Archie and Nick are dealing with the after effects of "Grave Danger".
Deep In My Soul Chapter 01
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters nor do I know the actors portraying them. Author's note: I do not mean to apply Nick or Archie are gay, I just suddenly had this story in my head and thought to write it done. Again: if you do not like homosexual stories then please do not read this. Also keep in mind that I've never written anything like this before so it might be full of things that are incapable in ‘real' life but just bare with me; it is fiction after all. Author's note 2: I do not know what kind of glasses Archie uses, but in my story he need glasses to read not for distance.
Begun at: 1 January 2007
Ended at: 28 February 2008
Archie woke up hearing the familiar voice of his lover screaming, once more.
"No, please… Let me out… No…Archie…" Nick moaned in his sleep, trashing his head from left to right and back again.
Archie quickly came into action and tried waking Nick up. "Babe, wake up," he said, gently shaking the sleeping man. "You are having another nightmare." Ever since Nick's been back from Texas, he'd had been plagued with nightmares. Archie was always there to wake him up, although it wasn't always that easy.
Nick woke up, screaming. His face was covered with sweat and he was breathing heavily. "You were having another nightmare…" He heard his lover's quiet voice. His eyes danced across the room and eventually landed on the figure next to him.
Nick's eyes always had a scared look in them, but once they landed on Archie it disappeared and was replaced with relieve.
"Come here," Archie softly ordered as Nick great fully crawled into the embrace. Archie felt his t-shirt getting wet and knew Nick was crying. "It's okay," he repeated a few times, knowing from experience Nick needed a moment to calm down before he was able to talk about his nightmare.
Eventually, Nick calmed down. The two moved, so that Nick was safely in Archie's arms. Archie's hand went up and down Nick's back, comforting the older man.
"I was in the coffin," Nick said in a soft voice, filling the silence. "You… you…" He took a deep breath before he continued. "You were there…burying me…" he choked out as more tears were falling down his face. "I saw you through the glass… with the shovel…" he shivered, remembering his nightmare. "Why won't they leave me alone," he cried out, turning his head and sobbing into his lover's chest.
Archie's eyes had filled with tears as well. He swallowed before he replied. "I do not know, my love." He took hold of Nick's head and made him look at him. "All I know is that I would never do anything to hurt you. I love you!" He used his thumb to wipe away a few of the tears that were still lingering on his lover's face. "I would never harm you."
Nick closed his eyes. "I know that," he said, shakily. "I wish the dreams would stop…"
"They will," Archie said, reassuring. "I am certain they will go away."
In the way Archie said that, made Nick raise an eye brow. "How can you be so certain?"
"They did for me…" he responded.
Nick raised himself up on his elbows. "When did you have nightmares?" If Archie had nightmares, wouldn't he know of them?
"When you were in the hospital and when you were in Texas," Archie said. He hadn't wanted Nick to know, as he was plagued with his own nightmares.
"What? Why didn't you tell me?" Nick exclaimed.
"You were having enough nightmares, I didn't want to give you mine as well," Archie responded.
"It's okay. Tell me about them," Nick insisted. Maybe this way it would keep his mind of his nightmare.
"I just… see you in that coffin. Helpless, afraid, covered in ants," Archie replied. "Sometimes you shoot yourself, other times you run out of air."
Nick hadn't realized how much this had affected Archie. "I'm sorry," was the only thing he could think of to say.
"No, don't worry about it. I haven't had them since you're here," Archie said, an honest smile spread on his face.
"I wish it was that simple for me…" Nick responded, sadly.
"Give it time. They will disappear eventually," Archie replied and, once again, made Nick look at him. Once their eyes were locked together he leaned down to kiss him. "How I love you…" he whispered when they pulled away.
"I love you too," Nick responded and kissed the younger man again. Slowly his kissing went down his lover's neck, paying extra attention to the sensitive skin.
Archie moaned as a result to the attention his body was receiving. His hands found their way to Nick's shirt and pulled it over his head. He was pulled up by his lover and his shirt followed Nick's. Not soon after both their boxers followed as well.
Nick lay back on top of Archie, as he spread his legs. Their lips found each other for a passionate kiss. Nick moved his hips and together they found a pace. He then reached between their bodies and took their members in his hand. He moved his hand faster and together they climaxed, their moans were swallowed by the other as they were still kissing each other. Nick moved aside a little, making Archie turn with him for he would not release his lover's lips.
Nick's hand went to caress his lover's cheek as he tore himself from his lover's lips as breathing was getting difficult.
Archie smiled and pushed Nick of the bed, making sure Nick wouldn't fall on the floor and stood up as well. He pulled Nick into the bathroom where they continued their lovemaking.
Archie sank into his chair. He was exhausted, even though his shift hadn't started yet. He sighed as he looked over at the pile of reports that he still needed to go through. He took hold of the first one and started to read it.
