CSI: I Let You Go: One Shot|
A/N: This one shot was inspired by a Josh Groban song called “Broken Vow”.
I know you might not come. But please know it would mean the world to me if you did. I can never love anyone as much as I love you. I always have loved you, and I always will. Don’t let this tear us apart. Please keep in touch. I’ll always be here for you.
The handwritten note had been placed underneath the beautiful script reading:
Darren Freeman and Greg Sanders
Will be joined in holy matrimony
February 1st 2009
It was in Greg’s own messy handwriting. Nick would recognize it anywhere. Sitting on a bench in the locker room, he stared at the wedding invitation Greg had left for him in his locker. Holding back his sudden tears, he picked up a nearby pen and put it to paper. Slowly, he began to write, ripping his heart into tiny shreds as he did so:
This is me letting you go. I cannot give you what you need and I don’t wish to hold you back. I would only continue to break you. Everyone’s happy for you, take that, and let it lead you forward. May Darren love you forever and always. This way, at least one of us survives to live happily ever after. Please don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. Congratulations.
He heard the door open as he finished the note and folded it in half. Looking up, he saw Sara leaning in the doorway.
“Hey,” she greeted.
“Hey yourself.” He swallowed the lump in his throat and blinked the rest of his tears away, hoping she wouldn’t notice.
Sara looked down at her feet for a moment while her fingers fidgeted, her short nails clicking together. She crossed her arms and the room fell silent.
“I was hoping,” she blurted. “See... I don’t have a date for the wedding... would you want to...”
“I’m not going.” He stood up then, opened Greg’s locker, and placed his note inside.
“You’re... you’re not?”
Shutting the door, he leaned on it, hanging his head, and closing his eyes. He was glad she couldn’t see his emotions running unchecked, in the form of a single tear, down his face.
Not wanting to be in the same room anymore, not wanting to explain why, he pushed himself off Greg’s locker, picked up the invitation he’d left on the bench, tossed it in the garbage, and pushed past Sara out into the hall.
Somewhere nearby he heard laughter coming from a large group. He could easily pick out Greg’s beautiful lilt, then Warrick’s heavier laugh, and Catherine’s giggles. Quickly, he left the lab, feeling a coldness creeping over his skin.
He found himself huddled against the dark side of the building, out of the sight of his friends. The laughter came through the front door and Nick felt his stomach churn, felt like he would be sick, though he hadn’t eaten anything in so long it wouldn’t matter if he was.
Then Sara’s voice broke the laughter, “Nick’s not going.”
“Hey, where is he?” Warrick asked.
“I meant to the wedding. Though I doubt he’s going to breakfast either.”
Nick pictured her looking pointedly at Greg as everyone stopped walking to hear his response.
“I know,” Greg’s voice came out quiet, almost too hard to hear. “I didn’t think he would.” It was filled with a pain only Nick could truly hear and understand.
“I thought you two were close. And you did send him an invite?”
“Yes, to both.”
“But you knew he wouldn’t go?” Warrick sounded confused. “That doesn’t sound like the Nick I know.”
“You don’t know very much,” Greg stated.
Tears cascaded down Nick’s face as he began to sob, uncontrollably, feeling his heart rip all over again. The organ tore away from the rest of his body and a sharp pain overtook him as he clutched at his chest in vain. But he was stronger than this. He had to be to give up the one thing he needed most, the one person he loved the most.
“This is a topic that doesn’t ever come up again, ok? And don’t talk to Nick about it either. Got that?”
When he realized his heart was still intact inside his body, though still shrieking in pain, Nick scratched at his chest, wanting it out of him. If he had no heart, he couldn’t feel the pain of his loss. He would no longer feel the love he held for Greg. He would be able to function without anything or anyone getting in the way. He scratched and he scratched and he scratched, digging his nails into the fabric of his shirt harder and deeper with every scratch.
“Look, I’ll meet you at the diner. There’s something I need to take care of first.”
Nick heard footsteps on pavement. Then running. Moments later, Greg was kneeling in front of him in the dirt, reaching out to him.
“Nick...” Worry lines creased his forehead.
“Leave me alone.” He hugged himself tight, abandoning his endless work only for the moment, trying to keep Greg away from him.
Greg took a critical eye to him, looking over his gaunt features: the sunken cheeks, the dark circles under his eyes, the lines that made him look old, everything he’d seen in the mirror before going into work the night before.
“When was the last time you ate anything, hun?”
Nick trembled at the all too familiar gentle touch to his arm.
“Nick, please... come to breakfast with us.”
“You know I can’t... I can’t go out there... they’ll ask me why... and I can’t...”
“No they won’t. I told them not to talk about it ever again.”
“But the looks. They’ll be looking at me like there’s something wrong, like I’m messed up. And I am, G. I just don’t want them to know.”
Greg’s hands left his arm to brush his tears away, but Nick pushed them to the side.
“No. You can’t do this. Please... just leave me alone,” Nick sobbed, getting to his feet.
Hardly paying attention to what was happening or where he was going, he began to run, leaving Greg by the wall watching him escape without a word, without moving to chase him.
A/N: I promise to get back to Strength of Soul as soon as possible. Right now, while I've been sick for the weekend, I took it upon myself to work on some old one shots I haven't finished. There's about five of them. Once they're done, I'll get back to my regularly scheduled programing. And, hopefully, that will include Braden too.
PS. Thanks for reading!