Inventing Games Out Of Everything
by Shrift

"And it's time for another round of 'Name That Chemical Compound'," Greg said, turning to draw on the board as Sara and Nick entered his domain.

"What do we get if we win?" Nick asked, sitting down obediently on one of Greg's stools. Sara stood next to him, her arms crossed. Greg was glad he asked, because two of his favorite people were in his lab, and Nick was the only one who ever played with him. He decided that flirting would not go amiss, because Nick got all devilishly cute when he did, and Sara turned quiet and domineering in a way that was weirdly hot.

It was a win-win situation. The grand slam would be talking them into a threesome, but Greg knew that was about as likely as an asteroid hitting the strip on that one no-good Monday when he was five minutes late for work.

The markers squeaked and the fumes hit his nose, and Greg did a little dance before looking over his shoulder to say, "Let's say... a kiss? From moi?"

Nick chuckled, which pleased Greg greatly. Sara managed to look unimpressed with the slightest shift of her expression, like how one wrong vowel in his sentence used to make Papa Olaf laugh and laugh until he wheezed, and refuse to tell him why. "Let's not."

"It's okay," Greg said, turning back to the board. "I understand. You're afraid that once you get your lips on my body, you'll be overwhelmed with passion and won't be able to stop. It's happened to me before. I guess it's just my curse to bear."

He stopped drawing and spun around to present the chemical compound in question with a flair that would put Vanna White to shame, and found both Nick and Sara squinting at the board and ignoring him completely.

"I got nothing," Nick said after a moment, looking sheepish. "Sara?"

"Long-chain synthetic polymer..." she mumbled, squinting a little harder.

Greg sighed. "I'll give you a hint, just this once." He drew a picture of old school Leisure Suit Larry on the board, complete with bling and martini glass.

"Man, is that... polyester?" Nick guessed hesitantly.

"Ding ding ding!" Greg said. "Polyethylene terephthalate. It's the most common polyester for fiber, so it's used in a lot of stuff. Yours? Came from a hose."

"A hose," Nick repeated, glancing at Sara. They did that silent-communication-epiphany thing that always made Greg feel left out because he never got to look at all the evidence, and he'd have to be smarter than Grissom to connect all the dots sight-unseen.

"Thanks, Greg," Sara said, smiling.

Greg took a bow. "It was my pleasure."

Sara nudged Nick with her elbow and smirked. "So about that kiss..."

"You gotta be kidding me, right?" Nick asked, forehead wrinkled and his hands on his hips.

Greg took that as his cue to make himself scarce with the GCMS, because when those two got competitive, no cute lab tech was safe. Archie was still traumatized from that one time with the surveillance tapes from that creepy murder/suicide at a Jack In The Box Greg had vowed never to eat at again.

"Well, you did win the game," Sara said, dry as the desert air. "It's only fair that you claim your prize."

"Right," Nick drawled. He glanced at Greg, and then said, impressively deadpan, "Maybe later."

Greg breathed a sigh of relief and waved at them as they left the lab. "Have fun storming the castle!"

His shift wasn't nearly as much fun after that. Warrick dropped off a woman's bloody clothing and a bunch of hair, some of them even with skin tags. Catherine brought him more used condoms than he'd seen since the last time he'd gone clubbing, which was so long ago he couldn't remember the month, and how sad was that?

"Kinda reminds you of college, huh?" Greg asked absentmindedly as he began processing the evidence.

Catherine's narrow eyebrows rose to previously unseen heights. "I only wish."

"Yeah. Um." He bent back over his microscope and she left with the sharp click of high-heels.

Two hours later, Grissom arrived bearing maggots. Many maggots.

Many pale, tiny, wriggly maggots Greg then had to hold down and slice open to get at their guts. He apologized to the first five, but after that he got bored and just wanted them all to die so he could go home at the end of his shift and watch his TiVo of Adult Swim.

After what seemed like an eternity of hairballs, spooge, and icky baby flies, he finally walked into the locker room, muttering, "Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects don't have politics."

"Hey, Greggo," Nick said, buttoning up his shirt.

"Hey," Greg said, averting his eyes from the pretty to undo his combination lock. Just as he got his locker open and his lab coat halfway down his arms, Nick's voice right behind him caused Greg to hop and turn like a demented elephant ballerina on too much Xanax.

"So..." Nick said, crowding Greg against his open locker.

His dark hair was wet and he smelled good, like soap and dryer sheets, and Greg couldn't move, so he just said, "Hi," and tried not to blush. He couldn't assume anything. It wasn't good to assume when you worked with CSIs, because maybe he'd accidentally dropped evidence on his shirt collar, or possibly he'd eaten Nick's last Hot Pocket on break and Nick could smell it on his breath, because he was staring at Greg's mouth with an intensity he usually reserved for crime scene evidence. "Nick?"

"It's later," Nick said, and kissed him. A warm press of lips followed immediately by tongue, Nick's hands on his face, tilting his head a little until they both made that little gasp and happy rumble that had Greg curling his fingers in Nick's belt loops, because that was all he could reach with his lab coat trapping his arms. Nick pressed their foreheads together when the kiss ended, and two heavy breaths later, Nick kissed him again, licking into his mouth and lingering there like he'd discovered that Greg's tongue was made of chocolate.

"So, um..." Greg said finally when the kissing stopped long enough for him to catch his breath. "Would it be presumptuous of me to invite you over for breakfast in bed with the caveat that you'd be breaking your fast on me?"

"No," Nick said after a moment. "Only I'm working a double."

"Oh," Greg said, and unhooked his fingers from Nick's belt loops.

"For the love of --" Nick snapped, leaning into Greg until the locker dug into his back. Nick thrust his thigh between Greg's legs, and there was a muffled clang of a kneecap hitting metal. Greg absently thought that it must have hurt, but Nick was fucking his mouth, and his body was warm and solid, and this so did not feel like the 'you're a great guy, but --' brush off he was used to.

"Oh," Greg said when Nick backed off and licked his lips.

"Yeah," Nick said.


Nick smiled. "Uh huh."

"Wow," he said again.

"You're speechless?" Nick asked, grinning. His smile lines made Greg's heart leap. "Man, I should have done this years ago."

"I am willing to be rendered speechless for the mental well-being of my coworkers," Greg said immediately. "For the record."

"Good to know," Nick said.

"At any time," Greg clarified.

Nick's eyes were back on his mouth. "Hmm."

"Am I distracting you?" Greg asked.

"Yeah," Nick said, his voice a little rough.

"Cool," Greg said.


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