DISCLAIMER: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" is the property of Anthony E. Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer Television, CBS Worldwide Inc., Alliance Atlantis Corporation, CSI Productions and CBS Productions.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ever since I heard this song, I wanted to write a story on it. After failing miserably last night, I woke up and started anew. So, here it is. I hope you like. Being Drunk's A Lot Like Loving You from Kenny Chesney's CD When the Sun Goes Down
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Being Drunk's A Lot Like Loving You
By KSUnsungHero

I love being drunk. Everything about it I love. The taste, the smell of something that good on a day like today. A day where I lost my love. The love of my life.

Well I drank 'til I stumbled
I drank 'til I fell
When the drunk part was over it hurt me like hell
And I know about drinking
So I know one thing's true
Being drunk's a lot like loving you

The sky is cloudy today. They loom as if rain is inevitable. It may fall and fall but will never hit the ground. That is what my life is like. Things progressively have gotten worse my whole life, and the minute I think I will land I keep falling. I get into these ruts when all I do is think about the things gone badly in my life. I guess it's easy to do, considering most of my life has been all but spectacular.

From the time I was born, I learned that I was to have a meaningless existence. I tried to be the good kid in the family. I never got into trouble; I was a smart kid. Now that I think about it, I think that's why no one ever noticed I was there. I moved on to college and then the start of my future in forensics. I loved it. Everything was tied together, and it was gratifying. As for me, nothing ever panned out.

I spent night after night wondering when I would find someone. They say once you stop looking, there that person will be. That was true for me, mostly. I found out that the person you find isn't always the kind you want.

Jessie was the first. The first everything. The day we met I was carrying a load of boxes to the supply room and stumbled on something. I later found out that she had tripped me on purpose to get my attention, but that's beside the point. Like a hunter and its prey, I was caught. She had me in her sights and was not letting me go.

Months passed in our so-called relationship. There was a lot of action and hardly any talk. She used me as a way to make herself feel better at the end of a long shift at the lab. She was merely a lab rat and took her frustrations out on me both verbally and sexually. I'll be the first to admit, sex was good with Jessie. She knew all the right moves. She never wanted to be on the receiving end, though. She always wanted to give and give until she had given enough to where her demons went away. I never knew how long that could take a person until I met her. The first time I noticed what was going on, I was scared to death. I'd never felt that much pain in my life and the following day I made a mistake. I couldn't sit down and was in no condition to do it all over again. That wasn't the right answer, though. That time went on for hours, it seemed. That's when I learned to give in. As time went on, I got used to feeling the pain.

That's when I started drinking. I needed an escape, too. I was hers and Jack was mine. She didn't notice we started spending more and more time together, Jack and I. He was good to me in those days. I always wanted out, but never knew how. I found out she was cheating on me. As if we had anything but a sexual relationship. It's funny I even knew that. To this day I don't know what her middle name was. I'll never know. Ten days after I found out she was screwing someone else senseless, I found out she'd run her truck off the road on some Interstate in California. What she was there for, I'll never know, either.

'Cause I loved 'til I stumbled
I loved 'til I fell
When the loving was over it hurt me like hell
And I know what a taste of the wrong love can do
Being drunk's a lot like loving you

When Jessie died, I felt free and trapped all at once. I was glad to be released from under her, literally. I always dreaded what the night would bring when she came home. So, when she was gone, I felt relieved. Jack continued to be my friend, though, and we were inseparable. I didn't know how to stop. I was consumed with the desire to have him in my life. I took stock in breath mints and cough drops; anything to take the smell off my breath. People noticed, but by then I'd turned into a hollow shell of a human being and they had long since stopped caring. I was spiraling out of control. Everyone had accepted that I was merely there to work and leave. The multiple breaks I took to visit Jack was the distance I needed from the cruel world outside the bottle. Things changed, though, the day I got the call that I was coming to Las Vegas. Shit.

I arrived in Vegas hung over and in debt from the countless drinks I'd bought on the flight from California. I stumbled into the cab and sought out the nearest coffee shop in town. After a few sobering cups, I was ready to face the firing squad. And that I did.

