Disclaimer: I don't own these characters and I'm not making any money from
this so please don't sue(
I don't mean for it to be this long, it just kinda turned out that way.
Please RR, any feedback is appreciated.
Speed walked purposefully down the corridor, so deep in thought that he
didn't notice Calleigh coming around a corner until he walked in to her and
knocked her down. Speed reached down automatically but Calleigh was struck
by the look on his face.
"What's up Speed?" she said breathlessly, her southern accent strong in the
"I just got a call from Delko. He was at crime scene with H, the perp came
back. H's been shot, they're on their way to the hospital now, Delko just
called to ask me to pick up a few things then I need to get to the
hospital, they're extracting the bullets so we can match them up, put this
guy away. Calleigh? Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm coming with you. No arguments, you might need a
She spoke in a steely tone, and Speed knew better than to argue with her.
They moved quickly toward the elevators and down to the parking lot.
Calleigh moved towards her car out of habit but Speed jumped in to his SUV
and started the engine, leaving her no choice but to get in beside him. As
they peeled out of the parking lot Calleigh seemed to suddenly wake up to
what Speed had said.
"Do you know what happened? How bad is the shooting?" Calleigh tried to
sound merely professionally interested but her stomach was churning at the
thought that Horatio could be dying even as they moved to his home.
"He was checking out a crime scene with Erik, a domestic shooting, husband
shot his wife four times with a shotgun, then left the scene in his car.
Cops were searching for him when he came back; apparently thought Horatio
was his wife's lover, judging from the things he was yelling. I guess it's
just cos H was in their bedroom, that's where the guy killed his wife. He
fired two shots before he was brought down by officers on the scene, one to
the abdomen, the other...Calleigh, the other hit his left chest. They're
planning to operate as soon as he arrives. That's all I know. I guess
Delko just needed to feel useful, getting a few things organised, but it's
an excuse to go up there."
They drove to an unfamiliar part of town, near the waterfront, and stopped
outside a tall apartment building. A plaque announced that a 'H. Caine'
lived on the top floor, so they rode the lift to the penthouse and stepped
out. Calleigh looked around; noting that the apartment looked like the
kind of place Horatio would live. It was divided in to distinct areas,
work and recreation, useful and Spartan versus beautiful and graceful. The
whole place had the same personality as Horatio, two-sided, with neither
side sure which one was truly in charge. Calleigh had never been to
Horatio's home before and she had to give herself a mental shake He's in
hospital, he might be dying. That thought alone was enough to kick start
her mental processes and she began to look around for things he might need.
The apartment was open plan, with a large living room and kitchen area.
On one side was a high work table and shelves full of books and papers
dedicated to the latest developments in forensic technology.
"So that's how he does it" she murmured to herself.
Then, stepping back in to the living area, Calleigh called for Speedle, who
had disappeared during her reverie. His voice answered her from the upper
level, up some free standing stairs into what was obviously Horatio's room,
and any other spare bedrooms. Calleigh went up to see where Speed had got
to, and found herself in Horatio's bedroom. Speed was getting some jogging
trousers out of a draw and consulting a list, so Calleigh took a look
around. She opened the French windows and stepped out on to a rooftop
veranda. The view simply took her breath away, she could see right to the
ocean. A worn chair was the only piece of furniture on the terrace,
indicating that Horatio had loved it too. Does love it. DOES. Don't you
dare start thinking about Horatio in the past tense.she reprimanded
With that Calleigh turned and re-entered the room, closing the doors behind
her. She suddenly caught sight of two photographs on a bedside table, one
of Horatio's brother Raymond, the other of his sister-in-law and nephew,
Raymond's wife and son. Calleigh suddenly felt like she was invading
Horatio's personal space. She hadn't been invited here, she felt like she
had forced her way in where she was not wanted. She felt like she had
violated the area he kept solely to himself, and had to get herself out of
there as soon as possible. She went downstairs and remained by the front
door until Speed had finished collecting clothes for H. It seemed like an
age, but when she looked at her watch Calleigh saw that only 15 minutes had
passed since they started out from the CSI building.
They left the building and headed straight to the hospital. The whole time
she had been eerily calm about her friend and mentor being shot, possibly
killed, but as they neared the hospital panic started to rise in her.
Calleigh forced herself to breathe regularly, not to show her fear, but
Speed wouldn't have noticed anyway. He was as worried as Calleigh about
Horatio. Despite being somewhat aloof, he had touched and influenced the
lives of those who worked with and for him. With all this and more still
whirling in her head Calleigh stepped through the ER doors and immediately
saw Erik in the waiting area.
