The sun was setting on the ocean as Horatio Caine stared into the east, searching the pre-twilight brilliance for answers. For explanations and reasons.

All he found were spots in his eyes, sunglasses not up to the monumental task asked of them.

Giving up the quest for answers, Horatio sighed, allowing the little things to come crowding back in. The traffic on the strip of highway behind him. The murmur of voices audible above the dull roar of the waves. The slightly oppressive Miami heat.

Now that he wasn't actively ignoring it, the sting of his wounds where Otis had clawed at his hand to get him to let go.

Considering that, Horatio took in another breath and held it. Let it go. Just as he had wanted to do to Otis. He shook his head, chasing the thought away. Useless to think it. He would never have voluntarily let another human being fall to his death, no matter how repulsive Horatio found him. No matter how much he wanted to.

Sinking down to a crouch at the edge of the dry sand, he flexed his hand before placing it in the water, palm down, and letting the ocean take away the blood. Transmute the pain, the salt replacing the slight sting with something a little sharper. Cleansing. Something to remind him he had caught the bastard and hadn't given in to temptation after all.

Otis was on his way back to jail, and if he did get out...if he did get out again, well Horatio hadn't lied. He would be there. Waiting. That was his nature.

"Here," The soft voice behind him made him smile. "Let me see that."

Without a word he held out his hand to Speed who took it and, leading him back a bit from the edge, set him down in the sand. Dropping down beside him to get a better look, Speedle never let go of Horatio's hand, still bleeding sluggishly, as he reached for his med kit. "Should be alright. You washed it off in the ocean?"

"A bit," H admitted. Now that the case was closed, both Emma and Robyn were safe and Otis was behind bars, the adrenaline was wearing off. It would feel so good just to let go. To let someone take care of him for once, instead of being the strong one.

A sigh sounded off to his left where Speed was digging into the kit. "After everything was all over, you probably forgot you had it."

Being as that was exactly what had happened, Horatio didn't offer more than a slight hum.

"Here we go." Finished rummaging Speed came up with the alcohol, sterile gauze and medical tape. "The salt probably helped, but alcohol is better." The alcohol did sting a bit more than the saltwater had but for the moment all Horatio wanted to feel were the warm fingers cupping his hand.

To distract himself from the heat that had nothing to do with the Miami sun, Horatio cleared his throat, asking, "How did you find me?"

Speed glanced at him before returning his attention to wrapping the palm and back with gauze. "Yelina. Saw you head for the water. Figured you might need a bit of time alone."

Horatio ducked his head to hide the smirk. "Did she..." The dry observation hung between them. Of course the fact that she had been right and that it had been Speed she called...

"Yeah," Speed challenged and dared him to admit she was wrong. "Told me to tell you she was signing you out and not to bother showing up until morning. Or she'd have Stetler haunting your office first thing - before coffee."

"Scary that."

Speed laughed, an odd chuff of sound that went straight to Horatio's chest. He smiled.

"Seriously twisted sister-in-law you've got there, H." The brunette smirked, sure, steady hands repacking his med kit. The top folded shut and latched, Speed set it aside, studying his boss before asking, "Was she right?"

Horatio favored him with a look of his own behind the ever-present sunglasses, noticing the late afternoon sun bathing Speedle's face a golden orange, turning his brown eyes to pure, dark honey. The lashes closed once Speed looking away before returning to clarify, "Do you want to be alone?"

This time it was the double entendres in that one question that hung between them.

"No." Horatio took a deep breath, smiling slightly and pleased to note the tension leaving his companion at the denial. "In fact I would appreciate the company."

Something must have shown through the calm demeanor for Speed looked at him a bit more sharply before nodding once. But instead of settling beside him, Speed backed a couple feet further up the slight sandy slope, setting himself behind Horatio. Picking his spot, Speed said nothing as he widened his seat to place a leg on either side of Horatio's, his chest pressed firmly against his back, arms coming around his body. Offering more than his company; offering his support and his strength. "Okay?" he asked.

Horatio smiled, uninjured hand reaching to hold the ones clasped just above his navel. "Very okay."

They sat like that as the sun went down, sinking to the merest sliver of fire on the horizon, dark read and orange ripples following the Atlantic to shore. They remained long after, watching the stars come out while the dull roar of traffic and murmur of daytime tourists died down. The only sounds the soft rush of the waves and their muffled crash as they broke a few feet away. After a while, other than the occasional giggling laugh or soft murmur of couples walking along the sand behind them, the night was almost quiet enough to imagine they were alone down here.

Horatio's voice was quiet when he spoke. "Thank you."

Speed's was equally soft. "You're welcome." There was just something restful out here among the sand, sea and stars that neither wanted to break.

The night had been growing a little chilly as the sun had set, though Speed's arms had managed to shield him from most of the cool wind whipping across the beach. His chin now rested on Horatio's shoulder, voice soft and low in the dark, sending shivers up his spine and darker thoughts through his mind. Sweet thoughts. Thoughts of Speed and those hands, so close to where he had been wanting them, dreaming about them for so long.


"Only one around are couples, " came the knowing observation, oddly dovetailing the direction his own thoughts had been taking. "We've been sitting here for a couple of hours and noone's said anything. They can't even see us now."

This wasn't one of the more popular beach hangouts, despite the Museum a couple blocks away. It wasn't that easily accessed and too far away really from the tourist hotels and souvenir shops to draw much in the way of foot traffic after dark. The feeling of seclusion while in plain sight he got sitting on the beach at night was oddly reassuring and Horatio found himself nodding in agreement. Though to what, he would have to wait and see.

"Mmm," he agreed. "So what did you have in mind?"

