Title: Guilt and Regret
Author: DisasterousLetdown
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Pairing: Ryan Wolfe, Eric Delko
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Angst
Summary: MM! I made his life hell, and I did so without a care. He fought back with me of course, but not once did he express how much I was hurting him. He didn't have to though; it was there in his eyes the entire time.

Disclaimer: I don't own CSI: Miami, nor do I know any of the actors. This has been made up in my sick little mind for your viewing pleasure. None of this is real, just simply fiction.

Guilt and Regret

It feels like I can't breathe; like I am suffocating and no one can save me. I close my eyes tightly to escape the reality of the whole situation, but mental images fill the void of darkness and reality continues to torment me. I wish I could sleep and not be conscious enough for thoughts, but nightmares are all that await me. I haven't been able to see since it happened; memories of the past keeping me awake. When I do get some sleep, my unconscious mind is plagued with horrifying images. I am not even allowed a moment's rest in my dreams.

When alone, I can't help but think about our relationship when he was around. Things were always touch and go between us. One minute we would be getting along, and then the next we would be at each other's throats. I realize that it was mostly my fault. I was hurt and angry when Speed died, and I didn't want anyone taking his place. I also didn't even want to give myself the chance of becoming close to the new guy, so I pushed him away; gave him attitude so he wouldn't like me.

It was easy for me to put him down and point out all his flaws when he messed up, which had genuinely pissed me off. I couldn't believe he had given Erika Sikes inside information, was he that desperate for attention? Needless to say, I never let him forget his mistake; made sure to bring the incident up whenever an opportunity presented itself.

I was majorly pissed off when he took credit for the evidence that I had found. He had apologized, in his own way, but I had never truly let it go. He had broken what little trust I had in him, and I didn't want to put myself in that position again. He made little mistakes after all of this as well, and I made sure that he knew exactly how I felt about them.

He tried to befriend me despite of our history, but I always shot him down. Sometimes he would ask if I wanted to grab a beer with him after work, but I always had an excuse as to why I couldn't. He would try to talk to me at one of Alex's or Calleigh's parties, but I always managed to stay detached and uninterested. He never gave up though; always tried to gain my friendship even though he failed every time.

I was a fool, I can see this now. I should have opened myself up to him; should have taken him up on his offer for friendship, and the possibility of more. If only I could go back in time and change my actions; keep those hateful words inside where they belonged. I can't though and I have to live with my regrets; my guilt.

I can't help, but wonder if I had done things differently, and tried to work things out with him, would things have been different? Would we have been friends? Would I have had the chance to know what it feels like to him in my arms? When he was facing the scariest situation of his life and needed all the love and support he could get, would I have been there for him in his time of need?

If I only knew what I know today
I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
Thank you for all you've done
Forgive all your mistakes
There's nothing I wouldn't do
To hear your voice again
Sometimes I want to call you
But I know you won't be there

With a shuddering sigh, I make my way into the living room and sit down on the chair by the window; watching the rain as it pours down at a steady pace. I feel so alone, the guilt and pain is eating away at my soul. I wish he was here with me now, I wish I could tell him how sorry I am. I was so terrible to him though; would he even be able to forgive me for all I put him through? I made his life hell, and I did so without a care. He fought back with me of course, but not once did he express how much I was hurting him. He didn't have to though; it was there in his eyes the entire time.

I had ignored the pain in his eyes, and convinced myself that I didn't care; constantly told myself that it didn't matter. I was so very wrong though. No matter how hard I tried to pretend like I didn't care, deep down inside I know that I did. I hated what I was doing to him, but it was also too late to change anything, so I had convinced myself that it was necessary that I did this. Like a fool, I believed this, and so my behavior toward him didn't change.

From the day I laid eyes on him there was an instant attraction, and I could tell that he felt it too, but I had chose to ignore it. I only ended up hurting myself, and him, because the attraction didn't go away like I had anticipated, it gradually built into something much bigger. It had scared me because I had never felt so strongly for someone before, but the truth was that I had fallen in love with him.

My feelings were starting to take their toll on me, and I was actually going to tell him how I felt, but then Marisol got sick and my life had been turned upside down. My heart was heavy with the worry I felt for my sister, I had always been close to her and I was afraid of losing her. It became easier for me to put my love for him on the back-burner, and focus solely on my sister. Whenever he tried to talk to me I would give him the cold shoulder. Eventually the tension grew until we were once again at each other's throats.

Looking back now, I wish I had told him I how I felt; wish he had known. I let everything I could stand in my way though, and now he will never know. I am not an emotional person; I would rather die than shed a few tears. But with everything that has happened, it is becoming harder for me to keep it inside. I just want to curl up in a dark corner and cry my eyes out. That is not the type of man I am though, and I refuse to appear weak.

It is so hard to believe that he is gone though, and I scold myself for not seeing the signs. In the last few months that he was around he had been so alone; always seemed tired and withdrawn. I should have been there for him; shown him that he didn't have to go through it alone. But I had found out when it was too late, and was only given a few minutes with him. There wasn't enough time. I was grateful for the chance to see him again, but damnit I wasn't given enough time.

