DISCLAIMER: CSI and its characters are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer and CBS. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first Sassy fic and I'm not sure where it came from or if it works, but my muse struck in the middle of a staff meeting at work and I've learnt to obey whenever she comes knocking, so here's the result.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To mbarduk[at]yahoo.co.uk
Soft with a slight undercurrent of something sharp. Not unpleasant just acute in its expression, so what you first think you've experienced actually turns out to be something else. Related but different. Lingering long after the moment is over. Spiraling around your senses as you try to decipher the tones and nuances. Closing your eyes to the distractions of the lab only to reopen them and discover you are alone now anyway. There is no one there to pick you up should you fall.
It feels like you might fall sometimes. Gravity shall lose its tenacious hold on you and you'll tumble down backwards into the dark abyss your life sometimes feels like. You don't know when it started. When it was you first noticed how empty your apartment is after you crawl home in the dawn light. Flicking on the light switch by the front door automatically as if illuminating all the empty shadows will chase the loneliness away. The shadows are gone but their empty echo still remains. Now every time you go home the falling sensation sweeps over you as you cross the threshold into that empty place. It never felt like this before you think as you switch on lights, flick the CD player on, deposit what take-out carton based meal you've picked up for the night on the pristine kitchen countertop. The silence was never this acute. Never so deafening in its insistence.
You always liked the solitude. The discipline and self-confidence it takes to feel comfortable to come home to an empty apartment night after night has escaped you. And no matter how hard you've looked you can't find where it is you left your old self.
She's not there at the lab. Your haven, your escape. The place, if it didn't sound so desperate to utter the words that you truly think of as home. Where the evidence makes sense, the pain it takes to understand the specimen before you comforting in its clinical embrace. But the experiments seem as empty as your apartment lately. The evidence has lost its meaning since you discovered how alone you feel at night. You want to turn around a corner one day and see your old self walking towards you, or see her crouched over the water fountain because the dry desert heat stifles a throat used to the ocean. You wish the next trip up the corridor would lead you to who you once were, who you once controlled. It only leads to dead ends.
All the paths you walk down lately seem to lead to her. Even ones that begin at a completely different point somehow weave the way to her, and like in the fairytale you look behind you, the trail of breadcrumbs you left to find your way back have disappeared. So you begin to question was that the moment when? When everything you knew, everything you were sure of changed. Everything changed because instead of finding that which you used to be when you take those slow silent walks around the lab to clear your head, you found her.
And she smiled.
It was nothing more than that. She smiled at you, the edges of her soft pink lips curling up a little. Eyes that were usually clouded with thoughts and concerns about the latest case she was working looked a little less fraught, they appeared to change shade. She smiled at you and you began to change. How powerful a thing to encourage such a monumental shift in your perceptions. How incongruous that this could be initiated by a thing so innocent, so simple, as a smile.
And now you notice her more than you think you should. The cut of tight jeans accentuating firm flesh underneath. Her habit of wearing perfectly tailored shirts so you can catch glimpses of the shapely tanned body that lay hidden beneath. You find yourself contemplating things you long thought buried within you. It makes you blush when you catch yourself walking behind her in the lab. That swagger, those hips swaying before you make you feel things more than you think you should. Things you haven't felt since college. Since you thought you knew it all but soft hands and gentle caresses spoke that you knew nothing.
You watch for her coming in every day, an unconscious and natural a thing as breathing in and out. You make up lame excuses to be in the locker room at the same time. Not as voyeur to her unknowing display of everything that is missing from your life. You simply stand there and just breathe her in. The uniqueness of her scent mixing into your senses and lighting them on fire. It's soft with a slight undercurrent of something sharp. Not unpleasant just acute in its expression, so what you first think you've experienced actually turns out to be something else.
And you close your eyes to decipher these hidden signals from her. You allow yourself to dream that she could be the one to pick you up when you have fallen. You allow yourself to hope that she would never let you fall.
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