The Hope inside Hopelessness

Title: The Hope inside Hopelessness
Fandom: CSI
Characters: Nick Stokes and Greg Sanders
Relationship: Pre-Nick/Greg
Content Warning: AU-Prision, Non-Cannon Compliant, People Being Assholes, Angst, Anger, Con!Nicky
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 746
Note: This is one of a few older fics I am posting here. It has been in a few other places online.
Summary: As he walks out into the fresh air and sunshine, he has only a moment to savor his freedom before hopelessness robs him of his future. Will anyone be there to insure his dreams stay alive?

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He walked out wearing the same clothes he’d walked in on, black jeans, black turtle neck shirt, black leather jacket, none of them fitting the same way they did then. Ten years. He’d been waiting for this moment for ten years. Dreaming, wanting, aching to smell air free of the stench and hopelessness every con smelled behind bars. Everything felt better when you walked through those gates, and it wasn’t his first time. He was more than familiar with the rush you got from freedom, before life surged in and sucker punched you with no one waiting. No one caring. A total and complete lack of anything positive. It was that moment when you realized nobody cared that you’d been given a fresh start that every single thing went wrong.

The plans you’d made shattered, the hopes you carried faded, and the dreams you’d hidden away vanished leaving only despair and black suffocating anger in their place. It was only then that you realized that nothing really had changed. It took no longer than that one split instant before everything that you had vowed to change evaporated into the nothingness that was your life.

So, Nick walked through those gates and stopped, closing his eyes and breathing in deep taking in the fresh scent of freedom. Then, opening his eyes, he prepared himself for that punch he by now knew was coming… And found himself staring into the brown eyes of his future.

He’d been a kid when Nick had gone in. Twenty-three but still much more boy than man. They’d met in a bar, and started a more fuck than buddy’s relationship. The kid had been going somewhere if nowhere else but in his dreams. Nick had been going nowhere but down the same old path that led to the same old broken places. It’d been too intoxicating for Nick to give up though. When he’d been sentenced he’d seen the kid in the court room. The first visiting day the kid had shown up.

Nick told him not to come back. Said that prison was no place for someone going places.

Every second of every day the kid had been on his mind. Every long night’s dirty fantasy had been filled with him. Every plan he’d made for himself upon getting out had included him. Every promise he’d made to himself had been made in his honor. His had been the center of everything in every moment.

But he’d not really believed he’d be there.

“Your lawyer told me you were getting out,” he said as Nick slowly took one step forward at a time pausing, waiting for him to disappear like some free air induced hallucinogen. “He told me that I shouldn’t bother.” Nick’s jaw clenched, and his hands tightened listening to the words that only echoed what he already knew.

“They all told me I shouldn’t bother. They told me you are no good. They told me I was too good for someone like you.” Grinding his teeth, Nick paused longer this time before taking one more step forward, the sound of the voice he’d only heard in his dreams drawing him like an invisible force.

“Your very own lawyer told me you’d never make it, because no one would ever want you to. You’d never make it, because you’d never have a reason to.” This time when he stopped, he didn’t intend to start again. Head hung, fists clenched so tightly his knuckles were turning white, he could feel his every aspiration imploding under the weight of the hurtful words.

“I want you to.” Nick’s head jerked upward. The words chasing away the darkness that had only moments before been ready to kill his will for the last time.

“I want to be your reason to.” This time his steps were large and didn’t stop until that body, that voice, those eyes were within touching distance, and even then he took one more step.

“Will you let me?” Greg whispered now. Nick was standing so closely that the only thing Greg could only see was the hope radiating from his eyes. Reaching out, Nick pulled Greg to him, their lips locking, their hands grabbing at each others shirts bonding the two of them together so tight that they would not be separated.

When finally they were forced to come up for air, Greg smiled softly. Taking Nick’s hand, Greg led him away towards a future only they thought possible.

The End

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