Not His Fault by AndromedaMarine
"I'm not very good at this kind of thing, Mac. What do I say to him?" Lindsay said to her boss. She couldn't believe how devastated Danny was.
"Tell him the truth," Mac replied, his voice caring and soft. "That you're not very good at that kind of thing. Go to him. Talk to him. He needs someone to talk to, and it might as well be you." Mac put a hand on Lindsay's shoulder and she returned the gesture by squeezing Mac's arm.
"Thanks. I will." Lindsay left Mac's side and jogged after her friend. She found him in the break room, staring at a cup of coffee, tears dripping down his cheeks unhindered. She grabbed a chair and sat quietly next to him. Danny's hand was resting on the cold, steel table. Lindsay reached out and immediately Danny responded and took her hand in his. He squeezed tightly and put his other hand on top of their linked ones.
"I shouldn't have stopped," he whispered, squeezing Lindsay's hand. "I should've made sure he got home safely. I never should have stopped."
"Danny, you did what you're trained to do. You acted on instinct and it was not your fault," Lindsay rebuked, adding her other hand to the entanglement on the table. "It's not your fault."
Danny squeezed his eyes shut and sniffed. "I can't tell myself that it's not my fault. I'll never forget that I had something to do with his death. I'll walk by that apartment and I won't hear him laughing or whining about bedtime. I can't walk down that hall and not feel something."
"That's natural, Danny. It's natural to care."
The CSI stared into Lindsay's eyes, and the sight of Danny's red and wet eyes made Lindsay start to tear up. "It's not natural, Linds. It shouldn't be. I shouldn't have to live to see Ruben die. It is not normal."
"Danny, I know you don't want to go back to your apartment any time soon. If you need a place to stay mine is open any time you need," she said quietly.
Danny sniffed. "I might take you up on that offer if I can drag myself away from here tonight."
"I'll help you drag yourself away. I'll ask Mac if I can drive you to my place – we both need a lot of rest right now." Lindsay really didn't want to leave Danny alone at that moment, but she had to ask Mac if she could take him home. She squeezed Danny's hands and lingered a moment longer than she probably should have. She found Mac in the DNA lab. "Mac, would it be alright if I drove Danny to my place? He can't go to his apartment right now and I don't want him driving when he's like this."
Mac simply nodded, understanding the deep relationship Danny and Lindsay possessed. Lindsay smiled and grasped Mac's arm for a moment, and then returned to Danny in the break room.
"Danny, let's go. Mac said we could." Danny stood slowly, trying to be brave, but the weight of Ruben's death was simply too much. Lindsay helped her friend stand and pulled him into a hug. "Danny, it's going to be okay. Let's go home."