Title: Plant the Garden
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 20 June 2016
Fandom: CSI / The Division / Light, Water, Muses
Pairing: Dace/Catherine/Sara
Rating: G
Word Count: 631
Summary: This takes place late in Rainbows, after the games in the playroom upstairs in the Fraiser-Farazell household. I had always intended that this outing was where Michael begins Dace's arm tattoo, but had never put words to it.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD16

Disclaimer: Authorís Disclaimer: "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions. "The Division," the characters, and situations depicted are the property of Lifetime Television, Kedzie Productions, Viacom Productions, and Paramount. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes. Previously unrecognized characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," "The Division," CBS, Lifetime, or any representatives of the actors.

The character of Michael belongs to ShatterStorm Productions and is the creation of A. Magiluna Stormwriter and Shatterpath. She also belongs in the Light, Water, Muses universe, though this is a standalone within the whole of that universe.

Note: Dace's tattoo as it looks, complete, sometime later: http://shatterpath.deviantart.com/art/Dace-reboot-616653673

Beta: ariestess

"You're sure about this? I mean, it's a beautiful piece, but an intense one to be sure."

"It's just pain, Fen."

The answer is flippant, but I know what she's really asking. This is a far different sort of pain, a long, drawn out intensity of experience that I have certainly felt before, but never at this level. Ink has been methodically stabbed into the stable, deep layers of my skin, memories tingling over back, chest, even the old mark on my ankle, but they are sparse compared to this piece. Not to mention that we'll both be still for a very long time.

At least the earlier games with my pals and our new conquests have me relaxed and mellow.

Fen echoes my dirty smile with a chuckle as she digs through what looks to be an ordinary toiletries bag.

"You must have caught some shit from security with that," I have to tease as she sets out sterile bags continuing the tiny brush-like bundles of needles soldered to the rods that plug into the electromagnetic gun.

"Luckily, I had my staff track down a fellow artist over in Colorado Springs that would rent me her rig for the night. So all I had to do was let them fuss over the needles and ink."

Said inkpots were in a cozy little case for safekeeping, stains around their caps indicating the variety of colors. They were the seeds of my garden and the needles would plant them.

It had come to me unexpectedly while whiling away the time in staring at my nearly ruined arm; the hale flesh in contrast to the angry scars. Slowly the muscles were growing stronger, but they pulled and ached against the rebuilt bone, the taut scar tissue and tendons stiff with disuse. But the skin? That she could play with.

Humming to herself, Michael dragged out the printout of the sketches they had been trading back and forth and an honest-to-Abe baby blue Sharpie. With the scale drawing resting on the table, Michael tugs on my arm to bring it close, stretching the stiff tissues, the pink scars livid under her bright work light.

"You're certain you want me to freehand this?"

"No question. This isn't about a rigid image, but the organic look of a garden. Perfection is definitely not what I'm after."

As though my mentioning perfection conjured them, Catherine and Sara appear in the doorway to be greeted with smiles.

"Can we join you?"

"Sure," Michael chuckled. "Just no distracting the lioness. At least not enough to move this arm. Give me head's up first if you need to."

To no one's surprise, Catherine imperiously curls her small self into my lap to snuggle in while Sara pulls up another chair to snuggle in as best she can. The sexual roughhousing from earlier has them relaxed and open, that calm soothing down my small stresses. I ignore the wet tickle of the small tip of the Sharpie marker and nuzzle my lovelies. Sara is clearly still a little high on endorphins and giggles, both of us leaving off when Michael smacks my upper arm.

"I will not tolerate you looking like a circus freak, Leonacouer," Michael growls. "Stop moving."

"Yes ma'am."

But Sara and I giggle anyway.

The tracery of pale blue lines barely show when Michael leans away from her work. "So, we'll get the black down today and maybe a spot of color as a preview of the complete piece to be finished later. Sound good?"

Curled up with my loved ones and braced for a pain that I can control, I take a deep breath and center myself.

"Sounds perfect."

And with a dip of black and the dental-drill buzz of the tattoo gun, the seeds are sown.