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29 July 2007 @ 10:16 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 189: Question 189  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 991


If you could read my mind right now… Talk about a conversation when what you said was not what you were thinking.


He had found some excuse to go up to her level, to bring something to her. The ME glanced over the lab before him, scanning the horizon of that floor and seeking out the others first, noting their positions in place. Danny and Lindsey together at one of the light tables, of course, going over maps, Sheldon tucked away in his corner, eyes flicking over the fabric of a dress as he held it up in one hand, tweezers poised in the other. Flack, who looked as if he had just been roaming the hallways, appeared grim faced, like a dissatisfied lion, but then disappeared through a door, and that left Mac. He couldn’t find Mac, and that meant that he might have been elsewhere, or looking for him, in which case, he himself might need to hurry up.

Sid could see Stella though, right in the middle of his vision, her back to him all those many steps away, as she herself stood over some piece of evidence or result, hair swept back away from her face in a high ponytail. The fingernail scrapings sat idle in their evidence bag as he moved forward, through a door, over some floor, over to her, steps falling silently and swiftly. The Medical Examiner had just raised his free hand to tap the CSI on the shoulder when Mac appeared from a crouched position under a bench, a small stack of papers held ruffled, but triumphantly aloft in his own grip. Standing, he shrugged, smiling fondly as he saw he had caught Sid in mid motion. Trapped for a moment, the grey hair man changed his mind and ducked around Stella, to place the evidence in front of her.

The woman turned towards him, her expression welcoming, grateful.

He had had it all planned out. He had seen her look at Mac, seen how she looked at Mac and Peyton when they were together, and oh how it must hurt her, wanting him, somewhere in her heart, but not being able to examine the matter further. He was going to help her; they could trust each other, fill up each other’s loneliness, just for one night. They had already shared dinner alone a couple of times, as work colleagues, as friends, so why not just change it for one night, why not just fill the void they both knew was there.

He would have said something simple. He wouldn’t trap her, he would just offer a meal, and maybe, that would lead elsewhere. They had come close to it, half a dozen times already. Not for longing of love, just out of, feelings, needs, wants, desires, that they currently couldn’t fulfil elsewhere. An itch that needed to be scratched, or so people said. If it happened, it wouldn’t mean much, and they both knew it.

Something simple.

“Fancy joining me for dinner, Stella?”

“I’m making chicken tonight, there’ll be more than enough for one if you want some.”

Something that didn’t sound foolish, or needy, something which just gave inroads into a chance occurrence, maybe, coming about into happening. A string of words which gave over the hint that he somehow knew what she was going through. Then maybe they could help each other for one night, not changing anything between them at all, just letting it happen. But how could it not change anything? How could he be so foolish? He had seen the look in her eyes though, that look of desperate longing which pertained so relevantly to how his expression looked, sometimes, on some days, when the loss of companionship weighed too much on him. She hadn’t really lost, well, she had, but now, instead of being like him, instead of so often missing the absence of someone, she desired someone, wanted something which she knew she couldn’t have. They were the same, yet worlds and universes apart.


“Thank you Sid. I was just going to come down and ask you for them.” Stella said, breaking his insultingly mocking reverie, and he cursed himself inwardly, just slightly, for not waiting for her.

The ME nodded and grinned warmly.

“That is absolutely fine Stella. Sheldon tells me I have to emerge into daylight occasionally, so this seemed the perfect chance.” he said, and they exchanged silent nods in the form of farewells, and he set back off down to the morgue, down to his domain, where his tools were extensions of his arms and he knew the area better than almost anyone.

Something flashed between them though, in that silent moment where eyes, nods and expressions bid goodbye for a while, in the place of words. Out of the view of Mac, who was busy rearranging the papers he had somehow dropped, she gave over that look of longing, and he flashed sympathy, and longing too. Sid, in his infinite wisdom, in one mere expression, gave over the impression, the desire he had to satiate her for a while, to, for a moment, an intimate moment, try to make her forget the man she wouldn’t have, no, not for a long while yet, not yet, at all.


With words left unsaid, moments left empty, motions left still, those mere glancing expressions were all they had.


When he came to pass her in the hallways later, eyes cast towards the floor in a concentrated effort to seem otherwise occupied, his hand, of its own freewill, flicked outwards at her, brushing her elbow accidentally, and she stopped. Following her inquiring stare, Sid looked up, stopped, shrugged, and bent forward, mouth beside her ear, hair brushing against the side of her head.

“You know where I am if you want or need me.”

Those words, his words, that was all that needed to be said, really, all in all.


Too soon enough, though, Mac and Peyton broke apart, and the world continued on as it always did, and he continued, as he always did.
 
 
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