What You Do To Me. . . .
Disclaimer: See Chapter One
Beta: Queen Sereya
Pairing: Greg and Nick
AN: Thank you to whoever nominated this story for the Crossing Over Awards. It was a nice surprise to open my email to find that not just one story, but two of my stories had been nominated for different categories. Even if I don’t win, I’m still honored that I was nominated in the first place.
Chapter 11: What You Do To Me. . . .
Horatio stood by the check-in desk watching others scurrying about. This convention should be interesting. He blinked in surprise when something bumped into his leg. Looking down, he smiled at the small child that had run into him. He crouched down to greet the child, only to furrow his brows in concern when the child took one look at him and immediately started crying.
"Hey, now,” Horatio said softly, "I'm not going to hurt you."
Horatio reached out a hand, but pulled it back when the child cringed from it. The boy's wide eyes stared at Horatio's head in terror while he whimpered.
"Horatio?" Speed asked as he approached the two. He crouched down beside Horatio, got a good look at the child and gasped. The child, seeing Speed, lunged for him, clinging to him in fright as he kept glancing at Horatio.
Horatio looked at the child in confusion. Usually he was great with children. He didn't know why the child was so scared of him. Maybe he was shy. . .
"Shh, Xander,” Speed said. "It's okay. That's Horatio. He won't hurt you."
Xander looked at Horatio and then turned his head to burrow into Speed's neck with a whimper. He didn't want to see the red head again. He didn't want to hurt. Speed looked at Horatio in confusion. Horatio looked back with concern in his eyes. Speed tilted his head in thought.
"Uhm, Horatio,” Speed suggested, "Maybe, he'd be less scared if you took off your glasses."
Horatio blinked in surprise and then smiled softly. "Would you like that, Xander?"
Xander turned at the kind voice. It was coming from the red head. He watched warily as the red head started to take off the dark sunglasses. Xander reached for them and held them for the red head as he studied the man's bright blue eyes. All he saw was a deep concern and warmth. Hesitantly, he gave the man a shy smile, which the man returned.
"See,” Speed said. "This is my boss, Horatio. He wouldn't hurt you Xander. He likes kids."
Horatio nodded. "Yes, I do. Now, what were you doing out here all alone?"
Clutching Horatio's glasses to his chest, Xander smiled shyly and glanced at the man holding him. "Pee!"
Speed blushed and Horatio grinned in amusement at his friend's new nickname. Speed shook his head. "Speed. Sp-eed. Can you say Speed?"
Xander looked at him and grinning said, "Pee!"
Speed bowed his head, shaking it, while Horatio snorted, choking back laughter. Xander turned to Horatio and seeing the amusement in his eyes, beamed. "You two are ganging up on me!"
Xander looked at Speed in curiosity. Was he upset? No. He wasn't. He was happy, just like blue eyes. Good. That was good.
Horatio smiled and reached to take his sunglasses back, but Xander pulled them to his chest and shook his head. "Can I have my glasses back, please?"
Xander shook his head. No way would he be giving those things back. They made Blue Eyes look bad. He was keeping them. To Xander's thinking, that was the only possible solution.
Xander started to wriggle in Speed's hold. He'd greeted his friend, now there were plenty of other people for him to see. Daddy and all his Uncles were here after all. And Uncle Greg said Uncle Danny had a present for him. But first, he had to get away from Bright Eyes and Spee which seemed to be trickier than that blue stripy thing was.
Speed let Xander slip to the floor with a chuckle. "Guess he wanted down."
Horatio grinned. "I guess so."
"H! Speed!" A voice called out. The two looked up to see Eric coming toward them. "What are you guys doing over here?"
Speed grinned. "Greeting old friends. . Well young-old friend anyway."
Eric raised his eyebrow in question.
"Remember that kid I told you about?" Speed asked.
Eric nodded. "You mean the one you said knew something was wrong with your gun?"
Speed nodded at the ground. "Yeah. I was just introducing H to him."
Eric looked down and then back at Speed in confusion. "Where is he?"
Speed and Horatio looked down and Speed gasped. They both started looking around as Speed said, "He was just here. . . "
Eric looked around for a wandering toddler; the tyke couldn't have gotten far. He gaze passed over Horatio's worried visage. As Eric turned to look in the other direction, he blinked. Slowly, he turned to look at Horatio. "Horatio. . . where are your glasses?"
Horatio looked at Eric and blinked. Speed snorted. "Looks like Xander took off with 'em."
Horatio smiled and shook his head as his group headed for the check-in desk to report the missing toddler. Surely, someone would find him. He’d check back between sessions to be sure.
