Title: Oh Dolly Treasure
Spoilers: Vague ones, up through beginning Season 8
This story was written for the Geekfiction Elemental Ficathon, with the prompt Water - Sandalwood
Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to CSI. Please do not repost this story anywhere without my permission.
Place me on your devout shelf, oh true one - guarded treasure, I shall stand.
San Francisco, day one, I lapped up all of the knowledge that seeped from your pores on that hot afternoon. Your leaving at seminar's end did not serve to quench my thoughts; rather, my thirst drove me to Vegas, to you.
Like the starving sandalwood, you served me glances and lines - enough to keep my palate watered but never truly fed. Your goal? For me to come back, keep coming back, to Vegas, you, and death.
I grew close, but never close enough to shoot into your shell - too tight a fit for two. I was left to twine around it, pulling you close, ever closer, but never getting through.
In your life there's only room for you.
Living with you was always a chore - one step forward, two steps back - as I grew, you'd retract. I became your prized specimen, oh dolly treasure, high upon your gleaming shelf. I broke my branches, sold my pieces, but could not submit myself.
You escaped to a seminar, sure to find your next recruit. Spouting forensics and entomology brought you closer to the youth, while my ensnarled thoughts untangled, hedging further, further away from your enchanting blues.
It is safe to say I found the truth.
Deprived of your dripping words and on my own for sustenance, I turned back to myself and found my greatest nourishment. I have roots that can ground me, and a trunk with which I stand. My stunted branches will re-grow, gathering knowledge where they can.
I came back, and so did you - you were glad to see me there. So glad, you found my underwear and I was soon bared to the warm evening breeze. But you could not bare yourself to me.
You, sir, live in solitary.
As a child, I'd cup my ears to drown out the blatant fact that my mother and father, who once loved each other, had resorted to blows and spats. Will you be him? Will I be her - a once loved, but no longer, a once strong, but never stronger?
Will I lay in your bolstered bed, visions of kitchen knives dancing in my head, only to wake to find you undead? My heart has bled and bled and so it bleeds in its quest to find release from your years I may have squandered.
Again, there are too many risks to ponder.
I am scared I'll be reduced to timber, just the parts of my former self. Their sum would not add up - I am not balanced on your shelf. Dainty dolls have but to slip and fall, living in eternal hell.
If only my falling would break me through your shell - my shattered life could keep your hermit seed in good company. But daydreamers and schemers have one thing in common: they cannot face the reality that their lives aren't those of damsels, dukes, and queens.
Rather, life is only what is gleaned.
Part my branches, peer through my mind - I've thought about the times you escaped Vegas, me, and death. Duplicitously, uprooting seemed such an easy way to re-conquer what I'd left.
So I did what you did - saving myself, I stepped back. Back to the time we met when I was less fragile and my dignity still intact. I fled to the water, where I could always be satiated but never quenched.
Satisfied, but solely alive.
I swim in thoughts of Arthropoda, Shakespeare, and the setting sun casting rays across your back. Gaining the foresight that I lacked clearly allows me to see that what is will be, naturally - I've retained your smirking wit and sly lack of tact.
Wading through my memories, lost in those I've recently found, I wonder if you look back - look back and think of me now. I think deeper, deeper, to the sweeter moments between us two and break the surface, gasping for air, before I get lost and drown.
Funny how Vegas could mean so little to me then, but so much to me now.
Following brief moments of exhilaration after we'd been halved, I spawned true respect for the many things we'd had. We had your shelf - you had my love, like nobody else does.
Little could replace what I had in Vegas - I had friends, I had ties, I had connections - but none of them could tie me down. Only you, and you're so far away now.
Six hundred miles and a no way ticket back to town.
Living with recovering has been a chore, discovering what's left underneath my peeling bark. Leaving Vegas wasn't as painful - and, after all, leaving does not pang me anymore.
I think of all the daylight I shied away from, harming myself, shriveling between dawn and dusk only to bloom again at nightfall. What a backward life I led - lead. Moving backward brought me to stasis.
One step backward, one step forward keeps me in San Francisco.
You - keep you in Vegas. You can't be you and love me, so I'll love me. You cannot change for me. You be you and you'll be fine - just like you've always been.
Me? I'll be. My roots pull me toward the water, but my love for you pulls me back. To keep my thriving sweet branches growing, I'll need to stay apart from you, loving me at last. I now appreciate Vegas, but I will not be back.
Alas, my shelves have grown bare and dusty, my house a bit too grand. I'm trapped - lay me down to sleep a broken, quiet man.