Nick went into the DNA lab, and the first thing he noticed was the lack of loud music. Greg was sat on his chair, absently spinning gently from side to side, his eyes fixed firmly on a book in his lap; Nick couldn't make out the title. "Hey, Greggo, you okay?" he asked tentatively, and Greg glanced up through his fringe, before going back to his book. That was another thing; Greg's hair hadn't been styled spiky in over a week. He just let it curl over his collar and forehead, the blonde tips starting to fade out.
"'M fine, Nick. Your results are over there," he muttered, pointing at a file on the desk. Nick frowned, getting the file and flicking it open, skimming through it, his mind on the young man in front of him. Before whatever had happened, Greg wouldn't have hesitated to give Nick a whole speech about his prowess with DNA and assorted stuff, combined with some anecdote about whatever the substance in the report was. Now, he only talked if he had to, keeping his sentences short and barely moved from his chair. He'd been like that for ten days, ever since he'd gotten a mysterious phone call that none of them had heard, or knew the subject of. Since then, Greg hadn't been seen in anything but black or dark colours, and he'd been virtually silent. Nick took his file with an attempted smile and mutter of thanks, going back to Catherine, who he was working the case with. She took in the look on his face, then the file in her hand, and nodded in understanding.
"Been to Greg, huh?" she presumed, and he nodded, frowning.
"You have any idea what's up with him? I'm starting to worry about him, he's really not himself," he replied concernedly, but Catherine shook her head.
"No one knows any more than you do, Nicky. Greg got a phone call that obviously held some bad news, since then, he's been really down. We've all tried to talk to him, but he won't," she said in frustration. She hated it when one of her friends was hurting and she couldn't do a thing about it. Nick sighed.
"What are we gonna do?" he asked hopelessly. Catherine shrugged.
"I don't think there is anything we can do, just hope someone gets him to open up soon," she decided. Nick looked down at the file in his hands. He didn't like it, but he knew it was the best idea they had. Greg obviously wasn't going to open up to one of them, and that stung a little, but he would accept that. "Better get back to work," Catherine reminded him, and he nodded, handing the file to her to read.
Nick was walking through the labs when he peered into Greg's lab, only to find the young man wasn't there. He frowned, puzzled, and went over to the break room. Sara was in there, eating a slice of veggie pizza. "Hey, you seen Greg? He's not in his lab," he asked her, and she shook her head.
"Nope, sorry. Maybe he went home? Shift does end in fifteen minutes, he could be leaving early for once," she suggested. Nick raised an eyebrow at this; he couldn't remember the last time Greg went home early. He always stayed extra, be it only ten minutes or over four hours, he always stayed. He left the break room, deciding to go home and see about Greg tomorrow. When he got to the parking lot, he scanned it for his car, and stopped when he spotted Greg. The lab tech was standing by his car, apparently talking to a redheaded older man that Nick was sure he recognised from somewhere. The man had his hand on Greg's arm and was speaking, and Greg shook his head determinedly. The man's other hand cupped Greg's chin to make him look at him, and he said something that made Greg crumble into his arms, holding him tightly as the man rubbed soothing circles on his back. Nick, curiosity peaked, moved close enough to hear, though not close enough to be seen by the two men.
"I'm gonna miss him so much, H," Greg murmured, tears streaking down his cheeks, and the redhead pressed a kiss to Greg's hair, hugging him close.
"I know, baby, me too. But he wouldn't want you to do this to yourself, he loved your energy and spirit, he wouldn't want you to lose it. I don't want you to lose it," he replied, and Nick's eyes widened a little. Who was this man? And who were they talking about? Greg sniffled into the man's jacket, resting his head on his shoulder.
"But I can't do it. Every time I play my music I remember him dancing around the bedroom in his boxers at 3 AM. Every time I try and style my hair I remember how he loved running his fingers through it and undoing all my hard work. Every time I look in my wardrobe for one of my crazy shirts, I remember going shopping with him and buying half of them. I just can't do it, Horatio," he said, his voice shaking, and Nick realized where he recognised the man. He was Horatio Caine, the day shift CSI from Miami. What was he doing here with Greg of all people? And the man they were talking about, he sounded like Greg's…lover? Boyfriend? Nick hadn't thought Greg was gay, but it didn't seem too absurd. Greg was always flirting – with everyone, male and female – and he was an open-minded guy. Then again, he was always talking about girls he'd been out with. Maybe he'd made them up?