Catherine never liked me. From day one, she had it out for me. I couldn't blame her. I still don't. If someone sauntered in and took over, I would be more than a little miffed. We had an agreement to simply disagree. We went our own ways and it seemed to work out for a while. I continued to see Jack and remained closed off from my co-workers. I didn't want it any other way. For a while.

It was a lonely existence in Vegas back then. I knew nobody. I guess it was a mutual thing, really. It wasn't like I went all out to make friends. I didn't need anyone but my longtime buddy-in-a-bottle.

Around the time things were falling into place at work and everyone was staying away the way I wanted, that's when it hit me like an empty bottle on New Year's Eve. I had it for Catherine.

It came as a surprise; a shock really. I had no idea what was going on. We hated each other, but at the same time I could see that hate dwindling down. Each time she reached across the layout table and would smile at me, I felt a little less angry. She's always been that way. Her smile can light up a room like nothing else.

I started spending more time with her. I just wanted to be near this beautiful specimen. I found excuses to be in the same room with her, and she never noticed. If she did, she didn't say. Maybe it was the same with her. No, I doubt it. I never saw what she saw in me. I saw a lifeless human being walking around in a zombie's body. Funny how I never got a tan in Vegas.

After a couple years, things changed. We went from merely acquaintances to friends. We got along and helped each other out on cases. We had chemistry, like me and Jack. I saw the up-side of things for a change and thought that the look she gave me when she smiled was more than a smile. It was something else. What, though, I wasn't sure. One thing I knew was that she'd never go for me. She had a kid and an ex and was presumably straight. Then there was the case I closed. I don't blame her for not speaking to me for a while over that. Maybe there was something else I could have done.

And I've woke up some mornings and sworn off the drink
At that I've done reasonably well I think
But I haven't done well swearing off you and me
At that I fail miserably

I grew confused and started dating men. A lot of people experiment with other women. For me, it was men, and not just Jack. I hadn't gotten laid in a long time, and needed the release. I found someone who seemed to be a good choice. Things were good between us and I started to see myself with him for longer than the time it takes to finish up and put our clothes back on. I saw a future, and it scared me. Of course, my beautiful luck played out and he was gone before anything got started. I can count on one hand the times I've cried in my life, and that was almost one of them. Almost.

Well I felt the hangover of loving all night
I've sat at the bar all alone in a fight
I've bottled up feelings and poured 'em out too
Being drunk's a lot like loving you

For some reason, Catherine forgave or forgot. Which one, I'm not sure. We went for drinks and it seemed all was well again. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop like everything else in my life. It never did. Things kept getting better between us again, and her smile returned to that beautiful face I saw in my dreams. She knew about my drinking. She said it was obvious. Brass knew, but I guess he kept that to himself. I tried to hide it from Catherine. I didn't want her to think I was a drunk. Funny how you don't want someone you love to see the real you. Yep, I said it. Love. I was in love with that woman. Truly and madly in love and I was scared as hell to wake up and find her hating me again. I wanted more and more each day. I wanted the one and only Catherine.

Catherine noticed a change in me; a change for the better. She complimented me and held my hand when I blushed. No one ever told me I was cute. She had a way about her that made me want to be sober. As hard as I tried, though, I still wanted Jack in my life. I knew the day would come when Catherine would want me to make a choice. That moment came on one of the most embarrassing days of my life.

The day Grissom drove me home was the day I knew I'd lost it all for good. I was angry at myself for not being able to see the good thing I had and throw Jack away. He'd been good to me for years, though, and I couldn't do that to a friend.

And I've woke up some mornings and sworn off the drink
And at that I've done reasonably I think
But I haven't done well swearing off you and me
At that I fail miserably

I sat alone in my apartment for hours that day. I dreaded her coming over, because I was afraid of what she would say. I was terrified of what she would do. I didn't want our relationship to end. So, when I heard her knock on the door I wanted to run and hide. I had to face the music, though. I opened up the door and there stood, in all her beauty, my Catherine.

