Title: Neverending
Fandom: CSI: Miami
Characters: Calleigh Duquesne/Eric Delko
Prompt: 044. Circle
Word Count: 721
Rating: Light R
Summary: There's nowhere to go from where they are that doesn't change everything.
Author's Notes: Written for fanfic100 on LiveJournal.

Calleigh traces broad, flat circles on his chest, her palm flat against his torso. She feels his heart beating under her touch, and she wonders why it has to be so complicated between them. The circle, she knows, won't be broken, not until she moves her hand away. There's no end to a circle, and there's no beginning either, just a line going around and around.

It's like her and Eric, she thinks, no beginning, no end, just them. And yet, it's not, because people aren't circles, but she finds herself irrevocably drawn back to him time and time again.

She can't shake free of him. She doesn't want to. She wants this, the simple quiet moments where it's just the two of them sharing in each other's company. They've circled around each other enough times to know that there's nowhere to go from where they are that doesn't change everything.

She feels his hand massaging her back, in circles to match her own, and she lets out a low groan, and says, "that feels so good, Eric."

He laughs under his breath and replies, "that's the point," as he continues, and she sinks into his touch.

They could remain like this forever, cocooned away from the world - she daydreams about tropical islands and hammocks built for two, but until she gets her way, this bedroom will suffice - except they can't, and they have to face reality in the harsh, menacing light of day.

The reality is that nothing is ever as easy as either of them wants it to be.

She slides her hand up to cup the side of his face. "How long do we have?" she whispers.

"As long as you want," he says, abruptly stopping his movements and holding her close, squeezing her in his grasp, almost as though she's some valuable treasure that he's afraid to lose. "I'm in no hurry."

"I'm not, either," she says, and she believes the words she's saying, and she chokes back on the words that are bursting on the tip of her tongue - "I love you and I want to stay here forever and let's make this work between us this time because damn it, Eric, I don't want to lose what we have" - because it's not the right time.

She loves the curl of his lip when he smiles, and he's grinning and she's matching his grin as they lean up and kiss again - she can't get past how he always knows how she wants to be kissed or touched or held, and she chalks it up to how well they know each other, inside and out, and it almost scares her a little. But it's Eric, and she trusts him, trusts him more than she thought she ever would, and any fear she has evaporates into the night.

She scrapes a finger along his waistline, dragging her fingernail into his skin, and she hears him suck in his breath sharply. She knows where this is headed; they've been down this road before and will go down it again and again.

"You sure?" he asks, and she can feel his eyes looking intently at her, and she nods her assent, and he flips her over onto her back as he enters her, all in one sure, practiced movement. It would be so easy, she thinks as she moves her hips in sync with him, if they could boil it all down to these simple movements - if it could just be physical, without their hearts entangling things. But then, her mind corrects, it wouldn't mean as much.

And it does mean so much to her, it really does. She misses it when they're not together, and she relishes it when they are, and it's the caught-in-between that makes it all worthwhile.

Once it's all over and they've retreated back to their starting position, she traces a heart on his chest instead of the circle - a heart, unlike a circle, can be broken, but she's decided she's willing to take that risk, and she whispers, "so, what do you think about Fiji this time of year?"

"I think," he says, pulling her closely to him as he shuts his eyes, "that sounds like a fabulous idea."

Reality can wait just a little bit longer.