Pairing: Nick/Greg, but mild
Summary: Archie just needs to see Nick.
Archie sat in his car for a long time before he got out. He looked at the video game and six-pack on the seat beside him and debated going in for the twelfth time since he'd though of it. He just wanted to say hi to Nick, drop him off a gift and be on his way. Just a nice thing to do for a co-worker who'd been trapped underground in a box by a lunatic.
He certainly wasn't doing it to see Nick, reassure himself that Nick was fine. He'd been monitoring (watching) the webfeed since they'd found it and that should be enough. He'd seen enough (too much) of Nick, why want to see him again, so soon?
Truth was, Archie finally managed to admit to himself, he'd seen so much of Nick's raw emotion via video (fear, pain, sadness, resignation) that he needed to see Nick the person again. He needed to see Nick smile (react, do anything other than be trapped and afraid), just for a moment, so he'd know that there was still more to Nick than what he'd seen on the screen for too long last night.
Archie knocked, not to loudly, and the door opened. Greg looked vaguely puzzled, but let him in with a smile.
"Hey, I'm sorry to intrude, but I just had something for Nick."
"No problem, that's really cool of you. We were just watching tv." Greg led him into the living room where Nick sat in sweatpants and a faded Stanford t-shirt.
"I didn't know you went to Stanford," Archie said, stupidly(in his mind). Nick looked up, startled, then a surprised smile grew on his face.
"Archie, hey man. Nah, Greg did. Shirt's comfortable, though."
Archie felt awkward, standing in Nick's living room with Greg standing behind him and Nick wearing Greg's shirt. It felt too intimate and Archie held out the unwrapped game to do something to break his silence.
"Uh, here. It's the newest one from EA. My cousin works for them and she always gets me advance copies of the games and I thought you might enjoy it if you're going to be stuck here for a little while."
Nick grinned at him, though his smile was still tinged with something desperately unnameable. "That's really nice, man, thanks. Here, have a seat." Nick gestured to the couch and Archie sat, still awkward.
"Oh and here." He handed over the six-pack. "I figured you wouldn't be able to have alcohol with any meds, so, Pepsi."
Greg took the soda from Nick and put it in the fridge, bringing three back over to the couch and giving one to Archie. He sat back down on the couch beside Nick, not too close to make Archie uncomfortable, but close enough to be in subtle contact. Archie smiled into his Pepsi as Nick did relax an iota when Greg's arm pressed into his.
"We were just watching Gone In Sixty Seconds. Like it?" Greg asked, popping the top on his soda.
Archie grinned, leaning back. "Yeah, love it. It's awesome seeing the little tricks they use to pull everything off. Kind of like Ocean's Eleven. It's all about the plan."
"Yeah," Greg enthused as Nicholas Cage and Angelina Jolie rolled onscreen.
An hour later, the movie over, Archie stood up and stretched. "I should get going. I stayed too long and I should go see my girlfriend. She works nights, too," he explained. " Desk clerk at the MGM."
Greg stood up, too. Nick's hand slid off Greg's leg as he did and Nick smiled at Archie. "Thanks, Archie. It was nice of you to stop by and thanks for the game."
"No problem, Nick." Archie hesitated. "I'm, uh, I'm glad you're okay," he said quickly and headed for the door.
Greg saw him out. "Thanks for stopping by, Archie. It means a lot; the game, too"
"Hey, no prob. Nick's my friend, too, and it's good to see he's alright."
Greg smiled faintly. "Yeah... I'll see you at work tonight."
"Yup, back to the grind." Archie waved and got back in his car and Greg closed the door and went back to Nick. Archie sat there for a moment, both hands on the wheel, staring out the windshield. Seeing Nick, now especially with Greg, had helped push the terrifying images back a little farther, rehumanizing someone he hadn't realized he would have missed so much.
Shaking it off, Archie started his car and drove to Alexi's place, where he held her just a little bit tighter as they slept, thankfully too exhausted to dream.