Because - by Sara's Girl

AN – This a repost from What Makes the Desert Beautiful. I wanted to see what the wider fanfic community thought of my Nick/Greg I suppose. Feedback is greatly appreciated. warning - slash and character death

I don't own Nick and Greg, and if I did I would not do this to them.

This place is so vibrant, so alive, so you. From this bench I can see almost the whole park spread out in front of me, and all of these people going about their business. All around me, talking, laughing, walking, eating. It is everything that a warm Sunday afternoon in San Francisco should be. Everyone has someone, even me, because I am not alone on this bench any more. A little girl with eyes spookily like yours has broken away from her parents and her dog and is looking at me. She doesn't know me, I'm just a man on a bench, but she wants to know why I am crying.

"Grown-ups aren't supposed to cry," she says.

"Sometimes they do," I reply, because those eyes compel a response. "If they're sad."

She seems to think on this for a moment. "Why are you sad?"

I close my eyes. Because.

Because it is six months to the day since I lost you.

Because I hate it when I say I lost you, it makes it sound as though I was careless and you somehow slipped from my fingers. I didn't lose you, you were taken from me.

Because you brought me here when I could not face the world, and showed me that there was something worth living for, if I wanted it. You took me away from everything and offered me yourself.

Because when you sat next to me on this bench and kissed me for the first time, the world fell away, and I wondered why I had wasted so much time.

Because you lit up when I kissed you back, and I had never seen anything more beautiful.

Because when we went back to Vegas, I was terrified that you would change your mind. And because you knew, and you looked right into me and told me you loved me with such strength in your voice that I believed you when you promised me everything would be ok.

Because you completed me. Because I didn't know what love was before you. Because when we made love, you could not tear your eyes from mine, and because no one had ever wanted me in the way that you did.

Because you made me proud, every day. You proved everyone wrong, everyone who said you wouldn't make it as a CSI. And because, when you doubted yourself, you let me be the one to reassure you.

Because you were so happy that night, so excited that you were finally going to work alone. Because it meant so much.

Because my last words to you as you left were not 'I love you'. Because I used those last words to rag on you about forgetting to label some evidence correctly. Because you scowled and I thought I would apologise to you later.

Because I didn't know.

Because some sick bastards did not know the value of a life. Your life.

Because no one at work knew about us.

Because I thought that we would tell them together, one day, when I finally felt ready. Because we had all the time in the world.

Because the first person to know was Sara, when she found me working in the lab and told me what had happened to you. Because she was crying, but she had strength enough to catch me when I stumbled against the table, and because she didn't let go of me when I threw up.

Because when I found my feet and ran until I was outside, because I could not breathe, everyone stopped what they were doing, and they knew.

Because Warrick sat down next to me on the cold ground and gripped my shoulder and tried to hide his shock. Told me to breathe. Because he waited with me until I could stand up again.

Because no one needed to ask, even though they all wanted to.

Because I did not believe you were gone, and I demanded to see you, even though they all told me not to, that you did not look like you any more. Because they were right, and I lost it. Because Grissom went with me even though I asked him not to. Because he held me up when my legs gave way and did not say a word.

Because I did not get to say goodbye.

Because I knew you suffered, and I knew it was not quick. Because I hated myself for wishing you had hung on a little longer so I could have been with you when you let go.

Because they told me you fought back. Because I did not need Doc Robbins to tell me that you did not give up easily, and because he sought me out and told me anyway.

Because I hoped that your last thoughts were not of me being exasperated with you. Because I prayed that you knew how much I loved you in your last moments.

Because you died alone in a cold backstreet and because I knew you must have been afraid.

Because your parents knew about me but mine did not know about you. Because I was too scared of their reaction to tell them that I had never loved anyone as much as I loved you. Because when my mom called I did not pick up the phone because I didn't know how to tell her that my whole world had fallen apart.

Because I knew that you were it the moment I met you, but I could not tell you.

Because I wasted five years.

Because I almost lost you once before, when you were caught in the explosion, and still I could not tell you.

Because when I was pulled out of that box, you would not leave my side. Because you were the one that reached out to me, and because I hesitated even then.

Because I could have had seven years with you, not two. Because I did not realise that time was short.

Because those two years were the best of my life.

Because I knew that it hurt you every day of those two years that I kept us a secret. Because when we were alone in our bedroom, you would hold me and tell me it didn't matter, even though it did.

Because you would make jokes about girls when we were at work. Because you did it to protect me, and because I felt irritated rather than remorseful for fencing you in.

Because you loved me like every day was your last. Because maybe you knew that we did not have all the time in the world.

Because there were so many people at your service. So many people loved you. Because the only thing holding me together was Catherine's hand wrapped around mine. Because of the way her voice caught when she told me it was time to let you go.

Because your mother sat on my other side and could not speak. Because when she turned to leave, she held me so tightly and said: 'Thank you for loving him.' Because then we both cried, knowing that what the other had lost was of equal measure.

Because the minister called you Gregory, and you would have hated that.

Because Conrad Ecklie found me afterwards and shook my hand. Because he told me you were a good man and a great CSI and you never got to hear it.

Because I got out the plain silver ring I was too afraid to give you, and I wore it for you. Because I know you would have said yes in an instant to being mine forever. Because I kept it hidden in a drawer, thinking that one day I would have enough courage.

Because everyone told me to remember you how you were when you were alive. Because you were so alive, it did not make any sense for you to be gone.

Because I kept expecting to hear your voice, or see you waiting for me at a scene. Because every time I remembered, it hurt like no pain I had ever experienced.

Because even after three months, I still dreamed about you and reached for you when I woke up. Because nothing and no one can ever take away that ache. Because I can never hold you again.

Because I never want anyone to smile at me the way you did. Because your touch made me feel real. Because the last time I touched you, you were so cold.

Because sometimes, when people at work speak to me, they speak to me in your voice. Because maybe I'm a little crazy now you're gone.

Because when I stopped answering my phone my parents turned up on our doorstep. Because I broke down, and they did not know how to help me.

Because I lived for two things, you, and my job. And because now, I cannot do that job without being reminded of how you were wrenched away from me.

Because they caught the animals that took your life, but it did not give me any relief.

Because everyone told me the pain would subside, that I would learn to move on. Because they said it would feel numb, not like this. There is no let up from this pain because you were the only one who could soothe it away. Because they were wrong. Because nothing will ever feel right again.

Because I miss you, Greg, with everything I am. Because I don't think I can do this without you.

Because sitting here, now, I feel almost at peace. Because I know I will see you soon. Because I know you would not want me to hurt like this.

I open my eyes and they sting a little. She is still staring up at me expectantly with eyes like liquid chocolate. I feel, suddenly, heavy.

"Just….because."

Someone calls out to her and she jumps down from the bench and runs away across the grass. The woman, who must be her mother, smiles at me, and it's that tight little adult smile that I seem to get from everyone I meet these days. I'm not sure what to do next, so I just sit, and wait for the shadows to fall.