"We brought the things you asked for. How is he?" out of the corner of
her eye she saw Speed come through the doors and vaguely waved to him, not
taking her eyes from Erik's, as if she could sense any attempt at
"He's not good. They won't tell me anything because I'm not family, Yelina
is on her way, we'll know more then" he said, resignedly.
Twenty minutes later Yelina arrived, breathless and shaken. She had
already lost one Caine brother; to lose a second would be catastrophic. A
nurse came and took Yelina away to a relatives room, but she quickly came
back to fill the others in on Horatio's condition.
"He's still in the OR, but they've got the bullet out of his chest. They
told me it missed his heart but punctured a lung, so it's still critical.
They haven't managed to get the second bullet out yet, but they know where
it is. He's stable at the moment, thank God"
They all jumped as first Speed, then Erik's pager beeped loudly; reminding
them that life had not stopped because they were occupied with something
non-work related. Each man called in to the office, a small homemade bomb
had been detonated in a nearby shopping mall, killing two people. They
were needed to process the scene before valuable chemical evidence was
destroyed. Yelina was going to stay at the hospital, to wait for further
developments. Calleigh took Speed a little to one side and asked if she
could stay too. She couldn't explain it, but she felt like she belonged
with Yelina during her vigil. Speed knew it seemed heartless, but he could
only cover for Calleigh for a short while. He promised he's give her as
much time as he could, but if another big case came in, so would she.
Hours passed, with very little conversation between the two women. They
spoke a little but there was a tense atmosphere that neither was happy to
break. A nurse came in with an admissions form to be filled in, but most
of Horatio's health records were owned by the state anyway, held at the CSI
building in case of emergency.
Finally a doctor came to see them, cast an enquiring glance at Yelina, to
check that it was ok to speak out in front of Calleigh. At her nod, he
began to fill them in on the extent of Horatio's injuries and what they had
done so far to help him. The outlook was good; they had recovered both
bullets and had repaired the damage to his lung. There would still be an
extensive recovery period, and he would not be able to leave to hospital
for at least a week, as there was some concern that a bullet fragment may
have caused internal damage which was as yet undetectable. Both women let
out the breath they hadn't realised they were holding, then Yelina asked if
she could see him. The doctor explained that they had administered a
powerful general anaesthetic and Mr. Caine would not be awake before the
morning. He advised them to go home and get some rest, promising to call
them if any changes occurred. Calleigh asked if she could take the bullets
for comparison, which Doctor Lopez agreed to, then she turned to say
goodbye to Yelina. Yelina looked hard at Calleigh, then thanked her for
staying. Yelina asked if Calleigh would come back tomorrow, they could go
to see Horatio together.
"Thank you, that means a lot, of course I'll come. I'm going back to CSI,
so I can process these bullets right away. We need to match up the bullets
to the gun, since no one actually saw the shooting. We need to get this
guy put away, fast." Calleigh took a taxi back to the CSI building and
threw herself in to work. Two hours later the ballistics evidence was in,
and the man in police custody, already preparing an insanity plea.
The next morning Calleigh arrived early at the hospital, where she asked at
reception what floor Horatio was on and if she was allowed to see him. The
clerk on duty looked up, "Calleigh Duquesne?"
"Yes, that's me."
I have a message for you from a Yelina Caine" (AN: I don't know if that's
still her surname). The clerk handed Calleigh a message slip, then turned
back to patient charts.
The message was short and to the point; Yelina couldn't get to the
hospital, she was hunting a suspect in (A/N an out of the way place, I'm
English and my American geography is lousy) having been requested the
previous night. She thanked Calleigh again for being with her the night
before. The note ended with a request that someone stay with Horatio until
she could get herself released, or the case ended.
Calleigh read the note through twice then crumpled it up and threw it away
as she headed to the elevators, and up to ITU. Horatio was in a private
room, Calleigh was shown in by a nurse. Horatio was lying in a high bed,
monitors beeping softly. He looked much younger asleep, without the
constant stress on his face. Calleigh stood for a moment, just looking at
him, then a sudden hiss from one of the machines recalled her to herself.
She settled herself down in to an armchair and took out some reports she
was planning to read to pass the time. She read them carefully, glancing
only occasionally at the clock, and before she knew it five hours had
passed. Calleigh began to leaf through the papers again but found herself
unable to concentrate. She found herself thinking about Horatio, the times
he had helped her, the thrill that ran through her when she heard his
familiar "knock, knock". Hagan had been right, she did go above and beyond
for Horatio, in a way that she didn't do for him. Calleigh sighed and
looked toward the bed, then started as she noticed Horatio's eyes were
open, staring at her.
