CSI
A Passing Storm by hidden_in_a_tree [Reviews - 3]

Author’s Note: Oneshot. Slash. Slight romance, some fear driven emotions. Greg’s POV. Nick/Greg. P.S--sorry for any spacing errors. Still trying to get used to WMTDB, xD
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters mentioned.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Amanda for proofreading it for me, and for the title.
Summary: A monstrous thunderstorm is rolling through Las Vegas, and Greg’s fear level is escalating. Will something (or someone) jump in and save the day, or will Greg be left alone to deal with his fright?

A Passing Storm


“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
-Rabindranath Tagore



Dark clouds streamed in from the North, covering the sun like thick, ominous blankets. Thunder rumbled in the distance, lightning flashed and danced on the horizon. A storm was coming.

Greg sat at his computer, his eyes glued to the bright screen. In the dark, his face had the look of extreme exhaustion: bags under his eyes, his face an unhealthy pallid color. Nervously, Greg clicked the refresh button, his heartbeat quickening; something had to have changed. He could feel it.

There was a severe thunderstorm warning for all of Las Vegas, and Greg could just tell that, in a few minutes (seconds, maybe) that it would abruptly change to a tornado warning, then a tornado watch. He just knew it.

Greg swallowed nervously, his neck almost cracking as it turned quickly towards the high window of his computer room. He could barely see out of it. The clouds had covered the late evening sky and had shrouded the beautiful sunset in darkness. A flare of lightning lit up the sky and maybe a few seconds after, thunder made its presence be known.

Greg hadn’t really realized how terrifying storms could be until he got to Las Vegas. The thunder shook your house, the lightning could blind you; all of it amounted to an extremely dangerous entity that hovered over you, watching your every move. Sure, they had had storms back in California, but nothing like this. Nothing could compare to these storms.

Greg sighed and shut down his computer. "Better to be safe than sorry," he thought to himself as he pushed his chair back, standing up in the darkness. He rapidly exited the room, planning to make himself a cup of hot chocolate to calm his nerves. He went out into the hall, his eyes straining to make out shapes in the gloom. He wanted to turn on a light, but…
Thunder growled from above; sparks of light blazed like yellow and purple fireworks in the sky, showing spectacular shapes in the clouds, but Greg saw none of the storm’s beauty. All he saw was a monster, a monster that could kill you in the time it took you to blink, to breathe.

Greg entered his kitchen, his fingers twitching as he opened the cupboard to grab the hot chocolate powder. As his hand grasped the cold can, the one light he had on in the whole house, the kitchen light, flickered. He paused, staring at it. It flickered again.

“Oh, God no,” Greg whispered, his voice harsh with fear. Not now…

The light went out.

He was now alone, without electricity, during a huge storm. Greg put the can back into the cupboard and shut it with a snap. No point in hot chocolate now, he wouldn’t be able to relax anyways. Besides, he had no power for the microwave.

Slowly, as if he would be stricken down if he moved too fast, he made his way into the living room. He lowered himself gingerly onto the couch, his chocolate eyes watching the empty TV screen. The only sounds were the earth shaking rumbles of thunder and the ticking of the clock. A crash of thunder, a few seconds of clock ticking, then more thunder…

A knock on the door broke the cycle of noise. Greg glanced over his shoulder at the door, wondering if he had actually heard anything. Was that just his mind playing tricks on him or was someone actually at the door?

Shivers flew up and down his bare arms as Greg went to the door and peered out. No one stood out in the hall, no one was moving around at all. Turning away, Greg found that sort of strange. Usually his apartment building was busy with movement, but not tonight. No, tonight everyone was at home, waiting with baited breath for the storm to recede, to go back to the place it crawled out from.

Another knock on the door.

Greg whirled around sharply; he knew for a fact someone had knocked on the door. He flung open the door, his curiosity pushing his fear away. Greg could almost feel his heart slowing as he gazed nonplussed at the person who stood in front of him.

“Hey G, d’you mind if I come in?” the Texan asked, his eyes almost black in the shadows.

“Oh, uh, yes, er, I mean no, come in,” Greg stuttered, his tongue failing miserably to get the words out. Nick took no notice of Greg’s stuttering and entered the dark apartment.

“What, you don’t like lights or something?” Nick joked, falling comfortably onto the couch.

“Power’s out,” Greg replied stonily, moving mechanically towards the couch as well.

