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JokersWild

Page history last edited by nate 10 years, 7 months ago

Disclaimer: Characters don’t belong to me, they are the property of the makers of CSI and marvel. No money has or will be made from this fic.

A/N: //thoughts//


 

 

Joker's Wild

 


 

 

Chapter 1

 

Greg looked at the crime scene perplexed. There was so much blood but their victim didn’t have a scratch on her. Peaking out from under the edge of the blood pool he spotted something and crouched to photograph it and then extract it with a pair of tweezers. He slipped it into an evidence bag and looked at it.

 

“A playing card.” He lifted it to the light, “A joker.”

 

“Might be the killer’s mark.” Nick said, from behind him, close to his ear.

 

“I’m not so sure, wouldn’t it have been on top of the blood then, instead of under it?”

 

“Maybe the blood pool grew after he left it?” The Texan contributed.

 

“Without the body?” Greg challenged, thoughtfully.

 

“You think we’re looking for a second body? Rather than an injured assailant?” Nick’s tone was speculative and curious.

 

“I think we know three things: firstly, the blood doesn’t belong to our female vic; secondly, after losing that much blood no one could have walked out of here unaided, and; thirdly, there are no gravitational drops leading away from the blood pool, which means…”

 

“They were wrapped in something and carried.” Nick finished for him and Greg nodded.

 

“Exactly.” Greg added the card to the evidence and wrote it in his notepad before gathering his things. “We might get a print from it. I’ll take this back to the lab and see if we can get a hit in CODIS or at least determine if the blood is human and the gender.”

 

“You didn’t establish it was human yet?” Nick scowled at him that should have been the first move; they didn’t want to be looking for a dog.

 

“The test was inconclusive. Try it yourself; you’ll see what I mean. I’m eager to get back to the lab. I’ll catch ya later Nicky.” Greg waved and headed for his car.

 

******

 

A while later back at the lab, Greg sat looking at the DNA read out from their unknown. He scratched his head and rechecked it. Nick appeared in the doorway,

 

“What’s up Greggo? What you doin’ back in here, thought you’d given it up?”

 

“I had.” He replied, without looking away from the screen, “But you want a job doing… sometimes you’ve gotta do it yourself.”

 

“So, what’s with the look?”

 

“The look? This is my face Nicky, I’ve had it since birth… what’s your excuse?” He smirked.

 

Nick rolled his eyes and tapped Greg’s nose affectionately, “I meant the expression on the face, wise ass. Something baffled the mighty Sanders?”

 

“Actually, yeah. I would ask you what you make of it, but I know your genius is restricted.”

 

Nick snorted, “So, just tell me what you found.”

 

“The DNA is human… but its not… And the gender is…ambiguous.” Greg simplified.

 

“Contamination?”

 

“Possible, but I ran samples from different areas of the blood pool… all the same.”

 

“Weird! Well, if anyone can figure it out, the Gregster can. I’ve gotta get these to trace.” Nick patted his shoulder and took off with a few items of evidence including the playing card.

 

“Joker’s wild.” Greg called after him before going back to his contemplations. A thought hit him suddenly and he sighed. Pulling the phone towards him he dialled a number that had long been embedded in his memory. He nearly hung up three times while it rang. Eventually, it was answered.

 

“Hello, Xavier’s School for Higher Learning?” A tired male voice greeted and Greg almost slapped himself, he’d forgotten it was the middle of the night.

 

“Hi, sorry, I didn’t realise it was so late when I dialled, I don’t suppose Dr.McCoy is burning the midnight oil?”

 

“It’s fine, I was awake. I think he is, who’s calling please?” Bobby had pulled the night watch in the security room and it had been a real battle to stay awake, but he was managing it, just about.

 

“Greg Sanders.”

 

“Just a sec.” There was something in the name, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

 

There was a click and the line was put on hold, then it rang and was answered by the familiar voice of the doctor.

 

“Mr.Sanders, it’s been a long time, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

 

“Hey Doc, yeah I know… I’m bad. I’m working at the crime lab in Las Vegas. We’re investigating a homicide and I need some expert help.”

 

“I’m listening.”

 

“Female victim with no external wounds, and a large blood pool near the body, partially under it, which suggests another victim that was injured before she went down. There was no second body though. No trail away, which suggests they didn’t get up and walk. But it’s the Genetic profile that has me baffled. The readout suggests the victim is human… but not. And the gender is ambiguous.” Greg explained carefully.

 

“You’re thinking you’re second victim might be a mutant?” Hank surmised.

 

“That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

 

“Can you email me a copy of the profile and I’ll run it through our database?”

 

“You have a database?” Greg shouldn’t have been surprised, but he couldn’t help it.

 

Hank chuckled, “Of course my friend, it helps us keep track of people.”

 

Greg nodded even though he was unseen, he knew mutants had a tendency to just disappear… most people didn’t even know they existed. To the majority they were the stuff of comic books and fiction, but he knew otherwise. He wasn’t sure if sending the profile would be unethical. He figured he could put it down as consulting an outside expert, and their priority was finding the other victim if there was a chance they could be alive.

 

“Ok. I’ll Email it, tell me the addy.” He said decisively.

 

Hank told him the Email address and with his stomach twisting in knots he sent the profile. “It should be with you any second.” Greg told him.

 

They talked for a while as the furry blue doctor ran the profile against those in Cerebra’s databank. They were clearly avoiding the one subject that Greg wouldn’t want to discuss and that Hank couldn’t blame him for. There was a pause in the older man’s sentence as the match flashed up on screen.

 

“Good grief.” He switched hands with the handset, “how much blood did you say?”

 

“You have a match?” Greg’s posture lifted and he became more alert. “Who?”

 

“How much blood Greg? Enough that the person couldn’t survive?” Hank’s voice had a slight shake to it and he couldn’t suppress the fear that was creeping up his spine.

 

“There was quite a lot. I think their chances are low and decreasing all the time… Doc?”

 

“He’s one of ours.”

 

He didn’t need to clarify what he meant because Greg understood the implication of that. “A student or one of the team?” He rubbed a hand through his wild brown hair with its bleached tufts. He was being pulled back into a world he’d deliberately chosen to leave behind.

 

“Team! Greg… where did you say you are? I’ll send some people.”

 

“Ok.” And he proceeded to give his precise location. “Not Scott though… don’t send him.”

 

“Greg…”

 

“Please Hank, I can’t…” He pleaded.

 

“Ok, I promise. They’ll be with you ASAP.” Hank assured him.

 

They said their goodbyes and hung up. Greg stared at the sequence that was still displayed on the screen. “Shit.”

 

******

 

“Greggo?” Nick’s voice cut into his thoughts.

 

He’d just laid his head down on his forearms and closed his eyes to make some kind of sense of this weird twist in the case. He looked up and gave a cheeky smile. “What’s up Nicky… couldn’t keep away?”

 

“Yeah, hot stuff… later with that thought.” He gave his trademarked lop-sided grin. One of these days he was really going to have to act on all this flirting with Greg. “There are some people to see you.”

 

“People? What people?” Greg looked at the clock.

 

“Said that a Dr.McCoy sent them.” Nick was obviously fishing for information too. Greg never had visitors at work, unlike some of the others.

 

“Oh…damn… already. Man!” He ruffled his hair, picked up a folder and hopped off his stool, scooting off towards the reception area.

 

He spotted them easily even though they were dressed as casually as they could. He pretty much recognised their auras, the way they held themselves and he recognised the redhead, as much as she’d altered, as well as the young brown haired guy, his insides gave a little jump at a long forgotten crush. He took a deep breath to compose himself as he approached them. Holding out a hand he spoke with a confidence that he didn’t feel. “Greg Sanders.”

 

The red haired woman was the first to shake his hand, “Jean Grey-Summers.” Greg registered the name and surprised himself with his ability to keep his look neutral at the revelation. So, Scott and Jean were married, why should that bother him?

 

The shortest of the three shook his hand a little too firmly and Greg winced as the man declared himself with a grunt “Logan.”

 

He turned towards Bobby, who shook his hand enthusiastically, the guy always reminded him of an eager puppy. “Bobby Drake.”

 

Filing away the names, and trying not to let the familiar ones bug him, he smiled and nodded, “we should go somewhere a little more private.” He didn’t wait for a reply before leading them towards an unoccupied conference room.

 

Greg held the door open for his guests to enter the room and closed it behind them all. He paused for another deep breath before finding a seat and sitting down.

 

Bobby watched the young man, there was something about him that tugged at his memory, he wasn’t sure if it was the name or the face or something completely different. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it. He didn’t really want to be there but hadn’t been given much of a choice in the matter. He tried unsuccessfully to suppress a yawn and had the good grace to apologise for it.

 

Logan was picking up a mixture of scents from their host, he was embarrassed, he was intrigued but most of all he seemed to be scared. The kid no doubt knew what they were if he’d spoken to Blue, and that could probably account for that emotion, but it was always hard to know.

 

Greg was wrestling with himself mentally as to whether to share the information in the folder. He could feel the weight of their eyes on him as they waited for him to talk. He could also feel a long forgotten tickling against his mind. One of them was a telepath, he was pretty sure it wasn’t Bobby, from what he could remember, the man’s powers were all about ice. And the short hairy guy called Logan seemed like he wouldn’t be quite so subtle. That left Jean. He looked at her as she winced.

 

Jean had been wary about this guy, she knew nothing about him except that he was an associate of Hank’s, so she was just going to have a little nosey. Usually most humans, even mutants, never even noticed her presence. However, his mind was like a steel wall and when she looked closer it snapped at her and she winced physically.

 

Greg smiled amiably at her, “Sorry, but don’t do that.”

 

The other two men looked perplexed from Greg to Jean, and Logan guessed what the comment had meant. He shook his head slightly, she just wouldn’t learn.