"Hey Handsome, how're you feeling?" she asked softly.
He groaned and tried to move his left arm but winced in pain. He was
obviously still groggy from the medication and didn't seem to recognise
that Calleigh was in the room. She got up and went to fetch a nurse, but
as she moved to the door, a hoarse voice whispered,
Calleigh didn't stop, but went on out the door and fetched a nurse. She
said she'd wait outside while they examined Horatio, and she went right
outside, on to the rooftop terrace of the hospital. Calleigh couldn't
ignore the deep feeling of disappointment that had swept through her when
Horatio had asked for Yelina and not her. She felt that there was
something else behind the protectiveness Horatio always showed to his
sister-in-law, and this seemed evidence to prove that he had some form of
romantic attachment to her. Calleigh tried to analyse the feelings
coursing through her, realised that the disappointment had to come from
somewhere. Was it because she wanted her vigil recognised? Did she want
credit for being there? Or was there something deeper?
face up to it girl, you were jealous. Calleigh sighed and pushed the
thought away, as she had many times before. Romantic attachments only
Horatio looked around, not quite recalling where he was. Seconds later a
nurse entered the room, checked something and shone a pen light in to his
eyes, making him squint and flinch. Then the doctor came, examined the
dressing, checked the wounds. He smiled, "you've had a very patient
visitor, where's she gone?"
"Visitor? My sister-in law?"
"No, I don't think so. She is Latina, yes?"
"Uhh, yeah" Horatio was still under the effects of anaesthesia.
"Then no, this woman is white, blonde, slightly built, with a Southern
accent. She arrived almost as soon as you did last night and she has been
here all morning."
The talk then moved on to discuss Horatio's injuries and the likely
recovery time. He was already desperate to get back to work, but the
doctor wouldn't hear of it.
"You will have to take at least two weeks off work once you are released.
There will be no arguments, or I will speak to your superiors and have you
put on leave, is that clear?"
Knowing he was defeated, Horatio sunk back in to a doze, until her heard
the door open and soft footsteps enter the room.
"Hey Calleigh", he said without opening his eyes. He heard a soft intake
of breath, then, "How'd you know it was me?"
Horatio turned over in to a more comfortable position "The doctor told me
that you had been here for a while. How are you, Calleigh?"
She almost laughed at that, asked how she was, when he was lying there with
two bullet holes in him! But that was Horatio, always the gentleman.
"I'm fine, how're you? Still in pain?"
"No, the pain meds are still working." Horatio shifted uncomfortably in
the bed, not liking the obviously subordinate position, lying looking up at
Calleigh. She recognised the signs and got a chair, bringing her down to
his level. They sat in companionable silence, then Calleigh got out her
reports, in an effort to cheer Horatio up by distracting him. She
mentioned that they had caught the man who shot him, but was unprepared for
the look on Horatio's face. It flickered across before she could analyse
it properly, and he answered with almost his usual voice. But Calleigh had
not missed the reaction, and stored it up for another time. At five
o'clock she got a call on her pager and had to leave, but she promised that
she would come back. They were hoping to release Horatio in the next few
days, but Calleigh felt uncomfortable re entering Horatio's home, having
been there already without his permission.
A murder case involving a local councillor prevented anyone visiting
Horatio for the next three days while they analysed the evidence. Calleigh
was the first CSI to come and visit him, only to find that she had missed
him by hours, he had been discharged and sent home. Sighing, Calleigh got
back in to her car and drove over to Horatio's apartment building. She
rang the bell at the main door and his familiar dry voice answered,
"Hi, Horatio, it's Calleigh, can I come up?"
She could feel him thinking, then "yeah, sure".
The door buzzed and she went in, a little apprehensively. He was waiting
for her at the door to his apartment, leaning against the doorjamb. It was
clearly a defensive posture; he was keeping her out of his personal space.
This discouraged Calleigh slightly, but she forged ahead.
"Hey there Handsome, back home again. I went to the hospital but they told
me you'd been discharged, so I came to see if there was anything you
His scientist's brain went straight to the key point of her speech, "but
you've never been here before. How did know where I lived?" he asked the
question slowly but precisely, leaving Calleigh with no choice but to be
truthful with him.
"I came with Speed, the day you were... the day you went in to hospital."
That syllable was accompanied by a flicker across his face, the same
expression Calleigh had seen there before, except this time it was there
long enough for identification. It was like anger, but anger at himself,
but there was also an element of humiliation in the look. Suddenly
Calleigh understood, he was ashamed of having been seen in such a
vulnerable position. She was determined that he should not feel bad about
his injury, she had read the crime scene reports and there was nothing that
he could have done differently which would have changed the outcome of the
"May I come in?" She asked tentatively, seeing that her earlier intrusion
was also a sore point with Horatio.
