Broken Pieces - 22/24
Fandom: CSI:Crime Scene Investigation
Category: Romance, Angst
Series/Sequel: Breaking the Ice
Summary: Love is complicated....
Warning: Slash, M/M
Disclaimer: I don´t own them but I love them dearly.
Feedback: Yes, please. It´s the icing on my cake.
Released: October 2007
Word Count: 3.703
Note: For the man I always loved...too much.
Gil was watching Greg sleep. Beaten Greg. Burnt Greg. Suffering Greg. Seeing him like this made his heart ache with pain. It wasn´t fair. Why had it to be him? Always him. Greg didn´t deserve this. You´re a big boy, Greg. You don´t need a wingman for this. His words were ringing in his ears like an echo. What was I thinking? If Greg would have died I would have gone mad. If it had happened because I sent him out there...Not Greg, dear God. Not my sweet, cheerful boy. I could never stand it. But for now his boy was safe. Traumatized but safe. Gil sighed and took Greg´s hand to put a soft kiss on its palm. At once a terrible image flashed through Gil´s mind. Greg buried in a coffin. Dead. The image vanished as quickly as it had haunted him but Gil shivered fiercely. Greg could die tomorrow. He could be taken from me every moment. Nobody knows those things. Don´t waste any more time. Don´t keep him away from you.
He didn´t notice that Sara had come in until she cleared her throat. "Hey."
In a hurry, Gil let go of Greg´s hand. "Sara."
"How is he?"
"Better, I think." Jesus, is this me, sounding like a whimpering girl?
"Good," she said coldly. "Are you coming?"
"Uh...no...later maybe...I just came here...," he lied.
"Okay." She smiled sadly and left.
He knew that she knew he was lying. Why didn´t I tell her? I´m so stupid. I´m a fucking coward. I proved it more than once...
Greg woke up and stared at him with big, weepy eyes.
Gil held himself back from taking him into his arms. "Hey. How are you?"
"Okay," Greg sniffed.
"Is your family coming to visit soon?"
"No. I told you my mom will freak if she´d ever find out..."
"Don´t you think...," Gil started but didn´t finish. It´s not my business. He´s not mine. Not anymore.
He grabbed for Gil´s hand as if it were a lifeline. "I was so scared...and I..."
It really got to him. He´s still in fear. Softly, he squeezed Greg´s hand because he couldn´t think of anything to say.
"...I was all alone," Greg whispered huskily.
Yes, because I sent you there without any backup. I sent you to this... "I´m so sorry. It´s my fault. I shouldn´t have sent you out there all by yourself." A kiss would have been better than this silly chitchat.
"Why did you?"
"Ah...I thought there isn´t any danger. Just routine." One healing kiss...
"Would you have send Sara all by herself as well?"
"Greg..." The question stunned Gil to the core. "That´s completely silly. I..."
"Am I interrupting a moment?"
Gil´s head jerked around.
Michael stood in the doorway, smiling charmingly.
Greg blinked away his tears. "No. I´m glad you´re here. I need a friend."
"No problem, Greggo. I´m your man."
"I have to go anyway." Gil stumbled to his feet. "There is some important matter at the lab I need to take care of."
Michael walked into the room and waved nonchalantly at Gil. "See you later, boss."
Greggo. He called him Greggo. I don´t like him calling him Greggo. Neither Greg nor Michael paid attention to him leaving. They had only eyes for each other. Michael took Gil´s place at the bedside and kissed Greg on the cheek.
Gil had seen enough. He fled and jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. In the hallway, he bumped into Alan Davies.
"Hello, Gil," Greg´s ex-boyfriend greeted him exceptionally politely. "How nice of you to look after Greg."
"It was only natural," Gil declared icily. "Greg works for me."
"I´m aware of it." Alan´s eyes were as cold as Gil´s voice. "How is my pretty boy?"
"Ah...fine...his friend Michael is with him right now," Gil notified, perplexed. This man was able to annoy him by just being...present. Stop it. Jealousy won´t get you anywhere.
