|elmyraemilie (elmyraemilie) wrote in csi_lv_slash,|
@ 2008-06-01 11:03:00
FIC: Like In The Movies, CSI, Gil/Greg, PG-13
Title: Like In The Movies
Fandom/pairing: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Gil/Greg
Disclaimer: CSI, its characters and settings belong to Jerry Bruckheimer and his associates. I will make no money from the creation or posting of this story.
Author's Notes: Written as a response to a challenge on the LJ comm smallfandomfest that was rejected because CSI was too big a fandom to make the cut. Thanks to AuroraDream on LJ for the prompt. Thanks as always to sara_merry99 and violet_eyes for their beta skills. All remaining errors and missteps are mine.
Las Vegas was green. Lawns, trees and flower gardens lived their coddled lives where nature had decreed a scrub desert should be. Residents cultivated methods of hoarding water and dared to thumb their societal nose at the demands of the heat and the geography of their city. The papers carried water rights articles and the Nevada state government spent a not inconsiderable amount of its resources debating, preserving and prospecting for sources of water. The Bellagio fountains were the pride of a desert city. Water was beauty, water was politics, water was commodity, water was status.
To Gil's mind, this water fetish should lead to an enhanced sensitivity to the weather. People should develop a sixth sense for a rainstorm—"take the covers off the rain barrels, rake the stone mulch back from the flower beds, we're going to get a good one." Never mind that Mother Nature was a teasing bitch who often promised storms she failed to deliver—no one who lived in Las Vegas should be surprised by a late summer downpour.
Yet, as Gil sat at the stoplight peering past his flapping windshield wipers, what he saw was a populace caught unawares. Despite the weather report and the bouffant thunderheads that had massed together over the Strip, there was not a single umbrella to be seen among the scurrying crowd leaving the movie theater. He turned on the defroster to clear condensation from his windows and pulled forward when the light changed. He hoped no running pedestrian, face tucked down to keep the rain from their eyes, dashed in front of him.
It was because he was keeping a careful lookout that he saw Greg. At first, he wasn't sure, but then through the drops on the side window he recognized the figure familiar from dozens of crime scenes and from his own half-shameful imaginings. Sheltered under a scant awning, soaked to the skin, Greg peered up at the clouds with aggrieved bewilderment.
Gil pulled to the curb and reached behind the seat for the towel he used to wipe off the dashboard. He pushed the button to roll down the window.
Greg looked around; seeing Gil's car, he waved. "Hey, Grissom."
"Need a ride?"
"Uh..." Greg looked down at his wet clothing. "Yeah, but I'm going to get your seats all wet."
"That's okay. I have a towel."
Greg grinned and made a dash through the rain to tumble into the passenger seat next to Gil. He took the proffered towel and ran it over his face and hair. "Thanks. This is great."
Gil checked the mirrors and pulled out into traffic. "No problem. Where to?"
"My place is over on Poplar, just this side of Bruce, if you don't mind."
"You don't have your car?"
"Nah. I always walk over. It's only a mile or so." Greg eased the towel between his butt and the leather upholstery. "Just got caught this time, I guess. Sorry about your seat."
"It'll wipe off."
There was a silence. This was one of the things Gil did not do well, and he knew it. It was not a work night for either of them, so he didn't want to bring up the lab or the case they'd been picking away at. He didn't want to make a personal remark, either; he didn't want to risk saying something foolish. Certainly he wasn't going to talk about the weather.
Greg shifted around and squinted out the window into the September evening. "Look at that. It's stopping already. If this is out of your way, you can just let me out here."
"No, no. I'll take you home." Gil pulled up to a light and checked the street sign. "How much farther?"
"About a block and a half. You'll cross 19th and pass a bike shop. Mine is the fourth driveway on the left after that."
"Nice neighborhood." The area was filled with bungalows, some singles and some doubles, that were built when Vegas had one of its growth spurts back in the late 40's. Gil liked these older houses. "You're not too far from the lab, are you?"
"Nope. Even if I worked days, it would be a pretty easy commute."
Gil saw the bike shop and counted, then turned across the road into Greg's driveway. "Here you go. Think about carrying an umbrella next time."
There was a hesitation, as though Greg was processing what he'd said and deciding what it meant. Gil let the familiar annoyance pass; people reacted like that to him, though he always felt his meanings were perfectly clear.
"Do you want to come in?"
It was so far from the good-bye he was expecting that Gil was startled. "Come in?"
"Yeah. I mean, you probably have plans, but you went out of your way, so if you have time, I can offer you a beer or something."
"No, no plans. I was just on my way home from the movies."
"Oh, yeah? What did you see? I mean, there's only two choices in that theater anyway."
