Grasshoppers in Chocolate - 24/24
Fandom: CSI:Crime Scene Investigation
Category: Romance, Fluff
Series/Sequel: Breaking the Ice
Summary: The grasshopper becomes the master.
Warning: Slash, M/M
Disclaimers: I don´t own them but I love them dearly.
Feedback: Yes, please. It´s the icing on my cake.
Released: October 2009
Word Count: 2.924
It was his first day at the Las Vegas Crime Lab. The young man smiled, while he was looking at the building in front of him, a hypermodern complex, bright and shiny, made of glass and metall. Inside DNA tests were done in minutes today, but sadly, as fast were committed crimes. This Lab had an excellent reputation; it was the number one in the United States. Tom was impressed as well as intimidated. Would he fit in? Tom wondered, it wasn´t such a long time since he had graduated. He only had one year of experience. Would he fail? Nervously, he went through the main entrance. The security protocol cost him a couple of minutes. But then he was allowed to enter the sanctuary - the lab. Intrigued, he looked around. They had really fantastic equipment here, and people too, the best of the best.
"Excuse me," he addressed an older man with grayish hair and a blue work coat. "I´m looking for the office of Greg Sanders."
"Really, pretty boy?" The man eyed him mockingly. "Beware that he´s not looking for you."
"Never mind. Down there and then to the left. Just follow the noise." The man rushed on, chuckling about his private joke.
"Thank you!" Tom called after him, confused. "Strange people around here." A few moments later he knocked firmly at the door labeled, Greg Sanders, supervisor, to drown the extremely loud music roaring behind the glass walls.
The music stopped abruptly. "Come in," a friendly voice invited him.
This is it. He gulped once more and opened the door. "Hello, I´m the new lab tech, Tom Maxwell."
"Hello, Tom, I´ve been expecting you." The new boss had a very unfamiliar look for his age, his sandy hair was standing straight up including dyed stripes in blue, the colorful shirt he was wearing was something you had get used to as well. "Welcome to forensics."
"Take a seat." Mr. Sanders fetched a glass with strange looking things inside and offered it to him. "Grasshopper in chocolate?"
Tom blinked. "N-n-no."
"Come on. They taste great."
"I don´t think so."
His new boss laughed. "Me neither. Just a welcome joke."
Tom smiled shyly and inspected the office. It was cramped with particular strange stuff. A pig´s head in a glass, various coins in frames, a surfing board, a scuba diving suit, a chessboard, bunches of CD´s, a coffee machine surrounded by bags labeled Blue Hawaiian, and magazines, lots and lots of magazines. They flooded every place not occupied by anything else. The desk was decorated with a set of origami figures and a snapshot of Sanders and a much older man, riding a rollercoaster, screaming hysterically.
"Your father looks nice."
"That´s my boyfriend." Casually, Sanders put a grasshopper in his mouth and chewed it crunchingly.
"Oh." Tom blushed. "Sorry."
"No harm done."
"Is this a bug?" Tom asked hastily and pointed at one origami figure.
"An ant," Sanders explained friendly, and moved the conversation to more professional matters, telling Tom about the lab, the people working here, the procedure for handling the evidence.
Tom nodded from time to time, relaxing further and further. Having a boss who ate grasshoppers, wore blue hair, and was gay, was somehow comforting.
The door opened and a pretty blonde in Sanders´ age looked in. "Hey, Greg, do you need something? I noticed the silence."
"Perfect timing, Riley. This is Tom, our new guy in the lab. Would you like to show him around?"
"Sure. Come on, Tom. You´re lucky it´s me and not Hodges."
"Huh?" Tom stumbled to his feet.
"See you, Tom." Sanders turned the music back on.
"Thank you, sir!" Tom yelled over the deafening noise.
"We´re not that formal here, Tom," Riley told him, walking down the hallway. "Just call him Greg."
"That went well, don´t you think?" Greg addressed the framed snapshot at his desk. "He even called me sir." In the beat of the music, Greg continued to do his paperwork for an hour, until Hodges strolled in. Greg turned the music down but only a little.
