CHAPTER 5

The arrival at the hospital had been hectic to say the least. After parking, both Horatio and Calleigh had rushed inside only to find out that none of the nurses seemed to know what was going on. They were instructed to go to the waiting room which, very reluctantly, they did. As soon as they walked into the room, they spotted Alexx sitting in one of the chairs, tissues in her hands, staring out at nothing and looking positively distraught.

Calleigh immediately walked over to Alexx and sat next to her, hugging the other woman. They both started crying softly.

Horatio, trying to be the collected one, slowly moved in front of the two women and then kneeled. "Alexx, Sweetheart, have the doctors told you anything yet?" he asked calmly.

Pulling away from Calleigh, she shook her head while wiping her eyes with the balled up tissues she had in her hand. "No," she said followed by a sniff. "I was just checking my messages at the front desk and one of the lab techs came running in saying that someone was hurt," she began to explain, more tears falling. "By the time I got out there, they were both unconscious. They weren't moving and I-I thought they were dead."

Horatio took one of her hands into his and squeezed it gently. "It's all right."

She sniffed and then shook her head. "No, it's not, Horatio. They were both hurt really badly. Tim had lost so much blood by the time I got out there. I just-I couldn't do a thing except wait for the ambulance."

"It's ok, Alexx," Horatio assured her, "You did good."

Letting out a shuddering sigh, the woman nodded slowly and then leaned back in her chair. She knew that because of the extent of the damage to both men, they would be waiting a long time. "I'm-I'm gonna go get a cup of coffee. Would either of you like anything?" she asked.

"A coffee would be great, Alexx," Horatio replied, thinking that maybe if she was kept somewhat occupied, she would worry so much and be so upset.

"Anything in it?" she asked, but he shook his head no. She looked over at Calleigh, "What about you, honey?"

Calleigh gave her a small smile and then shook her head. "No, thank you, Alexx."

The older woman nodded and then ventured off to find the coffee machine.

Once she had left, Horatio took a seat next to Calleigh. After a few long moments of silence, he turned his head toward her and studied her troubled features for a little bit before asking, "You going to be ok?"

She looked up at him and attempted to muster up a big smile for him, but it really only came out as half of one. "If they come out and tell us that Tim and Eric are gonna be ok, then yeah."

Horatio's face was solemn. "And what if they don't?"

Calleigh's face dropped and she had to turn her head away from him to keep from crying. She let out a long shuddering sigh. Then she swallowed hard, trying to get the lump in her throat to go down, and when it finally receded far enough down her throat for her to speak, all she could say was "I don't know."

Instinctively, Horatio reached over, wrapped his arm around Calleigh's shoulders, and then pulled her to him. Once she had rested her head in the crook where his collarbone and neck met, he wrapped his other arm around her and just held her. He tried to tell himself that he would do the same with anyone, but he knew that wasn't the truth. Calleigh was different...special, and though he couldn't admit it to anyone, his feelings for her were a lot more complicated and serious than just the supervisor-employee relationship everyone else saw.

Hours later, long after Alexx had returned with the coffee and after Calleigh had fallen asleep against Horatio, the doctor finally came out. The man walked straight over to them and asked, "Are you all here for Tim Speedle and Eric Delko?"

Though he didn't want to, Horatio gently shook Calleigh awake and then nodded to the doctor. "Yes, I'm Lieutenant Horatio Caine. This is Alexx Woods and Calleigh Duquesne."

"It's nice to meet you. I'm Dr. Kenneth O'Malley." He shook all of their hands and then sat down in a chair across from theirs.

"What news do you have for us, Doctor?" Horatio asked, getting right to the point.

The doctor took a deep breath and then said, "Well, I have some good news, some bad news,...and some worse news."

Horatio felt Calleigh slip one of her hands into his and he squeezed it gently before nodding to O'Malley. "All right."