A wide smile creased Greg's face. "No kidding! Well, now you have to come inside. That's the one I saw, too."
"You were what, ten when it came out?"
Greg opened the door and started to get out. "Come on in. I'll tell you about the first time I saw it."
Gil watched him walk up the three steps to the porch of the half-house. He had no plans. He had nothing at home that he wanted to read, and there was never anything on TV.
When he heard Gil shut off the car, Greg turned from the door and smiled. That smile was one of the reasons Gil knew he shouldn't do this, but after all, he was only human.
After putting a chilly bottle of Stella Artois in Gil's hand, Greg waved him to the couch. "Have a seat. I want to run upstairs and change." His wet sneakers squished as he crossed into the next room and went up the stairs.
The tufted leather couch Gil was sitting on wore its age well. There was a matching chair and a leather recliner that was nearly new. All the seating faced the flat-screen TV that posed on top of a sideboard Gil thought was from the 1920s or 1930s. The small fireplace along the outside wall of the room was mostly ignored, though there were the obligatory knick-knacks and photos on the mantel, kept dust-free.
Through the archway, he could see what was meant to be the dining room. The long table was covered with papers and folders; a PC and a laptop sat amidst the drift. Built into the far wall were two bookcases, one on either side of the kitchen doorway. Both of them were full—books, file cases of magazines, and in the one on the right, three shelves filled with identical black binders, each bearing a white label with lines of meticulous red block print.
By the time Greg pattered back down the stairs, Gil had left the sofa to look at the titles on the binders.
"Curiosity get the better of you?" He slipped between Gil and the table and went into the kitchen with his hands full of wet clothing.
"Yes. I wondered what they were."
There was a grinding noise, and then the rush of water; shortly, he heard the distinctive hollow sound of a washing machine lid closing. Greg returned with a beer of his own and led the way back to the living room. He settled into the recliner and Gil resumed his place on the couch.
"That's a lot of research."
"Mmm-hmm." After a long swig of beer Greg put the bottle down on a coaster on the table beside his chair and raised the foot rest. "I started the book thing kind of on a whim, after that case with Lois O'Neill. But the more I got into it, the more serious I got. When I had the time off last year after I got out of the hospital, I put all the reference stuff in order." The smile he wore felt to Gil like camouflage for something else. "Made good use of my time, right?"
"Well, you've got everything at your fingertips. Very organized."
"You say that about the binders, but look at the dining room table."
Gil smiled. "Everyone has their own ways of working. My office is no showplace, either."
Outside, the faint patter of rain trailed off to the sound of dripping eaves. There was a click and a cool breeze wafted down from a register in the ceiling. Central air must have been added at some point. Greg certainly liked his comforts.
"So what brought you to see Buckaroo this evening?"
"Oh, I haven't seen that movie in years." Gil gazed up to the intersection of ceiling and walls, calculating. "It must be twenty years at least. I saw the ad in the paper and it just appealed to me. It seems to have worn pretty well, clothing styles aside."
"I've never seen it in a theater. A bunch of us went to the all-night drive-in the summer I turned sixteen. That's where I saw it the first time. I think it was the third of four movies. Don't remember any of the other ones, but I watched Buckaroo from start to finish."
"They still had all-night drive-in shows when you were sixteen?"
"It was a retro thing, I guess. There were some people there driving hot rods, dressed like the 50's. That didn't do much for me, but being out all night with the blessing of my parents—that was the charm."
Gil smiled over the lip of his beer bottle. "I saw it the first time when I was serving as coroner. There's something...I don't know. I guess I find Banzai admirable in a lot of ways. It's not a masterpiece, but the characters are engaging."
"I have to say I was surprised when you said that was the movie you saw. You don't strike me as a sci-fi kind of person."
"Oh," said Gil. Not a sci-fi kind of person. Hunh. "Well, I read quite a lot of science fiction when I was a kid. I took it pretty seriously. Once I started college, I didn't have time for a lot of casual reading, but I still read everything Heinlein published, and kept up with Zelazny and so on."
"You don't still read it?" Greg leaned down and scratched at the top of his bare foot. Gil followed the gesture, but when Greg sat back up, he had a hard time taking his eyes away. Narrow feet, well-formed toes, smooth ankles that disappeared into the raggedy cuffs of an old pair of jeans. The pink sole of the foot Gil could see was smooth, unbroken by callouses or cracks.
He realized Greg was waiting for a reply. "I guess I got out of the habit. There's so much to read for work—the journals, the cases, the papers. It's dull, sometimes, but I have to keep up."
"Mmmm." Greg sipped his beer and traced his finger through the moisture on the bottle.