It was about half through his shift when Greg walked in. "Arch, can you separate the audio on this tape for me?" Greg said walking in.
Archie turned around to face Greg. "Yeah, of course," he said as he took the tape from Greg. He put the tape in the player and turned back to Greg. "Is there something else?" Normally when a tape was brought in they'd let him work on it alone and he'd page them when he was done. Yet, now Greg stayed.
"Actually, yes. I need to use the VCR."
"Okay," Archie only replied. He took the tape from the young CSI and put it in the VCR. "You know how it works," he asked.
"Yeah," Greg said and grinned. He sat down and looked at the screen, then at Archie. "Hey, are you okay?" He asked, concerned.
"I'm fine," the technician answered.
"You know, I may not be the first one every talks to but I am a good listener, if you need to talk," Greg said seriously.
Archie looked at Greg and sighed. "I'm just tired that's all," he eventually said.
Greg nodded. "You look exhausted," he noted. "Is everything going all right with you and Nick?"
Archie took a moment to look at Greg, seeing the honest worry in his eyes he knew he'd found someone to talk to. Even if it was just for a moment. "Everything's fine… he's just having nightmares. We don't get to sleep much," he finally answered.
Greg nodded his head. "I noticed," he said. "Both of you look like shit," he joked, grinning.
Archie couldn't help but laugh. "Yeah, it's true. I mean ever since Nick's back from Texas he's been having nightmares. I'd wake up and wake him up. Then we talk about his nightmare, if he wants too and then we basically wait till we have to go to work. Sometimes he reads to me," he said, a smile formed on his face.
Greg smiled at the technician. He was genuinely happy that his two friends had found love.
"I just wish the nightmares would stop, you know?" Archie continued. "They keep getting worse. I do not even think I can help him with this…"
Greg shook his head. "I do not believe that," he said. "I believe you two are going to be just fine. The nightmares will go away and you are helping, by showing your support."
Archie sighed and was about to answer when Nick came in. "Hey," he said and walked over to his lover. "I'm going to be a little later today."
"Okay," Archie only replied.
"I'll see you after shift," Nick said and put his arms around the technician and gave him a quick peck on the lips. He left with his famous Texan smile on his face.
Archie shook his head but smiled. When he turned his attention to Greg he saw he was grinning back at him. "What?" he asked innocently. All it did was make Greg's grin grow bigger. "Thanks," he eventually said, referring to their previous conversation.
"Any time, man," Greg replied, and turned his attention to the screen as Archie did the same. "You know, you two are such a cute couple," he said after a while.
Although Archie was looking at the screen, Greg could see him blush. "I mean it," he said as Archie turned to him.
"Thanks," Archie could only reply.
"Have you talked to him about it?" Greg asked.
"About what happened."
Archie shook his head. "No," he replied. "It just never came up. We only talk about what happens in his nightmares. Not about what actually happens."
The young CSI nodded. "You know, maybe you should talk about it. I've seen how much this whole thing affected you." Archie's head shot up as he had lowered it when he had spoken. "I went to check up on Nick and found you talking to the screen, from time to time." Greg explained.
"It was all I could do," the technician replied, needing to explain.
Greg nodded. "Yeah, I can relate…"
Silence fell over the room as both concentrated on their work for a moment. "But I really think you should talk to him about it," Greg said after a few minutes.
"Yeah, I know," Archie replied, nodding his head. He looked over his shoulder at the trace lab where he saw Nick. Nick looked up, as if he could feel Archie's stare on him. A smile grew on both of their faces as their eyes looked onto each other.
Greg had witnessed their moment and couldn't help but smile either.
Nick gave a quick nod in acknowledgment and turned his attention back to Hodges, who was explaining the evidence to him.
Archie turned his attention back to the screen, still a smile on his face.
"I better get going, need to get this evidence to Catherine," Greg said. Archie nodded as the young CSI walked out of the lab.
Archie was glad he had the day off. This gave him the opportunity to catch some needed sleep. Nick had to work, which gave him the whole night to catch some lost sleep.
When he'd woken up, the next morning, he already felt somewhat rested. He had taken a shower and felt relaxed. It had been a while since he had felt like this. Now all he wanted to do was grab a mug of tea and a book… that was exactly what he did.
Archie closed the book and stretched. He looked over at the clock and noticed it was 7 a.m; Nick's shift just finished and would be back within the hour.
Archie decided it was time to make breakfast. He placed the now closed book on the table and with the now empty mug he walked over to the kitchen and made breakfast.
Nick silently closed the door behind him. He took of his jacket and hung it on the coat stand. He walked to the kitchen and smiled seeing his lover baking pancakes. "I thought you'd be asleep," Nick said as he took a seat on the chair behind the kitchen table.
Archie looked up from his work and smiled, "Nah, I've slept through most of the night. Besides, I thought maybe we could talk, you know?" He added the last bit uncertain. He never knew how Nick would feel about talking, especially about ‘the event'.