"Ok, well first the good news is that they're both alive." All three of them released sighs of relief. "The bad news is that they're both in the ICU in bad shape"

Horatio felt Calleigh's hand tighten and he glanced over at her to see her staring at the doctor, looking about ready to have another breakdown. He turned his head back to the doctor and then asked, "And what's the worse news?"

The doctor paused a moment before replying. "Mr. Speedle ended up with a traumatic pneumothorax do to the bullet puncturing his lung." Not realizing that as CSIs they all knew what he was talking about, he quickly explained, "That's a collapsed lung." Calleigh gasped quietly and brought her free hand to her lips. The doctor continued, "He lost a whole lot of blood, and while we could repair the damage to his lung and transfuse him, he was still without enough blood to feed his brain oxygen for quite a long time before the paramedics made it there and then to the hospital,...and he ended up slipping into a coma."

Horatio heard Calleigh start crying beside him on his left while Alexx, who was sitting on his right, seemed to have stopped breathing. Trying to be the strong one, he took a deep breath and then asked, "Do," he paused, "Do you expect him to come out of it?"

O'Malley stared at Horatio for a moment before dropping his gaze. "I'm not really sure. A good percentage of these types of coma patients come out of it rather quickly, within a few days to a couple of weeks, but you can never really know."

Horatio nodded. "All right."

"When can we seem them?" Calleigh asked, her voice small and quivering.

The doctor turned his attention to her. "Not until at least tomorrow. They need a lot of rest, but I'll be sure to have someone call you all if anything at all changes with either of them."

Horatio nodded again. "Okay." He knew Calleigh wanted to protest, but he also knew it would do no good. Even if they claimed they needed to see Speed and Eric because they were now part of an investigation, the doctors still wouldn't let them see the two injured men. He had been through this before and knew it was best to wait at least a day before putting on the pressure.

"We're still going to need their clothes and personal belongings," he said, his tone expressing nothing but totally seriousness. He had snapped into CSI mode. If their clothes had evidence on them that could lead them to the culprits, they would find it.

"Yes, of course," O'Malley replied. "I'll have one of the nurses bring it all out to you right away."

Horatio reached forward and shook the doctor's hand. "Thank you, Doctor."

After Horatio, O'Malley shook Alexx's hand and then nodded to Calleigh. "You folks have a nice day." He then walked off.

"Have a nice day?" Calleigh said incredulously as soon as he was out of site. She narrowed her eyes, sending death glares in the direction the doctor had headed before she looked over at Horatio and Alexx. "How can we possibly have a NICE DAY with Tim and Eric here and us not even bein' able to see them?!" she exclaimed. She knew from the start just as well as everyone else that the doctors weren't going to let them see the boys, but that still didn't stop her from being upset about it.

Hardly alarmed by her outburst, Alexx just looked at the blonde sadly and then shook her head, saying, "Ya got me, honey. Ya got me."

Horatio sighed quietly. "All right, well we aren't going to do them any good staying here. We have to find out who did this to them."

Calleigh just stared at the floor while Alexx turned her attention to Horatio and nodded in agreement. "I'm gonna go back to the lab," she said. "I have some...work I need to finish."

Calleigh's head shot up and a pained expression passed over her face. She knew that Alexx was talking about the autopsy she still had to perform on Riley McBane. She stared at the other woman for a moment before frowning and dropping her gaze to the floor again.

Horatio nodded. "All right, Alexx. We'll collect what we need from here and then see you back there."

The woman returned the nod. She cast Horatio a sad smile and then squeezed Calleigh's arm before heading out.

Horatio and Calleigh waited for a few minutes before the nurse finally came out to give them Speed and Eric's belongings.

"I also placed the bullet the doctors retrieved from Mr. Speedle's lung in there as well," she said, handing everything over to the lieutenant.

The man nodded solemnly and thanked her before he and Calleigh headed back to the lab.

(A/N: Yes, by all means, kill me now. I know this took forever and a year to get up and I apologize, especially since it's so short and rather boring. Anywho, more should be up soon...hopefully. Remember to REVIEW!)