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Page history last edited by nate 13 years, 12 months ago

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from CSI. And to the best of my knowledge neither the characters or the actors self-injur. No defamation of character is intended. No money has or will be made from this ficlet.


See The Pain


It started after the explosion, if he was asked that was what he would say. But really it wasn’t something that was new to him. If he was honest it had begun when he was an awkward teen, the geek in school who got bullied continually. He thought it ironic that people looked at him now and assumed he was a jock in school, him, geeky, dorky Greg Sanders. It had become his way of coping, the only way he could get any control of himself and his environment. He was calmer when he did it; could face the day, the pressure of school, the bullies, it got him through. He had stopped during college, a good friend helped him realise he didn’t need it anymore, he’d gotten comfortable in his own skin, knew who he was and where he was going with his life.


The explosion changed him, his world started to spiral out of control and he could hardly work for his hands shaking. He lost his sparkle, the things that made him who he was. One day he had been shaving and found himself looking at the razor blade in front of him. It wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be to fall back into it. But the relief he felt was everything he remembered. Afterwards, he panicked, adrenaline causing his heart to beat so fast and sweat to stain his t-shirt. He’d cleaned himself up and swore he wouldn’t do it again, but that day at work was the first day that his hands hadn’t shook.


After that he’d fallen into a pattern: the only way to bring himself relief, control, calmness; but it came at a price. He knew that now, as he looked at the live feed of Nick in that Perspex box. Everyone else was unable to hide how upset they were: upset; worried; determined… while he was numb, emotionless and detached. He wanted to cry, god he wanted to cry so much but he just couldn’t. It wouldn’t come.


He slunk from the room, went to his locker and pulled the shaving kit out; at least that’s what everyone else was meant to think it was. He disappeared into a stall with his kit. Someone came in while he was in there: he heard them, they moved around, stopped a moment then carried on. Greg held his breath, hand poised and only relaxing when he heard the door open and close again. He looked down; his hand had started to shake. He took deep breaths and closed his eyes, trying to settle it down.


When he rejoined the people watching the feed, Gil gave him an odd look but said nothing. Greg busied himself and then left the room.




Months had passed and everything had pretty much returned to normal following Nick’s dramatic rescue. The newly qualified CSI still continually felt like he had to prove himself. It was following the case with the murdered psychic, Sedona Wylie, he was feeling mocked and unappreciated, when he took himself off to the bathroom once more with his shaving kit. He had just settled down when the door into the bathroom opened, he held his breath, his hands freezing in unzipping his kit. Who ever it was, wasn’t moving, and they made no sound. He was in danger of running out of air from the breath he was holding, when Gil’s voice echoed off the tiled bathroom walls.


“I know what’s going on Greg, you need to let me in.”


Panic, he’d never felt anything like it, he looked at the cubicle door, praying it wouldn’t some how magically open. Of course he knew there was the safety open on the outside of the door, like all public toilet cubicles, so if he didn’t open it, Gil really could just open it himself. He’d be caught red handed. It wasn’t like he could zip back up and hide his kit anywhere. He glanced around, nope no hiding place… no place to hide. What did his boss know, anyway? He might not know it was that, he might think…god, he might think it was drugs. He wasn’t sure which would disappoint the man the most, thinking he was on drugs or knowing that he was self harming. He shook his head, the former was a sackable offence, at the most the latter was likely a mandatory course of therapy. He didn’t reply and he didn’t move.


“I can stay out here as long as it takes, Greggo.” His tone wasn’t harsh, but it was firm.


It seemed he didn’t have much choice, because the chances were the longer he kept his boss waiting the more annoyed and disappointed he’d be. God, he didn’t want to see disapproval on Grissom’s face, he’d worked so hard at earning his approval, it meant so much to him to see the pride when he did well on a case. His sarcasm had been hard to endure during the Sedona case. To be ridiculed by a man he respected and felt so deeply for, that hurt deep. He zipped up the kit and slowly stood up.


Greg’s hand reached out towards the lock and stayed there in the air, not quite able to go that extra step, it was shaking noticeably. He wondered if he could open the door and shove the hand in his pocket before it was spotted. He doubted his chances.


It took several deep breaths for him to build up the courage to flick the lock on the door. His heart was thundering in his chest, he couldn’t remember ever being more scared, he just didn’t know what would happen when he opened the door. He tried to put on a nonchalant look and finally let the cubicle door swing open.


“Grissom.” His voice was a little tight but at least it didn’t squeak.


