blue flamingos

On The Ice

Fandom: CSI:New York

Category/Rated: Slash, PG

Year/Length: 2006/ ~1245 words

Pairing: Aiden/Stella

Disclaimer: No, I don't own them, for which I should think they're profoundly grateful.

Summary: 'I feel like Bambi' Aiden said.

Author's Notes: Written for the [info]femslash_today Poetry in Motion challenge.

Feedback: Yes please. Even if it's bad. Especially if it's bad.

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'Ah!' Aiden felt her feet start to slide beneath her and flung her hand out, reaching for something to catch hold of. 'Help!'

'Whoa, hey.' Hands on her shoulders steadied her and she clutched at the other woman's arms. 'There. You all right?'

Aiden shuffled her feet a little. Her skates slid smoothly back and forth; she kept hold of Stella, feeling more balanced, but nodded.

Stella grinned, sliding her hands down Aiden's arms and rubbing gently. 'I can't believe you've never been ice skating before.'

'I've been before.' Catching Stella's raised eye brow, Aiden smiled. 'Just – I was 12 at the time.'

'And you fell over and broke your arm.' Stella laughed. 'Come on, hold my hand.'

Aiden tightened her grip on Stella a little more involuntarily. She could appreciate the grace of ice skating, but she could also remember how much it had hurt when she'd fallen 15 years ago.

Stella slid one hand down Aiden's arm to take her hand and squeeze it gently. Aiden looked up, meeting her eyes. 'I won't let you fall,' Stella assured her, her voice dropping low with sincerity.

'You say that now...' Aiden teased, but she released Stella's arm, standing almost firmly on her own two feet.

'Come on then.' Stella turned them carefully, till they were facing in the same direction as the rest of the skaters. The outdoor rink wasn't as busy as Aiden had expected, though it being Monday afternoon probably had something to do with that. Plenty of people to crash into even so, and Aiden squeezed Stella's hand a little tighter.

Stella grinned at her, glanced round for collision course skaters and pushed away gently with her left foot, leaving Aiden to either copy her or fall flat on her face.

Skating wasn't that bad, once she got into the rhythm of it, and with Stella to hold onto. They did a slow, smooth circuit of the rink, then another, a little faster. Gradually, Stella allowed them to move apart until they were an arm's length away from each other, though she never let go of Aiden's hand.

By the fourth circuit, they were going faster than most of the other skaters. Too fast for Aiden to dare look over at Stella, frightened of tangling her feet and falling, or crashing into a skater she hadn't seen. With their speed, the wind chased through her hair, sweeping it away from her face, cold swirling round her to find every tiny gap between the layers of clothes she's wrapped herself in. She could feel herself grinning madly, caught up in the exhilaration, the speed and childlike excitement, and the feel of Stella's hand in hers, anchoring her to a world she half thought she could fly off, science and gravity be damned.

'You having fun now?' Stella's voice drifted across, bright with laughter. Aiden nodded, not taking her eyes from the edge of the rink, spinning by too fast for her to make out.

She caught sight of the skate hire booth, a brief flash as they whipped by, and a small child just stepping onto the ice, holding tight to her big brother's hand. A couple of teenagers, one skating backwards, holding the other's hand. A group of young women, laughing as they clung to the edge and tottered round. An ice steward, skidding to a dramatic stop to help up a boy who'd fallen.

And always there on the edge of her vision, Stella, her curls tucked up in a dark red hat, her scarf a bright flash of blue as it trailed behind her.

For that one moment, it seemed like the best place in the world to be.

Then she felt it – the tiny hole in the ice, made by someone digging the tip of their skate blade into it once too often. Her own skate wobbled as she went over it, and suddenly they were going too fast.

She tried to pull herself closer to Stella, tried to catch her balance again, tried to slow down, all in the split second before gravity reasserted its control over her and then she was looking up at the world from the ice rink, her back against the wall she'd crashed into, her wrist already screaming with pain, seeing stars.

'Aiden!' Ice showered her as Stella came to a skidding stop before her. 'Aiden, you OK?'

She shook her head. The stars danced brighter for a moment, then faded away, leaving Stella's concerned face and, behind her, an ice steward, looking down at her with a mixture of concern and amusement. She must have made a pretty entertaining picture, she supposed, spinning across the ice on her butt before coming to a crashing halt. She thought of Bambi, and laughed.

'Aiden? Are you hurt?' Stella's hand was cold against her skin as she cupped Aiden's cheek for a moment, turning her face to meet Stella's eyes.

'I'm OK, no bones broken.' Aiden smiled. The pain in her wrist was beginning to fade. 'I feel like Bambi.'

'Bambi?' Stella asked. She ran her hand down Aiden's arm, then the other, checking for broken bones, Aiden supposed.

'Yeah, Bambi. Haven't you seen the film?'

'You're OK?' the steward asked. 'You can get up all right?'

Aiden nodded and he whipped away, flying across the ice. Stella's hands skated over the back of her head and Aiden leant into the contact. 'I'm fine,' she said again.

'You're sure?' Stella asked, her eyes still concerned. 'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have gone so fast.'

'Wasn't your fault.' Aiden shrugged. 'I think I've had enough ice for one day though.'

Stella grinned. 'Yeah, maybe. Come on.' She pulled Aiden to her feet and manoeuvred them carefully off the ice and to the benches at the side.

Stella had her own skates, but she took Aiden's skates from her. 'I'll take these back, you wait here.'

'Sure.' Aiden watched Stella make her way round the outside of the rink, smiling. She hadn't planned on spending her afternoon off on a puddle of frozen water, but Stella's enthusiasm as they'd watched the Olympic figure skating highlights she'd taped had been hard to resist. Aiden had always found it hard to resist Stella's enthusiasms, and it had only got harder since she'd left the crime lab and stopped seeing her every day. She was grateful Stella had dropped her initial campaign to keep her on as part of the team when it came to social events, because she knew she wouldn't have resisted much longer, and, though she was much happier in her new job, it didn't change the fact that she missed them, and regretted the way it had all ended.

'Hey, you look deep in thought.' Aiden blinked at Stella, whom she hadn't even seen coming back, and shook thoughts of regret from her head.

'No. Just thinking – I've got hot chocolate back at my place, and a warm bath for my war injuries.' She looked up at Stella and smiled, seeing Stella's matching smile blossom.

'You need someone to wash your back?' Stella asked.

'I thought you'd never offer.' Aiden let Stella pull her to her feet and hold her close for a moment, not a kiss, just sharing the air between them.

'Plus, you know, the speed skaters are on this evening. You can never have enough ice.'

Stella laughed and took her hand, and they walked out of Central Park together.


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