Ryan sighed when he caught sight of Frank Tripp standing in the jail's visitation room. "Hey there, Frank," he said. "Please tell me there's a good reason you dragged me to this charming little establishment."
"Besides the amazing joy I get from knowing you've been inconvienced, I need you to do something for me," Frank said.
"Okay, what is that?"
"We need to find out who LeBrock is giving orders to on the outside," Frank replied. "Maybe he had one of his goons kill his wife for him. Now I've been checking the jail's visitation logs....."
"Okay, so you need help reading," Ryan interjected.
Frank just stared at him for a minute. "That's cute," he said dryly. "Aside from Alicia he's had only one visitor, which is a guy named Scott Garnett."
"Okay, so why exactly do you need me to be here?" Ryan asked.
"Scott Garnett doesn't exit, the address and phone number are fake. Now he met with LeBrock here shortly after Alicia left," Frank said. "So I need you, my favorite little dust monkey, to lift prints off of visitor stall number four."
Ryan was stunned. "Yeah, but there's going to be dozens of prints over there," he protested.
"Yeah, which means you'd better get busy."
When Ryan got home at the end of his shift, his mind was still spinning over what had happened at the jail. He'd watched Tripp's eyes and hadn't seen a flicker, not a hint of emotion, and it bothered him. Ryan wasn't stupid enough to think that he was anything more than an experiment, but it would've been nice to know there were some feelings involved in what they were doing.
"Hey, you're late," Frank commented when Ryan walked into the kitchen.
"Yeah, I had a couple of errands to run after work," Ryan replied. "How long have you been here?"
"Long enough to put some beer in the fridge, order dinner and hang my uniform in the closet," Frank said. "Hope pizza is okay."
"That sounds fine," Ryan said. "I'm going to take a shower."
Ryan half hoped that Frank would grab him and kiss him. Ryan liked kissing, and hadn't been able to kiss Frank yet. But he didn't. Ryan bit back a sigh and trudged to the bathroom. He and Frank had been, whatever their relationship was, for about four months and Ryan was getting tired of not knowing where he stood.
He didn't think it was too much to ask to know if he was even in a relationship or not. Ryan had a feeling that Frank was having a bit of a sexual identity crisis and Ryan was the only one who was willing - or stupid enough - to sleep with him. He finished stripping off his clothes and stepped under the hot water with a soft moan.
Ryan loved shower sex. He loved being able to play around in bed. He loved being able to kiss and cuddle his lover; and Frank wouldn't have any of that. He insisted on being in bed with the lights off with Ryan on his stomach. No matter how many times Ryan tried to talk to Frank about it, he was shut down. He knew it wasn't healthy and, if the night didn't turn out the way he was hoping it would, he was going to end the relationship.
The main problem he was facing was actually restraining Frank as the other man was larger than he was and knew more dirty tricks to get people under control. Ryan knew that he couldn't mention any of his plans to Frank because the other man wouldn't want to try it, and Ryan would never drug someone. He also didn't want Frank to wear himself out first because that would spoil everything too.
A knock at the door startled Ryan out of his thoughts. "Hey Ryan, dinner's here," Frank said through the door.
"Okay, I'll be right out," Ryan called.
It was almost as if Frank was scared to see Ryan naked. That had to be it. If he didn't have to see Ryan when they were in bed, then he didn't have to admit that he was sleeping with another man. With a small sigh, he turned off the water and wrapped a towel around his waist. Maybe he'd start simple and not wear a top out to eat supper. It was his apartment, after all, and Ryan could do whatever he wanted. Ryan was starting to think that the relationship wasn't the best thing in the world anyway.
"What took you so long?" Frank asked once Ryan settled into his recliner.
"I don't like jails and prisons and always shower as soon as I can," Ryan said. "Not to mention I spent several hours bent over a computer working those prints I collected."
"Heard you found the print that broke the case," Frank said.
"Yeah, you had a good idea to check the prints," Ryan said. He took a bite of his pizza and closed his eyes. "I just wish there was a way to get Kyle out of there and with Horatio. The kid needs a strong parent figure, not jail."
Frank snorted. "Kid broke the law. Much as I hate to see Horatio's son in jail, rules are rules."
Ryan thought back to an argument he'd had with Calleigh when he'd first started at the lab. She'd mentioned that she had professional and personal views on things and, when she was on the clock, no matter what her personal view was, she went with the professional one. He wondered it Frank had the same thing. "Is that your professional or personal opinion?" he asked.
"Just my opinion," Frank replied. "No reason to break it into sections, gets too confusing and you could slip up at work and then you'd really be in trouble."
"I've learned the hard way to keep my personal feelings to myself," Ryan said.
"No denying you've had a rough go of it," Frank said. "Hell, some officers think the CSIs are cursed 'cause you guys all get hurt so much."
"If caring about the victims is a curse, then yeah, we are," Ryan replied. "Horatio's a good role model and we all follow his lead."
Frank stared at him for a minute. "What's got you so touchy tonight?" he asked.
"It's nothing," Ryan sighed. "I guess I'm just tired. I think I'm going to go to bed. See you tomorrow."
Ryan was able to fake being asleep when Frank came to bed so he didn't have to do anything. He wished he'd had the nerve to end things with Frank, but he didn't. Ryan knew he would have to talk with the other man, but he wanted to do it when he was feeling more settled and emotions weren't running quite as high in his own mind.
He jumped when he felt Frank touch his hip. "Huh, Frank, what?"
"Roll over," Frank said.
"Not tonight, Frank," Ryan sighed. He pushed up when he felt the press on his hip. "Frank, no."
"Come on, Ryan," Frank said. "It'll help you relax and sleep better, you know that."
"No, Frank," Ryan said, sitting up. "I'm tired and I hurt. All I want to do is sleep. If you're not going to let me do that, then go home."
He could feel Frank staring at him even in the dark, but wasn't expecting the slap and couldn't stop his head slamming into the headboard. Ryan blinked one and started to fight back. Frank was bigger than he was, but that didn't mean he was going to just give in to whatever the other man wanted. He felt the bone in his left arm snap when he finally managed to get away from Frank, and fell out of the bed. Ryan didn't even think about it, he grabbed his keys and ran.
Summary: Spoilers season 6 Chain Reaction. There's a reason that Frank calls Ryan "dust monkey" and it's not just to annoy him. They're in a relationship, one that Ryan is starting to doubt. Events lead Ryan to Horatio's house and a different future.
Note that I've taken dialogue from the episode to start this out. Opening dialogue is not mine and I don't claim it as original. Also don't make any money from this.