Author's Note: Part of the Drabble Remix challenge from the gil_loves_greg livejournal community. The drabble remixed “Again” is the quoted before the story.
He swore never to be hurt again.
Three heartbreaks were enough—distant parents; two former lovers. When he came to Vegas he played the flirting game but decided Never Get Too Close and certainly Never Sleep With Coworkers. Thankfully, Vegas was full of sexy, willing bodies ready for a night or two.
No problem; only room for friendships.
Never Again, he said after breaking his first rule—swapping spit with his boss was Too Close.
Never Again, he said, crawling out of bed after Sleeping With His Boss.
“Come back to bed,” Gil says.
He recognizes he’s broken the rules.
If he so wished, there were several excuses Gil Grissom could recite for his poor social skills. After his father’s death, he was essentially raised by a single mother. His mother’s hearing failure resulted in a house that tended to be silent on most days. He never learned the type of social chatter that was designed solely to fill up the quiet. His curiosity and its particular expression didn’t lend to sharing.
Not if a young man wanted to avoid visits to the school psychiatrist.
When Gil was invited to his high school prom, the invitation confused him. He stared at the brave young woman, a familiar face from his physics class, until she blushed and turned away, stammering an apology.
Hours later, gloved hands shifting a drift of seagull feathers to isolate the broken section of wing, he brought his head up as he realized she’d been asking him out. Soon, he promised her memory. Someday soon he’d explain that shock, not a lack of interest, had caused his lack of response. He’d thought they made fairly decent lab partners.
Why would anyone want to disrupt that with a romantic entanglement?
When he remembered his promise to that young lady, he had just received her wedding announcement. She was marrying the student government president. They were holding the nuptials during the graduating class’ five year reunion.
Gil turned back to the research for his Master’s thesis. Soon, he promised the pile of documents on his desk. Someday soon, he would send in his polite refusal to attend such a gathering of former classmates. He’d find an appropriate card wishing the happy couple all his best to accompany the decline.
If a faint part of him wondered how nice it would be to come home to someone who shared or at least tolerated his interests, it was ignored.
The first time Gil slept with a woman without convincing himself he loved her, he was drunk. Practically a college ritual, the experience left him feeling shamed. His years to watch may have been limited, but he remembered how dearly his parents loved each other.
When she approached him weeks later to tell him she was pregnant, he was shamed by his response. Rather than immediately promising to ‘do the right thing’, he froze. Staring at her face, he found himself categorizing the indicators of sleepless nights and stress rather than answering.
Her bitter laugh was somehow sweet. She didn’t want the reply he couldn’t find the strength within to give. She wanted his help finding someone who would get rid of it. Besides, she spat with a vindictiveness that somehow relieved him, it probably wasn’t even his. Denying his relief, Gil managed to nod.
Soon, he knew. Someday soon he’d find that person meant just for him.
When he finally graduated with his doctorate, his mother smiled more brightly than most of his fellow graduates. She asked, fingers dancing and eyes sparkling, about the cute blond who’d hugged him so spontaneously.
Still shocked that Steven had grabbed him like that in public, Gil blushed. His hand stumbled over the response that he was too embarrassed to give aloud. ‘He’s a guy.’
‘So?’ her nails drawled in reply.
Soon, Gil promised himself. Someday very soon he would take a long look at why that particular expression brought him such a feeling of relief.
Moving to Las Vegas was a difficult choice to make. His mother, with whom he’d always been close, was several hours away. It was with determination that she learned to use the developing computer applications.
Soon, he promised. He would write shortly after his arrival in the other state.
Immediately, she demanded with a mother’s care. With a laugh she didn’t hear, Gil enfolded her in his arms. If his mind catalogued the frailty of her bones, the paper texture of her skin, he ignored it. She was all he had and he loved her dearly.
Someday soon he would make sure she knew.
Gil enjoyed working for the Las Vegas Police Department. Here, in a city far stranger than he could express, his own particular quirks seemed inconsequential. Comfortable on the nightshift, he was happy to teach what he knew to all who passed through his hands. In turn, they taught him.
But they never seemed to understand that even the darkest case didn’t need to consume your soul. They didn’t understand how he could classify the beetles from inside a corpse and be found less than an hour later snacking on chocolate ants in his office.
He nodded to his contemplative reflection in the restroom mirror. Soon. Someday soon he’d find a way to teach even the most dedicated among them that it was okay to enjoy their work.
When he first met Greg Sanders, he found it almost inconceivable to match the slick resume with the chipper young man. The CV was nearly perfect, sparkling in its exact match to their needs.
