AUTHOR: The She Devil

EMAIL: urbaybeedoll13 at yahoo

CATEGORY: Drama/Angst, I guess. It's dark.

RATING: Mature for language and violence.

SPOILERS: Season nine.

ARCHIVE: Please ask first.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own anything.

SUMMARY: Nick loses his mind. I know this is outdated but I found it on my computer from like a year ago. Enjoy.

He gives me a black Ballpoint pen and a yellow Steno pad. Sets it right on top of the metal folding table and slides it across to me almost nonchalantly, but I can see the slight tremor in his hand. I follow it up his arm and to his face, meeting his eyes for a fraction of a second before he looks away - but not before I can see the flash of emotions passing through them. Disbelief. Disapproval. Unmistakable horror at these crimes I have committed. I know that one well. It's the same thing I see in my own eyes in the mirror. Maybe that's why the change has been physical as well as mental; why I won't shave for days at a time or brush my hair, or make any kind of effort on my appearance.

I can't even bear to look myself in the eyes.

If you ask me how I got here, I don't know if I'll be able to really tell you. Maybe it started with Warrick's death. Maybe it started with Grissom's departure. Maybe it was even before that. Maybe it was the prostitute I got killed. Maybe it was the countless pale faces and transfixed eyes stuck in an expression of horror or guilt or pain or all three at the same time.

The psychologist on trial would later say it was the babysitter. Hell if I know.

All I know is, it ended with the confession.

My name is Nicholas Parker Stokes. I was born August 18, 1971. I am a murderer.

It was different now that you were gone. A void had been left in your wake, the space too large for anyone to fill. It was obvious in the lab at first, but as time went on and new faces began circling around it seemed to only be obvious to me. It was worse when I would go out after a shift to that bar we used to like, playing that slot machine we'd won change out of countless times. We'd gone so far as to name it Lucky, on account that it had won our tab more than once. And when she won my tab again, singing that same old show tune and flashing multicolored lights, I'd turned to you with a smile only to realize you weren't there.

Thomas Taylor was the first. He was a man pretending to be a police officer to steal money for his best friend's bail on his wedding night. I hadn't really killed him. I didn't push him out the window. I didn't even lay a hand on him. But the thrill of the chase the terror in his eyes - he'd rather jump out that window than face me. It made me feel like a man. It made me feel like a god. like I had finally made a difference.

It was different now that you were gone. A void had been left in your wake, the space too large for anyone to fill. Catherine retained her role as a mother figure, offering comforting words and sympathetic eyes when necessary. And I resumed your role. They began to look to me for that paternal relief, expecting me to know the right words to say, but I have never been one for platitudes. I offered them anyway, in that rusty way I had, and they seemed to appreciate the effort more than anything. At first, I kind of liked it. I enjoyed being the grown up. But when you keep giving yourself without getting anything in return, it starts to wear on you. Because even parents have parents, and you had been mine. And after a long day at work, I'd go into your office but you wouldn't be there because it was my office now. You know, you never really said goodbye, and I never really forgave you for it.

Next was William Keaton. He raped and murdered a fourteen year old girl. It was by chance I ran into him. I pulled my gun and cornered him, my fingers on my walkie ready to call it in. But then he smiled and told me how she'd suffered. he'd told me how she screamed. I don't remember how it happened but they found his body later in the projects. After all, anything can happen in a dark alley.

It was different now that you were gone. A void had been left in your wake, the space too large for anyone to fill. And maybe I had only known you for a little while, but I'd never forget your face. I'd never forget the casual conversation in your kitchen as we sat at the modest dinette in mismatched chairs, I'd never forget the casual sex that followed. I know I'm a southern gentleman and it wasn't something I usually do, but the chemistry was unavoidable. It was undeniable. When they found your body the next day, when all the evidence pointed to me, I almost thought that maybe I was the one who did this. That I was really that incapable of loving someone, if not only for a few hours. It was after that that I realized everything I touched was broken. Starting with you.

Samantha Maldonado killed her baby. Suffocated him with a pillow strung out on meth and alcohol. She said he wouldn't stop crying so she made him stop. It hadn't been hard to find her. I just pretended it was. She had cried too. When I left her, she had stopped.

It was different now that you were gone. A void had been left in your wake, the space too large for anyone to fill. The world was different now that you were gone. Your daughter was missing her mother. Your father was missing his son. A brother was empty without his sister. A friend had lost his drinking buddy. A student had lost his teacher. A lover had lost his chance. When did I lose myself?

I remember all of their names. Jacob Derek. Martin Choi. Luke Moran...

Maybe if I hadn't chased that man out the window, I wouldn't have started this whole mess. Maybe if you hadn't been shot. Maybe if you hadn't left. Maybe if you hadn't been strangled. Maybe if you hadn't left someone behind.

Chase Hutman. Lawrence Horne. Sandra Cooper...

I can't say that I regret this. My only regret is that I was caught before I could finish. Perhaps also that I had to take those I considered friends down with me. At least, I used to consider them friends. I had to end our friendship even though I hated doing it; they were getting in the way of my work. And by the time this was over, I had no friends. Definitely none that were alive.

Greg Sanders. Riley Adams...

I like to think that I did something good with this. As I sit at the metal table across from Detective Brass, watching the sweat bead down his face and wondering what he would look like lying next to Greg and Riley in the dirt, I like to believe there is less evil in the world. I like to think that as a gang banger watched the news, he thought twice about his plan to rob a liquor store in fear that I would get him. That before a woman sold her daughter to a pimp, she considered the price of her own life.

Catherine Willows...

I signed my name at the bottom.

The end.