Note: So, I'm right there with Chrissie on this. I wasn't posting/writing fanfic when GD originally aired...and since they aired the ep this past Sunday...well I couldn't help but have this little diddy pop up...kept me up the other night thinking it over. Anyway...spent all day planning it out...writing it...and when I get home I popped in Green Day "American Idiot" and listened to the song "Wake Me Up When September Ends"...seems to be the perfect soundtrack for this piece...
Summer has come and past.
The innocent can never last.
Wake me up when September ends.
Here comes the rain again,
Falling from the stars.
Drenched in my pain again,
Becoming who we are.
As my memory rests
But never forgets what I lost.
Wake me up when September ends.
...thought I'd share a bit of the lyrics...just get you in the mood for this one.
Not sure it needs any explaining...but this is kinda a look back via Nick's POV at what he went through...then swings back to "today time" for CSI...

Title: Cracked Rearview
Author: thatTaylorgirl
Disclaimer: Don't own a thing...not even the computer I used to write this's my dads...

Nothing he'd ever felt before compared to the cold terror that had swept over him. There was nothing, just fear and then cold hard panic.

The green hue filling the air was hypnotic, haunting. The whirring sound filling the air, entrancing. The pain in his body, his head, throbbing.

The confusion, the panic slowly gave way to one of the scariest feelings he'd ever felt.


Complete, terrifying, all consuming loneliness.

It tore at him, ate away the very soul that was working so hard to stay alive. It threatened to eat away every last ounce of resilience, strength, and courage.

The pain he felt from the internal breakdown, the internal struggle, the emotional war was indescribable.

Slowly, though, the loneliness eased. Physical pain took over his senses. The suffocating heat, the blinding light, the spasms running up and down his back, it was too much for him to handle. It was all consuming and mind numbing. Each little movement sent one more shot of pain up his spine. Each time the light switched on white hot pain stung his eyes. Each time the fan switched off his lungs compressed, his chest tightened.

He didn't want to give up, give in. He didn't want to be another victim, couldn't be another victim. He wouldn't give the voice on the tape the satisfaction.

Physical darkness surrounded him now. The near blissful hum of the fan whirring back to life filled his ears, lulling him, laughing at him. Then there was the blinding light, laughing, mocking his brief moment of…eased torture.

Gum, he had one piece left. The sickening sweet smell filled the coffin, then his ears, the wet stickiness the only form of comfort in his small hell. The light came back on; heat filled the coffin, then…darkness. His momentary victory over the blinding light, the smothering heat was suddenly consumed in the pitch black of darkness and the sounds of a hoarse cackle. It was deafening as it echoed around his Plexiglas cage.

Slowly, though, his victory was consumed again by loneliness and finally his loneliness gave way to resignation, acceptance.

It was Christmas in Las Vegas when the locals take the town. Theresa hit a streak and laid her waitress apron down.


Hope flickered in his green-glowing eyes. His heart jumped, a new rush of adrenaline seizing him. Had he been found?


Hey! I'm here! I'm right here!

Hope quickly faded, fear again taking over his senses. Panic quickly filled the coffin, working hard to push the dim green light outward. The structure of his container was cracking. The compromised light, the added weight of the surrounding dirt. He could only watch, his panic filled eyes taking in the spider veins of cracks as they worked their way throughout the Plexiglas cage.




Grabbing the tape recorder, he did the only thing he could.

He said goodbye.

Mom…Cisco…well… this is a lousy way to say goodbye but it's all I've got. I love you, you raised me right…and I'm gonna miss you. As for the rest of you guys…I know you did the best you could to find me. Grissom…I never meant to disappoint you.

He'd tried hard to keep his emotions in check. He'd tried hard to keep his voice under control. The last thing he wanted was to bring more pain onto the people he loved. The last thing he wanted was to be the cause of that pain.


It was sudden and excruciating. His skin was on fire. His screams echoed in his ears. He had nowhere to go, no way to escape. The torture had been upped, the pain unbearable.

Maybe…he thought pulling a pair of latex gloves from his pocket. Maybe…he thought tearing at the sleeves of his shirt. Just maybe, if he managed to stay still…maybe the ants wouldn't bite. The burning, the fire running through his veins was unbearable. He had to try.

Time was still.


He heard the fan die; his crutch, his link was gone.

He had nothing left.

So this was what it was going to be like? This is what the end looked like.

He had a choice. He could end it anytime.

Do you know what a 9 millimeter slug does to a skull at close range?

He could end the struggle.

He could end the fight.

Brains like strawberry swirled. Whipped cream, everywhere.