Nick nodded, although he did not know what Archie wanted to talk about. "That looks delicious," he said, gesturing towards the pancakes.
"Then dig in," Archie replied as he placed the last pancake on the plate.
"Nick didn't waste any time and placed one of the pancakes on his plate and decorated it with sugar.
"How was work?" Archie asked as and took a bit from his pancake.
"Slow, we had a robbery in progress. The guy was still there when we arrived. It was an easy case. Once we finished up, I caught up on some paperwork," the CSI replied. "How was your day?"
"Slept through most of it," the lab technician replied. "Finished my book," he smiled.
"Was it any good?"
"Not really," Archie shook his head. "It was boring, too boring for a crime book."
Nick laughed, shaking his head. "Are you finished?"
Archie nodded and together they cleaned the dishes. Once they were finished they went to the living room. "So, what you wanted to talk about?" Nick asked as he made himself more comfortable on the couch.
"About what happened…" Archie said, swallowing. He knew it's still a sore subject but he really needed to talk about it. For both of their sakes.
"Why do you want to talk about it?" Nick asked a little annoyed. He didn't feel like talking about what had happened. He couldn't go back there, not again. He couldn't go back to the dark.
"Because I can see how much it still effects you," and me, he silently added.
"And how are you supposed to make it better?" Nick snapped. He hated showing his weakness. He isn't weak!
"I never said I would make it better. I just think talking about it will help," the technician replied softly, feeling slightly hurt Nick wouldn't confide in him.
"How would you know?" Nick snapped again. "How would you know talking helps? You do not know what I've been through!"
"No, I do not know what you've been through. But that doesn't mean you cannot talk to me about it. When you were lying in that coffin I felt so helpless. Even when I was working on the damn cam trace I felt helpless. You know why? Because I wasn't there with you! I wasn't there to hold you. I wasn't there to comfort you. I wasn't the one being there! DO you know how helpless that made me feels? Don't make me feel so helpless again Nick. I could not bear it. Let me try to help you, that's all I ask."
Nick averted his eyes during Archie's speech. He lifted his eyes to look at his lover. "Don't make me relive it," he softly pleaded in a small voice.
Archie went to sit closer to Nick and took his hand in his own. "Nick, you relive it every night. Although you hide it better than I do, you are as exhausted as I am because you barely sleep. Maybe if you talk about it, it'll give you some peace of mind."
"What if it makes it worse?"
"Then we will deal with it together."
Nick looked away from his boyfriend, as if he was deep in thought. When he turned back to his boyfriend he swallowed. "I do not think I can do this…"
"I am here for you Nick, Don't shut me out," Archie gently squeezed the older man's hand in a comforting matter. Letting him know with that gesture that everything will be all right.
Nick took a moment to compose his emotions. "Al right," he eventually started. "Where to begin?" he asked confused.
"Why don't you start with when you arrived at the lab," Archie proposed letting him built up to the incident.
Nick nodded in agreement. "When I arrived at the lab, I felt so guilty about our argument. I knew I shouldn't have brought it up to tell Warrick about us. I still felt guilty even when Warrick was talking about his and Tina's date, all I could think about was tell you how sorry I was. I felt your stare on my when I passed your lab but I couldn't look at you. Even though I really wanted to.
"When Catherine told us she had an assault to Stripperama and a trash run at Flamingo and Koval. Warrick and I flipped a coin over it. It's funny; I gave him the coin we flipped with for good luck.
"Although I probably didn't show it, I was still upset by our argument. So, once I started the SUV I sang along to the radio, knowing if I didn't; I'd think about us.
"It's kind of pathetic…" Nick let out a laugh and shook his head, remember how awful he felt for arguing with Archie.
"No," Archie said before Nick could continue. "It's love," he smiled.
Nick returned the smile. It was weird how Archie always knew the right thing to say in these moments. He gave his boyfriend a quick peck on the lips before he continued. "Once I arrived at the scene I processed the scene thoroughly. I found this cup that was bagged. It was weird. The officer was the first person on the scene, he certainly didn't bag this cup. I was the only CSI at the scene and I also did not bag this cup. So, who bagged the cup?
"Before I found the answer to this question something was pressed against my mouth. I must have passed out because everything went black and the next thing I know I woke in a van.
"The first thing I did when I woke up in the van was check my surroundings. If there was one thing I learned from being on the force was to always watch your surroundings. It was dark, but I could clearly make out I was in the back of a van. My hands were tight against my back. I felt the van stop, a door open and close. I turned towards the door, knowing whoever had me would open the door. I could startle them, when the opened the door I could kick against it. But something was, once again, pressed against my face from behind and I passed out again." Nick took a deep breath that was the easy part of the story. Now came the hard part. "Next time I woke up I was…somewhere else."