 

“The Doc said that the blood we found belongs to one of your guys. We both want to find him… I want to primarily because he’s hurt, and we need him to survive so we know what happened, and you want to because he’s one of yours. Lets work together on this.”

 

“Look kid…” Logan started.

 

“Greg.” He stated and looked at the other guy with the same friendly smile. At the bemused look he received he repeated, “my name’s Greg.”

 

Logan nodded his acceptance. “Look, Greg, I’m sure ya want yer clear up rates to look all nice an’ stuff, but I find it hard ta believe that ya’d even care now ya know the guys a…”

 

Greg was glaring at Logan, the smile gone. “You say that word and I swear you’ll be leaving rapidly through that window behind me.” He bit out, already sensing the vulgar word the gruff man was about to use.

 

If anyone else had issued the threat he would have snorted but something about the kid told him that he would do well to listen to it. Logan did something he rarely did; he acquiesced.

 

Bobby looked on, open-mouthed. In the space of 5 minutes this guy had seemingly kicked Jean out of his head and put Logan in his place. “Who the hell are you?” He asked before his brain fully activated. “I mean… there’s something familiar about you… who are you?” He quickly added trying to save face.

 

Greg looked at him. “I already told you. There’s a murderer out there, I want to find them, and I want to find your guy, hopefully before its too late.”

 

“We’ll need to see the scene.” Logan interjected, before Bobby could carry on.

 

“I’ll have to clear it with my boss.”

 

“You think he’ll be ok with it?” Logan continued, suddenly appointing himself spokesperson for the small group of X-men.

 

“He’s naturally curious, incredibly logical, and that’s him walking past now.” Greg saw him through the window and leapt to his feet and yanked open the door. “Griss.” He called.

 

Gil heard his name and turned to look at his young protégé. “Greg?”

 

“Need a minute of your time.”

 

Nodding, the grey haired supervisor wandered back towards him and followed him back into the conference room. He nodded at the strangers that he found there.

 

“That scene Nick and I are working, I found some unusual results with the DNA so I called an old colleague who’s an expert in the field. Our second victim has mutations in his Genome.”

 

“Mutations? He has a genetic disease?”

 

Logan started to growl, subconsciously, and Greg shot him a look that shut him up. “No. I mean his Genes have evolved helpful mutations.”

 

Gil looked at him with an unreadable expression. “What kind? And how does that relate to your guests?”

 

“I don’t actually know, these people are friends of his, they’ve come to help find him, but they need to visit the scene.”

 

Gil started to shake his head, “I’m sorry Greg it’s still an active crime scene I can’t give access on a theory.”

 

“There’s no theory here Griss.” He knew his boss and knew he liked tangible proof. “Bobby… show him.” He prompted without looking.

 

“Show him?” He didn’t know what he meant by that. He wondered if he was telling him to show his mutation, but how could he know that it was something that he could just show?

 

“The ice.” Greg looked at Bobby, and then they all looked at him.

 

Bobby’s cheeks flushed slightly, as his mind scrabbled to work out how Greg knew. The others were looking at him expectantly and he held out his hand and formed an ice orb in his palm.

 

Gil stood there looking at the perfectly round sphere of frozen water. He took his glasses off and touched the end of the arm to his lower lip. “Intriguing.”

 

Stepping closer he examined the orb visually then pressed the tip of his finger to it. Gil shuddered at the coldness. “You can do that whenever you want?”

 

Bobby nodded, “Yeah.”

 

“And sometimes when he doesn’t want to.” Greg said absently, remembering times when the other man’s embarrassment had caused him to freeze something.

 

He felt Bobby’s eyes shift to him rather than seeing it; the question hung unasked in the air.

 

“Just orbs?” Griss pulled attention back to his examination of the ice, trying to find out the trick.

 

“Any shape, any size.” The blond Xman shook his head and found his voice and shifted into boasting mode. “Can even turn into an ice form.”

 

Gil nodded, analysing the orb with the tell tale stature of a scientist trying to find a logical explanation and failing. He looked back at Greg. “Very well, you can take them there… keep me up-to-date.” He nodded his goodbye and left muttering to himself, “fascinating.”

 

Logan smirked, “Yer boss is somethin’ else.”

 

The young CSI chuckled, “he sure is. Lets go, you can tell me about this friend of yours on the way.” Greg picked the file up off the table and reached for the door, he missed the looks that the other three gave each other.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

They had all piled into Greg’s SUV and he was driving across town. There had been a silence among the occupants for a while; Jean sat beside him, occasionally checking the young CSI out through the corner of her eye. Logan sat in the back with Bobby; he could study the guy’s eyes in the rear view mirror.

 

Looking at the side of the dappled brown and bleached spiky hair, the feral mutant was putting together what he knew so far. The kid knew about mutants, he was a friend of blue, he knew that Bobby was the iceman, and he’d kicked Jeannie out of his head more spectacularly than the man they were now looking for. There was a confidence about Greg, but there was also something in his scent that told Logan that the young man wished they weren’t there.

 

“Tell me about Remy, what does he look like?” Greg’s voice cut into the silence just as it started to feel oppressive.

 

“If you’d let me, I could show you.” Jean offered.

 

The CSI shook his head, “nope, no offence or anything but I don’t want you in my head, not even to place an image.”

 

“Can’t blame ya kid.” Logan could empathise, though it did make him wonder about whether he’d had a bad experience where telepaths were concerned.

 

“Just describe him.” Greg’s eyes briefly met Logan’s in the mirror before he flickered his gaze back to the road.

 

“He’s tall, around 6’2, shoulder length auburn hair, and his eyes are red on black.” Jean answered.

 

“Red on black?” The young CSI raised an eyebrow but didn’t take his eyes off the road.

 

“The sclera of his eyes are black and the irises are red.” Jean clarified.

 

He sucked in air and chewed on his lip. “He’s an X-man, right, so if he’s got the physical mutation he must have something… more active as well?”

 

“He can affect the kinetic energy of objects, charging it until it releases it in the form of an explosion. Usually, he uses playing cards as his weapon of choice.” Jean continued to answer the questions for the team.

 

“Playing cards.” Greg cringed. “We found one at the scene, partly under the blood pool.”

 

Bobby gasped and Logan visibly tensed. Jean turned in her seat to look at Greg. It was Logan who asked the question “What card was it?”

 

“Joker” He said immediately. “I remember because I made a comment about Jokers wild.”

 

“Shit.” Bobby cursed.

 

“What?” Greg asked, his tone conveying concern.

 

“Ya think it was a clue, bub?” Logan asked him, thoughtfully, his own mind having reached the same conclusion.

 

“All that blood and a wild card? Surely, there’s only one conclusion?” Bobby had a sinking feeling.

 

“Sabertooth.” Logan ground out, with a growl.

 

It was impossible to miss the way the young man swerved the car at the mention of the name. Wolverine could smell him, the air suddenly full of fear and grief. The SUV was pulled off the road and Greg stumbled out of the car, blindly. He slammed the door behind him and bent over, emptying the contents of his stomach onto the side of the road. The three X-men looked at each other.

 

“I’ll go.” Logan told them gruffly, making it clear it wasn’t open for discussion.

 

He stepped up behind the retching man, “Ya know him.” There was no real question in the tone Logan used.

 

“You really think this is his doing? Creed?” Greg stayed bent over, hands resting on his thighs.

 

“His kinda thing, yeah, and he has real grudge against Remy too.”

 

“Crap…” Whatever else he was going to say was cut off by a renewed round of throwing up.

 

“Sorry about this. I just… Creed killed my brother.” He managed to get out as the heaving eased a little.

 

Greg straightened up and looked at Logan. “This is real bad, if he wants Remy dead, why would he take him?”

 

Sympathetic brown eyes studied him a moment, “he doesn’t just wanna kill Remy, he wants him ta suffer as much as possible. Ya gonna be ok on this, Greg? Maybe ya should talk ta yer supervisor or sommat?”

 

“I’ll be fine, in a way I suppose it means we have more chance of getting to him while he’s still alive. If Creed wants him to suffer he’s gotta keep him alive enough to do so. We’ll find him.” Greg had walked to the trunk of the car and as he finished talking, he pulled open the door and reached into his rucksack to retrieve a bottle of water. He rinsed his mouth a moment and took the time to think.

 

Logan waited patiently while the kid got rid of the foul taste that had to be in his mouth. Only when the door was shut again did he continue the conversation.

“Your brother was a mutant?”

 

“Yeah, he went to Xavier’s when he was 12.”

 

There was the flare of grief again, but this time it was accompanied by anger. The Canadian X-man realised that was probably all he was going to get right now.

 

“Lets get goin’ if yer sure yer gonna be ok.”

 

Greg nodded and headed for the drivers door again. “Ok, so I know who Creed is, but I don’t know a lot about him. What do I need to know? And why does the wild card point to him?”

 

“He’s a feral mutant, hyper-senses, razor sharp claws and a healing factor.” Jean explained.

 

“Healing factor?” Greg asked.

 

“Yeah, makes him hard to beat, he can hurt people real bad with them claws too.” Logan chipped in

 

“Not me, not when I’m iced up.” Bobby boasted.

 

“Iced up?” The young CSI hadn’t known anything about Bobby being able to ice up before.

 

“Yep.”

 

Logan started thinking again, //Greg knows who Bobby is, knew what his mutation is, but he didn’t know he could become iceman. Perhaps his brother knew Bobby and talked about him? That would explain how he didn’t know the progress in his abilities.//

 

******

 

The minute they stepped through the door to the apartment building, Logan was hit by the scent of blood, it made the beast inside reel. He fought to regain his mental balance and followed after the others as if nothing had knocked him off his stride.

 

The room was as expected from the CSI’s description, minus the original dead body. Wolverine was sniffing the air; he could smell Remy had been there, and his scent still lingered strongly with the blood. He walked slowly around the room and caught a slight trace of Creed’s scent. His eyes glittered yellow for a brief moment.

