Title: All We Really Are
Fandom: CSI
Rating: PG
Summary: During the season five episode "Down the Drain", Greggo reflects on bones, remains, and Dylan Thomas. 500-word fic. Dedicated to Mel, who introduced me to the power, majesty and shininess that is CSI.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. CBS and the series creators own all. Dylan Thomas owns himself. I am but a lowly Textual Poacher.

Greg holds the waterstained bone in his hands and thinks about the weight of it. The average body's weight is 14% bone, the average bone's weight is up to 75% water -- and this bone is a child's, dried out; it weighs almost nothing. Greg knows the statistics, the science of the object resting in his gloved palms. What he thinks about now, it seems for the first time, is the weight of the thing. The lack of weight of it, rather. All we really are.

He could've taken Human Anatomy in college; it was an option, not a degree requirement, but he could've gotten in. At the time he shrugged it off, told his friends it was too much extra coursework. Now he wonders if he had a different reason, if subconsciously he knew there were things in that room he didn't want to face.

Greg wasn't lying when he said he didn't feel sick. He's never been the type to feel sick, to turn away disgusted at the weird or disconcerting. He's been the type to lean in closer for a better look, eyes widened in "ain't-it-cool-mode", looking for a convenient stick to poke around with. No, he didn't feel sick in the autopsy room.

What he felt in the autopsy room was hollow, disconnected. Weightless. Like everything solid about him had been dissolved away, leaving only the bones. Like if he touched or tried to touch the body on the metal table his hand would go right through it. Come on, don't be shy. Take a good look. In the end it's all we really are.

Greg wishes he could quantify why that bothers him so much.

Instead of Anatomy Greg took Brit Lit II, a skate course to boost his GPA, and as a byproduct he learned a lot of poetry he has since used to pick up girls. There is one he's never used for that purpose, though, one that comes to him now as he runs finely powdered fragments of someone's skull through the DNA extractor. Dylan Thomas, a difficult poet; that padding-the-GPA idea derailed by a quiz which Greg failed by writing Sounds like he had a good trip in response to "Fern Hill". Nonetheless Greg remembers one of Dylan's poems, part of one, and it bounces in his brain alongside Doc Robbin's words as a contradiction and counterpoint.

And death shall have no dominion.
Come on,
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
don't be shy.
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Take a good look.
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
In the end,
Though lovers be lost, love shall not;
it's all we really are . . .
And death shall have no dominion.
All we really are.

Greg isn't sure which of them to believe.