Disclaimer: CSI and its characters are the property of CBS and Alliance/Atlantis Networks. I'm writing this story for entertainment purpose only. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's note: I wrote this story a long time ago, but wasn't sure if it was good enough. Missy and Geena convinced me to post it, so if you like it, you can thank them! A huge thank you from me as well to the both of them and to Anya for her help! You guys are the best!

English is not my native/first language. If you find an annoying writing error in this story, please email me (instead of mentioning it in a review) and I will correct it immediately. Thanks!

By My Side

By Karin

Will you let me help you get to sleep?

Chase away your nightmares

Silence your muffled cries with my lips

And ease your trembling body

Although it's noon and the sun is shining brightly, it's dark in the bedroom. The heavy curtains are closed to make it easier to sleep. But when I open my eyes, they immediately become accustomed to the dark. I can make out the closet, the chair standing next to the bed, the modern painting on the wall, and especially the person lying next to me.

I turn to my side and look at you. You are still sleeping. You always are when I wake up. Although you once told me you never sleep, I found out otherwise. Or maybe it's only the case when I'm lying beside you. Maybe you somehow sense that someone is with you, which helps you to sleep better.

Your chest slowly rises and falls. Your lips are slightly parted. I feel the urge to kiss them, but I don't want to wake you. You need your rest. We just worked a double, trying to find the murderer of a woman who'd been tortured, raped and strangled, then dumped in a container. Afterwards, your face was pale, your eyes dull. It took its toll on all of us, but I saw that the case particularly affected you. Just like the Pamela Adler and Kay Shelton cases did. I don't know why – you won't tell me – so there's nothing else I can do other than be there for you.

We are so much the same

Strangers to ourselves and others

Secrets are hidden deep within us

Demons we cannot set free

I trail small figures on the back of your hand, feeling the soft hairs. They react to my touch, standing on end as if there's something terrifying you in your sleep. I wonder if it's the same thing that troubles you when you're awake.

You softly murmur something. I don't even try to catch the words anymore. It's always the same. 'Don't, don't.' You keep saying it over and over again, making convulsive moves in your sleep. Sometimes even tears escape your closed eyes. They cling to your long eyelashes or slowly run down your cheeks, waiting for me to wipe them away.

We don't talk about it. Your cries scare me and sometimes I have to use all of my strength to hold you down, but still we don't talk. It's as if we're both afraid of what the truth would do to you, to me…to our relationship.

Let me hold your hand in mine

Offer you my strength

Tell you it's going to be all right

That I will never leave you

All of a sudden I realize that I'm not the only one awake anymore. Your brown eyes are wide open and focused on my face. They are intense, as if you're imprinting every facet into your memory.

"What's the time?" You still sound a little sleepy.

"Almost time to get up."

You snuggle deeper in my arms and I tighten them around you. I wish I never had to let you go, that we could relive this moment forever.

"I love you," I say softly and place a tender kiss on your lips. Three words that mean so much…I never thought I'd say them again, until I met you.

You shoot me one of your most beautiful smiles. "I love you too."

I brush a strand of hair out of your face. Your skin is pleasantly warm. You look so peaceful now, so much in contrast to moments before. I know that one day we will have to talk about it. I just hope that when that day comes, we will be ready.

Will you help me get to sleep?

Chase away mý nightmares

Because I don't know how to sleep anymore

Without you lying in my arms

I hope you liked my fanfic. Please let me know what you think of it. Thank you!

- Karin -