This came to me after a The West Wing marathon last night. I was watching the Ainsley years, and blatantly stole a storyline...well, adapted a storyline, shall we say? ;)
Alas, I own nothing from either fandom. And greatly miss TWW even though it only ended last night. Long Live DVDs!
Calleigh wasn't sure if it was physically possible to have a worse day. It had started off well enough; a couple of test shots in the range, followed by lunch with Eric, then a drive back to the labs without hitting a single light. Then it turned.
She'd been anxious all day; it was expected. There was an IAB hearing in which lab tech Garrett Jones was finally brought up for his incompetence, negligence and down-right arrogance. It was Calleigh's evidence that put the final nail in the proverbial coffin, resulting in his termination. Garrett was not happy with the outcome, calling her every name under the sun as she was leaving.
She took it and shrugged it off. The labs would be better without him, and frankly, she'd been called worse. But the present waiting for her when she returned to her office was an abomination.
A shrivelled and long-dead orchid plant stood on her desk, a card in plain sight with one simple word: Bitch.
It had sent a shiver down her spine. Calleigh had dealt with a lot in this job, but that little 'gift' was just horrible. She stood staring at it for a while, clutching the magic-marker card in her hand. She doubted anything else would come of it; it was just a sick and twisted outlet of a sick and twisted man who no longer had a job. He blamed Calleigh, not the fact that he had screwed up multiple case results, was hardly what you'd call punctual and was aggressive to fellow techies. Oh, no, it was Calleigh's fault.
She put the card back on the stand and dropped the pot into the waste basket.
Anger was coursing through her veins, and bile rising in her throat. She needed to let off steam and there was only one way for that: the gun range.
Calleigh pulled open the door to her sanctuary, taking a Smith and Wesson Model 60 .38 special from its designated holder.
She snapped on the ear and eye protectors, called "Fire in the hole!" to no one in particular and rejoiced in the power and force that came with the flick of one index finger. The kickback rattled through her slight frame, instantly calming her as she shot through the magazine.
When the full six bullets were spent, she put the gun down in front of her, took off her guards and braced herself against the shelf.
"You look like you needed that," a voice announced behind her, startling her, although you wouldn't think it.
"Yeah. Rough day," she said, looking over her shoulder to Horatio. He was leant against the far wall, his feet crossed at the ankle and his sunglasses dangling from his fingers.
He took a step forward and into the open cubicle Calleigh was using. "Does this have anything to do with it?" he asked, putting the small card from the flowers in front of her.
"Where did you get that?" she turned fully to him.
"Tell me who sent it."
"I don't know. It doesn't matter," Calleigh dismissed him with a wave of her hand, focussing her attention back to the weapon.
"I think you do know, and it certainly does matter. I will not have anyone harassing my colleagues," his voice was hard, determined.
She didn't say anything, just looked into the darkening blue orbs, silently confirming his suspicions.
Horatio snatched the card back, turning on his heel to march down the hall.
"Horatio…? Damnit!" He wasn't taking any notice. She quickly bungled the gun back into the cage, refusing to break protocol regardless of the imminent death of a former employee. She took chase down the hall, "Horatio!"
He had disappeared. Eric was walking towards her, his head buried in a file. "Eric! Have you seen Horatio?"
"Um, yeah, he just passed me. Looked pretty pissed."
"Which way did he go?"
"Locker room, I think." She took chase, "Cal? What's up?"
A uniformed officer stood outside the closed door to the Locker room, ready to escort Jones from the premises after collecting his belongings. "Is Lieutenant Caine in there?" she asked as she quickly approached.
"Yes ma'am, I wouldn't go in though," he warned, a slight look of worry across his features. Horatio had obviously sweet-talked him.
Calleigh ignored the caution, barrelling straight into the room to find Horatio pinning Jones against the far wall. "…If I ever see you near this building, it's employees or Calleigh Duquesne again-" he whispered, his face menacingly close to a petrified Jones.
"Horatio!" Calleigh called before he could follow through with his threat. Just one more word would definitely ruin his career if charges were brought against him. She ran the length of the room, putting a hand to his shoulder, dragging his forearm from Jones' throat. "Horatio, please."
"Get out of my sight," he spat, relinquishing his hold and pushing him towards the door. "And don't forget what we said."
"Garrett, go." Calleigh warned, watching as he stumbled in his hasty exit. She turned her attention back to Horatio, "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I will not accept that kind of behaviour in my labs, Calleigh. You did not deserve that."
"That maybe so, but you had no right to go and threaten the guy!"
"He needed to be taught-"
"He was 'taught' in the IAB hearing, Horatio! What he did was just a final outcry of defiance from a little boy who is going to be propping up the Social Security line for the next couple of years."
"Regardless," he said, his breathing finally calming down and his anger coming into check.
Calleigh sighed and looked at him. "Did you see the look in his eyes?" she couldn't help but chuckle.
"I don't think we'll be hearing from him again," he smiled, his eyes shining and his dimples forming.
"How do you know? He might bring a complaint against you."
"No, he won't do that."
"And you know this how?"
"It was one of the things we talked about…"