"You have a nice place here." Gil winced at his abruptness, but he wanted to keep the conversation going. Even though Greg didn't see him as a sci-fi kind of person, they had more in common than their work. He'd gotten over fighting his attraction to Greg a couple years ago; it was possible to admire something, or someone, without a need to possess. Being here was a treat, and he didn't allow himself too many of those.
"You think so?" That smile was back, this time tinged with pride. "I moved here after I took the field job because the rent was lower than my old place, but I really like it. Finally last year the landlord let me buy it. It's a little more money, but in twenty years, it's mine."
"These bungalows are generally very well made. I like all the little built-ins and details. When I first came to Vegas, I lived in a studio apartment on the second floor of a single. It was tiny, but it never seemed cramped."
"You want the tour? It's pretty predictable, but I've been working on it." Those toes with their well-trimmed nails flexed, and at Gil's nod, the feet hit the floor. "Cool! I don't get to brag about the place as much as I want."
The downstairs was a quick journey through three rooms, two of which Gil had already seen. The living room stretched the width of the house; the dining room had a small bow window that Greg had filled with plants. The kitchen showed signs of renovation. What was once a pantry now housed a washer-dryer stack; the refrigerator fitted into an alcove built out onto the back porch.
The porch itself was a work in progress. Rotted bead-board had been ripped out of the ceiling in one corner; an occasional drip plopped into a bucket half-full of rainwater that sat on a tarp. Gil peered up at the roof leak and asked questions while his host moved his wet clothing from washer to dryer.
The upper floor was filled with the pleasing built-in cabinetry that Gil recalled from the bungalow he'd lived in. Across the hall at the top of the stairs was the bathroom, with a linen closet placed as part of the tub enclosure. He disguised his amusement at the number of tubes and bottles that occupied the edge of the tub and the shelf over the sink. At the end of the hall nearest the street was a bedroom the size of the living room.
"This was supposed to be the master bedroom."
"You're not using it, though." Gil looked over the futon, the dresser and the small desk that were clearly remnants of Greg's youth. A TV-VCR-DVD combination that sat on a plant stand in the corner, cords draped over its screen.
"There's too much noise on Poplar during the day. Even with blackout curtains, between the school buses and the kids and traffic, I couldn't get any sleep. I gave up and moved to the back bedroom." He switched off the overhead light and walked back the hall.
Gil tried very hard not to think that he was following Greg to his bedroom, but the only thing he had to distract him was Greg's remarkably fine ass in a pair of soft, well-fitted jeans. With a firm shove, he barricaded his libido behind thoughts of the lab and his responsibility to his team.
Greg pushed a dimmer switch to turn on wall lamps that shed light up toward the white ceiling. "It's the one room in the house I consider finished. Probably by the time I get through with the rest, I'll have to start over in here."
The first word that came to Gil's mind was "boudoir." A rug in a complex pattern of deep red and blue occupied the center of the floor with just six inches of hardwood showing at the edges. The walls were pale blue, the woodwork stained walnut. Curtains of heavy tapestry blocked the single large window. Bed and bedside tables were walnut with wrought-iron decorations and hardware. The bed-cover pulled up over the high mattress was a crazy quilt of jeweltoned velvet and satin; snow white sheets trailed beneath the edge of it like petticoats.
There were two pairs of worn sneakers tossed into the corner and a pair of sweatpants draped over the footrail of the bed; that and the mess of pocket contents on the dresser proved that the room was lived in. Greg bustled across to kick the shoes in the closet and close the door behind them.
"If I'd have known you were coming, I'd have at least closed the closet door. Not that I show people my bedroom all the time. I just ran out and..." He shook his head. "Maybe I'll just shut up now."
Gil smiled and looked around, taking in the art photos framed on the walls and the reading lamps on the bedside tables. "You've got nothing to apologize for either way. It's a beautiful room. Your taste is remarkable."
"Thanks." Greg turned away; he picked up the sweats laid them on the hamper. "Once the place was actually mine, I started to see it as my home and not my apartment, if you get what I mean." He looked at Gil, who nodded. "It hit me that it could be anything I wanted, and this was it." He leaned back against the dresser, crossing his legs at the ankles. Long legs that, when Gil imagined them, were lean and muscular, like a runners'.
He firmly brought his mind to the present. "Where did you find the photos?"
"Hey, this is a shoestring operation. I found a beat-up coffee table book at a flea market; it was all photos of New York in the 30s and 40s. It might have cost me five bucks. I cut out the ones I liked and matted them up to twelve-by-eighteen so I didn't have to buy special frames."