I couldn't see her through the tears in my eyes. I stood there crying like I'd never cried in my life. I was shaking and sobbing and a complete and total mess. I expected her to tell me what a failure I was again, just like the case. She didn't, though. What she did, I think surprised us both. I know it sure as hell surprised me. She inched closer and I closed my eyes so I wouldn't see the look of disappointment on her face. I listened for any signs that she was walking away. Her footsteps got closer and closer. That's when it happened.

She wrapped her arms around me in the fiercest hug I had ever felt. We cried together and she told me she knew how hard it was to quit and that she was sorry. She was sorry. I didn't understand why. I guess when you love someone you feel your lover's pain and you want things to be right in the world for them. You want them to be okay. I was clearly not okay, and she wanted to show me that she wasn't giving up on me in my time of need. I opened my eyes and saw her smile. I almost fell. That's how weak in the knees her smile made me. Every ounce of understanding came through and I never loved someone so much in my life. She held my hand and led me into my bedroom. I started to take off my clothes; I guess from past experience. Catherine placed a hand on mine and shook her head. I turned over onto the bed and she wrapped her arms around me once again while she kissed my neck and made the world a better place.

This morning I woke up to an empty bed. I frantically searched for any signs of life but found none. I was distraught. Catherine had changed her mind. I didn't blame her. She took her stuff and left. I ran into the kitchen and threw everything off the counter. When that wasn't enough, the kitchen table was next. I was so angry I didn't know what to do. I need a drink bad and was in a dilemma. I wanted Jack. I needed Jack. He was my saving grace. I opened up the cabinet and found the bottle. There was enough for half a glass.

Well I drank 'til I stumbled
I loved 'til I fell
When the drunk part was over love hurt me like hell
Well I know about drinking
So I know one thing's true
Being drunk's a lot like loving you

I wanted more than half a glass. I wanted the whole damn thing, there and then. I threw the bottle against the wall. Jack had deserted me in my time of need. I threw my hands over my face and cried. I hate crying. I cried so hard I couldn't catch my breath.

I woke up two hours ago. I fell asleep on the kitchen table. I keep sitting here wondering what I could have done. A lot of things. I could have been a better daughter. I could have been a better lover. I could have been a better Investigator. I could have been so many things that I cannot change. I stare numbly at the tabletop. In my own haze, I did not hear the door open.

I feel a cool hand on the back of my neck, and I jump. I turn around and am face-to-face with my angel. My reason for breathing. She has returned. She frowns as she surveys the damage. Her eyes return to mine and I see the concern in her own. She notices the dried tear-tracks and asks me what is wrong. I get all choked up again and am unable to tell her. I think she is angry with me, because she walks away. I stare down at my feet because I cannot bear to see her leave one last time. I see her shoes and I look up, confused. She has in her hand a notepad. She flips until she finds a certain page and holds it up. I read the words and realization hits me.

The store. She went to the store. She wrote a note to tell me where she was because she knew I would be worried. I apologize profusely for not having faith in her. It was all me, I say. I don't have enough in myself to trust anyone else. I trust her, though. With every ounce of my being, I trust this woman and I love her. I love the person I am becoming because of her.

I am happy. I don't need Jack. I just need Catherine. From behind her, I see a little person walk up. Lindsey. She picked Lindsey up and she says she is here because she thought it would make me feel better. It does. It really does. I bend over and give her a hug. She asks if I am okay and I tell her yes. Yes, I am. I love this little girl and I love her mother.

I take in the love that these two people have for me. The understanding they have in their hearts for people such as me. People so down on their luck they turn to alcohol to solve their problems. I don't want a drink anymore. It's gone now, and I won't buy anymore. Jack is gone for good and in his place are two wonderful people. I can't imagine living life without them. Just like Jack was, they are there for me now.

Though I know what a taste what the wrong love can do
Sometimes I still get drunk loving you

I love being drunk.

The End

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