"Sex on the beach?" Speed's quiet knowing smirk tickled in his ear.

"Not thirsty, " Horatio denied, knowing Speed could easily see his grin even in the dark. Knowing, too, the drink hadn't been involved and unable to resist the banter. Curious as to where Speed's mind would go next.

The low rumbling chuckle did more than tickle. Or maybe it was the pair of hands now exactly where he wanted them to be, deftly undoing belt, buttons and zipper. "You will be. You're about to lose some precious fluids."

Horatio laughed. It started out low and accusing at the bad pun before dipping lower, turning into a groan at the sudden contact of skin on skin as Speed's questing fingers found his shaft, buried under slacks and boxers. "Speed..." The injury, minor as it was, forgotten, his fingers clutched at his own thighs, grip hard enough to leave bruises, his legs falling open a little wider. Not wide enough, trapped as was in the cage of Speed's body around him, just enough for Speed to find him. But god, even that was just too good. "...speed..."

"Was that a plea I just heard - or a curse?" The younger man just chuckled and Horatio couldn't help but laugh at the sheer devilment in the cheerful mutter, "Ah, but everyone in the greater Miami area knows Horatio Caine doesn't plead, so..."

"Must have been a curse, " H agreed, hips beginning to move in shallow, helpless rolls as Speed settled in.

Despite the teasing, Horatio didn't need to test that theory as, both hands working together, Speed was certainly wasting no time in learning his body. Speed's grip was confident and sure with just enough pressure and friction to keep the pleasure building, slow and steady. Clever fingers squeezed gently, running up the shaft to wrap around the head and then down, only to return, again and again while Horatio struggled to breathe, biting back moans and whimpers alike.

The waves continued to crash with dull, muted roars just beyond their shoes but if there were anyone walking along the sand behind them, for once Horatio was too far gone to care. All he could feel was, Speed's heat around him, the ocean air cool on his exposed skin and the electric thrum building through muscle, sinew and bone.

Speed's warmth shifted, the solid weight pressing in closer, somehow more intimate than another man's hand on his cock. Even possibly alone in the dark. The sharp nip on his ear made him gasp out loud. "No keeping quiet H," Speed admonished, mouth now suckling the lobe before a wicked tongue snaked briefly into his ear. "I want to hear you."

Relaxing back, Horatio squeezed one arm around him and gave in to his body, a quiet but steady stream of appreciative and encouraging sighs and murmurs falling softly around them, mingling with the sounds of the ocean and faint whistling of the wind in his ears. When he came it was with a gasp, head leaning back on the sturdy shoulder, mouth open and eyes clenched shut.

Hands slowly working him gentle now Speed snorted softly in his ear but the best H could muster was a weak sigh. The part of him that wasn't floating was sluggishly concentrating on getting his body, still twitching in post-orgasmic shudders, back under control. He hadn't been quiet on purpose, he had just been so caught up in the rare experience, in the pleasure of freely allowing those little ripples to build that the final wave had caught him by surprise.

His free hand patted Speed's knee. "Sorry."

Speed chuckled. "S'alright. Hectic day. Just lie back a minute and let me clean you up."

Agreeing to that with a contented hum, Horatio did as he was told and leaned back, allowing the lighter man to take his weight. The cloth on him was a little chilly and he chuckled as he realized what it was. "I didn't know baby wipes came standard in first aid kits these days."

Speed snorted. "Are you kidding? There was a time when Alexx swore by these things. Used to carry them to work in her purse. Best thing for clean ups there was, she'd tell me."

"I guess she was right, " Horatio agreed, soft sigh escaping in regret as Speed tucked him back in, zipping him up.

Button in place he was now presentable only found he wasn't yet ready to leave this place - or the intimacy found here - behind. He felt Speed tense in sympathy. Knowing where his mind was headed, no doubt.

After a moment, Speed spoke. "I've got chicken at my place," he offered. "I could heat it up, thrown on a few vegetables. You bring the wine?"

Horatio felt himself smiling, his body flushing with pleasure at the thought of...dinner. "Sounds like a plan."

A chuckle sounded behind him in the dark. "Cool."

Standing them both up, Horatio decided exposure be damned and tangled their fingers together, leaning in for their first kiss. Only to find Speed meeting him halfway. So much for wondering what this was. It may not be true love, at least not yet, but it seemed to be more than comfort sex.

The kiss was soft and sweet and so full of promise that Horatio found himself disappointed when, with one last nip, Speed reluctantly pulled away. Those dark eyes glittered. He watched fascinated as a slow blush spread across the stubbled cheeks, and down his throat, Speed biting his lower lip before shaking his head, grinning despite the obvious embarrassment. "So..." Horatio didn't bother to hid the smug grin as Speed had to clear his throat of the husk and try again. "Dinner. Wine. And maybe...maybe breakfast?"

"Mmmm definitely breakfast."

Not taking Speed's hand as the walked off the beach and to the waiting Hummer, sorely tempted as he was, Horatio consoled himself with the fact that it wouldn't be much longer until he would be touching much more than a hand. Admiring the talented fingers that strapped the metal kit to his bike, Horatio indulged himself in a lingering appreciation of the other man's easy grace as Speed swung a leg over the body of the machine, settling neatly into the cradle of the seat. Speed looked back, catching the very sexual appraisal and groaned.

"Definitely breakfast."



Your fic reminds me of one of Turner's paintings, everything is so
visual, I could see it, could see the beach, H, the sunset, them
sitting together, making love... It was utterly beautiful and like
the paintings I mentioned above, I want to look at it again and
again to find all the beauty once more... this was a wonderful read
before I go to bed :-)

thanks for sharing!

take care