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12 May 2007 @ 10:55 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 178: Question 178  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1060


Her Sid looked like a different man now, so tired and downcast, eyes thrown towards the ground and not that bright blue she loved. They were something greyer, something darker, sadder and ultimately, more dangerous to his health. The way he moved was somewhat normal, but she could see his smiles and his actions were a false pretence, an act to try and shrug off the wayward glances and inquiring questions of others. Maybe he didn’t want to trouble anyone, or maybe this was the way he dealt with things now. She was having trouble telling, because that thin veneer, the one which she could always see through, was so clouded over with his troubled face and his soft spoken voice, his assuming normal life, in a manner that seemed pretend.

One day he came to her, a bruise ripening on his arm, brushing a soft flap of hair off his face, a thing he did when he was nervous, or he had done something wrong. His mother looked at him, her eyes refraining from frowning disapprovingly, and instead closing tightly as she welcomed him softly into her arms, sighing as she did so.

“What trouble have you gotten yourself into now?” the woman questioned, patting his head and smoothing down his hair, which had never stayed in place, ever, during the course of his whole life. While her voice had changed over the years, adapting to some of the ways of the New York City lifestyle, her accent was like his, but possibly more pronounced. While he hadn’t been born in New York, he had moved there at such a young age that his customs and his mannerisms where far more New York-ish, than they ever would be Canadian.

Sid was plaintively and unusually quiet for a few moments, ticks of time that hung sluggishly in the air, before moving away, only to be replaced by another one. Suddenly a twelve year old boy again in his mother’s arms after being beat up by bullies, his face was silent and expressionless, devoid and, longing of something he just couldn’t have.

“Fell down some stairs.” the man mumbled eventually, reluctantly, standing up straight again when his mother released him from her grasp, patting him on the shoulder and fixing him with a stern stare. He looked so different, so alone, and it was starting to hurt her, because she could almost see where he might end up, for all that he had been through recently, all he had seen before those terrible moments, even.

Shrugging past that, she moved on, letting her eyes open wider, eyebrows flicking up, trying desperately to be comforting and reassuring and kind, what he needed her to be, but wouldn’t admit that he so desired it.

“Let’s make some cookies Sid, come on.” she chided, taking him by the hand and steering him into the kitchen, where she busied the man with tasks like measuring out flour and butter. Oh sure, they had made cookies sometimes over the many decades since he had left home, but it was not something they did every day, every week, so it pertained as a reminder to some former time, before the world of her only soon, had been ripped out from under his feet.

Sometime later, he turned towards the front door, small container of cookies under his arm as he fiddled, getting his car keys out of his pockets. He dropped both things in quick succession and uttered a sound that was reminiscent of something between confusion and confused rage.

“Mom! I miss her. I miss them. I miss her. I want them..” he muttered, staring at the floor, glaring, unhappy, sad, downcast, the man he hadn’t been two, three months before, when everything was normal. The unsaid word, “back.” Hung in the air, unsaid but known.

Picking up the cookie container and his keys off the ground, Sid Hammerback’s mother steered him upstairs, towards the guest bedroom, not towards his own, his old room, where his children had slept when they had stayed over. The woman looked at him quietly, hugged him again and sat him down on the bed, standing up above him, trying to place her face into an arrangement of emotion that might just, for a moment, lessen all his pain and frustration.

“Time will pass, you will get better.” she said, stopping and patting him affectionately on the shoulder once more.

“I love you Sid.” his mother said, leaving him in the room, to his own devices, letting him stare at the floor and mull the afternoon they had spent together, over in his mind as he sometimes preferred to do.

The call came down the hallway, errant and hopeful, and his head sparked up, because he would be the only person she was speaking to, because his father wasn’t home yet.

“I’m going to have a coffee and start making dinner in a while. Have a shower and come down and help if you want. The clothes you keep here are still in the cupboard, as always.”

For a while that day, Sid did feel better, she could see it in his eyes when he came down, slightly damp and smelling fresh. That spark in his eyes was a little more present, and his mouth a little more upturned. He kissed her on the cheek, speaking more normally and more happily than he had done that entire day.

“Thanks Mom.”

The man spoke, softly still, but with something, an inspired sense of hope, rippling through his two words. He seemed, better, not entirely, but better all the same, more like her son, and not like that unfamiliar being that had walked through the front door earlier in the day. Then he proceeded to help her with dinner, crafting stories of his times in other kitchens, making a meal like the one they were working on, telling her of things to do, and not to do. He talked about some things, avoided others, but somewhere, a notch inside her opened up and she saw, hopefully, that he would be ok again someday, somehow, in some way. She was his mother after all, and he was her son. She would know above so many other people, how he would be in the end. They loved each other, mother and son, that they did.
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