I don't own any of these characters, but if I did, Eric would certainly not be going from leader one second to irresponsible CSI the next second. For that matter, neither would Calleigh or Ryan

Spoilers: Season 4, Happens right after "Three-Way".

Author's notes: I had to try and channel some of my anger at what the writer's did with the characters, making them look like incompetent CSI's. So, when you don't like it, just make up your own ending! So I did…………..

Doped or Duped?

By: Susan

Eric is sitting on his couch drinking a Mojito and wondering what the hell happened today. He knows that Wolfe isn't going to let this go. He thinks the trouble has only started. The guy just keeps getting under his skin and has the biggest trash talk mouth he's ever seen, but he knew when Ryan made the comment today about jumping to conclusions that he hadn't been totally wrong. Eric knows that when it comes to Ryan, he automatically sets him up to fail. He just can't let him slide into Speed's spot and make it easy for him. The guy can be a real jerk, but Eric realized when Valera made the comment about them going into a room and punching each other out that he'd gone too far too many times. He makes a mental note to back off the guy a little bit and pray he'll keep his mouth shut and not twist things around.

Eric knows he was irresponsible to not re-stock the extra kit. He'd seriously just forgotten and knows that's a lame excuse. He remembers Calleigh's frustration with him and rubs his hand through his sleek black hair. He hates it when they seem on edge with each other. Seems it has been more often than not lately. He can't help but grin though when he remembers her stealing stuff from his kit with her cute little round butt sticking up in the air. Her comment about his gloves being too big made him smile too. God, how he misses the close relationship he and Calleigh used to have. He knows that above everything else, he has got to find a way to fix that. He needs Calleigh and can't lose her friendship, or whatever it is they have, over stupid mistakes.

He feels a little sick when he thinks about the pot wrappers in his kit. No one will ever believe the complete truth to that. His excuse for that is all just as lame as everything else. There is no excuse and he sighs and takes another sip of his drink.

He hears a knock on the door and considers ignoring it……….

"Eric! Open the door! I know you are in there." He hears Calleigh yell at him. Eric feels his heart skip a beat and then plummet to his shoes. He gets up and goes to the door. He opens it to see Calleigh's solemn face looking into his. He doesn't even try to say anything he just leaves the door open and walks back to the sofa. Calleigh quietly walks in and closes the door. She comes over and sits beside Eric. Eric thinks he might throw up. "Want a Mojito? I can make more." Calleigh shakes her head and smiles. "No. That's an awfully big glass, I'll share yours." Eric grins that lopsided grin and hands her the glass.

They sit in silence for a few minutes and Eric finally says, "Go ahead. I know you came over here to chew me out. I know I deserve it." Calleigh sighs and looks at Eric. "Eric, I didn't come here to chew you out. I came here to understand. What is going on?" Eric just looks at the floor, trying to figure out where to start. "Are you doing drugs, Eric?" Eric shakes his head, rolls his eyes and looks at Calleigh. "You won't believe me." Calleigh looks at Eric with her intense green eyes. "Eric, I trust you. We've been over this. I trust you with every fiber of my being. I have told you that before. I just want you to be honest with me. Why were there pot wrappers in your kit?"

Eric sits back and props up his legs on the coffee table and crosses them. "Ok, I'll tell you. And I swear to you it's the truth." Calleigh curls her legs up under her. "I'm listening."

Eric takes in a deep breath and tells the story as best he can. "A few of my college buddies were in town this weekend. Do you remember Jeff Corwin that you met when the girls were involved with the tennis coach and Hispanic girl, Consuela was murdered?" He waits for Calleigh to nod. "Anyway, Jeff and some of the guys from U of M were here. I had my kit inside because I needed to re-stock it." Calleigh flashed a grin at him. Eric pointed his finger at her grinning back, "Don't even go there Calleigh. I know…….that's another lecture." Eric tries to get back to the story. " Well, Jeff wanted to see inside the kit and ask questions. We had the kit out then looking through it. Some of the guys had some pot with them. I didn't really care. It wasn't a big deal to me. We were drinking and telling stories and one of the guys offered me some pot. I told him I hadn't smoked that stuff since college. They all started razzing me about being all straight and stuff and it got on my nerves. So I took it out of his hand and smoked some myself. Then I handed it back to him. No big deal. I smoked off of some of theirs throughout the night. I never had any idea that there were wrappers in my kit. It never even occurred to me to check it. Jeff and I were looking at stuff in the kit and none of the guys would have any reason to bother it so I just left it out. I know…………it was careless. I know………..I should have checked it. I have no idea if one of the guys was trying to be funny or if it was just totally an accident. Whatever the reason, Calleigh, I had no idea they were in there. Not until Wolfe saw them. Then it caught me so off guard that I just responded without thinking. The guy can't stand me so he wouldn't have even given me a chance to explain anyway." Eric shrugs his shoulders and looks back up at Calleigh. "I don't know what else to say."

