Author: Nicksfriend


Spoilers: Stalker. It drives me crazy when they do something to our sweet Texan and then they allow no resolution. Drives me crazy!

Disclaimer: They do not belong to me...that is for sure.

Author's note:This is my first CSI fic. Please be gentle.

I love this episode and it is the epi that got me hooked as a CSI addict.

"It's not over for me, it's over for Jane Galloway though." Nick was in obvious pain but nobody seemed to hear him, they just left the room. No words were spoken, except "We need to get back to the lab."

Where would he go? His condo had a dead body, yellow crime tape and a big hole in the ceiling. What a damn crappy day.

He turned to leave, Brass had brought him to the station. He would need to call a cab, go back to the condo, gather a few things including his pain medication and get a hotel room.

"Hey where are you going Nicky?" Brass's voice came out of nowhere.

"Home to get some things and then a hotel." His voice low, he was dead tired and he hurt, badly. The scuffle with Nigel Crane had exhausted his already tired and battered body.

"I have an extra room and I won't be home for a while. You are welcome to come and stay with me until we get your house cleared." He gave Nicky a crooked smile, "And you don't have a door."

"I know, it's been a hell of a day." Nick bent his head and and took a deep breath. "Thanks Jim but I need to be alone for a while."

" I can't let you do that Nicky." Brass's facial expression was now very serious.

"What?" Nick asked, feeling a little angry that he could not have some time alone to process what had happened.

"I am placing you under protective custody until we are for sure Crane did not have a partner. It might take a while to go through all of those tapes. He did have access to an inner office newsletter and we are not for sure it might have been from an insider." Brass was pointing towards the door into his office.

"What the hell Jim, I've been through Hell and back today and I just want to be left the hell alone." Nick's angry voice was getting a lot of attention so Brass opened his office door and led the young man to a chair.

"Listen Nicky, either we do it my way or you can spend the night with any one of my officers babysitting you in a place of my choosing and that place would be the hospital, because I am not convinced that you are one-hundred percent right now." Brass sat down and picked up his phone."It's your choice, my house or the hospital."

Nick was biting his lip and feeling really not in control of anything. A young woman had died because of him and then he was stupid enough to enter an unsecured building and get pushed out of a two story window. "Okay, your house will be fine." He paused for a second,"I hate hospitals."

"Thought you might see it my way." He made a short call telling someone that he would be off duty for about an hour or so and then he picked up his car keys and led the way to his car.

The fresh, cool Las Vegas night air helped his mood a little. The night was almost over, soon the day would begin again and hell, what else could happen? He opened the passenger side door and eased his sore body inside, letting out a low moan as he fastened his seatbelt.

"How long ago did you take your pain med Nicky?" Brass asked like an overprotective father as he entered the car and fastened his seatbelt.

"It was about one, maybe, I can't remember." He leaned his head back against the head rest and closed his eyes.

"Can you make it until we get home or do I need to get your pain medication first?" He could see the pale complexion of his young CSI even in the darkness of the car, the multiple cuts and bruises evidence of the beating he had taken physically but he knew the mental beating he was giving himself was a lot worse. He needed to keep an eye on Nick.

"I can wait." He lied, he just wanted to go to sleep now. He felt exhausted.

Brass eased his car out of the parking area on the main road, trying to avoid any bumps or unnecessary jerking. He did not want to wake up Nick, who had fallen asleep withing minutes into the drive.

He drove towards Nick's condo and finally arrived, police stationed outside recognized him immediately and let him through.

Nick just rolled his head to the side, soft snoring sounds emanating from the now sleeping man.

Brass rolled down the window and told one of his officers to go and pack a bag for the CSI, and to get his pain medication which he thought he had seen on the counter and a bottle of water. The police officer nodded and left to get Nick's things. Brass pulled out his cellphone and hit the quick dial to Grissom's.

"Grissom." He answered immediately expecting Brass's call.

"I'm taking him to my house. I just stopped at his condo to pick up his pain medication and some clothes." Brass kept his voice low and quiet.

"Good, did he give you any problems?" Grissom asked knowing how stubborn Nick could be when he was having a bad day.

"It was like taking candy from a baby. Well, maybe a toddler." His sarcastic tone evident. Nick was as stubborn as any Texan he had ever met.

"I'll stop by in the morning to see how he is doing. Keep me informed." Grissom hung up.

"Yeah, this is going to be a fun day." he spoke out loud to himself, knowing that Nick was going to have it rough for a few days. He would need to see a counselor before returning to work, that should be easy. He could not help but to laugh out loud at that thought.