"Pretty boy was already here, I assume?" He glanced at the glass. "Did he take your offer?"
"Stop being a pain in the ass."
"That´s like asking me to stop being the best man in the lab."
Greg rolled his eyes. "Doesn´t it hurt to be that arrogant?"
"No." Hodges slumped into the chair in front of the desk. "Is the bug man coming to go out celebrating with you?"
"Ready to Rock'N'Roll, Greggo?"
"You can bet, David." Greg pointed at the glass pane behind Hodges.
Gil stood outside and signed: Black Flag at this level? Are you nuts?
Hey, babe, are you ready to party? Greg signed back.
Gil entered the office. "The lab appears empty. Where is everyone?"
"Somewhere." Greg shrugged. "I think."
"Very mature," Gil replied laconically. "Hey, David."
"I hate when you´re signing," David notified, pouting. "I don´t understand a thing."
"That´s the whole point, isn´t it?" Gil patted his shoulder.
David laughed good-heartedly. He always liked for Gil to visit. He missed the man a lot.
Gil shut the music off. "Sorry, Greg, but I´m not feeling that well. Let´s celebrate at home, okay?"
Greg grinned. "No problem, Gris. It´s even better to celebrate in private, giving me the opportunity to make you squeal properly in thought of the event."
"Let´s see who will be the one squealing," Gil replied smoothly.
"Have mercy," David groaned but with a smile.
The two scientists walked down the hallway.
Gil noticed Riley and Tom in one of the lab rooms. "I see you hired a new man."
"We are swamped with murder cases."
Gil nodded. "He looks nice..."
"Yeah," Greg agreed lightly.
"...and way too young to have any experience," Gil complained as usual.
"You said that about me, too," Greg wisely remembered.
"How did you know...?" Gil said, stunned.
"I overheard you and Catherine."
Gil shook his head, disbelieving. "You chased after me right from the start, did you?"
Tom turned his attention from Riley to the two men walking by. He recognized the older man from the picture on Sanders´ desk. His new boss laughed cheerfully. "Is this Greg´s boyfriend?" Tom wondered.
Riley nodded. "Gil Grissom, our former supervisor. He´s retired."
"He was Greg´s boss?"
"Yeah, and they are very much in love, so don´t get any ideas."
Tom blushed. "I´m not gay."
"Really? The girls around will be very glad to hear that."
"How was your first day as the boss?" Gil fastened his seat belt.
"All things considered good. No disasters so far." Greg pulled out of the parking lot. "Where have you been today?"
"I see." Compassionate, Greg patted Gil´s hand. "It´s unbelievable it has been fifteen years."
"It is - but I still miss him a lot."
"Me too." Greg sighed. "I miss all of our friends."
Gil fetched his cell. "That reminds me. Nick sent a message. Shall I read it to you?"
How are you?
Celebrating, I assume?
Congratulations, Greg. I always knew you could make it.
We are fine. Today, we bought a new house. It´s perfect. Sara is very excited to make it our home.
We have two bedrooms now, which is good, because Daniel is growing so fast and makes a lot of trouble.
He reminds me of you, Greg.
Gil interrupted the reading. "Mmh? Who actually is Daniel´s father?"
"Rather me than you," Greg countered back, amused. They only made that joke in private of course. Sara´s happiness with Nick was too fragile to tease her in this matter.
Gil continued reading.
Sorry, we couldn´t make it for the big event, but we have too much work on our hands at the moment,
and you know, Sara wouldn´t leave any unfinished business.
We hope to see you soon.
"Good for them," Greg said in honest joy.
"Yes," Gil agreed, and put his cell away. "At home, you´ll find a bunch of messages and greetings. I printed them out for you."
"Is one from Michael?"
"Yes, he´s doing fine. He´s new boyfriend makes him happy."
For a few moments, they went silent, both lost in thought about the past, about how their life had turned out, and the future lying ahead.
"Isn´t it sad we never had a child like Daniel?" Gil reflected, having the blues. "That we are the last of our families?"
