Title: Mr. Brightside
Disclaimer: I own nothing not CSI and not the song Mr. Brightside, which is owned by the wonderful and talented band, The Killers. Brandon rocks!
Part 1 of 2
He tried to think of it all as a dream. An endless but painful journey through a dark world where he was alone. Sometimes he couldn't believe his luck. Every time something good seemed to happen to him, something always shot him back down. As he stared at the mirror in front of himself he gave a heavy sigh before pulling the shirt on over his shoulders and buttoning it up.
This constant throbbing in his heart left him broken and confused, and utterly unable to think clearly for long periods of time. While leaning against his sink he realized that there was no reason for him to feel like this. She didn't pick him; she left and went back to the man who never deserved her in the first place. However, for the life of him he could not understand why.
Was it his hair? His bright shirts? Why did his chest and the heart beneath it cause him so much pain? He clenched his jaw in frustration as he glanced at the clock on the wall. Turning around he walked out of the bathroom and shut the light off.
After grabbing his coat and his keys he made his way towards his door. Locking it and shutting it behind him he walked out placing the headphones over his ears and walking down the narrow stairs. He unlocked his car door and got in his lips tight and his face blank.
He didn't turn the radio on, and he didn't turn his music up, his car was for the first time in forever, silent. He drove; his eyes scanning his surroundings quietly as his thoughts raced through his mind destroying any form of concentration he tried to gather.
He could see the lab from the road as he sat at the red light at the intersection. However, he had no will at the moment to turn into the parking lot. He turned his gaze back to the road in front of him and followed it straight, never looking back.
About ten minutes later he found himself parked outside of the small music store. Pulling his headphones from his ears he read the sign and walked in. The man at the counter raised his head in response to the bell above his head ringing.
His eyes scanned the shelves and racks as he walked through the small store, his eyes scanning the labels and alphabetically placed discs. A faint tune floated around in his head gentle and soft like a breeze as it came in one ear and out the other. He tilted his head and met the gaze with the man behind the counter.
The man raised his eyebrows a bit before walking over to where he stood. His eyes scanning the titles as well, in a few seconds he pulled out a case. The light blue cover and back with the tall buildings and symbols standing out as the man handed it to him. He reviewed the case and the man just nodded before walking over towards the counter.
He raised an eyebrow and walked towards the counter behind the man the disc still tightly clenched in his hand. Placing it on the counter he pulled out his wallet and grabbed a few bills while the cashier rang his CD up. He handed them to the man as he replaced his wallet in his pocket. The cashier gave him his change, receipt, and his CD. Giving a small smile in thanks he walked out of the door the bell ringing once more.
Climbing back into his car he started it and pulled out of the small parking lot, heading back towards the lab. During his drive he quickly checked his watch on his right wrist. He wasn't late, but he would just barely make it. Parking his car, he quickly grabbed the CD from the passenger seat and shut off his car. Locking the door as he stepped outside he looked around.
Shoving the disc into his jacket pocket he walked towards the door to the lab. He passed people walking down the hallways towards the locker room but he didn't pay much attention. He froze in the doorway.
There she was, standing by her locker. Acting like nothing was wrong. When maybe nothing was. He shook his head as he stepped into the room trying to keep his gaze away from her as he felt anger and pain rising in him again.
Sighing he stood by his locker and opened it. Sara looked at him out of the corner of her eye. He didn't say anything but he could feel her eyes on him. He was silent as he pulled off his coat and hung it up in the locker. She was still watching him. He closed his eyes momentarily as he gripped the CD in his hand, the CD he had just pulled from his jacket pocket. Opening his eyes once again he made sure he put some of his other possessions inside as well. He remained silent throughout the whole time. His jaw clenched and his eyes unable to focus on his surroundings.
The tune of the same song from earlier kept running through his mind. He could see her shift out of the corner of his eyes, she was waiting on him. Maybe she had said something. He hadn't heard anything. He didn't know, he was lost. He looked up at her breaking his vow and making eye contact with her once again. Those beautiful brown eyes that were so full of pain, and at the same time, full of happiness. But, it wasn't because of him. It was because of the man he could never be, the man that made her happy. The man, that didn't deserve her.
He quickly glanced away as he shut his locker. Without a word he walked quickly from the room, never turning to look at her. As he walked he clutched the CD against his chest; over his heart. He could feel it beating beneath the plastic. Biting his bottom lip he slipped into the first empty office and let out a deep sigh.
