Hey all! Here's a quick one-shot set in Body Count at the beach in the last scene :)

Had it in my mind sinceI re-watched the episode coutesy of the DVDs, but this is the firstchanceI've had towrite it up :)

Hope its okay!

Breathing deep as the salty water seeped into his open wound, Horatio stood looking into the rippling distance. His injury was superficial to what had happened to Ruthie, Emma and Robyn, and he'd be damned if Stuart ever got out of prison again. No other children will ever be harmed by his hand again. He promised.

Something caught his eye.

Twisting his head to the direction of the movement, Horatio saw Calleigh meandering her way over the sand right to him.

Composing himself, he smoothed down his crinkled shirt and brushed sand off his knee, before smiling up to his visitor.

'Calleigh' he nodded

'Horatio' she joined him at his side, looking out to sea

'How are you?'

'Been better' she confessed, dropping her head. Horatio's bloody hand came into view. 'You're bleeding! What happened?'

'I had a little run-in with Stuart's weapon of choice' he said as Calleigh took it in hers. Her soft touches as she assessed the damage brought a smile to Horatio's lips. After all she's been through today, she's still as gentle as ever.

He watched as she pulled a handkerchief out of her pocket and tenderly dabbed the excess blood away. 'It doesn't look to deep, but you should probably get some stitches'

'I'll be fine' he slightly shook his head

'You sure?' she looked into his eyes


The all-to-familiar sting of tears crept up into her eyes, forcing her to break the connection. Looking back to Horatio's hand, she willed herself not to break down. Not in front of Horatio. Wait till you get home. You can bawl to your hearts content then!

Horatio knew something was wrong, and seeing a single tear roll down her cheek, brought her into a hug.

Her arms clasped behind Horatio's back, with her head on his broad chest. This really wasn't going to help the no-crying-thing.

Horatio rested his chin on her golden hair, rubbing at her back as she began to shake from the sobs.

'Shh…its okay…you're okay'

'First Janet…and now you'


'What if Stuart hadn't cut you on your hand? It could have been anywhere! It could have been so much worse…' she said, shakily

'Exactly, it could have been a lot worse, but it wasn't. I'm still here.' He promised 'I'm still here'

They stayed like that for a few moments. Thankful that the other was there; thankful that they were still able to do that; thankful that they were still alive.

'How did you find me anyway?' Horatio asked, still wrapped around Calleigh

'I knew you'd go to the beach after a case like today's. You can think here. And this is where I found you after Raymond died'

'Yes it is' he smiled at her understanding of him. 'Why don't we go get some coffee? You can tell me how you 'got some fresh air and apprehended an escaped villain''

Calleigh looked up to Horatio, 'How'd you know I said that?'

'Hagen called me, he was worried he was going to get in trouble for not looking after you and going with you'

'He what? I'm not a child-'

'That's what I told him. I said that he was lucky that he was even allowed to be on the case with you, especially when it got personal for you'

Calleigh smiled, softly chuckling.