Nick closed his eyes and felt how Archie gently squeezed his hand. When he opened his eyes to look at the technician he saw the encouraging smile on the other's face. That smile told him he could stop whenever he wants to but it also gave him the courage to continue. He took a few deep breaths before he continued. "There was this green light. I wanted to sit up so I could see where I was but I hit my head. I looked around and found the source of the light. I noticed my hands were unbound when he picked up the light stick to look around. I looked around finding a lamp at the end of my feet. Next I found a gun. I checked the cartridge and was glad to find it was loaded. I check around me again and found a tape recorder. It took me a moment to register what was said but then I panicked. I started to struggle, trying to find a way out but did not find any. Suddenly a light was turned on, the lamp at the end of my feet was burning. It was then that it dawned on me that I was buried. I was buried alive…" Nick stopped talking. His breath was coming in gasp. Tears were falling from his eyes. "I thought I was never going to see you again," he sobbed.
Archie quickly moved in to comfort him. All the while through Nick's story he had been quiet knowing Nick needed to do this on his own. Once the older man's sobbing stopped, he got up and walked to the kitchen to get him some water, which he quickly brought back to the CSI.
Nick smiled great fully as he took the glass from the younger man. He took two deep gulps before he placed the glass on the table.
"Do you want to continue another time?" Archie asked him, thinking this may have been too much for his boyfriend.
Nick looked Archie straight in the eye. Although he didn't want to have this talk to begin with he couldn't relive it again another time. He took a deep breath and shook his head. "No, I just want to get this over with…"
Nick took another deep breath before he continued his story. "When I finally calmed down, all I could think of was getting out of here. I knew any minute now the guys will find me. I just had to hold on a little longer.
"It was getting hotter and hotter in the box and I could soon run out of oxygen.
"The light was the most annoying part. It was warm and burned my eyes. I noticed there was a van and that it was connected to the light. I couldn't kick the lamp to break it so there was only one option. I reached for the gum I had brought with me, hoping my attacker had not removed it from my pockets. When I found it I chewed on it and placed it in my ear, to soften the noise. I picked up the gun and with one last glance shot the lamp. Fresh air filled the box and it never felt so good! I was relieved to find I got some fresh air.
"Out of boredom and maybe also as an attempt to stay sane I started to sing. I heard noise and thought I was found. I started singing louder and yelling that I was down here. But the noise wasn't positive. It turned out to be the glass breaking. The sand on the box must have been too heavy, now that the box had a hole in it. All hope left my mind as it dawned on me that no one was going to find me.
"It took me a while to take hold of the tape recorder and leave my messages, for the guys, for Grissom, for my parents and for you." Nick looked up into Archie's eyes as he said that.
"I wasn't even done or I felt something on my leg. It bit me and I tried to get rid of it but there were too many. Ants! I covered my nose and ears so they couldn't get there and then I lay still knowing they wouldn't bite…as much. Eventually the pain became unbearable. Not to mention my mind was playing tricks on me, for I could swear I heard someone yell me name. I knew then that I couldn't take it anymore. I may be a coward but this was too much. I lifted the gun ready to shoot myself when I heard Warrick's voice. I opened my eyes and I saw Warrick. He told me to drop the gun, and since I know that if my mind would be playing tricks on me, it would show me you and now Warrick. So, I lowered the gun.
"I felt the cold of the fire extinguisher and it never felt better. The ants left my body and I felt so relieved. I was so happy to see Warrick and Grissom… This meant I was going to see you again. Warrick left and Grissom sat on the box making me promise I won't stand up. When I promised him I wouldn't they opened the lit. I quickly reached out to Grissom, needing to know this was real. That they were really here. When I was certain they were here I ordered myself to calm down. After that I can't remember much, I was pulled out of the box… and I remember being in the ambulance…" Nick thought for a while. "You remember the hospital." Archie nodded.
Nick took a few deep breaths and felt how Archie gently wiped away the lingering tears.
"You did well.." Archie whispered into his ear, not knowing what else to say for the moment. "How do you feel?" he asked after a moment.
Nick thought about it for a moment before he answered; "Strangely enough, I feel relieved."
"It might have helped, talking about it…"
"I hope so…" Nick stated.
Archie stood up and held out his hand. "Come with me," he softly ordered.
Nick took hold of his beloved's hand and let himself be guided into the bathroom. Emotionally too drained to do anything against it.
Archie first undressed himself to his boxers and then helped Nick undressed. After he was done he lay down on the bed tugging Nick with him. Once Nick was safely tucked into his arms, Nick let go. All the emotions he held during his story and of his experience came crushing down on him as he cried in his partner's arms.
Tears formed in Archie's eyes as well he thought of Nick's experience. He had held himself strong during Nick's story so Nick could tell him in his own time without having to keep Archie's feelings in mind.
Once both of them calmed down, Nick lifted his head, which he had buried in Archie's chest.
Archie leaned in until their lips were touching. The kiss was slow, caring and loving. "Are you all right?" Archie asked once they pulled away.
