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10 April 2008 @ 02:03 am
Theatrical Muse: Week 225: Question 225  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1872

"Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?" Marcel Marceau.

The snow drifted quietly down onto New York City. An occasional blow of wind would create a rush of noise that would rattle through the streets, both those that were bustling with people, and those that were empty. Up a few floors in a department store, sitting at window table in a cafe, Sid Hammerback was located on a comfy armchair seat, his hands clasping a mug of hot cocoa, random plastic shopping bags sitting at his feet. His wife had placed them there, bought him a slice of Christmas fruitcake and the hot drink, and left him to go shopping for his present. Occasionally, he would wriggle in his seat, squirming in an all too childish fashion as he thought of what she might be buying him. It wasn’t the monetary value attached to the present, nor the idea that he should receive a present at all, but it was the concept of what could be done with the present, in conjunction with Marianne. His wife knew him well by this point in their life, as did he to her, and together, they were perfectly in tune with one another. As such, his excitement came not from the prospect of some new item to use, to do something with, but from the very fact that he was getting something bought for him, with care and love intended. Something that he could not even begin to guess the nature of, because his wife, his lovely, adorable wife, still knew how to surprise him after all the years they had spent together. Sid Hammerback was excited because he was getting a surprise from someone he loved, very dearly. Nothing, at that moment, could have made him feel better.

Time blended into one continuation as the man stepped through the doors and into the first floor of the department store. Nothing much had changed over the years, in basic layout at least. There were new Christmas decorations, new clothes, but the clothing was still on the first floor, the perfume was still tucked neatly away up the back. Brushing off the snow on his coat onto the doormat just inside the sliding doors, the Medical Examiner walked forwards, automatically seeking out the lift without even putting much thought into where he was going. At the third floor, he stepped out of the moving metal box and headed towards the cafe. A woman behind the counter, whose own face showed the passing of time, looked up from the book she was writing in and smiled warmly, her eyes friendly, welcoming. With a few exchanges of words, she showed him to his table, and tucked the small reserved sign into her pocket before taking his order. He did not need to speak his order by now, because she knew, she always knew, that what he ordered, would always be the same.

Christmas time was a time of modicum greed for him. As long as he could be with his wife, his family, and have a good time, the man was happy. He had his rituals. At his parents’ place, he would meet with what family came to New York City during the holiday period. On Christmas Eve they would gather for a small meal and drinks, and share stories and photographs, memories and jokes all saved from the year that had passed by since they had last seen each other. Sometimes some people had not seen each other for more than a year, and there would be much excitement, many cries of astonishment and admonishment at how things had changed. Marianne’s family was more substantially spread out than his was, so whatever family of hers were in the city, were invited along. Sid and Marianne had been together that long that all their respective family members, by that time, knew each other quite well. On Christmas morning, he would wake up early and open presents with his wife at their home, then make breakfast. They would meet both sets of parents soon after, and go to church. At around eleven, he would go and open presents with his parents and Marianne’s parents, and whoever else might be staying at their house and was not out sightseeing or catching up on local gossip.

In between the stretch from lunchtime, which was a small affair of the previous night’s leftovers, and dinner, the loving couple would arrive home, and promptly engage in wild, erotic sex. It was a Christmas tradition after all. While they had a normal set of presents that they exchanged, things like books, vouchers, makeup, cologne, there was another set of more intimate presents that were reserved for that special, Christmas Day afternoon period. In that time, while preparations began at Sid’s parents’ home for the big Christmas dinner, they exchanged whips, naughty underwear, edible delicacies and saucy books.

Christmas night was when it began and finished in the big, final culmination to one of the largest gatherings of family he and Marianne experienced all year. Arriving late afternoon at Sid’s parents’ house, smelling suspiciously freshly showered, the loving husband and wife would begin to help with the preparations for a large Christmas dinner. Sid would cook and cook and cook, furiously so, and Marianne would entertain children and hang decorations. Then they would have dinner, they would eat, and laugh, and be merry.

Over the years, the rituals had not changed, much. He would still have a small dinner on Christmas Eve, still go to church with his parents, with Marianne’s parents. Marianne’s family would still join them for the festivities, and they would all share presents, and then, have a big dinner on Christmas night. He would help cook it, as he always did.

Cocoa in hand, Christmas fruitcake on a plate in front of him, the man dwelled on the memories of the past, and the woman went back to writing things down in her book, looking at him occasionally. Only a few lonely shopping bags surrounded his feet that year. No long did they sit around him like children waiting for a story, no longer did he wriggle and squirm like a child himself. She watched as his nose twitched, smelling the toast that had just burnt in the kitchen. It was not an obvious smell, but it floated out of the kitchen door all the same, and lingered, briefly, in the air, before being dispelled by generous amounts of Christmas cheer, warm drinks, and mistletoe.

Sid Hammerback still enjoyed Christmas, but it was not the same affair it once was. It still held the same excitement, the same anticipation, but some of it has disappeared since he had been left alone in life, in company of someone else to love and adore.