"You can, G. I know it hurts, but Tim wouldn't want you, us, to mourn him like this. He'd want us to go and live our lives for him, have fun, move on. He hated it when you cried, remember? He'd hold you tight and whisper to you in Spanish how much he loved you until you were ready to tell him what happened. He was better at comforting than me," Horatio mused, and Greg nodded tearfully, a slight smile on his face as he remembered.
"Yeah, I remember. But then you'd come in and hug us both and tell us how sappy we were, but you loved us anyway. I don't wanna move on, H. I want it to go back to how it was, just me, you and Tim," he choked, and Horatio kissed his forehead. Now Nick was a little lost. Were Greg, this 'Tim' guy and Horatio all in a relationship together? He'd seen plenty of monogamous triads in his days as a CSI, but almost all of them had been either two men and a woman, or two women and a man. He could count on one hand the number of all-male triads he'd seen, and still have most of his fingers left. But still, it wasn't impossible. Greg was very… loving. It wouldn't surprise Nick if he gave his heart to two men rather than one.
"I know, baby. So do I. But we can't do that, Tim's gone. We'll both miss him every day, but you can't keep doing this to yourself. I'm worried about you. Grissom says you haven't been eating," Horatio said, and Greg looked at the floor bashfully.
"Sorry," he mumbled, and Horatio squeezed him gently.
"It's okay, just please, don't let yourself waste away. I already lost Tim, I couldn't take it if I lost you, too," he told him sincerely. Greg stared him in the eyes. Nick was stunned to see that the 'cool and calm' Horatio Caine actually had tears of his own on his face. They really must have loved this Tim guy. What had happened to him?
"You won't lose me, Horatio. I won't let you," Greg whispered firmly, pressing a kiss to Horatio's lips. Well, that left no doubt in Nick's mind as to the relationship between the two – three – men.
"Good. Now, will you please promise me to stop beating yourself up? Grissom's given you some time off to come to Miami for the- the funeral." Horatio choked up over these words, and Greg pulled him closer, leaning his head on the taller man's chest.
"But the last time I was down there, the last time I saw you and Tim, I ended up arguing with him. I was pushing him to clean his gun. I should have reminded him more, or done it for him, or," Greg broke off with a sob, and Horatio kissed his temple, leaning against the hood of Greg's car as he held him.
"You can't blame yourself, G. We both argued with him over it, it wasn't either of our faults. Yeah, Tim should have cleaned his gun, but it was an accident. You can't keep thinking on the 'what if's' and whether he would have survived if his gun hadn't malfunctioned, believe me, it doesn't help," he said quietly, his voice slightly rough. Nick gaped slightly as he realized what must have happened. Tim, whoever he was, was in a relationship with both the men, was probably a CSI himself, and had died due to a gun malfunction. He winced sympathetically. Dying in the line of duty was one thing, but dying due to your own mistake… "Please, Greg, just come back to Miami with me. Grissom said you can have a week or two, and there's the funeral, and… I need you with me. I can't do this alone," Horatio confessed brokenly, and Nick saw Greg swallow a sob, tightening his embrace.
"You didn't even have to ask. Of course I'll come back with you. I'm not missing his funeral, and I'm not letting you do this alone. It's just us, now, Horatio. It's gonna be so quiet without Tim," he breathed, and Horatio nodded.
"We'll manage, Greg. It'll take a long time, but we'll manage," he replied softly. The two men stood in silence for a long moment, and Nick felt he was intruding on a very intimate moment, yet couldn't bring himself to look away. There was something about the two men, grieving the loss of their third party, their other love. It was… heartbreakingly beautiful. Horatio kissed Greg chastely, sweetly, and looked into his mocha eyes. "Let's go home, G," he murmured, and Greg nodded, reluctantly stepping out of his lover's embrace and opening the car door, getting in. Horatio walked round to the driver's side, and his head turned too fast for Nick to duck. The redhead saw him, eyebrows raised with a slight look of panic on his face, and Nick just inclined his head to him, a sad smile on his face. Horatio blinked in surprise, then managed a weak smile and nodded his head in return, before getting into the car. Nick waited until they were gone before getting into his own car and sitting in the seat for a while, not making a move to turn the engine on. Well, he now knew what was wrong with Greg. In a way, he wished he didn't. No one should have to mourn their partner, and Nick hated the fact that his friend had to. Still, at least he had Horatio. Both men were suffering, but they'd help each other heal. Nick had a feeling they'd be okay.
And the next day, when Grissom told them Greg was taking two weeks off, and the others started theorising what was up with him, Nick just stayed quiet and smiled, listening in amusement to some of the absurd suggestions, knowing that none of them were even close to the reality.