He stepped back and opened the door a little wider, allowing her to enter.
He offered a drink, and asked her to sit down, but there was still a
constraint in his manner which was most unusual. Calleigh decided to
tackle the point straight on
"Horatio, there's nothing you could have done to stop this, and we don't
think any the less of you for it.' at the look on his face she smiled, 'I
can read you like a book."
He sighed, "Calleigh, I've been involved with the police force for...a long
time, and I've seen far too many people killed by guns, but I've never been
on the receiving end before. Being in that hospital, being fussed over by
nurses and doctors and generally treated like a child, it was my worst
nightmare, and I am only too happy that only you saw me in that state. I
thank God that no one else came to visit. But...thank you for coming, it
meant a great deal to me that you were there that first day."
"Hey, I couldn't leave you there all alone. Did Yelina come back to see
you?" Her voice changed slightly as she asked this last question, she was
trying to keep her voice level, and the effort showed.
"No, I understand she's still on a case. But I didn't want to put her
through all that again, she shouldn't be stressed by this so soon after
losing Raymond. Did you speak to her?"
"Yeah, the first night, I was with her, waiting for some news. You...you
called for her when you were waking up, you know."
"I did? I guess I assumed that no one else would be there with me. I
don't have any other family, or people to care for me, so I didn't think it
could be anyone else."
"Hey, I care about you" she smiled
"Thank you Calleigh, but I meant care for me like family, not like a work
He was gently but firmly finishing the conversation, shutting her out.
Calleigh decided to take the hint, she got up, said goodnight and left him.
He sighed at he closed the door behind her, feeling empty and alone.
For the next few days Calleigh went about her job in the ordinary way, but
she felt that something vital was missing from her daily life. It did not
take her long to realise that she missed Horatio terribly, that he filled a
gap in her life that no one else had ever come close to filling. She had
loved him for a long time, but had never allowed herself to act on her
feelings, nor even to acknowledge them most of the time. When a week had
passed, she couldn't stand it any longer. Her life, without Horatio in it,
was getting unbearable. At the end of her shift on Friday she found
herself at Horatio's apartment, without really knowing how she got there.
She was up at his door before she could lose her nerve, and as he opened
the door she simply burst in, for once not asking for permission.
"Well hello Calleigh" he said, trying to explain her actions by resorting
to humour. He closed the door and stood facing her, waiting for her to
speak, tell him why she was there. But now, having violated his home for a
second time, she was lost for words. It was impossible to articulate the
complicated mass of feelings she was having.
"When will you be coming back to work?" she blurted out, desperate to have
something, anything, to say.
"Not for another week or so. Is that really why you came over Calleigh?"
Damn him, he's laughing at me "umm...yeah, we were all wondering when you'd
be coming back, Tim's running things and he's getting a little stressed. I
also came over to see if you needed anything, but I can see you're getting
about much better now, so I'll go. I didn't mean to just invite myself in,
that's the second time I've done that and I feel really bad about it. I'm
sorry, I'll just...just go." Cringing with shame Calleigh started to the door
but was stopped by a hand, brushing her shoulder.
"Do you think I'm mad at you for coming to my house?" the question was
quiet, but penetrating.
"Well, I know I would be if someone came to my house uninvited. This is
your personal area and I had, have, no right to be here. Please Horatio; I
don't even know why I came over here. I'm sorry."
"What if I told you that there is no one I'd rather share my personal space
Calleigh looked sharply at him, but his head was bowed, as if expecting
anger. She had one thing to clear up,
"What about Yelina?"
"Yelina is my brother's wife. She and I are friends, but I will never see
her as anything but a sister." he spoke with finality, but there was a
vague suggestion of surprise, surprise that anyone could mistake shared
grief for romance.
"I'm sorry Horatio, I had to ask"
"Stop apologising and come here", his words were authoritative but tender
as he opened his arms to engulf her in a tentative hug.
"Horatio, nothing in my life feels right without you, I need you to be
there with me. That's why I came over; I needed to tell you that.
This...you and me...just feels so right that I can't ignore it any more. I
want to be with you"
Calleigh looked up to see Horatio smiling faintly,
"Calleigh, I love you, I have for a long while, but I didn't think you felt
like that. I am never going to let you go, now that I have you."
They stood gazing in to each other's eyes for what seemed like an age, then
Calleigh gently but firmly pulled Horatio's head down, his lips to hers,
and the two of them melted in to one.