Waiting for You by downloadableindifference [Reviews - 5]

Author’s Note: Set post-Grave Danger, but no specific spoilers. My second published fic, so please be gentle with the criticism. I don’t have a beta, so any spelling or grammar errors are mine. You don’t have to be gentle about those however; I’m a college student and should know better. Bring on the hot oil!

Disclaimer: I don’t own CSI, and most likely never will (but hey, a girl can hope!). Nor do I own the song or the amazing movie Love Actually that this ficlet is *coughstolenfromcough* …inspired by.

This. Was not. Happening. That was the only explanation Nick could come up with. He was still asleep in his bed, and any second now, he would wake up in a cold sweat with the sheets twisted around him. He had to keep telling himself that.

And he had to believe it, because the only other option was that Grissom really had just assigned him a DB at a gay bar. The one gay bar in town that he frequented. He snuck glances at his coworkers to see if they were sending any accusatory looks his way. They all seemed to be paying attention to Grissom, and he allowed himself a tiny sigh of relief.

“You ready to go?” A voice penetrated the fog in his brain, and he whipped his head up to see everyone clearing out of the break room. Everyone except fun, gorgeous, lively, flirty, probably straighter-than-a-ruler Greg. Which meant that Grissom had most likely assigned the young CSI to his case. Fuck.

“Uh, yeah,” he said out loud, shaking his head to try to dislodge some of the more disturbing thoughts running through it.


They rode to Angel’s in silence. Nick was pulling into a parking space before he realized he’d never once asked Greg for the directions Grissom had sent with them. If Greg had noticed, he was to kind enough not to say anything.

As they entered the bar, Nick noticed Detective Cavaliere interviewing the bartender, Mike, so he headed that direction and hoped Greg was following him. His hopes that Mike wouldn’t say anything soon proved futile.

“Nick! Long time, no see,” the lanky redhead cheerfully greeted him. Cavaliere didn’t seem to be paying attention, but Nick could have sworn he felt the rush of air from Greg’s head whipping towards him. He smiled back through gritted teeth and prayed that Mike would get the hint. No such luck.

“Not every day we get a dead guy in the bathroom,” Mike continued, “but if that’s what it takes to get that fine, workaholic ass of yours in here more often, we’ll have to see what we can do.” He topped it off with a wink, and Nick waited despairingly for the floor to swallow him.

It didn’t, and it was all he could do to muster a weak, “Body’s in the bathroom?” before heading back and doing his best not to be sick and contaminate the scene.


If Nick thought the ride to the bar had been quiet, he wasn’t sure what to call the deafening emptiness of the Denali as they returned to the lab. The crime scene had been awkward, to say the least—they’d worked the apparent OD quickly, trying to ignore the smell of stale sex that permeated the men’s room. Greg had refused to meet his eyes.

This was the end, and Nick knew it. There would be no more hanging out after shift, no more easy camaraderie, no more flirtatious banter. He would be lucky if Greg ever spoke to him again, and from the vibes he was getting, even that was not a guarantee. He’d always figured that Greg was straight—the way he flirted with Sara was evidence enough of that—but Nick had never dreamed that his friend would react this negatively to even the suspicion that Nick wasn’t.

Nick shifted into park and turned off the ignition. When Greg still made no move to get out, he heaved a sigh and decided to face the inevitable. “Go ahead. Ask,” he offered without turning to look at Greg, hoping he sounded more confident than he felt.

“Are you… gay?” The younger man’s voice broke on the last word, and Nick had to stop himself from wincing. It was worse than he thought.

“I guess you could say I’m bi,” he began, trying to keep his voice from trembling. “Even growing up like I did—where I did—it never made sense to me to reduce my chances of finding someone to love by automatically eliminating half of the population, you know?” At that, he trailed off and began mentally chastising himself. Of course he doesn’t know, you goddamn idiot! he told himself. If he knew, you wouldn’t be sitting here awkwardly, with him doing his best not to breathe in case it’s contagious!

Greg broke the short silence as he jumped for the handle. “Well, the sooner I get this stuff to Tox, the sooner they’ll get back to us. We might have our results before shift’s over,” escaped in a torrent from his mouth. He was gone before Nick could respond, and the slam of the car door echoed in the empty vehicle.


Four hours later, Nick collapsed onto a bench in the locker room. He could feel the weariness seep straight through to his bones. He hated the cases with kids. And Greg was still not talking to him.

As he began to change his shoes, he thought that his bed, lonely as it sometimes was, had never looked more inviting. After the OD case, Grissom had sent him out to join Warrick on a 419 while Greg went with Sara on a B&E. What Grissom had failed to mention was that the murder victim was a child.

He and Warrick had worked the room quietly, the other man seeming to sense that he needed the silence. When they returned to the lab, Nick had looked everywhere for Greg, under the pretense of catching up on their case. Greg, however, knew how to hide when he wanted to and was nowhere to be found. Nick had tried to ignore the sympathetic look from Catherine that said she knew he was being avoided.

So here he was, end of shift, with no idea if Greg would ever be able to look him in the eye again.

Nick had to bite back a frustrated groan when the object of his thoughts strode purposefully through the door. He was pleasantly surprised, however, when Greg didn’t take one glance at him and run in the opposite direction. When Greg plopped down on the bench next to him and started discussing their earlier case like nothing was wrong, Nick thought he must have died and gone to heaven.

