Author: susieq666 PM
A sequel to 'Miami's Hero'. The aftermath of being poisoned stays with Horatio, mentally as much as physically. As before, Frank proves to be a true friend.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Horatio C. & Frank T. - Chapters: 10 - Words: 11,446 - Reviews: 64 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 06-06-12 - Published: 05-26-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8152605
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Horatio sat in the back seat of the taxi, feeling about as depressed as he ever had. Just as he had come to terms with the mental ramifications of being poisoned, just as he'd made things right with Frank… Now his physical health was heading south, rapidly. He was shocked at just how quickly he had fallen apart. Never, in his life, had he been unable to continue an interview. And not just any interview… One that looked like holding the key to the case. He had briefed Calleigh as well as he could, but he knew, with an unwelcome certainty, that had he gone back into the school, he would have ended up an undignified heap on the floor. He knew it, and it seemed Calleigh knew it too, because she had resolutely refused to let him move from the steps, until she handed him into the back of the taxi.
The only glimmer of hope came from the fact that his specialist was able to see him straight away, so he didn't have to endure the waiting and intricacies of the Emergency Department.
His doctor was a fairly forthright man, and less than pleased at Horatio's blatant disregard for medical instructions. Now he gave him a long searching look. "You know what I'm going to say…"
"That I should do as I'm told?" he murmured wearily. "I'm sorry - never been very good at that."
"I can tell. Will you let me admit you?"
"For how long?"
"Don't know yet. We don't do magic potions, and you look as if you're about to fall over. Let's get you into bed and then we'll see what you've done to yourself."
The relief of lying down was immense, and brought home to Horatio just how close he had been to collapse. Quick checks of his temperature - high - and his white blood cell count - also high - confirmed what he and the doctor already suspected. Infection. Where and how bad remained to be seen…
"So what now?" Horatio asked.
"Well, we should give you a full endoscopic check - both ends…" The doctor chuckled. "Which you richly deserve."
Horatio stayed silent, thinking privately that that part of his anatomy had seen enough aggravation.
The doctor seemed to agree. "However… We'll try to avoid it. I'm going to push some really strong antibiotics into you - IV - and see if we can kick it. We'll keep you here overnight, you can rest properly…"
"I'll be out tomorrow?"
The doctor laughed. "You really don't like us, do you?"
"It's not personal. I'm in the middle of a difficult case. I've already had to drop the interviews on my deputy."
"Look, Horatio… I do sympathise. I don't delegate easily, either. But we need to get you well… I thought we were, but you've gone rather severely downhill. You're basically a strong individual, but you are approaching sixty… That body of yours can't take the endless punishment it's getting at the moment."
"I don't feel old, you know. Well, normally I don't."
"And you're not. Just not quite a youngster anymore… You need to have just a little more respect for your health."
"Okay, I accept that. But I need to get out of here… as soon as I can."
"Let's get the medication started, and see how we go. And, for God's sake, relax…"
He left it a couple of hours before phoning Calleigh. Even then he had to leave a message, which said, basically, 'I'm in hospital, update me.' He tried to relax as instructed, but he was impatient for news. However, he was dozing when Calleigh knocked at the door and came in. She looked tired, and he sensed it was late.
"What's the time?"
"Have you only just finished? Hell, I'm sorry, Calleigh…"
"Sshh, not your fault. And I did stop for something to eat…"
"I was going to ask you that." She sat down beside the bed.
"Well, there's nothing very good about this case… but I have got the names of the two girls…"
"Are they admitting it?"
"Sort of. They're blaming each other. So are the parents…"
"Charge them both. But ten-years old… Don't know what they'll do with them… Can we do anything about the lack of supervision?"
Calleigh smiled. "Oh yes. Better than that… We can get Maria Santos for perverting the course of justice… Everyone was virtually ordered to keep silent. If there was bullying in that school, most of it was coming from her. I've got her in custody… she'll be out on bail by tomorrow, but she made me so angry… I know I shouldn't make it personal…"
"Difficult not to, sometimes." He looked at her face. "Hard day…"
"Very. I know we've got a result, but I can't say I feel good about it."
"You never do, when a child's committed a crime… Because you always suspect that the responsibility lies with an adult… somewhere along the line… But we can only do our jobs."
She nodded. "Now your news…"
"No news. Bit of an infection." He indicated the drip. "Strong antibiotics… Sorry to dump it all on you - again."
Calleigh hesitated. "I've been thinking about that. I know you well, Horatio. You'll check yourself out, come straight back to work… Do you think there's any chance you could take it a bit slower this time?"
"Oh, don't be so stubborn! Do you want to do yourself permanent damage?"
"Hey, don't exaggerate…"
"I'm not, Horatio… Really I'm not. It's just that you're in your usual state of denial that anything can stop you doing your job. You must have lost… what? Fifteen pounds? Twenty? You haven't got the strength to do an interview, let alone go into the field. I doubt you're safe to drive… You certainly shouldn't be handling a weapon…"
"Calleigh, Calleigh… Stop."
"I'm sorry. I know you're the boss, and I shouldn't be talking to you like this… Horatio, have you any idea how worried everyone is?"
"People should do their jobs, not worry about me."
"That's unfair. Firstly, because how you are affects everyone on the team, and, secondly… we love you… You must know that."
He was silent.
Calleigh added. "I'm sorry… I've probably said too much… But it's true. Please, please, get well this time. I don't want to be sitting beside a hospital bed again in a month's time. And, frankly, boss, if I wanted to be in charge of a lab, I'd have applied for a promotion."
"You should - you're fully capable."
"I said 'if I wanted'… It happens I don't. I want to work for you. That's you, firing on all cylinders…" She reached out and covered his hand with her own. "Horatio… please… Just take the time. Do it for us, if not yourself."
He gave a small chuckle. "This really is home truths week…" Then he met her eyes. "All right. For you. I promise."