Let Me Love You
Rating: CSI-1
Summary: Time is precious and it's slipping away…
Disclaimer: I do not own CSI, nor the lyrics to "Nobody Wants to Be Lonely", by Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin, written by Written by Desmond Child, Victoria Shaw, Gary Burr.
A/N: This was written before the finale aired, so don't worry, there are no spoilers here!
Dedication: Happy Birthday Gomey! *throws confetti and balloons and cake (eek! messy!)* Have a great day honey! *hugs*
Date: 20/05/06

~ There you are, in a darkened room
~ And you're all alone, looking out the window

It is dark, behind him in his townhouse, but with the light from the streetlamps she can see him standing in the window.

He tried to hide it at the lab, but she could tell he was hurting; and to see him now, looking so lost and lonely, confirms her fears. He has always been a loner; quite content to be alone. But she has never seen him look lonely before, and it breaks her heart to witness it.

~ Your heart is cold and lost the will to love
~ Like a broken arrow

She wonders if she could have prevented this. If she had been brave enough to reveal her true feelings sooner, could she have spared him this pain? She wouldn't have left him; she wouldn't have hurt him; she wouldn't have broken his precious heart into pieces.

But, she supposes, she did. Inadvertently. Through her own cowardice.

~ Here I stand in the shadows
~ In the shadows

He moves and she instinctively pushes back in her seat so he won't see her. She's not sure why she wants to remain hidden – after all, she came here with the intention of speaking to him. It seems like the right thing to do though; afraid he'll retreat once more into his `I'm fine' shell if he knew she was close enough to observe his vulnerability.

He settles into a stance, leaning against the wall beside the window. He still stares into the night and she can only imagine the pain his shattered heart is pumping through his veins.

~ Come to come, come to me
~ Can't you see that
~ Nobody wants to be lonely

Actually, she doesn't have to imagine the pain; she felt it herself throughout his relationship with Lady Heather. She had no right, of course, to feel broken hearted, but that didn't make it any less real.

It was ironic that she first found out about their relationship because she turned up at his townhouse finally brave enough to discuss the possibility of them exploring the chemistry that had always been between them. Lady Heather was there and the awkwardness in his eyes not only told her what was going on, but dealt the final shattering blow – because she could see there, quite clearly, that he had feelings for her also.

~ Nobody wants to cry
~ My body's longing to hold you
~ So bad it hurts inside

There followed weeks of hating that he was smiling; and feeling guilty when he quickly hid that smile upon noticing her presence. She had been determined that she would not let it come between them; that she would keep everything normal – at least ostensibly. But he seemed to be putting distance in their friendship; it appeared to be as difficult for him to handle it as it was for her – and he wasn't being as successful at hiding it.

It was hurting him to hurt her and that had made it all so much worse.

She wanted to scream at him that they didn't need to be hurting; that there was a simple solution, but she knew that wasn't fair. Had she expected him to be single forever in case she ever decided it was time their relationship progressed? Could she even presume that he had any knowledge of her feelings for him, seeing as she had never voiced them? His behaviour certainly seemed to indicate that he knew; but perhaps she wasn't as good at hiding her reaction to his new relationship as she thought she had been.

~ Time is precious and it's slipping away
~ And I've been waiting for you all of my life

She realises she is leaning forward now, her hands resting on the steering wheel, as her neck tilts to allow her eyes to fixate more closely on him. Her subconscious is pushing her closer to him. Perhaps she has another reason for being here, other than wanting to be his friend when he needs one.

Perhaps `perhaps' is unnecessary conjecture. She knows exactly what she wants out of this visit, but she also knows it wouldn't be fair, on either of them, for her to pursue it.

~ Nobody wants to be lonely
~ So why, why, why don't you let me love you

It only breaks her heart more to think about that though.

Two weeks ago, she was sitting here building up the courage to go inside and declare her feelings. And two weeks ago, there was no good enough reason she could think of to start the car again and leave.

Now the moonlit look of sadness on his face is enough to make her run; because she cannot trust her heart to comfort him as a friend, without the truth of her feelings slipping out. He's been too close to the forefront of her mind for too long now.

