Disclaimer: Despite the fact that I share the same first name as my favorite CSI, it do not own any of the rights to her, or anything else in the CSI franchise.

Archive: Sure, just let me know where.

Spoilers: Takes place just before Early Rollout, slight spoiler for Butterflied.

A/N: My first attempt at drabble. Each section exactly 100 words. This popped into my head after my second glass of wine last night, and begged me to write it.

Six Pack of Beer

The first bottle is simple. A drink to unwind at the end of the day. A sedative to make sleep come a little easier. Some people might think it's weird. Beer with breakfast. But when you work the night shift it becomes normal. Many things become normal, when you are a CSI, that most people would find strange, disgusting, or disturbing. Rotted corpses, murders, abused children. One beer does not make her forget these things, but it does take away the sharp edge of the memories, muffle the cries that wake her up at night. Sometimes one beer is enough.

There are mornings when she reaches for a second beer after the first one is gone. Those were the days that work follows her home like an unwanted guest, clinging to her and refusing to be ignored. Mornings when the specters of Kay Shelton, Brenda Collins, or Pam Adler, among others, join her in her empty apartment, their cries echoing in the silence. She drinks the second beer in an attempt to drown them out. They will still be there, waiting for her in the morning, but for now she might be able to catch a few hours of sleep.

The third beer is her favorite. It provides a comfortable buzz, that perfect I-don't-give-a-shit feeling that removes her from reality just enough to think that life really is okay. Life is easier to laugh at after her third beer. She sits on her couch, eyes half way closed and a soft smile on her face. If she closes her eyes the rest of the way she can pretend that she is floating. Lifted up above everything she drifts in a fog of unreality. The right side of her brain knows that this feeling will fade, but for tonight it's enough.

Still high off the buzz of the third beer, she sometimes travels to the fridge and retrieves one more. After all, if three beers makes her float, shouldn't a forth let her fly? The physics major in her argues with that logic, but she drowns the sound out with a swallow of pale yellow liquid. Instead of furthering her buzz, it does the opposite. She grows maudlin, lamenting the fact that there are few pictures in her apartment, a natural occurrence since there are few people in her life. What does she have, besides work and an empty apartment? Nothing.

Rarely has she ever made it as far as a fifth beer. She doesn't like the way she fells the next day, physically or mentally. Only twice, excluding that year in college when she experimented with the part scene. The last time was with Catherine, who took her out for drinks after her discovery that Hank, the bastard, had been using her to cheat on his girlfriend. She had been angry, hurt, and shocked then, and hadn't even noticed when the forth bottle gave way to the fifth one. Hadn't cared. That had been more then a year ago now.

She stares at the bottle in her hand. The brown glass is smooth against her fingers. Number six. The empty paper holder sits on the table before her. Words echoed in her head, as she reaches for the bottle opener. Someone young and beautiful... I couldn't do it. Silently she toasts the absent voice. This one is for you. She drains the last beer in one long continuos drink. Without any thought the empty bottle leaves her hand and shatters against the wall. Drops of beer and shards of glass fall to the floor, a perfect analogy for her existence.