Title - Bulletproof
Author - pepsicolagurl
Rating - PG13 for language, situations, violence and the whole shebang
Disclaimer - I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing. In other words, don't sue me. The title is taken from the Blue Rodeo song of the same name, and if I could remember what album it was from, I would tell you.
Author's Notes - This is my first attempt at writing something like this, so please be kind (rewind). In my screwed up little world, Tim Speedle is still among the land of the living, and there ain't nothing CBS or Rory Cochrane can do about it, so there. This has nothing to do with any of the other fictions I have somewhat written and posted on here (don't worry, none of them are finished). So, enjoy and let me know what you think.
Warning - This is simply a repost of the story, because decided, for some reason, to move it into some German section or something, and I couldn't get near it to switch it back. Sorry, people, same thing as before, not a thing has changed.
Well I finally found the way to hide from all your glances
'Til the waiting game we play is through
I can but what's the use
When all I really want to do is hide out with you
It would be great to be so strong
You never needed anybody's help to get along
We're so scared of the silence and the language that we use
Yeah, we're careful and we're cunning, but we're easily bruised
I don't wanna kid about it
I'm not bulletproof
He was more groggy than when he usually woke up. His eyes felt like they had been glued shut, and his mouth was full of cotton. Was he drinking the night before? He didn't think so. There was something wrong, he knew that. Slowly, he came back to conciousness, his mind beginning to process his surroundings, even without him looking around. The bed he was laying in wasn't his. It wasn't his comfortable, soft mattress, and he knew for sure that his pillowcases never made that kind of crinkling noise. He could feel a rough blanket under one hand, but the other hand...no, don't worry about that, he told himself. Just figure out where the hell you are.
Was that an alarm clock, he asked himself. It was some sort of incessant beeping, and it was beginning to drive him nuts. Maybe he should try to shut it off, whatever it was. He went to move his hand, but suddenly, the one side of his body exploded into pain, and he could feel the comfortable cloud of unconciousness begin to float back to him. He liked this, he realized. It was nice to just drift away. And the last thought in his mind was...something's wrong with me.
A flicker of hope had entered her blue eyes before she settled back in her chair. He was moving in his sleep...if that was what it was called. For a moment, his left hand twitched and it looked like he might have been stirring, but the furrows in his brow had smoothed out again, and he had taken a deep breath. Now, he was just laying there again, looking for all the world like a sleeping little boy, albeit slightly battered and bruised. She shifted in her seat and sighed, pushing her long hair out of her face.
How long had she been sitting there? She had gone to the hospital directly after her shift, after she had processed the evidence from HIS crime scene. But in reality, it had been too many cups of bad coffee and too many times of dozing off only to wake up with a start and look to make sure that he was still there, to even count. How long ago had the incident even happened? She remembered where she had been. In the break room, pouring herself a cup of coffee during a break from staring at a computer screen, when her cell phone had given off three shrill beeps. It had been with a resigned sigh that she unclipped it from her waist, and looked to see the message. The code for an officer involved shooting had flashed there, as well as the address...one that she recognized.
She had dropped the packet of sweetner she had been opening and ran out almost immediately. She recognized the address, because she was originally going to accompany Horatio to the jewelery store, but when the computer she was working on had begun to spit out possible matches from AFIS, he had simply smiled, looking down at the floor before saying that he would ask Speedle to go with him instead. There were only two officers that were going to the jewelery store, and when she thought of either Tim Speedle or Horatio Caine being shot, her knees had buckled. She knew what kind of damage a bullet could do to a person, but she never thought that it would be one of them.
Thank God that all the crime lab's vehicles had lights and sirens, because she had turned both on to clear the traffic out of her way as she had raced down to the store, not wanting to know what had happened, but needing to know. She had arrived there at the same time that they were loading him into the back of the ambulance, and she had recognized the somewhat untidy dark hair almost immediately. Calleigh had taken a deep breath and leaned against the side of the vehicle as the paramedics talked amongst themselves in urgent voices, loading Speedle into the back and slamming the doors shut before they raced out of there, sirens and lights going as hers had only recently. Camera crews had already gathered, and she knew that they had all had an ear close to their police scanners. She gave them a brief, if not scathing look, before walking inside.
There was a pool of blood on the floor. A gun, one that she was familiar with, was laying nearby. And Horatio Caine was standing there, red hair in disarray, and worst of all, blood on the front of his shirt. She had asked him what had happened, but the answer wasn't satisfying, because she knew that whatever had happened, the fact was that Speedle had been shot in the left shoulder and had bled quite a bit before the ambulance had gotten there to take him to the hospital.
The rest of her days had passed by in a blur. It was the second day that he was in the hospital, now in the Intensive Care Unit. They had rushed him into surgery almost immediately to repair the artery that had been nicked and removed the bullet, which was currently in the ballistics lab. He had recieved enough blood to replace what he had lost, but he still hadn't woken up out of the anesthesia. The doctors didn't seem too worried, and for that matter, neither did the nurse who came in constantly to check on her patient and glare in Calleigh's direction every time. He would wake up when his body had recovered from the shock, they had told her. They had told all of them that. His parents, who had flown in from New York state in a panic, stayed with his during the day, and the day shift of the crime lab covered the night shifts, even if it meant sleeping in the chair beside the bed and going home only to shower and change before they had to be back to work.
