"Is it always like that?" Greg asked.
"No," said Warrick. "It's almost never like that."
Greg wasn't comforted. There had been blood everywhere, and screaming people, and more blood, and— he shook his head to clear the images. "I stink."
"It'll wash off," Warrick said, and slammed his locker.
Greg leaned back and squeezed his eyes shut. "I already took a shower. It didn't go away."
Warrick sniffed, and Greg's eyes flew open to glare at him.
"Lemons?" Warrick asked.
Greg blushed. "I borrowed Sara's soap. Didn't work."
Warrick merely smiled. Greg was briefly distracted from the memory of blood by the curve of Warrick's lips, and then Warrick spoke again. "I've got some stuff at home you can try."
"Thanks," Greg said and shivered. He wasn't sure if it was because of the scene or Warrick.
They didn't speak on the drive to Warrick's apartment, which was fine with Greg. When Warrick pulled to a stop, neither of them moved to get out of car. Greg had no idea how long they had been sitting in the dark, but when Warrick spoke, he flinched.
Warrick sounded more than tired, and Greg couldn't help himself. "How do you keep doing it?" The little girl flashed through his mind again, and the knife, and the blood. The blood wouldn't go away, so Greg focused on Warrick's lips instead.
"You just do," he said. "Someone has to, and right now, that's us."
"But when they—" Greg tried to answer, and was mortified when tears slipped down his cheeks.
Warrick didn't look away, and that made Greg cry harder, biting his lip so hard there was more blood. The sharp tang shot through his body, and when the sensation of falling had faded, Warrick was holding him. Not a hug, exactly, just an arm around Greg's shoulder. Without meaning to, Greg leaned minutely into Warrick's side.
"You do stink," Warrick said. He didn't sound so tired anymore.
Greg pulled back, immediately missing Warrick's warmth, and shoved him lightly.
"Bathroom's there." Warrick gestured to the other side of the loft, and Greg carefully made his way there. He couldn't help the investigator's glance he gave the little he saw of Warrick's apartment, a thrill going through him as he realized what he was doing. It was quickly followed by a wave of nausea at what he had already done.
"You don't smell so rosy yourself," Greg said, to cover his queasiness.
Warrick was silent long enough that Greg looked back to see if he had done something wrong. Warrick's answer wasn't something he expected.
"Is that an invitation, Sanders?"
Greg stared and was even more mortified by his bodies' reaction. "It's your shower," he croaked.
Warrick pulled off his shirt and Greg tightened further. Greg inhaled sharply, but the only thing he smelled was more of the same metallic scent.
"Does it get any easier?" he asked, tears thick in his voice again. This time, the tears were less embarrassing than the erection.
"No," said Warrick, and reached for Greg's shirt.
"Fuck, I haven't been this drunk since college," said Nick. He had the feeling his words were slightly slurred, but he couldn't actually tell. That more than anything clued him in that he was truly and completely smashed.
"I was a good kid," Greg said, wavering backward slightly before catching himself. Nick stared at Greg, trying to figure out what he was talking about.
"Yeah?" he asked.
Greg nodded seriously.
"Don't believe it," said Nick.
"Just because I've got my hands down your pants?"
It took Nick a few minutes to work out what Greg had said, but it helped when Greg cupped his balls.
"In public," Nick said, feeling very sage.
Nick blinked in confusion at where Greg used to be, and then glanced down. "Greg, Greg— bathroom."
Greg didn't say anything, and when his lips surrounded Nick's cock, Nick forgot what he was talking about.
Afterward, Nick felt more sober, but still slightly woozy, so when Greg pushed open a stall to throw-up in the toilet, he was together enough to grab some toilet paper and wipe Greg's face.
"Fuck, I'm glad you did me first," Nick said.
"Shut up," wheezed Greg. "I can't get up."
Nick hauled Greg up, realizing for the first time how skinny Greg really was. At least he had a big mouth.
"Hey, Nick," said Warrick.
"You doing anything on Friday?"
"It's my first Friday night off in months, man," replied Nick. "What do you think I'm doing?"
Warrick grinned and nodded. "You want to grab some dinner?"
Warrick sighed. He had wondered about doing this, but now it seemed much harder than when he was planning it at his dining table. "Friday."
"Sure," said Nick easily. Warrick sighed again. Good ol' Nick could be counted on to not catch the obvious.
We going out after shift?" asked Nick.