Calleigh sits for a minute and absorbs what Eric has said. Eric throws up a hand and says, "Say something Cal." Calleigh replies, "I'm glad you told me Eric. I believe you. What really scares me though is that you could still be in a lot of trouble. What if Ryan says something and they test you?" Eric shakes his head. "I don't know, but if I approach Wolfe and ask him not to say anything, it makes me look even guiltier than I already am. And he'd never go for it anyway." Calleigh tells him that she thinks he should go to Horatio. Eric sits up straighter, "Calleigh, you've got to be kidding! Ryan may not even say anything. It's possibly a non-issue." Calleigh nods her head firmly, "I know, Eric, but if something is said or if they decide to test you, then you make yourself out to be guilty as all get out. That's not going to be good…………..Please Eric, just think about it."

Eric lays his head back on the couch and smiles, "Geez, Cal, it almost sounds like you care." Calleigh gives him an eye roll and slight glare. "Damn you Eric. You know I care. I've always cared. I don't know what I'd do without you. Without you at work, without you to lean on when everyone I love dies, without you to just bounce life off of." Eric looks a little stunned. He sits up and looks at Calleigh. She continues, "I have been worried ever since we were in that elevator. I didn't know whether to be mad at you or disappointed in you or just to come here and find out what happened. So………..here I am. I never know what to do with you Eric Delko" Eric grins and reaches over to take Calleigh's hand and squeeze it. "I'm glad that it's not just me. You confuse the hell out of me too you know."

Calleigh grins tongue in cheek. "I thought we were talking about pot. How did we get the subject changed to "us' "? Eric sighs and says, "Cal, I'll think about what you said. I may go and talk to H. I may just let it play out. I'll have to think about it. There's nothing else to say about the pot. However…………I think there is still a lot to say about "us" don't you?" Calleigh realizes he is still holding her hand, gently rubbing the back of it. "Our relationship is just as complicated as the pot issue, Eric." Eric continues to rub her hand. "Can I ask you something? Be totally honest with me." Calleigh bristles a little but says, "Sure, Delko, so long as you will answer the same question." Eric hesitates and Calleigh raises an eyebrow at him. He nods and asks, "Do you ever wish we had more? More than work and fun at the bars sometimes, more than pizza? More than late night talks when we can't sleep? Do you ever wish we went deeper?" Calleigh almost stops breathing for a second. "Yes. Eric. I do…………..more than I would care to admit." She looks intensely into Eric's deep brown eyes. "And do you?" Eric reaches up to touch her cheek and nods, "All the time."

Calleigh lets out her breath and pulls away from Eric a little. "What good does it do to know that Eric? Our jobs won't allow us to date. It would create so many problems." Eric lets out a small laugh and chews his bottom lip. "What good does it do? I just needed to know, Calleigh. You've had the key to my heart for a long time. I just needed to know I wasn't in this alone." Calleigh lets a tear slide down her cheek. Eric reaches up gently and wipes it away. Calleigh says in almost a whisper, "You're not in this alone."

They both sit quietly and bask in the silence with the feelings completely out in the open for the very first time. Eric finally speaks, "Calleigh. I'm going to be brutally honest with you. There is nothing I would rather do right now that to take you to my bedroom and make love to you. You drive me crazy and I just want to love you with my entire being." Calleigh starts shaking her head to let the common sense speak and Eric puts up a hand. "Here me out, Cal…………..I know that we can't do that. I just want to tell you that I wish I could do that. And selfishly…………I hope you want me too. Sometimes I want you so bad it hurts. I won't act on it, but I want you to know it." Calleigh reaches up and pulls Eric to her. She touches the very tips of his lips with her own. Eric is so surprised that he doesn't kiss her hungrily the way he wants to. She presses a little deeper to his lips and slides her tongue in his mouth. She kisses him long, slow, and hard. About the time Eric thinks he's going to pass out from bliss, she backs up just slightly. He can still feel her breath on his lips.

"I want you too, Eric. With everything that I am, I want you. You are a beautiful man. And you drive me crazy too. I'll never say never to you. I care too much. I have to say though………Not right now. Not at this time. We've got too much to lose. And I care about you too much to let you risk it all just to make love to me."

Eric sighs a long, deep sigh. "I know you're right. Just don't say never Calleigh. I can wait. I know as well as you do that the timing is all wrong. And a lot of that I've made even worse in the past 48 hours. Just tonight, let me hold you. Let me hold you close to my heart and keep you near me. I need you."

Calleigh scoots in to Eric and allows him to wrap his arms around her. She lays her head on his shoulder. "I need you to Eric. You are my safe refuge. Hold me close and let's stay this way for as long as we can."

The End

This is a one shot deal. Depending on how the writer's screw Eric up will depend on the sequel, but I'm sure there will be one! Too many unresolved issues between the pot ordeal and also between Eric and Calleigh to leave this alone here. Strangely enough, as much as I wanted the love-making, I couldn't make it fit in here. The timing just wasn't right for me either………HA HA

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