He hasn't said anything, but Greg's been looking at him funny since Nick got back to the lab, and he's pretty sure he knows what it's about. Which isn't fair, because it wasn't even his fault. He was just doing his job, trying his best to diffuse a tense situation that Riley was making even worse by panicking. And she's new to the team so he's trying to cut her some slack, but she started out as a cop, so she should have known better.
Nick finds Greg in the locker room pulling his jacket on, and when he gets The Look again he's tempted to turn around and walk right back out. But they drove in together, and Greg's got the keys, so he doesn't really have a lot of choice unless he wants to spend the day stranded at the lab.
Which is sort of tempting, given the alternative, but the couches in the break room aren't comfortable for sleeping -- he's tried often enough to know that -- and it's not like he can get a second's peace around this place anyway.
So instead of ditching Greg he pulls open his own locker and grabs his jacket, carefully not noticing the way Greg's watching him while he pulls it on. As soon as he's done Greg turns and pushes the locker room door open, already digging in his pocket for the car keys and Nick rolls his eyes and follows him.
He catches up halfway down the hall, falling into step next to Greg and glancing over at him. And he doesn't really look mad -- anyone else would think he's just tired after a long shift -- but Nick knows him well enough to recognize what the tension in his jaw means.
They cross the parking lot in silence, and when Greg starts the car and heavy metal blasts out of the radio he's almost grateful for the noise, just to distract himself from the weight of Greg's silence. He reaches over to turn down the volume a little, and normally that would get him yelled at, but today Greg doesn't say a word.
"You wanna stop for some breakfast?" he asks, and okay, maybe he's delaying the inevitable, but if they're going to have a fight he'd rather do it on a full stomach.
Greg looks over at him when he says it, and he still looks mad, but now he looks exhausted too. "If you don't mind I'd rather just go home."
Nick nods and resigns himself to the inevitable. He sort of wishes Greg would just get it over with and yell at him, because that would be better than the resigned silence. And this is stupid, because it's not like he planned what happened. He just happened to draw the short straw when assignments were handed out, and okay, it seems to happen to him more than it does to Greg, but it's not like he had any control over it.
The rest of the drive is silent save for the radio, and by the time they pull into the driveway Nick's starting to feel guilty. Like he did do something wrong, and he has no idea how Greg manages to do that. He feels his jaw clench and opens the car door, taking a deep breath before he climbs out and heads for the house. Greg beats him to the door, unlocking it and at least he doesn't slam it in Nick's face or anything. He swallows a sigh and follows Greg in, closing the door behind him and shrugging out of his jacket.
By the time he reaches the kitchen Greg's busy making coffee, the line of his jaw even more tense as he focuses way too hard on something he does every single day. And normally this is his favorite part of the day, coming home with Greg and watching him settle into the idea of their house a little more every day. He likes watching Greg make coffee, likes watching him drag out the toaster to make those neon Pop-Tarts he likes -- as though he needs more sugar -- and leave a trail of weirdly colored crumbs on the counter for Nick to clean up.
Normally he likes watching Greg do just about anything, but everybody's got their breaking point, and apparently his stops at brooding. "So you're just not going to talk to me?"
For a second he thinks Greg's not going to answer, that he really is in for the silent treatment. And he's seen Greg like this before, back when they were still just coworkers and Greg would get in one of his moods. Nick never took it personally back then, but it's a different story now that they live together. So he's prepared to dig in his heels, to keep asking until Greg finally yells at him and gets it over with, but then Greg's shoulders fall and he turns to look at Nick.
"Look, do you have some kind of death wish or something?"
"No," Nick says, and he wants to laugh, but he has a feeling that would just make things worse. "Come on, G, it's not like I expected some little old lady to be packing."
"What about that guy on Halloween? You just took off after him by yourself, and you knew he had a gun. And what about McKeen?"
Nick flinches at the name and for just a second Greg looks like he wants to take it back, but he doesn't. He couldn't even if he wanted to, and anyway, he's right. Nick knows how stupid it was to go after McKeen, how close he came that day to throwing away everything just to make sure Warrick hadn't died in vain. They've never talked about it; he wasn't even sure Greg had heard about it, but now Greg's reaction to the old lady in Koreatown makes more sense.
He's pretty sure he wouldn't have actually gone through with it. That's what he tells himself when he thinks about it, not that he lets himself think about it much. At the time he hadn't been thinking at all, and that's the problem, because if he had he would have remembered how much he had to lose.
"You're right," he says, leaning against the counter to watch Greg move around the kitchen. "That thing with McKeen..."
"Nick," Greg interrupts, and Nick can tell he's going to try to take it back. He looks sorry, anyway, and somehow that makes it even more important to say it.
