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06 May 2007 @ 11:45 am
Theatrical Muse: Week 177: Question 177  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1928


Who has made you smile recently?


The morgue was empty, leave the select few cold, dead bodies that lay on their trays, behind tiny closed doors. His shift for the day had ended a couple of minutes ago, but someone had asked him to fill in for them, for a couple of hours, or something of the sort. It worked out for him anyway, he got a bit of extra money, and, since he didn’t really feel like going home just yet, he got to work a bit longer. Secure in his own obscure world, he knew it was night time, but, he still felt awake, still felt like he was full of life.

Walking over to the CD and tape player, the man selected a book from the shelf above the one that it rested on, and opened it up. It was an old, hard covered, badly water damaged, unreadable copy of Gray’s Anatomy, the pages of which he had glued together and cut into to create a square, slightly bigger than a CD hole within the book. It was an item which seemed, to the eye, something that sort of belonged in a morgue. Not too out of place, at all, in fact. Most of the Medical Examiners especially, at one time or another, had caught him opening the book, and had watched as he pulled one of his more special CDs from within it. As opposed to the ones that were his, that he kept on the shelf, these were not to be touched by anybody other than him, and, most people, such as those that he worked with on a regular basis, knew that.

Carefully lifting the first CD case from the book, the man closed the tome and replaced it back on the upper shelf. Opening the CD case, he played the disc into the CD player, closed the top, and pressed play. Waiting for the music to start playing, the lights of the morgue illuminating him from above, he stood in his silent, quiet world, alone, devoid of live company.

When the music started, however, it didn’t matter as much anymore, that he was alone, at least, at that present moment. Instead, the music filled, for the time being, a tiny void in the sadness and the loneliness that he occasionally felt. Although the shoes were not perfect, Sid Hammerback started ballet dancing in them all the same. Tiring of their constriction after a minute, the man hesitated momentarily and sat down at his desk, kicked up his shoes, wiggled out of his socks, and slid on a pair of cheap ballet shoes he kept in a locked drawer, specifically for that purpose. Springing back out into the morgue, he continued dancing to his special music, perfectly displaying the fact that, although older than some, he was no less limber or graceful. So, he just continued to dance as the music played, going through the motions, silently acting out beautiful, elegant movements, as he whirled around metal tables and instrument cupboards.

As the music changed to something more modern, more constructed, the Medical Examiner’s style changed slightly. Dissatisfied with the feel he got from such a dance, simply because he was not in the mood for it, the man walked over and changed the track back to the previous song, and put it on repeat. As the song began again, he took up his previous kind of dance, and closed his eyes briefly for a moment as he sailed through the air, before landing on the ground a short time later.

Stella Bonasera was itching to finish her shift. The shift times had been a bit mixed up lately, with a few people coming down sick, so she was glad to be getting out of work. It had seemed the other way round as of late, so she was glad to be looking forward to a nice warm bed, and a nice warm meal, for once. Sort of. Upon hearing of Sid’s extended shift, the woman had pushed the thoughts of going home, further back in her mind. As Mac had sat at his desk doing paperwork, attended by a cautionary Peyton Driscoll as she discussed the results of one particular autopsy or another, Stella had taken a drive to a nearby restaurant. Picking up some takeaway that she had ordered over the phone when she was at the lab, the woman drove back, and was sneaking her way quietly down towards the morgue, as to not interrupt anyone coming in for the next shift. Her silent, wary tactics, proved themselves to be unfounded though, as, from what she glimpsed of the morgue, it was pretty much empty. When a moving Sid Hammerback flashed by the door however, she was once again proved, somewhat incorrect.

Having half expected him to be going about after his own whims, until he had to start work again, the woman pushed open the door and was surprised to see the man, still dressed in his work clothes, naturally, with his feet in a pair of ballet shoes. She looked on, the silent watcher, the plastic bag with the food in it, dangling silently in her right hand.

In the middle of a pirouette, the man caught sight of a figure at the door, but, because of his momentum, was forced to continue twirling. The Medical Examiner landed gracefully, both feet slightly apart. He shifted them slightly, and bent down into a grand plié, before rising again to greet the woman with a simple wave of his left hand.

“Welcome Stella!” Hammerback said, greeting the woman enthusiastically, lowering his arm when the excited waving was done. Flashing a brilliant, gleaming, white toothed smile, the blue eyed man brushed back a few errant strands of hair from his forehead, looking happy, pleased. Looking down at his feet all of a sudden, the smile stayed on the Medical Examiner’s face, and a slight reddish pink flush rose in his face. Seeing the food, however, the man nodded the woman inside the morgue, in welcome, with welcome painted all over his features.

