Title: And Reality Bites Back

Author: nailbunny617

Email: nailbunny617@yahoo.com

Fandom: CSI

Spoilers: Bloodlines

Rating: PG-13?

Pairing: None but fully of angsty femslashy feelings.

Disclaimers: I don’t own any of the characters or any part of the show. And this depicts some femslash fun, so if that’s not your thing then I suggest you leave now.

Author’s Notes: This is my first attempt at Cath/Sara goodness, but please don’t be put off by my lack of experience. It’s a touch dark, but then again it is CSI-based. Sorry for the stupid title, but I suck at picking them. Feedback please!!!!

In that moment, I could’ve been whoever I wanted to be. I could have told stories to strangers about my life, making it somehow different and fuller and more exciting. I could have talked about all the things I only wish I was – like cunning, caring, warm, funny, brilliant. I could do that, and after telling those tales, I could’ve taken what I wanted without asking. It would have been mine, it would have gone without saying, my night ending with a body writhing in time with mine.

I could have, but I didn’t. Instead I did what I always do; I sat there quietly at the bar and watched everyone else interact.

I’d see her, sometimes, when she wasn’t there. In a smile. In the flick of hair. In angry, flashing eyes and bitter smiles. I’d catch a glimpse and stare and eventually she’d disappear, she’d fade into the reality I’d escaped for a second.

The choice had always been mine, to talk or stay silent. I found company, solace, and understanding in the dead of night, with blue and red strobe lights flicking restlessly at the dark. The graveyard shift was invented for souls like me.

There was something that always struck me about books, about movies, about music. So much passion and feeling and honesty and just…so much. Everything. When I open a book, I become so immersed that I sometimes forget who I am. The pictures, the people, and the scenery I see in my mind are much more real the real world ever is.

Or was until I met her.

Suddenly a life where people had used words like genius, words like awkward, words like shy seemed discordant. Not enough. I used to take pride in my abilities, in my talents.

And my world started to look even more bleak. Running away between the crisp pages of a novel no longer seemed like quite the right thing to do. Allowing myself into another world, into another person was no longer enough.

She haunted me.

I ran away from myself for so long that I forgot who I was. I ran away from Tamales Bay. I ran away from San Francisco. I ran away from Hank. I sought comfort in places where I knew no one would think to find me. Gay bars. Places where no one cared who you were outside the doors as long as you were honest while inside them. I finally found my honesty, there in the pounding music. In a place saturated with hormones and beer, I figured out who I am.

It sounds so existential and angst-ridden and cliché, but it’s true. I always hated those poser artsy types, filling themselves with fake blackness and despair just to fit in and seem edgy and mysterious. I’d never needed to pose, my life had always contained more than its fair share of pain.

But I didn’t go there to think about that. About the past. I went to lose myself for a while and sometimes even think about the future. The future where I knew I was gay. Am gay. Whatever.

I had always sought a connection, a feeling, a state of mind with another person. I’d never found it. I was beginning to realize I’d looked for it in all the wrong places.

I stared hard into my beer, feeling the edges of my consciousness loosen and begin to float. I could never really lose control, not fully and truly, but I had to try. I thought maybe if I drank enough, that I’d find myself doing something irreparable. Something inside me was crying out for help, for someone to notice me. For her to notice.

Each case, each travesty had chipped away at my humanity. At my sense of self, however precarious it was. At my sanity, even. I didn’t know how to separate myself from the case, from the anger, from the indignation. I didn’t know if I wanted to. I didn’t know if I should.

Everyone always compared me to Grissom. A little part of me cringed every time I heard it whispered…saw the knowing glances when I’d say or do something particularly Grissom-like. He and I are not the most socially proficient souls on the face of the earth…hell, who am I kidding, I fucking suck with people. But that’s about as far as I’d go with that comparison. He approaches everything coldly, through science, weeding out any emotions. I couldn’t ever manage that. I couldn’t ever imagine wanting to.

So I guzzled another beer and tried to ignore the woman with the strawberry blonde hair whose laugh was all wrong. It wasn’t her. It would never be her. I closed my eyes and tried not to think about her smile.

I tried not to think about anything when I got into my car and drove, knowing I was way over the limit. I was a little past caring. When the cop pulled me over, I thought I’d gotten my wish. When Grissom suspended me, saying softly that he wouldn’t tell anyone what it was about, I knew I’d managed to save something I wasn’t sure I wanted to.

I woke up the next afternoon, hung over, staring out the window into the brightness as if the pain in my head would change everything. Make it better somehow.

A week later, and I still drink myself into oblivion. I don’t why I do it anymore. I’ve lied to myself for so long that I forgot the truth. I look at the bottle in my hands and sigh.

Sometimes I hate Catherine Willows.

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