“Listen, Nick,” Greg continued, sounding slightly more nervous than before. “I know I shouldn’t have avoided you, and it probably seemed like I was angry, but I’m not. I’m sorry I freaked on you like that. I was just… surprised.” He paused as if thinking of what to say next, and Nick took advantage of the silence.

“Greg, it’s okay if you’re not cool with it right away. I mean, I’d like to stay friends and all, but if you need time to adjust, just say it,” Nick offered, trying to give the younger man the easy way out.

He had intended it to be reassuring, but it obviously made something in Greg snap. He was up off the bench in a heartbeat. “No, no time needed,” he insisted. “In fact, you and I are going out,” he added, tugging on Nick’s shirtsleeve.

“Out?” Nick echoed uncertainly. He was pretty sure Greg’s idea of going out included techno, strobe lights, and a bass beat you could hear down in Henderson. Unless he means “out” like on a date? As soon as the thought crossed his mind, Nick brushed it away as wishful thinking. Just because he’d fantasized about the possibility didn’t mean Greg had.

“Yeah, you know, sit, talk, grab a couple of drinks and pretend to be normal people? My treat. Come on,” Greg pleaded, “I have to do something to make up for coming off like such a jerk earlier.”

Nick was finding it increasingly difficult to tie his second shoe while Greg was pulling at his sleeve like a five-year-old in a candy store. “Look, G…” He took a breath. “Don’t feel like you have to do this, okay? I really think I should just go home and crash.”

“No, Nicky, you have to come. Take the time to unwind. Besides, I just found this really great new place, and you can’t expect me to try it out all by myself?” And Greg broke out what Nick knew he could not resist: the puppy dog look. “Please?”

Nick heaved a sigh and nodded his assent, hoping the younger CSI was too busy dragging him excitedly out of the locker room to notice the faint blush tingeing his cheeks.


Nick pulled himself away from zoning out the passenger window when the scenery began to look familiar. “Greg…” he started, confused. He glanced to his left to see that Greg’s knuckles were white against the steering wheel.

“Please, Nick,” Greg said in a voice more strained than Nick thought he had ever heard from the other man. “Just let me do this.”

Nick decided not to push the matter as they made the final turn and pulled into the parking lot at Angel’s. He knew that it would have quieted down since the early morning hours after they’d cleared the scene, but there were probably still the diehard few belly up to the bar or out on the dance floor. He hoped Greg knew what he was doing. All this, just to prove that he’s okay with me liking guys. It’s obvious that it bothers him a lot more than he’s letting on.


Nick left Greg at the table to go grab a couple of beers from Mike at the bar. “That’s him, isn’t it?” Mike questioned eagerly at his approach. “That’s the one you’re always talking about! I didn’t realize it when you were here earlier, but now that he’s back with you… Does that mean that he knows?”

“Yeah, he knows,” Nick answered as he waited for the mugs to be filled. “In fact, it was his idea to come here. Like he’s trying to prove that he’s okay with me.”

Mike considered him as he topped off the second beer. “And that’s a bad thing?”

Shaking his head, Nick responded, “I’m not convinced.”


“There you are!” Greg exclaimed as he returned to the table, jumping up to grab the drinks and set them down as he dragged Nick out to the dance floor. Nick wanted to laugh at yet another of Greg’s mood swings; the truth was, he was puzzled.

“Hold on, G, where’s the fire?” Nick silently wondered how much sugar Greg had consumed while he was at the bar.

“No fire, I just love this song. I wasn’t sure if you would get back before it was over.” No sooner had Greg finished the sentence than the DJ faded the song out and started a new album. And obviously, someone somewhere wanted to play with Nick’s head, because it was a slow song.

“This one’s for all the lovers out there,” the DJ said into the microphone. “There’s quite a few of you—I shouldn’t be surprised and a half.”

Nick stood frozen as the first notes began to play. This was not fucking happening. Maybe we can go sit down and pretend this never happened…

All thoughts of leaving were interrupted when Greg took his hand and stepped towards him, settling his other arm at Nick’s waist. Nick opened his mouth to argue, to tell Greg that this really wasn’t necessary, but he couldn’t force the words out.

{Like a flower waiting to bloom
Like a light bulb in a darkened room
I’ve just been sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on}

Out of the corner of his eye, Nick caught a thumbs-up sign from Mike. He wanted to protest No, he just wants to show me that he’s not homophobic, he’s just trying to prove himself, it doesn’t mean anything… But then he felt hair tickling his ear and -hot damn- Greg’s breath on his neck, and suddenly, he wasn’t so sure.

{Like the desert after the rain
Like a school kid waiting for the spring
I’ve just been sitting here waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on}

They swayed together so intimately that Nick had almost convinced himself he was dreaming before Greg broke the silence. “I always thought you would never be interested,” he began, staying close enough to Nick that they didn’t have to make eye contact. “I had to think that. I had to think that you were unattainable, because I couldn’t let myself… hope.”

Nick felt a tremble go through his body and pulled back to look Greg in the face, finding his gaze met with molten chocolate. Then soft lips met his own, and Nick thought, Maybe this really is happening after all.

AN: The song is “Turn Me On” by Norah Jones. Both it and the movie Love Actually are highly recommended. And if you know which character I liberated from the movie, you earn fifty bonus points and my undying respect.
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