It wasn't unusual for Gil Grissom to sit and stare at his computer or off into space. He was a deep man who thought hard about things. Nick glanced in as he walked past his supervisor's office and couldn't help the grin that crossed his face when he saw the vacant look on Grissom's face. The man was remarkable and, Nick knew, on the trail of a serial killer who had thwarted him at every turn.
But when Nick and Greg Sanders walked back past the office an hour later and Nick saw that Grissom was still sitting in the same position, still staring into space he knew something was wrong. Nick grabbed Greg's arm, steered him into the office and shut the door behind them. His worry grew when Grissom didn't even acknowledge them.
"Gil," he said, crossing the room and perching on the desk, "what's wrong?"
"Nothing," Grissom said, trying and failing to hide his shock at finding the men in his office. "What do you need?"
"For you to tell us the truth," Greg said. He moved around and sat on the other side of the desk. "Come on, Gil; don't do this again. What happened?"
"We found the serial," Grissom said. "But we were too late. He killed himself."
"How'd you know that?" Nick asked, puzzled.
Grissom sighed. "Because he e-mailed me a link to his web cam," he said. "And shot himself just as the swat team entered his house."
"Oh Gil," Nick said. He took his lover's hand in his. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"What's to talk about?" Gil asked. He used his free hand to pluck his glasses from his face and fling them down onto the desk before rubbing his eyes. "A man just shot himself in front of me, that's all. I had him here, I could have kept him in custody but I let him go because I wasn't sure. There wasn't enough evidence and by the time we found it we were too late."
Greg knelt down in front of his older lover and pulled him into a hug. "You can't blame yourself," he said softly.
"Can't I?" Gil asked, pulling away. "Why not?"
"Because you didn't put the gun to his head," Nick said. He pulled Grissom up into a standing position and wrapped him in a tight hug, using his strength to hold on even as the older man struggled. "Just let it go, Gil," Nick whispered, tightening his grip. "We've got you. It's okay to be human; it's okay to be weak and to fail."
Greg stood up and wrapped himself around Gil from behind. "You can't take every death personally," he said. "If you do then you'll burn out and we'll lose you more than we are now."
"You know what, damn the evidence," Nick exclaimed, stepping back. "If this is what interpreting the evidence is going to do to you then screw it. You don't need this kind of stress and it's not fair to you or us to put yourself through this. Gil, you're a scientist and you're amazing at your job but maybe it is time to take a break. When's the last time you took a vacation and I don't mean one of your races."
"I don't know," Gil said, a little stunned at the sudden anger Nick was showing. "I've never considered taking time away from the lab for anything other than conferences because I love my work."
"You may love your work but you're killing yourself," Nick said, still angry. "You come in here night after night and, while you've cut back on your overtime where you can, you're still here longer than the rest of us. Even with us I know you still put work first a lot of the time."
"Nick, you knew how I was going in..."
The younger man stepped forward and cut off Grissom's words with a harsh kiss. "You keep throwing yourself into your work to avoid life," he said, stepping back. "I think it's time Greggo and I show you what life is all about." He crossed over and locked the door to the office. "Greg, put him on the sofa and keep him there no matter what."
"What are you going to do, Nick?" Greg asked.
"Something I should have done a while ago," Nick replied. He flipped through the department index and punched a number into Grissom's desk phone. "Ecklie, Nick Stokes; listen is there any way to push through a couple of vacation requests?"
"Nick," Grissom said, trying to stand up.
Greg pushed him back down and straddled his lap. "I'll tie you down if I have to," he whispered. "Let us take care of you for once; you don't always have to be in control."
"All right, I'll have the paperwork to you in an hour," Nick said. "I owe you one." He hung up and looked at the others. "We have a week vacation starting as soon as I can get the paperwork to Ecklie. Catherine will be in charge and Sofia can help out where needed. Turns out we're not the only ones worried about you, Gil."
"I don't need a vacation," Grissom said.
"Then we're going to drag you to the department shrink," Greg said. "You've been having nightmares since the Fisher/Hanson case. We're worried about you, Gil. We love you and would do anything for you but you've got to let us in."
"Fine," Gil said, flopping back down on his sofa.
"We love you even if you're pouting," Greg said, nipping at Gil's lower lip.
"I'm not pouting," Grissom said, folding his arms.
Nick and Greg exchanged a look. "Sure," Nick said, trying not to smile. He logged onto the computer. "I wonder how much it would cost to go to Cabo for a week?"
Summary: ***SPOILERS*** Season 7 Loco Motives. After Grissom watches the email, what happens? Nick and Greg try to help out.