"So, he is in good hands. A handsome man this Michael." Alan patted Gil´s shoulder.
Gil winced back from him. "Very. I need to go."
Alan nodded. "Greg told me work is most important to you." His cold eyes made fun of Gil.
"Exactly." Gil continued his flight despite the urge to teach Alan and Michael a lesson. Greg is mine. Mine. I tried to stay away from him...I really tried but...uh...seeing him so vulnerable made me realize...how important he is to me...more important than work...more important than anything or anyone...yes...life without Greg is safe. It doesn´t hurt. It´s comfortable. Secure. Not like the permanent sensations I feel by being with Greg. Passion. Confusion. Pain. Life with Greg is unpredictable. A steady excitement...but being without him is like being dead inside...
At the lab he didn´t get any rest. As he walked into his office, his sanctuary, he found Hodges sitting at the desk, leafing through important files. Gil groaned. "What do you..."
"Hey, boss. How is our pretty boy?"
"Huh?" Gil asked, dumbfounded, because Hodges had used the exact same words as Alan. Is every man thinking of him in this way?
"Sanders. How is he?"
"Better. Michael and Alan are visiting him."
"Oh, that´s why you look so distracted," Hodges smirked.
"Go back to work." Gil glared at him.
But Hodges came around the desk and got closer instead. "Don´t worry. Sanders is yours only," he whispered close to Gil´s ear.
Gil stepped back, blinking rapidly. "Get out or I will...."
"I´m curious. What would you do to me...."
Not in the slightest intimidated, Hodges strolled casually into the hallway. "By the way - everybody knows and yet it´s a secret. Amazing, isn´t it?"
Gil shut the door with a bang. "Brass was right...everybody knows...this is a disaster...," he murmured, distressed. The gossip won´t get any better when I get back with Greg. If I get back with him. What if I´m not able to win him back? What if he doesn´t want me back? My behavior was unforgivable for a very long time. Do I have the courage to have my heart broken by him rejecting me...forevermore... Surely, he couldn´t answer that question without even trying.
Hours later, he had fallen asleep at his desk. But it was no sleep of rest. A dream haunted him. A dream of Greg - lying with a waxen face in a coffin. Suddenly he opened his eyes and started to talk. "I´m a big boy now. I don´t need you. I don´t need anyone." Blood streamed out of his eyes and filled the coffin in no time. Gil jerked awake, panting briskly. Drops of sweat were covering his face. He wiped them away only to find Sara sitting in the chair in front of his desk.
"You were having a nightmare."
"This is for you." She handed him a letter.
"You should go back to the hospital."
"What are you talking about?"
"In your sleep you were saying his name."
"Sara..." His voice died. If she didn´t know before she certainly knew now.
"Did you ever intend to tell me?"
"I just didn´t find the right time..."
"There is never a right time for something like this."
Her eyes filled with tears. "You never said a word although you knew how I feel about you. You kept me out of the loop..."
"I´m so sorry."
"Do you love him?"
"I think so."
"He is a good guy," she breathed through her teeth.
Her understanding stunned him. "Yes."
"I try to forgive you - some day."
"I don´t deserve your forgiveness."
"I know but I love you, Gil. No matter what." One tear ran down her cheek.
"I don´t deserve your love," Gil stated unhappily.
"I know that too. But love doesn´t ask for those things." For twenty minutes they sat in silence. Eventually, Sara dried her tears. Gil comforted her by just being close...for now. Lab workers who passed by had the impression they had forgotten about the world outside the office.
Some time passed. Greg was released from the hospital. His wounds started to heal but still showed in his face. Life went on anyway. Crimes didn´t just stop to happen to let a man fully recover. As well as they didn´t wait for another man to solve his own personal puzzle. One night, as it was exceptionally slow in the lab, the team was lingering in the break room, eating, drinking or reading. Nobody talked. Even Hodges, who lolled in a corner, haven´t said a word for about five minutes, but only for the reason he was busy watching them all.
