Title: Whoever I Was Then, I Can't Ever Be Again
Authors: Nox/BJ and Hawkeye/Katy
Betas: Danny/Sarah, Onigami/Lorne and Alex/Odysseus
Fandoms: CSI, CSI:Miami, CSI:NY
Disclaimers: We don't own them. If we did, this would be canon.
Warnings: Supernatural themes. Some violence. Some language.
Summary: In an Alternate Universe where Werewolves exist a hospital mistake changes Ryan's life forever.
Whoever I Was Then, I Can't Ever Be Again
Ryan curled himself up in his hospital bed. The nail hadn't damaged his eyesight, which was the only happiness he had. However, his eye didn't even register when compared to the residual pain from the turning shooting through his body. He whimpered and pulled his legs up to his chest, his world had just been blown apart.
He'd lost enough blood so that when they'd arrived at the hospital the staff had immediately set him up for a transfusion. Every hospital had to keep Werewolf blood available, because while weres could take human blood it exhausted them as their body transformed it. Hospitals had strict guidelines for storing were blood so that no one would become infected. This one had obviously broken some because within minutes of the IV being connected sharp pains had started shooting through him and he had arched off the table, his muscles locking into a contorted shape as he screamed.
Ryan had blacked out after that, thank god. He barely remembered the next two days, just fuzzy memories of sweats and pain and delirium. He remembered Eric and Horatio above him and the cool hand of the nurse on his skin. For two days his fever was so high that they packed him with ice bricks that would be thrown to the floor as his muscles spasmed and his limbs flailed. The doctors were so worried, worried that he would be one of the people who didn't make it. Worried that his body couldn't take the change and that his organs would shut down one by one. But Ryan wasn't going to die easily and by the end of the second day his temperature was down and the spasming had eased.
Ryan curled up further, clutching himself as his muscles twitched with residual spasms. He looked up as the door opened and the ER doctor and another man entered the room. The doctor fidgeted under Ryan's gaze before speaking.
"This is Jonathon Pierce, he's the head of the hospital's legal team."
Pierce nodded hello and Ryan just looked back at him, face blank. Pierce eventually looked away and fiddled with his briefcase.
"I have come to apologise on the behalf of this hospital for the terrible suffering you have endured." The doctor was nervously stroking his tie as he spoke.
"The hospital takes full responsibility and would like to compensate you for your pain and suffering." Pierce opened his briefcase and placed a thick wad of paper on the bed next to Ryan.
"So long as I waive my right to sue or prosecute of course." Ryan said with a mocking twist of his lips.
"I trust you've taken into consideration emotional and physical suffering and that fact that if he decided to press charges not only the doctors but the hospital itself could become involved in a criminal prosecution. Also the headline 'Decorated Police Officer Infected by Westchester General Hospital' would do nothing good for your reputation." Horatio stated coolly from the doorway.
Pierce met his cold blue eyes for a moment before turning away to scoop up the papers from Ryan's bed.
"We'll…uh…leave you alone." He turned to Ryan. "Mr Wolfe, I'll speak to you again soon."
Pierce snapped his briefcase closed and bustled the doctor out of the room. Horatio shut the door behind them.
"He'll be back as soon as I leave with a much bigger settlement."
Ryan shrugged. "I wouldn't have gone to the media or pressed charges anyway. I don't want anyone else to know about this." He seemed to shrink down into himself.
Horatio sat down beside the bed. "You'll get through this Ryan, we'll do everything we can to help you."
Ryan smiled thankfully at him. Pierce was back the moment Horatio left with a check for five point seven million dollars and a wad of paperwork. It took most of the next day to read and sign it all and so he was relieved when he a lunchtime visit from Horatio and an evening visit from Eric and Alexx broke up the monotony. By that evening his fever was fading fast and the muscle spasms were becoming less and less frequent.
The doctor checked over his chart before allowing his discharge the next afternoon.
Horatio, Eric and Alexx all showed up to take him home, Alexx bundling him into bed as soon as they arrived before filling his apartment with the smell of home cooked food. Alexx let him out of bed for dinner, the food was great and the conversation flowed but Ryan could feel, and he knew the others could too, the hole in the conversation usually filled with a bright laugh and a southern accent. Ryan sighed as he sank back into the pillows, it was hard to lose a friend.
It was a week before Horatio would allow him to return to work and he spent most of it fluctuating between terrified and bemused at his newly emerged instincts. There were the ones he had been expecting, he was craving meat and space, as soon as he could he had been out running. But then there were the ones he wasn't expecting, like the bliss that he felt every time Alexx petted his hair or the deep loneliness every time Eric, Horatio or Alexx left. That one terrified him, he had always been self sufficient, he prided himself on it and now he could barely stand it when his boss and workmates left him alone.
Walking into the lab on his first day back was the most terrifying thing Ryan had ever done. For all that it had stayed out of the media Ryan knew that the news of his new condition was well known in the lab. He could feel the curious gazes on him as he walked into the locker room and at the same time he felt the more malevolent stares that sent a shiver down his back.
He passed Calleigh in the hall, his eyes dropping to the ground at the disgust on her face. He sighed in relief as he reached the locker-room, he dropped his bag on the bench and turned towards his locker and froze. The word 'FREAK' was scrawled across it in large block letters and Ryan sat down heavily, he was still sitting there, staring at it when he missed the beginning of shift and Horatio came looking for him. His hand rested on Ryan's shoulder as he waited for him to speak.
"It was all I ever wanted, to be a CSI, to do more then just report it and hand it over to someone else." He sighed. "I'm not sure what I'll do now."
Horatio shifted behind him. "Ryan…"
"Don't H, you know what'll happen if I stay, one day backup is going to be a little slow and whoops I'll be dead. I don't…" His voice choked off for a moment. "I don't want to leave but you know what'll happen if I stay." Ryan let his head fall and rested it in his hands. "I don't know why I didn't expect this, I've heard of it happening but I didn't think it would happen here."
Horatio squeezed his shoulder. "We'll figure something out Ryan."
That was two weeks ago and Ryan had left the lab with his things and hadn't gone back. Alexx kept telling him it would work out in her motherly voice that just made him want to believe her. Eric didn't mention it much, but Ryan knew he understood. Horatio, every time they said goodbye would tell him they would figure something out and Ryan desperately wanted to believe him, he was going insane as a civilian. When Ryan opened his door at Horatio's knocking he knew he'd found something, he was smiling, it was the first time Ryan had seen it since his turning.
"New York." Horatio said as he stepped into the apartment.
Ryan startled. "What?"
"New York, they're setting up a werewolf taskforce and they want experienced CSI's who are also werewolves to apply." He turned to a distressed Ryan. "You'd have to leave, but New York is different, you'd be able to be a CSI." He petted Ryan's hair. "You'd be safe." After a few moments he held out some paperwork. "You just need to sign it."
Ryan just stood there looking at it, the idea of leaving Alexx, Eric and Horatio was killing him but he could be a CSI again, help people. He looked up at Horatio who just nodded and handed him a pen. He held the papers up against the closed door and signed before handing them back to Horatio who smiled before reaching into his back pocket and pulling out a hat which he placed on Ryan's head. He grinned as Ryan turned to look at himself in the window and scowled at him as the 'I loveheart NY' emblazoned on the cap looked back at him.