“Storms do that, you know,” Nick told him, his voice pleasant. Nick wasn’t afraid of storms at all.
In that moment, Greg felt a terrible wave of envy towards his friend. Why was it that he was mortified of thunder and lightning, nature’s most wrathful form of art, and Nick could care less? Wasn’t he afraid of anything?

“Something bothering you, Greg?” Nick asked, suddenly concerned for the younger man’s behavior. “You okay?”

“I’m fine,” Greg mumbled as a rolling boom of thunder made the windows shake. Did Nick notice him jump? Could he tell Greg had goosebumps all over his skin? Hadn’t Nick noticed that Greg was shivering?

Nick’s eyes narrowed for a second then went back to normal.

“You know what?” he asked, his voice light. Greg shook his head, moving a little bit closer to the couch, trying to stop himself from trembling.

“I’m scared of bats. Everything about them freaks me out. I used to watch a lot of vampire movies back when I was a kid, and they seemed to stick with me. I know that vampires aren’t real, but the fact that some bats drink blood still gives me the creeps,” Nick said, the volume of his voice changing with every clap of thunder.

“Really?” Greg questioned, finally at the couch. He sat beside the older man, his heart thudding in his chest.

“Yup, but I deal with it. I remember having to go into a cave with Grissom one time, and I lived,” Nick responded, a small smile on his face.

“What were you and Grissom doing in a cave together?” Greg teased, laughing in spite of himself.

“Oh, you know,” Nick teased back, his laughter trailed off as both the men watched the lightning skip across the walls.

“I really hate storms,” Greg whispered, the boom of thunder making his shoulder bump Nick’s. An electric charge, completely unrelated to the storm, seemed to run down Greg’s shoulder into his fingers, making them tingly.

“Everyone’s scared of something, G,” Nick murmured consolingly. He turned to Greg, his eyes raking Greg’s face.

“Yeah, I know, but…”

“Fear is natural. We’re afraid of things we don’t understand, what we can’t control,” Nick interrupted him, his voice low.

“Woah, way to go all Grissom on me,” Greg joked weakly, knowing that what Nick had just said was the truth.

“Greg, you can’t let it control your life. What if Grissom hadn’t given us the night off tonight, and you were at a case? What if you were in a situation where you had to react, and you had frozen up?” Nick questioned the younger man, his eyes glinting in the dusk.

Greg’s hands started to tremble at Nick’s words. What if…

“Greg…” Nick started, looking down at Greg’s shaking hands. “I thought your hands had stopped shaking after…” he stopped, his voice dropping off into nothingness.

“They did,” Greg stated flatly, sitting on his hands, “but when I get stressed out, it comes back. And right now I’m stressed out.” Another crack of thunder and Greg almost let out a shrill shriek.

“Greg,” Nick said, his hand gently pulling on the Level One CSI’s forearm. “It’s okay. This storm will pass.” Nick softly took Greg’s hand in his own and stroked the palm. Shivers were ravaging Greg’s body.

Greg opened his mouth, but found it dry. He swallowed, trying to get his tongue working.

“Why’d you come over, anyways?” Greg asked, his mouth finally cooperating.

Nick smiled mischievously. “Well, where else would I be on my night off?” he laughed, pulling Greg closer to him in one fluid motion. Greg rested his head on Nick’s sturdy chest, listening to be beat of the Texan’s heart.

“Usually I’m not freaking out when you come over,” Greg snorted, ashamed at himself. In the distance, almost weakly, Greg could still hear the storm raging, but closer to home all he could hear was Nick’s heart beating.

“You could have told me, Greg. I could have been here for you. We’ve had a lot of thunderstorms this year…” Nick trailed off, letting his chin rest on Greg’s head.

“I was embarrassed,” Greg relented, putting his arms around Nick’s torso. Nick reciprocated, pulling Greg a little tighter.

“Like I said, Greg, everyone’s afraid of something,” Nick said simply. Another silence broke into their conversation, but this time there was no heart stopping crashes of thunder, no blindingly bright flashes of lightning. The storm was dissipating.

“See Greg, the storm’s almost gone,” Nick said, his voice once again light.

Greg sighed, “I was kind of getting used to it... having you here helped, though. Now what are we going to do?”

Nick pulled away, a bright smile on his face.

“I have an idea,” he said, jumping up and tugging on Greg’s hand. This time, Greg didn’t even want a light on as he was led into the darkness. He knew he was in good hands.

“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”
-Willa Sibert Cather


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