shanachie_quill: christmas leonard (Default)
[personal profile] shanachie_quill
Title: Not the Reactions They Expected
Characters: Greg Sanders/Nick Stokes, appearances by almost all cast members
Fandom: CSI
Series: Love and Science Verse
Written For: whogeek
Summary: Nick and Greg decide they should share their relationship with their friends…but the reactions aren’t exactly what they’re expecting. Apparently they aren’t exactly as subtle as they thought.
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: Nothing really blatant (not even as blatant as the boys), but kinda minor for the show in general
Warnings: I just have to warn for the boys…in general, nothing else. Just the boys.
Disclaimer: Nothing and nobody belongs to me. And I’m not making any money here people.
Author's Note: And yet another story off my List of Insanity! With everything else going on…I’ve got nothing else to say. Enjoy the story.

Grissom had learned over the years that his team thought he was oblivious. Most of the time he didn't mind because it allowed him to observe them and come to conclusions that he might not otherwise have gotten. For the last few weeks, he'd noticed a change in the relationship between two of his team members. It wasn't necessarily a bad change, just one he hadn't quite figured out the dynamics of and it was a puzzle he wanted to solve. For curiosity if nothing else.

Tapping the file folder together to make sure all the papers were inside, Grissom went in search of one of the boys. A search of the lab, the garage, and most of the surrounding area didn't turn up either Greg or Nick. Assuming they'd left for the day, and after the decomp they'd had it wouldn't really be a surprise, Grissom headed towards the locker room intending to leave notes on their lockers that he needed to see them.

Partway into the room, he realized it wasn't empty like he'd expected, in fact the very men he had been searching the lab for were in evidence. He paused, opening his mouth to call out to them when he took in their positioning.

On first glance, there wasn't anything out of place about Nick sitting on the bench with his head in his hands. It was a position the dark haired Texan had adopted before when things got too tough and he wanted to block out the world. It wasn't even unusual for one of his fellow CSIs to attempt to talk him out of his funk.

What was unusual was Greg braced in front of him, his lanky body curved towards the older man as he ran a gentle hand through Nick's hair and murmured softly to him. There was something intimate about their movements despite their surroundings and the still lingering smell of decomp that clung to both men. And just like that the pieces of the puzzle Grissom had been trying to solve slid into place. He nodded once to himself and turned to go, but not before leaving a sticky note on the door where the boys would see it when they left.

Nicky, remember lemons to get rid of the smell. And keep your personal life out of my lab.

“Coffee?” Greg asked.

“You didn’t get enough during work?” Sara replied as she reached for her bag.

“Well, it’s more I wanted to talk to you. Away from here. And that was a good excuse,” Greg told her.

“Yeah. All right. I’ll meet you at the diner.”

“Can we go somewhere else?” Greg asked. “I have something to discuss I’d rather everyone not hear.” He handed her a card. “I’ll meet you here?”

Sara glanced down at the logo on the card. “Greg, this is a bar.”

“Yeah. I know. I know one of the bartenders. She won’t mind.”

“All right.”

Greg was already at the bar when Sara walked in, talking to the girl behind it. As soon as she saw Sara, she put two mugs onto of the counter, and poured coffee into them. “You know where everything is,” she told Greg. “If you need me I’ll be in the office.” She pressed a kiss to Greg’s cheek before leaving the room.

Sara grinned at the interaction. “Is that what you wanted to tell me about?”

Greg rolled his eyes. “No. Ella’s an old friend. You want sugar or something?”

“Black is fine. So what did you want to tell me?” She took a seat at one of the tables as Greg handed her a cup and sat down across from her.

Greg fiddled with his cup for a few minutes, before blurting out, “I’m seeing someone. Seriously. Have been for a while.”

“Well that explains a few things.”

“Explains? Explains what?”

“Why you aren’t blatantly flirting since I got back,” she explained.

“With you? But you’re married now! I mean. I don’t flirt with married women,” Greg protested.

“Not just with me. With anyone. You still flirt, but it’s more…subtle now.” She stared at him. “So who is it? Anyone I know?” Greg mumbled something in reply; causing Sara to reach across the table and poke him. “I’m sorry? Who? I didn’t quite hear that.”

“Gah. You sound like Ella.” He rubbed his arm where she’d stabbed him. “Poke like her, too.”

“Are you going to tell me who it is?”

Greg rubbed a hand over his head. “It’s Nick, all right?”

“Nick? Our Nick?” When Greg just stared at her as if he wasn’t sure whether she was flabbergasted or confused, she added, “How long?”

Greg took a sip of his coffee to buy himself some time. “Since not long after the Grave Digger case. Nick invited me over for dinner and we talked.” He fidgeted for a minute. “And we kissed.”

“Gregory Sanders. Did you have sex on the first date!?”

“No! Nick is a gentleman!” Greg yelped. “Sometimes too much of a gentleman,” he added in a mutter. He eyed her. “Should I start asking you about your sex life?”

My sex life is just fine,” Sara replied primly.