Nick nodded. "Yeah, I am all right. How about you?"
"I'm fine," Archie replied. "I just remembered how I felt when I saw you on the screen," he informed him telling the truth. He didn't feel like lying at this moment.
"Do you want to talk about it?" Nick asked. "It might help."
Archie smiled and shook his head. Nick was using his own words against him and he couldn't help but smile at him. "It might," he confirmed.
They sat up so Nick was now holding Archie. I was angry when I arrived at the lab. But once I stepped inside I felt guilty. I hate it when we fight and even more when we don't make up before going to work," Archie began.
"I went to the AV lab to do some paperwork when I saw Ecklie walking past. I needed to talk to him so I went after him. Even though my anger had subsided he made me angry again."
"Why?" Nick inquired.
"He unfunded me on my paper which I was to present next week and he told me to pay for it myself. Right, like I have enough money for that," Archie snorted.
"You should have told me sooner, you were running low of money…" Nick said, sadly.
"I know…" Archie replied, guilty. He hadn't wanted to worry Nick about the payments of their bills.
"Please, continue," the CSI encouraged him.
"I had to get my mind of things otherwise it would have driven me insane. I went to work on the paperwork. I saw you walking past my lab with Warrick. I wanted to go tell you I was sorry but when Catherine walked over to you I decided to wait until we were home or at least together.
"As an hour or two past I felt restless I didn't know what was wrong until I spoke with Hodges. He told me you were missing. I felt my heart break. You were missing! This can't be happening, not to you!
"I had to leave, as I was in the break room at that time. I went back to the AV lab and all I did was pace around. I couldn't sit down, I was too restless. I needed something to calm me down and that was something only you could do by walking into the lab and put your arms around me. But you wouldn't come, so, I kept pacing. It was confirmed that you were missing and I believe my breathing stopped for a while… as did my pacing.
"Once again I started pacing around when I started breathing again. I heard commotion in the hallway and when I looked over I saw it was Hodges. I heard it was about you… I wanted to get closer but for some reason I couldn't. I was nailed to the ground.
"Grissom took something with him, I couldn't see what it was. A while later the CSI's walked into my lab. I held my breath, still unable to move. Grissom played the tape and I almost cried out when I heard the song. We went over to the computer to see what was on the flash drive. Grissom opened the file and pressed "watch". My eyes almost popped out. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I… You…" Archie stopped a moment to shake his head.
"It's all right, you do not have to tell me," Nick told him.
"It's all right. I want to," Archie replied. I need too he thought. "You were laying in what seemed like a coffin. You were buried…alive. For a moment I was glad to see you scream, at least you were still alive if this indeed was a live feed. It was soon replaced with anger, fear, guilt and any other emotion I was feeling at that moment.
"I was already trying to figure out how to trace the webcam signal when Grissom told me to trace it back.
"It was more difficult than I thought. It was wired through an anomyser. I needed to find a handle on the pattern before I could trace the signal back to you.
"I blamed myself for not being able to narrow it down but when I saw you on the screen I felt, again, guilty and tried even harder. Eventually I narrowed it down to a 50 mile radius.
"I often talked to the screen, letting you know I was here for you or that you should hold on a little longer. Just to keep me sane, or I like to believe so…" the technician confessed.
"You talked to the screen?" Nick asked amused.
"Yeah, I did…" Archie admitted, blushing slightly.
"Thank you," Nick replied not knowing what to say.
Archie smiled before he continued. "I met your parents that day. We didn't really talk to each other but I was glad they were here for you…"
"Sometimes when I looked at the screen I wish I was there with you or that it was me instead of you. But it didn't really matter how much I willed it, I couldn't change anything.
"When we finally figured out where you were I was so happy. I ran to the A/V lab and told you to hang on a little longer.
"I panicked when the screen went black. If it wasn't for Hodges telling me that they found you I would have gone after them. When I heard there were explosives under the box my heart sank. Yet when Catherine called me I was so relieved. The first thing I did was rush to my car to go see you to be sure.
"I arrived at the hospital and quickly found you. You know the rest…"
"I'm sorry I hadn't realized just how much this has affected you, as well…"
"I was afraid I'd lose you," the younger man half confessed, half sobbed. "I don't want to lose you!"
"You're not going to lose me, my love," Nick replied. "I'll find my way back to you."
"You promise," Archie sounded really small at that moment, but he did not mind.
"I promise!" Nick vowed, leaning in to place a soft, promising kiss on Archie's lips. "Although I'd like to continue this, I think you should get ready for work…"
"Yeah, I should but I don't want to leave you alone," Archie replied, saddened.
"I'm going to be alright!"
"I know you well," Archie told Nick, sincere. Hesitantly he stood up, he didn't want to leave Nick alone. "I'll get ready," he informed the older man and vanished into the bathroom.
