Title: You Tell Me
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
Summary: Greg gets to go home.
***Greg clutched Nick's pillow like a child would a favorite toy as they walked to the truck. Nick watched Greg crawl into the back seat. Once he was sure that the other man was secure, he threw the duffel bag on the passenger seat and slid into the driver's seat. He pulled out his cell phone and called Catherine as he watched Greg in the rearview mirror.
"Hey, Nicky. How's he doing?" She had answered on the first ring.
"Everything's going all right here. We're on the way back to Greg's. He didn't say he needed anything, but we could probably use some basic groceries. I don't know what he has." Nick felt a little strange talking about Greg as if he wasn't there, but Greg was just lying on the back seat with unfocused eyes, holding Nick's pillow against his bruised cheek.
"I've already taken care of that. I'm at the checkout now. I should get to Greg's around the same time as you – which is good, since neither of you have the new keys."
Nick had forgotten that the department had replaced the locks on Greg's doors and Grissom had paid for new security measures – including an alarm system. "Ok, see you in a bit Cath."
He hung up the phone and steered the car into traffic. He glanced back in the rearview to see that Greg's face was now entirely covered by the pillow. "Greggo?" He saw Greg's eyes peek over the pillow. "Cath's gonna meet us there. Griss got you new locks and windows and a new alarm system."
"I need to pay him back."
"I really wouldn't worry about that, but we've got to wait for Catherine to let us in." Nick wondered how much of the attack that Greg remembered. Crime scene clean-up had been in to wash the blood from the kitchen wall and floors, but Nick still worried.
As Nick pulled into Greg's complex he saw Catherine beginning to remove her shopping bags from the trunk – she had certainly bought them a lot. Nick parked next to her and opened Greg's door for him.
"Did you buy out the store?" Nick asked, taking a few of the bags. He was aware of Greg taking a few of the lighter bags in his good hand while holding Nick's pillow in the other.
"I didn't know what you two needed, so I picked up all the basics," she told them as they made their way up the stairs. She pulled out a small set of keys and unlocked Greg's door. There was a small beeping sound as they entered and Catherine went over to the alarm box and punched in the code. Nick closed and locked the door and Catherine rearmed the system. They both watched as Greg put down his bags and surveyed the walls.
"It smells like cleaner in here."
Nick walked up behind Greg and stood closely without actually touching. "There was a lot of blood, Greggo."
"Oh." Greg didn't show any sign of direct memory, but he unconsciously toyed with the bandaging on his wrist. "Can you put the stuff away? I want to take a shower."
"You need help? With the stitches?" Nick went to touch him, but removed his hand at the last minute.
"I don't know. Can you check on me in a little bit?"
Greg shuffled to his room, still holding Nick's pillow. Catherine and Nick waited until they heard the shower start to begin putting away the groceries.
"He has panic attacks if you touch him too long, Cath." Nick glumly put away the dry goods into Greg's cabinets. Catherine said nothing as she pulled out a garbage back and began to empty the spoiled food from the refrigerator.
"This kid eats nothing but take-out," she sighed as she threw out another Chinese food box.
"Nick, you saw what happened. You saw a photograph that Gil hasn't let anyone else see..."
"He was naked and coughing up ejaculate."
Catherine dropped the old bottle of pasta sauce she was trying to throw out. "Dammit." She was trying to hide her tears. "Go, Nicky. Go check on Greg. I'll get this cleaned up."
Nick got the hint that she needed to be alone, so he made his way to Greg's bathroom. He tapped on the door and heard something fall.
"Yeah," he yelled through the door.
"Can you come in? I need help."
Nick let himself into the steam filled room. "What's up?"
"I can't wash my hair," Greg replied feebly from behind the curtain.
"Want me to come in?"
Nick removed his clothing and stepped into the shower behind Greg and surveyed the younger man's back. At the top were the scars of the lab explosion and further down were the signs of the trauma that he had recently experienced. Nick drew in a gasp.
"I can't get clean," Greg cried.