Horatio found the child, himself, two sessions later, in the arms of Detective Mac Taylor. He was happy to see the child where he was supposed to be and he walked over smiling. Xander saw him and grinned. “I’m glad to see you found your daddy.”
Mac glanced over and then looked down at Xander while Stella blinked in surprise. She stared at Horatio in shock before finally asking, “Horatio! Where are your sunglasses?”
Horatio smiled and nodded at the boy. “He wandered off with them.”
Mac looked down at his son and then glanced at the bag at his feet. “I’d wondered where he got those from. I didn’t have a chance to take them to lost and found, Horatio. They’re in the front pocket of his bag if you want to get them.”
Horatio nodded and went to retrieve his glasses. When Xander saw that Horatio had the sunglasses, he began to wriggle and cry out. As he lunged for the dark glasses, his daddy barely managed to hold on to him, he cried out, “No!”
Mac grunted as Xander continued to struggle and frowned. “Xander. You can’t keep the sunglasses. They’re not yours. We’ll get you a pair tonight, okay?”
Xander shook his head violently. “No! Bad Red! No Bad Red!”
Mac’s eyes widened in shock, his face turning pale. He didn’t think Xander remembered what Rosenberg had tried to do.
Horatio looked solemnly into Xander’s eyes. “What if I promise not to wear my sunglasses around you? Would that make you feel better?”
Xander sniffled and stared at Horatio. Hesitantly, he nodded and gave Horatio a shy smile as the man put the glasses in his pocket.
Mac looked at Horatio curiously. “Horatio, how did my son wind up with your glasses?”
Horatio smiled. “We met earlier this morning when he latched onto Speed. He was scared of me with the glasses, so I let him hold them and he wandered off before I could get them back.”
Mac groaned. “He has a habit of wandering off. Danny and Don were watching him this morning.”
Horatio looked at the toddler thoughtfully. “You know . . they have these baby leashes you can buy. It might help stop his wandering.”
Mac shook his head in disagreement. “No. Grissom’s boss got him one for Christmas, but Xander seems to slip out of it somehow when no one is looking.”
Horatio raised his eyebrow and looked at Xander who stared back. “Well, it seems like you have a little Houdini.”
Xander gave Horatio an innocent smile.
As the door closed Nick looked at Greg and then at Xander. The two men had agreed to watch Xander while his fathers went to the gun seminar. This time, they would be staying in the hotel room so Xander couldn’t wander off. Nick smiled and asked, “So, what should we do?”
Xander grinned and said, “Kissy.”
Nick blinked and looked at Greg for help. Greg blinked and then looked at Xander. “Xander, who taught you that word?”
Xander beamed. “Unc’a Danny. Kissy?”
Greg blinked again and then nodded. Smiling he bent down and kissed Xander on the forehead. “There you go.”
Xander giggled and shook his head. “Silly, No kissy Xanter. Kissy Unc’a Nick.”
“What?!?” Nick said in surprise and then shook his head. “No, Xander, we’re not going out. . ”
Nick paused trying to explain adult relationships to the child and gave the blushing Greg an assessing look. He was just beginning to realize that he wouldn’t mind going out with his coworker. Greg was a great guy and he was adorable when he needed slee— He shook his head. It was no use thinking things like that; Greg didn’t feel the same, right? He’d better turn back to the conversation. Greg was trying to explain things to Xander.
“Adults only kiss other adults when they like each other, like a mommy and daddy,” Greg said.
Xander nodded his head. “Me knows. Unc’a Don ‘splain kissies.”
Nick raised an eyebrow. “And why did Uncle Danny and Uncle Don teach you about kisses?”
Xander scrunched up his face in disgust. "Unc’a Danny want Daddy and Papa kissy.”
Greg laughed at Xander’s face. “And you don’t like that idea, kiddo?”
Xander shook his head. “No. Daddy no like Papa like mommy ‘n daddy. ‘N Papa no like Daddy.”
Nick frowned. “Then why would you want us to kiss, Xander.”
Xander smiled, that question was easy. “Unc’a Gweg like Unc’a Nick.”
Greg gasped, his eyes widened, he didn’t think he’d been that obvious, he turned fearful eyes toward his coworker, ready to deny everything, only to stop and blush at Nick’s intense stare.
“An’ Unc’a Nick like Unc’a Gweg,” Xander finished.
Nick turned away and blushed himself. Greg shook his head thinking the look he had seen was merely wishful thinking.
Turning to the child, Nick said gruffly, “Sorry, Xander, but you're wrong. We don’t like each other like that.”
