Genre: General/Hurt/ Comfort
Rating: Fiction Rated: K
Summary: Nick grieves. His CSI family helps. Spoilers for "For Warrick"
A/N: Well, this is my first CSI fic and I wrote this before “For Warrick” aired, and I had thought I heard that Nick found Warrick. This is my take on that scenario. I don’t know what hours exactly this took place, so just go with the flow, please. Lol
Oh, and for those still waiting for Supernatural’s, “Goodnight, Moon” I am still working on it! A chapter will be posted as soon as I get it back from my beta today. Thanks!
Huge thanks to Amy and Sid for the pompoms and help! All mistakes left are mine.
Red and blue colors swirled across his features in slow motion. He stood in the pouring rain—it’s coolness soaking his hair and running down beneath his shirt collar, but he didn’t feel it.
The only thing he could feel was the crimson warmth on his fingertips, chest and arms. The only thing he could see was the swarm of people surrounding Warrick. The only thing he could hear, were the echoes of his own pleas and demands for his best friend to hold on—both of which were never answered.
Something heavy landed on his shoulder and he leaned into its warmth. When had it gotten so cold?
When the scene before him was suddenly blocked, he sluggishly blinked and found himself looking into concerned eyes. “Gris?” he barely recognized his own voice. It sounded so strange. It sounded so…lost. And when had Grissom gotten there? Had he called him?
“Yeah, Nicky,” the hand on his shoulder squeezed, “It’s me,” the older man said hoarsely. “Let’s get you out of the rain.”
But Nick’s feet wouldn’t move. “I’m waiting for Warrick,” he said plaintively. Why wasn’t he in an ambulance yet?
Next he knew, he was sitting in the passenger seat of Grissom’s vehicle. Someone had placed a blanket over him and he was vaguely aware of people talking. They were familiar, comfortable voices, but he found himself unable to reach out to them—unable to reach beyond the muted bubble he found himself in. And he didn’t know what ‘He’s in shock’ meant anyway. Were they talking about him? He couldn’t bring himself to care.
A warm hand on his face and he was looking into eyes he’s looked into a million times before—but they were different now. They were clouded with grief and pain and he looked away—fearing his own looked the same.
This upset the person even more. “Nicky,” Catherine choked, “we’re gonna take you home, okay? You won’t be alone.”
He shuddered at the thought. “No,” he rasped. He couldn’t go home.
Round and round it went down the drain—a swirl of red almost like peppermint candy. They had taken his shirt and now someone was gently holding his hands under warm water, but they were talking to him nervously as their own hands shook. Greg. Something in the back of his mind said. But why were Greg’s hands shaking? And why were they holding his own?
Grissom lowered himself down next to him on the locker room bench. Their shoulders brushed and Nick trembled…because Grissom was. “I can get you a jumpsuit if you don’t have a change of clothes,” his superior said tenderly after a moment. He then added just as gently, “We’re gonna need your pants and shoes too, Nicky.”
Nick looked down and was surprised to find his bare torso covered in blood…his pants too. Was he hurt? he nearly asked, but something was telling him that the pain he felt…was only on the inside.
Raising his head, he noticed how gutted Grissom looked—how worn. Nick wanted to ask if he was okay, but again, somehow he knew. No. He wasn’t.
“Warrick dead?” someone used his voice to ask—because he’d never ask such a thing…and the voice still sounded too lost.
Grissom’s face faltered before he could school his features again. Then with tears in his eyes, “Yeah,” he whispered brokenly, “yeah he is.”
He woke on a couch with Sara leaning over him. He blinked, for a moment thinking it had all been a bad dream. Until, that is, he looked her in the eyes. It was the same thing he’d been seeing all night. It was the same thing he’d been hiding from.
Wordlessly, he laid an arm over his eyes to shield himself from her pain. He couldn’t make it go away for her. If he knew how, he wouldn’t be feeling this way.
Fingers slid through his hair. “I’m so sorry.”
So was he.
It took some convincing before they filled him in on all they had—which wasn’t a lot. The gun looked to be purposely left at the scene, so they doubted it would be of much use. And no one had seen anything, of course.
Not even himself. And he was just inside.
He was just a few feet away while his best friend was being murdered.
“Don’t.” One word. One thickly spoken order. “Don’t do that to yourself, kiddo,” Brass said as if reading his mind. “Don’t blame yourself.”
Standing on the roof of the CSI building, Nick didn’t even bother looking away from the
It took a moment for his throat to dislodge the massive lump of emotions enough for him to speak. “How can I not?”
“Are you really going to make me say it?” the captain asked, coming to stand beside him.
Confused, Nick turned to him.
“It’s not your fault,” he said slow and stern. “If you had had the slightest notion that ‘Rick was in trouble, you would have been there. You would have had his back.”
Nick turned away, fighting off the tears. “Woulda, shoulda, coulda,” he choked.
Wincing, Brass turned his own eyes to the sunrise the younger man was fighting so hard to deny. “You know when you went missing? When they had you buried in that box?” He paused long enough for his words to sink in. “Warrick blamed himself—said he shouldn’t have flipped a coin. He should have just taken the scene.”
That had Nick turning back to him, tears in disbelieving eyes. “What?” he croaked. “That’s crazy, how could he of…?” his voice caught and he turned back to the light that was filling the sky, even as he refused to let it fill him.
“He couldn’t of,” Brass said matter-of-factly, “Just like you couldn’t have known what was about to happen out in the alley.”
Nick swallowed…hard. “Is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Watching him, Jim frowned, shaking his head. “No,” he said thickly, placing a hand over the younger man’s trembling shoulder. “Not better,” he squeezed, “…just hopefully…hopefully not any worse,” his voice broke off into a strangled whisper, tears filling his own eyes.
Lowering his head, Nick’s face contorted with the anguish he’d been trying so hard to keep buried.
“Don’t, don’t be too long up here, kay?” Brass said, swallowing. “You know how restless the clan gets when one of their cubs wonders away.”
Throat too tight with grief, Nick could only manage a single nod. And clapping him awkwardly on the shoulder, Jim walked away.
And Nick cried.
He wasn’t sure how long he stood there, watching the world move on without his best friend. He wasn’t sure where the jacket draped over his shoulders came from. But he didn’t need to turn to know that his team, his family…what was left of it, flanked him on both sides—offering their support to each other wordlessly—grieving silently the world they knew…just one sunrise ago.