Title: Hold Me Tonight
Fandom: CSI: Vegas
Series: 1) And Across Town, 2) Rough Start, 3) Simply, Words Stall, 4) Out to lunch, 5) It Ain't Pretty, 6) Crash, 7) A Man to Look After, 8) Sleep to Dream, 9) Whatever It Takes, 10) A Man Going Down
Summary: Why bother to stay when it's so easy to run?
***Nick nearly floored it out of the CSI parking lot. On his way to Greg's he found himself driving more aggressively and recklessly that he ever had in his life – he cut people off, speed through yellow lights, and was sure that he was going to get pulled over. He desperately wanted to turn on his siren, but he knew that would just cause too many problems. He tied to think about what he would say or how he would act. He wanted to be calm and collected, by the ended up hastily parking his car and running to Greg's apartment. Nick barely got his fist to the door before Greg answered, looking like he hadn't slept in days.
They both stood in the doorway for a moment before Greg moved forward, wrapped his arms around Nick and rested his head on the older man's shoulder.
That was one thing that Nick had not prepared himself for. He had been prepared for yelling and accusations. He had taken a chance when he asked Greg about his feelings – he had no way of knowing if the younger man was even sexually attracted to men. There had always been the years of flirting with everyone, but Nick had only ever heard about Greg's girlfriends.
Nick realized that he was still just standing there while Greg nuzzled his neck, and that if he didn't respond soon he would lose the much-desired contact. Nick wrapped his arms around the other man and pulled him in even closer, careful to be gentle to the bruised body. They lingered in the hallway before Nick realized that Greg was shaking, so he guided them into the apartment. Greg's place looked identical to the last time Nick had been there.
"G, have you eaten anything?"
Greg winced as they broke contact.
"Have you taken your meds?"
Greg shook his head and sat down on the couch. "It clouds my head and it was already hard enough to think."
"Well, you just rest up some and I'll find something for you to eat and get you a pill."
"No, no pills. I need a clear head."
"OK, but at least take some over-the-counter stuff, 'kay?"
Greg nodded in agreement and laid back into the couch. Nick went into the kitchen to find a mess of dishes and a plethora of pill bottles on the counter. He grabbed a glass, filled it with water and took out some pills to bring back to Greg.
"Here you go," Nick said as he handed him the pills, which Greg took gratefully. Nick went back to the kitchen to make some food for them both.
They ate sandwiches on the couch, exchanging meaningful glances at each other. Nick decided that since it was his actions that had started the train wreck, he would be the first to speak.
"Greg, I wanted to apologize for the other day."
"Don't. I was the one in the wrong. I came into the bathroom when you were in the shower – it was my fault."
"Wait," Greg said, cutting Nick off, "I also wanted to apologize, for running off, afterwards."
"Wait. What?" Nick's mind was not working fast enough to process the information.
"You asked me if I though about you the way you think about me."
"Man, I didn't mean to upset you. I mean, I'm attracted to guys, and well, more specifically, you, but, I mean..." Nick trailed off.
Greg reached across the couch to place his hand over Nick's. "Why don't you ever let me finish?"
"I couldn't answer you the other day, and I don't know if I can give you what you want, but I guess I could start by answering your original question – yes."
Nick felt like he had been hit by a bus. He tried to come up with some way to move his body so that he could kiss Greg, but he was like a deer in headlights – until he felt the soft press of Greg's lips against his own.
"Our first kiss," Greg said once they broke apart.
"Well, not exactly."
"I've already kissed you... Once, when you were in the hospital. You were asleep."
"I believe that's sexual harassment, Stokes."
"I'm sorry." Nick looked sincere.
"God, Nicky, I was fucking with you! I was actually hoping that you might harass me again..." Greg taunted playfully, pulling Nick into another kiss, but Nick pulled away.
"It can't be this easy. We can't have had all that happen and then just start making out on your couch. Do you know what it's been like for me since you ran off like that? I've been dying inside, and I know you have got your own shit, but I feel... I don't know – like your holding something back from me now." He stood up. He knew he had to make a stand, he needed to have all of Greg, both good and bad if this had a chance in hell at working – and that might mean losing him.
"I won't lie and say that this is all my fault," he continued. "I've had these feelings for you since I was buried in that box and you came with that fire extinguisher. I was so fucking happy to see your face. I knew that it would be hard to tell you everything, the way I felt, the way I feel now... But here we are. I don't want you for a night; I want you for the rest of my nights. I can't believe that right now, you've told me everything. As selfish as it may seem, I'm going to need it all or nothing."
Greg swallowed and was visibly paler than he had been when Nick started talking. He was hoping on some level to be able to trick Nick with cuddling and kissing for now, and then move on to the conversation that would expose his deepest fears some other night.
"Greg, just tell me," Nick said, sitting down next to the shaken man.
"You're my best friend," came the quiet response. "You're my best friend and I can't risk losing you."
Nick embraced him. "I don't understand, you could never lose me."
"Yeah, and what happens when this all goes south?"
"We're not even together yet and you're already imagining our demise?"
"Well, logically has it ever worked out? How many exes can you say you're still friends with – honestly?"
Nick racked his brain. He hadn't thought this all through. How would it effect the dynamic at work? What would happen if it ended?
"It's never worked," Greg started again. "For me it's a series of women that I never get to see and then it always ends or fizzles out because it gets too hard."
Questions flew around in Nick's head and the first to make it to his mouth was probably the most irrelevant, but it was the loudest. "What about relationships with men?"
"There haven't been any. I'm bi, but I've never been with a man, save for blowjobs in the back of a club." It was a mental image Nick wanted gone... But Greg continued anyway. "See, that's another problem. I don't even know if I could make a relationship with a man work."
Now Nick felt that it was he who needed to run away from the situation. Flee to the safety of the outside – away from Greg's doubts that seemed to cover the earlier elation that Nick had felt at the chance that they could be together.
"God, I'm so tired," Greg managed through a yawn.
"When was the last time you slept?"
"Jesus, c'mon man, you need to get to bed," he said, helping Greg up and guiding him to the bedroom. He helped Greg strip down to his boxers before laying him down on the bed.
Nick pushed the doubts that ran awry in his head; they could be dealt with tomorrow. Tonight he would have to settle for kissing every bruise on Greg's body as they both fell asleep.
***Next story in series - So You're Having A Breakdown.
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