"Can you trust me?" Nick asked, running his hand gently over Greg's side.
"You tell me when you can't and I'll stop. Deal?"
Nick lathered the washcloth with soap and ran it across Greg's back. He made his way across the broad shoulders and worked downward, adding more soap as needed. He felt Greg cringe when he got to his butt. Nick carefully ghosted the area and moved down to his thighs, calves and feet. He stood up and gently turned Greg around, careful to keep the injured wrist from the spray. Nick repeated the careful ministrations to the front of Greg's body, watching the signs of Greg's body language, expecting the word 'stop' to come. But it didn't – even when Nick carefully washed Greg's genitals.
He turned Greg around again and felt the younger man lean against him as he lathered shampoo into his scalp. Greg's eyes were at peace and laden with the beginnings of sleep. Nick removed the retractable showerhead and rinsed the soap from Greg's hair. Although Nick hadn't showered in over a day and was in need, he turned the water off and gently wrapped Greg in a clean towel. Greg leaned into him, barely able to keep his eyes open.
Nick led Greg back into the bedroom and laid him down in the bed. Greg was already asleep and curling into his side – reaching for something. Nick remembered the pillow – he found it on a chair near the bathroom and brought it to Greg, along with clean boxers that he had pulled from a drawer. He gave the pillow to the sleeping man, who automatically buried his face in it. Nick reached for the towel and pulled it off; with a little bit of difficulty he managed to get the boxers on – without waking Greg.
Nick took one last look at the room and went back for a quick shower of his own. Getting out, he realized that his duffel was still in the foyer, so he borrowed Greg's deodorant and put his old clothes back on. Greg was still sleeping peacefully as Nick went back to the kitchen.
The sauce had been cleaned up, groceries put up and the trash taken out. Catherine was sitting at the table, biting her nails. "How is he?"
"Sleeping," Nick said as he sat down beside her.
"How did this happen? Why did this happened?" Her blue eyes couldn't mask her distress.
"I wish I knew."
They sat in silence, both knowing that this could have happened to anyone, even themselves. It was a risk of the job – dealing with sick weirdoes, but they never thought something so horrible could happen to their friend.
"I need to go see Lindsey."
"Yeah, that's probably a good idea."
"These are the new keys – this is your set. Gil and I both have sets as well, just in case. We'll give them back when Greg gets better if he wants." She pulled out a piece of paper. "These are the instructions and codes for that alarm system. You can always call either me or Gil if you need anything." She got up and kissed Nick on the forehead. "You take good care of him, you hear?"
Nick nodded and watched as Catherine disarmed the system and left. He locked the door behind her and used the piece of paper she had given him to reset it. He yawned – he was exhausted and hungry. He went back to the kitchen and found that Catherine had left all the prescriptions on the counter with post-its to indicate which one should be taken when. Nick grabbed an apple and began to eat. When he was finished he gathered the pills that Greg would need soonest and stopped to grab his own duffel bag before going into the bedroom.
Nick was thankful that Greg had a recliner in his bedroom. He changed into fresh boxers and grabbed a blanket from the closet and went to sleep in the chair. Twenty minutes later he heard Greg calling out for him.
"Nicky, wake up."
Nick's eyes fluttered open, adjusting to the lights that he had left on when they both had fallen asleep. "What do you need, G?"
Nick looked at the clock – it was time for Greg's medication and given that he had slept for less than two hours, Nick thought it might be best if he gave Greg a sleeping pill as well. Nick went to the dresser where he had left the pills before falling asleep and poured out the ones that Greg needed. He remembered that he had seen a glass in the bathroom and retrieved it and filled it with water. He brought it all back to Greg's bedside.
Greg took everything in one gulp and relaxed back into his pillow. "Nick, you should sleep here."
"It won't bother you?"
"Don't think so," he said sleepily – the pills were working fast.
Nick couldn't deny Greg anything at that moment, so he slipped into the bed and took Greg's hand. Face to face, they drifted into sleep.
***Next story in series - Mother, Mother.
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