Summary: Post-ep for 'Innocent,' the season 2 finale. Stetler and Yelina had gone away for the weekend, following a conversation between the two men. Yelina comes back and confronts Horatio about it.
Pairing: Horatio and Yelina
"You told him, didn't you." The accusation, the first words out of her mouth, surprised him into speechlessness. Then again, he was often speechless around her.
"Why did you do that?" Her accent would have given away her agitation if her body language had not—it was always thicker when she was upset. Caine simply looked at her in confusion, completely baffled as to what could have made her so angry. She stared right back, her arms crossed, the perfect picture of feminine fury.
A long moment passed, with neither of them moving a muscle. Slowly, Detective Salas started to feel flustered; Horatio never could look at her when he was hiding something—just like his brother, in that regard—and his steady gaze made her increasingly nervous. She broke eye contact, lowering her arms to her sides, and started fidgeting with her watch, unsure of what to say now. She glanced back up at him, almost shyly—afraid of the expression on his face. At once, the confusion softened to the look she recognized as 'her' look—though she hardly dared admit it to herself—the almost boyish grin of a schoolboy crush. He raised an eyebrow in a silent question.
"Did you tell Rick I don't like champagne?" Her tone was nearly apologetic now, all signs of her agitation having melted into frustrated curiosity. Caine blinked, taken aback by the inquiry; that was not what he had expected at all.
"Well," he stalled, looking away before he suddenly realized that was a tell-tale sign of his avoidance of the truth. It was Yelina's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Well, yes. I did." He shook his head slightly, obviously still confused as to why she had been so angry over such a small thing.
"I don't see what the problem is."
"You wouldn't!" she suddenly flared, her initial anger coming back with full force. WHY couldn't he understand that his having said that put the burden of him still trying to protect and care for her over the entire weekend with Stetler. She'd spent half the time wondering why he'd told his rival—for that was what he was, no denying it, especially not from the way the two battled with each other like gladiators on a corporate playing field.
"Horatio, you need to stop trying to protect me," she almost pleaded.
"I'm not-" he started, and then stopped. They both knew the truth. Horatio shifted his position to look out the window, as if the Miami sunset would calm his nerves and give him something meaningful to say. "That's not why I told him." The angle of the light struck him nearly at his eye line, and for once, Caine relished the sting of it as he leveled his gaze on the horizon.
"Is it…all you told him?" Her dark eyes scanned his face for the truth, as he continued to look out the window at the setting sun. She saw hesitation, and then resignation, and he spoke.
"I told him you deserve to be happy," he said flatly, removing his sunglasses from his pocket and placing them very deliberately on his face before turning back to face her. She could sense, somehow, that the sunglasses were his final layer of protection against her—as if, without them, his emotions would threaten to overwhelm them both. Yelina felt a surge of adrenaline and fear as she stepped forward and reached for them, as if to tear them from his face and force him to face himself.
It was not to be. A strong hand reached up and caught her before she'd come within six inches of his face. For a long moment they stood at the window, her wrist held tightly in his hand, bodies barely a foot apart. Both of them could sense the potential in every breath they took; that any movement from either of them could tip the scales in a dangerous and exciting way. Yet neither moved. Finally, she spoke, in the soft voice she'd used once, when he'd all but declared his love for her.
"Do you still believe that, Horatio?" She watched him as she said it, loving as she always did to see the emotions show on his expressive face. She saw sadness, and once again, resignation. He closed his eyes as she said his name. She had her answer, and it was the same one it had always been. Gently, Yelina lifted her arm from his grasp, and stepped backwards, still watching his face. Just as she reached the doorway, he turned to look at her, his sunglasses held in his hand, raw emotion on his face. What he said seemed less an answer to the question she asked than to the question unasked.
"You know I do."