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Title: Home Comfort
Characters: Nick Stokes/Greg Sanders
Fandom: CSI
Series: Love and Science
Written For: whogeek
Prompt: comfort or cuddles
Summary: A case hits a little too close to home for Nick and Greg just wants to make it better.
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Death and the Maiden (S10E06), also Nick’s backstory
Warnings: off screen mention of abuse—nothing at all graphic or even really mentioned
Disclaimer: No one recognizable belongs to me. Not making any money.
Author's Note: So for those of you that don’t know…I’m home almost all day, every day, so I sometimes watch a lot of TV. And I watch a lot of Spike TV which means a lot of CSI. So then things like this happen. Yeah I’ll figure out where in my time line it goes later. Essentially it’s a coda for “Death and the Maiden”.

"Hey," Greg stuck his head into the locker room, finally locating Nick after scouring half the lab for him, "you ready to go? Shift's over."

"Did Ella forget you?" Nick asked as he slowly got to his feet

Greg shook his head. "Nope. Told her I had something more important to do. She'll live. You gonna leave me stranded?"

A small smile crept onto Nick's face and Greg relaxed a bit, if Nick could smile even a little already, it wasn’t as bad as he'd feared. "I think I can manage to get you home," Nick told him. "What did Ella say to you deserting her?"

"Ah." Greg smirked as he recalled Ella's words to him, but edited them for Nick. "She told me to 'give Nickel some sugar' and that she'd see me later."

Nick turned to look at the younger man as he braked for a stop light. "I don't actually want to know what she said, do I?"

"No probably not." Greg reached over and took his hand as Nick started the truck moving again, content for the moment.

When Nick pulled into the driveway, he leaned his head back against the seat for a minute closing his eyes. Moments like these Greg wasn't sure if he was supposed to say something or just let Nick work through his thoughts on his own. He did know that sleeping in the car wasn't a good idea. He had the memory of back aches to prove it.

Tugging on the hand he still held, Greg pointed out, "We have a nice soft big bed inside. Much better than sleeping in the car. Trust me.”

“Speaking from experience, Greggo?” Nick asked as he opened his eyes and began to get out of the truck.

“Yeah I might have dozed off once or twice,” Greg replied as he followed Nick up the walk. “Pain. In. The. Ass.” He nudged Nick aside when the older man just stared at the door, using his own key to open it. “Go get ready for bed. I’ll bring you something to eat.”

“Ah,” Nick started.

Greg pressed a brief kiss to Nick’s lips before pushing him in the direction of the bedroom. “I can manage not to screw up mac and cheese. It doesn’t take that much focus.”

Nick didn’t look convinced, but allowed himself to be pushed towards their bedroom while Greg went into the kitchen. When he didn’t hear any suspicious noises from the kitchen, he stripped down before yelling, “I’m gonna take a quick shower!”

“All right!” Greg yelled back.

By the time Greg entered the bedroom, Nick was stretched out on the bed; his brown eyes at half-mast as he flipped through a magazine. Greg tried not to laugh when he saw what it was. “If you’re trying to stay awake, I’m not sure one of my DNA magazines is the best choice,” he commented.

“First thing I grabbed,” Nick mumbled as he tossed it aside. “I’m not really hungry.”

“So just eat a couple of bites,” Greg cajoled as he set the tray on the bed and folded his legs underneath himself as he sat down facing the other man. “You need something in your stomach.” He waited until Nick picked up the spoon, poking at the noodles. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not really,” Nick answered. He took a couple of bites, knowing that Greg wouldn’t leave him alone until he ate at least a little bit.

“You can you know. I don’t mind. Or if not me. Then we can call the doc later today,” Greg offered. He knew Nick didn’t like talking to the therapist, but sometimes it was better to get it out of his head.

Nick reached out, taking Greg’s hand and tugging on it until the younger man turned around and lay down next to him. “It’s not that bad.” When it looked like Greg was about to protest, he added, “I promise. I would tell you if it was. It just…hit a little close to some memories. But…I’m okay. I just…want to get some sleep.”

“Okay.” Greg sat up, soothing him when he started to protest. “I’m just gonna take the dishes to the kitchen.”

“Not gonna force me to eat more?” Nick asked.

“Nope.” Greg leaned over, letting Nick deepen the kiss he had intended to keep nice and easy. “You need sleep,” he reminded the older man.

“You worked the same shift I did,” Nick pointed out.

“Kitchen. I’ll be right back.”

When he got back to the bedroom, Nick was laying on his side with his eyes closed. For a few minutes, he puttered around the bedroom, not really doing anything, but not quite willing to disturb Nick by getting into bed. “I’m not going to sleep until you come to bed,” Nick finally said after the fifth thing Greg picked up and put back down. Both of them ignored the jump Greg made when he spoke. “Stop acting like a skittish colt.”

“I just wasn’t sure…”

“Greg, get your ass in bed.”

Greg bit back a laugh at the order, sliding into bed behind the older man. Nick immediately rolled over, slinging an arm around his waist and resting his head on Greg’s chest. Greg’s hands came down tentatively, one resting against Nick’s shoulders while the other brushed through his hair. Nick hummed contentedly as the tension bled out of his limbs. “I just wasn’t sure…” Greg started.

“I’ll always tell you if I don’t want you close,” Nick told him. “Now do you think you can shut up so we can go to sleep?”

Greg grinned. “I can do that.”

“Good.” Nick lifted his head and kissed Greg briefly before settling his head back down. “Love you.”

“I love you, too,” Greg whispered, realizing Nick was already half asleep.