Chapter 2: Pro Per

Before he knew what was happening, two weeks had passed since Tim had died. Jack and Diane had gone home to Queens a few days after Tim's funeral, taking just a few items from Tim's childhood that they'd wanted to keep. Diane had insisted that Ryan keep the flag and Tim's honors, as well as the Ducati.

Now, the full weight of Tim's death hit him. He left Tim's clothes and belongings in what had been their bedroom and moved into a guest room. He kept a few pictures out, but just about everything that reminded him of Tim was stashed away.

He'd tried to convince his uncle to let him move out and rent the house out to someone else, but Uncle Ron had refused.

"You've always wanted a family and you need a house for a family. If I let you move out, you'll give up on that, get too busy with your career." Ryan tried to point out that people in apartments had families all the time, but his uncle had been unmoved, so he stayed.

He'd called the Day Shift Watch Commander to tell him that he'd be in the next week. The Watch Commander had been surprised but had agreed to put him on the schedule. Ryan was moving on.

Ryan walked into the squad room to hushed whispers and stares. He steadfastly ignored them and went about his day like his world hadn't ended in a hail of bullets three weeks ago. A few people came up to give their condolences, but mostly everyone left him alone.

He got through the day with little trouble and was filling out his end-of-shift paperwork, when Yelina Salas walked up to his desk.

"Ryan? Could I talk to you for a second?"

Ryan nodded, he knew Yelina vaguely, mostly through Tim. She was nice, but the fact that she was dating the head of IAB made Ryan nervous.

Yelina sat down on the edge of his desk, "I just wanted to know if you were still interested in becoming a Crime Scene Investigator?" At his surprised look, she smiled, "I know you've been taking the classes and Speed told me that you'd expressed an interest."

Ryan bit his lip, he really hadn't given it much thought. Deciding to come back to work at the police department had been hard enough, he hadn't given much thought to becoming a CSI. "I hadn't given it much thought lately, why?"

Yelina's smile turned sympathetic, "Well, Horatio's going to have to hire someone soon. There's only him, Calleigh and Delko and the three of them can't cover the whole day shift. If you were still interested, I could put in a good word for you."

Ryan took a deep breath, if he took her offer, he'd be replacing Tim, something he'd never even considered doing. That would make a bad situation worse, but the thought of working with the people Tim had always talked about and doing the job Tim loved tugged at him.

"Could you let me think about it?"

Yelina nodded in understanding, "Okay, don't wait too long, though. Horatio won't drag his feet forever."

As he drove home, Ryan thought about what Yelina had said. He'd wanted to be a CSI for a long time, but he and Tim had always planned on being CSIs together. If he took Yelina's offer, he'd be in the position of replacing his late boyfriend and he wasn't sure he wanted to deal with that kind of drama.

Still, chances to join the Miami Crime Lab didn't come every day, he might never get another chance. Tim wouldn't want him to give up on his dream just because of him. Tim was always saying how Ryan was too smart to be stuck in Patrol.

Suddenly, he realized that he was pulling into the cemetery where Tim was buried. He hadn't been here since the day of Tim's funeral, but he figured that given what had happened today, coming here would be the best thing. He walked over to Tim's grave and knelt in front of it.

"I can't believe it's been almost three weeks since you died, Tim, doesn't seem possible." He was quiet for several minutes, trying to find the words. Detective Salas came to me today and asked me if I was still interested in joining the Crime Lab. Said that Lieutenant Caine was going to have to hire someone soon since there were only three CSIs on day shift and it wasn't enough."

He sighed, "I don't know what to do, Tim. This is my big chance, but it means that I'll be replacing you and I don't want to do that, but I don't know if there's going to be another chance."

Ryan would never admit to another soul what happened, but he could've sworn that he felt a hand squeezing his shoulder, and he knew, Tim wouldn't want him to give up on his dream because of him.

He got to his feet and walked back to his car, feeling a lot better, he still wasn't sure how well this was going to go, but he had to give it a try. Tim would expect nothing less of him.