"A got an invitation to an entomology convention this weekend in San Francisco," Gil disturbed the silence unexpectedly.
"Have fun," Catherine joked dryly.
Gil raised one eyebrow. "How do you know I decided to go?"
"By just knowing you."
He had to smile. "Well, I plan to take someone with me." Finally he had the attention of the whole team. Well, almost. Everybody but Greg was looking at him. The youngest CSI kept reading his forensic journal and chewing on his sandwich.
"Yeah?" His mouth full, he blinked at Gil.
"Are you ready to learn a new lesson?" Gil nibbled on his glasses.
"What?" Greg snapped, not very friendly. The former fun maker lacked humor frequently in those days. No jokes, no music, no nothing beyond work. This had nothing to do with the incident of almost been beaten to death. It was known by many people that it had started earlier. Some of them even knew what had been the trigger. But those people kept it to themselves. It wasn´t their business to make it public.
"I want you to accompany me to San Francisco to improve your skills," Gil briefed him.
Greg dropped the journal on the table. "I don´t wanna come."
"I´m still not well enough."
"You are back to work, are you not?" Gil frowned.
"This is not open for a discussion. That´s an order."
Greg closed his journal and collected his things. "I see. Can I go?"
"Sure." Gil watched him leave. He didn´t dare to look at the others.
Nick pushed his chair back. "Excuse me." He ran after Greg.
Catherine drummed her fingers on the table. "Is there something you want to order us as well?"
"No," Gil barked at her.
"Fine." She smiled and continued to leaf through a pile of papers. Warrick put his nose back into his report. Sara just chewed her sandwich without deigning to look at anyone.
"It´s good to know those bastards weren´t able to break Greg´s spirit," Hodges threw casually in. "I think, he grew up after all. Now it´s your turn." He winked at Gil. Catherine´s smile widened. Gil hated her for that. But he couldn´t think of anything to say. Again he sought refuge in flight, certain that as soon as he was gone they would start gossiping. He couldn´t blame them. Strangely enough, he didn´t care anymore. Even the thought of Ecklie finding out everything didn´t bother him. That was behind him. Now only winning Greg back mattered.
Nick caught up with Greg. "Hey buddy! What´s up?"
"Come on. Let´s have a drink and just talk. I know something is going on with you."
"Oh yeah? I don´t know if you´ve noticed but I was almost beaten to death recently."
Nick shook his head. "There is something else."
Greg faltered. "I want to be left alone."
"Nonsense. Let´s go." He put an arm around his shoulders and surprisingly Greg gave in.
Only a few minutes later they sat in a cafeteria. Greg played with the salt-shaker. Nick sipped from his coke. "What´s going on in your life?" he asked, trying to break the ice.
Greg shrugged. "Not much."
"Are you unhappy?"
Greg raised his head. His face was a grimace of pain. "I lied to you, Nick."
"In what way?"
"You were right. I have a big crush on Grissom."
Nick smiled benignly. "I know."
"I´m terribly in love with Grissom."
Nick grinned. "My home is my castle. Did you think you can make out in my kitchen and I didn´t know?"
"Oh." Greg blushed but only slightly. He was beyond being embarrassed about who he loved or not. "I told Gil I heard something."
Nick laughed. "Now that we come clean tell me what´s bothering you? Doesn´t Grissom approve of you anymore?"
Greg took a deep breath. "It´s not that simple. I...I...broke up with him but...but...I...I want him back." Only now his face became crimson with shame. I´m weak. I´ll never learn my lesson. How can I want a man back who hurt me that much? How can I be so pathetic?
Nick pulled the salt-shaker from Greg´s trembling hands. "That´s easy."
Greg lolled on his sofa. One suitcase stood in front of it.
Alan walked into the room. "Greg?"
Greg´s eyes were open but he didn´t seem to notice anything that was going on around him. He seemed to be on another planet.
