Crushed - 7/24

Author: Daniela
Fandom: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Pairing: Greg/Grissom
Rating: PG
Category: Angst, Romance
Series/Sequel: Breaking the Ice
Disclaimer: I don't own them, but I love them dearly.
Summary: Grissom pays Greg a visit at the hospital.
Warning: Spoiler for "Play with fire", Pre - Slash
Feedback: Yes, please. It's the icing on my cake.
Word Count: 1165
Released: July 2003
Revised: February 2021
Beta: Isha

Even though Gil was exhausted, he didn't feel in the mood to drive home just yet. He didn't want to be alone, hence he drove to the hospital to pay Greg a visit. Usually, he steered clear off such a cheerless place due to upsetting memories. Right. The smell was as always sickening, the clinical walls chilling. Pull yourself together. This is not about you or Mark. He stopped at the desk of the trauma department to ask the nurse in charge about Greg's condition.

"He is stable, but needs to rest," the bleary-eyed nurse said, yet she allowed him to go in for a short visit.

Gil didn't knock but slipped quietly into the dim room. As expected, Greg was asleep. He sat down on the chair at the bedside anyway. What now? A session in looking at a young guy sleeping off recent trauma. Sorting out my feelings. Making a move after all. Seriously? What am I up to?

Greg was breathing deeply. No trace of any injury scarred the left side of his endearing face. On the right side were a few first-degree burns. By chance most of the damage had been done to his back. That's why he was resting on his right side.

For heaven's sake. He could have died. He could have been ripped from life not even having left the damn lab. Antsy, Gil put his glasses off and cleaned them. Sure. Yet there's no need to check Greg's condition personally, is it? So, what's the point of watching him sleep? Yeah. None whatsoever. Still. Not the worst amusement to idle time away. Greg's hair was more out of place than usual, what was making him look incredibly adorable. A needle stuck in his right arm and his hand was bent in a crooked way to his chest. He looked like a broken prankster. God. Troubled by his strong emotions Gil considered leaving, but frankly, he was too tired to get up right away.

The last few days had been exceedingly hard. The explosion in the lab and Catherine's involvement, the handling of the messed-up cases, director Robert Cavallo's attitude and Sara. Right. Sara's coming on to him. Oh hell! I don't know what to do about her. Shun her? Tell her the truth? Sorry, but I'm not into you. Why not, Grissom? I thought we had a connection. Well, we do, but I'm more into men. Sure. He could imagine Sara's shocked face. He was certain she wouldn't tell anybody but rather quit the lab and Las Vegas for good instead.

"No, please... the fire... too hot..." Greg moaned and shifted in his sleep.

Seeing Greg suffer made Gil feel miserable and he didn't like to feel this way. Shortly after the explosion, he had been worried sick about Greg. He couldn't remember the simplest things he had done in the hours after the disaster. He couldn't focus. Only because Greg was hurt. That wasn't good. Not now. Not after all those years of loneliness. Not because of a guy like Greg. No one was more unsuitable, right?

"Still hot..." Greg's eyelids fluttered open. He peered at his visitor open-mouthed and frowned. "Uh... hey you... some water, please..."

"Coming right up!" Gil fetched the pitcher and filled the mug on the nightstand. "It's Grissom by the way."

Greg blinked. "Grissom! What are you doing here?" He seized the mug and gulped the water down. A few drops were running from the corners of his mouth to his chin.

"Checking on you. I'm on my way home."

"Oh, right. Can't you stay just for a bit?" Greg's brown eyes were begging for sympathy. A drop of water was clinging to his chin. "I had a bad dream."

"Okay, fine, but just for a bit. You need to rest."

"I'm sorry," Greg croaked, clutching the mug like an anchor.

"Huh? What for?" Don't get soft and wipe that drop off. Don't you dare.

"For all the trouble I caused."

"Don't be silly. Nothing was your fault."

"Yeah. Catherine told me."

"She was worried sick about you. The whole team was worried."

"Were you worried too?" Greg bit his lip. The drop of water fell off his quivering chin and went missing in the blanket.

"Why, yes. My best chemist is injured and now I have to deal with Hodges," Gil quipped, wiping his glasses once more, though he knew the lenses were perfectly clean already.

"Sorry. That's a bitch." Greg smiled; his eyes were shining.

Gil couldn't help but smile back.

Greg's heart skipped a beat. Jeez! Don't even. He's your boss! He's Gil Grissom. Get him out of your system. He's not into you. He's just this nice because you're in a hospital.

The silence spread for some time. Greg was chewing on his lower lip; Grissom was staring at his hands. Greg didn't know if it was the fault of the strange circumstances or the pain killers or Grissom's good mood, why he had the courage to do what had to be done. The question he had chickened out of that day weeks ago. "Can I ask you something personal?"

Grissom shrugged. "Sure. Go on."

Gee! Grissom is in good spirits. "Are you losing your hearing?"

Grissom put his neat and clean glasses on and stared at him.

Oops! Greg nuzzled the puffy hospital pillow. "Sorry. I shouldn't have asked. It's none of my business."

Grissom exhaled. "It's alright. Well... it's true. I'm losing my hearing."

Oh shit! "How come?"

"It's the same disease my mother has. It's genetic."

"That's awful. I'm so sorry."

"I appreciate your compassion but promise me you won't tell anyone else. Nobody knows... at least that's what I thought. How did you figure it out?"

"I'm a good observer." Shut up, idiot!

"Curious." Gil raised an eyebrow. "That you manage the spare time to observe anyone."

"Uh... well... I was always able to multitask," Greg murmured, then blushed charmingly.

Gil leaned forward and saved the mug from tipping over the edge of the bed. Maybe Greg hasn't fallen for Nick after all. Maybe I've been blind. Maybe I shouldn't have come here. Yeah. There's no fool like an old fool.

"Oh, I'm beat..." Greg pulled up his blanket and yawned.

Dear boy. Don't tempt me. "You need rest. I'll leave."

"No. Please stay. Just until I fall asleep."

"What for?"

"I feel better with you by my side."

Hey. Slow down, goofball. Gil tried to catch Greg's expression, but he had already closed his eyes.

He went on talking though. "Thank you for coming by. It means a lot to me."

"Don't mention it. Everybody else will pay you a visit as well."

"I don't favor everybody," Greg babbled, already drifting off to sleep.

That's the painkillers talking, right? Gil marveled, hanging around longer as agreed upon. "Oh boy, you will cause me trouble," he confessed to the spotless white walls. I knew this place would give me a headache. "Tremendous trouble."

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