The darkness of the hallway loomed around him. Blue shadows cast cold blankets about the rows of lockers that stood uniform in front of Caine, resembling the rows of headstones, that lined the plots in the cemetery where Tim Speedle now lay. Was that all this place was; the foreshadow of an early grave? Horatio had waited until now, after office hours, to undergo his task of cleaning out Speedle's locker, arguably the most difficult part of his job. Here he stood now, just procrastinating, when the glass door opened tentatively behind him. H didn't turn. Instead he breathed deep and swiftly composed himself. It wasn't so much that he didn't want others to see him falling apart for his sake, but he was their L.T. A leader. It was his job to hold things together for everyone else.
"You saved me." He muttered mostly to himself.
Calleigh too, took a moment to compose herself, before she looked Horatio in the eye. She knew what he was here, so late, to do, and her heart broke for him. No one wanted such a job. In fact, her heart had been breaking for him since mid afternoon, when she arrived on the scene, to find him still crouched next to Tim, unable to let go. It both amazed, and worried her, to find he had something in him strong enough, to keep from crying right then and there. To lose a colleague and dear friend was hard on all of them, but she had trouble imagining the weight of Horatio's pain, to have been the one looking into his eyes, reassuring him, as he slipped away. Calleigh had admitted, only to herself, her constant desires to stand by Horatio Caine's side, but the two of them had never crossed that line. As she was choked by the emptiness of the expression on his face, now more then ever she desperately wanted to hold him.
"I wanted you to see this before I gave it to Stetler." She spoke calmly trying to devoid her voice of all emotion, the same way she had since this afternoon. "He definitely had to look at his gun."
Horatio glanced over Calleigh's report as they spoke about the incident and her findings. Their conversation was so formal, so professional, as neither seemed to know what else to stay. That is, if there was anything worth saying.
"Do you want me to help you with... Tim's things." The pitch of Calleigh's voice unintentionally cracked when she mentioned his name and she swallowed. He'd heard her voice break and knew she really didn't want to go through Tim's locker any more than he, but a helping hand was all she had to offer, and she was ready, to try to give that. Her strength was one of her best attributes, but in them all grew a sorrow to large for even her heart to hide. Warm yellow light from the hall made her skin glow in his eyes, and as much as he didn't want to empty out Speedle's locker all alone, those usually shining eyes of hers, he so loved to see, looked so exhausted in the low light, that he hadn't the heart to burden her along with him.
"No...thank you." His voice descended to an honest whisper. With a nod she turned to leave when his easeful voice stopped her. It wasn't often she heard him speak so delicately, but it always melted her heart. "Hey..." He cooed, "Come here." She sighed as he wrapped her snuggly in his arms, and his eyes shut. "You hang in there." He whispered beside her ear, and she stifled a sob at the feel of his words and warm breath. She squeezed him back tightly when she saw his face behind closed eyes. He needed this, she could feel it radiating from him. He'd needed someone to hold all day.