Xander frowned. They did like each other and should be kissing, but they were that word Daddy said he was when he didn’t want to get into that light blue shirt his Auntie had given him. What was it? . . . Oh yeah, stubborn. Well, he could fix that. He was really smart and he’d get them to see reason.
An hour later, Greg sighed and leaned back against the stairs. Nick glanced at him from his perch on those same stairs. Greg looked at him before looking at the closed bedroom door. “Do you think Xander’s okay?”
Nick looked at the door himself before nodding. “I heard him put some cartoons on before he shut the door.”
Greg nodded and fiddled with his new wrist accessory.
Nick looked down as well and smiled softly. “’Ric’s never gonna let us forget this if he finds out.”
Greg blinked and looked up at Nick in confusion.
Nick raised his hand attached hand followed him. “Two trained CSI's, being cuffed by a two year old.”
Greg blinked and then snorted; Nick was right, Warrick would find this hilarious. “And without the key.”
They both looked over at the table on the other side of the room, which held the keys to Nick’s handcuffs. They didn’t know how Xander had done it, but somehow he had handcuffed them together through the stair railing so they couldn’t just walk over to the key. Not to mention all the phones were out of reach as Greg’s had been out of battery power. Now the kid refused to let them go until they talked and kissed.
They had been stuck there for a while now and they had talked about their lives and their sexuality, but they both avoided the topic of how each felt for the other. He looked down at his companion. Maybe they should stop avoiding that subject; it wasn’t like they were going anywhere and if Xander was right. . .
“Greg?” Nick asked.
“Hmmm. . .” Greg hummed as he fiddled with the handcuff on his wrist.
“Was he right?”
Not paying much attention, Greg asked, “Right about what?”
“That you like me and you want to kiss me?”
Greg froze and looked up at Nick, scared that Nick would be disgusted with him. It was one thing to be okay with homosexuals, but to have one desire you . . . well that was a whole different story, so he looked up, expecting an angry gaze, but all he saw an intense warm stare that made him shiver. “Wha. . .?”
Nick leaned down and stared straight into Greg’s eyes. He couldn’t believe he was doing this, but someone had to take the first step. Greg gulped as Nick’s face got impossibly close to his. He closed his eyes as Nick whispered, “I wanna know . . . if you want to kiss me like this. . .”
With that, Greg felt Nick’s lips press against his own. Greg froze completely, his mind shutting down. After a moment, Nick pulled away, a disappointed frown on his face. It was his stumbling apology that shook Greg from his stupor. Lunging up, as much as he could, he grabbed the back of Nick’s head and brought him down for another kiss, happy that his feelings were returned.
Xander stared at the swinging door as his Papa filled out some paper work. Every time the door swung open, he could hear a boisterous amount of barking dogs. The noise was a little scary, but Papa had said they would have to go in there to find their new doggy, so he would have to be brave.
Grissom finished filling out the initial paperwork and looked down at his anxious son. Now all they needed was to find the one they wanted. He crouched down to look Xander in the eye. “If you’re scared, we don’t need to get a doggy, Xander.”
Xander shook his head. Firmly, he said, “Doggy.”
Grissom sighed and nodded his head as he rose. Greg had been the one to approach him about the possibility of getting a dog. It was a big responsibility, but Greg had said every boy needed a dog. It had been a long discussion because at first Grissom wasn’t sure about getting a new pet. But then, Greg had given him one more reason to get the dog, it would be a companion for Xander when Grissom had to work late so the boy would be less lonely on those nights. So, here they were at the pound about to look over the puppies.
The pound employee led them past the barking dogs, Xander held in his Papa’s arms and he held on tight, to a special area for the puppies to meet prospective owners. Once inside the room, Xander heard the small yipping noises and looked down in awe.
“If you’d put your son down, sir. I assure you none of the puppies will hurt him,” the man said.
Grissom smiled and set Xander down. The child giggled as the small wriggling bodies climbed all over him, a few reaching his face to lick clean. “Doggies, Papa!”
“Yes, Xander. Baby Doggies. They’re called puppies; but remember, we’re only getting one. So why don’t you find the right one.”
Xander pouted. He wanted them all, how was he supposed to choose? He looked at them all. They all looked good, but there had to be one that was the bestest. Finally, he noticed one quiet puppy in the corner and while his Papa was talking to the doggy man, he crawled over to poke the side of the silent puppy. He was different from the others. Instead of a light tan like the others, he was a dark brown. The new puppy turned toward him and sniffed him, making the child giggle.
Smiling, he hugged the new puppy. The puppy got up and dragged Xander up with him, making the child squeal, “Puppy!”