She had been behind him, her footsteps light but quick. She was talking to him, but he wasn't listening, he couldn't listen. There was nothing more for him to listen to. It was over, whatever he had thought, it was nothing, and it was over. In fact, it never happened. It was tearing him to pieces. To be so close to something, and then have it ripped from your grasp. The more he thought about it the more his head throbbed in anger.
She had been distracted and he had slipped away, the man that made her happy, had distracted her, of course, he was the only one who could. There was no light in the room and the silence only added to his lonely company. The air around him was slightly warm, but he still found himself shaking, whether from being slightly cold, or having anticipation chills, he couldn't tell.
Taking his chances he glanced through the window as he moved away from his spot glued to the wall. She was standing there, her hands in his as he smiled at her and whispered something near her ear. He felt sick his stomach tightened and he fell back against the wall, swallowing had become difficult. He felt himself begin to shake in anger like he had done many times before. Many times before, it had ended in embarrassment. He took a deep breath and quickly walked out of the office and down the hall, then around the corner; never looking back.
His complexion was pale, and sweat had formed on his forehead. He felt heat radiate off him in waves and his cheeks were flushed as he hurried into the break room. He found the CD player sitting on the counter near the fridge. Tearing open the CD case he didn't even register anyone sitting in the room. He placed the red disc into the player and pressed play quickly. His fingers fumbled with the buttons as he switched the song to track two.
The melodic music filled the room as a man began to sing. While his words were fast, they were still easily understood. Tossing the case onto the counter he walked out of the room to retrieve paperwork that he needed to fill out before the shift meeting. The meeting where he would have to face her and the rest of the world at the same time. He didn't think he was quite ready for either of them.
The music went through one ear and out the next the lyrics drifting softly as he shut the door behind him and sat down at the table a pen in hand. He watched as his hand shook when he tried to write. Instead of the fluid movements he was used to when writing, he was receiving a shaky and unreadable writing on the paper.
The song was set on repeat, so as it drew to a close, the song started up once more. He sat in silence, not being able to concentrate on his work, but not being able to concentrate on the music either.
He heard the door open, and the silence that followed them in. He didn't move his gaze from his papers. Not willing to face anyone; whoever had entered the room, his solitude for the time. They sat down next to him, seemingly listening to the music that played in the background.
"What's got you down?" The voice asked. He looked up surprised from the owner of the voice. Nick Stokes sat next to him hands lying folded on the table as he greeted him with a half of a smile. A questioning look still gracing his strong features.
"Nothing." He replied his voice tight and low.
"Nothing." Nick repeated shoving him in the shoulder lightly, "Then why are you listening to this music?"
"Just bought it." He replied as he pretended to be reading the paper in front of him, "Why are you here anyways? Your shift ended hours ago."
"You know, just working late." He replied. "Finished the case though." He just nodded as he tapped the pen against the papers.
Nick studied him for a moment the song still playing, over and over again. He raised an eyebrow. "Seriously Greggo. What's wrong?"
"Nothing really." He replied beginning to get annoyed by his alone time being interrupted, and the fact that he was being interrogated for something that he couldn't admit to himself.
"About a girl?" Nick asked leaning towards him.
He paused his brain malfunctioning as his friend spoke the simple three words that made him question the whole event all together.
"There was never anything between us. I'm just so stupid that I thought there might have been something. I see now my mistakes. That actually it was a mistake and there was nothing truthful to the event and nothing became anything from it." He stopped his gaze lifting from the paper and meeting his friend's kind eyes.
"Wow man. What happened to you?" Nick asked slapping him on the back as he listened for more details, "I didn't know how much these shifts separated us."
Greg shook his head unable to think of anything else to say, "Is it wrong for me to feel something so deeply, to know something in my heart. Only for it to be a lie or for it to never occur at all during my lifetime?"
Nick knitted his eyebrows together in thought as Greg returned his gaze to the CD player in the corner of the room.
"I'm just not good enough am I? Not for anyone. Not for the one person that it would truly mean something from."
"You're talking crazy. Any woman would have to be crazy to pass up you. I mean c'mon, you've got a lot to offer."
Greg only shook his head, "She doesn't think so." He stood up and moved away from the table, "What is so wrong with me that makes her not want me? What do I not have that he has? Why do I care so much that it is driving me insane." He sighed angrily in frustration as he held his face in his hands.
"Maybe because you're in love with her." Nick supplied for him.
"Yeah, but the only problem is that she doesn't love me. She loves him, the man that can make her happy and make her smile. She doesn't love me, hell she doesn't like me. But he, he doesn't deserve her. He is nothing; I would've thought that I was better, that I could treat her better. Obviously I'm not."
