It is the Spring when Nick first meets Greg. Outside it is somewhere between hot and cold, not cool, just indecisive. The desert seems to come alive at this time, everything blooming with the lack of tourists and a fall in violent crimes, as if even the criminals have decided to stop and smell the roses.
Still, Nick is almost tired of the season and its forever limbo, ready for some change. Except he isn't expecting the change to be a new co-worker, although it kind of makes sense since the old main lab technician has moved on to bigger and better things and the rest of the lab rats have started to speak of revolt.
Greg is new, something unexpected. Except that he looks young, eager, but unknowingly rough, like he belonged there.
His smile emerges from a serious face – nervous probably from talking to Grissom – when he meets Nick. And when he shakes his head and walks past him, off to do some more hero work, he can't help but notice that Greg smells like the sun.
It is the Summer when Nick first works a case with Greg. It's fairly obvious that this is one of Greg's first cases; his energy is bubbling over, an eagerness that is too much to hide. It is what made the police officer first on the scene give him a hesitant look. It is what gives Greg's voice that certain mix of seriousness and nervousness. It is what makes Nick smile the entire time they are collecting evidence, even though they are at the scene of a grisly, summer murder.
Still, like all things, Greg's excitement is quick to die away, replaced by the quiet of reality. This is the Greg he had heard of from Warrick and Catherine and Sara and Grissom, the Greg that looks too serious to be Greg, the Greg that focuses diligently with no sign of fidgeting and no weirdness and no thing that connects him to Greg.
“Is it always like this?” Greg asks Nick, wiping the sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, careful not to contaminate any evidence.
Nick thinks about the blaring heat, the perspiration clinging to his brow, his back, his neck, his eyelashes. He thinks about the musty smell of dead body, urine, excrement, blood, and sweat that are swarming in his nostrils. He thinks about the countless hours of paperwork and lab work and foot work he'll share with Greg in the next few days or weeks or however long it takes to solve this case.
“If you're lucky.”
It is Autumn when Nick first spends time with Greg outside of the crime lab. It isn't as though he hasn't spent a lot of time with the other man in the past few years; countless visits to the lab back when it was inhabited by an unusual yet endearing younger man, countless hours racked up in the field, countless breakfasts shares with the team.
Yet it seems befitting that he would see him now, when the trees outside are beginning to go bare in their cement encasing, when the desert finally begins to cool down in the daytime as well as the nighttime. And there is Greg, right before him, looking as wide eyed and bare as those trees.
“You aren't going to tell anybody else about this, are you?” he asks, voice with that certain mix of seriousness and nervousness.
“How would I explain myself, Greg?” Nick asks back. Greg smiles, then turns to leave, then turns back around, then mumbles something incoherent and thankful and leaves.
Nick spends a few weeks looking for another gay bar after that until the trees are completely bare and the mountains began to send chills down into the valley.
It is Winter when Nick first really sees Greg. It isn't as though he hasn't spent a lot of time alone with the other man in the past few years. Nick can remember almost every single visit to the lab, every case worked together, every time they talked in the halls. And this upsets Nick, because he isn't supposed to remember things like this about coworkers, especially coworkers who he has recently found out could potentially be attracted to him. He tries to say this is why he can remember, except, as he tries to forget, he has always remembered.
And then there is Greg, out with him in the parking lot. He has the evidence they need to process, except he seems to be more interested in other evidence that belongs to Nick.
“I just don't think coworkers should date,” Nick says lamely, the harsh wind whipping against his cheek. For all of the rumors about the desert being hot all of the time, he finds himself freezing just a bit more every night.
“That's stupid and you know it,” Greg says, advancing upon him. “We're adults and we can handle ourselves.”
Nick thinks this is stupid because, as history shows, he had rarely been able to control or handle himself when it came to Greg. But, as he thinks about later, the ghost of Greg's lips pressing against his seriously and nervously, he really should leave that up to time.