: Catalyst Author
: Spacefille Rating
: Mature/R Pairing
: Nick/Greg Summary
: When Greg quits his job and disappears, Nick sets out to find him. What he finds is something very unexpected, even for a CSI who believes he has seen everything. Authors Notes
: I know there is a large Nick/Greg fanbase out there but so far I’ve only read a handful fanfics from it. So I have no idea if this has been done already or not. Special thanks to Damgel and KC for helping with the fic.
Her name had been Camilla or something like that. Honestly I didn’t even really catch her name, I had been too distracted. All I knew was she felt really good against me when we danced and even better when we took it back to my place.
In retrospect I should have never done that. “That” being going home with a stranger, even if the sex was really REALLY good. Especially since I woke up sometime later, lying face first down in the dirt in a park near my home.
I thought that I had been drugged what with my head buzzing and all, and didn’t feel much beyond disappointment in myself for not being more careful with the local “wildlife”. Ha ha. Way to get yourself drugged and mugged, Greg, I thought to myself. Not one of your brightest moments, that’s for sure.
The rest of my walk home from that was in a daze. I hadn’t quite gotten back to my apartment when I saw someone. A jogger, coming towards me.
It took over an hour for me to realize what, exactly, I had done to that jogger. And why.
Two hours after I walked into work, on my day off, and handed Ecklie my notice. I made some sort of jumbled excuse – gotta go home and help my parents ‘cause Papa Olaf is sick, don’t know when I’ll be back, better just to quit. Then I got the hell out of there before he could protest and before I ran into anyone else from the night shift.
I had been here since the day after that. Moving took the rest of the first night as I took what I needed from my place and stuffed it in my car. As soon as I moved in I set up the makeshift lab and ditched my car a few blocks away where I knew it wouldn’t be noticed for a good while.
I thought I did a pretty good job at covering my tracks. I needed to stay hidden and I also needed the time. I had to figure out what the hell was going on before and I hurt someone else.
It had been a few days since then. My head had started to buzz on the second day. It was low frequency and constantly there, pounding at the back of my skull.
Now, three days later, the buzzing in my head had become unbearable. I had made no progress in my experiments. I had tested my clothes and swabbed a sample from my neck but without the equipment in the lab at work I could only do so much. So I focused on what I could work on with a chemistry set and a high powered microscope - my blood.
So far I couldn’t find any thing... so I experimented with antibiotics and a couple illegal Mexican concoctions as well.
Nothing seemed to help.
I almost wanted to go back to the lab and see if I could find some excuse to use their equipment, maybe bribe Archie, but I was afraid of what would happen if…
“Greg? You here man?”
I looked up sharply at the sound of the familiar Texan drawl and stifled a groan. Oh no.
At the same time my stomach twisted with something I wished was revulsion and was rather too close to arousal for my comfort.
That... wasn’t a good sign. No, this wasn’t good at all.
And then I thought ‘What part of quitting my job and moving away don’t they understand?’ Granted I didn’t give them any notice, but still.
“I know you didn’t leave, Greg… listen to me. I just want to help you,” Nick’s voice was coming closer.
No no no no no… this so wasn’t happening. My hand shook as I put down the test tube as carefully as I could. I eyed the door, the only exit. I wouldn’t be able to make it to the door in time…
I drew in a shallow breath between my teeth. Even if I did make it out in time, no matter where I hid, Nick’d know I was here recently. In a dusty old place like this the clean chemistry set would stick out like a sore thumb. The laptop and microscopes were pretty obvious too.
I decided that I had to try.
I surprised myself at how fast I ran, for the door, and up the stairs, right past a startled Nick. I barely registered the “hey!” as I darted into another room.
Drawing the door closed behind myself I slumped against it and tried to convince my head to stop spinning. Gotta think fast… gotta…
Nick was coming up the stairs.
I went for the window without even thinking, drawing the heavy curtain aside for a half a second before drawing it back again in a flash. Daylight. Damn! I should have been paying attention to the time!
My arm was smoking from where the sunlight hit it. I stared as the skin began to crack and peel grotesquely… yet I could barely feel it. ‘Dissociative,’ my brain supplied helpfully. ‘Dopamine and adrenaline. The pain will kick in in a second.’
If, of course, my pain receptors where still working and all that.
I clenched the injured arm to my chest, looking around desperately for another place to hide. It was useless, I knew, and Nick was getting closer.
“Go away!” I shouted as I dodged for the closet. The musty smell of rotting clothes and mouse droppings hit me like a slap in the face, but I ignored it. I shoved myself in as deep as I could. The buzzing had become a roaring in my head and I let my head fall back against the wall with a dull thump. God. I could smell him. From in here, even over the smell of everything else.
