Title: Riding on the Subway
By: angstytimelord
Pairing: Greg Sanders/Don Flack
Fandom: CSI: Vegas/CSI: NY
Rating: PG-13
Table: Places, mission_insane
Prompt: 5, Subway/Underground
Disclaimer: This is entirely a product of my own imagination, and I make no profit from it. I do not own the lovely Greg Sanders or Don Flack, unfortunately, just borrowing them for a while. Please do not sue.


Greg slumped back in his seat on the subway, sighing and closing his eyes. For once, he didn't let himself worry about who could be following him; he hoped that nightmare was over for good, and that he could once again go back to not having to look over his shoulder.

He had Don to thank for that; if Don hadn't done what he'd thought he had to do, and risked losing his job to save Greg, then he might very well be dead by now. And fortunately, Don hadn't lost his job; he'd been reprimanded, but his superiors had understood his reasoning.

His own bosses at the crime lab had insisted that he take some time off, but after two days, he'd felt as though he was going crazy. He needed to be at work; he couldn't stay away. If he was alone with his thoughts, then he was only going to feel worse.

So he'd gone back to work yesterday, and everyone at the crime lab had treated him differently. They all seemed to feel that he was suddenly made of porcelain, that he had to be watched over and protected. That was making feel like he was under a microscope.

His colleagues didn't mean to make him feel like that, but he couldn't help it. He wasn't the kind of person who wanted to be protected; he didn't want to be seen as being weak. He was doing his best to get back to the normal groove of his life, but no one seemed to want to let him do so.

Even Don seemed a little standoffish lately, as though he was backing away from their relationship. That was what worried Greg more than anything else -- even more than the thought that he could still be a target, and those men could try to come after him again.

Greg had no idea what to do to get their relationship back on the right foot -- if there was even anything wrong. He really couldn't say that Don had been acting differently; he just felt that his boyfriend was putting more distance between them than usual.

He didn't question Don when his boyfriend said that he was working late; he knew that the older man was doing everything he could to track down the men who had kidnapped him, and he was grateful for that. But he missed being able to spend a lot of time with his lover.

When they were together, he often caught Don looking at him with an agonized expression in those dark eyes; he had assumed that Don still worried about losing him, worried that he might somehow be taken again, and that this time, he wouldn't come out of it unharmed.

Or was it that he was afraid that the experience he'd been through might make Greg back away? That wasn't going to happen, Greg told himself firmly. Don wasn't to blame for what had happened. He hadn't known that anyone would try to use their relationship against him.

Greg bit his lip, opening his eyes and turning his head to look out of the window and watch the lights on the walls zoom past as the subway rushed onward. The last thing he wanted was to pull away from Don. This was the time when he needed his boyfriend the most.

Couldn't Don understand that? Going through that kind of experience didn't make him want to push the person closest to him away; it made him want to cling even more closely, to be reassured that Don was there, that he had a safe place to run to, that someone loved him.

With Don, he knew that he would always have that safe place. But if Don was pulling away from him, then there was no guarantee of safety -- or of love. Now that he'd finally found what he had been searching for, it felt as though that safety and security was slipping away from him.

Did what had happened somehow make him less desirable in Don't eyes? Greg shook his head, desperately trying to push that thought out of his mind. Of course Don didn't think any less of him. Don knew that none of this had been his fault. He hadn't caused it.

Then why did it feel as though his boyfriend was trying to put some distance between them? He really needed to talk to Don about this; maybe it was all just in his head, and he was being ridiculously paranoid. He'd feel better if he heard that directly from his lover.

Greg leaned his forehead against the window of the subway, sighing and wishing that the ride was over. When he was riding on the subway, he had time to get a lot of thinking done -- and lately, he didn't like the places that his thoughts were taking him to.

What he really needed was a chance to sit down with Don and talk all of this out, without either of them getting over emotional. They needed to have a quiet, calm conversation, where they could each get all of their fears and worries out into the open.

That was the only way that they were ever going to get back on the right track, Greg told himself with a soft sigh. If they kept on the way they were going now, acting as though they were each afraid to initiate the conversation they needed to have, then they were going to drift apart.

That was the last thing he wanted -- or needed. He wanted his relationship with Don to get stronger, not the other way around. And if that was going to happen, then they had to face the adversities that were thrown at them head-on, instead of trying to avoid talking about them.

Don was supposed to come over to his place tonight; that would be the best time for them to talk. There was no reason to hold back on having that conversation, now that he'd made up his mind to confront his boyfriend about the relationship issues they seemed to be having.

The only thing that was going to make him feel better would be talking to Don about al of this, getting it out in the open once and for all. He was terrified of doing it, afraid that he would only end up pushing Don away, even though that was the last thing he wanted to do.

But they couldn't go on like this, Greg told himself. They were moving further apart, even if neither of them meant to do that -- or wanted to. Some kind of wall was being built up between them, and if they were going to survive with their relationship intact, they had to tear down that wall.

The subway was pulling to a stop; in just a few moments, he'd have to get up and leave this comfortable seat, walk to work, and pretend that he was doing just fine and that he was over everything that had happened -- when nothing could be further from the truth.

As Greg stood up, he found himself wishing that he could keep riding on the subway all day long, using the tirme to sort out his thoughts, to come to some kind of workable solution about what he should do. The more he thought about his problems, the more hopelessly tangled they became.

When the subway doors slid open, he followed the other people who had been in the subway car out onto the pavement, walking along until he reached the steps that took him upward into the brightness of the day. He blinked when he emerged from the subway, shading his eyes with one hand.

There was no sign that anyone was following him, no indication that there was still anyone after him. But Greg knew that it was going to be a long time before he could walk along any city street without feeling that he had to look over his shoulder. It was a sobering thought.

Still, that was the least of his worries right now, he thought morosely as he headed down the street that led to the building where he worked. His immediate problem was how to bring up the subject with Don -- and how to phrase his worries in a way that wouldn't make Don feel defensive.

Casting a wistful glance back towards the subway station, and wishing that he could escape into it dark confines again, Greg reluctantly kept walking until he turned a corner and the subway was out of sight. There were problems to be faced, and he couldn't simply wish them away.