Twelve Days of Christmas CSI:NY

Spoilers up to Season 4: "Child's Play."

A/N: Originally I planned to make this a fluffy Christmas piece. Then Child's Play aired and the whole story took a turn. Bear with me.

The Feast of the Innocents commemorates the death of all Hebrew children under the age of two, after the Magi told King Herod the Great that a Jewish King had been born.

Disclaimer: The characters and the show CSI:NY are the intellectual property of their creators and CBS TV.

On the fourth day of Christmas: Dec 28

Childmas (Feast of the Innocents)

"Danny? Danny!"

He turned with a sigh. He knew that she wanted to talk about it. But there was nothing to talk about. What was done was done, and now there were only the nightmares to deal with.

"Danny? You did a good job. You got him to confess. But …" Lindsay bit her lip, and put an hand on his arm.

He tried to smile down at her. He had lost it on the suspect, he knew that. If Flack hadn't been there, hadn't pulled him off … Danny shuddered at what he had felt like doing to the man who had confessed, with white face and shaking hands, to attempting to kill three innocent children, plowing them into a snowman with his Pontiac Torrent, just so that one of them wouldn't tell people about the tree-house filled with drugs and alcohol and a little visual stimulation.

God, he hated perverts.

"You saved them, Danny. He can't get them now. He can't hurt anyone again."

Her brown eyes were so full of worry. He wished she wouldn't worry about him; it was a burden nearly too great to bear. Suddenly impatient with the restraining hand, he snapped, "Do you think that makes it okay? That saving three makes up for the one I didn't save? The one that I put in danger? The one dead because of me?"

She stilled, and her face went white, but she did not drop her hand.

"No, I don't think that."

He dropped onto a bench, loathing himself, but unable to stop. "I'm not like you. I can't just shut things off like you do."

She flinched as if he had struck her, but instead of reaching out to her, he closed his eyes and put his head back against the wall.

She didn't say anything, just wrapped her arms around herself as she turned slightly away.

He rolled his head back and forth, and groaned softly. He opened his eyes and his heart broke to see her looking so small and lost. He spoke in a muted tone, "I just feel so guilty. Like it was all my fault."

She sat beside him, stared at the floor between her feet. "I know," she said softly.

"I close my eyes at night, and I see him riding off. I walk past his apartment, and I hear him laughing." He rubbed a hand over his face, and then the back of his neck.

She said again, "I know."

"Telling Rikki. Telling his mother. I thought I could handle anything, but telling a mother..."

Her eyes were tightly shut now, and her voice came out on a thread of pain. "I know."

Suddenly, he heard himself, heard those words echoing in his head over and over, and he felt them twist in his gut. How could he say that to her, of all people?

He knelt in front of her, trying to get her to look at him. He ran one hand through her hair, pushing it back from her face, and felt a pain shoot through him at the look in her eyes when she opened them.

"Lindsay, honey. Lindsay, I am sorry. I'm a bastard. I didn't mean … I wasn't comparing … Lindsay, I'm so sorry."

She sat forward and leaned against him, forehead to forehead, cupping her hands around his face. He could smell coffee, regret, and too many sleepless nights on her breath, and let his hands wander down to her hips as he took in her presence, breathed in and shared her anguish.

"I know," she whispered.