A/N – Okay, I'm into trying new things right now. I'm trying a narrative. Please let me know what you think. Please review.
Disclaimer: If you feel you must sue me for innocently borrowing the characters, please keep in mind that my young children have more money than me. I'm pretty sure my ten year old has a twenty hidden someplace.
He'd met her at a conference. Sitting in the front row, he couldn't help but continually glance at those brown eyes. Later, when the lecture was over, he'd asked brown eyes to stay after. She'd had so many questions, and he wanted to hear her talk some more in that playful husky voice. She told him his lecture had been her reward to herself for her quick promotion to CSI Level Two out of the San Francisco office.
At a distance, they spoke frequently. They'd exchanged email addresses, and he would often walk into his office to find an article relating to an interesting case. Her specialty being physics, elements, and materials, more often than not, they would relate to those areas. Often, a comment accompanied the missives, and he would reciprocate in kind. If he happened to think of how he wanted to stroke his hand through the hair held up in that ponytail, it was his business – his fantasy. He wasn't breaking any rules.
As the months passed into a year, he found himself opening her emails, and visualizing more – her smile, that look in her eyes. The long emails back and forth became more personal. She talked about the frustrations in the lab and with some of the detectives, and she talked about movies she'd seen, more often than not alone. He talked about his experiments, asked her opinions, and told her about riding roller coasters.
By the second year, the emails became more intimate. At times, she would just write out what was on her mind. Sometimes they'd be rambling, sometimes they'd show her cynicism, and sometimes he could almost hear her day dreaming. Always, they showed how her mind worked, and he could hear her husky voice. Somewhere in this semi-anonymous relationship, he began to trust her in a way he didn't trust anyone else. When he needed help after Holly died, she was foremost in his mind.
In private, he always thought of her as brown eyes. Alone in the dark, he began to dream of her as his. He hadn't meant to ask her to stay, but had been compelled. He'd needed someone, and in reality any CSI would have worked. He'd wanted her though, and knew nothing could come of it. He always played by the rules – used them to guide him.
They played by the rules, and both ached from it. He'd never really broken rules, although had no problem bending them just a little. For years, he found an excuse to touch, but not touch. He'd been compelled occasionally to just feel something of her. Finally, he couldn't handle being around her without wanting her too much, so he made sure he wasn't alone with her. When he looked, he could see the pain he caused, but there were rules.
When he saw himself in Lurie's eyes, he nearly snapped. The knowledge made him always cold, and infinitely lonely. She watched without his knowledge, and didn't know whether to feel anguish or anger. In the end, she felt both. For a time, she couldn't figure out how to give a smile to anyone that didn't just hurt. He couldn't look her in the eyes without seeing himself in Lurie.
His team was broken up, but he had her. He didn't know if it was delight or torture to have her so close, but not be able to touch. For the first time, he wished there were no rules.
It was when she broke down that he finally came back to her as her friend. He sat with her and held her hand, while she revealed her deepest fears and secrets. As she wept, he shifted them to the couch and held. For just that moment, he held her head to him, and ran his fingers through that hair, and waited. When the weeping turned to hiccups, she raised her face, and he saw through the tears the friend he'd forgotten. For a moment, he wanted to lower his head and claim her. No one had ever made him feel this way before – they'd just been diversions. He saw himself there, and drew back. After all, there were rules.
Then when Adam Trent had put the sharpened piece of pottery to her throat, his heart had stopped. His mind numbed, and he could see the stark terror in her eyes. All he could do was beg someone to open the door, and watch. His eyes never left hers, and he continued to plead and demand. When the door opened, and she was away from the inmate, she stalked down the hall, regaining her control. His chest burned as he dazedly made his way to her. She wanted to finish the case. It was her words and those determined brown eyes that told him. It was the fear in him that wanted to gather her close, whisper every dream and fantasy into her ear, and take her away from everything. He couldn't, because there were rules.
