A True Hero

A conversation between Nick and Brass after the cyberbullying case. Spoilers for the season 11 episode "Unleashed."

This idea came to me as a post-ep for the season 11 episode "Unleashed." I've always thought Nick and Brass worked well together, so I wondered what they might have said to each other after the episode.

I still don't own CSI.

Nick sat at his desk typing up the report of his latest case. He knew he would never forget this case, as cases involving children always struck him as particularly hard. Finishing the paperwork, he closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. He pictured the beautiful baby girl that he had helped Doc Robbins deliver, how perfect she was. It broke his heart to think that she would never know her mother because of a teenage girl's selfish prank-a video that went worldwide, causing thousands who never knew any of the teenagers to send horrible messages and death threats to Maria D'Orio. Just because some cheerleader who didn't like the fact that her boyfriend left her for another girl, this newborn baby girl was almost abandoned.

Nick pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming on. He rubbed his hands over his face and sighed.

"Bet I know what you're thinking about."

Nick looked in the doorway of his office and saw Captain Jim Brass.

"This is one of those cases that remind me why I do this," Nick told the detective.

Walking into Nick's office, Jim smiled. "You're still thinking about that baby, aren't you?"

A thoughtful smile crossed Nick's face. "Tough one to forget. You know, Nathan named her Maria, after her mother."

"Yeah?" Jim nodded. "That's good. So he's going to step up and be a dad, huh?"

Nick nodded sadly. "Yeah. He's going to have to be a grown-up."

Jim chuckled. "Look at it this way; he's going to be more of an adult for that little girl than the cheerleaders responsible for driving her mother to kill herself. Or any of those people who watched that video they made of her."

Both men smiled. "Think we can get a conviction?" Nick asked.

"Actually, that's why I'm here. I just heard from the D.A. that three of the girls are turning against the ringleader."

Nick's eyes widened in surprise. "Really?"

"Yeah, my guess is the family's lawyers told them to take the deal or face jail time."

Nick nodded. "Yeah. What about the head cheerleader?"

"Well, the D.A. is going forward with charging her with a hate crime. She's being charged with stalking, and I've recommended that the D.A. add accessory to murder."

Closing his eyes and smiling thoughtfully, Nick sighed. "Thank you."

Jim smiled. "Someone's gotta stick up for baby Maria."

Nick smiled thoughtfully. "I'm glad you're in her corner." Jim returned a smile to the CSI.

"What else are you thinking about?" Jim asked, noticing Nick just staring at his desk.

Sighing, Nick said, "It just makes me mad. Maria D'Orio never did anything to anyone. And because of some...some brat who didn't like the fact that her boyfriend broke up with her, Maria's dead and her daughter will never know her mother."

Jim shrugged. "I know. But baby Maria has a lot more people who are on her side than she may ever know." Nick looked at Brass, confused. "I just heard from the D.A. Nate's dad has set up a website about Nate and Maria to tell the truth about who Maria was. Thousands are sending messages of support and some even sending money. According to the D.A., it's already received twice the messages that the cheerleader's website had, and all of them positive. Some are even people that say they sent messages to the cheerleader's website and want to apologize to Nate and baby Maria."

Nick blinked in surprise. "Wow. Never underestimate generousity, huh?" Nick asked with a chuckle.

Jim nodded. "You did good, Nick. You and Al saved baby Maria. And now the people who hurt her and led to Maria's death have to face justice for what they did." Pointing to Nick, Jim said, "You are that baby's hero."

Nick smiled and shook his head. "I don't feel heroic."

"Nobody ever said doing the right thing was easy. But you fought more for that baby girl than anyone else had done. You are her hero, Nick. Don't forget that."

Fighing back tears, Nick smiled. "I just...I was there with Doc at the right time, I guess." Looking directly at Jim, Nick said, "I just did what was right."

Jim smiled. "That's what makes you a hero."

Nick smiled, knowing Jim was right. He had fought for that innocent baby girl from the second Doc Robbins' had performed the crash C-section to save her life. He was in awe of Doc Robbins, springing into action and performing CPR to save the baby's life. When the baby cried for the first time, Nick swore he had never heard anything so beautiful in his life. He couldn't imagine why the baby's mother would commit suicide and leave her baby without a mother. And when the girl's mother refused to even go to the hospital to see the newborn, it broke Nick's heart. During the investigation, when he learned of the bullying the girl had endured because of a cheerleader's jealousy, he was furious. And when the cheerleaders were arrested, Nick couldn't help but feel satisfaction in knowing they would have to face the true gravity of what they'd done.

Sensing that Nick was still thinking about the whole thing, Jim said, "Why don't you go to the hospital? I'm sure Nate wouldn't mind you stopping by and visiting his baby girl."

Nick smiled and stood up from his chair. "That's not a bad idea." Truth be told, he couldn't wait to see baby Maria again.

The End.

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