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Outside Interference
By Clarity Scifiroots
Fandoms: CSI Las Vegas / New York
Pairings: implied Greg/Danny, Gil/Greg, hints of Mac/Danny
Disclaimers apply.
fivebyfiction promt Transference
Summary: Greg finds himself in New York with some words of wisdom to impart.
March 12, 2007

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.


Since I’m the one from Vegas I should’ve recognized the fallacy of that catchphrase. I feel bad about interrupting his life, but it’s not something I can control. I’m here at the behest of Powers That Be to demonstrate some of the successful DNA lab techniques we’ve had back home. It just so happens that my demonstration takes me to NYC.


The look on his face when the supervisor led me into the lab on the ten-cent tour surprised me. An expression of horror flickered across his face, chased by surprise and anger and finally wrapped tightly beneath a carefully blanked countenance.


“Greg Sanders, let me introduce you to another member of my team. This is Danny Messer.”


I extended my hand casually, for his sake acting as if we’d never met. “Nice to meet you.”


“Likewise,” he said, stiffly shaking my hand. He broke the connection quickly and turned his attention to his boss. “We’re about to get those results, Mac. You gonna come by?”


“In a few minutes. If they don’t turn out like we think, find me right away.”


“No prob.” Danny turned away after a quick glance at me. I watched him go and pretended to ignore the scrutinizing gaze coming from my right. If Detective Taylor wanted to know what’d happened, he’d have to ask Danny.


--- * ---


I answered questions for what felt like hours after the demonstrations and debates with other labs’ technicians. I’ve never been in this position before and it seems ironic that I end up here now on the verge of becoming an investigator. Gil said I was still the best; I’m inclined to believe him, however farfetched it still sounds to me, because he doesn’t say such things lightly. As my lover he maintains a very professional distance and relationship with me at work.


It’s as I’m shuffling my notes into a pile and clipping business cards together (from other labs—job offers, surprisingly, and for other occupational reasons) that Danny approaches me. I offer him a half-smile, expecting a work-related question and perhaps a little awkward small talk. Honestly I hadn’t thought he’d seek me out at all.


“You did a good job,” he says, idly scratching the stubble on his jaw.


“Thanks,” I say, stilling my hands so that I can focus on him.


His eyes don’t meet mine but he doesn’t turn his face away. “You look good.”


Oh. “Umm, yeah. Yeah, things are going pretty well.” I fold my hands over my papers. “In a couple months I hope to qualify as a CSI.” I explain, “Well, as long as I can find a replacement in the lab.” I wait a few moments in the awkward science. “So how are you?”


He looks at me, truly focuses on me for the first time. “Alright.” The word rolls in his mouth like a foreign food he’s attempting to assess.


My heart goes out to the guy, really. “Not figured things out yet, huh?” I ask, relaxing a little. He offers a small, bitter smile. “I’m not going to say anything,” I say quietly.


He gives me a jerky nod. “You wouldn’t, I know.” He studies me for a while, the corner of his lip sucked in as he nibbles on the edge.


“You’re disappointed,” he observes.


I’m surprised. I hadn’t been thinking about it but... yeah, I guess it’s true. I shrug and smile. “Hey, it’s not my life. I do think you’d be better off just admitting it and maybe telling someone. Did wonders for me.”


Beyond us, outside the glass walls I can see two familiar faces from the local lab lingering nearby. There’s the pouty-lipped woman with the tough attitude (she reminds me of a tougher, younger version of Catherine) and then there’s Mac Taylor. If the guy’s not interested... well, I don’t think it’s anything else.


“My reputation’s shaky as is,” Danny says quietly, slightly frowning. He’s defending himself but it’s not for my benefit.


I sigh and look him in the eye. “You’re the type of guy to be upfront about who you are. It’s really not that big of deal to let this other, small part of yourself be out there, too. It doesn’t have to be big, Danny. If you can respect yourself, your friends are gonna respect you. Seems to me that you’ve got a good place here.”


He looks away but I won’t let him ignore me. “Look, I’m gonna see things that you can’t, being from outside of here. Trust me when I say a couple of your friends might already have guessed. Maybe someone’s even waiting for you to say something. It would open up some opportunities.” I grin a little when he turns back in surprise. “Man, it’s time to get out of the closet.”


He still doesn’t look convinced, but I hope he’ll think it over. I go back to organizing my stuff. I glance around surreptitiously to see where Mac went. Yep, like I thought, he’s still close by and getting a little antsy.


“I could take you out for a drink,” Danny offers.


“It’s okay, I’m pretty tired. And,” I look up with a smirk, “I have someone to call at home. I’m sure you’ll have other plans.”


“Okay,” he agrees.


I offer my hand as I had the other day. This time he grips it with confidence. I nod at him and briefly rub my thumb over his knuckles. “Good luck,” I say. He might not understand what I mean right now, but I think it’s important to say. There’s this strange sense of closure as I watch him walk away. I catch his boss’ eye for a moment and hide a grin at what I see. I hope Danny works things out, this other guy isn’t going to risk initiating anything without some sign.


I pack my bag and head out of the lab. Gil’s expecting my call within the hour and I don’t want to miss my chance before he leaves for work. As much as I love the man, he’s a workaholic and it takes a lot to distract him from his well-scheduled routine.


~ Fin ~