The next day, he decided to bend a rule – just talk and listen. He woke needing to see her again and verify she was truly okay. So he showed up at her door and asked her to go to coffee. It was awkward at first, as they talked about nothing. Then he told her about riding a roller coaster, and she talked about an old Cary Grant movie, and they smiled at one another. He decided he could do this, because they were once friends, and there was nothing in the handbook about being friends with a co-worker. If he went home at night and dreamed of the softness of her skin or the feel her breath on him, it was his business alone.
When their friend was buried alive, there was an edgy panic in him. Their friend may not have been on their team anymore, but this was one of the guys. Anger overwhelmed it all, and she could see it in his eyes. When she held him that night, she felt that raw anger swamp over them both. He left without a word, and she let him go.
He came back hours later. Trembling, he stood before her, asking if she wanted to break a rule. Her smile told him yes, and her lips confirmed it. For the first time, he didn't have a rulebook telling him what to do. He'd never felt so free or confused. Everything became new as hands and hearts wandered.
They built their own rule. Never around others. The rule in the handbook would be broken for them alone and in private where their thoughts and dreams collided, sometimes wildly thundering and sometimes silently quaking. When a friend was shot, it was these times that saw them through.
He didn't know when the rule became a curse. Sometimes at work, he would see the fatigue in her and have to fight the urge to wrap his arms around her. More than once, she saw the shadows in his, could see the headache behind the blue eyes, and wanted only to rub her hand across his neck and hear the groan of relief. The night one of their guys was beaten, he held her as she wept in the privacy of their home, and he made her feel alive.
When he left her for that month, it took him the drive to the airport to miss her and need her, but he left anyway. He'd broken the rule at work and lately he'd felt terrified of it, because something in him was shifting. He felt terrified of her, but couldn't say anything. How do you talk to someone about a problem, when the only person you want to talk to is the problem? How do you tell your best friend it's not just an obsession anymore… but you're in love with her? He knew when he saw her upon his return, covered in dumpster remnants, clutching the evidence bag, that his trepidation was gone.
He found himself touching her more, wanting to just feel her. She noticed he tried to find ways to stroke her arm or her hand, and cherished every caress. When she'd held the monster's hand, just after holding that young girl's, the tears had come. He broke their personal rule yet once more, and used his hand to wipe away her tears. Their personal rule – never at work – became a burden. He'd held her through the night, and worried as she gave up part of herself to the innocent.
She found the letter he'd written. He knew this when she walked into his study, sat on his lap with that grin, and told him and showed him she felt the same. Without hesitation, they melded together, and knew they were bound.
He called her cell phone, dread in every cell. The model of the car had the thick edge of panic rising in his throat. He hadn't meant to say it out loud and in front of everyone, but he couldn't stop the tidal wave. His mind focused solely on her, he moved and analyzed, with a constant noise in his head. When he saw the storms, dread filled him, and he watched the model die. Standing in the desert, he felt a fear he didn't know possible. And when they found her, he held onto her limp hand, forcing his to be firm.
During the stay in the hospital, he couldn't take his eyes off her. Returning home, he trembled as they explored and found each other again.
He stuttered and stumbled before asking her about a lifetime together, and grinned when she said yes, and her eyes misted.
He saw it coming. Those brown eyes began to dim. When she kissed him in the hallway, he could feel waves of pain radiating from her, and felt powerless. He didn't move or breathe for some time, because he couldn't figure out what to do. When she left, he worked, because the throbbing ache became too fierce. As people moved about him, watching and worrying over him, he hurt for her. They didn't seem to understand the two of them. No one would leave it alone. Every piece and part of his soul moved forward, because of one thing.
Together, they'd done something remarkable. They'd finally found the only true rule – the only one that mattered. They were one and the same. Where one stopped, the other started. And soon, when she returned to him, they would be whole again. Of this, he was sure.
It was the rule that could never be broken.
A/N – Please, please review. Just hit the little button. Please? I beg pretty well, don't I? Pretty please with a cherry on top?