Title: Time for a Change
Author: carinascott
Fandom: CSI: NY
Genre: Slash
Pairing: Mac/Adam
Summary: Sometimes, you have to know when to throw in the towel.
Rating: FRM
Author's Note: Written in response to a prompt posted by enmuse over at comment_fic : CSI New York, Any, I've tried to tell myself/Nothing's changed my dear/But I look around me/And think maybe that's not so ("If These Are the Things" Tracy Chapman). When I started out, this was supposed to be a more uplifting Mac/Adam fic. But it wouldn’t work right for me with this prompt, so if became a little bit more melancholy than I planned.

I've tried to tell myself
Nothing's changed my dear
But I look around me
And think maybe that's not so
-Tracy Chapman("If These Are the Things")


Adam Ross didn’t like change. It was a fact he’d long ago accepted. Even as a child, every moment at home filled with the fear of facing the wrath of his abusive father, Adam had feared being taken away from his home even more. He was a likeable child, a little hyper, but his teachers loved him all the same. Adam had known that if he ever spoke up, told one of those teachers about the way his father mistreated him, someone would step in to help. But he was smart too, so he knew that while the abuse would likely stop, he’d also most likely find himself in a foster home or something far worse. So he stayed quiet, working hard to hide bruises and mask more prominent injuries the best he could. If someone questioned him about any of it, Adam was already well prepared with a plausible excuse. He might've had a better, happier childhood had he ever spoken up, but he couldn't take that chance. After all, the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

His aversion to change didn't change as he got older. So it wasn’t any surprise that when he began to notice a distinct change in his relationship with Mac, Adam chose to ignore the issue rather than talk to Mac about it.

He ignored the fact that Mac didn’t touch him the way he used to, the long, passionate make out sessions on his couch a thing of the past. He pretended not to notice that their heated nights of love making had pretty much dwindled to none, holding on to the hope that the few nights they did share would be enough for Mac to stay with him. When his friends and coworkers asked about his relationship with Mac, Adam lied and told them that things were going great, praying that saying it would make it so.

And when Mac hadn’t showed up after three months, hadn’t called about anything not work related in two, Adam still held out hope that things hadn’t changed. After all, Mac hadn’t come right out and said things were over. Maybe there was still a chance.

Walking into the locker room late one night, seeing Mac and Peyton making out like two teenagers under the bleachers, Adam could no longer ignore the fact that things were over between him and Mac. Instead he chose to ignore the fact that his heart was breaking, keeping up his quirky and hyper persona at work, drowning his sorrows in booze and cheap women at home.

And a year later, when Mac, who had never bothered to apologize about the poor way he’d treated Adam, announced his engagement to Peyton, Adam had finally had enough. With his head held high, after a long conversation with Stella and Sheldon, filled with tears and hugs, Adam walked into Mac’s office and handed over his letter of resignation.

When Mac asked him what had prompted his decision, Adam had shrugged nonchalantly, feeling happier than he had in a long while, and answered with a smile, “It’s time for a change.”