I would have found the enhanced senses thing fascinating if I wasn’t so damn afraid.
“Greg?” Nick called out and I could hear him open the door to the room. At the same time the smell increased tenfold and it was so SO good…
I clenched my teeth and dug my fingernails into my palm. No. Bad Greg. Down boy.
I started to stand, almost against my will. My eyes widened. Stay down, I commanded myself mentally. Stay down!
My vision was beginning to tunnel and I was panting with the effort to stay in control of myself. “Nick please,” I begged, and my voice sounded broken. I winced at that. “Please just go *away*…”
“Greg…” his voice was just outside of the closet. Thankfully he didn’t draw it open. “Just talk to me man.”Nick sounded awfully worried. “You can tell me. I’m good for it, you know that, G. Did someone hurt you?” he paused. “Cause if someone did, you know we’re there for you… just say the world and we’ll…”
Okay, new tactic. “Nick,” I tried to make my voice sound as commanding as possible. “You need to leave here. Right. Now.” Mentally I groaned. There was no way I sounded threatening enough. Nick wasn’t going to buy it for a second.
Sure enough the closet door began to open. “I’m sorry Greg, but I’m not going anywhere. Not until…”
Nick didn’t get any further than that. I lost control.
The impact threw Nick back. We both landed on the floor, hard, me on top of him and I was dimly aware of the sound of him hollering in my ear as my teeth closed on his neck.
… It was just the last time.
I was fully aware of everything even though I could control nothing. I felt the flood of delicious, satisfying warmth into my mouth, and gulped it down eagerly - felt the fact that his struggles were doing amazing things to my body and ohgod I was hard, again, just like last time and I wanted nothing more than to rip Nick’s clothes off and do nasty nasty things to his body, and now I was touching him, through his pants and ohgod this was NICK and I had to stop, stop NOW, stop PLEASE and I was dimly aware that someone was screaming.
And then I realized that someone was me. In my head. Screaming at me to stop. Stop before I killed him.
If there was anyone in the world that didn’t deserve to die, it was Nick. Nick who had been through so much. Nick who had been shot at, shot, buried alive, pushed to his death and still managed to get up and go to work the next day. Nick, who was always nice to me, beyond some good natured ribbing here and there, and always helped me out when I needed it. Nick, who was currently trying to shove me away, and who I was grinding against as I snarled like an animal, hell I pretty much was one, with no control, no control at all and his shouts had died down to a minimum. Which… was because he was reaching for his gun. I felt more than saw the movement of his hand to his hip.
I guess mortal danger worked better than anything because FINALLY my brain somehow managed to override my body and I wrenched away with a gasp.
I sat up and stared down at Nick in horror. My long time co-worker looked up at me, an expression of half confusion, half anger on his face. That wasn't good.
“Greg?” he questioned warily.
I pushed away from him and fell back on my butt, staring at him with wide eyes. Christ, I probably looked horrible, with blood all over my mouth and chin. I swiped my mouth against my arm and just looked at him. I wouldn’t blame him if he decided to blow me away right now.
His hand was still on his gun as he sat up, but he didn’t draw it. I waited for him to make the first move.
It didn’t take long. “What the hell—“ Anger won over the confusion on his face and Nick stood up. When I didn’t move he reached down to grab my arm, I guess to pull me to my feet so he could demand answers good and proper.
I screamed. Oh, I thought a bit ironically. That would be the pain response.
And then, with faint irritation, I thought - if I’m a vampire why the hell don’t I have super fast healing?
Nick dropped my arm as fast as he had grabbed it. “What’s wrong with your arm?” he asked quickly, staring at his own hand which now had bits of burnt skin sticking to it. He looked from his hand to me and back again, his eyes wide.
I just clenched the arm to myself, my teeth gritted. Nevermind my arm. I had just attacked him. And bit him. And… what the hell was he doing?
Then it registered that he was going for the window.
“NO!” I shouted. I scrambled to my feet and dodged for Nick. A split second later realized I wouldn’t make it in time, so I changed my trajectory. Instead I leapt for the corner of the same wall as the window as Nick threw the curtains wide.
The hot Las Vegas sun streamed into the room and I shoved myself against the wall, staring with wide eyes at the patch of sunlight in the center of the room. My skin was already starting to tingle from the indirect exposure. It wouldn’t kill me, at least I didn’t think it would, but I didn’t want to take any chances either. “Close the curtains!” I gasped out, well aware that Nick was staring at me. I wrapped my arms around myself. “You gotta close the curtains! Please.”