 

“It was Creed.” He growled.

 

“Any idea who the woman might have been? I think Remy might have been trying to protect her. Was he on a case for you guys?”

 

They all fell instep behind Logan as he led them out of the apartment towards the back stairs, he was following a scent trail, whether it was Creed’s or Remy’s none of them were quite sure and it didn’t matter as long as it led them to Remy.

 

“He was on vacation. I’ve no idea who the woman is; I don’t recognize her from the picture you showed me. Have you not managed to identify her at all?” Jean answered his questions and asked her own.

 

“Neither her prints or DNA were in the system. No one at the apartment block recognised the picture and they didn’t seem to know who should have been living in the apartment either. Which is very strange.” They stepped out into the brightly lit back area.

 

The trained eyes of the crime scene investigator spotted the twin tread marks on the concrete and he crouched to investigate, he lifted his digital camera and snapped off a few photographs.

 

“Trail ends here.” Logan growled, his voice filled with annoyance at being halted.

 

“There was a vehicle, looks like a van by the width of the treads.” Greg told them.

 

“Great, now what?” Bobby sounded deflated, like he’d expected them to be able to follow on foot.

 

Holding his camera still, Greg looked from one face to the other. It was obvious that Remy was important to them, he suspected to Logan more so than the other two. He closed his eyes and tried to fight away the urge to finally give in.

 

“What’s he likely to do to him?” His eyes snapped open and he directed his question at Logan.

 

“Ya really, don’t wanna know, Greg” Wolverine’s eyes were serious as they met the CSI’s and he suspected he already knew the answer to his own question.

 

“That’s what I thought.” He swallowed hard and turned his back on them. Crouching the young man pressed his hand to a part of the rubber that had been left by the spinning tyres.

 

The alley morphed around him, he saw a beastly looking blond man lifting something heavy wrapped in a thick quilt, there was a blood stain spreading over the outside of the fabric. He saw the large object bundled into the back of a blue van and the doors slammed closed. His eyes swung round and upwards seeing something on the rear of the building before turning back as the vehicle screeched out of the alley and out of sight.

 

Greg pulled a pen and pad from his pocket and wrote the plate number down, then turned and looked up at the back of the building, his eyes locating the camera. He nodded in the direction, “CCTV, which means there should be a surveillance tape.”

 

The three X-men had stood and watched him intently, but none of them spoke. He led them back inside while his hand reached for his cell phone. Placing the call to the lab for a search on the plate number while he walked towards the supervisor’s apartment. Bobby, Jean and Logan all exchanged puzzled glances again.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

 

While Greg secured the tape from the building supervisor, Jean stepped outside and flipped open her cell phone. She quickly dialled Scott’s private number.

 

“Hey, how’s things in Vegas?” Cyclops asked trying to sound like he didn’t hate the woman on the phone.

 

“Odd. It seems Sabertooth is responsible for taking Remy, he’s injured but we don’t know how bad, he lost a lot of blood. There’s a lead on a plate. I was wondering about this CSI Sanders. He seems to know a lot about us and I think he might even be like us.”

 

“Sanders you say? What’s his first name?” Scott’s brain had made the leap to a memory, in fact a whole heap of memories.

 

“Greg.” Jean had only just got the name out when there was a sharp intake of breath from the other end. “Scott?”

 

“I should have gone with you, I didn’t realise…” His voice trailed off.

 

“What is it?”

 

“Is he using his powers?” He avoided answering her question.

 

“I was right? I’m not sure. He kicked me out of his head and he… seemed to do something to find out the license plate.”

 

“If anyone can help find Remy its Greg.” Scott said more to himself than to her. “Don’t pressure or question him, and most definitely don’t try to get in his head again.”

 

“What sort of thing are we talking about here, what’s he capable of?”

 

Before Scott could reply the others pushed open the door and stepped outside to join her.

 

“I’ll call you later.” She told him, and hung up.

 

******

 

Back in New York, Scott Summers sat with his mind racing a mile a minute. He couldn’t understand why Jean didn’t recognise the name. He’d often wondered what had happened to Greg Sanders. He could never blame the young man for leaving like he did, after everything that happened, with Creed killing his younger brother and then Professor Xavier had tried to go into Greg’s head to try and calm his grief. It had been that betrayal that had finally pushed the young mutant into leaving. He never said anything to anyone; he was just gone one day. Charles had tried to locate him using Cerebro but it was as if he’d just fallen off the map.

 

Scott had watched Greg grow from an awkward teenager who had little control over his powers, into someone who was calm and intelligent with such fine controls it was astounding. There had been a time when he thought the other would go completely insane. When they first met, every time the teen would touch something he would see things as real as if they were happening around him, things from the past, memories imprinted on the objects fabric. He couldn’t stop the influx in images and got so bad that he wouldn’t let anyone touch him. Then he had developed a secondary mutation and suddenly his control had started to come into focus. Before long he could turn it on or off at will.

 

******

 

“I was just filling Cyclops in on what we know so far.” She told the other two X-men.

 

Greg faltered in mid step. He could guess who Cyclops was. He bit his tongue and resisted the urge to ask how Scott was. They had been such good friends once, so long ago; a whole other lifetime before. They were teenagers then, both getting to grips with their powers and finding their way in a strange world. He wondered if Scott remembered him, since it seemed neither Jean nor Bobby did. He knew Hank did, when Greg had been in college he’d run into him and they’d kept in touch periodically since.

 

“We have to get back to the lab.” He said, finally.

 

Logan had noticed though, he’d seen the faltered step and scented some strange emotions from the young man. His curiosity grew, more and more. This kid didn’t just know them, he was one of them and he had a history with them.

 

Greg went to the rear door and deposited the new evidence that he’d collected into his pack along with his camera. When he closed the door again, he turned his back to the vehicle with his eyes squeezed shut.

 

“You ok, bub?” The gruff voice of Logan startled the CSI.

 

He jumped, his eyes snapping open he looked at the shorter man. “Yeah, I just…” He shook his head to get rid of his thoughts. “I’m fine, just want to find Remy.”

 

Logan nodded, he understood that sometimes people needed to keep their own thoughts to themselves, he wasn’t going to push the kid but it didn’t mean he wasn’t curious. He had a suspicion that something big had happened in that alley as far as Greg was concerned and he would keep an eye on him to make sure he was ok.

 

One last look at each other and then they climbed into the SUV.

 

They had driven a little way, the silence in the car was tense but 3 of the occupants were fine with that. The 4th, however, wasn’t.

 

“So, what was that you did in the alley?” Bobby’s voice cut into the hush.

 

Jean cringed and Logan growled deeply, they’d forgotten to take into account the tactless quality of their youngest member. Greg didn’t flinch but the Wolverine smelt the increase in that mixture of emotions. The young CSI was keeping his concentration fixed on the road. He didn’t answer fast enough for Bobby’s liking and he ploughed on.

 

“You’re a mutant aren’t you? What’s your gift?” The glare he’d received from the feral hadn’t been enough to deter him from his probing.

 

“Bobby, shut up.” Logan growled his warning.

 

The Iceman looked completely bewildered. He didn’t understand why he was being warned off his questioning, it was obvious to him that there was something going on, that Greg had abilities that he hadn’t divulged. Bobby looked at Logan, questioningly and was met by a solid ‘keep your mouth shut.’ Look.

 

Still Greg didn’t reply. Inside he was a mass of mixed thoughts and emotions, he had been hiding from this side of him for so long. Of course, there had been many times when he’d been tempted to use his ‘talents’ to solve a case. But the knowledge that anything he found out that way would be inadmissible, kept him from giving in. However, standing in that alley, knowing that Creed had the young X-man, he felt too great an affinity for him to ignore the pull. It had been a long time, 8 years, since he’d left the mansion, since he’d last used his gifts. He’d used his abilities to be able to produce formidable shields that would stop Xavier’s Cerebro from being able to locate him. He had taken himself purposefully off the radar.

 

The young CSI had forgotten the rush that tapping into an object’s memory gave him. It made him feel alive again instead of the half dead existing he’d been doing for so long. The mention of Scott had thrown him, and he knew it hadn’t bypassed Logan’s attention, even if the other two didn’t quite know what was going on. He was still confused as to why neither of them remembered him, but he figured he hadn’t been that memorable as a teen.

 

They pulled into the parking lot and Greg switched the engine off. He turned to the others. “Look, what happened in that alley, you can’t say anything about it. It would make the evidence inadmissible. They have to think that I got the plate number from the tape.”

 

The other three nodded. Bobby looked slightly dumb, Jean looked like she was trying to figure out a great mystery, but Logan… he just looked like he understood. Greg sighed and ran a hand roughly through his spiky hair. His eyes locked on the Iceman’s and he nodded.

 

“Yes, I’m a mutant. But I can’t explain anymore than that to you and the people I work with cannot find out. I broke a personal promise when I used my power in that alley and I feel like shit, but I think it’s the only way we’ll find your guy. I’ll do what I have to do, but I don’t want to talk about it and no amount of questions will change that. ” He shifted his gaze between Jean and Bobby, already knowing that Logan understood.

 

Sanders waited until they both nodded before he gave a small nod himself and climbed out of the vehicle.

 

He never spoke again until they were inside the building. He dropped the tape at the A/V lab with only a few short instructions about it. He found Nick in one of the evidence rooms and looked at the blood-covered card that sat in its plastic evidence bag on the bench.

 

“Nick, these people are here to help us find the missing man… he’s one of their special ops team.”

 

Nick studied them carefully before pulling off his latex glove and holding his hand out to them. “Nick Stokes”

 

Handshakes and names were exchanged before Nick turned his attention back to Greg. “Anything new?”

 

“Tape of the alley at the back entrance, showed a van and a suspicious man loading a large heavy bundle into the back, I’m waiting for the info on the plate.”

