Title: A Dozen Red Roses
By: alucardskitten
Pairing: Implied Speed/Danny
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Authors Notes: Dedicated to Jilly.
Summary: Set post 'Lost Son'... "I was going to try and comfort a complete stranger who had just lost someone that he loved. Somehow, it seemed much different than comforting the family of the victim... this seemed almost alien to me." ... POV.


My eyes bore into him, because I don't know him, I only know of him. I knew most of the assembled people, because they were people that I had worked with and I met Speedle's parents at one of our many Christmas gatherings. They had come down to visit him and I personally had insisted that he brought them along to our party. They were nice enough, I suppose. There were some assorted members of his family and I could tell every single one... the people with the same pale complexion or curly hair or the natural squint of his eyes. I allowed myself a brief and melancholy sigh. And I settled my eyes back on the man who I didn't know. I didn't know him but I could guess who he was. I think... I think Tim called him Danny Messer... and he worked out of New York with Mac and his crew. They had met over the phone over a partial fingerprint and I can only assume that they had kept in contact ever since. To me, that's mildly amusing, to feel so connected to just a voice. I wondered what they had talked about while the fingerprint was cycling through AFIS that had prompted Speed to want to talk to him after their work was done.

I knew Speed sometimes had a hard time getting along with people, this was obvious from the way cops treated him sometimes and then, he did have a bit of a disdainful attitude towards other human beings that I never really could explain, but I supposed was just a front to hide his pain. When you got to know Speed, and I mean really know him, he wasn't nearly as grumpy and apathetic as he seemed. Beneath his rough exterior he was sort of a poetic soul, a soul that was aching and needed comfort... but I digress. I wondered if I should approach him and tell him about how he made Tim sparkle. I approached him quietly and watched him for a minute. Even his close friends, namely Calleigh and Eric, didn't look as stricken as this man did. And it sort of dawned on me that they were more than friends... they had turned into so much more. And I knew this because he wore the same look that Yelina did at Raymond's funeral. I swallowed and wondered what had caused that. And I wished that I had been included in their small little world just to watch the transition between total stranger and lover. I had never really quite done that. All the people I had ever dated or whatever I had known those people for a long time before I even considered asking them to be more. I realize now that my inner thoughts are rambling because of a small stint of nervousness. I was going to try and comfort a complete stranger who had just lost someone that he loved. Somehow, it seemed much different than comforting the family of the victim... this seemed almost alien to me. I cleared my throat, loud enough for him to hear but quiet enough not to be obtrusive. He turned then. His blue eyes were rimmed red and I realized he had to have shed a lot of tears already.

"Danny Messer?" I asked, just to make sure. Though I don't think I really needed it. He nodded merely as he continued to stare at me. I gave him a soft smile. And suddenly, all of the words I had intended to say just left. I couldn't give him the cool rehearsed lines of sympathy I often delivered to the family of victims because as a fellow CSI, he would probably see through that and get hurt by my seeming lack of sympathy. I tried to think of something... anything... for a reason as to why I interrupted him while he was well into his own self pity. But all of my words failed me and I continued giving him this smile like a mindless idiot. He smiled softly in return but it was a thousand miles from his eyes. "I'm... I'm sorry for your loss." I finally decided on and said. His smile widened by a millimeter.

"Thank you." He said softly. And it clicked to me... why Speed would want to continue their conversations. That voice. It was a nice voice, subtle and a little deep... compassionate without conscious thought. Danny could offer Speed the one thing no one else could—unrequited empathy. Whatever Speed had been through in his childhood, Danny had probably been through something similar. I put my hand on his shoulder.

"Are you gonna be okay?" I asked. He gave a little half snort of laughter.

"Not really." He replied. I almost laughed at that, except my heart broke at the same time. The eulogy was about to be given. Eric was doing it and I couldn't think of a better person to do it. I handed him a business card.

"If you need anything, day or night, call me... and I'll help you in any way I can." With that, I headed back to my seat... next to Mrs. Speedle and Calleigh. I looked over and noticed him running a finger over the business card. No, he wouldn't be okay... but in time... he would heal.