Title: Call Me Magic Mama
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
Summary: Greg and Jillian bond.
***Nick pulled up to the address that Grissom had sent to his phone. It was an absolute mess – witnesses and police officers were staggering about with no discernable purpose. Nick spotted Brass and went over to him.
"Hey Nicky. How's Sanders doing?"
"Holding together. What the hell happened here?"
"Quadruple stabbing homicide in the middle of a ball. Dozens of witness, who, of course, saw nothing."
"Team's already inside. Gil said when you got here he wanted you out back in the garden with Warrick."
"Straight back?" he asked, pointing to the pathway.
"You got it."
Nick walked back and saw Warrick photographing the ground near a fountain.
"Hey," Nick called out to him.
"Heard you got called in. How's Greggo feeling about that?"
"OK. We had a rough day, but good in the end. We got to the whole 'I love you' thing today outside the therapists office," Nick said, smiling broadly.
"Really?" Warrick asked, raising an eyebrow. "See, that's what I wanted with Tina. A real 'I love you'. Not 'I love you' because I married you at a drive through."
Nick gave his friend a sad look of concern. "I'm sorry that I had to run out on coffee – Greg fainted at the doctors' office."
"Jesus. He alright?"
"Yeah. It's just these panic attacks that make it so hard."
"The kid's been through hell."
"I think he'll be alright, eventually." As much as Nick wanted to get more advice from his friend, or to give out more advice about Tina, a crime scene was not the place to do it. Warrick seemed to be thinking along the same vein.
"Yeah, man. Listen, I need you to walk the perimeter – the perp seems to have vanished, so we would like to find out how he did that. Griss should be by in a few minutes to give you a full run down.
"You got it."
They had been processing for four hours straight before Nick finally got a chance to call Greg.
"Hey G. How's it going?"
"Good. Your mom is on some sort of cooking rampage. She throws something at me every time I get within two feet of my own kitchen," he said, raising his voice in the last part of the sentence so that Jillian could hear him. "I nearly lost an eye trying to get a soda."
Nick laughed. "Yeah, she gets that way. There were so many of us kids and all of our friends that she just learned the best way to keep us from eating everything was to keep us out of there."
"I told you I would bring you what you needed – you just have to tell me!" Jillian's voice floated through to Nick's end of the phone.
Nick couldn't help but laugh. "Greggo, it be best if you just rest and let mom take care of you. It's going to happen whether you want it to or not."
"I'm bored, Nicky."
"Did you write in your journal?"
"A little – before your mom got here. But it wasn't much."
"You could work on it if you're bored."
"I don't know. I just don't know if I can do it with your mom here and all. It's like I need to be alone in my own headspace to do it."
"You could go out somewhere. Take my gun if you want it – I left it in the nightstand on my side of the bed."
"Maybe." Now there were voices on Nick's end. Greg heard Nick sigh.
"I've got to go – I think there's a... G – I gotta go!"
The phone went dead and Greg stared sadly at the disconnect signal. Jillian was engrossed in her own world, so Greg sneaked into the bedroom and grabbed his journal and then locked himself in the bathroom.
I suppose I could finish what I started before, but I don't know about that anymore. Nick told me to take his gun if I was going out. I don't carry a gun. Even after the shootout on the case with the boy in the container I didn't get a gun. But now, I'm locked in my own apartment. Those people locked me up – then the hospital locked me up – and now I'm locked up with Nick. And I know it's not him. It's just easier to blame him for my failures – my failure to leave, my failure to defend myself. It's my fault.
I miss the team, I miss work. But every time I think about
Greg began to cry. The medicine was supposed to stop the panic attacks, but it couldn't stop the fear or the shame. His job was not a safe one – he knew it; everyone knew it. Chemicals explode, guns get involved, suspects go mad – there was no way of controlling the world.
He wrote with a shaky hand. I'm afraid I'll never be able to be alone again.
Greg choked back a sob when he heard Jillian knocking at the door.
"Honey, the food's done. Are you all right? You've been in there for a while."
"I'm... just... I'll be out in a bit."
Jillian leaned against the door and wanted to force Greg out of that room. She could hear him crying, but she just couldn't get to him, she just couldn't make it better. It was bad enough before she had met Greg – when she just imagined it was Nick who it could have happened to. Now she had met the man it had actually happened to – a man whom her son obviously loved and who she herself had quickly taken to. The tears were streaming down her face now. She tapped on the door again.
"Please, Greg. I need to come in. Please let me in."
She could hear Greg's heavy breathing and hiccuping grow closer and then the click of the door unlocking. Jillian grabbed him up into a bear hug and they cried together. She pulled Greg down so that he could more or less rest in her lap, his head pulled tight against her chest. Greg squirmed a bit.
"I know you think you're too old for this, but just stop it."
"Mrs. Stokes, you don't have to do this."
"You call me Mama from now on... if you want. All my kids do."
"It's really okay?"
Jillian kissed him on the forehead and wiped his eyes as best she could. She wondered about Greg's parents. She was going to find out why they weren't there.
***Next story in series - The Bus Stops in Suburbia.
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