This would be the first time Nick would be left alone and Archie didn't know it would be a good idea. Not after talking about it, not after bringing back the memories… Walking back to Nick, he gave him a passionate kiss, filled with unspoken promises and left.
Archie walked into the A/V lab. He couldn't take hs mind of, of Nick. He knew he was restless and annoying the rest of the lab, hell Hodges kept telling him!
"Dude, what's wrong with you?" Greg asked as he walked into the lab.
"Excuse me?" Archie asked, he hadn't heard Greg come in let alone heard his question.
"You've been starring at the clock for the hundreth time for the past five minutes," Greg noted, raising an eyebrow in concern.
"It's Nick," Archie admitted, his gaze drifted from Greg to the clock and back at Greg.
"I figured," Greg replied as he sat down. "So, you want to talk about it?"
"We talked," Archie started. "About what happened. I just don't want to leave him alone. It's his first night alone, since it happened and this was the first time we talked about it. I just don't think it was a good idea leaving him alone right now."
"Then why don't you tell Grissom and go home?" Greg suggested. "We are concerted about Nick, if you would think he cannot be alone tonight you should tell Grissom. He will send you home to look after Nick."
"Yes, now go!" Greg smiled at his friend.
Archie closed the file he was working on. "Greg," he said turning to his friend. "Thanks. I appriciate it!." After Greg nodded he went in search of Grissom whom he found in his office. "Grissom, may I have a word with you?"
"Of course, take a seat," Grissom said and took of his glasses.
"I wanted to ask if I could go home. It's just that I don't want to leave Nick alone tonight. He just opened up to me and I really don't want to leave him alone tonight…" Archie rambled on. Everytime he was nervous he'd rant.
"Archie, are you telling me that Nick is not able to be alone yet?" Grissom asked.
"I don't know, I'd feel a lot better if I could just go home and se for myself," Archie responded honestly.
"Go home, then," Grissom told him.
"Thanks you," Archie said and stood up.
"Archie," Grissom said and waited for Archie to look at him. "Let me know how he fares."
Archie nodded and left Grissom's offce.
Archie rushed out of the lab and quickly found his car. Once inside he drove off, barely keeping to the speed limit. When he drove into the driveway the first thing he noticed was that all the lights were on.
He stepped out of the car and walked over to the front door to unlock it. He took of his jacket and hung it over the coat stand. Noticing the livingroom was empty he turned off the lights in the haalway. He then walked into the kitchen, which was empty as well. Again he turned off the lights and went to the bedroom, after switching the lights of in the livingroom and bathroom.
The first thing he noticed when he entered the bedroom was Nick sitting on the bed with his back against the wall, his knees pulled up and his arms resting on his legs. Between his hands he held a gun and it was pointed directly at Archie…
Archie gulped and looked into Nick's eyes. No sign off recognision was in Nick's eyes. The thing he could make out was that Nick was scared…
"Nick?" Archie softly called out. "It's me…" he said as he took a step closer to the older man. Nick's eyes landed on him but the gun was never lowered so he took another step and reached the bed. "Babe, could you lower the gun please?"
Seeing how confused Nick still was he softly took hold of the gun. "Give me the gun, Nick. Please you are save now…" Nick loosened the gun, keeping his eyes on Archie recognizing him. Archie pried the gun away from Nick's grip and placed i on the bedside table.
Once the gun was securly placed on the bedside table Archie got into bed with Nick, who immediantely rolled into Archie's embrace, sobbing seeking the comfort Archie gladly gave him.
Nick reached for his lover as he woke up. There was but one problem, his hand didn't land on the warm body of his love but the cold softness that was the matress. He streched before he got out of bed and walked to the kitchen where he studied the younger man in front of him. He noticed how red Archie's eyes were.
"Are you al right" Nick asked when Archie handed him a mug of coffee.
Archie smiled, "of course, why wouldn't I be?"
"Your eyes are red…"
"I fell asleep with my contacts in," Archie replied, shrugging.
"I'm sorry." When Archie raised his eyebrow he continued. "Because I freaked out last night…"
"It's okay, don't worry about it," Archie told him, stood up and hugged him. "I shouldn't have left you alone."
Nick pushed his chair back and let Archie sit on his lap. "It's not you fault."
"I know," Archie sighed. "Doesn't make me less guilty, though."
"You have nothing to be guilty about. If anyone's to blame, blame Walter Gordon," Nick (almost) spit out, not liking to say the name. He gently shook his head and closed hsis eyes to get rid of the angry thoughts that formed his mind when he thought about Walter Gordon. When he opened his eyes again he leaned in to kiss Archie.
"Come," Archie said after a while. "We better get ready if we want to keep our jobs."
"On one condition," Nick grinned.
"And what condition may it be?" Archie replied.
"We take a shower together," Nick said, not waiting for an answer as he dragged Archie into the bathroom…
Nick walked over to the couch where he had left his wallet. Instead of reaching it he bumped into the coffee table in front of it. Cursing, he sat on the table checking his leg when he heard laughing behing him.