The officer returned with the bottle of pills and water, a packed duffle bag and a toiletries bag. Brass gave his thanks and pulled out of the driveway. The officers had been given orders earlier to not leave until the condo was secured. That meant the door had to replaced pronto.

As he drove towards his house he noticed that Nick was moaning and the grimace on his face told him that the boy was in a lot of pain but too exhausted to wake up from his fitful rest to do anything about it.

After a fairly short drive they arrived at Brass's two story house, hitting the garage door opener he pulled into the well lit garage. Brass called out to Nick."Hey Nicky, we're here."

Opening his eyes was a task, they felt heavy and he had a terrible headache. He reached over and pulled up the door handle and unfastened his seatbelt.

Brass was opening the door to the house when he noticed that Nick had not gotten out of the car. He walked around the car to find him bent over hugging his ribs.

"Nick, let me help you son." He reached down and helped him to his feet but he was not very steady so Brass allowed him to lean into him and he placed his arm around him and got him inside the house.

The extra bedroom was fortunately downstairs and he quickly got Nick to the room assisting him with his shoes and the extra shirt. Nick just collapsed onto the soft bed and let out a groan as his head hit the pillow.

Brass went back to the car and collected Nick's things, including his pain medicine and the bottle of water.

Taking the medicine bottle filled with the Vicodin tablets, reading the directions he pulled out two pills and opened the bottle of water. He reentered the bedroom and gently shook Nick on the shoulder. "Nick, you need to take these for your pain."

He opened his eyes and took the pills,swallowing them down with the proferred water and then closed his eyes again,"Thanks Jim." His voice weak and groggy.

"No problem Nicky." He placed a blanket over nick's still body then reached over and turned off the lights,he would not be leaving the young CSI. Plans were already being made for him to be off for a couple of days. The rest of the team would also be coming over to assist with their friend's recovery.

The next Morning

Grissom had arrived early, Nick was still sleeping but Brass was having his second cup of coffee.

"How did he do last night?" Grissom asked as he quietly walked down the hallway towards Nick's temporary bedroom.

"He's been out like a light, I even checked to see if he was still breathing a few times." Brass smiled at Grissom who was looking at him strangely.

"He was." Brass shrugged his shoulders, "Both times."

Grissom shook his head at his friend and walked into the bedroom to find a still sleeping Nick.

"He looks awful pale." Grissom assessment was no different than Brass's, breathing but looks like crap. He quietly turned to walk out when he heard a quiet voice muttering incoherent words.

Grissom turned back to enter the room when he saw Nick come straight up out of bed and he was screaming Nigel's name. He was fighting the frightening man all over again.

"Nick, it's okay. You're safe." Grissom's firm voice was able to penetrate the fog of Nick's dream and he turned surprised to see his boss standing in the bedroom, though he really didn't remember who's bedroom at the moment.

"Sorry, bad dream." he confessed rubbing his face and attempting to get out of the bed but was stopped by the pain in his ribs and his sore body. He quickly laid back down, "Be honest, someone ran over me with a truck, right?"

"Right after you were pushed from a two-story window." Brass replied as he moved towards Nick's bedside table and pulled the pill bottle out of the draw where he had deposited it earlier that morning.

"That stuff is too strong, do you have any Motrin?" Nick asked, staring over at the bottle.

"That stuff will tear up your stomach if you don't eat. How about some eggs?" Brass actually was a good cook, he enjoyed bringing the staff his baked goods, it was like a hobby.

"Too nauseated, maybe some toast." The thought of eating was making his stomach ache that much more, he just wanted to feel better and go home.

"Toast it is." Brass left the room to make the toast. Grissom found a chair near the bed, pulled it over beside of Nick and sat down,taking in his CSI's appearance.

"I fell out of the back of my father's truck when I was a teenager, felt a lot worse than this." He paused for a second then continued,"Well, maybe not as bad but close."

"Sorry Nick." apologizing more for all that he had been through than what had happened with the truck.

"It's fine. Ribs heal, I should be back to work in a week according to the doctor." His voice seemed a little bit stronger when he talked about returning to work.

"We'll see Nick. You are not to rush it,understand." Grissom looked at Nick over his glasses, a look that told him that he would be the judge of when he returned and not the doctor.

Nick just nodded, he knew how to play the game. He had been here before. He closed his eyes and and waited for Brass to bring the toast and pain medicine. It was going to be a long day.