In this world you tried

Not leaving me alone behind

There's no other way

I prayed to the gods let him stay

He's been standing there for a very long time now. Just standing. No movement. Just breaths of air in shallow, quick puffs.

It wasn't a day either of them ever wanted to experience, unfortunately it came with the job, the ever present dread of it happening until it did. Impossible to avoid.

Fate was something he rarely believed in since his own fate had chosen the hard way. And he hated that to a point of becoming near aggressive. Not a way for a cop, certainly not one to soon receive a new position.

The position… One he'd worked so hard for with all he had only to receive such a hard blow…

He will accept regardless, there was no question if he's gonna hear the voice of the man whisper from dark corners and cold bedsheets.

His heart was beating too fast for his chest to keep up but having a panic attack in front of the entire law enforcement unit, his unit… not at all he imagined this day to go down..

He stayed behind his group and nobody even noticed yet, nothing new. After all living with a secret meant that it stays secret when one of them wasn't there anymore… and if you give off some vibes it will not go unnoticed and those around will eventually step away…

Apparently his luck of being even remotely tolerated ended the day he became a cop and patrolled the streets solo. Not that he worried about it. He was the least important one, often being lucky to guard a crime scene for CSIs. It would become even harder now that standing at the scene and hearing a motorcycle would trigger him too much. Reason to get fired and ridiculed number one.

But he's not gonna stand there and complain like some bitch they all probably thinks he is anyway. So then when it's all over and done he's left there to pick up the pieces of his broken heart and cry himself to sleep that night. Loosing someone like that hurts almost too much…

And he's kinda close to the edge with no way back from. How many ledges are too much? When does it become too heavy of a burden to carry around anymore? When's the time to move on with life? How long a grieving process can be?

And eventually when would be the time to tell your new team that the man they all grieve for is also the same man your heart still feels broken and the pieces still chafe against each other…

But he doesn't. It's just another way he goes off into the new job.

The stares and judgement sting more than words. They all think he's trying to fill the shoes of his late husband that nobody even knew about.

How can you claim knowing someone as your best friend when there's so many secrets between?

So how does his new job would even work with this many secrets between all of them?

He decides it's none of their business and uncle Ron just holds him close when he goes to the man for some comfort. Ryan has never had any close friends and Tim had been his first true friend. Somehow they went on with that until all of a sudden they both had rings on their fingers. But that changed nothing in them and he's gonna carry that to the end of his time.

He didn't bother to tell anyone outside of their direct family circle. And the fact maybe H was the one that deserved to know didn't change the fact it took years for the team to accept Ryan as their team member. Years for them to finally trust.

But only because Walter basically had unknowingly bullied them into that idea, aside maybe Nat. He hadn't been close to his cop family nor tried to become close with the CSI group. At the end of the day he just loved the job, despite so much drama and personal stuff they brought in the job every day with all of their romances and stuff, he still was there to be himself and do his favourite thing.

Made me promise I'd try

To find my way back in this life

I hope there is a way

To give me a sign you're ok

So when his eye got injured he stayed quiet, when his job got threatened he kept silence over whatever he was truly hurting about.

And when he lost the job for a bit he felt like he wanted to join his husband and never look back. But Tim didn't let him wallow for long, instead he came and held onto his husband while he slept and next day Ryan found something to do while H tried to fix the mess within the office.

They both knew that Rick was after the lab for a long time now, he has been aiming for Horatio's head on a platter for many years before Ryan even appeared in that lobby.

So they have been silently planning for the ultimate blow from the guy.

And that was when Horatio broke the silence, chased the elephant in the room away…

Apparently the man had known all along. It didn't change much but it also didn't feel like he's been judged or anything. Maybe the man had a bit more thought put into their interactions and whenever someone else, mostly Eric, had something not so kind to say about Ryan he didn't immediately take sides. And possibly Alexx was letting her guard down as well, they had a whole ass conversation about who's trying to impress who and why the fuck he should care for any of that. His eye accident absolutely shifted the waters, it spilled some secrets a bit too close to daylight, he hated that but somehow couldn't care less.

It did fix some of the Eric's frustrations and misgivings about Ryan but it didn't even begin to scratch the tip of the iceberg stuck in between Ryan and everyone else 'cause of the mile wide secret hiding within the iceberg.

He hated that but also hated the possible talks and whispers behind his back if anyone found out.

Turned out somebody already did. And they had been keeping it to themselves, for which Ryan was grateful, however weird it made him feel.