“Yeah, well, mine’s improving. Nicky’s getting much better. He’s more willing to try things now.”

GREG! Too much!”

He considered his words for a minute. “Yeah. Okay. Maybe that was a little too far.”

“A little?” she questioned.

“Hey! I didn’t give you details!”

“Still,” she stated. “I didn’t need to know even that much.” She settled back in her chair, studying him for a minute. “Are you happy? Does he make you happy?”

“Yeah. I mean we’ve had our moments, but…” he shrugged. “What couple hasn’t? But yeah. I’m happy. And I love him. I really do.”

“Good. I’m glad.” Sara reached out and squeezed his hand. “Let me know if I need to threaten him, okay?”

“Oh don’t worry. Ella already took care of that,” Greg answered with a grin. “And I think Nick’s more afraid of her than of you.”

Warrick knocked on the door of the house, waiting for Nick to yell, “Come in” before entering. The living room was empty, but the other CSI entered as Warrick shut the door. “Hey, man, you ready to get your ass kicked?” Nick asked.

Warrick held up the six pack he’d brought. “I’ve got the booze. But I don’t think you’re gonna have such an easy time.”

“I still think you’re going down,” Nick replied. “Madden for round one?”

“Sounds good.” For a few minutes the only sounds were the two of them setting up and getting ready for the game. Once they were settled on the couch, Warrick asked, “So where’s your roomie today? I figured he’d be bouncing around while we played.”

Nick’s attention was focused on the screen and he answered absently, “Greg’s at work. He’ll probably call later though.”

“He’ll. Call. Later,” Warrick said slowly. “Is that normal? Your roommate calls to check in when you’re not working?”

Nick seemed to register what he’d said. “What? Yeah, he does. It’s not a big deal.”

“No, it’s just a little weird.” Warrick turned to look at him. “You wanna tell me what else is going on?”

Nick paused the game, turning sideways on the couch so he could face his friend. “So I need to tell you something. But I’m not sure how you’re gonna take it.”

“Spit it out, Stokes.”

“I’m seeing Greg.”

“Well, I would hope so. Considering you live with him.”

Nick rolled his eyes. “Are you being deliberately obtuse? I’m saying I’m seeing Greg. We’re together. Have been for a while.”

“Is that all? Why did you think that would be news?”

“Wait. What? Huh?” Nick sputtered.

“I hate to tell you, but you two are not subtle. You two flirt blatantly. In the lab!”

“We aren’t that bad,” Nick grumbled.

“You are,” Warrick responded. “And awkwardly at that. Although you’re better about it now. So how long?”

“Not long after I was kidnapped. We had dinner and…”

“Engh!” Warrick held up a hand. “I don’t need or want details. Just. Stop. Right there.”

“But we’re cool, right? You’re okay with this?”

“You’re the one that has to deal with his crazy ass twenty-four/seven by choice.” Warrick grinned. “Yeah. We’re cool. Honestly I thought you were together years ago and was just waiting for you to tell me.” He nudged Nick’s knee. “Now come on. Let’s get some Madden in before your boy calls and I lose your attention.”

“I’m not that bad,” Nick protested.

“Oh trust me. You can be.”

Lab Rats
“So I’m just going to stay in our room and read while you guys play cards,” Nick reminded Greg as they put the last of the snacks on a side table. “Are you going to tell them tonight?”

“I was planning on it. Unless you want me to hold off?”

“No. Go ahead and tell your friends.” Nick leaned over to kiss him, but was stopped by a knock on the door. “Hold that thought. Have fun with your friends.”

“Aw, come on, Nicky, one kiss,” Greg teased as Nick headed down the hall to their room. He laughed as Nick waved over his shoulder in response. He was still grinning when he opened the door. “Hey, guys.”

“Sanders! Greg!” There was a chorus of greetings as the group poured into the living room.

“So it’s nice to see you haven’t forgotten us completely,” Hodges snarked as he skirted the table.

“I see you every night,” Greg responded.

“To demand Hodges do this, Hodges do that.”

“Aw, can it, Hodges,” Archie said, causing everyone to look at him. “We hear it enough at work. Either don’t complain or leave.”

Before the bickering could really start, the girls aimed the men at the food, knowing it generally headed off most of their disagreements. Within a few minutes the six lab rats and one former lab rat were seated around the table. Greg opened a new deck of cards and started shuffling as Henry passed out the chips.

“So where’s Nick?” Bobby asked as Greg started to deal.

“Staying away from all of us,” Greg replied. “He’s fine with everyone being here if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“I still cannot believe you agreed to move in with him,” Hodges commented. “Why would you want to live under his rules?”

“Who says he has rules for me?” Greg replied. He tossed a chip into the pile. “Raise.”

“You’re saying he lets you live here? With no rules? And just…” Hodges indicated the house.

“I didn’t say there were no rules. I said he doesn’t have them specifically for me.” Greg grinned to himself. “And who says I disagree with what’s going on?”

Wendy and Mandy exchanged glances. “Oooh,” they said in unison.