"Are you planning to go back to him?" Alan launched himself next to Greg.
"No." Greg stretched and yawned. "Are you crazy?"
"Are you fucking him again?"
"Of course not."
"Do you still love him?"
Greg bit his lips.
"Oh, Greg," Alan sighed. "Don´t you think you suffered enough?"
"Look who´s talking."
Greg put his face on Alan´s shoulder. "Don´t worry. It´s only one weekend. I´ll stay out of his way as much as possible. Besides, he´ll be distracted by his beloved bugs anyway."
Alan laughed and kissed his lips.
Greg pulled back. "Don´t."
Alan shrugged. "Was worth a try." He reached for the remote control and switched the TV on.
The few hours on the plane were like a silent movie. Greg looked out of the window the whole time and Gil read his book. They only nodded in response to the attendant´s questions. They kept this up until they arrived in the lobby of the hotel.
"How can I help you?" the concierge welcomed them.
"I reserved two rooms. The name is Grissom."
The employee tipped the info into the computer. "Sorry, sir, but I found only the reservation for one room under the name of Grissom."
"There must be a mistake. I ordered two rooms." Gil read the name on the small plate attached to the employee´s jacket. John Plain
"Well, just give us another room."
"We are booked out. The convention..." Plain emphasized with a sorrowful face.
"Right." Gil looked at Greg who looked quickly away. Why has it to be now for such a stupid thing to happen?
"If I may give you an advice, sir, the room has a double bed," Plain continued eagerly. "It will be comfortable enough for two people."
Again, Gil gave Greg a quick glance.
But Greg hung his head. Two flecks of red shone brightly on his cheeks.
Well... "Ermh...alright," Gil agreed with Plain. He signed the papers, collected the key-cards and walked with Greg to the lifts.
"I won´t sleeping in that bed with you," Greg growled.
"You planned this," Greg accused him, his eyes a fierce brown.
"No. What do you think of me? I´d never..." The lift doors opened. They stepped in. Other people joined them. Their argument stopped at once. It was a very small room. The lift stopped at every floor. More and more people stepped inside. It got crowded. The air became damp. Gil felt like fainting. He tried to focus on...on...but the closeness of outraged Greg was at the moment more than he could bear. Finally they arrived at floor ten. As soon as the doors slid open, Greg jumped outside. Gil followed him quickly.
In their room, Greg threw his bag on the bed and ran out before Gil could even think to say something. Gil sighed and walked to the bathroom to freshen up. He knew it was no use to try to talk to Greg at the moment. Let him calm down first. The weekend just began. Half an hour later, he strolled through the lobby, looking for familiar faces. The announcements on the board for the various lectures didn´t catch his attention. His mind was filled with Greg. His love for Greg had driven out his love for bugs. This was definitely a first. Here and there someone said Hi and he smiled vaguely back at them. Actually he was only down here to look for Greg.
"Hey there, Gil!"
He turned around and saw a man he wasn´t looking for. Carl Morris, an old-school scientist and also a good friend of his mother.
"Hello....Nice to see you."
The corpulent man with the red face laughed heartily. "Liar. You look quite shocked."
"Nonsense, Carl. I´m just surprised to find you here."
Out of nothing, Greg rushed between them. "Give me a key-card," he urged Gil angrily. "You got both of them."
"Hey, Greg. This is Carl, an old friend of mine." He drew the card out of his pocket.
"Since when is this my concern," Greg snapped and grabbed the card off Gil´s hand.
"Just a second..." Gil started, but Greg was already gone.
"Nice fellow," Carl joked with a twinkle in his eye.
"He is. Today he is just in a bad mood."
"Strong resemblance to Mark," Carl continued with a smug expression.
"Really? I never noticed," Gil replied uncomfortably.
"Sure you have." Carl patted his back. "Your mother will be happy that you found someone again."
"Don´t you dare and tell her about Greg."
"So, he is your boyfriend."
