Disclaimer: If I owned any part of CSI Miami, I would tell them that superhero or not, Horatio should occasionally wear something other than the black coat/blue striped shirt combination.

Prompt: Maxine Valera/Horatio Caine/unprofessional

Notes: First time this pairing was suggested, I ran screaming from the room (because I'm hypocritical like that when it comes to relationships and age differences). But when I went to play with Ragna's version of the Almost Totally Random Pairing Generator again…well. Out came a baby bunny.

Hard Not to Love a Hero

Your thoughts are unprofessional again.

You're supposed to be running a DNA sample dropped off by Lt. Caine, but your eyes are focusing on a thought instead of the image in the microscope, wishing you knew what troubled those blue eyes and drew them downward. As if knowing the cause would give your tangled tongue the ability to tell him something beyond the results of chromosome comparisons.

You don't know why a man twenty years your senior makes you blush with every compliment, especially when there's Ryan, who looks just like the guys you've fallen for your entire life – brunette, skinny, boyish charm. But when you look at him, all you see is a cute face.

You look at your boss (your boss!) and your ears go red, even when you know there's no sense thinking about it because any optic nerve in the building can see where his heart lies every time he looks at Yelina.

(Maybe that's why you feel safe letting yourself have this fantasy - for there's no denying fantasy is what it is - knowing that nothing will ever come of your schoolgirl crush.)

But it's hard not to love a hero, even if you never see him in action. It's hard not to overhear him promise closure as if swearing his honor by it, and get caught up in the breathless swirl of his steely determination to protect the more vulnerable.

And it's hard not to let your heart go out to him when you catch him alone in the corridor, so lost in his thoughts that he wouldn't have noticed if you walked right past him – though you never do, for fear of disturbing that curtain of private sorrow. (if only there were way it wouldn't be a disturbance…)

But your job depends on an ability to be focused, precise, analytical, detached.

So while you work on this lapse in professionalism, you hide the thoughts behind a cheerful smile and tell yourself that heroes are only legend, and everyone loves a legend because it's more than real life can ever offer.