“What?” Henry asked. “What is going on with you two?”

Wendy grinned. “Noth-thing,” she sing-songed. “Not. A. Thing.”

“Good for you, Greg,” Mandy added.

“So how long, Greg?” Archie asked as he tossed his own chip into the pile.

“How? Wait. What?” Greg asked. “You know how long I’ve lived here. You helped me move in.”

“Not that,” Archie responded. “The other thing. How. Long?”

“Ah. Um. A while.” Greg blushed as he answered.

Bobby and Archie held their fists up towards him, inviting him to knock his against theirs. “Good for you,” Bobby murmured.

“Thanks.” Greg ducked his head a little, grinning.

“Ah, are you going to share with the rest of the lab?” Henry asked. “Or just leave us in the dark?”

“I think that’s up to Greg,” Archie answered.

Greg turned to Henry, figuring he owed it to the other man to explain things. He really didn’t care if Hodges figured it out or not and clearly everyone else already had. “Nick and I aren’t just roommates,” he explained. “We’re roommates.”

Henry looked at him in confusion. “What? Yeah, I know you’re living here.”

“They’re having sex, Henry!” Mandy exclaimed.

“I um. What?” Henry babbled. “Did I need to know that?”

Greg shrugged. “Everyone else did.”

“So who won the bet?” Archie asked, looking around the table. “I think we were up to when they’d spill on the relationship.”

“I wanna know who tops,” Mandy commented. “You or Nick.”

There was a muffled thump from the other side of the room and the group looked over to see Nick rubbing his shin. “You okay, Nick?” Greg asked.

“Yeah fine. I um. I think I walked into the wrong conversation. I just…I wanted my book. And I’m gonna go back. To the other room now.” Nick jerked his thumb towards the hallway.

Greg chuckled. “Not sure what you’re embarrassed about, Nick! You participate.”

“Don’t need to hear you talking about our sex life!” Nick yelled back.

“So it’s okay if I do talk about it as long as you don’t hear it?” Greg yelled.

“NO!” Nick punctuated his final comment with a firmly shut door.

“Is he mad?” Wendy asked.

Greg shook his head. “No, he really is just embarrassed.”

Mandy stared at him. “So. Who does top?”

“I thought we were going to play cards,” Hodges bitched. “Some of us don’t really care.”

“And some of us like to gossip,” Wendy answered.

“That. Is not really an image I need or want,” Henry replied. “So you don’t. Have to answer. Or ya know. Anything.”

“Why don’t we go back to the question of who won the bet on when Greg would spill on the relationship? And how long?” Bobby asked.

Greg set his cards down as his friends continued to discuss which they were going to question him on and silently got to his feet. Picking up one of the unopened bottles of beer from the side table, he headed down the hall to the bedroom he shared with Nick. No one would notice him missing for a few minutes and maybe he could get that kiss Nick had promised him.

“Hey, Cath?” Nick stuck his head into their supervisor’s office. “You got a minute?”

“Depends. Is it case related? Am I going to want to strangle you when we’re done?” Catherine replied.

“No more than usual,” Greg piped up from beside Nick.

“I gather both of you want to talk to me?” Catherine questioned.

“If it’s all right,” Nick answered as they entered, shutting the door behind them, and took seats in front of the desk. “We know we probably should have talked to you before now, but…” He paused and took a deep breath. “You should understand that this has never affected our work or a case or anything, but Greg and I are together. We have been for…for a while now.”

Catherine leaned back in her chair. “I’m not sure why you think the two of you are news to me.”

“Why is it everyone we tell isn’t surprised?” Greg blurted out. “Are we that obvious?”

“Flirting in the lab. Blatantly and awkwardly. Leaving at the same time when possible. The ‘roommates’ situation.” Catherine ticked the evidence off on her fingers. “You know this is against regulations.”

“It’s never affected our jobs,” Nick replied quietly. “And it started long before you promoted me to assistant supervisor.”

Catherine sighed. “You’ve put me in an awkward position. The rules say I should transfer one of you to a different shift.”

Greg squawked, causing Nick to reach out and grip his wrist. The younger CSI turned his head, nodding briefly before subsiding. “We’re aware of that, Cath,” Nick answered. “But we were hoping…”

She held up a hand. “But if you’d let me finish. I think you’ve proven you can work together. The first sign of you can’t deal with the job and your relationship. Or the first sign that your reactions to something that happens to the other is more than how a friend would react. In addition if I see Nick giving Greg preferential treatment…then I will transfer both of you. Got it?”

They nodded rapidly. “Got it,” Greg said. “Thanks, Catherine. There won’t be any problems. None at all. Promise.”

“Great. Congratulations. Get out.”

Nick used his grip on Greg’s wrist to haul the other man out of his chair. “Thanks, Cath,” he added his own gratitude. Gently pushing the other man ahead of him, he exited the room.

“Well, I can’t say that was unexpected,” Catherine commented to herself when they had vanished, “but it does keep things interesting.”