Disclaimer: I don't own CSI, or its characters. It'd be nice if I did.
A/N: Short little something about David's touching scene in Empty Eyes and the possible relationship between him and Wendy.
I'm doing my best to think clearly and rationally, and I'm also doing my best to will away the migraine that I can feel coming on. At both, I am failing miserably. I keep thinking back to the conversation, wondering if I could have done it better or if it was even right for me to do it at all.
I couldn't just ignore the vibrations of the cell phone, I had to do something. The caller id had the word "Mom" on it. I suppose it was just instinct for me to answer it…
"Hello?" I said.
The woman's voice at the other end was friendly, but sounded slightly confused. Maybe she thought she got the wrong number… "Is Libby there?"
I felt myself struggling to reply. Libby - one of the victims…
"Uh no, mam. Libby's not here."
"May I ask who I'm speaking to?"
"My name is David Hodges - I work for the Las Vegas Crime Lab."
"Is Libby in some kind of trouble? Is she okay?"
"Well, mam, uh I can't really say…but I can give you the number of someone who can…" The words sounded stupid, even to me.
"Can you tell me anything? Please?"
What was I supposed to do? Call someone else to tell her the exact same information that she eventually had to hear? Let her wait longer, just to destroy her heart anyway?
I saw the necklace and touched the plastic of the evidence bag, knowing that it was the deciding factor…maybe I wouldn't have to do this thing after all, if it wasn't her…
"Did your daughter Libby wear a heart shaped necklace?" Please say no, I thought over and over to myself.
"Yes…she always wears it. I'm the one that gave it to her." The worry in her voice had reached a new level.
I took the phone away from my mouth, holding it to my chest. Damn, damn, damn. I breathed in deeply and sat down, trying not to shake. Quickly realizing that she was still on the line, I put it back to my ear.
"Hello? Are you still there?"
"Yeah, yes I…I'm still here. Um, Mam I don't know quite how to say this…but uh I'm afraid I have some bad news."
I did what I could. I told her that she needed come down to the police station.
"Is she alright?"
"No mam. I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but…"
"Is she…dead?" she asked, and I could hear the crack in her voice.
"I…yes." I said, and closed my eyes. I didn't know what I was doing as the silence elongated. Maybe she was in denial, maybe she didn't believe me…or something.
"I'm going down to the police station."
I heard a stifled sob. All I wanted was to run away and forget. But all too often, it's impossible to forget the things that affect you the most.
Now, here I am about a half hour later. I haven't been able to concentrate on my work or anything else. I hover over the printer, waiting for results. Meanwhile, I am crumbling down as I think about the woman and the loss of her daughter. It was becoming too much to handle.
My feet seem to move on their own accord, down to where she always is - because she is my best chance at distracting myself.
She doesn't notice me when I enter, she's much too busy staring at some paperwork. I hear her hum a little tune and I smile to myself.
"So, Simms, what are you doing?" I ask, smirking.
She looks up at me and raises an eyebrow. How I wish she would smile at me…
"I'm working - you know, like you should be doing." Wendy replies.
I shrug nonchalantly. "The machines are doing my work right now."
Although talking with Wendy makes me feel a bit more normal, my mind hasn't quite gotten off of Libby, and I sigh.
Wendy looks back up at me and stares, really stares. I don't know why, but I feel see-through as she looks directly into my eyes.
How could she possibly see that I'm not? Is she a mind reader? Maybe it's just the way that my eyes are glazed, or how my hand keeps shaking at my side. Dead giveaway.
"I'm fine." It's a lie I'm telling not only her, but myself.
"No. You're not."
I can tell by the way she's biting her lip that she wants to ask me questions, she wants to know why I am not being myself. I know that she is restraining herself - maybe she can also see that I'm just not up to it.
She's the last person I want to talk to right now. Mostly because I really don't want to get emotional in front of her, but it's killing me. I need someone to tell me that I did the right thing, that I shouldn't feel guilty at all. I need to let it out.
Breathe, David. Just tell her about it. She'll understand.
I rub the back of my neck self consciously as she watches me, something close to worry showing in her pretty eyes. That surprises me but oddly, it also gives me strength. I could do this.
"I just…I just told a mother about the death of her daughter…"
Wendy gives me a confused look. "How? Why did you have to do it?"
I explain about the cell phone and the conversation.
She looks at me, and I don't know what she is thinking. Maybe it was wrong of me…as I continue talking about it, I feel my eyes water. Damn. I look up at the ceiling, I don't want her to see me like this. I've always done my best to hide myself from everyone, and now I feel so exposed and afraid of what she might think of me.
Even without looking at me, she seems to know everything I'm feeling. I don't know how, but she does. It scares me a little.
To my surprise, and maybe to hers as well, I feel her hand take my own. She's sitting and I'm standing, but she holds my hand and gives it a tiny, tiny squeeze.
"I'm sorry you had to do that, David. It must have been hard."
It's the first time she's ever called me David, and with this small gesture of friendship, she's letting me know that she cares.