Pairing: Gen with a side of Nick/Greg
Summary: Sara's sick, Nick's a Nice Guy.
Nick pushed open the locker room door and was greeted with a hacking cough Sara was trying desperately to stifle. She was sitting on the bench, her face chalky, with a tissue in hand and a bottle of water clutched in the other.
"Sara, what are you doing here? You sound like hell. You should be at home, sleeping or something."
"I'm fine," she asserted, but it was ruined by another cough and the high spots of colour on her cheeks.
Nick knelt beside her. "No, you're not. Come on, tell Grissom and I'll drive you home. You shouldn't be driving like this."
"I'm fine, Nick. I just need to get up and get moving." She pushed herself to stand, but wavered. Nick sprang up and steadied her. Her wrist under his hand was hot and she looked queasy, but she tried to push away anyway.
The door opened and Warrick came in, nodding to Sara and Nick as he dug in his locker. Through the open door, Nick saw Grissom passing by and hailed him.
"What is it Nick? You're off the clock." He squinted at Nick holding Sara's arm.
"And so is Sara. She's way too sick to work. I'm taking her home."
Grissom scrutinized her and nodded. "Good. You don't want to contaminate evidence. Call in if you don't think you can make it in tomorrow night." Sara nodded grudgingly and he left, the door swinging shut and she sat again.
"Come on, I'll take you home."
"No, wait." Sara groaned. "My apartment building is having some repairs done on my floor. We can't go back in until tomorrow night. I was just going to work through til tomorrow and catch a nap here or something."
"And where were you going to sleep?" Nick asked, picking up her jacket and purse. "Catherine's office? I'll take you to my place; I was just planning to sleep anyways."
"Nick," she protested, but he was leading her out of the lab and into the night. He put her in his Tahoe and by the time he pulled up into the driveway of his house, she was almost asleep.
"Sara. Hey, Sara, wake up." She stirred and looked up at him, her face sleepy and open. "We're here. Let's get you into bed." She giggled with the easy humour of the half-asleep and let Nick lead her into the house, through the living room and into his spare room.
"Should I be worried you have such a nice guest room?" she asked, sitting on the neatly folded bedspread.
"Nah, I have sisters. They like it when they come stay with me. There should be a tshirt and some sweats in the closet. Caro left some when she was here last and she's about your size."
Sara smiled at him, still drowsily honest. "Thanks, Nick. You're a good guy."
He grinned at her. "Thanks. I'm gonna go get some shut eye, but just sleep as long as you can, okay? It's good for you."
"I'm serious. I'm not surprised you're this sick the way you work. Now, sleep."
Sara grinned and got up to get the clothes he'd mentioned as he headed out. "Yes, Mom." Nick closed the door behind him, chuckling.
Sara rolled over and squinted at the little clock that sat on the bedside table. Nine am. She'd slept since midnight; all the way through the night. She had a hard time remembering the last time that had happened and sincerely hoped it wouldn't screw up her body clock for the next week. She sat up and was relieved to find her headache had been reduced to a mere fraction of what it had been last night. Her cough was anxious to prove it was still there, but it wasn't as harsh as before.
She debated flopping back into the soft sheets and sleeping some more, but her stomach growled and she decided to listen to it. She ran her hands through her hair futilely and padded out into the living room. Nick was chilling out with a cup of coffee and one of the early talk shows on low as he read the paper. He looked up as she entered.
"Good morning, sunshine. How are you feeling?"
Sara smiled. "Better, thanks."
"Hey, why don't you have a shower and then you can have something to eat before you go right back to bed."
"What are you, my father?" she teased. Nick gave her a look and she held up her hands in protest. "Fine, fine." She managed to find the bathroom without any trouble and had a quick shower, using Nick's comb and some of the gel she really couldn't see him using. Her hair curly and a little damp, she headed back to the kitchen and took a seat at the table.
Nick set a steaming bowl of soup in front of her and a glass of orange juice with two nyquil beside it. "I know you're a vegetarian, but I couldn't remember if you were vegan or not, so vegetable soup it is."
Sara looked up at him, touched that he had remembered. "Thanks."
Nick grinned, ducking his head and reaching for his coffee. "No problem. Someone has to make sure you don't kill yourself."
Somehow, everything he was doing had no romantic feeling to it; for Nick it was the type of thing you did for a friend, no question. Sara shook her head at him and dug into her soup. She was just finishing the bowl when the front door opened and she looked up at Nick, puzzled. He looked surprised, then flushed.
"Hey," Greg called, setting his keys on the table by the door. "I think I'm going to kill Grissom."
"Yeah, I know it's nothing new but... Oh, hey. Sara." Greg looked obviously startled to see Sara sitting at Nick's kitchen table in a University of Texas t-shirt and sweatpants.
"Hey, Greggo," she said, reaching for her orange juice, a puzzled frown creasing her forehead.
"Grissom said you were going home sick. Don't you live across town?" Greg's voice was light, but he was wary beneath it.
"Don't you?" Sara countered teasingly, watching it unfold and all start to make some sort of sense.
"I sincerely hope we're not here for the same thing," Greg said, taking his coat off and draping it over a chair. Nick passed him a cup of coffee and he smiled over his shoulder at Nick.
