Summary: Sometimes the day gets to you. And everyone needs their someone sometimes.
For the Cotton Candy Bingo prompt "Hug".
Author's Notes: Title from Le Petit Prince/The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. ' What makes the desert beautiful,' said the little prince, 'is that somewhere it hides a well...' Nick is Greg's well.
Also the name of the old Nick/Greg site, so thanks to carolinecrane for the inspiration.
Nick looked as worn out as Greg felt when he opened the door to the locker room. Ten straight hours and they still had no idea why someone would shoot up a half-full Chinese restaurant, or even who it was. Nick gave him an exhausted smile from the bench and Greg opened his locker to change.
He felt sweaty and gritty from all the fingerprint powder and his neck ached. He was thirsty and hungry and all he wanted was a shower, a change of clothes and some sleep. Greg stripped off his shirt and pulled on a fresh one. He would rather shower at home, where he could simply fall into bed and sleep the sleep he so rightly deserved.
He was putting his shirt away when he noticed the splotches of drying blood around the hem of his jeans. His first reaction was anger and frustration, and he slammed his locker shut. Nick looked up at the sound, quizzical, but then Greg's next thought slammed into him like a train. The girl sprawled across the booth he'd processed, the pool of blood under her head and across the table, running down her fingers to cover the floor.
Greg sat down heavily, exhaling. He let his head hang down and closed his eyes, just breathing. He heard the rustling of Nick moving and a warm hand started stroking his shoulder. He just let Nick, until another moment passed and he felt like he could breathe again. He raised his head to find Nick watching him and managed a smile for the obvious concern in Nick's eyes.
“I'm okay. I got blood on my jeans and it made me mad, but then I remembered the girl in the booth and it was probably her blood and it's a stupid thing to be upset about because she's the one who's dead.”
Nick slid the hand on Greg's shoulder up to rest on the back of his neck and he gave a gentle squeeze. “It's okay, G. Get upset all you want. It's how you know you're still human. C'mere.” He guided Greg in and wrapped both arms around him. It was a bit awkward from their places on the bench, but Greg managed to get his face pressed into the side of Nick's neck and let himself be hugged. He inhaled Nick, safe for the moment in the warmth and solidness of his boyfriend and let the tension and frustration and sadness fall away.
When Nick let go a minute later, Greg smiled at him, warm and a bit dopey from the sudden tension release. Now, the exhaustion was hitting him hard. “I love you, you know that?”
Nick smiled back, his eyes crinkling. “I do. Love you, too.” He pressed a kiss to the side of Greg's head and stood up to close his own locker.
“No, really. I'm so lucky that I have you to go home with every night. And, you give the best hugs.” Greg grinned as Nick flushed a bit pink at the edges and chuckled.
“Me too, babe. Now, come on. Let's get you home before someone else comes in and we stretch the bounds of friendship a little too far.”
Greg stood up and closed his locker, smiling. Nick opened the door for them and his fingers brushed across Greg's back as they headed out through the lab and to their car. Once they got home there would be food and sex and sleep, and then they'd get up and do it all over again. But, what made it bearable, what made it possible, was sitting beside Greg, tapping his thumb on the steering wheel and humming along to the radio. And that, he knew, was all he needed.