"Sometimes. But not as sad as a life without you would have been." Fondly, he rubbed Gil´s knee. "Also, we can do whatever we want wherever we want - like a quickie in the car?"
"Sadly, I´m pretty tired." Gil sighed. "Maybe I´m getting too old for you."
"Nonsense. Just... relax. At home I´ll make you feel younger than ever."
Gil smiled. "Silly boy." Years had gone by since Greg had stopped complaining to be called a boy by Gil, had accepted it as a particular term of endearment.
They arrived at home, a beautiful, two-storied house in the suburban´s of Las Vegas, which they had bought by Gil´s retirement, and had become their comfy haven since.
Greg swung the door open and switched the light on.
"Surprise!!!" A bunch of people, who had hidden behind the furniture, jumped up. Greg stumbled a step back, recognizing Catherine, Jim, Dr. Robbins, Riley, Dennis and David Phillips. They cheered and hugged him one by one.
Gil laughed with glee. "We got you, didn´t we?" He enjoyed seeing his love completely baffled on this important day. He had planned the surprise for a long time, hiding the arrangements until the final second.
"Still the secret keeper, are you, Gil?" Greg teased, overwhelmed.
"Naturally," Gil agreed. "It wasn´t that hard to keep, having you busy with becoming supervisor."
Their friends chatted all in a tumble, making a lot of noise, starting to party.
Just now, Greg noticed a guest, he hadn´t expected at all. "Dr. Gerard! You here?"
The very old man in a wheelchair smiled weakly. It was obvious he hadn´t much strength left. "I hope you don´t push me out into the night."
"No, of course not. It´s an honor. I´m just surprised that Gil had..."
"There was nothing to forgive," Gil interfered softly. "You did your job as I did mine."
A rosy glimmer graced the paper-thin cheeks. "I couldn´t have said it better."
"Certainly not. I was your best student, remember?" Gil turned to the bar. "Drinks all around!"
"Only orange juice for me," Jim said and nobody lost a word about it. Since he had gotten involved again, he had stayed sober.
Catherine kissed Jim on the cheek. Ecklie´s retirement and her move to the dayshift had triggered a change in their relationship in the most mysterious ways.
Greg leaned into Gil. "Don´t you think it´s still a miracle that these two are a couple?"
"Compared to us or the world?" Gil whispered back, repressing a smile.
"Stop gossiping," Catherine advised them kindly. "Rather start opening your presents."
"Presents!" Greg rushed to the table of boxes and ripped the first one open. "A first edition of Edgar Allan Poe´s The Tell-Tale Heart. Wow!"
Gil read the attached card. "Bugs made them do it. Funny, Catherine. Your idea?"
"In remembrance of you and Greg going to this entomology convention in San Francisco..."
Greg giggled. "We did it much earlier."
"Will you shut up." Gil glared at him.
"It was never the bug´s fault. Nick helped me change the reservations for the hotel in San Francisco which caused the room trouble."
"I know," Gil threw in.
"What? Since when?"
"The day before our trip."
"The whole time I felt guilty because I thought I played you!"
"Who told you?"
"Hodges. He overheard you and Nick."
Greg snorted. "The man is a pain in the ass."
"As far as it isn´t yours."
"Just kidding." Gil hugged him lightly.
Greg grabbed a couple of cheese appetizers off a plate and threw them playfully into the air.
"Weren´t you the one I saw with the dice in the Havilland murder case?" Gerard addressed Greg, just now recalling a memory that had been buried in his mind for a long time.
Gil was perfectly puzzled. "What do you mean?"
Greg blushed. Jeez! I´m almost fifty years old. "You remember that? After all those years?"
Gerard smiled smugly. "Certainly I remember. I just rushed into the lab that day, angry and annoyed, eager to find something to get into Gil´s way, and there you were, messing with the evidence."
"But why... why didn´t you use my mistake to your advantage?"
"I always liked Gil. I didn´t want to hurt him personally, only professionally. Shortly after this I observed you and Gil together and I - well - I just knew."
"You knew what?" Gil croaked, bewildered.
"That he meant more to you than any other lab boy."
Their friends listened fascinated.