Nick stood up giving his friend as sympathetic look as he patted his shoulder, "Just keep trying. Maybe she'll see that you're better than he could ever be. Hopefully she will see. See you later Greggo." He said moving to leave.
"Call me something else." Greg spoke up. Nick turned and looked at him.
"Just call me Mr. Brightside." He said motioning to the CD player.
Nick shook his head, "Alright, if that is what you want…Mr. Brightside." He mumbled before leaving. Greg ran his hands through his hair as he sat back down in the chair and grabbed the pen. The door opened once more and he felt them walk into the room. They sat down across from him and he looked up meeting their gaze. Sara sat before him giving him a questioning look. One in which he did not reply to.
Instead he tried once again to focus on his work, but was still failing miserably. The song started once more when silence had engulfed the room. She was silent and he listened to the lyrics once more.
I'm Coming Out of My Cage
And I've been doing just fine
Gotta Gotta Gotta be down
Because I want it all
He looked up at her as she seemed to be lost in thought. He closed his eyes as painful memories began to invade his mind.
He stood next to her at her door step laughing at a joke he had made, but laughing more at the smile on her face because it was beautiful. The laughing died down and touched her face almost unaware of his own actions. They grew silent and she leaned in, he closed his eyes, and his lips found hers in a small but needing kiss. It grew deeper as he felt himself fall into her. Her smell becoming intoxicating and the feel of her lips against his driving his brain into overdrive.
It started out as a kiss
How did it end up like this?
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss
She pulled away from him and he stared at her silent, not knowing what else to say, or to do. She didn't say anything however; she just moved away from him and walked inside to her apartment, shutting the door behind her. Greg looked towards the ground and walked to his car. It wasn't long before he found himself sleeping on his bed not being able to do anything else.
Now I'm falling asleep
And she's calling a cab
While he's having a smoke
And she's taking a drag
He watched them in silence from his car across the street the way he begged her and the way she denied everything. He watched as he said something that clearly struck a strange emotion in her. For she wrapped her arms around him in a hug. He whispered in her ear and she believed every lie that came from his mouth. He felt sick as he watched them kiss. Kiss in the same exact spot that they had kissed in not twenty-four hours before then. Clenching his jaw he put his car and drive and peeled out onto the road; leaving only a smoke trail in his wake.
Now they're going to bed
And my stomach is sick
And it's all in my head
But she's touching his chest-now
He takes off her dress
Now, let me go
That is what he saw every time he looked at her, at him, at either one of him and he felt sick and felt abandoned. She never mentioned any of it to him. Whether she knew if he witnessed it or not, whether she knew how much it hurt him, or how much he felt for her, she had never mentioned the kiss again. He wished it was only that easy for him to forget as well, for him to abandon every emotion that came with it.
I just can't look, it's killing me
And taking control
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
She looked at him and he held her steady gaze knowing she knew something from the music but not really registering the fact that it was because of her and her actions that he felt this way. Maybe she did. She did and she was hiding the fact that she knew but didn't care for him as much as he thought she did. That kiss was everything, better than anything he had ever experienced and made him feel more than anything else ever did.
But it's just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
'Cause I'm Mr. Brightside
She would never want him and he would have to accept that and move on there wasn't much he could do. He just wanted her to know how much he hurt. How much she was hurting him right now. Just by being near him, it was killing him inside knowing that he knew, but she didn't know that he did. He tried to tell her, so many times. He just could never find the words and never do it given any opportunity.
The song was moving fast as he thought and the ending was drawing near; he still held her gaze. His stormy eyes reflecting only what he felt in his heart. He wanted to tell her so bad that he could stand it. His mouth wasn't working as she stared back at him the silence eating away at the both of them.
Grissom walked into the room and spotted Greg and Sara. He watched them in their silent staring contest before breaking the silence. "Greg, are you sure about this?"
Greg looked up to his boss who stood before him he stood as well as the song played in the back ground and his eye contact with Sara was lost, "Yes." The reply was quiet and unsure but he had to do it.
"Sure about what?" Sara asked standing up, looking for answers, and trying to figure out what they were talking about.
Grissom looked at her, "Greg has put in his notice. In a few days he will be a free man and no longer a part of the Las Vegas Crime Lab."
Sara's mouth hung open as she took in the information. Her partner, her own partner that she had trained and watched learn, was leaving her. He was leaving everything. It made her wonder why. He had worked so hard to get to this point and now he was just leaving.
Greg handed the papers to Grissom, "Goodbye." He whispered before leaving the room and walking out. Giving one last glance to everyone as he would never work with them again. He held his head high as he left, feeling better. Leaving the whole situation would help him forget and he would be grateful.