(I get the feeling I’m missing something here, something in the subtle words you say and the way you look at me.)
Greg shouldn’t be surprised (and isn’t) when Nick and Warrick throw him a bachelor’s party to celebrate his last night as a free man in the banquet hall of a casino. He is, however, surprised at who else Nick and Warrick have invited -- Bobby, Archie, Neil, Travis, Ronnie, and both Davids are there. He’d just assumed the bachelor’s party would be comprised of only CSIs (not that he’s complaining that it isn’t, in fact it’s pretty damn awesome that Nick and Warrick had invited the lab technicians).
He’s even more surprised that people like Ronnie (whose wife will probably be very displeased at learning he was at a bachelor’s party) and David (who seems too antisocial to come to any sort of party at all) are there. Of course, when Greg grins at Ronnie, the first words out of the other man’s mouth are, "If there’s a stripper, I’m gone." Plus, David isn’t really joining in the festivities, instead just watching the rest of the group and nursing a Scotch. All in all, Greg guesses things aren’t as odd as they originally seemed.
"Well, I didn’t hire a stripper," Nick says, and looks pointedly at Warrick, who just grins, which makes Greg curious to see whether or not there will be a stripper at his bachelor party (she in fact shows up an hour later, much to Ronnie’s displeasure, and the redhead looks a little puzzled as the questioned documents tech flushes hotly and all but flees from the banquet hall).
And Greg can’t help but laugh, because the stripper is almost the exact opposite of his future bride -- she is tall to Becky’s short stature, busty to Becky’s more subtle curves, slender to Becky’s stockiness, and pale to Becky’s tan. He wonders if anyone else notices the irony, but suspects most of the men (except for Bobby and David, who are both wearing long-suffering expressions, and Nick, who is blushing and burying his face in a drink) are too focused on the stripper’s long, pale legs to notice.
And then, of course, as the man of the hour, Greg gets the stripper’s undivided attention, and after that, Greg loses track of time, until she finally puts her hands on her hips, smiling, and says, "Well, I’ve got to go. Congrats on tying the knot, Greggo."
He smiles after her, and it’s only after she sashays her way out of the room that he realizes everyone else seems to have vanished. Greg blinks and looks around at the overturned champagne glasses and half-filled tumblers, and mutters, "Where’d everyone go?"
"Seeing as it’s almost three in the morning and your wedding begins at ten o’clock? Home, I’d suspect, if they have an ounce of common sense," a familiar voice drawls.
Greg grins a little at David, who apparently hasn’t moved from his chair. The trace tech is on his sixth or seventh Scotch, if the glasses around him are any indication, and judging by the careful way David is pronouncing his words, it seems as though his tongue is giving him some trouble.
"And you’re still here, why?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
David smirks vaguely at that, and finishes off his latest Scotch before he says, "I might have common sense, but my legs seem content to just let me sit here."
"Let me help you up." The offer leaps off his tongue before he can even consider them, and he flushes a little under David’s incredulous stare. "Hey, you know Jacqui would kill me if I left you here. She wouldn’t even let me make it down the aisle. Take me out before I can even kiss the bride."
He watches David just stare at him for a moment, the incredulity shifting to something unreadable. "Fine," David mutters after a moment, and attempts to heave himself out of the chair, and both his frame and the chair wobble precariously for a moment before Greg grabs his shoulders and helps him stand. He’s a little startled at the slight dampness that seeps through the Oxford shirt; then again, he’s never seen David this drunk before -- some people perspire when they’re three sheets to the wind.
"I’m guessing you need a taxi," Greg comments, and is rewarded by his stating of the obvious by a snort and an eye-roll, a familiar David Hodges gesture that always makes Greg want to grin, even when David is being particularly obnoxious. "I know a cheap but trusty cab company."
"What a Good Samaritan," the other man drawls, and leans heavily against Greg as they leave the banquet hall, his almost spicy musk filling Greg’s senses as they weave through the crowds of gamblers and finally make it outside.