He asked, but Greg never really gave an answer as to why he wanted to live and work in Las Vegas. Then again, Gil could respect silence. Just as he could respect, and silently encouraged, the personality that quickly made its mark on the lab.
Soon, Gil resolved. Someday soon he’d let Greg in on his secret. Where Gil had failed to teach it, Greg had taught the others… fun.
The difficulty in leading Greg to his certification as a CSI was a particularly thorn in Gil’s side. Finally achieved, he’d handed the young man off to the others to celebrate.
Later, as their paths crossed in the locker room, Gil suddenly flashed back to the sight of Greg’s grin skating on the edges of a champagne glass.
And soon was no longer enough.
Greg had glanced up from his seat on the bench in surprise at hearing Gil’s voice. He pulled the earbuds playing a soft ska version of ‘Chariots of Fire’ from his ears, waiting on the likely forthcoming warning. Then, confused, he was still as Gil cupped his head and lowered his face until their lips barely touched.
It shocked both of them as the emotion behind that scant touch built. Until, with a faint whimper, Greg let his lips fall apart just barely with a whisper of breath. Gil’s fingers tensed, drawing the younger man up from the bench and the clench changed from hesitant to hasty.
They separated, panting and slick-mouthed. Gil could only watch as Greg fled with panicked eyes. Straightening his shirt and gathering his things with scattered thoughts, Gil decided he had to find Greg soon. He had to explain that he hadn’t meant to attack him like that.
Unsure exactly what he’d meant, Gil left in a vague daze. It was days later before he realized he hadn’t yet spoken to Greg. More importantly, Greg was still eyeing him suspiciously at odd moments.
“Have breakfast with me,” Gil finally almost-insisted after cornering his employee in the empty break room.
“Is that,” Greg swallowed hard, “an invitation?”
“No.” Gil shook his head, then frowned. “Yes.” He paused. “We
need to talk.”
Greg nodded, eyes widening as he turned away to the coffee-maker. “My car's in the shop.”
“I’ll give you a ride,” Gil countered.
Coughing, his cheeks flushing under Gil’s sharp glance, Greg simply nodded his compliance.
It wasn’t until much later, shift completed and corpses identified, that Gil’s destination was questioned. He pulled into the street parking in front of his condo, the vehicle still idling.
“I thought you said breakfast,” Greg objected.
“Do you really want to have this conversation in public?” Gil rebutted smoothly. He pretended he couldn’t hear Greg’s reply over the sound of the SUV doors closing.
“I don’t want to have this conversation at all.”
The intended talk was delayed beneath their mutual hesitation. First it was coffee, then the pondering of actual food to follow up their day. Neither volunteering a food for delivery, since Gil hadn’t actually intended to cook, Greg browsed the extensive collection of books lining Gil’s shelves.
Watching the younger man, Gil found himself at ease with another person’s presence in his home. It was the first time, almost ever, that he wasn’t counting the minutes until the intruder would leave. As a revelation, it was both minor and all-consuming.
“Griss,” Greg started to speak, turning back to the room. He stopped, realizing that Grissom had moved much closer in his silence.
Standing nearly toe to toe, they simply stared at each other for a long moment. Gil lifted a hand that ghosted in a whisper of touch alongside Greg’s head. The younger man held his breath as Gil leaned in, then cursed as he grabbed his soon to be lover.
A particularly awkward dance led them across the home. Gil, mutely guiding, let Greg decide their pace on the path to his bedroom. They struggled through the steps across his carpet. Then, smoothly, they transitioned to a smooth rhythm.
Sated, Gil watched as Greg’s calm dissolved as fast as his strength during orgasm. The younger man leapt from his supine position against the sheets, looking anywhere but at his boss.
“Greg,” Gil spoke softly, prompting him to face him. “Come back to bed.”
“I,” Greg started, seeming not to immediately notice that he was still nude from their lovemaking. “I don’t do this,” he finally exclaimed. Clenched hands clawed his hair into an even further mess.
Gil could only smile at the sight, finally knowing that soon was now. “Greg.” He said it only to taste the syllable, but the man seemed to be waiting for something else.
The pain in Greg’s eyes finally drew Gil from his sprawl across the sheets. He stood, crossing the room like a horse whisperer to a skittish colt. Reaching out, he caressed the skin of Greg’s bicep with the gentle fingers he used to pet his tarantula.
“Come back to bed.”
And something clicked in Greg’s gaze. With a deep breath, he did just that… pulling Gil behind him.
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