CSI
Compromise by Davey [Reviews - 2]

He wasn’t sure who was the most surprised when he decided to switch to days. They all probably would have dropped dead from the shock if Ecklie hadn’t already moved onto “bigger and better things.” Nick wasn’t sure what that meant other than they were rid of Ecklie, and that’s all he really cared about. He didn’t think he could have managed Ecklie questioning him about the change or, worse, having to work for him.

~

Grissom just stared as if he could see right into Nick’s head. “Is this what you want?” he asked, seriously, not that Grissom was often anything other than serious, at least while Nick was around.

“It’s either this or get another job,” Nick said.

Grissom nodded and signed his approval on the form.

~

Catherine didn’t say anything until they were alone in the Tahoe on the way to a case the next night. All she asked was “Why?”

Nick looked out of the window for a few long moments, watching the desert fly by. He wasn’t ready to explain the whole situation yet, and he really didn’t want to have to explain it more than once when it came down to that. He finally replied, “My mother always said that compromise is the key to the success of any good relationship.”

Catherine arched her eyebrows, not quite in surprise, as if she’d already known there was some relationship. She didn’t ask for details, though Nick was sure she wanted to know. He was glad she respected his reticence. “As long as you’re happy.”

He couldn’t help but grin, dimples showing. “I am.”

~

Sara didn’t say anything until three weeks later. It was his last night on nights and a week before he started on days. She cornered him in the locker room when no one else was around. “Are you just doing this for the possible promotion?” she asked bluntly, alluding to the gaps in the chain of command left by Ecklie’s recent departure.

He just stared at her, not all that shocked by the question, but still a little surprised that she didn’t know him better after all this time. It wasn’t long before she looked down, a slight blush staining her cheeks. “I just wanted to be sure,” she said.

He nodded. “I understand. Take care of yourself. I’ll see you around.”

He smiled at her, and she smiled back. “You too, Nick.”

~

Warrick still didn’t say anything, just looked at him until Nick climbed into his truck and headed home to start his vacation.

~

Two weeks later, he stopped to talk to Bobby before heading home after his shift. Bobby grinned when Nick walked through the door and immediately pulled out the envelope of baby pictures. He and Nick had shared enough stories of their many nieces and nephews for Bobby to know Nick wanted to hear all about his new baby. She was an adorable little thing, with dark hair, deep brown eyes, and creamy white skin. “She’s from Siberia,” Bobby said. “I was thinking Asia when we were first considering adopting, but Brian added Eastern Europe to our list, and that’s how we found her.”

“She’s beautiful,” Nick said, looking up at Bobby with a grin. “You got any pictures of the whole family?”

Bobby shuffled through the pile and pulled one out. Bobby and Brian looked ecstatic, and the baby – Samantha – was gurgling happily up at them from Bobby’s arms. Nick shifted uncomfortably when he felt a feeling of wistfulness sweep through him. He wanted a picture like that some day, but they weren’t ready quite yet. They hadn’t even gotten the dog they had been talking about.

~

Warrick still didn’t say anything as they passed in the hall, Nick on his way out and Warrick on his way in. All they did was nod hello.

~

A month later, at 8:47am on a Saturday morning, the doorbell rang. Nick yawned over his cup of coffee and wandered over to open the door. He jumped at Lindsey’s yell of “Surprise!” and her following cry of “Happy birthday!” and proceeded to spill coffee down the front of his clean button-up shirt.

He managed to keep himself from cursing as he yanked off the shirt, relieved that he was wearing an undershirt underneath it. He headed for the hamper, and they followed him into the house – Lindsey, Catherine, Sara, Grissom, and Warrick. Nick wondered how Catherine managed to organize the whole thing, and he wondered if they’d already had a party for Grissom or if this was to be his party too. He waved them towards the living room before heading to the bedroom, throwing the now stained shirt in the bag destined for the dry cleaners, and grabbing another shirt from the closet. Finishing up the last few buttons, he went back into the living room to see that they’d already set themselves up. There was food all over the kitchen counter, and Catherine was standing over it, looking like she was about to fix breakfast. Nick was glad he hadn’t already eaten.

He sat down on the Lazyboy and looked around at the people now seated on his new living room furniture. “Well,” he finally said, “this was certainly a surprise.”

Lindsey grinned. “Isn’t it fun?”

Nick couldn’t help but grin back.

~

It was nearing one in the afternoon when the front door swung open and someone came rushing in. “Honey, I’m home,” Greg called out facetiously, as he hung his bag on a hook and proceeded to pull off a navy dress shirt, revealing the Marilyn Manson tee worn underneath. “Man, you would not believe the shit that goes on at teachers’ meetings. ‘Someone stole my stapler over the summer.’ ‘I need a new desk chair.’ ‘We should switch to whiteboards.’ ‘No, I want to keep my chalkboard.’ Blah, blah, blah, blah – oh, hello.”

Greg finally noticed the people sitting in the living room, now staring at him. He saw Nick’s ears color as they all turned from him and back to Nick. Catherine finally broke the silence. “So,” she said, a teasing note in her voice. “Compromise is the key to a good relationship, huh?”

Nick looked slightly panicked. He didn’t look nearly as bad as when he called his parents with the news about their relationship, but Greg took pity on him anyway. “It sure is. We hardly ever saw each other before Nick switched to days. Hey, is that cake? Is there some for me?”

As Greg plopped down on the arm of his chair, Nick finally found his voice again. “This is Greg. He teaches biology and chemistry at Las Vegas High School. He’s why I switched to days. Like he said, we never saw each other when I was on nights.”

“I didn’t know you liked boys, Uncle Nick. Mom said everyone called you a ladies’ man,” Lindsey asked, confused.

Nick’s ears turned ever redder. “Well, I like both,” he finally strangled out.

“Oh,” she replied, nodding. “Cool.”

At that, Greg burst out laughing. Nick relaxed as everyone couldn’t help but join in.

~

By the time they all left only crumbs of the cake remained, and it was almost time for dinner. As Warrick left to drive Catherine and Lindsey home, he stopped in the doorway. Turning to Nick, he said, “You know, man, next time, just tell us.”
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