Title: Out of Place
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Greg Sanders/Don Flack
Fandom: CSI: Vegas/CSI: NY
Rating: PG-13
Table: 5_prompts, Written in the Stars challenge
Prompt: I9, You may also be a bit on edge
Author's Note: Set pre-CSI: Vegas when Greg is still living in NYC.
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Greg Sanders or Don Flack, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.


By the time Don arrived at his apartment, Greg had been going to the window every ten minutes or so, sure that he could still see those strange bright flashes coming from outside. There were no sirens, no fireworks; he had no idea what those flashes could be.

When Don knocked on the door, he almost jumped out of his skin; pressing a hand against his chest to calm the rapid beating of his heart, he went to the door quickly and unlocked it, looking around nervously as the other man walked in and closed the door behind him.

"What's the matter, babe?" Don asked, frowning as he shrugged off his coat and threw it across the back of a chair. "You look like you're worried about something. What's happened? Anything I need to know about?" He looked anxious as he settled himself on the couch.

"I keep seeing these weird flashes from outside," Greg told him, pulling back the curtains and peering out into the darkness again. Yes, there they were; three quick flashes in succession, seeming as though they were aimed at his apartment window. "I wonder what they are?"

"Are they making you nervous?" Don got up from the couch, coming to the window and looking out. Within a few seconds, there were another few flashes, four this time, then another three after that. Don frowned, pulling back and closing the curtains.

"That's a camera flash," he muttered, his frown intensifying. "And it looks like they're taking pictures of your place. That's weird. No wonder you seemed like you were on edge when I came in here. I think there are people taking pictures of you, Greg. Or at least your house."

"Why would anybody b-be taking pictures of me?" Greg asked, his words faltering. "Don, what's going on here? Do you have any idea?" The thought went through his mind, though he didn't put it into words, that someone could have been taking pictures of him for a while now.

If they had, he would never have known about it. He would never have thought that anyone would want to take pictures of him secretly. This was like having a stalker -- which might indeed be the case. But why would anyone stalk him, of all people?

Don shook his head, sinking back down on the couch, deep in thought. "I don't know, babe. But there's definitely somebody taking pictures of you, or at least where you live. It might be nothing. The people who own the house might be selling it, and prospective buyers are taking pictures."

"But if that was the case, they'd be doing it in the daytime," Greg pointed out, shaking his head as he sat down next to Don. "And they'd probably have let the people who live here know that there would be new landlords. So I don't think that's the answer."

"I can't say that I blame anybody for taking pictures of you," Don said with a smile, obviously trying to lighten the mood. "You're a gorgeous man, Greg. But you could have a stalker and not know about it. And that's too damn dangerous. I'm going to look into this."

"What are you going to do?" Greg asked, his voice tight with nerves. He felt strained to the breaking point; this was what he had been afraid of, ever since the thought had first formed in his mind and he'd pushed it away. Now that fear was burgeoning, growing into something larger.

"I'll spend a couple of nights here and see if I can figure out who's stalking you," Don told him, sighing. "It's not going to be as easy as it sounds, but I don't want you being alone here at night. I"m going to have cops coming by here on a regular basis, too."

Greg nodded, suddenly feeling very small and vulnerable. "What happens then?" he asked, knowing that having police around the house would disrupt his neighbors' lives. This wasn't something that he wanted to drag other people into, not if he could help it.

"Not a whole hell of a lot we can do after that but wait, and see if we can turn up the person who's taking those pictures," Don told him, sliding an arm around his waist. "Don't worry, baby. If there's somebody out there stalking you, we'll catch them before anything happens."

Greg wasn't so sure that was going to happen; he knew that stalkers had ways of hiding themselves, or of coming up with plausible excuses for what they were doing that made it impossible to put them behind bars. He would probably have to be attacked for any criminal charge to stick.

"Can you make sure that cops are watching to see if anybody's after me all the time?" Greg asked, though he knew full well that there weren't enough cops on duty for them to watch after one unimportant person. But he did work in a crime lab, so that might make him a priority.

After all, they wouldn't want anything about the lab to get out, would they? It wasn't like he didn't know things about cases that they were working on that he could be forced to spill the details of. That could be the reason he was being stalked.

But Don was shaking his head, still looking worried. "No, babe, I can't," he said, his tone regretful. "You know there aren't enough cops to go around as it is. We can't give a protective detail to you, even though I want to. I'm going to have to be enough."

"You always are," Greg told him, his voice soft. "I just .... I don't feel safe any more, Don. I want to know who's stalking me -- if they are -- and why. It's just weird that somebody would come after me -- unless they want the details of a case the lab is working on."

"Yeah, that could definitely be a reason," Don mused, sounding thoughtful. "I don't blame you for being on edge about it, Greg. But try to relax, okay? I'm not going to let anything happen to you, baby. If anybody's stalking you, I'll catch them and put them where they belong."

Greg nodded, trying to let himself relax in Don's embrace and hoping that the other man was right about being able to keep him safe. He wasn't just worried about himself; he was afraid for the people he worked with, too. What if they were also being made targets?

He closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. He couldn't think about that now. He had to concentrate on keeping himself safe, and tell Don anything that he'd seen that might not have seemed strange at the time, but that was definitely out of place.

At the moment, it felt like everything in his life was spinning out of place, Greg thought, shivering as he glanced towards the window again. The only thing he could hold on to was Don -- and he was clinging to his lover for dear life, as tightly as he could.