CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Word Count: 1129
Congratulations! You've been granted one wish. What is it?
The what ifs, didn’t matter. Opening his eyes and turning over to face his continually sleeping wife, the man looked at her through half open eyes, smiling to himself, quickly feigning sleep as she moved slightly. The coast clear, his eyes slid open again and he stared at her placidly, his expression warm, his mouth still turned upwards, happy. This was perfection, this, this moment, this woman, was happiness in one of its purest, most unadulterated forms. The other Nightshift, they were nothing, but she was everything, the one redeeming factor about his opposing faction in the Las Vegas crime lab.
His eyes swivelled upwards as he took communion and said a silent prayer, and again, the next day, as he finished plucking a hair from a piece of bloodstained carpet and was about to put it in an evidence bag. Sometimes, as it approached that time of year, he prayed for her, for himself, because otherwise, if he didn’t, feel he was doing something, his heart and chest burned with a rabid, rapid, emotional pain. The praying only lessened it a bit, but, still, it helped, in some, slight way.
She was so beautiful, her hair, her skin, soft and subtle, her fingers, her figure, thin and lithe, the way she would laugh at him in secret as he worked, and then swear at him in the next blink of an eye, all pretend animosity, hate, and opposition. The way they each apologised to each other when they ate a meal together, at home, the way they joked about all the names they had fired off that day, because, really, it was all just a big act. Nightshift, didn’t like Dayshift, and vice versa, and they had to keep up the pretence, no matter what, even though, they were lovers. She made him complete.
And years later, Grissom looked at him, with pity and sadness flickering in his eyes, and with a depth of understanding and compassion, that he didn’t want to see, and refused to see, because it was Grissom, and Grissom wasn’t meant to understand him. Grissom wasn’t meant to understand his pain and his frustration, and why he whispered under his breath, silent, unspoken prayers, when the frustration and pain overtook him, and the throbbing in his head had nothing to do with a headache or physical injury. Not that he prayed all the time, when he felt that way, but, he knew the Nightshift had seen him once, head pressed against the cool metal of a locker, his lips moving fervently, desperately, trying to ease the weight and pressure of something that would never be lifted. Looking up, he had told him to go away, of course, and now, later on, he saw the compassion in the other man’s eyes and denied it. It was not real. No one could feel like he did, or understood why he felt that way.
A couple of minutes later, when she opened her eyes and blinked sleepily at him, her face open and clear, his smile grew, just a little.
“Hey sleepy.” he whispered, his voice generous with loving, joking, mocking tone, his eyes opening fully, so as to take in her face entirely. And he wished, in that moment, that very moment, that he could stay happy like this, happy and satisfied like this, forever. He wished, so hard, his eyes strained with concentration, and, for a brief, idyllic, flickering moment, a boyish feeling of ruling the world burst forth within him, convincing him that he could win, would win, his most hopeful of dreams, and, his wish would come true.
But life, life was never like that for him, had never been like that for him. Rarely had it been like that. Grissom walked away, and he looked down at the floor and moved off, remembering that day, that moment, where he had given over to the freest of wills and emotions, and let a wish take flight, let it break forth into his world of happiness and comfort. A world, that nonetheless, didn’t exist anymore, and had not existed for decades, at that. And at that moment, the world pressed in at him, and he simply shrugged it off, not concerned with the ever pressing feeling of guilt and pain, because he had paperwork to be done, and he had other people to glare at and give orders to.
“Want some breakfast?” the man questioned quietly, curiously, eyes studying her face, pretending not to linger on her lips, and her eyes, and her skin, and, all the features that made her beautiful. Pretending just to look at her face, as if he didn’t want to stroke it, touch it, to comfort itself of its reality and current, real, presence.
Michelle, herself, was struggling with clearing the sleep from her eyes, the threads and remnants of a quiet, peaceful, night’s rest next to her husband, her lover.
“Of course.” she said after a couple of seconds, and took the opportunity that the following silence presented, to stretch her arms up, above her head, hands clasped together.
“Good.” he said, getting out of bed and standing up, stretching slightly himself, his chest bare, his arms raised before him. When he lowered them, he looked back at her, grinning slightly, that slight, boyish whim came back, and started to influence his voice, just a little bit.
“Because I’m making pancakes!” he said, his voice, suddenly enthusiastic as his mind ran away with that happiness and satisfaction that being a married man gave him. His grin grew, just a tiny amount, and the woman smiled back, and nodded silently, indicating that he was, indeed, free to go off, and prepare for the day ahead, and to make them pancakes, and whatever else he wanted. She trusted him. She believed in him, was confident that he would do a good job, because, she knew, she always knew, he cared for her, and loved her, always.
So he made pancakes. And they were lovely, and together, they enjoyed them completely.
So he continued. So, he did his paperwork, and went home most night and did his regular schedule of regular things. And when he did make pancakes, there was no wishing beforehand, simply, brushing his teeth, getting dressed, making good, and eating it. The woman, the lovely woman he had smiled for, grinned for, made pancakes for was gone, lost of the ages, dead and buried, to exist no more. And there was nothing he could do about it. It was done. It echoed out through the years, this simple thought, as it always had done, and would do.
It was done. He would make pancakes, and that was that.
And that was that.
It always was.
It always was.