Hey all! Okay, so I was writing a fic, and decided I needed to refresh myself on Calleigh's bio, so I headed over to CBS. But I had a fanficflash when I read the line about she had taken her mom's name to help with her career. And out popped this here fic!
This is an AU piece, set where Calleigh hasn't spoken to any of her family for over 12 years, after escaping Louisiana. I've kinda embellished the state of her childhood, to one where she was looking out for her two younger brothers, and where her father is a violent drunk (as the bio says) and her mother is kind of an emotional drunk (as the bio loosely says). But her brothers didn't end up escaping with her...anyway, you'll see what I mean when you read ...
HUGIO thank you's to Rosanna for the awesome beta :D Thank you Sugar!
Hope you like!Becs x
The familiar halls to the Miami Dade CSI HQ were relatively silent, well, as silent as a bustling hive of activity could be. But after so many years of working in surroundings, the usual noises and sounds blended into one recognisable din.
Yet, with this walk-through, an unfamiliar sound was standing out against all the others. Horatio singled out the disruption as coming from the reception, so, as any Lieutenant would, headed that way.
"I want to speak to Ms. Dawson! She's my sister!"
"I'm sorry sir, but, as I told you before, we don't have anyone called Dawson"
"She's a freaking CSI! Dawson, Calleigh Dawson? How've you not heard of her!"
"Calleigh? Oh, do you mean Calleigh Duquesne?"
The man seemed to stop dead from his rampage at the mention of Calleigh's name.His fists lay still on the desk, still balled, as he thought of his reaction.
Paula glanced gratefully to Horatio.
"Hi, I'm Horatio Caine, how can I help you?"
The mans vision shifted to Horatio's direction, "Do you know Calleigh?" his southern accent slurred by drink
"Yes I do."
"Can you get her for me? She's not helping" he grimaced at Paula, who looked helplessly between the two men
"Hmm. Why don't you follow me, and we'll see about paging her"
The man nodded, allowing some of his blonde hair to fall into his eyes.
Horatio motioned for him to walk with him. He had no intention of calling Calleigh before he knew exactly who this drunk visitor was. He'd ask him some question, and hopefully sober him up before dragging her into this mess.
"I don't believe I caught you're name"
"Sean. Sean Dawson"
"So how do you know Calleigh Duquesne?" Horatio asked, turning into the lab
"I know Calleigh Dawson. She's my sister."
Horatio nodded as he allowed Sean to ascend the stairs to his office first. At the top, he reached for the handle and followed Sean in.
"Please" He smiled, motioning to the chairs opposite his own at his desk
"So where is she?"
"She's most likely out in the field, or in the Ballistics lab"
"Well can you get her?" Sean hissed
"Sure, I can get her. But first, you're going to answer me some questions"
"Oh I am?"
"If you want to see Calleigh, you are"
"Are you threatening me, Mr Caine?"
"Not at all. I'm simply asking why you've turned up at her place of work, inebriated and violent"
"Violent? That bitch at the desk wasn't telling me where Calleigh was!"
"That's because Calleigh is know as Calleigh Duquesne here, and please refrain from insulting my staff"
Sean seemed to blush slightly from the request. "I can't believe she took that name…" he muttered
"So can you tell me why you're here?"
"I want to see Calleigh"
"About what exactly?"
"What's it to you?" Sean's head snapped back, cockily
"Calleigh is my employee and most importantly my friend, and I care about her"
"Yeah, well she's my sister, and blood trumps friends" he sniggered
Horatio didn't flinch, just glared at the intruder, until a sufficient answer could be obtained.
"I haven't seen her in a couple of years and I was in the neighbourhood"
"So you thought you'd get drunk then pay her a visit?"
"Something like that…"
Sean seemed to question his own actions for a moment, before asking quietly, "How is she?"
Horatio got up and walked to his personal coffee-maker, and passing a cup to Sean, 'Extremely happy as far as I know"
Sean nodded slowly looking into the swirling black beverage.
Horatio's vision shifted from the visibly calmer and relaxed Sean, to just beyond the windows where Calleigh was stood in the labs.
"Excuse me" he announced, slipping out of the doors.
"Is it right?" Calleigh asked, walking to meet him, as Horatio descended the metal staircase, "Is Sean here?"
"What does he want?" Her own glare now focussed on the glass-walled office above.
"He says he just wants to see you"
Calleigh huffed, shaking her head. "He hasn't made contact in over 12 years, and now he turns up?" her voice grew in disbelief
"He's drinking some coffee to sober up"
Calleigh huffed harder this time, throwing her arms into the air, "and he's drunk!"
"Give him a maybe a half hour, and he'll be fine"
"Nah, I'll see him now. I can handle him" She looked back to the office.
"Okay, but I'm going to be in there when you talk to him. He got quite het-up when he was talking to Paula"
"Did he hit her!"
"No. No, he was just…" he searched for the right word, "vocal" Calleigh wiggled her eyebrows in a 'that doesn't surprise me' fashion.
"Anything else I should know?"