He was surprised to be met with an almost tender smile. “I know what’s going on, Greg.”


He started to shake his head, “It’s not…”


Gil took a step towards him and held up a hand, “Not here, lets go to my office.” He looked at the kit that he was clutching tightly, “Why don’t you leave that in your locker.”


Greg looked surprised, he hesitated, unsure how to respond. “You…you’re not…”

He wasn’t sure how to deal with this, his boss didn’t seem angry or about to fire him. He seemed calm, almost understanding, maybe he didn’t know what he thought he knew. He looked at the kit and then at the other man, trying to put the puzzle pieces together in a way that made sense.


“It’ll still be there when we’ve finished talking.” His voice was reassuring.


The young CSI nodded and went through to the lockers, putting his kit back inside, almost numbly, and locking it back up. This wasn’t how he expected it to go, he looked back at the locker as he was walking away.


“Greg, you think that it gives you control, that you’re in control of it… but that’s not how it really is: it’s controlling you.” He told him, softly.


He looked at Gil and started to shake his head, “you don’t understand.”


All he received was a raised eyebrow. They never spoke on the walk to Grissom’s office but Greg was on edge, he’d shoved his hands deep in his pockets so he didn’t have to see them shaking. He felt odd; lost: he’d never gotten his kit out like that before and put it away without having used it at all. It was an unusual situation for him to be in.


When they were safely inside the office, blinds were drawn, the door closed and locked to ensure they wouldn’t be disturbed. Gil pulled his glasses off, chewing on the arm of one as he indicated for his visitor to sit on the sofa; when he had, he joined him: resettling the glasses on his face.


“It’s not how you think.” Greg started.


“It’s exactly how I think.” Came the soft reply. “And it’s ok, Greg.”


The ex-lab rat shook his head, this wasn’t happening, it couldn’t be happening. His hands had had to come out of his pockets and he’d placed them in his lap where they started to fidget.


“I…I’m not in trouble?” He asked incredulous, unable to believe that it could be true and unable to meet his boss’s eyes.


Griss shook his head, “I just want to help. I can’t watch you doing this to yourself anymore.”


“How long have you known?” Brown eyes remained fixed on his own knees, shoulders slumped. He didn’t know how to deal with a confrontation like this.


“Since Nick was abducted.”


He looked up then, meeting stormy blue eyes filled with emotion like he’d never seen them before. “That long?” The knee nearest the other man started to jiggle up and down nervously.


Gil gave a sad nod. “I needed to be sure, and other things kept me from being able to talk to you.” He reached out and rested a hand on the fidgeting knee, it calmed under his touch. “How long has it been going on?”


He looked at the hand on his knee, wondering what magic had been used to still it. He shook his head a little to clear it. He couldn’t lie to the man, but he couldn’t tell him it all. He would be disappointed enough in him. It was odd though; he didn’t seem too let down by his actions.


“Since… the explosion. Things got a little out of my control. I just… needed something to settle myself and get the control back.


He was confused; waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some annoyance, lecture or even worse… being asked to show what he’d done. But none of them came.


“You know that cutting yourself isn’t the healthiest way to get control of your life back.”


Greg met those emotion filled blue eyes again; Gil knew, he knew and he understood. He was having a hard time comprehending. What would it mean, what was going to happen and was that comforting hand really moving in soothing circles on his knee? He swallowed.


“I can help you, but you have to trust me.”


That soft tone was another, ‘never witnessed before’; it begged Greg to trust him and he found himself nodding.


“Do you want to stop, Greg? I can’t help you unless you do.”


He looked down at the hand on his knee in wonderment, then back up into those eyes, “I…why? Why do you want to?” Confusion coloured his tone, he was unafraid to show it and partly he was challenging: What was it to his boss what he did to his own body as long as he did his job.


Greg watched as a pink tongue peeked out just a little to wet dry lips, he watched it with fascination.


“Because I care about you; because I can’t sit back and watch while you hurt so bad I can see the pain in your eyes; because…you’re worth it.” Gil told him.


He blinked, pulled his lower lip between his teeth to stop it trembling, Greg’s eyes started to itch. He looked at the other man, looking for insincerity or lies: he found none. What he did see, broke the dam and his eyes welled up with tears for the first time in nearly a year. They started to trickle down his cheeks at first but it rapidly turned to a flood as his breath hitched and it turned to full-on soul-deep sobs. He found himself wrapped in deceptively strong arms and his head was held to a solid chest as he let go of all the pain he’d built up inside.




[ readers]


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