He felt his hand shaking as it gripped the butt of his Glock. It wouldn't take much to end it all.

Put your gun in your mouth and pull the trigger.

Within seconds the pain would be gone, the loneliness wiped away, the darkness permanent.

Sobs choked his throat, the pain way past excruciating. The physical pain trumped by the emotional struggle, the emotional pain.

"Nicky! We got ya man. Hey Nicky! Hey, hey, put that down! Put that down!"

The lights were blinding, the sight of his partner, his friend just inches in front of him.

It wasn't real. Couldn't be real.

"Nicky! We got ya buddy. We're gonna get you out of there. Hang in there."

Something was different.

This was different.

This was real.

He felt panic grip him from within. The pain was getting the better of him.

"Hang on. Hang on. We'll kill those ants, okay. You listen to me."

The voices were muffled. Everything was running together.

Was the really happening?

A brief moment of lucidity told him it was.

He was being rescued.

So, why weren't they getting him out? Couldn't they see him? Couldn't they hear him screaming? He was right there, right in front of them.

"Pancho!" Grissom was there now. "Listen to me. Put your hand on mine."

Slowly he reached out, grounded himself in the familiarity of the childhood name, grounded himself in the man in front of him, grounded himself in his reality.

"Good. Now listen. There may be explosives under the box. They're probably set on pressure switches. We need to equalize your body weight before we can pull you out, okay? Pancho, nod your head if you understand me."

Slowly he complied.

"All right, Pancho, we're gonna open the lid and get you out, but I need you to stay lying down. Okay? Or else you'll blow us all up. You understand that? Do you promise?"

Slowly, he nodded his head. The words were surreal.

"Pancho, say, "I promise.""

His choked, cracked voice reverberated around him as he spoke the two words.

The lid was opened, fresh, cool air rushing in around him. As if the lid had held in all his emotions, he felt the dam break, the flood of tears breaking free.

Reaching out, for something, anything to latch onto, he found Grissom's hand. He clutched, grabbed onto the man. He held on for life.

He heard the soft, mellow voice of his partner urging him to stay down, willing him to a calm he'd not felt in over twenty four hours.

No sooner had he grabbed back onto life, to reality, no sooner had he felt the sweet rush of relief and it all came crashing back down on him. Two hundred pounds of dirt consuming him again, throwing him back into the grip of darkness. Almost as quickly as it had all started, it was over. An explosion of dirt, a blast of heat.

It was over.

The night air was cold, a shock to his system. The light weight of Grissom's jacket, a makeshift blanket, held in warmth, working to thwart the constant shivering wracking his body.

The flurry of activity, the paramedics working around him was enough to put him on sensory overload. The strong grip of Warrick's hand in his, though, was enough to keep him grounded.

It was over.

His eyes closed. The sway of the stretcher as it carried him to the ambulance caused him to drift. A black see beckoned him.

"I got ya, man," Warrick said his hand finding Nick's as he weakly reached out. It was the only thing he could hear. His partner's hand, the only thing he could feel.

Those twenty four hours seemed little more than a nightmare, little more than a haunted voice recorded on a cassette tape. Life continued, and it was all Nick could do to keep up with the race.

The race.

The pitstops along the way.

There'd been the visit he'd paid Kelly Gordon.

Don't take it with you.

Then there was the visit she'd paid him.

You okay?


And then it was over.

The evidence had been logged away, the second voice on the tape identified, the case closed.

He'd watched Kelly Gordon take the only way out it seemed Gordon's knew how to take. It had been the same way he'd almost chosen for himself.

It was over.

It's not over for me. It's over for Jane Galloway.

It's not over for me. It's over for Walter Gordon.

It's not over for me. It's over for Kelly Gordon.

Staring death in the face had worn him, had nearly broken him. Watching Kelly give in to defeat had worn him even further, had threatened to send him back in over his head. But, he hadn't let her win. He hadn't let her father win.

"Hey man," Warrick said sticking his head into the locker room. "We got a DB," he waved the assignment sheet in his hand.

"Yeah, okay," he nodded grabbing up his field kit as he zipped up his vest.

He'd found his solid ground. He'd found his strong hold. He'd grasped onto it with every last ounce of energy. He'd locked onto it and refused to let it go.

Slowly he made his way down the halls of the crime lab. Greg and Sara were busy in the garage. Catherine was busy in ballistics. Grissom was held hostage by a stack of papers.

He smiled, catching up to Warrick and walking to the car.

Life stared him in the face, turning and walking ahead of him now. It beckoned him to follow.

There was more to life than death.

There was more.