A.N./ My first CSI:NY fic. English is not my mother tongue, so please be gentle. /

Bombs.

Screams.

Dead bodies.

Dust.

Sweat.

Heat.

He was running somewhere, shooting to everything that moved. They were trapped. He felt something in his leg, but didn't care. He had to fight. He started to shout, to give orders. They had to move if they wanted to make it out alive.

"Mac! Mac! Sweetheart, wake up." was the first thing he heard that wasn't related to war.

"It's okay. You're safe. You're here, at home, with me. Shhhhh" his wife's hand gently caressed his chick. He closed his eyes again, focusing on a touch. He felt her arm moving from his faced, but stopped it by putting his hand on hers.

"I was there again. I saw everything again. It was...it was so realistic" he tried to speak.

"Shhhh. You don't have to tell me if you don't want. You'll tell me when you're ready. I'll be there for you then. Take your time. I'mnot going anywhere."

"I know, Claire, I know. It's just...It's been over nine years now, I should've get over it long ago. But I can't forget. And I think that I shuuld've told you long ago. You have been woken up so many times because of that ad you even don't know what it really is."

"Mac, look at me, Mac. I don't have to know, if you don't want me to. I know that it's hard for you, and that's all I need to know."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome" she said kissing him. It didn't take him long to respond. They had been married for eight years, but her ability to blind his mind still amazed him. She'd saved his live.

"Mmmac..." she murmured between kisses.

"Yes, honey?"

"You should get some sleep"

"Sleep's boring." he answered her and kissed har passionatelly. His strong arms put her on top of him. He could hear her heartbeat. He heard her laugh, and that was all he needed to smile.

"Yes, sure. But drinking ten cups of coffee is not the healthy. Coffeine is going to kill you." she said, trying to look serious.

"Six, I've drunk just six cups of coffee today."

"Well, major Taylor, there's hope for you."

"Thank you, m'am"

"But you still need some sleep"

"But..."

"No buts, Mac. I know you're afraid. It must be hard, to recall that events. But after every single nightmare I'll be there. And after every single nightmare I'll kiss you and tell you that it's okay, that you're safe. I can't take them away, I wish I could. Now, go to sleep. I'll be there in the morning." she said and laid down, her head on his chest. He closed his eyes, breathing that delicate smell of hers. Than he heard her starting to sing, and the words of her lullaby were the last words he heard that nigh.

Sleep, my friend, and peace attend thee,
All through the night;
Gently, stars shall soon surround thee...


Next morning he was waken up by an alarm clock. He raised to turn off the alarm, but was stopped by his wife.

"I'll do it. You stay in bad a while longer. You don't have to be in lab before 9 anyway."

"Thanks"

Half an hour later she came back to the bedroom to see her husband asleep.

"Mac, hey, sleepyhaed, New York needs its Batman."

"I hate Batman."

"Come on, I've made you coffee." she said walking out of their bedroom.

"I'm coming" he shouted after her. They ate a quick breakfast together, neither of them mentioning events of the last night. She gave him a quick goodbye-kiss and headed to work.


A few hours later he was dinking his coffee - fourth that day - and dscussing his latest case with Stell in the break room, TV buzzling in the background. Suddenly, he heard people gasping. Someone dropped their coffee mug and it smahed. But no one cared. Everyone's attention was focused on the image on the TV. Twin Towers falling. Someone turned up the volume. But Mac didn't heard any of that. All his knew was that WTC was falling, that Claire, HIS CLAIRE, was there. He stormed out of the room without thinking. He went straight to the lift. Next thing he noticed was Stella stopping the closing doors and walking into the lift. Without a word she gave him his car keys. She folowed him to the car park. She sat next to him in a car. They drove to the Towers in perferct silence.


He looked at the remains of WTC, at the survivors, paramedics, firefighters, policemen. He tried to find Claire. Nothing else mattered. He stood like this for hours. He felt a gentle touch on his shoulder.

"Mac, go home."

"Iii..I can'. She's there"

"I'm afraid, that if she was there, and she's not in hospital, than she's not coming back, sir. I'm sorry" said a firefighter who passed by "She's right. You should go home. There's nothing for you here. Try in hospitals, maybe she's okay. Have you called her?" he added and went away.

"Mac, you've heard him. There's nothing we can do. Let's go, we can call the hospitals together, it will be quicker this way. I'll drive" she said and took his sleeve.


He was there again. At exactly the same spot he had been a week ... a month ... a year ... three years ... seven years ago, when he still had had hope that he would see her again. They hadn't found her body. So many things had changed. The monument had been built. He had been promoted. He had moved to a smaller flat. He had taken off his wedding ring. And had put a new one on. And had moved to a bigger flat. But there were two things that were exactly the same as all those years ago - Ground Zero and the woman by his side.