Grissom turned to look at his son and his eyes widened in shock. The brown puppy was nearly as tall as Xander. Hesitantly, he began to say, “Xander. . .”
“My puppy!” Xander frowned and then gave his Papa a puppy dog look that only got worse when the dog also gave him the same look.
He turned to the employee. “That one’s a little big.”
“Oh don’t worry, sir,” the man rushed to reassure him, “Boxers are excellent with little children.”
Grissom turned back to watch as the Boxer puppy allowed Xander to hang on him without protest. “Will it grow much more?”
“Ah, well . . . maybe another foot or so, but as I said Boxers are great with children and very loyal sir.”
“Why is he the only boxer here?” Grissom asked, staring as his son patted the quiet puppy that was slowly wagging his tail in appreciation.
The man explained, “Hank’s family was found in a box in an alley. The rest of his brothers and sisters were too sick when they arrived and didn’t make it.”
Grissom nodded and stared at his son and Hank. The two had seemed to get very attached very quickly. He hoped he wasn’t making a mistake.
Xander quietly made his way to Icky’s office. He wouldn’t normally be at Papa’s work, but Mrs. Willows had to drop something off for Auntie Cathy before she could take him and Lindsey to her place for the night as Papa had to work late. So he had his trusty red book bag and a mission to do before they left. It was his next try at making Icky smile; hopefully, this one would work.
Xander’s last attempt to make the man happy didn’t work out too well. When he was really good, his Papa would give him these chocolate covered crickets as a treat. They tasted yummy. So, the last few times he had gotten the treats, he had saved them. He had wanted to give Icky a whole bunch of his favorite treats. After all, who didn’t like chocolate covered crickets?
The crickets had been slightly gooey when he placed them on top of the folders on Icky’s desk, the chocolate was just starting to melt, but he had been sure that Icky would be back soon. Unfortunately, by the time Icky had returned, the chocolate had melted over everything.
This time, he had decided to share his most prized possession. They always made him happy and Xander was sure Icky would like them too. It had taken him a while to figure out how to get his friends into their new home for the trip, but he had finally got them out of the old home and placed them into the plastic container to move them to Icky’s office.
Entering Icky’s Office, he quickly 0placed his red bag on the big chair behind the desk. Icky had been so upset last time when his folders got dirty, so this time, Xander made sure the folders were piled up neatly in the corner of the desk . . . well as neatly as he could make them. After double-checking that the space was clear, he reached into his bag and carefully pulled out a small plastic container that wasn’t eve half-full. Checking one more time that it was clear, he opened the container and poured out its contents in the center of the desk.
With a last admonishment to the pile to be good, he stuffed the empty container into his bag. As he rushed back to Mrs. Willows, he reminded himself to put the container back in the kitchen before Papa found out he had used it.
Grissom walked his son into the living room and had him sit down while he pushed the dog into the bedroom and closed the door. This was going to be a talk just between the two of them. He went back over to Xander, sat down across from him, and stared at him. Xander looked at his Papa sadly. He didn’t know what he had done, but his Papa was upset with him.
“Xander we need to talk,” Grissom said seriously. “I got a call from Conrad Ecklie tonight.”
Xander looked at his Papa’s grim expression and frowned. It looked like Icky hadn’t liked his present.
Grissom gave Xander a stern look. “Why did you play a prank on Director Ecklie?”
Xander gasped in shock before protesting, “Not Prank! Prezzie! Make Icky happy.”
Grissom frowned and watched as Xander signed the word ‘gift’. “You thought it would be a good gift to put ants on all his things?”
Xander shook his head. “Gift on desk. Pets not behave.”
Grissom rubbed his brow. That was the same answer he had got for the cricket incident and the colored folders and paper mess his son had made trying to help Conrad get organized as he had complained about once. Grissom asked, “Why do you want to make Ecklie happy?”
Xander smiled, he could answer that. “Icky bad sad. No happy. Sad Icky yells. Makes my Hodses sad an’ Unc’a Greg sad an’ Unc’a Nick sad. Icky happy, all happy.”
Grissom blinked. “You want Ecklie happy so everyone else can be happy?”
Grissom sighed. “While that is a nice thought, you can’t keep giving away your treasures. We just got a doggy. Being responsible for him means taking care of him and keeping him, but how can I know you’ll do that if you’re giving away your other pets, Xander?”
Xander pouted. “I’s sowwy, Papa. Me no give pet gifts. Pwomise.”
Grissom sighed and looked at his son’s sorrowful expression before pulling him into his lap for a hug.
Next Time: . . . Is Change My World.