Nick muttered something under his breath and yanked the curtains closed again. In a few short strides he had crossed the room and flicked on the bedroom light, using up some of that electricity I was shamelessly leeching off of the city.
“Are you okay with this?” Nick asked from across the room, his brow creased with concern.
I nodded. “T-thanks.” I stammered out, grateful I wasn't on fire.
Nick nodded back and started across the room towards me. I saw how his hand fell against his gun again as he approached.
I didn't blame him really, what with the attack and all. I looked down at the ground, not wanting to see how Nick’s neck was bloody and how it had stained the top of his shirt a darker shade of blue.
Nick crouched down in front of me, far enough away that he could leap back if he had to. “You’re not gonna jump me again are you?” he asked a bit suspiciously.
Wordlessly I shook my head “no”.
When he seemed to visibly relax at that, my amazement caught up with me. “Wow, I can’t believe you didn’t shoot me,” I exclaimed. I instantly felt like a dumb ass.
Nick, for his part, looked surprised and then a bit horrified. “*Shoot* you?” he repeated. He shook his head. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but I can tell that you aren’t feeling right...”
I just looked at him. Not feeling right? Not feeling… “Nick I don’t know if you noticed or anything,” I said a bit dryly. “But I just bit you.”
“Yeah,” he said, bringing his hand up to touch his neck. “Got me pretty good too,” he shook his head and I gapped at him in amazement. I knew Nick was rock solid but dude… right now he was a friggin’ mountain. “I’ll get it checked out.”
My mouth fell open. “I – I did other things…” Guilt rose inside of me.
He shook his head again and cut me off with a raised hand and a really stern look. “Later. Let me see your arm.”
I gulped and nodded. Well. Okay then. I held my arm out. The skin *was* healing, I could see that it had shrunk and begun to turn pink around the edges. The middle it still looked like a third degree burn.
Nick carefully took the arm and studied it. When he looked up again the worry was back on his face. “It’s bad, Greg,” he said. And then he said the most ridiculous thing ever. “Is this why you quit? Pain killers can really mess a man up you know.”
I nearly laughed out loud at him. No, I wouldn’t have quit a job I fought for for like three years just because of a third degree burn on my arm. He had to have seen my teeth by now. The sunlight, biting, blood… after all that, and he still couldn’t tell that I wasn’t quite human anymore?
Then again, of course not. It was Nick. He was awesome at piecing puzzles together. He could pull a logical conclusion out of the tiniest shred of evidence. But supernatural stuff? He was always the first to rule out anything that wasn’t firmly stuck in “reality”.
May as well go all out. “I quit,” I said carefully. “Because I'm not really alive right now.” The confused look on Nick's face grew. “Nick,” I said finally with exasperation. “I'm a vampire.”
He looked at me for a couple seconds, then broke into a half grin. “Naw,” he said. He reached out and put his hand against my forehead. “Man, whatever you’re on must have messed you up good, you’re not acting like yourself at all,” he got to his feet. “Stay right there, I’m gonna call...”
“No!” He didn’t even have a chance to pull out his cellphone. I jumped to my feet and grabbed his arm. “Don’t.” I added breathlessly. “You can’t. Nick, please. You have to listen to me. No one can know about this.”
He frowned and opened his mouth to protest but I continued. “Nick LOOK at me. Look at my teeth,” I opened my mouth as wide as I could. My canines had gotten progressively longer since that first night. He would have to have been blind not to see they were too long to be natural. “I bit you. I got this,” I showed him my arm again, which had visibly healed even more. “When I opened up those curtains.”
He was studying me quietly. “If I go outside I’ll DIE... you’ve got to believe me, Nick, please.” God I sounded pathetic.
Nick looked from me to my arm again and studied it long and hard. It had stopped looking like a third degree burn and was slipping closer to a second. I had no doubt that in a few minutes it’d be pretty much look good as new.
“Your arm...” he began, and I nodded and drew a deep breath.
“Look. Just watch for a second,” I walked away from him and back to the window. Standing to the side I drew the curtains back just enough that a sliver of light came into the room. Then, taking another deep breath I raise my hand and drew it across the light.
That was enough to burn it quite well. I let out a small cry of pain and stumbled back from the sunlight, staring as the skin on my hand and fingers quickly went from pink to red and then black and started to smoke.
Nick let out a shout and ran for the window, yanking it closed again before turning to me and taking my arm in his hand. “Greg, Greg...” he groaned as he stared at my hand. It was shaking, even while being burnt to a crisp. I was a bit surprised the fingers even worked anymore as I tried to move them. It was like watching something out of a horror movie as they clenched and bits of blackened skin flaked off. Nick actually gasped out loud.
