Disclaimer: Not mine.

Author's Note: Seeing how it's been said by GE himself that this subject will never be revisited, I decided to take a crack at it. Spoilers for Overload. I haven't actually seen this episode in a while, but I'll bet the five cents in my pocket this snippet of Nick's character history was casually dropped in as most snippets are, then discarded just as offhandedly. Gotta love continuity. ;)

Warnings: mentions of child abuse

Summary: You watch him and realize you simply can't watch anymore. slash; NickGreg

Leave It Be

by e-dog

You watch him and a part of you dies.

There's something dark, something evil, something wrong that lives deep within him, but one look in his eyes and you know you should leave it be. Leave it and move on. Don't ask, don't bother, don't try. He doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to remember it.

You watch him as a part of him dies.

Each day, each case, each victim. They are all just reminders and you know it hurts. One look in his eyes and you know you should leave it be. Leave it and move on. Don't care, don't cry, don't hurt. He doesn't want to burden you with his troubles. He doesn't want you know what he went through.

You watch him and realize you simply can't watch anymore.

"Leave it be, Greg," he warns. "Leave it."

He doesn't know you hurt for him. That you die along with him. That you breathe the very same, poisonous air that he breathes. He doesn't know that you love him.

"You hit that guy today," you tell him, cornering him in the locker room. You won't let him walk away. "You hit him and, forgive me, but it felt like you were hitting me in the gut too, Nick. It hurt me to watch you fly off the deep end like that."

He looks at you with profound confusion. He doesn't understand how his violent tendencies hurt you. He doesn't understand why. You watch him and a part of you dies. He'll never understand.

"He molested that little boy," you continue. His shoulders stiffen, his eyes darken. Now your suspicions have been confirmed. This isn't just about putting away child molesters. This is something more.

"You hit him because he molested that little boy."

"Anyone would've hit that bastard," he reasons.

"Yeah, anyone. Today, it was you," you reply softly. "You hit him."

Now you're going to take the plunge. You step forward. With gentle fingers you cup his chin. You turn his face to meet yours and whisper, "Nick, it wasn't your fault."

His eyes twitch. His lips quiver. You were right. He was a victim. You don't know how and you don't know when, but he was a victim.

He doesn't question why you have touched his face so tenderly. He doesn't ask how you could have possibly known that he was abused as a child. He doesn't say anything at all. He's doing all he can not to fall apart on you.

You repeat, "It wasn't your fault."

He releases something you think to be a muffled cry. A tear falls, a sniffle and then it all escapes. You hug him and he clutches to you with scarred hands. He shakes and you grasp him tighter. You want to save him. You want to save him. You want. . .

He suddenly pushes back, rubs his eyes and turns away. You call him out, but he shakes his head. He waves you away, stumbling toward the exit.

He told you to leave it be. He told you to leave it and move on. Don't ask, don't bother, don't try. Leave it be. Don't care, don't cry, don't hurt.

Now you watch him and see something different.

There's something brighter, something hopeful, something good. With one look in his eyes, you can see nothing but love. You smile at him.

He stands taller, nods at you and you know that he has given you permission. Permission to be there for him, even when he pushes you away. He wants you to be there and you will be.

You will be there and you will ask, you will bother, and you will try. You will care and you will cry and you will hurt.

You will do it all, together.

The End