~ Can you hear my voice, do you hear my song?
~ It's a serenade, so your heart can find me,

She sits back again in the chair, ashamed of her own thoughts and feelings. He needs a friend. And that's what she is. She cannot let the fact that that is all she is stop her from being there for him now.

She closes her eyes and rests her head against the seat, taking deep calming breaths to try to clear her mind of all romantic thoughts and notions. Her heart screams declarations of love; and her head fights to suppress them, as if afraid that he'll somehow hear them, and their whole friendship will become even more complicated than it has been for the last few weeks.

~ And suddenly you're flying down the stairs
~ Into my arms, baby,

The familiar inner battle finally ceases and, content that she can keep it at bay long enough to give whatever comfort he needs, she opens her eyes and opens the car door.

Her resolve falters immediately when she sees him standing outside his front door. Clearly he noticed her when she wasn't looking.

~ Before I start going crazy
~ Going crazy,
~ Run to me, run to me
~ Cause I'm dying...

He is standing still, and staring straight at her, his expression in shadow due to the lighting outside the house. She can't tell what he's thinking, or feeling, but she wishes he would move and give her some sort of idea.

Of course, she's also standing still, staring straight at him, and he probably can't see her expression. And as she's the visitor, perhaps she should make the first move.

Bad choice of words.

~ Nobody wants to be lonely
~ Nobody wants to cry

She plasters on a friendly smile and walks towards him, desperately trying to think of a cover story in case he had noticed how long she had been sitting outside his house… Although, she's not sure how long it has been herself.

As she gets nearer his face becomes clearer, and instead of the sorrow she expected, he's wearing a look of confusion – hardly surprising really.

"What are you – "

She doesn't let him finish. There are two endings to that. One asks why she's there, the other asks why she's been sitting outside. Interrupting allows her to choose which one to answer.

"I thought you might like some company," she says, smiling sympathetically.

~ My body's longing to hold you
~ So bad it hurts inside

`I thought you might like someone to love you,' she thinks, causing her smile to shake.

"I told you, I'm fine," he shrugs, in the same way he shrugged away his surgery.

"Maybe I need some company?" she responds, knowing her inner battle is returning full force, by the breaking of her voice.

`Maybe I need someone to love me,' are the thoughts that caused her voice to break as she spoke.

He frowns, as if studying her for a few seconds, then in a move she doesn't see coming, he steps forward and envelops her in his arms.

~ Time is precious and it's slipping away
~ And I've been waiting for you all of my life

She returns the embrace, holding him tight against her, and she doesn't know whether the hug is intended as comfort for him or for her – but she certainly seems to be benefiting from it the most.

"I'm sorry," he whispers into her hair, his grip on her body tightening as he speaks.

She lets out a small laugh as a tear escapes down her cheek. "I'm the one who came here to comfort you and now I'm stealing it all for myself."

He pulls away, his hands moving swiftly to her cheeks, his thumbs wiping away tear tracks, his eyes looking deep into hers.

~ Nobody wants to be lonely
~ So why…

"I shouldn't have put you through it… I shouldn't have put Heather through this. I haven't been fair to either of you. I'm surprised you're both still speaking to me," he says quickly, but it's not the speed of the words that causes her confusion.

"Gil you haven't put me through anything, and it looks to me like Heather's put you through your own share," she responds, feeling angry that he's blaming himself.

He frowns again. "It was a mutual decision to end our relationship," he explains, "Heather hasn't put me through anything."

"But you looked so lost… at the window, in the dark – "

"How long have you been out here?" he asks, a curious smile creeping onto his lips.

She mentally stumbles for a second, and then chooses to glare at him in reply. "That's not the point…"

He laughs, and it seems so out of place given the heartbroken state she had attributed to him. Then his arms slip round her waist and hold her against him as he whispers, "I thought I'd lost you."

Her breath catches and the internal battle between heart and head falls silent – thrown into complete confusion by his unexpected words.

~ Why…

"I thought I'd lost you," she eventually whispers in return.

~ Why don't you let me love you?