It is an especially cool Nevada night, and Greg shivers a little before he says, "Want me to call the cab company?" because he’s not so sure how well David can focus his eyes at the moment. Again comes the unreadable look, and then David just nods, still leaning against him, his breath hot compared to the cool breeze.
Greg fishes his cell out of his pocket and after a quick conversation, announces, "There’s a cab a couple blocks over -- he’ll be here in ten minutes." Which meant it will be about twenty, but, hey, he can pretend to be optimistic.
"Wonderful," David says, and alcohol has softened the sarcastic bite in his voice and begun to slur his words, although it hasn’t dulled his smirk, which is dark and bitter. "Now, Mr. Good Samaritan, y’can leave. The groom needs his beauty sleep, after all."
Greg blinks as David takes a step away from him; the sudden loss of body heat raises goose bumps on his skin, and he shivers again. "I can wait here until the cab gets here. It’s no big deal."
David rolls his eyes. "Let me put this more bluntly: get lost." The last two words hold an undercurrent of sudden anger that makes Greg blink and frown at him.
"No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose?" he finally ventures after a moment, still frowning. "Look, you’re plastered, I’m trying to be nice." When David just scowls at him, he sighs and attempts a flippant tone. "Okay, I secretly just want to make sure you don’t get mugged, because you not coming to the wedding would really screw up the sitting arrangements." He shrugs. "So much for my Good Samaritan guise."
The scowl shifts to the unreadable look again, and after a moment, David summons up a smirk and shrugs. "Fine. Ten minutes, you said?" Greg nods, and the trace tech shakes his head and tucks his hands in his pockets.
"Anyway, you are coming--" Greg stops, blinking, as David frowns and suddenly swears. "What?"
"Forgot t’give you the present." The slur intensifying with his frustration, David pulls out a small package from one of his pockets and tosses it at Greg, and the CSI fumbles for a moment before he catches it and blinks.
"Well, open it," David says impatiently after a moment of Greg just staring.
"Okay," Greg says slowly, and tears off the wrapping, certain this is going to be a joke. And of course it is, but he can’t keep from laughing at the sight of the hand-sized dictionary. "Gee, thanks. Are you ever gonna let me live down the ‘funtain’ incident?"
"Never," David says, and when Greg shoots a pout in his direction, shrugs and adds, "Besides, I figured you could use it when you’re marking evidence. Prevent the ‘funtain’ incident from ever happening again."
Greg laughs and shakes his head, and looks down at the hand-sized dictionary. On a whim, he flips through it to the word fountain, and laughs again when he sees that David has circled it and written in tiny, precise letters, ‘Never forget the ‘Funtain’ Fiasco.’ He flips to spa as well, and there David has written, ‘Spelled this way in any language, Sanders.’
Still grinning, he looks up to see that an almost bittersweet smile has crept onto David’s lips, and there is an odd gleam in David’s eyes that he can’t identify, but one that raises goose bumps on his arms and makes him swallow thickly. "Thanks," he says, and the word comes out softer and with a ring of sincerity that surprises even himself.
The odd gleam doesn’t fade, and David just looks at him for a long moment, the bittersweet smile lingering and deepening the lines of his face, and Greg suddenly notices howtired David looks.
"David, I…." He falters, not knowing what to say or even what he wants to say. He has never been more relieved (or disappointed, judging by the sudden pang in his stomach) when a taxi rolls up to the curve and the driver calls out, "One of you Greg Sanders?"
It takes two swallows for Greg to get out a, "Yes."
David keeps looking at him for another moment, the bittersweet smile still on his lips, and the gleam turning his eyes too-bright, and he seems about to say something for a moment, before he shakes his head, as though to clear it.
"David," Greg says again, not knowing why he feels suddenly panicked, and David tucks his hands into his pockets again and says quietly, almost gently, "Congratulations, Greg."
Greg watches him get into the taxi, hears the quiet instructions to the cabby, and it is only after the taxi disappears from view that he realizes his death-hold on the dictionary has turned his knuckles white.
He loosens his grip a little, and swallows thickly, wondering all the while why he has this sinking feeling that he’s just missed something important.