Calleigh had been there the most. She had relieved his worried mother, who had gone back to the hotel they were staying in to get some sleep so that she could come back in the morning. Everyone else popped in and out, but she rarely left. She didn't know why. Out of all the people that she worked with on a regular basis, she was probably less close with Speedle than with anyone else. There was never a time, after their shift, that the two of them had gotten together for a drink or dinner. She had never been invited to his place, and she had never invited him to hers. That alone was strange. There had been numerous times that the entire shift, minus Speedle of course, had gone out for a quick bite to eat and a few drinks to unwind from a particularily draining case. He would always shake his head, say no thank you, and go home. Whether he was there alone or with someone, what he did...no one ever knew.
Maybe that's why she was there. She felt guilty for all the missed opportunities. There was no doubt that she was worried about him and his health, but she had never felt close to him, not like how she was to Horatio, or Eric Delko, or Alexx Woods. Oh, they were friendly with each other, and they had no qualms about teasing each other when at work, but there was just nothing there. If it had been anyone else on her shift, she would have broken down and cried, been unable to console, but because it was Speedle, she was only worried and trying to make up for it.
Her head tilted to the side as she examined his unconscious body. His hair was neater than usual, brushed into place. Probably because of his mother, she told herself, smiling slightly. His mother had been fussing over him sicne the moment that she had been allowed in the room. She had shaved him, too, and it was the first time in a long time that she could remember seeing his face look so clean. She had washed his face, as well, just before Calleigh had gotten there, and there was a lingering pink tint in his cheeks. His lips were chapped, but that wasn't too unusual for him. It was his hands that had interested her, however. She had never really looked at them before. She had seen him at work in the trace lab numerous times, and she had always been impressed by how he worked, and how fluid and natural his movements were. Even watching him type on a keyboard was like watching someone play the piano, because he stroked the keys and moved with an unconcious grace, but she had never noticed how strong they had looked before. He didn't have thin, nimble fingers like Horatio or Eric did. His fingers, his wrists...they all looked strong. And what he was wearing was wrong, as well. Gone was the usual dark clothing, button down shirts and jeans, or very rarely, dress pants. He was wearing the usual hospital gown, light blue and open on the one side to show his bandage.
She was broken out of her reverie when the door to the room opened, and someone popped their head in. "Hey, how's he doing?" Alexx asked in a soft voice, walking further into the room and closing the door behind her.
"No change. He's still out of it, but he's moving his left hand every now and then."
The female medical examiner nodded, before shrugging off the coat she was wearing and putting it in the corner. "He looks more peaceful than this morning. I stopped in to check on him before I got to work." And then she did something that Calleigh never had the nerve to do, even though he was unconscious. She brushed her hand across his forehead, frowning slightly. "He has a fever."
Calleigh stood up and stretched, her arms above her head. "The nurse said that, too. It's normal. Did you want to stay for awhile?"
She smiled, and took the empty seat. "Long enough for you to go get something to eat. I know that you're not going to leave his side tonight, but you need to take care of yourself, too. Go ahead, he'll be fine with me."
Alexx waited until the blonde had disappeared before reaching out to rest her hand on Speedle's. "You've got us all screwed up, honey," she told him, chuckling as she shook her head. "Only you would do something like this for attention. You've got Calleigh pretty worried. She hasn't..."
He felt the pressure of someone's hand on his, and it brought him back. There was that noise again, or did he just dream about it before? Had he even woken up before that? Either way, it was someone's hand, and the skin was cool and smooth. His own felt feverish, he realized a moment later. And he recognized the voice that was speaking to him. He tried to listen, tried to understand, but he only caught the occasional fragment of speech every now and then as he laid there, unable or unwilling to open his eyes, even he didn't know.
"...hasn't left your side since last night. I'm surprised that she didn't take the day off to stay with you."
Who was she? If it was Alexx talking to him, and he knew that he would recognize that voice anywhere, then the only "she" that she could have been talking about would be Calleigh Duquense. He was confused. What could have happened to him that it would cause Calleigh to stay with him. They weren't particularily close. In fact, outside of work, they had never talked.
"...said that you cleaned your gun this time. It was just a malfunction of some sort, but that didn't mean..."
What was so important about that, he wondered. He didn't have his gun with him, he knew that. Couldn't stand the damned thing. Only carried it because the job required it. He would have done anything not to carry it around with him when he was working. It wasn't just a nuisance, it was...a gun. Nothing good ever happened because of them. Hell, he was scared of them. He hated it whenever he had to pull it out of its holster. It just wasn't natural, but why was she talking about that. There was no reason, was there?
And then he remembered. He fought through the fog that covered his mind and remembered what had happened. It didn't come back to him in a full flashback, more like pieces. He heard voices, heard Horatio asking him what was wrong. Remembered the snap as he took his gun out of its holster. Remembered the feeling of dismay when he pulled the trigger and nothing happened. Shattering glass, rounds being expelled, a yell. What was the yell? Who was yelling?
It was Horatio. Asking him if he was all right. The pain in his shoulder, the feeling of numbness that all of a sudden started there and spread out to his fingers until his arm felt too heavy to even lift. The terror. His eyes had probably been as wide as possible. The taste of blood in his mouth, remembering the feel of the blood filling his mouth. Couldn't turn his head to spit it out. Swallowed some of it, and the rest had dribbled out of his mouth, down his face. He remembered the feel of it, but whether it was warm or cold, he didn't know.
Then the peaceful darkness. The black that he had come to enjoy so much. What was wrong, what had really happened? He didn't know.
A/N - So, there's my explanation for the shooting. He didn't die, he was just injured. Uh huh, and monkeys fly out of my butt every night. Next chapter coming soon.