck up before someone walks in and hears you!"

"Fine. Party pooper. I could always tell Sara I saw them and put two and two together," Nick offered hopefully.

"You do, and I will kill you Stokes. I mean it!" Greg was getting genuinely agitated now, his eyes desperate, "Grissom has never asked me to keep a secret before, and he will never trust me again if he finds out I told you or Warrick anything. So just - please. Okay?"

"Okay, okay. Fine. I won't say anything. And neither will Warrick, right man?"

Warrick grunted, "Say what? I'm like Colonel Klink - I see nothing, I know nothing. Now, can we get back to the Little Mermaid?"

Greg breathed a sigh of relief and sank back into his chair, "Thanks guys. I mean it."

"You owe me one, Greg!" Nick responded cheerfully, "You better do all my stuff first in the lab when I bring it to you, 'cuz now I can black mail you."

* * * * *

The white noise of the TV was the only sound in the lounge save for soft snoring when Catherine and Sara finally returned from their crime scene. They had informed Grissom they were back, before Catherine determined to go on a search for her missing child and Sara and muttered darkly about coffee.

Walking down the hallway, the two women had commented softly to each other how quiet everything seemed, both stopping in bewildered amusement at the door of the lounge. Sitting on the love seat, head casually tossed backwards, Warrick was sleeping soundly. Nestled into his side, the small blonde head of Lyndsey could just barely be seen. Walking further into the room, they could see that Nick had a large hand loosely cupping the little girls' foot as he snored away. Greg, sitting off to the side, was also sleeping, eyes flickering rapidly under taught eyelids, chased by dreams.

Smiling with affection, Catherine turned off the TV and removed the movie from the VCR, showing it to Sara. "They watched The Little Mermaid with her," she whispered, "isn't that sweet?"

Sara grinned, "No wonder they're asleep. I don't suppose animated movies are huge conversation generators for three grown men. I wonder what they talked about?"

~FIN~