Chapter 5

A few days later Nick was sitting up in bed with a lot less tubes and wires, though he was still on oxygen and pain medication. He was slowly beginning to remember the attack in bits and pieces. He remembered that Brady had set him up in order to get him to drive out to the shack. And he remembered some of the things that were said. The actual attack however, was just a blur of darkness and pain.

"I can't believe that she would lie and tell him I raped her. And I really can't fathom that he would believe that I could do that. We were close, really close. How could our friendship have been so, fake?" Nick was brooding with Greg not being able to give him any answers yet. They had decided to wait a while before they told Nick about Brady killing Emily and their infant son, and why he did it, as well as Brady's hospitalization. But Nick was getting better and today was the day the doctor felt he would be physically strong enough to hear the news.

Russell had volunteered to break the news to Nick. He was still feeling guilty for not checking Brady Magnus out before he let Nick meet him alone. D. B. arrived just as Nick was getting ready to try to pry information out of Greg. "Hey guys. How are you doing Nick?" Russell inquired, giving Greg a subtle nod as he came in to indicate he was there to fill Nick in.

Greg dismissed himself to go get a cup of coffee while D. B. took Greg's place in the hard plastic chair. Nick was out of intensive care and due to the number of visitors he received, the hospital put him in a private room.

"Nick, I understand you've had some questions. I think I can answer most if not all of them for you. But first, I want you to know how sorry I am that I didn't check this guy out before I recommended that you meet with him."

"Don't blame yourself Russell. I don't think anything you would have found would have given an indication of what he would do." Nick tried to reassure his supervisor.

"On the contrary Nick. It would have made all the difference in the world." And with that D. B. explained all the information they had attained on Brady Magnus and his family.

Nick was left speechless. Had Brady's mental instability been the reason he turned on Nick in college? Or had Emily's toying with his emotions been the cause of it? Nick figured he would never know. "Has anybody called his parents?" Nick finally asked.

"It looks like the death of his parents was what triggered his initial mental break. They were killed in a home invasion. He was the one that found them." Russell could see that Nick was trying to figure out if there was anything he could have done different. "Look, Nick, there was nothing you could have done to prevent any of this. He was your friend at one time and you took him at his word, as a friend should, that he had put the past behind him. And if his mental state wasn't already skewed, he probably would have put it behind him. But this Emily woman used his anger against him and drove him to where he was."

"I didn't trust my instincts. I had a bad feeling about the situation when he first showed up, but I dismissed it. I thought I was just holding a grudge or something. What does that say about me as a CSI?" Nick questioned with a pained look.

"It has nothing to do with being a CSI Nick; it has to do with trying to be a good friend. And if you haven't realized it yet, you are one hell of a friend. I know you couldn't have seen it, but the ER and intensive care units looked like a walk through wedding chapel while you were there. Hell, even the cleaning staff stopped by to check on you."

This caught Nick by surprise. "They did?" He wasn't quite sure what to make of that news.

"Yes Nick, they did. I think it's because of how good of a friend that you are that made me not check Brady Magnus out when you told me about him. There's nothing wrong with your instincts Nick, its other people's definition of friendship that is messed up. And as far as being a CSI, it's those same qualities that make you a damn good CSI. The intuition that you use on a case is just as important as any skills learned from a textbook. Don't forget that, okay?" Russell patted Nick on his good leg.

"Thanks Boss." Nick yawned. "I think I'm past due for a nap though." And with that Nick drifted off into the most restful sleep he'd had in several weeks.

The End

Authors note:

I own nothing but the OC's, I hope you enjoyed the story!