"I don´t want to talk about it..." Gil turned away from him.
Carl held him back by grabbing his arm. "I´m sorry. Don´t walk away like that. Let´s have a drink and talk."
Gil shook his head resolutely. "I don´t think so, Carl."
"No about you. Just talk...about...the old times...okay?" Softly, he pulled him by the arm and Gil let Carl drag him away. Honestly, he was in need to talk to someone. Someone who was not working at the lab. Someone who knew nothing about Greg or Sara or anyone else there.
When he entered the hotel room hours later, he felt a lot better. It was after midnight. He switched on the light and found Greg lying with a blanket on the sofa. His eyes were closed. The bed was untouched. Gil made a face, switched the light off and walked into the bathroom. When he came out again the lamp by the sofa was switched on. Greg gazed at him in blazing fury.
Gil stripped his clothes off. "Are you okay?"
"Hell, no. I´m not okay. Where have you been?"
"Having a drink with Carl." In his shorts, he slipped into bed. "I didn´t think you would miss me."
"I didn´t miss you. I was just...concerned."
That´s a start. "Come to bed. Here is plenty of room."
"I like to sleep on the sofa."
"Don´t be silly."
Greg switched the light off.
"It wasn´t my intention to put you in this situation."
"I don´t care."
"We need to talk."
"We have been over for a long time," Greg snapped. "Just leave me alone."
"I need to say I´m sorry."
"For what? Treating me like an unsuitable dog. Choosing to find someone who is better suited to be seen with you than I am? Trying to get back with me because you didn´t find another fuck-buddy?" Greg yelled the last words.
"I´m no consolation prize!"
"I never thought so. I know it´s my fault, my fault alone. I was a coward. I didn´t dare to tell the world who I want."
Greg sniffed loudly.
Gil left the bed and walked over to him. "I hope it´s not too late to fix this."
"You can´t fix this. You broke my heart. You´re like Alan."
"I´m nothing like Alan," Gil flustered. "I never cheated on you."
"What about Mark?"
"Mark is dead."
Greg breathed harshly.
Gil bent down. "Greg..."
Greg hit him.
"Ouch!" Gil took the punch against his shoulder without defending himself. His passivity didn´t make it better.
Greg hit him again. Harder. And again.
Gil did nothing. He took all the punches without complaint. He thought he deserved them.
Greg slapped Gil in the face.
"Enough!" Gil grabbed Greg by the hands. They wrestled. Gil got on top and pinned Greg down.
"Let me go!"
"No way," Gil panted. "You started this and now you have to take the consequences."
"Don´t." Greg struggled fiercely but it was in vain.
Gil planted a passionate kiss on his neck.
"No," Greg moaned.
But Gil didn´t stop and kissed him on the lips. It was a hard kiss, possessive and brutal. A bad kiss.
Greg fought harder. Several times he punched Gil in the ribs.
"Ouch!" Gil cried out and let go of him.
"Don´t you dare!" Greg foamed with rage and pushed him off. "Not again! Not anymore! You´ll never change, do you? You think you can butter me up by fucking me. That´s not gonna happen. I´m not your boy toy anymore. I grew up after all. Do you understand?" Greg screamed on the top of his lungs while tears were floating his eyes.
Gil kneeled in front of him. "That wasn´t my intention. I was just horny. I wanted to make love to you. I didn´t want to hurt you." His voice was hoarse. He was on the verge of tears himself. "Sorry. Stupid of me."
Both men fell silent. The air was filled with despair. The darkness enclosed them like a heavy burden. It seemed they had fallen into a black hole unable to crawl back to light.
Gil made the first move and retreated to the bed where he covered himself fully under the blanket. He was deeply ashamed. There. I fucked it up. Again. I´m truly the biggest failure when it comes to relationships.
"Why should I trust you again?" Greg whispered finally obliging.
"Because I´ll tell you something I´d never said before."
"What´s that supposed to be?"
"I love you."