Gil squinted at the photo on the wall near Greg and crossed to look closer. "I think this is the New York World's Fair. That looks like the Perisphere."
"It is." Greg's voice was far closer than he thought. Gil turned to find himself face-to-face with his host.
Gil couldn't find anywhere to look. Not Greg's nose, still straight despite all he had been through since coming to the lab to work; nor his chin, long and determined, full of character; absolutely not the lips that had been the subject of Gil's covetous observation for over a year; and above all not his eyes, such a deep and melting shade that one word could never name their color.
Greg stopped in midgesture, his hand raised toward the picture. He was still, but not frozen in place. His eyes searched Gil's. Though Gil did not think he had given any sign, something gave Greg permission to lean forward just an inch.
What had seemed impossible became simple in the space between two heartbeats. Gil mirrored what Greg had done. He felt Greg's reaching hand come to rest on his arm, saw the gradual closing of the distance between them, and wonder of wonders, saw happiness in Greg's face. Then Gil shut his eyes to savor the first meeting of their lips.
This was no blushing boy; his kiss bore a confidence that sent a tingle down Gil's spine. Slipping his hand to Greg's waist, Gil shifted them into a better angle and responded in kind. He took the lead for a moment to mouth at Greg's lips, urging them apart so he could nibble on the lower one. He'd wanted to do that, had thought about it in private, and the response was better than he'd imagined.
Greg hummed with pleasure and stole the kiss back again, his tongue sneaking along the curve of Gil's upper lip. He stepped in a bit and shifted his weight so their bodies aligned. With that, Gil's hand that had come to rest with such ease at Greg's waist moved around to the small of his back, and steady, gentle pressure brought them together in an embrace.
As the closeness sent a shock of desire through Gil, Greg growled and drove forward, his tongue thrusting against Gil's lips. There was no possible response but surrender; Gil opened to welcome the intimate slide of entry.
Greg hummed again and pushed one hand into Gil's hair. He traced all the contours of the territory he had just taken. Gil chose his moment to suckle at Greg's tongue, taking as his reward the sensation of being pulled closer, tight together, chest to chest, hip to hip. It hit him then: Greg. Greg in his arms, Greg's mouth on his, Greg not just allowing but pursuing Gil's response.
In Gil's experience, fantasies did not come to life. Achievement of any good thing came by way of work and devotion, not serendipity. He moaned and broke away to scatter kisses over the soft cheeks, now flushed a little with excitement.
"That was...," Gil began, then realized that he had no idea what to say.
"Wonderful. Sweet. Hot." Greg smiled an uncertain smile at Gil and kissed the corner of his mouth. "Any of those will work, though I'm partial to hot."
"Yes. Yes, any of those." Though he tried to stop it, the often-disappointed part of him blurted out, "Are you sure?"
Greg frowned a little at that. "What, you think I'm humoring you?" He shook his head and stepped back. Gil's heart dropped. "I know what I want, and it seems to me that you know what you want. Why would you wonder if I'm sure?"
"Because," Gil said, daring to close that space between them a little bit, "Because it worries me that I'm sure."
Greg looked at him for a few breaths, then took his hand and planted a kiss on the back of it. "Hmm. I think you need convincing. Empirical evidence." He smiled again, though it was more thoughtful than before. "Gil, would you like to go to the movies with me next weekend?"
The response was a roll of Greg's eyes. "I'm asking you out. On a date. You do understand the term, right?" He didn't give Gil time to frame an indignant response. "Having you here is something I've wanted for a long time, and I'm willing to take my time to get it." He waved a hand at the luxurious bed. "It's too soon for that."
"Oh. Well, yes. I'd like very much to go out with you next weekend."
Greg tugged on his hand to move him toward the door. "Since I asked you out, I get to pick the movie."
Something was happening in Gil's chest; his heart felt light and fluttery. He let himself be led down the stairs and back into the living room, dwelling on that feeling and the strong hand in his. There was a sudden ease between them, and Gil couldn't help but smile. "Now wait a minute. Since you asked me, don't I get to pick?"
"Next time. You can pick one to watch now, if you want to stay." Greg sat down on the couch and pulled Gil down beside him. As he reached for the remote control, he dropped another kiss on Gil's cheek. "Let's see...the on-demand channel is showing all the Indiana Jones flicks. Want to start at the beginning?"
He looked so happy, and he was so close, that Gil moved over and put an arm around the back of the couch. Greg's expression changed to something like surprise; then he leaned in and said, "I'll take that as a yes. Raiders Of The Lost Ark coming right up."
Gil settled deeper into the couch with Greg resting against him, a warm weight he dared to hope would become a familiar comfort. It all seemed like an excellent plan to him.