Title: The Bus Stops in Suburbia
Fandom: CSI: Vegas
Series: 1) Bewilderment, 2) Take Me Home, 3) Cynics, 4) Blood Spatters, 5) Hello Mr. Sanders, 6) Hitting The Wall, 7) Capable Of Murder, 8) The Good Boy, 9) Crying Shame, 10) As I Lay Me Down, 11) Stoic, 12) You Tell Me, 13) Mother, Mother, 14) A Simple Smile, 15) Good Enough, 16) Smack, 17) Let Me Be The One, 18) There Isn't A Manual, 19) Call Me Magic Mama
Summary: Nick starts to deal with his own demons.
***Considering all the problems they had at the start of the case, things fell together in the end. A disgruntle caterer had spent too much time watching assassination movies and started stabbing guest with an ice pick. He had managed to get as far as the third yard over before cutting his wrists and diving into the pool. The owners had found the body when they came out for their morning swim. Nick was alone in the evidence room filling out the finishing paperwork on the case when Grissom came in.
"How are you doing?"
"Greg's doing alright." The response had become almost automatic.
"I know how Greg is – Catherine's been keeping me up to date. I was asking how you are."
Nick wasn't exactly sure how to answer his boss. Confused, angry... lost.
"Go home, Nicky – to your home. Take some time to just be with yourself for a bit."
"And what about Greg?"
"Your mother is with him, he hasn't called yet. Just let him know you'll be back a little late."
Nick looked down at his paperwork.
"I'll do it, Nicky. Just go home."
Nick left the lab and called Dr. Sealy. The receptionist put him right through.
"Nick, it's great to hear from you. How's everyone?"
"Alright. I just wanted to know if you and I could start our sessions a bit early? I had some things I really want to talk to you about." He could hear Dr. Sealy shuffling through papers.
"How about at ten? My patient canceled this morning."
Now Nick just had to figure out how to kill time until 10 – without going home to see Greg.
Greg nearly fell asleep in Mama Stokes' arms. He felt her jostle him a bit. "C'mon, I can still salvage the food if we get up now."
Greg extracted himself and pulled himself up from the floor. He gave Jillian his hand and helped to pull her up. She turned around to look in the bathroom mirror. "Jeez, I'm a mess," she said, wiping at her tearstained cheeks.
"You're beautiful." Greg handed her a moist washcloth.
"You're delusional, child." She took the washcloth and blotted her face.
"I can be anything I want to be," he said smiling.
"True, true. And you must be hungry too," she said as Greg's stomach released a loud grumble. They laughed and went into the kitchen to eat - leaving Greg's journal in the bathroom.
Nick drove around Vegas, aimlessly enjoying the sites. He felt guilty every time he passed a sex shop and thought about Greg. It wasn't that he wasn't willing to wait as long as Greg needed – it was just that he was also a man, and it had been harder and harder to go without. He turned off the strip and the surrounding area to avoid such places as much as possible.
He turned into a residential neighborhood and found what he was looking for. Kids were getting ready for school – lining up for the school bus while parents looked on from a distance. Mothers out for their morning jogs; babies snuggly in their jogging carriages.
Every time he passed a For Sale house, he pulled an informational flyer from the realtor's bin on a whim.
Nick walked in the quiet office of Marcus Sealy and saw Dr. Sealy staring out the window.
"Good morning, Nick."
"So, have you come to talk to me about you or Greg."
"How about a little of both?"
"Good choice, would you like some coffee?" he asked, motioning to the same set that had been there when Greg was there. Nick poured himself a cup and sat down. "So, what would you like to talk about today?"
"When we left your office the other day, he told me that he loves me. I told him I love him. It was really amazing. But he's so concerned..."
"Yes, about the sex. I know, we've discussed it. It's a big factor with most rape victims – they're afraid of intimacy after the attack."
"I told him that I would wait... but today, I couldn't get my mind off it."
"That's perfectly normal. You and Greg had just started your relationship when this all happened. The first few months should be filled with lovemaking and exploration. Instead you're faced with a partner who has been emotionally traumatized and physically violated. He doesn't know who to trust anymore or how to deal with what has happened. In many cases, that means a long recovery without sex. You're in a really hard place, Nick. I've seen many partners – in relationships older than yours and Greg's – give up and leave."
"I would never do that. If nothing else – he was my friend before this, and he'll be my friend after it."
"See, your situation is a little different because of exactly where you are with Greg – it may be the start of a relationship, but you have known him for years before that and have had another type of relationship with him. I want to discuss further with Greg about your needs and how he might be able to be a part of them in the future. For now – and I know that it may feel shameful, but you can still masturbate – I just would recommend you do it without Greg around."
"You're not going to tell Greg that I have these needs are you? I mean – not right now anyway – I think it would be easier if that wasn't on his mind."
"No, you're absolutely right on that account. As I go further into my sessions with Greg, I want to make him remember that you are both human and that sex can be an amazing thing shared between two partners who love and trust each other. And you're key to that Nick – he needs to trust you more than he has ever trusted anyone in his life."
"He barely even takes his clothes off anymore. I noticed it the other night. It really bothered me."
"That's fairly typical. Obviously, when the rape occurred he was undressed. Being undressed for him now is being in a state of vulnerability. That too can only be fixed with time and trust."
"Do you think I could talk to you about some other things too?"
"That's what I'm here for."
They used the rest of the hour to discuss Nick – without regard to Greg in many cases. They specifically discussed what Walter Gordon had done to him. Nick never mentioned his babysitter – he still wasn't comfortable with that. He thought that his own rape would diminish the focus on Greg's, but it was still eating him alive.
***Next story in series - He Needs You.
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