 

Nick nodded. “We’ve got a print off the playing card, no ID but the system went a little nuts with related cases, mostly thefts.”

 

Bobby started to laugh quietly and Jean nudged him to shut him up. Logan thought it was best not to say anything.

 

“It’s important that Remy’s identity doesn’t become known.” Greg said almost imploring Nick to understand. He wished they’d warned him about this little fact; he could have been more prepared. “The work that he does requires a lot of anonymity and the ability to stay ‘off the radar’. Lives depend on it.”

 

Nick’s head tilted to the side and he raised an eyebrow. Greg almost laughed at the Grissom-like mannerisms.

 

“Just what kind of work does your team do?” Nick looked at the other three. They didn’t look like his idea of special ops.

 

His work colleague shifted where he was stood, obviously uncomfortable.

 

“The less people know the better.” Logan said gruffly.

 

Nick’s gaze narrowed on the short, hairy man for a brief moment before he looked at Greg. The young CSI looked like he wished the ground would open up and swallow him.

 

“Does Griss know?” Nick asked, simply.

 

Greg nodded; he did know some of it, just not all. “Griss is aware of the sensitive nature of the situation.”

 

Nick nodded, that was good enough for him. “Ok. I’m not saying I’m going to bury stuff but I’ll make sure it’s treated highly confidentially.”

 

A small sigh of relief and the younger CSI smiled, “Thanks Nick.”

 

Stokes nodded in acknowledgement, dumping both of his gloves in the biohazard bin. “I’m going to check out that tape.”

 

Left alone, Logan stalked towards the evidence laid out on the bench. His eyes caught the card. The blood on it stirred fear within him but he battled it back down. He reached a hand out but didn’t touch. Greg watched the scene curiously; it raised further suspicions within him about the nature of the rugged man’s relationship with Le Beau.

 

“Keep a look out.” He told Jean and stepped up to the bench. He was about to break almost every rule of being a CSI.

 

“Make sure I stay upright.” He told Logan. Greg looked at the card on the counter and reached his hand out, touching it with the back of a finger on a blood-free part.

 

The world tilted sideways and swam. He felt sick already. He was back in the apartment. A pale young man with long auburn hair, his stomach gouged, lay in the pool of blood, his strange eyes were open and he was looking upwards. The female victim was stood there crying, desperate, Creed stood behind her a hand pressed over her mouth and nose. Greg watched as she passed out and slumped from lack of air. The large feral mutant held her a moment longer then dropped her to the ground in the pool of Remy’s blood. Creed moved and stood over the injured young man a moment. Then the hurt X-man was lifted onto a dark quilt and rolled up in it. He watched as the bundle was carried from the room.

 

His vision span and he felt himself falling, strong arms were around him quickly. His eyes flickered and the room came back into focus. The Wolverine was holding him gently, his cheeks flushed and he steadied himself.

 

“I’m fine.” He said quietly, his voice almost unrecognisable.

 

Logan obviously didn’t believe him from the look on his face, but he let him go anyway. The moment Greg was free he scrambled towards the biohazard bin and threw up in it. He felt the soothing hand on his back as it rubbed small circles. He finally sat back on his heels.

 

“I need to see more.” His voice was as sad as he felt; his insides were twisted into an emotional knot. The card hadn’t been able to show him what had happened, what Remy was doing there, who the female victim was and what Creed was doing there.

 

“Ya need ta rest first, bub.” Logan helped him to his feet. He was starting to feel incredibly protective of this young man who was willing to turn his life upside down to help them.

 

“We haven’t got time.” Greg said more forcefully and shook his head.

 

The feral mutant looked at the pale faced CSI, he looked ill, he smelt distressed, yet still he was determined to carry on. He shook his head with more than a bit of admiration, the kid would make quite the X-man. He had no idea what the kid had seen but he was fairly sure it hadn’t been good. There would be no talking him out of it though. He gave a single nod.

 

“Lets get ya a chair ta sit on.” The Canadian looked pointedly at Bobby.

 

The blond had been stood there with a dumb look on his face since all this had started. At least he didn’t need telling twice and he jumped into action, retrieving a high stool from the other side of the room.

 

Greg sat on the stool, leaning against the bench as he closely examined the evidence that was laid out on it. The female vic’s clothes were there, either having been examined or in the process of being. Pulling the bag that the pink sweater was laying on towards him, he looked down at it. He took several deep breaths to try and settle himself. If he was honest, he really did not want to do this. It could only lead to nightmares, but they needed to know what had happened in that room. With a glance at Logan he reached out his hand, looking for a section that was blood free and again touching just the back of his finger against it.

 

The effect was instantaneous, the tilt… the spin, his eyes open but the room around him no longer the one he actually was sat in.

 

The woman was sat at the table, she was blonde and had a shoulder length bob, she was typing on a laptop. Greg made a mental note that they hadn’t found a laptop in the apartment. There was an almost musical laugh from elsewhere in the apartment that caused her to raise her head and look around, a smile on her lips.

 

“What are you up to Remy Le Beau?” She had a slight accent, Southern, not unlike Nick’s.

 

“Not’ing, Chere.” The man’s voice replied, full of amusement and with a Cajun lilt.

 

Of course, Greg had known he was Cajun but it hadn’t prepared him for the sound of such a sexy accent. He heard movement and turned in the direction of her gaze. His breath caught in his chest. Seeing the man injured and bleeding on the floor was very different to the sight that greeted him now. The man was stunning, dressed casually in jeans, he was wearing the same tight black t-shirt that he’d been wearing in his earlier vision, but now of course it was intact. He had a smudge of flour on his cheek and was wiping his hands on a cloth.

 

“Baking?” She asked, with a delighted tone to her voice.

 

“Oui, t’ought I’d make y’ a cake… t’ say merci.” He was crossing the room towards her now. “Means a lot t’ m’ dat y’ let m’ stay wit’ y’. Creed is like a dog wit’ a bone at de momen’.”

 

Greg saw the woman shudder; he could empathise.

 

“Y’all are always welcome here. I owe you for all ya did for me.”

 

He gave her the most disarming smile and waved a hand in the air, his body language saying quite clearly that he thought nothing of whatever it was he’d done. Greg felt his heart leap in his chest. He had no idea that Le Beau would be so utterly charming.

 

“Tell me about this new lover.”

 

The disarming smile grew and eclipsed anything Greg Sanders had ever seen. “Mon dieu, Logan is… he’s s’ wonderful, chere. When dat man loves y’ he loves wit’ everyt’ing he has. He’s a fierce enemy, mais... merde… he’s an even fiercer lover.” A wicked glint flashed in his burning red on black eyes and their observer felt himself growing jealous. He shook his head to get rid of those crazy thoughts.

 

The woman had reached up a hand and wiped the smudge from Remy’s cheek. “I’m pleased for y’all. You deserve to be happy for once Remy and he obviously does that for you.”

 

“Oui, dat he does… Remy t’ink he be de happiest man alive.”

 

Greg smiled at the words, how could he be jealous of that. The man was happy, and from the looks of it there hadn’t been a great deal of happiness in his past. A sound of something breaking cut into the moment and made the observer jump along with the blond woman. Remy’s face had paled but he reacted without hesitation; he pulled something from his back pocket and pushed the girl behind him, looking in the direction of the sound.

 

Following the line of Remy’s sight Greg looked towards a door, just as it crashed open. His stomach twisted as Creed stalked in. The Cajun tried to smooth talk but was too sarcastic to pull it off with the guy. Remy was bargaining for his friend’s life. Kelly, her name was, evidently. He was asking Creed to let her go in exchange for him.

 

It didn’t escape the observer’s attention that Remy could have got away, he was moving them towards the door slowly, but from what he’d seen he could easily have gone. But the man would not leave the girl alone to face his nightmare. The words that fell from Creed’s mouth were disgusting and hate-filled. He really did not like Remy it would seem.

 

They went from an almost stand off to everything happening so quickly. Sabertooth had seen them heading for the door and moved to cut them off. There was a short fight but Remy was obviously out of his league, there was an explosion, as one of his cards were charged and thrown, but all it seemed to do was anger Creed more. The feral’s claws came out and slashed out catching the auburn haired young man. A startled look flashed across his handsome face as, clutching his stomach he crumpled to the ground. As the events turned into what he’d seen previously he pulled himself back, he had no desire to watch Kelly die again.

 

He blinked his eyes to clear them and looked around the room then up at Logan. “Her name was Kelly, she was his friend. He’d helped her in the past and she was letting him stay there so he could hide from Creed. But Creed found them. He… wouldn’t leave her, he was trying to protect her when he got caught by a claw.” Greg felt sick again but didn’t run for the bin. He couldn’t pull his tear-filled eyes away from the dark haired feral.

 

Leaning towards him he whispered. “He loves you very much.”

 

The short, muscular man squeezed his eyes shut in undisguised pain. Greg didn’t know if their colleagues were aware of the relationship between the two men so he was discreet. He felt drained; he was so out of practice from using his talents.

 

“Company.” Jean’s voice interrupted the moment.

 

They looked around as Nick came back into the room. “We’ve got the rundown on the van.”

 

 

 

Chapter 4

 

Greg was racing across the city in his SUV, the X-men were on board with him, despite instructions that they were to remain back at base. He knew only too well there was no way Logan would want to stay behind and if he went they all would want to go. Besides, LVPD’s finest were still no match for Creed. He wondered if he really wanted to get into this, but figured there was a good chance it was probably already too late. There was no going back now, he’d already changed everything, the X-men, more importantly Scott, knew where he was now. And there would be questions from Gil that he didn’t really want to answer.

 

“What are the chances that Sabertooth will actually be stupid enough to be at the vehicles registered address?” Bobby asked, he was fairly sure they were on a wild goose chase of some sort.

 

They were nearing the address in an area that was mostly dilapidated warehouses, and Greg was hoping that they were going to beat the cops there. The clean up from this was going to be huge and if his head hurt now it was going to be killing him by the time they were done. He took a quick swig of high caffeine drink he’d brought along with him to try and replenish himself.

