Disclaimer: I sent Voice on a week-long mission to see if there was a way to avoid informing you that CSI Miami and all of the characters belonged to important people at CBS rather than me. She came back reporting that said important people such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Anthony Zuiker do, in fact, need to be mentioned, as they have teams of attack lawyers at their beck and call.

Notes: Here I've probably wasted what could be expanded into significant oneshots, but I choose to keep them in drabble form. Muse says not to come crying to her next time my cache of story ideas is empty.

Notes 2: I dove off the deep end a few times. I don't know what half my sentences mean. Enjoy!

Fable and Fantasy

Atlas

She hasn't seen his smile in a while.

Oh, the corners of his mouth turn up, sometimes there's even a flash of teeth, but it never quite reaches his eyes. Gone is any sight of the slow relaxation, the affectionate turning up of the lips and eyes crinkling with pleasure. It's his nature to be stoic and silent; there was never a time when he wasn't serious. This is a different kind of silence.

For a man who has always, always taken on everything harder than anyone else, felt each case personally, the violent death of a colleague was the blow that cracked a resolve stretched to capacity, and the private cemetery he carries within has begun to bleed through.

Yelina thinks anyone else would have broken long before now under its weight. Instead he carries on with the burden, day after month after year, unceasing and unwavering. But somehow, every time she looks at him there is a little more torn away.

Atlas supported the world, but who kept Atlas from sinking?

Masters of Doublespeak

They are the masters of doublespeak; they communicate in metaphors when discussion becomes personal and words are never what they mean. Metaphor keeps the world hypothetical, and they pretend it keeps them from hurting. Metaphorically speaking, family is a tricky world divided by lines into blood and marriage, lines that never cross but blur and so cannot be walked. You're the knight and she's the damsel but the dragon is already slain.

The Dream

It's the curls cascading halfway down her back. It's the voice and its rounded edge that catches the ear across a crowded room. Skin that warms on contact, bodies that melt and minds that meld. A dance that ends in a smile and then laughter that breaks her into fragments of memory.

Another damn dream. He is furious with himself for being unable to stop them, and though not usually a man to curse, maybe condemnation will give them pause.

In four hours he'll have to walk into work and deal with her in person; she'll perceive his distractionand he'll lie to her again. He's really gotten quite good at the false pleasantries that slide from his tongue like water droplets; one more won't hurt anyone but himself.

All he ever wanted was for her to be happy, so he told himself.

It's becoming increasingly apparent that he wants her to be happy with him. But she's not and they're nothing, and he has no one but himself to blame for that. It's not as if she hasn't made advances; he just always draws back out of…respect for a ghost? The simplest answer is most convenient, for half-truths are easy to tell.

Fear is the underlying motivation: she is all he ever wanted and most feared to lose.

That which we do not possess cannot be taken.

Spoken by someone who never watched a setting sun disappear in the grip of night.