Eventually it would be out and that was day Ryan feared of. Not that he didn't want somebody to know what he's been through because of what happened, he actually sometimes thought back maybe telling everyone could have made things a bit easier for his entry to the lab.

Though he still doubts that. The fact that so many didn't feel okay with Horatio's decision to hire someone based off of the cleanliness of their gun and then snickered at his tries to fit in with the team while doing his best in the field he once so hungrily listened about every time Tim came home from a shift. His confidence and trust of himself has always been a struggle he felt like loosing and maybe the added loss of a loved one caused his spiral that eventually led to being fired in a rather humiliating way.

And that had nearly caused another tragedy…

But he managed to stay strong and pull through despite the odds. And yet he kept hoping that things could get better, even if every day brought on more disappointment.

But thanks to a dream, where he once more was united with his husband who told him that things will be better and that he has to fight and keep on going, he decided to believe it was indeed the spirit of the man and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

And then it nearly blinded him.

He tried not to jump like a five year old when H invited him to be a security detail for an internet celebrity. The hope inside his Chet almost suffocated Ryan but he stayed true to himself and it turned out to be actually a good experience and the girl actually was kinda nice and they connected over things.

But still he had to go through a rough patches and tough struggles and feel some humiliation from the lab's most hated man who still tried to take him and team down despite all the things.

And going back as the expert witness was probably his most closest involvement with the lab again.

He did came to realisation before that, the television wasn't for him at all. Yes, he did like to help and use his forensic knowledge to solve crimes but then it turned out sour faster than he wanted it to be, if at all.

However the initial return, after many, many days of slow going, wasn't as warm welcomed from all of the team as he wished it to be.

And then just like that Horatio had asked him to do something apparently the man saw only Ryan suitable for.

Which then brought him to a major surprise when the older man told him that not all things should be kept as close to the heart as he does and to sometimes trust the ones close to him more, which given Ryan's secret for all the years made him think Horatio knows more about that than he's showing.

"You were there." The man had said before pulling out his signature shades and sliding them on a he turned to leave Ryan standing there a bit shocked.

Before he had a time to think about it deeper he was literally kidnapped and tortured and then sent on a mission to help out a criminal under a threat of a child's life.

In retrospect he could've thought it through much better and secretly asked H's help immediately in a discreet way, but being Ryan he did it his way which eventually led to the lead man to find out anyway and yet he'd hoped somehow things would go better.

But honestly he was just too tired and in too much pain to think better of it.

One of the times he needed Tim the most and he wasn't there to give advice nor comfort. Especially after the shouting match at the locker room. He waited for everyone to leave and then he just sat there and cried for the first time since the funeral, at least in such a public place like work. He made it his thing to never show a weakness in front of anyone and yet he was there licking his wounds in darkened room all alone.

Suddenly seeing Horatio sitting next to him took Ryan by a complete surprise, the man has never been really close to Ryan, yet he'd come to see him. And then and there he saw the man for just being human, not just his boss and the head of the lab, for the first time.

"You were there, and then I was there, Ryan. And I understand. I'm sorry I wasn't there for you as I've been for others, that's entirely on me. I hired you but didn't truly make sure you were okay. I assumed you had your reasons and I simply respected that. And then Alexx called and asked me questions I wasn't aware should be asked. But then it felt like too late for them so I let it be. That was my mistake that led you here. So I promise to be better so next time you could feel able to come to me about things that worry you. I will not tell your story to them, that's your story to choose to tell whoever you want, but know that I'm here for you. I've failed you more times than I feel comfortable with and that I will carry with me. Rick tried to bring us down by taking what he felt our weakest link, Russians did that too, I filed to understand that but what you sacrificed for Billy and Mark speaks volumes about the person you are. I get that they don't get to see that because you don't feel like trusting but sometimes you have to trust to close the divide between you and those people. I learned my lesson long ago but chose to ignore it again and again. I am truly sorry for that, Ryan."

Then just like that he was gone and only a ghost of a hand on his shoulder stayed with him as he went back home that night, after checking if his friend and his son was okay.

That night he cleaned his entire house about five times, top to bottom, and all his guns, reorganised all his forensic kit and made notes to stack one few things. And then he did something he'd last did the day he was fired - took a bottle of whiskey and drank it all in one go…

Together in all these memories

I see your smile

All the memories I hold dear

Darling, you know I love you

Till the end of time