 

“He might be many things but bright isn’t one of them.” Greg pointed out.

 

The comment earned him curious looks from Bobby and Jean, “Wait, you know him? You know Creed?” Bobby, ever the tactless latched on to what he’d said.

 

Logan growled at the blond, hoping to shut him up.

 

Greg swerved around a car and pulled back into lane, his driving had gotten more intent. The time was drawing near; he was going to have to use his other talents. He started with Bobby and let his curiosity run through him, it was a safe enough emotion to tap into, there were tendrils of fear, but mostly there was excitement, eagerness and curiosity. The CSI sighed. He moved away from it and focused on Jean, there was a sharp edged curiosity, the worry was broader in her but it was entwined closely with confidence, she had the belief that they would get Remy back.

 

Jean felt the brush over her mind, familiar with the touch of a telepath she scowled, it wasn’t quite like that. She looked across at Greg, //if he’s capable of using his mind to read objects, what else could he do?//

 

When he felt the increase in curiosity he pulled back, she’d felt him. He clutched the wheel and took a hard right. He hesitated to look at Logan, he didn’t want to know what the feral man was feeling, but he needed to have all their emotional signatures filed away so they wouldn’t get hurt when they attacked. He was surprised at how easily it had come back to him, slipping in and out of peoples emotions at will, the shields that he’d kept locked up so tightly readily allowed him to weave in and out. He was proud that even without direct practice his control had improved.

 

Greg turned his attention on Logan. He felt the fear, pain, love, need, anger… such deep anger and rage. The man felt like a caged beast prowling inside its enclosure, so many emotions that ran so deeply and strong. It was almost enough to make him gasp out loud.

 

He turned left and pulled up outside a small building beside a warehouse, 50 feet in front of them was the van. The cops hadn’t yet arrived but they wouldn’t be far away. He held a finger to his lips to silence them all. He eased out of the driver’s side, watching as they all copied and made their way slowly towards the building. He held up a hand to stop them and opened his shields to check out who was inside.

 

Logan already knew that Creed was there, he could smell him, and he could smell Remy but he didn’t know if that was the blood from the back of the van or if he was actually there. He was working really hard to stop himself from just rushing in there. For some reason he was more than willing to follow the young CSI’s lead.

 

Greg felt aggression, a rage similar to what he’d felt in Logan, but where that had been directed and discreet, this was just a broad spectrum, there was an almost sadistic feeling of satisfaction and very little else. He catalogued Creed’s signature carefully then backed away, deepening his search, he was about to give up when he felt the smallest amounts of pain and grief. It caused the young man to bite down on his lip. Remy was in there but he didn’t have much left in him.

 

He tucked that in the mental folder of ‘friends’ along with the other three, then focused back on the feral. He pulled up every dark negative feeling he had, thought of watching Kelly die, of Creed slicing into Remy, of his own brother’s death, losing Scott, he brought up the pain from the explosion and of losing everything. And he sent it all down the channel to Sabertooth.

 

There was an animalistic howl of pain from inside. “Go.” He told the others, not waiting to see if they followed.

 

Creed was on the ground holding his head in his hands. Bobby iced him in place as the Logan popped his claws. The blond feral struck out wildly before returning to clutch his head when Greg sent another burst of despair.

 

Jean studied their new ally a moment before heading to the bloody form of their team mate. He didn’t appear conscious to her and she checked his vitals. Bobby kept Creed immobilised while the other’s turned their attention to Remy. Logan didn’t hold back, despite the agreement that he and the Cajun had had before, he didn’t care if they all knew now, he’d almost lost him.

 

“Remy, darlin’ can ya hear me.” He picked up a slender hand that was cold to the touch. If he wasn’t able to hear the slow heart beat, he would have sworn that his lover was dead.

 

There was a whimper from the redhead, and he started to shake. “Crap.”

 

Greg felt the panic from the Cajun, the pain and swirling mass, the X-man’s shields were gone and he was reacting to the emotion pouring off the others.

 

“Everyone back away.” The CSI told them, “you’re overloading him, he can’t keep the emotions out.”

 

Looks were exchanged all round but Greg paid them no mind as he eased himself into Remy’s mind, he focused on building up shields that would be as tight as his own. When he was satisfied he pulled back out, everyone was looking at him expectantly.

 

“He needs medical treatment, I know somewhere.” He looked at Logan knowing that he would pick up his lover.

 

The feral mutant didn’t need telling as he gathered the Cajun up in his arms; he had made the decision some time earlier that this kid knew what he was doing. And he did what he was told, including backing off even though all he’d wanted was to hold his boy. He’d needed to warn the other two to let Greg do his thing, though, since he seemed like he was no longer with them enough to communicate while he was doing whatever he was doing to help Remy.

 

Looking at the pale exhausted CSI, he had to wonder how they were going to get where they were going.

 

“He’s got a weird blood grouping.” Logan told him as he was led back to the door.

 

Greg wore a look of contemplation but didn’t stop, “It’ll be fine.” He opened the SUV door just as the first of the LVPD vehicles arrived, along with Nick and Griss.

 

“Perps still in there, we need to get his vic to some help.” He called. “Be careful, he’s a lot harder to take down than he looks.”

 

The dapple-haired CSI swung up into the car and took off. He could hear Logan in the back uttering soothing words to the Cajun. He could feel curiosity coming of Jean in tangible waves, and he could feel the peace that was twining tightly with the pain from the link he’d inadvertently formed with Remy. He sent back strength and certainty. They would get him to help in time, they would.

 

******

 

“Ya sure about this, bub?” It was the first time since things had kicked off that Logan had questioned the intelligence of their actions.

 

“Yeah.” Greg confirmed, “She’s helped me out many times.” He pushed through the door, holding it open for the Feral and his burden. It was a free clinic, the kind that usually looked after those too poor to pay, the homeless and such.

 

The receptionist stood as they came barging in.

 

“We need Doc Burton.” He told her.

 

“She’s busy with a patient, if its an emergency you really should go....”

 

“DOC” Greg shouted, he let out a blast of urgent need and there was a sound of door opening and hurrying footsteps.

 

“Greg…” The Doctor had been about to ask what was going on, but stopped short when she saw the injured man.

 

“He doesn’t have long, he needs your special kind of help.” He told her.

 

The short dark haired doctor nodded her head, “Sure, this way.”

 

Doc Burton waited until Logan had set Remy down before turning to them “You’ll all have to wait outside.”

 

There was a murmur of protest but they all turned to comply.

 

“Not you.” Her hand caught Greg’s arm and stopped him. “I need your help.”

 

The door clicked closed leaving the three X-men waiting anxiously in the corridor.

 

“You formed an empathic bond with him.” She stated simply, her eyes flaring a slightly brighter shade of green.

 

“His shields were down, I had to repair them, it was a side affect, we should be able to reverse it when he’s recovered.” He hoped he was right. While he talked he saw the Doc running her scan, hands hovering over Remy’s injured body.

 

“There’s a lot of damage, it’s going to take some time. I need you to tell Louise to get your blood from the store, you’re very lucky that you both share such unique grouping.”

 

Greg didn’t hesitate he was out of the door and on his way to reception like a cat off a hot tin roof. The nurse that was there with the receptionist, looked at him like he was an alien when he first made his request.

 

“Its urgent Lou.” He urged and she snapped into action.

 

“I’ll bring it down there for you.” She said softly, sensing his desire to get back to whatever they were doing.

 

The young CSI felt a wave of anxiety spread through him, it wasn’t his emotion so he made a quick dash back to the room. Remy’s eyes were open and he was looking around in fear, but didn’t have the energy to move away.

 

“Remy… its ok, your safe. Maria is here to help. It’ll be ok… just relax.” Greg told him, picking up one of his hands and caressing it gently.

 

The strange Cajun eyes blinked slowly, “…you.” he whispered.

 

As if it were a foreign language that only he could understand the CSI nodded, “Yeah… its me, you feel me, don’t you… I feel you too. Let me help you relax?”

 

If he didn’t want him to then he wouldn’t, so he waited while the offer was considered. There was a slightest nod of the head. “Oui.”

 

Greg nodded and started to send calming sensations to the X-man who suddenly looked so young and helpless. After a few minutes he felt it start to be reflected back to him and he knew it must have been working. He kept his focus on the Cajun, sensing the doctor doing her thing nearby. He heard the door open and close, but didn’t look up at the exchange that took place between Louise and Maria.

 

An IV was set up to run blood into Remy’s arm while Maria used her healing ability to seal up the damage done. There would be scars, but he would live.

 

******

 

Remy had been so disorientated when he came round, the last he’d remembered before losing consciousness was Creed standing over him, gloating that he was going to make him suffer. He didn’t know where he was, or who the woman leaning over him was. He felt something inside that wasn’t him but his shields were up…in fact they didn’t feel much like his shields at all. He was confused and panic had started to run through him.

 

The foreign feeling had grown when the young man leaned over to meet his eyes, he could feel him holding his hand but it felt almost detached from him. Instinctively, he found himself trusting the guy; he was attractive with spiky hair that was brown with bleach blond tufts, he thought it was quirky and if he’d had the energy he knew he would have been flirting. He realised as an after thought that he was wearing a black stab jacket with the LVPD logo on it. The guy was a cop? Since when did he trust cops? But the calming sensation that was being sent his way was working and he was relaxed. The cop was a mutant… an empath, like him.

 

He could feel a tingling spreading through his body and his eyelids started to feel heavy, he gave a long slow blink, not wanting to stop looking into those chocolate brown eyes that offered him comfort and calmed him in a way no one else ever had.

 

“It’s ok, rest, close your eyes, I’ll still be here when you wake up. And Logan will be here too.” The man said softly.