Nick must have noticed something in Warrick's face, because he paused and stared at Warrick. "Warrick—"
"Yeah, Nick," Warrick said, and grinned. He realized he probably looked goofy — a little like Greg around Sara — but Nick had finally caught a clue.
Nick looked poleaxed. "A date?"
Warrick shrugged again.
Nick gave a slow smile, and Warrick suddenly had an image of what Nick must have looked like as a child on Christmas morning.
Nick said, "I'd love to go out to dinner with you."
Greg was caught in between an extraordinarily androgynous person with closely cropped blue hair, and an amazingly built stripper; the beat was pounding his sternum, he was nicely loaded, and he didn't have to go to work for three days. Life was good.
He had just reached out to grasp the androgynous person's ass and grind back into the stripper when he noticed a couple across the room. The two men were clearly out of their element: one of them was wearing cowboy books, and the other was drinking a Rolling Rock. They weren't quite touching or looking at each other, either, and that made them stand out. Greg disentangled himself from his partners, who immediately started devouring each other's mouths, when picked his way across the floor.
When he was almost on top of them, he shouted, "Hey guys!"
Both men jumped, and then spoke at once.
Greg grabbed Nick by the wrist and tugged. Nick came easily, having begun to step away from Warrick almost before Greg had moved.
"Let me dance with Nicky," Greg said.
"Yeah, sure," said Warrick absently.
Greg dragged Nick back to the stripper and his androgyne; the stripper had lost his shirt. When Greg approached, they broke apart, and the stripper turned on Nick and immediately began dancing for him. The other person grabbed Greg from behind and ground a large cock into Greg's ass while they watched Nick be seduced. When Greg looked back at Warrick, he was standing alone, staring at the four of them.
Greg stood in Nick's hallway, staring dolefully at Nick. "You know, you didn't have to hide it from me."
Nick didn't wait for Greg to stop speaking. "Greggo, what are you—"
"I know," Greg said, interrupting and pushing past Nick. "About you. I've known since that night at the Palace. And do you know how I knew?" he asked rhetorically, coming to a stop in front of Nick's couch. Warrick, sitting uncomfortably on the couch, glanced over at Nick. Nick was staring at Greg, a sick look on his face.
Greg suppressed a smile. Neither of them looked very good.
"You guys haven't fucked yet, have you?" he said. "Because Nick's been walking around with that pinched look he gets when he hasn't gotten any in a while, and Warrick's oozing all over Catherine and confusing her. Warrick, you shouldn't tease the straight chicks."
Warrick and Nick exchanged another look. Nick dropped onto the couch, as far away from Warrick as he could manage.
"What are you talking about?" Warrick asked stiffly.
Greg grinned and bounced a little. "That's why you always invited me over, right? So you wouldn't explode all over Catherine?"
"Greg— Warrick said.
"Oh, it's right," Greg spoke over him and waved his hand. He examined Nick's living room, picking out the signs. He sighed, and sat down on the table, in between the two of them.
"I wasn't supposed to know about your little— relationship," Greg said. "Well, I do know. And I'm pissed."
"Greg—" Nick said.
"No." Greg glared at Nick until he stopped trying to interrupt. "I'm mad. I used to get regular sex with two really hot guys, and then they went and started dating, and now I'm left all alone. And I don't like it."
"Greg—" Warrick tried again, but Greg wasn't having any of it.
He leaned back on his hands, letting his knees fall apart. "So I'm going to wait right here until you have a solution."
Nick visibly swallowed. "A solution."
Warrick glanced at Nick, and then back to Greg. "To your problem."
"Greg—" they both said.
Greg shook his head. "I'm willing to share. I'm even willing to do a threesome. But I am not willing to give you up — either of you — without a fight."
"What if we don't want—" Warrick tried.
Greg scowled. "What, I'm good enough to fuck alone but not together?"
"Together—" Nick said in a strangled voice.
"Sure, together," Greg said. "What did you think I meant?"
"What do you want, Greg?" Warrick asked.
"What I used to have. Regular sex."
"A threesome?" Nick asked in disbelief.
"Sure," Greg said, and then shrugged. "Well, not really. I'm not in a relationship space right now. My last one was pretty messy, and I just want—"
"You want sex," Nick said, not letting Greg finish. "On demand."
"Yeah, pretty much," Greg said. "Like I used to have."
Warrick and Nick exchanged a long look, and then they seemed to agree on something. They turned to Greg.