"He was asking for Calleigh Dawson. That's why it took so long for Paula to find you, or me, because she didn't know about the change"
She wiped a hand over her face, as her other lay on her hip. "Great"
"We can sort that out later" Horatio promised, rubbing at her arm. Only Horatio had been privy to details of Calleigh's childhood, and even then, it was a summarised version. But now, thanks to her stupid drunk kid brother, the whole lab was soon going to know! But the look in Horatio's eyes promised her that nothing was going to happen unless she wanted it too.
"I'm here, okay?"
Calleigh nodded, even curling her lips into a small smile, knowing that Horatio would have been nowhere else in a situation like this, other than right at her side. She sank into Horatio's hug, before taking a deep breath and walking the stairs.
Horatio opened the door for Calleigh, and closed it behind himself.
"Sean" Calleigh announced her presence.
Sean's head snapped up as he left the seat. "Calleigh" he breathed
"What're you doing here?"
"Now, is that anyway to treat your little brother?"
"It is when he turns up at my place of work drunk and having a shouting match with my colleagues! What were you thinking!"
"I was thinking I wanted to see my sister and that no one was helping me!"
"I've changed my name, Sean. You knew that."
"Yeah, what's up with that?"
"What's up with that?" She repeated, "I didn't want people knowing about my childhood! About my drunk parents and the trips to the hospital and the social care visits!"
"Changing your name isn't going to change your past. Its part of who you are today"
"No. Its part of Calleigh Dawson. I'm Calleigh Duquesne. I took moms name so I could have a career in law enforcement that wasn't peppered by my past"
"That's a crock! You changed it so you could run away from your family!"
"Family! Mom's a drunk! Dad's a drunk! You're a drunk and Kevin is dead. What kind of a family is that!" Calleigh shouted. She rarely raised her voice, but a preposterous accusation like that caused it to rise.
"Kevin died because you couldn't save him!"
Calleigh just shook her head at that remark. No amount of shouting would rectify the ache in her heart at the mention of her youngest brothers name. As hard as she had tried in their youth, Kevin had fallen in with the wrong crowd at school, and began a short career in theft and petty crime. Calleigh had managed to convince him to leave the gang, and move with her to New Orleans, but the gang caught up with him and killed him. He was so close to freedom, to a life away from drink and gangs, and there wasn't a day that went by that Calleigh didn't think of how she should've tried harder, or faster. She blamed herself for not getting him out quicker, but she didn't blame her parents as much for getting them all into the situation they were in.
"Miss high-and-mighty can save hundred of people every year in this little job, but she couldn't quite save her little brother could she?" Sean chastised, barely inches from her face. Calleigh's hand drew up and slapped at his cheek. Sean was taken aback for a moment, before launching his own hands at her and pushing her back against the wall.
Horatio swept in and before Sean knew it, he was backed against the far wall, with both of Horatio's hands planted firmly on his chest, staring into a mix of anger, promises and blue.
Anger that he had allowed Sean to touch Calleigh in such a way.
Promises that if Sean touched her again, anything Horatio had to do to prevent it would hurt. A lot.
"You will calm down or you will get the hell out of my lab" he uttered calm and collectedly
"Horatio…" Calleigh reluctantly pleaded.
The fierce stare brought Sean's temper into check immediately. "And I will not hear another word out of you that challenges any choices or actions Calleigh has made that has resulted in her being who she is today, okay?"
"O-kay?" Horatio pressed
"Okay, okay!" Sean uttered, throwing his hands up in an 'innocent' fashion.
Horatio relaxed his hands from their place on Sean's chest, and brought them to his hips as he stepped aside. Sean smoothed down his worn-out grey shirt and denims.
"Are you okay?" Horatio asked Calleigh
"I'm fine" she breathed, thankful he had insisted on being present.
"Are you finished, Sean?"
"What 'ya mean?"
"I mean, are you finished now. Are you satisfied that you've disrupted my life once again? I left Louisiana because of instances like that. I was sick of them. And so was Kevin.
I haven't heard from you in 12 years. I've thought about you everyday. What you could've been; what you might've been; where you might be…and now I see. You haven't changed at all. And I'm sorry about that. You fell into the trap I fought so hard to escape."
Sean just looked at his sister. Taking in all her words.
"And as much as it pains me to say…mortally pains me to say…I don't want you in my life if you're going to be like this. You will always be my kid brother, who rode the new bike I bought him into a tree on his 9th birthday. You will always be in my heart, but I can't have you in my life, and I hope you understand that"
Sean broke his eye-contact, and hung his head in a defeated way. "I understand. But you should know that I'm proud of you. You've gotten out of Louisiana, out of the Dawson curse, and created a life to be proud of. And I apologise for everything I've done and said in the past." He walked past her and opened the door. Looking back, he said, "Goodbye, Calleigh"
And with that he was gone. He had descended the stairs and exited the labs the same way he came in.
Calleigh brought her arms in to hug herself as Horatio spotted her lip begin to quiver. When he saw a single tear track down her ashen cheek, he moved him and wrapped his arms around her. Her body began to shake with the sobs as she brought her arms from around herself, to around Horatio.
He gently shushed and soothed the emotionally drained woman, stroking his hand from the back of her head down the length of her long blonde hair.
As she eventually cried the last tear, Horatio whispered, "You're okay. You're safe. And you are with family here. Speed, Eric, Alexx and I are here. Always"