There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes
And see you looking back

He had quit his job at the crime lab shortly after I returned from Rio, and I remember our short discussion in the locker room that day. He had been throwing all this things into a duffel bag, his OCD making sure everything was in order, and sending glares in my direction. When I got tired of his attitude, I confronted him and he slammed his locker shut. I had managed to keep myself from wincing. He had looked so angry at me, and his words had confused me at the time.

"How dare you say I wouldn't understand what you were going through with Marisol. When you don't know shit about something, you should keep your damn mouth shut! You don't know me so stop acting like you do!"

After that I had just let him walk away, probably one of the worst things I could have done, but that is what I did. I was confused about what he said, but I didn't rush after him to question him on it. Now I wish I would have because maybe he would have opened up to me and then we might have had a shot at working things out. That isn't how things went down though, and there is no use in wishing it did.

"If I thought you would understand, I would explain it to you."

Damn I regret those words now more than anything; especially now that I know what they did to him. They were cruel, no matter how unintentional. I know it was like a slap in the face once he figured out what I was going through, that is why he had been so angry.

Months after he quit, I couldn't get him out of my head. I missed him because I loved him, not that I would admit it to anyone much less myself, and our last conversation wouldn't leave my mind alone. I had to know what he meant by it, so, after about eight months of not seeing each other; I drove over to his house. When I go there, however, he didn't answer the door. His kind neighbor told me he wasn't home. What I heard next, however, shocked me and made my blood run cold. His neighbor told me that he was in the hospital because of the cancer he has being fighting against.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and it all just seemed to get worse. Apparently he had stopped taking his chemotherapy, and was forced by his neighbor to go to the hospital.

Once I had heard this I had rushed over to the hospital...

Stepping out of the elevator, I search for the room number that the nurse at the front desk had given me. Once I find the room I take a deep breath before silently entering. I have to hold in the gasp that wants to leave my lips at the sight of him. He has lost all of his beautiful hair; leaving behind just skin. He no longer has that tan he had gained; his complexion now pale. There are also dark circles under his eyes. He looks extremely exhausted, and every breath he takes seems to be done with great effort. The sight heart wrenching, it is like looking at a total stranger.

Slowly his eyes open and he turns his head in my direction; a surprised expression growing on his face. "Eric." He whispers weakly. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you." I respond as I take a seat next to his bed.

He lets out a heavy sigh. "My neighbor told you I was here."

I don't respond to this, he already knows the truth. Instead, I stare sadly at him for a moment before finally speaking, "Why didn't you say something Ryan? I wouldn't have said that if I had known."

"I didn't want the pity, I just wanted to forget." Is the answer as he stares somewhere away from me.

Without thinking, I take his hand in mine and he looks at me in surprise. "I would have been here to support you had I known."

His expression softens, and a weak smile forms on his face. "Thanks Eric, I really appreciate that."

"Where is your family, shouldn't they be here?" I ask when I realize that no one was here when I arrived, nor is there any flowers in the room.

"My uncle and I haven't spoken in over a year, we have a falling out, and so he won't be here." He replies in a bitter tone of voice that matches the expression on his face.

"I'm really sorry you're going through this. But there's one thing I don't understand, why did you stop the therapy?"

"It's not going to help me." He whispers weakly; seemingly growing weaker by the minute. "It's too late Eric."

I can't find anything to say to that, so I just stare down at our hands and focus on how I am feeling at being able to hold his hand in mine. At this moment I want nothing more than to pull him into my arms and kiss him with all the passion I possess, but I hold myself back. Instead, I squeeze his hand to offer some form of comfort and smile when he squeezes my hand in return.

When I look up into his eyes, I am caught off guard by the tears I find swimming in them. He blinks and my attention is drawn to the tear that slides down his cheek. I can't stop myself from reaching out and wiping it away with the pad of my thumb. He smiles sadly as I caress his cheek one last time.

"I love you Eric; always have." He whispers in that weak voice of his; shocking me with his words. "Please tell everyone that the lab that I'm sorry for not telling them."

Before I can say anything in response to this, his eyes flutter closed and his hand becomes limp in my grasp. The sound of him flat-lining fills the room, but I don't make a sound... I feel too numb inside.

...That day I just went back to my house and locked myself inside for days; having taken some time off from work. The only time I left the house was to go to Ryan's funeral, and even after it I went straight back to my house. Even now I don't go out like I used to, I go straight home after work. People are worried about me, but I refuse to tell them why I am having such a hard time with Ryan's death.

I am in love with him, I have finally accepted it, and I can't let go of my guilt over hurting him. I wish I had apologized while I had the chance, and I wish I would have told him that I loved him when he told me how he felt about me. I should have never treated him like that in the first place, but I can't change the past. I can only try to get through each day with my regret and hope the pain will get easier to deal with.

I touch my cheek in astonishment when I feel tears sliding down it, but I don't try to stop them like I usually would. It feels too good; finally letting out my emotions.

Slowly I raise my eyes to the grey sky outside my window. "I'm so sorry for what I've said and done over the years; for hurting you Ryan." I say aloud; not ashamed to be talking to the empty room. Deep inside I am hoping that Ryan is watching me from heaven and can hear my words. "I never got to tell you, but... I love you too."

I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself
By hurting you

.The End.

Hurt - Christina Aguilera