“You see,” I said with a weak laugh. “We go outside there will be no more Greg.”
Nick stared for a very long moment, then swore under his breath, which, for the record I had never heard Nick do before... at least not at work. He let go of my arm when it seemed like no more burning was going to happen and turned away. I could practically see the gears turning in his head as he paced a bit. I let him. Supernatural stuff would be hard to swallow for someone who isn’t into supernatural stuff. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if Nick was the type to watch monster movies. So I let him pace.
He stopped after several moments and let out a long sigh as he sat down against the wall. He scrubbed at his face with his hand briefly before turning back to me. “Okay,” he said. “Okay. If that happens to you...” he made a hand waving motion at me. “Does that mean it will happen to me too?” he touched his neck. It had stopped bleeding. And, unless I was seeing things, the bite mark seemed to have faded away awfully fast.
Still... I shook my head. “I’d like to test your blood but... I don’t think so. I mean all the folklore stuff on vampires... you’d have to drink my blood for me to infect you...”
“... Infect me,” he repeated.
I nodded quickly and sat down so I was facing him. “Look, I’ve run a whole lot of tests on myself in the last couple days. As far as I can tell, it modified my DNA. Like a cancer, except all over. Mutation. I’ve been trying all sorts of medication in case I’m wrong but I don’t think so. But...” he was starting to look slightly irritated at the talking. “I didn’t bleed on you. You bled on me. Which means you should be clean. Of course it’d be nice to have a lab to test that on but I can’t go back there. Not with the entire must drink human blood thing going on, I couldn’t stop myself from attacking you, and what if I attack someone else? I could kill someone, Nick!”
He held up a hand to stop me. “I got it,” he said.
I shut up obediently.
He gave me another long look. “Does anyone else know about this?” he asked.
I shook my head. “I quit right after I found out. I’ve been here
“Alright,” he nodded as if he had processed and now accepted the information. “Okay. So you’ve been here since Thursday?”
I shrugged. “Minus the time it took me to set up here, yeah.”
He nodded. “Okay, what happened to you to make you like this?” he waved his hand at me.
I sighed and started from the top.
I told him everything, with the omission of the jogger. In the version I told Nick I said I suddenly had an overwhelming urge to bite people. That’s why I quit. I told him of how before that I was picked up by a knockout gorgeous girl at the bar, long brunette hair, smokey blue eyes, whose name was Camilla, or Cordelia or something like that. And yeah I know I wasn’t supposed to go home with random people at bars but man, she was hot and the sex *was* great. I vaguely remembered being bit on the neck, but since it was in the middle of youknowwhat, I didn’t think much of it. Next thing I knew I was upside down in the dirt, outside, in a park near my home.
Then I went into which experiments I had already run, what I planned to do next so on and so forth and Nick didn’t seem to want to know much about that either.
“Give me a month,” I said finally after he sat there too long with a pensive look on his face. “Just a month. Run some more experiments. Maybe try some SPF five thousand sunblock, heh,” The sharp look he gave me told me he didn’t think he found that very funny and I quickly cleared my throat and forced myself to be serious again. “I can’t go to anyone for help like this, Nick. If anyone makes the slightest mistake, I’ll spontaneously combust. If I go to a hospital and manage to survive long enough, I could easily be turned into a human pincushion. Or undead pincushion. I’d just be a body to them, something to poke with needles until they figure out what makes me tick. I need to figure out a cure myself. I at least need a chance to try to.”
He was giving me that long thinking look again, but then, thank god, his head slowly started to nod. “Okay,” he said finally. “Sure. I’ll let you stay here and do your thing for a month, since the city’s not using this building right now and all. But only that long Greg... and the moment you start acting funny again I’ll have to do something, you know that.”
I nodded quickly.
His frown was back, and I could tell he didn’t like this at all. “I’ll need a sample of your blood too. May as well get it checked in the lab, along with mine.”
I’m sure the relief on my face was very plain to see. “So you’ll help me?” I asked.
He made a face and got to his feet. “There is something weird going on here and you’re definitely not acting yourself, but I don’t want you to burn up neither. So yeah, I’ll help you. Figure out what’s wrong with you and all that.”
He reached down to offer me a hand up. I nearly took it with my still burnt and crispy hand and quickly switched hands at the last moment.
“Now tell me,” he said as he began to push me towards the door of the room. “Everything else you can remember about this girl who bit you. Maybe if we find her, we can find out what she gave you.”
“What, besides a severe case of cannibalism, spontaneous combustion and death?”
“Ha. Ha.” Nick replied.