 

The Cajun let himself give into it, his eyes finally closed and he was pulled down into a restful sleep.

 

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Greg watched the auburn haired man sleep, Maria had finished, having done everything she could. All that was left was for the blood to finish running through and for Remy to rest enough to get his strength back. He brushed a lock of hair back from the handsome face; it was strange being there with him in the flesh after seeing him earlier from touching the card. It almost messed with his sense of reality. One thing was for certain… he couldn’t help the feelings that were stirring in him.

 

The door opened and he turned his head to see Logan quietly entering. He crossed the room and looked down at his lover. Greg suddenly felt self-conscious holding the slender hand and started to ease his hand from around it.

 

“It’s ok.” Logan’s gruff voice in a hushed tone was strange sounding. He rested his hand over the top of Greg’s where it held Remy’s. “I don’t know how ta thank you. If we’d have been any longer…” He trailed off, knowing he didn’t have to say the rest.

 

A small smile pulled at Greg’s lips. “I’m glad we got to him in time. You need to know… when I rebuilt his shields, it formed a link between us.”

 

Logan nodded, taking it in his stride. “The Doc said he woke up, that ya calmed him down. He doesn’t do well with medical stuff, so it’s a good thing ya did… but, well, what I’m trying to say is that if he trusts you then I know yer a good guy. Not that I didn’t already know that.” He gave the young man a slightly wolfish smile.

 

The smile that Greg received from the feral made his stomach jump. He could see in this man what Remy did, and the weight of his hand on top of theirs felt… good and right.

 

“Y’ two sure make ‘nough noise.” Remy’s croaky voice protested before his eyes fluttered open.

 

Greg felt his hand squeezed between the other two men’s and a blush crept up his cheeks. Red on black eyes looked up at him, a slight twinkle in them that he remembered seeing from when he had been talking to Kelly about Logan. “Y’ forgetting somet’ing here, Cher, dis link we got…goes bot’ ways. And de big guy dere can smell y’.”

 

The CSI groaned audibly, he was sunk. He expected hands to be pulled away and maybe a growl and punch from the feral. What he got instead was a deep chuckle and a slightly tinkling laugh. He looked confused from one to the other.

 

“Maybe I should leave you guys to talk.” He muttered, shuffling his feet and hoping that his hand would be released.

 

Remy shook his head, “Non, we can talk jus’ fine wit’ y’ here.” He smiled softly and looked at Logan.

 

Greg felt the affection flow through the link, it felt nice, like being wrapped in a warm blanket, he wished it was directed at him. And as far as he could see there wasn’t a great deal of talking going on, mostly just gazing at each other. He blushed, feeling very much like he was intruding. But there was no way he was going to get his hand out from inside that vice like grip the two of them had going on.

 

A thread of fear rapidly crept through the warmth, the CSI looked at Remy in confusion. “What is it, Remy? What’s wrong?”

 

“Creed?” He asked in an uncertain voice.

 

Logan growled at the mention of the scumbag’s name.

 

“We took care of him for now. Hopefully, my colleagues have taken care of him on a more permanent basis.” Greg tried to reassure him. He didn’t want to bring up Kelly’s murder, but he was sure there was more than enough evidence to put Creed away for life, he wondered if the death penalty would work on him.

 

“Can’ believe I’m trustin’ a cop.” The Cajun said with a wry smirk.

 

Greg bristled, unhappily; he felt the mix of distrust and humour at the statement. And looked away. He wanted very much to pull his hand away but a tug on it proved it wasn’t moving.

 

“Rems, Greg ain’t a cop, he’s a Crime Scene Investigator, and he’s gone a long way out of his way ta help us ta find ya and get ya outta there safe… He’s risked his job and his whole way of life.” Logan told his young lover.

 

The Cajun felt the emotions from Greg and immediately regretted his words, he hadn’t meant to offend or upset. “Am sorry, Cher, Remy jus’ mean… wit’ him bein’ a t’ief an’ all. Y’ know… not what y’ would expect.” The usually charming Cajun found himself digging a deeper hole. “Merde, Remy sorry.” He squeezed the hand and sent his regret to the man who he apparently had to thank for him still being alive.

 

What Logan had said was working its way through his thoughts, what if Grissom sacked him for ignoring an order. He groaned and sagged. “I might as well start looking for a new job now.” He murmured.

 

The feral frowned, “That boss of yers seemed like a decent guy, I’m sure he’ll be understanding, bub.”

 

Yeah… Gil was a good guy, but he was also the sort of guy that expected his team to do as he told them when safety was involved. Greg shrugged. Gil was going to be so disappointed in him for what he’d done, and as curious as the guy might be… he would be pissed… a pissed Grissom was not something he really wanted to encounter.

 

“Maria is a good doctor and she’ll let you rest a while but the clinic isn’t set up for people to stay, you can all come back to my apartment and rest up if you like.” Greg offered, not feeling in the slightest bit apologetic for the obvious topic change. “You’re still to weak to fly.” He told Remy, his voice full of concern.

 

Logan and Remy looked at each other and then up at the CSI. “Sure thing, Bub.” The feral agreed. “I’ll go talk ta the others”

 

Greg and Remy were left alone again. “I had to bag your clothes I’m afraid, they’re evidence. It’ll help add to getting Creed locked up.” Greg told him.

 

The Cajun felt the hatred when the other man said that name and he wondered about his experience with the beast. There was a vulnerability about this guy, something adorable and puppyish, he wanted to take him home with him and look after him. He smiled reassuringly.

 

“Non problem, Cher.” He still managed to flirt shamelessly despite being in recovery from his injuries, “S’ long as Remy got somet’ng f’ coverin’ his modesty, Oui?” He winked.

 

Greg laughed and nodded. “I’ve got some spare clothes in my car, they’ll be small on you lengthwise, but they’ll cover the important bits.”

 

******

 

“Here we are.” Greg declared as he pushed open the apartment door. “It’s not much, but its home.”

 

Logan followed him in, carrying Remy, much to the Cajun’s disgust and despite his continued protests. He wasn’t allowed free of his lover’s arms until he was set down on the comfortable looking sofa.

 

Bobby and Jean had surprised them by declaring that they would return to Xavier’s and that when Remy was well enough to travel they would come and collect the two X-men. Jean had secretly hoped that spending enough time with Gambit and Wolverine would encourage the young CSI to come and join them; he and his abilities fascinated her. So, after a quick stop at the Crime Lab to drop in the collected evidence, the trio had headed for Greg’s apartment

 

Greg closed the door and locked it, then made sure the rest of the apartment was still secure, it was a routine that bordered on OCD, he had been paranoid for sometime about Creed and it had unnerved him that the man had been in ‘his’ town. He headed for the phone and found the message number blinking 2 at him. He hit play and Grissom’s displeased voice filled the silence.

 

“Greg, I want to talk to you. I tried your cell but it was off, call me when you get this, if only to tell me how Mr.Le Beau is doing.”

 

There was a beep and then Nick’s voice, perplexed and weary, “Greggo, what were you thinking, taking civilians to a scene like that? We got the perp’, he was all encased in ice, we thought he was gonna be dead, Greg, what’s going on? Call me.”

 

The CSI deleted the messages and turned in the direction of the flow of sympathy he felt.

 

“Am sorry, mon ami, f’ causing y’ all dis trouble.” Remy started to say but Greg waved a hand in the air.

 

“Don’t apologise, I wanted to help, I’m glad I did, I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if that monster had…” He trailed off. “I saw what he did to you Remy, I couldn’t leave you to that.”

 

Clearly the Cajun still didn’t understand just how instrumental in finding him the brown and blond haired man had been. His brow furrowed and his confusion lit up the link.

 

“Psychometry is the scientific name for it. Reading the energy from objects, but I do more than that, it puts me there and I see it like its more real than a movie clip. I’m not just an empath.” Greg explained, “It was the only way to find out what had happened.”

 

Logan felt the urge to gather the young man into his arms and hold him, the only other person that made him feel like that was lying on the sofa, whatever feelings that Greg Sanders seemed to be stirring in him, it seemed that it was mutual with Remy, he’d smelt the desire from him before. He glanced at his Cajun before giving into the urge.

 

The moment the Feral’s arms closed around him, Greg felt himself crumbling, so much had happened since he’d set off on this case and he was wiped out, physically and emotionally. He started to cry, hearing soft comforting sounds come from the man holding him, one hand rubbing circles on his back, the other ran through his hair. He felt them moving but didn’t protest, and then he was being lowered to the couch and another body was wrapping round him.

 

“Shh, its alrigh’, am gon’ be jus’ fine, petite. Must have been scary, oui, mais…it’s over now, we all safe. All t’anks t’ y’.” Remy’s smooth voice murmured reassuringly in his ear and he felt enveloped by the same affection he’d felt when the Cajun had looked at Logan.

 

In some respect he felt bad that he was the one being comforted, really it was Remy who’d been hurt and Logan had been so worried for his lover… so if anyone should be doing the comforting it should have been him, but it felt so good being wrapped in their arms. A blush stained his cheeks, he was crying and being comforted by two men who were hot in very different ways, and as could only be expected, his body had started to respond in arousal.

 

Remy felt it down the link and Logan smelt it. It hadn’t been their intention to seduce the young man, but it was obvious that he was interested in one or both of them. The caresses that had started off as comfort, gradually turned more sensual. Sliding over the lithe body in exploration, mapping it through his clothes. Neither would have guessed that the baggy shirt hid such a strong physique.

 

Greg felt the difference in the touch, and was torn between losing himself in their comfort and worry over rushing into something with the still recovering man. Slender fingers ghosted over his nipples and he groaned in reflex as they stiffened.

 

“Should we be doing this?” He asked, his voice a little more than a whisper.

 

“Won’t do anything ya don’t want, darlin’.” Logan’s gruff voice tickled his ear. “And the Cajun would have ta be dead before ya could stop him havin’ sex.”

