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Stratego and Beer

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No one saw it coming, least of all Greg.

He had thought David hated him. Okay, so maybe hate was a little too strong. He had thought, at least, that David didn't like him. Apparently, he was wrong.

They'd had a sort of rivalry back when Greg was in the lab. On bad days, it had been an all-out war between trace and DNA, one that Greg would have firmly insisted he was winning until the lab blew up. They'd stopped after that, though Greg wasn't sure if Hodges had called the truce or if the combination of pain and drugs had made Greg forget about it.

As a CSI, Greg wasn't sure where he stood. Hodges didn't act very different, so maybe it was Greg that had changed. There wasn't any reason for a CSI and a tech to compete. Actually, it would be kind of stupid to try and Greg had a feeling he'd already used up his stupid quota for the year. Without that rivalry, Greg was finding that they actually, strangely, got along.

They were at Archie's when it happened. Hodges had found a copy of Stratego on the shelf and immediately dragged Greg off to another room to play. Somehow, it had turned into a drinking game. Neither of them remembered who had started it, but by about their twelfth round, Greg was thoroughly plastered.

"I'm gonna go get more beer," Greg announced suddenly. The remains of three six-packs lay scattered around them.

Unfortunately that was harder said than done. He put his hands on the side of the couch and tried to push himself up but his legs flopped uselessly like lime jello.

He wasn't sure that analogy made sense, but he was going to go with it until he thought of something better.

Hodges was watching him, slightly red-faced but not nearly as drunk as Greg. Later, he would claim he was completely sober but Greg knew better. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

No, he wasn't sure, but that wasn't going to stop him from trying.

He actually got his legs under him on his fourth try. They didn't stay there for long, but thankfully there was something nice and soft to catch him when he fell. The soft thing made a rather amusing squeaking noise when Greg landed on it. Well, on him, to be precise.

"Sanders?" Hodges asked from amidst their octopus-like tangle of limbs. "I think you might want to move your hand."

Greg considered it. This spot was actually more comfortable than the floor hand been. He wasn't quite sure where his hands were.

"Nah. I don't wanna." He wiggled closer.

Hodges's face was a lot redder than it had been.

"If you don't move your hand, I'm not going to take responsibility for what may happen."

Hodges would take responsibility for it the next day despite his bluster, even after Greg assured David that he really hadn't been that drunk. Greg wouldn't admit until a few years later, when they got him that drunk again, that his inhibitions had a tendency to disappear after a couple beers and after eight he really would sleep with anyone. That is, if both he and the other person were unattached. Even drunk, he still had morals. But Dave Hodges wasn't just anyone, which is probably what made that whole night turn out okay.

Greg was drunk enough that he didn't even feel it when his back hit the floor. The tongue down his throat, he definitely felt.

He was not what one would call repressed. Quite the opposite, as his past girlfriends and boyfriends would attest. So, when Greg found himself on his back with David seemingly trying to crawl inside Greg's skin through his mouth, he did what any red-blooded, single bisexual that hadn't gotten laid in three months would do – he wrapped his arms around David's neck and returned the favor. His legs may or may not have wrapped around David's waist. Neither of them really remembered, but considering Greg it was probably true.

There were hands in places they shouldn't be. Greg wasn't sure whose hands they were and what places they were in, he just knew they shouldn't, not on Archie's floor.

Apparently David thought so too because he pulled away slowly and scooted back until there was a good two feet of space between them.

Greg lay on the floor and tried to catch his breath.

"Sorry." That was not the last time David would apologize for it that week. If Greg remembered correctly, the final count had been somewhere around twenty-three, but that number kept changing. David liked to sneak another apology in every once and a while – like on their anniversaries.

"I'm not," Greg admitted bluntly. David, he had to admit, wasn't that bad looking, and while he had a sometimes foul demeanor, he was getting better. That, and he was an amazing kisser. There was one thing that confused him. "I thought you didn't like me."

David frowned. "Who ever told you that?"

Greg just stared.

"Fine," the snark was back in David's tone, but he looked almost like he was trying to fight off a grin. "You're not that bad, you know, when you're not being a complete idiot."

That was probably the nicest thing David had ever said to him. He smiled like a loon. "Cool. I like you too."

He fell over again. The next day he would claim that it was a strange plot by gravity to bring them together. As it was, he barely avoiding smacking his head into Dave's crotch. A couple inches to the right and their night would have been a lot different. Either way it was probably the worst moment for Jackie and Bobby to walk in on them. Which of course meant that they did.

Hodges never lived it down. He once complained that he was the only one who got teased over it when there were two people there. Jackie had calmly pointed out that they expected that kind of thing from Greg when he was drunk so it wasn't anything new on Greg's part. It took a full year before Hodges would let Greg have more than two beers at a party after that.

Still, it was somewhat fortunate that they had been caught in that position, since it meant that they couldn't pretend that it never happened the next day. Not with every single tech working innuendo into every conversation the next day. The CSIs joined in halfway through the shift after one of the techs so considerately informed them about the previous nights' events.

Greg had a feeling that Dave asked him out just to get the lab's rumor mill to shut up. It worked, though it took a couple months before people stopped smirking every time they saw Greg and Hodges in the same room. Greg didn't mind. A little embarrassment wasn't a bad price to pay for the quirky relationship he found himself in. He'd never look at Stratego the same again.