Note: wrote this last night following the wonderful episode! Just some thoughts of what Nick may have been thinking/dealing...after the whole Kelly Gordon thing...Let me know thought (as usual)


Going through the motions. That's what it was, anyway. Just going through the motions.

It was a coward's way out, Nick thought as he stood back watching Sophia administer chest compressions. The empty pill bottles were still in his hands.

Damn it! It shouldn't go down like this, he shook his head.

The small one bedroom apartment was all of a sudden suffocating and hot. He couldn't breathe. Unzipping his nylon vest in a vain attempt to relieve some of the pressure building in his chest, he watched Sophia's desperate attempt to save the girl on the bed.

Sophia remained next to Kelly's body as she stopped the compressions. She was met with the gaze of hollow eyes as she looked upon the face of the girl. She slowly moved her gaze to meet Nick's.

The sirens of the arriving paramedics could be heard in the distance.

"I'll…uh…I'll go meet the medics," he said, his voice catching in his throat as he pointed a thumb over his shoulder. He couldn't leave the room quick enough.

The sun was of little help to warm the chilly January air. Even Vegas got cold in the winter, and it was definitely winter in Las Vegas as Nick stepped outside the apartment building. The ambulance was just pulling up.

"What's going on?" the EMT asked as he stepped from the passenger side.

"We need you guys to pronounce," Nick replied as he lead the two up the flight of stairs and back into the apartment.

"I'll call the coroner," Nick said as he rejoined Sophia. She had stepped aside allowing room for the medics to do their work. He needed to leave. He couldn't stay in the room. He stepped into the hallway where the air wasn't quite as thick.

"Hey, Grissom, you wanted to talk to me?" he asked as he entered his supervisor's office.

"I hear Kelly Gordon is a suspect in your murder case," the man said removing his reading glasses. "Is that a problem?"

He didn't answer right away. He had to think about it for a second.

"No," he'd said finally, leaning back in his chair. "I found the tape," Nick had said as he sat in front of Grissom's desk earlier that day. "I matched the voice from the recording…" he'd said.

"So, it's over," his boss nodded, his glasses hanging limply in his grip.

"It's over," he nodded with a small smile. He stood to leave his boss's office.

The voice wasn't Kelly's.

The voice wasn't Kelly's.

It wasn't how he'd pictured things happening. Hell, he wasn't sure how things would have, or should have, happened. He just didn't think it'd be this way.

"You know, I've been thinking about what you said to me, you know about not taking it with me. I've been thinking a lot," she'd said the day she came to the lab.

"Kelly, are you okay?" he'd asked as she began to walk away.

"Perfect."

That look in her eye still haunted him. Had this been the plan all along?

"You the one?" she asked from the other side of the Plexiglas window.

"Yeah. Yeah, back at ya," he said, his voice breaking.

"What do you want me to say? I'm sorry?"

"No, you didn't do anything to me. And what your dad did, I…I guess its cause he loves you so much"

She'd dropped the phone then, was ready to leave.

"Hey, Kelly, Kelly. Pick it up." He watched her hesitate as she grabbed for the phone again. "In a few years…when you get out of here…don't take it with you"

"That's it?"

"Yeah. Yeah, that's it," he said, his voice once again cracking.

He watched as she walked away, was escorted out of the room.

Everything about her was cold.

Something had changed about her between the first and second time he'd seen the girl. The girl at the correctional facility was the not the same girl he met in the reception area of the lab. However subtle the change had been, it hadn't gone unnoticed. But, today…today the girl he saw didn't look like anyone recognizable. This girl was hard, rough, and unyielding. This girl was… He couldn't even describe it.

She'd resorted to murder for him?

For him?

It didn't make sense. It was the accountant's idea to propagate the ransom? It was the accountant's voice on the tape? She was the one with Walter Gordon making the recording?

"Hi CSI guy…You're wondering why you're here? 'Cause you followed the evidence… So breathe quick, breathe slow, put your gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Any way you like, you're going to die here. …Okay?"

"Perfect."

It was her voice.

He knew the answers now. Everything had been put together…

Had this been what Kelly had in mind when she came to the lab weeks ago. Had she already laid out plans? Why hadn't she wanted to make things right? Was this her way of making things right?

It didn't make it any easier. The feelings just didn't go away. They couldn't just go away. Was this her way of taking up for him? Was Kelly trying to make up for what her father had done?

There were other ways. There were always other ways.

Nick sighed as he leaned against the wall. He couldn't wrap his brain around it.

Why hadn't Grissom told him about the tape?

Why hadn't Kelly told him the truth?

Why the hell was everything so damn confusing?

Was this really supposed to make everything better?

Was he supposed to feel better about everything now?

Well, he didn't. He was left with more questions than answers, and he hated it. As much as he should be used to questions, he was more used to getting answers. He hated being left with questions, hated it more than anything.

Kelly had taken the coward's way out. She'd taken life into her own hands. She'd become the one to decide who had the right to live and who had the right to die.

"It wasn't your day to die. When it's your day…it's your day, you know?"

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

He hadn't notice David enter the small apartment. He hadn't even noticed as the coroner and paramedics filed out of the room with the stretcher.

He didn't even notice Sophia as she joined him in the hall standing next to him. She didn't speak right away. Instead she stood there with him, in the hallway, leaning against the wall. His eyes were closed as he leaned his head back on the wall.

Maybe it was the look on Nick's face. The pensive look. The look of a man lost in his own thoughts.

Maybe she just didn't know what to say.

Lord knew no amount of words could ever justify what had happened to the man beside her.

No amount of words could describe the emotions he was feeling right then, or the emotions she was feeling. It wasn't often a person felt opposite emotions at the exact same moment.

Relief, yet at the same time anger.

Complete and utter confusion, yet a euphoric clarity of mind.

It was all masked by a keen sense of helplessness. Something no one liked feeling, yet something Nick had grown accustomed to.

He sighed again, this time opening his eyes, now aware of the presence next to him.

"It's over," Sophia sighed.

"Yeah," he nodded slowly, "so it seems."

The two slowly made their way from the apartment building. The sun was high in the early morning sky. It was going to be another semi-mild day.

"I'll see you back at PD," the detective said pulling on a pair of sunglasses.

"Yeah," the CSI nodded making his way to his Denali.

He climbed into the car, the keys still in his hand. The uneasiness he'd been feeling was slowly melting away. There was a calm slowly taking over. It was something he'd not felt in eight months.

"Do you believe in past lives?" Sage had asked him outside the McBride's house.

"No, ma'am."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm just trying to make it through this one." It was an honest answer.

"I think you're doing a pretty good job."

Nick took in a deep breath, held it, and let it out. Putting the key in the ignition, he turned the engine over and made his way back toward the lab.

It's over.