"That´s why I couldn´t do it," Gerard concluded wisely.
"Thank you," Greg said simply.
Gil glared at him. "What did you do?"
"I threw a couple of dice. That´s it."
"That´s it?" Gil complained, slightly irritated. "Were you out of your mind? You could have ruined everything!"
"This happened twenty years ago!" Greg snapped back. "Did you forget I helped you solving this particular case by having all those magazines about Tom Havilland?"
Gerard raised a mocking eyebrow at Gil. "I see. You wouldn´t have stood a chance without him, huh?"
"I admit I was a silly lab boy in those days. I did a lot of stupid things," Greg confessed honestly.
"Like?" Gil asked, amused by his statement.
"Messing up in the field, telling Sara first, dancing around with evidence on my head..."
"I saw that." Gil softened.
"...putting markers up my nose, letting you drink my coffee, sending you silly code messages, rocking in the lab. All that only to make you notice me."
"I always noticed you." Gil put a tender kiss on his lips. "I still do."
Greg grinned and turned to their silent guests. "Hey, this is a party, isn´t it? Why the long faces?"
They burst out laughing and started chatting again. David Phillips put some music on. Greg and Gil continued to open the boxes. A lot of silly knickknacks were unwrapped. It was fun, though.
"Can I have this dance?" Dennis approached Greg.
"Couldn´t you have brought your own boyfriend?" Gil shook his head in feigning outrage. "He´s taken."
"Says who?" Dennis joked with a wink in his eye.
Greg laughed and took him by the hand. "Come on. Don´t listen to this silly old man."
"Hey!" Gil backfired. "I´ll show you who is old... and silly."
Gerard chuckled. "Please, don´t go there." For a while he and Gil watched the younger generation dancing to something which they called music.
"Did he really do all these things?" Gerard asked doubtfully.
"Oh yes," Gil stated. "They are only the tip of the iceberg."
"It´s a miracle he became supervisor."
"You don´t say."
"He had a good teacher, hadn´t he?"
"I had a good teacher," Gil returned the compliment. Satisfied, he watched his love dancing along until a loud hammering at the door interrupted them. Being a good host, Greg rushed to the door and tore it open. Wendy and David Hodges beamed at him.
"Sorry," Wendy said, "we couldn´t find a sitter."
"I don´t think you´re invited," Greg joked, addressing mainly Hodges.
Hodges turned to Wendy. "I told you so."
Wendy gave him a push. "Get in."
Greg hugged her. "How do you bear up with this guy?"
"I honestly don´t know," she replied, rolling her eyes.
"It´s my kissing skills," Hodges remarked dryly.
"That´s it," she granted generously.
Greg led them to the bar, providing them with drinks, before they came over to the table, wich was flooded with empty boxes and wrapping paper.
David handed Gil a colorful envelope. "I found this in front of your door."
Gil ripped the letter open. Inside was a card with Office Love printed on the front. Only one sentence was written on the inside.
"After all your judgment was objective," Gil read, amused.
"Who´s it from?" David wondered.
"A secret admirer."
Their friends had left. The house breathed in soothing silence. Only they remained to make a lot of noise.
"That was one of the best days ever," Greg honored in the privacy of their bedroom.
"Nothing is too much for my grasshopper."
Greg licked his lips lasciviously. "Shall I fetch the chocolate?"
"Is that a dare?"
Slowly, they did all the things they liked and enjoyed, and which they had perfected over the years, making this day end even better.
"I´m impressed," Gil mumbled at last.
"That´s what I wanted to hear for twenty-five years."
Gil put his shorts on and went to the bathroom.
Greg snuggled into the cushions and listened to the water running. "Did I really impress you?"
"You still do." Gil came back with shorts bulging in the front.
"Not bad for an old man," Greg cheered and slid his hand inside the shorts. "But... what... what is this?" He pulled a piece of paper out.
"My gift for you."
Greg glowed. "What is it?"
Greg tore the envelope open and found two tickets. He blinked in utter amazement. "A romantic holiday in Hawaii."
"I hope you like...."
"What don´t you know!"