Author’s Note: This was the second Ariel story I wrote, although chronologically it takes place after “A Trick of the Light.” It was inspired by the resemblance between Ariel–who I had yet to find a “face” for, so no one knew what she looked like but me–and the character Cassie Welles in the episode, “Dead Certain.” Now, Cassie was one of those female characters that fandom as a whole took an instant dislike to, but while in this instance I could see where it came from, I never hated her with quite the same intensity. It didn’t stop me, however, once I saw her for the first time, from having a little fun with the fact that she looked remarkably like my OC…
Betaed as ever by the wonderful Nancy Taylor.
“You really like her?” Jim asked as soon as the elevator doors closed. His voice was slightly incredulous, and his posture was still tense from the unpleasant run-in with the new head of forensics in Simon’s office.
Blair nodded. “Yeah, I do. Okay, she comes on a little strong, but…” he shrugged.
Comes on a little strong–there’s the understatement of the century. The detective shook his head in wonder. “Can I ask you something, Chief?”
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with Cassie’s resemblance to Ariel, would it?” He quirked an eyebrow at the younger man.
Sandburg blinked. “Huh? I’m not following you, man.”
“You have to admit, they do look alike.”
“No, I don’t,” the anthropologist frowned. The patch of skin between his eyebrows furrowed. “Cassie doesn’t look a thing like Ariel. Where’d you get that idea?”
Ellison smiled. “Oh, I don’t know. The curly red hair, the green eyes, the shape of the face…”
“First of all, Ariel’s hair is a bit longer, and a lot redder. And her eyes are not green; they’re blue-green, with that little gold corona around the pupil that makes them look like there’s a solar eclipse going on in there. I can’t believe you’ve never noticed that.”
“Probably because I’ve never stared deeply into her eyes,” Jim murmured, smirking.
Blair glared at his partner. “We were acting, man. Sheesh. Don’t you ever forget anything?”
The detective chuckled. “I still think there’s a definite resemblance, but suit yourself, Chief.”
The anthropologist sighed. “All right. Maybe there is a certain similarity–”
“Uh huh.” The elevator doors dinged open, and Jim stepped out into the lobby. Blair followed, his naturally faster pace allowing him to keep up easily with his friend’s longer stride.
“But even if there is, why would that influence me liking or disliking Cassie? Geez, Jim, you sound like you think I have a thing for Ariel.”
Jim just grinned. “You said it, Chief, not me.”
Sandburg rolled his eyes. “So, if you think I like Cassie because she looks like Ariel, what does that say about you, man? I mean, should I be warning Ariel to stay away from you for a while…?”