"You know, Nick, that table has been there for the past two years," his boyfriend said between laughs. "I would think yuou'd know your way around here by now but you are still bumping into the table…"
"You wouldn't laugh so much if it'll happened to you," Nick responded a little annoyed.
"True enough, but I am smart enough not to walk into a table."
"You are lucky we need to get to work, or else…" Nick warned, smirking.
"We'll talk about the ‘or else' later," Archie threw a charming smile at Nick. "We don't want to be late."
Nick shook his head at the younger man, still smirking and followed the younger man towards the car and drove off to the crime lab.
After leaving their personal effects in their own locker they separte their ways. Archie walked towards the A/V lab where he worked through some files while Nick went out into the field.
Halfway through their shift Grissom walked into the A/V lab. "Archie, do you have a moment?" Grissom asked, sitting down.
Archie typed the last part of his report before he turned to Grissom. "Yeah, what's up?"
"How are things with Nick?" Grissom asked, getting straight to the point.
"He had a panick attack last night, but other than that he's doing better," he told him.
"You didn't tell him about the accomplice?"
"No, of course not!" Archie replied defensive. A while back Grissom and he had found out about Walter Gorden having an accomplice. Grissom had pulled rank and ordered him not to tell Nick. Although it had been hard keeping a secret from Nick he knew it was the best thing to do.
"He's been on edge today," Grissom replied. "Maybe it's nothing, but just keep your eyes open."
Archie nodded, not knowing what to say. What could have happened for Nick to become edgy?
Not an hour later Nick walked in. "Hey Archie," he said.
Archie turned to Nick. "Hey, I did my best to enhance the parking garage footage, but I just can't get an image on the killer's face," he informed Nick of his findings.
Nick shook it off. "If you got a couple of minutes, I need a voice comparison."
"Yeah, what do you got?" he asked taking the tape from Nick.
"Kelly Gordon's voice on tape. I want to see if it's the other voice on the Walter Gordon audio file." The moment he found out Kelly Gordon might be a suspect in this case he was obsessed with bringing her justice. He had found out that Walter Gordon had an accomplice, now he wanted to compare it with Kelly and lock her up for good.
"Grissom told you." Archie was a little mad, he'd asked Grissom if he'd be the one to tell Nick…
"No, but he obviously told you." Nick became even more angry. His boyfriend knew about this? Why hadn't he told him!?
Archie looked down at his feet before meeting Nick's gaze. He didn't know what to say but he tried to appologize. "Nick, uh,…"
"You know what? Forget about it. If this girl's involved, that means she's capable of murder. It's all cued up for you. Her voice is first," he'd heard enough. He just wanted this done and over with. "We'll talk about this later." Nick spit out and let Archie do his work.
Once Archie finished the comparison he watched Nick stalked of in defeat. He had never wanted to keep this from Nick but he knew it had been the right thing. Nick was still dealing with the whole Walter Gordon escapade and couldn't deal with knowing there was someone out there still who had helped put all this into motion.
It was nearly at the end of their shift when Nick stalked into the A/V lab.
"Nick, I'm sorry,," Archie began, but stopped noticing how furious Nick still was.
"You know, I understand why you didn't tell me right away. But it was almost has been two months, since. Two months, Archie," Nick raised his voice not caring who heard him. "Do you think I can't handle it? That I would run and hide? That I am weak? I am not weak. I would have dealt with it, I always do!"
"Archie, Nick, my office now!" Grissom ordered walking into the A/V lab.
Nick shot Archie once more glare before he walked after Grissom.
Archie took a moment to compose himself. During Nick's little fall out, tears had formed in his eyes but he had let them fall. Taking a deep breath he followed the other man to Grissom's Office.
"Archie, are you alright?" Greg asked before Archie stepped into Grisso's office. He had seen Archie shrink beneath Nick's out burst and wanted to know if his friend was alright.
Archie nodded and stepped into the office, sitting down on one of the chairs.
"I told the two of you before to keep your personal problems, personal. The whole lab doesn't need to hear about them so fix it or take it back home," Grissom said, glared at the couple before he left the room.
Before Nick could say anything Archie apologized. "Nick, I am sorry I didn't tell you. You are already dealing with so much, Walter Gordon, your parents, the lab… I didn't want to presure you more. Besides Grissom ordered me not to tell you…"
"I don't care Grissom ordered you, you should have told me! I am your lover, for crying out loud!"
"Is that all I am to you? Your lover?" To Archie a lover was nothing special. Just someone to keep you company for some time until you got sick of him.
"Don't you dare turn this on me, Archie. You don't keep secrets from your lover!" Nick argued.
"I'm sorry for trying to protect you."
"I don't need your protection, Archie."
"I guess that means you don't need my help either?" Archie asked, defeated.
"No," Nick replied, his pride getting the better of him.
