TITLE: Prelude To A Shrink

AUTHOR: Julian Lee

EMAIL: thwarted1066@yahoo.com

URL: http://geocities.com/thwarted1066/index.html



SPOILERS: "Play With Fire" & "Inside the Box"

DISCLAIMER: Say it with me, people: Brrrrrruckheimer. CBS. Not me.

ARCHIVE: Yes to list archives; others please ask.

SUMMARY: Greg's sending Gil his therapy bills.

NOTES: Another 15-minute fic, off Peja's opening line, "I want you...." Probably not what most people have in mind when they read a phrase like that, but my brain's always been a bit, shall we say, squiggly.


Prelude to a Shrink
by Julian Lee

"I want you to pay very close attention to what I'm about to say, Greg, because I'm only going to say it once."

**Oh, goody,** Greg thought sourly, his rigidly held posture slipping away. **Gil's in high condescension mode.** He schooled his face into what he hoped was a contrite pose. "Yes, Gris?"

Gil's hands shot out and gripped Greg's shoulders. Well. That was unexpected. "No, Greg, *listen* to me, damn it."

Gil just swore at him. Gil didn't swear. Something not cool was going on in the world. Greg's contrite pose fell away, leaving genuine concern. "I'm listening," he said softly.

Gil's eyes closed briefly, and his hands didn't leave Greg's shoulders. "You need to talk to someone about this."

Fuck. Greg looked away, unable to hold up under this intense blue scrutiny. "No, I don't."

"You need some therapy. You need to work this through and--"

"Damn it, *no,*" Greg snapped, twisted out of Gil's hold and out from under his arms, sliding off his chair and taking two good-sized steps away from Gil and his unbearable attention.

"It's not up for debate, Greg," Gil said shortly, crossing his arms, his eyes never having lost Greg despite the shuffling around. "You're cracking up." His lips set in a hard line. "I know the signs."

"Has my work been affected?" Greg waved his hands around the lab. "I'm still doing my job."

"Doing a damned fine job of it," Gil said, and Greg got tangled up in his tone. He was being sarcastic, he was sure that was sarcasm, but there was pride there, too. Like maybe Gil really did think Greg did a damned fine job. "But that's all you're doing."

"Is this some kind of improving teamwork thing? Because I thought Warrick and I did a pretty good job at explaining that the thing with Hodges was just a joke."

Gil almost smiled, there. "You have sufficiently explained that numerous times," he said, nodding. "But there was a time when you rushed out of here like a prison break the instant the shift ended. Now I'm hearing rumors that Ecklie's team has to shovel you out of here to get at the space."

"My social calendar isn't as jam-packed as it used to be." Damn it, Greg wished there was someplace - *any* place - he could go to stop feeling like Gil's eyes were drilling little holes directly into his psyche.

"Your hands are still shaking."

Greg hid his hands behind his back, trapping them between his ribcage and the countertop. "They're not."

And Gil was crossing the lab, directly toward him. Greg swallowed. His righteous indignation had backed him into a corner he couldn't escape from - physically or symbolically. His shaking hands clenched and unclenched behind him.

"Greg." Gil's voice was so gentle that Greg wished like hell he'd go back to condescending. "Give me your hands."


"Your hands, Greg."

In his head, he was swearing profusely in four languages. On the outside, all that showed was a hardening of his eyes and a stiffening of his shoulders. **I hate you, Grissom,** he lied silently. He held out his hands. They weren't shaking much.

He was pretty proud.

Gil took Greg's hands in his own as though they were made of thinnest bone china. That sense of universal weirdness returned to the lab. "I'm not calling your ability to do your job into question, Greg," he said gently. "I just worry about you."

He lifted Greg's hands and pressed a kiss to each palm. He let go, turned, and left the lab without another word.

Greg could only stand against the counter, staring in uncomprehending disbelief at the now empty Gil-space. "Thank you, Grissom," he muttered, tossing his hands in the air. "*Now* I need therapy."