Complicated

Title: Complicated
Fandom: CSI: NY
Pairing: Don Flack/OC
Rating: M
Synopsis: Does it have to be this hard? Flack/OC

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3. Got You

Chapter Three

 

Go ahead and say goodbye

I'll be alright

Go ahead and make me cry

I'll be alright

And when you need a place to run to

For better for worse

I got you

Leona Lewis - I Got You

 

The dismembered foot, arm and hand they had discovered in various garbage hotspots around the city had all belonged to one man thankfully. A wrestling coach by the name of Vince Nelson. Stella and Grace had gone to his apartment to speak to his widow. So far the only useful information they had gotten was the possibility of two intruders lurking around the skylight on the roof.

 

Which was why at the current moment Grace was standing on the roof of his apartment building along side Stella, bundled up to the nines. Stella's hands were buried deeply in her pockets while Grace's were gloves as she carried her Crime Scene Kit. The two of them stared along the snowy white surface, Stella depositing yellow cones as Grace took pictures with the camera.

 

"Of course nobody would think to grit the roof." Grace muttered, placing her feet firmly upon the ground to prevent slipping.

 

"Twenty nine years in New York, you'd think you'd be used to it." Stella stated, treading carefully as the two of them made their way towards the pointed skylight of the Nelson's apartment building.

 

"Mrs Nelson said she thought she saw two people up here yesterday afternoon." Stella recounted as the two of them came to a halt in front of the green tinted skylight.

 

"And here's the blood the neighbour must have been talking about." Grace said, picking the camera up from the thick strap around her neck and raising it to her face to take a picture.

 

Stella removed a swab from Grace's kit as the other woman crouched down, close to the earth in order to get a better shot of the blood stain.

 

"Would you like to do the honours?" Stella offered handing the swab over to Grace.

 

"Seeing as I'm down here." Grace responded with a tiny smile before using the swab to collect some of the icy red residue.

 

Stella handed her the spray bottle so Grace could use it on the sob, it turned pink indicating the substance.

 

"As Danny likes to say 'BOOM'." Grace said as she collected more samples and out them into her crime scene kit for safe keeping.

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The Latino music was echoing through the walls of the apartment as Flack and Grace stood side by side watching Tanda Love twirl and twist her way through some very professional looking dance steps. Flack hadn't wanted to bring Grace along but since she had been the one to find the fingerprint upon the acupressure magnet and get them this lead he felt obligated.

 

It surprised him how comfortable he felt in her presence, how easy it was to slip back into their old routines. On the car journey over here, it was as if the two of them were back to normal, as if the events of this morning hadn't happened.

 

Flack couldn't help but feel a little relieved at that, he wasn't ready for The Talk just yet. He hadn't had time to compose himself, to individualise his wants and his needs. He knew when they did have The Talk he would have to be sure he had the ability to walk away from what the two of them were doing. Otherwise it would all be for nothing.

 

Flack didn't know if he could change the nature of their relationship. The sex was ridiculously hot and beyond satisfying but with Grace he wanted the emotional gratification he had gotten from the first time they were together. She was one of his closest friends, one of the people who now knew him the best, she was his lover and his confidant. He thought maybe it was about time to make that official. He wanted to hold her hand in public, to see her smile for him, to take her on dates instead of her sneaking out of his apartment in the early hours of the morning.

 

"This was not what I envisaged we were walking into." Flack remarked, shaking off his thoughts.

 

His eyebrows furrowed as he studied the movements of the oblivious couple. Tanda was clad in a tiny black mini skirt that flared as she danced and the client was a dark haired older man sporting glasses. Neither had realized yet that the two of them were standing there. Flack crossed his arms over his broad chest as he tilted his head towards Grace listening to her speak.

 

"Salsa is supposed to be good foreplay." Grace recounted as a smirk curved across her lips. "I've not seen anything like this that wasn't on TV."

 

"You like dancing?" Flack asked conversationally, striking it off as something else he hadn't known about her.

 

Grace shrugged.

 

"I've been to a class once or twice."

 

"Huh," Was Flack's response.

 

"Do you like dancing?" she asked him.

 

"If necessary I can dance." Flack informed her, his blue eyes still fixated on the couple before them.

 

"Necessary?" Grace questioned. " As in if your life depended on it?"

 

"Maybe you'll find out one day." Flack said ominously as Tanda Love collided with him.

 

He reached out his hand to steady her before flashing her his badge.

 

"Mind if I cut in?" he requested.

 

Tanda's green eyes went wide with surprise as she stood before the two of them. She placed her hands on her hips before nodding her assent. Within a few moments her client had been sent home and Grace and Flack were standing, rather than sitting on the purple couch. Grace had seen Flack's look of distaste as he glanced down at it. She wasn't sure whether that was due to Tanda's dubious furniture choice or the possibility of fluids from her choice of profession. Either way, these were new trousers and she was no way taking that risk.

 

"Prostitution?" Tanda repeated as Flack withdrew a folded piece of A4 paper from his suit pocket.

 

"Come on Ms Love, you have a wrap sheet here." Flack said, tapping the paper before reading out loud. "Arrested four times for solicitation."

 

"This isn't what you think Detective." Tanda informed Flack, holding up her hands in protest.

 

Flack's eyebrows furrowed into an expression Grace interoperated as deathly serious as he folded up the wrap sheet and replaced it.

 

"This isn't what you think either Ms Love, I'm not Vice, I'm Homicide." Flack told her.