"Hear me out," Nick says, and when Greg nods he continues. "I just wanted to make him pay for Warrick, because I felt like it was my fault. I was right there, just inside the diner when that bastard shot him. Maybe it would've been easier if I hadn't been there. If you'd let me take you to the airport..."
"What, so it's my fault now?" Greg asks, irritation flaring up again and Nick shakes his head, because he's doing this all wrong. The truth is it's his fault Greg didn't want a ride to the airport; things between them were still sort of up in the air before Warrick died, because Greg was excited about his movie deal and Nick was bracing himself to be left behind. If he'd been happy for Greg without worrying about how his success was going to affect Nick – if he'd trusted Greg – but if he'd ever given Greg a reason to trust him before, maybe they would have had that conversation before the day of Warrick's funeral.
"That's not what I meant. Look, G, the thing on Halloween was just me doing my job. And today I was just trying to keep some old lady from getting shot. She was scared and Riley was just making it worse, so I did what I needed to diffuse the situation. It's not like I don't know how to handle myself."
"I know," Greg says, his shoulders slumping a little and Nick has to stop himself from crossing the room to knead the tension out of Greg's back. "It's just...does it always have to be you? Can't Grissom get held at gunpoint once in awhile?"
Nick smiles at that, because Greg does have a point. But of all of them he's the one who's most prepared for it; he did used to be a beat cop, after all, and he knows how to handle himself. Then again, Riley was a beat cop before she made the switch to crime scene investigation, and she wasn't any help at all today. So maybe there is something about him that attracts that kind of thing, but there's not much he can do about it.
"I'm trying to say I'm sorry," he says, and this time he does cross the kitchen to rest a hand on Greg's back. "I can't guarantee it's never going to happen again, but I'm not going to go looking for trouble. I know what I've got to lose, G."
For a second Greg doesn't react, but just when Nick thinks he's going to stay mad Greg turns in his grip to look at him. “Do you? Because people do crazy stuff when they get bored, Nick. We see it all the time. I mean, I can understand some of the kinky stuff. Bondage, threesomes, all that stuff…”
“What?” Nick interrupts, and he knows he sounds scandalized, but he is, and he doesn’t care if Greg knows it. “Are you telling me you want to have a threesome?”
“No,” Greg says, but it doesn’t make Nick feel any better. Because he knew Greg was mad about the whole gun thing, but he has no idea where any of this is coming from. “I’m just saying that if there’s something wrong we should talk about it.”
“There’s nothing wrong. Jesus, Greg. I’m not trying to get myself killed just for the adrenaline rush. I’m not trying to get myself killed at all.” He lets out a breath and runs his hands through his hair, trying to figure out how this conversation went so far off course. “Why are you thinking about threesomes?”
“I’m not," Greg says, letting out an exasperated breath. "Look, would you forget about the threesome?”
“How am I supposed to forget something like that?”
“Try,” Greg answers, taking a few steps forward until he’s leaning into Nick’s personal space, close enough that Nick can feel the warmth radiating off him. Nick reaches out automatically, one hand sliding around Greg’s waist to rest against his back. And he’s still not sure where this conversation is going, but at least Greg’s not looking at him like he’s thinking about setting up a suicide watch anymore.
“Look, if you’re bored, you can tell me,” Greg says, the words hot against Nick’s skin and he swallows hard against the shiver that rolls down his spine.
And Nick does laugh at that, because of all the things his life with Greg could be, boring isn’t one of them. Sure, they get a little caught up in their routine sometimes, but even that’s sort of comforting. It’s nice to know what to expect, just like it’s nice to know that he’s going to wake up next to Greg every day.
“I’m not bored. Trust me, G, boring is not a word that anybody would use to describe you.”
“You sure about that? Because there’s this thing I read about with handcuffs and massage oil, and I think I have some around here somewhere.”
Greg’s hand slides down his chest, fingers worrying the buttons on Nick’s shirt as he grins at Nick. He leans close, hand pressing against Greg's back to pull him forward. Greg's arm slides around his waist as Nick kisses him, lips parting under Nick's and the hand on his chest slides even lower, making Nick groan against his mouth.
“Maybe I’m a little bored,” Nick says, and when Greg laughs Nick grins at him.
“Can’t have that,” Greg answers, hands still wandering and if he keeps that up they’re never going to make it to Greg’s idea. Which would be okay with Nick, really, because as far as he’s concerned they’ve got the rest of their lives to do whatever Greg wants.
“Hey,” Nick says, catching one wandering hand in his and threading their fingers together. “We okay here?”
For a second Greg doesn’t answer; he’s staring at their hands, watching as Nick’s thumb traces circles against his skin. Then he nods and leans in, brushing a kiss against Nick’s mouth. “Perfect.”
Maybe not perfect, Nick thinks as he lets Greg pull him down the hall toward the bedroom, but they’re close enough.