 

A shiver ran through Greg at that thought, he really didn’t want to think how close they had come to losing Remy.

 

A hand ghosted over his groin and he arched into it, his body carrying him on pure instinct. He gasped and groaned as teeth nibbled at his neck so light they wouldn’t even bruise. When he didn’t protest at the intimate touch the hand on his groin, long and slender, so obviously belonging to the Cajun, unfastened his jeans and slipped inside.

 

“Oh god.” He didn’t think he was going to last long. He clutched at Logan, still afraid that Remy was too fragile. The thought faded though as the redhead freed his cock and lowered his mouth to the hard flesh. “I’m gonna die.” Greg muttered.

 

A rumbling chuckle at his ear reverberated along his spine and he moaned, “Remy’s mouth‘ll do that to ya.”

 

The CSI felt the amusement and desire through the link, he could also feel how much the other man was enjoying sucking on his cock. Logan was almost holding him in place, the urge to cum rose up and threatened to crash over him, if he’d been able to he would have thrust his hips up. Instead, he cried out and came, his body shuddering with the intensity. Greg had the feeling they were just getting started.

 

 

 

Chapter 6

 

There was a phone ringing and Greg groaned his protest, he felt so good and relaxed he was practically part of the mattress. If only the damn ringing would shut up. He went to roll out of bed to go and answer it but an arm tightened around him from behind. That was unusual, he cracked an eyelid and everything came flooding back. There was a pool of auburn hair on the pillow in front of him and the arm around him was muscular and strong. He grinned.

 

“Merde, y’ better answer dat, Cher.” The Cajun’s voice cut through his internal celebration of their earlier antics. “Don’ t’ink dey be goin’ ‘way.”

 

Greg somehow managed to pry himself from under that strong arm and from between the two warm sexy bodies and picked up the phone.

 

“Yo?” He tried to sound more awake than he felt.

 

“Greg?” Gil’s concerned voice echoed in his ears.

 

“Um, hey Griss, I was gonna call but we were so wiped that we just sorta crashed.” He shifted nervously from one foot to another.

 

“Are you Ok? How’s Mr.Le Beau?”

 

“I’m fine… Remy was hurt really badly, but I got him to someone who could help him, he’s gonna be ok.” Slender arms wrapped around him from behind and he felt a warmth through the link. The Cajun had felt his unsettled emotions and come to reassure him. A smile tugged at his lips. “Gil, I’m sorry, but Creed… the cops wouldn’t have been able to handle him, not like… not like these guys could.”

 

“Greg,” Gil paused, Greg tensed. “We need to talk, not on the phone.”

 

He nodded, unseen by his supervisor on the other end. “…yeah. I’ll be in for my shift.” He checked the time. “I have some evidence to bring too.”

 

They said their goodbyes and the dapple-haired CSI hung up his phone, turning in the arms that held him and resting his forehead on a muscular shoulder. He felt a gentle hand in his hair.

 

“Y’ know what y’ gon’ do, Cher?” The soft accented tone enquired.

 

Greg shook his head, “not a clue.”

 

“Y’ can always come back t’ New York with us.” Remy told him, his brow furrowed in surprise at the unease that surged through the link. “Y’ not s’ keen on dat idea, non?” A hurt note crept into his voice, not sure if Greg had only seen this as a one off, and really he wasn’t sure why that thought would upset him.

 

“It’s not what you think.” He straightened up, looking into those unique eyes; his own chocolate brown eyes heavy with emotion, he was at a loss as to how to explain. As he felt the wave of disappointment.

 

“It’s got somethin’ ta do with Slim.” Logan’s gruff voice cut in from nearby.

 

Remy looked puzzled and Greg’s cheeks almost turned scarlet. Easing himself out from the reassuring embrace, he took one slender hand in his and pulled the Cajun gently towards the sofa. His eyes looked over at Logan and called to him silently. The Feral mutant joined them without a word.

 

“I was a student of Xavier’s.”

 

There were twin frowns but neither said anything as Greg took a breath to continue his explanation.

 

“I don’t know why Jean and Bobby don’t remember me, but I was there in the beginning like they were. Scott, Warren, Hank, Jean, Bobby and me… we were the first ones. Scott and I…we had a thing. My brother manifested, and I convinced my parents to send him to the school too. There was an attack on the mansion…Creed, he…” Greg broke off.

 

Both Logan and Remy felt the distress and shuffled closer to him. “My brother was murdered by that monster, he was just a kid. I probably would have handled it eventually but Xavier interfered.” Greg’s voice turned bitter. “He tried to manipulate my mind to get me over the grief.” He shook his head and looked at Logan, “You saw what I did with Jean. When I developed the empathy I had to build my own shields, part of that is being able to recognise and immunity to psionic attacks. I couldn’t forgive him for what he did; it was the ultimate in betrayal of trust to me. So, I left.”

 

“Bobby and Jeannie had no idea who ya are, I know memories fade over time, but… I doubt that’s somethin’ they’d forget.”

 

“I bumped into Hank at college, we kept in touch via email. And you’re right, it makes me wonder… if Xavier was willing to go into my mind and mess with my grief…”

 

“Mon dieu.” Remy shook his head in annoyance. “Dat man.”

 

“Yeah, look… I have to get ready for work. I’m really not sure what’s going to happen, but you can understand why I’d be reluctant to return with you, right?”

 

The Cajun leaned over and planted a kiss lightly on Greg’s lips. “Oui, Cher, I understand.”

 

******

 

“Hey boss.” Greg put on his cheerful mask as he peered around the doorframe of Gil’s office.

 

“Greg, come in… shut the door.” Cool professionalism gave nothing away about what was about to be said.

 

The young CSI swallowed and stepped inside, pulling the door closed and sitting himself down across the desk from his supervisor.

 

“Nick’s been asking a lot of questions about your…acquaintances.”

 

He nodded, “He left a message on my answer phone about the ice. What did you tell him?”

 

“Something about specialist weapons. Tell me about Creed.” Gil prompted.

 

“He’s a mutant.” Greg stated.

 

“That much I worked out.”

 

“He’s what they call a feral, enhanced senses, sharp claws, and a healing factor, he can damn near recover from any injury.” He tried to explain as succinctly as he could.

 

Griss nodded, “And you?”

 

Greg’s brow creased, “What do you mean?”

 

The older man took off his glasses and chewed on the arm while steely blue-grey eyes studied the dapple-haired man across from him. “You don’t expect me to believe you know all about these people just from a bystander point of view, Greg… I know you better than that. You were too *involved* with this case.”

 

He cringed and brought his hands up to rub at his face. “Yeah.” He confirmed.

 

Gil waited patiently and Greg knew he was waiting for him to tell him what his mutation was. He sighed, it was inevitable, his boss was just too curious about…well…everything, he wouldn’t get away with not telling him.

 

“Before I tell you, I need you to know that I have absolutely not used my abilities at work ever. I wouldn’t jeopardize a case.” He waited for a nod of understanding before carrying on. “Psychometry and empathy.” For some reason he didn’t mention the telekinesis, he wasn’t sure why though.

 

Grissom raised an enquiring eyebrow.

 

“When I touch an object I can tap into its energy to see the things that…well it has. And the empathy…well I can feel other peoples emotions and if I want to, send my own. I have complete control over both. I can switch them both off.” He quickly added.

 

“Intriguing. It would, no doubt be insensitive of me to ask you to demonstrate them.”

 

Greg sighed heavily, “I’d rather you didn’t.”

 

******

 

An exhausted and stunned Greg Sanders climbed the stairs to his apartment. He wasn’t fired, which meant he was now uncertain of what to do next, should he stay or should he go. He really liked Remy and Logan, could the three of them have a future? Could he have a future as an X-man? What would happen if he saw Scott again? Would the man remember him? Would it be better or worse if he didn’t?

 

He had a friend in the NY CSI department and he figured he could probably transfer there, he might not even need to go anywhere near Xavier’s. He just couldn’t decide what he really wanted to do.

 

 

 

Chapter 7

 

The knock at the door made Greg turn his head, but little else, he was watching cartoons, curled up against the large comforting frame of one of his two new lovers. There was a grunt from his human cushion as a second knock sounded.

 

“You gonna get that, darlin’ doesn’t look like they’re gonna go away.”

 

With a sigh, Greg got to his feet and dragged them all the way across the room to his front door. He pulled it open without checking the spy hole; some might call that stupid, but he’d heard stories about a man being shot through one.

 

“Nick? Um…hey.” His eyes widened slightly at seeing his friend there. They had come so close to being something else, but it hadn’t quite happened, he wasn’t sure how he felt about that still.

 

“Hey G, thought I’d stop by and catch up. You never called me back. We could order take out?”

 

Greg chewed his lip, it had been a couple of days since the dramatic events in that warehouse, he’d spoken with Gil and the man had been understanding, had given him a few days off to look after his guest. He’d managed to avoid seeing Nick on his trip into work and hadn’t known what to say on the phone. If he turned the man away now, there would be no going back for their friendship. He was still deciding what to do, something that had taken microseconds in reality but felt like long minutes had dragged by.

 

“Hey Cher, y’know where m’ watch is?” The smooth Cajun voice cut in from the bedroom.

 

His eyes squeezed closed, then reopened, looking at the Texan with a small almost-embarrassed smile.

 

“Oh, you have company. Sorry.” Nick’s smile fell away when he heard the voice. “I’ll, go…we can… some other time, yeah?”

 

“Nicky,” He shook his head and held the door open, “Come in.” He couldn’t put this off anymore.

 

There was hesitation on the dark-haired man’s face and he looked like he was about to protest, but in the end he stepped through the door, curiosity seeming to get the better of him. Greg saw the moment that his colleague spotted one of his guests. The brown eyes widened and turned towards him questioningly.

 

“G?” The unasked question, why do you have the short hairy guy from the lab in your apartment?