 

"We have your finger print on this acupressure disk." Grace submitted as Tanda diverted her attention back towards her as Grace held out the photograph.

 

"I bought one to help me quit smoking and I lost it." she told Grace.

 

"Well we found it." Grace uttered as she held out another photograph. "Near this guy, you know him?"

 

"Vince Nelson? Why are you looking for him?" Tanda asked, her expression one of severe dismay.

 

"Because he was killed." Flack stated quietly. "When was the last time you saw him?"

 

"Last night." she answered "He comes here every Thursday for a lesson."

 

"And what exactly is it that you teach?" Flack responded, quirking an eyebrow.

 

"Private salsa lessons." Tanda told them. "Vince wanted to surprise his wife for their fifth wedding anniversary. I had another client straight after Vince who saw him leave."

 

"I need a name to confirm your story." Flack said taking out his log book and scribbling down some notes.

 

"Joseph Redgrave." Tanda said before reeling of a phone number.

 

"Thank you." Flack omitted as Tanda wrapped her arms around herself before showing them to the door.

 

"By the way you a very good dancer." Grace complimented as they stepped outside of the apartment.

 

"I could teach the two of you if you like." Tanda suggested, gesturing between the two of them. "NYPD discount."

 

Grace tilted her face up towards Flack who was already shaking his head at her.

 

"Thanks but we can't." Grace said forlornly.

 

"Of course." Tanda said, closing the door to her apartment.

 

"I wasn't going to say yes you know." Grace told Flack as the two of them descended the stairs.

 

"You want to go dancing, we do it legit." he said firmly as Grace rolled her eyes behind his back.

 

"That sounds like an offer Detective Flack." Grace teased as they stepped out onto the street.

 

Grace grasped his arm suddenly as her heel slid on a patch of ice underneath the surface of the snow by the doorstep. Flack twisted, his free hand lashing out and catching her just under the opposite elbow as her feet slipped from underneath her. Her heart was pounding in her chest as their bodies collided knocking the air out of Grace for a second as Don propped her up.

 

"Jesus, you need to be more careful." Flack told her, tilting his head to catch a glimpse of Grace's face.

 

They were looking into each others eyes, and Grace could see everything in those brillant blue eyes, just like always. Don had never been able to shut her out. For the first time in months she actually registered the emotions that he had been trying to hide from her and she hated herself. He was hurting so badly, she could see the strain in his features from keeping it together and she knew that was because of her actions over the past few months.

 

They were the closest two people could be and she still couldn't make the commitment. Grace knew he could never harm her, Don would never raise a hand to her but she was scared of being involved again. Frightened of losing herself in someone else after what had happened with Will. She had been a ghost for the months before her relationship had ended and for weeks afterwards. She didn't want to feel that way ever again.

 

"God Don, I'm sorry." she murmured earnestly, her head coming to rest on his chest as her fists grasped his jacket tightly.

 

She had always found comfort in him, just being in his prescence settled her nerves. The tension in her shoulders relaxed as Don's arm wrapped around her waist. He inhaled the scent of her smoky perfume as he held her close. He longed for moments like this, they were few and far between. Grace had caught him in a moment with his guard down and he knew what she had seen. His anguish at their situation had been tough to hide for this long. He closed his eyes as his lips brushed her hairline.

 

"It's ok." he whispered, his free hand moving in soothing circles along her back.

 

Even now he was still her pillar of strength, Grace clutched onto him as if he was her last life line. In a way he was, when she was with him she felt she was living again, like there was reason and purpose to her existance. Yet he was in pain, it cut so bad it was crippling his soul. She wondered how long it had been like this, how she had avoided seeing it.

 

"I didn't realize..." she began as Don's fingers stroked through her hair.

 

"I know." he said, sighing against her.

 

Grace could feel the breath leaving his warm body, his heart was beating underneathe the palm of her hand through his shirt. He was giving up and she got that. This had all become too much for him. Don's throat was starting to ache at the emotion he was trying to hold back.

 

"I can't..." she told him, shaking her head from side to side. "I'm sorry but I can't."

 

"Yea Gracie, I know." he murmured against her skin.

 

Neither of them wanted to let go. It was admitting failure. They had crossed a boundary and it hadn't been enough. She wanted more but taking that step was too frightening. There was an intense need to let herself go, to let go of everything and grow up and settle down with this man, but there was also fear. Fear that she would disappoint Don, that she couldn't be everything he needed. That fear outweighed the cost of her emotions right now.

 

"I guess this is goodbye." Don said, his voice low and ragged.

 

Grace could hear in his voice how much this was tearing him apart inside but this was better than how the outcome could have ended and she knew that he was aware of that.

 

"For now." she told him, sniffing and blinking quickly as the two of them broke apart. "Until I find my feet again."

 

"I'll still be here." he said as they began the short stroll to the car.

 

Grace resisted the urge to take his hand as it dangled so precariously close to her fingertips.

 

"Where else would you go?" she responded, nudging him with her shoulder instead.

 

"It is a pity for you because I am actually a good dancer." Don informed her, with the beginnings of a smile.

 

Grace bowed her head, pursing her lips together before remarking.

 

"That is a pity."

 

They were standing in front of the car. Flack reached over and grasped the passenger side door handle before holding it open for Grace.

 

"No hard feelings." he assured her.

Their eyes met as she stood on the opposite side of the thin metal barrier. Her fingers came to rest over his, returning the favour. There were too many things they had shared, too many that they had fought against and triumphed over to give up everything that the two of them had.

 

"I'm still here too."

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