Daggers pierced his heart with that simple word. ‘No'. Archie closed his eyes, willing the tears away though some escaped. "I know you need help, Nick. If you don't want mine find some profesional help."
"I don't need a shrink!" Nick argued.
"You do Nick. You can't do this on your own…"
"Don't you dare tell me what I can and can't do, you don't know me!" With that said Nick left, slamming the door behind him.
"Apparently, I don't know you…" Archie whispered and caved in, finally letting all the tears fall. The door opened and Archie looked up, hoping to see Nick. When he saw Greg he fell to his knees, sobbing.
Greg quickly fell down beside his friend, hugging him close. "Everything's going to be okay," he tried comforting the older man.
"No, he hates me…" Archie cried out.
"No, he doesn't. He loves you. He's just angry…"
"You are right, he is angry. Angry at me…"
"No, he's not angry at you." Greg stopped, looking up he found three or four labrats' worried gaze and knew he had to take Archie away from here. "Come, let me take you home," he suggested, drying Archie's tears.
After Archie nodded, Greg took Archie towards his (and Nick's) appartment. Once inside he escorted Archie towards the bedroom where he laid the older man down before laying next to him. Short sobs still escaped Archie's body and Greg just comforted him, silently waiting for Archie to talk about what happened.
Finally Archie calmed down enough to talk. "Grissom and I found out that Walter Gordon had an accomplice. Grissom ordered me not to say anything to Nick. Although it was hard for me to keep a secret from Nick I knew I did the right thing every time he woke up screaming from a nightmare.
"Today he'd been working on the Kelly Gordon case and found out Walter had an accomplice. He got so mad at me for not telling him, blaming it al on me. He told me that he was not weak and could have dealt with it… He was so mad…" Archie burst out crying.
"It's not your fault, Archie, and he knows this as well. You know how emotional Nick sometimes gets with cases like this, especially one he's the victim. He just needs time to figure things out. Don't beat yourself up over it. It's not your fault. You did nothing wrong."
"Tell that to Nick…" the older man muttered.
"I don't have to," Greg replied. "He knows."
Archie shook his head, no longer believing Nick would ever forgive him. Greg didn't know what else to say so he just hold the technician close. A silence fell over the room. After a moment the only thing that could be heard was Archie's breath intakes, indicating he had fallen asleep. Greg pulled the blanket over both their bodies and guarded his sleep.
Nick silently walked into the house and closed the door behind him. He walked into the bedroom after removing his shoes and jacket and noticed that his boyfriend was in the arms of another person, Greg. But it wasn't jealousy he felt but guilt. His eyes met Greg's and send a silent thank you.
Greg nodded and detangled himself from the sleeping man. Then he walked over to the CSI.
"Thank you for taking care of him for me," Nick said. "I know you shouldn't be the one to take care of him… but thank you." Greg only nodded and left the two lovers alone.
Nick softly walked to the bed. Tears still clung to Archie's face and the guilt quickly returned. He knew he had been to harsh on him, but somehow his pride had gotten in the way and had taken a life of his own, directing all the hate he felt for Walter Gordon towards his boyfriend.
As Nick slid into bed next to Archie, the younger man woke up. The sharp intake of breath brought more guilt to Nick.
"I'm sorry," Nick began before Archie said anything. "I'm sorry I directed my hate for Walter Gordon towards you. I could make all kinds of excuses on how frustrated I was when Kelly Gordon OD-ed but that's no excuse for taking it out on you. I'm sorry for my behaviour… it must have been hard on you for not telling me."
"I'm so sorry for not telling you," Archie began, "I know you had the right to know and I should have told you…"
"No," Nick interupted him. "You did the right thing. I was already dealing with so many things that this would probably have taken me down. I know I shouldn't have told you that I do not need you help when it's the one I need most.
"Although you've helped me through a lot, Nigel Crane, a great deal of Walter Gorden I can't do this on my own. We can't do this on our own. You were right, I need profesional help. But I am afraid I won't go through with it… Will you be there with me?" Uncertainty shone through his eyes, for he had never asked Archie for help. Archie had always given it to him freely and now that it came down to ask for help he found a little uncertain.
A weak smile formed on Archie's face. He was so happy Nick was taken the first time in finding help. "Of course I will." sealed his promise with a kiss.
Relieve shone in Nick's eyes as he hugged his boyfriend close. "I'm also sorry for calling you my lover, you know you are so much more than that. You are my mate, my boyfriend, my everything… If you'd still have me that is…"
Archie pretended to think about this. "I think I'll need to sleep about it," he answered.
For a moment Nick's heart sank but then he realised that Archie was only playing and playfully hit him. Both man started to wrestle each other but it was Nick who won. "Will you still have me?" he asked as he sat down on top of his victory.
"Always," Archie replied and brought Nick's mouth to his own as he sealed his promise with a kiss.
Both of them didn't know what a new day would bring them but they had each other and that's all that matters in the end…
28 February 2008