Pulling a small card table out of a supplies cupboard and setting it up near his desk along with two fold out chairs, he smiled as the CSI raised her eyebrows, questioning his sudden producing of such items.

“We use these for card games, or, for when we have a lot of paperwork to do, or, when we need to seat a lot of people.” Hammerback said, pulling out a seat for the woman, and ensuring she was seated before disappearing again into the same cupboard. He came back with two paper plates, two plastic cups and two sets of plastic cutlery.

Serving out their meals from the plastic containers, vegetables, ravioli, large meatballs and spaghetti bolognaise, the man went even as so far to place a tiny piece of parsley on top of both his plate, and that of the CSI. Pouring out some water from the fresh, cold, plastic bottles that Stella had brought with her, Hammerback smiled fondly. The music had continued to play the same song for some time now, so he fixed this quickly, by taking the CD player off repeat, and returned to the table.

“Thank you.” the man said. The dinner was a little unconventional, a little against the rules, because, after all, it wasn’t like they were meant to eat in the morgue, it wasn’t like he was meant to keep a table and chairs, and plates, cups and cutlery around for the occasions when he did do so.

“I needed this.” the Medical Examiner continued, smiling once more. It was a less bubbly smile that time around, and more a cheeky, embarrassed one. He was still quite happy, but he had just realised that he was still wearing ballet shoes, and that, in a slight way, he had begun to flirt with the woman once more.

“We needed this.” the woman replied, quickly after the man forayed off into his own thoughts, speaking, a mere few seconds after he left off, and drawing him swiftly back into reality.

“I thought I said don’t flirt with me, Hammerback.” Stella said, smiling as the man flushed, taking a bite of meatball and looking at his feet. As flash of alarm passed on to his face for a moment before she quietened him by placing a finger to her lips.

“Don’t worry. I checked.” she said quietly, upon which a look of insurmountable relief took over the slight fear which had found its way onto the morgue worker’s features.

“You didn’t think I would try and poison you?” the CSI said grinning.

“No, no, it’s just.” the Medical Examiner said, stopping short, silent, hushed.

“You’re always so careful.” Stella said, and then continued to eat, pausing to take a short drink of water.

“Indeed. I do, feel, though, as if I should pay you back some way for buying me such a wonderful dinner. Would twenty cover it?” the man said, speaking kindly, a smile on his face, his ears, his nose, his eyes, his tastebuds, his sense of touch, all perfectly alive, along with his various other senses. The smell of her perfume was layered throughout the heady smell of such wonderful cooking, and he admired how curly her hair was. For a moment, he contemplated taking a curling iron to his hair.

“There’s no need, Sid. You’re the one who isn’t going home right now. Depending on whether or not you have a busy night ahead of you, I didn’t know, when you were going to eat next.” the woman said, nodding, and then as she was offered some more food, sliding her plate forward, waiting for some more of the meal to be carefully delivered onto it, before sliding it back across the table.

Hammerback smiled, one of the many smiles he had delivered that evening. What they were sharing there, was not a date, it was a meal, although close in nature, amongst fellow colleagues, with her, looking out for him. Still, the kindness that the woman had given him, he felt, at least, still was deserving of an equally as kind response, other than praise and thanks. Although he didn’t think she would want repayment, as it was not in her nature to operate in such a way, in such a situation, he had still offered forward the offer of money, because he didn’t want to seem selfish, or inconsiderate.

“I will cook you dinner sometime. Don’t argue Stella, no, no. Let a chef cook you a meal in repayment for helping him when he needed it. Then we both get off scot free by getting a nice meal, and I feel satisfied that I can still put together a menu. Not that I feel contractually obligated in any way, I’m perfectly sure you are not one for that, but, all things being equal, I would, honestly like to. You deserve it, at least.” the man said, placing a lip to his own lips, and lowering it, smiling, when the woman nodded.

“It’s a date then. Well, not a date, but a date for dinner, a lovely dinner, more specifically.” Hammerback said, as Stella watched him, a look of quiet and gentle, but genuine amusement springing into her eyes, a look which soon sprung into his own eyes themselves.

“Thank you.” the two people said, almost in unison, with Sid starting, and Stella coming just after him, without being able to halt her speech when she realised her minor mistake. Together, they smiled.
 
 
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