 

“Found it.” The light Cajun voice called out triumphantly as he appeared from the bedroom. He gave the new arrival the once over and a smile, feeling the nerves flooding down the link from his host and lover. “Bonjour.” He said smoothly.

 

There was no mistaking the look on the older CSI’s face, he’d seen those eyes, and the calculations were almost running behind his inquisitive eyes like tiny computers.

 

Greg took a deep breath. “Nick, you met Logan.” He indicated the short gruff man who was no longer sitting on the sofa but was adopting a defensive stance. “This is Remy.” He tried to keep his voice light, but while he knew he might be lucky to fool the other CSI the other two men would see right through it.

 

“Remy? The guy who was…” It was left unsaid but his eyes had swept over the lithe auburn haired man who no longer showed obvious signs of injuries.

 

“Oui.” The charming smile lit his handsome face and he held out his hand to shake the Texan’s. “Wan’ t’ thank y’ fer y’ help in findin’ m’.”

 

Before he really knew what he was doing, Nick was shaking the slender hand, captivated by those strange eyes, he knew he was staring but there was nothing he could do about it.

 

“Remy needed somewhere to rest up before returning home. Logan stayed to keep him company.”

 

“Greg…” Nick tried again, belatedly releasing the hand he’d still been shaking.

 

“Why don’t we all sit down.”

 

“I’ll make coffee, oui?” The Cajun offered, cheerfully.

 

The younger CSI gave him a grateful smile and watched him disappear off to the kitchen. He took a deep breath and indicated the chair for Nick, opting to sit on the sofa next to Logan where he’d sat back down, threat obviously assessed. He was relieved when his friend took the seat offered.

 

“I know I owe you some kind of explanation.” He started, “this case was really hard for me, it hit close to home, something that I’d been trying for a lot of years to forget about. I’ll be honest, I never intended to tell you.” At the flash of hurt confusion he quickly elaborated, “or anyone.”

 

He felt a warm affectionate reassurance thread through his mind from the link and it relaxed him, slightly. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, but it helped having the support of his lovers.

 

“Remy is a mutant.” He forestalled the deep frown, and question that formed in the intelligent brown eyes, by quickly continuing. “That means, his genes have mutated in a helpful way, evolved useful physiological enhancements.”

 

“His eyes?” The uncertainty in the other man’s voice reflected how he didn’t understand how those freaky looking eyes were helpful.

 

Greg nodded, “his vision is better than yours or mine. They look pretty strange, but they’re also useful.”

 

Nick’s eyes shifted to look at Logan, the question in them clear, he could see Remy’s mutation, but if they were teammates then that meant the other man had something too. All he received from the gruff man was a nod.

 

“Logan has gifts too.” He didn’t elaborate despite the blatant curiosity, if they wanted to tell more they would do it themselves, it wasn’t for Greg to decide how much of their secrets to share.

 

“Why was this so important to you, G? Why did you resist your career for this case? And how do you know so much about it?”

 

He’d expected the question; sure, he’d hoped that it wouldn’t come but he knew his colleague, he was a one of the top criminalists in the state, something like that wasn’t going to pass him by.

 

He rubbed the back of his neck and nodded slowly, “I’m like them.”

 

Brown eyes widened as that filtered into his mind, “Like them? You’re a…”

 

“Mutant.” Greg confirmed with a nod.

 

Nick swallowed, gave a frown of concentration and confusion as he processed the new information. “W…what? I mean…”

 

As much as he’d dreaded revealing that he was a mutant to his friend, he was downright terrified of sharing the nature of it. But he knew that the other man wouldn’t let it go, he’d watched enough of his interrogations to know that when he wanted to know something he wouldn’t stop until he knew. The sensations flowing down the link increased in response to his growing apprehension and he let the emotions dampen some of his fear like water on a fire. He sent a wave of gratitude back.

 

Remy appeared with the coffee while Greg was working out how to answer the question still. Nick’s eyes lifted, slightly shy about looking at the unique eyes but not so much so that he would pull his gaze away. The Cajun handed the coffee cups out and sat down on the sofa between the other two mutants, he didn’t relax against his partner like he usually would, but remained attentive on the alert.

 

“Have you ever heard of psychometry?” The young CSI asked.

 

The frown deepened a moment then lightened, “Has this got something to do with that Sedona Wiley case?”

 

Greg smiled indulgently and shook his head. “She was a medium, possibly a mutant, I dunno with never having spoken to her. But, it’s part of why I believe in the unbelievable.” He went on to explain what psychometry was.

 

Nick looked baffled, it was only to be expected really, “So, you’re telling me… when you touch things you… see stuff that’s happened to it?”

 

He nodded, “That’s pretty much it.” He took a much-needed drink of coffee to calm his nerves further. “I can control it though, switch it off. I hadn’t used it in a long time until this case.”

 

There was a sharp intake of air. “You used it on the case… G…”

 

“I had to Nick, if I didn’t we wouldn’t have found Remy in time.” The affection in the link increased rapidly. “It’s the only one I have, and the evidence collected is sound and untainted. And yes… Grissom knows.”

 

The other CSI sat and blinked at him, it was like he was looking at someone he didn’t even know, he didn’t understand. He was quiet for a long time and that worried the dapple-haired guy the most, just when he started to reach for the panic button the other man spoke.

 

“This is a lot to take in, Greg. I… need some time to think things through.” He got to his feet without waiting for a reply and left.

 

Before he could protest the door was clicking shut and he slumped back on the sofa, it hadn’t gone well. Strong arms surrounded him from both sides and reassurance filled his mind, he allowed them to comfort him.

 

******

 

Hank had called to warn him, Scott was on his way to pick Logan and Remy up in the Blackbird. Greg wasn’t happy, he didn’t like the idea of the man knowing where he was, he didn’t know how he would handle it. Evidently, Scott remembered him and he wanted to see him. Conveniently, he’d been called in to work and so wouldn’t be at the apartment when the man arrived.

 

He’d said his goodbyes to his lovers and promised to keep in touch and that he would see them soon. He was already planning a vacation with them, possibly New York, possibly somewhere warmer – to suit the Cajun’s needs.

 

He smiled as he entered the break room, immediately starting to make coffee, the two X-men had made him so happy the last 4 days; it was like he’d managed to find himself again. He hadn’t realised how lost he’d become since he’d stopped using his abilities. He’d talked about it with Logan, the man was surprisingly deeper than he first appeared, he’d studied in Japan and was actually quite a philosophical man. He’d been denying a part of himself, shutting it off like that was like trying to live without kidneys, while they could put you on dialysis and support your body for a while, you were going to eventually need them. He needed his mutation, needed to use it to remain healthy and whole… he couldn’t deny it anymore.

 

That didn’t mean he had to use it all the time, just that he occasionally had to let it out to stretch its legs he could still keep it switched off at work. He found, rather than increasing the temptation to use it, he’d actually decreased it because the need wasn’t constantly gnawing at him.

 

He felt someone enter the room behind him and turned with a cheery smile. Nick wasn’t looking so happy to see him though.

 

“Hey, what’s up? You want coffee?” Greg asked, trying to maintain his good mood by acting chirpy. His smile faltered when the other man shook his head, face still stony. “What’s up, Nicky?”

 

“Have your…friends… gone?”

 

He nodded uncertainly, it was odd being away from the warmth of the link with Remy, he’d grown used to it buzzing away in the background. He’d offered to help him sever it but the both the Cajun and his lover had made it clear in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t going to happen. It had been a relief to find out that the link was not only welcome but also wanted. He checked his watch, “They should be almost home by now.”

 

He turned back to his coffee, hearing the scrape of a chair from behind and a sigh as his colleague sat down. Greg turned back to join him at the table with his mug of coffee, he sat down, stirring the cup and looking at his friend.

 

“I just…I still don’t know what to make of it all. The stuff you told me, it’s all pretty out there.” The stony expression shifted.

 

Unable to help himself any longer, the younger CSI opened his shields just enough to gauge Nick’s mood, surprised to find sadness tinged with a little jealousy. He pulled his lower lip between his teeth, and shifted round the table to sit beside him.

 

“I know it’s hard to get to grips with.” He tried to reassure him.

 

“The mutant thing is weird enough when it’s someone else but…you never told me and that kind of hurts.”

 

He slowly started to realise that it wasn’t what he’d told him it was the fact he’d kept it secret for so long. He reached for the other man’s hand where it sat on the table. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I can’t explain it to you so easily; it was all something I left behind a long time ago. This case… I couldn’t turn my back on them… Remy… he and I have a lot in common and I had to help him. Believe me if it hadn’t been necessary, my being a mutant is something no one would ever have needed to know…very few people do. I told you because I trust you, if I didn’t I wouldn’t have let you in, Nicky, but I never meant to hurt you by keeping it a secret from you. I just didn’t want it to hurt either of us.”

 

The other man shook his head, “it’s ok, I understand… I guess. I’d probably be the same. You seemed quite close to them… at the apartment.”

 

That was where the jealousy came from. Greg cringed inwardly, he wasn’t sure where things were going to go with Remy and Logan, but the last thing he’d wanted was to hurt Nick, he still had feelings for the man. He rubbed the back of his neck.

 

“We formed a bit of a bond, yeah. They’re good guys.” He gave a smile. “Remy and I really hit it off.”

 

“That’s good, I’m glad it was worth it…you took a real risk, G. I talked to Gil and he reassured me that evidence would all stand but it could have easily gone wrong. Imagine if Ecklie found out, I’m pretty sure there’s some obscure rule about using a mutant power to solve a case, he’d haul your ass through the shit.”

 

Greg squeezed the hand he was holding. “You’re a great friend, Nicky. I did everything by the book. Gil has my back and now, so do you.” He grinned, letting the hand go to take a drink of the coffee.

 

Neither of them saw the figure in the doorway that turned and walked away.

 

 

 

Joker's Wild Chapter 8

 

 

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