Sara smiled and decided to test her new theory. "I'm here because Nick is a Nice Guy. My place is being renovated, so he offered me a place to sleep. I'm doubting you sleep much here." Nick made a choking noise and Greg snorted.
"So, we're past the awkward part of the conversation? That's what I was worried about. I never know what to say." Greg added indecent amounts of sugar to his coffee and despite his breezy words, he was carefully avoiding her eyes
"Yeah, right," Sara said, taking another sip of juice. "You, at a loss for words? Nick must be good for you."
Nick's hand was absently rubbing Greg's shoulder where it met his neck and they looked at each other, smiling with a sort of openness that even Greg rarely showed. "Yeah," he admitted before flushing and turning back to his coffee.
Nick took his own seat beside Greg and glanced at Sara. She smiled at him and he grinned back, a smile that said more about his relief than he ever would.
Their moment was ruined when Sara coughed, a long string of coughs that forced her to turn from the table and left her red and gasping.
"That's it, Miss Sidle," Nick said, rising from the table to help her up. "Back to bed." Sara scowled half-heartedly and Greg snickered. His hand on Sara's shoulder, Nick turned to Greg. "You too. I'm serious, man. Get some sleep." Lower, he added "I'll be in in a minute," and Sara pretended not to hear.
She got back into the guest room bed and let Nick smooth the cover over her. He fiddled with the corner absently. "Sar," he started, but she stopped him.
"I won't say anything to anyone." She yawned hugely and Nick waited patiently, sitting on the edge of the bed. She continued, grinning wickedly. "That isn't to say I won't be giving Greg hell for weeks. Flirting with me like that..." She shook her head and tsked.
Nick chuckled and stood up. "I'll let you get some rest, plan your attack. I won't help, but I'm certainly not going to stop you either." Sara gave a sleepy laugh as Nick let himself out of the room. "Sleep tight."
Sara woke up again around six pm. She pulled on the clothes she'd only managed to wear for about an hour yesterday and made the bed before emerging from the guest room. Greg was puttering about in the kitchen with his headphones on, mostly stifling the punk he was listening to and he executed a spin before pulling the milk out of the fridge. MTV was on mute in the living room and Sara had to marvel at his attention span, or lack of it. She watched him for a moment before another spin, this time to get the pot out of the oven, had him stop in front of her.
Greg yanked the headphones off and offered her a grin only barely tinged with embarassment. "Good timing. Dinner's almost ready. Nick's gone to work and he left you these." Greg scooped two pills off the counter and handed them to her with a glass of water. "Non-drowsy, for cold and flu, fast acting gel-caps." He grinned again. "I love the guy, but he's... Nick."
Sara took them and shook her head. She sat down at the table as Greg dished out dinner and when he sat across from her she smiled and leaned in. "Okay, it's just you and me now." Greg looked at her, puzzled. "I want details."
Greg laughed and started to talk.
They showed up at CSI together, Sara having left her truck at the lab, just before swing was due to end. She and Greg made their way to the break room to find Nick and Warrick finishing off the last of an uneventful shift.
"Hey Sara, how're you feeling?" Warrick asked.
"Much better, thanks." She smiled at him, her colour much restored and he smiled back.
"Nick took good care of you?" he asked and Nick grinned.
Sara laughed. "Nicky took very good care of me. He should hire out."
Greg grinned too and walked around to get a cup of coffee. Sara, now that she was on the lookout, saw him ever so casually brush Nick's shoulder with his hand and Nick smile into his own coffee. She smiled broadly and accepted the cup Warrick passed her, adding two packs of sugar and sipping it as Nick and Greg bantered and Warrick did paperwork between teasing remarks before Grissom came in to start their shift. It felt like old times until Nick and Warrick stood up to take their leave.
She saw Greg's eyes track Nick as he rinsed and put away his cup and she couldn't stop the bloom of warmth in her chest when their eyes met and they smiled at each other. Quickly, though, and Nick followed Warrick out of the break room and into the locker room.
Grissom gave Sara a searching look as he sat down to give them their assignments. "Are you feeling better?" he asked, holding a slip of paper just out of her reach.
"Would I tell you if I wasn't?" she replied with a smile, then conceded. "Yes." After another second he extended the assignment to her and she read it over. "Come on, Greggo. We've got a jumper off Trop. Let's go to work."
Greg stood with her and followed her out to the truck. He carried her case for her and made sure she took two more of the gel caps and flushed when she teasingly called him Nick. He had already told her about their first date and first kiss and she stifled a few laughs behind her hand as they surveyed the crime scene and he relayed a few stories she was sure Nick would not want him to share.
"Oh my god, you're serious?" she hissed.
"Yeah," Greg replied as the flashed their penlights around the scene. "I spilled a test tube of iodine on myself so I could get in a shower on shift. I was still in the lab, right, so it worked out okay, but Nick had to change in his truck before heading out to his case." He grinned mischeviously.
Sara laughed and they both snickered when the cop on duty gave her an odd look.
She declined his offer of breakfast after shift because she knew who was waiting for him to get home, but made him promise they'd go for a beer soon. He agreed and they got in their seperate cars and drove off. Sara went back to her apartment, with it's lovely new door and hallway floor, and took a Nyquil before climbing into bed.
She looked up at the ceiling, wrapped in her duvet, and grinned, even as a cough shook her. Sometimes being sick wasn't all that bad.