Marianne returned just as he finished his cake, and swallowed his last mouthful of cocoa, her timing, impeccable as always. She carried a bag with a deep rectangular box on it, and she seemed, strangely, out of breath, for someone who had only been within the confines of the department store. Giving their farewells to the waitress who had served them, the couple departed, walking to the lift without barely taking an eye of each other, laughing, and talking, in between themselves as they carried the various bags of random, assorted, presents, and other holiday accoutrements. Alone in the lift, he quickly freed his hand and rubbed it against the thick woollen material of his wife’s skirt, pressing and stroking on her inner thigh. Withdrawing the offending fingers as they reached their floor and the doors opened, he retrieved his bags and they were on their way, back to their car, back to their home, back to their bed.

When he had told her, the waitress, who had gone on to run the cafe inside the department store, had looked silently at him, and had hugged him, wordlessly. As smoke had continued to billow out of the Twin Towers, she had stood at his front door and hugged him tightly. When he arrived at her cafe that day before Christmas Eve, to continue the tradition his wife had started all those years ago, the one that had once seemed fresh, and was now, comforting, old, brilliant actions, the woman had looked at him sadly again, and had shown him to the seat. She showed him the seat he had sat at every day before Christmas Eve for over a decade. She removed the reserved sign, a new addition, and had whispered to him that when he came, each year, from then on, his seat would be sitting there, waiting for him. His meal, his hot cocoa and his Christmas fruitcake, was free, was complimentary, but that year, and those years afterwards, he paid for it anyway.

And that day before Christmas Eve, as Sid Hammerback sat there, in his seat, by the window, looking down onto the street bellow, he smiled faintly, warmed by the tradition he could still maintain, in all its meagre eccentricities. The year the tradition had started, they had been forced to finish their Christmas shopping during the hype that surrounded the day before Christmas Eve. They had succeeded in doing so, and, from there on in, while they got most of their shopping done in the period before the Christmas craziness set in on New York City, they would always reserve some to be done on that special day. In a strange way, the excitement, the anticipation, the ritual of her leaving him there before running off to do something excited and unexpected, all for him, gave them both the strength to get on with the two long, but enjoyable, days ahead of them. She would buy his present, and, the day that came before the day that came before Christmas Eve, he would have bought hers while she waited with a hot drink and some Christmas Fruitcake. It was all tradition, as strange as it was, it was all tradition, and it was so, very, comforting.

He did not have his wife anymore, nor did he have his two sons. But at the time of the year that shouted family, at the time of the year he spent with his family, he maintained the tradition, because, it made him happy, because, it gave him hope that the Christmas festivities ahead of him, would not remind him that much of how much he missed his wife and his children, but more on how he had enjoyed their company, during that time of the year, and during the rest of the year, while they had been alive.

They were a happy couple, a loving couple, people so perfectly synchronised with one another, that the sheer chance that they had met, had formed such a loving relationship, seemed statistically impossible in a world that could be filled with alternating hope and dread.

They loved each other, and they were happy. It was Christmastime and it was time to celebrate. Words could not describe how much they enjoyed being together, being near everyone that they loved and cherished. It was Christmas, it was Christmastime, and they were together. It went without saying, that they celebrated the holiday together, with ever ringing enjoyment, gratitude, merriment and pleasure.
Current Mood: sadsad
Current Music: Black Velvet - Melissa Etheridge
controls_ladycontrols_lady on April 24th, 2008 10:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Theatrical Muse
Yay! :). I'm behind on my LJ mail - and it's always a nice surprise to see Sid and what you've written together.

Nicely done, as always :).

Dr. Sid Hammerback, MEsid_hammerback on April 25th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC)
Re: Theatrical Muse
OOC: *Chews on fingers absently and blushes.* That's so nice of you to say!

Why thank you. :D Sid, well, I love him dearly. He's a different kind of man to my other muse Ecklie, less dark, but still haunted, with a different yearn for life. He's such a pleasure to write. *Grins.* That's the nicest comment I've gotten about him in ages, so, the pleasure is all mine, and more.

Now, not to be rude, but, do remind me where I may or may not know you from? I have a shocking memory for these kinds of things, my dearest apologies.
controls_ladycontrols_lady on May 20th, 2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Re: Theatrical Muse
Again, from the reply email I sent you earlier today, I hope I'm not the Theresa you're ignoring!

I don't think you know me from anywhere. I have wandered around in TM occasionally, but not joined, so it was probably one of those jaunts that when I found your Sid.

Wasn't until I read your email this morning that I remembered I hadn't looked to see if you'd replied to my comment in a long time.

Dr. Sid Hammerback, ME: A Little Twistedsid_hammerback on June 16th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Theatrical Muse
Aye, sorry for the late reply. I hope I made it clear you weren’t the person I was ignoring in my last email, however long ago that was!

It's always very quiet around my end of the world on both Sid and Ecklie's journals, so I always appreciate nice comments. I'll have been keeping Ecklie for five years this October, and, gosh, I've done so much writing for these two together!